Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rotation Perspective

While the soap opera continues to play out with regard to Erik Bedard and Adam Jones being an Oriole, a Mariner, an Oriole, and a Mariner again, there has been much talk about whether or not Bedard is the singular cog that will propel the M's into the playoffs anyway. Most assessments say no, and they're probably right.

I've lamented the M's rotation repeatedly on this blog - that basically we have a #2 starter and then three #4 starters - and then who knows what for a fifth. Three starters roughly at league average with one capable of being pretty good. That's at best.

This rotation doesn't inspire October fantasies.

However, I recently read this post about the St. Louis rotation.

Their rotation, going into 2008 looks like this:


Yeesh. I mean, that actually shocked me when I read it. This is the same St. Louis Cardinals team that won the World Series in 2006. Do they even have a pitcher that you would expect to win 12 games going into 2008?

Wainwright is obviously the gem of the group with an ERA+ of 119, going 14-12, giving up more hits than IP, and striking out a paltry 136 batters over 202 innings. Wainwright is good, but on a playoff team, he should be a #3 or #4, not your ace.

Clement last saw action in 2006 where he was shelled like his nickname was HoRam, then hit the DL and sat out all of 2007. Although he won 13 games with Boston in '05, he still wasn't lighting the world on fire with an ERA+ of 99 and a 4.57 ERA. His most productive years were in Chicago from '02 to '04. Well, Matt - it's 2008. Where you been? This is their "#2" starter.

Looper? ERA+ of 89. A failed conversion from closer to starter.

Pineiro? Do I even need to tell you?

Mulder - ERA the last two years: 12.27 and 7.14, respectively. He was once great, but injuries have simply ruined him. Reyes or Thompson will probably occupy the #5 slot by April - and that shouldn't make any Cardinal fan excited either.

Their rotation is so bad that the author of that post actually makes a pitch for going after Jeff Weaver. Yes, that Jeff Weaver. If that's not desperation, I don't know what is. They might as well ask Ankiel to take the hill if they're in such dire straights. I guarantee he'd have better stats than Weaver.

So my point is, after reading this I gained a little bit of perspective. While I don't think the Mariners have a particularly exciting pitching rotation - I'll take Felix, Batista, Silva, Washburn, and Morrow (Dickey, HoRam, Rowland-Smith, whoever) over what St. Louis is trotting out there.

But then again, when you start comparing yourselves to the worst possible scenarios, you've got problems - but I'll take my silver lining for now.

No comments: