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  1. Not much there to argue about.

    Comment by maqman — March 9, 2012 @ 9:09 am

  2. Dempster 1.5 WAR? I’m taking the over on that every time.

    Comment by jackweiland — March 9, 2012 @ 9:12 am

  3. Wow on the Reds. Like you Dave, I expected them a fair bit higher (middle-of -the-pack-ish). ZiPS refusing to regress Leake’s HR rate has something to do with that projection.

    There is a big issue here though – as of now, Francis can opt out if he doesn’t make the team AND Chapman (yes, I know about Baker’s recent comments, Jocketty hasn’t echoed them as far as I’ve seen, though) is preparing as a starter. You have to at least give mention to these two things in a projection of the Reds starters.

    Comment by Jason461 — March 9, 2012 @ 9:12 am

  4. Edwin Jackson will have a career low walk rate and better than average K/9 and HR/9 rates! Take it to the bank!

    Comment by Dekker — March 9, 2012 @ 9:14 am

  5. Can’t find a link to it online (haven’t really looked) but last week Neal Huntington stated that the Pirates would consider going to a 4-man rotation in April.

    I know you have to “consider” everything but I couldn’t help but laugh after reading Dave’s comment since I thought the same thing when i heard of a potential 4-man rotation.

    Comment by Los — March 9, 2012 @ 9:19 am

  6. Finally an accurate analysis of the Braves’ starting rotation.

    Comment by L.UZR — March 9, 2012 @ 9:24 am

  7. Why are you concerned with Zimmermann’s ability to stay healthy?

    The only reason he didn’t pitch 200 innings last year was because he was given an innings limit upon returning from TJ, and was shut down in September. But physically he was not in any way injured, and could have pitched 190+ innings.

    The Nats have been very open in saying that he will not be limited this year. Conservatively, I’d expect his IP to AT LEAST match last year’s 160 IP, but will much more likely be closer to 200.

    By all accounts (see 2011 stats), Strasburg is fully healthy again. For the same reasons at Zimmermann, he will be capped at 160 IP.

    It wouldn’t be outlandish to get 40 more innings from each of them at the expense of John Lannan.

    Aside from those concerns, Lannan will not get 120 IP. Because he still has a minor league option, he’s the odd man out of Detwiler, Wang and Gorzelanny. Your IP estimation is far too high. The 5th SP job will go to Wang then Detwiler before Lannan ever gets a chance, and Gorzelanny will not make any starts (barring some apocalyptic scenario where at least 4 of the other starters get injured at the same time), instead he’ll serve as a long reliever

    Therefore, I would assign the 320 IP between Lannan, Wang, Detwiler and Gorzelanny as:
    Wang: 125
    Detwiler: 125
    Lannan: 75
    Gorzelanny: 0

    Comment by Will — March 9, 2012 @ 9:25 am

  8. Milone is left handed

    Comment by Roger Goodell — March 9, 2012 @ 9:26 am

  9. Relieved to see that the Red Sox will be in the top half of the list.

    Comment by Zach — March 9, 2012 @ 9:39 am

  10. It’s hard to believe that Zimmermann will actually pitch fewer innings than he did last season. The only reason that would happen is if he’s reinjured. I’d say that 180 is a conservative estimate. Strasburg’s limit is set at 160, and there’s no reason to think he’s going to be hurt again. If you’re being conservative, I’d go with 140, not 120. That’s 50 more innings for those two, and I’d still say you’re being conservative.

    The balance between Lannan and Wang is trickier, but I’d say Wang is somewhat more likely to take the larger share.

    Comment by jcj5y — March 9, 2012 @ 9:39 am

  11. I am amazed the Twins are not in the bottom half.

    Comment by drewcorb — March 9, 2012 @ 9:41 am

  12. The Royals two spots higher than the Reds blows my mind

    Comment by Eminor3rd — March 9, 2012 @ 9:43 am

  13. Surprised the sox made it to the to top half with 3/5ths of a rotation and zero pitching depth.

    Comment by William — March 9, 2012 @ 9:44 am

  14. I agree with the Mets placement and yet I think you’re off on saying Dickey will be just “okay.” The dude is a legit #2 starter on most teams once you throw out WAR/FIP since he’s a knuckleballer.

    That being said, I could see Santana’s health or a Gee/Schwinden plunge into replacement level territory to offset the under rated Dickey.

    Comment by Franco — March 9, 2012 @ 9:45 am

  15. But they have Sweet Chen Music. That alone should raise them to the top 3 if not first overall.

    Comment by Los — March 9, 2012 @ 9:45 am

  16. Where are the Twins. Does Zips expect 2009 Baker, 2006 Liriano, 2010 Carl Pavano, and 2001 Brad Radke to show up?

    Comment by bill — March 9, 2012 @ 9:51 am

  17. The last three years they ranked 6th, 3rd, 3rd in fWAR. Now they’re going to rank 18th? Curse the day they got rid of Derek Lowe!

    Comment by Dekker — March 9, 2012 @ 9:51 am

  18. This is more like a worst-case scenario for the Braves.

    Hudson at 1.5 wins? What indicates that?
    Hanson at 140 innings? I know he has an injury history, but I’d be surprised if I didn’t see 170 innings and a low 3 FIP from him.

    I know Jurjens is not loved in this circle, and rightfully so with his low K% and highish BB%. But he always seems to outperform.

    I’m not sold that this is a bottom 1/2 rotation.

    Comment by Dan Holland — March 9, 2012 @ 9:55 am

  19. It’s basically because they have a bunch of off-days and can go without anyone pitching on short rest. Also the guy who was supposed to be their most durable starter bunted a ball off his eye.

    Comment by matt w — March 9, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  20. I’m willing to bet that Livan will be closer to 200 IP than 100 IP for the ‘stros. He got shut down early last year, not for injury, but so the Nats could look at others. (Of course this isn’t a ringing endorsement of his talents, but he still threw <170 innings). On a Houston team without much depth (especially if Wandy is traded), and a weak bullpen, he'll probably get left out there to eat innings. As "good" Livo shows up often enough, I'd be surprised if he throw less than 180 innings.

    Comment by Colin — March 9, 2012 @ 10:00 am

  21. Braves rotation was 12th in fWAR last season. Don’t know what you’re looking at.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=sta&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&players=0

    Comment by some guy — March 9, 2012 @ 10:02 am

  22. Nothing really stuck out to me until those last two. For the Brewers, it’s strange to see Shaun Marcum’s projections. Right now, he’s potentially looking at missing a start or two from his shoulder soreness, but he’s projected for a meagre 140 innings. I also feel like the projections are conservative even for Narveson and Greinke. I’ll be interested to see who the bottom two teams are in the second half of this series.

    And with the Nationals, I really thought I’d see them higher. Dave explained the reasons that they’re as low as they ended up well enough, but it was surprising to see them there all the same.

    Looking forward to seeing the top 15 teams.

    Comment by Bronnt — March 9, 2012 @ 10:09 am

  23. not sure how the Twins and Mariners are in the top 15… and I’ll throw in the Tribe as pretty shaky after Ubaldo and Masterson. I’d def take the Nats, Brewers, Braves and Snakes over those 3.

    Comment by Spike — March 9, 2012 @ 10:10 am

  24. The BP really saved their bacon most of last season, not sure they’ll be able to pull off that trick this time without serious innings from the starters.

    Comment by some guy — March 9, 2012 @ 10:10 am

  25. Agreed. R.A. Dickey has thrown about 400 innings of low 3 ERA ball since breaking out with the Mets. Their rotation deserves to be ranked very low, but I definitely feel he’s being undervalued as a knuckeballer and would hope at least some mention of that is made somewhere.

    Comment by Bubba — March 9, 2012 @ 10:18 am

  26. If JoJo Reyes pitches 100 innings for the Pirates this year, then something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

    Comment by gonfalon — March 9, 2012 @ 10:18 am

  27. Projections are not reality. I don’t agree the Red Sox are a top half starting rotation in their current state. Without seeing Dave’s analysis there would have to be a lot of pie in the sky dreaming going on in ZIPs that Beckett stays healthy and effective, that the Bard experiment pays off and that Lester/Buchholz recover their form from two seasons ago. Not sure what is expected from Aceves. Where is the depth if/when someone goes down? Good luck.

    Comment by keyser soze — March 9, 2012 @ 10:19 am

  28. I can’t disagree with the possibility that Teheran and Delgado may not be ready, having watched them last year, though. And Teheran’s dropoff in K-rate last year isn’t all that encouraging. Hopefully he doesn’t get rushedt his year, and can spend perhaps another half season in AAA before he has to make a big league start.

    If the Braves so few innings from Hanson and Hudson as Dave has projected here, though, I would hope that they’d give a lot of innings to Kris Medlen. If they’re determined to actually have an open competition for that last rotation spot coming out of camp, he deserves as much consideration as either of the prospects.

    Beachy is also an issue for the projection systems. Give him 200 innings, and he might just give you a 5 WAR season. Or he might not. But it’s tough to call him, both in terms of innings and effectiveness. Perhaps the same can be said of Mike Minor, though that projection really does look solid to me.

    Projections are, of course, not infallible.

    Comment by Bronnt — March 9, 2012 @ 10:20 am

  29. That’s true, some guy. Of teams that finished with winning records, the Braves got the fewest innings from their starters. Part of that issue is Fredi Gonzalez-he was always very willing to go to the bullpen early.

    But part of that was the Braves’ starters themselves. Mike Minor always had a tough time getting through the 6th inning effectively. Derek Lowe had issues getting through the FIFTH inning, especially late in the year. As a team, they very, very seldom had anyone give them an 8 inning start. Hopefully they can improve on that this year.

    Comment by Bronnt — March 9, 2012 @ 10:24 am

  30. Dickey is better than “okay”. His ERA- has been top 25 in baseball the past two seasons. For a unique pitcher like a knuckleballer, I’d have a little more faith in that than FIP or xFIP.

    Comment by Greg — March 9, 2012 @ 10:37 am

  31. B. Chen’s forthcoming 7 Win Season should shuffle this quite a bit.

    Comment by samuelraphael — March 9, 2012 @ 10:38 am

  32. I’m very interested to see how Dustin McGowan pitches this year. The projection is low (and fair) due to his history but there’s a lot of talk in Jay’s camp about how filthy he has been. If he can stay healthy and if he has any semblance of control (2 big ifs), he could far outperform his projections.

    Comment by Garold — March 9, 2012 @ 10:45 am

  33. Have you looked at the Pirates schedule? In the first 3 weeks they would 7 total starts that are on 3 days rest.

    Do you know how many total starts the Pirates starters (sans AJ Burnett since presumably his injury is the reason the pirates are contemplating the 4 man-rotation) have made on 3 days rest in their careers? 6 (all by Kevin Correia).

    Comment by Los — March 9, 2012 @ 10:46 am

  34. Yeah, I thought the Twins would give the Orioles a run for their money.

    Comment by Oliver — March 9, 2012 @ 10:59 am

  35. If you gave Zimmermann and Strasburg an extra 30 innings each where would the Nationals have ended up?

    Comment by Person — March 9, 2012 @ 11:04 am

  36. The Jays rotation will be top 10 in MLB. Most systems understandably underestimate Cecil, but he should be 2.5-3.0 WAR this season. If McGowan falters in his comeback, there are plenty of fine arms in the minors dying for a chance.

    Comment by bluejaysstatsgeek — March 9, 2012 @ 11:24 am

  37. I think it’s a concern for them to STAY healthy. It might be overly cautious, but you have 2 pitchers that had a significant surgery during their rookie seasons. They hadn’t yet accumulated a significant number of innings per season “pre-injury”, so I think it’s reasonable to assume that the organization might slow things down from time to time post-recovery, if even the smallest issues arises. Both have yet to be stretched towards a full workload, so how do we know for sure how they’ll react even at their healthiest?

    Strasburg maxed out with 120IP as a rookie (his career high).
    Zimmermann made it up to 160IP in 2011 (his career high).

    I would peg Zimmermann at around 185IP, and Strasburg at around 150IP, but I think it’s reasonable to be very conservative with what might happen this season.

    Comment by baty — March 9, 2012 @ 11:36 am

  38. Livan Hernandez only getting 130 IP THIS LIST IS CRAP

    Livan for HOF!

    Comment by adohaj — March 9, 2012 @ 11:37 am

  39. Strasburg @150IP = 3.75 WAR
    Zimmermann @180IP = 3 WAR

    That’s an additional 1.25 WAR.

    Nevermind that #15, the Mariners, had 13 total WAR, while the Nats already have 13.5 WAR in the original list.

    The Nats staff would tally 14.75 total WAR, which would place them #9, between the White Sox (14 WAR) and the Giants (15 WAR).

    Comment by Will — March 9, 2012 @ 11:38 am

  40. As a Jays fan, I really hope for the Pirates sake that Jojo doesn’t make the team. But since it’s the Pirates, and they’re in “Burnett is Hurt, PANIC!” mode, I see 100 innings of Jojo.

    Comment by sc2gg — March 9, 2012 @ 11:48 am

  41. This was a horrible analysis of the Braves rotation. I truly expected them to be in the top 5 or 6.

    Comment by JT — March 9, 2012 @ 11:50 am

  42. Yeah, that’s what I was going to mention too, if noone else did – McGowan will do better than 40IP this year (unless his bad luck continues).

    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Baseball/MLB/Toronto/2012/02/28/19437291.html

    He’s doing well. He’s talking about how this is a real training camp, instead of an injury recovery camp. Pretty certain everyone who’s a Jays fan is rooting for the guy, since he’s really had bad luck over the years. He was really good! Marcum & McGowan, The Jays Future! Remember that?

    Comment by sc2gg — March 9, 2012 @ 11:51 am

  43. The Hall of Fat?
    Wait a second here.

    Comment by sc2gg — March 9, 2012 @ 11:52 am

  44. I think it’s overly cautious to assume a guy who had no injuries over the past 18 months will pitch fewer innings than in the previous season. That’s is conservative to the extreme.

    Jordan Zimmermann has been healthy since September 2010. He was limited by an arbitrary (though cautious) innings limit, which will not be imposed this year. I don’t understand why one would assume he will pitch less than that.

    For example, Adam Wainwright had TJ just last year (a whole year later than JZ and several months after Strasburg), and he himself is projected for 160 IP. What about Wainwright makes him likely to pitch so many more innings?

    Comment by Will — March 9, 2012 @ 11:54 am

  45. Last year, E.Jax, Gio, and Zimm totaled 10.7 WAR. You have them regressing to 8.5 WAR in about the same IP this year, even though all are in their prime and the first two had similar results in 2010. (Not to mention that you have Stras with 3 WAR in 120 IP when, career, he has 3.7 in just 82 IP. Of course I don’t think that is sustainable, but neither do I think he will decline from a 5.5 WAR/120 IP pace to just 3). And even Lannan has never delivered so little on a per IP basis.

    It isn’t just about adjusting Zimm’s and Stras’ IPs… clearly, the sort of decline these projections predict is waaay extreme. And why ZIPS anyway? Isn’t Steamer better with pitchers?

    Comment by Will H. — March 9, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

  46. Gotta agree with this. And Dickey just “okay” ?!?!? You just outraged Mets fans everywhere and being Met fans we’re not too happy to begin with.

    Comment by ror0071619 — March 9, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

  47. Great series of articles. For the pitchers it would have been helpful to display FIP or xFIP (not just WAR). To be sure, I understand that this is a team ranking.

    Comment by mentalmeat — March 9, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

  48. Big Baseball fan from Kansas City… and yes I will admit that I am a Royals fan as well (even though they have made it difficult for 20+ years.)

    I have to say that the Royals are ranked too high IMO.

    Comment by Tim A. — March 9, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

  49. ZIPS is an extremely upside-oriented projection system.

    We KNOW what we’re getting from the Braves rotation, for the most part. It’s one of the most stable in the league. There isn’t that much potential for it to break out, but its a near lock to be one of the best in the league.

    Comment by BX — March 9, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

  50. Rational basis for irrational Tom Milone fandom?

    Comment by BX — March 9, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  51. Because?

    Comment by DavidCEisen — March 9, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

  52. “Drabek could find the form that made him a real prospect a few years ago”

    So, like, June 2011?

    Comment by Baron Samedi — March 9, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

  53. These are worse than the ones by the girl.

    Comment by Baron Samedi — March 9, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

  54. So basically Tim Hudson is going to replicate 2005, the worst season of his 14-year career, only he’s going to pitch 50 fewer innings?

    Seriously, the only time Tim Hudson has averaged 1.5 WAR per 140 innings was 2005. He’s also managed at least 2 WAR every season of his career aside from his TJ surgery season where he pitched 42 innings.

    Maybe the author knows something rest of us don’t about his injury?

    Comment by TK — March 9, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

  55. Disagree with ZIPS on the AZ rotation (I’d peg Hudson, Cahill and Saunders to be probably half a win better each), but they’re about the right ranking if ZIPS is the baseline to use.

    Comment by Dreamin — March 9, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

  56. Orioles rotation worst by far… Royals after that with Oakland up there too (though they have a lot of upside)

    Comment by Dave — March 9, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

  57. I like how Fangraphs’ player linker software automatically links to Johan Santa instead of Johan Santana at first. It’s like Christmas all year round!

    Comment by gonfalon — March 9, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

  58. The Brewers are way too low. Greinke is a legit ace and Gallardo is a solid 1/2. Marcum is a solid #3. Yes he has some issues but when he pitches is a very solid pitcher. Wolf is a good 4/5 and Narveson’s FIP was in the mid 3’s last year. Not to mention Wily Peralta and Michael Fiers should make an impact at some point.

    Comment by Ryan C. — March 9, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

  59. I think the Brewers’ placement is far less controversial than the Reds, Nationals, Braves or DBacks.

    Comment by Bip — March 9, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

  60. Well, I think the initial reaction would be because Adam Wainwright had a few 200+IP seasons to his name before the injury. He’s already taken on the full work load, so you might expect a team to be less conservative with his rebound. Zimmermann and Strasburg, haven’t come close to a total like that.

    Teams play more into the conservative progression towards taking on a full work load nowadays with young pitchers, and while it is a very conservative estimate, I think most of these SP estimates (across the board) have been conservative. You could say that CC Sabathia’s IP estimate is on the conservative side.

    Comment by baty — March 9, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  61. The other side of things would be how Josh Johnson was handled after his surgery. He had a short MILB rehab stint, put up about 90 MLB Innings to close the season, and the Marlins just about let him loose from there on out. His first full season back he racked up 210IP when his previous season high was 155IP as a rookie a few years earlier. Who knows how Washington will handle this situation.

    Comment by baty — March 9, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

  62. there is no way jorge de la rosa only pitches 50 innings, he’s ahead on his rehab and should be back by july

    Comment by jim — March 9, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

  63. Projecting Derek Lowe in the AL to be worth 1 Win more than Hudson and Jurjens is crazy. I bet you couldn’t find 5 other people who really expect that to happen.

    Comment by Toby Flenderson — March 9, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

  64. I’m glad to not see Atlanta in the top 5 or anything like that. And Dave did correctly point out the glaring hole at the #1 spot; to me, this is the biggest problem, with their depth being able to cover up their health issues for spots #2-5. I’m a little surprised, or saddened, to see these projection systems still counting on JJurrjens and Tim Hudson to regress EVERY single year. They’ve both made a habit of outperforming their peripherals throughout most of their careers. To know this and not mention it and just plop out low ZIPS totals for them is becoming increasingly lazy.

    Comment by bstar — March 9, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

  65. Good points, Bronnt, about Minor and Lowes’ performances having more to do with bullpen usage than Fredi’s preferences. I’d add not letting Tommy Hanson to pitch into the eighth inning even one time last year to keep his innings down as another limiting factor in Braves’ starter fWAR. All seven times Hanson went 7 innings, he had given up zero or one earned run. Assuming he’s healthy and effective this year, look for Fredi to stretch him into the eighth and ninth a little more.

    Comment by bstar — March 9, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

  66. That’s what blind faith in peripherals and ignoring actual ERA(+ or -) will do for you.

    Comment by bstar — March 9, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

  67. Except that it’s really not, Sure there are question marks but there are question marks on everyone.

    My breakdown of the Braves looks as the following.

    Hanson, not sure where the 140 innings is coming from, that’s lower than literally every projection on fangraphs site, ZiPS has him at 171, lowest is Marcel which is 145.

    Hudson, that projection is counting on him missing more time than projected, if he misses a month that’s what 5 starts 6 starts? If he makes 26 starts at 5 IP a start (much lower than you’d expect from him) that’s still more than 120 innings.

    I do agree overall with Jurrjens, Beachy and minor. I think Beachy and Minor will be excellent and I don’t know what to expect from Beachy. Who knows what can happen from the Braves rotation, but I would almost certainly bet on them coming up higher than that. Even if JJ or Hanson goes down, the Braves have 7 top of the rotation arms. No they lack an ace, but they have an amazing rotation regardless.

    Only knock I’d give on the Braves is that Fredi seems to have as much patience with his starters pitching through toughness as he does with HanRam’s evil dreds.

    Comment by Scott — March 9, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

  68. It’s just too easy a call for people who rely on FIP solely to always expect JJ and Hudson to underperform. C’mon, guys.

    Comment by bstar — March 9, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

  69. What are you, a caveman?

    Comment by bstar — March 9, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

  70. The twins ahead of the braves is a joke.

    Comment by Roll tide — March 9, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

  71. Very quickly, FanGraphs is losing all credibility in my eyes. Atlanta that low? There’s no logical reasoning for such a low ranking for one of the most obviously talented and deep pitching staffs in the entire game. You, Mr Cameron, are either biased, blind, or simply don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Methinks you rely solely on projections (unwise move) and don’t rely so much on common sense. Which contrary to popular belief .. is a very important thing in both baseball .. and life.

    Comment by Steve — March 10, 2012 @ 12:54 am

  72. Also, Fangraphs predicts Kony will be overthrown in 2012.

    Comment by Steve — March 10, 2012 @ 12:57 am

  73. Nice to meet you, Philly / Met fan!

    Comment by Steve — March 10, 2012 @ 1:00 am

  74. i think the actual quality is still there (though they could use jonah keri back something awful), but still, this “positional depth” series has, for the most part, been awful

    Comment by jim — March 10, 2012 @ 1:04 am

  75. Can’t say it’s all been bad, but good gahd … Do these guys even review their product and think it through before plopping it onto the interwebz? I get the feeling this was cobbled together either very hastily, with a biased objective, or simply the writer is … uh .. you get the idea.

    Comment by Steve — March 10, 2012 @ 1:09 am

  76. It’s really interesting but makes me realize that I will put 0 stock in anything ZIPS projects from this point forward.

    Comment by Heyward — March 10, 2012 @ 11:14 am

  77. Now that Arroyo’s over his case of mono, his velocity is now exceeding what it was the past couple seasons. I doubt ZIPS is accounting for that.

    Comment by camisadelgolf — March 10, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

  78. “Worst defense we’ve seen in a long time”. Based on…? Internet cliches most likely.

    Comment by Made Up Statistics — March 11, 2012 @ 12:15 am

  79. Agree. Dickey projects to over 3.5 rWAR (4.9 last season); he’s easily the Mets #1. Niese, Santana, and Gee are just OK, and Pelfrey is probably their worst SP; he may end up around replacement level in a park that should be more neutral now for HR.

    So on the whole, even if that could bump the Mets up a spot or two, I think they are still worse than the Cubs, Reds, or A’s. So the overall ranking is about right.

    Comment by acerimusdux — March 11, 2012 @ 12:49 am

  80. I think it just goes to show how bad most teams’ rotations really are. Beckett, Lester and Buchholz are simply better than any top 3 on this list, save Milwaukee. In fact I think Milwaukee gets a bad rap here.

    Comment by AndrewYF — March 11, 2012 @ 1:12 am

  81. That may be one of the most poorly researched articles I have read on this blog.

    You have nearly every Padres pitcher regressing and the one that isnt will throw less innings, but have the same overall production according to WAR. Give me a break. Young pitchers progress and get better on average and the Padres are a young staff.

    Padres starters will end the season in top 5 in NL in ERA & tERA again. Their FIP will once again be the top half again as well.

    WAR has proven to be a complete BS stat with no predictive value.

    I know you love to throw it out there, but there is a reason that not one MLB TEAM uses WAR in their player evaluations. The simple fact is it has little if any value in measuring performance.

    Comment by Nunya — March 11, 2012 @ 4:31 am

  82. I dont. Brewers should be top 10 once you correct for park/defense. Definetly better than Reds by a good bit.

    Comment by Enderkw — March 12, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

  83. Brewers should be top 15. Marcum has some injury risk but this is the same soreness he has every season so no reason to cut him all the way down to 140 IP or Wolf down to 170 IP for no apparent reason. Estrada would likely be the #6 as well. They were a top 10 rotation last year once you cut out defense/park and it is only deeper going into this season.

    Comment by Ender — March 12, 2012 @ 6:23 pm

  84. I cannot fathom the Brewers’ staff being in the bottom half in baseball, not by a long shot. Narveson and Greinke both pitched better than their ERA’s suggest, the defense behind them is improved, and Marcum had shoulder soreness last Spring and still pitched well during the season. If there’s an injury, Estrada is a competent fill-in and Peralta is not far off. I expected them to be in the top-10, not 17th.

    Comment by jerbear1985 — March 12, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

  85. WAR on FG is based on FIP, which is then converted to RAR and WAR. FIP is supposed to be pretty predictive of ERA.

    Pitchers of course have a lot of variance Y2Y.

    While teams may not use Fan Graphs WAR, I am pretty sure they have a similar metric which converts performance into wins. Teams of course have a lot more information including scouting and medical reports (on won players), and they have a better idea how much they plan on using a player.

    Comment by pft — March 12, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

  86. “FIP is supposed to be pretty predictive of ERA.”

    The problem is FIP is about the 7th or 8th best stat for predicting ERA. It is a pretty terrible choice to base WAR on but for whatever reason they have stuck with it. Even something else as simplistic as xFIP is better. Personally I think FIP is even worse than straight up ERA since it corrects for a couple things but not other things so it is stuck in the middle ground and tells you almost nothing about a pitcher, not how good his results were or how good he actually pitched.

    Comment by Ender — March 12, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

  87. This would be a tough list to do for a lot of reasons. Good job.

    For the Jays, I’d argue that if Drabek is even getting close to that -0.5 WAR projection, he’ll be pitching in Vegas or New Hampshire. Also, with all the SP depth (if not necessarily high-end talent), I don’t think we’ll be seeing Villanueva or Litsch in the rotation at any point – we might be more likely to see Aaron Laffey, who’s been pitching pretty well so far this spring, or Deck McGuire/Chad Jenkins/Drew Hutchison.

    Comment by Cam — March 13, 2012 @ 11:49 am

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