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  1. That is an incredibly optimistic Twins projection.

    Comment by Oliver — March 9, 2012 @ 11:01 am

  2. How much of a difference would a team signing Roy Oswalt make in its ranking?

    Comment by Kevin Mark — March 9, 2012 @ 11:05 am

  3. So 3.5 WAR for Hamels and 5.0 WAR for CJ Wilson? I know which guy I’d rather have.

    Comment by some guy — March 9, 2012 @ 11:09 am

  4. That’s a pretty optimistic Red Sox rotation. I was expecting them to be in the other post.

    There’s no way Aceves is worth one WAR as a SP. He’s significantly worse as a SP compared to as a RP over his career. Can’t see Cook being that good either in a switch to the AL. And you’d have to think Bard’s K rate would go down, and not up with the move to the bullpen. So he wouldn’t be 2 WAR if the K rate drops.

    And that projection would have Dice-K being a 2 WAR guy over a full season coming off TJ. Not sure I’d expect that either.

    Seems fairly optimistic when there’s a bigger chance that rotation bombs.

    Comment by Mark — March 9, 2012 @ 11:09 am

  5. Sorry that should read move FROM the bullpen.

    Comment by Mark — March 9, 2012 @ 11:10 am

  6. nitpicking, but ill take the phillies 5 over the angels 5 any day, and i dont care who #4 and #5 are

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — March 9, 2012 @ 11:14 am

  7. I really would like to hear more of your thoughts on the defensive issues. Ben Duronio elaborated a bit on this earlier with the Braves, but UZR also shows challenges for the Indians, in addition to the Tigers.

    Comment by Urban Shocker — March 9, 2012 @ 11:15 am

  8. The interesting thing with the Tigers is, they do have an aboverage defensive lineup they can roll with pretty easily if they wanted to. Miggy/Prince to DH and Young on the bench and the only questionable guys are Boesch/Fielder. And Leyland had little hesitancy to do this the 2nd half of games the 2nd half of last year.

    Comment by beconstructive — March 9, 2012 @ 11:18 am

  9. to that end, cole hamels projected for his lowest WAR since his rookie year despite entering a contract year and in his physical prime…. worth only 1 more WAR than rick porcello??

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — March 9, 2012 @ 11:21 am

  10. I do have to say that the Hamels projections does seem a bit low. CJ Wilson could very well have 5 WAR season but Hamels at 3.5 (same as Scott Baker among others) is just selling him short.

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

  11. i assume ZiPS doesn’t believe in Hamels’ shift from being a FB pitcher to a GB guy as evidenced by the 1HR/9. time will tell if last year represented a change in skill or just an aberration.

    Comment by jcxy — March 9, 2012 @ 11:26 am

  12. Is there a bullpen version of the ranking?

    Comment by Jon — March 9, 2012 @ 11:27 am

  13. Agree.

    Comment by John — March 9, 2012 @ 11:30 am

  14. Still not buying that Vogelsong projection. Can’t just pull stats from before he left for Japan and muddle them together with last year’s stats and call it a projection. He’s obviously not as good as last year but I doubt that BB rate jumps that much and his injury history, coupled with a full year in the rotation should get him 180+ innings.

    Comment by Edwincnelson — March 9, 2012 @ 11:30 am

  15. I see a lot of you think you can project better than ZIPS, and I’m sure many more will chime in later.
    Just what are your qualifications?

    Comment by Baltar — March 9, 2012 @ 11:30 am

  16. so Doug Fister is going to pitch better in the AL than Cole Hammels will in the NL


    Comment by Jon — March 9, 2012 @ 11:31 am

  17. No one needs qualifications to offer an opinion. All projection systems have flaws, all authors of projection systems are aware of them, and are usually pretty candid about it. No one’s saying ZIPS is bad.

    Comment by Edwincnelson — March 9, 2012 @ 11:34 am

  18. Curious if you’d care to defend the huge decline for Halladay. His 8.2 fWAR last year was certainly somewhat fueld by his HR/FB rate, which he is unlikely to repeat. But you have him declining by nearly 3 WAR, and he hasn’t been below 5.5 WAR since 2005, when he only made 19 starts.

    Comment by topherstarr — March 9, 2012 @ 11:35 am

  19. If I may make a correction and a comment in regards to why the Phillies are ranked behind the Angels:

    “The issue is at #5”

    You have the Phillies #5 spot combining for 1.5 WAR and the Angels combining for 1.0 WAR. If you combine 4 and 5 for each team, they have the same WAR.

    “but don’t blame The Big Three”

    That’s exactly who you’re blaming. The projections have them combining for 14.5 WAR. You’re projecting the top 3 Angels starters for 15.5 WAR. Last year, the Phillies’ big 3 combined for 19.8 WAR and the top 3 for the Angels combined for 17.9 WAR.

    It’s entirely possible that the Angels’ top 3 outperform the Phillies’ top 3, but is it likely? Which would you rather have?

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

  20. Twins, Tribe & Marlins are all incredibly over-rated here.

    Comment by Spike — March 9, 2012 @ 11:39 am

  21. To answer my own question, the fans project the top 3 for each team at a combined WAR of:

    Phillies – 18.2
    Angels – 13.9

    Comment by novaether — March 9, 2012 @ 11:41 am

  22. The Marlins have upside. The Indians have upside. The Twins do not.

    Comment by Oliver — March 9, 2012 @ 11:43 am

  23. The only one I see making those projections with any certainty is Baker. Liriano either blows the projection out of the water or fails completely

    Comment by adohaj — March 9, 2012 @ 11:44 am

  24. The last 2 years, they’ve had identical FIPs, and replacement level is higher in the NL. It’s not that far-fetched.

    Comment by buddy — March 9, 2012 @ 11:45 am

  25. To an extent you are right, but 12 is pretty much middle of the pack, which I think is right where they belong. They have enough talent to be higher than that, but they also have a very real possibility of being much lower due to what you said. If Beckett has one of his good years, where he is actually in shape and stays healthy the whole year, he’s a 5 win pitcher, not 2.5. I’m expecting Lester to be good for at least 5 wins also. Buchholz and Dice K you can’t predict because of their past injuries. Bard could be anything from trash to stud.

    They’ve got a higher ceiling than most rotations, but are surrounded by question marks…so I think middle of the pack is a perfect ranking.

    Comment by George — March 9, 2012 @ 11:46 am

  26. But it’s only a 1 WAR decline from 2 years ago, and he is starting to get up there in age.

    Comment by buddy — March 9, 2012 @ 11:47 am

  27. do you mean: “how do Fan Scouting Reports” compare to ZiPS?

    because, if so, the answer is: reasonably well.

    Comment by jcxy — March 9, 2012 @ 11:47 am

  28. i just think the phillies projections are confusingly (is that a word?) low… halladay at 5.5 WAR? whens the last time he went below that? i understand he’s older, but ill gladly place any paypal wager with anyone on here that he goes above that. hamels at 3.5?

    like i said in an earlier comment, its just nitpicking, they are no. 2 after all… its a well written piece and we have to find something to critique right? it wouldnt be fangraphs commenting without overcritiquing a minor a detail.

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — March 9, 2012 @ 11:48 am

  29. i should mention, ZiPS performs better, but, of course, taking either as gospel is foolish.

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

  30. I’m pretty sure the Fan projections are usually pretty comparable in accuracy with zips. Also it isn’t unrealistic that a human with abstract thinking ability is better than an algorithm regarding individual players and situations.

    Comment by adohaj — March 9, 2012 @ 11:49 am

  31. So Weaver will have a higher BB% than Hamels, a lower K% than Hamels and his HR/9 will be 0.1 lower, yet he will be 2 WAR better? I’m not really following the math here.

    Comment by some guy — March 9, 2012 @ 11:49 am

  32. How dare you rate the Angels #1 at anything? This is Fangraphs, after all – you should be bashing the Angels, not praising them.

    Comment by El Duderino — March 9, 2012 @ 11:56 am

  33. Thats’s a pretty liberal IP allocation for Wainwright, especially given your concerns about other TJ patients (Zimmermann and Strasburg).

    Comment by Will — March 9, 2012 @ 11:57 am

  34. Hamels projection does look a little light. He’s been above 3.5 WAR for three consecutive seasons and was 5 WAR last season. While some regression is to be expected, 3.5 is below his last three seaons’ average by a fair bit.

    Comment by philosofool — March 9, 2012 @ 11:57 am

  35. my only guess is the 15 innings pitched and maybe a boost for a tougher league… but yeah, the hamels projection is curious.

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — March 9, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  36. Given how much IP is a driver of WAR (and thus isn’t a rate stat), I don’t think you’re leaving yourself a lot of wiggle room. If Halladay misses 3-5 starts, that’s as much as 1+ WAR off of an otherwise 6.5 WAR season. Still, I’d probably need 6.5 WAR before I was comfortable in taking the under…

    Having said that, it would be pretty cool if InTrade offered wagers on stuff like this.

    Comment by jcxy — March 9, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

  37. No mention of Milwaukee? Greinke, Gallardo, Marcum

    Comment by Brian — March 9, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

  38. Wow, no Nationals on the list? Jackson was worth 3.8 WAR the past two years, Gio was worth 3.2/3.5, and Zimmermann was worth 3.4 WAR in what effectively was his rookie season. Add in a full season of Strasburg, and three worthy #5 candidates in Wang, Lannan, and Detwiler, and you’ve got the foundation of a really good rotation. They’re only outside of the top 15 if you expect regression from each candidate, which I wouldn’t from any of the starters barring injury.

    Comment by Glomp — March 9, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

  39. WAR had Cole Hamels and Justin Masterson equal in 2011, but these projections have Masterson progressing (just slightly) and Hamels regressing. Yeah right. What do you want to bet on who outperforms whom in 2012?

    Comment by Derek — March 9, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

  40. I rate the Angels as #1 in “things to bash”.

    Comment by sc2gg — March 9, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

  41. I agree with both Mark and George. Bard’s K rate will go down but I could see him pitching more around 130-135 innings too.

    Beckett has pitched less than 174 innings once since 2004. I would slot him at 175 to be conservative. He will most likely pitch 190 though.

    I think both the Buch and Dice-K are about right, can’t really say they will pitch more or less innings and the peripherals seem right too.

    You are also missing Doubront but I think you could expect to get 2 WAR out of Doubront, Cook, Aceves, and Miller so it doesn’t really change the WAR output.

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

  42. I kind of think that projecting Bumgarner to decrease in IP, K/9 and WAR while increasing in BB/9 and HR/9 seems a little optimistic. I mean obviously he’s getting up there in years and his .322 BABIP is only going to go up but come on.

    Comment by lonewolf — March 9, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

  43. Steamer projections should have been used for pitchers. Aren’t they the most accurate pitching projections

    Comment by Will — March 9, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

  44. There should have been a defined number as to how many starters were measured for each team. Obviously, the Red Sox are getting a boost from signing 3 or 4 reclamation projects who all project for low WAR values. But….really, most teams have guys they can plug in and easily get 0.5 WAR that weren’t listed here. For instance, if you add Lynn, Boggs, Rzypinski, or Dickson to the Cardinals list, they probably hop over the Red Sox. Any of those guys would perform similarly to Aaron Miller, V Padilla or Dice-K. I guess my point is, it’s silly to consider 6 pitchers for one team but 8 on the other…..especially when you’re getting so close to replacement level at that point anyway…. It seems to have really skewed things here so that teams with defined rotations 1-5 were actually affected negatively by having quality players to fill those spots.

    Comment by the hottest stove — March 9, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

  45. correction….andrew miller….and aaron cook….

    Comment by the hottest stove — March 9, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

  46. Max scherzer at 3.5? higher than Hollad? sounds ambitious. i would easily rank the yankees and rangers ahead of the tigers. they just have no depth. rangers and yankees are in spots that make sense, but I think you ZiPS should flip-flop the giants and the tigers. Verlander should be about a win more than lincecum, but cain is much better than fister and bumgarner is clearly the superior of max scherzer. and neither have good depth, so the giants should be higher than the tigers.

    Comment by Daniel — March 9, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

  47. they traded napoli for vernon wells. dipoto or no dipoto theyre in the doghouse of the fangraphs community for the forseeable future

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — March 9, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

  48. Common sense?

    ZIPS is terrible at projecting playing time. For example, Stephen Strasburg is projected to pitch 75 innings under ZIPS. AJ Burnett is projected to throw 168 innings. Daniel Bard – 71 IP.

    For various reasons, I think we can all reasonably assume these projections are not going to be very accurate. Everything has its limitations, and ZIPS isn’t faultless either, which is why sometimes observation and a little common sense can help.

    Comment by Will — March 9, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

  49. to agree with the notion that hamels projection is low, the only qualification one would need is a link to his fangraphs and bref page.

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — March 9, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

  50. Sarcasm is fun. I like Bumgarner too but Zips isn’t as much of a fan for whatever reason.

    Comment by BEN2074X — March 9, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

  51. didn’t toronto then trade napoli for frank francisco?

    that’s not…good.

    Comment by cecilcoop — March 9, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

  52. cecil,

    agreed, but the badness of that trade doesnt even begin to compare with the awesomeness of trading wells for napoli. theyre still in the black a great deal.

    but point taken.

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — March 9, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

  53. Nicely written explanations of the Zips projections. I especially liked Buehrle and Nolasco cancel each other out, and 88 and over the plate.

    Comment by wobatus — March 9, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  54. You might want to check your calculations.

    You have Marquis at 2 BB/9. He is at 3.5 for his career and has never been below 2.9, not even once. And he is apparently just slightly worse than Buchholz per IP?

    You’re listing Cook with a K/W of 1.34. If he has a 1.34, he won’t even pitch. You do that against the NYY, and you’ll die on the mound from old age.

    Lowe is going to lower his BB/9 from 3.4, 2.8, and 2.9, down to 2.7, because he is moving to the AL? Or put another, over the past 3 years, his best non-pitcher K/W was 1.79, and now he is improving to 2.11?

    And is there even a single person in this country that thinks Lowe will be just as good as Beckett?

    Or put another way, the following two groups have about identical IPS and WARs. Which group would you pick?

    Beckett, Buchholz, Matt Moore, Aceves, and Blackburn


    Noesi, Lohse, Cook, Peavy, and Lowe?

    Comment by Joebrady — March 9, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

  55. @Baltar

    Comment by Keystone Heavy — March 9, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

  56. Did you read Dave’s write-up on the Nats? He mentioned being a bit more optimistic about them than the numbers showed. You’re quick to add a full season of Strasburg I notice. Something not everyone is convinced will happen, for instance.

    Comment by Nate — March 9, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

  57. I can imagine that ZIPS looks at Hamel’s HR/FB ratio, the park, in the 3 years previous to 11′ and sees a flukey season in 12′? I think most people are concentrating on an improving GB% which is lowering his BABIP and improving his walk and HR rates. Is he a different pitcher or was last year and aberration?

    Comment by Edwincnelson — March 9, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

  58. fluke in 11′

    Comment by Edwincnelson — March 9, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

  59. How can you […………………]?!?!?!

    Otherwise, great series! I enjoy these.

    Comment by L.UZR — March 9, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

  60. No, he manually raised the IP for Strasburg and Zimmerman. ZIPS projected 75IP, IFR, and he bumped that up to where it is now.

    Comment by TFINY — March 9, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

  61. not much of a fan the giants big three in general (or any of the starters besides Surkamp), I would definitely put the giants three right up there with the Phillies and the Angels, especially because of the age factor: the Giants big three is way younger than the Phillies or Angels and it looks like Bumgarner and to a lesser extent Cain are still getting better. Zips just doesn’t see it that way, it sees Cain and MadBum getting a whole lot worse for some reason. Bumgarner’s projections specifically just don’t really make a lot of sense as he’s actually projected to be worse across the board than his career averages that were established as a 20-21 year old; one would think that he would be on the upswing given his age (22).

    Comment by Greg — March 9, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

  62. Oh, and I agree that the Angels SP > Phillies. Any starting staff that faces the Mariners 19 times a year should automatically receive a 10 WAR bump.

    Comment by L.UZR — March 9, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

  63. I am trying to understand your use of capital words, Max is capitalized yet Scherzer isn’t. Then you don’t capitalize an I, yet do later in another sentence. The Yankees and Rangers should be capitalized too and don’t forget the Giants and Tigers. You capitalize Verlander but not Fister or Bumgarner. Then you don’t capitalize Max Scherzer in the second to last sentence. You are all over the place. Is it too much to ask for proper capitalization? It was painful reading your post.

    Comment by YankeeDon — March 9, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  64. ZiPS explicity does not project playing time. It doesn’t even attempt to. So you can’t fault it for something it doesn’t even attempt.

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

  65. NL suxors

    Comment by zenbitz — March 9, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  66. Listen I’d love if you were right about the Indians, but you just aren’t. The Giants’ rotation is STUDLY – there are 4 dominant staffs: Phillies, Giants, Rays, Angels… then there’s everyone else

    Comment by Dave — March 9, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  67. The problem with this series is it’s too much information in a very short time window. Fangraphs (and its readers) would be better off posting one positional article at a time. This is especially true for a site on which brand-new articles are frequently read and commented, and then maybe two days later they disappear, never to be seen again.

    To underscore my point, I searched for the article on center fielders so I could copy and paste my comment again in the hope that someone on the staff might actually see it. After four searches turned up various articles mentioning things like center fielders and Matt Kemp, but failed to turn up the one I was looking for, I decided not to bother locating the original comment.

    Comment by Jon L. — March 9, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

  68. ironically, after reading both posts… i found yours more painful

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — March 9, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

  69. I’m not sure why Zips is that different from Fans, but here are the Fans projections (according to the links).
    Lincecum 5.4
    Cain 4.7
    Bumgarner 5.0
    Vogelsong 2.0
    Zito 0.6
    Surkamp ?

    Weaver 4.6
    Haren 5.0
    Wilson 4.3
    Santana 2.8
    Williams 0.4
    Mills ?
    Richards ?

    I’ll concede that Santana is a bit better than Vogelsong, but the Giants are at least as strong at every other spot the rotation. Given the Giants, with the exception of Vogelsong, are younger with higher upside, I’d probably call this a push maybe lean Giants between the two staffs.

    Comment by blank — March 9, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

  70. I know (he also lowered Wainwright’s from 178). But that doesn’t mean it’s consistent or logical.

    Put it this way, one guy had TJ 13 months ago, the other had TJ 31 months ago. Who do you expect to pitch more innings this year?

    Jordan Zimmerman had TJ in August 2009. Because of that he has injury concerns, and is conservatively expected to pitch 150 innings next year (less than last year).

    Adam Wainwright had TJ 13 months ago, and has similar concerns about his health. However, Wainwright can be conservatively expected to pitch 160 innings.

    If you’re going to dock one player for injury concerns, it would make sense to do the same for others in the exact same situation. Strasburg and Jorge de la Rosa are both coming off TJ rehab, and are projected for 120 IP and 50 IP, respectively. Therefore, it looks wildly optimistic to say you are CONSERVATIVELY projecting 160 IP from Wainwright.

    Comment by Will — March 9, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

  71. the link to the other posts in the series is included in the 2nd sentence of each of them, including this one.

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — March 9, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

  72. I believe the team in south Florida is now known as the MIAMI Marlins.

    Comment by CDawgg — March 9, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

  73. don’t forget the As too.

    Comment by cecilcoop — March 9, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

  74. I’m not sure people realize how ridiculously dominant Fister was for the Tigers last year. I can’t realistically expect that again, but he’s pretty good. Tewksburyian, if you will.

    Comment by ToddM — March 9, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

  75. And Fausto Carmona isn’t real.

    Comment by Preston — March 9, 2012 @ 3:47 pm


    Comment by Bip — March 9, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

  77. Clearly whack.

    Cole Hamels, Madison Bumgarner, and Matt Moore will all be significantly more valuable than CJ Wilson. They all have more talent, and are on the good side of 30.

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

  78. I’m a Giants fan, and I would think this is more likely. The Phillies top 3 are pretty outrageous. Haren and Weaver are pretty solid #1s, with especially Haren being so consistent. CJ Wilson, I’m not as convinced.

    Meanwhile, Halladay and Lee are the best veteran SP in the game. Cole Hamels is one of the best under 30.

    Comment by Matthew — March 9, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

  79. of course you of all people are ready to throw out human opinion in favor of computers, gaius

    Comment by jim — March 9, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

  80. aaron cook’s career K/BB is 1.37, so 1.34 is pretty much right in line with that… of all things to bitch about in these ranking (and there are many) and you choose that?

    Comment by jim — March 9, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

  81. I’m a big Hamels guy and would certainly prefer him for the next 4 years but…

    CJ Wilson is entering his age 31 year…he’s far from ancient (not to mention he’s thrown fewer innings than Hamels). Predicting a sharp decline for 2012 seems unwarranted. He also pitches in the tougher league, has had more WAR (10.5 vs 8.8) over the last two years, is moving to less of a hitters park, and has pretty decent pitch values for his FB and cutter.

    Hamels’ projections is most likely low at 3.5 WAR but I wouldn’t sleep on Wilson being the better pitcher in 2012.

    Comment by cable fixer — March 9, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

  82. dave—-thankyou for a great series! yes, there are lots of area’s that one can argue about but isn’t that part of the “whole” point – to cause discussion. the # of comments made tells me this was a great success as a series and i know took a lot of time to put together. my hope is that you do relievers and then a big recap to get some sense of the bigger picture. thanks again — your site is a must read.

    Comment by count123 — March 9, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

  83. While I agree the net result of those deals is positive for the Jays…they needn’t be examined in concert, and I reject doing so.

    IMO, they made two mistakes with Napoli. First, talent evaluation. Second, they dealt him for a fourth tier closer! Smart teams don’t turn talent (and no, they weren’t the only team to miss on his 6 WAR potential) into sort-of-closers.

    Comment by cecilcooper — March 9, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

  84. Nice link Keystone, ad hominem’s are probably my biggest pet peeve ever.

    Comment by colin — March 9, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

  85. LOL, jim.

    Comment by Baltar — March 9, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

  86. He was pretty sick after coming to Detroit. What he lacks in actual velocity, he has a lot of apparent velocity because his arms are so long. He throws a ton of strikes and has pretty crazy movement on his two seamer. He’s probably a top 20 starting pitcher right now, and if not, he’s very close.

    He’s going to probably have an ERA of .8 to a full run over his FIP though.

    Comment by JG — March 9, 2012 @ 6:23 pm

  87. You realize that Scherzer’s last two seasons he averaged 3.25 WAR and he’s going into his age 27 season, right? 3.5 is very reasonable and he has a ton of upside (anyone else remember that 14 strikeouts in 5 2/3 IP game in 2010?). He’s not as good as MadBum (obviously… I defy you to find someone who would argue with that) but it’s hard to find fault with that projection.

    Also, Cain is not “much better than Fister”. They’re very close to equivalent value, with Fister being more valuable last year.

    Comment by JG — March 9, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

  88. If Faustoberto gets back into the rotation for the Indians within a couple months of opening day I really do think the Indians will have one of the better rotations in the league. Without him, I’m not quite so sure. I think Derek Lowe might suck something fierce but that David Huff could come up and finally turn a couple heads for some reason. Funny how a slightly-above average(?) pitcher makes such a big difference when you take him out.

    But either way, Indians=WS Champs. BOOM!

    Comment by Rocky Colavito — March 9, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

  89. Hmm..

    Halladay’s predicted for 5 more I.P. than Weaver, with a K rate .1/9 lower, a BB rate .9/9 lower, and a HR rate .2/9 lower, but both for the same WAR.

    That’s ~2 fewer strikeouts, (over 215 innings), 21 fewer walks, and 5 fewer HR, with five extra innings on top of that.

    Quite the spread for the same WAR projection.

    Mind you, I don’t know if the rates are being projected or the WAR is, and the numbers used as inputs only have one significant figure, so I don’t think I’ve got significant precision.

    Comment by Shazbot — March 9, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

  90. Fister and Cain are not close, Fister has one season with an ERA, xFIP or SIERA below 4. His previous career high was 2.9 WAR and his monster second half, which accounted for most of the WAR he accumulated, came against:
    Texas, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Oakland and Minnesota once each
    Kansas City twice
    Cleveland 4 times

    not exactly a world beater

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — March 9, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

  91. Since when does Roy Halladay miss 3-5 starts a year? It hasn’t happened since 2005. Off all pitchers, he’s the most mortal lock to have 5+ WAR.

    Comment by bstar — March 9, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

  92. Who would you rather have? I’m pretty sure (that even the person who did these projections) a non Tiger fan would take the Giants’ front three over the Tigers’ front three any day of the week – even though the Tigers are projected as better.. I know I would without even batting an eye.

    Comment by Curtis — March 9, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  93. As someone pointed out earlier, the difference is Wainwright has 200+ IP seasons in his past, while Strasburg and Zimmermann do not.

    Comment by bstar — March 9, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

  94. Hmmm…Steamer projections? I’m not much of a projection guy, but I would love to see how they view the NL East. Do you have a link to those?

    Comment by bstar — March 9, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

  95. Not so sure about the individual WAR numbers (seems a little low on Beckett, and, agreed, high on Aceves), but the total output and ranking look right to me. I mean, sure, they have question marks, but so does every rotation but the top 5 or so, and, as Dave said, they have the upside to far surpass that projection.

    People who rag on Boston’s rotation are not honestly comparing it to the other rotations. I’m not sure which of the rotations below them I’d put above instead.

    Comment by Ari Collins — March 9, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

  96. But what about when this one disappears from the site, a process that typically takes about a day?

    Comment by Jon L. — March 9, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

  97. who is saying that halladay has missed 3-5 starts/year in the past?

    one pulled groin, one hammy tweak, one freak sneezing injury= a DL trip=3 to 5 missed starts.

    in fact, if you look at his bref through 34 comparables, you see “iron men” like mussina (who had a decade of 200+ IP), tim hudson, and kevin brown start to succumb to injury around that age.

    halladay may well be the closest thing to a “mortal lock” to start 33 games this year, but definitionally, it’s nowheres near a mortal lock.

    Comment by jcxy — March 9, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

  98. The reason there are 8 starters for Boston and 6 for STL is that STL’s starters are projected to pitch more innings each. The ultimate innings counts are within 5 IP of each other. Boston gets more starters because it’s likely to NEED more starters.

    Comment by Ari Collins — March 9, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

  99. I’d much rather have the Cards (Carp/Garcia/Wainwright), Nats, Brewers, Braves, Dbacks, Marlins and I’d be fairly tempted to say the Reds. I think the Red Sox are closer to 20 then 10.

    Comment by Mark — March 9, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

  100. just curious–why does youth equate with higher upside for 2012?

    lincecum has only gotten worse since his first two years in the majors. weaver has only gotten better. cain has recently spiked. mbum may get better…but maybe not (and probably not in a linear way). haren has been above 6 WAR three of the last 4 seasons. no one on the giants can say that…and it’s not like he’s crazy old.

    no dog in the fight, but it seems like ZiPS is reflecting downside risk at the expense of missing upside potential (say, mbum becoming the next kershaw in 2012).

    Comment by cable fixer — March 9, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

  101. I know that these are just projections, but:
    Jake Peavy 120 IP – 2.5 WAR
    Tim Hudson 120 IP – 1.5 WAR
    Come On!

    Comment by GOB — March 9, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

  102. Gaints only 8th? No credibility with this post.

    Comment by giantsrainman — March 9, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

  103. I’m guessing it’s an NL/AL thing and not getting full credit for getting opposing pitchers out.

    Comment by Franco — March 10, 2012 @ 12:35 am

  104. Uhhhhhhh, you were the one who said Roy Halladay might miss 3-5 starts, dude.

    Comment by bstar — March 10, 2012 @ 12:55 am

  105. Tim Hudson’s won 33 games the last two years, Mussina won 71 after the age of 34, and Kevin Brown had injury problems his entire career.

    Comment by bstar — March 10, 2012 @ 1:14 am

  106. I drink the kool-aid as far as AA is concerned, but as good as some of his other deals have been, Napoli for Francisco was separate from the Wells trade, is not off-set by its awesomeness, and was absolutely terrible. I’m also softened on the Rasmus trade after I was reminded of the draft picks; strangely I don’t remember them being mentioned when the trade broke.

    Comment by David — March 10, 2012 @ 10:17 am

  107. No Hultzen or Paxton on the Mariners’ list? Owning both in Ottoneu and knowing that Dave is an M’s fan, that worries me for this season.

    Comment by jrogers — March 10, 2012 @ 10:30 am

  108. Give me Verlander over Lincecum, but I’d take Cain and Bumgarner over Scherzer and Fister.

    Comment by bada bing — March 10, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  109. Didn’t even think of that! That makes more sense now.

    Comment by Shazbot — March 10, 2012 @ 11:00 am

  110. You could go to the main page and scroll down a little bit to the “Positional Power Rankings” links.

    Comment by Adam — March 10, 2012 @ 11:52 am

  111. Agreed. Purely speculative at this point, but if Beavan is the M’s #5 starter at the start of the season, I’ll be incredibly surprised. Paxton is still a bit rough, but Hultzen seems polished enough for The Show.

    Comment by RTBenj — March 10, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

  112. It might be curious but your logic is also faulty because it assumes that every stat from this past season is given full credit with no consideration to performances before that.

    Comment by Colin — March 10, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

  113. Nah, I’d definitely rather have a staff lead by Verlander given Lincecum’s somewhat declined velocity and steadily decreasing production. The other two are close enough where I would want the best pitcher in the group.

    Comment by Colin — March 10, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  114. Red Sox projection is too rosy (surprise), at least for the bottom of the rotation with Daisuke, Miller, Aceves and Cook accounting for 2.5 WAR and 300 IP. OTOH, Beckett and Buchholz could easily exceed expectations if healthy.

    Also, 10 of the 15 teams are AL teams. What’s that saying about the NL.

    Comment by pft — March 10, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

  115. Heh. Good one, Dave.

    Comment by Phils_Goodman — March 10, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

  116. Mastery of the cutter (combined with his always spectacular change-up) has helped him make a big leap since the summer of 2010, I believe.

    Comment by Phils_Goodman — March 10, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

  117. At first i thought the Tigers or Yankees should be favorites, but then i remembered the Angel rotation and the ballpark, with good young hitters i have to say they are the favorites in the AL

    Comment by DodgersKingsofthegalaxy — March 10, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

  118. LOL @ nationals not being in the top 15, they should be top 5

    Comment by will — March 10, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

  119. Haha! Loved the Buehrle/Nolasco quip!

    Comment by Newcomer — March 10, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

  120. Liriano has no up side? I look forward to you eating your words in August before he declares he has a made up condition like “lame arm,” sits out two games and then throws only balls in September.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — March 11, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

  121. ZiPS projections for pitchers, whew… what a waste.

    The Indians ranking is hilarious, btw…

    Comment by Tom B — March 11, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

  122. I think it says these rankings are crap :)

    Comment by Tom B — March 11, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

  123. I don’t know if anyone else has pointed this out yet, but it’s the Miami Marlins, not the Florida Marlins :3

    Comment by Tyler N — March 11, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

  124. These WAR projections were not meant to be precise; that’s why they’re rounded to the nearest .5 point. Who knows, Halladay could have been 5.26 and Weaver 5.74.

    Comment by bstar — March 11, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

  125. This is easily of the worst articles I’ve seen on fangraphs. Neither the Braves nor Nationals crack the top 15 rotations in baseball? Wainwright, Carpenter, and Hamels beating out Carl Pavano by only 1 war? Bumgarner beating out Derek Lowe by 1 WAR? I could go on for ages but most of this list is just shocking

    Comment by Josh — March 12, 2012 @ 7:08 am

  126. Did you read the post about the Nationals? It was pretty clear that bumping up the innings would move them into top 10.

    I think these articles are supposed to be fun and used as a point of debate, so cool off a little bit.

    Comment by Dave — March 12, 2012 @ 9:24 am

  127. you’re missing an important word–“if”–in my original post.

    also, wins don’t figure in WAR.

    Comment by jcxy — March 12, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

  128. Those damn Gaints.

    Comment by Phrozen — March 12, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

  129. Yep, he cheated most of their rotation of innings and then picked the wrong pitcher as the 1st backup so cost them 1-1.5 WAR which would have put them where they belonged in the top 10.

    Comment by Ender — March 13, 2012 @ 12:11 am

  130. I chose that to say that he wouldn’t pitch in the ALE with a 1.37. Does anyone pitch in the ALE with a 1.37, or anything close to that?

    Comment by Joebrady — March 13, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

  131. “I know that these are just projections, but:
    Jake Peavy 120 IP – 2.5 WAR
    Tim Hudson 120 IP – 1.5 WAR
    Come On!”

    That’s my biggest complaint. With any mathematical construct, at the end of it, you put it down and take a look at it to see if it makes sense from an intuitive perspective. If Peavy is worth 2.5 or 120 IPs, then theorectically, he is worth 3.33 over 160 IPs. Is he really that much of a better pitcher than Beckett, who earns 2.5 over 160 IPs? That just makes no sense.

    Is Derek Lowe going to be drafted in the same round as Josh Beckett? Since they are both worth 2.5, they should be.

    Here’s what you need to know. Lowe’s ADP per Fangraphs is 390.9. The guy right in front of him, with an ADP of 388.8, is John Lackey.

    Comment by Joebrady — March 13, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

  132. I think you have to use steamer projections for pitchers, aren’t they more accurate because they include fastball velocity? just glancing over the indians would be ranked much lower using steamer.

    Comment by William — March 13, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

  133. This is crap. How can you use WAR to compare one pitching staff to another? It’s all based on how good your minor league replacement pitchers are in comparison. So you’re making teams with poor backups look good while teams with quality depth like the Braves are nowhere to be found. Poor sabering here my friend.

    Comment by EnricoPalatzzo — March 13, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

  134. Clearly the rankings computers have been hacked.

    Comment by Bryan — March 13, 2012 @ 11:47 pm

  135. I will go out on a limb here and predict that the Indians don’t end up with a top 20 rotation much less a top 10.

    Comment by Ender — March 14, 2012 @ 12:04 am

  136. Don’t put money on it.

    Comment by chuckb — March 14, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

  137. so why doesn’t Atlanta, who has a super deep stable of pitchers (which is almost as important as top of the rotation quality given how often pitchers get injured) get a higher spot?

    IMO, if you have say 5 pitchers, your top 2 account for 90% of your SP WAR, the rest suck, and you have no depth, then you are not a top 10 rotation. Injuries are likely with pitchers.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — April 6, 2012 @ 4:54 am

  138. exactly. If Lee, Halladay (not likely), or Hamels (somewhat likely) get hurt, the Phillies rotation drops significantly. If any pitcher Atlanta has gets hurt, they don’t really lose much because they have so much depth. Not saying Philly isn’t appropriately ranked, but it’s a good example. Maybe the Cardinals are a better example.

    I doubt Carpenter throws that many innings. He’s in his late 30s and threw almost 300 innings last year when you factor in the playoffs.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — April 6, 2012 @ 4:58 am

  139. The twins at #11 is looking really bad right now

    Comment by Scott Clarkson — May 16, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

  140. LOL, Barry Zito is no worse than the third starter on the Giants staff – and Lincecum is easily the worst. That’s why they play the game.

    And how dumpy is the Tigers’ rotation? Phshew!

    Comment by Aroldis_Johnson — June 2, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

  141. Just checked in on this to see how the rankings were playing out. Aside from Cleveland, not too bad.

    Comment by catholiclutheran — September 14, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

  142. Dumpy? A case could be made that they are the best in the AL. Rendering judgement in June is probably too early.

    Comment by catholiclutheran — September 14, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

  143. Eric Zurkamp?

    Comment by wtf? — September 20, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

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