Flags Fly Forever Pt. Two

Rotation

2006: Roger Clemens, Al Leiter, Jake Peavy, Dontrelle Willis
2009: Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt, John Lackey

It’s hard to believe, but Leiter somehow made the staff. It’s also hard to believe that three of the four pitchers listed in 2006 are either out of the game or simply ineffective. Of course, Oswalt, Peavy, and Lackey had down years, but even still come within a run of the 2006 staff. Oh, and that’s with one less pitcher, and without a 5.3 win pitcher in Clemens. Assuming the U.S.A. team adds a non-Paul Byrd starter to the mix, it seems safe to give the nod to the ’09 “rotation”.

Overall advantage: 2009
Individual advantage: 2006

Bullpen

2006: Chad Cordero, Brian Fuentes, Todd Jones, Brad Lidge, Gary Majewski, Scot Shields, Mike Timlin, Huston Street, Dan Wheeler
2009: Scot Shields, J.J. Putz, B.J. Ryan, Jonathan Broxton, Matt Lindstrom, Matt Thornton, Joe Nathan, Brian Fuentes

Yikes, look at the flamethrowers in that 09 bullpen. Nathan is better now than he was then while the opposite is true for Shields. Fuentes has remained relatively static. Outside of Nathan, none of the new relievers are quite equal to 2006’s Lidge, but that’s not to say the pen is poor, in fact it beats the ’06 unit 16.9 to 14.7. Perhaps the most fun thing about this bullpen will be all of these superb relievers without roles defining them. Joe Nathan entering in the 6th when the tying run is at third and there’s one out should be a bit more realistic in this tournament setting, and that’s pretty intriguing.

Overall advantage: 2009
Individual advantage: Tie.

So we’ve covered each of the positions, has team U.S.A upgraded? Well, almost. Team wide win values:

2006 – 84.8
2009 – 84.35

That’s right, despite having six fewer players, the new U.S. gathering rates within a half of a win of the 2006 team. Encouraging for those rooting for them. Now, if only they’ll play Rollins in place of Jeter.



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