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By The Numbers: AL Central/West Rotations (Preliminary)

The numbers are very rough and are based on some wild assumptions for rookies and younger starters.

Doug Pensinger

Here is a look at the projected rotations of the AL Central and West based on the same parameters and assumptions as my previous article.

Any starter 31 or older gets an automatic -0.5 deducted of their projected WAR.


Detroit Tigers

Justin Verlander 4.1/8.3/7.6 = 6.96
Max Scherzer 3.1/1.1/4 = 2.81
Anibal Sanchez 2.9/3.2/2.6 = 2.88
Doug Fister 2.6/2.4/3.2 = 2.78
Rick Porcello -0.1/0/1.4 = 0.56
Drew Smyly 1.5 (used his rookie bWAR)
Total Projected Starting Staff bWAR = 17.48

The best rotation, by projected bWAR, in the American League. Even if Smyly suffers a sophomore slump, they look to be as good as anyone. Verlander is over 1/3 of the bWAR value, but they have 3 other good starters. They will get lots of Ks and need to with the weak IF defense.

Chicago White Sox

Jake Peavy 1.4/0.9/5 = 2.23
Chris Sale 1.1/2.2/5.7 = 3.38
Gavin Floyd 3.2/2.5/2.2 = 2.53
Jose Quintana 2.2 (used his rookie bWAR)
John Danks 4.9/1.7/-0.3 = 1.67
Dylan Axelrod 0.6/-0.1 = 0.16
Total Projected Starting Staff bWAR = 12.17

A solid rotation. Can Sale repeat? Can both Danks and Peavy stay healthy?

Kansas City Royals

James Shields -1.8/4.7/2.4 = 2.24
Jeremy Guthrie 4.3/1.4/1.3 = 1.58
Ervin Santana 2.5/2.7/-1.6 = 0.86
Bruce Chen 2.7/1.8/-0.2 = 0.69
Luke Hochevar 0.9/0.6/-1.7 = -0.28
Felipe Paulino -0.5/0.9/1.7 = 0.88
Total Projected Starting Staff bWAR = 5.85

The Royals are asking a lot of everyone outside of James Shields. The rotation doesn't project to be half as good as a healthy White Sox rotation and no where close to the Tigers. A lot has to go right for the Royals to have a chance at a winning season.

Cleveland Indians

Justin Masterson -0.1/3.6/0 = 1.18
Ubaldo Jimenez 7.3/0.4/-1 = 1.54
Zach McAllister -0.5/-0.5 = -0.38
Brett Myers 4.7/0.1/0.8 = 1.04 (had to treat his 2012 season as if he was a starter.)
Josh Tomlin 0.3/1.8/-1.3 = 0.13
Jenamar Gomez -0.3/0.3/-1.2 = 0.48
Total Projected Starting Staff bWAR = 3.04

This rotation is pretty weak. It will be a struggle for the Indians unless Ubaldo (among others) can go back to being the pitcher he was in 2010 instead of the pitcher he has been since 2011. They are nowhere close to Detroit.

Minnesota Twins

Scott Diamond 0.1/2.2 = 0.95 (Should possibly be higher, but it doesn't change much for Minnesota)
Nick Blackburn -0.5/0.5/-2.3 = -0.92
Vance Worley 0.5/3.2/0.7 = 1.48
Liam Hendriks -0.2/-1.2 = -0.57
Kevin Correia -1.9/-0.2/-0.1 = -1.08
Cole DeVries 0.2 (used his rookie bWAR)
Total Projected Starting Staff bWAR = 0.07

Pretty much the worst rotation of the AL. They have a lot of questions and not many good answers. It is hard to project who will be there and who won't. I picked the pitchers with the most MLB starts.


Oakland Athletics

Tom Milone 0.3/2.0 = 2.0 (used his full season bWAR)
Jarrod Parker 0.4/3.8 = 3.8 (used his full season bWAR)
A.J. Griffin 2.1 = 2.1 (used his rookie bWAR)
Bartolo Colon 0.1/1.8/2.6 = 1.21 (could be worse due to no PEDs)
Travis Blackley -0.2/-0.3/0.8 = 0.8 (used his full season bWAR)
Dan Straily 0.4 = 0.4 (used his rookie bWAR)
Total Projected Starting Staff bWAR = 10.31

The hardest rotation to project because most of their numbers come from 1 or 2 seasons or affected by a PED suspension. Perhaps they won't be as good as they were last year, but I can't argue with their success, so I went mostly with their 2012 numbers.

Texas Rangers

Matt Harrison -0.1/3.5/6.2 = 3.73
Yu Darvish 4 = 4.0 (used his "rookie" season bWAR)
Derek Holland 0.5/2.1/1.7 = 1.53
Alexi Ogando 2/3.2/1.5 = 2.19
Martin Perez -0.2 = -0.2 (used his rookie season bWAR)
Colby Lewis (recovering from a torn elbow tendon) 3.4/1.4/2.0 = 2.19
Total Projected Starting Staff bWAR = 13.40

The Rangers are still a dangerous team due, in large part, to having the best rotation in the AL West. Will Ogando settle in and be able to handle an entire season as a starter? Will Yu be better in Year 2? Will Matt Harrison of 2013 be the Ricky Romero of 2012?

Los Angeles Angels

Jered Weaver 4.9/6.7/3.7 = 5.00
C.J. Wilson 4.7/4.4/0.4 = 2.31
Jason Vargas 2.3/0.7/2.8 = 1.98
Joe Blanton -0.2/0/-0.1 = -0.09
Tommy Hanson 2.6/1.2/-0.9 = 0.68
Jerome Williams -0.6/0.2/-0.4 = -0.75
Total Projected Starting Staff bWAR = 9.12

I read a recent Halos Heaven projection post and the numbers they used seem way too optimistic. Jered Weaver will be good. Otherwise this rotation does not seem to be as good as they claim. A lot depends on Tommy Hanson, but his BB/9, H/9 and Fastball velocity have been going in the wrong direction, and he's only 26. I think the Angels will need to win a lot of 10-8 games.

Seattle Mariners

Felix Hernandez 6.8/3.4/4.6 = 4.75
Blake Beavan 0.7/0.9 = 0.61
Hisashi Iwakuma 1.9 = 1.90 (used his rookie season bWAR)
Hector Noesi 0.3/-1.1 = -0.36
Erasmo Ramirez 0.6 = 0.6 (used his rookie season bWAR)
Danny Hultzen 0
Total Projected Starting Staff bWAR = 7.50

They have a good rotation, with a bunch of notable young pitchers in the minors, but for the last few years they couldn't hit. Caught between the triumvirate of Oakland, Texas and the Angels offensive machine, they are positioned to be the Toronto Blue Jays of the AL West.

Houston Astros

Lucas Harrell -0.2/-0.2/2.8 = 1.05
Bud Norris -0.5/0.6/1.2 = 0.58
Jordan Lyles -1.1/-0.9 = -0.74
Dallas Keuchel -0.1 = -0.10 (used his rookie season bWAR)
Philip Humber 0.5/3.1/-1.1 = 0.70
Alex White 0.2/-1.2/-0.6 = -0.10
Total Projected Starting Staff bWAR = 1.38

Seattle should be happy that Houston will be replacing them as the AL West's punching bag (for now). They could be good in a few years, but they are scary awful right now.


By these projected "numbers", the Jays has the best rotation in the AL East, but not best in the AL. These projections weren't intended to provide a picture into what will happen this season, but to give one a rough idea which teams will possibly have the better starting pitching going into the season.