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View Full Version : Do we have the best rotation in the NL?



dunner13
12-17-2008, 11:48 AM
Looking around the league I would have to say that these teams have the best rotations...
Cubs
1. Zambrano
2. Harden
3. Dempster
4. Lilly
5. Marquis

DBacks
1. Webb
2. Haren
3. Davis
4. Scherzer
5. Petit

Phils
1. Hamels
2. Myers
3. Blanton
4. Moyer
5. Happ

Reds
1. Harang
2. Volquez
3. Arroyo
4. Cueto
5. Owings/Bailey

From my perspective I would have to say we are probably third right now, with the cubs as first and the phils are very close second. If either team gets lowe or if the cubs get peavy they would be pretty far ahead of everyone else.
However if Harang regains form, Volquez and arroyo pitch like last year and Cueto and Bailey take some steps forward we could potentially have the best rotation in baseball.
I didnt include the marlins but looking at their pitchers they might have the most talent there just really young and inexperienced.

mroby85
12-17-2008, 12:08 PM
the cubs are better for sure imo, the Dbacks could be argue, but I would put the Reds 2nd in the NL behind the cubs.

kentjett
12-17-2008, 12:13 PM
I'd leave that order exactly how it is. The Reds have potential to be in the top 3 but they are not there yet.

Emin3mShady07
12-17-2008, 12:24 PM
It really depends on what kind of year that Harang and the 5th starter has and the development of Johnny Cueto. I personally would say the the D' Backs have the best rotation looking at the xFIPs and ERA+ from last year, and I'll even use 2007 numbers to make Harang a little more comparable because he had an uncharacteristic down year last year.

Webb - 139 ERA+ 3.46 xFIP
Haren - 138 ERA+ 3.38 xFIP
Davis - 107 ERA+ 4.46 xFIP
Scherzer - 151 ERA+ 3.33 xFIP in 56 innings
Petit - 107 ERA+ 4.65 xFIP in 56.3 innings

Harang (2007) - 125 ERA+ 3.81xFIP
Volquez - 140 ERA+ 4.02 xFIP
Cueto - 94 ERA+ 4.62 xFIP
Arroyo - 95 ERA+ 4.34 xFIP
Owings - 77 ERA+ 5.06 xFIP in 100 innings

So based on these numbers, it is wasy to see that Arizona has a huge edge, but if Cueto develops and Volquez does not revert back to his xFIP and Harang turns it around, the reds could challenge the D'Backs, but I would have to say now the D'Backs have the edge.

redsfandan
12-17-2008, 12:27 PM
Nice thread idea dunner13. The rotation definitely has the potential and that alone could net us 82+ wins. Just like Slim, I could see the DBacks 1st if Scherzer doesn't have any problems.

WildcatFan
12-17-2008, 12:32 PM
The biggest piece that sets the Cubs apart is that they don't have a question mark in the fifth spot. Knowing what you're going to get every single game from 1-5 really cements a rotation.

Emin3mShady07
12-17-2008, 12:40 PM
The biggest piece that sets the Cubs apart is that they don't have a question mark in the fifth spot. Knowing what you're going to get every single game from 1-5 really cements a rotation.

Well, in my opinion the Cubs rotation will not be as good next year as they were this year. The Dumpster had a 2.96 ERA with a 3.94 xFIP and that will most likely normalize, and same goes for harden who had a 1.77 ERA with a 3.64 xFIP, plus harden is always a health risk and who knows how many innings he pitches next year. Marquis and Lilly are average, not great but average and Zambrano is not the ace he once was.

redsfandan
12-17-2008, 12:43 PM
Marquis could easily underperform the other 5th starters at a much higher cost. Alot depends on what he does, how much Harden will pitch, and if Dempster can repeat his '08 success.

UPRedsFan
12-17-2008, 12:56 PM
I think there's a distinct possibility the Reds could have the best rotation in the NL. (When's the last time we could wonder about this question? 1990?)
I agree they're 3rd or 4th now. But it's not unrealistic to hope for the following:

1. Harang returns to old self
2. Cueto does what Volquez did in '08 (everyone seems to think he's got better stuff)
3. Owings or Ramirez will do for the 5th spot (reliable performance) what Marquis does for the Cubs.

Note: I'd take Bailey out of the equation for now.

UPRedsFan
12-17-2008, 01:04 PM
Just realized we're forgetting some Cubs.

It could be:
Zambrano
Dempster
Harden
Lilly
Marshall/ or Rich Hill? (what's his situation?)

Orodle
12-17-2008, 01:13 PM
I would agree that we have the potential to have one of the top rotations......but we aren't there yet.

redsfandan
12-17-2008, 03:03 PM
Just realized we're forgetting some Cubs.

It could be:
Zambrano
Dempster
Harden
Lilly
Marshall/ or Rich Hill? (what's his situation?)


Marshall has been rumored in just about every Cubs trade for awhile so he may not even be there in march. Hill has fallen ...




ALOT.

CesarGeronimo
12-17-2008, 03:20 PM
I'm hoping that Harang is having a great offseason with his workouts. Besides possibly being overworked last year, I thought he looked like he had gained some weight, which might be a problem given that his dramatic improvement with the Reds was credited in part to the weight he lost after leaving Oakland. I can't wait to hear what his velocity is in spring training because I think that will tell us a lot about whether he's back to his old self or not.

I wish the Cincinnati media would get in touch with guys like Alex Gonzalez and Harang in the offseason to give us updates on how they're doing. Why does the current condition of Gonzalez have to be such a mystery? If he's doing well in his recovery, I don't know why he wouldn't be willing to talk about that.

dunner13
12-17-2008, 03:29 PM
I realize that our rotation has some questions (harangs health, can volquez repeat, does cueto pitch up to his potential, who is the 5th starter) but if you go look at the rotations of the other teams in the NL you can see how we could compete this year. I would take owings or bailey as my 5th starter over just about every other 5th starter in the NL including Jason Marquis. If our pitching is as good as it should be this year then we can surive our subpar offense and still compete.

CesarGeronimo
12-17-2008, 03:54 PM
Dunner, I generally agree with you about how the Reds' rotation could match up with the best in the NL if things go right with the questions you mention. I hope Owings will be the answer as the fifth starter, but if he's not I think Ramon Ramirez has a better shot to fill that spot well next season than Bailey. If you look at Bailey's numbers from last year, including AAA, I don't see much hope for him making a positive impact in the majors this year.

Homer Bailey 2008
AAA - IP 111.1, H 118, BB 46, K 96, ERA 4.77, WHIP 1.47
Reds - IP 36.1, H 59, BB 17, K 18, ERA 7.93, WHIP 2.09

Ramon Ramirez 2008
AAA- IP 99.1, H 76, BB 34, K 93, ERA 3.08, WHIP 1.19
Reds - IP 27.0, H 17, BB 11, K 21, ERA 2.67, WHIP 1.04

dunner13
12-17-2008, 04:25 PM
Cesar to me the best case would be owings takes the job and does well, probably around league average, then bailey gets some time in AAA and is ready to come up sometime in july to contribute. I would agree that if you need some help in april or may then ramirez is probably going to have to be the guy but for the longterm I think bailey can still be a top pitcher.

CesarGeronimo
12-17-2008, 04:30 PM
I hope you are right about Bailey, but I'm really concerned that he may be one that doesn't work out. I live in Indiana and made the drive to Cincy for his debut, which was exciting, but what I've watched and read about him since then doesn't make me feel optimistic. Hopefully, those feelings are completely wrong. He's certainly young enough that he has a few years to figure things out.

In addition to thinking that Ramon Ramirez would perform better than Bailey as a Red next season, I'm also looking forward to the possibility of a Ramon Ramirez-Ramon Hernandez battery. Should keep George Grande and Co. on their toes.

laxtonto
12-17-2008, 04:47 PM
I am amazed on how quickly everyone dismissed the Marlins and the Giants..Both have extremely young rotations that could easily take another step forward with both pitching in rather large parks..

redsfandan
12-17-2008, 04:49 PM
Noone dismissed them. I just don't see those teams in the top 4.

Emin3mShady07
12-17-2008, 08:08 PM
I am amazed on how quickly everyone dismissed the Marlins and the Giants..Both have extremely young rotations that could easily take another step forward with both pitching in rather large parks..

The top of the Giants rotation is very good with Cain and Lincecum, but I don't think the rest of the rotation is on par to make the rotation as a whole very good

Matt Cain 116 ERA+ 4.67 xFIP
Tim Lincecum 167 ERA+ 3.37 xFIP
Barry Zito 85 ERA+ 5.45 xFIP
Jonathan Sanchez 87 ERA+ 4.36 xFIP
Kevin Correia 72 ERA+ 5.31 xFIP

The only one of those pitchers I expect to significantly improve is Sanchez but the numbers indicate that those pitchers are no where near the reds ability let alone the snakes.

The Marlins have a rotation full of potential with guys like Andrew Miller, Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad, and Josh Johnson, but there are just too many ?s now to accurately predict what those young guys will do.

gedred69
12-17-2008, 09:23 PM
I continue to wonder, why more Managers don't face the volatile Zambrano in the first 2-3 innings with the intent of getting in his head! If he is on, batters should keep calling time, stepping out, questioning the umpire, asking for a new ball, etc. anything to irritate Zambrano. He gets p-----d, and he blows up! He should be #1 or #2 in all of MLB, except he fall's apart when peeved. Talented yes, smart, nah! Takes Cubbies down a notch...

Jack Burton
12-17-2008, 09:26 PM
C'mon guys, let's not get carried away. We're ok, but I don't want to rush to say we are the greats. Potentially maybe, right now no.

Harang - Terrible year in '08

Arroyo - Terrible start to '08, almost laughable

Volquez - Great start, cooled off considerably

Cueto - Outstanding rookie performance, we hope it continues and beyond making him one of the greats in the game. But he's not there yet.

5th Starter - Don't say Bailey, he's gotta prove it at the big league level first. Owings imploded after a decent start. Question mark at 5th starter.

dunner13
12-17-2008, 10:02 PM
C'mon guys, let's not get carried away. We're ok, but I don't want to rush to say we are the greats. Potentially maybe, right now no.

Harang - Terrible year in '08

Arroyo - Terrible start to '08, almost laughable

Volquez - Great start, cooled off considerably

Cueto - Outstanding rookie performance, we hope it continues and beyond making him one of the greats in the game. But he's not there yet.

5th Starter - Don't say Bailey, he's gotta prove it at the big league level first. Owings imploded after a decent start. Question mark at 5th starter.

Go compare us to the staffs that the rest of the league has and you will find that we have alot more talent and less question marks then most teams. So no we may not have a rotation full of #1's but compared to the rest of the National League we are better then average.

texasdave
12-17-2008, 11:19 PM
Cincinnati starters, as a group, had an ERA of 4.97 in 2008. This tied them for 13th best in the National League. Even if you adjusted for the fact that they played half their games in GABP, it would probably only move them up a notch or two. That is far from being the best rotation in the league. If absolutely everything fell in to place it might be a top 5 staff IMO. Which is pretty good. But how often does everything go right for a team? And what moves have they made in the off-season that markedly improves the starting five?
Is Ramon Hernandez that much better than Paul Bako at calling a game? Probably not. Let's let this staff do something before annointing it the best in the league.

ChatterRed
12-18-2008, 12:01 AM
C'mon guys, let's not get carried away. We're ok, but I don't want to rush to say we are the greats. Potentially maybe, right now no.

Harang - Terrible year in '08

I must be one of the few people who is concerned about Harang. IF he returns to his '07 form, then this rotation is solid. Without him, nada.



Arroyo - Terrible start to '08, almost laughable

If you eliminate Arroyo's 4 bad starts, his e.r.a. otherwise is about 3.50. He took one for the team in 3 of those bad starts. He's the Tom Browning of this staff. Lots of innings, either has it or he doesn't.



Volquez - Great start, cooled off considerably

Definitely cooled down some, but still solid. Needs to cut down on his walks. Young and is putting it together.



Cueto - Outstanding rookie performance, we hope it continues and beyond making him one of the greats in the game. But he's not there yet.

I think he has the most upside of all of them. His second half performance and e.r.a was around 3.50, off the top of my head.



5th Starter - Don't say Bailey, he's gotta prove it at the big league level first. Owings imploded after a decent start. Question mark at 5th starter.

I still wish we'd sign or trade for someone. The 5th starter stats were horrible last year. Solidify this position and if Harang would return to form, this team contends.

schmidty622
12-19-2008, 12:35 PM
If the Reds can't find a bat they like for the price they like, I would look to bring in Ben Sheets. He's not drawing much interest right now and will probably get considerably less than what AJ Burnett got. Maybe 3 years 36-40 million.

Harang
Sheets
Volquez
Arroyo
Cueto

Could look pretty good and would defiantly bump the Reds rotation up a notch, assuming Sheets stays healthy, which is no guarantee.

WildcatFan
12-19-2008, 01:50 PM
I think I would rather spend on another position player than send that kind of cash to Sheets or any other high-dollar pitcher for that matter. That fifth spot will be taken by someone, and even though it may take a month before one of the AAA earns a shot, you're still losing just 3-4 starts with Owings or whoever else acts as a fill-in.

Ghosts of 1990
12-19-2008, 02:30 PM
a lot depends on what Arroyo, Harang, Bailey show up this year.

UPRedsFan
12-19-2008, 03:01 PM
Reds Fans - Where's your optimism and enthusiasm?

Spare me the cynical realism on this thread. No, they were not the best rotation last year. Yes, their ERA ranked 13th. No one on this thread annointed them #1 on opening day.

But think of the possibilities for '09. It's not a pipedream to say they could be top 3 this year. We have something to be excited about. A proven ace, 2of the most talented arms in the league, a solid reliable veteran, and a few decent options for #5. For all those pessimists, please name the teams' rotations you'd rather have. I'll bet you can't come up with more than 5.

Kingspoint
12-20-2008, 05:59 PM
Do we have the best rotation in the NL? NO.

What we have is light years ahead of anything we've had over the last 40 years. But every pitcher with the exception of Volquez has major question marks. I'd still love to pay $20M to Derek Lowe for 2 years, or at least see if he'd take it. That would push everyone in the rotation down 1 slot. Then I'd say we'd have the best rotation in the NL. I'd give Lowe $30M over the next 3 years mostly because I think $10M would immediately come back in new Season Ticket sales in the next few months. Put Lowe at the top of the rotation and move everybody down one notch, and it makes me salivate for the season to start.

akron3344
12-20-2008, 06:43 PM
how anyone could nominant bailey over ramirez is absolute inanity

Captain Hook
12-20-2008, 09:55 PM
Its hard to say how a few teams rotations look on opening day but I'd guess the Reds have a hard time cracking the top 5.Lets not confuse potential for reality.

1.D Backs

2.Cubs

3.Phils

4.LA

5.NYM

6.Reds

dunner13
12-21-2008, 08:11 AM
Its hard to say how a few teams rotations look on opening day but I'd guess the Reds have a hard time cracking the top 5.Lets not confuse potential for reality.

1.D Backs

2.Cubs

3.Phils

4.LA

5.NYM

6.Reds

D backs, Cubs and Phils are better. Lets look at LA and NY though,
#1 Billingsley - Harang
If harang can get back to form this could be closer but for now its obviously billingsley
#2 Kuroda - Volquez
I'll take volquez.
#3 Kershaw - Arroyo
For the futre I take Kershaw, for 09 Im leaning arroyo. Kershaw has a career total 107 innings, as the league adjusts to him he could face some tough challenges this year.
#4 Schmidt - Cueto
Cueto for sure. Schmidt just doesnt have much left, even if ceuto is just league average he will still be better then schmidt.
#5 Mcdonald - Owings/Bailey/Ramirez
Once again im going with the reds. Mcdonald doesnt impress me, owings and ramirez should be at least average and bailey has a good bit of upside.
To me the dodgers have an ace and one good young pitcher. We have an ace (volquez) two better then average veterans (harang, arroyo) a good young pitcher to match kershaw (cueto) and a couple of solid arms for the 5th spot. I would not trade our rotation for theres.

dunner13
12-21-2008, 01:26 PM
redsfever since you have the mets ranked ahead of the reds lets look at their rotation to...
#1 Santana - Harang
Obviously santana
#2 Maine - Volquez
Obviously Volquez
#3 Pelfrey - Arroyo
This is actually kind of close. The question with Pelfrey is has he finally figured it out or not. If he has then he probably gets the nod. The advantage with arroyo is that he is proven and you pretty much know what your getting from him. I would call this a toss up
#4 Knight - Cueto
Cueto
#5 Niese - Owings/Bailey/Ramirez
Niese is a nice prospect but I doubt hes ready, if he starts the year in the rotation its only because they couldnt sign anybody else. So I'll take the reds options.

I would say the mets have a solid rotation with santana and some young guys. They might be a little better then the reds but I would say its pretty close. If you gave me the option of having the mets or the reds rotation I think I would stick with the reds. Santana is tempting but if volquez, cueto and bailey develop you could have 3 aces.

bubbachunk
12-21-2008, 01:56 PM
Other then Hammels the phils have nothing. Their 2-5 are nothing special at all. That team wins with offense and a bullpen.

Captain Hook
12-21-2008, 10:23 PM
I agree that it is close between the Mets,Dodgers and Reds.The Reds have a very good rotation and could end up being the best in 09.Right now the assumptions we have to make to put them 1,2,3 are a more IMO then the other teams on the list.Considering the future I would not trade our rotation for any other teams in the NL.

FlyerFanatic
12-21-2008, 10:29 PM
we'd look a lot better if the defense behind our staff were better.

UPRedsFan
12-22-2008, 11:56 AM
we'd look a lot better if the defense behind our staff were better.

And you can bank on this happening with Griffey and Dunn gone. If Gonzalez is back in place of Kepp/Hairston at ss, that helps too. And if he's not back, I'd advocate Janish to help the pitching. Hernandez and Hannigan will boost the offense we're used to seeing from the catcher spot, so an offensive downgrade at ss will be easier to take.

I see the Reds rotation (with boost from improved defense) as #3 in the NL behind the Cubs and Dbacks.