Sunday, April 03, 2005


Opening Day!

The day is finally here...its Opening Day! I've been waiting since the World Series ended for this, so I'm pretty excited damnit. On that note, I want to discuss the Yankees rotation.

Steve Phillips at ESPN believes the Yankees have the best rotation...and the Braves have the second best. I'm reading this and my head wants to explode to be honest.

1) Randy Johnson 2.83
2) Mike Mussina 4.04
3) Carl Pavano 4.30
4) Jaret Wright 4.89
5) Kevin Brown 4.27
6) Tanyon Sturtze 5.01

That is my projected ERA for the Yankees rotation, but I'm not an expert who ran a Mets team into the ground, so forgive me (Yes I realize a lot of the blame is Fred Wilpon's too, but still). Most expensive rotation...Definitely. The best? Well in terms of wins, possibly, but does that really mean they are the best, or that the offense helped them? Obviously its the latter, and if you think differently, then well maybe you can write columns regarding the best rotation in baseball too.

As for the Braves as the second best, I don't buy it.

1) Tim Hudson
2) John Smoltz
3) Mike Hampton
4) John Thomson
5) Horacio Ramirez

Ok, let's assume Hudson o5' is like Hudson 04'. Good enough...John Smoltz isn't going to pitch 200 innings I don't think, so I don't see him as a true co-ace. Mike Hampton isn't as good as John Thomson, but Thomson isn't good enough to be a #3 guy, and Ramirez's peripherals still bother me, sans his minor league track record anyways.

I do appreciate Phillips saying the White Sox will have the biggest falloff in the American League this year though...damn you Steve for winning back my ranting heart! As for his Sammy Sosa hitting 50 homeruns idea, that may be the kind of past-your-prime-but-still-producing-like-it-(right?) mentality that got you a cushy seat on ESPN rather than in a front office.

Who are my #1 and #2 rotations in baseball you ask? The Cubs (if healthy) and the Twins (if Lohse would just you know, not suck).

1) Mark Prior
2) Kerry Wood
3) Carlos Zambrano
4) Greg Maddux
5) Glendon Rusch/Ryan Dempster

1) Johan Santana
2) Brad Radke
3) Carlos Silva
4) Kyle Lohse
5) Joe Mays

If Mays can soak up league average innings, this rotation will be golden. He is capable, and has done it in the past, so hopefully for the Twins sake he does it again. They will absolutely need him to if Kyle Lohse falls apart again. Even with the question marks the Twins have, I would put them ahead of both the Yankees and the Braves. Even the Cardinals have a better rotation than the Yankees and Braves due to actual depth rather than perceived "we paid a lot of money for this guy to perform" depth. If you want a real indicator of whose better, the Cubs have a legit Big Three with a real good #4 in Maddux and especially good for #5 guy in Rusch. The Twins have two of the biggest two around, with Silva soaking up innings without causing damage. The Yankees? They have the Big Unit, which for some writers, is just enough.

Totally agree that the Yankees rotation is overhyped, but they'll all win a lot with that offense (BTW, love your ERA predictions... Jaret Wright will fall flat on his face).

When healthy the Cubs are my clear-cut #1, but that is very infrequent to put it nicely. After that I see a bunch of teams with a few questions but look good... Minnesota should be solid but unspectacular, Atlanta could defy logic (again), Houston (if the old guys keep it up), St. Louis (the back three must prove they aren't flukes, and Morris has to return to form), Florida (potential at the top) and the Dodgers (if Lowe keeps it down and Penny stays healthy). My poor Mariners look shotty at best, if only King Felix was a bit older...
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