Monday, October 4, 2010
Next year's 5 man rotation
How good you ask? well, if you believe in advanced stats, the current 5 man rotation had a WAR of approximately 15.7 (fangraphs)
For perspective, only ONE current playoff team had a better total WAR number than the Jays. The San Francisco Giants (15.9). Their current starting 5: Lincecum, Cain, J. Sanchez, Zito, and Bumgarner. That's a formidable list by any standards. Which brings me to my main point: Who will be our 5 next year, and how will they stack up against the league?
Romero (4.0), Marcum (3.5), Cecil (2.5) and Morrow (3.6) are locks (2010 WAR in brackets). Current options for 5th starter include:
-Marc Rzepczynski: Has proven he has the stuff. Was a 1.1 WAR as recently as 2009, and has been worth a half win this year as well. Definite upside.
-Shaun Hill: Not yet old, at only 29 as I write, and has also contributed a half WAR to this year's team. Was a 1.5 WAR player for the Washington Expos in 2007. His 16 starts that year were the most of any of his major league seasons. Has shown himself to be good enough in limited action this year to estimate as high as 2 WAR (IF he can stay healthy. That's a BIG IF)
-Kyle Drabek: The boy wonder. Everyone's favourite Prospect. Believe it or not, his 0-3 record is actually worth 0.2 WAR for the 2010 season. Easily projects as a 3-5 WAR player based on his "stuff," and has shown that it is good enough for the show right now. He's the pre-season favourite for the job, especially considering that he will forever be "the guy we traded Halladay for."
-Zach Stewart: Proven all he can at AA. Las Vegas isn't a great place to go for more development. Personally, I think he's best suited to move to the 'pen, because we're stacked at SP for now.
-Brad Mills: Nobody seems to be very high on him and his Engineering degree. He's a smart pitcher, and doesn't have enough pure stuff to work from the bullpen. I can see him as a back-of-the rotation guy on another team.
-Jesse Litsch: Out until at least July. Was a 2.6 WAR player on the 2008 Jays. Interesting if he returns to form.
-Dustin McGowan: Everyone wants this guy to return to form. Labrum surgery is still a career killer, even with today's medical advances. I'd be happy if he could even get back as a reliever. Sadly, I doubt it.
-Other prospects: Robert Ray has a future in the majors, though not likely in front of most that I've listed here. Henderson Alvarez is probably a year or two away. Chad Jenkins has taken a step back. Deck McGuire could be close, but has limited upside.
I'm interested in hearing what everyone has to think. Who will be the Jays 5th starter to begin 2011?