Fangraphs Ranks Blue Jays Rotation #19

Fangraphs continues its positional power rankings with the big one, the starting rotation.

This series was a lot of work, but it was also fun to go through each organization and look at some of the interesting projections that ZIPS has spit out for various starters. The projections listed below are a combination of rate stats projected by Dan Szymborski’s system combined with my estimation of innings pitched and then a calculation of WAR based on the combination of my quantity estimate and Dan’s projection of quality. These aren’t intended to be exact projections, which is why we’ve rounded to the nearest half win, but I think they’re probably going to fair pretty decently – I did do my best to ensure that the total IP and WAR projections lined up very closely with league totals from last year, and I tried to figure out the seven or eight most likely starters for each franchise – the depth chart information isn’t always crystal clear for every team, so I had to make some guesses, but I think the selections are reasonable in most cases.

Player TM IP BB/9 K/9 HR/9 WAR
Ricky Romero TOR 210.0 3.4 7.3 1.0 3.5
Brandon Morrow TOR 170.0 3.8 9.6 1.0 3.5
Henderson Alvarez TOR 150.0 1.8 5.2 1.2 2.0
Brett Cecil TOR 150.0 3.1 6.3 1.5 1.0
Kyle Drabek TOR 100.0 5.3 5.4 1.3 (0.5)
Carlos Villanueva TOR 75.0 3.1 6.8 1.2 1.0
Jesse Litsch TOR 50.0 3.0 6.2 1.4 0.5
Dustin McGowan TOR 50.0 4.2 6.7 1.2 0.5

With Romero, Morrow, and Alvarez, ZIPS sees the makings of a strong rotation going forward, but the lack of quality at the back-end looks to be a real problem this year. That said, there is some talent there, and it’s not completely out of the question that a guy like Drabek could find the form that made him a real prospect a few years ago. If the Blue Jays want to contend for the second wild card, though, they’d do well to get a solid veteran who would raise the floor of what they could expect from their #5 starter, and keep an implosion from the young kids from ruining their season.

The Jays ranked #19 on the list, ahead of only the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East. 

The top five rotations were 5) Cleveland Indians, 4) Detroit Tigers, 3) Tampa Bay Rays, 2) Philadelphia Phillies and 1) Los Angeles Angels.

Rounding out the AL East the Boston Red Sox ranked #12 and New York Yankees #7.

That wrapped up a very interesting series.

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