The Nats and the Best Rotations

March 13, 2012

Jay Jaffe over at Baseball Prospectus wrote an article about the top pitching staffs in the NL, but it was focused on the Nats. No, he wasn’t saying Washington had the top staff, although he did say a few very nice things about visiting the city last week and meeting the fans who finally have legitimate hope. Instead, he was noting how the Nats, in the course of a season or two, have moved into the discussion of top rotations.

First he writes that the Nats added more WARP (its just BP’s version of WAR) with starting pitching than any NL team other than the Reds, Pirates, Rockies and Marlins to improve their staff with the addition of Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson. But those Pittsburgh additions include Bedard and Burnett – I have a tough time thinking both of those will end up being good signings, although these projections do include time off due to injury. Regardless, the added WARP for the Nats is 2.5, but Jaffe believes you should “take the over” on what Jackson will contribute, basically guessing that PECOTA underestimates him. And since they are almost tied with the Rockies and the Marlins, if you do give Jackson a little more credit, they are either tied for third best or there all by themselves.

The next thing Jaffe talks about is something fans often wonder – who has the best top two, three, four, five and even six starters. I won’t get into the entire set of numbers, you can look here although it is behind a pay wall (sorry, but you should give BP money anyway), but I will tell you where the Nats stack up

  • For top two, Strasburg and Zimmermann are about as good as you might think. The Nats two pitcher WARP of 6.9 ranks them 2nd only behind the Phillies (9.3) and Giants (8). It would be even closer if Strasburg was going to pitch more than 160 innings. Read the rest of this entry »