Contrasting Rotations

I have taken the time to assemble the statistics of two American League rotations. At the top of the list is the Toronto Blue Jays, who have a solid rotation one through five. At the end of the list is the Seattle Mariners, who happen to be my favourite team, they have a beyond bad rotation.

Here is what a good rotation looks like. While GB% is not relevant for all pitchers, for some it is a staple of their success.

Toronto Blue Jays
Pitcher ERA WHIP K/9 BB/9 K/BB FIP BABIP HR/9 GB%
Halladay, Roy 3.11 0.98 6.89 1.11 6.21 2.72 0.278 0.56 59.7%
Burnett, AJ 4.69 1.47 7.82 4.12 1.90 3.52 0.327 0.57 48.4%
McGowan, Dustin 3.90 1.42 6.82 3.76 1.81 3.54 0.317 0.42 46.9%
Marcum, Shaun 2.64 0.87 8.16 2.64 3.10 3.70 0.194 1.00 47.4%
Litsch, Jesse 3.57 1.16 5.28 1.24 4.25 4.37 0.278 1.40 48.7%

Why have the Blue Jays been so successful? As a rotation, only one pitcher has an ERA above 4, and only one pitcher has an FIP above 4 (not the same pitchers). The Blue Jays pitchers minimize the number of walks, with an average K/BB of 3.454. Roy Halladay has been the best and most efficient pitcher with a K/BB of 6.21 and inducing ground balls 60% of the time. He has a minuscule WHIP of 0.98. The Blue Jays pitchers have also kept the ball in the park, as a staff average of 0.79 HR/9, only one pitcher allows more than 1 HR/9. These guys are good, I would look for their success to continue.

On the contrast, here are the statistics for the mariners rotation.

Pitcher ERA WHIP K/9 BB/9 K/BB FIP BABIP HR/9 GB%
Bedard, Erik 4.70 1.30 7.83 3.91 2.00 5.03 0.263 1.57 42.6%
Hernandez, Felix 3.60 1.47 7.44 3.96 1.88 3.97 0.319 0.84 49.1%
Silva, Carlos 5.14 1.37 3.42 1.71 2.00 4.48 0.313 1.05 42.8%
Washburn, Jarrod 6.54 1.51 5.37 2.18 2.46 4.78 0.282 1.34 36.1%
Batista, Miguel 6.47 1.97 6.47 5.73 1.13 4.69 0.374 0.74 45.0%

Wow, these guys are brutal. Jesse Litsch, the 5th starter for the Blue Jays would lead the Mariners in ERA. The mariners have three pitchers with ERA’s above 5. They walk too many batters, with a collective average K/BB of 1.89. The WHIP’s across the board are average, and the BABIP’s are high. Soon enough some of these guys will lose their job. I thought the Carlos Silva signing was bad when it was announced, but man does it look awful right now. Yuck.

I would also like to add that Felix Hernandez has been allowing ground balls at a 50% rate, compared to his career rate of 60%.

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