Does it Matter?: Strong Top of the Rotation
Note 1: Based upon 2007 performance, not future projectability.
Note 2: Tables are a bugger on our site, so you’ll have the joy of reading plain text.
In 2007 I think it’s fairly clear that the top two tandems in the AL belong to the Angels and the Indians.
After that, things get a little clouded. Below are groupings (minus the 6.00 ERA club in Texas) of playoff contenders & non-playoff contender’s top two pitchers of 2007.
With the exception of New York, the other three rotations have a few question marks in their number two spots. Bonderman wins (11 & 9) but has an Era of 5.01. Washburn is 9 & 13 and sporting his typical 4+ ERA. Dice-K has a number of strikeouts, yet is only two games over .500 and has a 4.44 ERA.
In almost every case, a majority of non playoff contending teams has a number two pitcher with an above .500 record and a sub 4.00 ERA. Of the following list, the only player that does not meet at least one of those criteria is Carlos Silva of the Twins. On poor clubs such as the Royals, Devil Rays, and Orioles, even their number two’s have solid stats, which I’ll put in quotations.
Meche & “7 & 12, 3.83 ERA”
Guthrie “7-5, 3.65 ERA, 1.20 WHIP”
Shields “12 & 8, 3.96 ERA, 1.12 WHIP”
Chicago White Sox
What does this tell us? I’m not sure and this will probably lead me into some new research. Could it be that a strong front two isn’t as important as we’ve been led to believe? Or is this an anomaly?