CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Under The Knife: Monda... (05/24)
<< Previous Column
One-Hoppers: Rolen Tow... (05/25)
Next Column >>
Premium Article One-Hoppers: What's Ea... (05/26)
Next Article >>
Another Look: Growing ... (05/25)

May 25, 2010

One-Hoppers

Rays' pitching talent runs deep

by John Perrotto

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

One can use a traditional method to make the point that the Tampa Bay Rays have the best starting rotation in the major leagues. The Rays' starters lead the majors in earned run average by a healthy margin despite Wade Davis getting tagged for five runs in 3 2/3 innings by the Red Sox on Monday night:

Leading rotation ERA

 

Team

Starters ERA

Tampa Bay

2.84

San Diego

3.03

St. Louis

3.13

San Francisco

3.22

Florida

3.78

Another way to state the Rays' case is to look at SNLVAR (Support Neutral League Value Above Replacement), a Baseball Prospectus metric that measures how many more wins a starting pitcher has provided over the course of the season than would a replacement-level player who could be claimed off waivers or purchased from a Triple-A roster.

A total of 57 major-league pitchers have accumulated at least 1.2 SNLVAR with just a little over a quarter of the season gone. A pitcher who finishes with a 5.0 mark or better is considered to have had a very good season. The Rays have the only rotation in which each member has at least 1.2 SNLVAR.

The Rays' SNLVAR

 

PITCHER

SNLVAR

MAJOR-LEAGUE RANK

Matt Garza

2.2

9th

Jeff Niemann

2.0

13th

David Price

1.8

23th

James Shields

1.3

47th

Wade Davis

1.2

57th

The Rays are one of only two teams with three starters ranking in the top 25, along with the San Francisco Giants, who have Tim Lincecum (fifth), Jonathan Sanchez (17th) and Barry Zito (24th).

The teams who come closest to matching the Rays' rotation depth are the Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, New York Yankeesand Chicago Cubs. Each has four starters with at least 1.2 SNLVAR.

Here is how those teams' rotations break down:

Giants: Lincecum 2.5, Sanchez 1.9, Zito 1.8, Cain 1.5, Todd Wellemeyer 0.2

Cardinals: Jaime Garcia 2.4, Adam Wainwright 2.1, Chris Carpenter 1.6, Brad Penny 1.2, Kyle Lohse minus-0.4

Padres: Clayton Richard 1.9, Mat Latos 1.9, Wade LeBlanc 1.4, Jon Garland 1.4, Kevin Correia 0.4

Yankees: Andy Pettitte 1.9, Phil Hughes 1.8, CC Sabathia 1.2, A.J. Burnett 1.2, Javier Vazquez minus-0.1

Cubs:  Tom Gorzelanny 1.3, Randy Wells 1.3, Ryan Dempster 1.3, Carlos Silva 1.2, Ted Lilly 0.5

All good rotations, to be sure, but none quite as deep as the one the Rays spin through every five games.

However, there is reason to believe the Rays' rotation can't keep up quite the torrid pace it has been on through the first 45 games of the season. Tampa Bay's starters rank seventh in the majors in SIERA (Skill-Interactive Earned Run Average), which estimates ERA through walk rate, strikeout rate and ground ball rate while eliminating the effects of park, defense and luck. Thus, we can expect some regression to the mean by the Rays as the season plays out.

SIERA vs. ERA

 

TEAM

STATERS SIERA

STARTERS ERA

St. Louis

3.72

3.07

Arizona

3.80

5.75

LA Dodgers

3.81

4.32

Philadelphia

3.84

3.69

Chicago Cubs

3.87

4.16

Houston

3.87

4.15

Tampa Bay

3.97

2.84

John Perrotto is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see John's other articles. You can contact John by clicking here

1 comment has been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Under The Knife: Monda... (05/24)
<< Previous Column
One-Hoppers: Rolen Tow... (05/25)
Next Column >>
Premium Article One-Hoppers: What's Ea... (05/26)
Next Article >>
Another Look: Growing ... (05/25)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Offseason Trades and Resp...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: 40-Man Additions to Know
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Revenge is a Dish Best Served...
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: The Timeshare DH
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Mariners Eager To Lock...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Red Sox Do Whatever Th...
Before They Were Prospects

MORE FROM MAY 25, 2010
Premium Article Expanded Horizons: Running Down The Standing...
Premium Article Transaction Action: Central Preoccupations
Premium Article Prospectus Hit and Run: Meet the Mets
Premium Article Future Shock: Bryce Harper's Big, Yet Limite...
Premium Article Changing Speeds: Bounceback Pitchers
Another Look: Growing Up with a Future Big L...

MORE BY JOHN PERROTTO
2010-05-26 - On the Beat: Resurrection Act Redux
2010-05-26 - BP Unfiltered: The Paper Trail of May 26
2010-05-25 - BP Unfiltered: The Paper Trail of May 25
2010-05-25 - Premium Article One-Hoppers: Rays' pitching talent runs deep
2010-05-24 - Premium Article On the Beat: Monday Update
2010-05-24 - BP Unfiltered: The Paper Trail of May 24
2010-05-23 - BP Unfiltered: The Paper Trail of May 23
More...

MORE ONE-HOPPERS
2010-06-02 - One-Hoppers: Ken Griffey Jr. Bows Out
2010-05-27 - Premium Article One-Hoppers: The Best Pitcher in the NL is ....
2010-05-26 - Premium Article One-Hoppers: What's Eating Chipper Jones?
2010-05-25 - Premium Article One-Hoppers: Rays' pitching talent runs deep
2010-05-25 - One-Hoppers: Rolen Towards Cooperstown?
2010-05-24 - Premium Article One-Hoppers: Porcello Shouldn't Rely On Tige...
2010-05-22 - One-Hoppers: Game Story: Yankees at Mets, Ma...
More...