Continuing the theme on lineups, here is a post from mlb.com on the top 10 rotations in the majors.
A quick summary – the article ranks the following as the top 10 rotations:
- Washington Nationals
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Cincinnati Reds
- Cleveland Indians
- LA Dodgers
- NY Yankees
- Texas Rangers
- NY Mets
- Houston Astros
- St. Louis Cards
- The Astros faced the top two teams on the list and saw how tough their starting staffs could be. The Nats behind Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin were a powerful starting rotation. The Rays were strong behind Charlie Morton, Tyler Glasnow and Blake Snell. The irony is that in this season when there may be more teams trying the “opener” strategy, one of the teams that specialized in it (The Rays) may be using it less.
- The Reds are a bit of a surprise. They are kind of like the Astros when they started turning things around behind Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh. The Reds started turning their fortunes around behind Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray and now have added Trevor Bauer and Wade Miley to the mix. They have to hope that they get the Miley of April thru July of 2019.
- The gut feeling is that the Indians at #4 should be flipped with the Yankees at #6 with the Dodgers holding fast at #5. Sending Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber away has got to catch up a little bit with the Indians, even with Shane Bieber, Mike Clevinger and Carlos Carrasco remaining while adding Gerrit Cole to Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton looks pretty stiff on the Yankee side.
- The best thing about the 2019 Rangers were the performances of Lance Lynn and Mike Minor. Can they sustain that? Can Corey Kluber return to top-notch effectiveness? Can Kyle Gibson channel his 2018 performance and Jordan Lyles the second half of 2019? Pitching is often the part of the game with the most questions, but the Rangers seem to have a lot for a team in the 7th spot.
- Losing Noah Syndergaard to TJ surgery undoubtedly cost the Mets a number of spots in this listing, but Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman are a strong 1-2 punch. After that, there are guys who used to be good.
The Astros clock in at #9, which actually makes a lot of sense…
- In the last two offseasons, they have lost Charlie Morton, Cole, Miley and one-time starter Collin McHugh.
- Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke are as good of a top 2 as there is in the league, but they are both in the second half of their 30’s which is always a concern.
- Lance McCullers continues to be critical to their success and has shown up looking very good in his first two intra-squad game appearances. https://chipalatta.com/2019/12/19/is-lance-mccullers-jr-the-most-critical-cog-entering-2020/
- Beyond that their rotation could be very good or a struggle. Will Jose Urquidy appear before the season and if he does, how good could he be and when could he help? Josh James has “looked” great from long distance, but will he be great against real competition? Of all the great arms running around if Urquidy does not start the season in the rotation, who will take his place? Forrest Whitley? Bryan Abreu? Cristian Javier? Framber Valdez? Or will they go back to reliable, flexible Brad Peacock?
In many ways how the Astros’ rotation goes may well set the tone for the whole team in 2020. And it is a tone that needs to be set the moment the green flag flies.