Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 12:09 AM EDT
Contributed by: John Northey
The rotation sucked this year. How badly? Quite.
The Jays rotation last year was ugly, ugly, ugly.
Just did what I love to do - perfectly adjust starts so the guys with the lowest starter ERA go into the #1 33 starts, next best into the 33 next starts as #2 and so on.
This gives us the best situation if guys got the same starts but perfectly set up (which of course never could happen). With the bloody openers this gets messy as we get tons of 1 to 2 IP starts which makes this less effective than in the past and should've seen a much lower ERA but the Jays had such a mess outside of the #1's 33 starts it is ugly. Comparing the ERA+ to Halladay's career
Now that is some ugly stuff at the bottom. Who were the guys in those 5 slots?
- : 171.5 IP 2.76 ERA (5.2 IP per start) ERA+ (rough) 160 - excellent (Halladay top 5 in Cy voting)
- : 116.5 IP 4.18 ERA (3.5 IP per start) ERA+ (rough) 110 - nice (Halladay 2004, his worst with over 100 IP as a Jay)
- : 151.1 IP 5.20 ERA (4.7 IP per start) ERA+ (rough) 90 - meh (Halladay's last full season in Philly)
- : 154.2 IP 6.11 ERA (4.8 IP per start) ERA+ (rough) 84 - ugh (a bit worse than that)
- : 113.7 IP 9.22 ERA (3.6 IP per start) ERA+ (rough) 47 - yikes (just a tiny bit worse, by 1 point, than Halladay's nightmare 2000 season that saw him sent to A+ ball to rebuild)
To compare to the past lets look at a good year...
- : David Phelps, Neil Ramirez, Buddy Boshers, Matt Shoemaker, Marcus Stroman, Sean Reid-Foley (4 starts)
- : Sean Reid-Foley (2 starts), Wilmer Font, Jacob Waguespack, Trent Thornton (4 starts)
- : Trent Thornton (25 starts), T.J. Zeuch, Clayton Richard (4 starts)
- : Clayton Richard (6 starts), Aaron Sanchez, Anthony Kay, Clay Buchholz (1 start)
- : Clay Buchholz (11 starts), Ryan Feierabend, Daniel Hudson, Ryan Borucki, Derek Law, Thomas Pannone, Edwin Jackson, Ryan Tepera
- : 210.7 IP 2.73 ERA 6.4 IP/start 152 ERA+
- : 201.0 IP 3.56 ERA 6.1 IP/start 116 ERA+
- : 192.6 IP 3.84 ERA 6.0 IP/start 108 ERA+
- : 199.6 IP 4.09 ERA 6.2 IP/start 100 ERA+
- : 160.4 IP 6.09 ERA 5.0 IP/start 76 ERA+
Much better eh? The 5th slot always sucks vs the rest of course, but their #5's were this years poor #4's, Their #4's were better than this years #3. Basically if we had an ace on the staff (in addition to what was here) the rotation might have equaled 2015's - ace: 160 ERA+, #2 160, #3 110, #4 90 #5 84 ERA+ - that would be a very good situation. Losing Stroman hurts, means 1 1/2 excellent starters needed to match up, assuming all else goes well. Plus of course, the much lower inning count hurts (bloody openers). Suddenly the idea of signing a top starter doesn't seem as insane (7 years seems nuts to me, but sometimes you have to croak on long term to get a guy, but I'd wait another year or two before doing that). If we had good starters I suspect openers would go away, but this year the team had crap so they were needed.
- : Marcus Stroman, David Price, Marco Estrada (18 starts)
- : Marco Estrada (10 starts), Aaron Sanchez, Mark Buehrle (12 starts)
- : Mark Buehrle (20 starts), Daniel Norris, R.A. Dickey (7 starts)
- : R.A. Dickey (26 starts), Felix Doubront, Drew Hutchison (2 starts)
- : Drew Hutchison (26 starts), Todd Redmond, Scott Copeland, Matthew Boyd
2018 - last year (a bad one)
Top 2 much weaker, then 3-5 more stronger than this years crew. Depth matters. Even on crappy teams.
- : 185.7 IP 3.96 ERA 5.6 IP/Start 108 ERA+ - John Axford, Ryan Borucki, J.A. Happ (15 starts)
- : 175.4 IP 4.72 ERA 5.3 IP/Start 96 ERA+ - J.A. Happ (5 starts), Luis Santos, Thomas Pannone, Aaron Sanchez, Sean Reid-Foley (1 start)
- : 158.2 IP 5.40 ERA 4.9 IP/Start 95 ERA+ - Sean Reid-Foley (6 starts), Sam Gaviglio, Marcus Stroman (2 starts)
- : 168.1 IP 5.60 ERA 5.3 IP/Start 75 ERA+ - Marcus Stroman (17 starts), Marco Estrada (15 starts)
- : 148.9 IP 6.39 ERA 4.7 IP/Start 69 ERA+ - Marco Estrada (13 starts), Jaime Garcia, Joe Biagini, Mike Hauschild, Tyler Clippard
FYI: for an excellent year look to 1985 with 2 guys having 36 starts. That year also shows that pedigree isn't everything as the ERA champ was here (Stieb - a converted outfielder), a 2nd year player (Jimmy Key 141 ERA+ 2nd round draft pick, barely made the team the year before), a scrap heap pick up (Alexander 123 ERA+ was released by the Yankees 2 years earlier) - there were over 100 starts between the 3 of them. Staff ERA+ of 128. Sigh. That was a fun team to follow.