What Are Your Rotation Expectations?

We often see phrases like “the Pirates don’t have a number one starter”, or “Player A has the upside of a #2 starter”, with no real number attached to the rotation labels.  The following polls present some options for ERAs from the five rotation spots.  For each spot, pick the option that you think best fits the expectations for a pitcher in that role.  Note that we’re looking for the major league average expectations, and not any extremes, such as super rotations like the Phillies have (Halladay/Lee/Oswalt/Hamels) or some of the poor rotations in the majors like the Pirates had last year.  Instead, we’re looking for the expectations you would have if you said “Prospect A projects to be a (insert rotation spot here) starter”.  Try to go off your expectations, without any research.  I’ll be reviewing the answers tomorrow and expanding on this topic throughout the week.

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I voted based on the .5 run assumption I use. A #1 should have an ERA under 3, a #2 between 3-3.5, #3 between 3.5-4 and so on.

However looking at it with a more factual approach: There were 147 pitchers to pitch at least 100 innngs last year. So roughly 5 per team. Just look at the middle ERA of each set of 30 and you have a rough average value for each spot:

#1 : 2.92 (Mat Latos)
#2 : 3.62 (Francisco Liriano)
#3 : 4.15 (Barry Zito)
#4 : 4.63 (Jake Peavy)
#5 : 5.32 (Tim Wakefield)

So obviously my assumptions are far from the actual.


It seemsa people already have a jaded view as to what actually goes on with most MLB teams. To expect 30 no. 1 pitchers to be under 3 era is ridiculous. Anything near 3 with a decent k rate is borderline dominant and worthy of a 1.

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