Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rotation Rankings: Week 5

Previous Rankings: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

Week five of our Rotation Rankings: the statistical ranking of every rotation in Major League Baseball. For a better explanation, check out our debut rankings. More a fan of offense? Check out our Leadoff Rankings, based on every teams' first and second batters. As we get further into the season, these rankings are based mostly on season performance, with a bias towards this week's performance when two teams are comparable. To see which teams were the real movers and shakers this week, hit the jump!

G: Games; ERA: Earned Run Average; WHIP: (Walks + Hits)/Innings Pitched; GS: Game Score; K/BB: Strikeout-to-walk ratio; K/9: Strikeouts per nine innings

30. (LW: 30) Chicago Cubs (14-16, 5th NL Central)
This Week: 3-3, 5.08 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 49.3 GS, 1.59 K/BB, 6.23 K/9
Season (165.1 IP): 8-13, 5.72 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 45.6 GS, 2.25 K/BB, 7.95 K/9
A 5.08 ERA was actually an improvement for the Cubs' rotation this week, bringing their season mark down to 5.72. Possibly the worst start in MLB this season came on April 28 from Ryan Dempster, who gave up seven earned runs (on four hits and four walks) in only a third of an inning--a 185.29 ERA.

29. (LW: 23) Cincinnati Reds (15-15)
This Week: 0-3, 7.92 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 39.8 GS, 1.57 K/BB, 7/92 K/9
Season (162.2 IP): 9-10, 5.37 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 47.8 GS, 2.48 K/BB, 8.24 K/9
Two Reds' starters (Travis Wood and Mike Leake) failed to make it out of the fourth inning in the past six games, and the rotation pitched to a 7.92 ERA this week. Their 1.40 season WHIP is pretty bad, but the 5.37 ERA for the season is even worse.

28. (LW: 28) Arizona Diamondbacks (13-16, 4th NL West)
This Week: 2-2, 4.58 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 49.7 GS, 1.43 K/BB, 4.58 K/9
Season (172.1 IP): 9-13, 5.33 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 46.7 GS, 1.98 K/BB, 6.74 K/9
It might not have translated into a great week record-wise (3-3), but Diamondback starting pitching had a decent week. The average starter went almost seven innings in each of the games, although Barry Enright's poor start last night put a damper on the optimism overall. If Arizona can get the type of pitching they got this week for the rest of the season, they will be more than happy. Unfortunately, that's unlikely to happen, so the D-backs will just have to hope this kind of pitching continues for as long as possible.

27. (LW: 27) Kansas City Royals (16-14, 2nd AL Central)
This Week: 1-2, 6.27 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, 40.3 GS, 0.76 K/BB, 4.36 K/9
Season (172.1 IP): 8-11, 5.17 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 45.4 GS, 1.81 K/BB, 5.38 K/9
The Royals' starting staff turned in another terrible week, with a 6.27 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in six games. Each of the last four starters walked at least four batters in their outings, leading to a staff K/BB ratio of only 0.76 this week.

26. (LW: 25) New York Mets (12-18, 4th NL East)
This Week: 0-4, 4.54 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 47.7 GS, 2.10 K/BB, 5.30 K/BB
Season (172.2 IP): 8-14, 4.75 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 47.3 GS, 1.75 K/BB, 6.21 K/9
Despite Chris Young's seven shut-out innings in Philadelphia, the Mets rotation only managed a mediocre 4.54 ERA this week while striking out only 5.3 batters per nine innings. Their 1.43 WHIP this week was actually an improvement on their season total, but it's still below-average for NL teams.

25. (LW: 26) Minnesota Twins (11-18, 4th AL Central)
This Week: 2-4, 4.39 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 44.7 GS, 1.00 K/BB, 3.14 K/9
Season (175.0 IP): 9-15, 4.73 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 47.8 GS, 1.67 K/BB, 5.40 K/9
Francisco Liriano's no-hitter Tuesday night saved the Twins' rotation from what otherwise would have been a down week. Carl Pavano and Nick Blackburn gave up 11 earned runs in 8.2 IP, for an ERA of 11.42.

24. (LW: 29) Houston Astros (12-18, 6th NL Central)
This Week: 2-2, 2.84 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 59.3 GS, 3.18 K/BB, 8.29 K/9
Season (177.0 IP): 6-13, 4.73 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 48.0 GS, 2.32 K/BB, 7.32 K/9
The 'Stros rotation just completed their best week of the season, with a 2.84 ERA and 1.08 WHIP this week. Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris, and rookie Aneury Rodriguez combined for 20.2 shutout innings, but the bullpen blew two of those fine outings.

23. (LW: 24) Pittsburgh Pirates (15-16, 4th NL Central)
This Week: 4-2, 3.67 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 50.6 GS, 1.60 K/BB, 5.18 K/9
Season (181.0 IP): 12-19, 4.43 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 48.3 GS, 1.46 K/BB, 5.37 K/9
Yesterday saw a second-consecutive strong start from Kevin Correia, who gave up only two earned runs in 12.2 innings pitched this week. Unfortunately for the Pirates, though, only one other pitcher (James McDonald) gave them a start with a game score above 50 this week.

22. (LW: 22) Toronto Blue Jays (16-14, 3rd AL East)
This Week: 2-2, 4.41 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 51.0 GS, 2.20 K/BB, 9.09 K/9
Season (168.2 IP): 8-11, 4.33 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 49.6 GS, 2.04 K/BB, 7.97 K/9
Mediocrity reigns supreme in Toronto, as the starters have been mostly struggling to string together consecutive quality starts. Brendan Morrow only let up three runs in 12.1 IP this week, but Kyle Drabek and Jesse Litsch let up 5 runs each in back-to-back losses against the Yankees on Saturday and Sunday.

21. (LW: 15) Chicago White Sox (11-21, 5th AL Central)
This Week: 1-6, 4.53 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 49.3 GS, 1.24 K/BB, 4.14 K/9
Season (207.0 IP): 9-17, 4.13 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 51.9 GS, 2.40 K/BB, 6.57 K/9
Despite their league-worst record (11-21), the White Sox rotation has actually been almost mediocre so far in 2011. They've pitched to a 4.53 ERA thus far, and their average game score is 49.29.

20. (LW: 10) Milwaukee Brewers (13-17, 3rd NL Central)
This Week: 0-4, 5.24 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 48.3 GS, 2.92 K/BB, 9.17 K/9
Season (177.2 IP): 9-9, 4.10 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 51.2 GS, 2.70 K/BB, 7.65 K/9
Zack Greinke's first start of the season last night did not go as planned for the Brewers, as the former Cy Young Award winner gave up five runs (four earned) in only four innings. Including Greinke, the last three Brewers starters (Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada are the others) have each pitched to an ERA of at least 9.00.

19. (LW: 20) Colorado Rockies (18-10, 1st NL West)
This Week: 2-2, 3.77 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 39.3 GS, 2.50 K/BB, 8.71 K/9
Season (165.0 IP): 15-6, 4.09 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 51.6 GS, 2.02 K/BB, 6.82 K/9
The Rockies only played five games this week (going 2-3), and their starters had a mediocre week. Ubaldo Jimenez had a poor start, going only four innings and giving up four runs against the lowly Pirates in a loss. Colorado did have a bright spot in Jhoulys Chacin, however, who went seven strong innings in both his starts this week, giving up a total of 5 runs in 14 innings.

18. (LW: 12) New York Yankees (17-11, 1st AL East)
This Week: 3-3, 3.97 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 49.9 GS, 2.80 K/BB, 8.34 K/9
Season (167.0 IP): 11-7, 3.99 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 51.3 GS, 2.28 K/BB, 7.11 K/9
More bad news for the Yankees this week as they find out Phil Hughes is out for the next 6-8 weeks with arm issues. Bartolo Colon has filled in admirably in his stead (2-1, 3.00 ERA), but Hughes represents the future in New York. Still, not a bad overall week--but not a great one either. The week's ERA looks good, but the WHIP and gamescores are not top-15 material.

17. (LW: 21) Detroit Tigers (14-17, 3rd AL Central)
This Week: 2-1, 3.09 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 56.3 GS, 2.29 K/BB, 7.52 K/9
Season (192.2 IP): 10-11, 4.07 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 52.2 GS, 2.20 K/BB, 7.30 K/9
An interesting week from the Tigers' rotation as they pitched to a 3.09 ERA despite a 1.31 WHIP this week. Last week, they had a 3.62 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP. Somehow, a rotation WHIP 51% higher this week led to a 15% decline in ERA. Go figure.

16. (LW: 7) Florida Marlins (19-10, 2nd NL East)
This Week: 2-0, 4.89 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 45.5 GS, 1.13 K/BB, 4.63 K/9
Season (174.0 IP): 11-4, 3.98 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 51.7 GS, 1.94 K/BB, 6.62 K/9
The Marlins manage to stay just one game behind the division-leading Phillies despite having easily the fourth-worst rotation in that division--that is, besides ace Josh Johnson (3-0, 0.88 ERA), who keeps the numbers in the "good" range by himself. Florida still somehow took two of three from the Cardinals this week despite getting gamescores of 33 or fewer in all three starts.

15. (LW: 4) St. Louis Cardinals (17-14, 1st NL Central)
This Week: 1-0, 5.40 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 42.4 GS, 1.25 K/BB, 4.32 K/9
Season (189.2 IP): 13-4, 3.70 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 51.5 GS, 2.06 K/BB, 6.07 K/9
The worst start of the week for the Cardinals was made last Thursday by Kyle McClellan, who still got the win in beating Houston while letting up 5 runs in 5.2 innings. Interestingly enough, that "worst start" got the only win for the Cards rotation, as the next six starts all ended in "no decisions" against the Braves and Marlins.

14. (LW: 18) Baltimore Orioles (14-15, 4th AL East)
This Week: 4-1, 3.29 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 53.3 GS, 1.57 K/BB, 4.83 K/9
Season (165.2 IP): 11-11, 3.91 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 51.5 GS, 2.12 K/BB, 5.87 K/9
This makes two solid weeks in a row for the Baltimore staff, who are still held back a little by their 7.33 ERA back in week 2. The O's starters have gone 5-3 with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP over their last 12 starts, with a lot of very solid starts but no real great ones--no starter has recorded an out in the 8th inning since Jeremy Guthrie did on Opening Day.

13. (LW: 17) Los Angeles Dodgers (15-17, 2nd NL West)
This Week: 2-2, 3.23 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 58.3 GS, 3.50 K/BB, 8.08 K/9
Season (197.1 IP): 11-13, 3.88 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 53.0 GS, 2.88 K/BB, 7.34 K/9
Dodger starters had a respectable but unspectacular week, with every pitcher going at least six innings but none pitching more than seven. It didn't translate into the win column, however, as the Dodgers lost series to both the Padres and Cubs on their way to a 2-4 week. On the bright side, though, only one starter gave up more than three runs, signaling that the rotation is at least doing its part.

12. (LW: 14) San Francisco Giants (15-15, 3rd NL West)
This Week: 2-3, 3.24 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 56.9 GS, 2.53 K/BB, 10.37 K/9
Season (169.0 IP): 7-7, 3.78 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 53.4 GS, 2.26 K/BB, 8.68 K/9
The Giants had a 4-3 week, but starters have only two wins to show for it. Tim Lincecum pitched seven innings of five hit, scoreless ball tonight, and had a decent start against Washington last week wasted by San Fran's anemic offense. Ryan Vogelsong, on the other hand, didn't get out of the sixth inning in either of his two starts this week, including a dismal 4 IP, 5 ER performance yesterday.

11. (LW: 19) Texas Rangers (17-14, 1st AL West)
This Week: 2-2, 2.62 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 57.4 GS, 3.00 K/BB, 7.86 K/9
Season (191.2 IP): 15-8, 3.76 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 52.7 GS, 2.34 K/BB, 6.81 K/9
Texas played every day this week, and didn't fare too well in the process. The Rangers limped to a 2-5 record, allowing their early hold on the AL West to disappear completely. The pitching wasn't terrible, but it certainly wasn't good either. Matt Harrison had an awful start on Sunday, giving up four runs in only 1 2/3 innings against Oakland. But beyond that, Texas got mostly quality starts, culminating with CJ Wilson's complete game last night against Seattle.

10. (LW: 6) Tampa Bay Rays (16-14, 2nd AL East)
This Week: 2-2, 4.28 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 49.6 GS, 2.36 K/BB, 5.85 K/9
Season (193.1 IP): 11-12, 3.72 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 53.4 GS, 2.35 K/BB, 6.01 K/9
The week started off well, with Jeremy Hellickson and Jeff Niemann scoring wins in Minnesota, giving up four runs in 13.1 innings. Unfortunately, it was mostly downhill from there, except for James Shields getting screwed out of a win when he went 8 strong innings (1 run, 12 strikeouts) against the Angels on Saturday.

9. (LW: 11) Seattle Mariners (14-17, 4th AL West)
This Week: 3-1, 3.18 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 59.2 GS, 3.00 K/BB, 8.85 K/9
Season (190.0 IP): 11-13, 3.74 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 52.9 GS, 2.68 K/BB, 7.48 K/9
Seattle went 4-2 last week behind some good hitting and above average pitching. Keeping in mind that the Mariners were facing Detroit, Boston, and Texas, three powerful lineups, Seattle's starters did well for themselves. Every starter went at least 5.2 innings, and no one gave up more than four runs. And now that the Seattle offense has begun to show some signs of life, that is all this team needs to give itself a good chance to win.

8. (LW: 16) Washington Nationals (14-16, 5th NL East)
This Week: 4-3, 2.94 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 55.9 GS, 2.33 K/BB, 5.14 K/9
Season (184.1 IP): 12-13, 3.66 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 50.9 GS, 2.12 K/BB, 5.27 K/9
The Nationals rotation actually has been surprisingly solid this season. This week, helped by a complete-game shutout of the Giants by Jason Marquis (3-1, 3.66 ERA), Washington starters averaged seven innings per start, and put together a very solid week despite a 5 IP, 10 H, 7 R clunker by Marquis to end the week in Philadelphia.

7. (LW: 9) Cleveland Indians (15-8, 1st AL Central)
This Week: 2-1, 2.57 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 58.8 GS, 3.11 K/BB, 6.00 K/9
Season (141.1 IP): 12-5, 3.76 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 52.7 GS, 1.98 K/BB, 5.92 K/9
The Indians continued their stellar start to 2011 with a 7-game winning streak that was only broken last night at the hands of the Oakland A's. As is necessary for any winning streak that long, the Tribe got some solid starting pitching, particularly from Fausto Carmona, who pitched 15 innings in two wins, giving up a total of only three runs, three walks and seven strikeouts. When these performances are added to the three other quality starts Indians starters threw this week, it should be no surprise the winning streak lasted as long as it did.

6. (LW: 13) Boston Red Sox (14-16, T-4th AL East)
This Week: 3-1, 1.94 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 58.0 GS, 1.72 K/BB, 6.70 K/9
Season (178.2 IP): 13-11, 3.53 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 54.1 GS, 2.00 K/BB, 6.95 K/9
A good week for everybody in the Boston rotation except for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who only went four innings in a start against the Mariners on Friday and then took the loss in relief on Wednesday in a 13-inning game against the Angels yesterday. The WHIP is high for such a low ERA, but the amount of baserunners were helped by a lot of walks (17).

5. (LW: 8) San Diego Padres (12-19, 5th NL West)
This Week: 1-3, 2.80 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 54.7 GS, 2.23 K/BB, 7.39 K/9
Season (182.0 IP): 5-13, 3.36 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 52.7 GS, 2.12 K/BB, 6.08 K/9
The Padres went 3-3 last week, but starting pitchers only factored in one win while taking all three losses. Only two of six starters pitched more than six innings, which is never a good sign. The week may have been slightly salvaged by Moseley's seven innings of three hit, shutout ball against the Dodgers on Sunday.

4. (LW: 2) Los Angeles Angels (17-14, T-1st AL West)
This Week: 1-2, 3.71 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 53.5 GS, 4.57 K/BB, 8.47 K/9
Season (195.2 IP): 13-8, 3.17 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 56.9 GS, 3.08 K/BB, 7.50 K/9
After last night's (sorry, this morning's) 13-inning, rain-delayed victory over Boston, the Angels were able to turn a poor pitching week into a reasonable 3-3 record. Ace Jered Weaver suffered his first loss of the season in his return from the stomach flu, ending his incredible 6-0 start to the season. The Angels' best performance of the week was, without a doubt, Joel Piniero's season debut (7 IP, 1 ER). If Piniero can come back successfully from the DL, the Angels will be set for the foreseeable future with a fairly deep rotation.

3. (LW: 5) Philadelphia Phillies (20-9, 1st NL East)
This Week: 4-0, 0.97 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 70.0 GS, 3.88 K/BB, 7.54 K/9
Season (189.2 IP): 15-6, 3.13 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 58.9 GS, 4.53 K/BB, 8.59 K/9
The star of the week for the Phillies was 23-year-old rookie righthander Vance Worley. Worley was called up for injured 5th starter Joe Blanton and went 2-0, throwing 12 innings and allowing just six hits and one earned run. Did we mention that both Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay threw complete games too?

2. (LW: 3) Atlanta Braves (17-15, 3rd NL East)
This Week: 3-0, 2.66 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 62.7 GS, 3.75 K/BB, 6.64 K/9
Season (200.1 IP): 13-10, 3.05 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 57.4 GS, 3.14 K/BB, 7.19 K/9
A very solid week by the Atlanta staff was capped off by a complete-game, one-hit shutout tossed by Tim Hudson (4-2, 2.86 ERA) in the second-game of a doubleheader sweep of the Brewers on Wednesday. Before him were a run of solid starts by Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens and company, including three gamescores over 60.

1. (LW: 1) Oakland Athletics (16-15, 3rd AL West)
This Week: 3-1, 2.61 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 53.2 GS, 1.73 K/BB, 6.16 K/9
Season (198.2 IP): 12-8, 2.49 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 56.8 GS, 2.75 K/BB, 6.84 K/9
The A's had a good week, going 4-2 against some pretty tough competition. Oakland took three of four from division rival Texas and has split the first two games against the ML-best Cleveland Indians, breaking the Tribe's seven-game win streak in the process. Trevor Cahill had yet another great week, improving his record to 5-0 with a 1.79 ERA with two more wins.

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