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The ten worst rotations in baseball

Jan 7, 2011, 9:44 AM EDT

Charlie Morton

A lot of HBT readers have baseball blogs of their own. I try my best to keep up with the ones I know about, but there are only so many hours in the day.  One reader writes a blog called Billy Beane is My Hero.  You’ve probably noticed his handle in the comments before.

BBIMH’s author and I have exchanged some emails recently and he hipped me to one of his posts from last week:  The ten worst rotations in baseball — 2011 edition. I don’t do a lot of lists around here, but I like to read well-considered ones like that. And a note to amateur bloggers out there: if you’re making a worst-of  or a best-of list, do what BBIMH does here and make either the best or the worst last on the list, counting backwards.  Makes a reader want to read the whole thing. And don’t do slide shows. Damn, slide shows are outrageously annoying.

Anyway, I don’t have too many quibbles with the list.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the Royals’ rotation will be worse than the Pirates simply because they’ll face better bats in the AL Central than Pittsburgh will face in the NL, but I agree, it will be an epic battle for 30th place this year.


  1. Tapps - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    What? No faith in Scott Olsen? C’mon.

    • BC - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:08 AM

      Scott Olsen is God. Oops, no wait… Clapton is God. Olsen is an apostle.
      Aw shoot… there I go again…..

      • Utley's Hair - Jan 7, 2011 at 11:12 AM

        Is Santana another apostle, then?

      • BC - Jan 7, 2011 at 11:40 AM

        Utley: yes, definitely. Jeff Beck and Robert Fripp as well.

  2. BC - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    As long as Santana is out and not back to 100 percent, it’s hard to discern between the Mets, Royals and Pirates. Can you say “train wreck”? I knew you could.

    • sdelmonte - Jan 7, 2011 at 12:56 PM

      I thought that the Mets’ rotation looked pretty good at the end of the season. Not great, but certainly a lot better than 27. Pelfrey came around, Dickey was great, Niese showed promise.

      There were stretches in August and September when I would say the Mets’ starters were a lot more consistent than the Yankees’. Really.

      • spudchukar - Jan 7, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        Think about what you just wrote. Does that really instill confidence. “Pelfrey came around, Dickey was great, Niese showed promise”, That would scare the BeJeezes out of me. Talk about lowered expectations, and it doesn’t get any better comparing the Pond Scum staff to that inept staff across town, with or without Petitte.

  3. Panda Claus - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    Based on the first two thirds of the 2010 season, the O’s belong on the bottom 10 list. However, given the improvement towards last part of the season, I think they’ll be middle of the pack in 2011.

    The Twins may be moving out of the B10 if Pavano becomes official.

    • dluxxx - Jan 7, 2011 at 11:01 AM

      The Twins should never have been on that list in the first place. I almost stopped reading after seeing where they where at, but the rest of the list appears to be spot on. The organization’s mantra of throwing strikes and not giving up free passes ensures that they’ll be – at worst – middle of the pack.

      By the way Craig, way to up the hits on his site. I think all of his comments came from this morning…

  4. spudchukar - Jan 7, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    As fun as this list is, the real fun begins with the next five worst. The bottom half group. The Twins will be there. So will Yankees (with or without Pettitte), the Cubs, Astros, Rangers, Toronto, with the Rockies on the cusp.

  5. cintiphil - Jan 7, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    I will make a bet that among the poorest in the NL, arre the Cardinals. I don’t think they are in the Pirates class, but just as last year,the staff is way overrated. Out of all the NL teams, they certainly are in the bottom half.

    • spudchukar - Jan 7, 2011 at 4:38 PM

      Just how many NL teams wouldn’t trade their top 4 for St. Louis’ top 4. I will be the first to state their should be a great big question mark after their #5 Lohse. If he can return to 2008 form great if not they will look elsewhere. Here is what I don’t get cintiphil, why do you think they were overrated last year? Here are the numbers: Record/ERA/IP/Opponents BA. Wainwright 20-11/2.42/230.1/.224, Carpenter 16-9/3.22/235.0/.244, Garcia 13-8/2.70/163.1/2.43 and Westbrook 4-4/3.48/75.0/.226. I don’t care if you are the #5 starter, if they repeat these numbers and underproduce, again in 2011, as you seem to imply, I know I will be happy with their starting staff, which I happen to believe easily makes it into the top ten in all of MLB.

  6. billybeaneismyhero - Jan 7, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    Thanks for the plug Craig! Much appreciated. I must give credit where credit is due. One of my co-pilots, Josh, actually wrote the article.

    I’m not surprised by people being upset about the Twins being included in the bottom ten. Personally, I didn’t think they belonged on the list (I thought the Astros did), but I believe in free speech, so I let him post his list. He had his reasons. I disagree. I actually like Slowey and Baker a lot.

    Anyway, in light of the outrage over the Twins inclusion, I will post a deeper look at the Twins rotation in the next couple of days.

  7. bigtrav425 - Jan 7, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Id put my tribe at the tail end of that list as well.No clue how Fausto is going ot be and the rest are just a bunch of kids so who the hell knows

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