The next tier of pitchers (6-10).

Since choosing only five of 150 possible rotation spots felt like too
few, I figured that I would chime in on a top ten list this time.  The
first five of course being chosen already, and spots 6 thru 10 being
chosen now. 

6)  Josh Beckett:  ERA+ 114:  Beckett was
excluded from the top 5 because of inconsistent innings logs, but the
Beckett we see now in Boston is clearly a better pitcher than the one
that relied more heavily on his 4-seamer in Florida.  But really, a lot
of Beckett’s “greatness” is hinging on three things:  great stuff, a
great 2007, and a great postseason track record.  Beckett lacks true
greatness during the regular season that other pitchers have clearly
had.  Beckett is in the toughest division in baseball, in a hitters
park (and is better now than he was pre-2007).  But he needs to be more
durable, and he needs to simply pitch better in the regular season to
move up.  That being said, I am confident that Beckett will be great in
2009.  He seems to have cleared up any temporary issue of walking
batters that he had in 06,’ and his strikeout totals haven’t changed

7)  Jake Peavy:  ERA+ 134:  Peavy is a great pitcher and
has been for four of the last five seasons.  His ballpark definitely
helps him, but his K rates are great regardless.  His career road
numbers are still good, just not great.  That being said, Peavy struck
out a batter less an inning in 2008 then he did in each of the last 4
years.  His walk total increased as well.  We may be seeing a decline,
but Peavy was great, so maybe I am looking too much into it.  So he
could be going from “great” to “less-great.”  Or of course, Peavy could
replicate his very great 2007 season for all I know.  I don’t know how
much stock we should put into Peavy’s “decline.”

8)  Cole
Hamels:  ERA+ 145:  Hamels has posted great seasons, back-to-back.  And
as far as changeups go, there are few that are better.  It would be
very realistic for Hamels to be in the top five in all of baseball
sometime during the 2009 season, and a great lefty, with a great
changeup, well, might be very close to Johan Santana (already is).  Not
to forget, Hamels has been great in a few postseason games also, which
only helps I would guess.

9)  Dan Haren:  ERA+ 138:  I was under
the impression that Haren may be more of a number 2 starter,
eventually.  But he was yet again a number 1 in 2008.  Two great
seasons consecutively.  Haren may come down some, but I have no real
evidence that he will either.  Maybe the NL will have adjusted some and
get to him a little more in 2009. 

10)  Tim Lincecum:  ERA+
167:  I know that track record has mattered a lot in these rankings,
and it does.  That is why Lincecum is not in the top five, because he
could be with his type of stuff.  I debated between he John Lackey.  But Lincecum in his first season
struck out more batters per nine than anyone in the game, and not to
mention, had the second best ERA+ in the game.  Lincecum walked more
batters than an ace maybe should, but also gave up the fewest HR per
9.  And Lincecum is still learning how to pitch to an extent, so the
walk totals may decrease moving forward.    


That pic you use on Fire Brand looks like something a kid posts on Facebook accompanied by a manifesto just before he shoots up his school.

Wow, thanks. It was me playing around with my webcam, one of the like three times I have used it in like 2 years. I don’t own a camera, and have little need for a webcam.

Yay Beckett!


Yea, Julia, that guys pretty good.

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