The Cubs rotation

25 02 2008

Baseball Musings evaluates the Cubs rotation using Marcel’s projection system.

Starter Innings ER ERA
Carlos Zambrano 190 79 3.74
Ted Lilly 182 86 4.25
Rich Hill 165 77 4.20
Jason Marquis 175 95 4.89
Ryan Dempster 66 33 4.50
Totals 778 370 4.28

A 4.28 combined-ERA is certainly not bad for the Cubs, but I have seen some projecting their ERA to be a little lower. Gallardo’s injury creates a little more room in Chicago’s advantage in the starting rotation, but there are a couple projections that seem a bit off. The projections that stick out to me are the ones for Rich Hill and Ryan Dempster.

The Hardball Times has Rich posting a 4.04 ERA, which is significantly better than the numbers shown here. He’s getting older, and some experts have been predicting him to be in line for a breakout season. He relies heavily on a large curveball and a perfectly placed fastball. I would compare him to Barry Zito, but Hill throws the ball harder. All in all, I think that this projection is a little low, and fans can expect Hill to come out and pitch better than shown here.

Ryan Dempster’s line is deceiving because it has him pitching in the bullpen still, as depicted by only pitching 66 innings. Dempster’s career ERA as a starter is much closer to 5.00, but those starts came when he was younger. He should be able to post a more respectable ERA as a starter now that he is older, but the biggest question is whether or not he’ll be able to withstand a 200-inning season. Not to mention, Jon Lieber is standing in the wings, waiting for Dempster’s first misstep.

No matter which way one looks at it, the Chicago Cubs have a very solid starting rotation.  If Lilly can sustain the improvement he had a year ago and Rich Hill can pitch like he’s capable of, the front of the rotation will be extremely strong.  If Dempster pitches well in the 5th spot in the rotation, the Brewers may be looking at a difficult season trying to keep up with the Cubs.  That is a lot of “ifs,” however.




One response

25 02 2008

Marcel’s projections are almost always wrong. They just take the averages in the past three or so years and taking into consideration age. It’s super simple. and wrong usually.

The Cubs suck. They’ll be the one crying this year.

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