Rotation Picks





I started the last entry
with my preseason playoff picks, but now it is time for something a little more


Below are
my picks, not predictions, for each big league team’s 2009 starting


  1. Roy Halladay
  2. Jesse Litsch
  3. David Purcey

  4. Casey Janssen
  1. Bryan Bullington


  1. Jeremy Guthrie
  2. Koji Uehara
  3. Rich Hill
  4. Radhames Liz
  5. David Pauley


Tampa Bay
  1. Scott Kazmir
  2. James Shields
  3. Matt Garza
  4. Andy Sonnanstine
  5. Jeff Neimann


  1. Josh Beckett
  2. Jon Lester
  3. Daisuke Matsuzaka
  4. Tim Wakefield
  5. Clay Buchholz


New York
  1. CC Sabathia
  2. Chien-Ming Wang
  3. A.J. Burnett
  4. Andy Pettitte
  5. Joba Chamberlain


  1. Cliff Lee
  2. Fausto Carmona
  3. Anthony Reyes
  4. Aaron Laffey
  5. Jeremy Sowers


Kansas City
  1. Zack Greinke
  2. Gil Meche
  3. Kyle Davies
  4. Luke Hochevar
  5. Brian Bannister


  1. Jeremy Bonderman
  2. Justin Verlander
  3. Armando Galarraga
  4. Edwin Jackson
  5. Chris Lambert



  1. Scott Baker
  2. Kevin Slowey
  3. Francisco Liriano
  4. Kevin Blackburn
  5. Glen Perkins



  1. Mark Buehrle
  2. John Danks
  3. Gavin Floyd
  4. Jose Contreras
  5. Clayton Richard


Los Angeles
  1. John Lackey
  2. Ervin Santana
  3. Joe Saunders
  4. Jered Weaver
  5. Anthony Ortega

  1. Justin Duchscherer
  2. Dana Eveland
  3. Dallas Braden
  4. Sean Gallagher
  5. Gio Gonzalez


  1. Felix Hernandez
  2. Eric Bedard
  3. Jarrod Washburn
  4. Garrett Olson
  5. Ryan Rowland-Smith


  1. Kevin Millwood
  2. Vicente Padilla
  3. Brandon McCarthy
  4. Matt Harrison
  5. Doug Mathis


  1. Derek Lowe
  2. Jair Jurrjens
  3. Javier Vasquez
  4. Kenshin Kawakami
  5. Jo-Jo Reyes


  1. Josh Johnson
  2. Ricky Nolasco
  3. Chris Volstad
  4. Anibal Sanchez
  5. Andrew Miller


New York
  1. Johan Santana
  2. John Maine
  3. Mike Pelfrey
  4. Oliver Perez
  5. Tim Redding


  1. Cole Hamels
  2. Brett Myers
  3. Jamie Moyer
  4. Joe Blanton
  5. J.A. Happ


  1. John Lannan
  2. Scott Olsen
  3. Shawn Hill
  4. Collin Balester
  5. Shairon Martis


  1. Roy Oswalt
  2. Wandy Rodriguez
  3. Mike Hampton
  4. Brian Moehler
  5. Brandon Backe


  1. Yovani Gallardo
  2. Dave Bush
  3. Braden Looper
  4. Manny Parra
  5. Jeff Suppan


St. Louis
  1. Adam Wainwright
  2. Kyle Lohse
  3. Chris Carpenter
  4. Todd Wellemeyer
  5. Mitchell Boggs


  1. Carlos Zambrano
  2. Ryan Dempster
  3. Rich Harden
  4. Ted Lilly
  5. Sean Marshall


  1. Paul Maholm
  2. Ian Snell
  3. Tom Gorzelanny
  4. Zach Duke
  5. Jeff Karstens


  1. Edinson Volquez
  2. Aaron Harang
  3. Johnny Cueto
  4. Bronson Arroyo
  5. Homer Bailey


  1. Brandon Webb
  2. Danny Haren
  3. Doug Davis
  4. Max Scherzer
  5. Jon Garland


Los Angeles
  1. Chad Billingsley
  2. Hiroki Kuroda
  3. Clayton Kershaw
  4. Randy Wolf
  5. James McDonald


San Francisco
  1. Tim Lincecum
  2. Matt Cain
  3. Barry Zito
  4. Randy Johnson
  5. Jonathan Sanchez


San Diego
  1. Jake Peavy
  2. Chris Young
  3. Josh Geer
  4. Cha Seung Baek
  5. Chad Reineke


  1. Aaron Cook
  2. Ubaldo Jimenez
  3. Jason Marquis
  4. Greg Smith
  5. Jason Hirsh



After making these lists
and seeing this
thread, I’ve been inspired to decide which rotation I think is the best.  As I’ve said earlier, I think Cleveland has
the best starting pitching depth, but as far as the most effective starting
five goes, I’ll have to take the Yankees. 
No one in the MLB can match Sabathia, Wang, Burnett, Pettitte, and
Chamberlain.  Plus New York has a bunch
of depth with Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Alfredo Aceves, Humberto Sanchez, Kei
Igawa all in Triple-A presumably.  The
best National League rotation is, in my opinion, the Chicago Cubs.  Of course, that all depends on how healthy
Rich Harden can stay.


And as for the worst…I’d
pick the Astros.  Sure, the Jays or
Pirates may have worse team pitching statistics in 2009, but Houston has
absolutely no depth and a weak collection of pitching prospects (and position
prospects for that matter).


As always, let me know
what you think.  In my next entry I’ll
continue my pre-season predictions/picks with giving my personal predictions
for all the major awards.


  1. juliasrants

    I’m not so sure I see Buchholz at least starting the year as our 5th pitcher – I think Penny might get that. But with Bucholz, Penny and Smoltz (June?) we have a lot of options. Masterson can also be a starter and our bullpen has incredible depth. While you might have placed the Yankees on top – it is not by much over the Red Sox.


  2. happyyoungster

    Our (Brewers) new manager (Ken Macha) has already said he will not make Gallardo the ace of the staff. The fans think he may be ready, but the team does not want to put that kind of pressure on the young kid. Look for Suppan or Bush to be the #1 starter on Opening Day. Suppan’s a stretch…and has a lot to prove to me and other Brewers fans.

  3. Jane Heller

    I’d pick the Yankees’ rotation too, even if I wasn’t a Yankee fan, but I think Joba is still a question mark. Not because he hasn’t had a good spring (he’d been working on his mechanics and trying to add new pitches, which is fine). But because there will continue to be an attempt to limit his innings and use him with caution. He could end up back in the pen by the end of the year.

  4. Lissi

    I think the Indians Starting Rotation will be:
    1. Cliff Lee
    2. Fausto Carmona
    3. Carl Pavano
    4. Anthony Reyes
    5. Aaron Laffey (right now, that might change. The fifth spot is completely up in the air)
    I think the Red Sox have the best starting rotation. It is flattering to hear you say the Indians have the best depth though! That is actually my biggest worry coming into the season.

  5. districtboy

    Julia & Bob – You both are probably correct that Penny will be the 5th man, although in my opinion it would be pretty stupid to put Buchholz in the pen. His future is obviously as a starter and it makes more sense just to send him to Triple-A if they go with Penny.
    Jane – Yeah, the Joba debate will never settle. Although I obviously think he should be starting, I can’t deny the Yankees have a ton of young, qualified pitchers to replace him if he goes to the pen.
    lissi – Actually, the Indians have already said Pavano has a spot if healthy, so I guess my picks were just wishful thinking. Laffey could easily win the spot over Sowers, but it seems like this is Sowers’ last shot for MLB success; he has nothing left to prove in Triple-A. How can you say the Tribe’s depth worries you? They have:
    Miller (If relieving for some reason doesn’t work out)
    Westbrook (When he returns)

  6. Lissi

    I wish I had that kind of faith in our rotation. I am just so worried about it. There aren’t enough proven pitchers in the Majors. When Westbrook comes back it will be a whole lot better though. I like our top 4 a lot. I liked Laffey for the beginning of last year but he wore down in the middle and then got hurt. Maybe he will be better this year. I hope so.

  7. baseballexperiences

    Hey Aaron, nice blog, its diffenent from the snagging type blogs and very informative. How’s nationals park? Have you caught any of the homers? Is it still really empty? Im coming out the end of July, i think i told you that. Joe

  8. districtboy

    Thanks for checking my site out, Joe. However, to answer your question, not only have I never been remotely close to a game HR ball, but I’ve never even sat in the outfield seats at Nationals Park. But the snagging is going pretty well, as you can see from the Ballhawk League stats, I’ve attended 3 games so far and gotten 15 balls (I didn’t go early one of the games). And yes, it’s still really empty; even emptier than last year. But that’s not to say its any easier to get balls. The no-clue Nats closed off the Red Porch for BP this year for no good reason. The RF seats are now open an hour earlier but if doesn’t make up for the loss of the RP. I probably will be there in July during the Mets series and the Friday night Friars match-up.

  9. baseballexperiences

    Congrats on 15. I went to the 2nd game @ YAnkee STadium and got 5. You need to come out this year and visit the new parks. Im goin to citi on sunday 4/26, to see the double-a washington nationals. O wait no, their in the mlb. I remember the red porch was great for snagging. WOW that sucks. The nationals are the stupidest team in the bigs. [ WHy do i like them so much as my second favorite?] So now every outfield part is open 2 1/2 hours right? Ill be there the friday against the friars, and the saturday. I MAY just have a trick up my sleeve to get myself into the red porch, and ill try to get you in.

  10. districtboy

    OK great, see you Friday. I’m eagerly waiting your RP idea. No pressure, but it would be like reuniting with a long lost love (I spent a LOT of time there).

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