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In regards to....Part 2

As promised, I'll go over the pitchers within the division right now. Rather than just putting a straight ERA+ number which will penalize innings eaters and reward the oft injured, I'll show both the pitcher's VORP and ERA+ to get a better feel of how far ahead or behind the competition they are. Also, I'm going to try to go deep as far as the 2006 starting pitchers go just to give a better sense of how some clubs were able to make adjustments as the season went along, basically just trying to include every pitcher who gave significant innings in 2006 as well as late season starters we may see next year. San Francisco and Colorado had very stable rotations compared to the other three, so the bottom starters are less relevant except for looking into the future. With the high turnover of the other three teams, sometimes this meant putting some significant 2006 pitchers (Odalis Perez, for instance) into odd categories that might not entirely reflect their true roles with the team (in his case, albatross would have been a better description).

Starter 1

Arizona:  Brandon Webb 68.9, 154
Colorado: Jason Jennings 50.8, 127
Los Angeles: Derek Lowe 49.3, 126
San Diego: Jake Peavy 39.2, 103
San Francisco: Jason Schmidt 49.4, 125

Starter 2

Arizona: Miguel Batista 25.2, 104
Colorado: Aaron Cook 40.6, 116
Los Angeles: Brad Penny 33.6, 106
San Diego: Chris Young 45.8, 122
San Francisco: Matt Cain 34.9, 108

Starter 3

Arizona: Claudio Vargas 13.4, 99
Colorado: Jeff Francis 35.5, 114
Los Angeles: Aaron Sele 12.2, 101
San Diego: Clay Hensley 40.8, 114
San Francisco: Matt Morris 16.0, 90

Starter 4

Arizona: Enrique Gonzalez 1.8, 84
Colorado: Josh Fogg 4.6, 88
Los Angeles: Chad Billingsley 17.0, 121
San Diego: Woody Williams 27.3, 116
San Francisco: Noah Lowry 17.7, 95

Starter 5

Arizona: Livan Hernandez 16.1, 127
Colorado: Byung Hyun Kim 4.9, 86
Los Angeles: Brett Tomko 97
San Diego: Chan Ho Park 88
San Francisco: Jamey Wright 87

Starter 6

Arizona: Orlando Hernandez -0.4, 78
Colorado: Zach Day -7.7, 45
Los Angeles: Greg Maddux 139
San Diego: Mike Thompson 85
San Francisco:  Jonathan Sanchez 91

Starter 7

Arizona: Russ Ortiz -5.1, 63
Colorado: Ubaldo Jimenez 137
Los Angeles: Jae Weong Seo 79
San Diego: David Wells 121

Starter 8

Arizona: Edgar Gonzalez 8.6, 113
Colorado: Miguel Ascencio -2.8, 102
Los Angeles: Mark Hendrickson 98
San Diego: Tim Stauffer 282

2007 Projected Rotations:


  1. Webb (even)
  2. Livan Hernandez (+)
  3. ??? (+)
  4. Claudio Vargas? (+)
  5. E. Gonzalez? (-)
  6. the other E. Gonzalez? (even)
  7. Micah Owings (+)
  8. Dustin Nippert (even)
  1. Jennings? (even to -)
  2. Cook (even to +)
  3. Francis (even to +)
  4. Kim (- to ++)
  5. Jimenez (+)
  6. Fogg (+)
  7. Denny Bautista (+)
  8. Greg Reynolds (+)
Los Angeles:
  1. ??? (+)
  2. Lowe (even)
  3. Penny (+)
  4. Maddux? (+)
  5. Billingsley (+)
  6. ? (--)
  7. ? (+)
  8. Elbert
San Diego:
  1. Peavy? (+)
  2. ??? (even)
  3. Young (even)
  4. Hensley (even)

  5. Stauffer? (+)
San Francisco:
  1. Cain (- to +)
  2. Morris (-)
  3. Doesn't matter
  4. Lowry (even)
  5. Sanchez (+)
  6. it gets pretty ugly if you go any further than #5.
Summary: Los Angeles is looking to take advantage of a weak division by grabbing a significant upgrade to their rotation this offseason. There's trouble, however, in that there is precisely one pitcher (Zito) left who can really be counted on to be a top of the rotation pitcher, and one (Schmidt) that teams can only hope stays a top of the rotation pitcher. If the Dodgers sign Zito, beating out a lot of competition, and the Padres sign Schmidt, the Rockies should definitely go ahead and look to trading Jennings because it would be very difficult to overcome those rotations without having a very stacked lineup. Of course, if we traded JJ for a center fielder, that could be exactly what we'd have at that point.

Arizona really needs at least two quality starting pitchers to take another step forward, I don't know if they'll be able to pull it off given what's available (unless they send us Upton for JJ, do it D-backs!). There are several mid to late season call-ups that could impact things from the minors. Jimenez might be one of the earliest arrivals, with at least a chance to take a job out of Spring training. The Dodgers, D-backs and Padres are usually also active in obtaining pitchers mid-stream via trade, so I'm leaving a couple of spots with question marks. San Francisco figures to have a weakened rotation sans Schmidt as well as a weakened lineup from a last place team to begin with (half a game over AZ and CO is meaningless) so I'm not going to really worry about analyzing them.

Spot Starter/Long Relief

Arizona: Juan Cruz 19.8, 114
Colorado: Justin Hampson -1.3, 64
Los Angeles: Hong Chi Kuo 109
San Diego: Dewon Brazelton 35
San Francisco: Brad Hennessey 13.6


Arizona (1): Jose Valverde 2.1, 84
Arizona (2): Jorge Julio 10.5, 124
Colorado: Brian Fuentes 19.8, 140
Los Angeles: Takashi Saito 32.8, 222
San Diego: Trevor Hoffman 25.7
San Francisco: Armando Benitez 128

Set-up 1

Arizona: Brandon Lyon 15.4, 122
Colorado: Jose Mesa 17.7, 125
Los Angeles: Jonathan Broxton 26.2, 177
San Diego: Scott Linebrink 18.9, 118

Set-up 2

Arizona: Luis Vizcaino 18.5, 133
Colorado: Ramon Ramirez 18.8, 139
Los Angeles: Joe Beimel 20.9, 155
San Diego: Cla Meredith 27.9, 396
San Francisco: Kevin Correia 19.9

Reliever 1

Arizona: Brandon Medders 12.0, 131
Colorado: Tom Martin 5.0, 94
Los Angeles: Danys Baez 105
San Diego: Jon Adkins 106

Reliever 2

Arizona: Greg Aquino 6.2, 107
Colorado: Ray King 4.9, 108
Los Angeles: Odalis Perez 69
San Diego: Brian Sweeney 15.2, 132

Reliever 3

Colorado: Manuel Corpas 133
Los Angeles: Tim Hamulack 72
San Diego: Scott Cassidy 167
San Diego (2): Alan Embree 13.2, 129

This is taking too long, so I'll just post what I've got so far and give a 2007 projection and come back later to fill in some of the nitty-gritty details.

2007 Closers:

Pretty much everybody stays the same, and you see three solid teams in Colorado, Los Angeles and San Diego, one that could join them in Arizona if Jorge Julio takes a step forward, and then whatever junk the Giants throw out there.

2007 Setup:

Colorado's looking to upgrade over Mesa, and THE CLA will move to the eighth inning role for San Diego. I don't know if Dotel will cut it for us, look for the Rockies and Snakes to lag behind SD and LA in the eighth inning at least to start the year.

The seventh inning's another matter as the four most competitive teams should have solid support.

2007 Rest of the bullpen:

The Padres had the deepest pen in 2006 and should have it again in 2007, this latest trade with the Mets for Royce Ring and Heath Bell being another good example why. Los Angeles always has a ready pipeline of pitchers, so they'll keep up and find somebody good for these roles by midseason. Colorado and Arizona are a little more questionable, but I like how the Rockies have been putting things together so far.