The teams that could have the greatest pitching depth

A team can never have too much starting pitching.

A club can start the season knowing full well who its top five starters are, but during that marathon of 162-game season it’s imperative to have depth in your rotation. In 2022, 239 pitchers made at least five starts, an average of almost eight pitchers per team, and it’s always valuable to be able to give the ball to someone who can throw quality innings when you have to fill in for one of your regular starters.

These are the teams with the most depth in their ranks to back their five starters.

1) Mets: David Peterson, Tylor Megill, Joey Lucchesi

The Mets’ rotation is packed with big names, but at the same time there are question marks considering that Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco and José Quintana are all 34 or older, and Kodai Senga has never pitched in the majors. . Fortunately, the arms New York has in its reserves are solid.

Peterse has started games for the Mets in each of the past three years, but he looked better than ever in 2022, pushing his hit rate (30.2%) and strikeouts (27.8%) to career highs while throwing more fastballs. four seams and sliders and fewer sinkers.

Megill also struggled last year, posting a 2.45 ERA and a 2.45 FIP through his first six starts before suffering shoulder problems that limited his availability and ERA over the summer.

2) Giants: Anthony DeSclafani, Kyle Harrison, Jakob Junis

The Giants didn’t get the superstar they were looking for in free agency, but they did sign some solid veterans, including starters Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling. With Logan Webb, Alex Cobb and Alex Wood leading the rotation, San Francisco can take DeSclafani in stride after he made only starts and had surgery on his right ankle last year.

The 32-year-old right-hander is overqualified to be a sixth starter, and in 2021 he posted a 3.17 ERA, 130 ERA+ and 1.09 WHIP in 31 starts. If DeSclafani doesn’t turn around, the Giants could turn to Harrison, the 18th-best prospect in all of baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. The 21-year-old pitcher reached Double-A in 2022 and led the minors in K/9 (14.8).

3) Brewers: Aaron Ashby, Adrian Houser, Bryse Wilson

The Brewers have shown a good shot at pitching development, turning Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff into elite arms, Freddy Peralta an All-Star and Eric Lauer a solid middle-rotation starter. The next big success story could be Ashby’s, whose 4.47 ERA in the majors probably doesn’t reflect his true level.

During his brief major league career, the lefty has shown an ability to rack up strikeouts and ground balls, a recipe that usually translates to success. Steamer, one of the most prominent projections models, predicted a 3.29 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 119 innings for Ashby in 2023.

After Milwaukee signed Wade Miley to be its fifth starter, Ashby is expected to start the season in the bullpen, but could get another chance to start at any time. The Brewers also have Houser, who at times has shown that he can be a decent fifth-starter option.

4) Marlins: Braxton Garrett, Eury Perez, Sixto Sanchez

Despite losing Sanchez for the past two seasons to recurring shoulder problems and fellow prospect Max Meyer to Tommy John surgery in 2022, the Marlins were comfortable enough with their starting pitching depth to send Pablo López to the Twins for his compatriot and AL batting champion Luis Arráez (plus a couple of other prospects) later this month. With López in Minnesota, the Dominican and Cy Young of the National League, Sandy Alcántara, heads a rotation that completes the Peruvian-Venezuelan Jesús Luzardo, the Dominican Edward Cabrera, Trevor Rogers and the Dominican veteran Johnny Cueto.

The complementary arms of Miami’s rotation are led by Garrett, he improved a lot in 2022, leaving a 3.58 ERA, 3.56 FIP and a rotation of 90 strikeouts for 24 walks in 88 innings. The lefty is still just 25 years old and was taken with the seventh overall pick in the 2016 Draft. The big gem here, however, is Dominican Pérez, MLB’s 13th-best prospect. Though he’s just 19, the lanky right-hander is racing toward the Big Top. Sanchez, 24, would be a low card if he makes it back from his latest shoulder surgery.

5) Astros: Hunter Brown, Forrest Whitley, Shawn Dubin

Losing the reigning AL Cy Young would be a huge blow to most teams, but not the Astros. The club’s internal options allowed them to surpass the departures of Gerrit Cole, George Springer and Carlos Correa in past winters, so we expect the same after Justin Verlander signed with the Mets. The Astros still have Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr., José Urquidy and Luis García in the rotation, and Browb (MLB prospect No. 43) is a very good card for a sixth starter. , especially now that he already has experience in the Majors.

Brown burst onto the scene last September and displayed a dominant arsenal through seven appearances (two starts), posting a 0.89 ERA and 22 strikeouts and no home runs allowed in 20 1/2 innings. The Astros would appear higher in this ranking were it not for the serious doubts surrounding their options after the young right-hander.

6) Braves: Ian Anderson, Bryce Elder, Kolby Allard

After missing more than two years with multiple Achilles tendon tears and soreness in his pitching elbow, Mike Soroka is set to return in 2023 and will compete with Anderson for the fifth starting job in the Braves’ rotation this spring. Anderson didn’t have a good time in 2022, but he has shown that he can succeed at the highest level of baseball, posting a 3.25 ERA, 136 ERA+ and a 3.80 FIP in 30 starts in 2020-21. The 24-year-old right-hander has a diminutive 1.26 ERA in eight postseason starts.

Elder posted a 3.17 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) for Atlanta as a rookie last season, though most of his success came in his last five starts (1.65 ERA), all of them against the Marlins or Nationals.

7) Rays: Yonny Chirinos, Taj Bradley, Luis Patino

Five years after pioneering the opener, the Rays are ready to enter the 2023 season with a five-starter rotation.

Chirinos basically missed the past three seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020 and another procedure to repair a fractured right elbow in 2021. When healthy, the right hand has been a valuable arm for the Rays. , with a 3.54 career ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in 49 appearances (29 starts).

8) Dodgers: Bobby Miller, Gavin Stone, Ryan Pepiot

With Walker Buehler having Tommy John surgery last year and Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney both leaving as free agents, the Dodgers apparently have less rotation depth than they usually do, but this is a franchise that has distinguished itself by restocking its major league roster with talent from the farm.

Los Angeles’ reserve arms include three pitchers who are on MLB Pipeline’s new Top 100 Prospects list — No. 24 (Miller), No. 56 (Stone) and No. 70 (Pepiot) — and who are close to be called to the Big Top. All three spent time in Triple-A Oklahoma City last year, including Pepiot already had a bit of a stint with the big team.

9) Guardians: Daniel Espino, Gavin Williams, Tanner Bibee

Cleveland’s pitching factory has been known for producing quality Major League arms, and the team has three hot young prospects who are poised to impact the big-team roster.

Espino (No. 16), Williams (No. 42) and Bibee (No. 65) all made MLB Pipeline’s new Top 100 Prospects list and are projected to reach MLB in 2023. Armed with a fastball with With an 80 rating and a plus-plus slider, Espino is the best of the bunch and is shaping up to be a top-tier starter. You’re not so wrong if you think the Guardians should rank higher on this list, but since these three pitchers haven’t pitched past Double-A yet, the ninth spot seems fair enough.

10) Rangers: Jake Odorizzi, Dane Dunning, Owen White

The Rangers sold out in free agency to improve their rotation this winter, adding Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney to a pitching staff that already included Jon Gray and Martin Perez, who accepted an offer. qualified one year to remain with Texas.

But given the recent injury history of their big signings, the Rangers could use input from some of their options on their depth chart. That includes Odorizzi, who was acquired from the Braves via trade. The 32-year-old veteran has already been called to an All-Star Game, but his performance in the last three seasons (4.45 EFE, 4.48 FIP) prevents the Rangers from having a better ranking. Followed by Dunning, a 28-year-old right-hander with a 94 ERA+ and a 1.40 WHIP through 305 innings at the major league level. White (MLB’s 66th-best prospect) could also get the chance at some point, though the Rangers haven’t had much success with pitching prospects of late.

Just left out: Yankees — Francelis “Frankie” Montas (injured), Clarke Schmidt, Deivi Garcia; Mariners — Chris Flexen, Matt Brash, Emerson Hancock

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