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St Louis-Chicago Rotations Compared

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  • St Louis-Chicago Rotations Compared

    This, again, from my annual baseball preview:

    In all honesty, the gulf that separates the two rotations isn’t nearly as wide as it’s publicly perceived. But it is wide enough. For a little perspective on the matter, let’s take the Cardinal rotation individually and match them against the most-nearly-equivalent member of the Cubs rotation.

    First let’s take Matt Morris. Matty is every bit an answer to Kerry Wood – in spite of the fact that Morris’ stuff is nowhere near comparable. Last year, Matty suffered through an inconsistent, injury-dogged season. It was one of his worst. Wood, on the other hand, may have had his best and healthiest overall season. Their final numbers? Morris 11-8, 3.76; Wood 14-11, 3.20. Morris has won 17 games or more twice in his career – something Wood has failed to do even once. Wood’s 3.20 ERA is the best of his career, so far. Morris has already had three seasons (100+ innings) where his ERA has been better. In fact, Matty’s lifetime ERA (3.28) is only slightly higher than Wood’s best ever ERA. Morris’ presence in the Cardinal rotation negates Wood’s presence in the Cub rotation.

    The number two man in the Cardinal rotation, Woody Williams, will compare favorably with Greg Maddox – at this point in their respective careers. Greg is no longer the elite pitcher that he was during mid-nineties. He is still a solid, veteran contributor – as is Woody. Their numbers from last year were very similar – Maddox, 16-11, 3.96; Williams 18-9, 3.87. Woody is almost exactly four months younger than Greg. Slight edge to Woody.

    Even unheralded Jeff Suppan can negate one of the “golden arms” of Chicago. As he matures, Jeff’s command and effectiveness are becoming more and more consistent. Last year was his best, but not far out of sync with most of his recent performances. Jeff was 13-11, 4.19. Matt Clement of the Cubs was 14-12, 4.11. Not much to choose from there. Again, as far as raw stuff goes, Suppan isn’t close to Clement. But when you look at the results . . . By the way, this was nearly the best season in Matt’s career as well. His 14 wins were a career high, and his ERA was the second best of his career. So it’s not like we’re comparing Suppan’s best year to Clement’s worst. Jeff is about 4½ months younger than Matt. This one is about even.

    Now, however, we have to start stretching. Jason Marquis would most closely match with Carlos Zambrano. As far as raw stuff goes, this might be the Cardinal’s closest match. Both have histories as head cases. Jason’s best ever season was probably 2001. He was 5-6 with a 3.48 ERA. Carlos, last year, was 13-11, 3.11. Jason was 22 in his best season, Carlos is 22 now. As an urban legend rising through Atlanta’s farm system, Jason was the kid with high-90s heat and a devastating slider. When he finally arrived on the scene, his heater was found to be more in the 94-95 range with a plus slider. He was then where Zambrano is now. Issues with command and composure have pushed a kid with top of the rotation stuff to scrapping for a rotation spot with the pitching-challenged Cardinals.

    The Cubs get this match-up, but only as long as Zambrano avoids the pitfalls that have leveled Marquis. Remember, Carlos’ command and composure have been questioned as well.

    Down to the last rotation spots, it’s Mark Prior v. Chris Carpenter. Well. No one really matches up to Prior, so this match will work in the Cubs favor no matter which team you’re comparing against. Oh, sure, you could maybe compare Pedro or Randy Johnson or Curt Schilling – but when you factor in Prior’s age (23) you have to make this concession. So the question is not, “Is Prior better than Carpenter.” The question is “How much better?” Carpenter, of course, still has to prove that he is even healthy enough to pitch a full big-league season. There is no guarantee. If he does make it all the way back to being the pitcher he was at his best, this would be Chris Carpenter circa 1998. He was 12-7, 4.37 that year. Doesn’t quite match up with Prior’s 18-6, 2.43 does it.

    Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, though. Unlike Prior, Carpenter had been rushed into the majors in 1998 and was learning on the job. He was, at that time, the jewel of the Toronto organization. He had the two fastballs (the four-seamer that clocked as high as 95 and the two-seamer that runs away from lefties) and a hard curve that broke almost like a slider. He went 3-0, 2.55 in September that year, as his experience began to catch up with his talent. The Jays had every reason to believe he would develop into the same kind of pitcher that Roy Halladay is now. It was that next season (1999) that his elbow/shoulder problems began.

    Ironically, he was 22 that year (1998) – the same age Zambrano is now and Prior was last season. It’s always sobering to see how little it takes to derail a promising career.

    Carpenter is back, now, and healthy for the moment. There have even been times this spring where he’s thrown the four-seamer with as much giddy-up as it had in his youth. But, as the song states, it’s still “a long-long time from May to December.” The return of Carpenter to prominence – if not dominance – is one of the half-dozen or so things that will have to break right for the Cards if they are going to catch Chicago this year.
    This game's gotta be played with fear and arrogance - Crash Davis

  • #2
    good post Joe
    Go Cards ...12 in 13.


    Comment


    • #3
      How would you rank the durability of the Card's staff vs. Chicago?
      And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

      -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

      Comment


      • #4
        That is a bit off.

        Morris vs Wood is ok, but you compared Woody vs Maddux?

        Thats wrong. It would be Woody vs Prior.

        Compare them for what they are and who they would face.

        They way you did it wasnt accurate
        Official Sponsor of Jim Edmonds & John Smoltz

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JackSparrow@Mar 27 2004, 10:44 AM
          That is a bit off.

          Morris vs Wood is ok, but you compared Woody vs Maddux?

          Thats wrong. It would be Woody vs Prior.

          Compare them for what they are and who they would face.

          They way you did it wasnt accurate
          shhhh!
          . . . and to tell you this: I work with gays, have friends who are gay, go to church with gays. Most of them are aware that I believe that homosexual behavior is sin. Some of them actually agree. Most don't. It's OK . . . because they also know or at least have been made aware of my multitude of sins: adulterous heart, lustful and covetous behavior, wicked pride, angry spirit . . . do I need to go on?
          -mike
          mike smith, post-dispatch online sports editor

          Comment


          • #6
            Wow. That was a nice spin job!

            Prior vs Morris: Advantage - Prior

            Wood vs Woody: Advantage - Wood

            Maddux vs Suppan: Advantage - Maddux

            Clements vs Carpenter: Advantage - Clements

            Zambrano vs Marquis: Advantage - Zambrano

            This is all barring injuries to pitchers for either side, of course.

            Any questions?
            “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

            Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Razzy@Mar 27 2004, 11:25 AM
              Wow. That was a nice spin job!

              Prior vs Morris: Advantage - Prior

              Wood vs Woody: Advantage - Wood

              Maddux vs Suppan: Advantage - Maddux

              Clements vs Carpenter: Advantage - Clements

              Zambrano vs Marquis: Advantage - Zambrano

              This is all barring injuries to pitchers for either side, of course.

              Any questions?
              What's wrong with sliding everyone down a slot and improving the matchups and then leaving the last guy vs Prior.

              The rotation could be setup that way.

              As you know, I'm not a defender or Tony or Walt but I don't a huge problem with the way Joe is doing his comparisons.
              Go Cards ...12 in 13.


              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Razzy@Mar 27 2004, 11:25 AM

                Prior vs Morris: Advantage - Prior

                If he pitches this year. I'm beginning to think he won't. An article in today's Trib speculates that he may not be back until - at least - June.
                Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law ~

                A.C.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TTB+Mar 27 2004, 11:47 AM-->
                  QUOTE (TTB @ Mar 27 2004, 11:47 AM)

                • #10
                  If he pitches this year. I'm beginning to think he won't. An article in today's Trib speculates that he may not be back until - at least - June.
                  I agree, and I think Wood suffers an arm injury this year, too. Maddux is looking like a good sogning for them if for no other reason than depth.
                  His mind is not for rent, to any god or government.
                  Pointless debate is what we do here -- lvr

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Razzy@Mar 27 2004, 11:25 AM
                    Clements vs Carpenter: Advantage - Clements

                    Any questions?
                    Yeah, one question.

                    Who the fuck is """Clements"""???????
                    Official Sponsor of Jim Edmonds & John Smoltz

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by TTB+Mar 27 2004, 11:47 AM-->
                      QUOTE (TTB @ Mar 27 2004, 11:47 AM)

                    • #13
                      Originally posted by JackSparrow+Mar 27 2004, 11:59 AM-->
                      QUOTE (JackSparrow @ Mar 27 2004, 11:59 AM)

                    • #14
                      Originally posted by Razzy+Mar 27 2004, 12:01 PM-->
                      QUOTE (Razzy @ Mar 27 2004, 12:01 PM)
                      Originally posted by [email protected] 27 2004, 11:47 AM

                    • #15
                      The hitting might not quite as good but it will be very good.
                      Oh, I think the offense will be better. Sanders will be more productive than Drew, and whomever plays in left will be better than Tino.

                      I think the bullpen has improved, but I'm suspect of Woody's health and Morris' streakiness.
                      His mind is not for rent, to any god or government.
                      Pointless debate is what we do here -- lvr

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