Blog Archives

Jim Leyland’s Rotation of the Century

When it comes to starting pitching there is no team in the 2013 playoffs with a better staff than the Detroit Tigers.  In fact Jim Leyland is sending to the hill the best starting rotation since the great Leo Mazzone/Bobby Cox teams of the 1990’s in Atlanta.

The Tigers have four pitchers with 4+ WAR this season.  Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez have 6 WAR each, Justin Verlander is +5 and Doug Fister has accumulated 4.5 WAR.

The last team with four starters with 4+ WAR is the 1997 Atlanta Braves.  That was the Tom Glavine/Greg Maddux/John Smoltz and Denny Neagle version of the Braves.  Each of those four guys logged 230 innings for Bobby Cox that season.

Back to the Tigers, Rick Porcello is their fifth starter and he has posted 3 WAR over 29 starts.  This is equal to the value provided this season by C.J. Wilson, Ervin Santana and Andy Pettitte.  That is some awesome fifth starter (or long reliever in the playoffs).

To summarize the Detroit Tigers have arguably three number one starters plus a two and a three.  That is a stacked rotation.

Doug Fister dealing down the stretch

Pitching your team into the playoffs is a great way to get notice from the 2nd Half All-Star voters.

With a 23% strikeout rate and only 5% walk rate Doug Fister has been the second half ace for the Detroit Tigers.  Add that he’s allowing only 1 HR every two starts and you’ve got yourself a first time All-Star.