Top 5 Starting Rotations
Despite the loss of Frankie Montas for most, if not all, of the 2023 season, the Yankees’ rotation projects to be the best in baseball. Gerrit Cole and Carlos Rodón offer pretty much all one can ask for in a one-two punch. Cole is coming off one of the best years of his career and Rodon is coming off his best season yet. Questions still, however, remain as to if Rodon can get through another season without spending significant time on the injured list.
Luis Severino was good in 2022 and he should only get better in 2023 as he becomes further removed from Tommy John surgery. As for Nestor Cortes, he showed serious potential in 2021 and carried it into 2022 to blow away all expectations. Following Cortes is Domingo Germán who could be replaced by Montas in late 2023 depending on how quickly his rehab from shoulder surgery progresses.
- Max Scherzer
- Justin Verlander
- Kodai Senga
- Carlos Carrasco
- José Quintana / David Peterson / Tylor Megill / Joey Lucchesi / Elieser Hernandez
The Mets also possess all that can be asked for when it comes to their first two starting rotation members. Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander have been putting up lengthy and pristine seasons for so long that there is little doubt that they can do so once more in 2023. The only thing is, that they have been doing it for so long. Scherzer and Verlander are a couple of the best pitchers in baseball, but they must continue to defy their ages in order to remain the best.
As can be said about so many rotations, the remainder of the Mets’ rotation has a lofty ceiling, albeit with so many question marks in the way of reaching it. Kodai Senga, one of the Mets’ most noteworthy free agent signings, has never thrown a pitch in MLB’s regular season and has struggled so far in his limited exposure in spring training. Nevertheless, he brings with him his famed “ghost-fork” pitch that may baffle major league hitters.
Veteran Carlos Carrasco should be a more than solid mid-to-back end rotation piece. Fangraphs projects the righty to go about 150 innings while posting an ERA just above 4.00. Fangraphs similarly had José Quintana throwing around 150 innings in 2023, but that did not factor in his recent rib fracture. Now there is a group of depth arms, consisting of David Peterson, Tylor Megill, Joey Lucchesi, and Elieser Hernandez, being stretched out to hold down the fifth spot until Quintana returns.
Max Scherzer, Pitch Clock Gamesmanship.
Long hold. Adams takes his only time out.
Then Max stays set so he can pitch as soon as Adams is ready. pic.twitter.com/3uj9ucDFEl
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 3, 2023
Atlanta surely has a more complete rotation with fewer question marks than the Mets, but New York’s one-two punch earned them the superior spot. Atlanta’s rotation has played a huge part in the team’s recent accomplishments. The rotation carried a 3.88 ERA throughout its championship season and an even better ERA during last year’s 101-win season.
Max Fried has comfortably settled into his role as Atlanta’s ace over the past few seasons, and Charlie Morton has been around for the last two seasons offering some stellar production and a veteran presence. That veteran presence likely played a role in Kyle Wright’s breakout last season as well as Spencer Strider’s impressive rookie campaign. Nevertheless, questions still remain regarding Strider’s pitch mix and whether Ian Anderson can bounce back after a rocky 2022.
There were some reports and speculation throughout the offseason that a trade involving an elite Brewers starter was imminent, but it now appears that they will both be around until at least the 2023 trade deadline. Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff are instrumental in earning their rotation a top spot. They can both be expected to be highly effective while carrying a heavy inning load in 2023.
The rest of Milwaukee’s rotation is comprised of a group of true mid-rotation arms. If healthy, Eric Lauer, Freddy Peralta, and Wade Miley should manage to comfortably make their way through around 150 innings each while keeping their ERAs below 4.00.
The Phillies’ outlook is similar to that of the Brewers. Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler serve as two top-tier pitchers to steer the rotation and the other three guys are somewhere between good and decent. Nola is coming off the best season of his career in which he racked up 6.3 fWAR while carrying a 0.96 WHIP through 205 innings. 2023 being a contract year for the righty, he is unlikely to disappoint. As for Wheeler, he battled the injury bug in 2022 but still threw over 150 innings while compiling 4.1 fWAR.
Ranger Suárez blossomed into a solid mid-rotation piece during 2021 and 2022. He pitched 261.1 innings with a 2.27 ERA between those two seasons. Perhaps even more importantly, the southpaw was one of Philadelphia’s most effective pitchers throughout the 2022 postseason.
Taijuan Walker, and whether or not he can remain consistent for most of the season, will be essential for the success of the Phillies’ rotation. He succeeded to that end as part of the Mets rotation in 2022, having had only one month with an ERA north of 4.00. The veteran has, however, had his fair share of struggles throughout his many years of major league service prior to 2022.
Philladephia’s fifth rotation spot is still somewhat up in the air. Bailey Falter is likely to at least begin the season in that spot, but barring any serious hiccups, Andrew Painter, who went 13th overall in the 2021 draft, is likely to debut and get a shot at assuming that role at some point this season.
19-year-old Andrew Painter picks up his first K on a cutter in his Spring Training debut for the @Phillies.
MLB's No. 1 pitching prospect averaged 96.8 mph on his 19 fastballs, topping out at 99. pic.twitter.com/WPdmjWuRqO
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) March 1, 2023
The Runners Up
Nick Martinez, Disgusting Changeups. 🤮 pic.twitter.com/IeUBqlOaiN
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 12, 2022
10) Texas Rangers
Jon Gray, Nasty Sliders. 🤧
8Ks thru 6 pic.twitter.com/vSb8sdh84r
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 14, 2022