Revamped Rotations: SFG, TOR, and NYM

A fresh look at the Giants, Blue Jays, and Mets starting rotations.

Baseball is back! While the lockout delayed free agent signings and the winter trade market, teams are quickly making up for lost time. Let’s take a look at how a flurry of offseason moves impact some of baseball’s best starting rotations.

Note: the 2022 Projected Starting Rotation shows FanGraphs Steamer Projections while the Key Subtractions show the 2021 final statistics. Showing both should allow you to see the level of production each team needed to replace as well as an estimate of each new pitcher’s output.

 

San Francisco Giants

2022 Projected Starting Rotation

 

Notable Additions

 

Carlos Rodón – The former White Sox lefty reached free agency and just signed a two-year, $44 million contract with San Francisco, which has the feel of a perfect match. San Francisco has been building a reputation of maximizing their starting pitchers’ potential and may be just what Rodón needs to reach his star upside.

In 2021, Rodón logged a 2.37 ERA over 132.2 innings with 185 strikeouts while setting career marks in strikeout rate (34.6%) and walk rate (6.7%), easily his best MLB season to date. Notably, his fastball velocity was up nearly three miles per hour when compared to 2020, and his slider generated a 40% whiff rate, also the highest of his career.

Rodón’s upside is on par with any starting pitcher in the game, but he’s has been hindered by health issues for most of his career having only eclipsed 140 innings pitched once during his seven big league seasons. However, if there is a team to take him to the highest level, it’s the Giants.

Fantasy Impact: Rodón already had plenty of inherent risk heading into draft season, but considering the recent success San Francisco has had with their starting pitchers, it’s triggered his ADP to climb. While his upside is appealing,  draft him cautiously and consider adding more reliable pitchers to your rotation as a means of offsetting some of the injury risk.

 

Alex Cobb – The 34-year-old righty is the next veteran starting pitcher the Giants are tasked with revitalizing. Following a brief stint with the Los Angeles Angels, Cobb finds a new home after signing a two-year, $20 million contract in San Francisco.

In 2021, Cobb managed a 3.76 ERA with 98 strikeouts over 93.1 innings while inducing grounders at a 53.3% rate, one of the better marks in all of baseball. Similar to Rodón, the main issue has been Cobb’s ability to stay healthy. Provided he is on the field, Cobb still possesses the skills to contribute to your fantasy team.

Fantasy Impact: Reaching for Cobb in drafts probably isn’t the best approach, but you can do worse on a late-round flier. It’s tough to count on substantial innings considering his injury history which ultimately limits his upside, but with health he could be a great bargain. Before you draft, check out whether Nick’s Going Deep article; Will Alex Cobb Blossom in San Francisco?

 

Odd One Out

 

Tyler Beede – For a brief moment in time Beede was getting attention as a breakout starting pitcher for 2022. Despite coming off Tommy John surgery, his fastball velocity climbed to 96 miles per hour, he has a career CSW that is just a tick below 30%, and prior to the Rodón signing he had a coveted spot in the starting rotation. These all point to a solid sleeper candidate. This pipe dream was gone as quickly as it came though, as Beede is likely in swingman duties until further notice.

Fantasy Impact: Keep Beede on your watch list. The arms in front of him aren’t exactly pillars of health so he might be the next in line should there be a need. He’s firmly off draft boards in all leagues, but we should monitor how he looks once the season gets underway, and if a starting opportunity arises that will be the time to pounce.

 

Toronto Blue Jays

2022 Projected Starting Rotation

Odd One Out

 

Ross Stripling – Likely will start the season a swingman and is the clear favorite to get any spot starts or the next one up in the event of an injury. He’s a viable streaming option in the right matchups, but is best left on the waiver wire in fantasy leagues until a permanent spot opens up.

Fantasy Impact: Off draft boards until circumstances change.

 

Nate Pearson – The Blue Jays starting rotation depth and a long injury history already had Pearson slated to start the year in the bullpen. With the signing of Kikuchi, it’s becoming more evident that his future is there too. In short spurts, Pearson is as good as any and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him in the late innings sooner than later. There’s limited fantasy appeal in the near term, but monitor how the Blue Jays are deploying the righty once the season gets underway.

Fantasy Impact: Off draft boards until circumstances change.

 

New York Mets

2022 Projected Starting Rotation

 

Notable Additions

 

Max Scherzer – Left the Los Angeles Dodgers in free agency and signed a three-year, $130 million contract with New York. There isn’t much to say about Scherzer that hasn’t already been said, he’s a stud.

Fantasy Impact: Draft with confidence as all signs point to Scherzer being healthy and ready to take on a regular workload. He is 37 years old now so volume could see a dip, but it’s not a winning strategy to look for reasons to not have Scherzer on your team. He’ll easily be a top-10 name off the board in your drafts, current ADP is the fifth pitcher taken in NFBC drafts.

 

Chris Bassitt – Traded on March 12 from Oakland in exchange for prospects JT Ginn and Adam Oller, Bassitt should slot into the Mets rotation as their new #3 starter, behind deGrom and Scherzer. This feels like quite a steal on the surface for the Mets here, though Bassitt is only under contract for the 2022 season.

The 33-year-old is so underrated, perhaps this move to the Big Apple will get him some much-needed attention. He’s finished top-10 in Cy Young voting each of the last two years yet somehow still finds himself ranking in the middle starting pitcher tiers. He’s benefited from the pitcher-friendly confines of the Oakland Coliseum, which in part contributed to outperforming his underlying metrics in every big league season.

Fantasy Impact: For starting pitchers, Bassist is about as “safe” as they come. Citi Field is known as a more neutral park but the newfound offensive support should offer a bump in innings and wins. Furthermore, considering you can comfortably say you’ll have a Top-40 starter at the cost of only a middle-round pick, he’s a great draft day target.

 

Odd One Out

 

Tylor Megill – The second-year righty had an outside chance at a rotation spot heading into 2022, but that door is not closed and locked. He’s likely first in line for a spot start or if there is an opening due to injury, but even if that time comes, he’s best left on the waiver wire.

Fantasy Impact: Off draft boards until circumstances change.

 

Gausman Adaptation: Photo by Keith Allison (https://www.flickr.com/people/27003603@N00) | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Rodón Adaptation: Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)

Greg Gibbons

Pitcher List Dynasty Team, Member FSWA, Vice President of the Cleveland Baseball Federation, Founder of Cleveland Rocks Dynasty (the greatest dynasty league in the Midwest)

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