Lost (perhaps on purpose) in the media storm around the Robinson Cano...
Winter Meetings Roundup: Nationals Have Baseball’s Best Rotation–By Far
With the addition of Dan Haren, the Nationals have established themselves as the early favorites in the National League. They’ve also solidified the best starting rotation in the game. By far. The staff boasts Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez , Jordan Zimmerman, Ross Detwiler, and Haren. In all the talk last year about Strasburg’s innings limit, just how effective he was flew under the radar. Stras was an All-Star last year, going 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA which was inflated after some poor late season starts. Gonzalez lead the league in wins with 21 and allowed the fewest HRs/9 innings in the NL. Oh by the way, he finished 3rd in the Cy Young voting. Zimmerman had a sub-3 ERA in almost 200 innings. Detwiler came on strong after Strasburg was shut down and posted a 1.2 WHIP. On top of all that, Haren would be a $20 million a year pitcher if everyone was convinced that he was healthy.
Who has a better starting staff? The Phillies? Nope, not with their age, and who is their 4th starter? The Rangers? Nope, not even a chance without Greinke. The Rays? Maybe in a couple years but James Shields, the Rays number two would be the 4th starter on the Nationals. The Braves? No, the Nats’ division rivals are deep but don’t have the aces that Washington does.
Really, the biggest question for manager Davey Johnson is who to drop when they go to a four man rotation come playoff time. (Assuming they don’t shut down Strasburg again…)