First Pitch: Starting Rotation Rankings

In yesterday’s First Pitch, I included a link to the updated starting pitcher rankings for Fangraphs. As a quick refresher, the Pittsburgh Pirates had Joe Musgrove rated 36th, Mitch Keller 55th, Derek Holland 111th and Chad Kuhl 125th. Trevor Williams didn’t make the top 160. On Monday, Fangraphs ranked the 30 rotations in baseball from best to worst.

As you might expect from those rankings, the Pirates rated low for overall starting rotations. The came in at 23rd overall, last among NL Central clubs. The article is broken up into two halves, with 1-15 posted here, and 16-30 here.

Fangraphs has Musgrove leading the team in innings pitched, following by Williams, Keller, Steven Brault, Kuhl and Holland. They also have Robbie Erlin, Chris Stratton and JT Brubaker getting minimal starting pitcher innings this year.

Despite the rankings we saw yesterday, Williams is projected for 0.8 WAR this season, just behind Keller (0.9) and Musgrove (1.0) and ahead of everyone else on that list. The total projected WAR for the pitching staff is 4.1 this year.

The rest of the NL Central ranks:

7. Reds

15. Brewers

16. Cardinals

17. Cubs

* Pirates play their third exhibition game tomorrow, back at PNC Park against the Cleveland Indians again. If there’s anything going on today (live feed of the scrimmage) we will post a link to the action.

**We will have at least four articles today, including the one you’re currently reading. If any news comes up we will have more. The other scheduled articles for today are as follows:

This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History – The Mike Williams trade and two former players born on this date. It’s a slow day, so I’ll need to write some July 21st Game Rewind articles before next year.

Game Rewind – Speaking of Game Rewinds, we go back to July 1, 1966 for an incredible pitching performance

1979 Season Recap – Pirates go for the sweep against the Astros

Hope everyone has a great Tuesday. Opening Day is just three days away.



This quiz was posted in 2015, something to keep in mind for the final category


John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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