There have been many recent discussions concerning the possibility of the Reds dealing a starting pitcher this off season. Sometimes in these discussions people will tag starting pitchers as being a #1, #2, #3, #4, or #5 starter to describe their level of ability as a starting pitcher. The trouble is, most really don’t have a clear understanding what a pitcher in each of those rotation slots really looks like.

I’ve devised a method of defining what a pitcher in each of these rotation slots looks like that may hopefully clear up some confusion in future discussions of starting pitchers and the rotation slots that they are capable of filling. This method basically uses the starting pitching statistics for the previous season and ranks the pitchers by both ERA (for traditionalists) and then also by XERA (for non-traditionalists). The pitchers are then divided up appropriately into five groups and their numbers averaged to give us an idea of what a league average #1 through #5 starter would look like in each league. Below are the results for each league.

The ERA results.


The XERA results.

2014_rot_slot_xeraBelow is how the Reds starters from last season fell into the NL league average rotation slot definitions. There are no big surprises here. Cueto is a #1, Latos a #2, and Bailey and Leake are #3. Simon, as discussed much around these parts, is a #2 by ERA and a #3 by XERA.


The Reds starting pitching as a total ranks as follows. Note that the staff as a whole performed at the level of a NL #2 starter.

2014_rot_slot_reds_staffI haven’t done this exercise since after the 2011 season and thought with the pitching numbers in MLB improving the last few years and with the Reds potentially dealing SP this winter it would be interesting to see again. I hope you all find it as interesting and enlightening as I do.