This post tries to project the starting rotations for all MLB teams. If you’ve been unfazed by earlier warnings about the Braves, please reconsider your level of fazedness. Using both wins and run differential, Atlanta was the team in the division that improved the most between 2006 and 2007. Their projected rotation is clearly the best in the division. Smoltz, Hudson, Glavine, James and Hampton looks pretty bad even as it is, but I’d be surprised if new acquisition Jair Jurrjens doesn’t wind up getting more starts than Hampton.

In seven starts with the Tigers last season, Jurrjens, a righty who turns 22 next month, went 3-1 with a 1.14 ratio while throwing to a 4.70 ERA. Opponents hit .220 against him. Righties hit .167 with an 0.61 ratio.

The Braves still have some problems in the outfield and hopefully in their pen as well. But their offense is just good and their starting pitching is looking strong as well. Barring an injury to an Atlanta starter, it’s hard to imagine the Phillies adding another starter between now and April that would take them into the season with a stronger rotation than the Braves.

Other people could just let who the fifth outfielder and backup center fielder is just die. But this is a full-service operation. In that spirit, I’ve added So Taguchi’s career numbers as a center fielder to the chart that includes the career numbers in center for Werth, Victorino and Rowand:


Player

G

GS

Inn

FPCT

R
F

ZR
Werth 40 29 259.2 .967 3.10 .907
Victorino 90 72 691.2 1.000 2.51 .850
Rowand 724 657 5878.1 .989 2.67 .913
Taguchi 225 129 1268.0 .983 2.43 .877

Again, I’m sure Werth’s numbers would look a lot worse given more innings. But I still wouldn’t carry a fifth outfielder based primarily on his ability to play center field as Victorino insurance.