NL Central Smackdown: The Aces

Left Fielders | Poll
Right Fielders | Poll
Center Fielders | Poll
Catchers | Poll
Third Basemen | Poll
Shortstops | Poll
2nd Basemen | Poll
1st Basemen | Poll

 

I had to take a little break to bash Brenneman yesterday, but NL Central Smackdown is back. I was going to just try and cover all the pitching in one post and have you guys vote on the pitching staffs as a whole. But who really want to decide between Brandon Backe vs Braden Looper. On the other hand, the crown for the best staff ace is worthy of discussion.

Let's see how it breaks down...

Player 3-Year Warp-3 Average
3 Year Warp-3 Projection
Rob's Ranking
Carlos Zambrano
8.1 4.1 3
Ben Sheets 5.13 3.47 4
Adam Wainwright 7 (1 year) 3.6 5
Roy Oswalt
8.7 4.57 2
Aaron Harang
8.3 4.9 1
Ian Snell 4.43 3.6 6


 

 

 

 

 


The Justification: I just put Ian Snell in there so the Pirates didn't feel slighted. I won't even bother putting him in the poll. The list doesn't even include Chris Carpenter and Yovani Gallardo. And once again I remind everyone, I did these rankings before the year started.

It was pretty much a toss-up between Harang, Oswalt and Z for the top spot and if Ben Sheets could stay healthy, he's probably got the best stuff of the group. Z had been on a steady decline since 2004 in ERA and his peripheral numbers so I knocked him down to the three spot. Oswalt just got nudged by Harang due to my concerns over his dropping K rate. And Wainwright hadn't quiten proven himself to be considered with those heavyweights.

But now it's 2008 and Z is looking as good as ever, while Oswalt and Harang struggle out of the gate. Although in Harang's case, he's just not getting much run support. Sheets has been healthy for the most part and dominating and Wainwright has been matching all of them start for start.

So how say you? There's another poll for you guys to fill out below this and I'll leave the old polls open until we finish this.

Please note, you do have to register to vote. This isn't some scheme to solicit registrations, it's just an anomaly of the site and the poll software that's built in. Trust me, I'd love to fix it, but I haven't found another piece of integrated software that does these ranking polls which I really like. Plus if you register, you get a better user experience as I tend to test everything as a registered user and you get an uncached version of the site. You can also view the results of the poll after you vote, instead of having to wait until I close it. It takes all of two minutes to register and unlikes some sites, I'll be more than happy to cancel your account if you wish. You'll never receive any spam from us either...promise.

Comments

There is very little that separates 1 - 4.

If Z's demeanor matches up with his talent (like what he is doing so far this season) then he is a stand out 1st and the rest of these guys fight for 2nd.

I'm not really up on WARP 3. What's with the precipitous drop off for all these guys (esp. Z, Oswalt, & Harang) from the past three years to the future projections? Is it age and abuse or what?

I ranked them thusly:

Harang
Zambrano
Sheets
Wainwright
Oswalt
Pirates?

Maybe a little homerism, but Z is very durable. That's worth alot, despite his inconsistency.

On Oswalt, I am probably biased by the fact that I saw him get knocked around at Wrigley this year, he seems to have lost something off his stuff.

Only one more year of Sheets for us. I nominate him as "Most Likely to Get a Large Contract Offer from the New York Yankees this coming offseason"

Ben "Mark Prior" Sheets has to be last in my book. You just can't be a great ace from the training room and/or during rehab starts.

Recent comments

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  • 34-14...awww yeah.

    crunch 54 min 22 sec ago view
  • Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]

    Eric S 2 hours 15 min ago view
  • ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.

    cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/

    crunch 2 hours 49 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 45 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 48 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 57 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 6 hours 40 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 11 hours 26 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 11 hours 27 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 21 hours 8 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 1 day 6 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 1 day 18 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 1 day 27 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 1 day 32 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 1 day 50 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 1 day 1 hour ago view