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Predicting every team's starting rotation

January 27, 2020

With rosters coming together and Spring Training right around the corner, MLB.com is taking a look at what each club’s Opening Day rotation likely would look like … if the season started today. With the help of club beat writers, here are those projections.

With rosters coming together and Spring Training right around the corner, MLB.com is taking a look at what each club’s Opening Day rotation likely would look like … if the season started today. With the help of club beat writers, here are those projections.

Who's the best OD starter? We rank all 30

AL EAST

Blue Jays

The Blue Jays are in a much different position from when they headed into the offseason, with a mostly solidified starting rotation, as well as starting depth in the Minor Leagues to help get through the year. The addition of Hyun-Jin Ryu in December gave Toronto a bona fide ace, and bringing Tanner Roark and Chase Anderson into the fold offered stability to a rotation that lacked in that area. After Matt Shoemaker made only five starts last year, the Blue Jays are hoping for a healthy season from the right-hander, which would leave just the fifth spot potentially open for competition at Spring Training. Japanese hurler Shun Yamaguchi has experience both in the bullpen and rotation. Young hurlers Trent Thornton and Ryan Borucki could use the spring to make their cases to head north with the team. -- Alexis Brudnicki

Rotation if the season started today:

1) Hyun-Jin Ryu

2) Tanner Roark

3) Matt Shoemaker

4) Chase Anderson

5) Shun Yamaguchi

Orioles
The Orioles are still in the market for a veteran starting pitcher to add to this mix, which is full of question marks from the top down. Can last year’s American League Rookie of the Year runner-up, John Means, replicate his 2019 breakout? Can Alex Cobb stay healthy? What can the Orioles expect from Asher Wojciechowski, Kohl Stewart and Rule 5 Draft pick Brandon Bailey? How much will the club's No. 11 prospect, Keegan Akin; Rule 5 pick Michael Rucker; David Hess; or others fight for back-end jobs come camp? Competition will be the theme once again this spring in Sarasota, especially when it comes to the rotation. -- Joe Trezza

Rotation if the season started today:
1) John Means
2) Alex Cobb
3) Asher Wojciechowski
4) Kohl Stewart
5) Brandon Bailey

Rays
After using the opener strategy over the last two seasons, the Rays will enter 2020 with a more traditional rotation, and it could be one of the best in the American League. Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow and Yonny Chirinos were out for extended periods last season but are fully healthy heading into Spring Training. Snell, Glasnow and Chirinos will join Charlie Morton and Ryan Yarbrough to form a strong rotation. The Rays also have quality depth in the rotation. Brendan McKay, Jalen Beeks, Anthony Banda and Trevor Richards are all options if one of the starters goes down with an injury. The only remaining question for Tampa Bay is who will start on Opening Day against the Pirates. -- Juan Toribio

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Charlie Morton
2) Blake Snell
3) Tyler Glasnow
4) Ryan Yarbrough
5) Yonny Chirinos

Red Sox
The strength of a World Series championship team in 2018 was the weakness of an underachieving, third-place team last year. But it’s easy to see this group getting back on track if Chris Sale and David Price simply stay healthy. That wasn’t the case last year. Sale’s inconsistent season ended early because of elbow inflammation. Price had a cyst on his left wrist that limited his effectiveness in his final few starts before he had to shut it down for the year. Both lefties are elite when on their games. And last year, lefty Eduardo Rodriguez broke out with a 19-win season that the Red Sox think he can build on. Nathan Eovaldi -- the only current righty in the rotation -- was inconsistent and injured last year. Can he rebound? Lefty Martin Pérez, a free-agent signing who got off to a strong start with the Twins last season before faltering, has replaced Rick Porcello to fill out the rotation. Don’t be surprised if the Red Sox deal Price or Eovaldi before the season starts to open up some payroll. If that happens, look for Boston to go with an opener for the final spot in the rotation. -- Ian Browne

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Chris Sale
2) David Price
3) Eduardo Rodriguez
4) Nathan Eovaldi
5) Martin Pérez

Yankees
Starting pitching was considered the Yankees’ weakness throughout last season, a campaign in which they still managed to win 103 regular-season games and advance to the American League Championship Series. The addition of Gerrit Cole figures to cement the Yankees as World Series favorites, pacing a staff that includes rotation locks in Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton and Luis Severino. J.A. Happ will be challenged for the No. 5 slot by a group of younger hurlers, including Jordan Montgomery, Deivi Garcia, Michael King and Jonathan Loaisiga. -- Bryan Hoch

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Gerrit Cole
2) Masahiro Tanaka
3) James Paxton
4) Luis Severino
5) J.A. Happ

AL CENTRAL

Indians
The Indians have to name a new Opening Day starter for the first time since 2014 now that Corey Kluber has been traded to the Rangers. The three guarantees of the Tribe’s five-man rotation are Mike Clevinger, Shane Bieber and Carlos Carrasco, all of whom have given convincing cases as to why they’d deserve the ball for the first game of the year. But the remaining two spots are still left up in the air. Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale saved the Indians last year as the club’s pitching staff battled through a handful of injuries. But now that Adam Plutko is out of options, the Tribe has to decide if it wants him in the rotation or the bullpen. It seems likely that he’d start the year as a starter and move to the bullpen if it doesn’t work out, meaning Plesac or Civale would have to start the year in Triple-A. -- Mandy Bell

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Mike Clevinger
2) Shane Bieber
3) Carlos Carrasco
4) Aaron Civale
5) Adam Plutko

Royals
General manager Dayton Moore told us at the Winter Meetings that the bullpen solutions could involve moving Jorge López and Glenn Sparkman, who are potential starters, to middle or short relief. That opens a spot for one of the Royals' prospects to grab the fifth and final spot in the rotation -- Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch, etc. Should be a fun camp. -- Jeffrey Flanagan

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Brad Keller
2) Danny Duffy
3) Jakob Junis
4) Mike Montgomery
5) Brady Singer

Tigers
Until top prospects Casey Mize and Matt Manning get their chance, possibly by midseason, and Michael Fulmer returns from Tommy John surgery, the Tigers will have much the same rotation as last season. The difference is that manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson are counting on continued improvement from Matthew Boyd, Daniel Norris and Spencer Turnbull. Norris could be particularly interesting to watch after he posted a 2.25 ERA over his final eight starts last season, all three-inning outings due to season limits. He’s expected to stretch out this year and said he strength-trained “like a linebacker” this offseason in between surfing adventures in California and Hawaii. Boyd hopes to re-establish his changeup as an effective third pitch after hitters sat on his fastball-slider combination down the stretch last year. Zimmermann says he’s healthy this year and looking to continue his transition to a sinkerballer entering the final season of his five-year contract. -- Jason Beck

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Matthew Boyd
2) Daniel Norris
3) Spencer Turnbull
4) Jordan Zimmermann
5) Ivan Nova

Twins
Don’t rule out the possibility of additional moves, but in the midst of what president of baseball operations Derek Falvey describes as a slow trade market for starters, Minnesota’s projected rotation will likely include two rookies while the club awaits the returns of Michael Pineda (suspended until mid-May) and Rich Hill (elbow surgery; June/July return estimate). A pair of 2019 All-Stars will lead the way in José Berríos and Jake Odorizzi, while pitching coach Wes Johnson is excited about Homer Bailey, whom the Twins believe to have made concrete improvements in Oakland last season. There should be a competition for the final two Opening Day rotation spots between Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer and Lewis Thorpe, and look for prospects Jordan Balazovic, Jhoan Duran and Sean Poppen to also pop up during the season. -- Do-Hyoung Park

Rotation if the season started today:
1) José Berríos
2) Jake Odorizzi
3) Homer Bailey
4) Randy Dobnak
5) Lewis Thorpe

White Sox
The White Sox fell short in their pursuit of free agent Zack Wheeler early on in the offseason, but that near-miss certainly didn’t stop the upgrade process for their starting five. Dallas Keuchel and Gio González present left-handed balance along with consistent innings-eaters, and Keuchel’s 60.1% ground-ball rate last season was the highest of 152 pitchers with at least 250 batted balls induced. That style of pitching should play well at hitter-friendly Guaranteed Rate Field. Lucas Giolito established himself as a top-of-the-rotation starter in 2019 and believes the changes he made only mark the beginning of what he can accomplish on the mound. The White Sox have strong reinforcements behind this group, with Michael Kopech and Carlos Rodón on the recovery trail from Tommy John surgery. Kopech is expected back to the Majors earlier than Rodón. -- Scott Merkin

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Lucas Giolito
2) Dallas Keuchel
3) Dylan Cease
4) Gio Gonzalez
5) Reynaldo López

AL WEST

Angels
After missing out on Gerrit Cole, the Angels largely abandoned their search for an impact arm, preferring to instead bolster their lineup by signing star third baseman Anthony Rendon to a seven-year, $245 million deal. They settled on more modest upgrades to their rotation, adding Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran, two durable arms whom they hope can stabilize a pitching staff that has been decimated by injuries in recent years. Los Angeles' hopes for developing an ace center around Shohei Ohtani, who is expected to return to a two-way role this year now that he's completed his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Ohtani will be limited to starting once a week as he eases his way back into action, so the Angels will likely return to a six-man rotation to accommodate him. Matt Andriese, who was acquired from the D-backs in mid-January, will be given the opportunity to compete for a rotation spot this spring, though he could end up pitching out of the bullpen. Patrick Sandoval and Félix Peña will also be in the mix to fill out the starting staff. -- Rhett Bollinger

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Shohei Ohtani
2) Andrew Heaney
3) Griffin Canning
4) Dylan Bundy
5) Julio Teheran
6) Matt Andriese

Astros
The top of the rotation is strong with the return of veteran starters Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke, but the Astros have challenges ahead of them in 2020, many more than they have had in recent years. The loss of Gerrit Cole will hurt, obviously. Lance McCullers Jr. will be on an innings limit after spending 2019 recovering from Tommy John surgery, and Jose Urquidy, even with his stunning contributions last postseason, is still a little bit of an unknown with regard to how he’ll perform long-term. Brad Peacock’s versatility that allowed him to jump between the rotation and the ‘pen in past years could be in play again, presuming he stays healthy. The addition of swingman Austin Pruitt will help stabilize the rotation some, but overall, the rotation -- typically a strength -- appears to have taken a step back this offseason. -- Alyson Footer

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Justin Verlander
2) Zack Greinke
3) Lance McCullers Jr.
4) Jose Urquidy
5) Brad Peacock

A’s
The pitching situation in Oakland entering Spring Training is much different than it has been in the past few years. Usually looking for cheap, last-minute additions to piece together the rotation, A’s pitchers are fully healthy from injuries to give the club some much-needed depth. Sean Manaea and Mike Fiers, who both made strong cases to start the 2019 American League Wild Card Game, figure to anchor the staff. Frankie Montas, who was pitching like a surefire All-Star before receiving an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drug use, returns with high expectations to replicate that first-half success. The future is now in the back end of the rotation, with two electric left-handed rookies in Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk, who impressed in their 2019 cameos out of the bullpen. Chris Bassitt will likely begin the year in the bullpen, but he found success as a starter last year, and he could be called upon to start again this season in a swing role. -- Martín Gallegos

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Mike Fiers
2) Sean Manaea
3) Frankie Montas
4) Jesus Luzardo
5) A.J. Puk

Mariners
Marco Gonzales returns as the No. 1 starter, and the 27-year-old lefty went 16-13 with a 3.99 ERA and a career-high 203 innings last season. But the rest of the Mariners’ rotation has question marks. Yusei Kikuchi, a 28-year-old southpaw from Japan, struggled last year in his first season in MLB. Kendall Graveman, a two-time A’s Opening Day starter, missed most of the past two seasons following Tommy John surgery before signing a one-year, $2 million deal in free agency. Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn are well-regarded rookie prospects, but they have just a combined 45 1/3 innings of big league time. General manager Jerry Dipoto likely will sign another experienced free-agent starter before Spring Training for added depth as Seattle awaits the maturation of more top prospects like Logan Gilbert, George Kirby and others. -- Greg Johns

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Marco Gonzales
2) Yusei Kikuchi
3) Justus Sheffield
4) Kendall Graveman
5) Justin Dunn

Rangers
The Rangers say they feel much better about their rotation going into Spring Training than they have in several years. They will have reason to feel that way if Corey Kluber makes a strong comeback from the fractured forearm that limited him to seven starts last season. If so, Texas has a formidable trio at the top of its rotation. Five veteran starters give the Rangers a chance to give young left-handers Brock Burke, Kolby Allard and Joe Palumbo more development time in the Minor Leagues. -- T.R. Sullivan

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Mike Minor
2) Lance Lynn
3) Corey Kluber
4) Kyle Gibson
5) Jordan Lyles

NL EAST

Braves
The construction of the Braves’ bullpen will be heavily influenced by how Félix Hernández fares after he comes to Spring Training on a Minor League contract. An effective Hernández would further strengthen a rotation that was bolstered by the offseason addition of Cole Hamels. With Hamels, the Braves have created some reliability within the middle of their rotation and gained a veteran lefty who could impact the development of Max Fried and the club’s other young pitchers. Sean Newcomb will be given a chance to return to a starting role, but his presence in the bullpen might be deemed more valuable. If Hernández wins the fifth spot, he could be a season-long asset or somebody who bridges the gap for a few months until either of the club’s two highly rated prospects -- Kyle Wright and Ian Anderson -- are ready. Mike Soroka showed he has the potential to be elite for many years to come, and Mike Foltynewicz’s late-season rebound created hope regarding his potential to get back to his level of 2018. -- Mark Bowman

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Mike Soroka
2) Cole Hamels
3) Mike Foltynewicz
4) Max Fried
5) Sean Newcomb

Marlins
Starting pitching is arguably the strength of the organization. The Marlins have the building blocks for a strong rotation, which is projected to be headlined by Sandy Alcantara, an All-Star in 2019. The 24-year-old logged 197 1/3 innings last year and tossed two complete games. Caleb Smith, the lone lefty projected for the rotation, was a standout in the first two months last year but dealt with left hip inflammation that cost him a month. When healthy, Smith has swing-and-miss stuff. Pablo López has middle-of-the-rotation potential but has been sidetracked by a right shoulder issue in each of his first two seasons. The other two spots are up for grabs. Jordan Yamamoto, Elieser Hernandez and Robert Dugger are the most big league tested. The real exciting news for Miami fans is that prospects Sixto Sanchez and Edward Cabrera -- both throw 100 mph -- are expected to reach Miami at some point in 2020. They might have to wait their turn, as prospect Nick Neidert could get that call first. -- Joe Frisaro

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Sandy Alcantara
2) Caleb Smith
3) Pablo López
4) Jordan Yamamoto
5) Elieser Hernandez

Mets
The most significant question facing the Mets this spring will be who fills out the back end of their rotation. Rick Porcello seems likely, given the $10 million guarantee on his contract, and Steven Matz appears to deserve the other spot on merit. But the Mets gave Michael Wacha a contract laden with games-started incentives and will give him a chance to compete in Spring Training. If everyone is healthy, this won’t be an easy decision. -- Anthony DiComo

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Jacob deGrom
2) Noah Syndergaard
3) Marcus Stroman
4) Rick Porcello
5) Steven Matz

Nationals
The best rotation in baseball in 2019 (per bWAR standards) returns essentially untouched for ’20: Max Scherzer with two years left on his franchise-altering deal, Stephen Strasburg re-signed to a seven-year deal himself, Patrick Corbin with five years left and Aníbal Sánchez with one and a club option for ’21. Really, the only lingering question is who fills the fifth spot. Austin Voth appears to have the inside track based on ’19 performances, but he will compete against Joe Ross, Erick Fedde and any other Spring Training surprises for a spot in the rotation. -- Zachary Silver

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Max Scherzer
2) Stephen Strasburg
3) Patrick Corbin
4) Aníbal Sánchez
5) Austin Voth

Phillies
The Phillies believe they have a dynamic one-two punch atop the rotation with Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, who signed a five-year, $118 million contract in December. Jake Arrieta should be healthy following surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow late last season. He should be motivated entering the final season of a three-year, $75 million contract. The Phillies insist Zach Eflin is competing for one of the final two jobs in the rotation, but he enters camp as a favorite over Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta and others. He simply has pitched better than any of them the previous two seasons. The No. 5 job is up for grabs. Velasquez and Pivetta both have tremendous stuff but have been unable to tap into that potential consistently over the years. It is why many believe the Phillies should have acquired at least one more veteran starter for the spring. The runner-up in Velasquez-Pivetta battle is expected to join the bullpen. Also in the mix for the No. 5 job are left-handers Ranger Suárez and Cole Irvin. -- Todd Zolecki

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Aaron Nola
2) Zack Wheeler
3) Jake Arrieta
4) Zach Eflin
5) Vince Velasquez

NL CENTRAL

Brewers
The Brewers fielded the stingiest September pitching staff for the second straight year, but they would like to be better in the other five months. President of baseball operations David Stearns engineered significant turnover behind 2019 All-Star Brandon Woodruff, committing to a holdover who has pitched both as a starter and a reliever in Adrian Houser, plus three newcomers in Eric Lauer (acquired in a trade with the Padres) and free-agent veterans Brett Anderson and Josh Lindblom. But that’s just the starting five. The Brewers anticipate once again employing 8-10 different starting pitchers throughout the season, so depth pieces like Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta will surely come into play. And it’s likely that manager Craig Counsell will continue to make liberal use of his bullpen, pushing as close as possible to a postseason mindset while operating within the rules and demanding schedule of the regular season. It’s an approach in contrast to more traditional teams like the Nationals, but it has taken the Brewers to the postseason in each of the past two years. -- Adam McCalvy

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Brandon Woodruff
2) Adrian Houser
3) Brett Anderson
4) Josh Lindblom
5) Eric Lauer

Cardinals
The Cardinals rotation is largely untouched from 2019, which is a good thing considering it was one of the best rotations in baseball in the second half. The hottest pitcher in that stretch, Jack Flaherty, wants more consistency this year, while Dakota Hudson will look to continue to build from his solid rookie year. Adam Wainwright returned on a one-year deal after his comeback season, and Miles Mikolas will begin the first year of the four-year extension he signed last season. The only question is who will take over the fifth starter spot, as Carlos Martínez is working toward a return to the rotation. The Cardinals signed lefty Kwang-Hyun Kim to a two-year deal for additional depth if Martínez’s shoulder can’t handle a starter’s workload, and they also have plenty of internal options with Daniel Ponce de Leon, Austin Gomber, Jake Woodford, Ryan Helsley and John Gant should a spot open up. -- Anne Rogers

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Jack Flaherty
2) Miles Mikolas
3) Dakota Hudson
4) Adam Wainwright
5) Kwang-Hyun Kim

Cubs
One of the goals for the Cubs this offseason was to try to inject some young, controllable pitching into their aging rotation. To date, Chicago has not made any major trades, meaning the aging starting staff is relatively unchanged from ‘19. The Cubs are hopeful that Yu Darvish’s stellar second half means big things are coming for the right-hander in ‘20. The North Siders are also counting on continued reliability from Kyle Hendricks, another crafty season from the veteran Jon Lester and for José Quintana to regain his form as a rotation leader. For the fifth spot, Chatwood will enter camp as the top candidate, barring any late-offseason additions. Behind him, the Cubs have a pair of internal candidates in Adbert Alzolay and Alec Mills, plus an intriguing reclamation project in Jharel Cotton (acquired via trade from the A’s). -- Jordan Bastian

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Jon Lester
2) Yu Darvish
3) Kyle Hendricks
4) José Quintana
5) Tyler Chatwood

Pirates
After overhauling their front office and coaching staff this offseason, the Pirates could revamp their roster as the year goes on. For now, though, their rotation looks a lot like the one that struggled to a 5.40 ERA last season. Right-hander Chad Kuhl, back from Tommy John surgery, could claim the last spot, or a prospect like J.T. Brubaker could force the issue in Triple-A. But it’ll mostly be up to the returning starters to pitch better. They still have the potential to improve, and as manager Derek Shelton put it recently, “They expect themselves to be better than they were last year. That’s the main theme I hear out of them when you talk to them.” -- Adam Berry

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Joe Musgrove
2) Chris Archer
3) Trevor Williams
4) Mitch Keller
5) Steven Brault

Reds
Cincinnati’s rotation was already competitive and the club took it a step further this offseason by adding Miley with a two-year, $15 million contract. The deal reunites Wade Miley with his former pitching coach in Milwaukee, Derek Johnson, who helped the lefty revitalize his career in 2018. It was Johnson who also helped turned Sonny Gray around after some up-and-down performances in recent years. As for Luis Castillo, he was a ‘19 All-Star who enjoyed a strong first half before fading some down the stretch. Anthony DeSclafani had a healthy year for the first time in a long time and showed the type of consistency the club will need in 2020. The Reds' starting five is easily the club’s biggest strength. There is also depth with Tyler Mahle, Lucas Sims and top prospect Nick Lodolo if one or more of the starters struggles. -- Mark Sheldon

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Luis Castillo
2) Sonny Gray
3) Trevor Bauer
4) Wade Miley
5) Anthony DeSclafani

NL WEST

D-backs
Adding a starting pitcher was not a top priority for the D-backs this offseason, but they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sign free agent Madison Bumgarner. The addition of Bumgarner and the decision not to trade Robbie Ray gives the team plenty of depth in the rotation, and it sets up competition at the back end. Merrill Kelly will push for a spot this spring, as could Alex Young, Taylor Clarke and Jon Duplantier. Taylor Widener is another starter to keep an eye on this summer. -- Steve Gilbert

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Madison Bumgarner
2) Robbie Ray
3) Luke Weaver
4) Mike Leake
5) Zac Gallen

Dodgers
After the first three names, it’s a tryout camp. Julio Urías’ 2019 was upended by his suspension for domestic violence. Alex Wood and Jimmy Nelson are coming off seasons decimated by injuries. Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin are in the conversation, but they could just as easily open the season at Triple-A. Ross Stripling is often overlooked, but he was an All-Star as a starter two years ago. -- Ken Gurnick

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Walker Buehler
2) Clayton Kershaw
3) Kenta Maeda
4) Julio Urías
5) Alex Wood

Giants
The Giants lost franchise icon Madison Bumgarner to the D-backs earlier this offseason, but the return of veterans Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija should help stabilize the top of the rotation in 2020. Newcomers Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly will add depth and potential upside to the group, though San Francisco will be counting on both to rebound from uneven campaigns last year. Tyler Beede and Logan Webb will enter Spring Training as the frontrunners to round out the starting staff, but Webb is expected to be on an innings limit and could be protected by opening the season in the Minors. Shaun Anderson, Dereck Rodríguez, Andrew Suárez and Conner Menez will also be in the rotation mix, though they could end up carving out roles in the bullpen. -- Maria Guardado

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Johnny Cueto
2) Jeff Samardzija
3) Kevin Gausman
4) Drew Smyly
5) Tyler Beede

Padres
With prospects MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patiño on the horizon, the long-term future of the Padres’ staff seems bright. But they’re both rotation long shots, and the current group features plenty of question marks. Coming off an outstanding rookie season, Chris Paddack sits at the front of that group. He won’t be hindered by the innings and pitch-count limitations that held him back last season. Behind Paddack, both Dinelson Lamet and Garrett Richards are ready to be turned loose after returning from Tommy John surgery last season. At the back end, Zach Davies is an upgrade from left-hander Eric Lauer, while Joey Lucchesi -- a rotation staple over the past two seasons -- might find himself in a battle for the No. 5 spot with Cal Quantrill. -- AJ Cassavell

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Chris Paddack
2) Dinelson Lamet
3) Garrett Richards
4) Zach Davies
5) Joey Lucchesi

Rockies
While the offseason has been dominated by Nolan Arenado trade rumors and the ensuing strife between the club and its star third baseman, when it comes to the club’s 2020 fortunes, it’s an undercard to the main event: Can the rotation bounce back from the injuries and inconsistencies of last year? The key starter is lefty Kyle Freeland, who lost his delivery and his location, went to the injured list twice and endured an option to Triple-A -- all after finishing fourth in the National League Cy Young Award race in 2018. Righties Jon Gray and German Márquez had solid seasons before finishing the year on the IL. Gray, especially, could take off after undergoing left foot surgery to correct a stress fracture that had bothered him for years. There are questions at the back of the rotation, but last year’s messy end allowed Antonio Senzatela, Jeff Hoffman, Chi Chi González, Tim Melville and Peter Lambert regular starts. Will that mean greater depth in ‘20, and can those who don’t make the rotation help the bullpen? -- Thomas Harding

Rotation if the season started today:
1) Jon Gray
2) German Márquez
3) Kyle Freeland
4) Antonio Senzatela
5) Jeff Hoffman