Pitcher perfect? All 30 rotations examined

January 9th, 2018

Several starting pitchers are still free agents in what is shaping up to be a busy few weeks ahead for the Hot Stove, but with six weeks remaining before the start of Spring Training, it's a good time to consider what each team's starting rotation could look like.

MLB.com beat reporters have projected the rotation of all 30 teams if the season was to start today. These aren't Opening Day rotations, of course -- the actual rotations could vary based on the health of starters and what happens on the free-agent and trade markets:

Angels: With the addition of Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani to the staff, the Angels are considering going to a six-man rotation to ease his transition to MLB. If healthy, he and right-hander could prove to be a strong duo at the top, but beyond , others in the projected rotation don't have much of a track record at the Major League level. More >

Astros: The defending World Series champions are in the market for a high-end starter, according to club owner Jim Crane, but the Astros already boast one of the game's strongest rotations. If they can stay healthy, , , , Charlie Morton and could help put Houston in position to repeat. More >

Athletics: The A's have depth in their rotation, but only and are considered to have spots locked up. There are intriguing options to fill out the rest of the rotation, particularly right-hander . More >

Blue Jays: Right-hander , who posted an American League-best 3.00 ERA in 2016, will be the X-factor for Toronto's rotation after an injury-plagued 2017. If he can stay healthy, the Blue Jays could boast one of the best starting units in baseball. More >

Braves: Atlanta will be relying on and to lead a young rotation, with those two being the only pitchers who have spent at least one full season at the big league level. How the young hurlers behind them in the rotation develop will go a long way in determining how soon the Braves will be a postseason contender again. More >

Brewers: Even with ace Jimmy Nelson expected to miss significant time next season, Milwaukee's rotation remains a strength after posting the 10th-best ERA in MLB last year. Led by Chase Anderson (2.74 ERA in 2017), the starting five may yet be bolstered even after the Brewers acquired right-handers and . More >

Cardinals: Hard-throwing right-hander takes the mantle as ace of the staff from veteran , who underwent elbow surgery in the offseason and has struggled over the past two years. Filling the innings lost with the departure of Mike Leake and will be crucial, and the Cards are hoping new addition will help there. More >

Cubs: The Cubs are intent on adding another starter before Opening Day, but they have a motivated group in the rotation as currently constructed. and head a staff that features heading into his first full season on the North Side and newly signed right-hander pitching home games away from Coors Field for the first time. More >

D-backs: Arizona's rotation improved tremendously in 2017, lowering its collective ERA from 5.19 the season before to 3.61. Depth will be a challenge in 2018, however, particularly with due to miss some of the season recovering from Tommy John surgery. More >

Dodgers: The defending National League champions will return an experienced rotation with depth behind it. Led by three-time NL Cy Young Award winner , each of the five hurlers made at least 24 starts for Los Angeles in 2017. Even with that stability, the Dodgers could still add to the staff, and have been linked this offseason to , who helped them reach the World Series following a trade last August. More >

Giants: San Francisco endured its worst season since 1985, going 64-98 and finishing in last place in the NL West in 2017. But if , who missed significant time due to a dirt-bike accident last season, and Jeff Samardzija rebound in 2018, the Giants could make another postseason run. More >

Indians: The Tribe returns its entire 2017 starting rotation, and that includes two AL Cy Young Award contenders in right-handers (2014 and '17 winner) and (fourth in voting last season). The fourth and fifth spots in the rotation are an unknown, but Cleveland has several options, including Josh Tomlin, and Mike Clevinger. More >

Mariners: The big question mark for Seattle's rotation will be health, as the club had to use a franchise-record 17 starters last season. But should health be on their side in 2018, a staff led by and featuring and Leake could be a strength for the Mariners as they try to reach the postseason for the first time since 2001. More >

Marlins: Could , Miami's No. 1 prospect who was part of the trade package the Cardinals sent to the Marlins in exchange for , crack the Opening Day rotation? There are several intriguing options, including the Marlins' best left-handed reliever in 2016, . More >

Mets: Co-aces and will headline a staff that will be relied upon to help New York contend in 2018. Beyond that pair, the Mets will seek to limit the innings of their projected third through fifth starters, particularly with the injury histories of Matt Harvey, and Zack Wheeler. More >

Nationals: Two-time-reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer leads a stacked Washington rotation into the 2018 season. With (third in NL Cy Young Award voting last year) turning in a career year in 2017, along with and behind Scherzer, the Nats' rotation has the potential to match up with any team's unit. The questions are: who will be the club's fifth starter, and might Washington dip into the free-agent waters to add another frontline hurler? More >

Orioles: Behind and , the Orioles have three rotation spots to fill following a season in which Baltimore's starting staff posted an AL-worst 5.70 ERA. The Orioles could very well add pitchers via free agency to fill at least two of those spots, leaving the fifth slot open for competition heading into Spring Training. More >

Padres: There will be strong competition for the final two spots in San Diego's rotation this spring behind , and . Who will emerge among the bevy of young options? More >

Phillies: The Phillies have a potential All-Star at the front of their rotation in , who posted a 3.54 ERA last season. While the club is confident in its starters, including projected rotation members and Vince Velasquez, the front office is looking to add a starter from outside the organization before Opening Day. More >

Pirates: There has been trade chatter with respect to Pittsburgh ace , but unless he is dealt this offseason, he will lead a Pirates starting rotation that remains intact from 2017. That group includes and , each of whom have significant upside. Should Cole be traded, it could open up an opportunity for a pair of hurlers who starred at Triple-A in 2017. More >

Rangers: The most active team in the Majors in terms of adding starting pitching this offseason, the Rangers appear to have a set rotation heading into the 2018 season, but there's flexibility, particularly in the event Texas acquires another frontline starter. In adding Doug Fister, Mike Minor and Matt Moore, Texas has filled out its projected staff behind Cole Hamels and . More >

Rays: With Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi at the top of the rotation, Tampa Bay has plenty of young talent in the pipeline. The projected third and fourth starters, and Jake Faria, have high ceilings, and the farm system boasts pitching talent waiting in the wings. More >

Red Sox: Slot in a healthy behind Chris Sale, add a left-hander coming off a career season in , and you have one of the best starting rotations in MLB. A big question is whether will return to the form he had when he won the AL Cy Young Award in 2016. More >

Reds: The Reds were encouraged by the strong performances they got from young starters over the final month of the 2017 season, and hope that continues into the 2018 campaign. The top three projected starters on the staff, however, have missed significant time over the past couple of seasons due to injury. Much will depend on whether , Homer Bailey and are able to stay healthy next season. More >

Rockies: The Rockies have bolstered their bullpen in a big way this offseason, adding and , but haven't felt the need to add starting pitching after a strong performance from a young core last season. Behind ace , there is sure to be stiff competition for rotation spots this spring. More >

Royals: Though he's a trade candidate and several teams have shown interest, left-hander Danny Duffy sits atop the Royals' projected rotation heading into the new season. Behind him, Kansas City's youth movement will be on display as the club looks to young starters in its rebuild. More >

Tigers: Detroit will enter a season without Verlander in its rotation for the first time since 2005, but it will have the 2016 AL Rookie of the Year at the top of it. The Tigers look to to continue what has been a strong start to his Major League career. Meanwhile, there are several question marks behind the 24-year-old right-hander on a rebuilding club. More >

Twins: The Twins have made adding a frontline starter a priority this offseason, but even beyond that have exciting young talent in the rotation behind veteran . Santana had a big year in 2017, posting a 3.28 ERA with three shutouts. had a breakout campaign, with a 3.89 ERA and 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings. If Minnesota adds a frontline starter, it could have quite a formidable top three on the staff. More >

White Sox: The 2018 season will be one in which the White Sox see how young arms develop amid a rebuild with a well-stocked farm system. In particular, right-handers , and look to impress in their first full MLB seasons. More >

Yankees: The Yankees could very well add another starter this offseason, but the starting rotation as currently projected helped the club come within one game of the World Series in 2017. was third in AL Cy Young Award voting, and has former All-Stars , and behind him. With that experience and consistency, New York will look for another deep postseason run in 2018. More >