In the wake of the R2C2 + Big Joe press conference today at Brighthouse Field, I just want to touch on something that Phillies MLB.COM Beat Writer Todd Zolecki wrote about during his initial coverage down in Clearwater.
With the start of Spring Training action looming, the MLB Network recently released their list of the “Top Ten Starting Pitchers” for the 2011 season.
While it was with no real surprise that two particular Phillies were able to land spots on the lists, the order of which they appeared was a bit perplexing.
Well, one of them at least.
Take a look for yourself.
(From MLB Network)
First off, the case against Halladay is almost unarguable. Being the proud owner of a perfect-game, another no-hitter in his first ever playoff appearance, and an NL Cy Award in 2010 provides way too much evidence to the contrary.
However, where Lee sits can certainly be argued.
To give MLB Network the benefit of the doubt, on paper, Lee hasn’t been able to match up statistically with the others on the list, especially over the past two season.
Since his 2008 AL Cy Young Award winning season with the Indians, he has a 26-22 overall regular season record while spending his time in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Texas. To put that into perspective, those with just as many wins or more over that time span include Ricky Romero, Jon Danks, and even ex-Phillie Vicente Padilla.
Obviously not bad company, but not elite by any stretch of the imagination.
With that said, taking into account hype generated about Lee with his production in the playoffs and the way he decided to go back to Philadelphia, ranking him behind both Jon Lester and David Price is a little difficult to comprehend. Do not get me wrong, Price and Lester are TREMENDOUS pitchers. They are the clear aces of their respective rotations, and are more than worthy of a spot on this list. All I am saying is Lester’s lack of postseason success (2-3 record, 4.00+ E.R.A) combined with the fact that Price only has one full season of being a MLB starting pitcher under his belt should be put under a much greater microscope in my opinion.
Well, at least more than Lee’s subpar regular season win total over the last 24 months while he was a part of two struggling franchises for a large majority of that time.
Besides the Lee ranking, the utter disrespect of Josh Johnson (should be considered a top 5 pitcher) and the notable absence of Ubaldo Jimenez (read the names three times to make sure I didn’t just miss him) on the list could also make for great discussions and further blog posts.
For another time.