February 23, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) works out along with starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) and relief pitcher Craig Stammen (35) during camp at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

Comparing the Braves and Nationals Starting Rotations

The biggest moves the Washington Nationals made this offseason revolved around the starting rotation. After trading for Gio Gonzalez, and signing Edwin Jackson their rotation has gone from a “good 1-2 punch” to “one of the better rotations in the league.” But are Strasburg and company more talented than Frank Wren’s brigade of young arms? Let’s find out.

Here are each team’s starting rotation based on their respective team sites and depth charts:

Washington Nationals

  1. S. Strasburg
  2. G. Gonzalez
  3. J. Zimmermann
  4. E. Jackson
  5. J. Lannan
  6. C. Wang
  7. R. Detwiler

Atlanta Braves

  1. T. Hudson
  2. J. Jurrjens
  3. T. Hanson
  4. B. Beachy
  5. M. Minor
  6. R. Delgado
  7. J. Teheran

Just by looking at these starting rotations I would say that the Nationals have a clear edge with their ace in Stephen Strasburg, but other than that I feel like the Braves are better at every other spot. Hudson probably isn’t our best pitcher but it would be smart to have him pitch against Strasburg, and take better matchups with the other games.

Hanson and Beachy are both better than Gonzalez and Zimmerman and the Jurrjens/Jackson comparison could go either way depending on what day it is. After the first four pitchers it looks like Atlanta has a clear advantage (nothing new here) with Minor, Delgado, and Teheran all much better than Lannon, Wang, Detwiler.

Let’s try and rank all of these pitchers from first to worst.

  1. Strasburg
  2. Hanson
  3. Beachy
  4. Hudson
  5. Zimmerman
  6. Gonzalez
  7. Jackson
  8. Jurrjens
  9. Minor
  10. Teheran
  11. Delgado
  12. Wang
  13. Lannan
  14. Detwiler

Obviously these could change depending on who ranks them, what you rank them by, etc. Also injuries and trending performance could dictate why you may rank a person above or below another. Jackson could be put above Gonzalez and Zimmerman simply because of his improving peripherals and durability.

But, based on my calculations the Braves take the better rotation in 2012 with a score of 36 to the Nationals 58. There is plenty of room for debate here. You could think I am crazy for my rankings of these pitchers, or you could think I am right on (+1 for you). What are your rankings for all of the Braves and Nationals starting pitchers?

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Tags: Atlanta Braves Brandon Beachy Edwin Jackson Gio Gonzalez Jair Jurrjens Jordan Zimmerman Mike Minor Starting Rotations Stephen Strasburg Tim Hudson Tommy Hanson Washington Nationals

  • Big Bad Bob

    Considering the fact that the Braves haven’t had a great deal of trouble hitting Stasburg, I, personally, would move him to the number 3 position. On the other hand, if your post was intended to read as : “Which pitchers are better against the league as a whole”, I would leave him as number one. He terrorizes the rest of the league, however, the Braves have some great fastball hitters.
    Secondly, having had spinal surgery and fusion, I believe that Hudson will be markedly better than last year. This is based on the fact that I feel better, with more mobility and range of movement, as a 60 year old that I did when I was 50. Six months after surgery, I felt 40 again! Huddy moves to number 2!

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ CarlosCollazo

     @Big Bad Bob It is just comparing their rotations overall. Not against each other. They both have to pitch against every other team in the national league and the success the Braves have had has to be in less than 5 games. Not a huge sample. 
    But I have heard nothing but good news about Hudson’s surgery and he says his back feels better than it has in years so we should expect a normal or better year from him. Glad the surgery went well for you also. 

  • https://marlinmaniac.com/ ehsank24

    Good post Carlos. I am with you 100%. The Braves rotation is superior then the Nationals. I would go out on a limb and say the Marlins rotation is better then the Nationals as well. As much as I love Gio Gonzalez, he has to be one of the most overrated pitchers in baseball.

  • http://www.sabbump.org/ clearwall

    I dont know how you can say Beachy is better than Hudson, that’s the biggest thing that jumps out to me. Id also drop Zimmerman down a bit and move Jurrjens up. As far as Strasburg goes…who knows with him. Will he ever stay healthy enough to play a full season?