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Maddux, Hensley and Wells: Best 3-4-5 in the league?

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[editor's note, by Dex] If I really want you to vote for Gaslamp Ball as your favorite Padres blog, then I should probably make sure we're flush with Padres info, therefore...

"Our three-four-five guys are probably going to be better than almost any other three-four-five in the league."
     - Paul DePodesta on the the depth of the Padres rotation

I've been kinda wondering about that statement ever since DePodesta mentioned it during our interview. Could we really make that claim? Do Hensley, Maddux and Wells provide the best rear end rotation since Shakira? Let's break out the old Baseball Prospectus PECOTA projections and see...

First off... Wins. I know that wins aren't necessarily the best reflection of a pitcher, but unfortunately, it's one that gets used. Looking at the NL West, Colorado and Arizona's three-four-five guys project to tie with a combined 23 wins among the respective clubs. The Padres fall just behind the two teams with 22 wins. Interestingly, Maddux, our "number 3", projects to win one more game than Chris Young. Also, David Wells projects to win 4 games. Four whole games. Is that realistic? PECOTA must project him to come down with gout.

Team Wins
COL 23
AZ 23
SD 22
SF 19
LA 18


I should say that for my purposes, I'm using Maddux, Hensley and Wells as our 3-4-5. The Dodgers have Lowe, Tomko and Wolf. The Giants are running with Morris, Lowry, Sanchez and Ortiz (depending on who comes out better). Diamondbacks have Big Unit, Enrique Gonzalez and Livan. And the Rockies have like 9 guys. Seriously, Clorox. Let's start narrowing that list down.

Now let's get a little more statistically inclined... VORP. Value Over Replacement-level Player. Looking at VORP, the Padres actually edge out the D-Backs, but still fall somewhere behind Colorado's army of arms. For those of us not really in the know, VORP the value in runs of a player, but it does not count defense.

Team VORP
COL 49.1
SD 48.8
AZ 47.1
SF 34.3
LA 33.6

(I love when LA shows up in last place)

WARP is next. WARP actually takes into account fielding, so we might be a little dinged with Wells, though these numbers were run before he was diagnosed with Diabetes so maybe the newer, trimmer Wells should be credited with a few extra wins...

Team WARP
COL 9.2
AZ 8.8
SD 7.9
SF 6.5
LA 6.4


The last stat that I really looked at before getting weirded out was WXRL. I went through the WXRL numbers and looked at them for a good long while before deciding that I had no idea what I was looking at. I blame me.

Team WARP
AZ 8.5
COL 8.4
SD 7.2
SF 6.1
LA 5.5


Finally, what I did, and I completely admit that this has very little to do with anything... What I did was take the average rank of each stat to come up with a combined rank. This may seem lame, but it's actually pretty statistically relevant. I've run a regression and determined that this is as good as anything.

Team VORP WARP WXRL Wins Average Rank
COL 49.1 9.2 8.4 23 1.375
AZ 47.1 8.8 8.5 23 1.625
SD 48.8 7.9 7.2 22 2.75
SF 34.3 6.4 6.1 19 4.25
LA 33.6 6.5 5.5 18 4.75


So what does this tell us? We're not Shakira? I guess so. What did we learn?
  • Statistically, Colorado does pretty good for themselves by telling 9 guys that they have shots at being starters.

  • Dodgers suck

  • If you're the kind of person that likes headaches, try to make sense of WXRL

  • Shakira is a fantastic nickname for the 3-4-5 of our rotation.
I cannot wait until that first 3 game series where we throw Clay, the Prof and Boomer and we're able to call it a Shakira series. Blows my mind.