A day after taking a closer look at the Toronto Blue Jays' hitting projections for the 2011 season, the Double Play blog will examine the Bill James Handbook and ZIPS projections for the starting rotation.
For the sake of analysis, we're looking at six starters, Ricky Romero, Shaun Marcum, Brandon Morrow, Brett Cecil, Kyle Drabek and Jesse Litsch.
A complete list of the starting pitching projections can be found here. Click here to see the hitter's projections.
Let's start at the front of the rotation with Romero and Marcum.
The left-handed Romero's projections are both very similar to his 2010 numbers, but both expect him to have an ERA about half a run more than the 3.73 he posted in 2010.
Romero was 14-9 last season, and he's projected to be 12-12 in the Bill James Handbook, while ZIPS has him with a 14-10 season.
The projections for Marcum are almost a repeat of his 2010 numbers, except that the ZIPS projection – which is strictly computer based, only has Marcum making 23 starts. That low number of starts is likely based on the fact that Marcum did not play at all in the 2009 season because of an arm injury.
In the case of Brandon Morrow, both systems project Morrow to lower his 4.49 ERA from last season, with the James projections being the most bullish, predicting that he'll finish the year with a 3.78 ERA.
For Brett Cecil, the projections are vastly different. Last season, Cecil led the Jays in wins with 15 and posted a 4.22 ERA. The James' projections sees a downgrade in wins with nine, but an uptick in strike-out rate to go along with a slightly lower 4.11 ERA. The ZIPS projections go the other way with a very similar strike-out rate, 10 wins, but an ERA that increases by almost a half run to 4.65.
Both Drabek and Litsch were only covered by the ZIPS projections, and both are slated to have an ERA near 5.00.
Take a look at the full projections and share your thoughts on the Jays' starting rotation by using the Your! Call feature below.