Where Does The Washington Nationals’ Rotation Rank In The NL East?
As we move further down the countdown, we now reach the teams with true aces in their rotation. Last season, Miami’s rotation ERA was 4.25 (ninth in the National League). However, that number was higher because of the abbreviated season Jose Fernandez had. The 23-year-old, who was the subject of some trade rumors this winter, didn’t make his first start last year until July 2. That being said, he was 6-1 with a 2.92 ERA in the 11 starts that he did make.
To help upgrade the rotation, Miami signed Wei-Yin Chen to a five-year deal worth $80 million with an opt-out after year two and a vesting option for a sixth season. Chen, who will be 31 in July, is a left-hander that brings stability to the front end of their rotation. He has made 30+ starts in three of his last four seasons and his ERA has decreased in each of those years (3.34 last season).
The key to success for Don Mattingly’s rotation is going to be who emerges at the back end. They did sign Edwin Jackson this winter to a one-year deal to go with Tom Koehler and Jarred Cossart. Plus, Miami does have a pitcher to watch. Nicolino threw the second most innings (63) of any Miami pitcher in the second half, behind Koehler. However, in the ten starts he made, he only had 19 strikeouts.
If Miami is going to contend for the division title, they need to get some production from the back of their rotation and Fernandez will need to stay healthy, despite being on an innings limit this season.
Next: Number Two