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Astros Rotation Expectations

It's now May. Showers have brought flowers, or so I've been lead to believe.

Let's take a look at our starting pitchers to see how far off the projectors were. Below are the CHONE projections for five of the starters that the Astros have thrown out there. Russ Ortiz' line is his Marcel projection.


Pitcher W L ERA
Roy Oswalt 12 10 3.83
Wandy Rodriguez 8 8 4.20
Brian Moehler 3 3 4.42
Mike Hampton 2 4 5.26
Russ Ortiz 2 3 5.05
Felipe Paulino 4 5 4.88


Now, let's flash forward to May 1st:

Pitcher W L ERA FIP
Roy Oswalt 0 2 3.94 5.34
Wandy Rodriguez 2 2 1.69 2.71
Brian Moehler 0 2 27.00 8.18
Mike Hampton 1 1 3.86 3.70
Russ Ortiz 2 0 5.30 5.11
Felipe Paulino 0 2 2.55 2.73

Felipe Paulino has been a hard luck loser twice already this season, but has displayed the sort of talent that we all hoped would eventually translate into major league success. It just so happens that "eventually" turned out to be "April 2009". Brian Moehler's absence has given Paulino the break he needed. After Moehler returns, another injury, this one to Jose Valverde, could propel Felipe into the closer's role.

Mike Hampton has been off and on, but before last night's game against Atlanta, he had limited fly balls extremely well, if you consider a 21.9% FB% to be good.

Russ Ortiz is our only undefeated starter, but hasn't pitched more than five innings in any of his appearances this season. His 14:15 K:BB ratio doesn't exactly inspire confidence, either.

Roy Oswalt has an astronomically high HR/FB% of 22.2%, which shows up in that 5.34 FIP. I realize he's pitched only 32 innings so far this season, but his K and BB rates are both headed in the wrong direction early on. But come on. It's the Wizard. He should be fine...right?