Which New York staff is No. 1? Way-too-early 2023 MLB starting rotation rankings
The kickoff used to be everything in baseball, or so it was thought.
It was never completely true, but it used to be more than it is now. The simple reason for this is that the workloads of even ace starters have steadily declined over the years as bullpen reliance has grown.
However, because this evolution took place with fewer innings per team rotation on average, more starters were needed to run the season. In 2022, 367 different players started the games. In 1998, when Tampa Bay and Arizona joined MLB to give us 30 teams, only 283 pitchers were approved.
That said, the premium starting pitch is still valuable. Of the top 13 free agent deals signed this offseason by average annual value, five of them were signed by starting players, each of whom will earn at least $20 million next season. It seems that the kickoff at least still has some value in 21st century baseball.
While the kickoff pitch does not guarantee victory in any given game, much less a title, it will certainly get you on a good path in the future. And so with that in mind, today we’ll take a look at how baseball’s spins stack up as teams enter the hot-stove season stretch and prepare for the spring ball.
Here’s our list of the current starting rotations for all 30 MLB teams, ranked from best to worst.