Young: On pitching staffs with 30+ starts in a season

From SABR member Geoff Young at Baseball Prospectus on February 4, 2013:

Nine teams in MLB history have had five pitchers make 30 or more starts in a season. Two of them faced each other in the 2012 NLDS. How have previous teams that accomplished this feat fared the previous and following seasons?

Good question. Let’s look.

1977 Dodgers

This was a consistent group. Alston and Lasorda used the same five guys for three straight years, with a dash of Bob Welch thrown in at the end.

When we think of durable rotations, [Tommy] John, [Doug] Rau, and [Rick] Rhoden don’t immediately leap to mind, but there they are. John, in his second year back after undergoing the experimental surgery that now bears his name, won 20 games. Each of the others won at least 12. [Burt] Hooton was low-man in that category; he also was the only one to work a game in relief, picking up a save in his lone appearance out of the bullpen. These guys not only pitched when asked, they did so effectively.

As a side note, Dusty Baker started in left field for this team. He also managed last year’s Reds. It is perhaps less surprising to see Baker ride his starting pitchers hard when we consider that he spent years watching Lasorda do the same.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: February 4, 2013. Last Updated: February 4, 2013.