by Jason Martinez
As a follow-up to Joe Giglio's article from last week entitled "Re-Thinking the Quality Start", where he determined that the quality start should now be defined as at least 7 innings with no more than 3 ER allowed (instead of 6 IP and 3 ER or less), we'll be tracking the leaders (minimum 15 starts) regularly in a category that we'll call 'Quality-PLUS starts' (at least 7 IP, 2 ER or less).
Pitchers who can pitch at least 7 innings and hold opponents to 2 ER or less on a consistent basis are true 'top-of-the-rotation' starters, in my opinion. The bullpen stays fresh, there is less pressure on the offense, and the team is always in a position to win the game. Below are a top 13, sorted by Quality-PLUS start percentage.
No surprises here. All 13 on the list are unquestionable fits at the top of any big league rotation. The leader by a wide margin is Felix Hernandez, who has 18 Quality-PLUS starts. He has just 12 wins, however, which can be mostly attributed to an anemic Mariners' offense. Coming in at 13th place is Bartolo Colon, who get the asterisk after testing positive for PED's. Thanks to Jon Becker for gathering the data!
I'll be creating more leader boards in the near future, which will display statistics that are unique, interesting, easy to understand, and rarely tracked any other place on the web. If you have any suggestions, please email me or post them in the comment section.