MLB in 2023: Ranking All 30 Starting Rotations

30. Oakland Athletics

Starting 5: Shintaro Fujinami – James Kaprielian – Ken Waldichuk – Kyle Muller – Paul Blackburn

Oakland’s rotation really struggled last year — ranking among the worst in baseball. This year might not be much different. Oakland just shipped one of its better starters from a year ago, Cole Irvin, to the Baltimore Orioles. This year, the team is relying upon a former high-round pick (Kaprielian), a journeyman with injury issues (Blackburn), two of the team’s better prospects (Waldichuk, Muller), and a veteran pitcher coming over from Japan (Fujinami).

Fujinami might be the most interesting of the bunch, as he’s said to have some pretty good stuff. Of course, if he shows even the least bit as a valuable piece, he’ll probably be dumped at the trade deadline for — you guessed it — more prospects. The 6’7″ Muller came over from Atlanta in the Sean Murphy trade, and Waldichuk moved to the West Coast in the Yankees deal that sent Frankie Montas to the Bronx.

Image Source: USA TODAY Sports

29. Cincinnati Reds

Starting 5: Hunter Greene – Nick Lodolo – Graham Ashcraft – Luke Weaver – Luis Cessa

The Reds are in the midst of a complete rebuild. It’s tough to harness quality pitching while playing at home in a very hitter-friendly ballpark, but most hopes on the team becoming a threat in the NL Central land on the arm of Hunter Greene. The former pitching prodigy out of Los Angeles got his first taste of extended time last year. Though he was hit around some (as to be expected with a young player), he did show some promise. His velocity — as well as the frequency with which the velo popped — was consistent all year long.

If he can continue to work on his secondary pitches, Greene does have the stuff of an ace. Atop the Reds’ rotation next to Greene is 24-year-old lefty Nick Lodolo. The former 2019 first-round pick also has some considerable upside (standing 6-foot-6). Weaver and Cessa are back-of-the-rotation fliers, and Ashcraft is another 24-year-old with minimal MLB experience.

Image Source: USA TODAY Sports