Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma delivers to the plate against the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field. Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE
If you could go back in time and talk to someone last year about the starting pitchers for this Friday, what would they say?
It's a Friday, so that means all 30 teams are playing today. And that means there are 30 different starting pitchers.
So here's a preview of the starting pitchers for Friday's game, accompanied by a quote from a fan of that team from Sept. 14, 2011. Pretend someone traveled back in time, and told them who the starting pitcher would be for their team exactly one year later. It's funny now, but remember that we'll be able to do the same damned thing next year at this time. Your pitchers probably aren't safe. Sleep tight.
Note: These were all based on MLB.com's listing of probable pitchers as of 2:00 p.m. PT on Thursday. Apparently, there have been changes. The point still stands!
1. Giants - Matt Cain
Yeah. That's about right.
2. Yankees - CC Sabathia
3. Rays - David Price
He sure is a starting pitcher for the Rays, alright.
4. Mets - Jonathan Niese
Where are you going with this, Brisbee?
5. Phillies - Cole Hamels
Well, I guess that means they didn't fall out of contention at the deadline and go into fire-sale mode. Ha ha. They're still contending at the end of the season, right? Good. Good, that's what I thought.
6. Pirates - James McDonald
Good, I like McDonald. He might be a part of the next good Pirates rotation, but they need to build something stable over the next few years. Something legitimate and lasting, because I can't take another collapse like this year. That would be too cruel. So give it to us the right way, or don't give it to us at all, baseball gods. Have a heart.
7. Astros - Bud Norris
We were expecting him to start. What do you mean this is the last expected starter a year from now? You mean most of the 23 other teams are going to have someone unexpected starting for them on Sept. 14 next year? Well, three cheers for stability. The ol' Astros, keeping it locked down. Ha ha. What do we win? Besides nothing at all, I mean.
So, maybe you can answer this. My, uh, Craig Biggio bobblehead was crying tears of blood last night. Would you know what that's about?
8. A's - Tommy Milone
I get it. It starts with a trade for Milone. Then you trade him for three prospects. Then you trade those three for nine prospects. Those nine become 27, the 27 become 81, and soon you have all the prospects in baseball. All the prospects. Then you remove the tendons of all the prospects, and you trade them to the Giants for the rights to San Jose. And then when the Giants are like, "Oh, god, none of these prospects have tendons!," we'll laugh and laugh and laugh.
We've been thinking about this a lot, actually.
9. Tigers - Anibal Sanchez
Whoa. As long as we didn't have to give up Jacob Turner, that's a nifty move!
10. Marlins - Jacob Turner
Wow! He's one of the Tigers' best prospects! I wonder how they … oh, son of a bitch, you cannot be serious.
11. Blue Jays - Aaron Laffey
Huh. He seems like a guy who should be, what, #17 on our depth chart. That's kind of a surprise. He must have torn up the minors because I can't imagine the 16 guys ahead of him all … I mean … that's not ...
12. Mariners - Hisashi Iwakuma
Who in the hell? Hisashi Iwa … look, I don't even care. Let me guess: He has an ERA in the low threes, and we're in last place. Have we scored more than 300 runs this season? Have we? What of Chone Figgins? Huh? Tell me about the offense! Don't come here through the fabric of space and time to tell me about a pitcher doing relatively well, you jackal. TELL ME IF CHONE FIGGINS IS STILL ON THE TEAM.
13. Rangers - Yu Darvish
14. White Sox - Francisco Liriano
Oh, so either the White Sox are contending, and they made a deadline deal, or Liriano started decomposing and he hit the waiver wire. Hmm. So contending, or looking for August waiver chum to test drive before next season. Which is it?
/looks at Gordon Beckham
/Beckham waves, grounds out
I guess it's not a bad move to see if Liriano has anything left.
15. Twins - Cole De Vries
Cole De Vries … Cole De Vries … wait, I know that name!
That's the jerk who stopped coming here to tutor our Jesse in math. Didn't even call or anything. Jesse got a C in trig. You hear that, guy? Nice job. Real nice job.
16. Diamondbacks - Tyler Skaggs
He'll give a Lido help to the big-league rotation, right? That's why you're hear from the future, to give me the Lowdown, eh? I guess that means We're All Alone in first place. Ha ha ha. Ha ha. Ha.
So the Diamondbacks are kind of hosed with injuries, I take it.
17. Orioles - Joe Saunders
HOLD ON. I AM GOING TO STOP YOU RIGHT THERE, BECAUSE JOE SAUNDERS, WELL, HELL, LET ME GET MY CREDIT CARD OUT. FOR SEASON TICKETS, STUPID. I AM GETTING MY CREDIT CARD OUT FOR SEASON TICKETS BECAUSE JOE SAUNDERS. WELL, THAT IS NOT AN ORIOLES MOVE AT ALL, AND I AM EXCITED FOR THE NEXT ORIOLES SEASON FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WHILE. YEP, THIS IS GREAT NEWS, FUTURE PERSON FROM THE FUTURE. SAUNDERS WAS JUST THE PIECE WE NEEDED TO CONTEND, AND I IN NO WAY JUST SNAPPED. I AM CRYING AND SETTING MY MIKE DEVEREAUX JERSEY ON FIRE OUT OF HAPPINESS
18. Royals - Bruce Chen
Whatever. The Royals might contend, and they'll need inning-eaters like Chen. Could be worse. We could be signing Joe Saunders to some sort of big deal, like I guess the Orioles are going to. Poor bastards.
19. Angels - C.J. Wilson
Well, I'll be. That was the big commitment in the offseason? Good for them. It's risky, probably for too many years, but sometimes you have to take that risk. You pay a little at the end of a big contract to get the value up fr … why are you grinning like that?
20. Rockies - Tyler Chatwood
A rookie, huh? Gee, seems like it's kind of risky. Rookie starters usually don't go deep into games, which can put an awful strain on the bullpen.
21. Brewers - Mike Fiers
Is that the 26-year-old guy in Triple-A right now? Wasn't expecting that. Hope it's just a spot start. Maybe it's against the Astros. I'll bet he knows how to get J.D. Martinez out because of the time they spent together at Nova Southeastern University.
As long as we're just making up universities, how about we make up stats for him too? I want him to … strike out a batter per inning and have an ERA around 3.00. You know, not to be greedy.
22. Cardinals - Joe Kelly
Sounds like an early 20th-century New York City cop, but Dave Duncan will make a pitcher out of him. And if he doesn't work, they can always sign Dave Mlicki and have him win 15 games, or some crap. As long as La Russa can stay out of the way, we'll be fine.
23. Dodgers - Chris Capuano
That was the big move in the offseason, I'll bet. Dammit, McCourt. How long will we suffer? How long until we get an owner willing to invest? I'm not saying we need to become the Ya … yeah, Carl Crawford, ha ha, right. No, I'm serious here. We need an owner willing to spend on big free agents after the 2012 offseason.
Like Shane Victorino if the Phillies don't wrap him up long term. Now that's a player!
24. Padres - Andrew Cashner
So the Padres are going to trade for a sore-shouldered reliever who pitched 10 innings this year? Then they're going to put him in the rotation? Okay. Seems like a good flyer to take, so long as we don't give up any young hitters for him.
25. Braves - Kris Medlen
Sweet, he's healthy again. Who's he making a start for? Beachy? Vizcaino? Delgado? Teheran? Jurrjens? Because I don't think we can really afford to lose any of those guys for too long.
26. Reds - Bronson Arroyo
Oh. Good. Bronson Arroyo. Huh. Say, I have a better idea. Why don't I listen to Bronson Arroyo's album and slam my fingers in a car door for three hours every five days? I think I'd prefer that to watching him pitch. You're killing me, Reds.
Please don't put on his album. That was hyperbole, and I regretted it instantly.
27. Nationals - Ross Detwiler
I'm assuming he's the fourth or fifth starter. That's fine. I think the Nats have a shot next year, especially if they get a cost-effective free agent like, oh, Edwin Jackson. Because in the playoffs, a Strasburg, Zimmermann, Jackson front three would be pretty hard to beat.
Pret-ty hard to beat, where I'm saying "pretty" like "prit-tee" and emphasizing both syllables to show that I really believe they'd be hard to beat. Mostly because of Strasburg. Prit-tee hard to beat.
28. Cubs - Chris Rusin
Nice. I heard he's like the Corey Kluber of the Cubs' system.
29. Indians - Corey Kluber
Awesome. He's like a right-handed Chris Rusin, if you can imagine such a thing.
30. Red Sox - To be announced
Oh, **** this.