I had a great vacation this week. There was delicious food, cold beer, and relaxation on the beach. One of the things that I didn't get much of is computer time, more specifically Nats reading time. Now that I have returned back to real life it was time to do some catching up and while doing so I found this article by Joe Lemire of SI.com about Dan Haren and Jared Weaver. The basic premise of the article is that the Angel's aces can stand up to just about any duo in baseball, including Halladay and Lee/Hamels.
This got me thinking. Where would a healthy Strasburg/Zimmermann combo place on this list?
It's definitely a tough assignment, especially considering the fact that 1) Zimmermann is under an innings limit and 2) Strasburg is going through his own Tommy John recovery. But we here at Capitol Baseball don't shy away from the messy work. Let's figure this out.
Jordan Zimmermann is healthy and is currently the holder of a 3.6 WAR in 23 starts. That's roughly .156 WAR/Start. Averaged out for a 30 start season? That's a 4.68 WAR spread out over 30 starts.
Stephen Strasburg pre-Tommy John racked up a 2.6 WAR in just 12 starts in his 2010 rookie season. That equates to a .216 WAR/Start. Averaged out for a 30 start season? We have a 6.48 WAR spread out over 30 starts.
Zimmermann's 4.68 + Strasburg's 6.48 = 11.16 WAR
For those scoring at home that is better than the 11.0 registered by both Halladay/Hamels and Halladay/Lee. And that's taking into account a 25 year-old Zimmermann and a 22 year-old Strasburg - both of their primes still ahead of them.
Granted this exercise is purely hypothetical, it is still interesting to ponder the possibilities of a top of the rotation including two of baseball's best pitchers.