Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays

The American League East, arguably baseball’s best and most competitive division, will welcome some new pitchers to the mix in 2013. In are R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Ryan Dempster, John Lackey and Jair Jurrjens, while they said good-bye to James Shields, Wade Davis, Henderson Alvarez, Freddy Garcia and Josh Beckett.

The Toronto Blue Jays made the biggest rotation splash this off-season, bringing in NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to lead the Blue Jays to the promise land, known as the playoffs. The Rays will once again field a strong rotation, while the Red Sox feel they stayed competitive in the East. The Yankees rotation is full of question marks, while the Orioles will likely once again find themselves in their usual position, last.

Earlier we looked at the National League West, the National League Central, the National League East, and the American League West and the American League Central.

Now let’s look at how the rotations will potentially look come Opening Day in the American League East

Toronto Blue Jays

2012 Opening Day Rotation 2013 Projected Rotation
1. Rickey Romero: 9-14, 5.77 ERA, 5.14 FIP 1. R.A. Dickey: 16-8, 3.58 ERA, 3.76 FIP
2. Brandon Morrow: 10-7, 2.96 ERA, 3.65 FIP 2. Brandon Morrow: 11-9, 3.47 ERA, 3.48 FIP
3. Joel Carreno: 0-2, 6.14 ERA, 7.69 FIP 3. Mark Buehrle: 11-12, 3.78 ERA, 4.10 FIP
4. Henderson Alvarez: 9-14, 4.85 ERA, 5.18 FIP 4. Josh Johnson: 13-9, 3.21 ERA, 3.08 FIP
5. Kyle Drabek: 4-7, 4.67 ERA, 5.62 FIP 5. Ricky Romero: 8-12, 4.43 ERA, 4.46 FIP

Thoughts: The Blue Jays rotation makeover looks good on paper, now it’s time to see how good this rotation can really be in comparison to the 2012 squad. NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey now holds the title of ‘ace’  with newcomers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson replacing the likes of Joel Carreno, Henderson Alvarez, Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison and Aaron Laffey. Romero goes from the ‘ace’ to the fifth man after a poor 2012 season. If any injuries occur, J.A. Happ will move into the rotation after likely starting the season at Triple-A.

Tampa Bay Rays

2012 Opening Day Rotation 2013 Projected Rotation
1. James Shields: 15-10, 3.52 ERA, 3.47 FIP 1. David Price: 16-9, 3.13 ERA, 3.34 FIP
2. David Price: 20-5, 2.56 ERA, 3.05 FIP 2. Jeremy Hellickson: 11-10, 3.51 ERA, 4.10 FIP
3. Jeremy Hellickson: 10-11, 3.10 ERA, 4.60 FIP 3. Matt Moore: 13-10, 3.25 ERA, 3.32 FIP
4. Matt Moore: 11-11, 3.81 ERA, 3.93 FIP 4. Alex Cobb: 9-10, 3,73 ERA, 3.29 FIP
5. Jeff Niemann: 2-3, 3.08 ERA, 3.09 FIP 5. Jeff Niemann: 6-7, 3.81 ERA, 4.00 FIP

Thoughts: Last year’s opening day starter, James Shields, was shipped to Kansas City along with Wade Davis, for quality prospects, none that will join the rotation for 2013. David Price becomes the much deserved ‘ace’ of the staff behind a good group of quality arms. Roberto (Fausto Carmona) Hernandez was signed in the off-season to a one year deal and may steal the fifth spot from Niemann with a good spring.

New York Yankees

2012 Opening Day Rotation 2013 Projected Rotation
1. CC Sabathia: 15-6, 3.38 ERA, 3.33 FIP 1. CC Sabathia: 16-10, 3.28 ERA, 3.16 FIP
2. Hiroki Kuroda: 16-11, 3.32 ERA, 3.86 FIP 2. Hiroki Kuroda: 13-10, 3.57 ERA, 3.83 FIP
3. Phil Hughes: 16-13, 4.23 ERA, 4.56 FIP 3. Andy Pettitte: 7-6, 4.23 ERA, 3.99 FIP
4. Ivan Nova: 12-8, 5.02 ERA, 4.60 FIP 4. Phil Hughes: 12-11, 3.76 ERA, 3.97 FIP
5. Freddy Garcia: 7-6, 5.20 ERA, 4.68 FIP 5. Ivan Nova: 9-11, 4.42 ERA, 4.11 FIP

Thoughts: The Yankees will once again lean on the left arm of Sabathia in 2013. New York’s quiet off-season saw them bring in positional players vs. pitching depth. Andy Pettitte goes from retirement to the number three man in the rotation. Might be a long season for the Bronx-Bombers!

Boston Red Sox

2012 Opening Day Rotation 2013 Projected Rotation
1. Jon Lester: 9-14, 4.82 ERA, 4.11 FIP 1. Jon Lester: 12-12, 3.71 ERA, 3.62 FIP
2. Josh Beckett: 7-14, 4.65 ERA, 4.15 FIP 2. Ryan Dempster: 11-10, 3.74 ERA, 3.71 FIP
3. Clay Buchholz: 11-8, 4.56 ERA, 4.65 FIP 3. Clay Buchholz: 12-11, 3.64 ERA, 4.01 FIP
4. Felix Doubront: 11-10, 4.86 ERA, 4.37 FIP 4. Felix Doubront: 12-11, 3.70 ERA, 3.94 FIP
5. Daniel Bard: 5-6, 6.22 ERA, 6.36 FIP 5. John Lackey: 12-12, 4.05 ERA, 3.82 FIP

Thoughts: The Red Sox, who sign John Lackey to a five year, $85 million deal in 2009, will have the right-hander available this season after elbow surgery wiped out 2012. Josh Beckett was shipped to the Dodgers in August last year, so the Red Sox replaced him with Ryan Dempster. Some feel free agent Kyle Lohse will still sign in Boston, but the season basically comes down to how well Lester and Buchholz pitch in 2013.

Baltimore Orioles

2012 Opening Day Rotation 2013 Projected Rotation
1. Jake Arrieta: 3-9, 6.20 ERA, 4.05 FIP 1. Jason Hammel: 8-10, 4.30 ERA, 4.06 FIP
2. Tommy Hunter: 7-8, 5.45 ERA, 5.75 FIP 2. Wei-Yin Chen: 10-11, 3.92 ERA, 4.35 FIP
3. Jason Hammel: 8-6, 3.43 ERA, 3.29 FIP 3. Chris Tillman: 9-12, 4.31 ERA, 4.27 FIP
4. Brian Matusz: 6-10, 4.87 ERA, 4.69 FIP 4. Miguel Gonzalez: 10-9, 3.67 ERA, 4.02 FIP
5. Wei-Yin Chen: 12-11, 4.02 ERA, 4.42 FIP 5. Jair Jurrjens: 8-12, 5.41 ERA, 5.31 FIP

Thoughts: The Orioles made no significant upgrades to their rotation from last year, bringing in former Braves starter Jair Jurrjens on a one-year deal. Baltimore is likely in for a long season, with improvements made by Boston, Tampa and Toronto.

Stats and projections courtesy fangraphs