Or the most average starter could be rookie Lucas Harrell of the Houston Astros, with his 3.88 ERA and much lower price tag (about $2,500 an inning).
The median ERA starter — half of the qualifiers are higher, half are lower — is Josh Johnson of Miami, with his 3.81 ERA.
Looking at medians among the qualifiers in other key evaluation stats:
- Jon Niese of the Mets is the median in strikeouts per nine innings (7.33; average for all starters is 7.1)
- Gio Gonzalez of Washington is the median in strikeout/walk ratio (2.72 K/BB; starter average is 2.50)
- Phil Hughes of the Yankees is the median in innings pitched (186.2; qualifier average is 188).
A rotation of Diamond and the medians — Johnson, Niese, Gonzalez and Hughes — would be very good indeed. But it’s not easy, or cheap, to find a rotation of reliably average pitchers.