Riley, Saenz best of a sorry bunch

It's been rough going for the freshman class of starters so far this season.

Updated: June 1, 2004, 4:10 PM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
Looking for an early Rookie of the Year candidate for 2004? Don't look at starting pitchers.

It's been rough going for the freshman class of starters so far this season. Through Sunday's games, rookies have started 38 times and have combined for a 7-15 record with an aggregate ERA of 5.64. Their WHIP (Walks plus Hits per nine innings) is 1.69. To put that in perspective, a pitcher with a 1.69 WHIP would rank 98th out of 114 qualifying starting pitchers. (Surprisingly, 2002 Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito has just that very WHIP.)

Thirteen rookies have started games so far this year. They are: Sergio Mitre (Cubs), Erik Bedard and Matt Riley (Orioles), Chris Saenz and Chris Capuano (Brewers), Jorge de Paula and Alex Graman (Yankees), Casey Daigle (Diamondbacks), Tyler Yates (Mets), Jake Stanford (Indians), Kevin Correia (Giants), Eduardo Villacis (Royals) and Doug Waechter (Devil Rays). Trying to identify the best rookie starter so far is difficult because they fall into three groups:


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Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at bottlebat@gmail.com.

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