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A look at the Giant rotations throughout the years

Stealing an idea from Lookout Landing is usually a smart move, so here's a look at the Giants rotations that opened the past 16 seasons. Why sixteen? Because it makes a nice little rectangle. I'm a little bit of a quadrilateralophile.

Note: these are just the rotations to start the season, so they don't account for injuries. For example, in 2002, Mark Gardner was just a placeholder for Shawn Estes, who started the season on the DL. In 1999, Chris Brock gave way to Joe Nathan who gave way to Gardner. In 2004, Brian Cooper was just rostersitting for Jason Schmidt.

Also, it's not as if the Giants really thought that Kirk Rueter was their ace in 2004, but I just wanted to present the rotation in the order they appeared. That way you could remember who the Opening Day starter was each season.


1996 1997 1998 1999
Mark Leiter Mark Gardner Shawn Estes Mark Gardner
William VanLandingham Osvaldo Fernandez Orel Hershiser Kirk Rueter
Allen Watson Kirk Rueter Kirk Rueter Russ Ortiz
Osvaldo Fernandez William VanLandingham Mark Gardner Shawn Estes
Mark Gardner Shawn Estes Danny Darwin Chris Brock
2000 2001 2002 2003
Livan Hernandez Livan Hernandez Livan Hernandez Kirk Rueter
Russ Ortiz Kirk Rueter Russ Ortiz Jason Schmidt
Kirk Rueter Russ Ortiz Kirk Rueter Damian Moss
Joe Nathan Shawn Estes Ryan Jensen Ryan Jensen
Mark Gardner Mark Gardner Kurt Ainsworth Kurt Ainsworth
2004 2005 2006 2007
Kirk Rueter Jason Schmidt Jason Schmidt Barry Zito
Brett Tomko Kirk Rueter Matt Morris Matt Cain
Jerome Williams Brett Tomko Noah Lowry Matt Morris
Dustin Hermanson Noah Lowry Matt Cain Noah Lowry
Brian Cooper Jerome Williams Jamey Wright Russ Ortiz
2008 2009 2010 2011
Barry Zito Tim Lincecum Tim Lincecum Tim Lincecum
Matt Cain Randy Johnson Barry Zito Jonathan Sanchez
Tim Lincecum Matt Cain Matt Cain Matt Cain
Jonathan Sanchez Barry Zito Jonathan Sanchez Barry Zito
Kevin Correia Jonathan Sanchez Todd Wellemeyer Madison Bumgarner

Quick jottings:

  • The attendance on the second game of the season in 1997 was 8,099. If the Matt Williams/Jeff Kent trade didn't work out, I really wonder what the franchise would have looked like heading into Pac Bell Park.
  • I find it amusing that towards the end of his career, Darwin kept surviving in the majors despite being one of the least talented pitchers.
  • From guy passed over in Game Seven to Opening Day starter: Kirk Rueter. Dang it. You know he would have shut the Angels down in thsay is that a picture of Buster Posey holding a trophy?
  • Oh, of course that 2003 won 100 games. Just look at the rotation to start the season.
  • Not much of a drop-off from Opening Day 2006 to Opening Day 2007. Nope.
  • Remember when Barry Zito started Opening Day in 2008 over Matt Cain? I do. The order of a pitching rotation is pretty meaningless, but it felt like that was some sort of organizational metaphor, with a team trying to wish up a top of the rotation rather than acknowledge the talent they had already developed. Pretty meaningless, now that I look back on it.
  • Maybe it's just the trophy-colored classes, but it sure looks like this year's is the strongest of the bunch.
  • Randy Johnson was on the Giants. Look it up.