In response to moonslav59's comment:
In response to ctredsoxfanhugh's comment:
What is a true #1 or a true #2 or a #3 or #4 $5 pitcher.
Do you have specific number in my mind; stats that a guy must reach to be considered a certain slot of a pitcher. You can make an argument that the top 30 pitchers are #1 and 31-60 are #2 etc etc etc.
In terms of ERA, IP, WHIP, K Lester ranks 70th 25th 68th 32th now why those don't scream top of the rotation starter I think you can make an argument that Lester is a fringe #2 solid #3 starter.
A guy like Doubront ranks 47th 73 81 and 46th respectively on those stats. Which would Make Doubront a fringe #2 or the best #3 in baseball.
Of course these numbers are subjective and there are other stats that can be thrown in there but I think it would make for good conversation. Personally If I were to go more in depth I'd like to look at some stats that measure control (although whip does cover that a bit) Also Doubront has been much better the second half of the season so far so I'd make a strong argument that he is at least one grade better than his numbers show (a solid #2).
MY POINT IS!!!! most of us, and I'm sure I'm guilty of this at times as well, tend to vastly underrate and overrate pitchers on this team because of our own personal convictions. Some people think Lester is a #5 that is absolultey absurd. Others try to say that Doubront has pitched like a top of the rotation starter, which is also absurd.
I agree, and I happen to like the method of assigning #1 status to 1-30, #2 to 31-60, etc... However, the stats, metrics, and timeframe sample size(s) used in this determination are debatable. Should adjustments be made to NL pitchers due to no DH? How about home park adjustments? Strength of offenses faced during the sample size?
On Doubront, if you changed the sample size to the last 12-14 starts, his numbers may approach the top 30 MLB starters, hence the expression, "he is pitching like a number 1 starter".
Another way to look at the issue is how a pitcher compares to other contending team's #1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 slot starter. Others look at the salary as compared to the slot of the starter.
I definitely agree the stats are debatable, and realize I was just "scratching the surface" but I thought it was a fair point to make to at the very least perhaps get the ball rolling on the conversation. I would also sub class pitchers too. I'd say the top 30 are #1 starters but only the top 10-12 would be division 1 aces. I think that all those other points you made need to be considered as well.