Do the Yankees really need another starter?
The rumors don’t stop! The Yanks have been linked to every starter thought to be on the market ever since Cliff Lee & Andy Pettitte decided not to pitch in NY. It seems everyone agrees the Yankees are short in the rotation, but it may surprise some that they are 3rd in the AL in team ERA (3.48). Girardi & Cashman have both said thy don’t need to make a move so the question is….Are they saying that because they have to or is the Yankee rotation really good enough as is?
To me, I am very happy with how the staff has performed as a whole but when you break it down, starter by starter, and try to figure out who you would trust in a playoff game against Boston or Texas, that’s where it comes up short. Let’s look at what we have…
- CC Sabathia – Leads MLB with a 5.6 WAR. Has been especially dominating lately allowing 2 runs or less with 8+ Ks in 7 straight starts during which he’s 6-1 with a 0.83 ERA and 72 Ks in 54 2/3 IP. He’s my pick for Cy Young and I have full confidence in the Big Stoppa.
- Bartolo Colon – Has been great but he’s basically only throwing 4-seam & 2-seam fastballs 83% of the time. As the #2 starter, will he be effective pitching twice in a playoff series relying almost entirely on his FB? Since he hasn’t had a complete season since 2005, we are always thinking he’s gonna come up with an injury at some point.
- Freddy Garcia – Another great pick-up by Cash who has exceeded all expectations. But will patient lineups keep swinging at that soft splitter & slider out of the zone in the playoffs?
- AJ Burnett - Still totally inconsistent and prone to the meltdown inning. Girardi has lost all confidence in him to pitch out of jams at this point. His M.O. is to pitch a solid game then have an inning where he comes unglued. Someone hits a hard shot, so he begins nibbling, walks a couple hitters, gets behind….and then boom… gives up a back-breaking 3 run HR. His ERA has risen every month and his velocity has dropped now for his 5th straight season. He will have a short leash if he makes any post-season starts.
- Phil Hughes - Been OK since his return but still has no put-away pitch. In his dominating 09′ season in the pen and the 1st half of last yr, his cutter was nasty and his FB consistently 93+ with life. Now they are both only average pitches and he has to battle too hard just to get by. He looked bad like this in April 2009 then regained his form after being moved to the pen…..hmmm…maybe they should try that again? Nova in the rotation and Hughes in the bullpen could be a Win – Win.
- Ivan Nova - Was showing great improvement after a bad beginning. In his last 6 starts before being sent to Scranton, he was 4-1 with a 3.31 ERA. He’s had trouble getting swing and misses in the A.L., but I think he has the raw stuff to become a solid #3-type starter. His Curve & Cutter both show potential to become go-to pitches and I think he needs to be put back in the rotation ASAP
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IMO, CC is having that special type of season and if Cash can find a #2 starter to complement him, they could pitch the Yanks to the WS. I like Colon & Garcia but not enough to be the #2 on a WS team.
SO, what do you guys think?
Will the Yankee rotation continue to pitch like the 3rd best unit in the AL in Aug, Sept and more importantly October? Should Cashman do whatever it takes to land someone like Ubaldo, Kuroda or Wandy? Post your thoughts in the Comments section below.
Posted on July 29, 2011, in Player Analysis, Signing & Trade Speculation and tagged A.J. Burnett, Bartolo Colon, CC Sabathia, Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova, Phil hughes. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.