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Tag:A.J. Burnett
Posted on: February 24, 2011 4:52 pm
 

Garcia 'favorite' for Yankees' No. 4

The Yankees have an obvious top three in their starting pitching rotation in CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett. We know that. Behind those three, however, things get a bit murky. There's a handful of relatively uninspiring candidates vying for the last two spots -- including names like Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre.

Garcia does appear to be separating himself from the group, though, and he is the favorite for the fourth spot, according to SI.com 's Jon Heyman.

Garcia, 35, was a two-time All-Star early in his career for Seattle and then a solid starter for the White Sox for two years. In fact, he was part of the historic chain of World Series shutouts for the South Siders in 2005, throwing seven shutout innings and garnering the win in series-clinching Game 4.

He was in danger of falling out of the league for good at several points throughout the 2007-2009 seasons, but caught on with the White Sox again. He started 37 games for the Sox over the past two seasons, going 15-10 with a 4.56 ERA and 1.33 WHIP.

If Garcia does lock down the fourth spot, the Yankees' question marks in the staff hardly disappear. There's still that five spot, not to mention the questions that come with Hughes and Burnett.

The 24-year-old Hughes was an All-Star last season, but faltered down the stretch. After starting 10-1 with a 3.17 ERA,  Hughes went 8-7 with a 5.07 ERA the rest of the way. That could be due to normal fatigue for a youngster or teams' advanced scouting catching up to Hughes' stuff.

Burnett was flat awful for most of last season. He ended with a career worst 5.26 ERA and a dreadful 1.51 WHIP. His record was 10-15, and this for a team that won 95 games. There's no question Burnett has talent, and at age 34 he should still have some gas left in the tank. He just needs to get back on track.

As for the fifth spot in the rotation, Heyman reports it's "anyone's guess."

-- Matt Snyder

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Posted on: February 3, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 6:51 pm
 

What's next for Yankees' rotation?

With Andy Pettitte choosing retirement, the Yankees now go toward 2011 in the position they didn't want to face -- with an incomplete rotation.

CC Sabathia still leads the rotation, with Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett behind him. After that? Well, it's up in the air. The internal candidates are Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre. The team has added Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia to minor-league contracts and there are reports they're still interested in Kevin Millwood.

Here's a look at the 2010 seasons from those hoping to fill Pettitte's shoes:
Nova: 1-2, 4.50 ERA, 10 games, 7 starts, 42 IP, 44 H, 22 R, 21 ER, 17 BB, 26 K
Mitre: 0-3, 3.33 ERA, 27 games, 3 starts, 54 IP, 43 H, 23 R, 20 ER, 16 BB, 29 K
Garcia: 12-6, 4.64 ER, 28 games, 28  starts, 157 IP, 171 H, 85 R, 81 ER, 45 BB, 89 K
Colon: (2009) 3-6, 4.19 ERA, 12 games, 12 starts, 62 1/3 IP, 69 H, 42 R, 29 ER, 21 BB, 38 K
Millwood: 4-16, 5.10 ERA, 31 games, 31 starts, 190 2/3 IP, 223 H, 116 R, 108 ER, 65 BB, 132 K

That's not quite the Sabathia-Cliff Lee-Hughes-Pettitte-Burnett rotation the Yankees had dreamed off when their 2010 season was ended by the Rangers. But it also doesn't end the Yankees' playoff hopes, either. Sabathia and Hughes are certainly good enough to get the job done at the top of the rotation, even if Burnett is a wild card. The Yankees also have a good enough farm system now that they can go out and get a starter at the trade deadline.

No, the Yankees aren't as good as they would be with Pettitte, but it's hardly time for 29 other teams to celebrate the death of baseball in the Bronx.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 25, 2011 10:38 am
Edited on: January 25, 2011 1:52 pm
 

Cashman: Jeter likely to become OF

Derek Jeter
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman attended a breakfast Tuesday morning sponsored by a New York radio station, and espnW contributor Amanda Rykoff relayed some of his comments via Twitter.

* Cashman would be "surprised" if Derek Jeter plays shortstop for the four-year duration of his contract, predicting Jeter will move to the outfield. But ... but ... Jeter is the best shortstop in the league! Gold Glove voters said so!

* Asked who was the better team right now, the Yankees or Red Sox, he answered, "Red Sox. But we have a better bullpen." OK, points for candor there, as that probably won't play well in the Bronx.

* No chance of Joba Chamberlain returning to the rotation, because he "hasn't been the same" since the 2008 shoulder injury he suffered in Texas.

* A.J. Burnett "knows he has a problem and he's doing all he can to fix it."

* "We're one starter away from being a World Series contender."

UPDATE: After the Jeter thing predictably caught fire online, Cashman backtracked a bit in a conversation  with the Star-Ledger, saying it was just a hypothetical and not anything that has been discussed as being imminent.

"We'll deal with that if he loses something and forces us to deal with that. That's not where we're at," he said, adding that the casual exchange at a fan breakfast was a "baseball conversation, not a declaration, not an announcement, nothing of that nature."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: January 12, 2011 9:23 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2011 9:38 pm
 

Pettitte won't start 2011 -- maybe

Andy Pettitte
The Yankees won't have Andy Pettitte in their rotation this season -- at least not for the start of it.

General manager Brian Cashman told the New York Daily News that the left-hander, who has been considering whether to retire this winter, won't be going to spring training.

"I don't think he's determined if he's officially finished or not, but he's chosen at this stage at least not to start [the season] in 2011," Cashman said. "If that ever changes he'll call us. We're not going to hound him or bother him. ... Andy's been very communicative on these issues and right now he's not in play, and if he does decide to play he'll play for us. He's a Yankee from start to finish."

Pettitte, 38, has gone 54-34 with a 4.08 ERA in the past four years, his second stint with the Yankees after three years in Houston. New York hoped to add a starter this winter but thus far hasn't, and the top-shelf options have dried up (except Carl Pavano, who isn't going back to the Yankees). The Yankees at this point will be looking to fill in from within the organization behind CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes.

"I'm actively out there," Cashman said. "It's a very thin market to be flying in right now. That's why we may have to rely on our strong farm system a little bit sooner than we expected."

Pettitte told Cashman the decision to stay home was related to his family, but he also expects to be called upon in the federal prosecution of former teammate Roger Clemens, who is slated to go on trial in July.

UPDATE: Apparently there's some kind of semantic uncertainty regarding Cashman's comments. He's now saying he just used a poor choice of words and should have said "pitch" instead of "start." I'm not sure how "he's chosen at this stage at least not to pitch in 2011" makes it any different, but now Cashman is trying to say there's no news after all. See if you can make sense of it here.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 21, 2010 11:26 pm
 

Yankees to keep Chamberlain in the bullpen

Joba Chamberlain The Yankees "paid a price" for waiting on Cliff Lee, general manager Brian Cashman told Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger , as the team is still looking for a starter (or two) to round out its rotation.

"There's not much available, to be quite honest," Cashman said.

The Yankees have requested the medical records of Freddy Garcia. The team apparently isn't interested in Brandon Webb, but Cashman wouldn't comment either way.

"Bottom line is there is a price to pay for waiting for Cliff Lee," Cashman said. "Now, part of that price is definitely going to be loss of previous opportunities that [existed]. At the same time, now it's going to have to be some patience. Now it's going to be a steeper mountain to climb, which is fine, because we can climb it. Steeper meaning it's going to take a longer way to get there. IT's a harder road to travel. That's OK. You can still get there."

One person the team won't consider in the rotation is Joba Chamberlain, who battled for a rotation spot last spring and then spent all of 2010 in the bullpen.

"His stuff plays so much more significantly out of the pen," Cashman said. "We've given him the opportunity to show what he can do out of the rotation and the velocity dropped. It's just not the same stuff."

Cashman has repeatedly said he's moving on as if left-hander Andy Pettitte will indeed retire. That means their current rotation is CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and then whoever else is ready, likely Ivan Nova.

In addition to starting help, New York is also searching for right-handed bullpen help, a right-handed hitting outfielder and a utility player.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 20, 2010 3:26 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:48 am
 

Yankees unlikely to trade for pitching

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman isn't thrilled about the prospect of heading into the season with two unproven starters. But he's not thrilled with the alternatives, either.

"Could I go out and get a starter? Yes, I could. But there's just not much out there," Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com. "I have March, April, May, June and July, really, to come up with someone."

The only top-tier starter left on the free agent market is Carl Pavano, but there's zero chance he returns to the Bronx. Andy Pettitte is still undecided on retirement, and Cashman said he's "not waiting for him."

So at the moment, the Yankees' rotation includes CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and some combination of prospects. Ivan Nova seems likeliest to get a spot, but he's the only option with any big-league experience. Still, Cashman isn't panicking, and said he's not planning on trading away top catching prospect Jesus Montero for pitching.

"There's just nobody out there I would consider trading Montero for," he said. "In the past, we might have gone out and traded away prospects just to get someone in here. But realistically, I have until July to get this solved."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 27, 2010 10:13 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2010 1:26 am
 

Not Lee's first Series stumble

Cliff Lee
"Nobody makes me bleed my own blood! Nobody!" -- Ben Stiller in "Dodgeball"

Well, turns out Cliff Lee is not a robot after all. You cut him, he bleeds. And the supposed freebie the Rangers were going to get by running him out for Game 1 of the World Series was not to be.

Although Lee came into the game unbeaten in the postseason for his career, Wednesday was not the first time he'd struggled in the World Series. In Game 5 last year, pitching against the Yankees as a member of the Phillies, he gave up five earned runs, seven hits and walked three.

In that game, he happened to luck into the win (and luck into opposing A.J. Burnett) as the Phillies scored six times in the first three innings of an 8-6 victory. The most significant difference in the pitching lines is that with the lead, Lee was able to go seven innings last year.

2009: 7 innings, 7 hits, 5 earned runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 112 pitches

2010: 4.2 innings, 8 hits, 6 earned runs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts, 104 pitches

The Texas offense couldn't rescue him in this one.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 19, 2010 5:27 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Rangers-Yankees ALCS Game 4 breakdown

The Rangers hold a 2-1 lead in the ALCS against the Yankees and are facing the struggling A.J. Burnett. All stats are from the regular season.

Texas Rangers

Postseason stats: Hitting /Pitching

1. Elvis Andrus , SS
overall: .265/.342/.301 in 588 AB, 32 SB
vs. NYY: .233/.324/.333 in 30 AB

on road: .268/.354/.292 in 284 AB
against RHP: .264/.343/.301

2. Michael Young , 3B
overall: .284/.330/.444 in 656 AB, 21 HR
vs. NYY: .306/.306/.389 in 36 AB
on road: .260/.299/.380 in 334 AB
against RHP: .270/.314/.425

3. Josh Hamilton , CF

overall: .359/.411/.633 in 518 AB, 32 HR
vs. NYY: .250/.386/.400 in 20 AB

on road: .327/.382/.512 in 254 AB, 10 HR
against RHP: .401/.447/.716, 1.163 OPS

Tommy Hunter 4. Vladimir Guerrero , DH

overall: .300/.345/.496 in 593 AB, 29 HR
vs. NYY: .250/.286/.313 in 32 AB

on road: .284/.336/.461 in 282 AB, 13 HR

against RHP: .287/.328/.482

5. Nelson Cruz , LF

overall: .318/.374/.576 in 399 AB, 22 HR
vs. NYY: .250/.294/.563 in 32 AB, 3 HR
on road: .267/.324/.480 in 202 AB, 9 HR

against RHP: .314/.368/.572

6. Ian Kinsler , 2B
overall: .286/.382/.412 in 391 AB

vs. NYY: .400/.571/.500 in 10 AB
on road: .257/.322/.388 in 206 AB

against RHP: .258/.353/.389

7. David Murphy, LF

overall: .291/.358/.449 in 419 AB, 12 HR
vs. NYY: .250/.357/.375 in 24 AB
on road: .294/.367/413 in 218 AB, 5 HR
against RHP: .298/.368/.479 in 305 AB, 11 HR

8. Bengie Molina, C

overall: .240/.279/.320 in 175 AB
vs. NYY: .143/.208/.190 in 21 AB
on road: .241/.292/.316 in 176 AB
against RHP: .213/.253/.292 in 277 AB

9. Mitch Moreland, 1B 

overall: .255/.364/.469, 9 HR in 145 AB
vs. NYY: .250/.471/.250 in 12 AB, 5 BB

on road: .244/.330/.500, 6 HR in 86 AB
against RHP: .264/.373/.496

RHP Tommy Hunter
overall: 13-4, 3.73 ERA in 128 IP, 68 Ks, 33 BB
vs. NYY: 0-0, 3.60 ERA in 1 GS, 5 IP, 8 Ks, 3 BB
on road: 6-4, 4.48 ERA in 60 1/3 IP, 27 Ks, 19 BB

X-factor to win: A.J. Burnett has been awful of late, and if the Rangers can get to him early, Joe Girardi will have no choice but to go to his bullpen early. That could help  Texas not only Tuesday, but also in Game 5 on Wednesday.

Keep an eye on: In his only start against the Yankees, right-hander Tommy Hunter struck out eight Yankees in five innings. He didn't factor in the decision, but the Rangers won that game on Sept. 11 at Rangers Ballpark.

New York Yankees

Postseason stats: Hitting /Pitching

1. Derek Jeter, SS
overall: .270/.340/.370 in 663 AB
vs. TEX: .385/.448/.615 in 26 AB, HR
at home: .295/.365/.425, 7 HR
against RHP: .246/.316/.317 in 451 AB

2. Curtis Granderson, CF
overall: .247/.324/.468 in 466 AB
vs. TEX: .200/.360/.250 in 20 AB
at home: .262/.336/.511
against RHP: .243/.340/.526 in 308 AB, 20 HR

3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
overall: .256/.365/.481 in 601 AB
vs. TEX: .167/.286/.292 in 24 AB, HR
at home: .288/.410/.558, 15 HR
against RHP: .247/.344/.461 in 421 AB


A.J. Burentt 4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
overall: .270/.341/.506, 125 RBI in 522 AB
vs. TEX: .360/.515/.720 in 25 AB, 2 HR, 8 RBI
at home: .294/.368/.553, 62 RBI in 228 AB
against RHP: .290/.352/.530 in 379 AB


5. Robinson Cano, 2B
overall: .319/.381/.534, 41 2B in 626 AB
vs. TEX: .233/.272/.300 in 30 AB
at home: .298/.360/.521, 16 HR
against RHP: .337/.400/.544 in 379 AB

6. Nick Swisher, RF
overall: .288/.359/.511, 29 HR in 566 AB
vs. TEX: .103/.188/.138 in 29 AB
at home: .287/.356/.498 in 279 AB
against RHP: .285/.330/.547 in 386 AB, 25 HR

7. Lance Berkman, DH
with Yankees: .255/.358/.349 in 106 AB
vs. TEX: .226/.400/.387 in 31 AB
at Yankee Stadium: .250/.314/.375 in 64 AB, 1 HR
against RHP: .267/..393/.453 in 322 AB

8. Brett Gardner, LF
overall: .277/.383/.379, 47 SB in 477 AB
vs. TEX: .333/.440/.333 in 21 AB
at home: .274/.384/.401
against RHP: .287/.387/.453 in 322 AB

9. Francisco Cervelli, C
overall: .271/.359/.335 in 266 AB, 0 HR
vs. TEX: .556/.733/.556 in 9 AB, 6 BB
at home: .262/.336/.361 in 122 AB
against RHP: .246/.315/.302 in 179 AB


A.J. Burnett, RHP
overall: 10-15, 5.26 ERA in 186 2/3 IP, 145 Ks, 78 BB
at home: 5-7, 4.59 ERA in 80 1/3 IP, 67 Ks, 33 BB
vs. TEX: 1-0, 2.50 ERA in 3 GS, 19 2/3 IP, 17 Ks, 7 BB

X-factor to win: Surviving the first inning. The Yankees have given up runs in each of the opening frames of the first three games of the series, a total of six runs.

Keep an eye on: Burnett hasn't pitched well against too many teams, but the Rangers are one of them. He's gone seven innings twice in three starts against Texas, striking out 17. Nelson Cruz has struck out five times in eight at-bats against Burnett and Josh Hamilton is hitless in five at-bats.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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