Posted on: February 24, 2011 4:52 pm
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
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
Posted on: January 12, 2011 9:23 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2011 9:38 pm
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
Posted on: January 11, 2011 1:55 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:25 am
Sports Illustrated 's Tom Verducci has come out with his Verducci Effect watch list for 2011 , led by San Francisco left-hander Madison Bumgarner.
The Verducci Effect states pitchers 25 and younger shouldn't increase their workload more than 30 innings from one year to the next. (In fairness to Verducci, he originally called it the "Year After Effect" because the year after the jump in innings there was a regression or injury).
Last year the 10 on the watch list finished with four pitchers who were hurt or regressed, two we about the same and four -- Mat Latos, Felix Hernandez, Josh Johnson and Max Scherzer had breakout years. Verducci notes it was "as strong a showing against the Verducci Effect since I started tracking it."
The 10 on his list for 2011, followed by their age and innings increase in 2010:
Madison Bumgarner, 21, 73
Alex Sanabia, 22, 66 1/3
Mat Latos, 23, 61 2/3
David Price, 25, 58 2/3
Brandon Beachy, 24, 57
Phil Hughes, 24, 46
Brett Cecil, 24, 41 1/3
Gio Gonzalez, 25, 41
Dillon Gee, 24, 40
Travis Wood, 23, 38 1/3
Ivan Nova, 23, 38 1/3
That's not to say all of these pitchers will struggle or get hurt next season -- pitchers are being watch more closely than ever -- but it is something to watch.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
Tags: Alex Sanabia, Athletics, Blue Jays, Brandon Beachy, Braves, Brett Cecil, David Price, Dillon Gee, Felix Hernandez, Giants, Gio Gonzalez, Ivan Nova, Josh Johnson, Madison Bumgarner, Mariners, Marlins, Mat Latos, Max Scherzer, Mets, Padres, Phil Hughes, Rays, Reds, Tigers, Tom Verducci, Travis Wood, Yankees
Posted on: December 21, 2010 11:26 pm
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
Posted on: December 20, 2010 3:26 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:48 am
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
Posted on: December 16, 2010 1:35 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2010 1:57 pm
It looked like just a bunch of "what if" speculation after the Yankees missed out on Cliff Lee, but Jon Heyman of SI.com reports via Twitter than the Yankees really did call the Mariners to inquire about the trade availability of Felix Hernandez. Brian Cashman then called Brad Pitt and asked whether Angelina Jolie was available.
OK, that second part is unconfirmed, but the first part is real. Predictably, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told the Yankees that King Felix was "absolutely not" available, presumably while trying not to laugh. On Wednesday, Zduriencik told Heyman by text message that "I have no interest in trading Felix."
The Seattle fan base is hanging by a thread, and trading Hernandez would cause a riot no matter what the Mariners got back. Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times suggested the following return package as a starting point for talks: Phil Hughes, Robinson Cano, Jesus Montero, another player, and the Yankees taking Milton Bradley and his black hole of a contract. The Yankees would never do that, and the Mariners probably couldn't accept any less for a 24-year-old reigning Cy Young winner with four years left on his contract, so it's really a moot point. It's not happening.
-- David Andriesen
Posted on: October 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:05 am
Rangers manager Ron Washington officially confirmed that his ALCS rotation will be what we projected last night, with C.J. Wilson getting the nod for Game 1.
So that's Wilson vs. CC Sabathia in the first game, followed by Colby Lewis vs. Phil Hughes, Cliff Lee vs. Andy Pettitte and Tommy Hunter vs. A.J. Burnett.
Washington also said the Rangers will add a reliever for the series, dropping reserve infielder Esteban German from the roster. Left-handers Michael Kirkman, Clay Rapada and Matt Harrison and right-handers Mark Lowe and Scott Feldman are the candidates to be added.
UPDATE: The Yankees have switched it up and will throw Hughes second and Pettitte third. The above text has been changed to reflect that and is correct.
-- David Andriesen
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