Inside the Monster, Mike Edelman’s Red Sox blog, takes a look at the Yankees starting pitchers (as well as those for the Sox). Here is what he had to say on the Yanks rotation:
Mussina has been injured in each of the past 3 years and has been limited to significantly less innings than was typical of his career before age 35. His age and heavy use work loads throughout his entire career also put him at risk for injury.
Mussina made a mechanics adjustment that he attributed to his succes in early 2006. Something was obviously different as his numbers last year were really very atypical of previous years at a similar age. His numbers began to slip as the season went on which could be an indication of the league adjusting to his new pitching style or may just be due to the wear that forced him onto the DL in the second half.
Wang’s been a pretty special story so far and managed to come in second in last year’s AL Cy Young voting despite a WHIP of 1.31 and a BAA of .277. I guess you can do that though when you have a mid-90′s slider that’s seemingly impossible for hitters to drive.
He’s been rather healthy of late having pitched 436.2 in the past two years. In the past had trouble coming off 200+ inning seasons and he will be 35 next year but there are no red flags.
Even if he is healthy both mentally and physically next year, it will be hard for him to make 150 innings given how little he’s pitched the past 2 years.
He’s struggled in the past 3 years and was sent down the minors in 2005 having allowed an ERA of 3.86 (2nd to worst among the team’s starters). He was largely criticized by Japanese fans but improved in 2006. He’s pitched out of the most extreme pitcher’s park in Japan (Koshien Stadium) his entire career. It’s the same one that made Hideki Irabu’s statistics look misleadingly good prior to his transition to the majors.
I cannot disagree with a single word here. I think Edelman is right on the mark with these comments. As I’ve said before, the Yankees should be concerned about the back end of their rotation.