• Projecting Yankees Current Starting Rotation

    Posted by on December 14th, 2010 · Comments (30)

    If the Yankees did go into next season with a rotation of Sabathia, Burnett, Hughes, Mitre and Nova, it would not shock me to see them post these numbers in 2011:

    CC Sabathia
    34 GS
    18 Wins
    8 Losses
    3.50 ERA

    A.J. Burnett
    33 GS
    12 Wins
    9 Losses
    4.20 ERA

    Phil Hughes
    29 GS
    14 Wins
    8 Losses
    4.10 ERA

    Sergio Mitre
    27 GS
    8 Wins
    8 Losses
    5.10 ERA

    Ivan Nova
    26 GS
    6 Wins
    11 Losses
    5.50 ERA

    And, that’s being optimistic on Burnett. Granted, there’s roughly two months until Pitchers & Catchers report. So, perhaps the Yankees can add another starter to this mix. However, in the interim, how do you feel about the job Brian Cashman has done, so far, in assembling his starting rotation for 2011?

    Comments on Projecting Yankees Current Starting Rotation

    1. Corey Italiano
      December 14th, 2010 | 10:53 am

      I’m kinda surprised, I woulda thought you’d think Hughes would do worse.

    2. Corey Italiano
      December 14th, 2010 | 10:54 am

      I think Nova is better than this. He has better stuff than you give him credit for. The issues with men on base can be worked on through maturation.

    3. Scout
      December 14th, 2010 | 11:02 am

      Cashman gets an “incomplete”, of course. His job is by no means finished. He went after the prize and came up short. I do not recall the Yankees missing out on a deal this off-season for another front-end starter.

    4. MJ Recanati
      December 14th, 2010 | 11:11 am

      However, in the interim, how do you feel about the job Brian Cashman has done, so far, in assembling his starting rotation for 2011?
      ——
      It’s a strange question to ask when there is so much time left in the off-season.

      Who cares what people feel about the Yankee rotation today? The season doesn’t begin today.

    5. MJ Recanati
      December 14th, 2010 | 11:13 am

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      I think Nova is better than this. He has better stuff than you give him credit for. The issues with men on base can be worked on through maturation.

      I don’t agree and I think we’re going to quarrel about this all off-season and into next year.

      Nova is a back-end guy at best. He’s got some strikeout ability but he doesn’t sustain his stuff. He’s a better fit for the bullpen in my opinion. Hector Noesi profiles better for the #5 spot than Nova does in my opinion (and I don’t want to see him in the rotation this year either).

    6. Corey Italiano
      December 14th, 2010 | 11:24 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      I dunno, I really liked what I saw out of him last year despite his 5th inning troubles.

      I think you can agree, at the least, that he’ll be a better option than Mitre. Mitre stinks.

    7. G.I. Joey
      December 14th, 2010 | 11:30 am

      I also think that Nova is better than this and can learn how to avoid blowing up with runners on. However, I’ll concede it’s totally possible that his blowups could be attributed to his inability to sustain his stuff. I don’t think we’ve seen enough of him to tell either way, but I think he deserves a shot in ST to make the rotation.

    8. Raf
      December 14th, 2010 | 11:34 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Who cares what people feel about the Yankee rotation today? The season doesn’t begin today.

      Yep, and even if it did, I’m not going to get too alarmed about it. For example, the 2005 staff at the beginning of the season was Mussina-Johnson-Pavano-Wright-Brown, only Mussina and Johnson lasted the entire season.

    9. antone
      December 14th, 2010 | 11:34 am

      I think the fact that Nova & Mitre are even in the discussion right now just shows how poorly Cashman has done in trying to build depth in the rotation. Even without Pettitte & Lee the Yankees should have better internal options than those two guys if Cashman had the ability to plan ahead. It Pettitte comes back it certainly helps things, but it’s still just a stop gap. The Yankees will have the same questions next year it Cashman doesn’t add some depth this year regardless of whether Pettitte returns or not.

    10. clintfsu813
      December 14th, 2010 | 11:39 am

      @ Corey Italiano:
      After Nova stared down Bautista he made a fan for life in me!

    11. MJ Recanati
      December 14th, 2010 | 11:40 am

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      I think you can agree, at the least, that he’ll be a better option than Mitre. Mitre stinks.

      Absolutely no doubt about that.

      Mitre is a mop-up man that only comes in games when the team is [winning/losing] by a wide margin or if the team has a rain-delay and they need an emergency starter. Nova is clearly — and appropriately — ahead of Mitre on the team’s depth chart.

    12. G.I. Joey
      December 14th, 2010 | 11:41 am

      clintfsu813 wrote:

      @ Corey Italiano:
      After Nova stared down Bautista he made a fan for life in me!

      That showed some moxy.

    13. MJ Recanati
      December 14th, 2010 | 11:45 am

      antone wrote:

      I think the fact that Nova & Mitre are even in the discussion right now just shows how poorly Cashman has done in trying to build depth in the rotation. Even without Pettitte & Lee the Yankees should have better internal options than those two guys if Cashman had the ability to plan ahead.

      I bolded the part of your comment that I want to focus on the most.

      Who should the Yankees have stashed away in AAA to create depth? Guys that could’ve been viable members of another team’s 25-man roster? Players that can earn an MLB paycheck aren’t taking less money just to hang out in Scranton to pitch for the Yankees just in case.

      Organizational depth comes from, among other things, drafting pitchers and developing them. From where I’m standing, the Yankees have done a pretty good job of developing minor league arms as depth. The issue, however, is that “depth” for the Yankees isn’t “depth” for everyone else. It’s not realistic to expect that the Yanks would have a stable of front-end starters at every level of the minor leagues and that when Lee doesn’t sign and Pettitte retires, the Yanks can just plug in a David Price or a Felix Hernandez. Baseball doesn’t work that way, especially not when the Yanks are willingly giving up their draft picks every few years to go out and sign free agents like Teixeira, Sabathia, etc.

    14. BOHAN
      December 14th, 2010 | 11:51 am

      clintfsu813 wrote:

      @ Corey Italiano:
      After Nova stared down Bautista he made a fan for life in me!

      I’m with you on that one!!!!

    15. nettles
      December 14th, 2010 | 12:07 pm

      We’re so screwed.

    16. Evan3457
      December 14th, 2010 | 12:09 pm

      nettles wrote:

      We’re so screwed.

      No, not really.

    17. antone
      December 14th, 2010 | 12:11 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Organizational depth comes from, among other things, drafting pitchers and developing them. From where I’m standing, the Yankees have done a pretty good job of developing minor league arms as depth. The issue, however, is that “depth” for the Yankees isn’t “depth” for everyone else. It’s not realistic to expect that the Yanks would have a stable of front-end starters at every level of the minor leagues and that when Lee doesn’t sign and Pettitte retires, the Yanks can just plug in a David Price or a Felix Hernandez.

      Nobody said front-end…I’m talking about anyone better than Mitre & Nova as options. They could have had somebody better than Mitre in the pen and then if needed that pitcher could start.

      The Yankees have developed Hughes and who else as a starter in the past 5-10 years? Sure there are some younger pitchers in the minors, but we don’t know if they will pan out.

      Cashman should have planned ahead for this and had some kind of depth better than Mitre or Nova. I find it hard to believe the Yankees can’t find some way to have more depth in their rotation than they do.

      For example, The Yankees drafted Andrew Brackman in the first round in 2007 and he isn’t close to the majors. They could have picked one of these starters instead who have already reached the majors and had some success: Brett Cecil, Tommy Hunter, & Jordan Zimmerman. These guys would have at least added some depth in 2011 that Brackman is not adding this year and who knows if he ever will add value to the Yankees.

    18. MJ Recanati
      December 14th, 2010 | 12:15 pm

      nettles wrote:

      We’re so screwed.

      It’s December 14th. The regular season isn’t for another 14 weeks or so and the playoffs aren’t due to start for another 10 months.

      I think the Yanks will be OK. They may not look like a World Series champion on paper but the Phillies DID look like a champion on paper after they steamrolled the Reds in the NLDS and look what happened to them.

      Let’s let this all play out.

    19. BOHAN
      December 14th, 2010 | 12:18 pm

      Mets had Gooden/Cone/Viola/Darling in primes in 1989-90, never played 1 playoff gm. Phils still have to play 162. Just like every other team. cant win it all on paper. As Yankee fans we should know this very well. Had some of the most talent on teams from 2001-2008 and didnt win.

    20. Evan3457
      December 14th, 2010 | 12:22 pm

      Brackman had a higher ceiling than any of Cecil, Hunter or Zimmerman.

      If the Jays had thought Cecil was that hot, they would’ve picked him ahead of their other two 1st rounders. The Yankees would almost certainly not have advanced him as fast as the Jays, who had multiple openings in their rotation…in 2009. The Rangers drafted Michael Main, another high ceiling pitcher, ahead of Hunter. Main is still a prospect, and still hasn’t reached the majors. The Nationals drafted 3 players ahead of Zimmerman, including Detwiler, who hasn’t made it, and two guys still in the minors.

      It’s too damn easy to pick on draft picks that weren’t made. Yanks didn’t have any sandwich picks that year, other teams did.

    21. Corey Italiano
      December 14th, 2010 | 12:31 pm

      clintfsu813 wrote:

      After Nova stared down Bautista he made a fan for life in me!

      Agreed, that was awesome.

    22. Corey Italiano
      December 14th, 2010 | 12:33 pm

      antone wrote:

      The Yankees have developed Hughes and who else as a starter in the past 5-10 years?

      Chein Ming Wang, they could have had Joba in the rotation…

    23. antone
      December 14th, 2010 | 12:37 pm

      Almost doesn’t count…although if they are going to give Mitre & Nova a shot at the 5th starter spot they might as well give Joba another shot too.

    24. Corey Italiano
      December 14th, 2010 | 12:50 pm

      @ antone:
      How is Wang almost?

    25. antone
      December 14th, 2010 | 1:03 pm

      Joba is almost…he hasn’t panned out as a starter yet.

    26. MJ Recanati
      December 14th, 2010 | 1:21 pm

      antone wrote:

      Nobody said front-end…I’m talking about anyone better than Mitre & Nova as options. They could have had somebody better than Mitre in the pen and then if needed that pitcher could start.

      If we’re not talking about front-end then we are talking about Mitre/Nova. I’m curious to hear who is out there in baseball that would be both better than Mitre Nova and avaiable. Pitchers that could be employed by other MLB teams aren’t just sitting around waiting for the Yankees to call.

      For example, the Yankees had Dustin Moseley as depth last year. They let him walk and he signed with the Padres over the weekend. Unless you’re sorry to lose him (and you shouldn’t be, he’s not very good), that’s the kind of depth that is available around baseball. It’s just that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Trust me, fans in San Diego are wondering what they’re going to do with Moseley this year, just as we’re holding our noses as Ivan Nova as our presumptive fifth starter this year.

      antone wrote:

      The Yankees have developed Hughes and who else as a starter in the past 5-10 years? Sure there are some younger pitchers in the minors, but we don’t know if they will pan out.

      Every free agent signing, be it a batter or a pitcher, comes with the opportunity cost of a draft pick given up. It’s hard to develop the kinds of starters Yankee fans want to see in their rotation when the Yankees aren’t drafting at the top of the first round. The Yankees have done a good job of developing pitchers for their bullpen and for the back end of their rotation but, philosophically, the team uses back-end starters as trade bait. So it’s somewhat hard to churn out viable young arms when you’re drafting lower and trading guys that don’t project as #1/#2 starters.

      antone wrote:

      Cashman should have planned ahead for this and had some kind of depth better than Mitre or Nova. I find it hard to believe the Yankees can’t find some way to have more depth in their rotation than they do.

      I’m not following how Cashman should’ve planned ahead. He should’ve had a bunch of journeymen in AAA waiting for their call to help? He’s done that every year (Ponson, Rasner, Moseley, Mitre, Gaudin). Or should he have a stable of young 23 year olds ready to step in? He’s in the process of doing that too.

      antone wrote:

      For example, The Yankees drafted Andrew Brackman in the first round in 2007 and he isn’t close to the majors.

      He was in AAA to end the year last year and will start 2011 there as well. It doesn’t get closer to the majors than AAA.

      antone wrote:

      They could have picked one of these starters instead who have already reached the majors and had some success: Brett Cecil, Tommy Hunter, & Jordan Zimmerman.

      Evan already commented on this. Brackman had a higher ceiling than those three and, moreover, those three reached the majors sooner because their teams had open spots for them. This is the first year since Brackman was drafted that the team had an open spot for him and, frankly, it would not surprise me if we see Brackman pitching in the Bronx around July/August of this year.

    27. Evan3457
      December 14th, 2010 | 1:47 pm

      antone wrote:

      Almost doesn’t count…although if they are going to give Mitre & Nova a shot at the 5th starter spot they might as well give Joba another shot too.

      I would love to see Joba get another shot at the rotation. But I’m nearly alone in that desire…

      Also wouldn’t mind seeing Nova get a shot, just not at the same time.

    28. Raf
      December 14th, 2010 | 1:58 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I would love to see Joba get another shot at the rotation. But I’m nearly alone in that desire…

      I’d like to see it too, but it seems that ship has sailed. Perhaps the organization knows something?

    29. Corey Italiano
      December 14th, 2010 | 2:00 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I would love to see Joba get another shot at the rotation.

      I’m with ya

    30. MJ Recanati
      December 14th, 2010 | 2:11 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      @ Corey Italiano:
      That ship has sailed. The Yanks don’t think Joba can be a starter so that’s that.

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