Brian Cashman became Yankees G.M. on February 28, 1998.
So, how many times, each season since 1998, have the Yankees had a starting pitcher on their team who made at least 25 starts and had an ERA+ of 100 or better? Here’s the answer:
|1||1998||AL||New York Yankees||4||David Cone / Hideki Irabu / Andy Pettitte / David Wells|
|2||1999||AL||New York Yankees||4||Roger Clemens / David Cone / Orlando Hernandez / Andy Pettitte|
|3||2000||AL||New York Yankees||3||Roger Clemens / Orlando Hernandez / Andy Pettitte|
|4||2001||AL||New York Yankees||3||Roger Clemens / Mike Mussina / Andy Pettitte|
|5||2002||AL||New York Yankees||3||Roger Clemens / Mike Mussina / David Wells|
|6||2003||AL||New York Yankees||4||Roger Clemens / Mike Mussina / Andy Pettitte / David Wells|
|7||2004||AL||New York Yankees||1||Jon Lieber|
|8||2005||AL||New York Yankees||1||Randy Johnson|
|9||2006||AL||New York Yankees||3||Mike Mussina / Chien-Ming Wang / Jaret Wright|
|10||2007||AL||New York Yankees||2||Andy Pettitte / Chien-Ming Wang|
|11||2008||AL||New York Yankees||1||Mike Mussina|
|12||2009||AL||New York Yankees||3||A.J. Burnett / Andy Pettitte / CC Sabathia|
|13||2010||AL||New York Yankees||2||Phil Hughes / CC Sabathia|
As you can see, above, from 1998 through 2003, the Yankees always had a deep and solid starting rotation. However, since 2003, it’s been rare that Brian Cashman has built a starting rotation that was deep and solid. In fact, over the last seven years, it’s been extremely common for the Yankees to have only two starting pitchers, or less, who could be considered as reliable and not below league average.
That post-2003/pre-2004 line here is interesting. Why does it exist? The answer is simple. Before 2004, those Yankees starting staffs were all about Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina and David Wells. And, when those four were together in 2003 for New York, it was the last time the Yankees had a starting rotation that was deep and solid.
It’s sad that, for the last seven years, Cashman has not be able to consistently duplicate the Yankees starting pitching success that they had from 1998 through 2003. And, it’s even more sad that 2011 appears to be another year added to this run – making it eight years since Cashman had a rotation that was four-deep in terms of being durable and productive. There’s been a lot of money spent on pitching, by Cashman, since 2004. However, on the whole, it’s been good money wasted.