• The Bartolo Colon & Freddy Garcia Pipe Dream

    Posted by on April 29th, 2011 · Comments (37)

    Freddy Garcia is 36-years old and Bartolo Colon is 38-years old. How many times in Yankees history have they had two RHP age 36 or older each make 20+ starts for them in the same season? Only three times:

    Roger Clemens and David Cone in 1999 and 2000. (And, Cone was terrible in 2000 and should not have been in the rotation.) And, Roger Clemens and El Duque Hernandez in 2002.

    How many times in Yankees history have they had two RHP age 36 or older each make 25+ starts for them in the same season?

    Just Clemens and Cone in 1999 and 2000.

    How many times in Yankees history have they had two RHP age 36 or older each make 30+ starts for them in the same season?

    Just Clemens and Cone in 1999.

    By the end of July, either Colon or Garcia, or maybe both of them, are going to crash due to injury or the league catching up to them. It may happen sooner. Enjoy what you’re getting out of them now – and they have thrown well to date – but, it’s not going to last – not for both of them…for the whole season.

    Comments on The Bartolo Colon & Freddy Garcia Pipe Dream

    1. Raf
      April 29th, 2011 | 6:52 am

      You never know. Don’t think their age matters; after all, there’s a 25 year old that’s currently on the shelf.

    2. Garcia
      April 29th, 2011 | 7:20 am

      Going out on a limb, Steve. Would you also say that Santa doesn’t exist? Or that the Easter bunny isn’t real, too.

      The minute those two start to suck, the Yankees FO will need to figure something else out. I don’t think the Yankees signed these guys to 5 year deals, they signed them to do just what they are doing — get them to point in the year the Yankees can reach out to other teams about a potential trade.

      I’ll bet you pretty much everyone who reads your blog will say the same thing, so what exactly have you said that we don’t already know?

    3. MJ Recanati
      April 29th, 2011 | 8:01 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      The question shouldn’t be “many times in Yankees history have they had two RHP age 36 or older each make 20/25/30 starts for them in the same season” because the results may not be entirely relevant.

      You should be asking how many times any team has had two pitchers aged 36 or older make 20/25/30 starts for them. If the question yields few answers then you’re proving your point. If the question yields several answers then the fact that it hasn’t happened in Yankee history doesn’t really mean anything.

      Dilute your question a little further: is it possible that one of them makes it through the season? I’m sure there’s historical precedent for a pitcher aged 36 or older making 20/25/30 starts on several teams. Thus, it doesn’t really matter if two haven’t done so as long as one has. The Yankees only need one to make it through the year because replacing one starter is easier than replacing two.

      Honestly, Steve, you paint everything black, don’t you?

    4. April 29th, 2011 | 8:17 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      The question shouldn’t be “many times in Yankees history have they had two RHP age 36 or older each make 20/25/30 starts for them in the same season” because the results may not be entirely relevant.You should be asking how many times any team has had two pitchers aged 36 or older make 20/25/30 starts for them.

      Here’s your answer:
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/10897

      It’s extremely rare, in baseball history, PERIOD.

    5. Raf
      April 29th, 2011 | 8:29 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      It’s extremely rare, in baseball history, PERIOD.

      Maybe 5 times every decade

    6. April 29th, 2011 | 8:42 am

      Raf wrote:

      Maybe 5 times every decade

      Take out the knuckleballers and then how many times?

    7. April 29th, 2011 | 8:45 am

      Garcia wrote:

      The minute those two start to suck, the Yankees FO will need to figure something else out.

      Will they? After all, when Lee didn’t sign and Hughes got hurt, their answer was Colon and Garcia – too old timers off the scrap heap. If the FO could figure something else out, wouldn’t they have done it before taking a flier and praying on BC and FG?

    8. MJ Recanati
      April 29th, 2011 | 9:03 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      If the FO could figure something else out, wouldn’t they have done it before taking a flier and praying on BC and FG?

      Straw-man argument. You know as well as I do that what is available in the off-season is not the same as what is available during the season.

    9. Raf
      April 29th, 2011 | 9:07 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Take out the knuckleballers and then how many times?

      If you’re going to keep whittling, then what is the point of this exercise? There are more pitchers on that list that aren’t knuckleballers than are. In the case of Joe Niekro, he was more like Tom Candiotti, than his brother Phil.

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Will they? After all, when Lee didn’t sign and Hughes got hurt, their answer was Colon and Garcia – too old timers off the scrap heap. If the FO could figure something else out, wouldn’t they have done it before taking a flier and praying on BC and FG?

      Yes, they will. Either someone gets promoted from the minors be it someone they took a flier on or a prospect, or a trade is made, or someone is signed either a FA, or a player that has been released. Not too long ago, Clemens was signed a few months into the season, by both the Astros and the Yanks. Pedro was signed during the summer a couple of years ago by the Phillies.

    10. MJ Recanati
      April 29th, 2011 | 9:07 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Take out the knuckleballers and then how many times?

      Removing the knuckleballers, since the 80′s, you’ve got around 20 instances of a pitcher over 36 making that many starts which speaks to the last point of my first comment that it’s certainly possible for one pitcher over 36 to make that many starts in the season.

      Thus, as long as one of Garcia or Colon can manage to make it through the year — something that seems more possible than both making it through — then the Yankees will only need to replace one starter instead of two.

    11. 77yankees
      April 29th, 2011 | 11:53 am

      74 Pitchers total made 30+ starts in 2010.

      That’s only an approximate average of 2.5 starters per team.

      And that’s regardless of age.

    12. April 29th, 2011 | 12:32 pm

      77yankees wrote:

      74 Pitchers total made 30+ starts in 2010.That’s only an approximate average of 2.5 starters per team.And that’s regardless of age.

      106 pitchers of any age made 25+ starts in 2010. That’s an average of 3.5 starters per team.

    13. April 29th, 2011 | 12:38 pm

      @ Raf:
      @ Garcia:
      @ MJ Recanati:
      @ 77yankees:

      BTW, the last time Freddy Garcia made 30+ starts in a season was 2006! And, the number of times he had more than 12 starts in a season, since 2007, was just ONCE!

      And,, the last time Bartolo Colon made 30+ starts in a season was 2005! And, the number of times he had more than 18 starts in a season, since 2006, was just ONCE!

      And, that’s why, regardless of age, counting on these two to be regular members of your rotation is a pipe dream.

    14. MJ Recanati
      April 29th, 2011 | 12:52 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      And, that’s why, regardless of age, counting on these two to be regular members of your rotation is a pipe dream.

      Alas, you just moved the goalposts once again.

      You started this thread talking about 20, 25 and 30 starts. By the time you made your last comment (directly above), you had limited it down to only 30 or more starts.

      The last time Garcia made 20+ starts was last year, when he started 28 games for the White Sox. Thus it is hardly unreasonable to expect that Garcia could again get to 20 starts in 2011.

    15. Raf
      April 29th, 2011 | 1:12 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      The last time Garcia made 20+ starts was last year, when he started 28 games for the White Sox. Thus it is hardly unreasonable to expect that Garcia could again get to 20 starts in 2011.

      Nor is it unreasonable that he gets to 30 starts in 2011.

    16. Garcia
      April 29th, 2011 | 1:26 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ Raf:
      @ Garcia:
      @ MJ Recanati:
      @ 77yankees:
      BTW, the last time Freddy Garcia made 30+ starts in a season was 2006! And, the number of times he had more than 12 starts in a season, since 2007, was just ONCE!
      And,, the last time Bartolo Colon made 30+ starts in a season was 2005! And, the number of times he had more than 18 starts in a season, since 2006, was just ONCE!
      And, that’s why, regardless of age, counting on these two to be regular members of your rotation is a pipe dream.

      I don’t disagree with you that counting on them is not sound policy, but counting on them for a snapshot is fine by me. Chances are they are going to end up sucking, history is on your side, what people are saying is: when did this become something that we didn’t already know?

      Nobody is giving Cashman “GM of the year” because of this, this is his mess and he’s trying to buy himself some time. I don’t care for Cash any longer, but I understand what he’s trying to do.

      Is this what you ultimately want to say, Cashman’s policy is really awful? Just say it w/o having to go through FG and BC. I think you are using as jump-off to your bash Cashman post once Freddy Garcia gets lit up tonight — not that I’m hoping for that, but I see where you’re going with this.

    17. 77yankees
      April 29th, 2011 | 1:28 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      77yankees wrote:
      74 Pitchers total made 30+ starts in 2010.That’s only an approximate average of 2.5 starters per team.And that’s regardless of age.
      106 pitchers of any age made 25+ starts in 2010. That’s an average of 3.5 starters per team.

      There are a lot of starters in MLB who you can’t expect to make 25 or 30 starts for a variety of reasons. This is not just limited to Garcia & Colon or based on age.

      And here are a few names for Final Jeopardy: Adam Wainwright, Zach Greinke, Brian Matusz

      The question is: Who are three starters under age 30 who made 30+ starts in 2010 and will not be matching that total in 2011? (And all may end up with fewer starts than Garcia & Colon)

    18. bags
      April 29th, 2011 | 1:28 pm

      Guess what, Steve? I am enjoying them now. It is almost May and the Yanks are in first place, 1.5 games ahead of TB and 4 ahead of Boston. They are 6 games over .500. And it has been fun watching some unexpected surprises pitch well.

      It is baseball. It is a long season. It is fun to watch. That works for me.

    19. 77yankees
      April 29th, 2011 | 1:35 pm

      bags wrote:

      Guess what, Steve? I am enjoying them now. It is almost May and the Yanks are in first place, 1.5 games ahead of TB and 4 ahead of Boston. They are 6 games over .500. And it has been fun watching some unexpected surprises pitch well.
      It is baseball. It is a long season. It is fun to watch. That works for me.

      Swish…..from way downtown. :-)

    20. April 29th, 2011 | 1:43 pm

      Hey, if some Yankees fan wants to stick their head in the sand and fart out a tune of “We’re in first place! All is great!” and ignore the fact that they’re in this position, partly, thanks to the contributions of Colon and Garcia, two pitchers who are VERY unlikely to sustain their success, then far be it from me to get in their way.

    21. MJ Recanati
      April 29th, 2011 | 1:44 pm

      77yankees wrote:

      Swish…

      And speaking of Swish, with yesterday’s post about Swisher off to a horrible start, Steve reminded me of the 2009 season where he’d write something negative about Swisher and #33 would respond with a big game that same night.

      Since we know Steve is fickle on players we can only hope that he trashes Swisher many more times this year so we can enjoy the fireworks at gametime!

      :-D

    22. April 29th, 2011 | 1:46 pm

      @ MJ Recanati: If only Joba listened to you the way the other Yankees listened to me…

    23. MJ Recanati
      April 29th, 2011 | 1:46 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Hey, if some Yankees fan wants to stick their head in the sand and fart out a tune of “We’re in first place! All is great!” and ignore the fact that they’re in this position, partly, thanks to the contributions of Colon and Garcia, two pitchers who are VERY unlikely to sustain their success, then far be it from me to get in their way.

      Once again, your arrogant attitude does you a disservice.

      Why is it that if people disagree with your perpetual “sky is falling!” warnings, they’re sticking their head in the sand? What makes you think you’re the voice of reason?

      I’m not saying that to insult you, I’m saying that you might want to be a bit more humble in your opinions; people can disagree without you taking such a condescending attitude all the time.

    24. MJ Recanati
      April 29th, 2011 | 1:47 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      If only Joba listened to you the way the other Yankees listened to me…

      Seriously!

    25. April 29th, 2011 | 2:04 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      I’m saying that you might want to be a bit more humble in your opinions; people can disagree without you taking such a condescending attitude all the time.

      My mind floods with images of stones, glass houses, pots and kettles when I read this…

    26. MJ Recanati
      April 29th, 2011 | 2:20 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      My mind floods with images of stones, glass houses, pots and kettles when I read this…

      Really?

      I’ve told you that you’re sticking your head in the sand or that you’re wearing blinders? I’ve told you that you blindly fawn for people or that you drink “kool-aid” and are otherwise a lemming in thought?

      Our disagreements over the years stem from your constant moving of targets, your inconsistently applied logic, your reflexive bashing of certain individuals and letting your personal biases against those individuals color your analysis from objective to subjective in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary.

      I call you out when I see reason to. Sometimes I get heated and angry and, on a few occasions, I’ve offended you and you’ve brought it to my attention. I really don’t think I condescend to you, however.

      In any case, if you think I’m the pot calling the kettle black, OK. But, as you always love to point out in regards to the tedious drama between two particular teammates: your transgression is no less offensive just because I did it too. You know exactly what I’m talking about.

    27. Raf
      April 29th, 2011 | 2:42 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Hey, if some Yankees fan wants to stick their head in the sand and fart out a tune of “We’re in first place! All is great!” and ignore the fact that they’re in this position, partly, thanks to the contributions of Colon and Garcia, two pitchers who are VERY unlikely to sustain their success, then far be it from me to get in their way.

      You do know that there is a large swath of area between “all” and “nothing,” right?

      Players go hot and cold all the time. Just like Colon and Garcia shouldn’t be able to sustain their level of success, Jeter (.262/.330/.286) & Posada (.130/.231/.391) should be able to improve on their lack of success. Ebb and flows, peaks and valleys, that’s how the game works. The moment Garcia & Colon start sucking, they get replaced with someone else. Maybe it will be Millwood & Silva, maybe it will be one of the kids on the farm, maybe someone will be acquired in a trade. It has happened in the past, I’m pretty sure it will happen in the future.

      This is realy much ado about nothing.

    28. LMJ229
      April 29th, 2011 | 8:58 pm

      Steve, is there anything that you enjoy about the season? Don’t worry so much. You need to try to sit back and enjoy the games.

      We all know this team as it stands has serious flaws. I believe the flaws are serious enough to derail our playoff hopes. The Yankees will need to make moves to get better to make the playoffs. But, hey, right now we are in first place and Garcia and Colon have been pleasant surprises thus far so I am enjoying that.

      To tell you the truth, the thing that worries me most is the lopsided home/away schedule we have had thus far and the rain-outs. We are going to be spending alot of time on the road in the upcoming months.

    29. LMJ229
      April 29th, 2011 | 9:16 pm

      We need to hope that the Mariners continue to lose and the Marlins start to lose regularly. That could go a long way to solving our pitching problems.

    30. Evan3457
      April 29th, 2011 | 10:06 pm

      With Colon, the issue is injury and durability, not stuff. Despite his age, the stuff Colon is throwing right now is plenty good enough to get hitters out the whole season. He’s topping on at 96, and his “Maddux” is simply tying hitters into knots, especially the lefties.

      With Garcia, his stuff is diminished, so there’ll be nights when he struggles, like tonight, and if his location is off, he’ll get blasted. But he competes, and gets the most out of what he has on a given night, like tonight. He got through the whole season last year as the #5 starter on the White Sox, and he had a decent enough year for them. It’s possible that he can deliver that kind of season again.

      I agree it’s unlikely that both will make it through the season in the rotation. But it also seems unlikely that both won’t make it. I’d expect one of them will make it, but which one…I really can’t be sure right now. We’ll just have to watch, and see what happens.

    31. April 30th, 2011 | 12:06 pm

      There is only so much you can do during the season to fix a team. I agree with LMJ229′s point related to enjoying the games. To me the 2011 team was built on shifting sands. For the team to have had a real shot this year Hughes was going to have to step into the number 2 role big time, and that’s obviously not happening. Soriano was going to have to be the 2011 version of the 2009 Phil Hughes (and that isn’t happening). With all that, the Yanks were still going to need to swing a big trade for a stud pitcher around midseason. I agree with Steve’s earlier comments on AJ. He clearly is what he is. Taking the one big walk year out of the mix and you have pitcher who will win about 12 games. He’s not consistent enough to be trusted for postseason wins.

      My point, the season may be about enjoying things like Jeter’s 3000th hit, Rivera’s next to last season, the continued development of Cano into one of the best players in the game, and hopefully watching Nova turn into a quality major league pitcher. If that’s all that it turns out to be, then we should try to get what we can out of it.

    32. Evan3457
      April 30th, 2011 | 1:18 pm

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      There is only so much you can do during the season to fix a team. I agree with LMJ229′s point related to enjoying the games. To me the 2011 team was built on shifting sands. For the team to have had a real shot this year Hughes was going to have to step into the number 2 role big time, and that’s obviously not happening. Soriano was going to have to be the 2011 version of the 2009 Phil Hughes (and that isn’t happening). With all that, the Yanks were still going to need to swing a big trade for a stud pitcher around midseason. I agree with Steve’s earlier comments on AJ. He clearly is what he is. Taking the one big walk year out of the mix and you have pitcher who will win about 12 games. He’s not consistent enough to be trusted for postseason wins.
      My point, the season may be about enjoying things like Jeter’s 3000th hit, Rivera’s next to last season, the continued development of Cano into one of the best players in the game, and hopefully watching Nova turn into a quality major league pitcher. If that’s all that it turns out to be, then we should try to get what we can out of it.

      It’s just my opinion, but you’re giving up way too early…both on Soriano, and on this team.

    33. LMJ229
      April 30th, 2011 | 3:21 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      It’s just my opinion, but you’re giving up way too early…both on Soriano, and on this team.

      Agreed. While we have some major flaws the Yankees always have the resources to correct them mid-season. We just have to stay in the hunt that far and so far we have done a good job of that.

    34. April 30th, 2011 | 9:40 pm

      I’m more concerned about Soriano’s mental make-up than I am with his current pitching stats. What I’m hoping for is a team coming along with a need for a closer, talent of interest, and a willingness to deal.

    35. Raf
      April 30th, 2011 | 11:24 pm

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      I’m more concerned about Soriano’s mental make-up than I am with his current pitching stats.

      The “mental makeup” is fine, I’m more concerned with his elbow holding up.

    36. Raf
      May 1st, 2011 | 7:59 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Here’s your answer:
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/10897

      Some interesting discussion on this topic found in the comments section.

    37. Greg H.
      May 1st, 2011 | 9:39 am

      Raf wrote:

      This is realy much ado about nothing.

      Actually, this is really much ado about what might or might not happen. The basis of this thread was the chances of these two making 20+ starts all year. But linking that to two being on the same team seems flawed. If there are plenty of instances that 2 pitchers have done this in the same year, regardless of what teams they play for, then it stands to reason, that once in a while they’d turn up playing for the same team. It’s perhaps not probable, but quite clearly it’s possible.

      Since there’s no way to predict what might happen, I’ll take Steve’s advice and enjoy it right now. Especially Colon. He was just filthy his last start. I don’t care if it’s Eddie Munster out there, when someone is throwing like that, it’s great baseball, great to watch.

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