• Was Brian Cashman Right Back In Spring Training When He Said The 2013 Yankees Starting Rotation This Season Was A Strength?

    Posted by on August 5th, 2013 · Comments (6)

    Back on March 21st of this year, when asked if the Yankees needed to add a starting pitcher, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said:

    “I don’t think it would make any sense whatsoever,” Cashman said. “We have all of our pitching intact. Our problem is not our pitching. Pitching is our strength.”

    The Yankees have six starters: Lefties CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte and righties Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, Nova and Phelps. A seventh possibility, righty Michael Pineda, is recovering well from shoulder surgery, Cashman said.

    So, how good has the Yankees starting rotation been, to date, this season? Check out these stats:

    First, how about Quality Start percentage? Here, the Yankees are just league average:

    Tm GS QS QS% ▾
    DET 109 73 67%
    KCR 108 66 61%
    OAK 111 67 60%
    BOS 113 66 58%
    CHW 109 62 57%
    SEA 111 61 55%
    TBR 111 60 54%
    LAA 110 58 53%
    NYY 110 57 52%
    LgAvg 110 58 52%
    BAL 112 55 49%
    TEX 112 53 47%
    CLE 111 51 46%
    HOU 110 50 45%
    TOR 111 44 40%
    MIN 108 42 39%
    1656 865 52%
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 8/5/2013.

    .
    Is 9th in the league considered a “strength”?

    Next, look at Average Game Score. Here, once again, the Yankees are just league average:

    Tm GS GmScA ▾ Best Wrst
    DET 109 56 94 -3
    TBR 111 54 89 13
    BOS 113 53 90 10
    CHW 109 53 92 16
    OAK 111 53 88 10
    CLE 111 52 85 12
    KCR 108 52 85 8
    NYY 110 52 83 2
    SEA 111 52 93 9
    TEX 112 52 96 7
    LgAvg 110 51 96 -3
    LAA 110 49 86 16
    BAL 112 48 82 14
    HOU 110 47 79 2
    TOR 111 47 90 10
    MIN 108 44 74 6
    1656 51 96 -3
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 8/5/2013.

    .
    Is being 8th in the league to be considered a “strength”?

    Lastly, look at the ERA+ numbers for the seven pitchers to start games for the Yankees so far this season:

    ERA GS IP BF ERA+
    CC Sabathia* 4.78 23 152.2 655 83
    Hiroki Kuroda 2.38 22 139.2 553 167
    Andy Pettitte* 4.28 19 117.2 506 93
    Phil Hughes 4.87 21 114.2 494 82
    David Phelps 5.01 12 82.2 359 80
    Ivan Nova 3.08 10 73.0 307 130
    Vidal Nuno* 2.25 3 20.0 82 180
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 8/5/2013.

    .
    Throw out Nuno for sample size. And, you can see that only Kuroda and Nova this year have ERA totals that are above league average. So, how exactly, again, was starting pitching a “strength” for the Yankees this season?

    Com’on Cashman, and his apologists, get real here. Yes, Hiroki Kuroda has been AWESOME this season. And, Ivan Nova has been a shocking surprise. But, the rest of the Yankees rotation – Cashman’s strength of the team! – has been not very good, if you want to be honest. The numbers don’t lie.

    Comments on Was Brian Cashman Right Back In Spring Training When He Said The 2013 Yankees Starting Rotation This Season Was A Strength?

    1. Kamieniecki
      August 5th, 2013 | 6:07 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Is being 8th in the league to be considered a “strength”?

      It is when your offense is 15th in the league.

    2. #15
      August 5th, 2013 | 6:18 pm

      I think this whole story comes down to CC. If he was having an average CC season, then yes, the numbers, and the performance of the pitching staff as a whole would have been a strength. Clearly CC is pitching below expectations.

      I hope Kuroda has another year in him. He doesn’t look like he’s straining, struggling, or doing it with smoke and mirrors… Of course, one could say the same about Mo and I doubt he’s going to change his mind.

    3. August 6th, 2013 | 9:03 am

      #15 wrote:

      I hope Kuroda has another year in him.

      Pitchers, at his age, go south in a hurry sometimes. Bringing him back, assuming he wants to come back, is not without risk.

    4. #15
      August 6th, 2013 | 11:56 am

      Would you take Mo for another year?

      I think there is risk with any pitcher, particularly an older one. Still, like I said above, he is showing he has plently of giddy-up and great command. Best on the squad and among the best in the AL.

    5. August 6th, 2013 | 12:55 pm

      #15 wrote:

      Would you take Mo for another year?

      Doesn’t matter. He doesn’t want to do it.

    6. August 6th, 2013 | 3:59 pm

      Also, FWIW, the Yankees have a 4.89 ERA in the second half, after a 3.96 mark in the first half. That’s a strength, Cash?

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