It’s been a while since I got back to doing these lists. Anyways, we’ve done infield, outfield, catchers, bench and bullpen, so that only leaves one section left: the starting pitchers.
Before I start, I’d like to announce that the new pictures on the player pages have arrived. Everybody looks fine and dandy in their pictures, it’s very cool, I checked a bunch of them out yet I haven’t seen all of them. This is one of my favorite days of the preseason to be honest, haha. Anyways, to the rotation.
1. CC Sabathia
The Yankees have a real ace for their ace. Sabathia is probably the 3rd best pitcher in the major leagues right now. I mean, come on, let’s get real. 253 innings, 251 strikeouts? 2.70 ERA? This guy is just a fantastic pitcher. A left hander with a mid-90s fastball and a nasty slider… we have a real ace, thank the Lord. No offense to the guy who’s 2nd in the rotation and the former Yankee ace…
2. Chien-Ming Wang
Chien-Ming Wang is who I was referring to. This guy’s season was cut short after a freak accident rounding the bases, but now he’s baaaack… he is known for his hard sinker and a decent slider. The Taiwanese righty should be a perfect fit for the #2 spot, separating the hard throwing, nasty stuff Sabathia and the next pitcher, #3 starter AJ Burnett. I know that the Yankees and all their fans, including me, are looking for him to bounce back and pitch 190-200 innings. This guy is really one of the better pitchers in baseball IMO.
3. AJ Burnett
AJ Burnett has flat out great stuff. A hard fastball and a nasty curveball combination got Burnett 231 strikeouts in 221.1 innings. While he is a high injury risk, his 34 starts(35 games pitched) is pretty encouraging. Can Burnett repeat his 08 campaign with the Yankees in 09? I would honestly be pretty surprised if he did. This guy is a serious health risk. Hopefully he can come back from that, however.
4. Andy Pettitte
Andy is probably in his last year in the majors, I wouldn’t doubt it if he was. He’s had a very good career and is still a capable pitcher. He pitched 204 innings and certainly wasn’t very impressive, putting up a 98 ERA+, but that was the worst season of his career. He’s still a workhorse who can pitch 200 innings and put up at least a league average ERA, while having a low walk rate(2.43 in 2008)… this is an asset to have at the no. 4 spot.
5. Joba Chamberlain
On the subject of Pettitte being an asset at the no. 4 spot, this guy is a dream to have in the 5th spot. Joba friggin’ Chamberlain. A lot of people think Joba should be in the bullpen; he is ridiculously dominant as a setup guy, and could be a great closer. However, it’s more valuable to have this guy, who has great stuff and poise, along with good control, in the starting rotation. Especially since his preference is to be in the rotation, and he’s always been in the rotation. Sometimes I just want to strangle those analysts who constantly argue for him to be in the bullpen and not the rotation, because they just do not get it. Anyways, his season ended in injury, but this guy could break out for real this season. He’s got that potential. He’s 23 years of age, turns 24 in September ’09, and he’s hopefully going to be great in the 5 spot.
Spot Starter: Phil Hughes
Phil Hughes is, in my mind, still the future of the Yankees. His stuff is very good, and he’s got the potential to dominate. He’s not going to be there this year, obviously, since he’s 22 years old, had a horrific injury-filled season last year, and is currently the spot starter/long reliever, but maybe in ’10 or ’11, when he gets a shot at the rotation, then he’ll begin to pitch better and better until he turns into the ace that he’s meant to be.
And that’s it… I give the rotation a ranking of 9 out of 10, thank you for reading, I love y’all, be sure to comment and make suggestions for my next blog… I’m willing to listen to your suggestions.
Stay positive, Yankee fans.
-EJ the Kid From New York