General Yankees

Rotation, Rotation, Rotation

Last night Michael Pineda capped a so-so Spring with his worst performance to date, getting knocked around by the Phillies for 6 ER in 2.2 innings and (still) failing to touch even once the 95 mph mark that his fastball averaged last season. During the game YES announcer David Cone noted that Pineda seemed to be pulling his fastballs so they were both hooking and – presumably – coming out of his hand with less velocity than they should.  Russell Martin later confirmed this. It seemed all but certain that Pineda would begin the 2012 season in Scranton Wilkes-Barre.  And then, this news broke.  Bummer, though not a disaster. 

With Phil Hughes' sterling Spring, his next start has been rescheduled so that he can slide into the #3-slot in the rotation behind Sabathia and Kuroda.  Freddy Garcia has had a great Spring and Ivan Nova's last start (7.0 IP against the Twins, 4 ER, 5 K, 0 BB)  seemed to indicate he is moving in the right direction.

So it's looking like the Yankee starting rotation as of Opening Day will be (stats for Spring training):

CC Sabathia – 14.0 IP; 4.50 ERA; 1.36 WHIP; .298 BAA

Hiroki Kuroda – 21.2 IP; 2.91 ERA; 1.06 WHIP; .247 BAA

Phil Hughes – 13.1 IP; 2.03 ERA; 0.98 WHIP; .220 BAA

Freddy Garcia – 12.1 IP; 2.92 ERA; 1.14 WHIP; .213 BAA

Ivan Nova – 19.2 IP; 6.86 ERA; 1.22 WHIP; .280 BAA

By comparison, Pineda's numbers – particularly the BAA – are abysmal: 19.0 IP; 5.68 ERA; 1.79 WHIP; .324 BAA.

Hopefully Pineda will recuperate quickly and straighten himself out.  If he does, and with Andy Pettitte working toward a debut sometime in May, none of those rotation spots – save CC's – can be considered safe for long.  It is very strange to go into a season feeling this good about the Yankee starting pitching but I'll try to get used to it. 

Less than a week now!!!

54 replies on “Rotation, Rotation, Rotation”

Sox rotation: Lester, Beckett, Buchholz, Doubront, Bard. Guessing Bard to the pen for innings purposes whenever Matsuzaka returns? Or maybe Doubront will suck bad enough such that he gets replaced by Cook before May? It’s hard to say how it all will end up. But I’m glad this is how it’s starting.
3.5 more days till Verlander takes Punto et al behind the woodshed! Wooooo.

Is it me or are there an unusual number of injuries this year, not on our two teams but in the league in general? Just did my fantasy draft on Sunday and was shocked by how many people are dealing with minor injuries.
Bard’s command issues this spring have me worried. I’m also surprised Doubront made the rotation, but I guess Valentine liked what he saw this spring. $50 says he’s out of the rotation by May.

Going through last year really made me a better fan; I know that I can go through sports hell and still want to hit the reset button again. 3rd, 4th place and out of the weird one-game playoff in 2012? Sure, I’ll be back for more next year, you can’t hurt me (that much) anymore; I’ve been through likely the worst collapse of the next few decades in MLB! Can I just watch my team win often enough to make it interesting at the start of September? Maybe make the playoffs every other year since we’re so stinking rich or whatever? Lackey and Crawford, boy oh boy (I have hope for Crawford to return to being a pretty good player, but my goodness…).
I believe if things went right, they could win the division, but they are most likely destined for 2nd and a one-game playoff (ick). I think it’ll boil down to a dogfight for 2nd/3rd/4th (2nd and 4th separated by less than 6 games, say) this year…it’s easy to see the Sox placing as low as 3rd (again), and not out of the question to see them 4th, but I tend toward optimism at the start of the year, so go win 96 or somethin’.
Hope that not-Drew is a gain to make up for some of the regression you’re bound to see from Ellsbury and co., and that not-Weiland/Wakefield/Miller/Lackey is a step up, too. I wonder if Cook’s 5/1 deadline will end up meaning anything vis a vis Doubront/Bard…anything can happen. Could be that Cook will stink in AAA while Doubront and Bard are passable. Could be both Doubront and Bard are hideous, they throw them into the pen and Cook and Padilla/Aceves get relied on to start while the bullpen gets more watered down. That’s why sports is such good entertainment; it’s unpredictable (don’t get me wrong, I love fiction, but it’s usually predictable about 5 minutes in), and comes with amazing highs/lows.
More highs this year, plz. Anticipating getting killed by Verlander day after tomorrow, but still hoping to win the series! :)

Nova looked HORRIBLE vs. the Mets yesterday. I mean, horrible. He got destroyed in under 3 innings and later said none of his pitches were working, his body felt lazy, blah blah. Really encouraging last start of the Spring Ivan. Well despite his 8.00+ spring training ERA, he’s got his rotation spot secured – at least until Pettitte is ready – so we’ll see. Curious how Pettitte’s first live action since retirement goes later today. With baseball season starting and Tiger looking good going into the Masters, I’m excited for a great sports weekend…

Fun fact: I went to high school with Mark Montgomery, the pitcher invited to Spring Training yesterday and who gave up the walk-off homer to Ike Davis in the 9th inning. I’ve been following him since he was drafted last year (his K-rates are off the charts), and so it sucked to see him lit up in his first real opportunity.
Oh well, there’s plenty of time for improvement.

Cool Ath. He pitched a couple innings right? I was fast-forwarding the DVR pretty quickly a that point so I didn’t see when he came in but I think he had a good inning in there before the 9th. As for the 9th, that HR by Davis was extraordinary – well over the extended wall in dead center. Absolute bomb.

He pitched exactly 0.0 innings, since Davis was the first batter of the inning. Kid has insane talent though… he’s one of only three people to record 5 strikeouts in one inning (at any level). Apparently he has a slider that’s unhittable and uncatchable.

I watched Pettitte while I was home for lunch…same old Andy. He hit his spots, gave up a single, got a pop out and a ground out and Muscle threw out the dude that singled.
12 pitches I think?
He looked good!

Guys, everything’s gonna be fine. My kid (17.5 months) just learned today to say “baseball” (“bee-baw”) and “Red Sox” (“ed-sah”)…he’ll watch as much of Opening Day as he can since that’s prime nap time.
PS Aceves as closer, eh? That’s kinda cool. I share some of SoSH’s doubts about his sick-low BABIP last year (unsustainable), and not using him where he’s suited (multiple-inning situations, rubber-arm, etc.), but he’s a proven relief pitcher in the AL East, and he seems sorta crazy, so that works.

Don’t understand the logic behind making Aceves the closer. I’m sure he can do it, but they wanted him in the bullpen because of his versatility. Why then restrict him to the 9th inning (though they might bring him in for five or six outs on occasion)? Melancon has closed in Houston so why not try him as closer and keep Aceves as the fireman who can come in whenever there’s trouble in late innings?
But then, who am I to question the brightest guy in baseball?
I’m all geared up, so get us a win today, guys!

Verlander with a nasty pitch to Cody Ross to get the 3rd out, Ortiz stranded at 3rd. He is going to be tough today. Let’s hope Lester can match him pitch for pitch.

Wow, this bullpen could really kill the Sox this year. And Bard is going to have a very short leash. That’s no good for him or for the pen. Aceves and Melancon should be okay, but this team could dig itself a hole before they get it figure out.

Billsburg, the game was blacked-out for you? I watched it on at home, even though it was on ESPN2.
Shocked we made a comeback (before blowing it). Despite his poor outing yesterday, I don’t understand why Aceves is the closer instead of Melancon. But whatever.

Ath – never checked MLB TV, figured it would be since the game was televised nationally. Ended up watching the final innings (unfortunately) on my phone while my kids were taking swimming lessons.
I’m thinking that Aceves was dropped into the closer role to placate him since he didn’t make the rotation. Though I’m surprised he got that role after his comments to the media about Beckett’s thumb. I still think that Melancon will get some opportunities to close, only for the fact that Bobby won’t hesitate to use Aceves in multiple inning saves situations. I’m sure had he closed the 9th out with them still tied he was going to come back out for the 10th whether the Sox took the lead or not.

Plus I work in a cube-ville environment as government contractor so I figured it would be bad to blatantly be watching baseball while everyone else was working.

Oooof, just saw that Papsmear was lights out yesterday. It’s easy to forget how good he was. And with him behind Halladay and Lee and Hamels, that’s a scary. Their offense just needs to get healthy.

Positives to take from this game:
1) offense that had been held down by perhaps the best pitcher in baseball got a jolt on the appearance of a non-Verlander pitcher with the heart of the order up against a good, if not elite, closer.
2) “April Lester” made no appearance, as pbe earlier noted.

Not downplaying anything, just don’t and didn’t at the time think he was worth what the Phillies were paying him. Sorry, if Bailey had pulled a groin or a hammy while pitching I’d say ok, this guy is fragile, but he’ll get a pass, for now, when his injury occurred during a collision with the runner while covering first.
Boston’s goal is to get payroll under the luxury tax threshold by 2014 (BTW – that’s the stated Yankee goal as well) so they don’t get hit with the 50% tax. 5 yrs $63M is far to much to tie up in a closer. I’m not even sure he would have accepted 4 yrs $44M from the Sox. He’s no Mo, at least that was the mantra when any Sox fan compared him to Rivera at anytime over the last few years.

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