One of the ridiculous notions that has been mentioned over the last few days is that the Yankees need Roy Halladay because CC Sabathia is a very good innings eater, but is not a real ace or stopper. Quite frankly, this contention is ridiculous. I have heard comments suggesting that his success in Milwaukee is all that he has under his belt in terms of ace-like performance, and that he is unlikely to replicate that in the AL. This conveniently ignores the fact that he won a Cy Young in the AL in 2007. Let us take a closer look at the numbers since 2005, as CC came into his own as an ace in the 2006 season.
An ace needs to throw plenty of innings at a very high level. 200 league average innings are nice in the middle of the rotation, but you would like more than that from your top guy. I therefore set a minimum inning level of 180 IP, and then looked at 2006, 2007, and 2008 to see where CC stood among the league leaders (these are ranks in all of baseball, not just one league).
Tread: The Movie psp WHIP: 8th
It seems fairly evident that CC was among the top 5-10 pitchers in baseball in each of the last 3 seasons. Furthermore, let us look at how many pitchers were in top 15 or better in those categories in all three years, as CC was.
ERA: 2 (not including Sabathia): Johan Santana, Brandon Webb
WHIP: 2: Dan Haren, Johan Santana
K/BB: 3: Javier Vazquez, Dan Haren, Johan Santana
Drive Me Crazy dvd OPS: 3: Roy Halladay, Brandon Webb, Johan Santana
What have we learned? That CC Sabathia was among the top 5-10 pitchers in each of the last season, and was of only a handful to remain dominant throughout that entire period. If you had to make a list of established, no doubt about it type aces, your list would likely include Santana, Webb, Halladay, Sabathia, and possibly Haren, and you would supplement with aces of a more recent vintage, such as Tim Lincecum and possibly Felix Hernandez. While getting Roy Halladay would certainly help the club, the Yankees do not need an ace. They already have one.
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