As we all know, the biggest story of the 2010-2011 offseason was the state of the Yankee rotation, and how the team could possibly make it through an entire season in the aftermath of the Cliff Lee rebuff and Andy Pettitte retirement.
Tryouts were held for the 4th and 5th slots in the rotation during Spring Training, and it was finally announced that Ivan Nova won the fourth slot while Freddy Garcia would be the fifth starter. Bartolo Colon made a strong case for fifth starter — and the team may have erred in not placing Colon in the rotation at the outset — but whether you agree with the reasoning or not, Garcia’s more recent track record of pitching at the Major League level won out, and Colon will start the year in the bullpen.
Ultimately, however, the man selected to begin the year as the Yankees’ fifth starter is pretty irrelevant — if Garcia totally bombs, Colon will likely slide into the rotation; if Colon then bombs, the Yankees would probably give Kevin Millwood a shot while they continue to get their AAA arms innings in the minors; and if Millwood bombs, we’d likely start seeing a parade of Hector Noesi, David Phelps, Andrew Brackman et. al. summoned to the Bronx.
I’ve compiled the following table featuring the Yankees’ Opening Day rotations going back to 2003. Bear in mind that this is simply how the rotation shook out at the very beginning of each season; obviously there was quite a bit of turnover in many of these years — in particular, in 2004, Jorge De Paula only made one start, but it was the first fifth start of the season so that’s why I’ve included him. De Paula was followed by one Alex Graman start, and somehow the schedule shook out so that the Yankees only needed to call on a fifth starter twice until Jon Lieber made his debut on May 1.
|Jorge De Paula||1.42||1.42||7.11||7.31|
Again, while several of these names were jettisoned at various points throughout the season, I think this helps put things in perspective to a certain extent. Still upset about Sabathia-Burnett-Hughes-Nova-Garcia? Well in 2007 the Yankees kicked the season off with a rotation of Pavano-Pettitte-Mussina-Igawa-Rasner. And if you really want to feel better about the 2011 rotation, sear your eyes with the Opening Day rotations of the 2004-2006 squads.
For additional comparison, below is a chart taking the straight, unweighted averages of the above fivesomes’ seasonal numbers and comparing them against each other. Yes, I know the numbers are skewed somewhat due to the fact that each of the pitchers in each rotation threw a different amount of innings (and in some cases vastly so), but the actual combined staff numbers likely aren’t all that far off from these rough estimates:
The 2007 opening fivesome doesn’t come out of this quick-and-dirty comparison all that well, and the 2008 staff isn’t much better, though that grouping’s FIP actually somehow averaged out to second-best.
Interestingly, the unweighted average of the 2011 staff’s ERA projections (4.22) is the lowest out of all nine groups charted here, beating out the 2003 staff by 0.03 of a run. The 2011 staff’s unweighted average FIP projection comes in third, behind 2003 and 2008.
Anyway, the moral of the story here is, it’s probably best not to get too caught up in who the Yankees start the season out with in the back end of their rotation. However, if you do want to get caught up in it, the Yankees have clearly trotted out worse fivesomes to start their season within the last nine years.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Brand bc on Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees