Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Yankees Rotation Could Be The Downfall of Western Civilization

It dumbfounds me how the idiots in the Yankee front office actually expect to win a title this year. It really, really does. How can the Steinbrenner Bros. & Cashman really believe they have assembled a team that can defeat the Red Sox. Or Phillies. Or hell, even the Braves. The Yankees pitching staff is one of the most horrifying things I have even seen.

Maybe I am overreacting. I have a tendency to do so at the beginning of the season. But when a team brings in Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, and Mark Prior to save the staff, well, good God. Oh and Kevin Milwood. You know, the one who went 4-16 last year? I realize the Yankees are super pissed that they lost out on the golden goose of the offseason. The goose is Cliff Lee. But even paying minimum wage to four awful, past their prime, and (in some cases) overweight pitchers does not make up for the lackluster offseason. Let’s look at the Yankees rotation, and see if I should be hitting the PANIC button. Because I am pressing the crap out of it right now.

C.C. Sabathia

I mean, he should be okay. Then again, he danced around the topic of his opt-out clause in his contract, which he can use at the end of the season. Yikes. Really, he is already tired of New York? He hasn’t even really been booed yet. I am sure he hasn’t even heard a racial slur. I am not saying that he should be looking forward to those things, but calm down C.C., it’s not good for the blood pressure.

Perhaps, C.C. will be so inclined to get out of his contract, that he will pitch out of his mind during the season. Stay with me here. You know, the classic “I could get paid crazy dough during the offseason so I better actually try”.

I am really grasping for straws here, whatever that means. Who the hell uses a straw? Old people and little kids who have not yet mastered the art of tricking out of a cup.

C.C. should be fine, and is really the least of my worries. Unless his arteries explode while pitching, the odds are that he will be the Yankees best and most consistent starter during the season.

Phil Hughes

Obviously, a ton of questions with Hughes. He started off great last year, pitching well enough to garner an All-Star game nomination, and not make Dave Eiland suffer a stroke. Then, as the season progressed, it became pretty apparent that Hughes was the benefactor of MAJOR run support. I put major in caps for a reason. I know what I am doing. In his first 12 starts, the Yankees had 6 games where they scored 8 runs or more. As the Yankees scored fewer runs for Hughes as the season progressed, Hughes went from a 10-1 pitcher to a 8-7 pitcher.

Also, read this post from Hardball Talk. It says that scouts are stunned on how much Hughes’ velocity has decreased this spring.


That is a word usually reserved for things like: “Wow, I am stunned at the immensity of that supervolcano underneath the western United States that could end Western civilization as we know it” or “Wow, I am stunned I ate that entire wheel of cheese”. You know, important things. So Hughes loss in velocity must be the sign of the impending apocalypse for the Yankees.

A.J. Burnett

Here is where I start to convulse with worry. A.J. Burnett sucks. I hate to sound so unprofessional, but for God’s sake I am writing to an audience of 26 people, so I can take chances like this. I have written before about how Burnett makes me want to punch a small child, so I will not spew too much anger.

Moving On.

Ivan Nova

I actually like Nova. I feel like he actually has promise, and will maybe even learn from his mistakes. But he is probably even a bigger question mark than Burnett. At least you know A.J. is going to blow. With Nova, you are not sure. He could be dominant, like he has looked this spring. Or he could turn into a headcase, like so many before him. Ivan Nova is our number four starter. Still trying to completely process this.

Freddy Garcia

I could have sworn that Garcia once pitched for the Yankees. Or maybe that was Esteban Loaiza. Whoever it was, they did bad the first time.

I am, obviously, not feeling good about Fast Freddy in the staff. The Yankees have the biggest payroll in baseball (yes, they do), and Freddy Garcia is the fifth starter. Although Freddy may be halfway decent (who knows, he might even be 60% decent), I am not too thrilled. He went 12-6 last year, but had a 4.64 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP. Those are fifth starter numbers, and the Yankees offense should save him most games.

But is really the best we could get?


It really falls down to these three: Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano, and Mariano Rivera. Rivera could be in the AARP, and would still feel extremely confident in him, so I will move on. Soriano was borderline dominant last year, and is most likely the best set-up man in baseball. I do not like Joba. The only thing better than getting Soriano, was that they replaced Joba as the 8th inning guy. If Joba can get it all together, the Yankee bullpen should be untouchable. Even if he doesn’t, that 8-9 combo will probably prove to be too overwhelming.

Well, there you have it. My unofficial Yankee Season Preview. Yes, I know it was only pitching, but pitching is the most crucial part of the Yankees chances this year. Let’s go.

Brendan O’Hare writes the Attic Fan blog for Email him at, and while you are at it, follow him on Twitter @theatticfan.


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