June 28, 2009

Yankees FA starters finally hit expectations

Almost a quarter of a billion dollars was invested in starters CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett this past offseason. Both had excellent seasons last year, and both have started to pitch like it again recently.

Sabathia started the season with a 4.73 ERA in April, but it now stands a full run lower at 3.55. He has pitched over seven innings in nine of his last ten starts, giving the bullpen a nice breather every fifth day (he left one start early with elbow tightness). He is clearly the team’s ace and is one of the best in the league.

Burnett has been inconsistent all season, but perhaps blowing a six run lead against the Red Sox has turned his season around. Since the loss at Fenway, he has allowed just two earned runs in 20-1/3 innings. His strikeout numbers have been high all season, and that is a really good sign moving forward.

Together, the two are leading a deep rotation, and could do some serious damage in a playoff series. Everyone saw what Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson did for the Diamondbacks in 2001. These two starters at their best could be the closest duo to match what the D’Backs had.

Now if only Chien-Ming Wang could start pitching like the ace he was…

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