July 14, 2009

Yankees pitchers midseason report card

The Yankees spent a fortune in the offseason in an attempt to stabilize an inconsistent pitching staff. None of their starters have been consistent (including the new FAs), but there have been a few standouts in the bullpen.

I will give each pitcher a grade based on their expectations. A grade of ‘C’ is meeting expectations, ‘A’ and ‘B’ are above expectations, you get the picture.


CC Sabathia: C—
For starters, he should have made the All-Star team. Instead, he barely compiled eight wins and an ERA slightly below four at 3.86. That is really pathetic for the highest paid pitcher in baseball. The reason why he didn’t get a ‘D’ is because he, like many of the Yankee starters, are second half pitchers. I hope he finishes the season with around 18 wins and an ERA below 3.30.

A.J. Burnett: B
I’m going a little high with Burnett because he not only is he meeting pitching expectations, but also is staying healthy. He had a relatively inconsistent start to the season, but has been excellent since May 27. He now stands at 8-4 with a 3.77 ERA, and I expect him to finish with 17 wins and maybe a little lower ERA.

Chien-Ming Wang: F
All the pressure in the world was taken off this guy with two big starters signed, who pitch ahead of him in the rotation, but he totally has been a bust. A screwed up offseason rehab program, and arm troubles this year have led to a 1-6 record and 9.64 ERA. I don’t expect him to pitch again this season, and I am praying he will be a decent No. 5 starter next year.

Andy Pettitte: C
Pettitte has done pretty much exactly what I expected of him. His ERA at 4.85 is a little high, but so is his win total at eight. Hopefully his last two starts won’t dictate his second half.

Joba Chamberlain: D
He looked really good last year as a starter, and I was hoping he would be able to continue that pace. Instead, he still has been plagued by a high pitch count and only has half the number of decisions Burnett has, who has started the same number of games Joba has. With a 4-2 record and 4.25 ERA, Joba is going to have to impress in the second half if he wants to stay in the rotation.


Alfredo Aceves: A
This Mexican-Leaguer has been the biggest surprise for the Yankees this season, and is a top candidate for MVP of the team. He is so versatile out of the bullpen, and has embraced every task assigned to him. He didn’t do well in his only start, but I’m completely fine with using him solely in the bullpen in the second half.

Phil Coke: B+
Coke had a slow start, along with the rest of the bullpen,  but has come on really strong in June and July. His ERA inflated almost a full run after his last outing, but hopefully that was just a product of playing the Angels. He’s the only lefty in the pen, and is doing a heck of a job.

Mariano Rivera: A
Every year we expect Rivera to start losing his edge, but every year he continues to dominate. He scared us a little with a rough start, but has been dominant since June 7. It looks like another 40-save season is on the way.

Phil Hughes: A
After losing his job in the rotation to Wang, Hughes has been a stud in the bullpen. He’s only allowed two runs in 13 appearances, and has a great K/BB ratio of 19/5.

Jonathan Albaladejo: C-
He has been very up and down so far. He had a nice little start going in July, but was sent back down to help out a tired bullpen.

David Robertson: B-
He has been the third best middle reliever for the majority of the season. Once again, his ERA is inflated a full run from his last appearance against the Angels, but he still has been a solid contributor.

Brian Bruney: D+
Bruney was on his way to another dominant season as the eighth inning guy until an elbow injury sidelined him for the first couple months of the season. Then he prematurely returned and pitched his way back to the DL. He is back now, but isn’t the same pitcher. Hopefully he can return to his old ways in the second half.

Brett Tomko: C
He’s hit expectations on the money. Although, those expectations weren’t very high. I don’t see how he is still on the roster.

Damaso Marte: D-
He has such a great background, but hasn’t been healthy at all. His 5-1/3 ugly innings this season explains it all.

Mark Melancon: C-
His fist couple outings were great, his last few were awful. He could have a bright future ahead of him. I see him doing well in the second half.

Edwar Ramirez and Jose Veras: F
Both were main cogs in last year’s bullpen, but were totally ineffective this season and neither are on the team anymore.

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