December 14, 2010

Cashman: ‘A.J. Burnett’s going to turn it around’

From USA Today’s Stephen Borelli:

Does Brian Cashman believe his current rotation is championship worthy?

“I think so,” the GM said. “I think A.J. Burnett's going to turn it around for us. I don't think you're going to see him have another year like that.”

Cashman goes on to not supply any supporting evidence of that idea, despite hiring new pitching coach Larry Rothschild almost a month ago.

Quick Note:
Speaking of ex-Cubs, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick just reported the Yankees signed Mark Prior to a minor league deal. The Yankees invited him to spring training and he’ll make $750,000 if he makes the team. Prior hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2006.

Back to Burnett:
Can Burnett really turn it around in 2011?

He’s coming off the worst season of his career. Here are stats from his two-year stint with the Yankees thus far:
2009 13 9 4.04 207.0 195 1.40
2010 10 15 5.26 186.2 145 1.51
Burnett had 31 more strikeouts in 2007 (165.2 IP) than he did in 2010. Remember, the Yankees signed Burnett to a five-year deal in the offseason after his 231-strikeout season.

Burnett earned respect from Yankees fans for beating Pedro Martinez in Game 2 of the 2009 World Series, but in my mind he lost that respect when he allowed five runs to the Rangers in Game 4 of this past ALCS.

Sorry, Cash. But I just don’t see the hope for Burnett to rebound. To me, he’s a two-pitch pitcher who somehow has lost the control necessary to be a starter; at least that’s what he showed me this past May, June, July, August and September.

Unfortunately, the Yankees are out of options with Burnett at this point. They just missed out on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes and Andy Pettitte hasn’t showed any signs of making a return.

The Yankees are just going to have to try and fix Burnett. He is too big of an investment for them to throw away.

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