Tuesday, March 8, 2011
New York Yankees Starting Rotation
There has been a lot of worry this year about the Yankees starting rotation. I think most if not all Yankee fans would agree this will be the biggest question mark for boys from the Bronx in the 2011 season. The top 3 starters are set, it will be C.C. Sabathia, Phil Hughes, and A.J. Burnett. Both C.C. and Hughes had very good years in 2010 and if Hughes can get his ERA down a half a run or so I think the front end of the rotation will stack up well with the rest of the division. However, A.J. Burnett had the worst season of his career and needs to bounce back for the Yankees to be successful. A.J. has changed his delivery a bit this off season and his control seems to be much better. He has stopped wrapping his left leg arounad his body and has much more straight line movement toward home plate. From what I've seen of him this spring he has looked great and his control has been excellent which is very important for Burnett. A.J. has a very strong mental side to his pitching also and however great his mechanics looks if he gets his head in the wrong place during the season he may be in for more trouble. We won't know how that will manifest itself until the season starts, but as of now I am excited to see A.J. Burnett bounce back and be a very good third starter. Now, the big questions are the fourth and fifth positions in the rotation. There are 4 pitchers in the mix for these 2 spots, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova, and Sergio Mitre. These 4 guys have all taken up the challenge and so far this spring they have allowed only 1 run with 14 Ks and only one walk. Garcia threw 3 hitless innings today in his start and though I didn't see it I've heard he was locating and mixing speeds well. Everything I've been hearing from the Yankee experts and officials has seemed to lean on Nova being the front runner for the 4th starting spot but the 5th spot is wide open. I am optimistically biased on these issues since my hope is for the Yankees to do well but I think that if Burnett bounces back and two of the four potentials are able to be serviceable then Yankee fans can look to have a better season than originally anticipated. You all can smell the "IF" coming off of this situation but there is a possibility for a strong Yankee rotation!