Blog Entry

Yankees upgrade rotation in one night

Posted on: January 13, 2012 10:30 pm
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By C. Trent Rosecrans

In one night the Yankees' rotation has gone from weakness to strength, adding right-handed starters Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda.

While it remains to be seen exactly how the Yankees' rotation shakes up behind CC Sabathia, it's ultimately better after Friday night's moves as Kuroda and Pineda join the rotation in the Bronx. No matter what whether it's Kuroda-Pineda or Pineda-Kuroda, it's better than the Ivan Nova-A.J. Burnett combo penciled in behind Sabathia at about 7 p.m. on Friday.

Yankees' big night

Sabathia's an ace, that's for sure, and Nova's a good, young pitcher. But Pineda's a potential ace and Kuroda is a steady starter that will certainly benefit from having the Yankees' offense in his corner.

Nova, 25, started the season in Triple-A, but established himself as one of the team's most consistent starters and should be a shoo-in to stay in the rotation. However, if he has a horrible spring training, there's a chance he could be lumped in with the competition for the fifth spot along with Burnett, Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes. The Yankees have let it be known they're willing to deal Burnett, eating a large chunk of the $33 million still owed him, but it still seems unlikely they'd find a taker. Garcia, like fellow long-shot Bartolo Colon, exceeded expectations in 2011 and the team brought him back on a one-year deal.

The team could boast five starters with at least nine wins (an average of 13.8) and an ERA under 4.00 in 2011. A total of five of their choices had at least 10 wins and four had at least 160 strikeouts, while three had as many as 190 innings pitched last season.

Here's a look at the team's improved rotation for next season with 2011 stats:

CC Sabathia: 19-8, 3.00 ERA, 237 1/3 IP, 230 K, 61 BB, 3.02 xFIP, 7.1 WAR (FanGraphs)
Hiroki Kuroda: 13-16, 3.07 ERA, 202 IP, 161 K, 49 BB, 3.56 xFIP, 2.4 WAR (FanGraphs)
Michael Pineda: 9-10, 3.74 ERA, 171 IP, 173 K, 55 BB, 3.53 xFIP, 3.4 WAR (FanGraphs)
Ivan Nova: 16-4, 3.70 ERA, 165 1/3 IP, 98 K, 57 BB, 4.16 xFIP, 1.5 WAR (FanGraphs)
Freddy Garcia: 12-8, 3.62 ERA, 146 2/3 IP, 96 K, 45 BB, 4.36 xFIP, 2.2 WAR (FanGraphs)
A.J. Burnett: 11-11, 5.15 ERA, 190 1/3 IP, 173 K, 83 BB, 3.86 xFIP, 1.5 WAR (FanGraphs)
Phil Hughes: 5-5, 5.79 ERA, 74 2/3 IP, 47 K, 27 BB, 490 xFIP, 0.7 WAR (FanGraphs)

While Hughes is most likely headed to the bullpen (or onto the trade block), it would be interesting if the Yankees decided to move Burnett there as well. With his fastball and high strikeout rate, he could be effective out of the pen. Opponents hit just .228/.302/.394 against Burnett in their first plate appearance against Burnett in 2011, .263/.332/.474 the second time through and .301/.392/.549 the third time through the lineup. If the team can't get rid of Burnett, they should at least find a place where he can succeed, and now without a glaring need in the rotation, now could be the time to experiment.

If Garcia or Hughes don't work out, it could be time the Yankees give either lefty Manny Banuelos or right-hander Dellin Betances get a shot at the big leagues. But that's now a luxury the Yankees have, not a necessity.

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Comments

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: January 15, 2012 1:38 pm
 

Yankees upgrade rotation in one night

things just never change in the bronx. cashman has once againproven why he is the most valuable asset the yankees have. more valualble than the its roster. just pictur what he has done in the pastvrwo years without spending money? he traded for that outfileer from detroit for nothing. they added colon and garcia last year for nothing. oh a d lets not fovet that free catcher to replace posada. this is just another one of those moves that usually go under the radar but since the yankees have made a reputation lately of value moves paying off big time , this is just the icing on the cake
long live the empire!!!!!!!!!!
 



Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: January 15, 2012 6:37 am
 

Yankees upgrade rotation in one night

First of all I am not a Yankee fan... As for the deal the Yankees walked away with from the Mariners I am in shock. They get a 22 year old strikeout pitching prospect for a young hitting prospect. Call me crazy but I think they can spare a bat. Besides there are hitter available every year. If Pineda evolves his game into a solid #1 or #2 rotation guy as many believe he will then this trade will go down as "the time the Yankees raped the Mariners". I realize that Montero is a solid prospect and there are a lot of high hopes for him in the future. You have to realive he sucks at his position and will likely not be a Catcher for too much longer. So imagine him as a DH or possibly a 1B when he gets his break.



Since: May 10, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2012 5:52 am
 

Yankees upgrade rotation in one night

New York will regret trading Montero...Kuroda for ten million?  Yanks again are showing they want to win now which hasn't been working so I will enjoy watching them be eliminated next October in the first round.



Since: Oct 12, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2012 11:39 pm
 

Yankees upgrade rotation in one night

I may be the only person in America who thinks the Mariners got the better end of this trade.

 you may....with good reason.



Pineida
- Highly touted prospect, has had some great success for a 22 year old in the majors, but some flaws to be worked on are obvious. Projects to possibly be one of the best at what he does.

Montero - *see above comments about Pineida


I'll take the pitcher all day, every day, twice on playoff days.

Secondly, the next best prospect in the trade, was sent from Seattle to NY. I can not think of the guys name off the top of my head, but he is no slouch in terms of prospects.


and in my opinion will be the best hitting catcher in baseball
"projects" to be a very good "middle of the order" hitter. just as Pineida "projects" to be a #1 or #2 starter in the MLB...noone really knows for 1005 certain, but they are both young and outstanding for their age.

but...

"best hitting catcher in baseball"

the NY fans who followed this guy know...he is a DH or below average 1B at best. If he sticks at catcher, it would either A.) shcok everyone who has ever seen him play at that position ...ever...ever...ever. or it would B.) mean you have the worst defensive catcher in baseball



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2012 7:49 pm
 

Yankees upgrade rotation in one night

I have doubts on these deals. Kuroda and Pineda have their work cut out for them going from easy divisions to a division full of heavy hitters. Unless these two are battling for the #5 spot with one going to the pen the Yankees are in trouble if they expect them both to be in the rotation for the full season.



Since: Mar 5, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2012 2:42 pm
 

Yankees upgrade rotation in one night

I may be the only person in America who thinks the Mariners got the better end of this trade. I think Pinera is solid and could be a dominant pitcher, but Montero is a stud and in my opinion will be the best hitting catcher in baseball.



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:03 pm
 

Yankees upgrade rotation in one night

Typical Boston Hater!!!! Redsox was going after Kuroda also...Deal with being number 3 in he division.....AGAIN!!!!!



Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 10:27 am
 

Yankees upgrade rotation in one night

Wow! Another fantastic job by Cashman, landing 2 solid pitchers, one of them an absolute stud in Pineda! This kid is a monster on the mound and throws gas! The Redsox fan who claims the Yanks are in serious trouble is just trolling, looking for a response even though many people who posted, who are not Yankee fans, agree this was an incredible move. Yes, Pineda struggled down the stretch but remember, the kid was a raw, 22 year old and was on a pitch count the second half of the season. Would take either of these two over Roy Oswalt any day of the week! Unfortunate that we did not get to see Montero play a full season but he would have been our DH and Andru Jones will be a better fit as he has been in the game, as well as pressure situations, many times in his career. Montero is unproven. Great move Cash!!!



Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 10:26 am
 

Yankees upgrade rotation in one night

Wow! Another fantastic job by Cashman, landing 2 solid pitchers, one of them an absolute stud in Pineda! This kid is a monster on the mound and throws gas! The Redsox fan who claims the Yanks are in serious trouble is just trolling, looking for a response even though many people who posted, who are not Yankee fans, agree this was an incredible move. Yes, Pineda struggled down the stretch but remember, the kid was a raw, 22 year old and was on a pitch count the second half of the season. Would take either of these two over Roy Oswalt any day of the week! Unfortunate that we did not get to see Montero play a full season but he would have been our DH and Andru Jones will be a better fit as he has been in the game, as well as pressure situations, many times in his career. Montero is unproven. Great move Cash!!!



Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 10:26 am
 

Yankees upgrade rotation in one night

Wow! Another fantastic job by Cashman, landing 2 solid pitchers, one of them an absolute stud in Pineda! This kid is a monster on the mound and throws gas! The Redsox fan who claims the Yanks are in serious trouble is just trolling, looking for a response even though many people who posted, who are not Yankee fans, agree this was an incredible move. Yes, Pineda struggled down the stretch but remember, the kid was a raw, 22 year old and was on a pitch count the second half of the season. Would take either of these two over Roy Oswalt any day of the week! Unfortunate that we did not get to see Montero play a full season but he would have been our DH and Andru Jones will be a better fit as he has been in the game, as well as pressure situations, many times in his career. Montero is unproven. Great move Cash!!!


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