2011 Starting Rotation Projections And Preview

Yesterday, I looked over the PECOTA projections for the Yankees starting lineup.  Today, I will look at the starting rotation.  As we know, this has been the one part of the team that many think will hold them back when competing for the American League East.  However, I beg to differ.  One through five, they aren’t bad, but I think they are one solid starter away from being a legitimate World Series contender.  Anyway, here are the projections:

CC Sabathia

33 GS, 15-9, 3.26 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 232 IP, 199 K, 7.5 K/9, 2.5 BB/9

Although the projected wins aren’t as good as the last two years, PECOTA still predicts Sabathia to have a darn good year.  He eats up innings, has a high strike out rate, a low ERA, and makes basically all of his starts.  What else could you ask for from an ace?  Well, maybe a Cy Young added to the cabinet will make it a more complete year; that and a World Series.  But if CC does have this good of a year, expect an opt-out. 

AJ Burnett

30 GS, 11-11, 4.56 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 186 IP, 168 K, 8.1 K/9, 3.8 BB/9

The projections show a small step forward for Burnett, but very very small.  He is going to need to lower that ERA, WHIP, walk rate, while raising those innings pitched.  AJ is going to need to have an even better year than this if the Yankees are going to compete in the American League East.

Phil Hughes

18 GS (34 G), 8-6, 3.74 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 121.1 IP, 109 K, 8.1 K/9, 3.2 BB/9

PECOTA thinks that Hughes is going to continue the trend he had in the second half of 2010.  They even think that he will need to make a move to the bullpen as shown by the limited number of starts he makes.  Hughes, to me, is a bit of question mark also due to the steep increase of innings from 2010-2011.  His fastball has only been clocked at 87-89 mph, which scares me, but the Front Office officials are shrugging it off saying the same thing happened last season.  Keep an eye on him.

Ivan Nova

20 GS, 6-8, 5.23 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 118 IP, 66 K, 5.0 K/9, 4.0 BB/9

Nova is kind of the wild card of this rotation.  He is a young gun entering his first full season as a MLB starter and we’re not quite sure what we’re going to get from him.  He has changed his curveball to a slider and has looked great in Spring Training, so if that carries over, he could be a big bonus.  The one thing to look out for is when he faces batters for the second and third time, if he can still get them out and how well he pitches in those middle innings.

Freddy Garcia

20 GS, 7-7, 4.81 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 109 IP, 68 K, 5.6 K/9, 2.7 BB/9

At age 36, Garcia is what he is: an innings eater who can still get hitters out.  He’s not going to overpower you, but he will mix things up and try to trick you.  Although I think he should have landed the long relief job, he will be just fine as a number five starter.  I think he’ll win a few more games with the Yankees run support, but how long he last depends on his health and the acquisition of another pitcher down the stretch by Brian Cashman.

I don’t kow about you, but this scares me.  Of course this is a very conservative look at things so expect a little better from each pitcher.


One Comment on “2011 Starting Rotation Projections And Preview”

  1. […] lead to arm problems, overexposure, or fatigue.  Hopefully, Hughes does not suffer from this as the PECOTA projections predict he will. A bad memory. (Erich Schlegel for The New York […]

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