Taking A Look At Some NL Pitchers

With all of the injuries that the Yankees have suffered to their pitching, there is no doubt that Brian Cashman will try to make a move for a starter at the deadline.  The only problem is that it is slim pickens because even though there are some pitchers that will be free agents after this season, their teams are contending.

So who could the Yanks possibly go after?  Well, a few weeks ago, I highlighted a few arms that they could pursue in the American League Central, but now let’s take a look at some from the National League.  The three guys that I’m gonna look at in this post are Hiroki Kuroda, Wandy Rodriguez, and Brett Myers.

(Al Behrman/AP)

Kuroda, 37, was actually the second starter on Cashman’s wish list this winter behind Cliff Lee.  In 89.2 innings this season, he is a deceiving 5-8 with a 3.31 ERA, 3.88 FIP and a 1.32 WHIP.  His other peripherals are also pretty good as he has a strikeout rate just south of seven and a walk rate in the mid two’s.  His track record is pretty good stats-wise, and another thing to like about him is that he yields a lot of ground balls at a rate of just about 50 % career-wise.  He offers a 4 and 2-seamer, both good and also a mid-80’s slider and the best part is that after this season, he will be gone.

There are two main things to be concerned about with him, however.  First of all, he is not very young and he did have a shoulder problem in 2009 which he missed a significant amount of time with.  This being said, this could be a little bit of a risk.  Also, Kuroda possesses a full no-trade clause which he might exercise since he re-sign with the Dodgers rather quickly this off-season.

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Wandy Rodriguez is the next pitcher I’m going to discuss and he does stand out because he’s a lefty, something the Bombers only have one of in their starting rotation.  Wandy, 32, is having a very good season pitching to a 3.93 FIP and striking out more than seven per nine innings and only walking 2.5 per nine.  He also has a very nice track record.

There are a few things not to like about Wandy though.  First of all, he is vulnerable to giving up the long ball.  This season he has given up 1.13 per nine innings and moving to this ball park and this division won’t exactly help that number.  Also, this is the first year of a three year deal with a team option for a fourth.  However, if he gets traded, that becomes a player option.  At the age of 36, do the Yankees still want Rodriguez on their team?

The last guy is actually a teammate of Wandy, Brett Myers. Myers, 30, isn’t having the best of years pitching to a 5.25 FIP, but he is still striking out more twice as many as he is walking.  The good thing about this is that since his outputs are a bit worse than usual, it may take less to get him.  He also still has that big curveball along with a still decent fastball.  He also has a good amount of playoff experience and since his contract is thru 2012, that could play a role down the road if you are into that type of thing.

(Michael Paulsen/Chronicle)

Myers fastball used to sit at around 90, but this season it has lived at around 87-88.  This has certainly not helped that strikeout rate and his homer rate, which is almost at two per nine innings (!!!).  The other con with him is that contract.  He is signed thru 2012 and $11 million next year and has an option for 2013 worth $10 million.  If Myers continues these downward trends, why would we want him around for that long.

My favorite on this list is Kuroda.  He is just a rental so all ties can be cut after this season and I think he can have a very good impact.  Of course that no trade clause is scary, but you also have to think the list of options is longer than this, but the quality won’t get much better.


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