And so the New York Yankees have announced their 2011 starting pitching rotation. For now anyway. We can only assume this is a temporary thing. Surely, surely the Yankees don't intend to go through the trade deadline with this as their starting five?
Let's have a quick peek.
1. CC Sabathia
2. A.J. Burnett
3. Phil Hughes
4. Ivan Nova
5. Bartolo Colon
Absolutely nothing bad to say about the Yankees big (and I mean big) 'ace'. CC Sabathia is a big man, with a big heart who does his best work on the big stage. A worthy ace in every sense of the word.
The problems of course start from there on.
Wait a second, is it April first? Someone check the calender. Are the Yankees really going into 2011 with the completely unpredictable, certified head-case that is A.J. Burnett? Does someone need to fax over a copy of AJ's stats from last season to the Yankee front office? Is 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA really the stuff of a number two? Is being unceremoniously removed from the rotation for the ALDS against the Twins what you want from your number two? Burnett was nothing short of a complete disaster in 2010. Why should we expect anything less in 2011?
Phil Hughes is a nice little pitcher, no doubt about that, he has good stuff, he has survived this far (He has not disappeared like to many other 'can't miss' Yankee prospects of the past) and he is a seemingly tough minded, focused pitcher. He is the anti-Burnett. Hughes now has a stack of pressure on his shoulders, in the three hole behind Burnett. The pressure is on him to be the stopper after any Burnett meltdown. Remember, there were fifteen of those least season.
Moving down the list, things get very, very curious. The Yankee fourth starter is Ivan Nova, he of the only 42 major league innings and one major league win. Those stats are correct. One Major League win. Ever. And he's the fourth starter. No, we're not making this up.
Now for the jackpot, the big pay off, the 'Bingo!'. The Yankees are actually seriously slotting into the five hole a man who hasn't pitched in the big leagues in 18 months. A man who will rival big CC in the weight department, and will no doubt be fighting CC to the top of the line at the after game spread in the clubhouse. You guessed it, Bartolo Colon, who may or may not be fifty seven years old at this stage, is the Yankees fifth starter.
Honestly, you could not make this stuff up if you tried.
Basically, get ready for some very high scoring games at Yankee stadium. Get ready for some New York scribe to splash out a good 'It's CC and pray for rain' headline, about two weeks into the season.
Most of all, get ready for the Yankees to do everything they can to land another big starting pitcher or two, because surely they can't be serious about this sad, sorry excuse for a top of the line rotation?
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