Posts Tagged ‘A.J. Burnett’

In a New York Nightmare

October 4, 2011

With the struggling A.J. Burnett toeing the rubber in a critical ALDS game four this evening, the Yankees’ 2011 season could be over in a New York minute. Burnett (11-11, 5.15 ERA) has a 7.66 ERA in his last ten starts and allowed five runs in six innings against Texas for a Yankees loss in last year’s ALCS. The Yankees will have to overcome some recent history as well, because since 2007 no team has won a playoff game starting a pitcher with an ERA over five. Check out how Burnett’s ERA has fluctuated this year and skyrocketed at the end of the season.

This nightmare scenario for Yankees fan becomes even dimmer when one notices the slumping production of the Yankees’ best bat, Curtis Granderson. Even though Granderson was tied for fourth in the Majors with 77 Extra Base Hits this season, the overall trend of the number of Extra-Base Hits he hit per week was down. Much worse, Granderson’s batting average was a dismal .205 in September. Meanwhile, the Tiger’s best hitter and AL batting Champion, Miguel Cabrera, had an upward trend for Extra Base hits throughout the season (he was third in the Majors with 78) and finished the year with a sizzling .429 batting average in September. Compare Grandrson’s and Cabrera’s Extra Base Hit production in 2011.

The nightmare match up continues when one compares the Tiger’s and Yankees’ Designated Hitters. Detroit’s Victor Martinez batted .333, drove in 103 Runs and only struck out in 8.6 percent of his plate appearances in the 2011 regular season. Yankee DH, Jorge Posada is batting a dismal .169 outside of the Bronx this season. Posada is a major liability at the plate tonight in Comerica Park, as he only had 13 RBIs and struck out in a whopping 23.9 percent of his plate appearance on the road this year. Compare Martinez’s and Posada’s offensive production this season.

With a struggling pitcher on the mound and slumping bats at the plate will tonight be the end of the Yankees’ season?

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AL Starting Rotations

September 29, 2011

The Postseason is upon us and in a season when offensive production was down through out the league the age old adage “Pitching wins Championships” should ring even true in 2011. All four American League Playoff teams boast formidable projected four man rotations. The Detroit Tigers have the best one two punch with presumable AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander (24-5, 2.40 ERA) and Doug Fister who is 8-1 with a 1.80 ERA since joining the Tigers at the trade-deadline. Check out Detroit’s projected playoff starting rotation.

DET: ERs Allowed (Blue), Strikeouts (Orange) & Walks (Green)

The Defending AL Champion, Texas Rangers, have a fantastic starting trio of C.J. Wilson (16-7, 2.94 ERA), Derek Holland (16-5, 3.95 ERA) and Matt Harrison (14-9, 3.39 ERA). Check out the numbers for the projected Rangers starting pitchers.

TEX: ERs Allowed (Blue), Strikeouts (Orange) & Walks (Green)

The “miracle” Rays have two pitchers, James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson, with sub 3.00 ERAs. Check out how Tampa Bay’s potential postseason starting staff have performed this season.

TB: ERs Allowed (Blue), Strikeouts (Orange) & Walks (Green)

The New York Yankees finished with the best record in the American League but besides staff Ace, C.C. Sabathia (19-8, 3.00 ERA), the Bronx Bombers have some serious issues with their potential post-season starters. Ivan Nova (16-4, 3.70 ERA) has had a great rookie campaign but can the Yanks trust such an inexperienced arm in big pressure games? With Phil Hughes out with a back injured, can the pinstripes really in good faith give the ball to A.J. Burentt (11-11, 5.15 ERA). Check out how the four potential New York starters have performed in 2011.

NYY: ERs Allowed (Blue), Strikeouts (Orange) & Walks (Green)

With such great pitchers except some excellent pitchers duels this postseason in the American League.

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Are the Yanks “Burnned” Out?

August 28, 2011

What are the Yankees to do with A.J Burnett? A pitcher with great stuff, even at the ripe old baseball age of 34, Burnett is almost a lock to be left off the post-season roster and would not even be on the active roster if not for the guaranteed contract standard in baseball. He was so bad on friday night in giving up six straight extra base hits in a 12-5 loss to Baltimore that he was left in only to save the Yanks pitching staff, which was scheduled for five games in four days before Hurrican Irene wrecked havoc. Due to the Yankees schedule, they have continued to use a six man rotation for longer than anyone thought they would.  When they return to the standard five man rotation, there is no question Burnett is the odd man out. Check out Burnett’s awful numbers here:

Hits (Blue), Runs Allowed (Orange), Earned Runs (Green)

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It Cuts Like a Knife: Yankees Channel Their Inner Bryan Adams

August 16, 2011

Who knew that the lyrics to a 1980’s song might temporarily give the Yankees some peace in regards to the best solution to their over crowded rotation? Freddy Garcia, the Yankees third best starter this season, accidentally cut a finger on his, er, pitching hand while cooking in the kitchen. So now he cannot throw his best pitch, the split fingered fastball.

This actually allows the Yanks to move to a normal five-man rotation without demoting anyone or having to make a tough decision. In fact, the Yankees won last night in spite of Burnett, who experienced his usual mid-game melt down which the Yankees survived in part because they were playing the Royals. The next time (think Boston), they might not be so lucky.  Eventually, due to their high ERAs, either Burnett or Hughes will be the odd man out.  Check out the ERAs of the six Yankees’ starters:

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Untouchable Yankees?

August 10, 2011

Last weekend, in the middle of a big series against the Red Sox, Joe Girardi did a courageous thing: He informed Yankee legend, Jorge Posada that his days as even a platoon DH are done.  A .230 batting average with 31 RBIs will not cut it. You simply cannot have sure outs in an AL East lineup and expect to get to the playoffs, let alone progress.

While the Yankees are content with getting little return out of Posada’s $13.1 million contract, they continue to send the struggling A.J. Burnett to the mound. (Burnett is making $16.5 million this season) Since the end of June, Burnett is 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA and appears to be the weakest member of the Yankees’ current six-man starting rotation. Check out how Burnett compares to the five other Yankees’ starters since the end of June:

ERs allowed (Blue) HRs allowed (Orange) & Walks (Green)

However, if the Yankees send Burnett to the bullpen they could damage his psyche even further and risk their investment over the next two years.  Is there a contract that is ‘too big to play’? If you are in the middle of a Pennant Race, the answer has to be a resounding no!

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