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Starting Rotation Projections

Author: Aaron Marcus

With the Super Bowl over, baseball season has officially begun.  Pitchers and Catchers report in less than ten days, and the new stadium is set to open in a little over two months.  While other clubs are still scrambling to secure last pieces to their teams puzzles, the Yankees are flying high on talent and pressure.

 

The Yankees starting rotation is possibly the best in the game. Here is an in depth look at my projections for the 2009 season.

1.     C.C. Sabathia: Expect 200+ innings from this former Cy Young winner, and I wouldn’t say its far fetched for him to win at least 20 games.  His ERA will rise a little bit due to the stellar lineups in the American League East, but Sabathia will still be a top five pitcher in Baseball and as long as he stays healthy will be the focal point of the Yankees starting rotation.  He has accumulated over 500+ innings over the last two years, but don’t expect that to slow him down, at least for this year.  Aaron’s Projection: (W-L) 21-7 ERA 3.40 SO 210 WHIP 1.05

2.     A.J Burnett: The Yankees number two starter, if he stays healthy, and that’s a big if can be a possible force to reckon with.  The 10 year veteran  has been on the DL nine times since 2000 and has obviously had a lot of trouble staying healthy.  Even though he has only won more than 12 games in a season three times, last year was a money year for the pitcher.  His 18 wins and 231 SO were both career highs, and as long as he stays healthy he will most likely repeat.  His 4.07 ERA was atypical for the starter, but now that the Yankees are no longer on his opponent sheet, expect his ERA to drop as well.  Aaron’s Projection: (W-L) 18 – 8 ERA 3.80 SO 200 WHIP 1.30

3.     Chien Ming – Wang: The former ace of the staff returns as the number three starter.  But don’t let that fool you, if he were on any other club he would most likely be the number one or two starter.  It is my assumption that Wang will stay healthy this year and return to his 19 win form of two years ago.  Sure the foot injury Wang sustained last season may damper his performance, however it was the first time in his career he was injured, and has shown great strides of improvement over the winter.  If Burnet falters, either injury or performance wise, expect Wang to take over as the number two starter.  Aaron’s Projection: (W-L) 17-4 ERA 3.85 SO 100 WHIP 1.20

4.     Joba Chamberlin: If this kid could settle down, and stay healthy he will develop into one of if not the premier pitcher in the game.  His fastball is clocked at 98-100 MPH and he will strike out a lot of batters.  Chamberlin gets flustered in some big situations, however further experience and guidance from pitchers Andy Pettite, and Mariano River will help him gain composure when it is needed most.  If Joba stays healthy we should exepct big things from this kid, if he gets injured, we may see him take back that setup role in the bullpen.  Aaron’s Projection: (W-L) 12 – 6 ERA 2.95 SO 150 WHIP 1.25

5.     Andy Pettite: Rounding out the Yankees rotation is veteran Andy Pettite.  Now Andy has lost some swagger on the mound and velocity in his fastball.  But that doesn’t mean he will be any less effective than he was last season.  Don’t expect a 20 win season like we saw from Moose’s final year, but Pettite will still be reliable in big game situations.  His clutch expertise will reflect on the rest of the rotation and his leadership capabilities will surely help in what should be an ego filled club house.  His k/9 will drop and his era will rise, but he will secure at least a 12 win, most likely 13-15 win season.  Aaron’s Projection : (W-L) 14 – 10 ERA 4.70 SO 145 WHIP 1.50

 

The Yankees rotation still has many question marks, but if they all stay healthy, my projections have the starting staff winning 80.  It’s going to be a long season and the Yankees most likely are going to endure injuries.  When they do, Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes better be ready to fill in the holes.  If not both of their time on the Yanks may be cut short, let’s hope though that we don’t need either one of them this season.  And that they can be effective coming out of the bullpen, since the pen is our weakest spot at the moment. 

 

I will have more projections on both the lineup and bullpen within the week.

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