June in the Bronx – Part 2 – The Pitchers

Of the 4 New York Yankee ERA leaders for June, 1 is a left-handed specialist, two were not on the roster in April and one will not be in the roster for July. And none of them are starters or Mariano Rivers. Suprising? I’ll say so.

New York Yankees – Pitching – Month – June
 
Name GP GS GF IP H RA ER BB SO W L Sv ERA OBA
Coke, Phil 14 0 2 12.2 5 1 1 3 14 0 0 0 0.71 .122
Aceves, Alfredo 9 0 2 13.2 11 2 2 4 10 2 0 0 1.32 .224
Hughes, Phil 8 0 2 13.0 5 2 2 3 16 0 0 0 1.38 .114
Veras, Jose 3 0 2 5.0 4 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 1.80 .211
Burnett, AJ 5 5 0 30.0 23 10 7 16 35 3 2 0 2.10 .209
Robertson, David 10 0 6 10.0 7 4 3 5 16 1 0 0 2.70 .194
Rivera, Mariano 11 0 10 11.0 7 5 4 2 14 1 1 9 3.27 .175
Sabathia, CC 5 5 0 31.0 23 14 13 7 22 2 1 0 3.77 .205
Chamberlain, Joba 6 6 0 35.2 33 16 15 15 27 2 1 0 3.79 .244
Pettitte, Andy 5 5 0 26.2 34 19 15 13 27 2 2 0 5.06 .306
Bruney, Brian 6 0 0 4.2 4 3 3 5 3 1 0 0 5.79 .250
Tomko, Brett 7 0 2 12.0 10 8 8 4 10 0 1 0 6.00 .222
Wang, Chien-Ming 5 5 0 22.2 28 17 16 10 19 1 3 0 6.35 .298
  94 26 26 228.0 194 102 90 87 215 15 11 9 3.55 .228
 

Positives

Phil Coke. Coke is beginning to look like the pitcher we saw at the end of 2008. And that is good news indeed. Only one walk in every 4+ innings, leading on the month in ERA, seconding on the month in OBA.

Alfredo Aceves. Aceves has had a sensational season in long relief. This month was no exception. With Wang headed for the DL, Aceves is the obvious man to head to become the fifth starter. I think he can do a job as a starter but he needs to know what his role is and not be jerked about.

Phil Hughes. Hughes led the team in OBA for June and he has settled into his role as a reliever just fine and dandy. With a couple of the starters not producing there has been enough work for Aceves and him but hopefully it will not always be this way. Consequently, the Yankees need to make some decisions during the All-Star break about that crucial fifth starter role. What they decide will have a significant impact on the pitching staff for the rest of the year and their chances of making the playoffs.

A.J. Burnett. The starting rotation has lacked some consistency this year and its Burnett’s chance to return to the top of the heap. He’s seldom been bad and when he’s good he’s capable of being very, very good – and so far those nagging worries about injuries have proved unfounded.

Negatives

Chien-Ming Wang. He looks much better than he did a month or two ago but you still feel you’re going into a game hoping that he will reach the fifth innings and that if he gets there, he might have done enough to have kept the team in the game. The goals of a fifth starter have to be higher than that if you’re going to contend. However, he has done sensationally in previous seasons and it is a difficult conundrum. This latest injury just convolutes the problem.

Brett Tomko. "Tomko" ought to be an alternative for journeyman in the thesaurus. Some games he is good and others he is not. And at the moment the "nots" have the majority. The form pattern suggests he should be due for another purple patch but when he goes down for the third time……

Andy Pettitte. Inconsistent starters indeed. Pettitte looks healthy in the wins column, on the season, but he puts too many batters on base and gives up way too many hits. He’s getting more run support than anyone else and at some point that is going to balance out and then he will be in trouble if he hasn’t improved.

Brian Bruney. When he pitches well, he is prone to injury. At the moment, he’s not so hot but he’s staying fit. He’s giving up too many walks which is leading to too many runs but its difficult to identify what has changed.

Surprises

Jose Veras. Veras was having his best month of the season which, of course, led to him being designated for assignment and leaving town in exchange for cash. He was pretty good in 2007 and 2008 and he looked like he was coming around again. They should have shown more patience.

Mariano Rivera. It’s difficult to tell which Mo is going to turn up at the moment. Some nights he is still capable of being lights out but earlier in the month he developed a tendency to blow the big game. Last season, it was the non-save situation he struggled with, this year it has been the game when the spotlight is brightest. This current good run should help settle him down.

David Robertson. Robertson has had a tendency for his ability to strike opponents out to wither the longer he stayed at the major league level. So far this time around, he’s avoiding that problem and he could be about to become a fixture.

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