Yanks 2003 rotation really something else

2009 Draft LiveBlog: Day Three
The beginning of the end of the Steroid Era

When the Yankees signed CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett to complement Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, and Andy Pettitte, I said that they had assembled their best rotation since 2003. That statement, however, is more an indictment of the 2004 rotation than anything. The 2003 rotation was pretty damn solid, and even the 2009 squad doesn’t appear to approach its greatness. TusconRoyal at Beyond the Boxscore takes a look at that team in terms of how good they were at the time, and then at their careers.

The analysis uses the increasingly-popular WAR, or Wins Above Replacement. You can get an idea of how to calculate WAR from the inimitable Tom Tango. Mike Mussina was lights out that season, and it’s highly unlikely that even CC Sabathia touches his WAR from that season — and “highly unlikely” is an understatement at this point. There’s quite a gap between Moose and the second-highest-rated Yank, David Wells, but he still posted an excellent season.

The top five starters for the Yanks that year — Moose, Wells, Clemens, Pettitte, and Contreras — posted WARs of 6.3, 4.6, 4.1, 3.4, and 1.9. This year’s top five — CC, Pettitte, Joba, Burnett, and Hughes — have posted WARs of 1.9, 0.8, 0.8, 0.5, and 0.2. It’s not really fair to extrapolate that to cover a whole season, since performances will obviously vary over the next three and a half months, but that would put the Yanks’ starters at 3.1, 2.1, 2.1, 0.8, and 0.3. The 2003 rotation that is not.

In fact, the extrapolated data wouldn’t even put this 2009 rotation ahead of its 2004 counterpart. The top five starters on that team — Jon Lieber, Mike Mussina, Kevin Brown, Javy Vazquez, and El Duque — posted WARs of 4.0, 3.3, 2.5, 2.2, and 1.7 (though the last, Duque, pitched only 84.2 innings). In other words, the Yanks rotation will have to show quite an improvement if they’re going to live up to the billing of best rotation since 2003. As it stands now, they’re falling a bit short (though, again, the method for projecting their WAR isn’t exactly the most scientific).

To take some of the attention off the current team, the BtB post also notes the careers of the 2003 rotation and where they stand relative to the average HOFer and a Replacement HOFer (though I’m not really sure what that means). Clemens stands far, far above the pack. Mussina, it appears, deserves a nod to the Hall given its current standards. His WAR in his best season matches up with that of an average HOFer, and 10th through 17th best WAR seasons stand well above those of an average HOFer. I believe the Hall’s standards have sunken considerably, and given that you can make a strong case for Moose. However, if baseball held the Hall to the loftier standards it deserves, the only one of that crew who would get the nod would be Clemens.

So check out the post and remember the 2003 pitching staff. Perhaps it will relieve some of the frustration caused by the 2009 version.

2009 Draft LiveBlog: Day Three
The beginning of the end of the Steroid Era
  • Chip

    Just imagine if the 2003 Weaver had lived up to the 2002 version

  • Texeiramvp (JobaCyYoung)/Letsgoyankees-It depends on the blog

    The problem is that this rotation should have been as good as the 03′ won but players have not lived up to expectations.

    • ChrisS

      AJ has lived up to mine. Pettitte, too, more or less. CC is going to be fine and Joba has done about as well, maybe more than I had hoped.

      I didn’t think Wang would suck this much, but I didn’t think he was going to have a sub-4 era either.

  • Texeiramvp (JobaCyYoung)/Letsgoyankees-It depends on the blog

    won is one.

  • jsbrendog

    if this team wins the world series i dont care if every pitcher does worse than the 2003 version. but this is really interesting to read. stupid marlins and josh beckett. id rather have the pitching be enough to make the playoffs and then peak in setp/oct/nov.

    its funny, after luis gonzalez’s bloop single in 01 its like nothing happened since then other than 2004 to me. weird

    • jsbrendog

      disjointed rambling for the win!

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

    So at what point do we start blaming Dave Eiland for this turn of events? From the bullpen to Burnett and Wang, his handling of the pitching staff has not delivered results this year.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      I’ve heard some of my friends bitch about him, but I think we’re too far removed from the team to really know how Eiland works with the staff. This doesn’t give him a free pass, in the “team knows best” sense. It’s just to say that any judgment we make lacks important bits of knowledge.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        I agree with this.

        • Axl

          -1

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            Okay so, if you know, tell me: what’s the day-to-day work that Eiland does with the pitchers? What’s he doing that’s making them suck?

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

              You’re asking the wrong question. It’s not what he’s doing to make them suck; it’s what he is or isn’t doing to make them stop sucking. He’s seemingly not fixing or perhaps not identifying problems.

              • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                That’s fair enough but at the same time couldn’t we just as easily say that he’s doing the right things but once the pitchers step between the lines, shit just goes wrong? I’m not shifting all the blame away from Eiland ’cause I do believe he deserves some but at the same time, we all know there’s only so much the coaches can do.

            • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

              He tells them to close their eyes and use the force.

          • jsbrendog

            you want to know hwy a lot of people disagree with you or “gng up on you?”

            its because of pointless obnoxious condescending comments like this.

            -5000000
            sometimes you have good things to say but you shroud it in attitude that makes you seem better

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      Just AJ and Wang? Not Veras, or Fast Eddie Ramirez, or…?

      I’ve been blaming him for months…but then again, look at my name.

      Seriously…what if we had a plus plus pitching coach?

      A quasi-legit question: Why isn’t Nardi in NY? Does he only do development, or?

    • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif OmgZombies!

      So we’re allowed to the blame the staff now that the RAB guys are?

      • Axl

        +1

      • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

        It’s not about blaming the staff. It’s about looking at what could be wrong. Like Jo Paw said, we can’t make an informed decision, because we don’t have the internal knowledge needed to. We can speculate all we want, but I would never ask for a mans job, because I don’t know enough to do so. If the team was in 3 or 4 place, maybe you’d question more, but we’re not.

        • Axl

          It’s about looking at what could be wrong. We can speculate all we want…

          LOL. Really? We can? Everything I speculate basing it on actual results and statistics…I get insulted and ganged up on. Interesting…

          • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

            I’m trying to have a discussion, not insult or gang up on you. All I was saying is we can speculate, use stats and come to our own conclusion, but the Yankees really know what is going on. There is more to this then the what we see on the surface. You can’t ask for someones head when you don’t know all the faces and the stats are not all the facts, yes, they are facts, but not all of them.

            • Axl

              I mean I guess you COULD be right…but from so far away…to somebody like myself…common sense seems to have been the answer thus far to most of the bad decisions made…

              • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

                Well, that’s why you don’t work for the Yankees and make decisions. You a fan and an overly emotional one at that. I do recall you saying, sometime in April that CC was crap and a bad signing even though it is common knowledge that he gets out of the gate slow.

          • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            People just don’t like how rational you are, brother. Keep fighting the good fight.

            • jsbrendog

              i hope this is sarcasm. axl:rational::tjsc:unsnarky

              • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                I just enjoy comments for the intelligent fans.

                (Yes, sarcasm alert applies. Just messing with the guy.)

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

        That, OmgZombies!, was not at all the point of my question, and I’m sure you know it. Sarcasm fail.

    • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

      I was actually just thinking the same thing. I like Eiland, I felt he’s done good in the past, but it seems that everywhere I look there is a meltdown of a pitcher. I think he’s good with the young guys, Joba (but even Joba has looked < last year) and Hughes, but I don’t know what he can do for AJ or Wang. He doesn’t seem to be helping. I hate when people look for someone to be fired, but if he cab’t get it done, the Yanks need to find someone who can get these guys straightened out.

      • http://boogiedownbaseball.blogspot.com J-Boogie

        I agree with you. Eiland as a coach has seen some decent results from some pitchers. But I don’t think he’s done well with the youngsters. Hughes and Kennedy were God-awful last year. Joba has had some issues. Guys like Burnett, Sabathia, and Pettitte have been at it long enough that they should have it pretty much figured out and probably need little coaching. When these guys start to falter on a somewhat consistent basis, like Wang and Burnett, Eiland needs to figure out what the deal is and fix it. I think he’s failing there, especially with Wang. But it’s a two-way street. The coach can only do so much. The guys on the hill need to perform.

        • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

          I don’t think Eiland failed last year with the young guys. I think they were rushed and given big league jobs before they earned them. There is only so much a coach can do if the talent isn’t ready to perform at top level. Hughes proved that he needed another pitch and also that he wasn’t healthy (his fastball is back where it was, at 93-94) and IPK was just rushed.

          As for AJ, He needs to get going with him. Aj’s been around for a while, but he could use a little refinement w/ his machanics.

          Wang, I spoke about in another comment.

    • Axl
    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      Well though it may be unfair, if some of the pitchers still haven’t gotten it together by the end of June, it may be time to explore other options for pitching coach. Burnett, Wang and the bullpen are really the only disappointments.

      At the same time, bullpens are so volatile from year to year, that to expect Albie, Edwar and Veras to be good again this year might have been asking too much (I know Albie’s was limited use last year). The way they pitched last year you absolutely had to give them a shot, but I can’t blame Eiland for their failings. So if there is improvement in the bullpen and improvement with either Burnett or Wang in June, I’ll keep the “Fire Eiland” bangwagon in the garage.

    • Mike HC

      The way I see it is that Wang’s poor start is on Cashman, for not allowing him to work his legs out in the offseason, and then rushing him back to the majors too soon. I think that Eiland has done a nice job with the young guys Joba and Hughes, as both seem to be pitching as well as could be expected while the Yanks are also trying to protect them from overuse. It is a fine line and Eiland has done a nice job. CC and AJ are both veterans and should only need minimal coaching. CC is pitching well, and AJ is pitching about the same as he had last season. The bullpen simply does not have very good pitchers in it and very few guys who have actually consistently produced on the major league level. I think it is tough to blame the pitching coach there. I really don’t think that there has been anything wrong with the pitching staff that Eiland should have been on top of earlier. Firing him would be using him as a scapegoat for the Yanks … uh … having the second best record in the AL??

  • ChrisS

    You can’t even be serious about blaming Eiland for Burnett.

    He’s always been a wild card when he’s not injured.

    • Axl

      He’s the only pitcher you can’t blame Eiland for. But if you can blame him for everybody else what’s the difference??

      • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

        You can’t blame him just because are pitchers aren’t at top form. DO you give him credit for that 8 inning game by Joba or the shut outs by Hughes? No, These young guys are learning and they are improving, but they will be inconsistent regardless. They need time to figure out the majors. As for Wang, he needs more then Eiland, he needs regular goes in the minors to get his consistency back, to get his command back.

        • Axl

          So what you’re saying is…you belong to the theory that it’s all a coincidence that the two older veteran pitchers who are established and don’t really need Eiland’s advise as much are doing ok…but every single one of the younger guys, including Wang, are extremely inconsistent due to where their birthday’s fall and in which order the stars were alligned at the birth? I see…

          Do we credit Eiland for no hitters and good performances? Umm…yes. If he had nothing to do with anything…then there wouldn’t be a purpose for him on the team now would there?? So what you’re telling me is the Yankees are throwing lots of money at a guy to “pretend” he’s doing something??

          • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

            No and now you’re being a dick, first off. It’s no coincidence, it’s the fact that they are still learning and young. Age does have something to do with it because it limits their exposure to the majors. That is why most players don’t just show up in the major as all-stars or average or shite. It take time for them to find their game, whether it be good or bad.

            Hughes is still developing his pitches, therefore is inconsistent. Eiland attempts to help by catching flaws in his mechanics.

            Joba has a ERA+ of 120 (I believe someone mentioned that on this page). That’s pretty dame good, but Eiland is still trying to refine his mechanics so he consistently throw in the upper 90’s and lowers his walk rate. HE is Yooung, hense still needs to learn.

            AJ, I believe is on Eiland, even though the is one of these veterans you believe know their own way. I think Eiland needs to work with him to find a consistent delivery that stops him from flying open and gives him greater control.

            You don’t credit Eiland for individual performances, you credit him for how a pitcher does over a period of time.

            And don’t give me you childish punk responses to an honest rebuttal to what you say. You bitch about people ganging up on you, this is one reason why, your responses come off like you are a total ignorant dickface. I’m not say you are, but that is how you are coming off. Be courteous and people won’t bash on you all the time.

            • V

              Axl, being a dick?

              Nooooooooooooooo.

              • Axl

                I wonder what the V stands for…

                You might want to keep the tampon out this time

            • Axl

              Fair enough. I apologize. I re-read my statement and it did come off that way I guess.

              I’m well aware that age has something to do with it…but sometimes that’s only because you lack the experience and exposure when you’re young. Hughes and Joba have a significant amount of professional Major League innings under their belt. Why do they make an innings limit for “Rookie of the Year” if it’s just mostly about age?

              I’m not expecting these guys to all win the Cy Young here…but WHIP’s of 1.60 and ERA’s above 5.00 over their career…after being highly touted is disturbing and not really showing much progress. Hughes was inconsistent 2 years ago when he first came up…he would pitch a gem and then get tanked around. Here we are 2 years later and he’s showing almost NO improvement. He’s still throwing that gem here and there and then getting bopped around. Joba went from having an amazing WHIP in the pen to having one of the worst in baseball as a starter. He’s still adapting…I get it. I can give one or two guys a pass…but every single person on the team? That’s pushing it…

              • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

                I’m not asking you give everyone a pass. You alread stated that CC is fine, Petitte is Pettitte. that’s 2 of 6 out of the way.

                Hughes is 22. 2 years ago he was 20 (obviously) and was rushed up, he wasn’t ready then and wasn’t ready last year. I don’t care about his service when it is come from a point in his career when he had no business in the majors. Plus, if you can not see the improvements from the past, you are not watching the same games as I am. He has obviously picked up the cutter and shown better ability to get hitters out.

                Joba still has an ERA under 4 and 1.40 whip and a ERA+ of 118 (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/chambjo03.shtml). Plus, I can’t imagine many starters have the same WHIP as a starter and reliever. You are bound to walk more when you have more innings.

      • ChrisS

        Pitching in a bandbox certainly hurts pitchers.

        Joba is 23 and has a 118 era+, what do you want? 150?

        Hughes is the third best pitcher on a team that has a legit front line guy in CC, a young stud, AJ Farnsworth, and a 37 year old lefty, who has used steroids in the past, and hems and haws about retiring every year. Edwar throws a low 90s fastball with zero movement, Veras can’t locate the plate to save his life, and the other guys are bullpen guys for a reason.

        Dorothy Mantooth Eiland is a saint.

        There’s a problem with looking at historical stats and expecting the best possible outcome. Sometimes it gets worse.

        • Axl

          “There’s a problem with looking at historical stats and expecting the best possible outcome. Sometimes it gets worse.”

          All at once? Everybody? Sometimes? I don’t buy it. That never “sometimes” happens. The probability and statistical odds of not only everybody but also at the same time performing well below their means at the exact same time is outrageous and completely and extremely unlikely.

          • Yages

            completely AND extremely? Are you sure about this?

    • ChrisS

      And Eiland has nothing to do with Wang sucking.

      • Axl

        How do you know? He just coincidentially has everything to do with everybody else being inconsistent and ineffective?

        • ChrisS

          else being inconsistent and ineffective?

          According to who? You?

          Show some work, son. If you’re making accusations, back that shit up with some maths. I’m not doing your work for you.

          • Axl

            “back that shit up with some maths. I’m not doing your work for you.

            We all witness it…why should I have to YOUR work for YOU?? You’ve supposedly watched the same games as I have…and you also own a computer with the internet. I don’t understand why I have to come over your house and highlight everything for you…

            By the way…”math” is kind of like the word “fish”. Just as you wouldn’t say “fishes”…you don’t say “maths”.

            • ChrisS

              You’re saying that the starting pitchers are inconsistent and ineffective (based on what? and to what standard? Whose standard?). You need to provide a bit more detail.

              Calling for a guy to be fired because of your opinion is pretty ballsy. Show some work as to why Eiland should be fired.

              And see my post below.

              By the way…”math” is kind of like the word “fish”. Just as you wouldn’t say “fishes”…you don’t say “maths”

              “It is often shortened to math in English-speaking North America and maths elsewhere.” Bite me if you can’t recognize a little Brit reference.

              • Axl

                So let me get this straight. You’re perfectly capable to make up stories and claim I said things I never did…but when it comes to something relevant and logical…THEN you need me to go do more homework for you?

                I don’t recall ever saying “I want Eiland fired” or anything with “fired” in it. I eloquently stated that he’s not doing his job.

                Based on what? To what standard? To who’s standard??? Umm…well I’m pretty sure when the Yankees dished out $85+ million dollars for Burnett…this wasn’t the “standard” they were looking for. I’m sure when baseball prospectus, among other places, ranked Hughes, Joba, and Kennedy as top prospects…I’m sure a WHIP of 1.60 and/or ERA’s above 5.00 after a significant amount of innings under the belt already wasn’t what they had in mind. I’m hopeful that when they opted for Wang over Hughes…that last nights outcome wasn’t exactly what they were looking for…

                But according to you…this is all just “standard” and entirely acceptable. Everything is fine. Just continue what everyone is doing…it’s looking great.

                • ChrisS

                  he’s not doing his job.

                  How is he not doing his job?

                  That Hughes/IPK/Joba haven’t won a Cy Young yet?

                  IPK is out for the season, Hughes is the 3rd best starter on the team, no mind that he’s 22 and still learning, and Joba has a 118 OPS+, is 23, and Ks 8.3/9IP.

                  How much money the Yankees signed AJ has little relation to how well he can pitch. Moreso since they overpaid for him.

                • Axl

                  I love how the whole argument is on how ineffective the starting pitching staff is…and one of your responses to that is “Hughes is the 3rd best pitcher on the staff!”

                  LOL.

                  So why would the Yankees spend all of this money during the offseason if they were expecting all of this to happen with our starters and relievers? “$85+ million for AJ? We know he’s good for a 5.00 ERA…he’ll fit in nicely…” “Joba and Hughes are inconsistent but are still learning and young…but let’s call them up regardless and just accept it when they get inconsistent.” Haha. What’s the point?? Joba is seeing the results…but his WHIP is still outrageous. He’s basically this years Dice K thus far…with far more hits allowed. Why not leave these kids in the minors if they’re not ready?? Why spend 85+ million on AJ if they expected him to have a 5.00 ERA like you’re saying!!

                  I need a beer…

                • Sweet Dick Willie

                  I eloquently stated that he’s not doing his job.

                  As they say, everything is relative.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

        So basically, what you’re saying is that Eiland is not to blame for his pitchers performing well below their normal levels. That’s not really an acceptable answer in my opinion.

        • Axl

          Ok. You’d prefer to use “coincidence” and “circumstance” instead?? It’s just a coincidence that everybody is performing well below their means?? That’s way more logical…

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            I think Ben said just the opposite.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

              I missed a “not” in my original comment and went back to add it.

              I’m agreeing with Axl and taking issue with Chris’ willingness to exempt all bad performances from our evaluation of Eiland.

              • http://anewfrontier.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

                Oh, so you can go back and edit your comments, but we can’t. Dirty socialists.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  Well played, Pablo. Well played.

              • Axl

                I apologize. I misunderstood. The odds are too ridiculous that every single pitcher would turn out to be unsatisfactory all at the same time.

              • Chris

                Basically the argument against Eiland is based on Wang and AJ. CC, Joba and Pettitte are performing at the levels that you would expect for them. The bullpen is a mess, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Edwar or Veras reverted to their previous forms. Unless you pin the injuries to Bruney/Marte on Eiland, I don’t think there is a lot of evidence that the bullpen is underperforming expectations.

                With AJ and Wang, maybe Eiland isn’t doing a good job, but you also can’t forget that the pitching staff last year performed much better than expected.

        • ChrisS

          How far below their normal levels? What are their “normal” levels?

          You sound like Joe Morgan.

          Andy Pettitte had a career 3.89 ERA coming into these season. Over the last three years he’s had an era of 4.29. This season he’s has an era of 4.22. And he’s 37 with a bad back, obviously Eiland is a horrible pitching coach.

          Joba is 23 and I’m sorry he doesn’t have an era of less than 2 with a 10 per 9 K rate (it’s only 8.3).

          Burnett had a career marked with injuries and hot stretches with a career era of 3.81 and BB rate of 3.7 per 9 IP. This season he has a BB rate of 4.5 and an era of 4.89. Oh and he’s 32. A lot of people had questions regarding this signing based on his historic wildness and injury history. Cliff Corcoran had a great series of posts about not trusting AJ’s recent success. From SG at Replacement Level Yankees Weblog: “However, in [AJ Burnett’s] career he’s been considered a disappointment in many seasons, primarily due to a long history of missed time and results not matching his stuff and peripherals

          CC Sabathia is pitching as well or better than he did in CLE – forget his short stint in the NL pitching to 8-man lineups.

          Which leaves us Wang … and that’s obviously a head scratcher.

          And I wouldn’t judge a pitching coach on the “consistency” and “effectiveness” of a bullpen. That’s folly considering relievers a relatively weak pitchers and volatility. They’re aren’t starters for a reason.

          • Axl
            • ChrisS

              lol, whatever dude.

          • Axl

            Ok. So when you see that AJ Burnett has ALWAYS dominated the Red Sox…especially at Fenway Park…and AS SOON as he puts on pinstripes…he gets battered around like a little child…

            What does your Webblog say about that? If we’re reverting to these older facts like this…explain this one…

            • ChrisS

              small sample size meets wild pitcher?

              What?

              • Axl

                “What’s a small sample size! According to who! Where! How!” LOL

                • AlexNYC

                  Chill out. Its only two starts, lets just see what he does through the rest of the season.

  • Joe M.

    A replacement level hall of famer was a term created by someone on Beyond the Boxscore when they were working on figuring out who should be included in the hall of fame or not. They took all the members of the hall of fame and order them by WAR just like that graph did. They then took the 20th percentile for all of the player’s N best year and said that was replacement level hall of famer. So that means people with these replacement hof WAR for their career could like go either way when it comes to making the hall of fame. People above that should definitely make it. So according to that graph, Mussina definitely deserves in.

  • Hova

    Excellent breakdown by PeteAbe on Eiland. If this doesn’t say the guy will be fired at some point very soon, I don’t know what will.

    Meanwhile, Eiland’s pitching staff is second in the AL in walks and first in home runs allowed. Only two teams — hapless Baltimore and Cleveland — are allowing a higher OPS.

    A.J. Burnett has been a disappointment. Andy Pettitte is walking more batters per nine innings (3.9) than he has since 1999. Edwar Ramirez has vanished to the minors. Jose Veras is an unreliable mop-up man and Joba Chamberlain has gone more than six innings twice in 11 starts.

    Even Mariano Rivera has had his issues. Apparently Eiland can’t stand behind those guys, either.

    If pitching is the foundation of a championship, the Yankees have cracks in the cement that go beyond Chien-Ming Wang. But fixing him would be a good place to start.

    RAB Note: If you’re going to copy and paste from another blog or news source, please make sure to include a link back to the original post. PeteAbe’s comments on Eiland can be found here.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      The team’s FIP was 4th in MLB in FIP last year. Did Eiland forget how to coach?

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        The staff has turned over significantly between then and now. There certainly could be (please note the emphasis) an issue of his ability to work with certain pitchers.

        • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

          That’s fair. The thing is, the pitchers who have had trouble, outside of Burnett who has done this his entire career, are all returning players- Wang, Veras, Edwar, Albie, Pettitte.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            And, going down the line, that’s:
            Wang – all mechanically futzed up due to that freak leg foot injury
            Veras – a wild reliever who was probably just pitching over his head last year
            Edwar – see above
            Albie – see above
            Pettitte – a 37 year old lefty adjusting to his diminished stuff who is somehow being labeled as pitching poorly, despite the fact that he’s probably got a balky back (since he’s a 37 year old lefty adjusting to his diminished stuff) and despite the fact that HE’S NOT ACTUALLY PITCHING POORLY, because 72 innings (and no missed starts) of a 106 ERA+ from a 37 year old lefty adjusting to his diminished stuff whom we signed on an incentive-laden deal to be a 5th starter and eat innings is EXACTLY what we thought we were gonna get from Andy Pettitte.

            I mean, really? A 37 year old lefty with a 106 ERA+, a sinkerballer who never had a high K rate who’s having trouble locating the sinker because he’s recovering from a serious leg injury and can’t iron out his mechanics yet, and three volatile relievers who were flawed when they got here… that’s what we’re gonna cruicify Eiland over? Really?

            • jsbrendog

              if youre axl then yes. but once they all go on a socreless innings streak he will laud eiland as the best pitching coach in the league.

              • Axl

                No, I will commend him for doing his job. After-all, isn’t that what he’s being paid to do??

                How often do people sit at work and say “well that was suppose to happen…it’s not so and so’s fault”. Well if that was suppose to happen regardless of the person you hired to control it…why did you hire this person? What was the point of the interview process if the results will always be the same regardless???

                Where’s that advil??

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  “No, I will commend him for doing his job. After-all, isn’t that what he’s being paid to do??”

                  Hey, people always thank the bus driver when they get out.

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        That comes from the comments by Petes post, from our own Jamal G.

    • Hova

      My fault. Will make sure to source going forward.

  • josh

    eiland doesnt have any thing to do wit wang sucking but this organization – not just eiland – has royally fucked up on this whole wang thing. first they should have known that he wasnt ready to start the year at the big league level when evaluating his stuff after such a long layoff. they should have seen that in spring training, but it took them 3 unbelievable starts and now wangs confidence needs bolstering on top of regaining his form. after that screw up they made an even bigger one when they brought him back without a real rehab and put him in the bullpen and are now basically letting him rehab at the major league level – against boston nonetheless – this has also taken away a few starts from hughes (which really doesnt seem to be a big deal but i think we all agree he should be starting every five days, not going one inning one day and two days later 3.2)

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      How can you start by saying that Eiland “doesn’t have anything to do” with Wang sucking and then in your next sentence blame the organization for failing to pick up on Wang’s problems in March? Who do you think is in charge of picking up pitching problems? Jean Aftermath?

      That’s Dave Eiland’s responsibility through and through.

      • josh

        you are right i am just saying that maybe it is eiland and others. i dont think it was save eilands decision to call back wang when he was going to scranton to put him in the bullpen and later to put hughes in the pen but maybe it was all him. i dont know. he does have something to do with him sucking but what i meant is that wang is not ready and has needed more rehab from an injury – that is why he sucks so far this year – i dont think eiland is to blame for the way wng is throwing, but yes, it is eilands fault that he is out there (as well as others in the organization)

      • ChrisS

        “Who do you think is in charge of picking up pitching problems?”

        How do you know they haven’t picked up on anything?

        Wang has always had a flat fastball when his sinker isn’t on leading to a lot of hard line drives. Should Eiland be fired because Edwar can’t throw a fastball with movement?

        If you’re calling for a guy to be fired have some serious evidence that he’s fucking up and not that the pitchers themselves are just pitching within their actual ability.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          How do you know they haven’t picked up on anything?

          I don’t and never claimed to. As Joe said, we’re all too far removed from the team to pass real judgment.

          I’m not calling for him to be fired. I’m wondering how long he has with the team. In the end, we don’t know what happens behind clubhouse doors. You could be defending a coach no one can work with for all you know.

          It’s baseball. No one needs “serious evidence” that someone’s bad to fire them. It happens all the time. You’re getting a little bit too worked up over this.

          • ChrisS

            You’re getting a little bit too worked up over this.

            Slow newsday on RAB, eh?

            Just need something to stir the pot, I get it.

            I heard that the level discourse was dropping on his blog and wondered how long YES will keep things as is.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

              Where the fuck is this coming from? There is no pot stirring. Someone started the idea of Eiland in the comments, and we’ve spent plenty of time talking about it.

              And YES has no control over us, so your last line is irrelevant.

              • Axl

                Joe,

                I’ve already slammed this kid’s head into the turnbuckle more times than I can count. Whenever he sees that you’re making sense and he’s looking infinitely worthless…he’ll resort to irrelevant tangents in an effort to throw you off queue…

                • jsbrendog
                • Axl

                  jsbrendog,

                  I understand your concern and the point you’re trying to get across…although, after you have been insulted, ganged up on, and vigorously scolded for having personal opinions…it’s kind of hard to endear everybody.

                  It’s like teasing a lion in a cage numerous times and then backing off for 5 minutes and expecting the lion to remain calm

                • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

                  To Axl:

                  “The reason I don’t like the name-calling is that it’s poor technique. It actually makes arguments less persuasive. Using incendiary language has the effect of making those who disagree with you less likely to listen to the substance of your argument and more likely to just dismiss you out of hand.”

                  Read this on another blog. It fits for you though. Make thorough points without throwing all your dislike for every other person on the blog into it and maybe you’ll have a different outcome over time. It may take a while because you have nearly pissed off everyone who reads and posts to this blog.

              • ChrisS

                I think you’re getting a little too worked up about this.

                If you’re throwing out comments about blaming a pitching coach just have some back-up, that’s all. You guys like to poke fun at lame sportswriters about not using stats and using their eyes instead … be prepared to defend your comments.

                Ben’s comment: So at what point do we start blaming Dave Eiland for this turn of events? From the bullpen to Burnett and Wang, his handling of the pitching staff has not delivered results this year.

                A better comment: “Based on x, y, and z, given historic statistics, it’s obvious that the results of x+1, y+2, and z+1 are out of line with expectations.”

                So far, I’ve yet to see any numbers that bear this out and passively blaming the pitching coach is a pretty weak.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  This I get. This is well-said and is without accusation. If it helps any, Ben and I have been emailing about a possible way to handle this conversation given what we know. The comments section here just isn’t the proper place to flesh out the ordeal.

                • Axl

                  The results we’re seeing aren’t good enough?? I gave you numbers. Extremely high WHIPs, a bunch of ERA’s above 5.00, etc. Why do we need to spoon feed it to you? Don’t you watch these games?? It doesn’t have to be one extreme or the other either…just because we don’t like the results…doesn’t mean we’re expecting them to all be Cy Youngs or else!! I never understood that argument by people…

  • josh

    i am all for a new pitching coach but who? also, the team is doing well overall and it might hurt firing the pitching coach in the middle of the season. i dont know what do you think?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Two words: Rick. Peterson.

      • Chip

        Let’s get some Louisiana Lightning in here to straighten the guys out!

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        He’d have all this shit fixed in 10 minutes.

        • cult of basebaal

          somehow, i imagine Guidry as communicating like someone out of Ball Four.

          “Smoke ’em inside and let’s go pound that Budweiser!”

      • Frank

        or my choice, Leo Mazzone.

    • jsbrendog

      leo mazzone? is mel stottylmyre still ins eattle?

      someone mentioned nardi contreras a few threads ago

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I’d still love to give Dave Duncan all the cash in the Bronx to end his decades long bromance with Tony LaRussa, but it’s a pipedream

        • V

          Pass.

          Dave Duncan can’t work with every pitcher. He has a singular pitching philosophy (two-seamers, sinkers, pitch to contact, two-seamers, sinkers, pitch to contact), and the Cardinals sign guys that FIT his philosophy. That’s why he looks like a genius.

          His mis-coaching of Anthony Reyes (a guy who does NOT have the makings of a sinkerballer) was absolutely ridiculous. When Reyes was allowed to just let it fly, he showed flashes of being a major league pitcher. When he was forced to alter his mechanics, throw two-seamers, and pitch to contact, he was AA filler.

          I absolutely would not let him get within 20 feet of Joba for fear he’s neuter him.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Fair enough.

            Evil Plan Z: Multiple pitching coaches. Duncan handles the guys that fit his profile, and Gator, Mazzone, and Kerrigan handle the ones that fit theirs. Maybe a 12-man team, a coach for each hurler. They’ll never see it coming.

            We’ll even put a second aloe strip on that fucker.

            http://www.theonion.com/content/node/33930

    • Mike HC

      How about David Cone. He was able to pitch with electric stuff in his prime, and was also able to pitch effectively throwing 86 mph, so he has done it all. He was a leader in the locker room, and I think that Girardi and Cashman have a ton of respect for him. I can see him being our future pitching coach at some point. That may be five years from now though.

  • Chip

    Who thinks Wang is going to be on the DL with some sort of mental disability due to the birth of his child? That’d be one way to get him some starts without screwing the major league squad.

    • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif OmgZombies!

      Maternity leave…….

      • Axl

        “Paternity”…

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          I was thinking more along the lines of prepartum depression.

    • http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com Sky

      Mental illness jokes are funny.

  • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

    Is it possible to bring in another pitching coach or an “advisor to the pitching coach”. Seeing what Eiland did last year and and with the organization, I don’t think he should be fired, but maybe he needs another set of eyes to help.

    • Hova

      Egos would never allow that. And if would create more controversy than good because from the outside, it would seem as though cashman has an incompetent coach on the team.

    • Axl

      The Yankees are paying him a lot of money to do his job properly. Why would they continue to pay somebody, who ISN’T doing their job, boatloads of money…as well as pay another person on top of that a lot of money to “help” a person who has failed…

      Can’t see I’ve ever seen that happen in any other job…it’s terrible business.

    • Frank

      They already tried this with Joe Kerrigan, when Guidry was the PC.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    While I’m not taking sides on the “Should he or shouldn’t he be fired” question, because, frankly, it bores me, I’ll say this: I can’t really fault Eiland for any struggles from Pettitte, Burnett, or Wang. Because:

    1) Pettite is an over-the-hill vet, and those guys just do their own shit and even when you give them advice, they basically never follow it anyway;
    2) To paraphrase the old Manny Ramirez saw, this is just A.J. being A.J.;
    3) CMW looks like he knows exactly what he’s supposed to do but just can’t master doing it the same way repeatedly. I personally think Eiland has given him precisely what his gameplan should be, and he just can’t execute it consistently. The stuff is there. The plan to attack hitters is there. The diagnosis of what to do and what not to do is there. Wang just can’t get the ball to the right spot yet. Nobody’s fault but Wang’s. It is what it is. JMHO.

    Just my three cents.

    • Frank

      Just throwing this out there about CMW- is it possible he’s not totally focused given the pending birth of his first kid? Maybe after the birth,and aassuming all goes well, he will not be distracted and can focus oh his pitching.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Yeah, but that doesn’t really explain how awful he was before the labor was imminent.

        • jsbrendog

          he knew he had to pitch well or his kid would miss out on millions. mental distress

    • V

      +1

    • Chris

      My only quibble would be with the idea that Pettitte is struggling. He’s performing slightly below his career averages, but that should be expected for any 37 year old pitcher who’s back is bothering him.

      As for AJ, I fully expect him to rip off a string of 10 or so lights out starts at some point. Not enough to make up for his craptastic performance so far this year, but just enough to give us hope going into the playoffs/2010 that he really has figured it out.

      • jsbrendog

        just to make his numbers overall for the year look attractive.

        then he pulls the carpet out form under you by doing the same thing the following year with maybe an injury thrown in and you ride the same rollercoaster.

        but ive come to terms with that.

      • ChrisS

        Pretty much. I think AJ is a real hit or miss pitcher and a guy that’s been that way his whole career. Andy’s doing what he was projected to do.

        Additionally, the Yankees pitchers are doing better each month this season.

        If you remove CMW’s “performance” to date from the Yankees totals, they’d have a 4.45 team ERA, remove Clagget’s disaster from cleaning up for CMW, and the Yankees have a 4.33 team ERA on the season. So two pitchers and 22 IP are responsible for nearly a half a run on the team’s ERA (which would put them in to the top 10 in the AL.

        Add in that the Yankees Home era is 3/4s of a run higher than on the road and I really don’t see a huge dilemma here.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Or:

          All-together FUBAR’d Chien-Ming Wang has faced 117 batters and given up 34 runs. Also FUBAR’d Damaso Marte has faced 30 batters and given up 9 runs. SSS’d and totally shit the bed Anthony Claggett faced 16 batters and gave up 8 runs (no, seriously). For good measure, let’s throw in Nick Swisher’s scoreless inning, since it’s such an aberration as well.

          CMW, Marte, Claggett, and Swisher have a collective ERA of 15.64.

          All the rest of our pitchers, even including the ugly performances from Edwar, Veras, and Albaladejo, have collectively faced 2,156 batters this year (92.7 percent of the total) and pitched 501.3 innings (94.4 percent of the total) and have a collective ERA of 4.21. A 4.21 ERA would be 13th best in baseball.

  • Albearrrr

    The 2003 rotation was a strong one but one disadvantage that the 2009 starters have to the 2003 is that the AL-east division is much more formidable this year than it was back in 2003.

    yankee starters see hitters in their own division more than any other, it just so happened that in 2003, outside of the Sox / Yanks, lineups were not as deep. This year, TB Tor and even a case can be made for Baltimore that these hitters are tough on a Pitcher.

  • ADam

    Well this year, if the Yanks make the W.S the good news is that there is no David Wells to go out quit on his team in game 5 of the world series.

    • Axl

      Or is there?!?!?

  • NJY

    ’98 rotation should be better than 2003 at first thought. Dont you think?

  • Nick

    It was all downhill after 2003 for the pitching. Every single choice the GM made after that was a huge backfire.