Jul
12

The Pettitte problem

By

No matter what happens today, the Yankees will head into the All Star Break with the third-highest win total in the Major Leagues. They are holding down a playoff position and have played some of the best baseball I’ve seen this team play in a few seasons.

All however is not wine and roses. While we looked at Joba’s recent struggles yesterday, today we are faced with the reality of Andy Pettitte. He may have eight wins, but they haven’t been pretty. Lately, he’s barely been keeping the Yanks in the game. Handed a 4-0 lead yesterday afternoon, Pettitte gave it all back and more before the 5th inning was out. Similar to Joba on Friday, Pettitte was showered by the end of the 5th.

This start caps off a bad end to the first half for Pettitte. After going 5-1 with a 4.10 ERA through the end of May, Pettitte has tanked. He’s 3-4 with a 5.93 ERA. He has allowed 51 hits over his last 44 innings while walking 21 and striking out 36. That’s a 1.66 WHIP for those keeping score at home. Opponents have an OPS against Pettitte well over .800 now.

More alarming, in a way though, are his innings totals. Those 44 innings span eight starts. He’s averaging just 5.5 innings per game. When the season started, Pettitte was billed as a solid back-end guy. He’d throw to a mid-4 ERA but would give the Yanks some length. He’s not really doing that anymore.

Overall, Pettitte heads into the break with an 8-5 record and a 4.85 ERA. Since the 2008 All Star break, Pettitte is 12-12 with a 5.06 ERA. He just turned 37 last month, and we’re unlikely to see Pettitte improve.

When I saw the results of the game yesterday, I sent Joe and Mike an e-mail. “The Yanks have a bit of a pitching problem on their hands,” I said, and my two co-writers agreed. What we’re seeing is what we’re going to get from Pettitte right now. He throws 88 or 89 with flashes of 90 but can’t push a ball by too many hitters anymore. He hasn’t yet reinvented himself a la Mike Mussina 2008 but is showing why I was reluctant to bring him back this past winter.

The Yankees can feel good about themselves after today’s game, and we should too. They’re a very good team right now, but they have some holes. For better or worse, Andy Pettitte is one of those holes, and with Wang out and Joba struggling as a youngster breaking into the Bigs, the Yanks should be pondering how to address this Andy Pettitte problem.

Categories : Pitching
  • LateInningRelief

    It is mind-boggling that Yanks don’t sit Pettitte down for a turn or two. This should have happened many weeks ago, when he tweaked his back originally. The guy is just not a 200 IP guy anymore. He needs to rest. I know the Yanks are now trying to fill CMW’s spot, but they’re not doing themselves any favors trotting Pettitte out there.

  • Matt M.

    when we were on the fence between AJ Burnett and Derek Lowe last year, I advocated for Burnett because of his upside and saw an older lowe as an innings eater that pettitte could equate to production wise for a cheaper price at a shorter deal.

    their era, era+ hits, strike outs and whips are almost identical. Pettitte obviously has given up more HR’s but its been ok.

    Pettitte has been what we sought, 5th starter and depth. he has had limited success, but im glad that we picked pettitte and burnett rather than pettitte and lowe or burnett and lowe (if that was ever seriously a consideration lol…)

  • Mike Pop

    I too am slightly worried about this problem, only having 2 starters taking the hill who I am confident in to win the ballgame for us. CC and Burnett have been great but we would all like to see them pitch even better, cause ya know, we’re Yankees fans here. Joba in all likelihood will get better, but as far as Pettitte goes I’m not too sure.

    Maybe a trade for a rental? Jarrod Washburn, how about Paul Byrd?

    I think in the end they’ll be okay but another starter could be nice since it should be Hughes but he’s the holy of all holies 8th inning guy right now.

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

      Washburn kinda scares me right now. I know he’s got the 3.08 ERA, a 3.88 FIP, and what would be a career high K/BB, but his tRA is over 5 (it’s tRA+ of 95). Pettitte was a guy who’s ERA was relatively low, along w/his FIP–that is, it wasn’t much higher than his ERA–and a high tRA and he’s come back to earth quickly. I wonder if Washburn will do the same.

  • Ace

    How many starts will Hughes need in AAA to get stretched out? 3?

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

      Hes going to be capped at 100 anyways so I would say two

      35=>65=>95

      • Ace

        I say let him get stretched out in the bullpen then. You can bring him in for the 7-9 inn and have him throw 35 in any given game and then 65 during Aceves next start.

        • Ed

          The reason people want to stretch him out in the minors is the All Star Break. The Yankees get 4 days off this year, so if you send him down to the minors for 10 days he gets two starts in and doesn’t miss too much time with the team.

  • James Auchincloss

    Any chance Ivan Nova finds a spot in the rotation for the second half?

    I know he isn’t very experienced but the guy is absolutely dealing for SWB right now

    • Reggie C.

      Yup. Nova’s exactly the caliber of pitcher who should be starting on a team that must make the playoffs or get their manager fired.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        3 starts in AAA, not much to go on. But if they think his stuff will play up here, then what the heck.

  • miketotheg

    I know I’m going to get blasted for this, but this is what I think.

    I don’t think we have a petite problem or a joba problem. I think we have a cashman/girardi problem.

    I’m not saying fire them or any nonsense like that, I’m saying take the kid gloves off and play a grown up game. You can’t take Petite out in the fifth when the ‘pen is already worn out. Petite is the master of getting out of tight spots. As far as joba goes, if he has to have a pitch count put him in the bullpen, otherwise let him loose and let him sink or swim. I would rather lose one game and blow up joba’s ERA cause he doesn’t have the stones than yank him in the 4th or 5th a bunch of times and throw games out the window. This hurts our pen and our chances to maintain winning streaks.

    Put Hughes in the rotation and make joba earn his spot. Don’t even get me started on the rossum/hinske situation.

    They used to play the payroll, which drove me nuts, now they play the resume or “potential”. No. If you want to play, you have to perform. Otherwise go whine in the minors so we can give somebody else a shot.

  • Ken

    Sign Ben Sheets now before someone else does. Let him rehab in Tampa and then plug him in even if it he is not ready until next year. Like they did with John Leber.

    • Zach

      why would you give a guy guaranteed millions without even seeing him pitch and see how he returns from injury?

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    “He throws 88 or 89 with flashes of 90 but can’t push a ball by too many hitters anymore.”

    He never threw the ball past many hitters. He’s always been the type of pitcher who pitches to contact. His SO/9IP Rates are the same as they were in 07. His fastball is down a tick so far, but I’d expect that to pick up in the 2nd half as well. You can’t compare 1st half avg fastball velocity to full seasons, that’s not an apples to apples comp.

    Andy has always been a 2nd half pitcher, typically seeing his ERA drop by half a run and his win-pct shoot up 100 points. I’m well aware of the fact that wasn’t the case last year, and we all know Andy was hurt for most of the 2nd half last year.

    Its interesting that you bring up Mussina, because he often said ‘when you’re 26 and have a few bad starts, its just a few bad starts. When you’re 36 and have a few bad starts, everybody thinks you’re finished’.

    Sorry, but there is no Pettitte problem. To paraphrase Dennis Green “He is who we thought he was”. Some of us just seem to have forgotten.

    http://www.baseball-reference......r&t=p

    • donttradecano

      I disagree. Just because hes been a second half pitcher his whole career, doesnt mean at 37 hes going to recover from an awful first half.

      That being said, they wont take him out of the rotation.

      • Accent Shallow

        They might if he keeps pitching this poorly, but probably not until the end of August. Ref: Moose 2007.

    • Matt M.

      i suspect a lot of Pettitte’s second half stamina came from his HGHing

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

        Do you even know the effects of injecting HGH?

  • bonestock94

    Maybe they’ll trade for another starter to fill in for Wang or to give the struggling starters a break. It seems like every year the Yankees trade for a guy that nobody thinks of, kind of like Hinske. I don’t think it’s crucial for this year’s team though.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      That would be my suggestion. Nobody big, just a fill in type you could send to AAA or DFA when Wang comes back.

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

        Well, then they’d probably be better served by just using Mitre instead of trading for someone.

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

          Yes, if he can do the job. Starting Ace over him (on a 65 pitch count) makes me think they don’t think he can.

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

            Well, he has been doing well in AAA and I think they just didn’t want to make the roster move yet. Mitre is probably more stretched out and wouldn’t tax the bullpen as much as using Aceves. Mitre is most likely also more useful than the guy he’d replace (Tomko).

  • POCKO

    Roy Halladay, even though a pipe dream would go a long way to fixing many of our problems. Assuming Joba is in the package… Halladay, CC, AJ, Hughes, Pettite– Mo Coke Bruney Ace and we would need to find another pitcher. Preferably an “8th inning guy.”

    I guess everything depends on when Wang comes back. We need Aceves in the pen, hopefully Mitre gets a shot.

  • YankeeScribe

    The Yanks have won in the past in spite of having struggling starters not pulling their own weight(Irabu, Contrearas, Kevin Brown, etc). But this year, perhaps due to a miscalculation on Cashman’s part, they have 3 pitchers not pulling their own weight and bringing down the whole staff in the process.

    Our bullpen isn’t as bad as they’ve looked this series. They are just being overworked now that we only have 2 starters who make it past the 5th inning.

    Hopefully, there’s someone out there that we can trade for besides Halladay.

    As far as Pettite goes, they should put him in the pen and let Hughes start.

    On Wang, keep your fingers crossed and pray that he regains his old form in the second half.

    As for Joba, the Yanks need to figure out how he can best help the team. Right now, he’s hurting the team in the starter role. I’m also not against trading him while his stock is still relatively high.

  • John Duci

    Trade Joba in a package for Halladay. Something like Joba,Romine,Betances.

    Halladay,CC,AJ,Wang,Pettite = number 27

    If Wang is not healthy and/or is terrible then Hughes takes his place and we trade for Street.

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

      The problem with all this Joba trade talk is illustrated right here. Young Yankees fans have never seen a pitcher come up with growing pains. The last one to develop, Wang, came up and pitched fairly well in his first year. There were also no expectations for him, making the whole thing a ton easier. Even the last one before that, Andy Pettitte, came up and pitched well.

      Just think about that. Between 1995 and 2009, the Yankees have brought up and kept two pitching prospects. This kind of thing happens with young pitchers. They get shelled. Have patience.

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        Lol. Two pretty identical comments sent at the same minute. Owe you a coke.

      • YankeeScribe

        I agree but there’s an argument to be made about the pressure of NY breaking young developing pitchers. I’ve always felt that it’s better for young pitchers to develop in the obscurity of small market teams instead of the bright lights, magnifying glass, and impatience of NY fans and the national media.

        Lots of young pitchers go through the same things Joba is going through but they do it without being the subject of questions and doubts from the national sports media…

        • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

          So basically the Yankees should never develop pitchers? That does not seem like a good management plan.

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

            We are on a roll this morning.

          • YankeeScribe

            Not saying that at all. I’m explaining WHY it’s so rare that young pitchers get developed by the Yankees…

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

              No, that’s not why pitchers are rarely developed by the Yankees. They weren’t bad at developing pitchers the last little while because New York is a big market; they were bad at developing pitchers from a combination of bad drafting, trading, and talent evaluation.

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

          “I’ve always felt that it’s better for young pitchers to develop in the obscurity of small market teams instead of the bright lights, magnifying glass, and impatience of NY fans and the national media.”

          So what are you saying? That the Yankees shouldn’t develop any young pitchers and the Yankees should just buy them when they’re past their primes and excessively expensive?

          I don’t know if that’s what you meant, but that’s certainly what the quoted passage implies.

          • YankeeScribe

            It’s just the reality of the Yankees organization. Most young pitchers don’t have to go through what Joba, Hughes, and even Ian Kennedy have been through over the past 3 years. I feel really bad for the guys. I’d like to see them develop into great pitchers for the Yankees but I’m acknowledging that NY isn’t the ideal place for these guys to have their growing pains.

            • Ed

              A few years ago after seeing lots of free agent pitchers fail, the popular thought was that bringing in guys not used to the pressure of NY led to disaster. The solution to that would be to develop players, that way they’d be used to the pressure from the beginning and would be able to deal with it.

              • YankeeScribe

                I’ve always been skeptical about the whole “pressure of NY hurting free agents” thing. It might be true in the case of A-Rod but ultimately, Cashman has made some terrible aquisitions over the years. He’s also made some good aquisitions but I don’t know how he kept his job after signing Kei Igawa.

                But lets say the “pressure of NY” thing is real. Considering how mentally fragile young tend to be, it makes no sense to conclude that they would handle the pressure any better than veteran players…

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

                  So the Yankees should trade all of their young pitchers and never develop them, regardless of how talented they are, because they might be adversely affected by pitching in New York? This is just a silly line of thinking.

                • YankeeScribe

                  Stop putting words into my mouth. All I’m saying is that developing young pitchers on a team like the Yankees isn’t as easy as developing young pitchers on the Marlins or the Orioles.

                  The pressure on the pitcher may ruin him mentally and the pressure on the Yankees front office may force them into making bad decisions on the pitcher’s development.

                  This doesn’t mean that they should give up on development of pitchers. However, young pitchers shouldn’t be rushed the way that Joba, Hughes, and Kennedy were. Joba never got a full season in the minors and Hughes and Kenndey were expected to make Cashman look like a genius last season for passing on a trade for Santana.

                  Most young pitchers aren’t going to be dominant and productive early the way Doc Gooden was but Cashman and the Yankees handled these guys as if they were ready to be dominant and handle the pressure…

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

                  I’ll grant you that it’s different because of the fact that the Yankees are constantly a competitive team, but that doesn’t mean young pitchers shouldn’t be on the big league roster. If they don’t get used to the “pressure” of New York as young guys, how could they handle it when they’re older? Joba may be taking his lumps on and off the field right now but won’t that just strengthen him mentally and on the mound for the future?

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

                  To build on Matt’s response, above… What’s your solution to the problem you perceive, exactly? Should the Yankees institute a rule that no pitchers get called up to MLB until they’re at least 25 years old, regardless of when they are actually ready for that level of competition? Sure, pitching in NY is probably tougher than pitching in Kansas City, for obvious reasons… But that doesn’t mean the Yankees should leave guys in the minors because they’re scared they won’t be able to handle the pressure. That would accomplish nothing.

                  “Most young pitchers aren’t going to be dominant and productive early the way Doc Gooden was but Cashman and the Yankees handled these guys as if they were ready to be dominant and handle the pressure…”

                  You’re right, most young pitchers aren’t going to be as dominant at a young age as Dwight Gooden… But YOU’RE the one bringing up that sort of comparison. Nobody with the Yankees, and in particular Cashman since you mentioned him by name, has ever said that they expected Joba or any other young pitcher to come up and have a Gooden-like impact. They were as clear as they could be coming into this season that Joba was the 5th starter in the rotation. Cashman and the Yankees handled these guys how they should have been handled given the personnel available to the Yankees. Hughes and Kennedy started the season in the minors so they could get work in and be back-up options for the big league rotation, and Joba started the season as the 5th starter who was being asked to give decent innings while continuing to develop and grow towards reaching his potential. And, frankly, it’s July and Joba has had his ups and downs. Is his season going exactly how the Yankees hoped/expected? No, I’m sure it’s not. But it’s not like the Yankees expected the guy to be Dwight Gooden. He’s young, he’s going through a rough stretch. We all need to chill… It’s ok to be concerned (I’m definitely in the “concerned with his performance” crowd), but we have to be careful to keep things in perspective here.

                • YankeeScribe

                  “Joba may be taking his lumps on and off the field right now but won’t that just strengthen him mentally and on the mound for the future?”

                  We have to wait and see. Like I said, I feel bad that everytime he has a bad start it’s national news but that’s the consequence of playing in NY and the high expectations that were built up from his 2007 debut. In hindsight, the Yankees probably should have let him begin the 2008 season in the minors as a starter.

                  I think Hughes has handled the pressure the best out of all three of those guys and is most likely to succeed.

                • YankeeScribe

                  What’s your solution to the problem you perceive, exactly?

                  I don’t have one. I expect that the Yankees front office has enough smart baseball people to know how best to handle young pitchers. Rivera, Pettite, and Wang worked out well. I would stick to whatever worked for those guys.

                  Nobody with the Yankees, and in particular Cashman since you mentioned him by name, has ever said that they expected Joba or any other young pitcher to come up and have a Gooden-like impact.

                  I was speaking more in terms of how Cashman handled Hughes and Kennedy leading into the 08′ season. The Yankees had no ace to lead the staff, they didn’t get Santana, and Hughes and IPK were promoted as if one of them were ready to be the next ace. They of course, failed to meet the unreasonably high expectations set by the Yankees front office and the media.

                  For this season, Cashman made clear that Joba was a 5th starter because he learned his lesson after the 08′ season.

                  Joba hasn’t been awful but he doesn’t seem to be getting better and even Eiland is questioning his pitch selection and constant shaking off of the catchers.

                  Last week Joba set a record for the fewest decisions in 29 starts. You don’t think that should concern the Yankees? With Pettite and Wang’s problems, you don’t think fans have a right to begin to get impatient?

                  Still, I’m not blaming Joba. As I said earlier, I think he probably needed a little more seasoning in the minors before transitioning into the starting role.

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

                  Do they have the right to get impatient? Yes. Does it make them seem like entitled jackasses? Yes.

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

                  “I don’t have one. I expect that the Yankees front office has enough smart baseball people to know how best to handle young pitchers. Rivera, Pettite, and Wang worked out well. I would stick to whatever worked for those guys.”

                  First of all, when they were acquired by the organization, none of Rivera, Pettitte, nor Wang were near the level of prospect that Joba, Hughes and IPK were. Rivera and Wang, in particular, are irrelevant to this discussion, as they were not the same types of prospects and didn’t make it through the minors until later in their careers. Andy Pettitte was a full-time MLB regular, in the rotation, in his age 23 season. Last year, when Hughes and Kennedy were penciled into the rotation, it was Hughes’ age 22 season and Kennedy’s age 23 season. This year, the first year that Chamberlain started the season in the rotation, is his age 23 season.

                  “I was speaking more in terms of how Cashman handled Hughes and Kennedy leading into the 08? season. The Yankees had no ace to lead the staff, they didn’t get Santana, and Hughes and IPK were promoted as if one of them were ready to be the next ace. They of course, failed to meet the unreasonably high expectations set by the Yankees front office and the media.”

                  Again, says YOU, not Cashman and not anyone else with the Yankees. They were penciled in as the 4th and 5th starters, not as some sort of savior-tandem to lead the rotation. You seem to be railing against media hype and mischaracterizing it as somehow the responsibility of the Yankees’ front office. The Yankees put Hughes and Kennedy into the rotation as the 4th and 5th starters. If the media over-hyped them and led you to believe they were put in the rotation because they’d be immediate Cy Young Award candidates, that’s on the media (and on those who bought into what the tabloids told them). It’s not on the Yankees.

                  “For this season, Cashman made clear that Joba was a 5th starter…”

                  Good… Agreed… So why is are we still discussing this?

                  “Joba hasn’t been awful but he doesn’t seem to be getting better and even Eiland is questioning his pitch selection and constant shaking off of the catchers.”

                  Again, agreed… Like I said, there’s reason to be concerned.

                  “Last week Joba set a record for the fewest decisions in 29 starts. You don’t think that should concern the Yankees?”

                  Ok… I hate when people say things like this… But did you actually read my comment that you’re responding to? I thought I was pretty clear that there is reason to be concerned with Joba’s performance so far this year. So, to answer your question, as I stated above… Yeah, there’s reason to be concerned.

                  “Still, I’m not blaming Joba. As I said earlier, I think he probably needed a little more seasoning in the minors before transitioning into the starting role.”

                  Seasoning? The guy DOMINATED the minors when he was there, then came up and dominated out of the bullpen, then was transitioned into the rotation and pitched about as well as could be expected as a 22 year old starter. It’s easy and it’s a knee-jerk reaction, when a young guy is struggling, to say “he should still be in the minors, he’s just not ready yet.” But this is a guy who was certainly ready when the decision was made to put him into the rotation. To paraphrase TSJC… Let the fucking burrito cook, dude. Players take time to develop. Sometimes they perform poorly for stretches. Maybe Joba is having some sort of physical problem, maybe he’s not. Maybe he’ll improve in the second half, maybe he either won’t improve or will just prove to not be the best option for that 5th slot in the rotation so he’ll eventually be sent down to the minors to get some innings and work in while someone else holds down the 5th spot for the Yanks. Whatever happens… This was a pitcher who was clearly ready for MLB experience when the Yankees put him into the rotation at the beginning of this season. Just because a player goes through a rough stretch doesn’t mean he was necessarily promoted too quickly. It’s called development, and it doesn’t always go as well as we hope.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Many Yankees fans have zero patience. It is “slam dunk” deals like this one that have killed the Yankees over the last few years, as they have had nothing in terms of young talent to plug in. Now that they have a young potential ace like Joba, he struggles a bit and everyone wants him traded for a 32 year old who is going to want a long term deal. As Rob Neyer said:

      Young pitchers don’t come with guarantees. The possibility’s always existed, that Joba Chamberlain wouldn’t be able to withstand the every-five-days rigor of throwing — or trying to throw — six or seven innings against the most talented hitters on the planet.

      You have to find out, though. If you have a pitcher who might be able to do that, you have to find out. To this point, nobody’s found anything out yet. No, the early returns aren’t good (though it’s probably worth mentioning that the Yankees are 11-6 in Joba’s starts this season). But it’s just too early to give up. Particularly considering that with Chien-Ming Wang back on the DL, the Yankees are already down a starter.

      Patience, my Bronxian friends. Patience.

      http://myespn.go.com/blogs/swe.....-Joba.html

      • YankeeScribe

        Most young pitchers develop in relative obscurity. Joba is having his growing pains exposed by the national sports media. Does he have the mental capacity and intestinal fortitude to overcome the doubters? I hope so but the cruelty of the media and impatience of the hometown fans isn’t going unnoticed by Joba…

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

          Why don’t we find out instead of trading a guy who has a chance to be the best starter developed by the Yankees since Andy Pettitte?

          • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

            …wouldn’t he be the ONLY starter since Pettitte?

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

              Wang.

              • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

                Oh, yeah, sure–if you Want to count a two-time 19 game winner…

                (I didn’t like the other way, ‘like I said…’)

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      That’s great. Then if Joba turns into Josh Beckett, we’ll be facing the Blue Jays 19 times a year with him pitching 3-4 of those games.

      Then when we miss the playoffs by 2 games in 2011 and 2013, we can thank you.

      • YankeeScribe

        With his maturity issues and his drinking, there’s also the possibility that he turns into Sidney Ponson…

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    Anyone have an update on Ben Sheets? There’s a high upside guy you could get for only $$$, if available.

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

      Word is he probably won’t pitch this season.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      Forget it

      “News: Jayson Stark of ESPN.com is reporting that Sheets (elbow) will not be physically able to pitch in the big leagues this season.”

      http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....yerId=4571

  • Yages

    I can’t find them now, but I swear I’ve read quotes from Pettite this year where he basically says he has no idea how he gets anyone out anymore. Anyone else remember this?

  • AndrewYF

    I had a horrible dream that Yankee fans were reduced to hoping Josh Towers refinds his stuff in the major leagues.

    Brr.

    • AndrewYF

      But, honestly, the Yankees can survive, even thrive with two good starters and three questions marks. They’ve done pretty much that ever since the Great Rotation Destruction of 2003. The difference this year is that the other three starters have much greater upside than the Aaron Smalls, Darrell Rasners and Shawn Chacons of the world.

      • YankeeScribe

        What upside? Pettite looks done career-wise. Wang may not recover fully from his injuries this season. Joba and Hughes’ upsides are unlikely to help us this season.

        • AndrewYF

          I don’t even know what to say to this silly comment. A downside to RAB’s popularity is the influx of LoHud-type posters.

          Yes, it’s clearly impossible that Pettitte, Wang and Chamberlain pitch well ever again this season, because they’ve struggled recently. Absolutely out of the question.

          • YankeeScribe

            Nothing’s impossible but Pettite and Wang turning things around and becoming reliable again this season is about as predictable as Chacon and Small’s 2005 seasons.

            Chamberlain will likely reach his innings limit and be unable to start in the post season whether he fulfills his “upside” or not…

            • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

              Let’s say Andy regains most of his early eason form…16-10? Ok, good enough.

              • YankeeScribe

                It’s certainly possible. As for Wang, I think his recent injury is going to screw up his mechanics even more than his last one.

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

              “Nothing’s impossible but Pettite and Wang turning things around and becoming reliable again this season is about as predictable as Chacon and Small’s 2005 seasons.”

              So you think it was just as likely, in 2005, that the Yankees would get 79 IP at a 2.85 ERA and 149 ERA+ from Shawn Chacon and 76 IP at a 3.20 ERA and 132 ERA+ (and a 10-0 record) from Aaron Small, than it would be in 2009 for Andy Pettitte and Chien-Ming Wang to pitch well in the second half of the season? That’s just incorrect.

              • YankeeScribe

                Prior to the season, no. At the midpoint of the season, yes. We’ve seen enough starts from Pettite and Wang since the second half of last season to know that it’s unlikely that they’re going to do a 180 in the second half this season. Just as Small and Chacon’s second halfs of 2005 were unlikely scenarios…

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

                  Please… Look at Chacon’s and Small’s numbers in that small sample in 2005, and compare them to their numbers for the rest of their careers… It’s NOT just as likely that Wang/Pettitte will do well in the second half this year as it was that Chacon/Small would turn in the performances they did in 2005. It was hyperbole on your part, and you should just admit as much and move on rather than defend a silly statement and try to dig yourself out of a hole.

                • YankeeScribe

                  Looking at Pettite and Wang’s career #’s while ignoring other factors like age and injuries since last season is dishonest at best. At this point when considering how poorly those guys have pitched since last season, it’s unlikely that they’re going to fix what’s wrong with them midseason…

                  Based on your logic we should sign Pedro and expect him to win a few games for us since he won a few Cy Youngs in his career…

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

                  “Based on your logic we should sign Pedro and expect him to win a few games for us since he won a few Cy Youngs in his career…”

                  No, that might be the conclusion based on your incorrect reading of my logic, but it’s not the conclusion at which any reasonable person would arrive.

                  I’m not saying Pettitte’s age or Wang’s recent injury history shouldn’t be taken into account. I’m saying it’s stupid to assert that the chances of Pettitte providing representative innings at his age and Wang coming back and providing representative innings are the same as the chances were that SHAWN FUCKING CHACON and AARON FUCKING SMALL would come in, in 2005, and provide incredible numbers and help save the team. Again… Aaron Small. AARON FUCKING SMALL.

                  You are really doing a bang-up job in this thread, today. Compelling stuff.

                • Tony

                  Aaron Small needs to get his own logical fallacy. Aaron Small’s name is ineligible for use in argument.

    • Tony

      This is somehow better than the Sergio Mitre fellation happening right now?

  • E-ROC

    The Yanks don’t have any real alternatives for Pettitte. There is Sergio Mitre in AAA. Is Mark Mulder healthy? Jonathan Sanchez has been the subject of trade rumors with the Giants looking for a hitter. What about Ian Snell? The Yanks and Pirates have been good trade partners in the past. Maybe they could make another trade. I’m not sure of Ian Snell’s contract.

    I just hope Joba Chamberlain can right the ship, and Hughes lands back in a rotation, whether it be at pro or AAA level.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      Mulder’s not healthy and Sanchez would be sold WAY high off the no hitter. Stay far, far away.

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

      The Snell idea sounds like a decent experiment. He makes $4.25 mil next year (and about $1.5 mil the rest of this year) before his contract turns into a couple of club options (didn’t see a buyout amount attached to him, but the options are both under $10 mil).

      I imagine the Pirates won’t want much for him. At this point, why not?

      • Tony

        What makes people think Ian Snell’s 5.40 ERA would translate here any better than the other garbage being considered right now? Why not? Because he sucks and would be DFA’d at the end of the season (at best).

  • Sean A

    Here is a great 4 way blockbuster for you to ponder. Yanks ship Joba/Miranda/Melky and PTNL for Halladay/Wells/Overbay. We then flip Wells/Overbay to Mets for Wright, who we ship to Boston for Lester. Hey anything can happen.

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

      “Hey anything can happen.”

      Except the deal you just proposed.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        Yeah, cause you’d need to give the Mets cash too. Duh.
        :)

      • pat

        All three as a matter of fact.

  • Matt M.

    I cant blame this on cashman, we’ve had a very deep rotational depth chart.

    CC
    AJ
    Wang
    Pettitte
    Joba
    Hughes
    Aceves
    IPK

    Going into the year, that’s probably one of the deepest rotations around unless you count TEH Brad Pennies and SMOLTYZZZ!!

    everyone was expecting CMW to be CMW. and no one expected IPK to have his health problems. You can pick the yankees apart for rushing CMW back and then having this limbo between wang and Hughes.

    but we’ve chosen to use our depth to rob peter pay paul in terms of bullpen help — converting Ace and Hughes there…which seems semi-permanent for this season.

    The only real issue i have is that they havent given Melancon an extended start–which, had they, might have averted Hughes going to the pen.

    this edwar/albaladejo/veras/tomko nonsense we’ve ran out there has wasted opportunities that we could have used to solidify melancon as a piece out there.

    • YankeeScribe

      I agree that our depth looked good going into the season. Can’t blame Cashman for stopping at CC and AJ with his pitching additions…

  • Harry

    Is this a joke? Bitching about the 4 starter. Wow. Name me a better back end starter. Maybe 3 teams

    • Charlie

      right now he’s our 3 starter and he has sucked. Why would you not be concerned about Petitte at his point?

  • Cokie

    Pedro. Martinez.
    5th starter???

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      For whom?
      If you say us Ima poke you like with two fingers like the three stooges…let some NL team make that mistake…

      • Cokie

        Well, he’s probably signing with the phillies for cheap. But … he probably couldn’t be worse than The Wang, and probably wouldn’t command more $ than a Smoltz or Penny. Of course Jorge would probably demand a trade if it ever happened.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I think that if we didn’t have the CMW problem and the Joba problem, the Pettitte problem would be manageable.

  • mustang

    RAB is down on Pettitte that most guarantee him a good second half.
    LOL

    • mustang

      that almost guarantee

  • Pingback: Game#88: Yankees at Angels. Last game before the All-Star break… | The Voice of Yankees Universe

  • Eric

    So many people hating on Pettitte, you all have absoultely no idea what your saying. Look at the career he has had so far, never had a loosing record, even last year after he had a terrible 2nd half, he still ended with a 14-14 W/L record. The man dosent know how to loose and he will redeem himself in the 2nd half. Have some faith people, this guy has won 4 world series with this team and he seems intent on making this year #5. Same thing applies for Joba, yes hes had rough starts but as I said before, have faith in your team as Im pretty sure the people in charge are very knowledable in the field and can make the right decisions.

  • Pingback: The Andy Pettitte renaissance | River Avenue Blues