Better or Worse: Pitching EditionBy
Yesterday I made some predictions on whether Yankee batters would do better or worse in 2011 than in 2010, today I’ll go through the pitchers.
2010: 21-7, 3.18 ERA, 3.54 FIP
2011: At this point Sabathia is who he is, I would expect a very similar season in 2011. He’s going to throw a ton of good to great innings and win a ton of games. Expect more of the same next year, which of course is a great thing. CC is an ace in every sense of the word.
2010: 11-3, 3.28 ERA, 3.85 FIP
2011: Assuming he comes back, I don’t expect Pettitte to pitch as well in 2011 as he did in 2010, though if healthy he could certainly bring more to the team. The 129 innings he pitched were the lowest of his Yankee career. I don’t think he’ll pitch to a 3.28 ERA again, but if he can make 30 starts and put up a season similar to his 2009 he’ll be better for the Yankees in the long run.
2010: 18-8, 4.19 ERA, 4.25 FIP
2011: Unlike CC and Andy, there is reason to believe he could improve greatly in 2010. As positive as his 2010 was, there is plenty of room for improvement. He may not win 18 games again, but he’ll likely be better. He went through some growing pains that all young pitchers go through and hopefully he learns from them. I also think that Hughes’ mindset may be a little different in 2011 knowing that there is no innings limit on the season, nor will he be on as strict pitch counts (20 of 29 starts were less than 105) within games. Removing these chains could certainly help him grow. And please Phil, hit a batter next year.
2010: 10-15, 5.26 ERA, 4.83 FIP
2011: Burnett has to get better in 2011, right? I expect he will. While the hiring of Larry Rothschild as pitching coach is a positive, Burnett’s success will depend primarily on himself. There was no major injury to explain his poor season, and as inconsistent as he has been throughout his career, at the end of every season his line looked ok. Clearly this wasn’t the case in 2010. One area of slight concern is that his fastball velocity did drop 1 MPH to 93.2 from 2009 to 2010, his 3rd straight year of decline and well off his career norms. Since he’s essentially a two pitch pitcher, any further drop in velocity could be deadly.
2010: 3.82 ERA, 3.58 FIP
2011: Robertson finished the year strong (playoffs aside) and we were all confident when he came in, but it’s easy to forget he got off to a horrible start. I think 2011 he puts it together and has a strong year start to finish as the primary setup man (assuming Joba is traded). If Joba is still here I think Robertson sticks to the fireman role which he has been so great at the past few years (OPS is 107 points lower with runners on, which is good because he walks so many guys).
2010: 1.80 ERA, 2.81 FIP
2011: Every year there are a ton of prognosticators who predict this is the year Rivera will age. Every year they are all wrong. Of course they all keep saying it, so one time they might be right. I certainly won’t be making that prediction. In his last 8 years Rivera has had an ERA over 2 just once. Why would I predict otherwise? In 2011 it’ll be another year of dominance for the ageless Mo.
2010: 12-9, 3.18 ERA, 2.58 FIP
2011: Of course this is dependant on Lee signing with the Yankees, but I would expect a little worse season out of Lee in 2011. Many players struggle their first year in pinstripes, though it was promising that the last big free agent class certainly bucked the trend. Lee seems to have the composure and attitude required for pitching in the Bronx without being affected, but we won’t really know until he gets here. I’m sure his record will be better, but pitching a full year in Yankee Stadium and the AL East could hurt his other (important) stats. He’ll be great, but maybe not quite as great as he was this year.
As this will be my last post at RAB, I want to thank Ben, Mike, and Joe for the opportunity to write here for the past 6 months as I truly have had a blast doing it. I also want to thank the readers for reading and commenting on my posts, both those who agreed and disagreed with me as I took a lot from both sides. The community of Yankee fans on this site is second to none and I am glad to be a part of it.