Aug
22

Taking a hit from the objective pipe

By

“If you smoke the objective pipe, I think the coverage on him would be a little smoother, more accurate.” – Brian Cashman on how the media and fans portray A.J. Burnett.

It’s pretty clear that all anyone wants to talk about is A.J. Burnett. In the recap of last night’s game, commenters decided to jump on Burnett rather than discuss the actual game the Yankees played — in which Ivan Nova pitched particularly well. And so, to give everyone the necessary Burnett fix for the afternoon, here is a big lungful of the objective pipe. All numbers are real and up-to-date.

Burnett himself

26 GS, 156 IP, 151 H, 92 R, 70 BB, 132 K

7.62 K/9, 4.04 BB/9, 1.33 HR/9, 47.6% GB, 14.6% HR/FB, .284 BABIP, 1.42 WHIP

8 quality starts in 26 attempts

6 IP per start, 100 pitches per start, 3.81 P/PA, 61% strikes

4.9 runs of support per game

4.96 ERA (85 ERA+), 4.71 FIP, 4.02 xFIP, 3.98 SIERA, 5.08 tERA, 4.4 VORP, 1.1 WAR

Opponents batting against: .255/.336/.444
Quality of opponent hitters: .266/.328/.417

vs. LHB: 7.87 K/9, 4.26 BB/9, 1.09 HR/9, .297 BABIP, 4.37 FIP, 3.79 xFIP
vs. RHB: 7.33 K/9, 3.79 BB/9, 1.59 HR/9, .271 BABIP, 5.10 FIP, 4.27 xFIP

Home: 7.73 K/9, 3.54 BB/9, 1.30 HR/9, .256 BABIP, 4.48 FIP, 3.86 xFIP
Away: 7.43 K/9, 4.85 BB/9, 1.37 HR/9, .328 BABIP, 5.10 FIP, 4.27 xFIP

Low Leverage: 9.05 K/9, 3.71 BB/9, 1.78 HR/9, .335 BABIP, 4.85 FIP, 3.62 xFIP
Med Leverage: 7.18 K/9, 4.39 BB/9, 0.96 HR/9, .247 BABIP, 4.45 FIP, 4.18 xFIP
High Leverage: 3.18 K/9, 3.18 BB/9, 1.59 HR/9, .278 BABIP, 5.92 FIP, 4.91 xFIP

Bases Empty: 7.73 K/9, 4.13 BB/9, 1.16 HR/9, .288 BABIP, 4.46 FIP, 4.04 xFIP
Men in Scoring: 8.00 K/9, 4.20 BB/9, 1.40 HR/9, .258 BABIP, 4.85 FIP, 3.88 xFIP

Burnett compared to the league

ERA: 99th out of 105 qualified starters
FIP: 96/105
xFIP: 75/105
SIERA: 68/105
tERA: 97/105
WAR: 84/105
VORP: 95/104

K/9: 31/105
BB/9: 5/105
HR/9: 10/105

Quality start %: 133/137
IP/GS: t-82/137
P/PA: 89/137
Strike%: 125/137
Run Support: t-26/137

Categories : Pitching
  • jsbrendog

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here we go….

  • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

    8 quality starts in 26 attempts

    That is like not good and stuff.

    I also remember like back before he totally fell off a cliff there was this whole brigade of “omg he gets no run support~” and it did really suck that there were some really good outings of his that they couldn’t win (that game against Cleveland at home comes to mind, and I think something against the White Sox in April too?). But it’s not really the case.

    • Gonzo

      You know who else has 8 quality starts?

      • JobaWockeeZ

        I hope you aren’t going to say John Lackey but it’s probably John Lackey.

        • Gonzo

          In 21 attempts too. 5 less starts than AJ.

          • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

            /facepalm

          • Ghost

            Im not surprised considering that a “quality start” is perceived to be 6 innings, of 3 Runs…Which equal out to a 4.50 ERA I believe. So the idea of quality start is a bit skewed to say the least.

            • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

              Seriously. In 1996 that was a fine start. In 2011 not really.

            • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen Rhoads

              In the last sixty years, the less than 10% of quality start “achievers” have pitched 6 IP/3ER. Its not a perfect stat, no, but it’s not useless.

              http://www.baseballprospectus......leid=13198

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

                The QS start stat is useful for this exact situation:

                Pitching a QS doesn’t mean you did a good job, but failing to pitch a QS (like Burnett has done repeatedly) means you did a bad job.

                • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

                  I agree with that. I mean getting quality starts aren’t bad. I mean a quality start isn’t just 6 innings 3 earned, it’s also 7 innings and 1 or 2 runs, and 6 inning and 1 or 2 runs, and so on and so forth. But, like you said, he fails to pick them up which is actually very bad for a guy who makes $16.5 mill a year. Btw, Cashman says Burnett doesn’t get run support which is bullshit because he gets the 26h most run support out of 137 pitchers.

                • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

                  but failing to pitch a QS (like Burnett has done repeatedly) means you did a bad job.

                  In general. I wish they would expand QSes to 8 IP/4 ER because that’s the same as 6 IP/3 ER… in fact it’s probably better because it saves the bullpen. It’d also give Burnett a whopping one more QS on the year, woop :/

                  • Gonzo

                    John Lackey would also have one more QS under his belt under that scenario too.

              • Mike HC

                A problem is that it is much harder to get a quality start in the AL East than it is in any other division, the NL West being the polar opposite. So it is really not fair to use that stat equally to everyone. Along with every other pitching stat to be honest.

  • monkeypants

    I smoke the objective pipe, but I don’t inhale.

  • Heisenberg

    Wow. That burns going down.

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

      TWSS

  • biggie

    Is it time to re-think the AJ for Big Z, headache for headache, talk?

    • Zach

      As bad as AJ is, I wouldn’t do that. Not in a million years.

      • Gonzo

        If you can get the Cubs to take more money, you wouldn’t think about it? Even if it’s a way to shift more money to the Cubs, then jettisoning Big Z?

        Basically getting rid of AJ but with owing less money than just getting rid of him?

        • biggie

          Big Z is on just for next year. AJ has 2 more years. Yanks could get out a year early, just in time for HUGE 2012 SP class.

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

            Both players have full NTCs.

            I doubt Zambrano forfiets his NTC unless you pick up that 2013 option, to say nothing of the fact that Burnett wouldn’t waive his NTC to go to the pathetic Cubs.

    • MikeD

      So you want to trade one pitcher who is not living up to expectations for another pitcher not living up to expectations, with the differnce being the guy you want to trade for is a psycho?

      Big Z wouldn’t have a spot in the rotation either.

      • biggie

        It is more about clearing the books a year early than an upgrade. If neither one is effective I would rather have the pitcher who has the shorter contract.

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

      Pitcher A: 26 starts, 156.0 IP, 7.62 K/9, 4.04 BB/9, 1.33 HR/9, .284 BABIP, 4.96/4.71/4.02 E/F/x, 1.1 fWAR
      Pitcher B: 24 starts, 145.2 IP, 6.24 K/9, 3.46 BB/9, 1.17 HR/9, .298 BABIP, 4.82/4.57/4.28 E/F/x, 1.0 fWAR

      If I could trade Burnett’s mild-mannered suckitude for Zambrano’s batshit insane effectiveness, I might. But Zambrano is just as ineffective as Burnett.

      They’re the same pitcher.

      I’d rather have the cheaper, non-crazy shitty pitcher than the more expensive, picks fights in the dugout and throws at people and bitches out his own teammates someone shitty pitcher.

      There’s only one thing about Zambrano that makes him more appealing to me: the remote possibility that he might actually be crazy enough to follow through on that bullshit retirement threat someday.

      • Sarah

        At least AJ is considered a good teammate and a decent human being. Beats crazy town Big Z any day.

  • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen Rhoads

    Hate you so much, A.J.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    By 5/105 in BB rate you mean that he’s the 5th worst right?

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

      Yes. He has the fifth highest rate of walks per nine innings.

      • Gonzo

        But he never throws 9 innings, so this statistic is false advertising!

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

          Well played, Mauer.

  • Gonzo

    That’s not fair. You’re using statistics!

    • Tom O

      Why do we need these new numbers called “Batting Average”? Just tell me how many hits the man has racked up! These crackpot science fellows are ruining our national pastime!

      /1800′s era ESPN

  • JobaWockeeZ

    And while I thank Joe for doing this I have no doubt you’ll get flamed and get a lot of shit.

    • Rainbow Connection

      Why will he get flamed? Everyone hates AJ and Joe’s got stats to show that AJ really truly sucks.

  • Klemy

    /Sadface

  • Yank The Frank

    It was making my eyes red just reading this.

  • Betty Lizard

    I’m in mourning. I really liked AJ when he was with Toronto and I was thrilled to get him on the Yankees and I actually LIKE him and somehow, I don’t know how, I got imprinted on him, just like a sick little duckling. So I’ve been in the “he’s TOTALLY going to turn it around!” mode for what seems like forever.

    Now, it’s like that day when you look at the person you’ve been involved with for months (years?) and all of a sudden you can’t stand them and you wonder how you got into this situation and you start plotting your escape . . . .

    • Scott Peterson

      Totally.

      • Eric Solomon

        I LOL’d (see poster name)

        • Rainbow Connection

          Connor says “Glub glub”.

        • Betty Lizard

          I’ve been working too hard. Can’t believe I missed that. Good thing you’re here.

    • MikeD

      AJ is not the pitcher he was in Toronto. He is not even the pitcher he was his first year in NY. He’s lost velocity on his fastball and his curveball is less consistent. He is much more hittable. He still has enough stuff to be a successful MLB pitcher with his reduced pitches, but he just doesn’t know how to do it consistently.

      I’ve said it before. Let’s see how his stuff plays out of the bullpen. No one would plan to pay $16 million a year for a bullpen guy (that’s even more than Mo makes), but if the choice is ineffective starting pitcher with an ERA of 5.00 making $16 million, or effective bullpen pitcher making $16 million, I’ll take the latter. Sure is worth a try.

      • Betty Lizard

        I’d like to think that the Yankees will move AJ to the bullpen.

        /Wishing DOES make it so’d

        Meanwhile, it could be worse: I also really wanted us to get Ubaldo . . . . (This is why you should NOT get into rebound relationships right away . . .)

  • Tom Zig

    So the question is what do we do with him?

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Let him suck and lock him up in a dungeon when October baseball starts.

      But since Cashman made those objective pipe comments would I be surprised if AJ started game two? Not really.

      • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

        He didn’t start game two last year when the rotation was in far worse shape.

        • CP

          Exactly. When the Yankees had to choose three from:
          1. CC with an injured knee
          2. Pettitte with a hurt back
          3. Hughes who was well beyond his innings limit
          4. AJ

          They didn’t choose AJ.

          • Rainbow Connection

            Maybe they should have.

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        He won’t start in the playoffs. The only reason he started game 4 last year was there were no other options unless you wanted to have Hughes and Pettitte on short rest, or throw someone like Dustin Moesley or Javy Vasquez out there. This year, they have 5 capable postseason starters and AJ Burnett is not one of them.

      • MikeD

        You do understand why he made those comments, don’t you?

  • YanksFan

    Cash made that comment before AJ shit the bed. We all agree that he’s not worth the money. I don’t love AJ but I don’t hate him as much as some fans & the media.

    He’s more servicable than others out there. The guy is averaging 6 IP/games. What is he compared to number 4/5 pitchers throughout the league? How many games do we also say that he gets to the 5th or 6th and then implodes. We don’t like it but he has provided the team w/ innings.

    Who would have thought when he was signed that he would pitch 200 innings, give or take, in his first 3 years of the contract? Wouldn’t we have been ecstatic w/ it? To have an ERA under 5? I know it sucks but there are worse out there. Further, w/ this offense, its not the end of the world.

    • Scully

      Did you look at those stats? He sucks. He’s our 6th best starter right now… aka he should be the odd man out. 8 quality starts in 26 attempts is horrible.

      • Tom O

        I have to agree with the initial point though, despite AJ’s poor performance, he isn’t the worst option you could have, like he is made out to be by the media. John Lackey’s had a pretty awful season too, at a similar salary. However, that doesn’t matter to the rotation, because there are 5 better options available (or there will be, when Garcia returns).

  • nsalem

    over/under for comments to this post 300

    • MikeD

      Over/under on intelligent comments from RAB posters on this subject. Ten.

      • nsalem

        and mine is definitely not one of them

      • jay h

        i’ll take the under

      • Ghost

        …Over/under on the chances your comment here happens to be one of those ten. None.

        • jay h

          this comment doesn’t even make sense.

          • Jim S

            I’m taking the under!

            • jay h

              so that’s less than none chances?

              • Jim S

                Exactly.

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

    Maybe Brian Cashman was just trying to tell us all that the best way to make peace with the A.J. Burnett fiasco is to just get high.

    Maybe he’s telling us that’s what he does: just gets bombed out of his head on the finest cheeba every 5th/6th day.

    Toke up, ease the pain.

    • Mojo

      Hippie.

    • Mike HC

      hahah … definitely. We were not reading between the lines enough.

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

        Sir Cash-A-Lot: Lemme get a pound of your sweetest cheeba.
        Thurgood: Man, something TOLD ME to bring a lot of weed!

        • Gonzo

          Sir Cash-A-Lot: I’m impotent, man! Get away from me biatch!

  • Kilgore Trout

    Burnett is a clown. We have 5 better options in the majors right now, 6 with Noesi. And I don’t know how some of those kids down in AAA could be any worse than bottom of the league as AJ is. Bench him after the Os start and let him rot down in the pen. Let the major league pitchers take us down the home stretch.

  • Ghost

    This sums up everything you were trying to say this post:

    http://youtu.be/TCKOI24k_UY

  • Bpdelia

    Yeah those numbers are about what my lying subjective pipe smoking eyes have been screaming. Lesson? Two pitch power guys age poorly and long term contacts to 31 year olds should only be given to guys with elite bb rates.

    I like aj burnett and despise the personal attacks and the absurd lack of mental toughness crap…..but burnett blows.

    Bottom line……burnett blows.

  • Gonzo

    Ok, so I am not an AJ fan, but I feel like I have to share this stat for you all. This is not a defense of AJ, it’s just another stat to consider.

    From April to June, he has 17 GS for 106.2 ip. During this time he had an ERA of 4.05 with a BAPIP against of .252.

    Since then, he has had 9 GS for 49.1 ip. During this time he had and ERA of 6.93 with a BABIP of .361.

    • Bartolo’s Colon

      True, but his babip is bound to increase when the opposing team is hitting rockets in every direction off of him. In this last game, he gave up 5 hits, 4 for xb’s. not saying all his games are going to be like that, but he has been hit pretty hard lately

      • Bavarian Yankee

        lately? Have you seen his start in KC last week? He pitched pretty good and produced a ton of ground balls but unfortunately none of them found a glove. Not trying to defend AJ here but he has had some bad luck this year.
        I’d put him in the pen for the rest of the season and then try to figure things out in the offseason and ST (again). He CAN do it, but something is obviously very wrong right now. Same thing with Lackey. Everybody knows he can do it but somethings wrong with him, too.

      • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

        Yeah, I mean it’s not like AJ’s giving up grounders that squeak through. A .361 BAbip is high, but not so high you can chalk it up to luck (or lack thereof).

  • keith

    Cough! Cough! Here cash….take a hit.

  • Al H

    Solutin- AJ has some sorta injury and gets put on the
    DL until Nov 1. Shoulder/ACL/Kidney….it doesn’t matter!

  • nsalem
  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    Can you imagine if we got Ubaldo? We’d have 2 pitchers pitching like shit and no Nova/Montero/Betances.

  • David, Jr.

    This is even worse than I thought. 133rd out of 137 in quality starts!

    I tend to use my eyes rather than stats, and what I see is a guy who formerly sometimes had a dominant fastball. That worked for him, in spite of the fact that he didn’t have a whole lot of craftiness – no Greg Maddux there at all. When the fastball declines, which his has, there isn’t much left. That is what I see.

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

      AJ’s fastball velocity:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/fgrap.....110820.png

      The stats agree with your eyes but would indicate you’re overstating it a bit. AJ’s fastball velocity has declined, but not all that much.

      One possible explanation: perhaps he’s overcompensating for his diminshed velocity by overthrowing a bit, thus making his already poor control/command even worse. Anecdotally, it doesn’t look like AJ’s throwing any softer now, just that his mechanics are worse and his command is utterly nonexistent. He can’t keep that 94 mph heater out of the heart of the plate anymore; when he tries to blow it by someone it ends up in the sweet spot instead of up enough or down enough.

      JMHO.

      • David, Jr.

        Makes sense. At 98 you get away with quite a bit.

        I think he is pretty easy to read, too. When he comes way from the side it will be the big looping curve. They generally lay off of that. They then sit on the fastball, which is easy to do because he rarely changes speeds. He desperately needs another pitch with the same arm speed as the fastball.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      but then you can argue that at least 25 of that pitchers are in the NL Central. You could argue that half of those teams aren’t much better than most AAA-teams.

      btw: Jeff Karstens and his 3.12 ERA want to say hello :D

  • nsalem

    Please focus on the good here.
    3rd inning splits for 2011 .146/.226/.268

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

      He’s also very kind to his mother.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        He’s also the kind of guy who can look you in the eye.

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

          He’s never been accused of using PEDs.

          • Mike HC

            He uses PED’s.

            • Jim S

              Performance Eroding Drugs?

              • Mike HC

                haha … yup, you gotta know that is true

    • Jim S

      AJ’s future starts:

      Innings 1/2: Noesi
      3: AJ
      4-5: Wade
      6: Logan/Ayala/Everyone Else
      7: Soriano
      8: D-Rob
      9: Mo

      Profit.

      • nsalem

        Bobby V has read and approves of this message.

  • Frank

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/ml.....antee-spot

    Sounds like Cash has done an about face about AJ

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

      “A.J Burnett is having his typical terrible August. For whatever reason, he can’t pitch in August, I don’t know why. It is what it is. August is obviously not an effective month for him.”…

      Cashman added that Burnett “is not our No. 2 starter,” but hasn’t pitched poorly enough to be treated like “Oliver Perez.”…

      “I admit without a doubt he has not pitched like a No. 2 and he is not our No. 2, the way he’s thrown, without a doubt,” Cashman said. “I thought a lot of the stuff was getting well overblown, treating him like he is Oliver Perez. That is irritating stuff and that is what I responded to [a little more than a week ago].”

      The most important quote:

      “We entered this season with the expectation that Nova could be a legitimate back-of-the-rotation starter in the American League East,” Cashman said. “Obviously, he is making much stronger steps than that, which is great.

      “He is one of our more dependable starters now, without a question. He’s moved up the scale. Like anything else, you have a sliding scale. It is called a credibility scale. You can move high on that credibility scale with a positive performance or you can move lower with inconsistent performance.”

      Cashman is clearly singling out Burnett and indicating he’s moving lower on the credibility scale due to his inconsistent performance.

      • Frank

        I personally enjoyed the Oliver Perez reference. Ouch.

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

          Yeah, I think there’s a distinct possibility that people were reading way too much into Cashman’s comments. People took what he was saying as “AJ’s untouchable, he’s awesome, and he’ll be the #2 starter forever” when perhaps all he was saying is “A.J.’s not as bad as you people are making him out to be”.

          And, depending on the “you people” and their specific comments he was referring to, he might be right. AJ’s pitched shitty, but others have pitched even worse. (Not many others, but still.)

          • The Fallen Phoenix

            He could also be responding to the character assassination crap (i.e., he’s a headchase and/or his inability to pith well demonstrates some character flaw that the media needs to lampshade at every opportunity) he’s been subjected to all year.

            • The Fallen Phoenix

              Oops. Should have specified first he = Cashman, other hes = Burnett.

    • Mike HC

      “You’ve got Nova, who is inexperienced, but obviously can’t be beaten at this stage.” – - Cashman

      He obviously can’t be beaten? Measured by anything other than “wins,” he obviously can be beaten. Not hating on Nova, I love him, but come on.

      • Sarah

        Maybe he meant “beaten” as in “can’t find anyone better than him.” Such as “no one can beat our prices!” Because that would seem to be true. Unless Wandy > Nova, which…he’s not.

      • MikeD

        Yeah, I thought that was a strange twist of a phrase, too. Yet I think it’s also another example of not trying to read too much into, or be too literal, with Cash’s comments. I took his original AJ comments to mean people are overreacting (which I believe they are) and his Nova comments to mean Ivan has been very good as evidenced by he has nine straight wins.

        Can’t be beaten? Ha. Maybe Ron Guidry in 1978, and even he lost three times!

        • Mike HC

          We are drinking reality potions, hitting objective pipes etc … I’m all burnt out.

  • Mike HC

    AJ hasn’t been good. But I would also like to see a comparison with only AL East pitchers. Comparing AJ’s quality starts with guys pitching in San Diego is useless.

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

      At the same time, if you’re using AL East pitchers you get guys like Romero, who pitches against both the Yanks and the Sox. Yanks pitchers don’t have to face the Yanks’ offense, thereby making their jobs relatively easier.

      • MikeD

        True, of course that’s one reason AJ ended up on the Yankees. He not only pitched against the Yankees and Sox, he pitched very well against the Yankees and Sox.

        I know people like to talk about how AJ underperforms, but they have to come to grips with another more troubling problem. AJ is not who he once was. Yankee fans would kill for AJ 2008, a season which illustrates why ERA+ can be pretty flawed statistic at times. It says it’s one of his weaker seasons (that is up until AJ 2010 reared its ugly hear, err, arm…or maybe head was right), but it was his best when balancing quality of pitching with quantity of pitching. If that pitcher showed up ever, he’d be loved, not hated.

        I still hope AJ can figure out how to win consistenty with his now reduced stuff, but we’re not into year two of bad AJ. Let’s see him in the pen since he is the weaker of the six starters. Maybe something good will come out of it.

  • nsalem

    Players often have horrible years when their uniform number coincides with their age. It has happened even to the all time great Yankees. Jeter, Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and so on. Please be patient and wait till next year.

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

      IETC

    • Crime Dog

      Makes Phil Hughes’ year even more impressive. Explains Sergio Mitre however…

    • dkidd

      you forgot turk wendell

  • Crime Dog

    I think AJ moves to the pen (Mop up/ Long reliever) once the doubleheader saturday is done. It’s amazing to think he’s probably the 7th best starter on the team right now (if Noesi is counted as a starter). It my be time to move on from AJ this offseason, which is too bad.

    • MikeD

      I don’t see them moving on. There’s no where for him to move onto with $33 million remaining. The Yankees could certainly eat $23 million and try and trade him to a team that will pay him $5 million a year for the next two seasons, but that makes little sense.

      They will work with him again in 2012, and they may send him to the pen for a large part of 2012 if he can’t provide some value as a starter. I could very see them parting ways after 2012 if he doesn’t improve as a starter, or show he can contribute out of the pen. In other words, provide some value.

      It could be worse. The Yankees could owe $46 million to Barry Zito over the next two years. $33 million for AJ? A bargain, I tell ya!

      Can you imagine if the Yankees cut AJ after 2012, and he went to the DH-less NL, and pitched in a nice large park, like CitiField? That’s one reason the Yankees won’t cut him. They’re more likely to try and eat most of the last year of his contract and trade him to a specific team.

      Yet this is exactly the discussion Cashman was mocking. It’s an overreaction. AJ can provide value, he just has been horrid the last few starts.

  • Tom Zig

    I think I’ll use this space to talk about how Ivan Nova has made great strides this season.

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

    Foul-mouthed, fighting, underachieving, unappreciative, bottle blond, ten-cent head, tattoos, southern accent, 16.5 million dollar baker, punching bag, gutless, terrible music taste, smirker, stubborn, #notaste.

    • IRF

      All of those terms could pretty much be used to describe any professional athlete.

    • Betty Lizard

      Hell, that’s why I LIKE him.

      Now, his pitching? That’s another story.

    • MikeD

      Southern accent?

      Are you also into racist comments?

  • James

    Even if he is exiled into the bullpen, I doubt we’ll see him very often. I mean, would he really be that much higher in the bullpen hierarchy than he would the rotation? There’s no way he goes before Mo, Robertson or even Soriano. Girardi seems to trust Wade and Ayala too. He’d just be another mop-up guy.

    Can’t they just put him on the restricted list for his hair and be done with it?

  • dkidd

    pretty grim how the k rate drops off in high leverage situations

    /forming a “no-mental-toughness” narrative’d

  • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

    So basically, Burnett is at worst one of the worst starters in the league and at best average. That would seem to sum him up pretty well over the past two years, no?

  • Alibaba

    I think unless AJ pitches a gem in his next start, he is done as a starter for this year. Then again, AJ could start pitching like an Ace from his next start. Stranger things have happened. But, I am not holding my breath.

  • Peepee Hands

    I love hearing the argument, “In 2009, this guy was our #2 Starter!” This guy has been on the Shit Train to Shittown since game 2 of the 2009 WS.

    • Engelbert

      A shit leopard can’t change its spots. And considering he was a Marlin and Blue Jay, the shit apple doesn’t fall far from the shit-tree, either.

  • http://notanevilempire.com/ Steve O.

    AJ Burnett: not good at baseball.

  • CBean

    man, i miss the “how did AJ get the black eye” thread from last year. That was a lot more fun. This thread just makes me sad.

  • http://notanevilempire.com/ Steve O.

    At this point, I’d say there’s at least 3-4 better options that are not in the 6 man rotation. Noesi, Warren, Phelps, and to a lesser extent, Banuelos and Betances. Hell, DJ Mitchell would probably replicate AJ Burnett’s production, for 1/30th the cost.

  • Monteroisdinero

    I may have missed it but what about the wild pitch stats and the 55 foot curveball stats?

    Danger in bringing AJ in from the pen with men on base…..see above.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      I highly doubt he’d come in with runners on base in a high leverage spot. More likely, what they do is give him low leverage innings, and if he’s good, try him for one inning at a time in higher-ish leverage spots.

  • nsalem
  • theyankeewarrior

    But his stuff is good enough to throw a no hitter EVERY TIME OUT.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      Kay’d

  • Dan

    Based on those stats, I would have to think AJ is in the conversation for one of the 5-10 worst pitchers in all of baseball this year. It is sad that the Yankees still haven’t pulled the plug on him. Find some phantom injury to shut him down for the rest of the year. You could make the case that he has an arm injury with the loss of MPH on his fastball, someone tried to post a fangraphs thing to show that he hasn’t lost any speed on his fastball, but look how often he is able to reach or get over 95 on his fastball this year compared to the last 3. When you have a 2-pitch pitcher you need to be able to get up to the mid-upper 90′s or opposing hitters will start hitting him hard when there is a decrease in speed. Also, his K/9 would probably be much worse if it wasn’t for some of the bad hitting teams he has faced where he has been able to get some young inexperienced hitters to chase his curve.

    AJ should be shutdown for the rest of the year and in the offseason he should work with Rothschild on developing at least one more serviceable pitch and develop a strength program so that he comes back next season stronger.

    • Guest

      AJ’s problem is not velocity. It’s both command and control. It’s not just the 55 foot curves, its the fastballs right over the middle of the plate.

      I think the fact that AJ’s shortcomings are command/control related rather than due to velocity has a large impact on why they view him so harshly. People seem to give AJ way more grief than they would a pitcher with mediocre stuff and similar results. It’s as if they think stuff is what you are born with and control is something any major league pitcher could have, if only “he tried hard enough” or “could get his head right.”

      I say no. I think that control/command is just as much of a natural talent as throwing 98 MPH or being able to snap of a nasty curve.

      If control/command was just a matter of effort and mental fortitude, wouldn’t everyone be Cliff Lee?

      Since its not, I think it would be right to stop this “AJ should be way better, maybe he doesn’t want it” madness. AJ wants to throw strikes in the right location, he just can’t. If it’s not a moral failing to have a weak arm, it isn’t a moral failling to have an inaccurate one either.

      • The Fallen Phoenix

        All of this.

      • Dan

        AJ’s control/command has never been good. He has always been among the league leaders in walks and HBP. The only difference was when his fastball had more zip to it he was able to still throw it by hitters when it trailed over the middle of the plate because of the speed and movement on it. Also, his curveball is flatter now and he used to be able to bounce it and still get hitters to strikeout on it, but not as much anymore. I agree that his command has some effect, but I think the command problem has been there his whole career, its just worse now that he can’t overpower hitters.

  • Pat D

    Oh, I’m sick of talking about AJ. Can’t we talk about something more important now?

    Like ARod visiting a casino while he was rehabbing in Scranton?

  • Guest

    AJ has been terrible. No ifs ands are buts. I feel bad for him as it seems like everyone else on the major league roster is having fun except him. And back in ’09, he was definitely one of the guys that brought smiles to his teammates and the fans (I miss the beginning of the pie craze).

    Though, I guess he has millions of dollars, two world series rings, and a family, so I guess he’s probably got some sunshine to go with all of this season’s rain.

  • Gonzo

    Anyone else see that Nova considers AJ one of his mentors? That’s interesting and kind of cool.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      And scary. AJ’s a nice guy who hasn’t gone all John Lackey on us in the media, and for that, I thank him. Speaking of Lackey, he got a cortisone shot and has started to look like a major leaguer. Maybe there’s something medically wrong with AJ? After taking a few hits off of the objective pipe, I can definitely say that’s a possibility.

    • Rainbow Connection

      How is that cool?

      • Gonzo

        Cool that he’s not a total dick. He could have pulled a Brett Favre and totally ignored the guy that may take his job.

  • Dan

    Aj to the pen is parallel to Jorge to pinch hitter.
    AJ is a better reliever than…?
    Jorge is going to pinch hit for…?
    When you are trying to win and sometimes I wonder if we are, there is no place for sympathy. The best 25 men, each with a role and expectations. The best starters and the best relievers. The best position players.

    • Rainbow Connection

      They could bring AJ into the ALCS after ‘true ace’ CC gives up 7 runs in 3 innings to the Sox.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    ERA: 99th out of 105 qualified starters
    FIP: 96/105
    xFIP: 75/105
    SIERA: 68/105
    tERA: 97/105
    WAR: 84/105
    VORP: 95/104

    So he’s one of the worst starters in the league, and the Yankees are continuing to use him over guys that have a chance to be better, and furthermore, guys that still need some big league development. I get that they’re stuck with him on the payroll, but I don’t buy for a second that they’re stuck with him in the rotation. He’s clearly not a very good pitcher anymore, they don’t need to make a bad contract worse by giving him copious opportunities to cost the team wins. There were, basically, eight games where he did enough on an average night for the Yankee offense to win. The fact that the team won twelve of his twenty-six starts speaks more to the team’s offensive capability than AJ’s abilities.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Somebody’s gonna end up with a black eye…..

  • Mike Myers

    Does anyone here own an AJ jersey? if so, does it make you want to burn things?

    AJ For Zito with SF eating 95% of his salary?

  • Bronx Byte

    Keep Burnett off the postseason roster. He’s done enough damage. Cashman has to quit trying to jusify the contract. Stick him in the far back end of the bullpen until the regular season is over.

  • Midland TX

    I don’t expect ever to hear this in public, but I’d love to know where Larry Rothschild would rank Burnett on a scale from 1 to Zambrano. I would hope he could better leverage some of his earlier experience with “talented but inconsistent” than he has so far.

  • RONC

    Luxury…. The Yankees have the luxury of an 8 game WC lead to aloow the team to give AJ time to fix himself…. Does the results so far suck? Absolutely! Has the time we have given AJ affected the Yankees playoff chances? No!… The Yankees are rightfully trying to find the dominant starter that AJ used to be. If it takes 5 more starts for him to find his groove then I will give it to him until it hurts the teams chances at making the post season. I (IMO) do not think that the Yankees have stunted anyones growth in allowing AJ this much rope.
    It is sad that at 34, AJ still does not know how to pitch.
    Bottomline we must make playoffs and trying to fix AJ does not hamper that at this time.

  • RONC

    allow*

  • Dave the Ox

    Michael Kay’s words of wisdom on why Joe Girardi must improve relations with the media:

    HOW THE MEDIA PERCEIVES YOU IS HOW THE PUBLIC PERCEIVES YOU.

    Wut?

  • http://unnatural-selections.com Mister D

    The most damning stats IMO are the leverage stats.

    I like AJ, I really do, but this is embarassing. Every 5th day Ivan Nova, a rookie, steps on the mound and handles pressure like a vet. AJ, a 13 year veteran, folds with the slightest hint of pressure. No shjock then that he pitched fair in the early part of the season, but spiraled out of control once he thought he had to compete for his spot. Forget the bullpen – he needs to be DLd and red hooked on the art of pitching.

  • http://unnatural-selections.com Mister D

    The most damning stats IMO are the leverage stats.

    I like AJ, I really do, but this is embarassing. Every 5th day Ivan Nova, a rookie, steps on the mound and handles pressure like a vet. AJ, a 13 year veteran, folds with the slightest hint of pressure. No shjock then that he pitched fair in the early part of the season, but spiraled out of control once he thought he had to compete for his spot. Forget the bullpen – he needs to be DLd and re-schooled on the art of pitching.

  • Mister D

    The most damning stats IMO are the leverage stats.

    I like AJ, I really do, but this is embarassing. Every 5th day Ivan Nova, a rookie, steps on the mound and handles pressure like a vet. AJ, a 13 year veteran, folds with the slightest hint of pressure. No shjock then that he pitched fair in the early part of the season, but spiraled out of control once he thought he had to compete for his spot. Forget the bullpen – he needs to be DLd and re-schooled

  • Mister D

    The most damning stats IMO are the leverage stats.

    I like AJ, I really do, but this is embarassing. Every 5th day Ivan Nova, a rookie, steps on the mound and handles pressure like a vet. AJ, a 13 year veteran, folds with the slightest hint of pressure. He pitched ok early but spiraled out of control once he had to compete for his spot. Forget the bullpen – he needs to be DLd and re-schooled

    • Preston

      Those stats shocked me. I assume most pitchers stats get worse in high leverage situations but is it usually that glaring? That definitely supports the narrative on AJ.

  • Mister D

    Fudge– sorry about the multiple posts. I phone said it didnt post

  • DZ

    yup, what all of you said..

  • Yazman

    Harsh reality.

    Hoping AJ, Cash and Girardi see salvation in the careers of Eckersley and Smoltz. Maybe the 6th inning is a place to start…

    • Yazman

      Also, with the Yanks’ strong offense, I thing Quality Start % is one of the most critical stats. Give us 6 innings without giving up 4 runs, and we’ll usually win.

      AJ is about the worst in the business…

  • Javkei Igavano

    I for one enjoy watching the fiery implosion of AJ Burnett every 5 days or so.

    Every now and then he has a good start or a horrible start.

    But mostly it’s four or five sharp innings followed by a walk, an error, or a hit batsman, and then the floodgates opening.

    C’mon guys, such predictable unpredictability is entertaining. This team is too good that it gets boring sometimes. He won’t see the light of day during the playoffs so who cares?

    • Betty Lizard

      Sigh. Too bad I don’t drink. I’m losing my ability to appreciate AJ’s aesthetic dynamic.

  • The Big 3

    So sad.

    Not to go all FTLT on you all, but this is nonsense. AJ can be a class starter but for whatever reason, that hasn’t worked here over his last 300 IP. But he doesn’t suck. His CB is still top 5, but most importantly, when he’s on there are few better – and that CB, oh my is it great when on. He can dominate, which is what you should all want from a playoff starter. Not, just give us a QS. We need you to shut the opposition down. CC and AJ can do that. The others? NO, dreamers.

    Since I’m obviously not buying Nova, Colon and Garcia in such a scenario, AJ is too vital to be left for dead. It is Giaradi’s job to get the most out of every player, but he is failing with AJ. And if he continues to do so, this team has little shot in advancing.

    Help him locate his FB, Joe. Teach him. Do your job.

    • billbybob

      Uhh, good luck to you if you want AJ Burnett anywhere near a postseason game. I’ll take my chances with pretty much anyone else.

  • It’s AJ, B*thches!

    You guys should be thankful the Yankees have me as a starter. Put me in the bullpen? Trade me for Zambrano? Please. Without me, you would have only Jeter’s contract to complain about. Besides, I’ve got electric stuff.

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