New York Yankees: Starting Pitching Rotation Promises Strength for 2012

Bill FordCorrespondent IIIJanuary 5, 2012

New York Yankees: Starting Pitching Rotation Promises Strength for 2012

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    2012 is upon us, which means that baseball fans have begun to salivate about the start of spring training in roughly six weeks.

    No major changes or trades have taken place thus far, and that appears to be the correct course.  Joe Girardi seems to be happy with the current starting rotation, and he and Brian Cashman appear to want to take time to develop their minor league prospects.

    The Yankees' pitching staff is a well-balanced mold of experienced veterans, mildly seasoned hurlers and highly-promising and talented prospects.  The final product for 2012 is a solid core.

    NY’s starting rotation may be locked in on five, but the Yankees have other tools in the shed to perform the job with greater pitching depth.

    Here’s a look at the starting rotation with the addition of some of that depth.

CC Sabathia

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    Many are unaware that this left-handed pitcher is actually right-handed. 

    In July, 2011, he was named AL Pitcher of the Month striking out 50 batters and posting a 4-1 record with a 0.92 ERA.

    On September 10th, 2011, he recorded his 2,000th strikeout. 

    2011 was a great season for Sabathia.  2012 shows promise that Sabathia will be a strikeout king.

A.J. Burnett

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    As I mentioned in my article yesterday, I believe that A.J. Burnett is due for success.  He will settle down his pitching and become a leader.

    Burnett recently added some velocity and increased movement to his curveball with some tweaks. 

    Now that he has had time to perfect that pitch, I think that 2012 will show that pitch to be devastating to batters.

    Look for Burnett to have a comeback season in 2012.

Ivan Nova

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    Nova will become a solid piece of the backbone of Yankee pitching in 2012. 

    He proved his worth as a Yankee starter when he pitched 7.2 innings, allowed six hits and one run, and recorded 10 strikeouts in a game against the Chicago White Sox.

    He was named fourth in voting for the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 2011.

    Watch in 2012 as he throws knockout punch after punch.

Freddy Garcia

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    The Yankees added Garcia as a starter in the rotation in 2011, and never regretted the move.

    His 2011 season ended with a 12-8 record and a 3.62 ERA.

    His productive and effective performance led to a new one-year, $4 million contract with incentives.

Phil Hughes

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    Early in the 2011 season, Hughes showed signs of struggling.  His pitches lost some velocity, and had a 13.94 ERA in three starts.

    An evaluation revealed shoulder inflammation.  Rehabilitation worked well, and he pitched the second half of 2011 with a 3.72 ERA.

    Further rehabilitation, and a strength and conditioning program will lead him to a powerful 2012. 

Hector Noesi

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    Noesi has been pitching in the Dominican League this winter and is doing well. 

    The Yankees are excited about what Noesi will bring to the team.  In his major league debut in May, 2011, he pitched four scoreless innings of relief.

    With some fine-tuning in the Dominican League, he may very well to prove that he has what the Yankees need as an extra starter. 

Manny Banuelos

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    Banuelos was invited to spring training in 2011 where he impressed the best of the best.

    Mariano Rivera believed that Banuelos was the best pitching prospect that he had seen.

    Banuelos may get the chance to stand on the same mound as the future Hall of Famer.

    Look for Manny Banuelos to get that chance later in the season.

Powerhouse

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    The Yankees have a clubhouse filled with powerful pitching. 

    Veterans and rookies will compliment one another with heated pitching performances.

    Be ready for a knockout 2012 season.