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CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda are locked in the Yankees' rotation.
Sabathia will have an ERA under 3.50 in 2012. There are no arguments about that one, right?
I'd be happy to address them in the comments, if you do not think a pitcher who hasn't posted an ERA above 3.37 since 2005 and has posted a 3.11 ERA in that time period can keep his ERA below 3.50 in 2012.
Nova did not start his rookie year very well, but hewent 8-0 with a 3.08 ERA after July 1. He may victim to a sophomore slump but Nova improved as the season went along. Hitters did not figure him out as one would expect from a regression candidate.
Kuroda posted a 3.07 ERA in 2011, albeit in the NL West in large Dodger Stadium.
You would then expect that his home/away splits would show that he is a product of a big ballpark, right?
Well, not exactly.
Kuroda posted a 3.27 ERA at home and a 2.85 ERA on the road in 2011. Kuroda will be much less susceptible to Yankee Stadium's short porches.
In 62.1 innings pitched against AL teams, Kuroda has posted a 3.61 ERA. If you take out the Yankees, he posted a 3.32 ERA against AL teams. That seems very promising.
Pineda is one of the biggest enigma in the majors.
He comes from huge Safeco Field and a weak AL West to a small Yankee Stadium and a strong AL East. He strikes people out at will and flashed his potential with a 3.03 ERA in 113 innings before the All-Star break in 2011.
But he also has a high fly-ball and home-run rate, and posted a 5.12 ERA in 58 innings after the All-Star break.
Did he get tired? Did hitters figure his two-pitch stuff out? I don't think so.
Not only did his K/9 and BB/9 stay constant throughout the whole season, his ground-ball rate rose from 31.3 percent from March to June to 45.3 from September to October.
Here is a small excerpt from one of my earlier articles on Pineda that sums up how I feel about him using advanced statistics:
If you look you can see that he was extremely unlucky on the road because his BABIP is .066 higher away from Safeco. He also for some reason has a 10.5 percent HR/FB at home and a lower 7.8 percent HR/FB on the road even though Safeco Field is supposed to be huge and turn home runs into routine fly balls. He also only stranded 64.4 percent of runners on the road in 2011 even though the league average is 75 percent.
Pineda was a very unlucky pitcher on the road in 2011.
Now, let's look at his FIP. His FIP on the road is 3.26 but his FIP at home is 3.62. Neither of those are bad at all and he is actually better on the road away from Safeco Field.
Pineda actually improved as the season went on, despite what his sudden spike in ERA will tell you. His ground-ball rate was from 31.3 percent from March to June and then from September to October it was 45.3 percent. That is a huge improvement. His strikeout and walk rates also remained fairly constant throughout the year.
After the All-Star break he had a 5.14 ERA, right? Sounds awful. He also had a 3.22 xFIP during that time period, which is actually pretty good.
Michael Pineda has serious talent. If he can work on his changeup and have better luck, the move to New York will not hurt him as much as you would think.