3 Needed Changes to the New York Yankees Pitching Staff

Patrick HaoContributor IIIMay 22, 2012

3 Needed Changes to the New York Yankees Pitching Staff

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    The offense has been fine. There have been some issues with Mark Texeira's batting average but that is about it.

    The Yankees are tied for second in the majors with 61 home runs.

    The Yankees also have the fifth-highest batting average, and fourth-highest OPS.

    The pitching is the problem, only CC Sabathia has an ERA under 4.00 among starters before the advent of Andy Pettitte. Here is my personal opinion on how to improve the rotation's performance and survive the rest of the season.

Pitch Location

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    Yankees have been in the top five in home runs since the beginning of the season, but they have been in the top five of home runs allowed as well.

    Why?

    Yankee Stadium is one of those reasons, with the short porches and small dimensions, Yankee Stadium is a hitter's dream and a pitcher's nightmare.

    So limiting home runs is obviously a concern for the Yankees, and that can be decreased by limiting the amount of fly balls—balls cannot leave the ballpark if they are not in the air.

    Yankee starters have been in the bottom half of ground-ball percentage, a stat that needs to be reversed. The three starters with the lowest ground-ball percentage and their ERA's are listed:

    Ivan Nova - 5.69 ERA - 45.6 GB%

    Freddy Garcia - 8.27 ERA - 36.6 GB%

    Phil Hughes - 5.23 ERA - 28.8 GB%

    Andy Pettitte is having a good year since he came back from retirement, I wonder what his ground-ball percentage is?

    It is 55.6 percent.

    Yankee's pitchers need to pitch down and in more, which brings me to my next slide.

Get Rid of Russell Martin and Play Chris Stewart

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    When Russell Martin is behind the plate, the pitcher's ERA has been 4.50. With ace CC Sabathia, it is even worse, as his ERA jumps three whole runs when Martin is calling the game.

    What about back-up catcher Chris Stewart? It is a 3.18 ERA for the season.

    Now I was exaggerating a bit about getting rid of Russell Martin, but Chris Stewart should get some more playing time, especially how Russell Martin is batting as well.

    Martin has been too predictable this year, and has been calling to many high fastballs that hitters have been squaring up.

    Give Stewart some more starts and you might be seeing a difference in the win column, Joe Girardi.

Call Up Some Young Blood

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    The Los Angeles Angels called up Mike Trout to give their offense a boost.

    The Washington Nationals called up Bryce Harper to replace their battered outfield.

    Shouldn't New York call up one of their top prospects if their rotation is performing bad? Or even call up a minor league pitcher that has been hot lately—D.J Mitchell is on fire at Triple-A.

    In six starts, he has an 2.75 ERA , a 0.972 WHIP, and 33 strikeouts compared to 10 walks. He has been hot and might bring over some sparks to struggling Yankees rotation.

    New hardware in the rotation completely screws up opposing scouting reports as well, seeing something different from the Yankees might have a big impact on other teams. Andy Pettitte is a great example of how some change is good.