After 2008 and another playoff miss, the New York Yankees came into free agency with a purpose: Improving the pitching rotation. And it looks like they did that in a big way, picking up free agent pitcher C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett and re-signing Andy Pettite. Let's take a look into the Yankees 2009 rotation, which also includes Chien Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain.
The biggest free agent in the market this year in size and value was Sabathia. And the team with the most money picked him up. But how much value will he show on the field? Last year, Sabathia went 17-10 with a 2.70 ERA. He has won the Cy Young award and pitched on short rest last year to get his team to the playoffs. Sounds like a great fit for the Yankees, as long as C.C. can deal with the spotlight in New York. We have seen it destroy other players.
Last year Wang had an injury-plagued season. He left with a torn ligament in his foot, though, so it probably shouldn't impact his pitching. At the beginning of last year before his injury, Wang started 5-0 and became the first Yankee pitcher to win 50 games in such a short time, doing it in 85 games. This kid is good and will become one of the elite pitchers in the league...and I think he has a Cy Young award coming in the next three years. Big things coming from him if he avoids injury.
The other newcomer in the rotation, Burnett has been a Blue Jay for the past three years, so the Yankees have gotten a good look at him on the other side. Last year, Burnett gave up more runs then he ever has in a season. He also pitched his third highest ERA at 4.07. So when the guy is good, he is a good piece, albeit a little overpaid based on last year's performance. But another thing to catch from his last season is his 18 wins, which is a career high for him. I think his first year in New York may be a little rough, but he will have an above-average season.
Chamberlain is a great player. We all saw him come in as a reliever and wow everyone. He plays with great emotion and a desire to win, which is one of the things I love about him. Last year, when the Yankees needed him, he stepped up and played in the starting role, doing it fairly well. This year, though, he will be ready to go and I think he will be a 15-16 game winner this year. Although I do not agree with Joba moving into the rotation, he will have a positive effect there.
All of us Yankees fans though we were losing Pettitte, but much to our surprise and pleasure, Andy is back to play another season. And we aren't expecting anything other than an average season from Pettitte. He is getting older and we could see during the season Phil Hughes come in and do some work in this No. 5 spot. This will probably be his last year and he'll probably rack up 11-13 wins.
Check out the rest of my page and my evaluation on the Yankees batting rotation. Thanks for reading I look forward to your comments.