New York Yankees: One Second-Half Prediction for Each Starter

Chris StephensCorrespondent IIJuly 9, 2012

New York Yankees: One Second-Half Prediction for Each Starter

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    We've reached the All-Star break and the New York Yankees currently sit atop the American League East with a record of 52-33, seven games ahead of second-place Baltimore.

    When it comes to their starting pitching, the Yankees have had a few problems during the year, but they continue to find ways to get the job done.

    Currently, the Yankees are sitting pretty, but we all know they won't be satisfied to coast, especially considering the new playoff format this year.

    And, it's all going to start with the rotation.

    Here's a look at one second-half prediction for all five of the Yankees' starters.

CC Sabathia

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    There's no doubt that Sabathia is the ace of the Yankees' rotation.

    And, although an injury sent him to the disabled list in late June, the left-hander should return after the break.

    Currently, he has a record of 9-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 105 strikeouts.

    Although one would expect for Sabathia to have more than nine wins at this point in the season, I'm sure most fans are still satisfied with his performance.

    Prediction: Sabathia will continue to be the leader of the staff and will win nine more games and push his strikeout total over 200.

Ivan Nova

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    Nova has been quietly getting the job done in the rotation over the last two years, and this year is no different.

    Currently, he is 10-3 with a 3.92 ERA and 100 strikeouts.

    His ERA is a little higher than we're used to seeing, but that can be attributed to him throwing with a little bit more power from the rubber.

    In fact, he's already surpassed his total number of strikeouts (98) from last year.

    Prediction: Nova will become a 20-game winner and be right on the cusp of 200 strikeouts as he helps the Yankees toward the division title.

Hiroki Kuroda

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    I'll admit that I was surprised when the Yankees got Kuroda in the offseason, but he's performed pretty well with a record of 8-7, 3.50 ERA and 87 strikeouts.

    With Michael Pineda and Andy Pettite going down due to injury, Kuroda has performed about as well as you can expect.

    But at 37, can we really expect Kuroda to hold up through the rest of the season?

    My guess is yes, since Kuroda hasn't shown us any signs of slowing down over the last few years.

    However, some may not like my prediction.

    Prediction: Kuroda will finish the season with a losing record and an ERA over 4.00.

Phil Hughes

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    After having a dead arm last year, Hughes has recovered nicely through the first half of this year, wielding a 9-7 record with a 4.33 ERA and 92 strikeouts.

    Still, there has to be some concern within the organization as to whether or not Hughes can continue down the path he's on.

    The strain of 2010 was evident last year on Hughes, and I'm wondering if it will catch up with him again this year.

    I'm hoping not because he's a fun pitcher to watch, but I'm going to remain skeptical.

    Prediction: Hughes will spend some time on the disabled list during the second with arm issues, but should be back in time for the playoffs.

Freddy Garcia

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    If there's one weakness in the Yankees' rotation, it would be Freddy Garcia.

    Someone I consider to be a better long reliever at this point in his career, Garcia has been forced into the rotation with the injuries to Pettite and Pineda.

    Currently, he sits with a 3-2 record with a 5.23 ERA.

    Yeah, it's not exactly pretty and I don't see it getting better for him anytime soon.

    Prediction: Garcia finishes with double-digit losses and will be relegated to the bullpen during the postseason, or left off the roster entirely.

Andy Pettitte

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    I know a lot of Yankees' fans were excited when Pettitte decided to return to the Bronx.

    He's been one of the best pitchers over the course of his career in pinstripes.

    This year, he has a record of 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA and 59 strikeouts.

    However, he was placed on the 60-day disabled list at the end of June when he was struck in the left shin by a line drive against the Cleveland Indians.

    According to sources, Pettitte isn't expected to be back until Sept. 1...just in time for the playoffs.

    Prediction: Pettitte is the Game 3 starter in the Yankees' first playoff series, despite being out more than two months.