Memo to Javier Vazquez: You Are Back in the American League
Someone once said: "Dorothy, you're not in Kansas anymore."
Last night, Javier Vazquez at times looked as though he might have been looking for his ruby slippers.
Javy, you're not in Atlanta anymore.
Many Yankee fans and most of the Yankee brass have trumpeted the return of Vazquez as just what the Yankees needed. They've pointed to the Yankees' lack of a fourth starter in the playoffs last season and proclaimed that Vazquez solves that problem.
This writer has pointed out in other articles on this site, since Vazquez was re-acquired by New York, that you need to look very carefully at the difference between the way Vazquez pitched in the National League and the way he pitches in the AL.
Granted, it is just wrong to make too much of one start. But his first start this season—giving up eight earned runs in 5.2 innings against the Rays on Friday—no doubt sent pangs of deja vu up the spines of Yankee fans remembering his performance over four years in the AL.
It is simply true that the offensive output in the AL, and especially in the AL East, is much greater than in the National League.
If you analyze Vazquez's wins last year, you will find a number of victories over teams with losing records. And you will find that Bobby Cox pampered Vazquez last year with extra days off, skipping him against certain teams/matchups.
It is true that he eats innings and always has. It is true his ratio of strikeouts to walks last year was so good it was just stupid.
But those who think Vazquez will have an ERA under 3.00 and win 15-plus games for the New York Yankees had better take off their rose-colored glasses and begin their search for Javy's ruby slippers.
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