Since being moved to the bullpen to work on mechanics, the performance of Javier Vazquez has improved. The Yankees are now seeing the type of pitcher they thought they were getting last offseason. His performance has improved enough for the righty to get another shot in the starting rotation.
Now is the time to find out if Vazquez has truly figured out his problems or if he is just better in the bullpen. If he has figured it out, Vazquez could be a very important piece to the Yankees puzzle down the stretch and into the playoffs.
Fellow starters A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes have struggled of late. Andy Pettitte is still working his way back from a groin injury. CC Sabathia has been the ace but is due for a bad game at some point. Dustin Moseley is just treading water and getting by until Pettitte can return.
Is Moseley better than Vazquez? NO. Is Burnett better than Vazquez? NO.
Joe Girardi needs to insert Vazquez back into the rotation and see if he can provide a boost. Find out what you have and who gives you the best chance to win. Swap Vazquez and Moseley. Or even swap Vazquez and Burnett.
A mechanical flaw in his windup seems to be fixed and the velocity on his pitches is up a bit. Could this just be a case of being in the bullpen? Sure, but let’s find out.
In his last nine innings of work, Vazquez has given up just two runs on four hits. It is also obvious that Vazquez is pitching with more confidence again. The team looks confident in him once again. That says a lot.
It’s time. Javier Vazquez deserves another chance.
This article is also featured at Double G Sports, where NY/NJ sports lives.