New York Yankees: How Does Justin Duchscherer Fit in the Bronx? He Doesn't

Kate ConroySenior Analyst IIJanuary 12, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 18:  Pitcher Justin Duchscherer #58 of the Oakland Athletics points to the sky during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at McAfee Coliseum on June 18, 2005 in Oakland, California.  The Athletics won 2-1.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Another day of no good news out of New York Yankees front office regarding signing a player who can help the team win in 2011. 

GM Brian Cashman’s latest rumored pursuant is pitcher Justin Duchscherer.

Once again, Cashman continues confusing Yankee fans, as Duchscherer is a nightmare version of ace Zach Greinke.

Greinke was just on the auction block, but the Yankees didn’t feel Greinke could mentally handle the bright lights in the Bronx.

Greinke had suffered from depression and social anxiety disorder, which sidelined him in 2006 for the season. Returning to the majors in May of 2007, Greinke was demoted to the bullpen but made it back to the rotation in 2008. He won the Cy Young in 2009 and has been an ace with no real injury history to date.

So, for what feels like the billionth time this offseason, the Yankees passed on a player. Instead, the Milwaukee Brewers traded for Greinke and bettered themselves for 2011.

At the time, Cashman’s excuse for not going after Greinke seemed to make sense.

That is why this Duchscherer rumor is so off-putting, here is why:

Now 33 years old, Duchscherer’s first full season in the majors didn’t come until 2004 as a reliever for the Oakland A’s.

This happened the same year 25-year-old Greinke debuted as a starter for the Kansas City Royals.

Unlike Greinke, Duchscherer has had brief periods of major league success, both out of the bullpen and as a starter.

Duchscherer's career year-by-year is a mess, and he was on the same team each season except for a 2001 stint with the Rangers. To make life easier, below is a timeline from his first full season to present; all with the Oakland A’s:

 

2004-2006: Pitched in relief all three-seasons, appeared in 171 games for a total of 236.5 innings and 195 strikeouts. Named to the 2005 All-Star Team.

2007: Placed on DL on May 14th with season-ending hip surgery.

2008: Moved to starting rotation, named to the All-Star Team, placed on DL August 18th for the season due to hip and back injuries.

2009: Out for the season due to elbow injury in Spring Training, missed entire season as he suffered from major depression.

2010: Came back as a starter, won four of his first five starts in April but never started again due to hip injury, out for the season.

 

Wow, this looks like another Cashman gem.

Duchscherer has had an injury-plagued career and is about to turn 34 years old, well passed his prime.

Duchscherer's depression has been a life-long issue, but it got so severe it impacted his ability to pitch.

Isn’t this the reason the Yankees were concerned about Greinke being able to handle playing in New York?

Depression is a serious condition for many people, so I understand the need for both players to take personal time.

What I don’t get is why Greinke, who since his LOA has won a CY Young and is a certified ace, was such a concern, but Duchscherer is not?

Duchscherer has spent the majority of his pro career on the DL than on the mound with recurring hip, back and elbow issues.

Greinke is healthy, is seven years younger and hasn’t even hit his prime playing years yet.

Trading for Greinke now looks like another HUGE miss for Cashman.

This offseason is looking more disastrous for the Yankees than originally thought, even after losing out on Lee.

If any of the latest rumors pan out, the Yankees will have acquired Colon, Duchscherer, Prior and Jones this offseason. 

Just re-reading that last sentence is enough to make any Yankee fan want to vomit.

Cashman and crew should know better, as Yankee fans will boo the hell out these guys the minute they step foot in the Bronx.

That is if all four aren’t on the DL already when Spring Training starts.