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2011 MLB News: Bartolo Colon and the Filling of the New York Yankees Rotation

Austin SchindelAnalyst IIMarch 23, 2011

2011 MLB News: Bartolo Colon and the Filling of the New York Yankees Rotation

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    J. Meric/Getty Images

    A $189 million payroll can buy a team a lot. A Hall-of-Fame infield, a top of the rotation ace, and the best closer in baseball are just a few of the players that the Steinbrenner's covet and signed to exorbitant contracts.

    But does any of it work without adequate pitching?

    The Yankees are looking at their fourth and fifth starters, and are getting increasingly worried as to who will fill the void of a team contending for a World Series title. 

    It is no secret that the team lost out on Cliff Lee, who would have been a workhorse for the Bronx Bombers. They now turn to both over-the-hill and under-the-radar pitchers to piece together a rotation.

    Here is the Yankee rotation from top to bottom.

C.C. Sabathia

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Chance he makes the team: 100 percent

    What he brings to the team: Sabathia is one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball, and an ace in every sense of the word. He will be at the top of the Yankees rotation once again, and should provide innings, wins, and stability for a potentially shaky rotation. 

    ERA W-L SO WHIP BAA
    3.18 21-7 197 1.19 .239

A.J. Burnett

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Chance he makes the team: 100 percent

    What he brings to the team: Burnett has nasty stuff. What troubles the Yankees is that when he is bad, he is very bad, and when he is on, he is unhittable. This inconsistency was overlooked when the team had Andy Pettitte, but now that he has retired, there is no room for month long slumps. 

    ERA W-L SO WHIP BAA
    5.26 10-15 145 1.51 .285

Phil Hughes

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Chance he makes the team: 100 percent

    What he brings to the team: Hughes was a beneficiary of great run support throughout the season. He started off the season very hot, starting 10-1, but finished up weak, going 8-8 the rest of the way. He is only 24-years-old and still has some growing to do, but this is a season where he has to show the team that he can overcome adversity and win games on his own. He will continue to have the luxury of run support, but do not be surprised if he takes the next step forward.

    ERA W-L SO WHIP BAA
    4.19 18-8 146 1.25 .244

Bartolo Colon

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Chance he makes the team: 80 percent

    What he brings to the team: Colon has not pitched well since 2005, when he won the Cy Young award with the Los Angeles Angels. Despite this seemingly desperate attempt by the Yankees to catch lightning in a bottle, it appears that he will make the rotation. He has pitched well this spring, throwing 15.0 innings and amassing a 2.40 ERA. Joke all you want about the projected size of the Yankees rotation, but this just might work.

    Stats From 2009:

    ERA W-L SO WHIP
    4.19 3-6 38 1.44

Sergio Mitre

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Chance he makes the team: 65 percent

    What he brings to the team: Mitre did not pitch well in limited action for the Yankees this offseason, but he might back into the fifth starting spot. This spring, in two starts, he has gone 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA, rather unimpressive stuff. At 30-years-old, being a veteran may be his best advantage over someone like Ivan Nova. Mitre will quickly show the Yankees if he is here to stay at this make or break point in his career.

    ERA W-L HLD SO WHIP
    3.33 0-3 1 29 1.09

Freddy Garcia

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Chance he makes the team: 50 percent

    What he brings to the team: Last season, Garcia pitched the most inning he has pitched since 2006. He finished with a very respectable, 12-6 record, and certainly surprised many people. This spring, in four starts, he is 1-1 with a 5.93 ERA. While this does not bode well for his chances in the rotation, do not be surprised if he gets a chance at some point this season. He is a veteran arm that the team knows will not win 20 games, but can be a solid spot starter. 

    ERA W-L SO WHIP BAA
    4.64 12-6 89 1.38 .279

Ivan Nova

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Chance he makes the team: 35 percent

    What he brings to the team: Ivan Nova has pitched well this spring. Three starts, in 14 innings, with a 1.29 ERA. The Yankees liked him enough to bring him up at the end of last season and give him a few starts. He was shaky at times, but also showed a lot of promise. To start the season, it looks like he will start off in the minors, but like Garcia, is expected to be called up to try and prove himself. In baseball, the only constants are injuries and slumps. Nova will be there to pick up on any opportunities that comes his way.

    ERA W-L SO WHIP BAA
    4.50 1-2 26 1.45 .268

     

    Follow me on Twitter @ AustinSchindel

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