According to ESPN, offensive production in baseball fell to a two-decade low in 2011. A new pitching-dominant era has arrived in MLB, and the Yankees are chasing the train.
New York's team ERA in 2011 was 3.73, ranking them 11th in baseball. While that's not terrible, it's not great either.
What's worse, the Yankees ranked 16th in MLB in opponent's batting average (.256), 18th in quality starts (84) and 19th in WHIP (1.32).
By comparison, the team that led the majors in pitching, the Philadelphia Phillies, finished the regular season with a 3.02 team ERA.
An example of New York's failure to judge talent when it comes to pitching, a flaw that could prove fatal in the seasons to come, is starter A.J. Burnett.
Burnett is making $16.5 million a year to pitch for the Yankees, and his 2011 stats were as follows: 11-11, 5.15 ERA, 1.43 WHIP.
In a game whose dynamics are drastically shifting toward pitching strength, the Yankees are still relying on slugging and home runs. That may get you to the playoffs, but when other clubs are pitching the lights out, winning a world championship becomes more difficult.