25-year-old Phil Hughes was mediocre in 2011.
The non-Sabathia components of the Yankees' starting rotation are barely acceptable.
Let's begin with AJ Burnett, who was given a lofty, long-term deal in early 2009 just like the big man. Burnett has grossly under-performed, though, with a losing record even after three seasons in concert with New York's prolific offense. He is easy for opposing baserunners to steal against, poor with his location and clearly weakening as is supported by his annual decline in fastball velocity.
Meanwhile, rookie starter Ivan Nova had a remarkable season in 2011. The Yankees' experienced, sure-handed infield perfectly complimented his tendency to produce ground balls.
Nova was a sparkling 12-0 in his final 16 outings! Still, he cannot be depended on at this point in his career. Not until it's clear that he can adjust to adversity and avoid a "sophomore slump."
Phil Hughes was an enigma. His frustrating "dead arm" period at the onset of the regular season irreparably damaged his statistics and sent the skeptics into a tizzy.
Hughes finished the season as a reliever and fell ions short of his 200-inning expectation.
Finally, there were the one-and-dones, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. Both had their share of strong starts, particularly Garcia, who stayed in the rotation into the playoffs.
However, Colon and Garcia don't last into the later innings. Durability is a concern due to their advanced ages. Count on the Yankees to let them leave this winter.