New York Yankees: Projected Pitching Staff for 2012
The Yankees need pitching this offseason and with so many possibilities it will be very tough to try to round out the Yankees rotation.
Pitchers like Yu Darvish, CJ Wilson, Mark Buehrle and Edwin Jackson are free agents while potential trade candidates include Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez, Gio Gonzalez and Josh Johnson.
With those players in mind, let's take a look at what the Yankees pitching staff could look like in 2012.
No. 1 Pitcher: CC Sabathia
237.1 IP, 19-8, 3.00ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 230 K, 61 BB
CC Sabathia is a perennial Cy Young contender and before Joe Girardi instituted his six-man rotation Sabathia had a 2.56 ERA and was right there with Justin Verlander as the league's best pitcher in 2011.
Along with the six-man rotation, people speculate that Sabathia's weight wears him down over the season. Let's just hope that during this offseason he loses weight and keeps it off during the season as he promised.
If he does this and pitches to his ability, he will remain one of the best pitchers in the majors in 2012.
No. 2 Pitcher: Jair Jurrjens
152.0 IP, 13-6, 2.96 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 90 K, 44 BB
Jair Jurrjens is currently still with Atlanta, but there have been rumors that the Braves have put him on the trade block. If they are seriously shopping him then the Yankees will be very interested.
According to the NY Daily News the Braves have asked the Yankees about Eduardo Nunez. I expect the Yankees to send Nick Swisher along with David Phelps and Eduardo Nunez for Jurrjens.
In return, the Yankees will be getting a 25-year old righty who has had some injury issues but has also shown his Cy Young Award-worthy talent.
If Jurrjens comes to New York and stays healthy he will be a legitimate number two pitcher behind CC Sabathia.
No. 3 Pitcher: Ivan Nova
165.1 IP, 16-4, 3.70 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 98 K, 57 BB
Ivan Nova came into the majors with a bang. He ended up winning 16 games despite being sent back to Triple-A when Phil Hughes came back from injury. His 3.70 ERA may not seem very impressive but after the All-Star break, Nova went 8-0 and posted a 3.18 ERA.
At 24-years-old, Nova has shown great poise in New York, not only in the regular season but also in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Tigers.
If Nova continues to improve during the winter, watch out because he will round out the Yankees three-man postseason rotation very nicely.
No. 4 Pitcher: Freddy Garcia
146.2 IP, 12-8, 3.62 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 96 K, 45 BB
Where did Brian Cashman find Freddy Garcia?
Garcia was supposed to be a one-year stopgap to eat innings while the Yankees went out and got a big time pitcher or two. That is not how it worked out, and despite his "Junkballer" label Garcia became the Yankees No. 3 pitcher in 2011 and will remain in the rotation in 2012.
If Garcia can maintain his 2011 numbers, he will be an ideal fourth starter for the Yankees.
No. 5 Pitcher: AJ Burnett
190.1 IP, 11-11, 5.15 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 173 K, 83 BB
AJ Burnett, what can I say? He has great talent, great stuff, and pitched well in Game 4 of the ALDS but can not stay consistent.
If the Yankees can get a Derek Lowe-type deal for Burnett they should take it but I do not see any team taking that chance. Burnett will probably remain in the Yankees rotation for another two years unless they can get Theo Epstein to swap Burnett for Carlos Zambrano.
7th Inning: Rafael Soriano
39.1 IP, 23 HLD, 4.12 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 36 K, 18 BB
Rafael Soriano was supposed to be Mariano Rivera's heir apparent when he signed with the Yankees last winter but because of injuries and inconsistency that was not the case.
Soriano did show promise in late September and against the Tigers in the ALDS but I think Brian Cashman was hoping he would opt out of the contract following the 2011 season. He didn't and the Yankees will be stuck with Soriano's huge contract for two more years.
We can all just hope he can lock down the seventh inning and even pitch the eighth or ninth to give Robertson and Rivera some rest.
Set-Up: David Robertson
66.2 IP, 34 HLD, 1.08 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 100 K, 35 BB
David Robertson was the best reliever in the majors last season. Last year, he was regularly brought in with the bases loaded and yielded just one hit, zero runs (earned or unearned) and 14 strikeouts in 19 opportunities.
Perhaps even more impressive than that was his 0.25 road ERA or his 0.86 post All-Star break ERA.
"Houdini" will be in pinstripes for years to come and will be Mariano Rivera's eventual successor.
Closer: Mariano Rivera
61.1 IP, 44 SV, 1.91 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 60 K, 8 BB
Rivera is the greatest closer of all time and arguably the best pitcher of our generation.
He is coming off a great 2011 season and has one more year left on his contract.
Other Bullpen Arms
74.2 IP, 5-5, 0 HLD, 5.79 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 47 K, 27 BB
28.2 IP, 2-0, 12 HLD, 2.83 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 24 K, 7 BB
56.0 IP, 2-2, 4 HLD, 2.09 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 39 K, 20 BB
39.2 IP, 6-1, 8 HLD, 2.04 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 30 K, 8 BB
41.2 IP, 5-3, 10 HLD, 3.46 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 46 K, 13 BB
56.1 IP, 2-2, 4 HLD, 4.47 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 45 K, 22 BB