Friday, March 28, 2008

Megdal: Pitching Still Uncertain

The New York Observer, like Pags, is a consummate professional in stating the obvious. Take this article which selects the Yankees pitching as the great question mark going into the new season.

Hold on just a moment. You're saying the Yankees offensive juggernaut, littered with consistent veterans, powered by proven young bats and guaranteed to approach 1000 runs-scored, is more bankable than a pitching staff comprised largely of unproven kids? What a concept.

Here's a writer panicking in March:

The Yankees’ planned starting rotation, which called for full seasons from Andy Pettitte and Chien-Ming Wang, is in jeopardy. Pettitte has missed a pair of spring starts with a back problem, and has already seen his first start pushed back. That means they could well end up with Mike Mussina as the number-two starter.

Mussina has actually been decent this spring, posting a 4.66 ERA and a 7/2 K/BB ratio. But his 9 2/3 innings over three games in a month provides no indication of how he will perform every fifth day, pitching at least five or six innings.

Of less concern are the struggles from Phil Hughes and Wang. Hughes has been hit by the homer bug, but his strikeout-to-walk ratio is just fine. Wang’s struggles are mostly due to an increase in walks. Ultimately, the stats don’t mean much—they are small samples, and spring ones, to boot—but neither pitcher is cause for concern.

He goes on to state Ian Kennedy's 2.00 ERA during Spring training is not as noteworthy as the four homeruns he's given up because of his "ordinary" 14/7 strikeout to walk ratio. So by this logic, Hughes is the only one suffering from the wind-assisted homerun illness because his k/bb is in better order.

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