Comparing current to past Yankee rotations

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Whether Yankee fans choose to admit it or not, New York has been blessed with not only starting pitching depth, but quality pitching as well. Let's take a look at combined starting pitching statistics for the New York Yankees since 2000 in the following chart. All the information was been taken from Fangraphs.com.

Yr

W

L

G

IP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

BABIP

LOB%

GB%

HR/FB

ERA

FIP

xFIP

WAR

WAR rank

2011

57

35

119

740.1

6.97

2.87

0.92

0.291

73.80%

45.30%

9.70%

3.72

3.85

3.79

12.4

7th

2010

72

50

162

973

6.97

3.26

1.21

0.287

72.60%

43.60%

11.30%

4.35

4.48

4.18

10.7

22nd

2009

63

42

162

935

7.48

3.62

1.05

0.301

70.40%

43.90%

10.60%

4.48

4.31

4.25

16

9th

2008

59

53

162

898.1

6.19

2.77

0.86

0.318

68.80%

47.40%

9.20%

4.58

4.05

4.18

16.3

8th

2007

65

47

162

921

5.61

3.11

0.91

0.306

69.60%

45.20%

8.70%

4.57

4.44

4.58

14.2

9th

2006

74

42

162

933.2

5.84

2.71

1.06

0.292

68.80%

46.10%

10.10%

4.54

4.39

4.5

15.4

8th

2005

70

51

162

965.1

6.11

2.74

1.08

0.302

69.30%

48.00%

11.00%

4.59

4.34

4.29

13.9

14th

2004

70

46

162

942.1

6.55

2.57

1.27

0.3

68.20%

42.40%

11.30%

4.82

4.4

4.34

14.5

8th

2003

83

42

163

1066

6.91

1.96

0.91

0.302

70.00%

44.50%

10.00%

4.02

3.56

3.71

25.4

1st

2002

79

41

161

1024.2

7.32

2.38

0.97

0.291

70.40%

41.60%

9.60%

3.97

3.64

3.8

22.8

3rd

2001

64

48

161

974.1

7.79

2.83

1.11

0.305

70.50%

4.34

3.95

18.8

4th

2000

65

58

161

964.2

6.39

3.41

1.24

0.29

69.40%

4.87

4.77

13.5

13th

The first trend I noticed, and it doesn't come as a surprise, is that the number of innings pitched definitely seems to give the greatest variation to league rank in WAR. It's more than likely that a greater number of innings would indicate quality pitching, or else why leave a starter on the mound? New York averages 6.22 innings out of their starters per game in 2011. If that trend holds for the final 43 games of the season, the Yankees are currently on track to top 1,000 innings (1,008 or so) for only the first time since 2003 and the third time since the beginning of the 21st century.

The Yankees look to be in much better shape this year than they were last year. Anytime the big questions being asked surround the rotation order for the playoffs, not much is going wrong. Lower HR/9 and BB/9 rates have certainly brought New York into the top 25% of baseball in pitching. Having five established starters can't hurt much, either.

If Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia can hold up until the end of the season, they'll no doubt be amongst Brian Cashman's best (and perhaps luckiest) moves since becoming general manager. Both of them were signed as low-risk, high reward players that could only improve New York's rotation. In 42 games (21 each), they've combined for a WAR of 4.5 and lessened the blow of an injured Phil Hughes and a retired Andy Pettitte.

There's also this guy by the name of Ivan Nova who has shown flashes of brilliance more often than not since April 26.

So while A.J. Burnett is ripped apart for inexplicably being the recipient of a win only once since late June and Phil Hughes learns to maintain control over his fastball more effectively, let's take a moment to reflect on how fortunate the Yankees have been so far. This season could have been a much different story if Colon and Garcia didn't step up.  

 

Follow me on twitter @csm5206

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