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Around the Yankees Galaxy 6/28/2010 - singing the AJ Blues....

What's wrong with A.J. Burnett?  Joe Girardi isn't sure, but he confirms that Burnett's spot in the rotation won't be skipped

Giving up nearly 7 walks per 9 innings is usually a good way to see your ERA climb above 5.00, and that's exactly what Burnett has done in June.  If you want to find the silver lining, you can point to two things; first, there's no talk of any kind of injury, and second, Burnett seems to put together an ugly streak like this every season, and still manages to end the year with respectable numbers.

Burnett has always been an all-or-nothing pitcher, but the fact that he still has a job in the majors suggests that he should be able to weather the storm and get back on the right track.

  • If there's a poster child for the argument that AJ will return to form, it's Javier Vazquez.  Over his last 8 starts (and 1 relief apperance), he's posted a 3.12 ERA to go with a .98 WHIP and 2.5 K/BB ratio.  Sometimes veteran pitchers struggle, and despite the best efforts of the media, there really is no good explanation, other than "that's the way it is sometimes."
  • Perhaps Joe Girardi has seen the light?  Last night he used Mariano Rivera in a tie game on the road for the second time in a week.  I suspect that Rivera's usage has more to do with the fact that an off-day was scheduled after each game, but one can hope that Joe G. has realized that wins mean a whole lot more than saves.
  • River Avenue Blues takes a look at just how bad Chan Ho Park has been this season, and what's especially troubling are the numbers he's allowed on pitches 26-50.  That said, I'm not sure it's time to jettison him just yet.  Nobody likes to hear the word "luck" but I think it's appropriate to bring up.  Looking at strikeouts, walks, and groundball rates - the things that a pitcher has some degree of control over - Park doesn't seem to have changed much from last year.  What has changed his BABIP, strand rate, and HR/FB rate, which are all at least somewhat out of his control.