With everything that's been said about the shortcomings at the back of the Yankees' rotation, nobody's been talking about how forgiving the Yankees offense can be. Most advanced pitching metrics center on the idea of neutral support, but Ivan Nova, Bartolo Colon, Kevin Millwood, and Freddy Garcia will get much more than that. (P.S. Sidney Ponson is still available).
The Yankees scored 5.3 runs per game last season and figure to put up a similar number in 2011. That means a 5.30 FIP is all that one needs to be a .500 pitcher at the back of the Yankees rotation. Most teams don't have that much of a run support cushion or .500 pitchers in their #4 and #5 slots.
- The Yankee Analysts give Brian Cashman his due for waiting out the offseason pitching market.
- LoHud ranks the back-end Yankee starters by risk/reward (you can ignore that last guy):
There are four candidates for three jobs, and none has pitched so poorly that he clearly doesn’t belong. The ones who have pitched the most are the ones who have the most to prove. The ones who have pitched the worst are the ones with the most reliable track records
I'm a gambler. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I say, and with Kevin Millwood probably at least a month away from being ready, why not take your highest risk/highest upside starter (Bartolo Colon) and see if you can get lucky.
You know what they say. Old pitchers never die. They just sign "incentive-laden" deals with the New York Yankees.