So, over the last week I have read and heard many opinions on the topic from bloggers to analysts to the manager at my local Starbucks.
The most annoying trend is the immediate discounting of Burnett, as entitled Yankee fans have branded him as the pitcher’s A-rod.
Personally, I like both A-rod and Burnett because they work hard and when they are on, they are great. But getting into that discussion is for another time.
The point is that no matter what happens in Spring Training, Burnett deserves the fifth spot in the rotation. This has nothing to do with money because it is not like I am writing the paychecks.
The reason is Burnett has earned it, and here are three reasons why:
- Since signing with the Yankees, Burnett has been totally healthy making all 33 starts each season. This is not the case with Hughes as he has spent more time on the DL with multiple injuries than the mound; and Garcia had that kitchen knife accident last season, and was sidelined for most of August.
- If you look closely, four of Burnett’s 11 losses in 2011 were due to the Yankee hitters only scoring 0-2 runs because he posted an ERA of 3.00, gave up just four homers and maintained a WHIP of 1.00. Compared to 14 of 18 of Hughes wins from 2010 came on days when the Yankee bats scored 6+ runs. Hughes won ZERO games when the bats scored 0-2 runs, had just 3 wins were when the team scored 3-5 runs and one win he got coming out of the bullpen.
- If any player is going to step it up, especially in New York, it should be in the month of October. Burnett stepped it up BIG TIME last season to keep the Yankees in the playoffs.
Now I kept this list short by choosing three points that covered a lot of ground.
I didn’t want to waste anymore time defending Burnett as too many Yankee fans are blessed with the gift of selective hearing to bother.
I will leave you with this….
It is fair to give the fifth spot to Burnett first, and if screws up it will, let it be his own fault. Burnett haters should have no problem with letting AJ decide his own fate because if you all are correct, he won’t last very long.
Garcia can easily work out the bullpen, as it won’t deflate his ego and he can come in for multiple innings if needed.
Hughes should not even be considered for a rotation spot yet; especially after coming into to last season out-of-shape, as that kind of BS is intolerable. You cannot forget that Hughes had two very different injuries in 2011 with the dead arm, followed by the herniated disc in his back the moment he got off the DL. And he also missed time for a ribcage injury in 2008.
The bottom line is Hughes has to prove his worth again, and should start in Scranton. This will keep his arm on a starter’s schedule, which means he can be ready to jump right into the rotation when and if he is needed.
Yankee fans have to stop hanging on Hughes’s one decent half of a season back in 2010, as it is getting old. Not to mention how ignorant it sounds because fact is stats don’t lie.
So, maybe it is time to get off the hater train, and jump on the Burnett bandwagon…. as remember back in 2009, when AJ delivered that vital Game 2 performance to win the Yankees their 27th World Series.
- A.J. Burnett’s Effect on the Yankees (yankeesfansunite.wordpress.com)
- You: Yankees Pitching Roulette: What Will Become of New York’s Seven “Starters” (bleacherreport.com)
- Keefe To The City: Yankees Have A Good Problem (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- New York Yankees: Statistical Projections for the Pitching Staff in 2012 (bleacherreport.com)
- Yankees shopping Burnett at the Winter Meetings (yankeesfansunite.wordpress.com)
- New York Yankees: 8 Headlines You Don’t Want To See In 2012 (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees Trade Rumors: Apologize To AJ Burnett (ladylovespinstripes.com)