The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


A chance to get one back

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 20, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Pittsburgh Pirates lately have been stockpiling former Yankees, but there’s a chance to get one of them back now that Steven Jackson has been designated for assignment.

Back in May, the Yankees designated Jackson to make room for Kevin Cash. The Pirates picked him up, and he had a 3.14 ERA with a .236 opponents batting average in 40 games out of the Pittsburgh bullpen. ERA, though, is a pretty unreliable way to judge relievers, and Jackson also had more walks (22) than strikeouts (21). He let six of 22 inherited runners score, but half of those came on a particularly bad day against the Dodgers (he otherwise stranded 16 of 19). Nothing flashy, but he was solid.

One thing Jackson has done well throughout his career is generate groundballs, and that would probably be the best reason to bring him back. I doubt the Yankees claim him – no specific reason for thinking that, just a hunch — but Jackson would be one of the better groundball pitchers on the staff (most of the pitchers with a better percentage pitched limted innings last year).

The list of Yankees groundball percentages from last season is a fairly random assortment. It seems to be proof that generating groundballs is never a perfect indicator of success.

Pitcher — 2009 GB%
Boone Logan — 63.9%
Mark Melancon — 62.0%
Sergio Mitre — 57.8%
Chien-Ming Wang — 53.3%
Jonathan Albaladejo — 52.6%
Mariano Rivera — 51.2%
Steven Jackson — 43.6%
Joba Chamberlain — 42.9%
Andy Pettitte — 42.9%
CC Sabathia — 42.9%
A.J. Burnett — 42.8%
Chad Gaudin — 42.0%
Javier Vazquez — 41.7%
Edwar Ramirez — 36.2%
Dave Robertson — 35.6%
Alfredo Aceves — 35.2%
Phil Hughes — 34.4%
Damaso Marte — 29.3%

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