For a team as bruised and battered as the Yankees, one thing that’s gone right with the rotation — this is the moment Joe Girardi would begin knocking on wood — has been the health of the team’s starters. Andy Pettitte skipped one start and Javier Vazquez has what seems to be a minor finger issue, but otherwise the group has been able to take the ball consistently.
What’s gone right?
Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes
As a whole, the rotation has been a bright spot. Four starters have an ERA below 4.00, and even Vazquez has shown significant improvement in his past two starts. At this point, though, the clear bright spots have been the old man and the young kid.
Both Pettitte and Hughes are 5-1 with a sub-3.00 ERA. Pettitte has had only one rocky outing, and Hughes has given the Yankees a chance to win even in his so-so starts. He’s also proven he has the stuff to be a dominant pitcher at this level.
Other bright spots: Hughes and CC Sabathia flirting with no-hitters; A.J. Burnett’s dominant start to the season; Vazquez’s past two starts; Sergio Mitre doing a fine job as a spot starter.
What’s gone wrong?
There has been some unexpected inconsistency from Sabathia, and Bad A.J. has shown up a time or two, but the Yankees top two starters have been good more often than they’ve been bad. The exact opposite can be said for Vazquez.
The Yankees big winter pitching addition was brought in to provide durability and reliability, but he’s instead been skipped twice before finally finding his stride in his past two starts. Good things seem to be happening for Vazquez, but for now he’s the low point of the Yankees rotation.
Other problem areas: Pettitte’s elbow is worth keeping an eye on; Big innings have cost Burnett in two of his past three starts (something that he avoided earlier this season but gave him problems last year).