Posted on: April 6, 2009 2:50 pm
Edited on: April 11, 2009 1:56 am

Best pitching staff in the AL.

So, after thinking about the Yankees pitching staff in my last blog, I wonder who in the American League has the best pitching staff.  Not starters or bullpen, but entire staff.  This is in my opinion the top six pitching staffs in the AL in no particular order.


Boston Red Sox:   With a rotation that includes Beckett, Matsuzaka, Lester, Wakefield, and Penny, you can't go wrong.  Yes, Wakefield still only throws 70 mph tops, but if the knuckleball is working, good luck.  Besides, if he can get you to the 6th inning and give it to a bullpen including Masterson, Okijima, Saito, and Delcarmen, you should get a win.  And with one of the best closers in baseball holding down the 9th, could be trouble.  Not to mention, when Smoltz comes back, it can't hurt you.


New York Yankees:   With the addition of C.C. and AJ, the Yankees rotation, in my opinion, didn't improve much, if any.  C.C. has a bad history against the AL East.  The extra run support should help, but how much?  AJ Burnett is a younger version of Mike Mussina so I don't see an improvement here, more of a lateral move.  Wang, who should still be the ace here, will get you 16+ wins, but hope the defense doesn't falter.  Pettitte will have another .500 season with a 4+ era.  Now the big question, Joba.  Will he be able to stay healthy?  Can he still be dominant once people have started seeing him more?  As far as the bullpen goes, outside Mariano, Damaso Marte, and possibly Brian Bruney, who is there to hold leads?  I guess it's a good thing the Yankees can score some runs.


Tampa Bay Rays:   With Kazmir, Shields, Garza, and Sonnanstine you get a very young staff that could be great for years to come.  With none of the main four being older than 28, and David Price waiting in the wings, the AL East could be in trouble.  On the other hand, the bullpen is a little shaky.  The combination of Percival, Wheeler, Balfour, and Howell is not that intimidating.  Maybe another year like last season will start making people believers.


Los Angeles Angels:   At this exact moment, no way.  But, let's keep in mind, they are without Lackey, Sanatna, and Escobar.  Add these three back to a rotation that includes Saunders and Weaver, that is strong.  The big problem here is the closer.  Unless Fuentes can rebound from a horrific spring (8.22 era), the Halos will be wishing they would have kept K-Rod around.


Cleveland Indians:   With Cliff Lee coming of a masterful year and a healthy Fausto Carmona, the Tribe can be considered.  Outside the addition of Kerry Wood though, there wasn't any improvement.


Minnesota Twins:   Outside of Liriano, there are no flashy names here.  Slowey and Perkins both put up solid numbers.  All they need to do is somehow figure a way to get it to the 9th inning and Joe Nathan.


There are the top six teams in my opinion in the AL.  There are alot of other teams that could try to make a case, but in the end, these teams rise to the top.  Hope you enjoyed the reading!






Category: MLB
Posted on: April 6, 2009 1:36 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2009 1:39 pm

Did the Yankee's pitching really get better?

As an avid Red Sox fan, I tend to keep a close eye on the "Evil Empire" and what moves they make.  I have thought about this long and hard over spring training and have come to this conclusion...I don't think they improved at pitching that much.  My reasons for thinking this are pretty simple.  

1.  CC Sabathia is a great addition...for the second half.  Of his 10 complete games, 7 of them were thrown while in Milwaukee (second half.)  Also, yes he finished with a record of 17-10, but against the AL last season he was only 6-8.  Not to mention he has a winning percentage of less than .500 against the AL East for his career.

2.  A.J. Burnett is going to put up a year where he gets 15-17 wins and 10-12 losses.  They had someone like that last year.  His name was Mike Mussina.

3.  Joba Chamberlain is not a starting pitcher.  He is a setup man.  When they tried to pull him out ofthe pen and put him in the lineup last year, how did that work out?  Injured.  Not to mention his workload is going to increase so much that there is a huge injury factor this season now too.

4.  Outside Mariano Rivera and possibly Damaso Martel, who in the bullpen can hold a lead?  You can have all the starting pitching you want, but unless CC plans on throwing 32 complete games what good will it do?

Maybe it is just wishful thinking but I don't see where the Yankees have improved that much over last year.  Well, I guess we have 162 games to see if they did!  GO SOX!




Category: MLB
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