Thursday, September 8, 2011

AJ a Bust

It is good to be back in the thick of things baseball wise. I have been in communicato for weeks with no internet access. So I would like to thank my long time buddy, Larry Toman, for some great blogs, adding so much to the Late Innings postings.

Well, again it is September and the boys from the Bronx are nearly ready for October. They have done it in style as they always do. Either as pennant winners or wild card, they will be there.

Their hitters have proven to be tops in the league; Teixeira, Granderson, Cano, Martin are having very good years. The Yankees have hit more homers than anyone else (200) and have a team BA of .268 on the season. They are two games ahead of Boston as of today. In last night's game, AJ Burnett served up 4 runs allowing a tie until the eleventh. Baltimore won and AJ managed to get another no decision.

The Yankee's entire pitching staff have combined for .621 win/loss record and a combined ERA of 3.75. Also they have a WHIP of 1.294. Not bad for a whole team. This now brings us to AJ Burnett. At 34 he is still younger than Bartolo Colon who is having a sub-par season himself, still better then AJ.

AJ Burnett for the year-to-date has a win/loss percentage of just .450, an ERA of 5.25 and a WHIP of 1.437, a pretty poor year even for him. At 16.5 million a year he should be much better. CC Sabathia gets the premier money of 23 million but has the stats to support that (if anyone does for that kind of money). He has never had a losing season in this his eleventh year. Now AJ, well, he is working on his fifth losing effort.

When the Jays signed AJ from the Marlins in 2006, he performed exactly as always, a .500 record (really a .495). I could not figure why the Jays paid him 13 million. In 2008 he had a spectacular year, 18 and 10 and a league leading 231 strikeouts. Of course, that was the last year of his contract. The Yankees signed him and he is back to his usual self: average.

Even in last night's game the fans booed him. Of course, they saw him pitch 3 wild ones to bring his total of wild pitching to 23. Well ahead of the rest of American pitchers by 9. He also failed to make two important fielding plays where his head was just not in it. The fans are fed up with his antics, as anyone should be. He is very high-maintenance with a psychologist on his personal staff and he needs to be hand held for each game. Black eyes and divorce have put him under the microscope as these things seem to affect his performance. Basically, it was great for the Jays to unload AJ just at the right time and the Yankees made a long-term deal, tying them up for five years. In the three years he has been with the Yanks, AJ has amassed a .478 win/loss record, an ERA of 4.82 and a WHIP of 1.42 and 28 no-decisions. Worth $16.5 million? I doubt it very much. Joe Girardi has talked of the "new" approach to his mechanics and yet he still has lost four in a row. AJ is a bust. The Yankees have three more years on that contract. Will they keep him? I doubt it.

The Yankees will need better from its starting rotation to play through. All cannot be left up to Rivera, who still is amazing. Detroit has Verlander ($12.75 million) at 21 wins and counting. Boston has Becket, Lester, Lackey, Buckholz, Papelbon and a .518 win/loss and an ERA of 4.21 for the starting six. It is better for the Yanks to go with the six-man rotation just to keep AJ from another start. Might help in their bid for the pennant.

My favorite baseball button is "I love New York in SECOND place". I think they will not get home field advantage this year nor do I think the Yanks will play through to the WS, but with them, you never can count them out.


Rick Blechta said...

You know, the Jays waited patiently for AJ through injuries and bad pitching, and when he sort of got it together for that last season with the team, what did he do? Basically stuck his middle finger up at them and signed with a division rival. Real class act, he is. I'm always happy to hear it when he does poorly.

Larry Toman said...

Hi John, thanks for the shout-out.I had a great time doing it, and it was a good learning curve as well. Now to everyone's favourite whipping boy and he most certainly deserves it.He is one of the most arrogant and delusional pitchers I have ever seen. And to make matters worse, the way he sneers at his team mates is bush league, to say the least. Besides the problems between the ears, I feel his problems have been compounded by the outstanding work of Ivan Nova this season. It's a hard call whether he'll survive to pitch in the post season, but either way, the Bronx Bombers are going to the playoffs. Burnett is probably beside himself that he's not #2, but he is no where close to having that distinction. The Yanks are a team I would never count out in the post season. Also, on top of all their great offence (which you mentioned) Derek Jeter is absolutely on fire since he got 3000 out of the way. Bring on the playoffs. Cheers!