New York Yankees’ Pitchers’ Midseason Grades

July 16, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

The Yankees’ pitching was not a strength during the first half of the year. New York hurlers have racked up a 4.54 ERA, which is fourth worst in the American League, and their 38 quality starts rank 12th out of 14 teams.

Opposing batters are hitting just .255 off Pinstripe pitching, which is the second lowest average in the AL, but New York is issuing far too many walks—325 to be exact, third most in the league.

I graded the Yanks’ batters yesterday, so now it’s time for the pitchers’ midseason report card.


Mariano Rivera, RP: (A-)

While Mo has pitched well, I refuse to give him an A because he’s entered just seven games with runners on base. In those games, he sports a 5.40 ERA. A little more difficult when the bases aren’t empty, isn’t it?


Alredo Aceves, RP: (B+)

Ace’s first start of the year was a disappointment as he gave up three earned runs in just 3.1 innings, but Aceves has been lights out as a reliever, going 5-1 with a 2.03 ERA, including a stellar four-inning save (Hear that, Mo?) against Toronto on July 5.

I’d give him another start on Tuesday because he pitched so well in three of his four starts last September, but it looks like the Yanks might go with minor leaguer Sergio Mitre, who has been great at Triple-A but sub-par in five major league seasons (10-23, 5.36).


CC Sabathia, SP: (B)

Sabathia’s 3.86 ERA is right on par with his career 3.89 mark in the first half. The Yankees hope his lifetime 3.39 second half ERA continues this season as well.


A.J. Burnett, SP: (B)

The former Blue Jay is 8-4 with a 3.77 ERA and leads the team with 11 quality starts and 101 strikeouts. His 1.38 WHIP is too high and he’s struggled with his control at times, but Burnett is on fire right now, putting up a 4-1 record and a 1.34 ERA in his last five starts.


Phil Coke, RP: (B-)

From June 4 to July 4, the lefty surrendered just one run and nine base runners in 15.2 innings, but in his three games since, his ERA has shot up a full run to 3.99. He leads the team with 42 appearances.


Phil Hughes, RP: (B-)

Hughes failed once again as a starter, going 3-2 with a 5.45 ERA, but he has thrived in the bullpen, giving up just two runs on seven hits and five walks in 18.1 innings.


Joba Chamberlain, SP: (C+)

Joba has been mediocre so far with a 4.25 ERA and a bloated 1.56 WHIP as he continues to struggle with his control and aggressiveness. He’s really struggling at the new Yankee Stadium (0-2, 5.39) but is solid on the road (4-0, 3.26). Chamberlain is not pitching deep enough into games, but he’s still 4-2 and the team is 11-6 in his starts. 

Joba’s also just 23 years old and is less than 12 months removed from a shoulder injury, so he should improve.


Andy Pettitte, SP: (C+)

Pettitte’s numbers (8-5, 4.85 ERA, 1.53 WHIP) aren’t much better than Chamberlain’s, but he receives much less criticism than his younger teammate. 

During his career, Andy has been a much better pitcher in the second half but that wasn’t the case last year when he stumbled to the finish line with a 4-7 record and a 5.35 ERA after the break.


Brian Bruney, RP: (C+)

Bruney had a 3.00 ERA when he went on the DL for the second time this season. Since he returned on June 16, he’s struggled to regain his form, surrendering six runs on nine hits and an astounding eight walks in 7.2 innings.


David Robertson, RP: (C+)

Robertson is another one of those streaky relievers. He had a 1.84 ERA on June 21, but in his eight appearances since, he has a 6.75 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP.


Jonathan Albaladejo, RP: (C-)

Albaladejo is either really good or really bad. He’s given up all 14 of his runs in just four appearances, while pitching a shutout in his other 17.


Edwar Ramirez, RP: (D+)

Ramirez had a 5.19 ERA in 15 appearances before being optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 19. He’s not doing much better down there, going 0-4 with a 4.50 ERA.


Brett Tomko, RP: (D)

Tomko has been the worst reliever on the staff since being brought up from Triple-A on May 10. He’s 1-2 with a 5.23 ERA.


Jose Veras, RP: (D-)

Veras had a 5.96 ERA in 25 appearances before being traded to the Cleveland Indians on June 25 for a rosin bag and three sunflower seeds.


Nick Swisher: (INC)

I could give the right fielder an A+ because he has the lowest ERA on the team, but of course that came as a result of one scoreless inning in a 15-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on April 13.


Mark Melancon, RP: (INC)

Melancon is 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA in five appearances.


Damaso Marte, RP: (INC)

I often hear Michael Kay saying during YES broadcasts how the Yankees need Marte back. Why? He gave up nine runs in 5.1 innings before injuring his shoulder in April and he’s been nothing but terrible since coming over from the Pittsburgh Pirates last year.


Anthony Clagget, RP: (INC)

Clagget gave up eight runs in an inning-and-two-thirds during the Yanks’ 22-4 blowout loss to the Indians on April 18.


Chien-Ming Wang, SP: (F)

Wang was starting to improve before re-injuring himself on July 4, but he single-handedly lost six games for the Yankees this season and possesses an unsightly 9.64 ERA.



Follow me on Twitter at JordanHarrison.

Jordan Schwartz is Bleacher Report’s New York Yankees Community Leader. His book Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com.

Jordan can be reached at jordanschwartz2003@yahoo.com

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