MLB  > General MLB  > MLB Network's breakdown of the Yankees Rotation
February 23, 2009, 10:00 AM
According to the MLB network 'experts', the Yankees have the pitcher with the best stuff in baseball (Burnett), the best #3 guy (Wang), probably the best #4 guy (Pettitte) and the best young arm (Joba). They may have even said the best pitcher in baseball (C.C.), but I'm not quite sure....could have been 'arguably the best' .

Now, before I start to breakdown these illusions, let me say I think if the Yanks rotation is healthy, they'll be outstanding. One of the best rotations out there if that happens, so this isn't a slam against the Yankees, but a slam against the MLB networks evaluation.

I don't think Wang is even the best #3 pitcher in his own division. I'd probably take both Boston's #3 (whether that's Beckett, Lester or Dice...gotta be one of them) and Tampa's Garza over Wang. Then, outside of the AL East, there's Saunders or E Santana for the Angels, whichever they want to say is #3. Just cause Wang was, at one time, the Yanks ace doesn't mean he ever really deserved to be considered a true ACE.

Seems the in thing to say Burnett has the best stuff (kind of like how it's the in thing to say Manny Ramirez is the best right handed hitter in baseball, even though there's this guy called Pujols :-)). I think A.J. and Harden are both the kind of pitchers that have health problems but when healthy have FANTASTIC stuff. I'd take Harden's stuff, when healthy, over Burnett's any day.

Of course Joba has quite the arm, no disputing that, but is it the best young arm conducive to starting, which is what the segment was about? We don't know. We haven't seen it. This guy is one of, if not THE, most over-hyped pitcher in baseball. He really hasn't done anything for any length of time...he has 124 IP in the game, and no one can say he's got the makeup or stamina to be a dominate starter. I think he should be the Yankees next closer.

C.C. is not the best pitcher in baseball. He's MAY not even top 5, probably somewhere between 6-10. LAST season, he dominated in the NL after being traded, but while still in the AL he was good, but not great. It's also debatable whether or not he deserved the Cy in 2007.

Pettitte is most definitely not the best #4 out there...that's just silly.

So, yeah, together they make a great rotation IF HEALTHY. They have 3, perhaps 4 guys who could give them 200+ IP. That is phenomenal. The bullpen should be better due to getting more rest, but it's as a group that they could be the best rotation out there...all that needs to happen is Burnett doesn't break down like he usually does, Wang comes back healthy and stays that way, C.C. doesn't show problems, or breakdown, due to being worked VERY, VERY hard last year by the Brewers and Joba stays in the rotation.



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