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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Shawkey’

Recently Dave Eiland was speaking about the competition for the Yankees 5th starter slot when he said this:

“We want 200 innings in all five of our guys,” Eiland said.

Now, upon reading this, his statement made me a little bit curious as to whether this has been done, so I turned to our trustworthy friends over at Baseball-Reference. Upon extensive searching on Baseball-Reference for teams with pitchers with equal or greater than 200 Innings Pitched and at least 20 Games Started only 15 instances of such were found. The last occurrence of this was in 1923 when the Yankees had the rotation of Joe Bush, Waite Hoyt, Sam Jones, Herb Pennock, and Bob Shawkey did this. The last Yankees team to come close to this was the rotation of Mike Mussina, David Wells, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Jeff Weaver in 2003. Weaver was 40.2 innings away from hitting the 200 IP mark.

For the Yankees to have all five of their starters to hit the magical mark of 200 IP there are a handful of things that have to happen in their favor.

  • If CC Sabathia pitches the same as last year, you can easily count him in for 200, however, it isn’t necessarily guaranteed.
  • AJ Burnett, while is no virtual lock to hit 200 innings, has proven if he is healthy, which is a big if, can hit 200 innings as he has the last two seasons.
  • While Andy Pettitte throughout his career could be penciled in for 200 innings usually, however he is turning 38 during this season. In 2009, he logged 194.1 innings and one has to wonder how many innings he has left on his left arm.
  • Javy Vazquez has pitched over 200 innings 9 out of the last 10 years, so theoretically he is a virtual lock. The only year he did not pitch 200 innings? 2004 with the Yankees when he logged 198 innings. During his time pitching in the American League, Javy has amassed an average ERA above 4.50.
  • Joba Chamberlain/Phil Hughes will have to up their game to reach 200 innings as neither of them have pitched this much in a single season. While Joba has been under the Joba rules, there is no telling how his arm will react when he hits 180, 190 or even 200 innings. Hughes on the other hand has not pitched more than 130 innings since 2006 in the minors when he pitched 146. If Hughes becomes the 5th starter it is unknown how his arm will react to the increase of innings.

So, while it is possible for each the Yankees starters to log 200 IP, it is highly unlikely. While I would like to see all five rotation spots hit 200 innings, truth be told, I can see 3 or 4 pitchers hit 200 innings. At this current time, I don’t have faith in Joba or Phil to be able to pitch 200 innings this year, maybe 170 or 180, but not 200.

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