Much has been discussed the last few weeks about the Yankees’ revamped rotation now that they have acquired arguably the best pitcher in the league and an efficient, albeit often injured, pitcher to bolster their rotation. Now, the question is, are they better than the Red Sox?
Cliff Corcoran, a frequent writer at Bronx Banter, wrote this special at SI.com, and I’ll quote some things he says.
Consider the similarities between the two starting staffs now that Sabathia and Burnett have joined the Evil Empire. Both are led by young left-handed aces (Sabathia and Jon Lester). Even before Boston signed Penny, both featured overrated and injury-plagued former Florida Marlins (Burnett and Josh Beckett). Both include foreign imports in their twenties who succeed despite sketchy peripherals (Chien-Ming Wang and Daisuke Matsuzaka). Both are also hoping for big seasons from one of the game’s top prospects (Joba Chamberlain and Clay Buchholz). And, should the Yankees eventually re-sign Andy Pettitte, both rotations will be rounded out by reliable veterans whose tenure with their respective teams dates back to 1995 (Pettitte and Tim Wakefield).
First, I love how Corcoran pairs up these pitchers according to attributes (leftys, former Marlins, imports, youngsters, veterans).
Corcoran goes on to compare the rotations. He says the Yankees have the advantage with Sabathia and Chamberlain. The Sox have the advantage with Beckett and Wakefield (until the Yankees resign Pettitte). Corcoran considers Wang and Dice-K a draw, but gives the edge to Wang for his ability to induce groundballs compared to Dice-K’s high walk rate.
Now, with the signing of Brad Penny, the Sox have the slight edge now to make it over the Yankees in the event Wakefield or Buchholz does not do well. I think the Yankees can supplement this with another low-end free agent signing, or rely on the young arms in Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves.
But, that is only if Penny recovers from his shoulder problems in 2008. The Yankees struggled with their rotation last year, so one of the AL East teams needs to be next, hopefully it’ll be the Sox.