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January 22, 2008

S.I.'s Verducci: Durable Rotation Has Edge

Tom Verducci's feature today, entitled "Starting point: Stability" is a recommended read today. A highlight:

Here the difference in rotation stability is even more apparent. Over the past four seasons the Yankees have handed the ball to second-tier starting pitchers 60 more times than did Boston. The Red Sox have done a better job identifying reliable starting pitchers and, by a combination of luck and design, keeping them healthy.

O.K., so what? How important is that? The Yankees were 23-18 in those 41 second-tier starts last season. And every team needs depth, right? After all, the average team uses 10 starting pitchers per year. But each of the past six world champions have been below that average, while the Yankees have been worse than average every year since their last World Series appearance, in 2003, when they needed only nine. (Since then New York has used 12, 14, 12 and 14 starters. It's the equivalent of a golfer having to scramble often to save par; it can be done, but with a higher degree of difficulty.)

Something to consider, for sure.

Posted by WW Staff at January 22, 2008 04:58 PM