2009 Positional Review, Pt. 3: Pitching Staff

Starting Rotation- Instead of trading multiple prospects for Johan Santana before the 2009 season, the Yankees wisely waited until the following year and signed CC Sabathia to anchor the staff. CC was everything the Yanks could have hoped for, becoming the ace of the staff in his first year on the team. He will be the #1 starter on this squad for years to come.

A.J. Burnett was his usual up and down self throughout 2009, looking great some days and sucking more dick than Brett Pedroia on others. Taken as a whole, his 2009 season was still a success, as he stayed healthy all year and posted quality numbers. He was pretty good in the playoffs up until Game 5 of the World Series, when he decided to shit the bed. My only concern with him is how he will handle things if Jose Molina isn't brought back in 2010. If Molina is gone, A.J. might have a Captain Willard like nervous breakdown.

Andy Pettitte had a rock solid season as the #3 starter, erasing the bad memories of his brutal second half of 2008. He stepped up his game in the playoffs, winning the clinching game during each of the 3 rounds of the postseason. There will be a spot for Andy in this rotation for 2010, assuming he does not retire. And I don't think he will.

As for the rest of the starters, they all had their moments. Phil Hughes was so-so as a starter early in the season, but really turned the corner when he was thrown into the setup role in the bullpen. He seemed to lose confidence in the postseason, but it's a good bet he will turn things around come 2010, whether he is a starter or a reliever. Joba Chamberlain was doing good as a starter for the first 4 months, but then the Joba Rules kicked in and the coaching staff started fucking with his head. The Joba Rules are some of the most retarded around, and he really regressed over the final 2 months. But Joba looked good out of the bullpen for the postseason, with an increased velocity on his pitches. Honestly, he looks more comfortable out of the pen. If the Yanks go out and sign some starting pitching, then that's where he will be. And as for Chad Gaudin, he was a very effective spot starter for the Yanks down the stretch. He would be good as a long man/spot starter out of the pen for the future. But there might not be room for him.

Bullpen- What can you say about Mariano Rivera at this point? He is by far the greatest relief pitcher to have ever played the game, and is still at the top of his game. Shit, he could pitch at an All-Star level well into his 40's and it wouldn't surprise anyone at this point. As automatic as automatic gets. The rest of the bullpen was solid as well, with Dave Robertson and Damaso Marte really stepping up big time in the playoffs. My only wish is that we never have to see Phil Coke on a Yankee roster ever again. I would have more confidence in a coke head named Phil than I would in Phil Coke at this point.

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