Later today we will weigh in on the infield, outfield and the bullpen.]
CC Sabathia - C+
Comments: CC is making an effort to reduce his careless mistakes, but has not worked to his full ability.
For a guy who is known as a control pitcher, his K/BB ratio is alarmingly high. But that's not all that out of the ordinary considering his career splits by month. Even in games where he hasn't had his best stuff, Sabathia has absorbed a lot of innings, (hey, I didn't say "ate"!) and that counts for something. He hasn't been disastrous, but he is a long way from meeting expectations.
A.J. Burnett - B+
Comments: A.J. accepts responsibility well, but has been inconsistent in his efforts.
Burnett has had the unfortunate designation of being slotted behind Chien Ming Wang in the rotation which shoved him into the role of "stopper". The Yanks came away with three wins in the three starts after CMW's atrocities, two of which were credited to Burnett. He had one bad start in Boston and a marginal one last night against the Angels, but the Yanks had a chance to win both of those games, for what it's worth.
Andy Pettitte - A
Comments: Andy has shown good leadership traits and is a pleasure to have in class.
Pettitte leads all starters in ERA, WHIP, and K/BB ratio. Considered by many to be the 5th man in this rotation going into the season, his performance thus far places him at #1. His season-long durability is certainly an obstacle on the horizon, but April has been a great month for the crafty veteran. Where would the Yanks be if they hadn't signed him?
Joba Chamberlain - B+
Comments: Justin has shown tremendous potential and is learning to accept more responsibility.
Of the four starts Joba has made thus far this year, three were pretty solid, the one exception being the game against Cleveland. He's struggled with his control (17K/13BB) his velocity is starting to build. It appears as though the Yankees are paying more attention to the number of pitches, as opposed to the number of innings, he's thrown. His pitch counts so far (88, 93, 91, 88) indicate some reluctance to stretch him out too soon. This should change as the weather gets warmer and he gets more starts on his belt.
Chien Ming Wang - F------
Comments: Chein Ming has not put enough time and effort into his assignments and as a result, he has been placed on academic probation for at least two weeks.
The grade is not hyperbole. 6 innings and 23 ER in 3 starts. FAIL. It's one of those times you wish you could use a "G" for God Awful, an "H" for Historically Horrendous or an "I" for Indescribably Ineffective. He's been batting practice bad. Who knows, he could put together a quality start next time he takes the mound. Baseball is weird like that. His performance over the last three years has earned him at least one more chance.
Phil Hughes - INC
Comments: Phillip recently skipped a grade and has been a pleasant addition to the classroom.
His first start this year was truly enjoyable to watch. However, who is to say that the next time out, Hughes pulls a CMW and can't make it through the second inning. Would you be willing to bet your life savings it doesn't happen? Let's give him some time as well.