Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Red Sox/Yankee starting pitching

Updated 2:07, 3/31 - Sox 3-year table was wrong.

One of the baseball storylines of the past off-season is the comparison of the changes in the Red Sox' and Yankees' starting pitching staffs. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard some mediot question how the Red Sox would overcome the "loss of Martinez and Lowe" my Visa bill wouldn't be quite so scary. Does no one who draws a paycheck from a media company recognize how dreadful Derek Lowe was last year? And Pedro, while very good, was not super-human as he had been for the previous decade. While replacing 2004 Martinez does require some effort, replacing the combined efforts of Martinez AND Lowe isn't a particularly daunting task for a team with Boston's checkbook.

As to the Yankees, clearly Randy Johnson is a difference maker, and his presence alone improves their club. Particularly when they get to the post-season. But as good as Pavano and Wright were last year (and they were both excellent), I don't trust either one of them to come close to repeating what look like career years.

In any event, this is what the staffs look like last year, as well as this year's staff's 2004 performance.

Red Sox 2004 Starters

Kim, Byung-Hyun21317.336.2378.12

Lowe, Derek141233182.675.4289.7

Martinez, Pedro169332173.9125.1

Arroyo, Bronson10929178.674.03120.96

Schilling, Curt21632226.673.26150.04

Wakefield, Tim121030188.334.8799.84

2004 Staff totals75471601010.674.27114.01

Red Sox 2005 Starters

Arroyo, Bronson10929178.674.03120.96

Schilling, Curt21632226.673.26150.04

Wakefield, Tim121030188.334.8799.84

Clement, Matt913301813.68123.25

Miller, Wade771588.673.35128.91

Wells, David12831195.673.73107.81

2005 Staff totals715316710593.84120.07

So for all the talk about how hard it'll be to replace Martinez and Lowe, the starters on the 2005 Red Sox were better last year than the starters on the 2004 Red Sox.

Yankees 2004 Starters

Vazquez, Javier1410321984.9191.57

Lieber, Jon14827176.674.33103.93

Contreras, Jose851895.675.6479.6

Hernandez, Orlando821584.673.3136.66

Halsey, Brad137326.4769.49

Loaiza, Esteban12642.338.552.8

Mussina, Mike12927164.674.5997.98

Brown, Kevin106221324.09110.03

2004 Staff totals68451549264.7794.25

Yankees 2005 Starters

Mussina, Mike12927164.674.5997.98

Brown, Kevin106221324.09110.03

Johnson, Randy161435245.672.6171.56

Wright, Jaret15832186.333.28131.61

Pavano, Carl18831222.333137.23

2005 Staff totals71451479513.38129.18

And the Yankees clearly improved. Significantly.

The Yankees 2005 staff had a better 2004 than the Red Sox 2005 staff did. But, as previously noted, I think that the Yankees just paid big money to two guys coming off of serious fluke career years. Let's look at the last 3 years, and see what the staffs look like when you do that.

3-year totals - 2005 Red Sox Starters

Arroyo, Bronson1210332233.87123.76

Clement, Matt353694587.673.8112.21

Miller, Wade362474440.673.66118.92

Schilling, Curt5222916543.17146.79

Wakefield, Tim3422785543.98117.69

Wells, David4622926153.88110.16


3-year totals - 2005 Yankee starters

Brown, Kevin271964406.673.32125.08

Johnson, Randy462788619.672.79160.84

Mussina, Mike4727915953.96111.6

Pavano, Carl363185559.333.99102.07

Wright, Jaret1916382615.0384.6


Over the last three years, the Red Sox pitchers have performed better than the Yankee pitchers. I don't see any reason to think that the Yankees have any edge, never mind a big one, when it comes to the relative starting rotations.



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