Does Javy Have His Groove Back?

Javier Vazquez looked incredibly sharp in last night’s relief appearance, going 4.2 innings while allowing one run on two hits and 6 strikeouts. He looked sharper than he had since August started, and credited the change to a mechanical tweak made by Dave Eiland:

There is a slight mechanical adjustment that seems to be helping Vazquez’s fastball. When he lifts his left leg in his delivery, Vazquez is bringing the leg farther back. It’s not more of a twist, he said, and the leg’s not coming up any higher, it’s just coming a little farther back toward second base.

“The arm angle also has to play a part of it, but (pitching coach Dave Eiland) feels like that’s going to give me better momentum, and it has,” Vazquez said. “The ball was true to where I wanted it to be.”

The mechanical change had tangible results, as Javy’s stuff was noticeably sharper than it had been in recent weeks. Unlike Javy’s starts in August, during which he was battling a dead arm and averaged 88 MPH on his fastball, Javy was close to 90 MPH (89.37) with his fastball. He threw 30 four seamers, including 19 for strikes with 3 swinging strikes, and 6 two seamers which netted 5 strikes. His breaking stuff was even better, as he threw 7 of his 10 changeups for strikes (2 swinging), 13 of his 17 curveballs for strikes (3 swinging), and 2 of his 3 sliders for swinging strikes. He had swing and miss stuff last night, as he got 10 swinging strikes among his 66 pitches (15.1%).

The question is, what is the next step with Javy? I have seen some people state that the team should take it slow with him and let him work in the bullpen for a bit longer to make sure he is equipped to start again. I disagree, and feel that he should take Dustin Moseley’s next turn. Javy was excellent from the middle of May through July, a stretch that constituted the bulk of his season. He lost his starting spot due to a dead arm that resulted in 4 atrocious starts, rather than due to an extended period of ineffectiveness. Now that his velocity is back up and his breaking stuff looks sharper, I see no reason to believe that Dustin Moseley will be the more effective starter going forward.

0 thoughts on “Does Javy Have His Groove Back?

  1. Matt Imbrogno

    Agreed on Javy starting again. The Dustin Moseley Starter’s Experiment should be over now.

  2. Joe O

    Was at the stadium last night. In the first inning we all knew we would be seeing Javy, and it couldnt have turned out better. He did look really good, came in with runners on and got ground balls some nice D and then dialed it up the next few innings. With outings like this it seems he will make the postseason roster as he has shown he can work out of the pen when a starter exits early get out of another pitchers jam and give length. I can see him taking Moseley’s spot the next time around or if AJ bombs again this week taking his spot. In any event, it was a really good night all around 3-4-5 hit the cover off the ball and Javy got in a groove.

  3. bornwithpinstripes

    I feel now his issues are in his head, the pressure of being a starter in NY gets to him… he is in the pen for the second time this year, and pitches well. he may get stage fight here..not knowing when you will be called into a game and the fact he is coming into a mop up or non pressure situation has him pitches free and easy.. he did look good..very confident ..he should not start again for the yankees, he is good right now lets leave it that way ,30 games left..we need AJ to get it right mentally..we own him for three more years..he has his pitching coach back he has cervelli. maybe he lost his girl..can not figure this guy out..if nova keeps pitching well. and andy comes back ,CC andy nova AJ first round we will be fine .if one of them can’t hughes not a bad position to be in..a very strong pen then..javy, hughes, Mo ,logan joba now throwing gas,robertson..wood or marte if he is ready.. i really like our club..yes i would have nova start..he has heart and momentum right now..remember becket in the WS vs us..why not nova.. if i had to pick right now for a big game nova. AJ or javy..no question the kid..

  4. leftylarry

    No Javy is NOT a top pitcher and no he isn’t throwing much harder.If JOBA IS THORWING 98-100, jaVY IS THROWING 88-90, BIG DEAL.

    • Moshe Mandel

      When you say he’s not a top pitcher, it invalidates everything else. And it is a big deal, because he was excellent in June and July.