Given the success of the young starting pitchers on our divisional rivals who have made the Yankees look silly for the last three games, I wanted to take a quick look at how the starting pitchers on all five teams in the AL East have fared this season to see if there were any interesting conclusions to be drawn. I included almost every pitcher who has started a game for the Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays, with the exception of starters I assumed aren’t going to figure into their teams’ respective starting mixes after this season (i.e. Dustin Moseley, etc.)
Feel free to click here for a more comprehensive data table.
|AL East Starter||Team||IP||ERA||FIP||xFIP||fWAR|
|John Lackey||BOS||183.0||style="border-left: medium none; border-top: medium none;">4.48||4.02||4.48||3.0|
In terms of fWAR, Toronto has four(!) pitchers in the top ten through yesterday’s (September 7, 2010) games, Boston has three, Tampa Bay has two, and the Yankees one. Jon Lester, unsuprisingly, is awesome. So is CC Sabathia. The fact that Brandon Morrow has accumulated 3.6 WAR in less than 150 innings is crazy, and super props have to be given to Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulous for somehow nabbing Morrow for Brandon League, who has posted 0.4 WAR in relief for Seattle this season, and minor leaguer Johermyn Chavez. That right there may have been the most lopsided trade of last offseason.
Brian Matusz has pitched on essentially the same level as Phil Hughes in the same number of innings. Jeremy Hellickson has been a beast in an incredibly short period of time, accumulating 0.7 WAR in a scant 29.2 innings. And Javier Vazquez and Chris Tillman have been terrible.
In any event, I suppose the primary thing this table does is reinforce our recent discussion about Toronto’s impressive starting pitching, but it also underscores the considerable depth of the Yankees’ division rivals’ rotations. And if nothing else, in case anyone had any lingering doubts this data pretty much 100% guarantees that the Yankees will have no choice but to do whatever it takes to sign Cliff Lee this offseason.