Many of the folks writing in this space Thursday and today have been writing about the player on their team who needs to go — why, how, and to be replaced by whom. It’d be too easy to write that story for Vazquez. Too easy, too consensus, and more importantly, downright incorrect.
Javier Vazquez doesn’t need to go anywhere. Unless he’s supped from the cup of sudden aging (a possibility, no doubt), he’ll not only be fine over the rest of this season — he’ll be one of the Yankees best pitchers.
Last season, Javy smoked the National League — 2nd by FIP, 2nd by K/BB, 7th by ERA, 1st by xFIP, 4th in swinging strike rate inside the zone (17.1%!). Despite what you’re probably thinking right now, he wasn’t just lucky. He didn’t benefit from a crazy LOB%, nor an extremely low BABIP, nor a lower than normal HR/FB rate.
This year, he hasn’t had nearly as much success getting batters to swing and miss in the zone, generating whiffs on only 11.5% of such pitches.…