Lessons To Learn From Burnett’s Success

Matt Slocum/Associated Press

A.J. Burnett may not be a Yankee, but analyzing his post-Yankee days may tell us how other team’s approached the problem child. The starting pitcher has been wildly successful this season, posting a 3.59 ERA, a 3.50 FIP, a 7.44 K/9, and 2.84 BB/9. Most of the media’s analysis has ended at the league change, but I figured Burnett and the Pirates deserved a more in depth look over.

What I expected to see was a decrease in homeruns outside of Yankee Stadium and the AL East, and indeed it dropped from 17.0% HR/FB last year to 11.8% in 2012. I also expected the strikeout rate to increase due to the pitcher’s spot in the lineup, but the number has decreased from 8.18 K/9 in 2011 to 7.44 K/9 in 2012. Outside of what we assumed would happen with the Pirates, he’s increased his groundball rate from 49.2% to 57.0%, and he’s lowered his BB/9 rate from 3.92 to 2.84.… Click here to read the rest

Can’t handle the New York heat

Exhibit A:  Melky Cabrera

Pre Yankee Days-N/A

Yankee Days-Cabrera spent four years sporting the pinstripes.  During that time, he batted .269, had an on-base percentage of .331, a slugging percentage of .385, and an OPS of .716.

Post Yankee Days-Melky has played for three teams since leaving the Yankees.  First he went to Atlanta, then Kansas City, and now he is with San Francisco.

Braves: With the Braves, Melky did not do so hot.  He had a batting average of .255, on-base percentage of .317, a slugging sercentage of .354, and an OPS of .671

Royals:  With the Royals, Cabrera batted .305, had an on-base percentage of .339, a slugging percentage of .470, and an OPS of .809.

Giants:  With the Giants, Cabrera is currently second in the National League with a .353 batting average, an on-base percentage of .396, a slugging percentage of .527, and an OPS of .923.

Bottom Line-After a bit of a hiccup in Atlanta which was likely induced by Post-Yankees Stress Syndrome, Cabrera has become an All-Star caliber left-fielder. … Click here to read the rest

Now that A.J. is gone, who’s the new A.J.?

I am NOT going to miss him.

I don’t mean this the way you think. Time and time again during A.J. Burnett‘s rocky tenure in pinstripes it seemed like he was the missing piece. Often the Yankees were one more dominant pitcher away from being in the World Series, or found themselves with their season potentially on the line and A.J. on the mound. As a result, he was the secret ingredient helping the Yankees to advance in the playoffs or preventing them from succeeding.

A.J.’s role as the make or break player was logical. Most playoff teams have at least one dominant starter to face off against CC Sabathia. Often times the difference between the good and great teams is the second dominant starter. When Burnett could fill that role the Yankees won the World Series. Once he stopped being able to pitch well the team went out of its way to deny him playoff starts and always seemed a starter short.… Click here to read the rest

Burnett Deal Official

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There is little to add to the thousands of words already written in the past few days concerning the pitcher and this deal. Brien summed it up the best yesterday. We will miss A.J. Burnett the person but not the pitcher. And, yes,  he is wished the very best in Pittsburgh this season.… Click here to read the rest

Nightly Links: Prospects and Okajima

With the trade between the Yankees and Pirates coming to a conclusion today, A.J. Burnett largely dominated headlines. Not much else happened across the blogosphere but I have a couple links for your Friday evening. Read them and enjoy your extended weekend!

  • Mike Axisa released his 2012 Preseason Top 30 Prospects today. Mike always does an outstanding job at both listing and summarizing each player. In my opinion, his lists supersede even Baseball America’s, but to my disappointment, Tyler Austin only placed 15th.

Thats wraps up Nightly Links for this week. Enjoy your first A.J. Burnett free weekend in three years!… Click here to read the rest

The prospects in the Burnett trade

While hte deal hasn’t been officially completed yet, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the prospects that the Yankees are reportedly acquiring from Pittsburgh in the AJ Burnett trade.  Given the low value that AJ and his salary commanded on the trade market, a big return was not expected, especially considering the Pirates are taking on part of AJ’s salary.  A non-moronic GM is simply not going to deal legitimate prospects for what is essentially a salary dump, and fortunately for the Pirates, Neal Huntington is no fool.

For what it’s worth, neither of these guys are on John Sickels’ Pirates Top 20 list, nor on Pirate Prospects’ organizational top 30.  Since there was little out there on these guys from the usual suspects (BA, Law, KG, Sickels), I had to go to Pirates Prospects to get my info on these guys.

Diego Moreno is probably the most intriguing of the two prospects in the deal, despite his age (25).  … Click here to read the rest

An A.J. Retrospective

As I write this, it’s about 2 PM on Thursday afternoon. We’re, apparently, in the final 24 hours of the Yankee career of one A.J. Burnett. While ditching Burnett for some small return will likely make the Yankees a bit better in 2012, I’m still not wild about the deal. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be devastated if Burnett isn’t in the Bronx anymore, but I won’t be skipping down Grand Concourse singing victory songs either.

Perhaps this is a bit of bias. I know that A.J. Burnett has not been an effective starter for most of the last two seasons, but I always liked the guy. I thought he was a good teammate and a fine competitor. Though the results weren’t always great, Burnett took the ball every five days (which was probably the most shocking thing during his tenure with the Yankees, considering his previous injury history) without complaint. There were times, of course, when I was cringing along with all of you, but I still had a soft spot for A.J.… Click here to read the rest

Nightly Links: Burnett, Bullpen, Sanchez

  • Mike Newman of FanGraphs and Scouting the Sally hosted a prospect chat today and spoke about a few Yankee farm players.
    On Gary Sanchez-“My worry about Sanchez is the simple fact he has already developed a reputation of being pretty difficult to deal with.
Click here to read the rest