A Starting “Pitchah”

Andy Pettitte is a starting pitchah” are the immortal words of WFAN sports talk radio host Mike Francessa when responding to one fan’s idea of sending Pettitte to the bullpen.  Likewise, despite his success in the Yankee bullpen this year, Phil Hughes belongs in the starting rotation long-term.

As I’ve said before, you can call up any of your top pitching prospects to fill spots in the bullpen, but you’re wasting Hughes’ talent by limiting him to one or two innings every few days for the rest of his career.

Take Johan Santana as an example.  As a 21-year old rookie in 2000, Santana started five games, had a batting average against of .371, with an equal amount of strikeouts and walks.  As a reliever, he held opponents to a more respectable .277 average with a 1.24 strikeout to walk ratio.  As of 2009, Santana has two Cy Young awards.  Young pitchers don’t usually just jump into the rotation and win 20 games.  It take a while for them to develop.

You can’t just keep a good pitching prospect in the bullpen just because he dominates, otherwise who would start?  Does that mean Texas should leave Neftali Feliz in the bullpen for the rest of his career just because he comes in and throws 100 mph fastballs past everyone he faces?  Should Tampa move former number one pick David Price back to the bullpen just because he gave them quality innings out of the pen last fall?  NO!

Phil Hughes is a starter.  He’s filling a role for the Yankees this year and he’s learning how to get big league hitters out in crucial situations.  This is invaluable experience he will take to the rotation in the future.

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One Response to “A Starting “Pitchah””

  1. Baseballbriefs.com Says:

    Baseballbriefs.com tracking back A Starting “Pitchah”…

    Baseballbriefs.com tracking back A Starting “Pitchah”…

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