A.J. Burnett Yankee Saviour?

Issue: The Yankees are desperate for rotation help in 2011, while your fantasy team needs a starting pitching bargain, so you can spend more on big stick hitters. Is A.J. Burnett the guy?

Facts: After 10 seasons in The Show A.J. has won 10 games more than he has lost (110-100). 2010 was easily his worst season when he went 10-15, 5.26 ERA, and 1.511 WHIP. Burnett pitched through low back soreness in August, left hand laceration in July, and foot soreness in June, so nothing serious and no time on the DL in 2010. Maybe his splits will show us something. He gave up 15 HR on the road and only 10 at home, the opposite of what you’d expect. His Batting Average on balls in play was .326 at home and .320 on the road. Both say he was unlucky. Splitting the season in half indicates some real differences. His first half/second half splits are .275/.295 BA, 4.75/5.95 ERA, .357/.378 OBP, .440/,480 SLUG, and .310/.341 BAbip. Lastly, while his line drive and strikeout ratios were better than the league average, all these were worse: HR%, BB%, XBH%, GO/AO, and HR/FB.

Analysis: At age 34, 3 years older than his former teammate Josh Beckett, Burnett will improve in 2010, but not nearly enough to make him a valuable asset for either the NYY or your Roto team.

Projection: 10 W, 4.69 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 138K, 165 IP.

Author: James Morgan

Albert Einstein is credited with defining 'insanity' as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

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