It's finally official! Today the Yankees formally introduced a pair of aces, CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett. CC (short for Carsten Charles) will wear #52 and A.J. (Allen James) will wear #34. I wanted to share my thoughts about both pitchers.
There's no doubt about it, CC is up there as one of the top pitchers in baseball. He is a workhorse, averaging about 7.2 innings per start last year with Cleveland and Milwaukee. He is that pitcher the Yanks have needed for a while now. No offense to Chein-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, Phil Huges, Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain,or Mike Mussina but none of those pitchers scare me. CC is the guy at the top of the rotation that make opposing teams say "oh s*&$! CC's Pitching! He's the guy that you want on the mound in a game 7 of a playoff series. At 28 years old he makes the team younger. My concern this: he's a big man with a lot of innings on his arm. With that said, he must be doing something right because you never hear him spending a lot of time on the DL. Milwaukee getting eliminated in the first round of the playoff last was probably the best thing that happened.
A.J. Burnett is coming off his best season in a while, winning 18 games in Toronto. Many experts have said that when he's healthy, he can be overpowering. The key for him is staying healthy. Unlike CC A.J. is someone who has spent a lot of time on the DL. He said at the press conference today that when he was younger he threw hard to impress people and he paid the price for that. He said that he's learned a lot about himself and his body over the years. Will he be the pitcher he was last year in Toronto or another Carl Pavano? Stay Tuned.
Personally, I would have been happier signing Derek Lowe instead of Burnett. While not as overpowering as A.J., Lowe is consistent. You know what you're going to get with him.
The rotation definitely looks formitable: CC, AJ, Wang, Pettite (hopefully), and Joba (I think he should be in the bullpen). Nothing is in the bag, baseball is a marthon (there's my running reference) not a sprint. More about the Yankees later.