Monday, February 2, 2009

11 Days, 11 Players: AJ Burnett

Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.

AJ Burnett had a dominating year with Toronto last season going 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA and 231 strikeouts in 221.1 innings. The biggest concern with Burnett has been his inability to stay healthy. He's pitched 200 innings 2 times before, and he followed both of those seasons with DL stints. The question is how well his body will hold up to this past seasons career high of 221.1 innings. He says that he's learned to take it easy on his arm and that will save him some time on the DL, but I'm not sold. The good thing about Burnett, which was different from Pavano, is that even though he's had injury problems, he's never missed an entire season, and has typically given his teams at least 120 innings in his injury years. The exception being the 2003 season where he lasted just 23 innings. Still, that's more than Pavano gave us in 2006.

My Fearless Prediction:

Burnett will stay healthy and give the first back-to-back 200 inning performance of his career. The third injury-prone Marlins pitcher from that era, Josh Beckett, was able to post 200 innings back-to-back for Boston, so there is hope.

Little Known Burnett Fact:

While pitching together in Florida, Burnett, Beckett, and Pavano all took a magical elixir that was meant to make them play at Derek Jeter's level. However, their bodies weren't built for that level of play, and thus started their legacy of DL and rehab stints.


Anonymous said...

Was that elixir spelled HGH?

Unknown said...

I need to know how in the world Burnett is the #2 starter on this team. I know people say it doesn't matter and yadda yadda yadda, but throw Wang a bone for a minute. Until he went down last year, he was the Yankees' most consistent pitcher for 2 1/2 years and one of the best starters in the AL.

Fernando Alejandro said...

Jane, haha, if only it were, then we may have actually seen Pavano pitch in New York.

RSiciliano, I'm totally with you. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Wang won more games than either Burnett or Sabathia next season. He should definitely be our number 2. I guess the Yankees are still stuck on this "power pitcher" concept. For me, an out is an out, and a double play machine like Wang gives the Yankees more chances to win than most pitchers do. I think next season, Wang just needs to go claim that 2 spot by out pitching them both.

Reverend JR Davis said...

If we all put our collective Yankee-loving minds to it, we can will our way to an 18 win season by Apple Jacks Burnett this year. YES WE CAN!

Raven King said...

My Fearless Prediction:
Air Jordan gets himself a magical non prescription elixir via mail order, drinks it, turns into Roy Halladay and has a monstrous season.
Josh Beckett finds out that he's always wanted to dance like Michael Flatley and thus quits baseball.

Raven King said...

Derek Jeter trivia question:
Who's the starting pitcher for the Yankees in the game Jeter hit his first career grand slam?

Anonymous said...

None other than our legit #2 CM Wang.

Fernando Alejandro said...

The Reverend has spoken!

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