Today Grant Brisbee talks about how lucky the Yankees got this season, getting above average performances from Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon. In 63 games started by that trio they have combined for an ERA of 3.52. And they pay this group around $2.9m.
When Brian Cashman said he was happy with his rotation most of us thought he was joking, and while he deserves a lot of the credit, there is no way he could have predicted this. It is slightly disingenous to say that Wade could have legitimately acquired all three since Nova was a prospect, but when you consider all he did was pick up Bill Hall and Ryan Rowland-Smith, you have to wonder if he could have done better.
This ties in well with my piece from Sunday since I talked about the Astros being three starters away from .500, so let us sub in Nova, Garcia and Colon into the Astros 2011 team and see what happens.
More to folow.
We'll replace all of Brett Myers, J.A. Happ, Aneury Rodriguez and Nelson Figueroa's starts, 64 of which equate to a 5.60 ERA.
Scrub out those starts and replace them with the Yankee trio and the Astros pitching staff would have a 3.90 ERA instead of the lousy NL worst 4.54 ERA it currently possesses. This would not shift them that far in the NL since there are a lot of very good pitching teams (the Phillies lead the League with an insane 3.06 ERA), but it would drop them 11th just behind the Cardinals, Diamondbacks and Pirates who all have a 3.88 ERA.
Where would this leave our overall record? Well our current 46-90 record is eight games off our Pythagorean win-loss record. 526 runs scored to 579 runs allowed would leave us with a Pythagorean W-L record of 65-71, not far off .500, without factoring in the eight games we are away from our expected record (this is mainly down to our inept bullpen and untimely hitting), so it finishes at around a 57-78 record. So we would only be 11 wins better off?
This reverse engineering is not perfect, because it has not looked at whether they could throw more innings, would keep the offense in the game for longer and take the strain off the bullpen. How many times have we watched Happ and Myers be down 5-0 in the first inning and that is the game over right there?
It proves, not conclusively that aside from the poor starting pitching, Ed Wade has to address the meagre offense and catastrophic bullpen for next year. That has started with callups and retooling but there is still some way to go.