Thursday, August 16, 2012

Don't look now, but AJ Burnett could win the Cy Young Award in the National League this year

We gave him away for nothing... nada, zilcho, scrapola, kadingo, globoski...

We simply wanted him gone. We had traded Jesus for The Great Pineda, and so we had to get rid of somebody. We had no choice. We were caught in a bind.

You know they say: There's nothing worse than having too much pitching.


MUSTANG! said...

But think of the money we saved!

John M said...

He gave up 6 runs, all earned, in 7 innings to win number 15. His ERA isn't bad, 3.54, but it is in the NL, where half the lineup is unfamiliar with this thing called a 'bat', and then of course you have pitchers coming to the plate (oh, the humanity).

So, OK, yes, it's a decent year. But AJ was a head case in NY and was never going to be the pitcher he can be in some smaller, less intense burg where criticism is milder and the air stirs with the ghosts of steelworkers past. Maybe it wasn't the best deal in recent history--and Pinata is obviously a bust--but it's futile to point to Burnett's success elsewhere and think it has any relevance to what he would be doing on the Yankees if he had stayed. Which would be 7-9 and an ERA of 4.90. But he really would have great stuff.

MUSTANG! said...

Seconding everything John M said.

el duque said...

Why do we always insist that the guy we traded would not have done it as a Yankee? We came within an eyelash of dealing Robbir Cano four years ago, before he got his act together. If he had been traded, you would still be saying, oh, he would never be this good if he stayed in New York.

My biggest gripe about AJ is that we gave him away. For nothing. Traded him at low value. We were still congratulating ourselves for getting Pineda. We just handed him to Pittsburgh. He would be our ace right now, and we're still paying most of his salary.

Anonymous said...

What John M fails to realize when he looks at only ONE game, his last game (which was one of his worse start of the season) and judge his entire season by that, is that John M doesn't understand just how great AJ has pitched for the pirates all year. He's had a handful of games that grossly skew his numbers surrounded by great games, as opposed to a bunch of so-so mediocre or decent games. There is a huge difference here.

So he is having a lot more than a decent year. Pretty sure if this article was written a couple of weeks ago when his ERA was close to 3 and he was NL player of the week with his 1-hitter followed by a near complete game against the reds, than John m wouldn't be jumping in to post his ERA and game stats of AJ's recent game.

If you want to look at starts, looks deep, actually study them and not just the last game. Check out his groundball %. It's the best of his career and he is one of the best in the league in groundball %. That's the difference this year. He has changed things this year to become a pitch to contact pitcher & is efficient this year with lots of groundball outs. that transcends in any league.

No doubt his last 2 games were not good, which is a rare occurrance for him this year. But it's reasonable to think that he'll back to how he's pitched the 3 months prior & not these 2 games.

It's very easy to insult someone and hate on them, but AJ has really helped the Pirates. When they were the worse offense in the league, AJ was winning close games, leading this ball club, mentoring, and bringing the clubhouse together to help bring a positive and fun atmosphere to this team.

A lot of pressure has been put on him to win games to break losing streaks and he is like 9-1 in those situations. He's constantly stepping up for this team time & time again.

I don't think he would have been as good with NY as Pitts, not because playing for Pitt is easy... on the contrary, he has more pressure to win games in Pitts because he is carrying the rotation, but he has a role he likes & is respected & seems to play his best in that atmosphere.

Though I do think he would have played way better in 2012 than in 2011 because he changed his pitching philosophy. He had lost some of his velocity & he seemed to accept that. he said in an interview that he went into the yr wanting to pitch to contact & it's made him better. he came into 2012 intent on being a different type of pitcher and like I said before that transcends in the AL as well. His K rate is down & he doesn't care. He cares more about his groundball rate. Different guy this year.

Joe De Pastry said...

Should have traded Nova instead.

John M said...

I am speechless in the face of such pointed and irrelevant criticism. AJ is a different guy this year. Which was basically my point. Robbie? No, that was a different tale entirely. Age. Big difference. Talent yet to mature vs matured talent/headcase.

Mustang, he'p me.

el duque said...

Fifteen wins, baby.

MUSTANG! said...

There is no need to guess whether AJ would perform well in NY, in the AL East. We know the answer. It's in the records.

I like AJ and I wish him well... in the NL.

el duque said...

You can have the two bums we got for him then. Can you tell me their names.

el duque said...

Tell me their names.

BernBabyBern said...

Duque, the guys' names might as well be Orville and Redenbacher, because we traded him for a bag of popcorn. Agreed.

We had to give him away for nothing. His ERAs the last two years in NY were 5.26 and 5.15. Over 5 both years. He was a goddam disaster. Any GM that gave up any warm body with an iota of value would have been chased out of town by a mob with pitchforks and torches.

Yes, he pitched well in 2009 for the most part. Yes, he won a really, really big game in the 2009 postseason. Yes, he pitched a clutch game last year against the Tigers in the playoffs. Yes, he seemed to be a likable guy. And, yes, he's been great for Pittsburgh this season.

But you know what would have happened if he had pitched for the Yankees this season? He'd be 3-10 with a 5.75 ERA. Why? Who knows. Maybe he had Ed Whitson disease; maybe Pittsburgh's pitching coach figured something out; maybe he sprinkles eye of newt on his hat and does a magical dance before every game, and that magic doesn't work in the new stadium because of special anti-eye-of-newt technology. Damned if I know.

I just know this. He had no trade value before this season. None. And he would have sucked for the Yankees.

I like AJ. I hope he wins the Cy Young in the NL this year. And I'm glad he's not pitching for us anymore.

el duque said...

You don't want him to win the NL Cy Young. You really want him gone, so you don't have to think about him.

Well, that ain't gonna happen.

Kei Looking said...

AJ is a trade we'll come to regret.

Just like Melky. We traded him. Passed when he got released, then didn't pursue when he got traded again.

And where is he now ? Sitting atop the leaderboard for the batting title, with 6 weeks worth of Jose Reyes buffer while the rest of the field falls back. He'll be well rested going into the second round of the playoffs.