Tuesday, April 1, 2008

2008 Red Sox-Yankees Comparison Thread- Starting Pitching

I did the first 2 slots in the rotation earlier.

Starting Pitching

Number One Starter- Phil Hughes/Jon Lester- Hughes came up with a lot of hype and early on earned it. After a shaky debut he had a no-hitter going into the 7th in his second start, against Texas. We all know what happened next. He got hurt and missed most of the season. He seemed to lose a few miles of his fastball after his return. In September though they brought up Dave Eiland to help out and he seemed to be lengthening his stride more and got a faster fastball as a result. The improvement really showed and in September and a brief performance in the playoff he shined. All in all Hughes showed flashes of his ability but was generally not great. He had a K/BB of 2.00 which is okay and a pretty bad GB% of 36.9 percent. The K/BB will rise with time and health next year but I`m slightly worried about all those flyballs. In the minors he was seen as more of a groundball pitcher. Is this shift a result of him using his curveball more and Hughes is going to become a Barry Zito type pitcher or just a result of small sample size or it just being his rookie year? This is going to be an important question in determining whether or not it was smart to avoid trading for Santana. Jon Lester came back from cancer last year and excelled in the playoffs last year. He looked pretty decent last year to most fans. However, his periphereals were not really very good. His GB% was 34.4 percent and not really very different from Hughes. Like I said, for Hughes this could improve. Also, his K/BB is much worse than Hughes' at only 1.61.

Conclusion- Phil Hughes- Both are very young and have great potential but Hughes is farther along (I guess this is arguably because of Hughes' innings limit) and has more potential. Lester needs to walk less and both need more ground balls for them to fulfill their potential though.

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