I am sure all Yankees fans remember the last time Javier Vazquez stood on the mound as a New York Yankee, and I am sure we all want to forget about that horrific night. Don’t worry… I won’t go into details. Over his entire career, Javier hasn’t really been more than a .500 pitcher. His 12-year win/loss total is 142-139. In his years since leaving the Yankees, his record stood at 64-61. In New york he was 14-10, and his career with Montreal was sub-.500 at 64-68. With the stresses he endured in 2004, and the weight that should be lifted off his shoulders in his second stint with the Bronx Bombers, he should have a season very comparable to last season with the Braves when he finished the season with a 15-10 record, and an impressive 2.87 ERA. He threw 219.1 innings along with 238 strikeouts. To pitch that many innings, and continue to maintain a +1.00 K/IP is very difficult.
From 2000-2009, Javier Vazquez threw at least 200 innings per season every season, except for his year with the Yankees where he threw 198 innings. The guy is a workhorse and will hopefully give our bullpen a rest from time to time. When looking at Javy’s last 5 seasons away from the Bronx (seen in the small image below — click on image to see a larger version), there are a few numbers that really stood out to me. Over that 5 years period, he averaged 2.2 BB/9, 8.7 SO/9, which equals out to a 4.00 SO/BB ratio. Those are some very telling numbers. If he can get his BB/9 ratio down to 1.0-1.5, and reduce the H/9 average to 7.0-7.5, he should have no problem putting up another 15 win season which would definitely help the Yankees push towards the post-season. I truthfully cannot remember the last time the Yankees had a #4 starter win 15 games in a season. If you do, please let me know. I expect a strong start tonight as Javier wants to prove the naysayers wrong, and he will be the first Yankees starter to earn a win this season.
Here is an interesting fact I read in the New York Post this morning… VaZquez is the only active major-league pitcher to record at least 10 wins, 30 starts, and 150 strikeouts in each of the last nine seasons.
What are your thoughts on Javy? Do you think he will get the win for the Yankees tonight at Tropicana Field? Leave your thoughts below.
Photos courtesy of Zimbio.com