Saturday Is Going to be Rough on Vazquez

Yesterday I wrote that Javier Vazquez could turn around the fans that weren’t on his side yet by a pair of strong performances this week. He needed a win last night to soften the home fans leading up to his next home start this Saturday, but instead he’s only given the boo-birds more ammunition and probably even recruited more fans to their side.

So get ready because his next start in Yankee Stadium, this Saturday, is going to be ugly. Vazquez will probably turn his season around eventually, but so far we’ve seen nothing to suggest that it will happen this weekend. If he steps out on that mound without his very best stuff he’s going to get attacked by the home fans.

Luckily for the Yankees though, they have a good enough team to give Vazquez the time to work through his struggles. This is in large part to Phil Hughes who has joined the rotation and looks like he might have the potential to be the no. 2 behind CC Sabathia.

The top three starters have also bought Vazquez some time. Part of the reason why he was brought in was for insurance in case the heavy workload Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Andy Pettitte experienced last season came back to haunt them. So far though the top three have not experienced any drawbacks from their World Series march and it gives Vazquez time.

The problem is that Vazquez seems to be letting the pressure get to him and even though it is not coming from the Yankees, thanks to their strong rotation, that pressure is real. Like I said above, this Saturday is not going to be fun for Javy. Pitching in that environment is going to be very stressful and may just prolong his struggles.

The answer might be to juggle the rotation to try to get Vazquez more starts on the road until he straightens himself out. Manager Joe Girardi might not be considering this right now, but another bad Bronx start might just change that.

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3 Responses to Saturday Is Going to be Rough on Vazquez

  1. theboogiedown says:

    Is it me or is the vast quality span between the American League and the National League getting bigger and more obvious? I'd love to to a run down over perhaps the last 5 years of pitchers who make the league switch and how they fared in both directions. My money says it ain't pretty.

    • What this is with Vazquez is NOT struggling to adjust from the NL to the AL. If his ERA were in the 5.something range than maybe that would be the case. This is something else entirely, his mechanics are all out of whack and that is causing his fastball to drop in velocity and his command to abandon him. I'm sure the tougher lineups are not helping the matter, but velocity and command are much bigger issues here.

  2. Peter Menking says:

    The numbers are not as jarring as you think, but there is a clear and noticeable difference. As for Vazquez, I still am going to hold out. Like you said in your earlier piece Rob, our 4th starter last year was 9-7 with an upper 4 ERA so asking Vazquez to win 15 games and throw sub 3 ERA in the AL is ridiculous. But, if he doesn't pick it up within the next couple starts, say about 4 to 5 more starts from now, then it is going to be difficult to defend him