The Problem is Not Vazquez It's Your Expectations

I’ll admit it, Javier Vazquez is not pitching well. Obviously that is not a huge revelation, but this 0-2 start is not what I expected. Still, a lot of Yankee fans are turning on him and some never forgave him for the grand slam he gave up to Johnny Damon in 2004 and it’s already tired.

Obviously his first start was bad as he came away with a 12.71 ERA and while his second start was better he still only managed to lower his ERA to 9.82. He still hasn’t managed to throw a single quality start. So I don’t expect everyone to be all happy and excited to see him, but it seems like some fans think he doesn’t have the ability to turn it around and others almost seem happy to root against him.

I think the problem here is that everyone expects a CC Sabathia-type performance every night from every starter. Well that’s not going to happen. Javier Vazquez is this team’s no. 4 starter, he’s not going to give you front end numbers all the time and you shouldn’t expect it either.

What you want out of your fourth starter is someone to pitch 200 innings and to be able to keep you in most games. That’s what’s what you should expect, and if expectations become realistic then people won’t be let down by him every five days. This idea that everyone has to be a no. 1 is unrealistic and unreasonable.

Once people realize that Vazquez for what he is, they should be pretty happy. Over the last five years he has been far from the best pitcher in baseball, but he’s been rock solid. In 163 games he has put up a 64-61 record, all while pitching for teams with weak lineups, has averaged over 200 innings a year, all with a 4.09 ERA. I think any team would sign up for 200 innings and a 4.09 ERA out of their no. 4 starter.

A big part of the reason why the Yankees got Vazquez is not only is he a fair bet to put in 200 innings, but he also has a decent upside. Once he gets rolling, he has potential to pitch much better than a no. 4, like he did for Atlanta last season. Obviously this is no guarantee that he will be able to put up a 2.87 ERA over an extended period of time, but believe it or not, he is more likely to do that than to put up a prolonged string of bad starts.

So smarten up and stop booing Vazquez. The problem is not with him, it’s with your expectations.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

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10 Responses to The Problem is Not Vazquez It's Your Expectations

  1. yankee lover says:

    take your loses and get rid of the loser.We need starters who can come in and take charge of a game.There is no place on this team for losers.Stop messing around with sub par starters.

  2. Mike S. says:

    Yes, Vazquez hasn't done well—-so far.

    Um, in case anyone hasn't been noticing, the #3 hitter happens to be hitting .097. No boos there.

    Of course, it is April. Timing is everything. God forbid that Teixeira's 3 for 31 come in a World Series that the Yanks would lose (like Winfield's 1981).

    Not only that, these same people long to have Melky back. Of course they haven't noticed that Melky has started 3 for 29.

    We are 8 games in. Let's see what the numbers are all around (inc. A-Jax, currently .306 but 11 K in 36 AB, Damon 4 for 26, Melky, Matsui who is doing well so far and Ian Kennedy 0-1, 8.68) come June 1st or so.

    Just for reference sake, Catfish Hunter after his first four starts as a Yankee (1975)? 0-3, 7.36.

    • yankee lover says:

      when you make the money these guys make ,you need to perform.This is the big leagues.And to pitch like this in the first two starts that have been givin to you,it is hard for the team to follow .Good starting pitching is followed by good hitting.

      • Look, baseball is 162 games, not 1 and not 2, 162. It is a very very long season. You cannot judge a player or any players, off of two games. It's just irrational.

      • Mike S. says:

        Read the above. Catfish started 0-3, 7.36 in 1975. He ended it 23-14, 2.58. It's EARLY…

        • Mike S. says:

          …and if Vazquez goes, say 13-8 the rest of the way to end at 13-10 for the season, and tosses a gem or two in the postseason, are you really going to remember these first two games?

          BTW, after his first six starts last season CC was 1-3, 4.85. How many remember that?

          Let Javy breathe. Don't suffocate the guy already.

  3. swedski says:

    didn't realize I rooted for the New York Red Sox. Whats with the panic? He didn't pitch horribly just not good enough. How many times has AJ done that so far in the Bronx. Wait till July August to throw ANYONE under the bus

    • Peter Menking says:

      I completely agree. The fact that Yankees fans are acting so high and mighty when dealing with Vazquez is ridiculous. The fact is that by bagging and booing Vazquez during his second start (which was much better than his first despite his fastball lacking pop and taking the L) is just perpetuating the stereotype that Yankees fans feel entitled to winning. No, no one is entitled you have to earn it and we cannot allow the public to think that those fans in the stadium who got caught up with the booing are indicative of all the Yankee fans in the world.

      The guy gave up 4 runs in 5.1 innings and everyone acts like he gave up two homers to Johnny Damon again. Give it a rest and grow up.

  4. Jason from The Heart says:

    I'm in agreement with the sane writers above who counsel patience with a currently under-performing Vazquez. Peter is right about yesterday's start. It wasn't too bad, really, given the paucity of Yankee offense. Vazquez struggled in the third allowing two runs, then retired eight of the next nine batters before struggling in the sixth. the fourth run only came because of a hit Aceves allowed. The booing was disgraceful and inexcusable, a sign that some Yankees fans are impatient, spoiled brats.

    If Vazquez flip-flops his 2010 season with his 2004, when he started hot then struggled (from an injury) and faded, fine by me as long as he doesn't struggle too badly in the first half. He kept a struggling offense in the game yesterday. Four runs allowed in 5 1/3, with the Yankees' offense, isn't great but is far from awful. On many days, that will be enough, and I expect Vazquez to be better.

    Oh, and that loss was the Yanks' first in four games, lowering their record to (gasp!) 5-3. Give me a .625 winning percentage, especially with Teixeira struggling, any day. Wait until he, Johnson, and Vazquez get going.

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