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.