Free agent starter Justin Duchscherer recently spoke with Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com. He told her that he was healthy, wants to sign with a team that will use him as a starter, and is not afraid to pitch in New York.
On pitching in New York: “I find it funny that people say I can’t pitch in that environment, but I’ve pitched in New York before,” he said. “As far as my mind, I have no problem being anywhere. Physically it’s a matter of what’s the best situation for me.”
Duchscherer also noted that his son lives in New Jersey so playing for an AL East team might actually be a preference.
On being a starter: “I just don’t feel like with the injuries I’ve had, I don’t think that would be beneficial for my career to be [a reliever] for a team,” said Duchscherer, whose shortened 2010 season actually put him two weeks ahead of his typical offseason schedule.
“For me it’s black and white. I want to start, that’s the whole mindset I have. I haven’t even thought of being a reliever,” he added. “I want a team that’s going to be honest with me and say, ‘If you’re healthy, you are going to start.’”
On his health: “The one [surgery] on my elbow was very minor,” he said of the arthroscopic elbow procedure he underwent at the start of ’09 season. “It’s not like I had Tommy John [ligament replacement] or anything.”
“I’m doing [these bullpens] as a precaution, so I know how I feel. And so far everything has gone good.”
Thoughts: Even with the signing of Bartolo Colon I think it is a good idea to sign Duchscherer. Colon is no good bet to make the rotation and Duchscherer is a young and decent pitcher. Him staying healthy is a big if no matter what he says, but at some point he could turn the corner. If the Yankees sign two injury prone pitchers though the chances are that one of them might actually pitch.
The Yankees should be aggressive in trying to sign this guy to a incentive laden deal based on innings pitched.