If there is a starter on the free agent market with a questionable injury history the Yankees are apparently in on him. Well they are supposedly “stepping up their pursuit” of one questionable starter, former A’s starter Justin Duchscherer according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
Duchscherer, 33, has suffered a myriad of injuries and even clinical depression that has derailed a once promising career.
From 2004 though 2006 he was a successful reliever for the Oakland Athletics. Across those three seasons he put up a 2.80 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP, a 7.4 K/9, and 2.3 BB/9 over 237.2 innings.
Still a reliever in 2007 he was limited to just 17 games thanks to a biceps strain and a right hip strain. His season came to an end when he was forced to have labrum surgery.
Duchscherer started the 2008 season as part of the A’s rotation, but was limited to only 22 starts in part because of an inflamed biceps in April of that year. He got over it though and have an impressive year though. In 141.2 innings he had a 2.54 ERA with a 0.995 WHIP, a 6.0 K/9 and a 2.2 BB/9. He also earned a spot on the All-Star team that year.
Dealing with depression and bone spurs in his elbow, Duchscherer missed the entire 2009 season. He returned in 2010, but only started five games before he was forced to miss the remainder of the season with another hip surgery (this time on his left side).
He is a soft tosser with a fastball that comes in at about 85 mph on average. He also throws a slider, cutter, and curveball, relying mostly on his fastball and cutters to get batters out.
So while Duchscherer has had success during his career, he is now past his prime and hasn’t put together a full season since 2006 when he was still a reliever. He prefers to start, but the Yankees may see him as a possible bullpen piece.
He earned $1.75 million last season and probably won’t make more than that this year. Due to the slim chance he has of actually being a big contributor hopefully the Yankees can get him on a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.
What do you think? With all of the questionable names out there this offseason is Duchscherer’s one that makes sense? Or is the reality that he has only made 27 starts since 2008 too much to ignore?