Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mussina Appreciates Chance to Prove He Can Still Pitch

From Peter Abraham:

"There are a lot of other people out there with a lot of other ideas. I appreciate Joe coming in, starting new, and giving me the opportunity to get back out there and do what I've been doing," he said yesterday after pitching two innings in an intrasquad game at Legends Field.

"They could have turned the page and moved on to another plan. But they said I could go out there and do what I'm expected to do, and hopefully I can keep doing it."

"I'm not going to sit back and say that no matter what happens I'm going to be a starter. I understand that's not the case," he said. "I'm not going to go cruising along like it was eight or nine years ago. My role can change, and I know that. ... I'm thankful they're still giving me the chance."
Then there was this from manager Joe Girardi:
"I looked at the numbers. He threw the ball pretty well, but he had one real bad month," Girardi said.
Was this truly the case? Was it just one bad month that tainted the entire 2007 season for Mike Mussina? Let's look at the numbers:

April: 0-1, 9.00 ERA, .407 BAA
May: 2-2, 5.22 ERA, .273 BAA
June: 2-2, 3.44 ERA, .270 BAA
July: 2-2, 5.08 ERA, .304 BAA
August: 2-3, 8.87 ERA, 396 BAA

Makes you wonder what numbers Girardi was looking at, doesn't it? Mussina was actually pretty awful all season song. With the lone exception being the month of June. Maybe that's what Girardi meant; he only had one good month.

But last season is last season, that's the past, it's not important now. What is important is that Mussina has a good 2008.

The key to that becoming a reality is that Mike Mussina stays healthy, which last year was a major problem for him. "One thing led to another," Mussina said. "When you do a hamstring, hamstrings take a long, long time and sometimes you need the offseason to heal them up. It never really got right and it led to other things. The whole year was a fight and it wasn't a lot of fun."

Girardi is confident that Mussina will bounce-back, "I'm counting on Moose. We're counting on him," Girardi said. "It's not an accident that he has over 200 wins and has been healthy all his career. Moose knows how to pitch."

Girardi isn't the only one confident in Mike Mussina: Bill James in The 2008 Bill James Handbook projects Mussina to have a outstanding season, going 11-7 with a 3.74 ERA.

Other projections - PECOTA: 9-8, 4.54 ERA, ZiPS: 11-10, 4.74 ERA, Marcel: 10-8, 4.50 ERA - were not as kind to Mussina. But they all do project that he will improve upon his terrible 2007 (11-10, 5.15 ERA for those who needed to be reminded).

I think Mussina will surprise people with a very solid season in 2008. Something like 13 and 7 with a 4.15 ERA.

--- What do you think, can Moose turn it around in 2008? ---


BostonStrangleU said...

Considering the Yankees will have a 5 man rotation, I'd put Mussina at the 4 spot. This way if the Yankees rot. is Wang, Petitte, Joba, Muss, Hughes, they would have a well rounded staff of hard-throwers with curveball/change-up throwers in between which could be in their favor when it comes to getting the opposing office on the rocks during a series.

However, Muss is really getting up there in age, and he might be more suited as a Middle Relief pitcher so he can keep his innings down, be effective, and also can fill in if one of the starters gets injured.

If I were Hank, I would trade some bats for a STARTING pitcher, move Muss to the pen as this would automatically give the Yankees Depth in a much needed area where they cannot afford an injury.

BostonStrangleU said...

*office* = Offense my b

JMiller11 said...

Which bat do you suggest we trade, jerk?

BostonStrangleU said...

To Jmiller whoever you are...Considering half your line-up stopped being productive about 4 years ago, it would be worth it to trade Cano and a prospect for a good pitcher while he still has some value, and start putting some defensive specialists at 2b, forget the hitting at that spot. It's ok, you don't need your #9 hitter to try and hit over .300

Earht to Yankees....Doesn't matter how many runs you score, if you can't stop runs yourself. See '06 vs. Twins, '07 vs. Indians in the Playoffs.

Otherwise you can wait till Giambi leaves, which will mean an already older team next year as the window gets smaller in winning a ship.