Here is the Yankees' 2009 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP rotation:
C.C. Sabathia - 19-8
A.J. Burnett - 13-9
Andy Pettitte - 14-8
Joba Chamberlain - 9-6
Sergio Mitre - 3-3
Are you kidding me??? That's the Yankees World Championship rotation? Yes, it is. That 2009 team, fueled by a powerful lineup, won 103 games with that starting 5. Of course Joe Girardi went with the three man rotation in the '09 Postseason, but throughout the course of the regular season, we saw Joba struggle horrendously as the fourth starter, and the fifth starter varying, from Phil Hughes, to Chien-Ming Wang, to Sergio Mitre. This was, in no way what so ever, a perfect or great rotation. But did it get the job done? You bet. Best record in MLB. And a World Championship.
Now, two years later, let's see the projected rotation for the 2011 Yanks:
When you think about it, is this rotation that bad? Or at least compared to the 2009 Yankees? No. It may be better.
C.C. is almost a lock to win 19 or 20 games, A.J., even if he's average, can get you 12 or 13 wins. Hughes? He won 18 last year, why can't he do it again? And Ivan Nova at least has been a starter before. He won't struggle that much like Joba did, and could win 10 or 12 games. You also can't forget about Freddy Garcia. He's a seasoned veteran, and at time can really be a beast on the mound. I'd take him over Meat-Tray anyday.
And this 2011 team still has a kick-ass offense, which will be the key to a lot of Yankee wins this season. Also add in a better bullpen, with Rafael Soriano and Pedro Feliciano? Certain games can become 6 inning games. Any of the starters give you a nice 6 inning outing. You hand the ball to David Robertson in the 7th. Rafael in the 8th. And a guy named Rivera in the 9th.
Before anyone jumps the gun, saying the Yankees' rotation is not even close to being championship caliber, think again. Because you'll probably be slapping yourself in the forehead, when the Yankees are the 2011 World Series Champions.