I was scheduled to travel to Baltimore this weekend to see the Yankees and Orioles play a double header Saturday at Camden Yards. Hurricane Irene saw to it that the trip would not happen, as both games were cancelled along with my flights. Unfortunately Irene will wreak havoc on the Yankees schedule for the next few weeks forcing them to stick with a 6 man starting rotation for the foreseeable future. Disturbingly, Andrew James Burnett will be one of those starters.
Earlier in the season I defended Burnett in this very blog. Now that we have reached August that is defending the indefensible. Friday night Burnett allowed 9 runs on 9 hits in just 5 innings as the lowly Orioles walloped the Yankees 12 to 5. As usual A.J. had one bad inning where things completely unraveled for him. He was tattooed for a 6 run 2nd inning where he gave up 6 consecutive extra base hits before recording the second out. Burnett is now 9-11 on the season with a 5.31 ERA. In his last 5 starts he is 1-2 with an 11.91 ERA and over August he is 1-2 with a 12.23 ERA. That lone win, a pedestrian effort against the Royals was the first August win of his 3 year long Yankee career. Something needs to be done with this guy soon, as those numbers are beyond atrocious.
A.J. Burnett is a complete mess as a starting pitcher who gives the Yanks almost no chance to win. Burnett has a great fastball and a knee-buckling curveball, but no guile to go with it. He shouldn’t be allowed to start a game again this year for a team with championship aspirations like the Yankees. Sadly, the schedule will force him to. He is actually slated to match up against Josh Beckett and the Red Sox Wednesday night in Fenway Park. Does that possible scenario give you nightmares Yankee fans? Burnett is simply not mentally tough on the mound which is poison in a pennant race. He has abandoned his changeup making him basically a 2 pitch pitcher. His mechanics are all over the place as illustrated by his league high 20 wild pitches. The sooner the Yankees can get Burnett out to the bullpen the better off they will be. The problem is who knows when that will be? Burnett should not make the Yankee playoff roster under any circumstances. The team should not even think about A.J. at all until the offseason. Then Yankee GM Brian Cashman and his staff can figure out what to do with a guy they still have to pay $16.5 million for 2 more seasons. No A.J. the rest of 2011 means the Yankees have better chances to win some games regardless of who starts in his place. That is all Yankee fans can ask for at this point with a pitcher who has basically been terrible for 3 years.
About the Author
Written by Brendan Sennott
I was born in the heart of the AL East in the late 70's and am a huge Yankees fan. (Don't hate) I have moved around to a lot of solid baseball markets in my life(Boston, Chicago, Detroit) and was a part-time reporter, producer, blogger, and on air personality for WDFN Radio Sportsradio 1130 The Fan in Detroit. I still live in the "D" and am married with one beautiful 9 month old daughter. My girls are my life. In my media career I've interviewed players, managers and executives in the sport and would love to get back in the business full time. Baseball is my passion. I look forward to shooting straight about the Yanks and M.L.B in my new blog and getting your feedback.