Opportunity Lost

It isn’t very often that the Yankees get a chance to peek at their future during the season, but Andy Pettitte’s groin strain is such an opportunity.  LoHud is reporting that Andy Pettitte is being placed on the DL and could be out 4-5 weeks.  That seems like a long time for a Grade 1 strain (Pettitte had the same injury in 2001 and missed two weeks) but the Yankees will be cautious and rightfully so. In need of a starter, the Yankees could have turned to Ivan Nova and have seen what he is capable of.  Nova has a 3.21 ERA in Scranton with a 3.07 BABIP (more on that later)  More significantly, if the Yankees have an opening in the 2011 rotation, Nova is one of the top candidates to fill it.  He looked good in his cup of coffee in the majors, so why not give him a few starts now and see what happens?

However, what they have apparently decided to do is bring Sergio Mtire off the DL and use him to start Saturday.  This is a mistake because the Yankees are setting themselves up for an unpleasant surprise.  They are being seduced by Mitre’s ERA of 2.88, a figure that won’t last.  Don’t believe me?  Look at the numbers, his strikeout rate is dow, while his walk rate is up from 2009.  He is also throwing fewer groundballs.  So why the 2.88 ERA?  He has an absolutely amazing BABIP of .191. 

There is an old expression, "I would rather be lucky than good" and Mitre is living up to that.  For whatever reason this year, hitters are not dunking them in there against him.  It won’t last, it never does.  And when it stops lasting, Mitre is going to get pounded.  Of all the pitchers to ever play in baseball, Mitre ironically most resembles Dave Eiland statistically.  Remember Dave Eiland on the mound? 

Maybe Mitre’s luck will hold up.  I wouldn’t bet on it and I don’t know why the Yankees are going to.   They could have chosen Nova.  Short of that, how about Gaudin?  They seem to believe in Moseley.  So many choices, why did they pick this one?