Today we will look at the Number 2 starters for the Sox,Rays and Yanks. If you haven’t been following we started with catchers and have evaluated and graded all the infield and outfield positions.

The Red Sox number 2 guy could be a number one on allot of teams Daisuke Matsuzaka is a name that I wouldn’t want to have to sign on a check but If I could write checks as big as his I would get used to it. There isn’t much bad about Matsuzaka. Last season was really in my mind the first season that counts. Coming here from Japan it takes a year to adjust to the differences in the game. The size of the ball, the strike zone, ect… Well adjust he did he was 18-3 with an ERA of 2.90. If there is a concern it’s that sometimes he loses the strike zone and walks to many batters and hits a few more than the average guy. He also strikes out a few more than the average guy too. If he can continue on the same path as last year at 28 years old he should be great for many seasons to come.    Grade   A (if he had had a couple more seasons to compare he may have gotten an A+)

James Shields is another young guy that I’m not completely sold on his numbers look ok 14-8 and an ERA of 3.56 but he gives up to many homers and has been horrible against the Red Sox. Define Horrible you say? How about an ERA of 21.21 at Fenway and in 20 innings has given up 13 earned runs. Granted 20 innings is a small number but he just seem to lose it against them. But Like Daisuke Matsuzaka he only has a couple of years to compare and he may just continue to get better and mature.  Grade  B+

Chien-Ming Wang of the Yankees was hampered by a foot injury last year that limited him to 116 innings and an 8-2 record. But the previous 2 years he had 19 wins and an ERA under 4.00. His strength is a devastating sinking fastball that forces the batter into hitting a ground ball out of what originally looked like a fat batting practice pitch. This late breaking movement is his bread and butter along with a power curve that when he is on keeps his pitch count low and ground ball ratio high. If Wang can return to form and go 200 innings in 2009 there is no reason not to believe that the revamped Yankee offence wont give him enough run support for 20 wins.    Grade    A-

Next time we will look at number three guys .

Burnett, Garza, and Lester.

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