Time to continue our pitching comparison. Bostons #3 guy in my book projects to be John Lester .The guy who convinced the Red Sox not to trade Lester for Santana deserves a raise. At about 23million less a year, Lester is turning out to be one hell of a pitcher. After battling cancer Lester had a breakout season last year going 16-6 with a 3.42 Era. Lester still has allot to prove before I will declare him the real deal. Although the win loss and ERA look good he really only has one full season under his belt. If he can repeat and put up the same numbers this season he will get an A for now A-. The Rays Matt Garza is a hard guy to figure out he put up similar numbers to Lester 11-9 with a 3.70 Era. 2008 was his first season with more than 100 innings in two previous years with Minn he was average at best. He like Lester needs to come back again in 2009 and put up similar or better numbers. The Rays are hoping he can go 200 innings and be a anchor in the Rays rotation for years to come. Another A- until he does it again. AJ Burnett the #3 guy for the Yankees has a past riddled with injuries and question marks. Last year was huge for him, but he tends to have huge years when looking for a new contract. Burnett is coming off a 200 inning season in which he was 18-10 with an ERA of 4.07 I look for pretty much the same thing if he stays healthy. He will strike out more than a batter per inning and have an ERA around 4.00. His health may be the key to the Yankees run at the post season.

Next time we will look at Pettite,Sonnanstine and Smoltz. When we complete the rotation it will be on to closers and the bullpen. Finally we will wrap it all up with the projected benches and spring training battles. By the time spring training games begin I think we will have a pretty good idea how the east will shape up, we will wrap it all up in a neat little bow with record projections and maybe even some post season predictions. So stay tuned I promise its gonna be a fun ride.

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