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Mariano Rivera / RHP / closer

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For a pitcher that has had so much success, it's amazing that Rivera has thrown only one pitch over most of his career. 85-100% of the time, he'll throw his cutter, a nasty, high velocity pitch that consistently breaks bats.

Mariano will mix it up just enough, by throwing a few running fastballs, usually inside to right-handed hitters. These fastballs have a tendency to duck under the bats of hitters looking for the cutter.

Rivera was a shortstop as an amateur player in Panama, and didn't toe the rubber regularly until he was 20 years old. After signing with the Yankees, he steadily rose through their minor league system, and became a star when he was moved into the bullpen. 5/26/10 CSJ

*cutter(90-95), fastball(90-95)

 

Andy Pettitte / LHP / starter

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Pettitte has always been known for his cutter, a pitch that actually resembles more of a slider nowadays. Pettitte often uses the cutter inside on RHs, and when going well the pitch is jamming hitters and breaking bats. Pettitte is not afraid to also backdoor the cutter to RHs or even use it away to LHs. Pettitte's fastball is a fairly straight pitch that he tries to work inside and outside to hitters, setting up his other offerings. Pettitte's curveball can be a very effective pitch, getting big sharp break sometimes. At other times, the curve can look like it's just floating towards home plate. Pettitte's straight changeup is fairly standard.

Pettitte was born in Louisiana and grew up in Texas, where he dominated at Deer Park High School. Andy then pitched one season of community college ball before signing with the Yankees. As a pro, Pettitte has won five World Series titles with the Yankees, but his best statistical season came as a member of the Houston Astros in 2005.

Unfortunately, Pettitte is an admitted steroid user, and good buddies with Roger Clemens. 5/26/10 CSJ

*fastball(86-91), slider(82-87), curve(73-78), changeup(78-82)

Joba Chamberlain / RHP / setup reliever

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Chamberlain has ridiculously good stuff. His fastball is often in the mid-90s and overpowering. What makes him such a big prospect is the command he shows with that pitch. He has the ability to relax and hit his target at 95 MPH. In 2007, he coupled his fastball with a slider that was nearly unhittable out of the bullpen. In 2008, the Yankees made an embarrassing mid-season switch, moving Joba to starting pitcher, which Joba handled just fine. He started mixing in a big curveball and tinkered with a straight changeup. Finally, in 2009, Chamberlain has already lost some velocity and the Yankees will have to figure out if he's better suited as a starter or a reliever. 7/31/09 CSJ

*fastball(89-96), slider(83-87), curve(75-80), changeup(80-82)

David Robertson / RHP / reliever

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Robertson is a young pitcher with a loose arm. He throws a naturally cutting 90 mph fastball and breaks off a sharp 12 to 6 curveball. David has shown a straight changeup to LHs and has used a tight slider at times. Robertson was MVP of the 2006 Cape Cod League playoffs. 6/15/10 CSJ

*fastball(88-94), curve(75-81), changeup(82-85), slider(85)

Chad Gaudin / RHP / reliever

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Gaudin is known for his slider and sinker. Both pitches get plus movement, but Gaudin still has trouble commanding them at times. Chad's third pitch is a sinking changeup that he likes to throw when facing LHs. 8/1/10 CSJ

*fastball(89-93), slider(79-84), changeup(82-86)

Jonathan Albaladejo / RHP / reliever

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Albaladejo throws a moving fastball and two different breaking pitches. He's an imposing presence on the mound, pounding his boring fastball in on RHs bats around 90mph. He then mixes in a slow curveball in the low-70s that gets good downward drop. His slider is an average pitch, looking like it has a tendency to hang in the strikezone. 4/8/09 CSJ

*2-seam fastball(87-93), curveball(72-78), slider(80-85)

Christian Garcia / RHP / reliever

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*fastball(88-92), curve( 78-80), changeup(82-84)

C.C. Sabathia / LHP / starter

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Sabathia keeps it simple. He throws a great fastball from the left side, a slider, and a changeup. Cy Cy has developed excellent command of his low to mid 90s fastball, hitting either corner of the plate with it consistently. The slider is usually in the low 80s, moving like a hybrid slider/curve type pitch. Sabathia's changeup is fairly straight, but he can fool hitters with it due to his good arm action on the pitch. Carsten's fourth pitch is a slow curveball that he'll flip up there for strike one. Sabathia has been a serious innings eater throughout his ten year career, topping out at 253 innings in 2008. 10/4/10 CSJ

*fastball(90-97), slurve(78-83), changeup(82-87), curve(74-78)

A.J. Burnett / RHP / starter

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AJ Burnett is a power pitcher. He owns a rising fastball that sits at 94-95mph and can hit the upper 90s. His second pitch is a hard curveball, great for getting Ks. AJ has concentrated on improving his changeup over the last few years, and it's developed into a decent third pitch, getting good tail and sink. He also learned from Roy Halladay in Toronto and altered his pitching motion, creating a more relaxed and fluid delivery. Staying healthy has always been Burnett's biggest problem, maybe his new delivery is helping. His stuff can be dominant, but not from the DL. 5/4/09 CSJ

*fastball(92-96), curve(77-84), changeup(84-88)

Phil Hughes / RHP / starter

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Hughes has a good arm and compact delivery. His fastball seems very straight, but he can spot it well, inside and outside, with good velocity. Hughes' curveball looks like his number two pitch; a hard, 12 to 6 breaking ball. Phil has worked on improving his cutter, a pitch he has relied on often since 2009. It's a good, tight breaking pitch that moves just enough to break a bat or induce a weak groundball. A straight changeup rounds out Hughes' four-pitch repertoire.

Hughes dominated at every stop in the minor leagues, but hit a major bump with the Yankees in 2008. He returned to pay huge dividends out of the bullpen in 2009, and produced as a starting pitcher in 2010. 10/22/10 CSJ

*fastball(89-95), curve(74-79), cutter(86-91), change(83-85)

Kerry Wood / RHP / setup reliever

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Kerry Wood broke into the major leagues in 1998, struck out 20 Astros in one game, and won the Rookie of the Year award. In 2003, Wood reached 1,000 strikeouts for his career and put together his best full season. Injuries started piling up quickly after that, and by 2007 the Cubs had converted Wood into a short reliever in order to minimize the workload on his arm. Wood has since made a successful transition to being a closer, but still battles the injury bug. Now with the Yankees, Wood will battle Joba for the setup role.

Wood starts everything with his fastball. The pitch flies in the mid 90s and can dominate hitters. During his career, Kerry has tinkered with his breaking balls, varying their depth and speed. Since converting to a reliever, Wood has refined his curveball. He has made it into a hard, 1 to 5 hammer that misses bats, but also misses the strikezone. His most recent addition is his cutter, a pitch that spins around 88 to 91 mph. Wood will throw this pitch almost exclusively on the glove side of home plate. Kerry used to show a changeup as a starting pitcher, and still might have that offering available for a tough lefty. 8/1/10 CSJ

*fastball(91-96), curve(75-79), cutter(87-91), changeup

Alfredo Aceves / RHP / reliever

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Although only 26 years old, Aceves is a Mexican League veteran, and looks like a polished pitcher. He moved through the Yankees' minor league system in just one season, and pitched well in a few starts at the end of '08. His stuff isn't overpowering, but he definitely knows what he's doing. His fastball in a low-90s pitch that gets a little sink. He'll follow that up with an effective cutter thrown to both LHs and away from RHs. Aceves has a straight changeup that looks hittable and a curveball that gets good bite. 7/31/09 CSJ

*fastball(90-93), cutter(87-90), changeup(82-85), curve(77-81)

Damaso Marte / LHP / reliever

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Marte has always been a fastball/slider pitcher. He has decent velocity on the fastball and gets his slider to sweep across home plate. I have seen a changeup from Marte, but that pitch is extremely rare. He has posted some very good seasons as a setup man for the White Sox and Pirates. 5/5/09 CSJ

*fastball(90-94), slider(81-85), changeup(82)


 


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