Hiroki Kuroda’s 2013 season is a perfect example of why sometimes, you just cant judge a season for a starting pitcher on win loss record. Kuroda was the Yankees’ most consistent starter until the final two months. Whether it was age, an injury he was hiding, or simply just running out of gas, he just wasn’t the same pitcher as he was early in the season, when he was in the conversation for the Cy Young Award. Let’s take a look back at Kuroda’s 2013 campaign.
2013 stats: 11-13 with a 3.31 ERA. 201.1 innings pitched. 150 strikeouts. 1.16 WHIP. 6.7 K/9 ratio. 4.1 WAR.
2013 Game of the year: Kuroda had a few performances that could qualify for this, but I’m going to pick his game against the Baltimore Orioles back on April 14. In the Yankees 3-0 win, Kuroda went the distance, giving up five hits, striking out five and walking none.
2014 Outlook: If you would’ve asked me in July whether the Yankees should re-sign Kuroda, I would say yes in half a second. Now I’m not so sure. I think the Yankees would to have Kuroda back, even though he will be 39 in February. Kuroda’s family lives in Los Angeles, so you have to wonder if the Dodgers are interested that he could look there. He could also return to Japan to finish his career where it started. Kuroda is a very loyal person, so I think that if the Yankees had serious interest he would stay. We shall see how or if he fits into their plans for 2014.