Bomber Bites: Is There A Spot For Hiroki Kuroda On The Yankees?
By Jason Evans
With the Yankees deals over the past week in re-signing Chris Capuano and trading for Nathan Eovaldi, the Yanks gave themselves some much-needed depth in the rotation. We all know the questions with this rotation and even with the additions, there is no spot that you don’t have a question about. However, all of these moves left me with one question, is there room for Hiroki Kuroda?
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Kuroda had an interesting year in comparison to when he struggled in the second half of 2013. He had the same amount of wins as 2013 with 11. He pitched in two fewer innings (201 to 199). He gave up the same amount of hits (191). However, he gave up 12 more runs (79 to 91). His ERA+ was much closer to league average with 104 (100 is league average).
Mandatory Credit: Chad R. MacDonald.
Kuroda hasn’t announced his intentions quite yet. Does he want to come back? Does he want to pitch in Japan? Does he want to pitch at all? Kuroda will turn 40 in February.
I’m not sure I would bring Kuroda back. To me, it’s better to get rid of a guy a year too early than a year too late. Kuroda has never been a hard thrower, but his velocity has declined every year since 2011. Eventually that will catch up with a pitcher and he will get hit and hard.
Do I think he’ll be better than Capuano if he comes back? Yes I do. However, I don’t think Capuano will be in the rotation when Ivan Nova comes back anyway.
I think the Yankees made their moves last week thinking Kuroda wasn’t coming back. Now if he wants to, there may not be a spot for him.