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Young Pitching Tougher To Develop Now More Than Ever

Ivan Nova
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Tim Lincecum.  Remember him?  He won two CY Young awards back-to-back in 2008 and 2009 at age 24 and 25.  Now he can barely stay in the Giants’ rotation.  Phil Hughes?  Bust at age 28.  Ivan Nova won 16 games in 2011 and hasn’t been heard from since.  Ricky Romero was supposed to be the ace of the Blue Jays in 2009 and beyond.  Injuries and confidence have caused him to be a below average pitcher.

What’s the point here?  It’s simple really.  Young pitching is very hard to develop and keep consistent in the Major Leagues.  Or in Matt Harvey’s case in the future, develop and be dominant.  The Yankees, unlike the Rangers, Giants, Rays and Tigers and Red Sox to a certain extent, haven’t developed a farm pitcher since Andy Pettitte.  Bad breaks?  Sure.  Terrible scouting?  Yes.  Bad trades?  Sometimes.  But the reality is, it is simply hard to do.

If it were easy, everyone would have the staff of the Giants.  San Francisco can trot out Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong (struggling in 2013 but normally good) and Tim Lincecum when on and be done with it.  All of your homegrown guys are in the staff, with Barry Zito, a power lefty, thrown in with a big contract.

The result?  two titles in three years.  Being the champ is tough.  Being the champ twice in a short time is really tough.  Having great, young pitching for a long time that’s actually yours is the toughest.

By:  Mike Lindsley, “Mid-Day with Mike,” 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio.  Follow him on Twitter @MikeLSports.  

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