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August 21, 2005

A $16 million fifth starter
by SG

Guess who I'm talking about?

The Yankees blew a golden opportunity to sweep a reeling White Sox team thanks to another frustrating start from a guy the Yankees mortgaged their future for. It was a calculated risk, given his age and some recent injuries, but after Johnson's dominant season in 2004, it was understandable. Johnson's fall off has been precipitous this season.

Or has it?

I started playing around with Johnson's numbers this season and noticed that they are strikingly similar to his 2003 numbers, when he had knee issues before eventually requiring surgery.

Unless his knee is no longer responding to the Synvisc injection of 2004. It really is amazing how much his peripherals mirror 2003.

Batters hit: .280/.304/.457 for an OPS of .762.
K/BF: .26
BB/BF: .06
HR/BF: .03
K/9: 9.87
BB/9: 2.13
HR/9: 1.26
K/BB: 4.63

Batters hit: .279/.311/.470 for an OPS of .781
K/BF: .24
BB/BF: .05
HR/BF: .04
K/9: 8.62
BB/9: 1.76
HR/9: 1.50
K/BB: 4.91

For comparison's sake, here's 2004:

Batters hit: .197/.240/.315 for an OPS of .555
K/BF: .30
BB/BF: .05
HR/BF: .02
K/9: 10.58
BB/9: 1.61
HR/9: 0.66
K/BB: 6.59

What does this all mean? Who knows. Maybe 2004 was an outlier. Maybe his knee is giving him more problems. Regardless, this year is not as far out of context as it may appear if you just compare it to 2004, which is something that we should not do anyway. Then you wind up with Tony Womack starting in RF and Jaret Wright and Carl Pavano being paid $17 million for a combined 7 wins.