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New York Yankees: Vidal Nuno’s 1st Start and Brandon McCarthy Prepares for Debut

July 9th, 2014 at 9:04 AM
By Michael Moraitis

While Brandon McCarthy prepares to make his New York Yankees debut on Wednesday versus the Cleveland Indians, the guy he was traded for, Vidal Nuno, has already made a great first impression with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Nuno took the mound in his first start for his new team and was fabulous, throwing seven shutout innings without allowing a run. He allowed three hits, one walk and struck out seven. That's right, seven.

Nuno only logged seven innings in a start once for the Yankees and one of the main knocks on him was that he didn't give them any length. And forget about seven strikeouts, Nuno was lucky if he allowed less than seven runs as he pitched to a 5.42 ERA in the Bronx.

But that doesn't matter anymore for the 26-year-old and it's quite possible a change of scenery will do him some good, or this start is just a fluke that won't last down in the desert. Whatever the case may be, he will continuously be compared and watched by Yankees fans until he reverts back to his normal.

Now on to McCarthy, who is overwhelmingly thought of as a better starter than Nuno. Not to mention, McCarthy's sabermetric numbers have made him a darling of the advanced stats people who hold those statistics so near and dear to their heart.

McCarthy has a 3-10 record with a 5.01 ERA. I will agree with advanced stats people that win-loss records means next to nothing and are more a product of the team you play for rather than a pitcher's performance, but his ERA is a bit alarming. When combined with his 131 hits allowed in 109.2 innings pitched, McCarthy looks prone to getting smacked around.

The former D-Backs' pitcher has already allowed 15 homers this season and that is especially bad for Yankee Stadium, which is one of the more hitter-friendly parks in all of baseball. Still, at least he won't be pitching there on Wednesday.

The negatives are certainly there for McCarthy, although he is an upgrade over a guy like Nuno, or even Chase Whitley, who was recently demoted to the bullpen.

Those two guys mentioned don't have the major-league, strikeout stuff that McCarthy has, so the hopes are high that McCarthy can rebound in a new place on a new team and deliver on all of those promising sabermetrics numbers he has.

The Yanks don't need him to be a savior, just better than what they already have. That shouldn't be too difficult.

Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Baseball, Brandon McCarthy, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, Vidal Nuno

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