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Top 10 Reasons to Worry About New York Yankees Pitcher Randy Johnson

Elvis Elvis

OK, its only two meaningless starts at the beginning of spring training, and although Randy Johnson indeed was hit hard in both of these outings, neither he nor Manager Joe Torre sounded particularly worried. They need not be too worried either, really.

They, better than others, know that games pitched at this time of year are meant to get a guy like Johnson ready for the season, not show that he is still a dominant pitcher.But coming off a mildly disappointing 2005 season, everything is magnified right now when it comes to the Big Unit.

Top 10 Reasons to Worry About New York Yankees Pitcher Randy Johnson

Everyone knows he needs to step up and perform this season like a genuine Number One starter if the Yankees are going to win a championship other than the AL East. Here are ten reasons (in no particular order) why Yankees fans may be more worried than Johnson and Torre that Johnson will come through big in 2006:

1) He will be 43 years old in September, suggesting his best years are behind him.
2) He has a history of injuries, and, as recently as the 2003 season, he was able to pitch in only 114 innings.
3) He actually was healthy in 2005 and yet was unable to dominate the AL.
4) Last year it often seemed like he lost a tick or two off his fastball.
5) His slider flattened out much of last season.
6) Besides his fastball and slider, he really has no other effective pitches.
7) In his most important start as a Yankee, he was hit hard in Game 3 of last year’s Division Series, the pivotal game of that series.
8) He gave up 32 home runs last season, and two relative “nobodies” took him deep in his first two spring-training starts this year.
9) The fear factor seems non-existent now, as opposing hitters seem plenty comfortable digging in against him.
10) His ERA last season was well over a run higher (3.79) than his ERA with Arizona in 2004 (2.60), perhaps yet another indication that pitching numbers are somewhat inflated (or is it deflated?) in the DH-less NL (i.e., see the stats of Roger Clemens, whose ERA at Houston was 1.87 last season; his lowest ERA in five seasons with the Yankees was 3.51 in 2001).