Round two of Javier Vazquez in the Bronx begins tomorrow night at Tropicana Field in Tampa against the Rays.
It will be Vazquez's first time pitching for the Yankees since the 2004 ALCS against the Red Sox. All indications are that Vazquez is a different pitcher this time around. We'll see.
Vazquez had a mostly unforgettable 2004 season with the Yankees (14-10, 4.91 ERA). But he was sensational last season for the Braves (15-10, 2.87 ERA, 238 strikeouts in 32 starts). Vazquez finished fourth in the NL Cy Young Award voting.
When the Yankees re-acquired Vazquez in the winter it was somewhat surprising. The back end of the rotation will be critical this season. Vazquez is certainly one of the better storylines of the early season for the Yankees. If he looks like he did last season, the Yankees may have gotten themselves a steal.
Vazquez against the Rays (last five years):
B.J. Upton -- .500
Pat Burrell -- .500
Carl Crawford -- .368
Ben Zobrist -- . 333
Jason Bartlett -- .267
Dioner Navarro -- .250
Evan Longoria -- .167
Willy Aybar -- .143
Kelly Shoppach -- .143
Carlos Pena -- .133
Reid Brignac -- No at-bats against Vazquez
Gabe Kapler -- No at-bats against Vazquez
Sean Rodriguez -- No at-bats against Vazquez