The Yankees’ No. 2 starter is 38 years old — the oldest No. 2 guy in baseball — which is concerning even before you consider the fact that their No. 3 starter will be 41 in June.
He is also coming off a season in which he threw 219⅔ innings, more than able-bodied studs like Jered Weaver and David Price, which might also set off spasms of cognitive dissonance.
And he is a fly ball pitcher in a home run ballpark, which is not exactly the profile that you want in a guy of whom much is expected.
A tight smile came to Hiroki Kuroda’s face as these facts were translated to him. It is a heard-it-before expression, but the reply didn’t sound rehearsed.
"First, I look at myself more as a groundball pitcher than fly ball pitcher, so in that sense, I don’t know what to say," the Yankees’ right-hander says. "And with regards to the age, we have pitchers here older than me that have done magnificently, so age is not really a factor on this team.
"And as for the innings, I look at every year as a distinct challenge, so hopefully I’ll be able to produce even better than last year. That’s my goal, anyway."
In a way, he had already answered all such questions, it was just nice to hear him say it. There are a lot of guys his age at the front of rotations nowadays (Chris Carpenter, Tim Hudson), so that’s not really relevant. As for durability, this guy has made 30-plus starts in four of his five seasons.
Yankees' Hiroki Kuroda out to be better in 2013
Newark Star-Ledger | Mar 1