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The New York Yankees are off to a fast start this season at 12-6, but many Yankees fans are worried about the early struggles of starting pitcher Javier Vazquez. Vazquez is 1-3 with a 9.00 ERA after losing to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
Curt Schilling says that Yankees fans are right to be concerned.
Schilling, a former major league pitcher and current analyst for ESPN and contributor to ESPNBoston.com, appeared on ESPN Radio's "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" on Monday, and said he doesn't expect Vazquez to be successful in New York.
"I never ever thought the move to New York the first time was a good one [for Vazquez]. And I didn't think this [move] was good as well," Schilling said. "I don't think he suddenly learned how to pitch when he went back to Atlanta and dealt last year. He's a phenomenal National League pitcher. It's hard to say this without sounding disrespectful and I don't mean it that way -- the National League is an easier league to pitch in, period. And some guys aren't equipped to get those same outs in the American League, and he's one of those guys."
Vazquez, 33, was acquired by the Yankees from the Atlanta Braves this past offseason. He had a wonderful season for Atlanta a year ago, going 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA, striking out 238 batters and walking only 44. But he was underwhelming in his first stint with the Yankees in 2004, and the same is true so far in 2010.
Schilling also indicated he doesn't think Vazquez is comfortable with the media glare that comes with playing in New York.
"[Vazquez] thrived in Montreal and he thrived in Atlanta, and those are both second-tier cities from a baseball passion perspective. He's not a guy that I've ever felt was comfortable in the glow," Schilling said. "You're seeing what you're gonna get from him consistently all year. Having said that, he could turn around next week and throw a one-hitter with his stuff. I just don't see him being a consistent winner in the American League."