Do the Yankees really need another starter?

The rumors don’t stop! The Yanks have been linked to every starter thought to be on the market  ever since Cliff Lee & Andy Pettitte decided not to pitch in NY.  It seems everyone agrees the Yankees are short in the rotation, but it may surprise some that they are 3rd in the AL in team ERA (3.48). Girardi & Cashman have both said thy don’t need to make a move so the question is….Are they saying that because they have to or is the Yankee rotation really good enough as is?

To me, I am very happy with how the staff has performed as a whole but when you break it down, starter by starter, and try to figure out who you would trust in a playoff game against Boston or Texas, that’s where it comes up short. Let’s look at what we have…

  1.  CC Sabathia – Leads MLB with a 5.6 WAR. Has been especially dominating lately allowing 2 runs or less with 8+ Ks in 7 straight starts during which he’s 6-1 with a 0.83 ERA and 72 Ks in 54 2/3 IP. He’s my pick for Cy Young and I have full confidence in the Big Stoppa.
  2. Bartolo Colon – Has been great but he’s basically only throwing 4-seam & 2-seam fastballs 83% of the time. As the #2 starter, will he be effective pitching twice in a playoff series relying almost entirely on his FB? Since he hasn’t had a complete season since 2005, we are always thinking he’s gonna come up with an injury at some point.
  3. Freddy Garcia – Another great pick-up by Cash who has exceeded all expectations. But will patient lineups keep swinging at that soft splitter & slider out of the zone in the playoffs?
  4. AJ Burnett – Still totally inconsistent and prone to the meltdown inning. Girardi has lost all confidence in him to pitch out of jams at this point. His M.O. is to pitch a solid game then have an inning where he comes unglued.  Someone hits a hard shot, so he begins nibbling, walks a couple hitters, gets behind….and then boom… gives up a back-breaking 3 run HR. His ERA has risen every month and his velocity has dropped now for his 5th straight season. He will have a short leash if he makes any post-season starts.
  5. Phil Hughes – Been OK since his return but still has no put-away pitch. In his dominating 09′ season in the pen and the 1st half of last yr, his cutter was nasty and his FB consistently 93+ with life. Now they are both only average pitches and he has to battle too hard just to get by. He looked bad like this in April 2009 then regained his form after being moved to the pen…..hmmm…maybe they should try that again? Nova in the rotation and Hughes in the bullpen could be a Win – Win.
  6. Ivan Nova – Was showing great improvement after a bad beginning. In his last 6 starts before being sent to Scranton, he was 4-1 with a 3.31 ERA.  He’s had trouble getting swing and misses in the A.L., but I think he has the raw stuff to become a solid #3-type starter. His Curve & Cutter both show potential to become go-to pitches and I think he needs to be put back in the rotation ASAP


* * *

  W-L ERA xFiP K/9 BB/9 WAR
Sabathia 15-5 2.56 3.02 8.3 2.4 5.6
Colon 7-6 3.29 3.25 7.9 2.3 2.1
Garcia 9-7 3.23 4.11 6 2.6 2
Burnett 8-8 4.21 3.97 7.6 4.2 0.9 
Hughes 1-3 8.24 5.64 4.6 3.7 -0.1
Nova 8-4 4.12 4.25 5 3.6 0.8

IMO, CC is having that special type of season and if Cash can find a #2 starter to complement him, they could pitch the Yanks to the WS. I like Colon & Garcia but not enough to be the #2 on a WS team.

SO, what do you guys think?

Will the Yankee rotation continue to pitch like the 3rd best unit in the AL in Aug, Sept and more importantly October? Should Cashman do whatever it takes to land someone like Ubaldo, Kuroda or Wandy? Post your thoughts in the Comments section below.

About fishjam25

Was a 4-yr Pitcher and Communications Major at Seton Hall University in the 90s. His knowledge & opinion of the game comes from his background as a player and ardent lifetime Yankee fan. However, Fishjam also incorporates sabermetrics and statistical support to form a well-rounded view of the game.

Posted on July 29, 2011, in Player Analysis, Signing & Trade Speculation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Good stuff Fish. I’d go with what we have over those 3. Hoping Cash works on a bigger surprise trade.

    usually the yankees don’t go quietly i’m sure something will happen

    • I think cashman might get span and then flip him for clippard of Washington. Hopefully put nova and Hughes in pen but I don’t think the Yankees especially girardi wud ever do that to Hughes. He doesn’t have the guts

      • welcome John….Nova looked great today so if Hughes continues to struggle they will be forced to DL him or put him in the pen. They didnt know what to do with Phil in April 2009 so they put him in the pen as an after thought and he developed into the best set-up man in baseball that yr.

  2. I’m leaning towards Ubaldo out of those 3. Although, none of them are perfect options.

    He’d be an improvement over any of Burnett, Hughes, Nova, Colon, or Garcia.

  3. If the Yankees make a trade I hope it’s a salary dump with Wandy coming to NY. His contract is prohibitive to many teams so his cost should be less in prospects. I would hope if this happens that the Astros would have to kick in 5-6 million split over the 13-14 years.

    If this happens I would flip Freddie and Ayala to anyone who wants them with Nova going back into the rotation full time. As for Hughes he’s nothing more then a mop up long man reliever for the rest of this year.

    Wandy working again with a competent pitching coach could do wonders for his game.

    I like this potential rotation of CC, AJ, Bart, Wandy, and Nova. This is much better then the 08 Phillies and they won the WS, heck what we have now is better then the Phillies back then.

  4. Fishjam….
    Very well done! You raised a few good questions.
    I like Gio and Wandy but the price for Gio may be to much. Other those two, I say, “stay with what Brung Us”!
    Nova in the rotation and Phil as one of the set-up guys again, sounds good to me!

  5. MVP this year is CashMan !

    Garcia and Colon have been outstanding.

    Chavez, Martin and Jones all solid pickups.

    After his disastrous 2009/2010 offseason (Randy Lose, Marcus “iron glove”Thames, javy gopher ball vasquez, the hurt locker NJ, chan ho pottie…..) CashMan has redeemed himself in TWASP’s eyes.

    • Cash did do a great job putting together this rotation but will it be enough to win a WS? In my gut I feel like its not enough but I’m glad he didn’t give away everythig on Ubaldo without a physical.

      CLE gave up 2 big time prospects. Pomeranz was #15 in BA’s top 100 and White was #47. So, if you equate that to the Yanks, it would have to be 2 of Banuelos, Betances or Montero plus 2 lesser prospects.

      I wonder how the Yankee scouts view Wandy… would his stuff play in the AL East? Hes pitched well in a hitters park in HOU.

      With HOU’s owners looking to lower salary next yr and Pence already traded, they have to want to dump Wandy’s money over the next 2+ years. Plus Cash has good credit with them giving 2 successful pieces (Melancon & Paredes) for Berkman last yr. I think he could be had without giving up any of our top 5 prospects.

  1. Pingback: Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Pence, Ubaldo, Rangers | Forex News

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