2011 Spring Training: Pitching Audition Rumors You Are Not Going To Like 2011 Spring Training: Pitching Audition Rumors You Are Not Going To Like 2011 Spring Training: Pitching Audition Rumors You Are Not Going To Like

2011 Spring Training: Pitching Audition Rumors You Are Not Going To Like

Entering 2011 Spring Training, the New York Yankees had no back end in their pitching rotation, as the four and five spots were wide open.

GM Brian Cashman decided to go with the motto of quantity over quality, which was far from comforting. Names like Bartolo Colon, Mark Prior and Freddie Garcia were the solutions that felt like you had swallowed something and it went down the wrong pipe.

Let’s not forget about Sergio Mitre, who is getting his millionth chance at a starting spot.

Mitre would be the Kyle Farnsworth of the rotation, as he shouldn’t be even considered with his track record.

Luckily for Mitre, his love affair with Joe Girardi has completely blinded the skipper to his true lack of effectiveness as a starter. Over his seven-year career, Mitre has a 13-29 record, with a 5.27 ERA over 64 starts total. Translation is when Mitre is not stinking it up on the mound; he spends an ample amount of time on the DL.

The highlight of the Spring was getting introduced to the Yankee youngsters, who Cashman should feel very good about after all the hard work gone into revamping the team’s farm system since 2004.

Yankees have a herd of talented arms stockpiled in the minors who most fans just got a taste of these last few weeks, watching Andrew Brackman, Delin Betences and the crown jewel Manny Banuelos shine.

Come mid-season Cashman’s phone will be ringing off the hook if the Yankees are in need of a trade but my guess is these three will not be on the table.

This is where rookie Ivan Nova, the best pitcher by a landslide this spring comes into play. Nova is a step ahead of the other three as he pitched nicely in the bigs at the tail end of 2010.

Nova has well earned himself a starting spot, as in his last outing this past Wednesday Nova pitched six innings of no hit baseball and all he needed to throw was 59 pitches in total. Over his 14 spring innings, Nova has posted a 1.29 ERA.

Unfortunately for the ace of Spring Training, all his hard work in the off-season to win a spot might soon feel like a big waste.

Why can’t the Yankees ever deal with their young and talented arms correctly?

This would be a huge blow to the clear winner of the Spring Training Auditions.

It’s another great job of mentally scarring a 22-year-old with tons of promise and going with what worked five years ago, as it rumored that it will be Colon and Garcia who will be heading north in two weeks in pinstripes.

Nova would be sent back down to Triple-A, with a chip on his shoulder and without question he will be confused about what the definition of hard work is in general. Why even tell him that he is a candidate, same as everyone else, because obviously Nova had an asterisk after his name.

There are two things that I don’t understand….

First off I thought the two best pitchers in Spring Training would win the spots?

Girardi made it cleat that this competition would be based on ability alone, and regarding Nova being sent to the minors would NOT be a factor.

For all we know Girardi could be putting in his argument for Mitre to start, which might start a riot at Yankee Stadium.

Second, wouldn’t bringing Nova up at the start of the season make more sense?

It is a lot less pressuring than grabbing him in the middle of a pennant race again or not if but when Colon hits a wall. The Yankees would than see how he fairs as a regular in the rotation.

If Ivan Nova is not in the rotation come March 31st it is a true testament that Cashman has not completely warmed up to the idea of trusting young guys still. Remember, Cashman did have Hughes and Joba playing musical chairs for two seasons.

If Nova is sent back down to the minors, you can safely presume he will be part of a mid-season trade package so Cashman can protect the three younger aces below him.

Here we go again, same shit different day.

Let’s hope the best man wins the job fair and square.


  1. WilliaminMaine says:

    You're right. I didn't like it.

  2. Will says:

    Yanks will need 7 if not 8 starters this year. I agree that Nova should be in the rotation but Colon and Garcia will not accept minors assignments so Yanks are stuck a bit. Also, if going on true ST performance, Hughes would be in the pen or minors. Finally, it is not the back end of the rotation that the season hinges on. It is Hughes stepping up (which he has yet to prove that he can) and AJ bouncing back. If those guys perform as they did last year, it does not matter if it is Nova, Colon, Garcia or Don Gullet out there. Yanks will be sunk.

    • Kate says:

      Yes, but Hughes is not trying to land a spot because he already has one and will be fine once the season starts. Will…..the Yankees will be good in 2011 and competitive, to think that they are not good enough is ludicrous.

    • Kate says:

      Nova deserves to make the team….but are you saying the Yankees need to bring seven or eight starting pitchers to the Bronx out of the 25-men in total?? That is not going to happen….too many. Six is plenty.