The critics have spoken, actually they haven’t shut-up about potential troubles facing the New York Yankees pitching heading into 2011.
There are viable reasons behind the endless debating about the Yankees rotation following this off-season’s reality check.
Does it justify such a dramatic stance that the Yankees might not contend in 2011?
Absolutely not, but things got a little scary before Spring Training with the moves GM Brian Cashman was making. Like the day Cashman signed Bartolo Colon and the now fact he made an offer to Carl Pavano just shy of $10 million to bring his talents back to the Bronx, again. It was embarrassing and New York does not wear desperate well or ever.
So, what will the Yankees starting rotation be at the start of 2011 on March 31st? Well, let’s take a look:
Following Sabathia will undoubtedly be AJ Burnett and Phil Hughes. Knowing Skipper Joe Girardi’s typical way of thinking is the reason Burnett is listed as the team’s #2.
It displays confidence and respect towards a pitcher who posted a 10-15 record last season. Look, Burnett needs all the support he can get, and hope Yankees fans are listening.
A HUGE positive is Burnett seems to be in a great place since arriving in Tampa. My bet is Burnett will have a big year, as the stuff is there that is for sure.
Reality is Hughes probably deserves to follow Sabathia based on last season’s results, but the mild manner 25-year-old is just happy to help out in anyway he can.
The Initial Mess:
Where to begin?
Anyone hearing his or her team had no fourth or fifth starter to solidify the back-end of the starting rotation would be rather troubled, but in New York it was as if the sky fallen down.
Following an off-season where Yankee fans egos got trampled on not once, but twice (not getting into Pettitte and Lee again) caused complete panic. When in actuality it was a very needed reality check for an over privileged fan-base, me included.
The New Reality:
Just 17 days into Spring Training and this presumed mess has turned promising.
As the Dalai Lama once said:
Watching the performances of 34-year-old Freddie Garcia and 24-year-old Ivan Nova, were nothing short of encouraging.
You might remember last season when Nova pitched for the Yankees down the stretch during the pennant race, where he displayed no fear on the mound. This spring he debuted throwing two shutout innings with 14 of 21 pitches for strikes against the Phillies, stunning Ryan Howard with a curveball strikeout.
Nova followed against the Rays hurling three shutout innings, with 22 of 35 for strikes. His fastball hit 95+ mph and the youngster looked even better.
Garcia started his campaign by throwing two shutout innings against the Rays, prior to Nova’s three. Garcia is known for his horrific springs, so not only did he impress with his arm but also with his attitude. He won 12 games as a Chicago White Sox in 2010, throwing 157 innings.
This is just what a manager loves to see.
Nova looks stunning and if he keeps going this direction he will easily follow Hughes, as the Yankees #4.
Than Garcia at the tail end, as his velocity is slower, with a fastball hitting only 89 mph, but he will fit nicely in the five spot because he can locate effectively.
Nova and Garcia are the clear frontrunners out of this group of misfits/rejects auditioning, as it does include guys who haven’t pitched in the majors in years.
Yankee fans can only be absolutely elated watching the prospects pitch, which will be addressed in another post this week.
Point is if worse came to worse Cashman has plenty down on the farm to trade for a top starter down the stretch and still have a stacked farm leftover.
Please note that this is a very pre-mature prediction as many things can change, very fast with so much Spring Training left to go.
Hey, so far Yankees looking good.
- How ‘Bout Them Yankees? (gabrielaltieri.wordpress.com)
- In Baseball, Just Who’s Chasing Who? (balleehoo.wordpress.com)
- Garcia trying to earn job in Yankees rotation (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Fixing Burnett key to Bombers’ hopes (nypost.com)
- New York Yankees: What’s AJ Burnett Up To This Off-Season? He’s Fixing Himself. (ladylovespinstripes.com)