New York Yankees: Usual Panic Leads To Signing Pitcher Brian Gordon To Start Thursday Vs. Rangers New York Yankees: Usual Panic Leads To Signing Pitcher Brian Gordon To Start Thursday Vs. Rangers New York Yankees: Usual Panic Leads To Signing Pitcher Brian Gordon To Start Thursday Vs. Rangers

New York Yankees: Usual Panic Leads To Signing Pitcher Brian Gordon To Start Thursday Vs. Rangers

Brian Cashman

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The New York Yankees have many holes to plug with the recent plague of injuries, but the blank spot in the pitching rotation might be the biggest and hardest.

Finding a dominant arm to match a sidelined Bartolo Colon will be impossible. Colon has been a secret weapon that the Yankees have come to rely on. The hope of skipper Joe Girardi is that Colon will not be out more than the 15-days, which translates to about three starts.

My gut reaction was for the Yankees to look internally because like it or not, a door was kicked opened for GM Brian Cashman to finally put his hard work on display in the Bronx.

It was speculated for about a second that one of uber-talented Yankees pitching prospects that fans got a taste of in Spring Training could get promoted.

My pipedream was that Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances would get a chance, like the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants did with 21-year old Madison Baumgartner last season or like the Seattle Mariners have with 22-year old lefty Michael Pineda, who is keeping the club in contention this season.

Cashman slammed that door closed immediately on June 14th when he told NY Daily News reporter Mark Feinsand “That’s not even a consideration right now.”

So, the next logical choice would be 22-year-old Hector Noesi, who had appeared in relief four times in this past May for New York and posted a 1.76 ERA.

Noesi was being reported as the leading-candidate for Thursday’s start; that is until YES’s Jack Curry reported during Tuesday night’s game vs. the Texas Rangers that the Yankees signed Brian Gordon.

Curry said that the Yankees told Gordon’s agent that he should travel to New York and be prepared to start on Thursday afternoon in the final game against the Rangers. Gordon opted out of his minor-league deal with the Phillies triple-A affiliate because of this opportunity.

Gordon is a 32-year-old who has been in the Minors since 1997. Gordon came in and failed as an outfielder, so he switched to pitching and has been trying to work his way up to the bigs with his arm.

Gordon has never started in the majors and his only experience is a stint in relief with the Texas Rangers back in 2008. In the three appearances, Gordon posted a 2.25 ERA, facing 16 batters, over four innings and fanned just one.

Curry tried to shed some positive light on Gordon’s tough journey on his YES Blog and reported that Gordon’s approach would include the following:

Gordon stressed that he will throw strikes and he will use his repertoire of six pitches to keep hitters off-balance. Gordon throws a four-seam and two-seam fastball, a split-finger fastball, a slider, a curveball and a recently added cut fastball. The right-hander’s fastball hovers from 89 to 91 miles per hour.

All this says to me is that Curry’s puff piece makes you feel bad for Gordon but this is not a Lifetime movie and I am sure there are many Gordon-types that could rehash even harder journeys.

Obviously the same old broken record is still playing in the Yankees front office, that they don’t trust young talent over age at all.

What is the point in having such a deep farm system if the Yankees go into panic mode every time an opportunity arises to promote internally?

Just think if one turned into the next big thing, it would be well worth at least a shot with a few of the above average arms to at least try.

Guess we might never know…until they are wearing another team’s uniform.

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  1. Shaun says:

    Brian Gordon is worthy of a major league shot as he was leading the International League in ERA and WHIP and appeared to have dominated in most of his 9 starts (striking out a little more than a batter per inning). In fact, I'm excited by the addition. I think he's a safer bet than Adam Warren and David Phelps who have been good but not great down on the farm. I know you're eager for Banuelos and Betances to be called up, but I believe they need to work on their control and get more experience first. I like to see pitchers succeeding at the AAA level before getting the call up. Not many can successfully make the jump straight from AA. I don't think Cashman is going to trade either of them away (unless King Felix is coming back in return). I do, however, agree with your thoughts that we shouldn't baby our pitchers. You simply cannot predict injuries to pitchers who put unnatural stress on their shoulders and elbows. You just really don't want them to increase their innings by over 60 or so from the previous year. Pitchers that pitch say 100 innings one year and then something like 200 the next tend to then follow the substantial increase in workload with a sub-par performance or injury in the subsequent season. I do like the Nolan Ryan approach, which is to more or less let your young pitchers pitch through adversity and let them get to the 7th inning rather than pulling them after 5 or at the first sign of trouble. Additionally, I would option Nova to AAA (since he's the weak link right now) and give Noesí (or Márquez) his spot in the rotation (temporarily). Hopefully Colon will be back in two weeks and Hughes may be back in about three weeks as well. It will be nice once the rotation is CC, AJ, Colon, Hughes and Garcia. I think Cashman deserves credit for his recent minor league signings – shoring up the bullpen and providing depth. On a separate note, what would you think if I said Nunez is a better hitter than Jeter right now? I think he could at least match his production if playing full time and would be good to steal 40 bases. His defense needs a little work though. I wouldn't mind if they started to split time come 2012 (with the other at DH). Anyway, Kate, despite our slight difference in pitching philosophy, I enjoy reading your blog and look forward to your response to my post. What's better to chat and debate about than Yankees baseball? Care to bet a beer on Gordon's performance on his Thursday start? I say at least six innings of three runs or less… are we on? :-)

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