The 2014 season has not started the way the Yankees envisioned it. Just ask the two 30-something starters of the first two games. While Hiroki Kuroda pitched effectively despite not getting any run support, C.C. Sabathia was lousy on Tuesday. So now the Yankees turn to a trio of 20-somethings to right the ship.
Ivan Nova takes the bump tonight as the Bombers try to avoid being swept by the Astros to start the season. Nova looks to continue the success he had for most of last season and emerge as a front-of-the-rotation guy for the Yankees. That being said, we have not seen him put it all together for a full season. Masahiro Tanaka will make his first big league start in Toronto on Friday, but how he will adapt to facing major league hitters for a full season remains to be seen. Michael Pineda make’s his first start in over two seasons Saturday against the Jays. Pineda was dominant in 2011-his rookie year. He had all the makings of a future ace. He had the size, the power and control to be dominant. His career got derailed after a series of shoulder injuries. He will look to continue to build on his very impressive spring training.
It has only been two games, but the first few times through the rotation may dictate the future of the Yankees pitching staff. This season maybe a changing of the guard in the Bronx.
Sabathia is clearly on the decline. How many years he has left as a quality pitcher is anyone’s guess. Kuroda is pushing 40-years-old. This will more than likely be his last season. So the future falls on a guy that has proven to be a quality starter, but has not peaked yet, and two pitchers that have been hyped as can’t miss pitching prospects at some point in the last few years.
It’s the first time in a long time, that there is some youth and energy in the New York Yankees’ rotation. If Sabathia and Kuroda continue to decline, the Yankees’ season will hinge on how well the three youngsters play.