The New York Yankees are on a five-game winning streak and 2 1/2 games out of the wild card without half of their pitching staff. C.C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova, and Masahiro Tanaka are all out due to injury. Nova is out for the season, as is Sabathia, and Tanaka is projected to come back for a final playoff push. However, the pitching rotation without those big names has stepped up and made a huge impact with the Bronx Bombers bats still struggling. Who are these unsung pitching heroes so far?
First, their is the seasoned veteran, Hiroki Kuroda, who has kept the pitching rotation steady as the one of the few starting pitchers to stay healthy. Kuroda has had his inconsistent games at times, but for the most part, has been the anchor of this newly formed pitching rotation in the Bronx. Then, their is Michael Pineda, who has battled injuries and scrutiny throughout the season. Pineda was very impressive in his last outing at Kansas City. If he can stay healthy, Pineda will be a key asset if the Yankees end up making the playoffs. One of the more surprising pitchers on this staff to make an impact has been Brandon McCarthy. Ever since McCarthy was traded for from Arizona, he has been impressive for the Bronx Bombers.
This three-headed monster has propelled the Yankees back into the wild card race. The question is, can they keep this production up and can the bats finally come alive and give them some support? Not only that, but when playoff time comes around and Tanaka is ready to go, assuming the Yankees make the playoffs, what will the rotation be? It will be interesting to see who manager Joe Girardi keeps in the rotation and who possibly moves to the bullpen.
The ideal number is five. So the rotation, some would argue, would include Masahiro Tanaka, Hiroki Kuroda, Michael Pineda, Brandon McCarthy, and Shane Greene. However, remember the Yankees have Chris Capuano who has also been impressive since filling in. Only time will tell as the Yankees pitching rotation continues to take different forms.