The season is still young, but some starting pitchers for the New York Yankees have us wanting to pull our hair out already. For whatever reason, pitchers like Phil Hughes, and Ivan Nova have not been as effective as they can be. Because of this, it’s time to take a look at some other pitchers that the Yankees could put into the rotation, should they decide to go that route.Nuno has been very effective in the minor leagues. (Image: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Good ol’ Phelpsy. He would be one of the more obvious choices to replace someone in the rotation. Currently serving as the long-relief guy in the bullpen, Phelps has shown that he can hold his own as a starting pitcher in the big leagues. Ever since he came up at the beginning of the 2012 season, many people have said that Phelps is reminiscent of Mike Mussina. Phelps pounds the strike-zone, and isn’t afraid to go after a hitter, no matter who they may be. Mussina was a tremendously underrated pitcher, and a very good one at that. Being compared to him shows just how good Phelps really is.
Towards the end of Spring Training, the Yankees reunited with their former ace on a minor-league deal. After pitching in an extended Spring Training, he will make his first AAA start tomorrow with the Scranton Wilkes/Barre Railriders. Therefore, we do not know just how well he can pitch yet. However assuming he is effective, he can easily be inserted into the rotation. While playing in the World Baseball Classic, Wang was able to get hitters to hit the ball on the ground when they hit his sinker. When Wang was winning 19 games for the Yankees, this was what made him reliable and very good. In past years, Wang’s sinker just hasn’t been the same, but it’s comforting to know that he has at least fixed something with it, and is one step closer to being the pitcher he once was.
Yankees fans were able to get a glimpse of Nuno throughout the spring, and many of them wanted him to make the team right out of camp. Nuno is not an over-powering pitcher, but he has great control and great movement on his pitches that can get hitters out. Through three games started with Scranton so far this year, Nuno is 1-0 with a 1.53 ERA. He has also struck out 20 batters over the course of 17.2 innings, and opposing batters are hitting a paltry .159 against him. You also like the fact that he is a lefty, and having some good lefty pitchers on a roster is something that every team wants.
Like I said, the season is still young, and there is still time for both Hughes and Nova to improve. In the case of Hughes, I think he will heat up as the weather does, as he has always been a warm-weather pitcher. But, in the event that neither pitcher proves themselves worthy of being in the rotation, I don’t think anybody would have a problem seeing one of these three guys take their place.