2014 Starting Rotation vs. 2015 Starting Rotation


It is fair to say that the 2014 starting rotation greatly underperformed throughout the year. Masahiro Tanaka was outstanding, but his health limited him to 20 starts. Ivan Nova only started 4 games before being shut down and having Tommy John surgery. Michael Pineda only started 13 games due to injuries and suspensions. Brandon McCarthy came to the Yankees mid season and pitched very well. However, he left the Yankees and signed a 4 year deal with the Dodgers. Hiroki Kuroda was the only starter to have no durability issues, and he finished the year with 32 starts. Kuroda chose to go back to Japan instead of staying with the Yankees for the 2015

Injuries do happen, but four out of the five starters missing 10+ starts is bad luck. It is impossible to succeed with the injury problems the Yankees starting rotation suffered last year. The health of the current rotation is a top priority in order for the Yankees to make a playoff run.

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The projected starting rotation this year looks to be CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, and Chris Capuano. Ivan Nova will join the rotation once he has proven that he is healthy enough to pitch again.

Sabathia looks to rebound from a horrific year in which he finished with a 3-4 record and a 4.80 ERA in eight starts. Tanaka and Pineda have proven that they can be elite pitchers when they are on their game. Unfortunately, their health issues from last year are a bit of a concern. If those two can stay healthy, they can each finish with 17+ wins and become the number one and two starters in the rotation.

Hopefully pitching in a new stadium for a new team will help  Eovaldi turn things around considering last year he finished 6-14 with a 4.37 ERA. Capuano made 12 starts for the Yankees, finishing 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA. Don’t expect any change from Capuano’s numbers.

If the top three starters can stay healthy, the Yankees will be a competitive team. On top of that, the return of Nova will benefit the starting rotation and move either Eovaldi or Capuano into the long relief pitcher role. These pitchers can pitch and succeed for the Yankees. They have been traded for or were given big contracts because of their success.

The only thing that can’t be controlled is their health. If the injury bug does not bite them, expect the Yankees to compete game in and game out. If not, expect the Yankees to miss the playoffs yet again.