Yankees News: Joe Girardi Announces Pitching Rotation
With opening day just a couple weeks away, Joe Girardi has announced the pitching rotation going into the 2015 season. Daniel Barbarisi, a New York Yankees beat writer for the Wall Street Journal, broke the news.
Masahiro Tanaka has won the opening day job, his first with the team. After Tanaka, the rotation has Michael Pineda as the second starter, CC Sabathia third, and Nathan Eovaldi fourth. Girardi did not mention the fifth starter, but it is believed that Adam Warren has that job in hand. With multiple days off in the beginning of the season, the fifth starter generally doesn’t pitch the first time around anyway.
Tanaka looks like an ace this spring, owning a 1.74 ERA through 10.1 innings and is tied for the team lead with 12 strikeouts. Batters are hitting just .171 against him and he has a WHIP of .68. Again, this is a small sample size, but he is pitching with no confidence issues after his elbow issues that caused him to miss almost the entire second half of the season.
After Sabathia’s performance the last two seasons, no one expected him to remain the opening day starter. He’s the most expensive third starter in the majors at over twenty million and is one of the biggest question marks in the rotation. However, Sabathia is confident that he is more healthy coming into this season than he has been in years. While it is an extremely small sample size, he has an 11.57 ERA in 4.2 innings this spring. Hitters are batting .409 against him.
Pineda has looks strong this spring as well, pitching to a 2.08 ERA in 8.2 innings and 12 strikeouts. Batters are hitting .167 against him and he has a WHIP of .69. Pineda was fantastic last season when healthy and has the potential to be one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2015.
Eovaldi has a 1.00 ERA through 9 innings this spring. He has 9 strikeouts and hitters are hitting .219 against him. Eovaldi gave up the most hits in baseball last year, so keeping his hits down this season is his largest area to focus on. He has a fire fastball that sits around 97. Eovaldi, too, can make major strides this year and become a pitcher the team can rely on.
The rotation is in much better shape than it was this time last season. Ivan Nova will be coming back from Tommy John surgery soon as well. The rotation is going to put this team in position to win games. Now Girardi has to hope the team will be able to score more runs than last season.