The Pessimist’s Viewpoint On the 2017 Yankees
The Pitching Staff
Masahiro Tanaka and four other guys don’t exactly make for a formidable starting rotation. And that’s before Tanaka’s elbow finally gives out — then we’re on the hook for his remaining 3-years/$67M.
Michael Pineda is really going to be the No. 2? I’m sick of relying on this guys “potential.” He was 6-12 with a 4.82 ERA last season. Just because he’s in a contract year, people all of a sudden expect him to turn it around. He’s a sub .500 pitcher with a career 3.99 ERA.
There’s no way CC Sabathia throws another 179.1 innings in back-to-back seasons. Not on those balky 36-year-old knees. And he’s slated to pitch out of the No. 3 slot!
If Luis Severino fails again, and the Yankees send him to the bullpen, or worse, Triple-A, we’re going to have a Joba Chamberlain situation on our hands.
Luis Cessa gives up more home runs than a batting practice pitcher.
Chad Green‘s injury scare last season could be the precursor to something much worse.
Has Dellin Betances recovered from the debacle that was his ascension to the team’s closer role? Manager Joe Girardi may have overworked him to the point of exhaustion, but Betances crumbled like a deck of playing cards. Add in the fact that the Yankees did not match his $5M salary demands this offseason, resulting in the two sides heading for arbitration, and the groundwork has been laid for a contentious relationship.
Aroldis Chapman is back, and after publically stating that he felt he was overworked by Cubs manager Joe Maddon in the Postseason, the Yankees better not ask him to work anything more than 1.1 innings at a time. You don’t want to upset the highest paid closer in MLB history — otherwise, he might just exercise that contact opt-out following the 2019 season.
After trading Chapman and Andrew Miller last season, the bullpen stunk — hence the pressure placed on Betances. So aside from signing Chapman, the Yankees are going with the same group from ’16 that includes inexperienced shooters like Bryan Mitchell, Jonathan Holder, Ben Heller, Johnny Barbato, Domingo German, Dietrich Enns, Richard Bleier, and Yefrey Ramirez. Not all will make the 25-man roster, so the brunt of the work will once again fall on the shoulders of Adam Warren, Tyler Clippard, Tommy Layne, and Chasen Shreve.
Cashman says top-rated pitching prospect James Kaprielian could pitch in the big leagues “right now,” but won’t because he only made six starts last season, no higher than Single-A before being shut down with a strained flexor tendon. So the Yankees won’t rush him because he’s inexperienced and is coming off an injury, but he’s ready because he throws hard and has a Major League body. What? Talk about mixed signals.
How much more does Chance Adams need to prove in the Minor Leagues to finally get his shot in the Bronx? I don’t care the kid is 22 and hasn’t pitched past Double-A — he went 13-1 with a 2.33 ERA while striking out 144 batters in 127.1 innings pitched last year. If Kaprielian “could” pitch in the big leagues now, why can’t Adams?