Yankees: Which of their horses will end up in the barn?
The Yankees have fortified their bullpen and starting rotation in two swoops that, with no argument, has launched them into the Playoffs and perhaps beyond. But when you start counting, it gets complicated, doesn’t it?
Because the Yankees don’t have less anymore, they can throw out the rationalizing spin the team was using about their rotation, the adage which says that less is more. With the addition of Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia, both of whom are proven major league starts, together with an already existing staff of Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, CC Sabathia, and what’s that other guy’s name, oh yeah, Masahiro Tanaka. Count ’em.
That makes six and not five. And it also doesn’t make four, which is the number of starters who can pitch the Yankees through any level of the playoffs, including a World Series.
More is more, and it’s far better than fewer, but decisions still need to be made
First of all, though, let’s throw out the idea this a problem for the team. It’s not, and if you are Joe Girardi, you have to feel like the kid who just walked into a candy store trying to decide what to buy and how many of each.
Something has to give
Something has to give unless the Yankees go to a six man rotation as an option, which in my mind, would not be a bad idea. Innings pitched matter at this stage of the season, especially for a team counting on these guys to pitch, hopefully, thru the entire month of October.
Severino and Montgomery, who are both already showing signs of wear and tear, especially need to be monitored to keep them fresh for the playoffs. On Sunday, Montgomery threw 70 pitches in only 2.1 innings, And last night in a victory over the Tigers, Severino three 100 pitches in only five innings of work.Tanaka, historically for him, has always been, until he came to the Yankees, an every sixth-day pitcher. And Sabathia is not getting any younger.
Historically, Tanaka has always been, until he came to the Yankees, an every sixth-day pitcher. And Sabathia is not getting any younger.
Short of that, the Yankees are faced with one of several decisions they’ll need to make soon regarding the team as it moves through the final two months of the season.
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Specifically though, in this case, who stays and who goes. And if they “go,” where do they go to? Does Montgomery get sent down to Triple-A? Or does the bullpen pick up a “long” reliever it may or may not need?
Or does Brian Cashman finagle a waiver deal that sends one of them packing to another team? Easier said than done, but it’s one of the ways Cashman can finalize the career of Tanaka in Pinstripes.
Rest assured, Girardi was losing more sleep on Friday night than he will tonight when it comes to his thoughts about his starting pitching.
More is more, and it’s far better than fewer, but decisions still need to be made. For a while, Girardi will be able to juggle the pieces keeping everyone happy.
That all goes away in October, though, when everybody wants the ball, and each believes they deserve it, hands down.
Next: Yankees face critical decisions as calendar turns
And if you follow the Yankees regularly, you’ll want to follow this one diligently. Because it has everything to do with what kind of a team the Yankees are when they reach October, when all the chips are moved to the center of the table.
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