Yankees starting rotation in real trouble?
The Yankees may have broken home run records in the last five games, but they lost three of those contests including the series to the Texas Rangers. This should be a wake-up call!
The Yankees don’t need Brandon Drury or Greg Bird. This club is a scoring machine but is in urgent need of solid starting pitching. I am afraid they will have to go outside to find it.
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I have written about this subject since the season began. The Yanks rotation is in real trouble, and it could get much worse without a more rapid move by GM Brian Cashman. Let’s take a look at the problems and how worried the front office should be.
The club has 4 inconsistent or mediocre starters according to my eyes
C.C. Sabathia has been horrible during his last three outings. He has a combined 13.1 innings pitched and has given up 17 runs, including five home runs — three to left-handed hitters. Sabathia didn’t make it through five innings in any of those games. He does not look like a viable starter for the rest of the season, let alone a No. 3 and I have severe doubts about his ability to finesse hitters moving forward. The Yankees need to be on red alert here.
Masahiro Tanaka has been consistently inconsistent. Since the beginning of the season, he has five quality starts and five mediocre or bad ones. Masa has thrown 15.1 innings during his last three starts — five innings each and has given up 14 runs and 11 long balls. The Yankees need to be very concerned.
Sonny Gray has been up and down as well but might have finally found himself, pitching brilliantly in two of his last three starts. He had a poor game in the middle but overall acceptable for a No. 4 in the rotation. The Yankees may be able to relax a little in Gray’s case, but keep a close eye on him.
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Domingo German pitched brilliantly in his first career start before reality set in. In 14.2 innings pitched, German has combined to allow 10 runs and three homers. He looked bad his second start and entirely lost in his third. German is not ready to be a starting pitcher in the bigs and should return to the ‘pen immediately.
The Yanks are through more than a quarter of the season and the lack of length from its starters, and the loss of Jordan Montgomery has taken its toll on an already depleted bullpen. The loss of Tommy Kahnle and Adam Warren has been easeJonathanathen Holder and A.J.Cole but moving Domingo German to the rotation has really taken its toll on eating innings when starters can’t go more than three or four innings on a given night.
Bullpen cracks are beginning to show up
In the bullpen, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder and A.J. Cole have been excellent but won’t continue doing so if they are overused. It is a bullpen, buster. They need help. The Yankees will need another stud very soon, especially if Tommy Kahnle doesn’t return to last season’s form. German could then return to the bullpen to fill the gaps.
Chasen Shreve has been terrific, but he too is overused and over the last three innings pitched in four overall appearances has two good and two bad with three runs and one home run combined.
Dellin Betances is lights out for one inning — multiple innings have been a problem all season. Boone would not need to keep repeating the same mistake if he wasn’t shorthanded.
In David Robertson’s last four appearances, he’s gone 4.2 innings and allowed six runs which is not the D-Rob of the past. He has looked consistently bad to the eye and doesn’t seem to be able to put good hitters away with varying levels of control issues.
The Yankees will not win a World Series or even the AL East without at least the addition of one quality starter, maybe more. Yes, we all know the amazing stats of the ‘pen, but the problem with relying on a short game is that it requires a stacked bullpen of at least eight relievers. The Bombers do not have those assets in place at the moment.
Next: Will Phil Hughes come home?
GM Brian Cashman should be ready to let go of pieces not needed, like Drury and Bird. He needs to do something sooner rather than later, and fill the immediate need for a front end or at least a No. 3 starter in the rotation.