Yankees: Best in-house options to replace struggling starters

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A look at Yankees pitchers who can replace their struggling starters.

The New York Yankees are the hottest team in baseball. Through the first few weeks of the season, their lineup has battered the competition on their way to setting franchise records in home runs.

Despite the hot start at the plate, New York has faced some early issues on the mound, as a pair of veteran starters have struggled mightily.

Both J.A. Happ and James Paxton have earned run averages over 10.00, and have put the Yankees in tough positions to win.

For Paxton, offseason back surgery may be the cause, as his diminished velocity has led to opposing hitters teeing off on his flat fastball. In Happ’s case, 2019 was the worst season of his career, and the slow start to the 2020 season has left many fans already calling for his spot in the rotation.

In a typical year, a pair of poor starts is nothing to be seriously concerned with. This season’s 60-game sprint, however, is a completely different animal. Yankees manager Aaron Boone will not have the luxury of letting the veterans work out the kinks for a month or so.

As the Yankees look to gain a stranglehold on the AL East, the team will need to move quickly if Paxton and Happ are unable to return to form.

In a normal season, the trade market would be full of reliable pitchers who can eat innings and fill out of the back end of the rotation. With the expanded playoffs and shortened season, acquiring a player from another organization could be a tough task for general manager Brian Cashman.

Instead, he will have to look in-house and use prospects and green pitchers to try and patch together a postseason-worthy rotation.