The Yankees will have trouble lining up the best rotation possible before the playoffs.
At first, it looked like last week’s rainout against the Baltimore Orioles would benefit the New York Yankees’ starting rotation down the stretch. Well, it actually does, but it’s now posing an issue for the postseason.
Fans weren’t really worried about that, though, because the Yankees needed to make the playoffs first. That was before they rattled off a seven-game win streak to improve their record to 28-21. Now, as the No. 5 seed with upcoming games against the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Marlins, the Yankees can improve their standing even more.
But should they sacrifice that to give themselves to best postseason rotation possible for the first round? If they continued as is, here’s what it’ll look like:
- Sept. 15-19: Deivi Garcia, Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, Jordan Montgomery, JA Happ
- Sept. 20-24: Garcia, Cole, Tanaka, Montgomery, Happ
- Sept. 25- Sept. 27: Garcia, Cole, Tanaka
The playoffs start on Sept. 29, meaning, right now, it’d be Montgomery and Happ starting the first two games of that series. Not gonna happen!
So now what? How could manager Aaron Boone repurpose this to have it make sense and not set the Yankees back? Should someone get a spot start (Clarke Schmidt please!) and then we roll with a bullpen game on the 20th and 21st? Nah, that’s too complicated and we shouldn’t skip our top guys. Doesn’t make sense.
What about this suggestion?
The Yankees have arms in the bullpen that can go multiple innings. So, in a sense, Cole and Tanaka would go a couple innings as currently scheduled, and then Boone would institute a mini-bullpen game. Use Loaisiga, who needs more reps anyway ahead of the postseason, Nick Nelson, Luis Cessa, Michael King and Adam Ottavino, who also needs more innings under his belt. If the offense is firing on all cylinders like it is right now, it doesn’t matter who’s pitching.
Assuming you can take the first two from the Sox and the first 2/3 from the Jays in those series, it’d be a pretty darn good situation. Plus, for the game on the 23rd, you’d have both Montgomery and Happ available to throw. Hopefully you get most of the work out of Monty, use Happ for two innings as his “throw day” and then see if you can rest a majority of the bullpen.
Right now, this seems like the best solution. If you have any other ideas, let us know. We’re still waiting for the Aroldis Chapman “opener” game, so that’s all we have to contribute to the conversation. Seriously, let’s do that once.