Saturday, May 23, 2015

My Plan for the Return of Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka threw three scoreless innings in a rehab start Thursday night with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and will likely need two more starts before returning to the major league rotation. The Yankees rotation currently sports Adam Warren, Chris Capuano, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and today’s starter CC Sabathia leaving what could become a very hard decision for manager Joe Girardi to make when the young Japanese RHP comes back. The good news for Girardi and his binder is I, as always, have a plan.

The Yankees bullpen outside of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller has not been the strength that the team expected it to be coming into the season, not yet anyway. With the injury to Chris Martin and the inability to get batters out by David Carpenter the team’s biggest strength has turned into a major weakness thus far this season. Although Warren has pitched better of late in the rotation and much better than Capuano did in his debut in 2015, I know all about the one start sample size but after 2014 I just plain ole’ do not like Capuano, Warren would be the better option for the bullpen. Warren has closed games out on New York as recently as last year and can pitch in the 7th, 8th or 9th inning for New York. With his right arm already being stretched out the team could conceivably use him for multiple innings like they do with Miller and Betances taking some of the burden off the other relievers, namely Justin Wilson, Carpenter and Chasen Shreve.

Leaving Capuano in the rotation may hurt a bit but a rotation of Tanaka and Capuano with Warren in the bullpen is better overall then a rotation of Tanaka and Warren with Capuano in the bullpen. Now a rotation of Tanaka and Warren with Jacob Lindgren in the bullpen would be ideal but I am trying to remain realistic here and remember who we are dealing with here. Either way though in two more rehab starts, the health of the remaining Yankees starters pending of course, it looks like the best bet is to move Warren back to the bullpen and keep Capuano in the rotation as the 5th starter.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)