Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Yankees Need A New Starter

Yesterday I sent out the following Tweet...
While I believe the Yankees will have a new starter by August 1st, I have no idea how it will go down. The team could trade for their MLB roster, although teams in the hunt rarely subtract from their big league roster. Furthermore, I don't think Brian Cashman has to include Clint Frazier to get a big deal done. However, the biggest question is this...

Who will lose their starting rotation spot?

Let's look at the current starters...

Luis Severino - He's not going anywhere.

Masahiro Tanaka - 'Hiro is not "killing it" by any means, as he's given up three or more runs in seven of his eleven starts this season. But I don't see him going to the bullpen, and at $22 million a year ($23 million in 2020) I don't think anyone would give up anything while trading for him. Tanaka is here to stay.

CC Sabathia - The Rangers lit him up the other day, but CC has been the team's second best starter this season. I'd like to see him go a little deeper in games, but with the Yankees bullpen I'm okay with that. The second best starter, though? Ugh.

Sonny Gray - Normally I'd be yelling for him to be sent to the bullpen. In their first plate appearance opponents are hitting .200/.289/.338, but in their next plate appearance opponents are hitting .382/.486/.539. But I don't see where Sonny would fit there, as the bullpen is packed... Chapman, Robertson, Betances, Green, Shreve, Kahnle, Holder, and Cole. I don't think he's finished, but four quality starts out of ten starts is not good enough.

Domingo German - For starters, we shouldn't give up on German. He wasn't rattled after giving up a three run home run yesterday, and he's gotten a lot of swings and misses. Plus, he hasn't been pitching on regular rest very often. He may get pushed out of the rotation when Montgomery returns, but he could force the Yankees to keep him as a starter now.

Jordan Montgomery - Jordan just started playing catch, so he's still a ways away from returning. Based on early estimates, Monty should be back by late June. I don't think Domingo will do well enough to hold him back from regaining his starting role, though. Besides, Montgomery has been pretty good and should be a regular starter from the day he returns til the end of the season.

I wonder if Cashman would deal away one of those relievers I mentioned earlier to clear a spot for Gray or Montgomery (I believe German will be sent to AAA to continue starting), thus opening a starting role for their trade acquisition.

I've heard many people say that don't believe any big acquisition will happen, but based on how the season has gone so far I disagree. The current rotation can, at the very least, get the Yankees to the postseason, but beyond that they would be in trouble.

Severino would obviously be their top starter, but after that none of us should feel confident. The Red Sox #2 starter may be Rick Porcello, the Indians #2 may be Trevor Bauer, and the Astros #2 could be Gerrit Cole. I wouldn't feel good with any of our non-Severino starters in those spots. And if the Yankees need Severino to start the Wild Card game (I think we'll win the East over Boston, but you should have a plan), that'll leave someone else to likely face Sale, Kluber, or Verlander.

So not only should you believe the Yankees will acquire a top starter by August 1st, you should be rooting for it.

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