Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Brian Cashman's Not Done

Brian may have more calls to make.

Yesterday I wrote an article about how excited I am for the 2015 Yankees and the future of the team. In it, I pointed out the number of youngsters they have both on the big league club and in the farm system. It really is incredible how different the team looks.

But I may have looked at the team too long, because one thing really stuck out to me... the Yankees have too many starting rotation options.

We've all seen it, heard it, and probably said it ourselves... you can never have too much pitching. While that may be true, if a team has a question or hole on the team then there's a good chance that pitching depth could be depleted. It doesn't make sense to keep a plethora of guys in one area, while at the same time being thin in another.

So are there holes on the team? I don't think so. While the proposed 25-man roster isn't full of stars like in year's past, it does contain guys that should be in MLB. Well, I guess some of those guys shouldn't be around, but due to their contracts they aren't going anywhere.

"Would you leave me alone, already?"

But there are questions. The middle of the infield is young and/or inexperienced. Didi Gregorius has a lot of potential that hasn't been harnessed yet, but we have to keep in mind that sometimes that potential never translates into success. Also we're looking at either Jose Pirela or Rob Refsnyder being our starting second baseman, and while Pirela has a grand total of 25 plate appearances in MLB, Refsnyder has none. The combined age of the infield, as it stands, will be 49 or 50. We don't really know what will happen here.

But that isn't the part of the Yankees that concerns me. Neither Gregorius nor Pirela/Refsnyder will be leaned on to carry the offense, and compared to the defense we've seen up the middle in previous seasons this one should be pretty darn good.

The part of the team that concerns me is starting pitching. CC Sabathia's knee may never be healthy enough to allow him to be a solid member of the rotation. Masahiro Tanaka's elbow could give at any moment, leading to Tommy John surgery and being lost for 2015 and part of the 2016 season. Speaking of TJS, what will Ivan Nova be like when he returns? Will Michael Pineda's shoulder hold up? Can Nathan Eovaldi reach his ceiling, or at least be a serviceable starter for years to come? The fact of the matter is the starting rotation is far from stable. On the one hand it could be among the best rotations in baseball, while on the other hand it could be the worst due to being hit by injuries.

Those injury concerns, along with the constant questions surrounding youth, could push Brian Cashman to make a trade involving guys like Eovaldi, Bryan Mitchell, Adam Warren, Jose Pirela, Rob Refsnyder, Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez, John Ryan Murphy, Ian Clarkin and/or Jorge Mateo. I wouldn't be surprised to see Brett Gardner be traded away, as the Yankees have another good lead-off hitter with great outfield defense in Jacoby Ellsbury (not to mention Ellsbury having a contract that would be much tougher to move).

I don't want to see any of the above mentioned guys traded away, let alone a chunk of them, but I can definitely see it happen to acquire a big-time pitcher that could lead the team and lessen the blow an injury to somebody like Tanaka and Pineda could bring.

1 comment:

  1. My new years resolution is to try and say positive things so I can't comment on your article right now. Once I break that resolution I will be back


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