Saturday, February 7, 2015

Cashman confident in Yankees' rotation's abilities; Says team is not going to pursue Shields

The Yankees' starting rotation is no doubt littered with question marks right now, but team GM Brian Cashman apparently still believes in its talents.

Speaking during an appearance on WFAN Friday, Cashman expressed confidence that veteran arms Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia will be able to help out the Yankees notably this season -- an opinion that doesn't seem to be shared by most after the two's respective injuries in 2014. 

Sabathia -- whose knee issue kept him out from May 11 on last year -- could experience recurring problems due to said issue throughout the remainder of his playing days, as is the case with Tanaka and his bad arm.

But Cashman nonetheless thinks the duo will be back to their old ways come April, and expects much of Sabathia in particular. 

"I don't know if we're going to see the No. 1 or 2 [stuff], but we do expect to get the 200 innings and high-end pitchability," Cashman said of the lefty. "If we can get him healthy and keep him healthy, I think he's going to be a positive for us."

Sabathia underwent arthroscopic surgery July 23, ending his season in a strangely favorable way.

Had Sabathia been forced to have microfracture surgery instead, his career might have been in danger -- something that would have cost the Yankees greatly on their investment in him. Sabathia, 34, is still owed $50 million over the last two years of his contract -- though 2017 does include the option of a $5 million buyout.

As for Tanaka, his partial tearing of his right UCL last summer also gave the Yankees reason to worry, but again, Cashman's staying optimistic.

"He finished the season as a healthy player," Cashman said. "He wasn't prescribed any different regimen because of what happened last year. He went back to his normal program, throwing routine, rest routine, because he was considered a healthy player. There was no more rehab necessary."

It was the hope of some Yankees fans Sabathia and Tanaka would soon be joined up by former Royals ace James Shields when reports came out of the club's rumored interest in the right-hander earlier this week, but after the last couple of days, that no longer looks to be the case. Shields is said to have a high asking price, and the Yankees have been hesitant to spend at all this winter. 

Cashman himself confirmed the new development. 

"The dialogue always continues, but the heavy lifting for right now is over," Cashman said.

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