Yankees Have Issues, Let’s Not Panic Yet
Added by Gregg Snyder on August 21, 2010.
The team with the best record in baseball has some major issues as the calendar approaches September. The Yankees remain atop the American League East, leading the Rays by one game. They do however have some issues and I’ve noticed many fans becoming concerned.
While they have a right and reasons to be concerned, it’s not quite time to panic just yet. It’s not one area that causes the concern either, its multiple areas.
Starting pitching has been up and down of late. Ace CC Sabathia has really been the only consistent performer. A.J. Burnett, expected to be the number two starter this season, has been inconsistent to say the least. The righty had a very good start to the season before it all seemed to fall apart. Recently the Yankees felt they had gotten Burnett back to normal but then he puts together a bad performance like he did last night against the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees will need Burnett down the stretch.
Phil Hughes has been a dependable starter all season. The problem comes when the Yankees limit his innings. The team has not announced an official plan for Hughes but it seems more and more likely they will limit him to somewhere around 170 regular season innings.
Javier Vazquez is another pitcher that has been very inconsistent. After a horrific start to the season, Vazquez has been much better. If Javy can figure out a way to keep the team in the game each and every time he steps on the mound, the Yankees will be much better off.
Andy Pettitte remains out with a groin injury. Originally he was expected to be back with the team right around this time, but he has since suffered a setback.The veteran lefty is an integral part of the Yankees rotation.
In Pettitte’s absence, Dustin Moseley has filled in nicely. While having an ERA over 4.00, Moseley has kept the Yankees in most of the games he has started. He allowed the Yankees to stay pat at the trade deadline instead of trading a key piece for another starter.
With Pettitte still out, Hughes being limited, and Vazquez and Burnett being inconsistent, the Yankees still may need some help. Sure they have Sergio Mitre who could be used in a spot start to give some guys rest, but I don’t think the Yankees want to try that again.
There are some reports that Ivan Nova will be promoted from Triple-A, most likely when rosters expand September 1st. Nova, the Yankees top pitching prospect at Scranton, would be used in spot starts to give the rotation some rest.
The right hander is 12-3 with a 2.86 ERA at Triple-A this season.
It’s not just pitching that’s causing concern for the Yankees. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez had been out with a calf injury and after returning for one at bat last night could be out longer. He should be out longer.
A-Rod left last night’s game after one at bat when he appeared to re-injure the calf. It is unclear if it happened on the swing or his first step out of the batters box, but Rodriguez gingerly jogged to first base after the ground ball.
The Yankees should keep their cleanup hitter out until next Friday. You may think that’s crazy, but think about it. The Yankees will play three games on the artificial turf in Toronto starting Monday. The turf could do extra damage to whatever leg injuries a player has.
Robinson Cano would be moved to the cleanup spot while A-Rod is out. Cano has done an excellent job in that spot this season.
The Yankees lineup has been up and down. One game they will put up double digit runs, the next, zero. They need to find a way to get some guys on a roll and consistently score some runs for the pitchers.
Currently they do not have a single player that you could say is on a true hot streak.
While the inconsistency needs to stop and there are some issues, it’s not time to panic just yet.