The New York Yankees have some big pitching concerns and for once it’s not the bullpen. The starting rotation has been a major question mark and concern lately. So much so that many Yankees fans are not confident in this teams chances in the playoffs, if they make it.
A.J. Burnett has put the Yankees in a very tough spot. Burnett and Javier Vazquez have both been extremely inconsistent this season.
Well before the MLB trade deadline, the Yankees had a deal worked out with the Seattle Mariners that would have sent Cliff Lee to the Bronx. Adding Lee to the rotation would have helped the team in all areas. Not only would he have fit perfectly at the top of the rotation with CC Sabathia, but Lee would have also helped the bullpen.
Known for being able to pitch deep into games regularly, Lee would have given the bullpen much needed rest when he pitches.
Seattle backed out of the deal at the last minute, when everyone thought it was done and agreed upon. That bush league now has the Yankees scrambling.
Luckily, Ivan Nova has done a very good job since being called up from Triple-A Scranton. He has helped take some pressure off the rest of the staff and bullpen.
Vazquez has already been taken out of the rotation and placed in the bullpen. Burnett should also be taken out but the lack of quality starting pitchers is keeping the inconsistent righty in.
With Andy Pettitte still recovering from injury, the Yankees do not have the luxury of keeping both Burnett and Vazquez out of the rotation. If they had Cliff Lee, they might have been able to.
Phil Hughes is dangerously approaching his regular season innings limit. He will likely need to be skipped a time or two, or have his starts cut short to keep his innings low.
The Yankees need a healthy Pettitte to return as soon as possible. Rushing him would not be good however. Heading into the playoffs, is anyone truly confident with a rotation of Sabathia, Burnett, Hughes, Moseley, and Nova?
With Pettitte in there, he would help.
With Pettitte and Cliff Lee in there, the Yankees would be the favorite to win it all once again. I’m not sure you can say that at the moment.