With German out, Yankees need to weigh pitching options
Domingo German was placed on the Injured List last week and now that he’s gone for a bit the Yankees have a serious problem on their hands. Thursday night’s 6-5 loss to the White Sox highlighted a massive hole on this Yankee team; Consistent starting pitching.
The bullpen has their own issues right now but for the most part they’re still a sturdy group. However, the Yankees don’t have one single pitcher they can rely on. Masahiro Tanaka is going through some issues with his splitter, James Paxton just had a rough outing against the Mets, and the two most veteran pitchers, J.A. Happ and C.C. Sabathia, can’t be relied upon for anything other than five innings of meh pitching.
With the Yankee’s “ace” sidelined for at least another start, New York faces the tall task of trying to figure out how to win without legitimate pitching. The trade deadline is coming up in a little more than a month and there are options there, but a prolonged losing streak could push up the need for another starting pitcher.
They whiffed on Dallas Keuchel so they need a Plan B immediately. The two names that keep popping up on the radar are Madison Bumgarner and Trevor Bauer. Bumgarner will be an interesting option because he doesn’t have the same stuff he used to but will take a lot of resources ($$) to bring over as he has a bloated contract.
Bauer makes sense from a money standpoint but the Yankees have to be willing to trade some major assets to get Bauer. Although his 4-6 record with a 3.71 ERA doesn’t scream “ace”, he nearly won the Cy Young last season as he went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA. The biggest question mark with Bauer is his unusual nature. He’s been called out multiple times for being an oddball and a bad teammate, but no one knows if it actually affects team chemistry or if he just likes to do his own thing.
Either way, the Yankees need to do something. Throwing an “opener” out there once every five starts is only going to tax a bullpen that’s already under duress. Most importantly, the Yankees need a reliable pitcher come playoff time as right now the only one with a proven track record of late has been Masahiro Tanaka. If C.C. Sabathia was five years younger, it may be a different story, but the Yankees essentially have no one to throw out there. It’s an interesting question to ask and one we’ll see play out over the next few weeks.
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