Friday, April 18, 2008

Wanted: Starting Pitching

At this point I think it's safe to say the Yankees are going to be looking for some help with the starting rotation. The Yanks had to option Jonathan Albaladejo back down to AAA in order to bring up Edwar Ramirez because he hadn't pitched in 3 days. Yeah, starting pitching is putting that much of a burden on the bullpen.

Some have said the Yankees need a number 3 pitcher to be a contender. I think they need a number 2 and then some. Chien-Ming Wang is their ace. Andy Pettitte can still hang in there, but I hesitate to think of him as a number 2 guy on a championship contender. Pettitte is more like a number 3 or 4 guy in my book, but I'm probably overreacting. You can hang onto one young pitcher like Kennedy or Hughes, but two is proving to be too much. Kennedy looked better the other night, but Hughes wasn't sharp again for the 3 consecutive start.

LaTroy Hawkins had a big setback tonight, looking more like the LaTroy we saw in his first two appearances. The Yankees are going to have to bring in a long reliever who can pitch 4 innings or more when the starters struggle, and they're going to have to bring in another starter. Mussina cannot be counted on. Hughes has lost his confidence and Ian Kennedy is still going to have frequent bad outings.

Bringing Joba into the starting rotation is an option, but with the hypothesized 150 inning limit the Yankees are thinking with him, I think they'd rather wait a while before moving him up into the starting spot.

The Tampa Bay Rays have an excess of starting pitching right now and are rumored to be shopping some of their young arms around, but I can't see an inter-division trade happening. Don't be surprised to see someone like Rasner or Igawa brought up before long and the club to trade for a starter.

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