View Full Version : One month in and the 1st place Yankees are headed for disaster

05-01-2011, 05:17
When GM Brian Cashman miscalculated on Lee, and Petite, he charted a course filled with more danger than any Yankee team has seen in the past 15 years.

The Yankees ship has set sail into the 2011 season, and so far except for a few rough spots, the Yankees are off to a good start. With a 15-9 record they are in their normal customary spot atop the AL Eastern division. So one month into the 2011 season, nothing is really much different from the past decade....except the Yankees are headed right for a disaster.

Brian Cashman, as I have said many times did not have a plan "B" so after getting hit with the Lee, Petite 1-2 combination, Cashman clearly in panic mode started signing every pitcher he could find from the MLB scrap heap. Mark Prior, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Kevin Millwood (He can opt out on May 1st) all these pitchers at one time or another were the cream of the crop in the MLB. Substitute one letter in CROP you'll find out exactly how they been pitching the past few years...if they pitched at all.

It is funny that Brian Cashman is being touted as some super baseball genius, because Colon and Garcia had 2 good starts. How big of a genius do you have to be to sign a bunch of often injured, barely hanging on to pro ball pitchers to a cheap minor league deal?

* Freddy Garcia, while he did have a winning record last year, he has shown signs of being up and down. Age combined with wear means you can be assured of at least a minor injury, that will cost him some starts, and there is a decent possibility he could be hit with something much more serious. Even if Garcia stays healthy the one thing you can count on is an up and down season at best. One start he will go a strong 8 innings, while the next he won't make it passed the 5th.

* Bartolo Colon in 2008 - pitched 39 innings, in 2009 - 62, AND IN 2010 he pitched a big fat ZERO. So far in 2011 he has pitched well, but for how long will he be able to keep pitching at all? With Colon it's not a question of if, it's a question of when will his arm sustain an injury. I am sure the Yankees, and it's fan base is hoping that he will last to the trading deadline. But, July 31st is a long way off and It is more likely Colon will be home watching the Yankee game, then pitching in one.

* Phil Hughes Until further notice, he is lost for the season. On Monday, May 1st, if the Yankees announced that Phil Hughes does indeed have TOS, and he does the operation within a week, It will be a good 8-10 weeks before he is able to return to Yankee Stadium to pitch. That puts him just before, or just after the trading deadline, either way that will not leave the Yankees any time to evaluate him. So if Hughes is back in the rotation, or is sent to the bullpen, the result is the same, the Yankees really won't know what their young 24 year old has to offer them till mid-to-late August.

* Ivan Nova - Wonderful young talent, but no matter how good he is, How many innings can the Yankees pitch him? When Hughes, and Joba were starting their first full season in the rotation, they were closely monitored, so they would not throw too many innings. When Hughes got hurt, Cashman and Girardi both mentioned that it could have been from Hughes going from 88 innings in 2009, to pitching 176 in 2010. Nova had a total of 42 innings pitch coming into this 2011 season, so how many innings will the Yankees pitch him before having to find another starter to take his place? I understand combined He threw over 180 innings last year, but pitching in the majors add a tremendous amount of additional stress, so I believe he will throw about the same as what Hughes threw last year which means you'll need some spot starters at the end of the year.

* A.J. Burnett by most accounts, is extremely talented, and each year the baseball world wonders, is this the year he finally will put it together? At age 34, I would not hold my breath. When confronted with questions about a players slow start, The Yankees are famous for using the expression "By the end of the season his numbers will be close to the back of his baseball card" Well in this case A.J.s card shows he will be a game or two over or under 500. So counting on him to have the season of his life, is not something that can be counted on, especially coming off a disastrous 10-15 season, when his head was more unreliable, than his arm.

* CC Sabathia You can pencil him in for having close to 20 wins, and another outstanding year. It goes without saying that if CC has any type of problem that would cost him even a few starts, that could be all that is needed to end the 2011 Yankee season.

* The Bullpen. It's hilarious to hear callers to WFAN when their team starts off 2-9 crying "The Seasons Over, I Can't Believe WE SUCK!" In truth at the beginning of the season, every fan of baseball should place a little sticker next to their WFAN speed dial button that says ‘This is not a race, it's a marathon."

With this "marathon" in mind, how long before the Yankee bullpen is exhausted? With their starting pitching rotation the way it is set now, except for CC, the other four starters barely get through 6th inning. Yes, fans will say "Look Garcia made it through the 8th last game" I will wager anyone right now by the end of the season, if you do not count CC, the other 4 pitchers will have more 5 inning games than 8 inning games on their stat sheet. So each night Joe Girardi will have to be using at best 2, and sometimes 4 relief pitchers to finish the game. How long do you believe a bullpen could sustain that type of work load?

I have managed baseball teams for a long time and unlike a lot of fans I know for a fact with relief pitchers it's not about the innings pitched, but rather how many times they have to warm up in the bullpen over the course of the year that determines the wear on their arm. In most cases the relief pitcher is going to throw more warm-up pitches than he will throw in an actual game, and for anyone that said "Freddy Garcia pitched 8 innings" I did not watch the game but, I am pretty certain that entering the 8th inning someone was warming up in the bullpen, and those pitches won't be appearing on his stat sheet.

So what does this all mean?
The Yankees will need not one, but two and with Nova's innings limit, and Hughes injury the could actually be needing an unheard of three starting pitchers at the trading deadline. They absolutely need a high quality #2 starter, and the team who has the pitcher the Yankees want, will make sure the Yankees pay a steep price for him.

Age, Wear, and Conditioning will all be factors when the Yankees bullpen collapses in August

* Joba Chamberlain - Entering just his fourth full season, he has already lost time due to injury, and he added a lot of weight since 2010, and while he maybe carrying this extra baggage early in the year, his conditioning will become a big factor, when he has to pitch back to back days in the hot, humid days of summer.

* Raphael Soriano - There must have been a reason Brian Cashman was upset when the Yankee owners, signed him to an over priced contract to be their 8th inning set up man to Mariano. It may have only taken one month to see the real reason for Cashman's lack of endorsement.

The first month wearing the Yankee pinstripes have not been kind to Soriano. He has already has a loss, blown saves, and a 7+ ERA, but even more alarming is his exaggerated facial, and body expressions showing his frustration on the mound when he does have a rough outing. Soriano blew off reporters after a meltdown on the mound, and after just one month Soriano has Yankee fans wondering if he can truly handle the pressure of pitching under the bright lights of Broadway.

* Mariano Rivera - So far in 2011 at the age of 41 Mariano is still the best closer in the game, but after so many years of greatness, he can no longer do those 2 inning bail-out jobs that the Joe Torre called for in years past. The best your going to get out of Mariano's arm is about 65 innings of work, and that leaves Soriano to pick up the slack.

The rest of the bullpen is important, but not as much as the "Big Three" If a Robinson, or Logan type pitcher goes down, they will be easily replaced by trades, or by bringing up one of the many quality pitchers in the stocked Yankee farm system.

Conclusion: The Yankees will not make the playoffs.
True I mentioned that the baseball season is like a marathon, and so much could happen between now and October. What the "A lot of things could happen" is actually saying is, while a team at this moment looks unbeatable, a few injuries here and there can bring them right back to the pack.

No team ever goes through a season injury free and with the Yankees lack of pitching depth there are just too many things that could go wrong that free agency will not be able to fix. Needing at least two starting pitchers, and at least one of them having to be a #1A or #2 quality starter, will be hard to find, and while they will become available how much will a team demand from a desperate Yankee team? Cashman has already shown he would rather walk away from any trade if the asking price is too much.

At this moment The Yankees starting rotation consist of a Ace, a head case, 2 aged, worn, often injured pitchers, and a young kid who only pitched in the pros a total of 42 innings in his life....The Yankees are in trouble, and there is very little they can do about it.

05-01-2011, 10:47
Playoff predictions with 130+ games to go? Every team in baseball is an injury or 2 from disaster! If the phillies lose halladay and lee, do they have suitable replacements? No. If Boston loses Beckett and Lester, do they have replacements? No. Texas is stumbling after losing Hamilton and Feliz. So how are the Yankees any different? Injuries will end any teams playoff chances. We have 2 batters in our lineup hitting like .120 and 1 hitting barely .200 and we're still in 1st. It's a long season man, anything could happen. Cleveland could win the pennant!

05-01-2011, 11:04
Exactly my point Injuries do happen, and right now if Colon went down (which he will) who will fill his spot? What about Garcia...who will fill his spot. In the first two weeks of the season The Yankees are already using the crappy pitchers that you normally would not see till June.

Put it this way The Yankees have a Rookie as their #3, Garcia is your #4 and Colon is your #5 in the AL eastern division do you really believe they can win with that?

05-01-2011, 12:50
Well I came here for a fight but instead I have to agree with Mezz1962 and his account of the Yankees pitching staff. I have never been a fan of Brain Cashman and I think he blew it for us this season. My thinking is cashman does not care or at to me it seems that way. So I bow to Mezz and his thoughts. took the wind out of my sails!!!

05-01-2011, 13:10
How did Cashman mess up? What pitchers were there to get? They offered Lee 150 million and he turned it down. Should he have offered 180 million? Just curious what you think Casman should have done since it wasn't like there were many good ones available. They thought about Liriano, but glad they didn't since he's already hurt!

05-01-2011, 13:48
He messed up because he did not think it was possible that Lee would turn him down. The Yankees could have made a trade to grab another quality #3 pitcher. The Yankees minor leagues are stocked, so they could have made a simple trade, which would have gave them depth to the starting rotation, and with the Yankees power that would have been good enough to see if Hughes or Burnett would become the solid #2 pitcher they needed.

Also giving depth to the rotation would not make them look desperate at the trading deadline. Right now every other team knows the Yankees are desperate, and between now and July 31st the situation will probably become worse, not better

The Boss
05-01-2011, 20:41
The Yankees could have made a trade to grab another quality #3 pitcher.


05-02-2011, 16:51
Who, exactly!! No one was available. Any pitcher Cashman would have had to empty the farm system to get. And we all know how well that worked from 2001 to 2008. I'd rather we hold onto those top prospects, see who's available at trade deadline. Still waiting to hear who you think the Yankees should have gone after.

The Boss
05-03-2011, 09:18
Yea there it is, its easy to say Cash screwed up because they didnt get a pitcher but 1) there was nobody worth getting and 2) Whoever they may have gotten would be on the verge of going on the DL according to Dom. The 2 guys that are saving our season so far are COlon and Garcia and people joked for days when the Yanks invited them to camp.