On Monday morning, Brian Cashman spoke with Jim Bowden on the former GM’s SiriusXM radio show to touch upon the off-season moves and what’s next for the Yankees. According to Cashman, that likely does not include adding another starting pitcher. There had been some speculation that the Yankees would make an effort to sign or trade for a starting pitcher to help bolster a rotation that ranked 19th in ERA in all of baseball last year (per ESPN).
“We stay engaged with the marketplace, but I think more likely than not — 99 percent likely — we are going to be going to camp with what we have,” Cashman said.
Many thought that the club might sign a cost-effective starter like Jason Hammel or Derek Holland, but that proved to be only speculation which is probably for the best. (“I wouldn’t take Holland for all of King Midas’s silver.”- White Goodman, probably) There were also rumors that the Yankees might trade for Jose Quintana of the White Sox, but the GM seems confident to improve the rotation internally.
“And that’s Tanaka, CC and Pineda locked into three spots and then five guys competing for the final two spots between — in no order — Warren, Cessa, Green, Mitchell and Severino,” Cashman stated.
Tanaka certainly solidified his role as the team’s ace with his performance last year. His 3.07 ERA was good for third in the American League. CC bounced back last year, tossing 179.2 innings with a 3.91 ERA, which is really all you can ask for from the 36-year-old veteran. Despite the continued struggles of Pineda, Cashman hasn’t seemed to give up on the Dominican right-hander. He ranked 35th out of 38 qualifying AL starters in ERA last year, but managed to pick up the sixth most amount of strikeouts. The inconsistency has frustrated Yankee coaches and executives, but they all hope 2017 can be the year he finally puts it all together.
There is nothing wrong with a little friendly competition; five pitchers will be fighting for the two remaining rotation spots in Spring Training. Here’s a look at the contestants:
2016 stats: 7-4, 4.68 ERA, 52 strikeouts
Warren proved in 2015 with the Yankees that he could handle the duties of a starter. He didn’t enjoy the same success when traded to the Cubs in the deal that brought Starlin Castro to New York. However, when brought back to the Bronx, he went 4-2 with a respectable 3.26 ERA.
2016 stats: 4-4, 4.35 ERA, 46 strikeouts
The 24 year old broke into the majors last year and started his career in the bullpen. He didn’t make his first start until August and showed flashes of potential along with some expected struggles.
2016 stats: 2-4, 4.73 ERA, 52 strike outs
Green was also a rookie last year, who got the call up for his first start May 16th in Arizona. He ultimately started eight games; Green needs to maintain consistency in order to win a spot in the rotation.
2016 stats: 1-2, 3.24 ERA, 11 strike outs
Mitchell posted a ridiculous 0.57 ERA in Spring Training before hitting the DL with a freak toe injury. Although he was only limited to five starts in the regular season, the 25 year old right hander has a good shot to earn one of the two open spots.
2016 stats: 3-8, 5.83 ERA, 66 strike outs
After posting a 2.89 ERA when he first broke into the league in 2015, Severino was primed to help carry the rotation in 2016. Obviously, that didn’t happen; he is going to have to improve his slider as well as the command of his fastball in order to regain his 2015 form.