Thursday, June 25, 2015

Starters, starters, everywhere, and not a drop to drink

Yesterday, the Yankiverse celebrated the return of Ivan Nova with a standing O and a pile of conjecture over our towering bong bowl full of starters.

We now have seven. It is the best problem the Yankees have had since Phil Linz and Tom Tresh were duking it out for shortstop and Harry Bright - the 15th strikeout - was learning his trade.

But a pitcher - like a Yankee fan blogger - is only as good as his (or her) last outing. Right now, for everyone but Super Nova, that's not so good. So... seven starters! What do we do? Should we hold 'em? Should we fold 'em? If so, who? And for what? And why? And how? And when? And where? Is that all their is to the circus? Is that all there is? If that's all there is my friend, then let's keep dancing...

The Malificent Seven.

1 and 2. Tanaka and Pineda. Not much to say. We pitch them and hope they don't bark. If either barks, we sink. It could trigger a horrible, all-in, raft-of-Buhners trade for the likes of Cole Hamels, or some recycled animal bedding from Cincinnati. Otherwise, we stand pat. Fingers crossed.

3. Sabathia. Not much to say. His contract - aka "the national debt" - does all the talking. At what point would Girardi drop him from the rotation or move him to Scott Proctor land? Maybe August 15. Nobody - not even Canada - will take him in a trade. We just slog on, every fifth day, and hope he figures it out. (It's now been three years since his ERA was below 4.00.) He probably won't figure it out. He won us a World Series once. So we should just shut up, right?

4. Adam Warren. Not much to say. Mum's the word. He's outpitched the rest, but the poor guy falls into that David Phelps category - never good enough - so the Yankees always keep one of his feet in the bullpen. (This, by the way, is one of the most frustrating aspects of being a Yankee fan: The sense that overachievers are seldom appreciated, in favor of a team of underachievers.) He's earned a slot. Oh well...

5. Evaldi. Nothing to say. He's the key to Cashman's "Winter of 2014 Strategic Plan," thus, they'll stay with him at least through July. He been erratic, to say the least. Also, if Larry Rothschild was going to straighten him out, wouldn't it have happened by now? As a fifth starter, he's not terrible. He's like Forest Gump's box of chocolates.

6. Nova. Obviously, unless his arm hurts, he's in the rotation. But which Ivan do we get? My recollection is that the guy ran hot and cold. As soon as he seemed ready for stardom, Nova slid backwards. He's older now, and I believe TJ surgery adds 10 years of maturity to a player. Is he for real? Keep in mind... yesterday was the Phillies.

7. Capuano. Meh. Ugh. Ouch. Mediocre starter, worse out of the bullpen. I'd have more hope watching Bryan Mitchell or Kevin Long's kid, up from Scranton. When the best aspect of a player is that he was willing to sign a one-year deal... is that a good omen?

8. Severino. Surely, he won't come up this season as a starter; he'll have thrown too many innings. Then again... if he is our premier pitching prospect. Do they want to tamper with him, by having him throw out of the bullpen?

We have options. But we're going to need them. Matt Moore returns to the Rays next week. If he's what he used to be, well, Nova better be for real.


Anonymous said...

The starter who should be demoted (to the bullpen) is Nathan E. Here's why:

1. Among all of our starters, he seems to be the one who the batters (on the other teams) seem to "know" something about. He's got a world-class fastball, speed-wise, but he has 54 strike-outs in 76 innings. You watch a game he starts, you see people fouling off his best pitches. This makes it hard to strike 'em out.

2. I don't know how to access statistics about Nathan's success/batting average against in the first time around the lineup vs. the 2nd time around (he never seems to get to the 3rd time around).....but I would bet a donut or two that the BA the 2nd time around is A LOT higher. Make him a reliever, he can avoid all that.

3. He throws with his right hand. Our management seems allergic to having a crew dominated by left-hand-throwing aliens in the bullpen. This will help them sleep at night.

4. They should demote CC Sabathis, but Girardi has already said he won't do that. So this is the logical next choice (NOT WARREN). What about Nathan E's future? Worry about that in 2017.

5. If they can figure out to LOSE his other pitches, and have Eovaldi throw just 98MPH heaters for one inning, he might be able to handle the 7th. Or maybe the 6th. We keep needing someone in the 6th, don't we? And the 5th....

6. With Eovaldi, Wilson, Betances, and Miller, they'll have something. Maybe.

AND: For Pete's sake, leave Capuano in the bullpen. Or trade him for a ham sandwich, some cole slaw, and a Diet Coke.

KD said...

Warren STAYS! don't care what anybody's binder says. If sabermetrics were the be all and end all of baseball, why are the A's and redsocks so lowly?

ceeja said...

If Zito and Lincecum can be demoted from the starting rotation, why not C.C.?

Tim Isola said...

Warren has to go to the bullpen, unfortunately it's our only option. It has nothing to do with the way he's pitched as a starter, he has absolutely earned his spot in the rotation. Our bullpen is currently an even sadder state of affairs than our starting pitching, it is god awful to be frank. We desperately need a guy out there who can give us 2 shut down innings on a regular basis, which I know warren can do, and hand the ball to Dellin. Warren is the only guy I have any confidence out of that bunch to do that. With Nova back now, we have enough starting pitching hopefully to at least get us to the deadline, where we can then find someone to replace CC's worthless ass (if cc had half a brain he would try and pull a Mike Mussina and reinvent himself, the league is so crowded with hard throwers, A crafty lefty would be a welcome change of pace and give these guys a different look, but he seems hellbent on trying to pitch exactly how he used to and he is not capable of it anymore)....anyway, it's unfair to Warren, he's pitched very well, but he's the only guy who can get it done in the bullpen and we need him there now, it's what's best for the team.

Anonymous said...

KD--EVERY team uses advanced statistical analysis now. IDIOT.

KD said...

yessir. got me good. Billy ball forever. Go A's!!

John M said...

The first Anon had a nice rundown of the Nathan (rhymes with Satan) E situation. And then the REAL Anon showed up at 12:15 to insult KD.

You can always tell when an Anon isn't THE Anon. They act human.

Anonymous said...

You can always tell that John M. and KD are the same person--they act subhuman.