The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Pinch hitting: Sox and Pinstripes

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jan 19, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

January is usually a slow month for baseball news. So we’ve lined up a series of guest bloggers to entertain you. Next up is Vince from Sox and Pinstripes. He’s the Pinstripes part.

Vince is a junior at Quinnipiac University and hopes to break into sports analysis as a future career. He started blogging in June of 2006 when he was bored after a move with his parents to Boynton Beach, Fla. Vince is from South Brunswick, N.J., and his family has passed down the Yankees addiction since the 1920’s. Here’s his post:

Though I believe numerous pitchers will be primed by the second half of the season to turn into quality relievers, and I think Ross Ohlendorf has a Manny Delcarmen-like year, I just can’t say I trust a bullpen with the best middle relief veterans having names like “Farnsworth” and “Hawkins.”

Right now I feel like the Yankees’ roster recipe has all the ingredients of a gourmet meal but the fat hasn’t been eliminated and the recipe is yet to be stirred. There are two proven starters capable of combining for 35 wins, three rookies with enormous upside, but an innings cap, and one washed-up-but-capable-of-turning-in-a-quality-performance veteran.

It’s not that I have an issue with the current roster because I think with a couple of breaks any of these teams the last three years are in the ALCS or better, it’s that I’m so sick of going into each season with the same exact question marks, but no real solution to fix it.

Can you blame Brian Cashman, Randy Levine or George Steinbrenner for not spending ridiculous money on a reliever when they have two things working on the contrary?

1. Relievers are proven to not be proven year in and year out.

2. The Yankees farm system is overflowing with pitching talent.

Can you blame anybody for throwing a lineup out there that includes Damon, Matsui, Cabrera, Cano, Rodrigez, Jeter, and Posada every night? With Giambi, Duncan, Betemit and Molina in the mix? It’s a solid offense and a solid bench yet I know when push comes to shove in the postseason, asking for more than four runs is like asking Carl Pavano to have worth.

Can you blame the lack of a true, solid, all-around first baseman when there are none available out there until 2009?

Can you blame anybody for re-signing Andy Pettitte who won 15 games and should have won more, had a four ERA as a two starter in the AL East and pitched shutout baseball in October? Or for keeping Chien-Ming Wang? Or for going into action with Phil Hughes, the projected future ace, Joba Chamberlain the phenom and Ian Kennedy the guy who pitched to a sub-two ERA in limited action last year?

All of those guys are major league ready and Mike Mussina is not, so you’re stuck with six starters until an injury. Who can you sign that can actually contribute, but is willing to be an insurance policy? It makes no sense and there are no real solutions. As a result, you have to go into action with what you have and it either reaches its potential which is championship caliber, it goes middle of the road which is playoff contender, or this turns into a transition year and in 2009 you have four starters with no innings cap, all of whom under the age of 30. I’ll take it.




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