The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


It will come down to the starters

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Aug 25, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Yankees have 32 games remaining starting tomorrow and two days off.

Andy Pettitte can make eight starts and Mike Mussina seven. The good news: They’ll start four of the six games against Boston if they pitch every five days.

The bad news: What happens in the other 17 games?

Sidney Ponson has pitched better than expected. But he’s 3-3, 5.46 with the Yankees and is 22-35, 4.76 in August and September in his career.

Darrell Rasner is 5-9, 5.03.

Carl Pavano? All jokes aside, he was barely breaking 90 the other night and has thrown only 24 innings since having Tommy John surgery. In theory, he could make seven more starts. But that’s assuming an awful lot.

The Yankees are going to have to find some starters somewhere at some point. Here are the candidates, in no particular order:

Victor Zambrano: He has pitched well in four minor-league games for the Yankees. But Zambrano was 0-6, 9.45 for AAA Colorado earlier this season.

Phil Hughes: His recent struggles in AAA suggest a need for more seasoning. The Yankees have to properly develop him at some point, don’t they? Hughes was rushed to the majors in 2007 and given a job he didn’t earn in 2008.

Ian Kennedy: See Phil Hughes.

Joba Chamberlain: Joe Girardi says he’s confident that Chamberlain will pitch in the majors again this season. But don’t expect to see Joba as a starter. If on Aug. 25 he’s limited to throwing 35 pitches in the bullpen at 85 percent effort, how could be be ready to start a major-league game any time soon?

Alfredo Aceves: The Mexican League veteran has pitched better of late for Scranton.

Chase Wright: He’s had a tough road since that night at Fenway Park but is pitching well right now and probably deserves a chance.

The bottom line: You’d feel a lot better about their chances if they had four competent starters instead of two. The season was in trouble when Chien-Ming Wang got hurt in June and was probably lost when Joba hurt his shoulder in August.

The math says they’re still alive and anything is possible. But unless somebody else joins Pettitte and Moose on the reliable side of the ledger, it’s hard to see how the Yankees can pull this off.

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