At the moment, here are the starting pitchers with more than a game or two of major-league experience the Yankees have available to them:
CC Sabathia, A.J.Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Alfredo Aceves, Jason Johnson, Dan Giese, Kei Igawa.
Here is who the Red Sox have:
Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, Brad Penny, John Smoltz, Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson.
Unless you’re named Sully and say “wicked” a lot, you probably like Sabathia, Burnett, Wang and Chamberlain better than Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka and Wakefield. It’s close, but the Yankees have an edge.
But Penny, Smoltz, Masterson and Buchholz are much, much better options than Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves and the assorted dreck the Yankees have lined up.
The LoHud Yankees Blog charter states “We believe Phil Hughes will stay healthy and realize his vast potential as a starting pitcher.” But facts are facts. He has a 5.15 ERA and a 1.416 WHIP in 21 starts.
It’s not acceptable for a contending team to go into the season with four good starters and hold a contest for the fifth spot. You need to have an adequate No. 5 and decent options beyond that. Or do you believe that Sabathia, Burnett, Wang and Chamberlain will all stay healthy for six months?
Sign Andy Pettitte and the problem is solved. We wrote last week that one side had to blink. But so far nobody has. If not Pettitte, then somebody else.
There are answers out there. Brian Cashman has trade chips. There are free agents who are becoming more desperate as every day passes. When you look at those two lists of starters, it’s fairly evident that the Yankees could still use a little help.