The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Pleading the fifth

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Aug 07, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Yankees have 54 games left. Thanks to my keen math skills, the Yankees will need a No. 5 starter roughly 10 more times this season.

Yes, there are six scheduled days off remaining and they could skip the No. 5 guy a few times. But there is more value in giving the other starters an extra day of rest, especially if the Yankees maintain their lead in the division.

Obviously they’re going to space out Joba’s starts. But an extra day off for CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte makes sense. We all saw how the rotation looked after the All-Star break.

Here are the candidates to take those 10 starts in order of Brian Cashman’s apparent preference:

Sergio Mitre
Chad Gaudin
Russ Ortiz
Josh Towers
Jason Hirsh
Guys selling water for $1 outside the Stadium
Kei Igawa

I sense you are not inspired. But what other choices do they have at this point? There could be some more waiver-wire pickups, but don’t expect much.

Phil Hughes is staying where he is. They don’t have another set-up man worthy of the eighth inning and it would be foolhardy to mess with his arm by transitioning him back to the rotation at this point. Alfredo Aceves got a spot start last month and came down with a sore shoulder. It’s probably best to leave him where he is.

So you muddle through with Mitre and Co. Mitre hasn’t been very good, but the Yankees have won three of his four starts. Their offense covers up a lot of mistakes.

Gaudin has a chance to help them. He has 105 strikeouts in 105.1 innings, he has American League experience and he’s healthy. The other factor is the rosters will expand on Sept. 1. The Yankees will add Jonathan Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez and assorted other arms to the mix. That will allow them to bolster the No. 5 starter even more.

In short, I don’t think this is an issue worth fretting about. If the Yankees can win 4-6 of those 10 games, they’ll be fine. It’s a lot easier to manipulate that spot when playing from ahead than it is from behind.




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