Part 1: 2012 and beyond (Starting pitching)

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Throughout the years the Yankees haven’t always had the strongest pitching staff in the big leagues, but come October they always find a way to piece it together. For instance coming into this year Ivan Nova or as he’s nicknamed “supernova” was looking at an outside chance of being in the starting five. After a strong spring training he made his case to be in the rotation and so be it he was awarded the 5th starter job. Then there were two minor league signings during the winter (Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia). At the time cashman didn’t know it, but this was soon to be one of their most important signings of the year. Coming into the season you were looking at C.C (their always reliable ace) Burnett (baseball’s biggest enigma) Bartolo Colon (a pitcher that hadn’t logged over 100 innings since the 2005 campaign) Freddy Garcia (an off-speed pitcher pitching in the tough AL East) and rookie Ivan Nova. After a long season we saw our ups and downs in the pitching staff.

C.C was C.C as he gave us yet another strong year logging over 200 innings and winning 19 games. Burnett was no surprise as to how bad he pitched this year. Coming off a terrible 2010 season no one could have guessed he would do worse, but Burnett showed us otherwise pitching below his standards. Then came the two biggest gambles of the off season. Two previous CY young award winners way past their prime. No one had any hope for them. As a matter of fact critics buried the Yankees before the season started because of their rotation (guess they’re all eating they’re words since we just clinched AL’s best record). As the season went on the Yankees got what they never even thought was possible as colon and Garcia provided each 140 innings+ and combined 20 wins. After all these questions marks, the previous three pitchers weren’t the biggest let down or surprise of the year, that claim goes to, you guessed right supernova. After showing he has what it takes last season he came into the year having big dreams, but no could have guessed not even himself what type of big year he would have. Going 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA. He impressed everyone around baseball and the Yankees of course so much that he went from being the 5th starter in the beginning of the year to being the Yankees ALDS number 2 starter.

Now that you have a recap of the Yankees starting rotation let’s take a look towards the future. Undoubtedly C.C will opt out of his contract as everyone has stated earlier throughout the year. Players never say it’s about the money but when you’re leaving 92 million dollars on the table just to become the highest paid starting pitcher in the show you just have to say that’s selfish. The Yankees are desperate for an ace and they will provide sabathia with the extra 10 million that he wants and he will once again be their ace.

The next spot in their staff goes to Ivan nova. Can nova build off his strong 16 win campaign or will we be looking at another Phil Hughes repeat. Remember he was pushed to his limits last year pitching 176 innings an increase of 90 innings. Ivan nova was pushed to 165 innings an insane 120 innings increase from the previous year. The golden rule for young kids under 25 is to increase slowly by 30 innings a season. The overload ruined Hughes’s season. Shelf casing him for almost the entire season with a dead arm. Even when he came back we still saw the same pitcher who was throwing 90 mph. Can we expect the same for nova or can we look forward to a pitcher building off a great rookie season and for many more great years to come.

Next, we have A.J. Burnett. Oh our beloved A.J. If he isn’t traded then I will personally come after ownership. I’m kidding of course but after showing what he is capable of doing in the big leagues the past 3 seasons (absolutely nothing) his butt should be kicked out of town. He only has two years left on his contract with 33 million remaining. That might seem like a lot to most people but to us Yankees fans that is scum change and that is exactly what Burnett is himself. Removing him from the roster would free a spot in the rotation.

The next two spots filled by colon and Garcia are almost deemed to be free because of their age and workload. You’d rather let go of a player a year too early then a year too late.
Now when you take a look down at the farm system we could all be pleased with the group of young arms coming up. Players such as the killer B’s, two of which we saw debut earlier this week against the red sox (Andrew Brackman and Delin Betances). Others such as Adam warren, David Phelps, D.J. Mitchell and the list goes on and on. For the first time in years the Yankees have an abundance of pitchers waiting down in the minors and you can never have enough pitchers especially when there all relatively young. With 3 spots open you almost have to pencil in Manny banuelos in one of them as he ranks number 2 in the Yankees minor league system. If you think I’m being bias about our young guns well let the scouting report blow you away. [The No. 35 prospect in all throughout baseball (and No. 10 LHP) created quite a buzz in big league camp this spring, showing just why the Yankees are excited about the 20-year-old lefty. With a plus fastball now, as well as good command, to go along with a very good breaking ball and a changeup that froze more than one big league hitter this spring, he's got the chance to have three above-average to plus pitches. He just needs some more development time to refine his command and face hitters at the upper levels]. Another young gun you could expect to see fill one of the next two slots is Delin Betances who ranks 3rd right next to banuelos. [Finally healthy in 2010, Betances came back in June and began to show why the Yankees gave him an above-slot bonus back in the 2006 Draft. He can get his fastball up into the mid-90s, throws an outstanding curve and a changeup that's inconsistent, but has a chance.] As you just read the Yankees are blessed to have two starters with such extreme talent. For the next 15 years we could be looking at a starting rotation consisting of Nova, and the killer B’s. The last spot to be competed for I believe will be given to Phil Hughes. Back in 2010 verlander claimed of having a dead arm. We saw his 100 mph fastball drop to the early 90’s but the next season he regained his form. Winning an outstanding number of 24 games and seeing his live fastball regain its velocity. Now I’m not saying Hughes is deemed for the year of a lifetime but what I’m saying is that Hughes will be given every chance he can to make the team. If not we always have that group of young pitchers to refer to.





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