Don’t Ruin This Generation Too

Look at where we are now.  Four years ago, the Yankees had one of he best pitching prospects in baseball.  He was 21 and was throwing in the mid to high 90’s with a slider that was in the high 80’s.  He was unhittable for minor leaguers and because of a depleted Yankee bullpen, he was put in a set up role where he dominated.  Now four years later, a trip to the rotation and back, and a bunch chaos later, he is getting Tommy John surgery and the Yanks are in a similar position.

(Sipkin/News)

Joba Chamberlain will go under the knife on Thursday and will have Tommy John surgery, sidelining him for a year.  This leaves David Robertson as the one set up guy left from the beginning of the season.  Their bullpen is now very depleted and now with a new generation of highly touted prospects coming through the system, the brass must learn from their past mistakes.

There were two other guys coming up with Joba in those days, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, one on the disabled list because they were not careful with his innings, the other, a successful starter for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Maybe you can’t say that the front office ruined that generation of pitchers, but they certainly should have been better than they turned out, but I guess the full story hasn’t been written yet.

(Minor League Ball)

Back to the current crop of prospects.  With the current state of the Yankee pen, you can bet that Brian Cashman will be tempted to bring up flame-thrower Dellin Betances to be a set up man, something that was suggested in the New York Post.  And you can bet that a lot of fans will want young gun Manny Banuelos to come up and replace the incapable Boone Logan as the LOOGY.

But is it really worth it?  Sure the Yankees are trying to win it all this season and sure Betances is putting together a very good season in Double A Trenton (10 GS, 51.1 IP, 1.75 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) and sure Banuelos has very good stuff and bursted on to the scene in Spring Training, but do we really want to rush these kids, break them in through the bullpen, and mess up their inning totals and arms so the Yanks might have a shot of winning the World Series?

(Charlie Niebergall/AP)

The answer, at least to me, is no.  Betances and Banuelos are two very good prospects and both have front line starter potential.  Why mess with that?  Maybe you don’t win the World Series this year, but you let them develop the right way and give them the best chance to reach their fullest potential, something that will help you in the long run.

In the mean time, D-Rob is going to have to pitch the heck out of the ball and other guys like Luis Ayala, Kevin Whelan, Boone Logan, and especially the starting rotation are going to have to step it up until Rafael Soriano comes back or until Cashman makes a move.

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