The Need Is ClearPosted: July 23, 2011
I am writing this post in the sixth inning of today’s Yankee game. AJ Burnett was just taken out after getting the first two outs of the inning and then giving up a single, a walk, and a walk to load the bases. It was very classic AJ Burnett outing and one that proved that he is not and will never be the pitcher the Yankees gave $82.5 million over five years to. He is what he is at this point.
Still there is more to this outing then just Burnett’s ineptness. It shows that the Yankees really do need another top tier starting pitcher. Sure, they do have six MLB starters (Ivan Nova in Triple-A), but it’s the quality that is the problem, not the quantity. There is a huge drop off after CC Sabathia and with Phil Hughes still trying to get his feet back under him AJ Burnett barely making it by as a mid-rotation starter, the need for a starter has never been clearer.
Heading into this season, it was going to be Phil Hughes who was going to step up after a break out season and be the clear number two and AJ Burnett was gonna bounce back after a flukey 2010. But Hughes got hurt because of the amount of innings he threw last year and Burnett didn’t fully bounce back. Instead they have been relying on the oldies, but goodies that they have in Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon. But how much longer can they last.
This is not to say that Freddy and Bart have not been great because they have, it’s just that we don’t know how much longer they can keep the magic going. This applies more so for Colon just because he has been working off a mid-90’s fastball and he hasn’t pitched this many innings since 2007., but it could apply to Garcia as well. We shouldn’t bank on them for the rest of the year, just to be conservative.
This being said, the Yankees definitely need a number starter. That has been what they have needed since the off-season, but it almost seems like Brian Cashman is putting it off (not that he actually is). I agree with Cash on the fact that this should be enough to get the Bombers into the playoffs. But how far they go in the playoffs with this current staff is another story. They definitely don’t stack up well with Boston or Texas rotation-to-rotation. It’s clearer than it has ever been before, but as we get closer to the deadline, it looks as though no big moves will be made.