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Inspired by the massive amount of change that has taken place prior to the end of the 2016 Season and by the storylines that have arisen in the off season, we will be bringing you a series of ten pieces entitled Spring Storylines. These will carry us through spring training and into the start of the 2017 MLB Season. Highlighted in our piece YANKEES OPEN FOR BUSINESS ON TUESDAY, these short vignettes should get you ready for how things could play out on the field this season.
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Our first of ten is THE STARTING ROTATION, which has arguably been the topic of conversations across the fan base. According to the YES Network, "Last year, it was Ivan Nova and CC Sabathia battling it out for the fifth and final rotation job. This year, it's likely that Luis Severino, Chad Green, Luis Cessa and Bryan Mitchell will be the final four candidates to round out New York's starting staff. Each one has a chance to lock up the job for themselves with a strong performance in spring camp, so it will be an intriguing position battle to keep tabs on." In addition, we should not discount the possibility of a late season visit from Chance Adams who has been wowing everyone across the minor league circuit. Even GM Brian Cashman hinted that if Adams puts up the numbers he did last season as he quickly rose from Single-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton, he may make a trip to the Bronx in 2017.
According to NJ.com, "He (Adams) went a combined 13-1 with a 2.33 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) this season. The 22-year-old righty went 5-0 with a 2.65 ERA in 11 starts at High-A Tampa before posting a 8-1 recording a 2.09 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) at Double-A Trenton." And Yankees VP of Player Development Gary Denbo said that Adams, "did a great job of repeating his delivery which enables him to have good enough fastball command that we think we could keep him in a starting role," Denbo said. "His secondary stuff was above average and to me that's the definition of a starting pitcher. He took to the role and ran with it and just had a great year." Keep in mind, that Adams has been successful as a starter and as a reliever, so depending on the need, he could take on either role.
I am not discounting the possibilities we have in Severino, Green, Cessa and Mitchell, but I like what I see in Adams. He appears confident and hard working and both are characteristics we need in our young players. All of these guys need to be hungry for wins and hungry for the spot in the rotation, ready to contribute at all costs. Nothing is a guarantee.
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Brian Cashman has said time and time again and YES Network's Meredith Marakovits reiterated in a YES report earlier in the week, "If you are the best arm, we will find a spot for you on the team." As this storyline plays out beginning this week with regards to our starting rotation, we will bring you coverage of our young pitchers as they battle for the right to take the hill every five games.
BYB Managing Editor