Sunday, July 20, 2014


The news that CC Sabathia is out for the season is not completely surprising, yet it still stings to the faithful and hopeful fans. Sabathia had been struggling for the better part of a year with various injuries, and now he is going to need surgery to clean out his ailing knee. The hope is that he will take his time and get his knee strong, and come into 2015 at full power.

Now, Yankees universe cannot sit back and watch the season float away. At the same time, they cannot just pull out the checkbook and the prospect list and just hand over the kingdom to any team with premier talent. Working out the right balance is a tricky game, and replacing your starting rotation in July is no easy task, but that is the reason they pay Brian Cashman. If Cashman is seriously thinking about “incremental upgrade(s)”, here are some options.
Ian Kennedy is officially on the radar of teams hunting for starting pitching. Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals attended his start on Friday night at Citi Field. It was his 21st start of the season with a respectable ERA of 3.62.

I don’t look at records like 7-9 when you are talking about the San Diego Padres, but I do look at things like a 9.5 K/9, a 0.7 HR/9 which shows that he can dominate hitters. As a former Yankee, the team would know what they are getting. He was a rising star before Joe Girardi sent him to the minors because of poor pitching, and finally trading him to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Having gone 59-45 with a 3.82 ERA since leaving the Yankees, including a 20-game-win season and a consideration for the Cy Young in 2011, he is the picture of “gave up on him too soon”. The Yankees may have a chance to get him back.

Vancy Worley is a recent call-up of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and may be a target for some trade talks. He is a 26-year old journeyman, having been with the Phillies, Twins, and now the Pirates over 5 seasons. After being brought up in June, he has had 5 starts, 4 of them being quality starts. His career ERA is 3.99 and HR/9 of 0.9. This year, he is sporting an ERA of 3.38 and a WHIP of 1.125. Just before the All-Star break, they brought him in as a middle reliever to eat up a couple of innings against the Reds. Could they have given up on him? As I said earlier, the Pirates are actively pursuing starting pitchers. If he is the sixth man on a 5-man rotation, the Yankees may want to put in a call.

Look, there are no easy answers to the Yankees’ starting pitching problem. There is no easy way to replace the production you get out of a pitcher like CC Sabathia when he is 100%. Between pitchers being locked into contracts and the tightness of practically all the races in baseball, finding teams willing to give up someone with potential is challenging at best.

We hope that one of these guys will be within reach of the Yankees and we can get someone to get us through 2014.

--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row

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