Thursday, April 11, 2019


It's hard to watch these games right now. There's just so much going wrong right now and the Yankees need to make some adjustments right now. A lot actually. The defense is bad, Aaron Boone makes me want to throw things, the losses and the pitching. Oh that needs a lot of help.

It's not just the recent implodes on the bullpen either. Those have been bad, especially since this is one of the best bullpens we've ever had on paper. The potential is there, but what about the starters? Improving the starting rotation was at the top of Brian Cashman's list of priorities over the winter but it has certainly been battle tested so far.

It's early and starters are still getting their rhythm but is anyone else bothered by the fact that only two of our starters have pitched BEYOND the fifth inning? I expect Masahiro Tanaka to be economical and thankfully he has but Domingo German has been a pleasant surprise. He's stepped up in a big way. I wish I could say the same for guys like J.A. Happ and James Paxton. We all wanted to see Paxton come in here and be the reliable guy the Yankees were impressed with in Seattle. We gave up Justus Sheffield for him, so that came with high expectations. Is he cracking under the New York lights or is it still too soon to tell? The Yankees need to be more economical. We can't burn the bullpen out this early.

The Yankees have to be watching and thinking about Gio Gonzalez right now. He looked big league ready in his start Tuesday night where he struck out 10, gave up three hits and one walk in a 5-1 win. His first start was rough, but he's making a good impression at the right time. The Yankees signed Gio as insurance for CC Sabathia and extra depth while we waited for Luis Severino to come back for a May target date that will no longer happen. The Yankees will have to tap into their pitching reserves longer than they expected which could be a game changer.

The Yankees won't have a lot of time to think about this one. Hopefully if he continues to pitch well it will be an easy call-up but Gio can opt out of his contract on April 20th if the Yankees don't call him up by then. He has two more starts before that happens, which is two more opportunities to force the Yankees hand but at this point with our long list of injuries those outings might not matter. He may not be the pitcher that he once was, but he is still an innings eater. German has pitched well so far, no denying that but who is more likely to pitch deeper into games at this point. Gio definitely has experience on his side.

By next weekend we will know what happens with Gio. The Yankees could call him up. The Yankees may pass and he may opt out or.....he could choose to stay in Triple-A. Either way, decision day is coming. If Severino didn't have a setback this decision wouldn't be as important. You can never have enough pitching and the season is very young, we could have more pitching injuries. It wouldn't be wise for a team to lose pitching depth when everyone seems to be dropping like flies.

It's hard to imagine letting a big league option like Gio get away. He could be the added boost we desperately need right now.

--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj

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