New York Yankees: Brian Cashman Needs to Develop Left-Handed Pitching

Bill Ford@billfordwritesCorrespondent IIIJanuary 12, 2012

2012 has arrived, and the New York Yankees still have not made any major changes. 

Yesterday, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that Hal Steinbrenner met with agent Scott Boras who represents right-handed pitcher Edwin Jackson.

Jackson wouldn't be a terrible addition to the Yankees’ roster, and his salary demands seem to have decreased, but he wouldn't be a good move.

The current starting pitching rotation is strong as it stands, but the pitching staff is made up of primarily right-handed hurlers.

Left-handed pitchers with the Yankees are few. CC Sabathia is the only starter who throws lefty. Boone Logan and Pedro Feliciano are the remaining lefties on the staff.

The current roster will be productive, and the pitching staff should be successful. My concern is about the lack of available left-handed pitchers that will be available in crucial situations.

If you’ve read any of my articles in the past, then you know that I am a huge proponent of developing minor league talent instead of trading them.

Cesar Cabral and Manny Banuelos are two left-handed pitchers in the minor league system for the Yankees. Neither are ready for a permanent call-up to the majors, but with some more experience in Triple-A, we could see performances from both by September.

Banuelos is one of the top prospects, and is more likely to get a chance in 2012. In his first Triple-A outing, he struck out eight batters in five innings.

The Yankees invited him to spring training last year and he proved his worth. Mariano Rivera said that Banuelos was the best pitching prospect that he had seen.

If the current pitching staff remains healthy, then 2012 pitching should be a success. The Yankees need to devote a great deal of time and effort to develop lefties like Cabral and Banuelos.

In the case of Banuelos, development in Triple-A this season may lead to an opportunity to call him up as we near the buildup toward the postseason.

Left-handed pitching is needed in NY, and it will be especially important as we get closer to October.

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