Predicting the New York Yankees Rotation for the Stretch Run

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Predicting the New York Yankees Rotation for the Stretch Run
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
In spite of a few rough early season starts C.C. Sabathia will anchor the Yankee rotation in 2012.

The 2012 Yankees are off to a decent start. At 8-6 they've had some good games and some not-so-good games. 

Of primary concern? The starting pitching. It's not a "red alert" situation, but the Yankees aren't aiming to just win the division. The Yanks start every season with the intention of winning the World Series. 

They already have the ace in C.C. Sabathia, and while his initial starts this season haven't been up to his lofty standards the odds are that he'll end the season with the same type of impressive numbers he usually does. 

The number two spot seems quite safe in the hands of Ivan Nova. The third-year pitcher who won 16 games last season has started out 2012 in the same manner he ended 2011. He's solid. Nova doesn't look like a Cy-Young-award winner but he does have the looks of a dependable, solid top-of-the-rotation starter for years to come. With the potent Yankee offense behind him, he'll accumulate wins at a decent pace.

The other three spots all have some questions.

Currently the other three starters are veterans Hiroki Kuroda and Freddy Garcia, along with former top prospect Phil Hughes.

Kuroda has had three starts and only one of them would be considered up to standard. Garcia has had two starts and both have been bad.

Then there's Phil Hughes who aside from an impressive first half of the 2010 season has yet to fulfill the promise he arrived with when he was a highly-touted rookie in 2007.

While it's not encouraging to see starters struggle like this, Yankee fans can remain optimistic for a few reasons.

First, it's still very early in the season. No one has more than three starts. These pitchers don't have super-long leashes, but they're longer than just three or four starts.

If they do continue to struggle, then the better news for Yankee fans is that there are reinforcements on the way. Andy Pettitte is in the minors working his way back from temporary retirement. Michael Pineda a highly touted 6'7" left-hander is going to return from injury.

Then there's the farm system that has two highly touted Yankee prospects at the triple A level. Both Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos will eventually get a shot at the major league level.

With all these options what will the Yankee five-man rotation look like by the time the team is in September, where they hope to be preparing for postseason baseball?  

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