New York Yankees: 5 Reasons Why They Need to Trade for a Starter in 2012

Doug RushSenior Analyst IMay 3, 2012

New York Yankees: 5 Reasons Why They Need to Trade for a Starter in 2012

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    At 13-11, there's no need to hit the panic button for the Yankees yet.

    But their starting rotation is causing some concern heading into May.

    Before the beginning of the season, it looked like the Yankees had a surplus of starting pitching and could afford to trade away a starter.

    That surplus has dwindled and the Yankees rotation is looking a little shaky.

    Going forward into the season, if the Yankees want to compete for a championship and just get into the playoffs, it's looking more and more like they will need to make a deal before July 31.

    Last year, Brian Cashman was very patient in not pulling the trigger on a deal for a starter because at the time, he didn't need to.

    He might not have that luxury in 2012—Cashman may need to make a deal.

    And here's five reasons why Cashman may be making a deal to get another starter.

Michael Pineda's Season-Ending Injury

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    Back in January, the Yankees made a huge trade to land Seattle Mariners starter Michael Pineda and traded top catching prospect Jesus Montero to get him.

    The 23-year-old starter had a lot of expectations set upon him before ever taking the mound at Yankee Stadium, but then things didn't look right.

    Pineda's velocity was down in spring training and was getting roughed up at times. It was then revealed that Pineda had a tear in his right shoulder, which needed surgery and ended Pineda's 2012 season before it ever began.

    The Yankees thought they might get Pineda back down the road in 2012, but the surgery took care of that, so with all the hype surrounding the trade, Pineda has yet to produce for the Yankees.

    The Pineda injury is a big reason why Cashman will be making a deal come this summer.

There's No Bartolo Colon in 2012

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    Going into the July 31 trade deadline a year ago, the Yankees had Bartolo Colon, who had a very good season for the Bombers in 2011.

    He was 8-7 with a 3.30 on the night of the deadline, and was a big reason why the Yankees didn't make a deal for someone like Wandy Rodriguez, Ted Lilly or Hiroki Kuroda, who ended up signing with the Yankees six months later.

    Colon ended up slowing down in the second half, but not pitching during the entire 2010 season may have had a lot to do with Colon's conditioning and endurance.

    In 2012, Colon is not only pitching well, but he's pitching for the Oakland A's and not the Yankees.

    He's 3-2 with a 2.53 ERA, 26 strikeouts and a 0.94 WHIP. Yeah...I bet Brian Cashman wishes he had Colon pitching in 2012.

    He doesn't, which is why he'll be making a deal for someone else.

Freddy Garcia Is AWFUL in 2012

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    Yeah, Freddy Garcia. What can you say about Freddy?

    Not much, other than, wow, he is really awful.

    In 2011, he pitched really well for the Yankees with a 12-8 record and got the ball in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers.

    In 2012, it's a completely different story for the 35-year-old veteran, who not only has his velocity down, but his location is so bad, hitters are salivating to hit off him.

    That's why he's 0-2 with a 12.51 ERA in four starts and has already been yanked out of the rotation in favor of David Phelps.

    By July 31, I don't expect Garcia to have a roster spot on the Yankees, and he may be pitching elsewhere by that time.

    A year ago, Garcia was 10-7 with a 3.22 ERA at the deadline, another reason why Brian Cashman didn't make a deal.

    Garcia may be pitching high school batting practice come July 31, and will force the Yankees to find other options for the rotation,

Phil Hughes Flat out Stinks in 2012

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    Last year, the Yankees put Phil Hughes on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue and didn't have him return until the beginning of July.

    When returning from the DL, Hughes went 5-4 and lowered his ERA from 13.94 to 5.79, which is a major improvement.

    In 2012, Hughes isn't hurt, there is no shoulder fatigue. He just flat out stinks right now.

    A 1-4 record with a 7.48 ERA for the 25-year-old who was being counted on to be the Yankees' No. 3 starter in the rotation—not good at all.

    Average teams are making Hughes look bad on the mound. It's one thing when the Rangers, Rays and Angels hit Hughes around—they have talent. But the Twins and Orioles? I know they have some good hitters, but not like the other ones.

    Hughes is likely one start away from being banished to the bullpen, where he might be best.

    And that's a shame, because two years ago, Hughes was an 18-game winner and an All-Star for the Yankees. Now, he might be pitching in mop-up duty.

    Hughes is a big reason why the Yankees need to add pitching come July.

The Killer B's Are Nowhere Near Ready Yet

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    We've all been wondering when the Yankees are going to call up the two cornerstones of their minor league system in Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances.

    It's not going to be anytime soon, unfortunately.

    Right now, both aren't getting it done at Class AAA in Scranton/Wilks-Barre. Banuelos is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three starts. Betances is 1-2 with a 7.25 ERA in five starts.

    Those numbers aren't going to get anyone called up. If anything, it could get them demoted if they don't learn some control while pitching in AAA.

    If they had better numbers, you could argue the case that one of them could get promoted up to the Yankees in 2012 and try to help out and be the fifth starter with no pressure.

    Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi can't call up either with the way they are pitching right now, and it might be time for Cashman to think about considering dealing the 24-year-old Betances if he wants to improve his team at the deadline.

Conclusion

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    The Yankees' general manager has some figuring out to do.

    He will get Andy Pettitte back from his extended spring training in a few days, and he'll be ready to go for the rotation.

    The addition of Pettitte will help, and it'll help with the likes of C.C. Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova, who likely are not losing their spots anytime soon.

    And who knows what David Phelps will give the Yankees, as he will be auditioning for a rotation spot when he makes his first ever major league start against the Royals on Thursday night.

    But right now, if the Yankees are going to do anything come 2012, they will need some help with the rotation.

    They could look for rental players who are soon-to-be free agents like Jake Peavy, Jeremy Guthrie, Derek Lowe and Ryan Dempster.

    There are guys like Zack Grienke, Anibal Sanchez and Cole Hamels, who will be free agents as well, but I doubt Cashman will unload their farm system for a pitcher who will be a free agent come November.

    But with the way everything is shaping up for the Yankees rotation right now, one thing seems to be for certain.

    Cashman will be working the phones a lot come June and July looking for pitching. He opted not to make a deal last summer only because he didn't have to, but he doesn't have that luxury now.

    This summer, he may have no other choice but to make a deal for a starter.

    Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.