Not every article I write will be about the Yankees' bullpen or lack of one, but at this moment its on my mind.
I might of come up with a solution for the problem, and it does not involve harming Hank Steinbrenner at all. This will not be a long term solution and it may not even work, but its worth looking into.
All Yankees fans are aware that Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes did not exactly get off to stellar starts as members of the 2008 New York Yankees' rotation. Since the start of the season Hughes has been injured and Kennedy was sent back to AAA to work out the kinks.
These pitchers have good stuff but as with many New York pitchers they were rushed to the majors and expected to perform in their first Major League season (which for pitchers is much easier said than done).
How about this? Let's see Ian Kennedy brought back up to the Major League level and put in the bullpen. The Yankees are currently in need of a solid set up man and a long reliever, and depending on how he pitches out of the bullpen this could go a long way in helping this team.
Again this would only be a temporary fix because Kennedy is better suited as a starting pitcher—but while this team needs things, why not look within your team and improvise.
Hmm, when was the last time a Yankees' prospect starter came in to help the bullpen? I believe it was one year ago with Joba.
I'm not saying Kennedy will have that type of success out of the bullpen but who knows, but isn't it worth a shot?
The other part of the equation will be Phil Hughes. Honestly, I like this guy—he has a lot of talent, solid command of his pitch library, and guts. He can take the ball, get rocked, here it from the crowd, and then come out the next inning and throw strikes.
Although my solution for the Yankees' bullpen does include Ian Kennedy, it may or may not include Hughes. Coming off of the injury, I think he could help the starting rotation a lot more than Joba or Kennedy could.
He has the most Major League games under his belt and is ready to start pitching well. I'm not ruling out a stint in the bullpen, but I think he would help the team more as the third or fourth starter behind Wang, Pettitte, and Mussina.
The Yankees have a lot to think about if they plan on staying in this very talented AL East race—moving another prospect into the bullpen might not be such a bad way to go.
Let's try it out and if it doesn't work then kill me—but if it does, it might just redeem Hank from some dumb moves in the past.