Now that we are officially into the second half of the 2008 MLB regular season teams will start to look into ideas about their ball club for the second half. The New York Yankees always have an interesting mid-season look at players available and always try to strengthen their team. This year will be no different and many people are wondering what will they do.
The Yankees are five and a half games back in a tough AL East so changes will need to be made to win the division or even the wild card. The Yanks have a three game series with Texas coming up where they should take at least take two out of three, then two huge series with Boston and Tampa. The Tampa series is only two games but if the Yankees can win at least three of the combined five games they can gain some ground in that division. After that is a make-up game with Pittsburgh and a three game series with Toronto before the all star break. If the Yankees can go in strong to the the all star break it would make things a lot easier for GM Brian Cashman and for the entire Yankees managing on what to do with their team.
Looking at the team right now, the main concern is definitely pitching. They are in an awful pitching situation with their ace Wang out for at least six weeks or even longer. Also, with the Yankees rookies Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes being busts at the beginning of the year, they had to try and work around that.
Lots of talk have been around the Yankees going after some hitters such as Mark Teixeira of the Atlanta braves. Teixeira's contract is up at the end of the year but Atlanta definitely still wants him on the team. With the braves getting worse and worse as the all star break approaches, it's getting more possible that they would trade him to the Yankees. Yes, Teixeira in Yankee Stadium with that short porch in right would have a blast, but the Yankees already have enough bats in their lineup.
With the move of Joba Chamberlain to the starting rotation, the Yankees are left with only have one reliable relief pitcher so they need to get another lights out pitcher in their bullpen, that is their main concern. The Yankees have shown interest in pitcher C.C. Sabathia of the Cleveland Indians. Obviously bringing in the MLB strikeout leader will boost your pitching rotation but I don't think it's the direction the Yankees should go in.
Brian Cashman has done this before, he knows what he needs to do. In 2005 he went out and got Shawn Chacon from the Colorado Rockies and that turned out to save the Yankees season. The Yankees also need to rely on an Aaron Small to pop up and help them out. I think if the Yankees went out and got someone like Brian Bannister or a Greg Smith to boost their rotation a little it would help them out a bunch. Not only does adding another guy to their rotation help them out that way but it also moves one of the starters they have now to the bullpen. With Ponson and Rasner at the bottom of the rotation, it would make them both work harder for their jobs as starters and the one who gets moved to the bullpen would help out there. Also with Phil Hughes hopefully coming back soon and having him come back to the pitcher he was last year he will help out the rotation.
Dan Giese had a very good start in his first of his career but then got blown up in his second, keeping him in the bullpen would probably be best. Having Farnsworth stay in the set up man spot i think is a very bad move. He pitches much better in the seventh versus the eighth because the pressure is far less. Finding someone for the eighth inning spot would be tough but if Ponson, Rasnser, Giese, or even Hughes if he fails as a starter again could take command of the set up man roll the Yankees could be pretty set for a playoff run.