-Bronx, New York, 06/13/2015
The New York Yankees have completed their starting rotation for the 2015 season.
This past spring training, Joba Chamberlain was trying once again to figure out his role. Joba was involved in two competitions: one was for a spot in the rotation and the other was for the closer role. Whichever competition he did not lose, he would take over.
Mark Melancon served as his competition for the closer role. The Yankees were considering either Chamberlain or Andrew Brackman for their final starter slot. That is all before the Yankees decided to sign Stephen Strasburg on June 13. Strasburg was unsigned due to the fact that he underwent elbow surgery in December. No team wanted to take the risk.
Strasburg has been great for the Nationals through his first four years. He went 11-2 in his rookie season in 2010 with 207 strikeouts. This upcoming campaign would mark only the second time that Strasburg has started his season off in June since 2010.
The Yankees will have him start after the aging A.J. Burnett. Strasburg will make his Yankees debut after one tune-up start in Triple-A. The irony is that he will start against his former team, the Syracuse Sky-Chiefs.
Experts project Strasburg to pitch his first game on July 1 at the Florida Marlins Stadium. The press-box in Miami will most likely be filled to see the Yankees $190M arm.
The Yankees president, Derek Jeter, has said that he is very pleased with the signing and proud to have Strasburg at the front end of the rotation for several years to come.
GM Brian Cashman said, “Stephen Strasburg will be a big part of future Yankee championship runs. New York welcomes Strasburg with open arms.”
Alex Rodriguez is entering his first season as the Yankees player-manager. He has drawn comparisons to Diego Maradona and his run as Argentina’s World Cup coach in 2010. Both these guys have very high profiles and their success is mostly due to the high-caliber talent on their respective teams.
Rodriguez commented on the Strasburg signing saying, “[Pitching] coach Mussina visited Stephen several times over the winter to see how he was doing. We both learned that for a young kid, he is very mature. The Bronx is a huge stage for someone young and the first few years may be rough. I am no stranger to that. But I believe Stephen will be fine.”
Bleacher Report wishes Strasburg the best of luck as he dons the legendary Yankee pinstripes for the next few years!
Pictured Above: No. 37 Stephen Strasburg - Yankees RHP