MLB Hot Stove: New York Yankees Are Pitching With What They Got, Not By Choice

Kate ConroySenior Analyst IIDecember 21, 2010

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  New York Yankees prospect Manuel Banuelos playing for the Phoenix Desert Dogs pitches against the Scottsdale Scorpions during the AZ Fall League game at Scottsdale Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It is no secret that the New York Yankees are winning the biggest losers contest by a landslide this offseason. 

As they cross their fingers hoping Andy Pettitte sends word he wants to play, the waiting is making things look less hopeful.

GM Brian Cashman made it clear:

"He’s not in it. He’s told me not to rely on him, so I’m focusing on what he’s told us."

Not great news, but let's look at the situation for what it really is, as the Yankees head into the New Year:

Offseason Pitchers Who Passed:

  • Cliff Lee brought his talents back to the Phillies.
  • Zach Greinke wasn’t worth the price, as the Royals taxed on serious demands.
  • Veteran and member of the Yankee core four, Andy Pettitte, has turned into as subtle version of Brett Favre.
  • Felix Hernandez would rather stay on the Mariners than pitch in the Bronx, as the Yankees are in his no-trade list.
  • Marlins Josh Johnson was a long shot, but worth a try.

Outlook Heading Into New Year
The Yankees are not accustomed to leaving gaping holes open via rejection.
So, don’t think for a minute this was Plan B, as Brain Cashman had one plan and it was Cliff Lee.
Now it is look internally or bust to complete the gaping hole in their starting rotation.
The Yankees farm has some serious arms, potentially on a track to becoming aces in the majors. Now, the managers and front office have to proceed with caution because the pressure is on again.
Many fans are worried because it seems like deja vu from back in the 2007-08 offseason, but that isn’t quite true. Keep in mind the first time it was by choice; currently the Yankees have no other choice but to look within.
If anything, the lesson has been learned that not only physically but also mentally these youngsters have to be treated as such.
Like the Washington Nationals did with phenom Stephen Strasburg, the Yankees need to hold a press conference stating what role along with an ideal innings limit for any prospects that will be on the roaster.

This will keep the press from making harsh presumptions because they will have nothing to speculate.
Here are the Yankee prospects that look to be major league worthy are Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos, Andrew Brackman and Hector Noesi.
Still, being valuable in the minors doesn’t remove the uncertainty that remains: Are they major-league ready?
Who knows but from a logical perspective one will definitely be a solid starter; another one will flutter between good, greats and so-so; and the remaining two will be sent back down knowing where they need to improve.
Otherwise, GM Brian Cashman is banking on trading before the July deadline, eyeing teams whose season might be tanking and would unload an ace for prospects and cash.
As of today, the rotation will be CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, AJ Burnett, TBD and TBD figuring Pettitte isn’t an option.

Not ideal, but the Yankee bats will have to carry the team while this all gets worked out.
As Vince Lombardi once said:
“Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”