MLB Predictions: Why the Yankees Won't Be Able To Resist Banuelos and Betances

Teresa RocaCorrespondent IIMarch 7, 2011

MLB Predictions: Why the Yankees Won't Be Able To Resist Banuelos and Betances

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    With the last two spots of the starting rotation still vacant, many wonder if top-pitching prospects Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances will be considered for the job. According to Cashman, that would be a no.

    “Betances and Banuelos aren’t earning spots in the rotation out of spring training,” Cashman told the New York Daily News, “They’re going to get their first taste of big-league camp, then they’re going to get slotted into Trenton. They have no chance to make this team.”

    For once Brian, I actually agree with you.

    At the tender age of 19 and 22, both of these pitchers have a long and hopefully successful career ahead of them. There is no need to rush them into the Major Leagues as of yet, just look at what happened to Joba Chamberlain. He appeared on the scene as a prominent and powerful reliever with great aspects ahead of him. In 2008, Chamberlain became a part of the starting rotation and a short time after that he struggled as a pitcher, never returning to the dominant pitcher he once was.

    Therefore, giving these two pitchers time before entering the majors full-time seems like a wise decision on Cashman’s part, but will they be kept out of the majors for long?

    Here are eight reasons why the Yankees won’t be able to resist Banuelos and Betances this season. 

No. 8: More Major League Exposure

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    As I stated in my previous slide, Joba Chamberlain was sent to the Yankees' starting rotation too soon, resulting in Chamberlain struggling as a pitcher till this day. It would unfair to blame the Yankees for putting Chamberlain in a position which required consistency, dependability and strength, all the qualities Chamberlain could not possess at the time. Many factors could have attributed to Chamberlain not pitching up to par.

    Giving Banuelos and Betances more time in the Minor Leagues where they can practice and work on improving their skills before undergoing the pressures of the Major Leagues is an ideal plan.

    Allowing Banuelos and Betances to pitch a few games midseason will test if they are able to conquer the feat of pitching in the Major Leagues, if they can withstand the pressure, and most importantly, if they can give back to the Yankees, what the Yankees have given them.

    Banuelos and Betances are considered the future of the New York Yankees; they are young, talented and they have waited years to start for the New York Yankees, what’s another year? 

No. 7: Why Not Show Banuelos and Betances Off?

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    Why wouldn’t the Yankees give their competition a taste of what is in store for next season when the “Killer B’s” (minus Brackman) approach the mound.

    After entering the 2010 postseason with the Wild Card, an embarrassing ALCS loss to the Texas Rangers and losing pitchers Lee, Wood and Pettitte, it seems the Yankees have been plagued with their share of bad luck recently. With an upcoming season that leaves less than great promise for fans, the Yankees have a chance to debut Banuelos and Betances this season.

    The Yankees will not only comeback strong, but prominent in the following 2012 season. Especially if, and I hate to say it, Sabathia decides to leave New York. 

No. 6: Injury History

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    As opposed to Banuelos who has a clean injury history, Betances has had his share of arm problems in the past.

    In late 2009, it was reported that Betances underwent Tommy John Surgery, although it was said to just be a ligament reinforcement procedure later on. With this complication occurring early on in Betances' career, waiting until he can fully possess his strength and potential as a pitcher would ensure a better outcome than if he were rushed onto the mound. 

No. 5: They Can Help Make Use out of Our Bullpen

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    Despite their thin starting rotation, the Yankees made sure to fill their bullpen with both reliable and prominent relievers. With Rafael Soriano as a new attribute to the team and the legendary Mariano Rivera, these two will help end games quicker and produce more wins, that is, if the games are winnable.

    Soriano ended his 2010 season on the Tampa Bay Rays with a spectacular 1.73 ERA and an impressive 2.37 ERA overall.

    Rivera continues to prove that age is just a number, posting a 1.80 ERA in 2010 and a 2.23 ERA in an incredible 16 seasons.

    With these two closers, Chamberlain (3.77), Logan (5.10), Feliciano (3.31) and Robertson (3.99), it would be a shame for this bullpen to be unable to save the Yankees in their moments of need. Allowing Banuelos and Betances to pitch games midseason would help save games and also provide them with the experience they need to pitch successfully when they are ready to start permanently. 

No. 4: Their Successful Past

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    Though just starting out, both of the these pitchers have earned their spots as number 41 (Banuelos) and 43 (Betances) on baseball’s top 100 pitching prospects.

    In Banuelos’ three seasons in the Minor Leagues, he has pitched an outstanding 2.95 ERA in 37 starts. Banuelos has improved in velocity, sharpness, control and is more solid of a pitcher than ever before. His consistency makes Banuelos a top prospect to join the Yankees rotation in the future and hopefully at some point during the upcoming season. He posted a 2.23 ERA in 44 innings with Tampa last year and recorded a 3.52 ERA in 15 innings in Double-A.

    Betances has had just as much success as Banuelos last season and throughout his career. In five seasons he posted a 3.39 ERA in 65 starts. Betances has the physique (6'8"), the drive and ability to pitch to perfection.

    In his 2010 season, he recorded a remarkable 1.77 ERA in Tampa, striking out 88 batters and walking 19. Later in that season he recorded a 3.77 ERA in Trenton. A huge Yankees fan his entire life and even witnessing David Wells’ perfect game in 1998, Betances’ dreams are about to come true as the Yankees will hopefully start this dependable pitcher soon. 

No. 3: Are They Better Than Mitre, Nova, Colon and Garcia?

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    That is a tough question to answer, seeing as these four pitchers do have Major League experience as opposed to Banuelos and Betances. Despite Cashman's announcement of these two not joining the Yankees rotation this season there presence, if allowed to pitch a few games, may be even more promising than the two pitchers who will receive the final two spots in the rotation. 

    With less major league experience than the others, Nova posted a 4.50 ERA, a 1.452 WHIP and allowed 22 runs for his first and only season in the major leagues.

    Pitching in twelve seasons, a greatly experienced Garcia ended his 2010 season with a 4.64 ERA, 1.299 ERA and allowed 85 runs.

    Mitre ended his 2010 season with a career high 3.33 ERA, 1.093 WHIP and allowed only 23 runs. Mitre also has Major League experience, pitching in seven seasons.

    As experienced as Garcia, Colon has 12 seasons under his belt and ended his 2010 season with a 4.19 ERA, a 1.444 WHIP and 42 runs allowed.

    Clearly Banuelos and Betances have better stats for the 2010 season, however, with these two pitchers hopefully making appearances midseason, the Yankees starting rotation should be in fine shape. 

No. 2: Success at Spring Training

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    Both Betances' and Banuelos’ performances during spring training have definitely been noticed, even if it seems Cashman overlooked these two major prospects.

    Betances entered the sixth inning of New York’s Grapefruit League exhibition retiring hitters B.J Upton, Desmond Jennings and Evan Longoria; he even struck out Manny Ramirez, Matt Joyce and three players in a game against the Phillies.

    Banuelos has also been doing some damage himself during spring training. Going against the Detroit Tigers, he got Victor Martinez to ground out while also striking out Jhonny Peralta and Brandon Inge.

    It definitely seems as if Betances and Banuelos have overcome the typical fear of facing top-notch players. Their next step should be a few midseason appearances for the Yankees.

    If these two pitchers are doing this well during Spring Training, imagine how clutch they will be midseason? It is going to be hard for the Yankees to fully hold back. 

No. 1: The Rotation Needs All the Help It Can Get

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    Right now the starting rotation consists of the always reliable CC Sabathia (3.57), the dominant yet questionable Phil Hughes (4.20), the struggling A.J Burnett (3.99) and either Freddy Garcia (4.13), Ivan Nova (4.50), Sergio Mitre (5.27) or Bartolo Colon (4.10).

    Thrilled about the starting rotation? Neither am I.

    While the final four pitchers fight for the last two remaining spots of the rotation, it seems no matter which two pitchers are added to the rotation, (hopefully Garcia and Nova) the Yankees are still in less than spectacular shape for this upcoming season.

    Starting these two pitchers midseason will expose them to the Major Leagues, relieve starting pitchers from the pressure of pitching well for the Yankees and can help the Yankees out of any pitching slumps they may be in.

    Sabathia and Hughes can not carry the rotation themselves all season and if the other pitchers unfortunately fall short, starting Betances and Banuelos would definitely be a much needed aid for the Yankees. 

    Will the Yankees be able to resist?

    I hope not.