18 Apr 2012
As I write this, Hiroki Kuroda is headed for a shower in the fifth inning. With Kuroda’s early exit the Yankees have only three quality starts in their first 12 games. In six of those games, their starting pitcher hasn’t made it to the sixth inning. This is obviously putting a strain on the bullpen and Joe Girardi has had to get creative using Corey Wade for multiple innings and unleashing Clay Rapada against righties. And here’s the scary thing. The Yankees are about to play a series in Boston followed by a series in Texas, two places that are not easy on pitching.
I may be in the minority, but I believe the starting pitching will get better. Well, maybe not Freddy Garcia, but I believe the other four starters will stabilize. The problem is, I don’t think the Yankees can wait for that to happen without making a move now. Nothing major, but I think the Yankees need to give serious consideration to calling up another starter from AAA and saying goodbye to Rapada.
Let’s face it, a second lefty is a nice thing to have, but it isn’t worth burning out the bullpen over. Rapada has been very tough on lefties in his career, but absolutely murdered by righties. The fact that Girardi is using him in a 6-4 game right now to get out righties (.675 slugging) tells you how desperate the Yankees bullpen situation is. So, designate him for assignment, hope he gets through waivers and bring up a arm who can help out this team with some innings. You don’t want to burn out the pen in April.
UPDATE 10:45PM We are going to get a pitcher, but not the way we expected. According to Mark Feinsand, Gardner is headed to the DL and the Yankees are recalling Cody Eppley. The Yankees got Eppley at the end of Spring Training when he was DFA’ed by the Rangers. Yankee fans may remember him as the guy the Yankees tattooed for six runs in a third of an inning last May.