Monday, June 1, 2009

A Pitching Surplus

Here's my crazy idea for the day. I've been tossing this idea around in my head for a while but the time has never been right for it. The Yankees right now have a very brief but valuable starting pitching surplus. Burnett, Sabathia, and Pettitte of course have spots set in the rotation, leaving three guys for one hole. The Yankees are going to have to figure out what to do with Wang, Joba, and Hughes. First of all, lets rule out Joba to the bullpen. Of the three he's pitched best in the rotation and he was a bonafide number one starter last year. So, this leaves Hughes and Wang battling for one spot. We can leave Wang in the bullpen and keep Hughes in the rotation, send Hughes to AAA and move Wang to the bullpen, or put Hughes in the bullpen and move Wang to the rotation. Right now, I think that's the best move for the Yankees.

Hopefully, this would not be a permanent move for Phil but it makes sense in the short term for a few reasons which I'll adress in quick and easy bulleted form.
  • He clearly has nothing left to prove in AAA. Minor leaguers are helpless against him and their's nothing left to learn from that level. This way he can build up his innings totals and still get valuable ML experience.
  • Wang had been one of the best pitchers in baseball for three years straight before getting hurt last year. Since he's come back he seems to have found himself again and does not belong wasting away in the bullpen.
  • Hughes has been mediocore thus far in the rotation. He has shown flashes of greatness but, like most 23 year olds, has been inconsistent. Their is no reason to believe he is any better than any of the Yankees' other five starters right now.
  • The bullpen needs some help from somewhere. Having another guy, in addition to Aceves, that can go multiple innings in a big spot would be huge. Hughes has been mediocore in the rotation but mediocore starters often dominate in the bullpen.

Keep in mind, this would be a very temporary solution. Somebody will get hurt eventually and Hughes can then switch back into the rotation. Even if nobody gets hurt, this would be a one year solution until a spot opens up next year. Its worth a shot and I think it would solve a lot of the Yankees' problems. Thoughts?