The Yankees have three injured starters – already. But it might be just what the doctor ordered, giving the kids a chance to strut their stuff.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has been doing this for more than two decades now. So he must have known that Plan A was only dreaming, and he’d better be ready at least with Plan B to cover his needs for starting pitchers.
As fans on the outside of the fishbowl looking in, we tend to overreact to everything.
We learn that Luis Severino and James Paxton are both down with injuries before throwing even one pitch in a Spring Training game.
Perhaps driving us to throw up our hands in despair, recalling Yogi Berra’s, “This looks like deja vu all over again” as a reference to last seasons 30 injuries that nearly derailed the team.
And then we remember that Domingo German is serving a suspension and is not due back until late May or early June. Good God, is Aaron Boone going to be forced to patch this Yankees team together too?
Yankees: Relax, It’s Okay
Not to worry, my friends. October is eight months and 162 games away. The Yankees, once again, are predicted to win 103 games with their closest rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays, who are projected to win 92.
And if the Yankees win only 95 games, so what? They are still champions of the American League East.
So, what am I getting at?
Brian Cashman already has Plan B on standby. Jordan Montgomery, Mike King, Luis Cessa, and Deivi Garcia are all available to fill two rotation spots following Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ.
Are they ready? Montgomery certainly is, and Cessa is not far behind. If he were not on the Yankees, Garcia would have a spot on a majority of teams, and King is not far behind Garcia.
The Yankees, like most teams, tend to err on the side of caution before they thrust a young pitcher into the fray.
You Don’t Know Until You Know
Whereas, a Gary Sanchez or Aaron Judge is less likely to be coddled, or sent down for “more seasoning”, as Garcia and King are ticketed for in 2020.
Either or both may be ready, but you don’t know until you know.
The risk is not as high in April as it will be in September and beyond.
But that’s the whole point. What if these injuries occurred in August instead of now?
And isn’t the prospect of having Garcia and King with five or six starts under their belt a better feeling of comfort to the Yankees?
Rather, for instance, than seeing them thrust into the final days of the season with the playoffs looming ahead?
The traditional modus operandi is for Brian Cashman to sign a Jason Vargas. Or maybe a Drew Smyly, Clay Buchholz, Ricky Nolasco, and too many others who are still looking for a job.
Yankees: Challenged, But Ready
And so it is with interest for us to look at what Brian Cashman does in the coming days and weeks.
Ever the practical planner and a statue of stoicism, Cashman told the New York Post, “Obviously you’d prefer to run your ‘A’ team out there, but I think we have a pretty strong ‘B,’ ‘C’ and ‘D’ team as well.”
Well, that’s true so long as the Yankees opt to use that “B” team instead of digging in the depths of the leftovers from this season’s starting pitching free-agent class.
Logic says the two remaining spots are Montgomery’s and Garcia’s to lose. But stranger things have happened…