With Darrell Rasner’s untimely removal today â€” perhaps due to a painful blister â€” the Yankees starting rotation completed its first run through the rotation. While the Yanks are missing Chien Ming-Wang, their young ace, the early returns are hardly promising. Let’s take a look.
So yikes. The Yanks’ starters are 0-2 with a 9.97 ERA in 21.2 innings. They are sporting a WHIP of 2.12 and are generally being a drain on the team. The bullpen has been asked to pick up at least four innings in every game this season, and the Yankees offense needs to generate 10 runs a game to stay in the win column.
The weather is a factor right now. It’s very hard to pitch in the cold. Fingers have no feeling, and breaking pitches are nearly impossible to spot. And it’s still just once through the rotation.
But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned. Sure, I’m concerned. I’m concerned when Paul Bako hits his first home run since 2004, and I’m concerned when no Yankee has come close to the 6th inning, let alone a quality start.
These outings will start to put pressure on the Yankees to find some pitching. I’m sure Brian Cashman is working Roger Clemens’ phone non-stop these days. I’m sure Phil Hughes, who had a solid first outing for the AAA the other day, knows what’s happening up here.
Over the next few weeks, the state of the Yankees pitching will become clear. Clemens will make a decision by the end of this month; Chien-Ming Wang will return to the anchor the rotation in a few weeks; and Hughes will have a few more AAA starts under his belt. But for now, we just have to hope that Pettitte and Mussina can regain their form, that Carl Pavano can stay healthy and that Igawa, Rasner or whoever else may pitch in that five spot can keep the team in the game.