Rotation Shuffle: Moseley out, Vazquez back

One year later, the same Jeter conundrum
Game 133: Surviving A.J.

Javier Vazquez will take a turn in the starting rotation, replacing Dustin Moseley on Saturday against the Blue Jays, Joe Girardi announced this afternoon. The decision came as little surprise as Moseley has gotten hit around over this last four outings while Vazquez has made two impressive bullpen appearances, flashing better stuff and velocity. Since beating Boston on August 8, Moseley is 2-1 but is averaging fewer than five innings a start. He’s walked 13 and struck out 11 while giving up five home runs en route to a 6.41 ERA. Meanwhile, since losing his rotation spot amidst a dead-arm period, Vazquez has thrown nine strong innings in relief. He’s allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out eight. We questioned whether Vazquez truly tweaked his mechanics or was experience the placebo effect of a new role role, but no matter the answer, the Yanks feel comfortable enough to move him back to the rotation after a two-week stint in the pen.

One year later, the same Jeter conundrum
Game 133: Surviving A.J.
  • Matt Imbrogno

    Sounds good to me. Moseley did his job for a bit and that’s commendable, but his time should be up for now.

  • Ross in Jersey

    Not a big surprise, and clearly the right move. Getting the mid-July Vazquez for the playoff run is crucial.

    • Carlosologist

      I agree. If we can get the Javy Vazquez that posted a 3.29 ERA from May 12 to July 31, we’ll be in good shape. It’ll solidify the playoff rotation.

  • Frank

    I really don’t think it will matter. I’ve never been sold on Vazquez and I’m still not. Either starter, against the Jays this Saturday, will likely render similar results.

    • rbizzler

      I agree that either starter could yield similar results (read: disastrous) against the Jays, but which one has a better chance of actually having a successful outing? I’ll go with Javy. Also, which pitcher has a better shot of being a useful piece down the stretch? Once again, I’ll take Javy’s track record over Dustin’s in a heartbeat.

  • bexarama

    The right move, I think. Hopefully Javy’s back to form.

  • Hughesus Christo

    I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want to see Javier Vazquez anywhere near a playoff start. CC-AP-AJ-PH-JV, in that order.

    • MattG

      I do want to see him. Like Burnett, you can tell right away if he’s got the goods for a game, and like Burnett, they come in bunches. If Vazquez puts together a quality September, he’ll be money come October.

    • Chris A

      I think I’d rather see Javy in the playoffs than A.J. If Javy gets on a roll like he was earlier in the season, he could be very valuable in the postseason. Remember, for a portion of the season Javy was arguably the Yankees second most valuable pitcher, he could be the same in the playoffs. Obviously, A.J. could get on a roll as well, so I’m not saying I don’t want to see him in the playoffs.

  • MattG

    Good time to get Javy back in, but I’d like to see Moseley once more for Hughes. Well, actually I would hate to see Moseley for Hughes, but I would like Hughes to get skipped once, for a little breather.

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      gaudin has been pretty good lately, maybe it is his turn in the longman spot start carousel

  • FIPster Doofus

    Javy is down to his final two months in a Yankees uniform. Hopefully his velocity will stay up and he can make them count. It’d be tremendous if he had a heroic stretch run and made the “Javy can’t pitch in big games” crowd look stupid.

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      i would give a lot to see him pitch a no hitter in the playoffs. but as we all know if it wasnt a series clinching game no one would care

      • MattG

        Anyone can pitch a no-hitter in game 3!

  • vin

    It’s obvious… Dustin Moseley can’t pitch in NY.

    • Steve H


  • Tank the Frank

    No big surprise and it’s the right move. Javy is absolutely crucial to the Yankees’ playoff hopes. You can’t go into the postseason with CC and three question marks (b/c of Andy’s injury). You need to hope Andy gets back into a groove during the few starts he’ll have before the playoffs and you need to hope one of AJ or Javy gets on a serious hot streak. It’s becoming more and more apparent that Phil should be in the bullpen (in my opinion) come playoff time because of his innings limits. And besides that, I think the strongest Yankees playoff team consists of CC, Andy, AJ, Javy (in whatever order) pitching to their capabilities with Phil solidifying what would be a monster bullpen.

    • Jerome S

      nooo I want Phil to start… but I think that the Yanks should rest him for the final 2-3 weeks of the season.

    • MattG

      I want to see how Nova’s stuff plays in the pen. If he can dial it up 2-3 mph as a reliever, he could be a force. Also, who here is with me on the conspiracy theory that the Yankees have told Nova not to use his change now, so that he can unleash it in the playoffs?

      Anyway you slice it, the Yankees’ pen will be sick come playoff time. Rivera, rejuvenated Chamberlain, and Robertson for end game from the right, the rejuvenated Logan and rehabbed Marte from the left, with Nova and one of Hughes or Vazquez for length is outrageous.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Don’t forget Aceves.

        • MattG

          Oh goodness, and Kerry Wood! Yikes!

          Nova won’t even make the roster.

          • FIPster Doofus

            Wood too. I forgot him. Damn, this bullpen is really good. With help from Cashman, Girardi has molded it into a formidable group for the second straight year.

            • vin

              (Assuming a 12 man pitching staff)

              Playoff Bullpen Definites:
              AJ/Javy/Hughes (assuming Pettitte is healthy)

              That realistically only leaves 2 spots for:

              That’s more than enough to win with.

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                We usually only roll with an 11-man staff, though. 4 starters and 7 relievers.

                So only one of that Marte-Aceves-Nova-Mitre-Gaudin-Albaladejo-Moseley group gets in.

                • JGS

                  and if he is healthy, it will be Marte. Joe loves him his double-barreled lefty action.

                  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    Agreed. He’s right, too; Marte is death to lefties and he probably offers a better individual skill than any of the rest of those guys (if he’s healthy).

                    Of course, it depends on matchups. If we’re playing a team that doesn’t have multiple quality lefty bats, we’d leave Marte off and go with Ace (if he’s healthy) or Albie (if Ace isn’t).

                    I’d bet that our playoff pitching staff is:

                    SP (4): CC, Pettitte, AJ, Javy
                    RP (7): Mo, Wood, Robertson, Joba, Hughes, Logan, Marte

                • vin

                  I originally had 11 in mind, then for some reason I thought they used 12 last year. You’re right though. I remember last year many were calling for a 10 man staff, but they ended up with 11 + a 3rd catcher (in the first round).

  • Jerome S

    Is it feasible that rather than labeling a rotation spot as Javy’s or Moseley’s we make it a shared spot between the two, with the starter going 4-5 innings and the other picking up the rest of the game? It would save on bullpen, at least.

    • whozat

      that doesn’t work. If the game is close, you want better pitchers than Dustin Mosely in there to preserve the lead.

  • Brad Toughy

    Any chance that Ivan Nova pitches his way to a postseason start.

    Should Andy Pettitte not return and Vazquez and Burnett continue to pitch poorly out of the rotation that leaves just CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes as trustworthy options. And there have to be some questions about Hughes and his workload as well.

    That’s a lot of things going wrong, and I can’t anticipate them happening, but if they do, are the Yankees ready to hand the ball to Nova in the playoffs?

    • billbybob

      Well I can’t imagine that Nova would get a start over AJ even if Nova deserves it. If Pettitte doesn’t return, that leaves you with a choice of Vazquez/Mosely/Nova for that fourth starter spot. As of right now it would have to Nova IMO, but luckily the Yankees wouldn’t have to make that decision until October.

    • vin

      As you mentioned, that would probably mean a lot of things going wrong. But it also might mean Nova pitches brilliantly and earns a spot ahead of AJ/Javy/Hughes.

      I doubt it would happen, but I’m interested to see how everything plays out.

      I kind of liked the idea someone floated earlier today about Javy in the bullpen to (primarily) serve as AJ’s caddy in the event “bad” AJ shows up early in a game. A short leash is critical in the playoffs.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        One way or another, one of those three (Javy, AJ, Phil) will be the playoff 5th starter “caddy” to come in in the 3rd inning of a blowout.

        It’s a nice step up from Chad Gaudin last year, btw.

        • vin

          The best thing about Gaudin in last year’s playoffs?

          He only pitched in 1 game. And that was a blow-out in favor of the good guys.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    We’re not here to cause no trouble
    We’re just here to do the Rotation Shuffle!

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    Javy will start a playoff game. Book it.

    Frankly, between Javy, AJ, and Phil Hughes, I’d say Javy has the best chance of actually being a capable starting pitcher by the last day of the regular season. AJ’s inconsistency has reached ridiculous proportions, and Hughes looks completely out of gas.

    Javy might be rounding back into shape at the perfect time.

  • Dela G

    very very good move

    javy will face some stiff tests come september

  • M-Three

    Why is Girardi doing this? We could have lived with Moseley in the rotation until Pettitte come back. Why he putting this bum Vasquez back in the rotation? What, just because he pitches well in mop-up work that means he deserves a start? The Jays must now be looking forward to Saturday because to them it will be like facing batting practice.

    Hopefully Pettitte will be back within 2 weeks so that we can stick this bum Vasquez back in the mop-up role as the last guy in the pen. In no way should Vasquez be allowed anywhere near the postseason roster. The pitching staff in the postseason should be a rotation consisting of CC, Hughes, Andy and A.J. with a bullpen of Mo, D-Rob, Logan, Wood, Joba, Nova(long man) and hopefully a healthy Marte. If Marte isn’t ready than go with Mitre. Putting Vasquez on the postseason roster would be as dumb as Cashman trying to claim Ted Lilly off waiver. Thank god the Dodgers pulled him back because having both Vasquez and Lilly would be wasting 2 roster spot. Both of those guys are complete garbage.