Plotting the rotation going forward

The David Purcey Band-Aid
The Forgotten Yankee

No one likes a rainout. Even the eventual payoff — a doubleheader or a day of baseball where there otherwise wouldn’t have been — doesn’t compensate for the disappointment. After all, those games are in the future. We’ve been deprived of baseball now. One thing we can do, though, is look at how the rotation might play out in the next week or so.

The Yankees play for the next five days before hitting another off-day on Monday. They then have off on Thursday, which allows them to set up the rotation pretty much however they want. It will provide the further benefit of helping them prepare for their 17-game stretch that follows. Which order gives them the optimal setup?

Ideally, the Yankees would want their top four going as frequently as possible, with Garcia getting skipped whenever possible. They can’t just skip him outright, since he’ll need to pitch eventually and has to get some work. But I’m sure they’d prefer to line him up so he basically gets four starts between now and May 8. That appears to be the bare minimum. There’s also the possibility that Hughes tanks his next start and the Yankees skip him. I don’t think they’ll skip him for a full turn, since it would involve giving Garcia five starts instead of four. But they can still give him an eight-day break while keeping Garcia to the minimum four games.

There might be some small tweaks in there, but these iterations serve the Yankees best. It allows them to keep their guys mostly on turn, while using their fifth starter minimally. It also allows them enough flexibility to skip Hughes, if they think that can be a step towards his recovery.

Rainouts are the bane of a baseball fan’s existence. Yet they’re not all bad. They might cause scheduling problems down the road, but that’s for the future us’s to dissect. The two rainouts the Yankees have experienced this season have provided them with a great deal of flexibility in the rotation. Used optimally, it could aid them greatly in the next three weeks.

The David Purcey Band-Aid
The Forgotten Yankee
  • Cuso

    Garcia is gonna end up getting shelled when he finally gets out there

    • Cuso

      (for a start, I mean)

  • It’sATarp

    Can i still be really pissed that we missed Dan Haren? The guy has been a stud so far. Screw Cliff Lee…Dan Haren was the one we really let get away.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      It doesn’t even sound as though the Yanks were in on Haren in the first place. That trade is completely on the D-backs. They let their inept interim GM give away their best asset for next to nothing. I’m sure the Yanks wish they had Haren as well.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        “They let their inept interim GM give away their best asset for next to nothing an elite if raw and risky top LHSP prospect.”


        • Benjamin Kabak

          If we’re being totally accurate, you forgot Joe Saunders. He knows how to win.

          • whozat

            He’s the nothing that the elite lefty was next to.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Well, he knows how to take the ball every five days. It’s a worthwhile skill, especially in the NL West where you can absolutely contend despite having a replacement level 5th starter.

            • king of fruitless hypotheticals

              DUDE! that’s it!

              we need to move the NL west next year. the mets can play in the AL east–how much would the O’s and Jays love that? plus, BOS/NY/TB would stop beating on each other, forcing one of the three out of the playoffs.

              CC already bats, and we’ll just try to teach the others to bunt. It won’t matter. the whole DH issue just goes away.


  • Benjamin Kabak

    So here’s a question: What role does Kevin Millwood play in all of this? It doesn’t sound as though he’s impressing anyone at Extended Spring Training, but the Yanks will have to make a determination about his future by the end of the month. Does he enter the rotation picture at some point?

    • Accent Shallow

      Millwood’s opt out is May 1st, but I don’t think we’d see him much before then, if at all.

      I assume Hughes will have gotten his shit together by then, so . . . maybe if Garcia is as bad as anticipated.

    • jay destro

      he buys spreads for minor league clubs

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    FWIW (which probably isn’t much, as 95% of the decision will probably be based on how Phil does tomorrow night), Phil Hughes has pitched fairly well at The Rogers Centre. For his career:

    6 G, 21.1 IP, 89 BF, .215/.284/.354 against, .263 BABIP

    Compare that to Camden Yards:

    5 G, 20.0 IP, 93 BF, .337/.398/.422 against, .370 BABIP

    Might just be dumb luck, but if Phil makes it through Thursday’s start and isn’t a candidate for immediate demotion, I bet they keep him on schedule and line him up in Toronto. Added benefit: It’ll keep him from facing the same O’s lineup in back-to-back starts.

    • Mike Axisa

      I remember one game when Hughes got absolutely shelled in Camden back in either 2008 or 2009. It was like, eight runs in one-plus innings.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Yeah, these are both small samples. Still, it’s something to consider.

      • Stormrider6

        If its the game I remember, it was 2009. I took a friend who rode the bus down from NYC. He’s an Orioles fan and he was loving it. I was so upset that when I dropped him off the next day to take the bus back to NYC, I stayed in Baltimore to watch the next game, when Joba started and picked up a W.

      • Cuso

        Point being, that one god-awful start could account for those skewed numbers.

    • Accent Shallow

      I can remember a grand total of one start in each park:

      1) Hughes going 8 IP, 2 runs against the Jays in 2008, for his second good start of that year (both against the Jays — one in April, one September)

      2) Hughes getting absolutely pasted (1 2/3 IP, something like 8 runs) in 2009.

      I’d bet most of the splits are from those two games.

  • sjferrari

    I’m flying in to New York this weekend and my girlfriend bought tickets to Sunday’s game. It originally would’ve been AJ pitching and now it’s Freddy.

    I’m not sure I’m happy about this…

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      I’ll tell Freddy you’re dying of cancer, and he’ll pitch a no-hitter for you. And hit two home runs, one of which will be an inside the parker.

      • Steve H

        A triple and an error does not count.

    • Christian Duffy

      I’m also going to Sunday’s game and am not at all excited about witnessing the start of the Freddy Garcia era.

      • Yank the Frank

        If they win that’s all that matters.

    • JMK

      I’d be willing to purchase your tickets for less than half of what you paid for them. In return, you can take my soon-to-be-thrown-out office chair, missing a wheel.


  • Justin

    I still think we should just pitch Garcia and get it over with if you will. As much as we all want to keep pushing back his start Garcia needs to get on the mound and pitch.

  • nsalem

    If Freddy can do what he did last year he will be a welcome addition to this staff. Don’t get the Freddy negativity.

    • Hurling Darvish

      It’s been very negative in Yankee interweb-land since last year. I’m not sure it’s just yankee fans. Anywhere I read a forum or comments for any subject matter on the net, it’s predominately negative. The blogosphere should be renamed the bitchosphere.

  • karl

    Sabathia should start Friday then Wednesday. Giving him 5 days off for 2 starts in a row isn’t maximizing his value.

    • RL

      Yeah, and if he breaks down before the year is over, he won’t be likely to opt out!

      Oh, wait …