From the NY Post:
The Yankees are prepared to start the season with a rotation that consists of two starters with limited or non-existent major-league experience, General Manager Brian Cashman says.
With the Royals sending Zack Greinke to the Brewers and Cliff Lee signing with the Phillies over the Yankees, Cashman is not excited about the crop of pitchers available via trade or free agency.
“I’m not saying I want to do it, but I may have to do it,” Cashman told ESPN.com of starting the season with a back-end of a rotation lacking experience.
The three certainties in the rotation are CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett. Cashman told the website he is not counting on a return from Andy Pettitte.
The Yankees entered the 2008 season in a similar situation — counting on youngsters Hughes and Ian Kennedy to fill out the rotation. The plan failed mightily as the pair combined to go 0-8 in 17 starts and The Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time in 13 years.”If we get Pettitte back, so much the better,” Cashman said. “But I’m not waiting for him. He told me not to.”
“Could I go out and get a starter? Yes, I could. But there’s just not much out there,” said Cashman, who ruled out acquiring Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez from the Mariners.
Ivan Nova, who went 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 10 appearances (seven starts) last season, is the obvious choice as the fourth starter. The top pitching prospects in the franchise are Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances, but both are expected to start the season in Double-A. Andrew Brackman could be the favorite for the fifth spot if Pettitte does not return.
“We have 10 prospects starting from Double-A on up that our organization can choose from,” Cashman said.
The Red Sox had their “bridge” year last year and finished in third. This year, the Beaneaters are intent on finishing first and went on a spending spree. They don’t appear to be done yet. One of my Boston friends actually said the Yankees could wind up in third this year. I laughed him off, saying there is no way Cashman and the Steinbrenners would allow any such thing to happen.
But, after watching the way this off-season has unfolded: the highest profile signing being a catcher coming off hip surgery who now needs knee surgery, simultaneously holding back our best prospect; letting every decent pitcher available go elsewhere, not doing anything to shore up the bench – I’m beginning to become afraid.