The New York Yankees have seen their 2014 season undone by injuries to their starting rotation.
It is to their credit that they have remained in the playoff race for as long as they have, but ultimately the injuries were going to be too much. New York’s lack of a starting rotation was always going to catch up with them.
With that in mind, Yankees’ pitching coach Larry Rothchild is considering a different plan entirely for the remainder of this season and possibly entering next season. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees are considering a six-man rotation, with Rothchild the man pushing strongly for it:
“Absolutely” was the word he used to describe if he was serious about attempting this. And not just because myopically he has to figure out how to get the best out of Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda in September and that duo plus CC Sabathia and, perhaps, Ivan Nova next year. But because he sees the epidemic of pitching injuries, particularly the need for Tommy John surgeries, Rothschild says, “I think people are going to have to look at a lot of alternatives.”
It is interesting to hear that this consideration is both a reaction to what has happened this season and an attempt to proactively account for the recent increases in Tommy John surgery across all of baseball. As for the injuries specifically for New York’s rotation, they have been all over the place: Pineda went down with a back injury, Sabathia a knee injury, Tanaka and Nova with elbow injuries.
Any actual attempt to implement a six-man rotation would be met by resistance, namely from the pitchers themselves. It will be no easy task for Rothchild and the rest of the Yankees’ coaches to sell it, but if they could, it would throw an interesting wrench in the dynamics of the American League East.
Tags: New York Yankees