Avoid All New York Yankees Pitchers

Jul 3, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have some pretty talented pitchers in their rotation this season. The group has a potential to win 90 games, but will that translate to fantasy relevance? I don’t think so. When you draft your starting pitchers, make sure you avoid all Yankees pitchers.

The Yankees rotation will consist of CC SabathiaMasahiro TanakaMichael PinedaNathan Eovaldi and Chris Capuano. Those last two names don’t stand out as much, but the Yankees needed to sign some pitchers to fill out the rotation. The team lost Brandon McCarthy, who was a good back-end pitcher, and Hiroki Kuroda, an excellent game manager.  

The main reason to avoid these names is because of injuries. Sabathia made only eight starts, Tanaka missed a collective two months and Pineda was gone from May through July in 2014. Pineda also missed two seasons because of a shoulder surgery. These huge amounts of games missed will hurt any fantasy owners’ team.

The other downside of drafting a Yankees pitcher is the low win probability. The Yankees won 84 games and scored 633 runs in 2014, lowest since 1995 (79 wins) and 1990 (603 runs), respectively. With the lineup the Yankees will roll out in 2015, it could be another struggling season for the pitching staff.

Across multiple rankings, the Yankees pitchers do not rank very high. ESPN’s fantasy staff ranks Sabathia at 246th overall and 70th starting pitcher, Tanaka 116th and 32nd, Pineda 189th and 55th and Eovaldi 261st and 74th. Tanaka as the highest ranked does not surprise me, but there is no way you draft a Yankees’ pitcher any higher than the 15th round.

I usually use the second half of my draft to select younger players or take a risk on some flyers. Tanaka is the only one of these worth drafting in a 10-team league. Unless the others get hot or show that they are back their former selves, you should leave the Yankees’ rotation alone.