Right before the end of 2014 I took a quick look at the projected starting rotation depth for the Yanks, and it wasn't a pretty picture. If you were someone who didn't have faith in Tanaka, Pineda, and Sabathia staying healthy this season, that list couldn't have made you feel good. A week away from pitchers and catchers reporting to camp, I wanted to take another look at the projected depth to see if the Yankees improved it the way they needed to. Here's how it stands currently: 1) Masahiro Tanaka 2) Michael Pineda 3) CC Sabathia 4) Nathan Eovaldi 5) Chris Capuano
That's a little better, right? I admittedly took creative liberties in making it look better by including Warren and Rogers this time when I didn't last time, but I think that's justified based on what we know about the Yankees' plans for them in camp and the additional moves they've made to beef up the bullpen. Warren and Rogers appear to be competing for the now vacated David Phelps Memorial Swingman role, and if I'm being honest I can see Warren beating out Capuano for the 5th starter spot out of camp if he pitches well enough.
I definitely feel better about Bryan Mitchell being the 8th-9th starter than the 6th, I have no problem with Whitley and De Paula as the emergency 10th starter guys, and even the Baker and Davies signings don't bother me as much as they probably should. Those 2 are obviously nowhere near the talent level that the team needed as free agent signings, but I don't expect either to really factor into the rotation at any point in 2015. Baker will probably be cut sometime before the end of ST, and I think Davies is more suited for the "random former MLB arm innings eater guy" role in the SWB rotation than any actual Major League role. If they're the bottom of the depth barrel right now heading into camp, so be it.
So in short, the depth of talent hasn't really gotten much better and that could still be a huge problem if multiple guys in the starting 5 go down. But there has been a slight increase in overall depth and that's a positive for the time being. With Severino and a few others down in Double-A, some of these guys are just emergency placeholders.