Adam Warren may be moving back to the rotation soon. With Nathan Eovaldi out until at least the end of the regular season, the Yankees began to stretch him out in last night’s loss to the Orioles.Read More
To put it mildly, Adam Warren's first outing in a Yankee uniform did not go well. In June 2012, Warren was summoned from Triple-A to make an emergency start against the White Sox in the wake of injuries to both Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia. The 2009 fourth-round pick couldn't make it out of the third inning, allowing eight hits – including two home runs – and six runs in a 14-7 loss. Nearly three years removed from that disastrous debut, Warren has established himself as one of the team's most valuable middle relievers, and this spring has been given a chance to compete for a potential spot at the back of the rotation (and, at worst, will be the third-best arm in a deep bullpen).Read More
Yesterday, we heard Yankee pitching coach Larry Rothschild suggest that the Yankees may use six starters for a particularly tough stretch--30 games in 31 days--in April and May. Bryan Hoch's story later in the day included a clarifying quotation from Rothschild:
"It's a result of some of the stuff that's gone on over the last few years, not just here, but everywhere," Rothschild said. "We're aware of situations here and early in the season, we need to get these guys through these stretches. Being that possibly early in the spring, some of them aren't going to be able to throw a lot, we're going to need to build them up too and give them the extra days when we can."
My gut reaction to a six-man rotation in the past has always been aversion, and probably for good reason. Six-man rotations give a possibly fringy starter starts and they take starts away from the top pitchers in the rotation. However, the 2015 Yankee rotation is making me rethink things.
As it currently stands, we're looking at this for the rotation:
That is...not inspiring? If things break right, which is a rather big if, it could be a strong rotation, especially the top three. However, we all know that things usually don't break right in baseball, especially when all three of those guys have health concerns (an elbow, a knee, and a shoulder, oh my!) and missed significant time in 2014. There's also the distinct possibility that Capuano doesn't work out the way we want him to. Those factors are somewhat tipping me in the direction of the six-man rotation, at least at the start of the year.
The six-man rotation may rob Tanaka and Sabathia and Pineda of some starts over the course of the season, but given their gigantic injury potential, it might be wise to give them extra days off. And given Capuano's Chris Capuanoness, it might be worth it to give the sixth starter--Adam Warren? Bryan Mitchell? Esmil Rogers?--an audition period to take over for when the six-man rotation is no longer necessary. Granted, those names aren't the most confidence-inducing, either, which is another potential issue with the six-man rotation.
We should also take into account the strong Yankee bullpen as a reason why they could survive with a five-man rotation, even through a tough stretch if need be. But the other side of that coin is the bullpen getting worn out. Perhaps a sixth starter could help give them rest ever few days.
This would all be a lot better if the Yankees had one absolute sure thing in the rotation, but such is life. It may take some tinkering to get it to work and a six-man rotation could help do that. It's by no means a foolproof plan, but it's a definite possibility.Read More
There's a saying in baseball that you can never have too much starting pitching. It's hard to disagree with that statement. Pitchers are highly volatile players when it comes to both performance and health. Ballparks, defense, opponents, and a number of small sample size factors can easily trick the most attentive analyst into thinking a pitcher is more or less effective than they actually are. The rate of injury for pitchers also far outweighs that of position players, and this season pitchers are clocking in around 50% more days on the DL. In general, it's good to have excess pitching, but the Yankees are in a circumstance that puts even more emphasis on their young arms. As the rotation stands, Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte have been their two most reliable pitchers after CC Sabathia. Kuroda, 38 years old, and Pettitte, 41 years old, just happen to be two of the oldest pitchers in baseball, meanwhile the team's ace, Sabathia, is fresh off elbow surgery. Though he's producing with the same consistency after 9 starts, he's showing a significant drop in velocity. That's not to say their starting pitching has been anywhere near bad or inconsistent, their team pitching WAR currently ranks 5th in baseball, but if anyone needs a "plan B", it's this team.
The Yankees have had some unfortunate luck when it comes to injuries, but the bulk of time missed has come from position players. Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova are the only two starters sitting on the DL, and in comparison to the rest of the league, their days on the disabled list for pitchers ranks only slightly above average. With these two guys missing time, the Yankees have finally allowed their second string starters to see some starts, and we've witnessed some very strong performances from unexpected places.
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(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)
It's only 7 appearances, and there's some slight suggestion of BABIP and SSS luck working in his favor, but it would be wrong to not point out the great job Adam Warren has done so far this season. After having a relatively stagnant year in 2012 in his second Triple-A season, Warren has blossomed and carved out a nice role for himself in the Major League bullpen this season. His early career path has been very similar to the one David Phelps used to break into the show last year.
Like Phelps, Warren has shown an ability to be flexible in his relief roles and effective in multiple types of scenarios. He's been good in short appearances and he's been very good in long appearances, like his first of the year coming in for Hiroki or his 4-inning save
last Tuesday evening. Like Phelps, his stuff has also played up a bit coming out of the 'pen, particularly his fastball velocity. That has bumped his K rate up (7.23 K/9, 20.3% overall), and Warren's willingness to use all his pitches gives him options with 2 strikes. He's basically the #1 long man with Phelps in the rotation right now, and he's pitched well enough to keep his spot on the roster.
He's not the young, top-of-the-rotation arm that the Yankees need and that they've been widely criticized for failing to develop over the last 10-15 years, but Warren has proven to be another useful homegrown pitcher capable of filling multiple roles on the pitching staff as needed. Like Phelps, if he can continue to perform well, he could put himself in the mix for a rotation spot next year.
(Photo courtesy of the AP)Read More
Last Tuesday, in light of the middle relief corps' poor start, I questioned the decision making in letting pitchers like David Aardsma and the still injured at the time Clay Rapada go in favor of guys like Shawn Kelley and Cody Eppley. I also quickly questioned the logic in keeping the team's top two spot starters, David Phelps and Adam Warren, together in the bullpen as long relievers rather than sending one of them down to stay stretched out in case the Yankees needed a spot start or two. The middle relief issue has faded to the background a bit as the Yankees have gone on a nice little 6-1 run since their rough start, and Eppley has been banished to Triple-A thanks to the return of Phil Hughes to the rotation. But as that rotation has come together and everybody has gone through at least twice, the need for strong middle relief, particularly long relief, has continued to be put on display.
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According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees have optioned Adam Warren, Corban Joseph, and Zoilo Almonte to Triple-A. There was some belief that Almonte had a chance to win the outfield spot, but the switch hitter has hit just .190/.227/.333 in 22 plate appearances. Almonte has never played above Double-A, so he'll have a chance to compete out of Scranton now. The third outfield spot is looking more and more like Melky Mesa's spot to lose.
Corban Joseph was also an option at third base, but his defense this Spring was proven awful. Joseph also put up an unimpressive .200/.286/.200 in his 28 plate appearances, but showed off a much stronger bat in last year's season in Scranton.
Finally, Warren will now enter his third year in Triple-A. He wasn't spectacular in his 3 starts (5.00 ERA but a 1.000 WHIP), but he'd have a chance at a starting job on most other teams. At 25 years old, Warren still has some value, and could be a trade chip with the Yankees' starting depth.
Also, I'm not sure about his status, as on Monday it was reported that Brett Marshall was optioned to Scranton. Yesterday, Marshall appeared in the game against Tampa Bay, and according to the Yankees' website, he's been called up again. I'm not sure if that was a mistake or what's going on, but I assume that Marshall is still with the team.Read More
Though the season hasn't even started, the Yankees have already had their depth tested in two positions. Curtis Granderson's injury has opened up a spot in the outfield, and the catching situation has been much maligned since the Yankees declined to re-sign Russell Martin and passed on signing A.J. Pierzynski. And with Derek Jeter's ankle injury, we'll see the infield depth tested as Eduardo Nunez and/or Jayson Nix get some time at short to spell the Captain. On the other hand, the pitching seems to be fairly deep. The bullpen is well-stocked and some pitchers (think Clay Rapada and Cody Eppley) will not last the year on the 25-man roster. Likewise, though not quite as widely, the starting rotation is considered to be an area of strength. It's certainly a talented rotation featuring CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Hiroki Kuroda. But is it as deep as we think?
Phil Hughes has already suffered an injury. Andy Pettitte is coming off an injury (granted it was a freak, batted ball thing). Kuroda, though he showed few (if any) signs of injury last year, is coming off a career high in innings pitched. Sabathia, godly though he may be is coming off of (relatively minor) elbow surgery. It's easy to imagine one or more of them missing time over the course of the season. If (when) that happens, where can the Yankees turn?Read More