Monday, March 26, 2007

Everybody will not Wang Chung Tonight

Chien-Ming Wang is out until late April. Not good times. Jeff Karstens is hurt too. So, to open the season, the mighty Yankees will feature a starting rotation of:

Mike Mussina
Andy Pettitte
Carl Pavano
Kei Igawa
Darrell Rasner

As it stands, that might be the fourth-best rotation in the division. I know it's only temporary, and the injury to Wang was unforeseen, but how can a team with a payroll this big not have a better backup plan? Brian Cashman supposedly had a great off-season, but he didn't get one major league-ready pitcher in return for Gary Sheffield, Jaret Wright and Randy Johnson. Is salary relief really that important to Cashman? By most accounts, the prospects he brought back in those trades are good, not great. Much was made this spring of the team's improved depth from within at starting pitcher. But when two of your pitchers are well on the wrong side of 30, and a third is named Carl Pavano, depth is a necessity, not a luxury.

The Yankees seem unprepared for the likely event of multiple SP's going down to injury at once. Maybe it would be a different story if Phil Hughes had blown everyone away in Tampa like he was supposed to. But right now, Jaret Wright's 5 innings of mediocrity don't look so horrible.