To date, the Yankees have used 24 pitchers this season, and 12 different men have started games for them. When Shawn Chacón joins the team, it will become 25 and 13. I was curious as to what the recent past looked like, in terms of pitchers used/different men to start (for New York). Here’s the results – with 2005 being to date, and assuming that Chacón takes his turn tomorrow:
As you can see, during the recent Yankees post-season streak, this season will be the high mark for number of different men to start a game. And, the Yankees have never used as many “pitchers” in a season during this run as they have used this year to date. (I say “pitchers” because these counts include times when position players took toe to the rubber. If you exclude those times – like Mike Aldrete in ’96 and Wade Boggs in ’97 – then some of the numbers in the past go down.)
Clearly, the Yankees steadiest rotations here were the teams of 1997-98-99 and 2001-02-03. And, statistically speaking, this makes sense as the best Yankees pitching staffs in ‘the run’ have been from the teams of 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2002. And, before this season, the worst Yankees pitching staff in ‘the run’ was the team from last year.
What does this all say? I think it means that, if the Yankees are to make it to the post-season this year, it will be up to a turnaround in their pitching, or the bats just bashing away like mad to make up for the hurting hurlers.