Three days ago, I said that Randy Johnson just might be the most important player on the Yankees team in 2006.
Taking it a step further – I began to ponder today about who may be the most important player not on the Yankees 25-man roster (but still in the organization).
If I had to rank the prospects for this in order, I would list them as follows:
1. Sean Henn
2. Matt DeSalvo
3. Jorge DePaula
4. Matt Smith
5. Jose Veras
6. Jason Anderson
Let’s face it – between the health status of Mussina, Wang, Pavano and Wright – coupled with the chance that Chacon reverts back to previous form – the Yankees are going to need someone from the minors to come up and help with the rotation at least once during this season.
Henn, DeSalvo and DePaula are probably the three pitchers in the system closest to being ready to make that leap. And, if none of them can do it, then someone like Small or Villone will have to step into the rotation and then a Smith, Veras or Anderson will need to come up to the majors and help out in the pen.
Yankees fans should watch these six pitchers very closely this Spring Training. Those in this group who do well just might be the Chien-Ming Wang or Aaron Small story of 2006.