Via the Bats Blog -
Five days after the abrupt ending to the Yankees’ season, Manager Joe Girardi addressed reporters at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday and discussed the team’s inability to get past the first round of the playoffs and what next year might hold.
Despite the fact that the Yankees’ lack of hitting led to their elimination in Game 5 of their American League division series with the Detroit Tigers, Girardi defended his position players by pointing out that with a key hit or two, the Yankees might still be playing.
“I think our guys had some good at-bats, I do,” he said. “We just didn’t get that big hit when we really needed it, whether it was the last day or Game 2 or it was Game 3. We just never got the one hit that put us over the top. The bottom line is, we didn’t have enough good at-bats because we’re sitting here talking.”
As for next year, Girardi said the Yankees would once again be in the market for a front-line starting pitcher. Last season they went hard after Cliff Lee, who spurned them to join the Philadelphia Phillies. Instead they added Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon to a rotation anchored by C.C. Sabathia. They will both be free agents, and Sabathia could be as well.
“The one need we’re going to have to address is our rotation,” Girardi said. “There’s no doubt about it. You have two guys that are free agents and another guy who can opt out. That’s one area we’re going to have to address, similar to what we have to do this year. It all starts with C.C and then you go from there.”
Let’s face it: A.J. Burnett is still on this team. He’s going to get a rotation spot, pitch to an ERA around five, and be lucky to win 12 games. Phil Hughes is a question mark based on the second half of 2010 and his performance in 2011. And, Ivan Nova is not going to go 16-4 two years in a row. Those three are 60% of your rotation.
After that, you have CC Sabathia – who is fat and can opt out. And, TBD (since Bartolo Colon is toast and Freddy Garcia is a free agent.)
No wonder why General Joe is wondering about his rotation next year!
Sure, maybe, D.J. Mitchell, Adam Warren, Dellin Betances or Manny Banuelos step up and take a rotation spot next year. But, you cannot count on that happening.