February 20, 2006


ARMS AND ALARMS: Yanks' pitching depth could disappear if old injury issues return (ED PRICE, February 19, 2006, Newark Star-Ledger)

Before the Yankees even took physicals this spring, Carl Pavano had a setback. And the team was concerned enough to look for insurance in Scott Erickson, who has two major-league victories since Aug. 7, 2002.

"Anytime you can get yourself a little stockpile going ... because you know something's going to happen," said Torre, entering his 11th season as Yankees manager. "If nothing happens, or very little happens, you're lucky."

The Yankees last year used 14 starters, their most since 1989. Original rotation members Kevin Brown, Jaret Wright and Carl Pavano combined for only 43 starts because of time on the disabled list; Chien-Ming Wang missed two months with a torn rotator cuff; and Mike Mussina sat out three weeks in September with an elbow problem.

The forgettable Sean Henn, Tim Redding and Darrell May got turns and Al Leiter came in out of desperation before Shawn Chacon and Aaron Small emerged to save the Yankees' season.

In all, Yankees starters had a 4.59 ERA, eighth in the AL. Now the lineup seems better with Johnny Damon, and the middle relief is revamped -- but the rotation looks familiar.

If you were starting the team from scratch the only one you'd choose is Chacon.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 20, 2006 9:15 AM

I'd just take Rivera. It's a great advantage if your team only has to play seven or eight innings of ball.

Posted by: David Cohen at February 20, 2006 9:39 AM

As long as you have five starters.

Posted by: oj at February 20, 2006 9:45 AM

The beauty is that those five will be enough to win the AL East and make them contenders for a championship

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 20, 2006 10:51 AM

I wonder how much Steinbrenner is going to wind up paying Clemens. I'll say $25 million; any takers?

Posted by: joe shropshire at February 20, 2006 12:47 PM

How the middle inning guys do will matter almost as much for the Yanks during the regular season They've been pretty rancid for the past two years, but just stepping up to above mediocre will allow their hitters a chance to outscore the other team most nights.

Come the playoffs, when the hitters won't be able to save their bacon all of the time, Wang will either have to step up or Johnson will have to follow Clemens' lead in having a much better second year in New York than his first one, if they want to have actually get back to the Series.

Posted by: John at February 20, 2006 12:56 PM

A perfect season must include the Damnyankees and their little imitators to the Northeast battling the Devil Rays for last place.

Go Blue Jays!

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 20, 2006 1:21 PM