Yu might be wondering why we aren't getting any new pitchers this offseason. We got Old Man Garcia and thats it. No CJ no Yu and we don't even seem to have an interest in 1 year spot holders Kuroda or Roy Oswalt, late of RoyRoy and the Aces. Cashman didn't even go after a Farm System-burning trade for Danks or Gio. So what gives? NOTHING. As it turns out, the pitching depth we need is right here sitting in Scranton. I know that David Phelps and Adam Warren aren't deemed anything special and they project to be back of the rotation starters, but there's honestly nothing wrong with decent, cost controlled young back of the rotation starters. Could we trade them to get an even better player? I imagine that we probably could, however I think these two show more promise than they are given credit for. A good comparison for the Dynamic Duo are the Hammer Bros. known as Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis of the Tampa Bay Rays. Sure those two are replaceable and should definitely be traded to improve the team's invisible offense, but the Yankees could use production like that in their rotation right now, especially since they have all the offese in the world compared to the Rays, or really just about anyone. It turns out that David Phelps is very comparable to Jeff Niemann while Adam Warren is more of a match with Wade Davis. Do the Mario over the jump and lets see a closer comparison.
First lets look at a comparison of a 24 year old David Phelps AAA'er in 2011 to a 24 year old Jeff Niemann AAA'er in 2007:
David Phelps 107 IP 3.19 ERA 1.3 WHIP 9.6 H/9 0.9 HR/9 2.2 BB/9 7.5 SO/9 79.5% LOB% 3.69 FIP
Jeff Niemann 131 IP 3.98 ERA 1.4 WHIP 9.9 H/9 0.9 HR/9 3.2 BB/9 8.5 SO/9 71.9% LOB% 3.87 FIP*
That looks to be a very close comparison. I believe Phelps went down with an injury so he didn't pitch as much, however in his shorter time Phelps had a much lower ERA and the two had nearly identical stats. The most noticeable difference is that Niemann seemed to walk 1 more batter while striking out 1 more batter. He also leaves less on base. Phelps also had a slightly better FIP.
**Niemann had an additional year in AAA where he lowered his H/9 substantially but his FIP went up slightly, however the above comparison is all we have to go on at the moment.
Now lets look at a comparison between a 23 year old Adam Warren AAA'er in 2011 and a 23 year old Wade Davis AAA'er in 2009
Wade Davis 158 IP 3.40 ERA 1.2 WHIP 7.9 H/9 0.8 HR/9 3.4 BB/9 7.9 SO/9 72.3% LOB% 3.83 FIP
Adam Warren 152 IP 3.60 ERA 1.3 WHIP 8.6 H/9 0.8 HR/9 3.1 BB/9 6.6 SO/9 73.5% LOB% 4.05 FIP
We see here that these two are just about equals, however Wade gave up nearly 1 less hit per game and struck out just over 1 more batter per game and had a slightly better FIP.
I also would have liked to have been able to compare their GB/LD % but apparently they don't track those on Fangraph, which I fine annoying because those stats are still important even for minor leaguers.
Anywasta, what I think we can see here is that while Phelps and Warren are not given credit as being anything amazing, and they probably aren't, they are far from simple trade bait and from this comparison it could be said that they could easily transition to the MLB and even in the AL East. Across 4 seasons, Jeff Niemann has managed a 4.6 WAR, a 97 ERA+ and a 4.32 FIP, while Wade Davis has managed a 2.5 WAR, a 92 ERA+ and a 4.55 FIP all in the AL East and I think that if they can do that, at least one of Phelps/Warren can manage something close to this.
I think we should start the season with CC, Nova, Garcia, Hughes and AJ (yes, that guy) but if Garcia turns out to be a dud and/or Hughes continues to be a master chef, I don't think we need to panic because I think we have two very viable alternative right now in the minors. Cashman seems reluctant to give up a lot in a trade and if they continue to stick to this Scrooge McDuck-style spending plan, these two will be perfect for the team. It might not be sexy and it might not help you sleep at night, but they could very well be our only hope! I hope they get the change because they may surprise some people.