We're only a quarter of the way through the season, yet only two of the original starters remain in the rotation. Last year's injury bug struck back with a vengeance, knocking out Ivan Nova for the entire season. Michael Pineda is not expected to return before early June, at the earliest, but he threw a bullpen session yesterday without any pain. CC Sabathia is getting a cortisone shot and stem cells injected into his knee, but there's no timetable for his return. In the meantime, Vidal Nuno, David Phelps, and now Chase Whitley have taken their spots in the rotation. Is that the best rotation that the Yankees can assemble while staying within the organization, or should Adam Warren or Dellin Betances be moved into the rotation?
In the case of Betances, the answer should be a vehement no. Betances struck out six batters in a row during Thursday's shutout game against the Mets. He's been having an excellent season out of the bullpen, putting up a 1.61 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 15.72 K/9, 3.63 BB/9, 0 HR/9 through 22.1 IP. Opponents are batting .154 against him. Sure, it would be nice if he could take that success to the rotation, but it seems that the old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies here. He's doing a great job in his current role, why risk messing that up? Especially considering the fact that Betances was converted from a starter to a reliever last season. In 2012, he struggled mightily as a starter, ending the season with a 6.44 ERA, but he was able to turn things around pitching in relief. The Yankees converted him to a reliever for a reason, and they should leave him in that role to avoid screwing up a good thing. Plus, we don't want another reliever/starter/reliever situation like with Joba Chamberlain.
On that note, the case for Adam Warren is not so clear. He was just competing for a spot in the bullpen a few months ago, and he did a fine job, posting a 1.61 ERA with 10 Ks over 10.2 innings. He ultimately did not win the rotation spot, but he has been very successful working out of the bullpen so far this season. 23.1 IP 8.49 K/9 2.31 BB/9 0.39 HR/9 1.54 ERA 0.99 WHIP .202 BAA. At this point, if anyone in the rotation should be replaced, it's probably Nuno, who has only managed to stay in the game up to six innings once out of his six total starts. In order to be added to the rotation, Warren would need to be stretched out first, which would take some time. Again, would adding Warren to the rotation be a gamble worth taking if it means losing one of the better relievers?
Do you think Betances and/or Warren would be better utilized if they were added to the rotation? Or do you think the Yankees should just keep it the way it is and we can cross our fingers that Pineda and Sabathia return soon?