Who should Pineda or Sabathia replace in the rotation when they return?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

At some point, Michael Pineda or CC Sabathia will (hopefully) be ready to return to the rotation. Should Phelps, Whitley or Nuno be the one to lose their spot?

Remember during spring training when the Yankees had too many starting pitchers and not enough spots in the rotation? Oh, how the tides have changed. Thanks to an abundance of injuries, Vidal Nuno, David Phelps and Chase Whitley have worked their way into the rotation, which hasn't been great. Thankfully, Michael Pineda is getting closer to making his return; he threw two innings in an extended spring training game on the 27th without any setbacks, and is expected to pitch in another spring training game over the weekend. Actually, Pineda experienced a setback after my completion of this post last night. He experienced discomfort while throwing yesterday, and has been shut down for now. Prior to his suspension-turned-DL-stint, Michael Pineda was arguably the Yankees second best starting pitcher. Through his first four starts, Pineda had a 1.83 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and opponents were only hitting .230 against him. Having him back should improve the rotation, without a doubt, whenever that happens. Since Pineda's been shut down, CC Sabathia might stand a chance of returning before him. It seems like Pineda or Sabathia (or both), should be able to rejoin the team before the season ends though. Then the question would be: who of Nuno, Phelps, and Whitley should lose their spot in the rotation when Pineda or Sabathia are ready to return?

Of the three, I think that Nuno stands out as the obvious choice. After last night's game, he has an ERA of 5.48, 6.99 K/9, 3.21 BB/9, 1.70 HR/9, 1.51 WHIP and .278 BAA. Nuno hasn't really helped to take the workload off of the bullpen, as he's only pitched six or more innings in four of his eight total starts. Neither Phelps nor Whitley have been great in that regard, either, but Phelps at least sports a higher K/9 (8.55), lower HR/9 (0.90), lower ERA (3.38) and lower BAA (.252) over almost the same amount of innings as Nuno. While Nuno has been pulled from games early because he's struggled and given up a lot of runs, Whitley hasn't made it deep into games mostly because of his pitch count. He was held to around 75 pitches during his first two starts due to concerns that he wasn't stretched out. It's a small sample size, as Phelps and Nuno both have roughly 30 innings on him, but Whitley has made three starts, giving him an ERA of 2.79, 5.79 K/9, 1.93 BB/9, 1.36 WHIP and .280 BAA. If the decision is based solely on who has the most experience, then I could see Whitley being in danger of losing his job. Otherwise, Nuno has struggled the most and given the choice between the two, I'd rather see what Whitley has to offer.

Do you think the season is doomed or do you agree that Pineda and Sabathia have to come back at some point, eventually, right...? Tell us what you think and vote in the poll below.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pinstripe Alley

You must be a member of Pinstripe Alley to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pinstripe Alley. You should read them.

Join Pinstripe Alley

You must be a member of Pinstripe Alley to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pinstripe Alley. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker