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Introducing...Matt DeSalvo

The Yankees' latest dynasty was built from their farm system. Sure the Rocket was there and several other players made a great contribution but the glue that held them together was the group of winners plucked from the minors. Jorge Posada. Derek Jeter. Mariano Rivera. Bernie Williams. They were the nucleus of the World Championship squads of the mid and late nineties. The gameplan had drifted after that. Big names to 'win now' was the new direction. Steinbrenner gobbled up big talent from the free agent markets and through trades.

"For the longest time, being a minor-leaguer in the Yankees' system was not fun. For all the work you put in, the only real tangible reward was the thought of being traded at the deadline and getting a shot at playing time in the majors in a different organization."

With the emergence of Chien-Ming Wang and Robinson Cano, two homegrown talents who outperformed many of their mega-salaried teammates, the strategy seems to be to look within the organization for talent. This winter Brian Cashman took more control, as Steinbrenner in Tampa let go of some of his. Sure they took down one of free agencies biggest prizes, Johnny Damon, but it has been a low key off season; shedding payroll, bolstering weaknesses, and getting younger. There are a handful of prospects that could very well be making the leap to the bigs this year and contribute the way Cano and Wang had done last year.

This piece in Newsday spotlights one: Matt Desalvo.
Matt DeSalvo is first in line to be the next Wang, and his shot could come soon. With Carl Pavano out until the end of April, Aaron Small expected to start the season on the disabled list and Jaret Wright nursing back spasms, it's not out of the question that the Yankees turn to DeSalvo when they need a fifth starter on April 15...

...But he jumped on the radar by going 9-5 with a 3.02 ERA for Double-A Trenton last year, and was impressive in camp. "At times he may have thought of himself as a novelist masquerading as a pitcher," Newman said. "Now he knows he's a pitcher."
DeSalvo said, "The thing I try to do and that I hope I get from my players is that I want them to want me to pitch every day. That's the biggest compliment I could get."

With the injuries already to Glass Joes, Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright, DeSalvo may be wearing Pinstripes sooner rather than later. Hopefully he follows in the footsteps of Chien-Ming Wang and Robinson Cano and be part of the core of a new Yankee dynasty.