Is it time for the New York Yankees to put Javier Vazquez back into the starting rotation?
Vazquez has had an up and down season (10-9, 4.86 ERA), but he got the win Monday night with an outstanding relief effort. His two relief appearances, in fact, since being removed from the rotation for Ivan Nova, have been spectacular. In nine full innings (4.2 Monday night) Vazquez has given up just four hits, two runs, struck out eight and walked only two.
I think the Yankees have to give Vazquez the start instead of Dustin Moseley the next time that spot in the rotation comes around. Not because Moseley (4-2, 4.86) has been terrible. He hasn't. In fact, he has been better than the Yankees could have hoped.
It is simply that the upside for Vazquez, who won 15 games a year ago and has now posted 11 straight double-digit victory seasons, is much greater than it is for the journeyman Moseley.
Face it, other than CC Sabathia the Yankee rotation is uncertain for an October playoff run. After Sabathia, who else is there that you are sure about?
Phil Hughes? Innings limit, and has not been great recently. Andy Pettitte? Maybe he will be back, and he can say what he wants about his readiness, but the Yankees will be in the playoffs and Pettitte will be in Spring Training mode. A.J. Burnett? Geesh, that's a total crapshoot. And right now not looking likely to produce anything good for the Yankees. Nova? He has looked good in two starts, but that's all it is. Two starts. Who knows if he can do it in October, much less the rest of this season. Moseley? Thanks, but no thanks.
So, the Yankees absolutely need to get Vazquez back in the starting rotation. They need to know if the slight mechanical changes he has made will continue to pay dividends, and if they can look to him as a possible post-season starter. Which, after all, is what they acquired him for in the first place.