Last week I asked for people to submit their Yankees questions for our mailbag. Here are a few of the ones we got, answered to the best of my ability. Thank you for all of your submissions!
repeater1990 asked: The Yankees need starting pitching. Jason Hammel is a free agent. He also seems to be better than most of the Yankees’ internal options. WHAT THE EFF ARE THEY WAITING FOR
I’ve asked myself that multiple times this season. You’d think with a rotation held together with hopes and paper clips that they’d be willing to throw money at guys on short-term deals but it hasn’t happened. I can’t really provide an explanation other than they don’t want to spend money.
That plan may come back to haunt them when it’s August and things aren’t playing out in a best case scenario like they hoped. I just think they are putting way too much faith in guys who haven’t really earned it. Hammel would be a good addition.
Stephen Miller asked: Wishful thinking I know, but let's say the youth movement shows promise and the Yankees are in the playoff race come July. What are the chances they become buyers at the deadline, and if so who out there might be a Yankee by year's end?
A big one that stands out to me is Todd Frazier. If Chase Headley isn’t performing well, it doesn’t seem like his position on the team is rock solid. Frazier is a free agent at the end of the season, and will likely be on the trade block mid-season unless the White Sox are somehow in the race. J.D. Martinez is another guy who could be on the move at the deadline and would fit in well in New York.
The pitching side, which is what they are more likely to need reinforcements in, looks a lot bleaker. Like...a whole lot bleaker.
Jon Forbes asked: Which two pitchers should the Yankees be hoping win the final two rotation spots? Severino seems obvious, at least to me, so maybe the better question is, after Severino, which pitcher should the Yankees be hoping wins the final rotation spot?
Adam Warren may be the safer bet, but the Yankees are probably hoping that it’ll be Luis Cessa. If Cessa is good enough to win the final spot in the rotation, they can put Warren back in the bullpen where he was so good for them in the past. With the rotation full of uncertainty, having Warren to turn to as a long man would be somewhat of a security blanket.
It seems like the backend of the rotation will be a fluid situation all season, unless someone like Severino is much better than anyone expects. That being the case, it’s hard to put too much stock in what everything looks like before they leave Tampa. I think the best case scenario for them, though, is that Cessa wins the job.
TommyJohn asked: It is not unusual for a pitcher to have a career year in their walk year. What are the chances that Mike Pineda has his best year yet? It would take almost that for him to be worth bringing back, but what do they Yankees do if he does?
Well, I think everyone would certainly be happy to see Pineda have a good season...but I wouldn’t hold my breath. I see no reason to believe that he’s figured out the issues that make him so frustrating: so many strikeouts, so many home runs. So if I had to estimate, I’d say the chances are pretty low.
Should he find it within himself to have a career year, I’d hope that the Yankees wouldn’t bite. Yes, they are pretty desperate for rotation help beyond this year, but that feels like a trap waiting to happen. Let it be someone else’s problem. We’ve suffered long enough.