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Yankees pitching rotation: And then there was one

I could swear that this team had a surplus of starting pitching at one point. Tread carefully, Hiroki.

Jason Miller

I remember the halcyon days of April 2014. The skies were a brilliant azure and the birds were singing songs of optimism and joy. Sure, there were some questions about the Yankees starting lineup and there were concerns about the team being as old as ever, but that didn't matter. That's because the Yankees were going to have an excellent starting pitching rotation. Other things might go awry, but the team's quality arms would be enough to make up for it and there was more than enough depth to handle an injury or two.

Oh, how naive we were back in those days. I guess we should have just been ready for the team's starters to drop one by one as if The Plague were being kept in the Gatorade in the Yankees clubhouse. Ivan Nova was ready to have a breakout year after a brilliant second half in 2013. Boom, out for the year. Michael Pineda showed glimpses of being the great player the Yankees traded their top "catching" prospect for. Lost into the abyss of constant rehabbing. CC Sabathia...stunk pretty badly when he was available, but still, he was bound to have been more useful than Vidal Nuno. Never mind that, though. Now his entire career is in jeopardy. How much bad luck could befall one rotation? Well, one other than the Oakland A's rotation.

Oh, but that wasn't enough for you, cruel fate. You had to try to take Masahiro Tanaka from us. Right at the point the team can't afford to fall any further behind in the American League East, dark forces cause his glorious right elbow to be inflamed, if not something even more significant and insidious. I don't know what the Yankees or their fans did to make you so vengeful, but I promise to sacrifice as many of them as possible to appease you as long as you don't take Tanaka and his beautiful splitter away for us for more than the necessary fifteen days.

In the meantime, Hiroki Kuroda remains as the last of the Yankees' initial starting five, apparently immune to the roving illness/black magic/pack of wild boars that keeps causing the Yankees' starting pitchers to fall by the wayside. In the interest of keeping him from being harmed, I suggest the following:

  • Avoid all contact with the Yankees' pitching machines. You know "he" is out there.
  • Kevlar armor. We've joked about bubble wrapping all Yankees in the past, but that's clearly not been enough. Full suits of plate armor are next.
  • Throw underhanded. Much less stress on the arm that way.
  • Only wear your Yankees uniform when absolutely necessary. It's clearly bad luck.
  • Copy whatever Brian Roberts is doing. He's magically become immune to injury after years of being like paper mache.

Maybe this way you'll make it through the rest of the season unscathed. The most likely scenario is that a meteor falls on the stadium and destroys us all. It's just been one of those kinds of seasons.