Thursday, May 25, 2006

And more injuries....

Jorge Posada is getting an MRI and now Jaret Wright might miss a start (with a groin injury) now that he's finally pitching well. With Pavano out for probably the rest of the season and Chacon already on the DL, the Yankees seven starters they had to start the season is down to four, and that includes the "at least 1-run per inning" Randy Johnson.

They have 5 days to find a 5th starter. Right now there are three options in Columbus, Jorge De Paula, Darrell Rasner, and Yankee veteran Ramiro Mendoza.

De Paula didn't pitch well in AA this season, but was brought up to AAA anyway and has a allowed only 1 run in 9.1 innings.

Rasner is 25 years old and the Yankees picked him up when the Nationals surprisingly designated him for assignment in the offseason. Rasner had a 3.59 ERA at AA last year, and was a September callup without ever having pitched an inning in AAA. He got 7.1 Major Leaague innings and gave up 3 runs (3.86 ERA). In eight starts with the Clippers, Rasner is 3-0 with a 2.74 ERA.

Since coming off the DL, Mendoza has pitched in 4 games, 2 starts and 2 relief appearances. In 17.1 innings, he has a 0.52 ERA with a 0.75 WHIP. He's struck out 17 batters.

Mendoza is best option as he can handle the New York stage. However, there are other issues. If this is just supposed to be one start and back to the minors, any of these pitchers would have to be designated for assignment to go back to the minors, meaning they could hook on with another team, just like when the Yankees sent Colter Bean down. The same would be true with Scott Erickson (who has given up only 2 hits in 5.2 innings of work). Therefore, if they see Ramiro Mendoza or Darrell Rasner as a viable replacement with a larger long-term injury than Jaret Wright missing one game, they would be best off bringing up De Paula, who probably no other team wants anyway.

When Chacon comes off the Disabled List, the Yankees have 12 pitchers (the normal size of their staff this season):
Starters: Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina, Shawn Chacon, Chien-Ming Wang, Jaret Wright
Relievers: Mariano Rivera, Kyle Farnsworth, Scott Proctor, Mike Myers, Ron Villone, Aaron Small, Scott Erickson

If Wright was still pitching poorly, this wouldn't be much of an issue. Even still, it's not hard to assume somebody else will get hurt soon enough, but Octavio Dotel should be back sometime next month, and will take the place of whoever gets injured then.

The Yankees have four days to decide, and the way this team is going, they could have a few more injuries by then. As much as I'd like to see Mendoza back in pinstripes and contributing, it may mean that he's not an option later in the season, as he could end up on somebody else's ML roster. It may not be the worst idea for Jorge De Paula to get the emergency start.

4 comments:

Sully said...

Can't they just give the start to Erickson or Small without calling anyone up? Granted, that's not a very appealing option, but it's much simpler...

Ross said...

Small is already one of the 4 starters they have left (Johsnon, Mussina, Wang, and Small with Pavano and Chacon on the DL and Wright missing a start). Erickson hasn't gone more than 2 innings in any Major or Minor League game this season. Proctor is the only ML pitcher they could use.

Sully said...

Well, in that case, I'll trade you Matt Clement for Costanza's strawberry-stained Babe Ruth jersey...

Ross said...

I'm wondering since the Mets have El Duque, maybe Jose Lima has become available...