So the word around is that pitchers are going to start being eliminated from the fifth starter battle. Luckily I have inside information and have obtained the names of the first three pitchers out of it:
- Alfredo Aceves
- Chad Gaudin
- Sergio Mitre
In fact I’d go so far as to say that they were out of it before Spring Training began. Let’s take a quick look at the positives and negatives of these three guys with some rambling because it’s Friday and my brain is in a rambling mood:
|Doesn’t walk batters||No real plus pitch|
|Good-to-great command of all hispitches||Does not have the ceiling of Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes|
Aceves if given a whole season would probably be an average starter. Even though he doesn’t have a plus pitch all of his pitches are good and that’s a fifth starter in a nutshell. Unfortunately for him the Yankees are hoping for something a little bit more out of the fifth spot. He’s a great fit for the Yankees bullpen and the Yankees seem to regard him as a Ramiro Mendoza type so he’ll get some starts at some point.
|Good stuff, very good slider||Oh my God the platoon splits|
|Good strikeout rate||Walk rate leaves something to be desired|
Pitchers with extreme platoon splits tend to find their way into the bullpen and there’s no indication that Gaudin is going to start getting out lefty batters anytime soon. He walks a few too many to be any kind of elite reliever and unlike say, David Robertson, he doesn’t strike out mind-blowing numbers of guys to make up for that. But he has some use to the team in a role out of the pen where the team can use his platoon split to their advantage.
|Gets a lot of groundballs||Can’t throw to second base|
|Doesn’t walk a whole lot of guys||Platoon splits just as frightening as Gaudin’s|
Watching Mitre last year didn’t make me angry so much as it made me sad. Here is a guy whose stuff was almost good enough for MLB but it wasn’t quite there. That could just have been the fact that he was coming off TJ but I’m not sure how much better we can expect him to be. Mitre could certainly turn out to be average but there’s no guarantee.
In a world where the Yankees had five pitchers who were actually fighting it out for the fifth spot, Alfredo Aceves would probably get the job. Unfortunately for him the Yankees have two young pitchers who really need to be starting if they’re ever going to start and even then only one of them is getting a shot at that this year. 9 times out of 10 the Yankees take the practical route so that they can compete at the level their payroll dictates but this is one of those special rare times when they’re looking at the future. And honestly it’s because of the ability of the rest of the team that they can do that, so they should.