The New York Yankees seem to have their batting lineup set, but their pitching rotation? That’s a different story.
The rotation had to be fixed during free agency after Brandon McCarthy walked, Shane Greene was traded, and Hiroki Kuroda went to pitch in Japan. With spring training coming to a close, the Yankees probably do have a good idea as to who they’ll pitch the first five games of the season, and here’s who those five will most likely be.
1. Masahiro Tanaka
2014 statistics: 13-5, 2.77 ERA
For the first time in six years, someone other than CC Sabathia will trot onto the mound opening day. The Japanese phenom Masahiro Tanaka is coming off an exceptional rookie year before he injured himself with a UCL injury, taking away most of the second half of the year from him. Tanaka has had his moments in spring training, striking out 7 in just four innings of work against the Mets this week, sealing him the deal to start opening day.
2. CC Sabathia
2014 statistics- 3-4, 5.28 ERA
Sabathia has a lot to prove this season. Coming off two straight disappointing injury plagued seasons, Sabathia has tried to get healthier by actually getting fatter. The extra weight he believes will help him gain his form back from his glory days, or so he believes. He is 34 years old and on the last legs of his career, so it’s unclear whether or not he will be able to regain his form. Sabathia has started the last 6 opening days for New York, but expect that streak to come to a close.
3. Michael Pineda
2014 statistics: 5-5, 1.89 ERA
The sideways cap wearing phenom is ready to break out. After not pitching since 2011 with the Mariners, Pineda returned in 2014 and had his fair share of controversies. The infamous pins tar incident against the Red Sox to getting injured yet again, Pineda had a disappointing year. When he was actually out on the baseball diamond though, he was dominant, pitching to a sub 2 ERA. If Pineda can stay healthy this season, he could very well end up being their best starter.
4. Nathan Eovaldi
2014 statistics: 6-14, 4.37 ERA
Eovaldi is coming off a very bad season, giving up the most hits by any NL pitcher as a member of the Miami Marlins. But, he still is only 25, and has impressed this spring. He had a 1.00 ERA in nine innings pitched, and he is a workhorse. He tossed 199 innings last season, and will look to build on that this season.
5. Adam Warren
2014 statistics: 3-6, 2.97 ERA
After Chris Capuano landed on the DL, Warren took the lead for the final starting spot. He’s been solid in spring training, have a 2-0 record with a 2.70 ERA in 16.2 IP. He also showed promise last season, although that was mostly out of the bullpen. Warren is by far their best option to be the number five starter. Warren should earn this spot until Ivan Nova returns in the summer from Tommy John surgery.