The Yankees are in quite a pickle, aren't they?
With Wang out, Chamberlain quickly coming up on the 150-160 innings "limit" the Yankees imposed on him, Sergio Mitre anything but a surefire innings-eater, what the heck do the Yankees do?
OK, Petitte is mercurial—sometimes an ace, sometimes a dud. Sabathia has been ok, but not the dominator the Yankees dreamed about all winter. Burnett has been right about his career averages, 3.8 ERA, on pace for 200 Ks. OK, But if Joba has to shorten his starts—or even miss starts—to save his arm for the playoffs, who pitches those extra innings? Phil Hughes has already been told he's staying in the bullpen. Sergio Mitre is the definition of a "Hail Mary"—a lifetime WHIP of 1.563 and the Yankees are hoping he can pitch in the AL East pennant race? Lotsa luck with that.
There's been a lot of talk about the "waiver wire", as if that could bring the Yankees their fall savior. Counting on the waiver wire to bolster our staff is like counting on Lotto as your retirement plan. Who would the Yankees pick up, Kerry Wood? Doug Brocail? Dan Giese? (As this was written, the Yankees signed Russ Ortiz—5.57 ERA in 85.2 innings as a starter. Good Lord.)
OK, here's where it gets really scary. Brain Cashman has announced that the next pitchers to be called up if Mitre fails...are you ready—Kei Igawa, Anthony Claggett, in his only major league appearance earlier this year, against the powerhouse Cleveland Indians, gave up 9 hits, 8 runs in 1.2 innings. Ivan "Chevy" Nova, a recent call-up from AA to Scranton is 22 and has an ERA in AAA of a tick under 5.00. His last 4 starts total this: 20.2 innings, 25 hits, 13 walks, 19 runs. Igawa, well you know all about him.
Joe Giradi put the situation sagely and succinctly: "I'm not sure that we have a lot of options at this point." And really—that's the plain truth. With Joba—one way or another—pitching less, and no fifth starter to speak of, somebody has to eat those innings. Your guess is as good as Brian Cashman's at this point. Let's hope he has a plan to get out of this pickle. It's a dilly.