Can the New York Yankees Succeed Without Signing a Starting Pitcher?

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

Sports fans always hear the term “defense wins championships” and that’s ultimately true, especially in baseball, where scoring is pretty scarce compared to basketball. The 2019 New York Yankees have been one of the more exciting teams in recent memory with their defense leading the way.

Both Gio Urshela and DJ LeMahieu have been quiet additions that quickly made an impact while younger players like Gleyber Torres has performed like a veteran. An area of concern for some is the pitching staff, who has been slightly inconsistent, especially in the starting rotation. With all that being said–

Here’s why the New York Yankees don’t need a starting pitcher:

Even with the starting rotation the way it is, the Yankees have only lost 31 games! To put this in perspective, the 1961 World Series champion Yankees had 29 losses at the All-Star break. This was with a lineup that included six All-Stars and a pitching rotation that included both Luis Arroyo and Hall of Famer Whitey Ford, who also played in that year’s midsummer classic.

The 2019 team is doing it with guys that will probably never reach the status of Mickey Mantle; they’re doing it with grit and they’re doing it with a smile on their faces. 

The Yankees will also have top-notch hurlers coming back from injury during the latter end of the summer. Both Dellin Betances and Luis Severino will be back and ready to contribute at some point during the second half, just when we need them. Until then, we’ll have young guys like David Hale, Stephen Tarpley, and Nester Cortes Jr. to step up to the challenge and hold the fort down. 

While the average age on the team is 27, there are some seasoned veterans on this staff that have experienced the bright lights of the postseason before. C.C. Sabathia is without a doubt one of the fiercest competitors on this team and as a 2009 ALCS MVP, he knows exactly what it takes to win those big games in October.

Masahiro Tanaka is another pitcher that has had postseason experience in pinstripes. He may not have the postseason accolades like C.C. but has still posted a 1.50 ERA during the playoffs. 

Like many Yankees fans are, I am quick to doubt a player’s ability to turn around a mediocre season but that’s exactly what fans should not do for both J.A. Happ and James Paxton who have had sub-par seasons so far. This pair of lefties have the entire second-half to prove to the league why they belong in the Bronx and it’s likely to happen because success is very contagious.

Once the Bombers get healthy and firing on all cylinders, Happ and Paxton will join in on the fun and leave their struggles in the dust. 

 The Yankees do not need to acquire another pitcher to win another title, but they would be foolish not to. With Marcus Stroman, Trevor Bauer, Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard all on the trade block, why wouldn’t the Yankees pursue them? They all have postseason experience and we wouldn’t necessarily have to give up anyone on the big-league roster for them.

While Yankees prospect Deivi Garcia was very impressive in the MLB Futures Game and in Double-A this season, he would be the perfect fit for a team looking to get a good return. The Yankees already have all the tools they need to complete the end-goal, but what’s one more weapon to add to our arsenal?