Before the MLB trade deadline, the New York Yankees were in a very tough situation with their starting pitching rotation. Most believed they would strike a deal to bring in a quality pitcher to supplement injuries and inconsistencies. However, the Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman fell silent and the trade deadline passed over with no deals being completed.
Most saw this as a serious issue, but the Yankees have lost just one game since the July 31 deadline. They proceeded to sweep the Boston Red Sox in a four-game series and then sweep the Baltimore Orioles immediately after. They have scored 72 total runs in their last nine games.
This begs the question, is New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman a genius or a fool?
At this point, Cashman seems more like a genius, but the sample size is small. The postseason, which the Yankees will undoubtedly make, will pose a different set of challenges, especially for the starting pitching rotation against more productive batters.
Several injuries, including catcher Gary Sanchez, outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, reliever Dellin Betances, and two starting pitchers in Luis Severino and CC Sabathia are all working their way through treatments to return and contribute towards a potential World Series appearance. Recent injuries to both starting first basemen Luke Voit and Edwin Encarnacion have forced the Yankees to dive deeper into their minor-league system and pull up Mike Ford. Also, utility man DJ LeMahieu will have to compensate for the loss of their offensive production and defensive prowess.
The starting pitching woes will have more of an immediate impact against better quality teams in the postseason. If the Yankees are forced to face off against a team like the Houston Astros, they could be in over their heads and Cashman could look like a fool for sitting quietly during the trade deadline. The Astros currently have Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, and Gerrit Cole as their primary starters.
There is still time for the Yankees to rehab Severino back to full health and get their starters trending positive before the postseason, but it is impossible to say if they will be prepared to handle better offensive teams.