The New York Yankees and Brian Cashman made it clear on Thursday that J.A. Happ would be in the rotation as the 5th starter for this season. After the Yankees landed Cole, there was the belief that Happ might be on his way out to free up some money for Cole’s record-setting contract. Cashman dismissed those rumors this week and made it clear that Happ will be in the rotation again for the last year of his contract.
“I’m extremely confident (in the rotation), especially the top four,” said Cashman. “Obviously, I do think Happ is gonna be better for us than he was in the first half last year.”
Cashman seems to have all the confidence in his lefty starter, but his numbers last season weren’t great. Happ posted a 12-8 record with a 4.91 ERA in 30 games started. He fanned 140 batters over 161.1 innings pitched and finished with a 1.30 WHIP. Because of his struggles, Happ was not in the rotation for the postseason and worked out of the bullpen for the Yankees.
I was one of those people that believed Happ was on his way out, but I am comfortable with him as the fifth starter in the rotation. There’s definitely going to be an injury during the season and Jordan Montgomery will find his way into the rotation, and having those two in the back end of the rotation gives the New York Yankees a lot of confidence.
Even though Happ didn’t have his best year last season, he’s shown he can get outs and be a quality starter. He’s perfect for the back end of the rotation to close out a long series.