Going into the postseason the New York Yankees knew they had a few problems. Offensively, they had the firepower to compete with any team in the MLB, but their pitching had been problematic throughout the course of the regular season.
In game one against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS, the Bombers trotted out Gerrit Cole, their ace. Call, who is paid a record deal this past off-season, did his job to perfection. He limited Tampa Two just three runs over six innings. Tuesday evenings game for the Yankees didnâ€™t go as planned.
A risky move by management ended up backfiring badly, as they utilized young picture, Deivi GarcÃa, as an opener. He lastEd just one inning, giving up a home run and tossing 27 pitches. They immediately brought in J.A. Happ, who was, for lack of a better term, awful. Over 69 pitches, he gave up four earned runs and five hits in 2.2 innings.
The Yankees knew this about their team heading into the postseasonâ€”pitching was always their kryptonite. Despite long cold streaks attributed to their offense, they simply donâ€™t have enough quality arms to stand up against some of the better teams in the MLB. Theyâ€™re essentially hoping for a random dominant performance from Happ or another starter.
That is the primary reason they kept Masahiro Tanaka waiting until game three, as they realized it was a pivotal matchup and he offers them a better chance at a quality performance. While they did lose game two, it is not the end of the world, since the series is essentially tied.
The New York Yankees need to re-think their pitching strategy:
However, it forces management to rethink their strategy with pitching going into the off-season. With a number of quality arms available in free agency, we should expect the Yankees to do their due diligence.
With Tanaka, Happ, and James Paxton are preparing to hit free agency, I would be surprised if they brought two or more of them back. The only option that makes sense to retain is Tanaka, but his game has fallen off in recent years. A consistent decline might not be worth the money he will be asking for.
That should open up enough funds to bring in a quality number two behind Cole. They will also be gaining back Luis Severino and Domingo German. That is not to mention their bullpen, who is currently missing Tommy Kahnle due to Tommy John surgery.
The Yankees simply donâ€™t have the arm talent right now to win the World Series, but a few lucky performances from their starters could get the job done. In addition, their offense is so potent when playing well, they can beat any team with run support alone.