Mandel’s Musings – Scott’s Take On the SportScape

Published on: 2nd June, 2011


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New York — If Yankees general manager, Brian Cashman thinks he’s done a good job in supplying his manager, Joe Girardi with championship caliber pitching arms, he’s either lost his mind or been climbing up the sides of too many houses in Connecticut with dyed hair and a headband.

Cashman didn’t show a whole lot of imagination or creativity in his signings of Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon. They were the best of the available retreads in the major league marketplace to fill the positions formerly held by Yankee great, Andy Petitte, as well as the variety of Mitres, Moseleys, and Nova’s the Yankees have used to fill the fifth starter role.

Of course, Cashman could not have foreseen Phil Hughes’s arm having an issue or two but if you’re a general manager of a team whose sole culture is to win NOW, and whose starting lineup today, against the Seattle Mariners had an average age of just under 32, you do what you have to do to make sure your starting pitching isn’t incredibly middle of the road, at best. I mean, Colon? He hadn’t pitched in two years so whatever he’s given the Yankees so far this season, it really is a lightning in a bottle scenario. Colon’s light could be extinguished in the blink of an eye, just like a lightning bolt is here and then, gone.

No question, Cashman is playing the timing game with his pitching. He’s hoping to get enough out of Garcia and Colon to keep the Yankees in the race until one of two things take place. Either, he will go shopping for a front of the rotation-type pitcher from a team that decides it is no longer in a race for a post-season berth or, it can not pay a star pitcher millions of dollars on an expiring contract and would choose to build their roster with multiple prospects in a trade for said star. Say, a guy like Felix “The King” Hernandez of those pesky Mariners. So far, they’re still in a race in these early stages of the season but should they revert to a more likely scenario of lose three, win one, The King could be on the trading block.

The Yankees have the trading chips to give up for a star hurler. It all starts with their stud hitter in Triple A, Eli Montero, who is beginning to tear it up in the International League. Montero and one solid major leaguer could get the Yankees the type of pitcher they will need to compete this year against the loaded Boston Red Sox.

As the trading deadline gets closer, it will also be very interesting to see what the Mets do with Jose Reyes, having an MVP-type season at shortstop. The same thing goes for Carlos Beltran, who is exceeding all expectations the Mets had for him this season.

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