Yankees GM Brian Cashman doesn't regret starting rotation gambles despite early struggles

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Danny Abriano
·2 min read
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Corey Kluber pitched grey uniforms Tropicana Field
Corey Kluber pitched grey uniforms Tropicana Field

As the Yankees have started season by going 5-10, looking listless at the plate and making physical and mental errors in the field, their starting pitching aside from Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery has been a mess.

A big part of that mess has been the early-season struggles of Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon -- two high-risk, high-reward pitchers the Yanks acquired during the offseason.

Asked on Monday whether he would change anything with regard to how he approached upgrading the pitching staff during the offseason, GM Brian Cashman said "no."

"You go to the marketplace. I know what was available in the winter time, and I'm very comfortable with that decision-making process," Cashman told reporters via Zoom. "We have gotten out of the gate slowly and our starting pitching obviously has not gone deep, absent Gerrit Cole. Monty's done a nice job, I think.

"But ultimately, I think our starters will get on line and get us that distance, and get us that consistently good performance every five days. Just hasn't happened on the outset, in their first two-to-three starts. Looking forward to better days ahead."

During the offseason, when the Yankees signed Kluber and traded for Taillon, Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, and Blake Snell were among the pitchers who were traded (all to the San Diego Padres), and Taijuan Walker and Jake Odorizzi were among the second-tier options available on the free agent market.

Instead of swinging big on a trade or going with more certainty in free agency, the Yanks took their chances on two pitchers who have serious upside but who had barely pitched over the last few seasons due to injuries.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
New York Yankees starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

And things haven't worked out so far.

In three starts over 10.1 innings this season, Kluber has a 6.10 ERA and 2.22 WHIP with seven walks and 12 strikeouts.

In two starts this season, Taillon has allowed seven runs in 8.1 innings while walking one and striking out 10.

Beyond the Yankees' current rotation options are a crop of prospects including Deivi Garcia. So they have options.

There is also the hope that Luis Severino will return this summer from Tommy John surgery.

At this point, though, New York's rotation -- like its offense and defense -- has left a lot to be desired.