We all knew going into the year that Cashman was taking a big risk by having 3/5 of our rotation as rookies. We heard going into the year that Kennedy was the most ready of the "Big Three." Next was Hughes and then Joba. Then in reverse order was the potential. It didn't work out like that. Hughes and Kennedy consistently were embarassingly awful. Both were injured as well fairly early on. Kennedy also seemed to have an attitude problem that we never heard about that surfaced again when he returned a week or so ago. We are still waiting for Hughes' return and I thought he had the potential to be the Yankees savior if they didn't fall back as far as they did.
On the other hand, Joba was everything they could have hoped for. He became one of the most dominating pitchers in baseball. His transition from the bullpen could not have been smoother which was partially because of the bullpen's dominance. Him and Mussina were a very good 1-2 punch in the rotation. However, as we all know he went down with rotator cuff tendinitis. Ultimately, that injury is one of the reasons they collapsed. Rasner and Kennedy each had one start that would have gone to Joba and very well may have been won. Also, his last start which he lost may have been affected by his injury.Had he gotten those 3 extra wins they`d be 3.5 games back instead of a devestating 6.5. Obviously, he may not have won them all though.
Kennedy seems to be in AAA for the rest of the year and his stock has plummeted in the eyes of Yankees fans. However, despite Hughes' struggles other GM's still seem to think highly of him. The last month and a half should be interesting just to see how Hughes does. He will get one more rehab start than be brought up again. Joba's injury does not seem to be long term and he was really great while up. I think its safe to pencil him in for a rotation spot next year (barring some unforseen September event). Kennedy seems to be on the path to be traded in the off-season while if Hughes pitches well he may earn himself a rotation spot next year.
Many fans may look back at the Johan Santana trade proposals now and wonder why we didn't made the move. Melky, Kennedy, and Hughes all failed to deliver this year. However, we need to give Hughes more time. Cashman really had no choice but to go with them for the season.