Now that Joba's hurt it puts yet another spot in the rotation in question. I don't trust Ponson at all and now if Joba is seriously hurt they`ll need to fill another spot. Ponson MUST be replaced if they`re going to make the playoffs and especially if they hope to go deep into the playoffs. The early rumors we`re hearing are positive for Joba but I`m still nervous.
An interesting option is Freddy Garcia. He`s coming back from shoulder surgery and is very close to returning. The Yankees are supposedly interested in him. I like what he did before getting hurt a lot. I would definitely like the Yankees to give him an incentive laden 2 year deal. I doubt he`d be to expensive so if he struggles they can just get rid of him.
If Joba is out for the season then we may see Jarrod Washburn rumors revived. I might be willing to give up slightly more for him if Joba is hurt. However, I would still draw the line at a top line prospect like Jackson. Ideally the Mariner's GM will come to his senses and become suddenly willing to give up Washburn. However, its still probably unlikely.
Darell Rasner has suddenly been given another chance to stay in the rotation. Although, I like him better than Ponson they have better options. If they`re unable to get Garcia or Washburn and Joba is out for the year then their might be room for him.
Dan Giese didn't intially inspire confidence in me. However, looking at his numbers in AAA he may not be such a bad option and is probably an upgrade over Rasner. Since 2006 he`s had great K/BB in the minors as well as his brief stint with the Giants in the major last year. I suppose he`s worth a shot.
Alfredo Aceves has really blown away hitters in the minors in his first year of American baseball. I`ve already said that I think they`d be better off calling him up then Kennedy. If they`re unable to get Garcia or Washburn or Giese struggles then he may be a good option.
Chase Wright is a guy I totally forgot about. His ERA has been brilliant this year and he wasn't truly awful in the majors other than that one inning against Boston so on the surface he seems like a solid option. However, in AA his K/BB was a very poor 1.56. This indicates he was very lucky in AA which is where he was for most of the season I prefer just about anyone to him including Ponson.
The Yankees seem to have soured on Kennedy. They didn't really like his attitude earlier this year or (of course) his performance. I think the problem for him may have been mental. However, I`d hesitate to call him up again. After what he did in the majors earlier this year I don't see why he`d be suddenly ready after a few months.
Carl Pavano and Phil Hughes are also working their way back.
While its very tempting to give Pavano a shot it isn't very realistic. Dropping him into that clubhouse could spell disaster. I see Freddy Garcia as being a better option.
Hughes still has the potential to an ace. That hasn't changed in the past year. However, he could also be a disaster. Of these pitchers he`s the only one who truly can turn their season around. The season really depends on him. Especially if Joba is out. The Yankees simply don't have the pitching right now to make the playoffs let alone go deep into them. Pettitte is unreliable and while Mussina has been great he`s pretty old by now and could easily get tired at the end of the season. In my opinion the odds are heavily against the Yankees right now and only Phil Hughes really has the potential to carry them in.
If Joba is okay then I would reccomend this for a rotation:
Obviously this is the very best case scenario and I doubt they`ll be able to get Washburn. If he is unattainable I`d sign Freddy Garcia.
If Joba is out for the year I`d have this for a rotation:
In this case I would have to make a tough decision if Washburn can't be had for a reasonable price. I prefer Aceves over Kennedy. However, Pavano is also an option. I think I might actually go with Pavano on this one. If he gets hurt then we can just call up Aceves. In this second scenario I would be very surprised to see the Yankees make the playoffs if Washburn can't be had. The first one I would have much much more confidence in. We`re depending a lot on Joba.