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The Yankees Starting Pitching Problem That's Been Exposed May Just Be The Blessing in Disguise The Team Needed

Adam Glanzman. Getty Images.

It's the Monday after a weekend series in Boston and I'm emotionally exhausted. No matter how lopsided one side's roster may be over the other, these games are always going to be dogfights. No matter what the division lead is, I treat these games with the intensity of the playoffs. The crowds all weekend were great and the vibe near the park was tense. That's what the rivalry does and it's beautiful. 

Leads mean nothing in these games given how well equipped each team's offense is. After the first two games of the series I've never felt better. Being there in person on Friday to watch that 12-5 dismantlement was euphoric. After Sunday night I'm not feeling as hot, and worried about one thing in particular — starting pitching. There are no panic alarms going off, but just some cause for concern that every team goes through at some point in the year. 

This weekend we saw mediocre performances from Jamo, Cole, and Nestor. I'm not as concerned about Cole as others given how he locked down literally every other Sox hitter. As for Rafael Devers? I mean that guy is a terror to my life and I don't care much for him. Just walk the guy next time Gerrit, don't be a hero. 

As for Jameson Taillon, he might be cooked. Over his last 21 innings he's given up 20 earned runs and seven homers. Yikes. Those starts came against Boston, Houston, Pittsburgh, and Oakland. Doesn't matter if it's a formidable offense or a weak one, they're teeing off on Jamo. For a guy who is only a few years removed from his second TJ surgery, he's already up to 94.1 innings. At this rate he'll come close to his career high in innings by the end of the year. There's got to be legitimate cause for concern with the workload here and how it's impacting him. 

Nestor has fallen off a bit from his torrid start where he was fooling everyone left and right. Over his last six starts he's posted a 5.34 ERA in 29.2 innings giving up 9 homers. There's good starts mixed in there against Tampa and Cleveland, but also subpar outings like his one on Friday at Fenway. Nestor is another guy you need to be concerned about workload with. Prior to this season is career high in innings was 93. Right now he's sitting at 88.2 IP meaning he's going to SOAR past that previous high. Still awesome he made the All Star Game given how far he's come, but I'm worried about the rest of the season for him. 

Luis Severino's production has yet to dip and in fact he seems to only be getting better, but coming off his TJ surgery you need to be worried about his innings as well. We're currently at 84 for him, after throwing just 18 combined frames in the last 3 years. They're already maneuvering around his starts with Cole being moved to tomorrow's game against Cincy rather than him. This will get Cole an additional start on Sunday against Boston before the All Star Break and allow Severino to enjoy a size-able rest during the break. Be careful with him.

You're going to see a lot of that in the 2nd half of the season given how big of a lead they've built in the division. Guys like Domingo German, JP Sears, and Clarke Schmidt will get a good amount of spot starts I'm imagining and there's nothing wrong with that. Unlike Boston, the Yankees actually have guys not currently in the big league rotation who can come up here and deliver quality outings. Your cries about pitching Connor Seabold and Wincowski fell on deaf ears. The Yankees didn't have Judge for Thursday, Rizzo for the first two, Stanton for Friday, and are also missing Loaisiga, Green, and Marinaccio in the pen. Every team has injuries, you aren't special.  

What's become clear to me is the Yankees need another starting pitcher and it must become the priority. I'm expecting/hoping Cashman realizes the opportunity he has with this roster+farm system and upgrades this team to fill the necessary holes they currently have. I'd love to be aggressive and go hard for Luis Castillo or Frankie Montas. I don't think I can enter the playoffs with this current rotation and feel all too great about it. You need another top tier arm in my mind. Cole-Montas/Castillo-Sevy-Nestor/Monty does it for me, but keeping things as they are gives me an uneasy feeling. They have the farm system to make a big move, do it. 

Overall this was a disappointing split at Fenway especially after those first two wins and leading in every game, but I'm gonna call it a blessing in disguise. For how near-perfect a season it's been so far, it's good for the front office to have a wake up call after the Houston and Boston series. There must be upgrades on the way. Start with the pitching. Then go out and get Benintendi to sure up the bottom half of the lineup. I guess with the resurgence of Hicks and the onslaught in the name of Matt Carpenter you can live with what you got there if you go big elsewhere, but I'd like Benny. I'm also not so sure IKF can be my starting shortstop in October. Either trade Oswald Peraza in a big deal for a pitcher, or call that man up and let's see what he can do. The sure handed SS is mashing in AAA lately, slashing .366/.425/.648 over his last 18 games. He simply is the better option at SS right now. IKF will dazzle you with an outrageous play here and there only to attempt to disguise you from the routine play he mishandles regularly. Can't happen in October. Call the kid up and let's see what he's got. 


New pod is out as we recap the weekend, hand out pinstripes, and introduce a new segment: Carlos Beltran Quote of the Week