Yankees struggling minor leaguers are not helping

So far this season Freddy Garcia looks too old to get the job done anymore and Phil Hughes looks like he may never be able to do the job. It had Yankees fans waiting for Andy Pettitte and Michael Pineda‘s return, but with the injury to Pineda the Yankees will have to turn somewhere else if they are going to be able to replace both struggling starters.

David Phelps looks capable of filling a back-end of the rotation role, but the starting pitching depth that looked so impressive at the start of the season isn’t so impressive after Phelps.

The two remaining Killer B’s, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, have been the most disappointing so far simply because as they are now at Triple-A, the doorstep to the majors, they are worse now than they have ever been in their professional careers.

Especially Betances, who has a 8.83 ERA and a 8.8 BB/9 through his first 17.1 innings. If he does not turn things around quickly, he could become just another version of Andrew Brackman – filled with potential, but unable to harness it due to sub-par mechanics and a delivery he cannot repeat.

Banuelos hasn’t been much better. Before he went on the DL with a back problem, he had a 10.12 ERA with a 11.8 BB/9 in his first two appearances. Hopefully that is a product of the back injury, but the young prospect who used to have impeccable control had a 4.9 BB/9 in Double-A and a 5.9 BB/9 in 39.2 Triple-A innings. It’s possible that the injury had nothing to do with how wild he was.

Behind them there is Adam Warren and D.J. Mitchell. Mitchell has actually put up better numbers so far this season than he has in any of his minor league seasons. His K/9 of 8.2 and BB/9 of 2.7 are his best since a short stint back in Low-A in 2009.

However, Warren has taken a big step back. His K/9 of 5.7 is by far the lowest of his career and his BB/9 of 3.9 is the worst. His 6.10 ERA also indicates that he is not quite ready for the majors. The fact that he has allowed four homers already this season is also very troubling.

The struggles of some of the Yankees top pitching prospects is certainly part of the reason why they are trying to keep the faith in Hughes and why they probably won’t trade Garcia after Pettitte returns. Their plentiful list of potential starters this season that they had back in spring training just doesn’t stack up anymore.

Luckily it is still early. Banuelos will be back eventually and hopefully he will show that what he did in his first two starts was just a fluke. Hopefully with time Betances figures out his command issues and Warren may just be off to a slow start. However, if things continue down the path they are on now, the Yankees may have to look outside the organization if they need a starter down to road. At least they have Phelps and Mitchell until then.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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8 Responses to Yankees struggling minor leaguers are not helping

  1. Tanned Tom says:

    Ugh! You are so right about the AAA staff. But you are even more spot on about Garcia and Hughes. I have zero confidence in them in the rotation. One of Brian Cashman few unarguable skills is dumpster diving. I think it's time for another cruise through the trash. If Mitchell and/or Phelps don't put up a 5.00 ERA (which would be a huge improvement over Phil-flop and Sweaty Feddy) then let's look outside the organization. When Andy's back the need is for just one starter, and I can live with one of the kids sucking as the #5.

  2. Lena says:

    Yankees should have gone out and got some good pitchers during the off season….pitching is their weakness and as long as they continue with weak pitching, they will get eaten up by other teams and will not make a trip to the World Series.

    • Mike Sommer says:

      They tried to in Kuroda and Pineda. You can't predict injuries (Pineda). As for Kuroda, time will tell if he gets more consistent. He's had two bad outings and two good ones.

    • Yeah. What were the Yankees thinking? Preferably they would have gone out and gotten a young stud and a cagey veteran. Heck, maybe they could have talked Andy Pettitte out of retirement.

      Wait. Didn't they do that?

  3. NYYinATL says:

    The rotation needs to be: CC, Nova, Kuroda, Andy and Phelps with Hughes in the pen and Garcia traded to the NL.

  4. hotdog says:

    I'd like to see Mitchell get a couple of starts but I don't see that happening anytime soon. Girardi is a slow mover and it's not time yet to move Hughes out of the rotation…right now, I'd be more interested in seeing Mitchell start in lieu of Garcia…i think we need to see what these kids can do…

  5. John says:

    Next years starting Yankees 2013 pitching staff
    Anibal Sanchez

    David R Closer
    Joba set up
    Ardsima set up
    Boone lefty
    Cabral lefty
    Hughes set up/mop man
    Germano mop man

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