Today’s signing of Chris Capuano took plenty by surprise, but it shouldn’t have been; the Yankees needed rotation help with all the question marks surrounding CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova. Cashman had another meeting to discuss the Capuano signing, what he thinks of Manny Banuelos‘s chances of pitching himself into the rotation and the situation on free-agent Hiroki Kuroda.
Cashman on Chris Capuano:
If you think Capuano is going to come into Spring Training fighting for a job, then think again. He’s breaking camp with the team as either their fourth or fifth starter.
“He’s coming in as one of our starters,” Cashman said.
As of right now, the rotation looks like Sabathia, Tanaka, Pineda and Capuano, and with Nova scheduled to return to the team by July, the Yankees are looking for another starter to fill the hole.
Cashman on Manny Banuelos:
Cashman listed David Phelps, Adam Warren, Bryan Mitchell, Chase Whitley and Jose De Paula as rotation options. It’s possible Manny Banuelos pitches himself into the competition, but the Yankees aren’t counting on it.
“He could become an option probably sometime more in season than to start the season,” Cashman said, “because he didn’t have a very good coming out party after the Tommy John. … But I still have high hopes for him.”
Cashman on Hiroki Kuroda:
Cashman also said Hiroki Kuroda could be an option for the rotation, but the problem is the team is unsure whether Kuroda is going to pitch next season, play another season in Japan or retire altogether. Waiting on Kuroda has put a slight dent in the Yankees plans.
“I think it’s safe to assume we are open to any legitimate possibilities to improve our club,” Cashman said. “Obviously making sense in the current circumstances that we have. … The preference would be to never have to go to the free agent market to get what you need, but that’s just not realistic.”