I understand that the Chien-Ming Wang injury was just bad luck, and that the Yankees are being careful with him. Still, can you believe a $190MM team has a rotation including Carl Pavano, Darrell Rasner, and Kei Igawa right now? The Yankees’ starting pitching has been atrocious. I don’t mean to overreact after a week but one can certainly picture below-average contributions from Pavano and Igawa all year. Even the Yanks can’t give away two games out of every five.
Maybe Igawa gets acclimated, posts a 4.50 ERA over the balance of the season. But you have to admit that paying $46MM over five seasons to get him was very questionable from the start. People spent the winter talking about the "New Yankees," who didn’t just throw money at mediocre players to solve their problems. They did just that with Igawa, and it was clearly a reaction to the Matsuzaka signing. Why not spend that same money to bring Ted Lilly back? At least with that move there would’ve been relatively certainty that you’d get 180 innings of 4.50 ball, since Lilly has done it before in the AL East.
As Joel Sherman writes, the Yankees may need to be rescued by Roger Clemens and Phil Hughes. The team needs to call up Hughes sooner rather than later. A front four of Mussina, Pettitte, Wang, and Hughes can certainly carry the team to the playoffs. Filtering between Igawa and Pavano for the fifth man and skipping his turn when possible would probably be sufficient. While Hughes would help, it’s Clemens who would really tip the balance of power towards the Yankees. They’ll still have to convince him to leave a comfy situation in Houston.