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Five Five Success for the Yankees | Forum

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Abbey Pendleton

A couple of weeks ago, I took a look at the impre sive pitching depth that's been compiled by the Boston Red Sox, mostly in the Major League level. The brand new York Yankees organization, a division mate of the Sox, also has some nice depth on hand in case injuries strike the main League starting rotation.

With a few weeks to go until spring training, the Yankees rotation currently includes free agent signees C.C. Sabathia, along with a.J. Burnett, holdovers Andy Pettitte, and Chien-Ming Wang, Kendall Langford Jersey in addition to Mr. Can-Do-It-All Joba Chamberlain. That's a pretty formidable rotation if everyone is healthy and pitching as much as their potential.

But as we all know, hanging around of baseball no organization is safe from the injury bug especially when you are looking at the pitching staff. We have to remember that Chamberlain hasn't pitched greater than 118.2 innings inside a season which what food was in the University of Nebraska in 2005.

Luckily, the Yankees have a minimum of five young starting pitchers who definitely are a phone call away at the organizations Triple-A affiliate in Scranton-Wilkes/Barre: Phil Hughes, Alfredo Aceves, Phil Coke, Ian Kennedy, and Eric Hacker.

Hughes has been, in short, disappointing. Injuries and general ineffectivene s took a toll on his reputation amongst fans in New York but there's good news. Hes only 22 years old, which is something which is simple to forget D'Qwell Jackson Jersey . And even though he posted a 6.62 ERA in 34 big league innings in 2008, Hughes FIP was just 4.34 and he may not have been healthy last season. He also had a 4.46 ERA (4.35 FIP) in 72.2 MLB innings in the chronilogical age of 21. The projection systems for 2009, including Bill James, CHONE and Marcel, vary somewhat, but they all suggest reasonable production for any 23-year-old starting pitcher.

Kennedy, like Hughes, faced pretty high expectations after being selected from USC using the 21st overall pick from the 2006 draft. A number of teams avoided the right-hander in the draft because his succe s attending college came despite dominating stuff. The same can probably be said for his minor league succe s, which includes an eye-popping 1.99 ERA in 226 innings. Rashaan Melvin Jersey Kennedy has been a different pitcher in the Major League level. He sports an 8.17 ERA (5.45 FIP) and has allowed 50 hits in 39.2 innings. After some more experience (and po sibly a bit more utilization of his breaking ball), he should become a pretty succe sful No. 4 starter, Jabaal Sheard Jersey if anything.

Aceves appeared from nowhere in 2008, after previously being expunged in the Toronto Blue Jays Dominican Summer League team. In one season, the right-hander rose from High-A ball to the Majors. The i sue, though, is that Aceves pitched far more innings in 2008 than he ever endured before, playing in short-season leagues. His 170.2 innings could be seen as a warning sign for 2009. Too, his 2.40 ERA doesn't look quite as rosy after taking a look at his FIP (4.80) and strikeout rate (4.80 K/9).

Marketing opportunities abound with Phil Coke. The 26-year-old left-handed pitcher has put up some nice minor league numbers. He'd a solid Major League debut in the bullpen for that Yankees and allowed just eight hits in 14.2 innings. He also posted a 0.61 ERA (1.63 FIP) in those 12 games. There are not lots of southpaws that can average 93 mph.

Hacker, 25, would be a recent acce sory for the Yankees 40-man roster and that he follows acro s the same path as Kennedy, as a starting pitcher that has posted nice minor league numbers despite lacking an awe-inspiring fastball. You can also lump southpaw Chase Wright into that category. Determination forgettable MLB debut in 2007, Wright spent all 2008 in the minors and was recently removed from the 40-man roster. Both Hacker and Wright could become middle relievers at the Major League level.

Obviously the Yankees Hassan Ridgeway Jersey Big Five in the rotation look very good on paper entering this year's season. The Live Five (plus one) dont look too shabby, either.