The Yankees need a starting pitcher. It has been said so often — feels like it is on endless loop at the Stadium, like the roll call or Y-M-C-A — that it just has to be true.
Except the Yankees get a pretty good start on a near-daily basis, often better than that. Part of the brigade is Domingo German, who was perhaps seventh or eighth on the depth chart when spring training began, but now just keeps performing better and better.
Maybe this is all about by comparison. By comparison to their power bullpen or power bats, the Yankees rotation pales. But then again, so does every other team in those areas. Those bats produced four more homers Tuesday night as the Yankees squashed the Mariners 7-2.
By comparison to the Astros’ rotation, the Yankees starters also are of a lower caliber. And the feeling remains that at some point come October, the Yanks will have to go through the champions to get to the World Series.
Mainly, though, the Yankees rotation problem is threefold: 1. Perception. They wanted to add a starter all offseason, didn’t land one and, thus, there is a sense of unfinished business. 2. Reality. There is a fragility to the rotation. Jordan Montgomery already has been lost for the season after needing Tommy John surgery, Masahiro Tanaka is on the DL yet again (this time with hamstring problems) and CC Sabathia and Sonny Gray are physical red flags. 3. The rotation is segregated between ace Luis Severino and everyone else and the team’s championship chances would swell if they could find a co-ace to Severino.
But with six weeks until the non-waiver trade deadline there is no sign Jacob deGrom or Madison Bumgarner will be available. The Yankees might just have to snag someone such as Toronto’s J.A. Happ or Minnesota’s Lance Lynn to provide quality depth against more injuries.
For now, though. German keeps working his way up the ranks of a rotation outperforming its reputation.