Yankees Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Friday, September 19th, 2008 at 4:11 pm and is filed under Baseball, Yankees Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

A couple of years ago when the Yankees acquired Bobby Abreu to play right field they had to figure out what to do with Gary Sheffield and they decided it was best to try to trade him.

It was no easy task as Sheffield was a surly aging ball player with a hefty contract to boot. Just finding a team who was interested in taking on that amount of salary was tough enough and on top of that they had find a team who wasn’t worried about his attitude. Because of those two issues getting something valuable back would be tough.

What the Yankees did was they traded him to Detroit for Humberto Sanchez along with two other lower level minor league prospects. Sanchez represented a pitcher with a high ceiling who was also a significant injury risk. The risk proved to be true as he needed Tommy John surgery almost immediately.

The surgery cost him the entire season of 2007 and many thought that he might be able to pitch in for the Yankees this year, but sometimes it takes time to comeback from Tommy John and he rushed back and had a few minor setbacks which cost him most of this year as well.

Now he’s ready to go and this former starter has been converted to the bullpen and made his major league debut last night. He pitched pretty well pitching one perfect inning and striking out one batter. His control looked good too as he threw 11 pitches and nine of them for strikes.

Having a healthy Sanchez for the 2009 season could be a big boast to the Yankees pitching staff either in the bullpen or the rotation. The Yankee have not committed to one or the other just yet, but the fact that he’s coming out of the pen now is a sign that they might want to keep him there in the future. He could fill a pretty big hole in the rotation, but after this season with failed young starters they may shy away from that next year. Also taking him out of the rotation may relieve some health issues.

This kid’s arm is strong so and having him in the rotation could be a big deal for the future, but if injury concerns are legitimate having him in the pen is better than not having him at all. The only reservation about using him in relief I could see is that the bullpen is stocked with good young arms and the rotation is only filled with question marks.

I think it’s likely that they will start him in spring training next year as a starter and keep a close watch on his health. At that point they’ll see where the bigger need is before making a final decision.

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