It's been a good year to be a pitcher in the Yankees farm system
. Unlike years past when kids would end up rotting away in the minors awaiting a call-up (or a frustrating trade for some old dude), the Yankees many pitching woes and the unfortunate injury plague Pavano passed along
to the rest of the staff have made a succession of promotions necessary. Pitchers who just joined the system a year or two ago have already been given a shot at the big league level, and while I'm sure the pressure and expectations can be a bitch, I'd imagine that getting the opportunity to pitch for the Yankees just a couple years after you finished pitching for your high school team would be something of a dream come true
. Three of the Yanks most highly-anticipated pitching prospects were called up this year (among others of course, but let's forget about the whole Chase Wright debacle
for the time being; thinking about that poor kid's shattered confidence is too much for my sentimental heart to bear), and the folks that scouted and signed these boys should be very proud of themselves indeed. Let's all take a moment to acknowledge the achievements of our youth, and, more importantly, to gloat about the fact that unlike some teams, we actually managed to hang on to our top prospects.Philly Hughes:
2-3, 43IP, 5.65 ERA. Our most prized and tauted farm hand suffered a very ill-timed injury (thanks to the ol' Pavano Plague, I'm sure) and has been a little shaky ever since, but he's still managed to strike out 40 in 43 innings. He'll get into his groove, and we'll be seeing him for years to come, I have no doubt.Joba Chamberlain:
0-0, 11.1 IP, 0.00 ERA. Michael Kay's favorite Native American has made quite a splash since joining the team. He jammed through the farm system as fast as the Yankees Chick trying to evade a drunken Red Sawx fan, and with good reason: he is SO F*CKING GOOD. His WHIP is a superhuman 0.794
, and his control is great - just 4 walks and no wild pitches. I cannot wait to get this guy into the rotation next year.Ian Kennedy:
1-0, 7.0 IP, 1.29 ERA. Seven innings is really not enough time to judge someone, but I think it is fair to say that his debut went even better than expected. He gave up 5 hits but only 1 earned run, and struck out 6. Ian should make sure to check his brakes before he drives anywhere, though, because Moose
may have had to resort to sabotage after seeing the way his replacement pitched.
Obviously we have to focus on this
year right now and getting to the play-offs (sidenote: in case you've been away from TV/newspaper/Internet/humans, let me assure you that things are definitely looking up in that respect!), but I must say that a rotation featuring these three plus Wang and Pettitte would be a sight to behold. Wouldn't it be grand to have a starting rotation we could rely on?
I'll keep dreaming until it is a reality...