A six-man rotation is not a realistic option, but I am having trouble figuring out a different solution.
The Yankees have been hot in Wang’s absence, but now he is back and could actually help the team this time. If Chien-Ming Wang is back to being the reliable Chien-Ming Wang of 2006-07, the Yankees have six capable starters. Wang is essentially the monkey-wrench thrown into a perfectly working machine, if you catch my drift.
Obviously, the top 3 aren’t going anywhere (CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and A.J. Burnett). However, with three capable starters (Wang, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain) and only two spots left in a five-man rotation, one of them is going to the bullpen, the minors or another team.
Although it is a good thing that the Yankees have too much pitching, something has to give unless the Yankees decide to switch to a six-man rotation.
This decision doesn’t have to be made immediately, but here are the “options” for the three pitchers on the bubble:
If trading were an option, I’d say keep the two best of the three, and trade the third. For me, Hughes would be the odd man out.
Maybe the Yankees can keep Wang in the long/middle relief until the trade deadline, but I don’t think a trade is the right option. I don’t think any of their options is the right option (that’s a problem).