August 11, 2009

Mitre to make next start; Why not Gaudin?

The Yankees lost last night to the Blue Jays. Sergio Mitre, the fifth starter, couldn’t make it past the fifth inning and was credited with an error that allowed two runs to score. In spite of the poor outing, Joe Girardi has already announced Mitre will make his next start.

"He threw the ball well," Girardi said. "His miscue cost him a really good outing, in a sense. You're looking at just a couple of solo home runs and that's basically it."

That’s an awful lot of praise for a guy who dug his own hole and has a 7.04 ERA in five starts. He hasn’t even completed six innings in any of his starts. With a WHIP approaching 2 (1.913), I don’t see how Mitre still has his job.

So what are the alternatives? Well, the Yankees acquired Chad Gaudin a week ago and is yet to make an appearance. Russ Ortiz just threw six shutout innings for Scranton, and could be the next option Ken Rosenthal speculates. Other than that, it’s Kei Igawa, who gave up nine runs in Triple-A a couple weeks ago..

I say… give Gaudin a try. He’s on plenty of rest, so I’d let him pitch out of the bullpen today for a couple innings and then give him Mitre’s start on Saturday. Gaudin had one rough start in July and August, but he’s been pretty good other than that. Here’s a rundown of his July with the Padres.

Date Opp IP H R ER K BB
7/3 LAD 5 7 6 6 4 4
7/8 ARI 6-2/3 3 1 1 7 4
7/16 COL 5 4 4 1 8 4
7/21 FLA 6 9 3 3 3 2
7/26 WSN 7 5 1 1 4 2
7/31 MIL 1-2/3 6 7 3 2 2

I’d be willing to take those numbers compared to what Mitre is providing.

Also, what’s the harm in trying another fifth starter? Whoever it turns out to be, he won’t be starting in the playoffs. If Gaudin gets roughed up a couple times, the Yankees can just swap Mitre back into the rotation from long relief.

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