If not Mitre, then who?

By Jon Lane
Most teams would love to have the Yankees’ biggest problem at the moment: the need for someone to emerge as the fifth starter. The job description is simple, provide at least five quality, at-worst average innings while keeping the team in the game. In the Yankees’ case, they have Joba Chamberlain’s innings limit to manage and with a big enough division lead would like to provide CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte extra days off any way they can.

Joe Girardi, partly out of loyalty to what he saw from Sergio Mitre in Florday and fairness since Mitre is not far removed from Tommy John surgery, is giving the embattled right-hander one more opportunity to hold onto his spot tonight when he starts against the Blue Jays (YES HD, 7 p.m.). Mitre’s ERA is an ungodly 7.50 and he’s allowed 32 hits over 18 innings; it was no coincidence that Girardi rearranged his rotation so that Mitre did not face the Red Sox.

If Mitre bombs again tonight – or even if he simply does not pitch well – he may lose his spot to new Yankee Chad Gaudin. Once a Rays top prospect, Gaudin has played for four other teams and is 32-35 with a 4.58 ERA for his career. At times he’s been really, really good, or good and terrible.

If Gaudin is a bust, there are Bargain Bin options available at Triple-A.

? Russ Ortiz was signed last week and threw six scoreless innings on Thursday, but he’s 35 and was 3-6 with a 5.57 ERA for the Astros. In 12 seasons playing for six teams, Ortiz is 113-88 with a 4.88 ERA. He underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2008 season. His best year came in 2003 (21-7, 3.81 ERA).

? Jason Hirsh was acquired from Colorado last month for a player to be named later. He’s last appeared in a Major League game in September 2008.

? Then there’s Josh Towers, another veteran who was called up on Saturday to fortify a depleted bullpen and designated for assignment the next day to make room for Gaudin. He’s hoping to clear waivers to return to Scranton and get another shot with the Yankees.

This shows you how far down the pecking order Kei Igawa has fallen, doesn’t it?


  1. ragtopguy

    I like all other Yankee fans has had enough of Sergio Mitre. He started well enough but for at least the second time, he couldn’t pull off a simple double play. He simply stinks. I’ve had enough of Girardi’s “loyalties” They got Gaudin and he’s pitched very well lately, so damnit use him.

  2. ponce2000

    hopefully chad gaudin will do the job but if not then we should go out and get someone,were having a great season and can`t afford to hand the job just to anybody

  3. foxpj25

    Enough Mitre, is ENOUGH! He ALWAYS seems to do something to loose the game…..usually its pitch poorly, but
    seems like the last 2-3 times its a throwing error either to second or to first or to somewhere.
    Hasnt this gone on too long? Remember the Mitre formula..
    Runs allowed = Innings pitched…….why always put the
    pressure on the offense like that? Baseball is a game of momentum swings and every time Mitre pitches the Yanks
    are operating out of a hole…..come on Joe………..

  4. sluggo1955

    Even championship teams lose now and again…however to just throw a guy like Mitre out there and hope to squeeze out a victory 9-8 or 10-7 is poor forward thinking. He clearly is not ready for the major leagues yet. While better yesterday, it was still 5 runs in 5 innings and hope the bullpen holds on (they did). Get somebody in here who can give a quality start 2 out of 3 times-these games are and should not be throw-aways!

  5. yankee7777

    So now the Yankees continue the ruination of Joba. To limit his innings for a year to a number that was picked out of the air is insanity. There is No scientific or medical reason to support this. To paraphrase what Tim McCarver said last Saturday ?show me the doctor that confirms this idea.?
    Maybe some of the fans new to baseball think this is a sound idea. Well check the history of baseball and this is a very new idea. But it is an idea with no positive results. Arm injuries have not been eliminated. In fact the number seems to have increased. And pitchers for their careers have not been helped by this? extra care?.
    A muscle must be worked harder to get stronger. And the arm is made of muscles. This is not an 11 year old kid we are talking about but a grown man. My father tells of Bob Feller coming to the big leagues at 17 years old and he had a long and great career. And he threw at least as hard as Joba.
    Chamberlain has been abused since he came up. Let me see any other pitcher on the Yankees be given all this extra rest as has been reported as the plan for Joba and let me see how effective they will be. No one can pitch every 8 or 9 days and not be less effective. Insanity.

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