General manager Brian Cashman recently said that he believes the Yankees' team as it is today, is good enough to make the playoffs and ultimately win the World Series. Now that Ubaldo Jimenez has reportedly been traded to Cleveland and there have been NO reports of the Yankees close to a deal with any team, is this team as is really good enough to win it all?
I think the answer should be clear to everyone - YES.
We all know that besides CC Sabathia, there's no other pitcher in the rotation that teams are scared of. But they definitely should be. Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia are having spectacular renaissance years, each pitching to an ERA of under 3.30 (Garcia - 3.23 | Colon - 3.29). Colon despite his physical status gives the Yankees length as well, as can Garcia who will always keep the Yankees in the game.
If I were Joe Girardi I'd start CC, Colon, and Garcia in that order for the playoffs. The 4th starter? Definitely not A.J. Burnett, but I'd have to go with Ivan Nova. Despite just getting recalled today, he has pitched terrific for the Yankees in his first full season as a starter, and his demotion to Scranton was only because the 18-game winner from 2010, Phil Hughes was coming back. But unless he starts pitching like his 2010 self, I don't see Hughes getting anywhere near the playoff rotation.
I think a starting 4 of CC, Colon, Garcia, and Nova can actually be really effective in the playoffs. Because some people forget - the Yankees can hit. They have one of, if not the best offense in baseball, and when A-Rod comes back, hopefully he starts hitting like the old A-Rod. And if he does, the Yankees are set in my mind.
People may say I'm overly optimistic - and you're probably right. But hey, look at the '96 Yankees, who won 92 games with only one starter having an ERA under 3 (David Cone - 2.88 in 11 starts). And who did they defeat in the World Series? The Atlanta Braves, with the best rotation in baseball in Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine.
So if there's a trade made or not, this team can definitely win the Fall Classic. Especially if they keep playing the way they have.