|Yankees' injured pitchers could fill a rotation|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 16 April 2007 14:45|
Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano are on the disabled list, joined by prospects Jeff Karstens and Humberto Sanchez. Only Andy Pettitte and Kei Igawa remain from the original starting five.
So when New York opens a homestand Tuesday night against Cleveland, the starter will be Chase Wright, a 24-year-old left-hander who has never pitched above Double-A.
``His performance has been electric,'' Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Monday. ``He had a full, great major league camp. He opened a lot of people's eyes.''
Wright, a third-round pick in the 2001 amateur draft, had four so-so seasons in the low minors before he began to emerge. He went 10-4 with a 3.75 ERA at Class-A Charleston in 2005, then had a breakout year in 2006, when he was 12-3 with a 1.88 ERA at Class-A Tampa and was selected the Florida State League pitcher of the year.
Wright went 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA in 12 2-3 innings for the Yankees during spring training, and he has pitched 14 scoreless innings over two starts for Double-A Trenton this year, striking out 19 and walking one.
``People have taken notice of what his abilities are,'' Cashman said. ``Obviously, it's typical to go from Triple-A up, but we've done it before.''
Top prospect Philip Hughes is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts for Triple-A Scranton, and the Yankees repeatedly have said they won't rush the 20-year-old right-hander.
That leaves the Yankees with Igawa and Darrell Rasner following Wright against the Indians. Pettitte starts Friday at Boston, and the Yankees have to come up with a starter for Saturday.
``We're as banged-up as you can get,'' Pettitte said. ``We're just going to have to tighten the chin strap a little bit.''
Wang, who injured his right hamstring March 23, isn't a candidate for this weekend. He pitched five scoreless innings in an extended spring training game Saturday, had a bullpen session Monday and is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game Thursday.
Karstens, who felt stiffness in his right elbow during a spring training start March 25, allowed three hits in four scoreless inning for Class-A Tampa against Clearwater on Monday night and said he felt a little rusty. Cashman hasn't decided whether Karstens will need a second minor league outing to get ready.
``We'll have to wait and see how he comes out,'' Cashman said.
Mussina, who strained his left hamstring April 11, cut short a throwing session Sunday and went on the DL. Pavano, sidelined for 1 1/2 seasons by shoulder, back, elbow, buttocks and rib injuries, made two starts in his comeback before feeling tightness in his right forearm last week. He also went on the DL on Sunday.
One possible solution is Roger Clemens, who still hasn't decided whether he will pitch this year. The 44-year-old has said he will choose in May and is considering only three teams: his hometown Houston Astros, the Yankees and the Red Sox.
Cashman said he hasn't heard in a while from the Rocket's agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks.
``They know how we feel,'' he said. ``Obviously, he's got a tough decision.''
AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley in Oakland, Calif., contributed to this report.