ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Will the Yankees Pitching Staff Lead Them Back to the Postseason in 2014?

Updated on March 17, 2014

New York Yankees 2014

Will Kuroda and the rest of the Yankee starters pitch their team back to the postseason?
Will Kuroda and the rest of the Yankee starters pitch their team back to the postseason? | Source

The Newcomers to the pitching staff

The Yankees brought in free agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka from Japan, as well as signing left handed reliever Matt Thornton from the Red Sox. Also joining the Yankees starting rotation this season will be, Michael Pineda who has been recovering from surgery the past two seasons, after coming over in a trade with Seattle for catcher Jesus Montero. The addition of these three pitchers to the 2014 Yankees pitching staff, figures to make them more competitive this year, in the American League pennant race. In the past, the Yankees have fielded many division winning teams that had best case scenarios of 100 wins, and worst case scenarios of 90 wins. The 2014 Yankees figure to be a very competitive ball club, but their best and worst case scenarios will probably range between 85 and 95 wins. Optimism surrounds the Yankees this spring, because injuries limited them to 85 wins last season, but a strong pitching staff figures to cause that number to rise in 2014.

Masahiro Tanaka

This phenom out of Japan will start the season as the Yankees third starter, behind Sabathia and Kuroda. He shares some similarity with Hiroki Kuroda, as one of his most noteworthy pitches is his splitter. He also has an outstanding cutter which complements his four seam fastball that ranges from the low to mid 90s in velocity. He throws a curveball which is his fourth pitch, and completes his traditional four pitch repertoire with the splitter being like a changeup and the cutter being like a slider. What makes Tanaka's repertoire stand out, is that his splitter has more depth and movement than the average changeup. It acts as a plus pitch for him, which he is able to lean on when he needs to get batters out. Since he has a similar style to Kuroda, learning from him could make life in the big leagues easier for Tanaka. If Tanaka could produce the same stellar results that Kuroda has been producing for the Yankees the last two seasons, that would give the team a huge boost in 2014.

Michael Pineda

The long awaited Yankees regular season debut for Michael Pineda is expected to happen this season. As a rookie in Seattle, Pineda struck out more than a batter for every inning he pitched with the Mariners. He did so with the strength of a very good fastball, that he complements with a wipeout slider. Pineda is 6'7" 265 pounds, so his large frame allows him to throw very hard, with velocities that sit in the mid to upper 90s on the fastball. Pineda has made a complete recovery from shoulder surgery that he had two years ago, which has allowed him to come out throwing with similar velocity again this spring. Pineda's third pitch is a changeup, but he sticks mostly with his fastball and slider combination to aggressively attack opposing hitters. Pineda has a lot of talent, so with a full healthy season at the back end of the Yankees rotation, the Yankee pitching staff could be very strong.

The other members of the Yankees rotation

As mentioned before, Hiroki Kuroda has been one of the Yankees best starting pitchers over the last two seasons, but he has mostly pitched behind staff ace, CC Sabathia. This season could be different, because Sabathia has suffered a dropoff in velocity and may not be able to maintain his form as the ace of the staff. This is not a huge concern for the Yankees, because they have a strong supporting cast on the pitching staff around him, with another very talented pitcher in emerging star Ivan Nova. At 27 years old, Nova has yet to play a full season for the Yankees, but he emerged last season by going 9-6 with a 3.10 earned runs average. The Yankees also have David Phelps at the back end of their rotation as depth or as a long man in the bullpen. With this combination of talent in the Yankees starting rotation, their starting pitching should be strong in 2014.

The Bullpen

The retirement of Mariano Rivera marked a changing of the guard in the Yankee bullpen. Former setup man David Robertson takes over the closer's role, and expects to have success after proving to be a very good power reliever, while pitching the 8th inning over the past few seasons. Robertson has notched a few 9th inning saves during his time as the Yankees' setup man, and he should transition nicely into the role of closer. The Yankees added to their bullpen this offseason, with the addition of left handed setup man Matt Thornton. Thornton has served as a closer in the past, and he has the ability to get outs off the bat of both right handed and left handed batters. Shawn Kelley gets moved up in the Yankees bullpen, as he will help with the 8th inning duties and Cesar Cabral gets a look as a 7th inning lefty. Both Kelley and Cabral possess well above average stuff, and should form a formidable complement to the primary relievers that the Yankees will turn to in the last two innings of games in which they lead.


Top to bottom, the Yankees have a strong pitching staff going into the 2014 season. With this in mind, the strength of their offense should win them a lot of games this season, because they will do a good job of protecting leads. Ultimately the Yankees should have enough talent to return to the postseason in 2014, while giving their fans a lot of moments to enjoy along the way.


New York Yankees 2014

Will the Yankees make the playoffs in 2014?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Josh Ruga profile imageAUTHOR

      Joshua Ruga 

      4 years ago from New Jersey

      Thank you Lamar

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Very well written go yanks!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)