Never be satisfied.
The last three times through the rotation for Domingo German have been quite inspiring, while the Yankees also received an eye-opening MLB debut from Jonathan Loaisiga within the last week. Despite the positive feelings and excitement around two more young players, the Yankees should not be dissuaded from pulling the trigger for a rotation improvement as the trade market comes into focus, and the sooner the better.
German, 25, has all the talent in the world as demonstrated by his recent string of starts in which he has allowed seven earned runs on 12 hits and two walks, while striking out 28 batters across 20 innings. However, German was fairly inconsistent before the current stretch, and with a rookie arm, a team can never be completely certain they'll show up in a big spot.
That mindset has to ring truer with Loaisiga, 23, who skipped Triple-A to make the five-inning scoreless start last Friday. Loaisiga, who allowed three runs on six hits while walking two and striking out four in 3.2 innings on Wednesday night against the Mariners, surely has high marks with Yankees' brass in order to have been placed on the 40-man roster in the first place. However, it is doubtful a single person in the front office believed Loaisiga would be making starts for the big league club in June.
Beyond being able to trust one or both rookies down the stretch and into the postseason, the Yankees are always treading water with the health and performance of the veteran arms in the rotation.
No one knows exactly how Masahiro Tanaka will bounce back once fully healed from dual hamstring strains. The legs are very important to a pitcher, and when both are compromised, there has to be some concern about Tanaka's effectiveness upon his return.
At the age of 37, CC Sabathia is pulling his weight once again this season. That said, the miles on his left arm continue to rise and his balky knee is one bunt attempt away from blowing out.
With Sonny Gray, each time he seems to turn the corner, he reverts back to the over-thinking nibbler on the mound. Gray's 'get after it' approach is the correct one for him, yet when he gets into trouble, it doesn't take him long to slow down which provides more time to debate each pitch.
Since Luis Severino is the only sure-fire front line starter on the roster, the Yankees cannot waste time hoping that everything will continue to fall into line as it has over the first 70 games of the season. Pitchers will tire meaning an addition to the rotation - a pitcher with at least No. 2/3 qualities - will lengthen the circuit of the starting staff.
Put plainly, the Yankees are too good to settle for skating into the playoffs. They'll need to pull out all the stops to stay ahead of Boston in the AL East race, and the first measure is to upgrade the rotation. The Yanks have reaped benefits from the two rookies stepping up, but they cannot be content with mere hopes that it will continue as the dog days of summer are set to commence.
If the Yankees wait too long or fail to make a move altogether, they run the risk of a new injury or a poor performance run from portraying a higher need for an upgrade. And that allows opposing teams to boost trade prices.
It is just about time for the Yankees to act. Never be satisfied.