After watching Phil Hughes give up seven earned runs in four innings of a 10-7 loss against the Blue Jays this afternoon, the Yankees should officially be concerned about their starting rotation. Hughes missed his spots all afternoon, and got pounded by a Blue Jays team fielding what was essentially a spring training lineup.
The more you watch Hughes pitch, the more you have to think that he just isn't good enough to be a starter. His numbers on the season are respectable-11 wins, 10 losses, a 4.44 ERA-but he's a two pitch pitcher, and the two pitches aren't all that good. Not to mention, starters just don't get away with only being able to throw two pitches consistently.
Hughes' struggles are amplified by the fact that the Yankees are now without arguably their best two starting pitchers, Andy Pettitte and C.C. Sabathia after Sabathia was put on the DL yesterday with a sore elbow. In addition, Hughes' rotation mate Ivan Nova has also struggled of late (outside of yesterday's strong start). While the team expects both Pettitte and Sabathia to come back fully healthy and ready to pitch, you can't possibly be sure of what to expect from the lefties-especially in the case of Pettitte. This will be the case even more so once the postseason comes around, and the Yanks presumably have to face the likes of the Tigers, Angels, or Rangers and their powerful lineups.
The team did make a move to help shore up their rotation, picking up Indians castoff Derek Lowe, but unless he somehow finds the fountain of youth it's probably safe to say that won't be enough. It's technically not too late for the Yanks to make a move for a starter, with the waiver deadline being the 31st of this month, but it's probably highly unlikely that they'll pull the trigger on any deal, and even less likely one that will have a great impact.
So the team is basically stuck with what they have for a starting rotation, and unfortunately for them right now that doesn't seem to be much.