NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Yankees general manager Brian Cashman seems intrigued by the idea of a six-man rotation, but he says that possibility seems “pretty unrealistic.”
“I think in theory it’s something we constantly talk about, and we do — I can’t deny that it’s not something that comes up from time and time, year to year,” Cashman told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Wednesday. “But it’s a 162-game season. You have to have six viable starters that can operate on that type of timeframe, which would be more unusual than their normal workload. I think in reality, if we could deploy a six-man rotation, that would be wonderful.”
If it ever were to happen, newly acquired second baseman Starlin Castro would be the key, Cashman said. If Castro could also serve as a backup third baseman and shortstop, it could free up another roster spot to use on a pitcher.
The Mets, Dodgers and Phillies all briefly experimented with six-man rotations last season.
CC Sabathia, Nathan Eovaldi and Masahiro Tanaka figure to be locks in the Yankees‘ rotation this season. Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Luis Severino and Bryan Mitchell will compete for the other two — or three — spots in spring training.
Girardi also discussed the trade for new closer Aroldis Chapman, who was recently the subject of a domestic abuse case. After an investigation, authorities said they will not press charges, but Chapman could still face discipline from Major League Baseball.
When asked if he felt confident Chapman would be cleared when he made the trade with the Reds, Cashman said no.
“I couldn’t say that,” he said. “I would say we did as much research as we could possibly do, although we’re not a law enforcement agency, and that’s drilling down public records and things of that nature. And then we certainly made the determination, based on all of the research that we could do, that there’s no doubt that he’s going to be playing Major League Baseball in 2016 and beyond.”
The general manager also said he was disappointed about first baseman Greg Bird’s season-ending shoulder injury.
“Fortunately we have Tex (Mark Teixeira) in play for us, and he (Bird) was supposed to be an insurance policy for us at Triple-A, and we’ve lost a valuable insurance policy that we had to cash in on last year, and he did a tremendous job for us,” Cashman said. “But thankfully, the operating physician believes that he will return to play for 2017, and hopefully all goes perfect in his rehab.”
Bird, a rookie last season, stepped into the Yankees’ lineup in August after Teixeira went out with a leg injury that later proved to be season ending. In 46 big-league games, Bird hit 11 homers.
On Thursday night, Yankees radio announcer Suzyn Waldman will moderate a charity question-and-answer session with Cashman and Red Sox president David Dombrowski. The discussion can be heard live on WFAN at 7:15 p.m.