Just two takeaways from Thursday's Yankees showing in Houston, a 4-0 loss:
1. Adam Warren is the Yankees' third best starting pitcher (out of six).
Despite the loss and a decent but not great start, Warren may be the odd man out. Even though he has pitched better than everyone not named Tanaka and Pineda, Warren may be a victim of the 2015 Yankees version of the "Joba Rules" in which the Yankees think it's a good idea to limit innings on young pitchers. Another take is Warren was asked to come to spring training prepared to be a starting pitcher, just in case. Starting pitchers, who give no reason to be switched to the bullpen, should reasonably expect to pitch 175 to 200 innings for the season. It worked out that Warren has pitched well and does deserve to retain his starting gig. Yes, Ivan Nova is back and pitched magnificently in his first start back, but it is still only one start, so don't rank Nova ahead of Warren just yet. And while we know Warren would give the Yankees a lift in the 7th inning the rest of the season, soon enough, Andrew Miller will return to the bullpen and he and Dellin Betances may again dominate the 8th and 9th inning. Both Justin Wilson and Chasen Shreve have shown they are capable late inning pitchers, so you have at least four solid pitchers for the seventh inning on, once Miller returns. Warren deserves to stay in the rotation. It's that simple.
2. It's a young man's game.
The Houston Astros were one of baseball's worst teams, seemingly like a week ago Wednesday. In truth, the Astros have been good all year. Thursday, the Yankees were dominated by a young pitcher named Dallas Keuchel. The Astros are all young and talented. Despite 35 year old Mark Teixeira and 39 year old Alex Rodriguez having great years, both of which are pleasant developments, the Yankees need to get younger, the sooner the better. Their top two prospects, in no particular order are pitcher, Luis Severino and right fielder, Aaron Judge and both were recently promoted to AAA Scranton, one step from the majors. Though their ETA's for the Bronx may not be until 2016, dealing them for guys like Cole Hamels, makes no sense. The rotation has five of its six starters (for now) well under 30 years old. Best to keep it as young as possible. And that brings us to CC Sabathia. Andy Pettitte was present at the game in Houston and said Sabathia can still turn his season and career around. Certainly, it's not out of the question, but unlike Teixeira and A-Rod, CC has not had what can be described as a strong comeback season. For that reason, perhaps it is time to consider a move to a long relief role for Sabathia, cutting ties with ineffective Chris Capuano in the process. No, it doesn't have to be a permanent move for CC. The Yankees pitching staff has been subject to change at a moment's notice. It you don't believe that, just check the transactions of the New York Yankees the last week to ten days.
Just two takeaways, but they add up to a lot of issues for the New York Yankees.