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Series Preview: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays (7/23-7/25)

Following their rain-shortened two-game series split against the Mets at home this past weekend, the Yankees head down South for three days to face the Rays in Tampa Bay.  Tropicana Field has, in a way, been a house of horrors for New York, having gone just 4-9 at The Trop since the beginning of 2017 including an ugly three-game sweep just a month ago. The Yankees will begin play today at 63-34, five full games behind the first place Red Sox.  Tampa Bay comes in at 50-49, 19 games out of first and 9.5 games back of Seattle for the second Wild Card position. With trade rumors swirling for both squads and the teams headed in opposite directions, this series provides a key opportunity for the Yankees to get back on track and put pressure on Boston to once again close up the AL East race.

Why the Yankees should use a six-man rotation

Okay Yankees fans, I am going to discuss a rarely discussed idea. Hold onto your hats... I think the Bombers should utilize a six-man rotation in 2018. In the following article, I'll give my reasons why.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Having a six-man rotation will allow an extra day's rest for all the starters. It will benefit Masahiro Tanaka, and as much as I hate to say this, his elbow. His elbow is a ticking time bomb, due to his previously diagnosed partially torn UCL. Tanaka has pitched better on an extra day's rest throughout his career and Yankee fans know what he is capable of when he is on top of his game. 

It'll also be helpful to CC Sabathia who's surgically repaired knee was hurting at times last season and caused him to miss some starts down the stretch. Sonny Gray could also benefit from the  extra rest, due to his injury histroy. He had an injury filled 2016, only making 22 starts and missed the first month of 2017 with a strained lat muscle. 

It will also be beneficial to young starters like Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery. Last season Severino pitched 193 innings, which was 122 innings more than he pitched the previous season. Young lefty Jordan Montgomery pitched 155 innings last season which is 21 innings more than his previous high in a single season. So, an extra day’s rest would be helpful to the young guys and veterans pitching staff in order to keep them healthy and fresh. 

It's no secret that the Yankees have been linked to not only free agent pitchers but also pitchers potentially available via trade. It's also no secret that they have some top pitching prospects in their system that are on the cusp of reaching the Bronx. Justus Sheffield (LHP) and Chance Adams (RHP) are potential starting pitchers for the six-man rotation or one that is acquired via a trade.

Here is how their rotation shapes up with six pitchers:

Adams/Sheffield/Green/Warren/Player from outside of the organization

Article by: Matthew Donovan