Red Sox vs the AL East: starting pitching

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Jun 28, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) delivers a pitch during the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Boston Red Sox won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

3. New York Yankees

The Yankees’ rotation is a textbook example of a high-risk, high-reward rotation. This starting five has unquestionable upside, between 2014 standouts in Tanaka and Pineda, a former ace in Sabathia, and a hard-throwing youngster in Eovaldi. However, between injury concerns and a lack of depth, there are certainly reasons to be wary of New York’s rotation.

After all, each of the first three pitchers in this rotation missed significant time last season. Tanaka’s partially torn UCL, which caused him to miss 12 starts and suggests that he’ll likely need to undergo Tommy John Surgery in the near future, is the most likely to re-appear. However, it’s still worth mentioning that Pineda and Sabathia only pitched in 21 combined games last season and that the 34-year old Sabathia, despite solid peripherals, hasn’t been effective since 2012. In addition, despite great peripherals throughout his career, Eovaldi’s ERA has only been better than the league average once in the last three years (though he will be just 25 years old for the upcoming season).

This rotation has a huge ceiling, with potentially four well-above average pitchers, plus Capuano (3-4, 4.35 ERA), who wasn’t awful last season. However, the Yankees will need to count on good health, as they have little in the way of prospect depth, and a bounce back year from Sabathia in order to cash in on their potential.