(Photo courtesy of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Awesome name)
I don't know how or why the Yankees came to this decision, but yesterday afternoon they signed 32-year-old Brien Gordon, a former Phillies Triple-A pitcher, to take Bartolo Colon's spot in the rotation tomorrow.
Now Gordon has been lighting the world on fire this year, posting a 1.14 ERA and a 2.55 FIP for Lehigh Valley, the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate, and he's also struck out 56 batters to just 7 BB in 55.1 IP. But the guy is 32 years old and in his 15th MiL season, way past the point of being a hot prospect, and he is still pitching in Triple-A. So spare me the "he's a converted outfielder" talk and just say that if he were that good of an outfielder or a pitcher he probably would have made the show for more than 3 appearances with the Rangers back in '08.
And another thing that concerns me is what kind of effect, if any, this move has on guys like David Phelps and Adam Warren. They have both been fantastic of late and for their organization to sign another outside guy to make a spot start over them is kind of like saying that the organization didn't trust them to come up and pitch well. It doesn't pop quite as much as Gordon's 9.11 K/9, 1.14 BB/9 rates, but Phelps' 7.78,2.36 rates are nothing to sneeze at.
Basically, this deal is in the same vein as the Garcia and Colon signings in the offseason, a low-risk, high-reward move for the Yankees. They're putting minimal money in a guy who has been on fire this season to make a few spot starts. If he has any kind of success, the deal is a plus. And if he bombs, then you just cut his ass and go to one of your group of internal youngsters until Colon comes back.