Projected Triple-A Starting Rotation Before Spring Training: Manny Banuelos, Jose Ramirez, Nik Turley, Vidal Nuno, Shane Greene
Projected Triple-A Starting Rotation as of Today: Greene, Bruce Billings, Brian Gordon, Alfredo Aceves, Chris Leroux
As much as I loved Joe's decision to bring Nuno north as part of the Major League bullpen and still think it was the right move, I'd be remiss if I didn't touch on the somewhat alarming transformation the RailRider rotation has undergone in the past month. Turley and Ramirez have been down and out with injuries since early in spring camp and Ramirez will be converted to a reliever when he's healthy again, ManBan will start the year in High-A Tampa to knock some of the rust off, and with Nuno in the Yankee 'pen there is suddenly very little organizational depth behind the Yankee starting 5.
Now ManBan will make it back to Triple-A eventually and hopefully Turley's arm tightness doesn't turn into an eventual elbow or shoulder surgery, but it's still a night and day difference between what was supposed to be and what is. No offense to any of the non-Greene members of the current SWB rotation. They're all pros and I'm sure they'll do a fine job filling in. It's just hard to get excited about a group of 30-something journeymen in a Triple-A rotation when the alternative was 5 legit prospects. If an injury or 2 does happen in the Major League rotation, I'd rather see a Nuno or a Turley or even ManBan subbing in for spot starts than Aceves or Billings. At least there's something to get excited about if the prospects do well and it's easier to chalk it up to lack of experience if they don't.