Well, in case you had some more questions about the state of the RailRiders’ starting rotation…
The team placed right-hander Joel De La Cruz on the seven-day disabled list today. He was 7-0 with a 3.25 ERA this season with the RailRiders, and although he was used mostly in relief, he had been in the rotation lately. In fact, he started last night’s win over Pawtucket.
Taking his place on the roster is Cesar Vargas, a right-hander who has been exclusively a reliever since the start of 2014. This season with Double-A Trenton, Vargas was 6-0 with a 3.15. I’m told he is 92-93 with the fastball and can also offer a good fastball, a good curve and big-league ready command. Nothing blows you away, but he always seems to get the job done.
On paper, it seems like he’s Trenton’s answer to De La Cruz this season.
Lets assume Vargas won’t be entered into the rotation with the RailRiders (although, conceivably, he could, considering he was a starter most of his career before last season). That leaves a vacancy for a starter as soon as Tuesday. I would take this as the surest sign yet — outside of pure common sense — that the Yankees don’t plan to carry Chris Capuano and Bryan Mitchell as long men forever.