On Wednesday, Adam Warren was officially named the No. 5 starter by manager Joe Girardi. It was known that there would be a strong possibility that Warren would be the No. 5 starter since last week when Brian Cashman said that he was the favorite in the competition.
“Right now if we had to make the decision today, we all know what the decision would be,” Cashman said before the Yankees had their game on March 25. “There is a Secretariat in this race. Right now Warren has a big lead in this.”
Chris Capuano, who had a hamstring injury a few weeks ago, will likely push Warren back to the bullpen once he is healthy. (Ivan Nova will takeover for Capuano when he is healthy.) Warren, who is entering his third full season, has a 2.70 ERA in five spring training starts (16.2 innings). He has allowed 17 hits, has 11 strikeouts and only one walk.
Girardi said that Warren won the job thanks to his impressive work on the mound including his “four-pitch mix, that he throws strikes…has the ability to get left-handers and right-handers out.” Girardi said Warren holds runners well, and “does the little things, fields his position.” Warren throws a four-seam fastball (95mph), slider (87mph), circle change (86mph) and knuckle curve (82mph).
Warren pitched better than any of the other No. 5 starter candidates this spring and also has minor league stats that prove that he can be a quality fill in starter. In 2010, in his first full season while pitching at Single-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, he had an outstanding 2.59 ERA in 25 starts with 126 strikeouts and 33 walks. In 2012, while pitching at the more challenging Triple-A Scranton, he had a solid 3.71 ERA in 26 starts 107 strikeouts, 46 walks and one shutout. He had a high 1.295 WHIP, but in spring training his WHIP is only 1.08, which proves that he can improve in that category.
Warren made his debut in 2013 and was drafted in the fourth round by the Yankees in 2009 out of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He has made three starts and 101 appearances out of the bullpen. He should be able to make a smooth transition to starting again based on his stats so far and his history in the minors.