Here is how Brian Cashman sees the Yankees young pitchers right now in relation to their chances to make the club and/or compete for a rotation spot in spring training.
"Close to this order," Cashman said when I asked him how he looks at his much-publicized minor league starters. "Noesi. I think Warren and Phelps are ahead of Banuelos and Betances because of their experience. Stuff-wise and ceiling-wise, Banuelos and Betances are ahead of those other guys."
Would it be fair to say that Banuelos or Betances could help you by mid-year next season?
"I think potentially at any point next year or maybe not," Cashman said. "I don't know. They have only gotten their feet wet at the Triple-A level last year. Betances dipped his toe in the water in September in New York. It is expected that they have more work to be done. They are the type of talent when everything clicks, it could come really fast. It is to preclude that they can be in a position to help us right out of the gate, but expecting that to take place would perhaps be expecting too much."
Neither Banuelos nor Betances is pitching in Winter Ball.
Potentially, the Yankees rotation could be CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and a new starter. Most likely, one of the kids will be the Yankees' sixth starter unless Sabathia does leave. Even then, the Yankees could very well make a trade.