This website has endorsed, supported, and even loved Javier Vazquez. He has been down and I have given him my support. After yesterday’s debacle, he has hit rock bottom. With his next start scheduled for Friday night in Boston, what should the Yankees do with their troubled righty?

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

Bad isn’t even the word to describe Vazquez’s 2010 campaign. In five starts, he has given up 25 earned runs in 23 innings(9.00 ERA). He has only won one game and has walked 15 hitters while allowing 32 hits. Opponents are hitting .309 against him. So what should the Yankees do with Vazquez?

Well, the Yankees finish up their series against the White Sox today and then host the Orioles for three more home games before they take a trip to Boston. The Yankees pitching staff sets up this way for the next week.

Sunday vs. Chicago: Phil Hughes
Monday vs. Baltimore: CC Sabathia
Tuesday vs. Baltimore: AJ Burnett
Wednesday vs. Baltimore: Andy Pettitte
Thursday: OFF
Friday at Boston: Javier Vazquez

Since the Yankees have an off day on Thursday, they have the option of skipping Javier Vazquez’s scheduled start on Friday. Phil Hughes will be on full rest heading into the Boston series. Skipping Vazquez will also allow both Sabathia and Burnett to face the Red Sox. But is the right decision?

Pros: This will give Yankee pitching coach, Dave Eiland more time to work with Vazquez. He will be able to throw some simulated games and extra bullpen sessions. Ben Kabak of RaB had a great evaluation of Vazquez’s mechanics, so definitely check that out later. Vazquez hasn’t been great in his career against the Red Sox (2-7, 4.23 ERA), so skipping Vazquez would allow the Yankees to send their three best arms of 2010(Hughes, Sabathia, Burnett) to face the Red Sox. Vazquez’s next start would be April 11th at Commerica Park against the tigers. Commerica is one of the more spacious parks in baseball, so that may help him regain some confidence.

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

Cons: The time element of the game. Baseball is such a mentally draining game. Hitters have ability to quickly forget about an 0 for 4 day by taking extra batting practice and coming ready to play for the next game. Pitchers have to wait for five days after having five one bad start. Bad outings will eat them up. If Vazquez has to sit and rack his brain about his bad starts for the next nine days, he’ll go crazy. I’m sure he’d want to take the ball today to go out and prove his value to the team. Luckily, the other four Yankee starters have been great this season, so the burden is not totally falling on Vazquez.

The Verdict:

The Yankees should let Vazquez start Friday Night in Boston. A lot of reasoning in the ‘Pros’ section makes sense. However, there is no way to duplicate the emotions and adrenaline associated with a MLB game. He could throw a million perfect bullpen sessions, but they wouldn’t be in front of 45,000+ crazed Yankee fans. He needs to watch a ton of tape and have a good bullpen workout early this week. If he beat the Red Sox, it may be the turning point for him. Why waste that opportunity?  In addition,the team isn’t exactly playing bad baseball. They are 14-4 in non-Vazquez started games, so the other pitchers are picking up the slack.

Coming into this season, Yankee fans were not expecting to watch Vazquez win the Cy Young. Fans were hoping to have another valuable arm that could alleviate some of the ‘Big 3’s’ work-load burden. Vazquez has been consistently threw over 200+ innings and proven to be one of the more durable arms in the game. He just needs to watch tape from his starts and more importantly, believe that he has good stuff.

Should the Yankees let Vazquez start on Friday night?