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No, That wasn’t a Goldberg reference. It’s a legit question for the Yankees.

While everyone hopes it doesn’t happen, The Yanks may need to call up another starter from the minor leagues at some point during this season. Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes won’t be back anytime soon, and god forbid anyone gets hurt, the Yanks will be forced to dip into their talent pool one more time.

According to Rotoworld, the battle to be the next Yankees starting pitcher is between Alan Horne and Daniel McCutchen.

Let’s break it down, and figure out who should be called up next.

Horne is a former 11th round pick of the Yanks who received a 400,000 dollar bonus when he signed. He was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Year in 2007 when he was with the Trenton Thunder. He put up solid numbers with a 3.11 ERA and 1.34 WHIP.

This season he missed quite a bit of time due to a bicep strain, but has been solid. He’s put up a 3.44 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 4 games at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre at the age of 25. His strikeout-to-walk ration is 18:7. The sample size is small, but there is nothing to make you think that he won’t be consistent.

He features a Four seam Fastball, as well as a cutter that he learned in junior college. He throws a “hammer” curveball that bites down in the zone, and some consider his best pitch.

Daniel McCutchen is also 25, and pitching for Scranton. This season he’s pitched 32.1 innings over 5 starts. He’s 1-4, but we all know that wins are a bad measure of a pitcher. Instead, Let’s look at his 3.62 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. This the first time in his minor league career that his ERA has been over 3.00. Even more impressive is the fact that he’s struck out 21 while walking just 4.

He made headlines last year because he served a 50 game suspension for violating the MLB substance abuse policy. He tested positive for a prescription amphetamine. After sitting the first three weeks of the 2008 season, he reported to Double-A Trenton.

McCutchen is a bit of a different pitcher than Horne. He throws about 92 with his fastball, which he can certainly get by on. He also throws a good curveball and a splitter, but neither is seen as a true “out pitch.” This leads people to wonder about him getting big league batters out. That being said, the Pending Pinstripes Yanks minor league blog could imagine him becoming Dan Haren-esque with improved control.

So, Let’s a make a quick decision.

It’s has to be Horne right now because of having the better “stuff.” As long as he is healthy, then there is no reason not to give him the shot that he has earned over the last two seasons. That doesn’t mean that McCutchen isn’t a good pitcher, because he is. If his control continues to emerge, he could find himself pitching at the ballpark in the Bronx in September. However, right now, Horne is the better play.

Agree? Disagree? Comment!

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