The Yankees pitching has been in a steady decline all season. In April, the average ERA of the team’s pitchers was 3.23 with a WHIP of 1.16. In May, that ERA was up to 4.38 and the WHIP was 1.33. In June, the WHIP was exactly the same but the ERA was up again to 4.48.
The bullpen kept the team rolling in April but was overused. In May it had begun to creak. By June some key players were injured but thankfully the batting had improved enough to keep the team alive – but they have used more relief pitchers prior to roster expansion than in any season in the team’s history. For a team at the head, or near to the head of the division, times are proving hard.
|New York Yankees – Pitching – Month – June|
|De Paula, Jose||1||0||1||0||3.1||2||1||1||4||2||0||0||0||2.70||.182||1.80|
The pitcher with most starts in the month was C.C. Sabathia with 6. However, the most remarkable statistic was the 4 no decisions that he produced out of those 6 and the fact that he averaged less than 6 innings per start. His ERA of 5.45 was exactly the same that it had been in May and there is no doubt that, as the Yankees expected, he is no longer the ace of the staff, but he is indeed something very far from that and lucky to be holding onto his spot in the rotation.
Masahiro Tanaka had double Sabathia’s total of wins but also double the amount of losses coming in with 2 wins, 2 losses and 1 no decision in June. He produced more than 6 innings a start and a 4.35 ERA but the Tanaka of mid-2015 is not the Tanaka of early 2014 and the Yankees’ track record of finding aces for their pitching in staff in Japan remains mixed at best.
Michael Pineda went 11 games between starts in early June and it was one of the steps that proved his undoing in what was a very mixed month for him. Twice he failed to make it to the five innings mark but at the end of the month he went 8 innings for 2 earned runs against Houston. His 5.72 ERA and 1.48 WHIP would be a major disappointment for the Yankees who have come to rely upon him when the rest of the rotation was failing.
On the other hand, Nathan Eovaldi, came away with more wins than any of the other starters but in truth this was rather deceptive. True he had 3 wins but his ERA was closer to 6 than anybody else on the starting staff and he produced a consistent 5 innings per start which is not what the Yankees would be hoping for.
Adam Warren was somewhat unfortunate. His 2.93 ERA and 2-1 record on the month looked great in comparison to almost everybody’s when it was time for Ivan Nova to return from rehabbing in the minors after Tommy John surgery. It is reasonable to suspect that Warren was the one to lose his spot because he has less of a reputation as a starter and more experience as a reliever. Taken at face value, his performances and stats would have nudged out Sabathia at least. Nova’s performances have been mixed but frankly it is too early to read anything in to that after such a major operation.
Only three Yankees pitchers had 0.00 ERAs in June. One of them was David Carpenter. Unfortunately Carpenter had a disastrous April and May and a third-of-an-innings at the beginning of the month wasn’t going to save him from being designated for assignment. As it worked out the Washington Nationals came in and offered them a minor league infielder, Tony Randa, to give Carpenter a new chance elsewhere and it was a done deal.
Much more significant were left-handers, Justin Wilson and Chasen Shreve. Between them they contributed 22 appearances and 22 innings without giving up a run. Both also had=WHIPs of below 1 and this from Shreve who looked equally likely to spend time at Triple-A Scranton when Spring Training started and Wilson who struggled through much of April and May.
Bryan Mitchell who it seemed was unfortunate not to be given the opportunity to contribute in 2015 after spending time with the Yankees in the majors previously finally got his chance in June. He was called up on the 19th of the month and he immediately proved a useful tool in long relief, achieving the relative uncommon feat these days of achieving a save by closing out the game with more than 3 innings pitched in relief.
Whilst Mitchell was advancing, Andrew Miller‘s season began to have a sour taste. His form in his four appearances that he made in June was less effective and then he found himself on the disabled list. He managed to add another two saves to his total but by June 10th he was out of action and it was upto Dellin Betances to exchange the 8th innings for the 9th innings. This usually worked but sometimes it didn’t. He particularly found himself in problems when he was asked to deliver more than one innings and his 4.09 ERA couldn’t be compared with what had gone before.
Chris Capuano who had worked previously as a starter was now being used exclusively out of the bullpen and he was not much stronger or weaker than he had been in the other role. At least now he was a useful guy to use to mop up a few innings when it looked like the game was already lost.
Sergio Santos came aboard after being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He gave the Yankees a couple of indifferent performances before finding that he needed Tommy John surgery.
Jacob Lindgren didn’t waste any time making it from being a prominent draft pick to the major leagues but it wasn’t to be a permanent arrangement. He appeared in 4 games in June and produced an ERA in the high 4s before finding himself back at Scranton.
And really this was the story of the 24th and 25th man on the roster which was a revolving door with young faces and more senior arms being given a brief opportunity to display their talents in the Show. Some did well – Branden Pinder and Jose De Paula were cases in point. Jose Ramirez finally suggested he might be able to pitch at the major league level. Others fared horribly – take a look over the stat lines above for Danny Burawa, Esmil Rogers, Chris Martin, and Diego Moreno. In either case, not many stuck around for long.
Some like Nick Rumbelow were still there at month’s end but that was more to do with dates and timing than anything. There will be many more changes in those slots before the season is through.