So whilst the bats were labouring the New York Yankees really needed the pitchers to pick up the slack. As it worked out their ERA was only marginally worse – 3.70 to 3.83 but the lack of batting left them with only a 14-14 record on the month which left the field wide open for the Toronto Blue Jays to steal the lead in the American League East which they were quite happy to do. Lurking behind the stats were impressive months for Masahiro Tanaka and Adam Warren particularly but let’s see what the rest of the picture reveals:
|New York Yankees – Pitching – Month – August|
It was quite a month for the starting rotation. Michael Pineda made it back from the disabled list but struggled mightily in his first game back. Bryan Mitchell was enjoying a so-so month until he took a line drive to the nose and wound up on the 7-day concussion-related disabled list. C.C. Sabathia‘s knee once more gave way and he found himself on the disabled list and surrounded by a little newspaper controversy as well as talk of being out for the remainder of the season. As it worked out all the chatter was somewhat overblown and he may be back before md-September. Whether he can improve on his recent struggles if he does return is another question indeed.
There were, however, much brighter lights. Masahiro Tanaka as we have hinted had a very good month. His WHIP was below 1, his ERA only just above 3 and he took 3 wins although the lack of run support also gave him two losses. The run support always seem to be strongest for Nathan Eovaldi and he is quite happy to ride that wave with a 3-0 record accompanying an ERA which is a tad over three and a half.
But perhaps the brightest light of all is Luis Severino who has shone brightly indeed since his call up from Scranton (triple-A). He took two losses before gaining his first win but he always seemed a little unfortunate and by month end he had added two wins and a no-decision and his ERA of 2.17 suggests there are even better days ahead when those bats wakeup.
Ivan Nova has been more than a little perplexing since he completed the long road back from Tommy John surgery. His August performances were the weakest of any of the starters who were available for the whole month and while he did manage two wins even those weren’t entirely convincing. Maybe some off-season workouts will get the remaining kinks out of his arm.
Joe Girardi knows the ones in his bullpen who he can depend on and depend on them he does. And they deliver. The others are mainly bit-players with walk-on/walk-off parts and some excel in that role and some can’t.
In the upper grade are Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, Justin Wilson and Adam Warren. Betances and Miller are setup and closer and they are very, very dependable. Miller took 5 saves this month and Betances took one, on a day when Girardi preferred not to go to Miller. Miller’s WHIP was 1.15, Betances’ 1.18, but Betances once more had the better ERA: a sensational 1.42. They both appeared in 11 games, a slightly reduced number occasioned by the fact that there were less winning games and less tight games.
Wilson had his weakest month since the very early part of the season but Warren took up the slack with 12 performances which produced a WHIP of less than 1. He has been available to the Yankees this season as a starter, as a long reliever and now as a guy in either the 6th or 7th innings and he has been good or better in each role.
In the middle of the class, we have two more who have been regulars (most of the time). Chasen Shreve has done more than the Yankees expected of him this season and he appeared in more games than any other reliever in August and was solid most of the time. Branden Pinder has also been another to step up to the mark and whilst he has been a frequent flyer back and forth from Scranton, he has done enough to suggest he will stick in the majors in the future.
And then the rest… Caleb Cotham had some decent moments earlier but struggled manfully in August. Diego Moreno injured himself and will need to take a long road back. The two Nicks (Rumbelow and Goody) are doing okay but were very much on that revolving 25th player arrangement that has existed all season up until the 1st of September roster expansions.
And then there was Chris Capuano. Earlier in the season, Capuano was regarded as a makeweight starter. Later on, he has been a throw it and hope reliever. All of this has resulted in him being designated for assignment a number of times and in-between he has produced some truly horrible performances. We’ll wait and see whether September sees him once more back in the Majors but this writer will hope that the Yankees will not need to make that call.