New York Yankees (June 2016 Update)- Just passing through…

There has been an extensive list of players who have passed through the New York Yankees’ pinstripes between April and the 24th of June. In this article, I am going to survey the players who have spent at least 1 day on the roster for the Bronx Bombers but are no longer on the 25 on that date in June.

Minor pitchers 1

From L to R: Cessa, Olson. Pinder

Luis Cessa (85). The 24-year old Mexican began his career with the Mets organisation. He came over to the Yankees from the Tigers in the winter as part of the Justin Wilson trade. He opened the season on the 25 man roster but after little playing time he was re-assigned to Scranton on the 15th of April. On the 17th of May he returned to New York, only to return to Triple-A again on the 7th of June. At Scranton, he has been mostly used as a starting pitcher. He has 8 starts of his 9 appearances. This has led to a 2-1 win/loss record and a 3.63 ERA. He averages approximately 5 innings a start. In New York, his role is as a reliever and he has a 2.57 ERA in 3 games. His MLB WHIP of .86 suggests that his reassignments are more to do with the team struggling to find a role for him than lack of performance and they want to gain more innings for him by his being in the minors.

Tyler Olson (75). Olson is 26 and comes from Spokane. He had two very brief stints on the Yankees major league roster. The first began on the 15th of April and lasted one day and he returned again on the 12th of May also for a single day. He played only one game which came in April and was against his previous major league team, Seattle. He pitched two and 2/3 innings for 2 earned runs. On the 7th of June, Olson was placed on the minor league roster in order to make room for Anthony Swarzak who was needed in the majors. Olson was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Royals and assigned to the Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA). His ERA at Scranton had been 5.27. At Omaha, he is doing marginally worse with an ERA of 6.

Branden Pinder (27). Pinder who split his season last year between Scranton and the Bronx, was a late cut from the 25-man roster in Spring Training. He was recalled from Triple-A on April 16th when the aforementioned Olson was reassigned. He struggled in his one appearance on the 20th of April against the Athletics, giving up three hits and two runs. Examinations showed an elbow injury which resulted him going on the 15-day disabled list (replaced on the roster by Nick Goody) and then the 60-day DL. He has undergone Tommy John surgery.

Minor pitchers 2

From L to R: Coke, Barbato, Pazos

Phil Coke (43). Coke last played for the Yankees in 2009 since when he has played for Detroit, Chicago (NL) and Toronto. He started 2016 playing for the Lancaster Barnstormers in the independent Atlantic League. However, the Yankees saw he still had something and signed him to their Triple-A Scranton team before promoting him to New York on the 6th of May. His three appearances which followed varied enormously in quality and he was designated for assignment on the 17th of the same month. He produced an ERA of 6.00 during his stay. He drew no interest from any other MLB teams and passed through waivers and was offered a contract by the Yankees to return to Scranton. However, once more he has been pitching extremely well at Triple-a and a return to the majors doesn’t seem outside of his reach. A 5 innings start on June 19 saw him give up no runs and reduce his ERA to 1.27.

Johnny Barbato (83). Barbato was a surprise when he made the major league roster out of Spring Training but his form had begun to crumble by early May and he was the logical choice to reassign when Aroldis Chapman ended his suspension and was available from the 9th. At that point, he was pitching to a 5.54 ERA across 13 innings. At Scranton, his form has followed a similar pattern, pitching extremely well when first joining the team but less successfully as time has gone along, leaving him with a 4.50 ERA.

James Pazos (67). The Yankees had high expectations of Pazos in 2016, after using him extensively as a left-handed specialist in September 2015. However, he struggled in Spring Training and failed to make the team. He was called up on the 4th of May. He was returned to Scranton the following day without pitching in the majors. He has a 3.27 ERA this season in the minors and is currently on the disabled list.

Minor pitchers 3

From L to R: Severino, Green, Mullee

Luis Severino (40). Severino was the great hope for the Yankees as the young starter had done extremely well in the second half of 2015. He was a grave disappointment to the Yankees this year and was openly criticised by Hal Steinbrenner. After 7 starts which resulted in 6 losses (1 no decision) and a 7.46 ERA, he was headed first to the disabled list and then to the minors. He first pitched 3 innings for Tampa Yankees (A-Adv) before having a bad game  in his first 2016 appearance at Triple-A against the Columbus Clippers. Since then he has been steady and improving and there is hope that the Yankees will see him back in the majors in the second half of the season.

Chad Green (57) Green was the younger player who came across with Luis Cessa in the Justin Wilson trade. He wasn’t expected to make the majors this season so anything is a bonus. He was called up on the 14th of May and returned to Scranton three days later. He made a similar journey on the 10th of June which also lasted for three days. The May visit saw him used in the starting rotation as Luis Severino was unavailable. He lasted 4 innings and gave up 6 runs (4 earned) in a game against Arizona. It was not a good debut. On his return, he was used in relief and pitched one innings for no hits, and no runs. We will see more of Green. He has just celebrated his 25th birthday and he has time to learn. He has a 1.67 ERA at Scranton which surprisingly has only delivered up a 5-6 record in his 13 starts.

Conor Mullee (50). Mullee was a surprise call up, arriving on the New York team on the same day as Green – May 14th. He made his debut on the 16th, the game that Green started against Arizona and the Yankees produced one of their biggest losses of the season. He conceded 3 walks and was perhaps fortunate to leave the majors with only a 9.00 ERA. However, the story in the minors has been very different. He gave up an earned run on his triple-a debut on the 8th of April but has not conceded a run since, leaving him with a 0.54 ERA at Scranton.

Chasen Shreve (45). Shreve has been easily the most inconsistent pitcher on the Yankees roster and his reassignment to Scranton on the 19th of June makes it look as though that inconsistency has finally caught up with him. Last year, he had a great season until September and couldn’t get anybody out in the last month of the year. In 2016, he didn’t concede a run until April 19 and then fell apart in the rest of the month. That trend continued until he gave up 3 runs in 1 innings on the 25th of May in the game at the Stadium against the Toronto Blue Jays. The following day he went to the DL with a shoulder sprain. When he was fit again, he was sent on a rehab assignment and then reassigned to Scranton. Since then he has been somewhat inconsistent and holds a 3.18 ERA with the Railriders.

Minor pitchers 4

Chasen Shreve

Minor batters 1

From L to R: Gamel, Swisher, Sanchez

Ben Gamel (38). Gamel arrived in the majors for the first time on May 5th and gave the Yankees extra options whilst Alex Rodriguez was on the disabled list and Carlos Beltran was picking up extended time at designated hitter. During his stay he made 5 appearance in right-field and made 1 safe hit in 8 at bats. Aside from that he has had a good year in the minors batting .298 and collecting 18 extra base hits. He will be a better player for his short workout in the majors.

Nick Swisher (33). Swisher is the only player on this list who hasn’t seen any time in the Yankees senior roster this season but we have included him because like Phil Coke, he has been a surprise return to the Yankees’ organisation. Swisher was, of course, a fan favourite in the pinstripes between 2009 & 2012 and when he found himself out-of-work in 2016, the Yankees stepped in and gave him a chance at triple-a Scranton. So far, he has stayed at that level despite the Yankees needing a first baseman when a succession of players who cover that role went down with injuries. He’s currently batting .255 with 13 extra base hits and his bat is warming up. His return to New York doesn’t look likely but I wouldn’t rule it out yet.

Gary Sanchez (35). Sanchez was a somewhat surprising call up on May 13th. He had lost the battle for second catcher on the roster to Austin Romine when it seemed he only needed to do little to make the position his own. He did less than little and wound up in Scranton. With A-Rod still not available, the Yankees sent down Gamel and brought up Sanchez and he was slotted into the line-up the very next day at DH. He went 0 for 4 and is still looking for his first hit in the majors. The following day he was back at the Railriders. At Triple-A, he has batted in the mid .270s and is proving a great power hitter. However, he is not as good as Romine as a catcher and there is a Rodriguez-sized roadblock at DH and what Sanchez needs is extended time in the major leagues. And that is a quandary.

Minor batters 2

From L to R: Ackley, Teixeira, Parmelee

Dustin Ackley (29). Ackley had been having a dreadful offensive season until he went to the DL with a right shoulder dislocation on the 30th of May. He was batting .148 with no extra base hits. Performing like that he is of little value to the Yankees and as it has now been announced that his shoulder surgery is season-ending, it is unlikely that we will see him back in the Bronx again.

Mark Teixeira (25). Teixeira had an awful May which concluded with him going to the DL in early June with a cartilage tear in his right knee. He had a poor April with little power and then didn’t hit a single home run in the subsequent run. At the time of writing, he is due to return to the major league roster.

Chris Parmelee (26). Parmelee was the call-up when Teixeira was injured and burst into the team with some impressive hitting. He hit safely 4 times in 8 at bats and produced 2 home runs. However, six days after he arrived he too was headed for the DL with a hamstring strain. There is no optimistic news from the club about his imminent return.

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