The Yankees had more outgoing pitchers than batters in the trade deadline clear out but there were less new faces on the pitching staff than there were batters with starters, Luis Cessa and Chad Green who had been around on and off since the beginning of year suddenly thrust into the limelight. Let’s see who over-achieved and who under-achieved…
|New York Yankees – Pitching – Month – August|
The Yankees had two principle difficulties in August amongst their starters. The first was the need for double surgery on Nathan Eovaldi who had led the team in wins in 2015. Now, after an unpredictable season, he faces his second Tommy John op and may not be available again until 2018. Then there was Luis Severino who the Yankees have continuing ambitions to see as a Major League starter but who doesn’t seem to be up to the task. When used in relief, he dominates which leads to Joe Girardi promoting him back to the rotation which results in such a miserable outing that he winds up back in triple-A Scranton. It might be time to have the good grace to accept that he is going to be a very useful arm out of the bullpen.
The best starter remains, Masahiro Tanaka whose figures are excellent. In August, he struck out 38 battters whilst walking only one. In 6 starts, he delivered 4 wins and 1 loss.
Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia’s form remains relatively indifferent and inconsistent. Pineda, in August, had one win and one loss whilst Sabathia had 2 wins and 3 losses. Both had ERAs over 5.
With Eovaldi injured and Ivan Nova gone, Cessa and Green had opportunities. Cessa achieved more wins but Green gave more indication that he was major league ready. Time will tell.
As we predicted last month, Richard Bleiers and Anthony Swarzak‘s time in the Bronx came to an end – although Swarzak is currently on the disabled list. A recall for Johnny Barbato didn’t work out well. And the form of the likes of Chasen Shreve and Ben Heller was not consistent to say the least. Heller had arrived as a small part of the Andrew Miller trade.
Much more dependable was Dellin Betances who began to gather saves after his move to the closer role following the departure of Miller and Aroldis Chapman. His .90 WHIP% in August shows that he is the vital cog in this bullpen wherever the Yankees play him.
Tyler Clippard has done well since his return to the Pinstripes and Tommy Layne gave up only 3 hits in 8 and 2/3 August innings and has been a very good acquisition since the Yankees picked up the former Red Sox man as a free agent.
Adam Warren is another returnee who has done well most of the time but with the occasional poor outing.
31 year-old. Blake Parker was another recent acquisition who joined the team, claimed off waivers from Seattle. His 4-seam fastball has given the club another option out of the ‘pen and his 4.00 ERA represents steady performances.
Kirby Yates and Nick Goody are an odd couple. All the evidence suggests that Goody has done enough to be a regular in the majors but he is not. Conversely, Yates has not always been dependable but spent the second half on the month solidly on the 25 man roster. He was sent to Pulaski a couple of days before the month finished but this was surely just a way of keeping him match ready until the roster expansion.
So the Yankees’ bullpen is no longer the powerhouse it once was. Whilst suggesting that it is just Dellin Betances and a handful of others would be unkind, it is a shell of its former self. The starting rotation will need to be rebuilt in 2017 just as much as it did in 2016 – no matter what the club has brought into the farm system. They didn’t improve their rotation in the off-season before 2016 and they haven’t contended. If they show the same neglect again, they will not contend in 2017.
Postscript. OF Ben Gamel was awarded the International Player of the year for 2016, a few days prior to the end of August. On the last day of the month, he was traded to the Seattle Mariners. This is not the way to be at their greatest strength for 2017 either.