With their surprisingly successful starting pitcher, Domingo German, headed for the injured list on the 9th of the month, where he would stay for most of the rest of June, it was up to the relievers to bolster the pitching staff, even more than they had needed to do in May. Thankfully, the bullpen were more than up to the task. And the arrangement of using Chad Green as an opener paid off even better than it had in May. Green had, by far, his best month of the season.
Again, let’s explore who else led the way:
|New York Yankees 2019 – Pitching – Month – June|
|Cortes jr., Nestor||5||0||0||0||18.1||18||11||11||1||18||3||0||0||5.40||.254||1.04|
When only one of your regular starters delivers an ERA under 5 and that one seems to have regular injury problems and is heading for retirement then you had better be glad that you began to experiment with this new-fangled “opener” idea. That’s how Aaron Boone must have felt in June! The one starter with an ERA under five was CC Sabathia who still finished the month with a below par two wins and three losses. And that despite all the run support that the Yankees were offering up. The Yankees also must be very grateful for Brian Cashman assembling a relief corps which is the envy of baseball – but more of that in a moment.
The opener was Chad Green who was taking the ball roughly every 5th day.in that capacity as well as being used in short relief and even once to finish out a game. His ERA on the month came in at 0.69. One of the problems with this idea of an opener for those who analyse the statistics for a column like this one, is that there really isn’t a traditional measurement that shows the value of those appearances apart from Green’s work in his other roles. Let’s just say that every month this season is getting better for him.
Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton and J.A. Happ all finished the month with an ERA worse than Sabathia’s, but all finished with the same number of wins (2) and only one loss each. Tanaka is the best of the three on current form, by some considerable distance.
The very strange “London series” saw Stephen Tarpley, of all people, in the aforementioned openers role. All the Yankees’ pitchers looked like they were jet-lagged, and Tarpley was no different. Putting him out in the first inning was a strange idea and was part of a 9.00 ERA month for the left-handed specialist and the figures tell their own story.
Aroldis Chapman and Adam Ottavino joined Green in having exceptional months. Although Chapman pitched in 11 games, only 8 of these were save opportunities and from them he drew 7 successes, bringing his total for the season to 23. The one exception was on the 9th against the Cleveland Indians. On that occasion he gave up an unearned run when Didi Gregorius made a fielding error in a game that Chapman, himself, made two fielding errors. Ottavino joins LeMahieu in being one of the great free agent signings of the off-season.
David Hale has begun to develop into a pitcher who looks like he might have a future in the Bronx. This month, he delivered up 15.2 innings for a 2.87 ERA for his most solid contribution to the Yankees pitching staff yet.
Zack Britton did okay but didn’t come close to matching his May performance with his WHIP figure almost doubling. Nestor Cortes jr. was much improved with ironically the improvement showing up most obviously in that self-same WHIP column with a 1.04 figure showing his strengths – he gave up only one walk on the month.
Luis Cessa struggled and Tommy Kahnle, who had been excellent in the season so far, just fell apart. This has been a trend with Kahnle, who was impressive in late 2017 but just simply bad for most of 2018.
Speaking of bad, we come to Chance Adams and Jonathan Holder. Adams only appeared in two games and so his figures can hardly be seen as representative of very much other than a bad day at the office, but Holder had a wretched month which reached its pinnacle on the 24th in a game against Toronto when Holder couldn’t even successfully walk a player. Before he was removed, he had given up five runs on five hits (2 homers) and hadn’t got anyone out. It will be left to the guys at Scranton to see if they can sort out the kinks in his mechanics, the way that they did for Green earlier in the season… which I guess brings us right back to where we came in…