The New York Yankees in July – Part Two – The Pitchers (2022)

As we mentioned in our previous article, the Yankees just did enough to achieve a .500 win-loss record in July and as we survey the pitchers, we note that many of the starters began to buckle with only Nestor Cortes coming in at the end of the month with an ERA of less then 4.

Michael King was having another excellent month in July, but broke his elbow in the 2/3 of the month and is gone for the long term. You’d never want to see somebody go out with an injury like that, and in reality there is no compensation. However the Yankees did have longterm injuries Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga coming back this month. Clarke Schmidt who had been building up his stamina was recalled from Scranton, but oft-injured Luis Severino was lost to the team again.

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The New York Yankees in July – Part One – The Batters (2022)

Something was not quite right for the Yankees in July. After going 22-6 in June, they produced a mere 13-13 record in the month that followed.

On one hand, they suffered injuries to important players like Giancarlo Stanton and Michael King.

On the other, they brought in new signing Andrew Benintendi from Kansas City for a clutch of players from their farm system – Chandler Champlain (RHP), Beck Way (RHP), and T.J. Sikkema (LHP)

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The New York Yankees in May – Part Two – The Pitchers (2022)

The Yankees’ pitchers are on-the-whole doing amazingly this season. If at this time last year, we would have predicted that Clay Holmes would have signed with the Yankees from Pittsburgh and would have the record that shows in our table below, across a whole calendar month, then you would have been convinced that I was fooling. And I would have never have been that foolish.

Furthermore, after two months we are talking about Nestor Cortes as a possible Cy Young candidate, and yet there are 6 members of the bullpen (Nestor has the best May ERA of the starters) who have ERAs superior to his and some of those are people who you’d expect to be in the relief corps all season long. Strange days indeed.

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The New York Yankees in April – Part Two – The Pitchers (2022)

The Yankees were able to call on their main five starting pitchers throughout April, without any of them suffering injury. Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, Jameson Taillon and Nestor Cortes were available from Opening day, and remained that way.

Domingo German remained on the injured list but the Yankees had anticipated that. There were no new faces amongst the starting pitchers and only a smattering among the relievers. Based on last season, the fanbase wouldn’t be too sure what to expect from this arrangement but as we have already suggested in our article about the batters, things worked out just fine as, after a few bumps, the team cruised to the head of the division.

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The New York Yankees in October – Part Two – The Pitchers (2021)

It was October and the Yankees’ starting rotation was struggling.

While Gerrit Cole was on the active roster, the Yankees elected to not use him in the series with Tampa Bay in order that he might be ready for the Wild Card game.

Jameson Taillon was back from injury and a rehab assignment and ready to go but, as already noted in last month’s report, the Yankees had sent Andrew Heaney to the bullpen and now assigned him outright to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders (Triple-A) – an assignment he would decline and so elect to become a free agent.

Let’s see who rose above the challenges of the end of the year:

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The New York Yankees in September – Part Two – The Pitchers (2021)

The New York Yankees starting rotation rather fell apart in September.

Towards the end of August, they had given up on using Andrew Heaney as a starter – in September he didn’t do any better as a reliever.

Luis Gil, who had an astonishing start to his career in the majors in August, didn’t even come close to repeating that form in the following month.

Jameson Taillon spent time on the injury list. Clarke Schmidt became available but struggled. Luis Severino was available for the first time in the longest but the Yankees weren’t willing to risk him as a starter given all of his injury difficulties. Domingo German was added to the roster but wasn’t chosen to play until October. Thankfully, the bullpen regulars performed extremely well…

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The New York Yankees in August – Part Two – The Pitchers (2021)

The Yankees’ pitchers were a major part of why they managed to transform their season by the upturn in their form in August.

Both starters and relievers hit a rich vein of form which made it much easier to turn runs into wins.

However, not everybody rediscovered their form. Let’s see who were those pitchers who led the way in August:

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The New York Yankees in August – Part One – The Batters (2021)

The New York Yankees had a 21-8 record on the month in August. It seems odd therefore, given that this was far and away their strongest month of the season, that I remain unconvinced about their potential to reach the post-season

On one hand, the vast majority of those wins came in consecutive games, when the momentum and positivity was spinning out of control. On the other hand, once that winning sequence was broken, they lost the four remaining games of the month – against the Oakland Athletics (a potential challenger for the New York team for a wild card spot) and against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who went into their series with the Yankees below .500 on the season.

It is an interesting conundrum and it will be very interesting to see what September brings. Boston have remained in contention. Toronto are fast improving. Oakland will need to sort out some of their issues but could still challenge for a wild card spot and Seattle have also come into the reckoning.

The Yankees would need to maintain something like their August record to challenge the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL East division lead, which, frankly, I can’t see happening. This means that any two of five could capture the wild card route to the playoffs. The Yankees of August could do it. The Yankees of July will not.

Let’s see what happened in August-

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The New York Yankees in July – Part Two – The Pitchers (2021)

The Yankees 14-9 record in July was due in no small part to their pitching. Their record improved after the All-Star break. They were 9-5 afterwards, 5-4 before.

The Yankees brought in two new pitchers at the trading deadline – Andrew Heaney (SP) from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Joely Rodriguez (RP) from the Texas Rangers but neither of them made their debut for their new club before the end of July.

Heaney was traded for minor leaguers, Janson Junk and Elvis Peguero (both right-handers). Joely Rodriguez may be more of a make-weight, as there is no question that the Yankees main target in the trade was outfielder, Joey Gallo. The players who went in the opposite direction were right-hander pitcher, Glenn Otto and infielders Josh H.Smith, Ezequiel Duran and Trevor Hauver.

In addition, they had added Clay Holmes (RP) from the Pittsburgh Pirates on the 26th of the month in exchange for Hoy Park and Diego Castillo. A curious move saw relievers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson join the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for a player to be named later. It was no surprise that the Yankees wanted to offload Wilson because the veteran has struggled all season long but giving up Cessa who has had a solid year and been with the Yankees for a number of years when they weren’t particularly targeting anybody in return is strange.

Let’s look at the pitchers who play in July, beginning with the starters…

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The New York Yankees in June – Part Two – The Pitchers (2021)

The world of baseball pitching began to be shaken up in late-May and early-June as MLB announced that it would be checking the hats, gloves and belts of pitching staff during games.

Rumours had begun to spread about the use of a substance called Spider Tack which was allowing pitchers to get a better grip on the ball and consequently increases spin speeds. Players like Josh Donaldson of Minnesota became very vocal in their criticisms of pitchers including, for example, the New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole.

Now, there have been allegations like that. There also been suggestions that spin speeds for certain pitchers have dropped since the announcement of the rule-enforcement may have caused some pitchers to relearn their craft but so far that’s all we know.

So as we examine these statistics for the month of May, let’s consider those pitchers whose performance seems to have varied most dramatically – but I’ll go no further – the jury is still out – and we may never really know.

Here’s the stats for the whole team and then we’ll begin with a closer analysis of the starting rotation:

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