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

As previously noted, the New York Yankees have not had the start to the season that they expected in 2021. However, it is the start of the season that they deserved. With the season a third complete, they finished May at 29-25 and in third position.

Instead of hoping to win the American League East, they are more likely to be targeting the second wildcard spot and only then if their bats begin to do their work.

In May, their pitching was less culpable than the batting line-up in adding to their woes.

Let’s survey the strengths and weaknesses of the players who took the mound:

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

The Yankees used 6 starters and 1 “opener” in April. It is fair to say, in that regard, it was a very mixed month. Some good, some bad, some indifferent. We’ll come to that in a moment.

They used thirteen relievers in total. Nick Nelson was used both as the one time opener and a reliever. Those who were solid out of the bullpen were pretty consistent.

There were those who bounced between the major league roster and the alternate training site. Most peculiar of these was Michael King who was excellent but couldn’t seem to do enough to rise in the pecking orderabove those who were struggling.

Let’s survey the whole of the pitching part of the roster:

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The New York Yankees – The Pitchers in May (2016)

So if the batters were worse than terrible, it must have been the pitching staff who picked up some of the slack and gave the team a chance in the May games – leading to the Yankees achieving that surprising 16-13 record on the month.

12 of those 16 wins came from the starting staff so we’ll be considering them first.

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The New York Yankees – Off-Season Update – January / February 2016 – …And On the Eighth Day the Yankees Did Nothing…

In my last Yankees-themed article, (https://twilightdawning.com/2015/12/23/the-new-york-yankees-off-season-update-novemberdecember-2015-ludicrous/), I highlighted how in my opinion, in their trades and lack of free agency activity, the Bronx Bombers had actually managed to weaken their squad of players. This view was obviously contrary to the view of Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi but it was difficult for me to see it any other way.

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The New York Yankees – Off-season Update – November/December 2015 – “Ludicrous”

“Ludicrous”

How else to explain the moves that the Yankees have made since the season ended in October?

The Yankees might have listed their goals for the off-season as follows:

a) To strengthen their 25 man roster

b) To reduce the average age of players on their 25-man roster

c) To make themselves more competitive for 2016

d) To achieve the first three without majorly increasing their payroll for 2016 from its 2015 level.

As we are now halfway through that off-season period, it is fair to say that they have failed in the first three categories and, therefore, in the 4th.

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The New York Yankees – The Pitchers in September and October (2015)

One of the interesting factors for the New York Yankees over the last several seasons is how they handle the roster expansion in September. This year, as in the past, Joe Girardi seemed to feel under an obligation to try to use everybody, almost as though the season was already over and it was just a case of giving people game time. But this wasn’t Spring Training, it was a crucial chase to catch the Blue Jays and watching players like Chasen Shreve, and Bryan Mitchell coming apart at the seams wasn’t helpful to them or to the cause. Let’s see what happened:

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The New York Yankees – September Update – Truths revealed in the rain

What: The New York Yankees vs the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays

When: 7th September to 13th September 2015

Where: Yankee Stadium, New York, New York

Stood outside Yankee Stadium on the 10th of September as the rain begins to gently fall, you realise that perhaps this is not going to go to plan. When the series with the Orioles had opened and a Yankees win meant that the lead that Toronto had in the American League East was cut back to half a game, the world seemed filled with optimism. Even when Baltimore took the next two games, things hadn’t seemed so bad – results elsewhere had gone in the Yankees favour. And after all, one and a half games behind doesn’t look so bad when the team ahead of you is just about to arrive in town for four games and anything could happen.

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The New York Yankees – The Pitchers in August (2015)

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:

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