As the trade deadline train reached its screeching halt Wednesday, many teams found themselves on the winning station platform. The Houston Astros were able to trade for Zack Greinke, a notable powerhouse starter from the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 2.90 ERA over 146 innings pitched and a 0.945 WHIP, for four of their prospects. Or perhaps the New York Mets who picked up another great arm in the form of Marcus Stroman. Despite his losing record, he currently has a 2.96 ERA over 124 innings pitched and 99 strikeouts.
This trade deadline was very hectic, rewarding, and, in the case of the New York Yankees, quite troublesome. After the deadline, the question certainly became, “What do the Yankees do now?”. Surely a team with the second best record in baseball can grab someone, right?
Since 2017, we’ve watched the Yankees rise through several unfavorable occasions, and especially this 2019 season with the absence of most of the team due to injuries. Despite the lack of a true core, second and third stringers like Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier (as well as veterans like Brett Gardner) were able to pull the team to unimaginable victories.
However, one unfavorable predicament that cannot be unnoticed is the lack of starting pitching. J.A. Happ’s fly-ball tendencies have been accompanied by a 5.19 ERA this season. Masahiro Tanaka’s ERA skyrocketed after a horrendous matchup against the Boston Red Sox, and it’s very evident that CC Sabathia’s glory days are behind him.
The current Yankees starting rotation is the reason why fans are frustrated with Cashman’s inability to land Greinke, Stroman, Ray, Wheeler, Syndergaard, Bauer or anyone else for that matter. So what is the remedy to prevent the average Yankees fan from pulling their hair out? And where do the Yanks go next?
We shouldn’t forget that two game changers are still injured but are expected to return soon: Dellin Betances and Luis Severino. With shoulder and rotator cuff injuries respectively, a heavy burden will be put on these two pitchers to lead the starting rotation to a hopeful playoff run.
It’s expected that both pitchers will work a few innings a week. With Aaron Boone’s reliance and trust in Luis Severino’s resurgence in the rotation, there is no doubt that either Paxton, Happ, or Sabathia will take a back seat. With Severino’s high velocity, the young gun Domingo German, and a crafty Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees fans should feel more secure. That’s four spots. So who’s the number five pitcher?
Despite his bad start to the season, Chad Green has shown great improvement in control, velocity, and strikeout rates. Giving him a chance to step up in the meantime and showcase his new abilities over four to five innings would be interesting to see. If not Green, perhaps Tommy Kahnle throwing four innings with his nasty change-up could be a much needed change before Dellin Betances assumes that five spot.
Whatever changes are made, one thing is for certain. The New York Yankees are one of the best baseball teams in the entire league, especially on the offensive side. This playoff season, the Yankees will have to wage a full-on offensive war with their contenders and let their great bullpen hold sluggers back until Zach Britton or Aroldis Chapman wrap it up.
At this point in time, the Yankees have to make due with the pitching they have in the organization, which is by no means bad, but in need of remodeling and rehabilitation. So relax Yankees fans, and have faith!
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