The Yankees acquired some old yet new faces last Tuesday, as they were able to ship their #3 prospect, Blake Rutherford, in a package to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, and Todd Frazier.
These additions tell us that GM Brian Cashman thinks that the team can make a run in the playoffs this year.
Adding Bullpen Depth
The main focus of the trade is Robertson and Kahnle, two relievers that the Yankees will be able to keep for longer than 2017. Kahnle will be under team control until 2021 and Robertson currently has two years remaining on his deal. Going into the trade, the bullpen had been responsible for 11 out of their last 21 losses. Adding Robertson and Kahnle gives Joe Girardi more depth and flexibility with who he wants to throw. This will also put less pressure on guys such as Dellin Betances and Chad Green. The team was just issued as the Bullpen of the Week, scoring a 112 on stats guru, Bill James’ game-score formula. Hopefully this is a sign of more positive things to come.
Back in the Win Column
After a 6-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, the Yankees had to deal with their 10th straight series without a win. The struggles had been apparent with this ballclub dating back to June 13th. It was clear this misfortune needed to change soon
Then came the Mariners series, at just 49-51 Seattle is currently 17.0 games back of the Houston Astros of first place.
It all started with a very solid outing from Luis Severino. He outdueled Felix Hernandez, going for 7 scoreless inning. “I knew it was going to be tough every time I face a guy like Felix,” Severino said. “I just tried to bring my A stuff, tried to make pitches, tried to get hitters out.” Sevy is really starting to fill out his potential, as according to Yankeemetrics he is the youngest player to throw 7.0+ shutout innings 3 times in a season since Dave Righetti in 1981. The Yankees went on to win the game by a score of 4-1
C.C. Sabathia took the bump the next night on what was his 37th birthday. C.C. has not had much success on July 21st as he has been 0-3 in his last five starts on that specific date. Things were different here however, as he looked sharp giving up one just run through five strong innings pitched. The game continued to look good after that with relief appearances from Tommy Kahnle and David Robinson. Both of which did their job, neither one of them giving up a hit, including Kahnle striking out the side. Run support was also there, as with the help of a three run statcast breaking home run, the Yankees were able to win by a score of 5-1.
Unfortunately for the Yankees, it wasn’t all perfect as things were different in game 3. Starting pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka did not have his sharpest stuff allowing 4 runs on two home runs in an underwhelming third inning. The team proved once again that they don’t go down without a fight however, as they were able to erase the deficit. They were also able to score in the 9th after a Robinson Cano home run struck them a half inning before. But in the end things did not hold up. A rally in the 10th gave the Mariners a 6-5 win. It was that kind of day for the Yankees; the one run loss was their 19th of the year.
It was a make it or break it chance for the Yankees. If they win this game it would be a series win but a loss results in a tie. Brett Gardner made things bright early, with a leadoff home run to start the game. His 17th shot of the year already ties his career high. That wasn’t it though, because Didi Gregorius hit not one but two over the wall giving the Yankees an early 3-0 lead. The Mariners were able to take the lead, however up against rookie, Caleb Smith in his first career start. Little did they know though, they had to face Chad Green. The 26-year old reliever was fantastic going for 2 ⅓ innings, not allowing a single base runner. Knowing they got the bullpen help they needed it was time for the offense to take over. The team was able to put together a few base runners including a single from Brett Gardner to tie the game. With bases loaded, Clint Frazier showed Joe Girardi that he belongs in the Majors, as he hit a bases loaded double and gave the Yankees the lead right back. The “Bullpen of the Week” was able to do it’s thing and the Yankees did what they were hoping for. A 6-4 lead finally snapped their losing streak.
Batter of the Week: Didi Gregorius
GM – 7
AB – 26
R – 4
H – 12
HR – 3
RBI – 4
BB – 3
Slash Line – .462/.517/.846
Pitcher of the Week: Chad Green
GM – 3
W – 1
IP – 4.1
H – 0
ER – 0
K – 5
BB – 1
The team will hope to build off of this success, as they finally head back home to take on the Cincinnati Reds and the Tampa Bay Rays. First pitch will be on Tuesday at 7:05 P.M.
Matchups Vs. Cincinnati:
Game #1: Tuesday, July 25th 7:05 P.M.
Luis Castillo (1-3) vs. Jordan Montgomery (6-5)
Game #2: Wednesday July 26th 1:05 P.M.
Homer Bailey (2-4) vs. Luis Severino (6-4)
Matchups Vs. Tampa Bay:
Game #1: Thursday July 27th 7:05 P.M.
Chris Archer (7-6) vs. C.C. Sabathia (9-3)
Game #2: Friday July 28th 7:05 P.M.
Jake Odorizzi (6-4) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (7-9)
Game #3: Saturday July 29th 1:05 P.M.
Blake Snell (0-5) vs. Luis Cessa (0-3)
Game #4: Sunday July 30th 1:05 P.M.
Jacob Faria (4-1) vs. Jordan Montgomery (6-5)
– David Bieber is a contributing columnist to FingerLakes1.com covering the New York Yankees with a weekly report published on Monday throughout the season.