What To Do About The Depleted Pitching Staff

Charles Wenzelberg

Charles Wenzelberg

After recovering from a slumping offense, the Yankees found themselves with fourteen runs over their last two games. This type of scoring is usually enough to win a game or two, but the Yankees are now on a four game losing streak thanks to a depleted pitching staff. Both the bullpen and rotation are too injured to hold even mediocre offenses like the Mets to a logical amount of runs.

As I pointed out in the beginning of May, losing pitchers in the rotation will ultimately have an adverse effect on the entire pitching staff. Moving Vidal Nuno and David Phelps to the rotation removed two valuable middle relievers from their bullpen in the hope that they could find success in the rotation.

Since then, Nuno struggled in the rotation, Phelps pitched decently, and CC Sabathia suffered a knee injury. On top of that, the Yankees have found no success with the bullpen arms that they’ve brought up and Shawn Kelley was moved to the 15-day disabled list.…

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Musing On A Gary Sanchez For Joc Pederson Swap

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers had a great problem to start the season, too many starting outfielders on their roster. Between Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier, the Dodgers have four outfielders under team control through at least 2017. To add to their spoils, in Triple-A, the Dodgers have Joc Pederson batting .360/.476/.655 with 11 home runs and 11 stolen bases in his first 170 plate appearances. Unfortunately, Pederson is also an outfielder with no other positional experience to contribute to the Dodgers at the major league level.

While the 22-year-old Pederson continues to slug in Albuquerque, other teams are undoubtedly eyeing the outfielder’s latest breakout season. With the Dodgers virtually set in their outfield over the next four years, the team needs help most desperately in their infield and catching positions. But most recently, their infield has been quite good, with Dee Gordon finally starting to hit, Juan Uribe proving more than a fluke, and Hanley Ramirez continuing to hit well in Los Angeles.…

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Yankees Should Fix Holes Sooner Rather Than Later

Reuters/Steve Nesius

Reuters/Steve Nesius

Playing-wise, the Yankees had a great April where they finished four games over .500 and two games ahead in the AL East. Health-wise, the Yankees didn’t have as much luck. Ivan Nova‘s season is officially over after he underwent Tommy John surgery last week, and then Michael Pineda endured a 10 games suspension and a lat strain that’ll sideline him for at least a month. Not only has this left the Yankees with a rotation with Vidal Nuno and David Phelps manning two spots, but it’s forced the Yankees to call up Preston Claiborne, Bruce Billings, Matt Daley, Cesar Cabral, Chris Leroux, and Shane Greene.

Meanwhile, the infield has performed slightly better than expected. Mark Teixeira was injured for a chunk of the month of April, but he’s returned swinging a surprisingly hot bat. Derek Jeter and Brian Roberts somehow remained healthy, Yangervis Solarte maintained an impressive batting line (.303/.404/.461), and Kelly Johnson showed a ton of versatility around the diamond.…

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Finding A Trade Partner For Ichiro

According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees are willing to pick up some of Ichiro Suzuki‘s salary in an effort to trade the outfielder. At the moment, the Yankees have a full outfield sporting Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Alfonso Soriano. While Ichiro would be a strong defensive 5th outfielder and speedy pinch runner, his $6.5 million salary is far too high for his talent level. But his ability to play a respectable center field and bring in a Japanese media market could make him interesting to some teams.

Heyman suggests that the Tigers are one club that could use another outfielder following an injury to Andy Dirks. Their outfield lines up, at the moment, with Torii Hunter in right field, Austin Jackson in center field, and a platoon between Rajai Davis and Tyler Collins in left field. Jackson’s injury history, Hunter’s age, and Collins’ inexperience is something of a legitimate depth concern for the Tigers, which was why Heyman suggested Ichiro to Detroit in the first place.…

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What Would It Take To Land Gregorius?

USAT

USAT

In Arizona, it seems that Chris Owings has won the shortstop job over incumbent Didi Gregorius. The Diamondbacks, who will soon lose starting pitcher Patrick Corbin to Tommy John surgery, will now look to trade Gregorius for a starting pitcher. GM Kevin Towers has also previously stated that the team is looking for a catcher to play behind Miguel Montero. Finally, our last rumor to speculate on comes from December, from before the Yankees signed Brian Roberts. The Yankees showed interest in Gregorius very early this offseason, and they wanted to try him at second base, keep him as a Derek Jeter backup, and then use him as a replacement in 2015.

Even before we knew that Gregorius was expendable, he made more sense for the Yankees than Owings did. As a left-handed hitter with some pull power, the shortstop has both offensive and defensive upside in the Bronx. He also showed a much more patient approach at the plate compare to Owings, as he showcased a strong 9.2 BB% in his rookie season, along with a 16.1 K%.…

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What Is Francisco Cervelli’s Trade Value?

According to Chris Cotillo, Francisco Cervelli is drawing a lot of trade interest, with the White Sox being one noted team scouting the catcher. We’ve known for some time that the Yankees were willing to move some of their excess catching, namely Austin Romine or John Ryan Murphy, but Cervelli projected to be the backup catcher in 2014. Moving Cervelli over one of the younger players with more team control obviously makes sense, but the team has its needs, and trading Cervelli alone likely wouldn’t be enough to answer these problems. While it comes as a moderate surprise that he’s on the trade block, Cervelli’s trade value is a debatable topic.

The catcher has been valuable over his first few years, and in 623 plate appearances, the right-handed hitter has produced a 93 wRC+ and a .271/.343/.367 slash, which is solid for even a starting catcher. His biggest issue has been his ability to stay on the field, and it’s been fluke injuries that have mostly haunted him.…

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Diamondbacks Emerge As Perfect Trade Partners For Yanks’ Infield Needs

Ross D. Franklin/AP

Ross D. Franklin/AP

On Tuesday, I wrote about how the Yankees need to add depth to the infield to prevent the same problems we saw in 2013. The team is already out on Stephen Drew and Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, but now Brian Cashman is hinting that he recognizes the team’s weaknesses.

“I am more focused on the bullpen, the rotation and how that will shake out and the infield that is not Mark Teixeira or Derek Jeter. I have said it’s a developing story that the Yankees have to keep focused on,” Cashman said of second and third. “Do we have the answer, the exclamation point right here in camp? If the answer is no, we have to look outside. If we need to do improvements it has to be cheap, we spent our money.”

In this report by George King, he brings up names like the White Sox’ Jeff Keppinger and Gordon Beckham, as well as the Brewers’ Rickie Weeks.…

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No Drew. No Diaz. Now What?

AP Photo/Gail Burton

AP Photo/Gail Burton

It’s been a head scratching offseason of doubling back on commitments and pleasing the fanbase. After blowing past the $189 million budget, the Yankees surprised many by signing Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Masahiro Tanaka. After a season of watching platoon players forced into full time rolls, the spending spree is an exciting sign that the team is back to spending.

Though they’ve committed so much money this offseason, the Yankees’ are still far below their 2013 payroll and without a dynamic infield. Sometime around the Winter Meetings, Brian Cashman was quoted saying that he’d like to add 1 or 2 more weapons to his lineup, and return to a top 3 offense in baseball. Instead, the team signed Brian Roberts and Scott Sizemore, neither of which can be considered offensive weapons. Before signing Tanaka, rumors were that the Yankees had a standing offer to Drew, supposedly 2 years at $20 million, but after signing Tanaka, Hal Steinbrenner put a stop to spending.…

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Trade Target: Lonnie Chisenhall

Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Brian Cashman has made it clear that getting younger is a priority, but it doesn’t necessarily make a team better. 2013 might have changed Cashman’s thought process. Where an older player once represented an overlooked market, the Yankees grew too dependent on this type of player last season. The Travis Hafners and Kevin Youkilis of the baseball world surely could have been bargains, but they also showed why the potential of older players is often undervalued in free agency. The combination of fluke injuries and age regression caught up to the Yankees in 2013, and instead of Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez, or Andruw Jones-type contributions, the team had Lyle Overbay starting at first base, Ichiro Suzuki in right field, and Vernon Wells in left field. Older players are still an overlooked market, and as bench players or platoon partners, they still represent low-risk and high-reward acquisitions.

But the Yankees’ infield doesn’t need a bench player or platoon partner, they need starters.…

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