Even when the Yankees were in London to play the Boston Red Sox at the end of the June, General Manager Brian Cashman could not focus entirely on the moment. He was having trouble sleeping one night with the 5-hour time difference, so at 1:30 a.m. London time, he fired off text messages to rival general managers back within the United States who were surprised to hear by him while he was in Europe.
“I don’t want to miss any time even though we’re in a whole additional continent,” Cashman said.
No matter his location, Cashman is usually on the hunt for pitching. He knows an upgrade is usually needed for what lies ahead within the Yankees’ second half, which begins on Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays, along with in October, should they reach the postseason.
“This kind of’s a long season,” he said. “along with with the offensive explosion within the game, This kind of’s even longer today.”
After a trying although stellar first half of the season, the Yankees are in an enviable position. They overcame injuries to 22 players, several of them stars, to post a 57-31 record, the best within the American League along with second to only the Los Angeles Dodgers (60-32) within the majors. They are six along having a half games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays (52-39) within the A.L. East, along with nine games ahead of the defending champion Red Sox (49-41). The Yankees’ .605 winning percentage against teams .500 or better was tops in baseball.
“This kind of has truly been an unbelievable season,” Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ principal owner, said recently.
“This kind of’s these young guys along with the veterans along with some of the fresh signs, like D. J. along with others — they’re the reason we’re here,” he added later, referring to D. J. LeMahieu, a Yankees All-Star infielder.
although within the next breath, Steinbrenner admitted the same concern that will Cashman has: “I can’t tell you how many times starting pitching — I’m still concerned about This kind of. I was concerned about This kind of within the off-season.”
Underwhelming pitching was a primary reason the Yankees fell to the Red Sox within the playoffs last year. This kind of was why the Yankees spent $108 million within the off-season on starters C. C. Sabathia along with J. A. Happ along with relievers Zack Britton along with Adam Ottavino, along with traded for starter James Paxton.
(Meanwhile, the starting pitcher the Yankees whiffed on signing This kind of winter, Patrick Corbin, has shined having a 3.34 E.R.A. in just over 113 innings for the Washington Nationals.)
Entering Thursday, the Yankees’ pitching staff had a 4.15 E.R.A., 10th in baseball. that will number inflated a bit in June because of a hip injury to Domingo German along with an inconsistent month by Happ (5.02 E.R.A. over all), Paxton (4.01) along with Sabathia (4.03).
Luis Severino, the team’s ace, has not thrown a pitch This kind of season because of confounding shoulder along with latissimus dorsi injuries. Jonathan Loaisiga, required to provide depth for the rotation, has been out since early May having a shoulder injury. Paxton along with Sabathia have also dealt with knee injuries. German faces an innings cap although could be a weapon within the bullpen if the Yankees acquired another starter.
The steadiest force within the rotation has been Masahiro Tanaka, who despite failing to wield his best arsenal of pitches throughout the season, carries a 3.86 E.R.A., pitched a team-high 105 innings along with was named to the A.L. All-Star team.
The Yankees built their pitching staff This kind of year according to modern sensibilities, prioritizing quality over quantity within the rotation along with filling the bullpen with top relievers.
Where the rotation has been lacking — having a 4.22 E.R.A. (12th within the majors) along with an average of 5 innings per start (tied for sixth lowest) — the Yankees’ high-scoring offense along with talented bullpen have picked up the slack. Even with long injury layoffs for sluggers like Giancarlo Stanton (knee), Miguel Andujar (shoulder) along with Aaron Judge (oblique), the Yankees’ offense was tied with the Minnesota Twins for the most runs per game (5.72) because of the hitting of Gio Urshela, Luke Voit, Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez along with LeMahieu.
The bullpen, though, has carried a heavy load. The relief corps ranked within the top 10 in baseball in E.R.A. (4.05), strikeouts (10 per nine innings), innings pitched (342), saves (31) along with blown saves (15).
Despite the Yankees’ guidelines on limiting the overuse of relief pitchers, like avoiding using them three days in a row, the best ones have pitched a lot. Aroldis Chapman, Tommy Kahnle, Ottavino along with Britton are on pace to match or top their career highs in appearances This kind of year.
This kind of is usually where the absence of the star Dellin Betances (shoulder along with latissimus dorsi injuries) along with the struggles of Jonathan Holder (6.81 E.R.A. before his demotion to Class AAA) along with Chad Green (5.68 E.R.A. along having a stint within the minor leagues) are felt most deeply.
“Clearly, we feel we need to fortify the pitching,” Cashman said. “Some of that will will come by within, when guys get healthy.”
He added later: “although I’d certainly like to add to This kind of if possible. although saying This kind of along with being able to do This kind of to the level that will you’d like are two different things. We’ll stay engaged with the marketplace, see what might be available along with see if we match up better with additional people that will are trying to do the same.”
There is usually no shortage of trade rumors surrounding starting pitchers — Toronto’s Marcus Stroman, San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner along with Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer — along with relief pitchers — San Francisco’s Will Smith, Toronto’s Ken Giles along with Kansas City’s Jake Diekman.
Teams will be motivated to act sooner This kind of season. With the elimination of the August waiver trade period, teams will need to make their moves by the July 31 trade deadline. The Yankees already added a hitter, Edwin Encarnacion, last month. Will a pitcher, or two, be next? This kind of seems likely, although additional reinforcements are coming, too.
“We’re still missing an N.L. M.V.P., we’re still missing one of the best relievers within the game along with our ace,” said Judge, referring to Stanton, Betances along with Severino.
The Yankees expect that will all three will return This kind of season, perhaps beginning in August.
“We’re only going to be adding more pieces as guys get healthy along with once the trade deadline comes around,” Judge said. “We can only improve by here.”