Yankees demote young starting pitcher despite Luis Severino’s struggles

mlb: new york yankees at atlanta braves, randy vasquez
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have made another surprising roster announcement. As of Thursday afternoon, young starting pitcher Randy Vasquez is being sent back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, following his latest performance against the Atlanta Braves.

Vasquez vs. Rodon: The Stats Speak

Vasquez, at 24, boasts an impressive 2.42 ERA with a 92.4% left-on-base rate in 22.1 innings this season. In contrast, Carlos Rodon, who inked a six-year, $162 million contract in the last off-season, has a 7.33 ERA, 8.33 strikeouts per nine, and a 64.9% left-on-base rate in 27 innings.

Furthermore, Rodon’s current season has seen the most walks and home runs in his career with a concerning 19.5% HR/FB ratio. This indicates that the first season after Rodon’s massive deal with the Yankees hasn’t been living up to expectations.

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Reassessing the Rotation

While the Yankees aimed to infuse new talent into their lineup, it’s arguable that moving Luis Severino to the bullpen would have been a smarter decision given his lackluster 2023 season stats.

Severino, in his contract year, records a 7.98 ERA, 8.11 strikeouts per nine, a startling 862.1% left-on-base rate, a 40.4% ground ball rate, and a career-peak 22.5% HR/FB ratio in 67.2 innings. This string of poor performances makes a strong case for Severino’s relegation.

For the Yankees to progress, it’s crucial not to rely on Severino any longer. Instead, focusing on the rotation’s future and offering increased opportunities to players like Jhony Brito and Vasquez appears to be the more strategic approach.

Upcoming Player Promotions for the Yankees

Given the impending service manipulation deadline on Friday, speculations are rife about which Yankees’ prospects will be promoted. Although the exact names remain under wraps, one potential contender is outfielder Everson Pereira. His recent Triple-A performance, combined with his power and defensive skills, makes him a promising candidate for the call-up.