New York Yankees: How the starting pitching rotation will look after Luis Severino’s injury

New York Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga

With the news breaking that New York Yankees No. 2 starter Luis Severino will likely succumb to Tommy John surgery, manager Aaron Boone will need to find a replacement for him in the rotation.

James Paxton is already facing a lengthy recovery after having a cyst removed from his lower back, so losing two pitchers for significant time will force others to slot in at the end of the rotation. Thank goodness GM Brian Cashman retained J.A. Happ after all since his services will be heavily required in 2020.

However, Severino and Paxton’s injury gives multiple youngsters an opportunity as starting level pitchers. The return of Jordan Montgomery will prove to be significant, and his outing against the Pittsburg Pirates on Monday was exactly what the Yankees needed to see regarding their confidence in him.

Montgomery pitched 2.0 innings, striking out three batters and walking one. He allowed zero earned runs, finishing a quality night. I expect him to slot in as the No. 4 starter while Paxton recovers, and then move down to No. 5. While Monty didn’t feature much in 2019 due to injury, his first two seasons (2017-18) saw him toss two consecutive sub-4.00 ERA campaigns.

How will the New York Yankees supplement the No. 5 spot?

The Bombers don’t have a solidified No. 5 pitcher to take the reigns and handle the final spot in the rotation with consistency. I believe they will utilize a rotating system in the last slot, consisting of Michael King, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Jonathan Holder.

The 2020 season will be King’s rookie campaign, after pitching just several innings in 2019 at the major league level. He had some consistency issues in the minor league’s but is ready to be called up and tested. Loaisiga, on the other hand, finished 2019 with a 4.55 ERA, allowing six homers and logging 37 strikeouts. I expect him to take a step forward in the coming year after working on developing his off-speed pitches. He has added a solid changeup to his arsenal of mostly fastball variations, giving him that extra diversity to confuse batters.

Holder, though, shouldn’t be cast aside. While Holder posted a 6.31 ERA in 2019, he logged 46 strikeouts over 41.1 innings. His SO9 land at 10.0, which is quite impressive, indicating a solid whiff rate. His low 90s fastball isn’t anything to write home about, but he does feature a changeup, slider, cutter, and curveball. His cutter and fastball are his best pitches in terms of accuracy and velocity, but he has the offspeed mojo to get the job done.

Overall, I think the Yankees have the talent to survive the injuries sustained to the starting rotation, and hopefully, they can gain back Severino before the postseason hits later on in 2020.

Gary Sanchez Returns To The New York Yankees With A Bang

New York Yankees all-star catcher Gary Sanchez was removed from the IL prior to Saturday’s game, and he got his return off to a hot start.

Sanchez was placed on the IL on July 24th with a groin strain after a series of poor games. Kyle Higashioka filled Sanchez’s roster spot and played well in his brief time in the majors, but has now been sent back down to AAA.

After striking out on a 96 mile per hour heater in his first at-bat back, Sanchez made a loud return to the team, lining a slider into the left-center field seats for a solo-shot. August has always been Gary’s month, and he has started the month off quite well.

The home run wouldn’t amount to anything as the Yankees fell late to the Blue Jays 5-4, but it was good to see Gary back and healthy. His average had dipped down to .230, but hopefully that will go up now.

Additional Roster Moves

Yankee right-handed reliever Jonathan Holder has been placed on the 10-day IL with shoulder inflammation, and Stephen Tarpley has been recalled from AAA. It really sucks to see Holder on the IL because he has been pitching much better of late.

The Yankees have to hope that no more relievers go down soon. AAA pitchers Daniel Camarena and Domingo Acevedo have also been placed on the IL, and both are on the 40-man roster.

Because of those injuries, it makes sense now why the Yankees acquired reliever Joe Mantiply from the Reds. He has seen major league time before, but not since 2016. He could be called upon in an emergency.

Hopefully, everyone on the team can stay healthy now for the postseason run.

New York Yankees: Voit And Hale To The IL

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

In case you missed it, the New York Yankees placed first baseman Luke Voit and reliever David Hale on the 10 day injured list.  Voit is on the IL with a sports hernia, and Hale is on with a lumbar strain.

Yankee skipper Aaron Boone didn’t have much concern about Hale, saying he should be back in no time. But things get a bit more complicated with Voit.

The team is in a 24-48 hour waiting period with him to see how the injury repairs itself in that time span. Then, they will look at it again to decide if he will need surgery. If he does, he likely wouldn’t be healthy again until the postseason. If results come back clean, he should be ready once the 10 days end

Voit sustained the injury on a swing in Tuesday’s loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. We don’t know exactly how Hale was injured.


To fill the two roster spots, the team has recalled Breyvic Valera and Jonathan Holder from AAA.

Valera is a versatile infielder who the team claimed off of waivers early in the season from the Giants, then proceeded to rake in AAA. Valera appeared in a Yankee uniform last time Voit was sidelined by an injury, so in mid-July.

Holder is still a work in progress after his poor start to 2019, but has fired a scoreless major league inning since initially being sent down in June.

It’s good that Hale should be back soon because he has made a quiet but great impact in the bullpen. Losing Voit for the rest of the season could be devastating, and here’s to hoping for positive results.

New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez To The IL With Groin Strain

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

The New York Yankees announced today that catcher Gary Sanchez will be heading to the 10-day IL with a groin strain. Sanchez has really struggled of late, and is batting just .102 in July.

Austin Romine will be the starting catcher for now, as Kyle Higashioka has been recalled from AAA to fill the open roster spot as the back-up. Higashioka is 3-for-15 in the majors this year, and is batting .268 with 16 home runs and 40 RBI in the minors.

Additionally, Jonathan Holder was sent back to AAA and Nestor Cortes Jr. will fill his spot. Holder appeared in the series opener against Minnesota, pitching a scoreless inning. Cortes Jr. was likely recalled because he is fresher.

The Sanchez injury isn’t anything the Yankees can’t overcome, and hopefully he will be back to his normal self once he comes back.

New York Yankees: Jonathan Holder Back In Pinstripes

New York Yankees, Jonathan Holder

New York Yankees reliever Jonathan Holder has been recalled from AAA after being sent down after a shaky start to the season.

Holder, 26, had a 5-2 record but an ERA of almost 7.00 in 35 and 2/3 innings. He was sent to AAA on June 25th. Over his last seven major league outings, he has given up 13 runs and has given up 17 runs in his last 15 outings.

In AAA, Holder had a 3.48 ERA but improved each time out. He only gave up one run in his last 6 and 1/3 innings.

It’s really good to see Jonathan Holder back in the majors. He had a breakout season in 2018 and we know the potential he has to be extremely successful in middle relief. He can become one of those guys to directly relieve starters, and transition the game to guys like Zach Britton or Adam Ottavino.

The corresponding move is that Stephen Tarpley has been optioned to AAA. Tarpley pitched 4 and 1/3 innings in the series against the Rockies, including three innings on Friday alone. He gave up just one run over the two outings.

Once back in AAA, Tarpley will have time to improve his pitching against right handers. He is completely dominant against lefties, but has struggled a ton against righties.

Holder should make his Yankee first Yankee appearance in over a month this week against the Twins. The Yankees play three against the AL Central leaders before trekking off to Fenway Park for the first time this year for four games against the Red Sox.

Hopefully, Holder will return to last year’s form to help the Yankee’s more in middle relief.



New York Yankees: The Man Behind A Lot Of The Bullpen Success

The New York Yankees have had a dominant bullpen this year, and a lot of the success is attributed to a man that we barely know. Meet Tommy Phelps, the pitching coach for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders.

Phelps has had an enormous impact on the Yankees bullpen this year. He has worked with Nestor Cortes Jr., David Hale, and Steven Tarpley and all three have pitched great in the majors.

Cortes Jr. has pitched 37 and 1/3 innings for the Yankees this year, and has a 4.34 ERA and a 3-0 record. He has often seen several innings of work in bullpen games to transition from the starter (Chad Green) to high leverage guys.

Speaking of Green, Phelps also fixed Chad Green after an awful start to the season. After an ERA of over 16.00 at the end of April, Green has bounced back and has only given up two runs since the end of May.

David Hale has had a breakout season in 2019, and has even seen some high leverage situations. He is also 3-0, and his ERA is just 2.23 over 32 and 1/3 innings.

Stephen Tarpley has an ERA over 7.00, but has emerged as a cheat code to lefties. Lefties have just a .059 average against Tarpley, while righties bat almost .400 against him. Pitching to righties needs to improve, but Tarpley dominates against lefty-heavy lineups.

Jonathan Holder also got off to an awful start to 2019, and is currently in AAA to get fixed like did. He has pitched well of late for the Railriders, and we may see Holder back in the Yankee bullpen soon.

Tommy Phelps has done a fantastic job with pitchers in AAA this season, and his impact has been significantly felt on the Yankees this year.

New York Yankees: Jonathan Holder Optioned to AAA

New York Yankees, Jonathan Holder

There have only been four Yankee pitchers in club history to allow 5+ earned runs and 5+ hits while getting zero outs. Jonathan Holder has done it twice.

It is no secret that Holder has struggled this season. In his last seven games, Holder has thrown six innings and is credited to a 19.50 ERA. Last night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees were holding a 10-3 lead and decided to bring in Holder. Five batters later, it was a 10-7 game. Holder allowed two home runs, one of them being a grand-slam.

Following Monday’s game Holder met with media saying, “My breaking ball hasn’t been consistent, and I haven’t been able to come through in big jams. I haven’t been able to execute pitches in a timely manner.” While being asked about maintaining confidence Holder said, “It’s tough, it’s frustrating. It’s not fun, but, just keep working everyday and I got to realize every time I go out one pitch at a time and just execute.”

Following Monday’s match up against the Blue Jays, Holder was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Earlier in the season, Chad Green, struggled and figured it out down in triple-A. Yankee fans hope to see Holder do the same.

Poor Bullpen Management Finally Bites New York Yankees Against Tampa

On Saturday, the New York Yankees fell to the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 7-2.

However, the score was close for most of the game. A few decisions regarding the bullpen over the last few days may of been the reason for the lopsided loss.

A fresh-ish Kahnle

A lot of people were left asking why Tommy Kahnle didn’t pitch on Saturday. His ERA has been one of the best in baseball, sitting at 1.13.

Kahnle was used on Thursday and Friday, but got it done so efficiently that he threw just 18 total pitches over an inning each outing. He would of likely been fine to pitch a third day in a row.

Green was available

The Yankees also mentioned before the Tampa series began that reliever Chad Green was about ready to rejoin the team from Scranton during the weekend. The plan is that Green would not appear in anymore AAA games, and his next outing would be an MLB outing.

If the Yankees needed a fresh arm, I don’t understand why you don’t just call him up. He could potentially give you two innings with his revamped stuff.

Why inning-by-inning doesn’t always work.

With guys pitching an inning a night, it allows them to pitch multiple nights in a row. If a pitcher throws multiple innings in an outing, they likely become unavailable the next night.

Well, the Yankees threw all of their big guys on Thursday and Friday, those being Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, and Aroldis Chapman.

You know that if you have several close games in a row, you will want to have you best pitchers throw, right?

In the Yankees mindset, if there would be three close games in a row, it would be on the low-leverage guys to get the job done.

Instead of throwing all four big guys for two nights in a row, plan so you have say Kahnle and Chapman throw one night, and have throw Britton and Ottavino the next, each pitcher throwing two innings. So each pitcher would throw two innings, then get a night off. Then, stick a low-leverage guy in there if you get a short start or are forced to do so in a long game. But, extra innings games often see all of your high leverage pitchers anyway.

Since the Yankees had none of their good arms ready on Saturday, Jonathan Holder and Nestor Cortes Jr. came in and combined to give up five runs over three innings.

Maybe if Aaron Boone had better bullpen management, the Yankees would be able to win a few more games. The management of his bullpen is one of the two things holding the team back, the other obviously being injuries.

New York Yankees: Adam Ottavino The Reliever The Yankees Hoped For

After several up-and-down years with the Rockies, the New York Yankees decided to take a chance on Adam Ottavino after one of his better years being 2018, and the risk is proving to be a reward. Through 18 and 1/3 innings, he boasts a 1.96 ERA with 24 strikeouts.

Monday’s example of his greatness

During Monday’s 7-3 win over the Mariners, Yankee middle reliever Jonathan Holder loaded up the bases, only getting one out.

Enter Adam Ottavino. He got Mitch Haniger to fly out and Tim Beckham to groundout, getting out of the inning unscathed.

That inning was definitely a turning point in the game. CC Sabathia had just came out of the game after fighting through five innings, and Ottavino was able to clean up the mess that Holder made. If those runs scored, it would’ve been a totally different game.

Just one bad outing

Throughout 16 appearances in 2019, Adam Ottavino has only had one bad showing, giving up three of his four earned runs on the season.

The game was on Easter Sunday against the Kansas City Royals. Ottavino gave up three hits and three runs as the Yankees blew a 5-0 lead. He gave up two home-runs in the outing, but luckily the Yankees managed to win on a walkoff from the bat of Austin Romine.

Otherwise, he has been fantastic for the Yankees. The only other run he surrendered this season was on April 8th against Houston.

The Yankees will continue to rely on him to be their set-up man as the Yankees enter a stretch of must-win games to try and take the division lead over Tampa.

Gary Sanchez Goes Yard Twice and Paxton Injured as New York Yankees Win 6-3

James Paxton only pitched three innings due to an injury, but the bullpen stepped up, as well as the offense for the New York Yankees to beat the Twins 6-3.

The Yankees return home, and so does their offense

The Yankees got it going early in the first when Gleyber Torres singled home Brett Gardner. Luke Voit walked in the inning to extend his on-base streak to 42 games.

Voit also got a hit in the second, the ball staying in the infield, also registering an RBI.

The Yankees picked up two in the fourth off a wild pitch and a ground-ball to second off the bat of Gardner.

To conclude the offense, Gary Sanchez hit solo-home runs to left in the fifth and seventh for his ninth and tenth of the season.

Paxton’s brief evening

James Paxton was removed after the third inning with knee soreness, and will get an MRI on it Saturday.

He gave up two hits and a run, while walking three. It just looked like he was uncomfortable up there, and it showed in his performance. Now, the Yankees just have to hope that it isn’t too serious.

But luckily, the Yankees had a well rested bullpen.

Jonathan Holder pitched two perfect innings to continue his stretch of strong outings. Adam Ottavino and Tommy Kahnle each followed with perfect innings.

But, come the eighth, Zack Britton came in for an inning of work. After a walk, he served up a two-run homer to Nelson Cruz.

But it never amounted to anything, as Chapman shut it down for the save in the ninth.

Andujar is ready

Miguel Andujar will be in the line-up and be activated on Saturday. He will be the first of a few that are close to returning. Stanton and Hicks will be ready next.

To make room for Andujar, the Yankees sent Mike Ford down to AAA.

Game two of the series will take place on Saturday at 1:00PM on MLB Network, ESPN+, YES, and Fox Sports Go. JA Happ (1-2, 4.68 ERA) gets the ball for the Yankees against Jake Odorizzi (3-2, 3.34) of the Twins.