New York Yankees trade Nestor Cortes Jr. to the Mariners

New York Yankees, Nestor Cortes Jr.

The New York Yankees finalized a minor trade on Monday afternoon, sending Nestor Cortes Jr. to the Mariners in exchange for international signing bonus pool money.

Cortes pitched in 33 games for the Yankees last season, featuring primarily out of the bullpen with the exception of one outlying start. He logged a 5-1 record with a 5.67 ERA and 69 strikeouts over 66 2/3 innings. Cortes Jr. was an interesting pitcher, using different arm angles to confuse batters and keep his pitches unpredictable.

Unfortunately, his ERA attests to his efficiency on the mound, making this a solid deal for the Yanks, who are heavily involved in the International farm systems.

The biggest concern for the New York Yankees after the trade deadline

New York Yankees, Adam Ottavino

The New York Yankees primary struggle has been with the starting pitching rotation. J.A. Happ struggled against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night, allowing six runs over 5.0 innings pitched. This has been a frequent occurrence for the once trustworthy pitcher.

Having several others on the injured list including CC Sabathia and Luis Severino have limited the success of the rotation as a whole. However, the Yankees have won eight of their last nine games after the July 31 trade deadline.

While the starting rotation has struggled this season, the Yankees might be in for a significant hurdle in regards to their relief pitching. The over usage of the relievers could cause issues down the road with fatigue. The Yankees have relied on the relievers to supplement the deficiencies of the starters.

Chad Green, Adam Ottavino, Zack Britton, Nestor Cortes Jr., and Aroldis Chapman have all been frequent fliers this season on the mound.

Ultimately, the Bombers need their starters to go more innings and produce more quality performance is to ensure that their relievers don’t take the brunt of the damage. Hopefully, they will see the return of Dellin Betances this season as well as Severino, their primary ace. While there is no specific timetable for return, it is expected they will make their debut at some point before the playoffs would be ideal since the quality of teams they will face will elevate exponentially.

Severino has finally begun pitching off amount, five months after learning he would miss a majority of the 2019 regular season. If he can re-join the team and succeed it could give a boost to the other starters who have been picking up the slack in his absence.

Additionally, there have been reports of Yankees minor-league star Deivi Garcia being called up to the majors to help as a relief option. General manager Brian Cashman stated that Garcia would not be used in a starting role to do his inexperience. He can contribute in the bullpen, though.

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: 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 to make deal for starting pitcher before the trade deadline

Are the New York Yankees interested in trading for Blue Jays pitcher, Marcus Stroman?

It’s only a matter of time before the New York Yankees strike a deal to bring a starting pitcher to the Bronx, it’s just a matter of who. Rumors of options like Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Marcus Stroman and more have plastered headlines the past few weeks.

July 31st marks the trade deadline which is three weeks away and at some point, the Bombers should bring in another pitcher to add to a rotation that seems to be constantly affected by injuries.

What are the New York Yankees going to do?

General manager Brian Cashman commented on the current state of the rotation and if snagging a pitcher would be beneficial, according to his interview on MLB Network:

“Our interest is improving our pitching,” Cashman said. “Certainly the target would be to continue to reinforce the rotation because obviously that’s where the majority of your innings are going to have to come from, and we have a long way to go. Those innings are vitally important. We’re going to target starting pitching, and if not, we’re going to continue to reinforce the bullpen. Bottom line is just trying to add quality to what we already have.”

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The Yankees have been supplementing the loss of pitching with mid-inning relief pitchers. Nestor Cortes Jr., Luis Cessa, Adam Ottavino, and Tommy Kahnle have been leaned on heavily to pick up the slack.

Still surviving without Luis Severino, who went down with shoulder inflammation during spring training, has succumbed to multiple setbacks. The Yanks rushed him back and it ultimately backfired setting his timetable for return back several months.

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However, he could begin throwing again this weekend, which would begin a long road to a return. Late August seems to be a possible time frame.

CC Sabathia, James Paxton, and Domingo German are all currently dealing with individual injuries. Finding another starter to help fill the gaps has become a necessity.

New York Yankees: Kendrys Morales To The IL

The New York Yankees have traded for Kendrys Morales.

The New York Yankees announced that Kendrys Morales was placed on the IL with a calf strain. Additionally, Mike Tauchman and Nestor Cortes Jr. were called up to fill empty roster spots.

Morales

We aren’t really sure why Morales is on the IL, but we can guess that he injured it sometime during game one of the doubleheader with the Mets.

Morales has been awful for the Yankees. He has the lowest average on the team at .194, and has played terrible defense. All of that adds up to a -0.8 WAR.

Let’s Tauch About It! (Look, Another Crummy Mike Tauchman Joke)

Mike Tauchman is back in the bigs after some time in AAA, and is reappearing in his hometown of Chicago. Tauchman has a .211 average in 95 major league at-bats, and is batting .296 with AAA Scranton.

The Yankees also recalled Nestor Cortes Jr, but he’s been a frequent rider on the Scranton Shuttle of late.

While Morales is down, the Yankees will be rolling with an extra outfielder. Doing so gives more playing time to their all-star infield, while hopefully taking Clint Frazier out of the field more to work on his defense.

Now is probably a good place to state that Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit, Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, and Gio Urshela will all be all-stars if they continue to get votes at the rate they are now. If voting ended today, Sanchez and Voit would be starters, too. (Vote here)

But, the injury of Kendrys Morales has no negative impact for the Yankees. If anything, it just helps the Yankees, getting him and his sub .200 average out of the lineup.

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.