I promised I’d update this as we got more guys up, and now is the time! The Yankees have brought up a bunch of new guys since I originally posted this, so here we go.
If you’re here, I am sure you know who Justus Sheffield is. The Yankees called up their top prospect, a left handed pitcher, upon the conclusion of Triple-A Scranton’s season.
Justus had a 2.56 ERA in 20 AAA games (15 starts) while limiting damage via the home run (0.31 HR/9 in AAA). The Yankees moved him to the bullpen last month in preparation for a potential 2018 role with the Yanks. As much as we’ve complained about the rotation, there’s still not room for Sheffield in it. There’s not necessarily room for him in the pen either, but he could very well carve out a role here if he impresses.
He’ll likely be in the back of the Yanks rotation in 2019, but for these last 10ish games, he’ll maybe get two or three opportunities to impress in games that aren’t in the balance at the time. With AJ Cole and Luis Cessa both being bad at baseball, there’s a slight chance he could carve out a role as a multi-inning guy in the pen, a la David Price in 2008.
Domingo German was a big part of the 2018 season. He was a mainstay in the rotation for longer than he should have been after Jordan Montgomery was lost for the season to Tommy John surgery.
Eventually enough was enough and the Yanks sent him down and went on to acquire JA Happ and Lance Lynn. Those moves have mostly worked out.
German has been mostly bad with flashes of competence in 19 big-league appearances this year (13 starts). He’s back because it’s September but I don’t trust him one bit.
Chance is in basically the same position as Sheffield as far as his role for 2018. If he’s good, he could overtake Cessa or Cole on the pecking order, but I don’t believe that will happen.
He’s been pretty good in his very limited opportunities with the big league club this year, making one start in Boston and making a tough bullpen appearance. He’s fallen off this year, as far as prospect consideration goes. In his second go-around in Triple-A, he’s earned an unpromising 4.78 ERA and 4.87 FIP, with his walk rates increasing from his strong 2017 campaign. He’s technically in concsideration for the rotation in 2019, but I would guess he’ll end up on the Scranton shuttle filling out the back end of the bullpen next year.
For now, he will get a chance (pun unintended, unless you want it to be) in one or two slop-outings before the end of the regular season, I would guess.
Aaron Judge would be in serious MVP consideration if not for missing essentially two months (48 games, if my math is right) with injury. Judge is back from the broken wrist. You’re happy about it, I am happy about it. Good to have the big fella back. He’s the best player on the team.
The Yanks have made a lot of changes to the roster complexion recently, huh?
They made a couple of trades, guys are getting healthy, and, of course, there are oodles of guys called up to the big league roster as minor league seasons are ending and the rosters have expanded to 40 in the MLB level. Pretty silly that they’re allowed to just do that, but they are! Let’s talk about who these new guys are.
You know Andrew McCutchen. You like Andrew McCutchen. My full thoughts on the trade for Cutch can be found here, but the skinny on him is he’s a former superstar and MVP in the later stages of his career. The 31-year-old is still a very serviceable starter, and now we get to use him instead of Sugar Shane Robinson.
Judge is still hurt, so he’s sort of sliding into that right field spot while Giancarlo Stanton is DHing on a more permanent basis.
Brett Gardner is also struggling right now, so if he doesn’t turn it around and Judge does return (which is starting to feel more like an “if” rather than a “when” these days) then we could very well see him play some left field. I hope that doesn’t need to happen because that would mean everyone is playing well and is healthy, and I like when that happens with the Yankees.
Hechevarria is a defensive wizard who sometimes shows signs of offensive competence. He’s only 29, which is shocking, to me, because I feel like he’s been around forever. His best season was probably 2015 with Miami when he finished with a .689 OPS and a 92 OPS+.
Hech is essentially a no-power, sometimes contact guy, by all accounts. The Yanks are his third team this year, playing for the Rays, then Pittsburgh for 15 games before coming over to the Yankees just before the midnight deadline.
He killed the Yanks while with Tampa this year, slashing .438/.438/.625 in 5 games this year, so it’s nice that he won’t be able to hurt me like that for the rest of this year. He’ll maybe start a couple of games before Didi comes back and then he’ll probably be a ninth-inning defensive replacement for Andujar or something if they have a lead. That’s fine.
Johnny Lasagna is back. He looked anywhere from good to acceptable in his fairly brief stint earlier this year. Maybe he’ll get a couple starts, or maybe he can be a multi-inning reliever guy in games that aren’t necessarily a high-leverage spot. It’s nice to see him again.
Tarpley has been the best reliever for most of the season with the Triple-A squad (shoutout to DJ Eberle on one of the more recent episodes of “Talkin’ Yanks”). His big thing is his ability to get ground balls and generate soft contact. He had a pretty rough go of it in his MLB debut Sunday, but he was one strike away from getting out of it at one point.
He’s an important guy to keep your eye on because he is almost definitely going to be a mainstay of the bullpen in 2019. Zach Britton and David Robertson are both free agents this winter and I don’t think they’re going to bring back both, especially with how middling Britton has been since coming over from Baltimore. Tarpley, theoretically, can slide right in as the Britton replacement if they are, indeed, letting him (or D-Rob) walk.
You remember Tyler Wade because he was on the Opening Day roster. The Yankees have wanted him to turn into their “Ben Zobrist” for years, and it hasn’t happened. He’s an elite defender in the infield, has fantastic speed on the base paths, plays a competent/pretty good outfield, but the hitting just has not translated at the MLB level. He’ll probably be mostly used as a pinch runner and late-game defensive replacement, which very well could (and probably will) land him on the postseason roster. He’s important, and he’s back.
Cessa is bad. We all know Cessa is bad, but he was called up. Maybe he can be good in a relief role but if he gets another spot start I will go bonkers.
We will update this list as it becomes necessary!