A Tanaka quality start and late-inning offense bring down the Red Sox 13-3

A bit of a nail-biter into a laugher into a hurry: the Yankees offense exploded in the sixth and seventh to blow out the Red Sox for a 13-3 win. The Yankees greeted Henry Owens – making his ML debut – with a first-inning run but were shut out the next four innings. Meanwhile, Masahiro Tanaka allowed three runs in six innings, which is decent but eh, it could have been a better start. But in the end, not a lot of people were complaining about the game as the Yankees offense exploded once again to completely flatten the opposing pitching.

Welcome to the bigs, Henry!

The Yankees struck first against LHP Henry Owens. In the first, with runners on first and second, Mark Teixeira squeaked an RBI grounder single up the middle to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead. Yankee hitters made the rookie lefty work from the get go – Owens threw 34 pitches in that frame (17 strikes, 17 balls).

For the next four innings, however, the Yankees didn’t really come up with much. They only had one baserunner (Chase Headley single in the second) and struck out four. Owens has been one of Red Sox’s top prospects for awhile so he’s not really projected to be a AAAA scrub. Unless if the Red Sox plan a massive trade to bring in an impact player, I don’t see him parting away from them anytime soon.

(Source: Getty)

A quality start

Tanaka looked solid for the first four innings. His fastball topped out at 95, his secondary stuff had good depth in general and his command was, well, there. In that time span, he allowed only one baserunner (the bloop double to Mike Napoli in the second that really shouldn’t have happened) and struck out three. Pretty, pretty good.

In the fifth, Napoli doubled again, and it was a legit one – a line drive to left field with one out. Alejandro De Aza then snuck a bunt and Tanaka couldn’t handle it. With runners on corners and one out, Blake Swihart singled to tied the game and Jackie Bradley Jr. followed it up with a sac fly to give Boston a 2-1 lead.

In the seventh, with the Yankees then leading 4-2, Tanaka allowed a solo homer to Pablo Sandoval on the ninth pitch of at-bat. Dingers plaguing Tanaka again! Joe Girardi immediately pulled him out for Justin Wilson. Honestly, I thought Tanaka had a much better showing than in Texas last week and this was one of the better starts of his up-and-down 2015 season. If it weren’t for a botch bunt grounder in fifth, I feel his line would have looked better.

The highlight of his start, in my opinion, came in the sixth when he snagged a David Ortiz liner right above his head and doubled up Hanley Ramirez for a double play. Nifty.

Dingers! (Source: Getty)

Late runs

Entering the bottom sixth, Henry Owens was holding on his own against the Yankee offense, having allowed only a run in five solid innings. In the next two innings, New York would score twelve runs combined against him and the Red Sox bullpen. How’s that for a turnaround?

Anyways, bottom sixth, it took two hits (a Chris Young single and an A-Rod double) to knock Owens out of the game. John Farrell brought in Robbie Ross Jr. to face Mark Teixeira with no outs and runners on second and third. Tex lined a single to left to tie the game and Brian McCann followed it up with a double to center to put the Yanks ahead 3-2. Carlos Beltran grounded out to bring Teixeira in, 4-2.

All heck broke loose in the seventh. As you can tell by the notion of a “nine-run inning”, a lot of things took place so I’m just going to leave this right here.

Jean Machi pitching for Boston BOS NYY
Castillo in right field. 3 4
Ellsbury safe at first on throwing error by shortstop Bogaerts. 3 4
Young walked, Ellsbury to second. 3 4
Rodriguez singled to center, Ellsbury scored, Young to second. 3 5
Breslow relieved Machí. 3 5
Teixeira struck out swinging. 3 5
McCann homered to right, Young and Rodriguez scored. 3 8
Beltrán doubled to deep right center. 3 8
Headley doubled to left, Beltrán scored. 3 9
Gregorius flied out to right. 3 9
Ryan walked. 3 9
Ellsbury singled to left, Headley scored, Ryan to third. 3 10
Ogando relieved Breslow. 3 10
Young homered to left, Ryan and Ellsbury scored. 3 13
Rodriguez walked. 3 13
Teixeira struck out swinging. 3 13
9 Runs, 6 Hits, 1 Errors

While most players were having fun, Teixeira became the one who struck out twice in a big inning. Bum!

Leftovers

In the second inning, Chris Young and Jacoby Ellsbury had a miscommunication on a Mike Napoli fly ball to deep left. Young should’ve gotten it but the ball dropped just shy of his glove. Fortunately for the Yankees, it was two outs and Napoli did not score but, come on.

Bottom seventh, Justin Wilson was working on Jackie Bradley Jr. with Rusney Castillo on first and two outs. On a 1-2 pitch, Castillo took off for second. McCann let Wilson’s 97 mph fastball roll behind him to allow Castillo to steal the base. And at that moment, Girardi didn’t waste any time taking Wilson out for Dellin Betances – which was quite unusual since it was a lefty pitcher facing lefty batter already. I guess Girardi wanted to go for the kill? Anyways, Betances ended up walking Bradley Jr. but struck out Brock Holt to get out of the mess.

Brandon Pinder hasn’t shown too much in terms of ML stats but man, I love that Yankees potentially have another future reliever that can throw in high-90’s. He’s had pretty solid strikeout and walk numbers in minors and he has a power stuff so I think he could be a solid arm that sticks around for awhile. We’ll see.

Box score, standings, highlights, WPA

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings, video highlights and WPA.


Source: FanGraphs


Yankees are back at it tomorrow night in Bronx against the Red Sox. Luis Severino makes his ML debut and you may have heard of him. Looking forward to it!

DotF: Bird doubles, Sanchez homers in Scranton’s loss

Late Update: SS Tyler Wade was promoted to Double-A Trenton following tonight’s game, according to his representatives at Paragon Sports.

Random stat I came across earlier today: RHP Jonathan Holder and RHP Rookie Davis rank first and second in the minors with a 2.21 FIP and a 2.24 FIP, respectively. That’s among the 547 pitchers with at least 80 innings pitched. Luis Severino is ninth with a 2.46 FIP. He led the minors with a 2.40 FIP last year. How about that?

Triple-A Scranton (6-4 loss to Columbus)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 1-4, 1 R
  • LF Jose Pirela: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K, 1 SB
  • 1B Greg Bird: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K — 8-for-21 (.381) in his last five games
  • C Gary Sanchez: 3-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K — what a great year he’s having … showing no mercy at the new level
  • RF Aaron Judge: 0-4, 2 K
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-4, 1 E (throwing)
  • RHP Brady Lail: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 6/2 GB/FB — 56 of 92 pitches were strikes (61%) … rough Triple-A debut but everyone gets a mulligan on their first start at a new level
  • LHP James Pazos: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 26 of 32 pitches were strikes (81%)
  • RHP Nick Goody: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 12 of 21 pitches were strikes (57%)

[Read more…]

Game 105: Back Home

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

For the first time since sweeping the Orioles a week and a half ago, the Yankees are back home in Yankee Stadium. It’s been a while. They’ve been way better at home (30-17, +47 run differential) than on the road (29-28, +13) and now settle in for a six-game homestand. Sixteen of their next 22 games are at home and 34 of final 58 games are in the Bronx. Hooray for that.

Masahiro Tanaka is on the mound tonight and let’s be real, he has hardly been ace-like this season. A 3.80 ERA (103 ERA+) and 4.01 FIP isn’t disastrous, especially since most of it stems from his propensity to give up solo homers, but it’s not what the Yankees or fans were expecting coming into the season. Tanaka’s had some moments of brilliance, just many. Let’s hope for one tonight. Here’s the Red Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Chris Young
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Brendan Ryan
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

Nice day in New York. Hot but not humid with just a few clouds in the sky. Good night for a game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Yankees vs. Red Sox always gets national billing no matter how out of the race one team may be.

Injury Updates: In case you missed it earlier, Dustin Ackley (back) was placed on the 15-day DL … Michael Pineda (forearm) will start a throwing program tomorrow. His return is not imminent though, Brian Cashman basically ruled him out until September while talking to reporters this afternoon.

Roster Updates: Caleb Cotham has been called up to replace Ackley on the roster … Luis Severino is not with the team because there’s no reason to activate him yet. Joe Girardi reiterated his is not a one and done; Severino’s in the rotation.

Yankees place Dustin Ackley on 15-day DL; Mason Williams to have shoulder surgery

Williams. (Presswire)
Williams. (Presswire)

The Yankees have placed utility man Dustin Ackley on the 15-day DL with a right lumbar strain, the team announced. Also, Brian Cashman told reporters Mason Williams will have shoulder surgery on August 7th, effectively ending his season. Blah.

Cashman said an MRI showed a herniated disc in Ackley’s back. He received an epidural and will be out 20-30 days. The Yankees are hoping Ackley can avoid surgery, which would end his season. The injury happened at some point after the trade. “He was a hot potato without realizing he was hot. The hot potato fell on our lap,” said the GM.

Ackley, 27, has never had any sort of back trouble before and this is the first time he’s ever been on the DL. He’s gone 0-for-3 at the plate since being acquired from the Mariners for Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez last week. Ackley replaced Garrett Jones as the team’s fifth outfielder/backup first baseman.

Williams, meanwhile, has been out since mid-June with a right shoulder injury. He hurt himself diving back into first base on a pickoff play. Williams has been rehabbing his shoulder since the injury and has dealt with some setbacks, but the Yankees were optimistic he would avoid surgery. It won’t happen. That stinks.

The Yankees activated Slade Heathcott off the 60-day DL and optioned him to Triple-A on Friday, so he can’t be recalled until next Monday because of the ten-day rule. Rob Refsnyder, Tyler Austin, Jose Pirela, and Cole Figueroa are all on the 40-man and waiting in Triple-A. I wonder if the Yankees will just stick with a three-man bench and an eight-man bullpen for the time being.

Adjustments! Nathan Eovaldi’s splitter and the new-look Brendan Ryan

Eovaldi. (Presswire)
Eovaldi. (Presswire)

Baseball is a game of adjustments, and those who don’t adjust will find themselves out of the league before long. Hitters adjust to pitchers and vice versa. The cat and mouse game never ends. Here are two adjustment related tidbits I felt were worth passing along.

Forkball to Sporkball to Splitter

Since the disaster start in Miami, Nathan Eovaldi has been the most reliable pitcher in New York’s rotation, pitching to a 3.07 ERA (2.84 FIP) in seven starts and 41 innings. No, he doesn’t pitch deep into games at all, but on a rate basis Eovaldi has been pretty good. He has a 4.02 ERA (2.96 FIP) in his last 13 starts including the Miami disaster.

The Yankees have been working to help Eovaldi add the splitter since Spring Training, and he’s certainly been using it more and more as the season has progressed. Some call it a splitter, some call it a forkball, so I dubbed it a sporkball in our Midseason Review. As noted in that post, the sporkball randomly jumped like four miles an hour in velocity a few starts back:

Nathan Eovaldi sporkball velocityThat’s not normal! Pitchers usually do not just add that much velocity to one specific pitch from one start to the next. Something changed at some point along the line, and, according to Billy Witz, that something was the sporkball grip. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild told Witz they started Eovaldi off with a forkball grip, with his fingers spread far apart so he could get comfortable with it. Once that happened, they narrowed the grip. Eovaldi’s now throwing a traditional splitter, hence the velocity spike. Forkballs tumble, splitters dive.

Game action grip photos are tough to come by, but here’s what I was able to dig up. The grip on the left is from April 15th in Baltimore and the grip on the right is from June 26th in Houston, the first game with the velocity spike.

Nathan Eovaldi grips

I dunno, see anything different? I appears Eovaldi’s fingertips are more on the seams in the June 26th photo. His fingertips are clearly on the white of the ball in the April 15th photo. Of course, that could just be the angle of the photo. Who knows.

Since that start against the Astros, when Eovaldi’s sporkball velocity first spiked, he’s thrown the pitch 27.8% of the time. The pitch’s swing-and-miss (15.5%) and ground ball (73.6%) rates have both been better than the MLB average for splitters as well (14.9% and 47.8%, respectively). It’s a relatively small sample, so don’t get too excited yet, but this split-finger pitch is clearly becoming a big part of Eovaldi’s arsenal. He didn’t even start throwing this thing until very late last year.

The Yankees keep saying Eovaldi is a work in progress and I know no one wants to hear that. It is true though. This splitter business shows it. At the outset of the season, Eovaldi was operating with a forkball grip just to get used to having his fingers so far part on the damn baseball. Once that happened, the team had him start throwing a traditional splitter, and now the pitch is a real weapon. Development takes time, yo.

Ryan. (Presswire)
Ryan. (Presswire)

Ryan’s Little But Noticeable Tweaks

About two weeks ago, the Yankees pulled the plug on the Rob Refsnyder experiment after only four games. Four games with the All-Star break mixed in. It was dumb and the Yankees hate their prospects and they’re costing themselves wins in a close race and oh by the way their second baseman are hitting a combined .345/.368/.582 (~142 wRC+) since Refsnyder was sent down. How about that.

The Yankees have used a Stephen Drew/Brendan Ryan platoon at second the last few weeks and both have hit well of late. Surprising! But I think Ryan has been more surprising. At least Drew was an above-average hitter back in 2013, which wasn’t that long ago. Ryan hasn’t even come close to approaching league average since 2009 with the Cardinals (98 wRC+). This year though, he is 12-for-39 (.308) with four doubles and two triples. He had four extra-base hits all of last season.

Ryan went 3-for-6 with a double against the White Sox on Friday night — he also struck out against Adam LaRoche, but that’s besides the point — and after the game Joe Girardi told Chad Jennings that Ryan has “made a little bit of an adjustment with the hitting coaches and he’s swinging the bat good.” We hear about guys making tiny adjustments all the time but usually they aren’t noticeable. Ryan’s have been. Check it out:

Brendan Ryan

Ryan has almost an entirely new setup at the plate. His hands are lower and his stance is a bit more closed, specifically. Girardi called them “little” adjustments but they look like big adjustments. Who knows what they really mean though. Does this new setup mean Ryan is suddenly a legitimate lefty masher? Maybe! But I’ll bet against it for the time being. After all, he was awarded a double on this:

I’ve come to hate the word luck — yes, there will always be some element of luck involved in baseball, but not everything that can’t be easily explained is luck — though let’s not kid ourselves here, Ryan’s enjoyed some good fortune of late. That was a tailor made double play ball that went for a double because the infielder was doing … something. Who knows what.

Anyway, Ryan has been providing some nice unexpected impact against southpaws of late, and who knows if his recent mechanical changes at the plate have had anything to do that. It is at least somewhat interesting Ryan has already pulled more balls to left field for base hits this season than he did all of last season:

Brendan Ryan spray charts

Perhaps those mechanical changes are allowing Ryan to get the bat head out a little quicker and yank the ball to left field. Who knows? Ryan’s done way more at the plate than expected in an admittedly tiny amount of playing time. He’s also made some mechanical changes this year, so perhaps the changes and improved production are tied together. We’ve seen guys like Ben Zobrist, Jose Bautista, Justin Turner, and J.D. Martinez all make relatively small mechanical adjustments that led to big increases in production in recent years.

Either way, both Eovaldi and Ryan have made adjustments this year that may or may not be having a direct positive impact on their performance. Every player makes adjustments throughout the season, they’re necessary to succeed at this level, but it’s not often we hear about them. Eovaldi’s splitter in particular is interesting because the process of learning a new pitch — using a forkball grip to get comfortable before switching back to a splitter grip, for example — is so foreign to most of us, plus the split is clearly becoming a go-to offering for him.

8/4 to 8/6 Series Preview: Boston Red Sox

Home sweet home. The Yankees are back in the Bronx following that long ten-game road trip, and tonight they open a six-game homestand with the first of three against the Red Sox. The Yankees are 6-3 against the BoSox this year. Boston took two of three at Yankee Stadium in the second series of the season way back in April. Lots has changed since then.

What Have The Red Sox Done Lately?

Gosh, the Red Sox are bad. I mean really bad. They did take two of three from the Rays at home this past weekend, but otherwise they’ve lost 12 of 17 games since the All-Star break, including eight in a row at one point. The Sawx are 47-59 with a -65 run differential overall. They’re 13 games behind the Yankees in the AL East. Remember that series at Fenway Park right before the break? The Red Sox could have climbed to within 2.5 games of first place with a sweep. What a fall.

Offense & Defense

Overall, the Red Sox are averaging 4.21 runs per game with a team 95 wRC+, so their offense is nowhere close to what it was expected to be before the season. They are currently without OF Mookie Betts (concussion) and 2B Dustin Pedroia (hamstring), arguably their two best players. Neither is due to come off the DL this week. Also, 3B Pablo Sandoval (86 wRC+) is day-to-day after taking a pitch to the arm over the weekend.

Ortiz. (Presswire)
Ortiz. (Presswire)

The big name in manager John Farrell’s lineup is still DH David Ortiz (115 wRC+), who has been much better in recent weeks but is no longer the hitter he was the last few years. The same applies to 1B Mike Napoli (90 wRC+), who has always seemed to like hitting in the new Yankee Stadium. UTIL Brock Holt (109 wRC+) has done the opposite of Ortiz and Napoli — he started crazy hot and has cooled off. Boston’s most effective hitter right now is SS Xander Bogaerts (108 wRC+), who hits for average (.319) and not much else (3.9 BB% and .096 ISO).

OF Hanley Ramirez (105 wRC+) is now joined by OF Jackie Bradley Jr. (14 wRC+ in limited time) and OF Rusney Castillo (71 wRC+ in limited time) in the outfield thanks to the Betts injury and the Shane Victorino trade. C Blake Swihart (66 wRC+) and C Ryan Hanigan (90 wRC+) are the catching tandem. The bench features IF Josh Rutledge (16 wRC+ in extremely limited time), UTIL Travis Shaw (214 wRC+ in extremely limited time), and OF Alejandro De Aza (132 wRC+).

The Red Sox defense isn’t particularly strong. Bradley is excellent in center, Castillo and De Aza are good in the corners, and Bogaerts and Holt are reliable on the middle infield. Sandoval and Hanley have been disasters. Ramirez is probably the worst defensive outfielder I have ever seen, and Sandoval’s mobility seems to be gone. Napoli is fine at first. Swihart and Hanigan have both been average-ish at throwing out runners. StatCorner says Hanigan is an above-average pitch-framer, Swihart about average. Hit it to Hanley.

Pitching Matchups

Tuesday (7pm ET): RHP Masahiro Tanaka (vs. BOS) vs. LHP Henry Owens (MLB Debut)
This start was supposed to go to Rick Porcello, who is having a miserable season (5.81 ERA and 4.66 FIP). He was just placed on the DL with a triceps issue over the weekend, however. Owens, 23, will make his big league debut tonight instead. He has a 3.16 ERA (3.68 FIP) in 122.1 Triple-A innings this season with a good strikeout rate (20.6%) and a few too many walks (11.2%). It’s worth noting Owens has a 40.7% ground ball rate in Triple-A, which is unusually low for a top pitching prospect. (Phil Hughes had a 60%+ grounder rate in the minors, for example.) Baseball America ranked Owens as the 44th best prospect in baseball before the season and said he works in the 89-92 mph range with his fastball, backing it up with a great changeup and an improving curveball. Owens walks a fine line — he has to get ahead with his average fastball to set up that changeup, but his fastball command is not great. The Yankees could find themselves in lots of hitter’s counts tonight if they’re patient and Owens shows some first start jitters.

Wednesday (7pm ET): RHP Luis Severino (MLB Debut!) vs. RHP Steven Wright (vs. NYY)
Woooo Severino! The Yankees will call up their top pitching prospect to make his big league debut tomorrow night. That’ll be fun. Wright, on the other hand, is a 30-year-old knuckleballer with a 4.53 ERA (5.23 FIP) in 59.2 innings covering seven starts and seven relief appearances this year. Like most knuckleballers, he has a low strikeout rate (15.2%), a low ground ball rate (43.0%), and a sky high home run rate (1.66 HR/9). His walk rate (7.8%) is pretty good considering the entire point of throwing a knuckleball is creating unpredictable break. Wright’s platoon split is relatively small (.338 vs. .315 wOBA in favor of righties) and he throws his knuckler in the low-70s. He throws the pitch over 90% of the time. The rest of the time he throws the requisite show-me low-80s fastball. The Yankees did see Wright earlier this year — he allowed two runs in five innings in that 19-inning game way back in April.

Wright's fingertip ball. (Presswire)
Wright’s fingertip ball. (Presswire)

Thursday (7pm ET): LHP CC Sabathia (vs. BOS) vs. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (vs. NYY)
Rodriguez, 22, has a 4.34 ERA (4.14 FIP) in 12 starts and 66.1 innings since being called up a few weeks ago, which is a nice little reminder Severino isn’t guaranteed to dominate right away just because he has great minor league numbers. Rodriguez has very average peripherals (20.1 K%, 8.6 BB%, 42.1 GB%, 1.09 HR/9) and has been more effective against righties (.294 wOBA) than lefties (.329 wOBA). He’s a three-pitch pitcher, using his mid-90s four-seamer a ton, more than 70% of the time. Mid-80s changeups and sliders are Rodriguez’s other two offerings. The Yankees saw the young southpaw right before the All-Star break, scoring two runs in 6.2 innings.

Bullpen Status
I was surprised to see the Red Sox hold on to closer RHP Koji Uehara (2.33 ERA/2.33 FIP) at the trade deadline, but I guess no one is eager to pick up a 40-year-old reliever owed $9M next year. RHP Junichi Tazawa (2.93/2.41) is Uehara’s primary setup man and has had a rough few weeks of late. At this point LHP Craig Breslow (3.24/5.12) is Farrell’s go-to matchup southpaw.

The rest of Boston’s bullpen includes RHP Alexi Ogando (3.88/5.33), RHP Robbie Ross (3.98/4.07), RHP Ryan Cook (10.38/3.77 in very limited time), and noted farter RHP Jean Machi (5.20/4.49). The Red Sox had an off-day yesterday, so their bullpen is as fresh as can be in early-August. The Yankees were off yesterday as well, but check out our Bullpen Workload page anyway. Then head over to Over The Monster for the latest and greatest on the BoSox.

(Video via @iamjoonlee)

Yankees place trust in Mitchell and Severino to bolster rotation

Mitchell. (David Banks/Getty)
Mitchell. (David Banks/Getty)

Tomorrow, top pitching prospect Luis Severino will join the rotation and make his big league debut with the Yankees. I wouldn’t call it a long-awaited debut — Severino zoomed through the minors and wasn’t much more than an “intriguing arm” at this point two years ago — but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. The Yankees haven’t had a pitching prospect of this caliber make his debut since Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy in 2007.

Severino is getting a chance to help the Yankees because the team didn’t acquire any pitching depth at the trade deadline, and he’s the next best option. Bryan Mitchell made a spot start Saturday for the same reason. Severino is replacing the injured Michael Pineda in the rotation, and I would bank on Mitchell making another few starts before the end of the season. The Yankees play 16 games in 16 days starting next week, and I’m sure they’ll use a spot sixth starter at some point.

“Some of the offers that were coming our way, I’ll be honest, whether it played out this way or not, I’d rather try relying on the Mitchells and Severinos than bring in somebody that’s got more experience but maybe less ability with more money attached to it,” said Brian Cashman to Chad Jennings following the trade deadline last week. “Although (money)’s not necessarily an issue for us, in the assessments, it’s like, you know what, I’d rather go this route with these kids than go do that.”

Those are some pretty strong words! Cashman basically said they project Mitchell and Severino to have more impact down the stretch than whoever they were discussing at the deadline, at least in terms of cost (prospects plus salary) relative to production. Considering Mitchell and Severino are relative unknowns — yeah, we know the numbers and the scouting reports, but we have no idea what they’ll do taking a regular rotation turn in the bigs — the team is showing a ton of faith in them.

The Yankees have turned to their young players to fill needs all season, whether it was outfielders or especially bullpen help, and that will continue in the second half with Severino and Mitchell. That’s fun! It’s also kinda scary because they’re basically the last line of rotation depth. The Yankees could stick Adam Warren back in the rotation if necessary, and Chris Capuano is sitting in Triple-A, but that’s about it. Unless you want to see Kyle Davies.

The good news is the Yankees do have a nice lead in the AL East — they’re 5.5 games up in the division and FanGraphs says their postseason odds are well over 90% — and rosters expand four weeks from today, so the pitching depth issue (which may not be an issue at all!) won’t last much longer. Get through these next four weeks with Mitchell and Severino, then add a bunch of extra arms on September 1st. That seems like the plan.

The Yankees don’t necessarily need impact from Mitchell and Severino, though I’m sure they’d take it. Mitchell showed some seriously nasty stuff on Friday night, so it’s easy to dream on him, but you can’t expect him to carry the staff. Same with Severino. Rotation stalwarts like Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova, Nathan Eovaldi, and healthy Pineda will be counted on for impact. Mitchell and Severino just need to hold their own and provide innings. Don’t Chase Wright it, basically.

“We’ll augment the roster with a lot of these power arms that we have in the system,” said Cashman. They’ve done it all season with the bullpen — eight different relievers have made their MLB debut with the Yankees already this season — and now they’re taking the next step and doing it with the rotation. I’m sure resisting the urge to get a more established arm at the deadline was tough, but the Yankees showed a lot of faith in Mitchell and Severino by not making a move. Now it’s up to those two to capitalize on the opportunity and show the team they made the right call.