Update: White Sox pull Robertson back off trade waivers

(Jon Durr/Getty)
(Jon Durr/Getty)

2:11pm ET: As expected, the White Sox pulled Robertson back off trade waivers, reports Heyman. The Yankees couldn’t work out a trade before the 2pm ET deadline. Robertson can not be traded to the Yankees or any other team now. (Well, that’s not true. The White Sox could put him on trade waivers again, but they would not be revocable the second time around.)

11:00am ET: According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees have claimed their former closer David Robertson off trade waivers from the White Sox. A deal is considered unlikely, however. The claim expires at 2pm ET today, meaning the two sides have until then to work out a trade. If they don’t, the White Sox will either pull Robertson back (yup) or let him go to the Yankees for nothing (nope).

Robertson, 30, is having another excellent year, pitching to a 2.60 ERA (2.09 FIP) with a career best 5.4% walk rate in 52 innings. His strikeout rate is still elite (35.0%) but he is getting fewer grounders than he has at any point in the last five seasons (38.3%), though that’s not necessarily a red flag. D-Rob has always gotten a ton of weak pop-ups. Robertson’s been Robertson. Pretty much the same guy we watched in pinstripes all those years.

The Yankees let Robertson walk this past offseason for big picture reasons. They decided they were better off signing Andrew Miller to a smaller contract and getting the draft pick for Robertson, which makes sense. Miller signed a four-year, $36M deal while Robertson took four years and $46M from Chicago. So the Yankees ended up with a comparable reliever, a draft pick (used to take shortstop Kyle Holder), and an extra $2.5M per year.

Prior to the trade deadline the Yankees reportedly spoke to the Padres about closer Craig Kimbrel, and were said to be willing to part with top shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo to make it happen. Robertson is not as good as Kimbrel and he’s owed more money ($38M through 2018 vs. $27M through 2017), though that doesn’t mean he would come cheap. Consistently great relievers are very hard to find. Robertson’s a valuable commodity.

Last week Brain Cashman confirmed the Yankees have placed a lot of waiver claims this month, though obviously none of those players ended up in pinstripes. I think claiming Robertson was more about blocking him from potentially going to the Blue Jays or Astros, two other AL contenders the Yankees will have to deal with either again in the regular season or possibly in the postseason, than it was bringing him back to New York.

Teams don’t claim players unless they are comfortable taking on the contract, though I don’t think the White Sox would let Robertson go for nothing. The contract isn’t that onerous. The Yankees were hesitant to trade close to MLB prospects at the deadline and there’s no reason to think they’d be more willing to trade them for Robertson now, not when they already have a great bullpen.

Yankeemetrics: Scoring on the road is easy (July 31-Aug. 2)

This guy is good at baseball. (Jeff Haynes/AP Photo)
This guy is good at baseball. (Jeff Haynes/AP Photo)

So I guess the Yankees figured out how to score away from the Bronx, eh?

It got so bad in Friday’s 13-6 win that the White Sox used designated hitter Adam LaRoche in the ninth inning, the third time this season that a position player has pitched against the Yankees. The last time three position players pitched against the Yankees in a single season was 1964 when the Angels’ Willie Smith did it three times, and the last time three different position players pitched against them was 1944.

Mark Teixeira broke the game open with a grand slam in the second inning off southpaw Carlos Rodon, the 10th of his career and second this season. He added a two-run homer in the fourth inning off righty Matt Albers, marking the 14th time he’s homered from both sides of the plate in a single game. That’s the most such games in major-league history, and one more than former Yankee Nick Swisher.

He finished with six RBI, joining Lou Gehrig (1934) as the only Yankee first basemen ever to drive in that many runs against the White Sox. The only other Yankee first baseman in the last 75 years with a grand slam against the White Sox are Jason Giambi (2003), Tino Martinez (1997) and Don Mattingly (1987).

A-Rod had himself a nice day at the plate, too, with two hits and three walks and four runs scored. He’s just the fourth player at the age of 40-or-older to reach base at least five times and score four runs in a game in the last 100 years. The others are Rickey Henderson (1999), Dave Winfield (1994) and Reggie Jackson (1986). Yes, all of them are former Yankees, but none did it in pinstripes besides A-Rod.

The Melkman cometh
One day after their 13-run explosion against the White Sox, the Yankees managed just five hits and two runs in a loss on Saturday night. Baseball, I guess?

Friday was eighth game this season that the Yankees scored double-digit runs … they’ve now scored 23 runs combined in the next game, or an average of 2.9 per game, and in five of those eight games they’ve been held to two runs or fewer.

Our old friend Melky Cabrera put the game out of reach with a three-run homer in the fifth inning, giving the White Sox a 6-1 lead. That gave him nine homers in 128 career at-bats against the Yankees, or one every 14 at-bats. Against everyone else in his career, he’s hit a homer once every 54 at-bats.

Bronx bombers are back
The Yankees finished off their 10-game road trip with another offensive outburst, crushing the White Sox 12-3 on Sunday afternoon to win the rubber game of the series. The Yankees haven’t lost a series since the end of June, getting seven series wins and one split in that span. Muy bueno.

With 12 runs in this game and 13 in the series opener, it was the first time the Yankees scored 12-or-more runs twice in a single series against the White Sox since May 10-11, 1988 in New York.

The star of the game was an unlikely one, as Stephen Drew tallied a season-high three hits and four RBI from the bottom of the lineup. He was a homer short of the cycle, the first Yankee No. 9 hitter to do that since Joe Girardi on Aug. 23, 1999 against the Rangers. A Yankee batting ninth in the order still has never hit for the cycle.

The last Yankee second baseman with at least a single, double and a triple against the White Sox was Bobby Richardson on July 29, 1962. Richardson had a league-leading 209 hits that season and finished second in the AL MVP race behind teammate Mickey Mantle.

7/31 to 8/2 Series Preview: Chicago White Sox

... what the hell is that? (Presswire)
… what the hell is that? (Presswire)

The Yankees are on Chicago’s south side for the final three games of this ten-game, three-city road trip. It’s almost August and yet this is the first meeting of the season between the Yankees and White Sox. The only other AL team the Yankees have yet to face this season is the Indians. They’ll see them in a week and a half.

What Have The White Sox Done Lately?

The ChiSox got off to a miserable start to the season, one that had them looking like a seller at the trade deadline, but they’ve been hot of late, winning seven of their last eight and 17 of their last 26 games. Suddenly they’re being talked about as buyers, or at least not sellers. Chicago is 49-51 with a -52 run differential overall, and somehow they’re only 3.5 games out of the second wildcard spot. Welcome to MLB in the year 2015.

Offense & Defense

Despite their strong recent play, the White Sox are still one of the worst offensive teams in baseball, averaging only 3.66 runs per game with a team 84 wRC+. They are managed by ex-Yankee Robin Ventura and, aside from UTIL Emilio Bonifacio, they are healthy on the position player side. Bonifacio was placed on the DL with an oblique strain earlier this week.

Abreu. (Presswire)
Abreu. (Presswire)

Ventura’s lineup has exactly two above-average everyday hitters: 1B Jose Abreu (129 wRC+) and OF Adam Eaton (109 wRC+). Abreu is having a fine season that is a notch below his Rookie of the Year winning campaign of a year ago. That won’t make me any less terrified whenever he is at the plate this weekend. Former Yankees OF Melky Cabrera (94 wRC+) has been hitting much better of late but DH Adam LaRoche (80 wRC+) has not. Stalwart SS Alexei Ramirez (55 wRC+) is having the worst season of his career.

3B Tyler Saladino (99 wRC+ in very limited time) was just called up and 2B Carlos Sanchez (59 wRC+) is now playing second everyday. C Tyler Flowers (63 wRC+) and C Geovany Soto (125 wRC+) are the catching tandem and OF Avisail Garcia (87 wRC+) plays right. IF Gordon Beckham (49 wRC+), OF J.B. Shuck (85 wRC+), and UTIL Leury Garcia (two plate appearances) round out the bench. The ChiSox have a strong defense up the middle but not so much on the corners. Melky and Avisail sure do make it interesting in left and right, respectively.

Pitching Matchups

Friday (8pm ET): RHP Nathan Eovaldi (vs. CWS) vs. LHP Carlos Rodon (No vs. NYY)
Rodon, 22, was the third overall pick in last year’s draft. The White Sox wasted no time calling him up. He has a 4.09 ERA (3.63 FIP) in 77 innings spread across 13 starts and three relief appearances this year, and he has the kind of peripherals you’d expect from such a young kid: 24.1 K%, 12.8 BB%, 47.1 GB%, and 0.58 HR/9. You don’t get to the big leagues this quickly without good stuff (strikeouts and grounders!), but, you know, young pitchers are rough around the edges (walks). Rodon has a big platoon split — righties have a .363 wOBA and lefties a .267 wOBA — which isn’t unexpected. His mid-80s changeup lags behind his mid-90s two and four-seamer and wipeout upper-80s slider. Rodon’s slider is filthy. It’s Andrew Miller-esque. That’s the pitch that got him drafted third overall.


Saturday (7pm ET): TBA vs. LHP John Danks (vs. NYY)
Boy, last year around this time there were a lot of trade rumors connecting the Yankees to Danks, but thankfully that didn’t happen. The 30-year-old has a 4.97 ERA (4.37 FIP) in 108.2 innings this year and a 4.80 ERA (4.76 FIP) in 440.2 innings since coming back from shoulder capsule surgery in 2013. He’s simply no longer the guy he was before surgery. That’s not uncommon for pitchers with a torn capsule. Anyway, the only thing Danks does well is limit walks (6.3%). His strikeout (15.7%), grounder (36.4%), and homer (1.24 HR/9) rates are not good and righties have crushed him (.380 wOBA). Danks has held his own against lefties though (.271 wOBA). Post-shoulder surgery Danks sits in the upper-80s with his two and four-seamer and a tick below that with his cutter. A low-80s changeup is his go-to secondary pitch and he’ll also throw a few mid-70s curveballs per start. But mostly Danks mixes the changeup in with the fastballs and that’s it.

The Yankees do not have a starter for tomorrow right now because Michael Pineda landed on the DL yesterday with an elbow injury. Adam Warren, Bryan Mitchell, and Diego Moreno are all candidates to start — I suppose Warren and Moreno could tag team the start similar to earlier this week — though Joe Girardi said all those guys are available in the bullpen tonight if necessary. Esmil Rogers is scheduled to start for Triple-A Scranton tomorrow and I suppose that makes him a candidate too. And, you know, they could also always trade for a starter before the trade deadline today. That’d be neat.

Sunday (2pm ET): RHP Ivan Nova (vs. CWS) vs. RHP Jeff Samardzija (vs. NYY)
Thanks to their recent surge, the ChiSox are leaning towards keeping the 30-year-old Samardzija at today’s trade deadline. That’s a shame. He’d look great in pinstripes. Samardzija has a 3.94 ERA (3.58 FIP) in 148.1 innings this year with a tiny walk rate (4.4%) and slightly lower than league average strikeout (18.2%), grounder (41.3%), and homer (0.91 HR/9) numbers. Left-handed hitters (.322 wOBA) have had a little more success against him than righties (.289 wOBA). Samardzija sits in the mid-90s with his four-seam fastball and low-90s with his cutter, and in the mid-80s with his splitter. He also throws a mid-80s slider. Samardzija’s a no nonsense guy. He goes right at hitters with power stuff.

Robertson. (Presswire)
Robertson. (Presswire)

Bullpen Status
Overall, the White Sox have a middle of the pack bullpen (3.50 ERA/3.77 FIP) that is top heavy. Former Yankee RHP David Robertson (2.63/2.00) is the closer and former Yankees draft pick RHP Jake Petricka (3.06/3.36) joins LHP Zach Duke (3.32/4.77) as his primary setup men. Robertson is having another fantastic season with a career-best walk rate (6.1%), a career-best swing-and-miss rate (15.7%), and his typically awesome strikeout rate (35.6%). Nothing but love for D-Rob.

RHP Matt Albers (1.38/4.31 in limited time), LHP Dan Jennings (5.97/4.08), RHP Zach Putnam (3.21/3.64), and RHP Daniel Webb (1.47/4.06) round out the rest of the bullpen. Albers and Jennings both pitched yesterday. The middle relief is a little shaky. You can get to them in the sixth and seventh. The eighth and ninth? Not so much. Our Bullpen Workload page has everything you need to know about Girardi’s bullpen and South Side Sox has everything you need to know about the White Sox.

2015 Trade Deadline Open Thread: Wednesday

Samardzija. (Jim Rogash/Getty)
Samardzija. (Jim Rogash/Getty)

Just three days left now. The 2015 non-waiver trade deadline is this Friday at 4pm ET, and while the Yankees have not yet made any moves, I’m sure they will at some point in the next few days. Pitching is a bit of an issue — I’d rather not see Chris Capuano make another spot start — and second base could use an upgrade as well. Maybe another righty bat too.

On Monday and Tuesday we learned the Yankees are engaged in the pitching market, both starters and relievers. They had conversations with the Reds about Johnny Cueto before he was traded to the Royals, and they were also in the hunt for Ben Zobrist before he joined Cueto in Kansas City. Final offers for Cole Hamels are reportedly due today as well. We’ll keep track of the day’s Yankees-related rumors right here.

  • 7:04pm ET: The Mat Latos trade from earlier is currently on hold because of someone’s medicals. Not necessarily Latos’. So he could, in fact, still be an option for the Yankees. [Wittenmyer]
  • 4:33pm ET: The Yankees will indeed talk to the Tigers about David Price. They remain unwilling to part with top prospects — the Phillies against asked about Aaron Judge and Luis Severino — but I’m sure at least part of that is just posturing. [Heyman]
  • 4:31pm ET: The Phillies had a scout watching Ivan Nova on Monday. The Yankees did discuss Cueto with the Reds during Johnny Cueto talks, so it stands to reason he would be available for Cole Hamels as well. [Mark Feinsand]
  • 3:32pm ET: The Tigers called teams today to tell them they are “rebooting” and willing to listen on David Price, Yoenis Cespedes, and others. I certainly expect the Yankees to make a run at Price. [Stark]
  • 2:56pm ET: If the Phillies do indeed trade Cole Hamels, it is unlikely to happen today. Any trade would have to wait until Thursday or even Friday as the Phillies mull over offers. [Jayson Stark]
  • 2:23pm ET: The Padres requested shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo in trade talks about Craig Kimbrel, but the Yankees said no. New York is willing to eat the entire $28M left on Kimbrel’s contract, but they won’t surrender top prospects. [Jon Heyman]
  • 11:24pm ET: Mat Latos is apparently off the board. The Marlins are reportedly trading the right-hander (and others) to the Dodgers for prospects. Earlier this week we heard the Yankees had some interest in Latos. [Gordon Wittenmyer]
  • 9:30am ET: The White Sox still have not given any indication they will trade Jeff Samardzija. They Yankees have had their eye on him for a few weeks now. The ChiSox are now only 3.5 games back of a wildcard spot, so they might hold on to Samardzija and go for it, knowing they’ll get at least a draft pick for him after the season. [Jerry Crasnick]
  • The Reds are fielding offers for Aroldis Chapman but are not devoted to trading him because he’s under team control next season. They moved Cueto because they were going to lose him to free agency. The Yankees are said to be open to adding another high-end reliever. [Buster Olney]

Reminder: Your trade proposal sucks.

A Haiku for the Rest of MLB [2015 Season Preview]

Does Donnie like Haikus? Of course. (Presswire)
Does Donnie like haikus? Of course. (Presswire)

Opening Day is now only three days away. We’ve spent the last four weeks previewing the Yankees and the upcoming season, and yesterday we broke down the rest of the AL East. Today we’re going to wrap up our 2015 Season Preview series with a quick preview of the other 25 teams in baseball. After all, the Yankees are going to have to try to beat those teams this season too.

If you’ve come here looking for a serious preview post, you’re not going to get it. It’s Friday afternoon, Opening Day is right around the corner, and this year’s preview series is over. Instead, we’re going to have some fun and preview those other 25 teams in Haiku form. I encourage you to tell me how much my haikus suck and to make some of your own — pro tip: use the Haiku Counter to make sure you have the right number of syllables — and leave ’em in the comments. Enjoy.

Atlanta Braves
Traded their best bats
For a whole bunch of pitchers
They know scoring’s down?

Arizona Diamondbacks
Is Nuno their ace?
The answer just might be yes
Payback for ’01!

Chicago Cubs
Bleachers aren’t ready?
No prob, Bryant won’t notice
He’s in Iowa

Chicago White Sox
D-Rob and Melky
Back together in ChiTown
Growing ugly beards

Cincinnati Reds
Good enough to win?
Nah, not in that division
Can we have Cueto?

Cleveland Indians
Brantley is awesome
Kluber is really great
World Series pick? Eh

Colorado Rockies
Troy’s still a Rockie
Kyle Kendrick, OD SP?
Wait for ski season

Detroit Tigers
Miggy, Price, V-Mart
Lots of stars and real big names
Bullpen still a mess

Houston Astros
I don’t understand
You won “process World Series?”
That doesn’t exist

Kansas City Royals
Pennant last season
Volquez is replacing Shields?
For real? Yeah, for real

Los Angeles Angels
They have that Trout guy
I wish the Yankees had him
It’s Teixeira’s fault!

Los Angeles Dodgers
Kershaw is the best
Donnie Baseball gets his ring?
If not, just blame Puig

Miami Marlins
Paid Giancarlo
They’re going for it again
When’s next fire sale?

Milwaukee Brewers
They all hate Ryan Braun
But not as much as A-Rod
This team is boring

Minnesota Twins
Phil’s still homer prone
Nunez’s helmet still falls off
Just like the old days

New York Mets
Take back New York, huh?
Orange and blue like the Knicks
But with fewer fans

Oakland Athletics
Ballpark is ugly
Beane traded everyone again
What’s a Stephen Vogt?

Philadelphia Phillies
Rebuild? Finally!
Cole will be traded real soon
Then skip to next year

Pittsburgh Pirates
Cervelli pumps fist
McCutchen cut his dreads
A World Series team?

St. Louis Cardinals
Contender again
Such a boringly good team
Gets boring haiku

San Diego Padres
Kemp, Upton, Myers, Shields
But what about Yangervis?
Solarte Partay!

San Francisco Giants
The World Series champs
But it’s an odd number year
So no repeat then

Seattle Mariners
You can have Robbie
You are still stuck with Jack Z.
Yankees win the trade

Texas Rangers
Could this be the year
That Elvis Andrus will hit?
Hah, made myself laugh

Washington Nationals
Awesome rotation!
Future Yankee Bryce Harper
Has nice ring to it

Nightengale: White Sox agree to sign David Robertson to four-year, $46M deal


The White Sox have agreed to sign David Robertson to a four-year contract, reports Bob Nightengale. Jon Heyman says the deal is worth $46M. The Yankees will receive a supplemental first round pick as compensation for losing their closer. Earlier on Monday we heard the Yankees were willing to go to four years — in exchange for a lower average annual value — to keep Robertson but Jack Curry says they never even made a formal offer.

Even with Robertson leaving, the Yankees still have a devastating late-inning combo in Dellin Betances the recently signed Andrew Miller. The club could look to sign a low cost closer, someone like Jason Grilli or Rafael Soriano, which would allow Joe Girardi to use Betances and Miller liberally in the middle innings. Heck, even Shawn Kelley could be a viable closer candidate in this scenario. Either way, the Yankees are going to have to win a lot of close games to contend in 2015 and the bullpen will be important.

Letting Robertson go at that price — and replacing him with Miller, which is a lateral move at best — is really disappointing. Four years and $46M) seems very fair for a reliever like Robertson, who has been elite for four years now and has shown he can handle pitching the late innings in New York. There are valid reasons to let him go — fair among of mileage on his arm, 2014 was his worst season since 2010, etc. — but man, it still sucks to see a homegrown Yankee like this.

8/22-8/24 Series Preview: Chicago White Sox

One fourth place team leaves town, another comes in. Hopefully the Yankees do a better job of seizing the opportunity during this three-game weekend set against the White Sox than they did the Astros, eh? The Yankees and ChiSox split a four-game set on Chicago’s south side back in May.

What Have They Done Lately?
The White Sox were just swept by the Orioles in a three-game series at home and they’ve lost 12 of their last 17 games. They’re 14-17 in the second half and 59-68 with a -66 run differential overall. Chicago has the fifth worst record and third worst run differential in the AL.

At 4.24 runs per game with a team 97 wRC+, the ChiSox are very close to a league average offense. They are currently without OF Adam Eaton (117 wRC+) and OF Moises Sierra (104 wRC+) due to oblique injuries. They also just traded IF Gordon Beckham (62 wRC+) to the Angels yesterday and have yet to call up a replacement. IF Marcus Semien (71 wRC+ in limited time) and IF Carlos Sanchez (-100 wRC+ in very limited time) are 40-man roster options.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

Manager Robin Ventura’s lineup revolves around 1B Jose Abreu (158 wRC+), who is second in baseball with 32 homeruns. OF Avisail Garcia (138 wRC+) was expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing up his shoulder diving for a ball back in April, but he was just activated off the disabled list. DH Adam Dunn (117 wRC+) is probably going to hit a ball or two into the short porch this weekend. SS Alexei Ramirez (102 wRC+) and 3B Conor Gillaspie (122 wRC+) play the left side of the infield. Gillaspie’s having a sneaky good year.

OF Dayan Viciedo (84 wRC+) joins OF Alejandro De Aza (86 wRC+) and OF Jordan Danks (46 wRC+ in limited time) in the outfield with Eaton and Sierra hurt. C Tyler Flowers (82 wRC+) and Rule 5 Draft pick C Adrian Nieto (85 wRC+) split catching duties. 1B Paul Konerko (75 wRC+) is just a bench player as his career winds down and UTIL Leury Garcia (10 wRC+) is the last guy on the bench. Abreu is a major threat and the ChiSox have some nice secondary pieces in Dunn, Gillaspie, Garcia, and Ramirez, so they’re not a pushover.

Pitching Matchups

Friday: RHP Shane Greene (No vs. CWS) vs. LHP John Danks (vs. NYY)
It was only three weeks ago when the 29-year-old Danks was being fitted for pinstripes. The Yankees were said to have interest in the southpaw at the trade deadline, but obviously nothing came of it. Danks has a 4.94 ERA (5.08 FIP) in 25 starts and 153 innings this year, and he just hasn’t been the same since suffering a torn shoulder capsule a few years ago. His strikeout (5.88 K/9 and 14.7 K%), walk (3.41 BB/9 and 8.5 BB%), homer (1.35 HR/9 and 11.3 HR/FB%), and ground ball (40.6%) rate are all weak, and righties (.371 FIP) hit him a ton harder than lefties (.313 wOBA). Danks throws his two and four-seam fastballs in the mid-to-upper-80s post-torn capsule with his cutter a few ticks below that. An upper-70s changeup is his top secondary pitch, though he will throw a handful low-70s curveballs per start as well. Danks threw eight shutout innings against the Yankees back in May, because of course.

Saturday: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (vs. CWS) vs. RHP Scott Carroll (vs. NYY)
Carroll is a 29-year-old rookie and he’s pitching exactly like you’d expect a 29-year-old rookie to pitch: 4.99 ERA (4.93 FIP) in 97.1 innings across 14 starts and six relief appearances with a bad strikeout rate (4.62 K/9 and 11.6 K%) and okay walk (3.24 BB/9 and 8.1 BB%) and homer (1.02 HR/9 and 13.1 HR/FB%) numbers. His ground ball rate (53.8%) is very good and lefties (.385 wOBA) hit him a lot harder than righties (.322 wOBA). Carroll does throw five pitches and they’re pretty much the exact five pitches you’d expect a career minor league journeyman to throw: upper-80s two and four-seamers, low-80s changeups, low-80s sliders, and mid-70s curves. He allowed one run in two innings of relief against the Yankees the last time these two teams met.

Sale. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty)
Sale. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

Sunday: LHP Chris Capuano (vs. CWS) vs. LHP Chris Sale (vs. NYY)
Sigh, they were so close to missing Sale this series. The 25-year-old is arguably the best pitcher in the AL, with a 2.12 ERA (2.42 FIP) in 20 starts and 136 innings, and the only reason he isn’t neck and neck with Felix Hernandez in the Cy Young race is an elbow injury that cost him about five weeks earlier this year. Sale has elite strikeout (10.46 K/9 and 29.9 K%), walk (1.72 BB/9 and 4.9 BB%), and homer (0.60 HR/9 and 6.8 HR/FB%) rates, though he isn’t much of a ground ball pitcher (42.0%). Righties (.270 wOBA) haven’t had much luck against him this year and lefties (.160 wOBA) are completely helpless. A low-to-mid-90s two-seam fastball sets up Sale’s upper-70s slider and low-80s changeup, both of which are high-end out pitches. He’s outstanding and doesn’t get enough attention for being one of the two or three best pitchers in baseball on a per inning basis. Sale struck out ten in six shutout innings against New York in May. He was fresh off the disabled list following the elbow injury, so the only reason he didn’t pitch deeper into the game was a strict pitch limit.

Bullpen Status
Like the Yankees, the White Sox were off yesterday, so their bullpen is fresh. One-time Yankees draft pick RHP Jake Petricka (3.35 FIP) has taken over as their closer after the team tried about four different pitchers in the ninth inning. The Yankees drafted Petricka in the 34th round of the 2009 draft but did not sign him. RHP Zach Putnam (3.23 FIP) and RHP Matt Lindstrom (5.09 FIP) usually handle setup duties.

RHP Maikel Cleto (6.40 FIP in limited time), RHP Daniel Webb (4.55 FIP), LHP Erik Surkamp (6.00 FIP in limited time), and RHP Ronald Belisario (3.62 FIP) fill out the rest of the bullpen. RHP Javy Guerra (3.92 FIP) is currently on the bereavement list and will likely be activated at some point this weekend. When he comes back, Surkamp figures to go down. Check out our Bullpen Workload page for the status of the Yankees relievers, then check out South Side Sox for everything you need to know about the ChiSox.