Just over a week ago, the Yankees were well stocked with starting pitching depth.
After a flurry of trades ahead of the deadline this past Tuesday, though, that depth is more tenuous as the Yankees head into the final two months of the season.
In addition to surprisingly trading away Jordan Montgomery for injured outfielder Harrison Bader (the Yankees will face Montgomery with the Cardinals on Saturday), general manager Brian Cashman dealt away JP Sears, Ken Waldichuk, Hayden Wesneski and Luis Medina in deals for right-hander Frankie Montas and relievers Lou Trivino and Scott Effross. The Yankees also transferred Luis Severino to the 60-day injured list, much to his displeasure, delaying his return until mid-September.
Instead of Montas taking the rotation spot of Domingo German, he will replace Montgomery. That leaves Clarke Schmidt, who recently returned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to build back up as a starter, as the Yankees’ only real protection if an injury occurs in their rotation.
“Definitely, especially taking Monty off our team, that knocks into our depth a little bit,” manager Aaron Boone said. “But we were able to add Frankie Montas, which is pretty good. Clarke’s going down to try to stretch out a little bit to give us some more depth. We feel good about where Sevy’s going to be eventually. We’re definitely a little thinner based on [Tuesday’s] move, but hopefully if we remain healthy, we feel like we’re going to be in a really good spot heading down the stretch and what we hope is into the playoffs and beyond.”
The rotation at SWB currently includes Schmidt, Jhony Brito, Ryan Weber and Matt Krook. There’s also former top prospect Deivi Garcia, but he is currently at Double-A Somerset following a return from a two-month stay on the injured list. That doubled as a chance to work on his pitching after a brutal start to the year at SWB.
Trivino started his Yankees tenure with back-to-back perfect outings on Tuesday and Wednesday, combining for 1 ²/₃ innings against the Mariners. The righty reliever was hoping that a change of scene, and a little better luck, could help improve the career-high 6.47 ERA he had posted in 39 games this season with the Athletics.
Opposing hitters had a .451 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) against Trivino, suggesting he has been unlucky and there could be some improvement to come.
“I feel like a lot of that’s weak contact and sometimes baseball is just a very cruel game,” Trivino said. “But I feel really good and I feel like I can contribute to this team … It’s nice to get a fresh set of eyes. I’m excited to see what they have [in store] for me.”
Jose Trevino was named the Yankees’ winner of the Heart and Hustle Award, as voted upon by the MLB Players Alumni Association. The award honors a player on each team “who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game.”
Hard-throwing reliever Stephen Ridings, who has been on the IL since spring training with a right shoulder impingement, threw his “first official bullpen [session]” Thursday, he tweeted.