Tag: Zach Britton

Yankees Acquire J.A. Happ From Toronto for Drury, McKinney

Less than 48 hours after acquiring dominant lefty Zach Britton from the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees and Brian Cashman immediately pivoted to another American League East southpaw. The Yankees have acquired J.A. Happ from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for infielder Brandon Drury and outfielder Billy McKinney.

The trade immediately gives the Yankees some stability in the back end of the rotation. Happ has not started in fewer than 25 games since prior to the 2014 season. So far in 2018, he has a 10-6 record and 4.18 ERA. That ERA has been bloated by a rough month of July, where he has a 7.41 mark in four starts. In his career against Boston, Happ is 7-4 with a 2.98 ERA. He’s 4-2 with a 2.91 ERA in nine Fenway Park games. He has a career 3.94 ERA at Yankee Stadium, although now he’ll be wearing the pinstripes.

Happ is expected to report to the Yankees tomorrow.

Both pieces heading from the Yankees to the Blue Jays did not have an immediate role with the 2018 Yankees. Drury was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the off-season, and began the season as the starting third baseman. After just eight games, Drury revealed that he suffered from migraines and blurred vision, frequently while playing, but never told anyone. He then missed 71 games before doctors determined that it was a tendon in his neck that was causing the problems. He hit .176/.263/.275 in 18 games with the Yankees prior to the trade. He was named an International League All-Star after hitting .294/.403/.447 for the RailRiders.

McKinney came to the Yankees as part of the haul netted by Cashman in the Aroldis Chapman deal in 2016. He played all three outfield positions and some first base in 54 games for the Yankees AAA team. He hit .230/.294/.502 with 13 home runs in the International League. He was a member of the Yankees 40-man roster and was the team’s 20th ranked prospect.

The trade winds began to swirl earlier this afternoon when RailRiders beat writers first reported Domingo Germán would be moved up to start a day earlier than scheduled, replacing Erik Swanson. At the same time, I noticed McKinney was left out of the lineup against a right-handed starter. Drury has long been rumored to be a trade chip for the Yankees.

Swanson ended up being moved to tomorrow’s start, while Germán made it through 1+ inning before being removed after consultation with the trainers. That’s obviously not great.

Game 100: Cessa in the Century Game

It’s Game No. 100 on the season, and Luis Cessa is looking to turn in another fantastic performance for the Yankees.

Across his last three starts (one in MLB, two in IL), Luis Cessa has looked like a different pitcher. He has allowed just one run on nine hits with 18 strikeouts to just four walks. He mentioned to a reporter that he began to throw his slider with less velocity, and that has led to more strikeouts. I believe it, and I hope he can sustain it at the major league level.

Starting for the Rays is old friend Nathan Eovaldi. Oh, never mind. Eovaldi was just traded to the Red Sox for their No. 15 prospect LHP Jalen Beeks. Ryne Stanek, another opener, will get the ball instead. He has made 13 starts on the season, with a 1.37 ERA (obscured by sample size, he’s given up three runs in 19⅔ innings). He has four appearances (two starts) against the Yankees and has yet to allow a run (four hits though) in 4⅔ innings.

Gleyber Torres is back! The Yankees activated him off of the disabled list today, and he’ll bat fifth at second base. Tyler Wade was optioned to Triple-A. Neil Walker (who managed a .886 OPS in Torres’ absence) serves as the designated hitter today. Aaron Hicks gets another day off after he banged up his left shoulder Monday night. He is available off the bench, and so is Brandon Drury who was hit on his hand with a pitch last night. Kyle Higashioka will get the start behind the plate in the day game after a night game.

Pre-Game Notes:

  • Zach Britton was not listed as available out of the Yankees bullpen today, and that’s completely understandable. The trade was announced at 11:45 PM and the Yankees were scheduled to play in about 12 hours from that time. Multiple Yankees reporters have indicated he will join the team tomorrow in the Bronx. It wouldn’t make sense for him to travel from Baltimore to St. Petersburg, only to then go back to the Bronx a few hours later.
  • None of the minor-league pitchers the Yankees dealt to Baltimore will immediately join their major-league roster. All three will remain at their respective levels (Carroll & Rogers at AAA, Tate at AA). Tate became the O’s No. 4 prospect, and Carroll their No. 15 prospect. Rogers remains unranked.
  • Gary Sánchez may not return from his latest groin strain until late August. Brian Cashman expressed his confidence in Austin Romine and Higashioka in the meantime, and said they’d explore a trade at the position basically if one falls into their laps.

Rays Lineup

  1. CF – Kevin Kiermaier (L)
  2. 3B – Matt Duffy (R)
  3. 1B – Jake Bauers (L)
  4. DH – C.J. Cron (R)
  5. LF – Joey Wendle (L)
  6. 2B – Daniel Robertson (R)
  7. RF – Carlos Gómez (R)
  8. SS – Willy Adames (R)
  9. C – Adam Moore (R)

Yankees Acquire Zach Britton; Three MiLB Pitchers to Orioles

The shutdown lefty the Yankees needed is here.

With no impact starting pitcher on the market and the top left-handed reliever (Brad Hand) off the market, Brian Cashman swung a deal with the Baltimore Orioles to acquire their dominant closer Zach Britton. Britton comes to the Yanks in exchange for Cody Carroll (AAA, No. 15 prospect), Josh Rogers (AAA, unranked) and Dillon Tate (AA, No. 9 prospect).

Britton gives the Yankees yet another power arm in their bullpen, and a much-needed presence from the left side. Since becoming a full-time reliever in 2014, he has a 1.72 ERA and has racked up 139 saves for Baltimore. The most home runs he has ever allowed in a season is four, and that came in 2014.

Britton relies on three pitches:

  1. Sinker (93.1%) – avg. 94.4 mph
  2. Slider (5.6%) – avg. 80.7 mph
  3. Four Seamer (1.2%) – avg. 93.3 mph

He’ll likely become a co-setup man with Dellin Betances, being used much like Andrew Miller was deployed in 2015 and 2016. He’ll start off as a one-inning guy, having only pitched more than one inning 10 times since the beginning of 2016.

Going the other way are the Yankees’ Nos. 9 and 15 prospects in Tate and Carroll. Rogers is unranked by MLB Pipeline. All three would have been caught up in the inevitable 40-man roster crunch at the end of the year. Brian Cashman normally does his best to maximize their value rather than lose them for nothing in the Rule 5 Draft.

Dillon Tate, the No. 4 pick in the 2015 draft, came to the Yankees at the 2016 trade deadline from the Texas Rangers in the Carlos Beltrán trade alongside Erik Swanson and Nick Green. In 15 starts for Double-A Trenton, he had a 5-2 record and 3.38 ERA. Per his scouting report, “Whether Tate will wind up as a starter or reliever is unclear. Though he throws strikes with all four of his pitches, he doesn’t miss as many bats as he should with his pure stuff, which could play up in shorter stints.”

Cody Carroll was drafted in the 22nd round by the Yankees in 2015. He had nine saves for the RailRiders and a 2.38 ERA in 32 bullpen appearances. He reportedly sits “at 96-98 mph and touches 101” with his fastball. If he can master his mechanics, “he could serve as a high-leverage reliever and perhaps even a closer at the big league level.”

Josh Rogers was an 11th round pick of the Yankees in that same 2015 draft. He really put it together for Triple-A SWB in the first half of the season. He went 5-3 with a stellar 2.45 ERA through the first two months of the season. However, the wheels have fallen off a bit since June began. Rogers has a 1-5 record and 5.85 ERA in nine starts since then. He is known as a crafty lefty, with four pitches that need to be precise in order for him to succeed.

That trade feeling began to arise early in the evening when Tate, who had just been activated from the disabled list with a quad injury, was a healthy scratch for Double-A Trenton. The Yankees had been connected to Britton for a few days, though not in any capacity that would suggest a trade was close. That momentum grew Tuesday morning, and became much more apparent with Tate’s apparent scratch to keep him healthy.

Just like the Jeurys Familia situation in the Bronx last week, Britton did not warm up for the Orioles in a save situation against Boston. He sat in the bullpen one last time and watched Brad Brach get the final three outs in what would prove to be his final few minutes in black and orange.

Yankees 4, Rays 0: Tanaka’s Gem Shuts Out Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Masahiro Tanaka needed 105 pitches to turn in the best start of his 2018 season, as he pitched a complete game shutout of the Rays on Tuesday.

A single and a double to C.J. Cron, a single for Jesús Sucre and a walk to Ji-Man Choi were the only blemishes on Tanaka’s line. Tanaka did not allow a baserunner until the fifth inning, and pitched 1-2-3 innings in the first, second, third, fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth innings. He struck out nine and recorded 14 groundouts (compared to zero flyouts).

The Yankees got on the board in the first inning when Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge led off the game with singles. They moved to third on Giancarlo Stanton‘s strikeout-wild pitch. Didi Gregorius then scored Gardner on an RBI groundout to shortstop.

In the fifth, Brandon Drury got drilled on the hand by a 2-2 fastball with one out. Neil Walker singled him over to third. Another RBI groundout, this time by Austin Romine, scored Tyler Wade (pinch-running for Drury).

In the seventh, Miguel Andújar singled, Greg Bird doubled and Romine came through again, this time with a sacrifice fly to score the Yankees’ third run. In the ninth, Andújar doubled and scored on a single by Walker.

Aroldis Chapman threw a few warmup pitches in the bottom of the ninth, but ultimately was not needed because of Tanaka’s mastery. More of this would be great from Tanaka, of course.

Trade Alert 🚨

Of course, the Yankees garnered headlines during the game as they closed in on a trade for Orioles lefty Zach Britton. That trade was announced after the game ended in St. Petersburg, as well as in Baltimore. The Orioles acquired minor-league pitchers Cody Carroll, Josh Rogers and Dillon Tate.

What’s Next

Luis Cessa (1-1, 3.00 ERA) comes up from Triple-A to take Domingo Germán‘s rotation spot. He’ll face old friend Nathan Eovaldi (3-4, 4.26 ERA).

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