Tag: Jhoulys Chacin

The “Battle” for the 5th Spot

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Entering spring training, the most prominent role to be defined in the Yankees’ 26-man Roster was the fifth Starter in the rotation. This “competition” allows us to analyze and write a few words about the candidates. So, lets do just that!

The Candidates

What seemed to be a four horse race at the beginning of the spring has sadly lost an interesting competitor. Clarke Schmidt, one of the most prominent pitching prospects in the Yankees system, has gone down with a common extensor strain in his elbow that will shut him down 3-4 weeks.

Also, I’m not considering Mike King or Nick Nelson in this exercise for different reasons. King because of the lack of a reliable secondary offering, and Nelson because of his lack of control (Career MiLB 4.8 BB/9). Also I think Nelson’s stuff plays up a lot in the bullpen and he could be a weapon there.

That leaves us with (ordered alphabetically by their last name): Jhoulys Chacín, Deivi García and Domingo Germán. Let’s see what the projection system’s tell us about those three players regarding their WAR:

SystemChacínGarcíaGermán
PECOTA-0.11.41.3
FGDC0.21.21.0
Steamer0.11.11.1
ZiPS1.12.12.1
Projections via FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus

The projections tell a clear story of two similarly productive pitchers (García and Germán), and an underdog (Chacín). With that in mind, let’s go under the hood for any further evidence on who should win the job.

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Thoughts on the interplay of Deivi García’s workload and the Alternate Site, retaining NRIs, and Lucas Luetge

Last week, we found out that Alternate Sites are returning as a result of the delayed start to the Triple-A season. The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler has all the details regarding the rules and regulations for the Alternate Site. I have a couple of thoughts on roster implications as a result of the Alternate Site’s return, along with a closing note on a surprising non-roster invitee in camp. Let’s dive in.

The Yankees will probably use the Alternate Site to protect Deivi García’s workload. Like it or not, it’s been pretty clear that the fifth starter’s job is Domingo Germán’s to lose. Not that he needed any more help, but the delay to the Triple-A season might give him a further boost. The Yankees could use the Alternate Site as a way to limit innings for certain pitchers who Germán is in competition with and the organization want to protect, namely García.

There should be no qualms about Deivi’s candidacy for the fifth spot, and in fact, I’d argue he’s the best option. Yet, he’s also never thrown more than 111.2 innings in a season (2019) and is still just 21 years old. I’d wager that the Yankees will be careful to not significantly overstep the young righty’s previous high water mark in 2021. It’s not like the organization needs him to bear a significant anyway. The team has very good starting depth.

So, optioning García to the Alternate Site to start the year would make it easier to manage his 2021 workload. He could pitch in a few exhibition games in April, but wouldn’t need to pitch him every fifth day. Alternatively, there would be no need for him to go five or six frames each time out either. Of course, this could also just be used as a front for service time shenanigans, but there are certainly legitimate health considerations.

This would have applied to Clarke Schmidt too, especially if he stayed healthy and pitched as well as he did last March. But now, his common extensor strain will make his time at the Alternate Site more like spring training all over again anyway.

Now, with Deivi in particular, this scenario only works as long as everyone else stays healthy this month. For instance, I can’t imagine running out Jhoulys Chacín every fifth day in the name of limiting Deivi’s innings. In that case, García should be in the rotation and the Yankees could kick can down the road on workload concerns.

Starting pitching: Significant depth and prospects in the pipeline [2021 Season Preview]

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If you read my piece on the Yankees’ pitching depth last week, you know that the team is pretty deep in starting pitching. Sure, some of those pitchers have their warts, but there are also a number of viable options to pitch out of the rotation. Pitchers break — they always do — so it’s best to have a lot of them. By midsummer, the Yanks may have nearly a dozen major league caliber starters. Yes, some far better than others, but that’s a lot of insurance.

Today, it’s time to preview the organization’s starters. Not just those who’ll see major league time, either. Like my catcher preview or Dom’s corner infield breakdown, I’ll dive into the starters down the rungs of the minors.

A formidable front four

It’s awfully exciting to have a full season of Gerrit Cole ahead of us. In that sense, he still feels like a new addition to this team. I know we saw him for 12 regular season and 3 postseason starts in 2020, but there’s nothing quite like having a bona fide ace for 30-plus starts and 200 innings. And that’s what we can expect from Gerrit this season: a workhorse who could easily win the American League Cy Young award.

If there’s any uncertainty regarding Cole in 2021, it’s his battery mate. As you know, Kyle Higashioka became Cole’s personal catcher by last September. Cole had better numbers with Higgy behind the plate, and given Gary Sánchez’s struggles offensively, it was an easy decision at the time. This year, the Yankees are hoping to pair Cole and Sánchez, and understandably so. Ideally, the two mesh and Gary mashes once again.

After Cole is when folks start getting nervous, which I can understand. What’s a soon-to-be 35 year-old Corey Kluber going to look like after two injury-riddled seasons? How will Jameson Taillon rebound from his second Tommy John surgery? Will Jordan Montgomery‘s results catch up to his peripherals? And so it goes. No, this isn’t a rotation for the risk-averse. But at the same time, how many other big league rotations are full of sure things?

With pitchers and catchers reporting to camp, Yankees finally announce non-roster invitees

Via @Yankees

The wait is over. And no, I’m not talking about pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training today. Rather, the Yankees finally announced the club’s non-roster invitees to big league camp this morning.

The vast majority of these players are no surprise given the trickle of minor league deals during the offseason. However, there are a few players who popped up out of nowhere. For instance, there was no word of Derek Dietrich or Nick Goody joining the Bombers until the team pushed out this announcement. Then there are a couple of prospects, namely last year’s first rounder Austin Wells, who are aboard.

The Yankees officially will have 72 players in camp (really, 73 once Justin Wilson is announced). Let’s break down those joining the club’s 40-man roster.

Catchers

Ample catching is always a requirement early in camp, and the Yankees will have seven more backstops in tow alongside Gary Sánchez and Kyle Higashioka.

Of this subgroup of NRIs, Robinson Chirinos is the only player likely to see any time in New York. Now, don’t expect him to unseat Sánchez or Higashioka out of camp, but Chirinos is the break glass in case of [injury] option. Chirinos, 36, is a lifetime .231/.325/.431 (102 wRC+) hitter in 2,125 big league plate appearances. He’s not much of a defender, but the bat is useful.

Rob Brantly is the other catcher with major league experience here, but the vast majority of that was way back in 2012 and 2013. He’s really just another body in camp. Kellin Deglan and Max McDowell represent the other two minor league depth backstops in camp.

Now, for the fun part. The Yankees invited three noteworthy prospects: Austin Wells, Anthony Siegler, and Josh Breaux. Wells, last year’s first round draft choice, has yet to see any professional action. Siegler (2018 first round) and Breaux (2018 second round) certainly could use the reps after no game action last year too. We’ve yet to see Seigler do much in the minors, but he’s also had a hard time staying healthy. Meanwhile, Breaux broke out in 2019 in Charleston when he posted a 141 wRC+ and 13 homers in just 216 plate appearances.

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