It’s June 1st and the Yankees have two dynamite starting pitchers on their staff. Those two men are Michael Pineda and Luis Severino and they have been fantastic all year, to the surprise of many given their consistency issues in the past. CC Sabathia’s season has had its ups and down (currently on the up), but he can’t be counted on as a top of the rotation guy anymore. Masahiro Tanaka has been so bad he might need to go back to Japan and rediscover his origins. Jordan Montgomery is a rookie still figuring out his way around the league, but has showed lots of promise at times. All together the Yanks have a decent staff at best, held together by inconsistent performances at the back end.
I’ve discussed at length my hopes of dealing a high end prospect with red hair for a top of the line guy on the market, but we’re still a little while from that actually being talked about. Right now there is a man down in AAA who can give the Yankees a real CHANCE of winning the AL East. 22 year old Chance Adams (that’s his real name by the way) is absolutely carving up AAA batters like they’re pumpkins on Halloween. The kid can pitch.
Drafted in the 5th round in 2015, Adams has yet to find difficulty in getting hitters out in the minors.
2015: (Low A-High A) 3-1 35.1 IP 1.78 ERA 45/9 K:BB
2016: (High A-AA) 13-1 127.1 IP 2.33 ERA 144/39 KK:BB
2017: (AA) 4-0 1.03 ERA 35.0 IP 32/15 KK:BB
2017: (AAA) 3-1 1.57 ERA 23.0 IP 27/7 KK:BB
Sorry for all the stats, but you get the picture. The dude is very good at pitching a baseball, plain and simple. This quote from Newsday about Chance the Pitcher sums it up best.
“Every pitching prospect, even the top guys, have a bad one, where they just don’t have anything,” said another opposing team scout who has seen a lot of Adams. “Haven’t seen one yet.”
Adams was unreal yesterday, striking out 12 in six innings allowing just one hit.
When you hear those types of things being said about an upcoming prospect it has to get the juices flowing. I mean why isn’t Chance starting tonight in Toronto? I’m kidding (sorta), but the move is going to happen soon. When you have your “ace” struggling to the levels we’re at right now, there just gets to a point where something has to change. And don’t give me that bullshit that if Judge catches that ball he doesn’t give up seven runs last night. The Orioles absolutely hammered every baseball hit last night either fucking way. You might be able to get away with Tanaka’s stuff against the Oakland Athletics lineup, but a first place team in the AL East can’t have Tanaka giving up 5+ every start against a good hitting team.
So is the answer a six man rotation? It might have to be for the time being. It would give Tanaka his ideal six day rest which gives him his comfort level he had back in Japan. But is that the real reason for his struggles? The last three years he pitched on mainly normal days rest and was fantastic. There’s more to this case than just normal days rest in between starts. A six man rotation might fuck up what Severino and Pineda are doing which is the LAST thing we need right now. Could it help Montgomery? Who knows? It might actually and give his young arm a little more rest. Sorry if I sound so unsure about this whole thing, but we need Chance Adams in the big leagues winning us baseball games. Montgomery doesn’t deserve a demotion right now, he just doesn’t. CC has rebounded nicely and is pitching strong again which is AWESOME. CC is a giant presence in the clubhouse (no pun intended) and has a big time impact on these young guns getting their first taste of the big leagues. So fuck it, I’m down for the six man rotation.
GIVE HIM A CHANCE!
P.S. Call me someone who thinks outside of the box, but here’s how I would fix Tanaka. Put him on a cargo ship to Japan. Have him join the League of Shadows and learn from his roots to become the man he used to be. This may or may not be the plot from Batman Begins, but it will 100% work.