The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 on Wednesday, and the game was significant on two major levels. First, that Freddy Garcia was able to pitch a shutout for 6.2 innings after allowing five earned runs in his last start, and, second, that the team was able to bounce back after basically giving away the game on Tuesday.
Another positive sign from Tuesday’s game is that even though they lost, Bartolo Colon was able to pitch a solid game, striking out nine batters while only allowing two earned runs in 6.1 innings. He needed that performance even more than Garcia because he was coming off two especially shaky starts. Colon is the more likely candidate to be replaced at the trade deadline, so if he pitches well until then that will decrease their need to acquire Ubaldo Jimenez.
The performances from Garcia and Colon have been above and beyond what anybody could have expected. The Yankees would not be anywhere near where they are at in the standings if it was not for their consistent success by pitching like they did earlier in their careers. If Colon starts to slip up again in his next start that will increase the urgency for a replacement, but the Yankees should not give up four top prospects in order to get Jimenez.
First of all it doesn’t really make sense for the Rockies to trade Jimenez and the only way that the Yankees should accept a trade for him is for Jesus Montero, and Eduardo Nunez or a pitcher like Adam Warren. There is now way they should include all of their top prospects including Montero, Nunez, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos. Banuelos probably has the most upside potential out of anybody in the minors, and Betances, who went to high school in Brooklyn, has been pitching a lot better recently.
Jimenez is one of the top young, established, pitchers in baseball and holds a very team friendly contract. However, he is not worth trading away the whole farm system right now. The Yankees will be able to acquire his services in about two years when he will be a free agent. Brian Cashman should go after a player such as Matt Garza of the Cubs to be the potential number five starter.
Going back to Wednesday nights Yankees victory, another player who was able to rebound and lead the team to victory was not other than Curtis Granderson, who has been the team MVP along with CC Sebathia to this point. After making an error that helped cost the Yankees a win after losing a pop up in the Tropicana Field roof, he hit a two run home run, which wound up being all the runs that the team would need. Granderson also made an outstanding, web-gem worthy catch, against the wall, on a ball hit by star third-baseman Evan Longoria to preserve the 2-0 lead.
In the seventh inning the Rays correctly gave Eduardo Nunez an error the second time, allowing there to be runners on first and second with two outs. Later in the game Nunez added a two-run single to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead in the ninth. Nunez has some potential, but this continues an unfortunate trend by the young infielder because he has continuously been sloppy in the field but productive at the plate. Hopefully he can get into a groove at third while filling in for Alex Rodriguez. By the seventh inning the Rays had left two men on for the fourth time in the game.
CC Sebathia will be pitching tonight and in his last five starts, he has gone 5-0, while only allowing two earned runs. He has been by far the most reliable Yankees starter, but it looks like the Yankees will be able to have a potent one-two punch once again based off of the last start by Phil Hughes.