Tagged: Chase Whitley

The Yankees will look to get back on track with their interleague series against the Nationals

Nate Eovaldi

Nate Eovaldi

The Yankees (22-17) lost the final game of their series to the Kansas City Royals, 6-0, and have now lost five of their past six games. They now have only a one game lead in the American League East over the Tampa Bay Rays.

In those five losses, the Yankees combined to score only six runs. The offensive ineptitude has caused the Yankees to go from having a four game lead in the division on May 11, when they had a 21-12 record, to the one game lead that they have before Tuesday night’s game.

A reason for the low run scoring output in recent games is that the team has not been hitting enough extra-base hits. In the last three losses they combined for only six extra base hits and in their previous two losses they didn’t have any extra-base hits. Even if you do have solid pitching, it is very difficult to win games if you are not hitting doubles and homers consistently.

The Yankees have also been making errors more often recently. This is similar to the first nine games of the season when they started 3-6 and repeatedly did not make the routine play. They have combined to make four errors in their last three losses, which doesn’t give the pitcher much margin for error.

Except for the 12-1 loss on May 15 when Michael Pineda allowed five earned runs and had his first subpar performance of his outstanding season and the loss on May 14 when Chase Whitley had to leave the game early because of his elbow injury, the starters have generally given the team a chance to win each game. Nathan Eovaldi allowed four earned runs after pitching into the eighth inning for the first time as a Yankee and Adam Warren allowed three runs and had seven strikeouts in seven innings.

Eovaldi allowing four runs is more than what the Yankees want, but he did not allow a run in the first six innings and showed signs of improvement. He kept the team in the game and that’s all you can ask for.

Chris Capuano allowed four earned runs in three innings during Sunday’s game, but that was his first game this season after spending the first 36 games on the disabled list and he was effective in the first three innings. He came out of the game in the fourth after allowing two walks and two singles and seemed confident that he would be more effective in his next start.

The Yankees have received some good news as it was announced that Masahiro Tanaka, who is on the DL with wrist and forearm issues, will make a start with Triple-A Scranton on Thursday. This could put him on track to replace Warren in the rotation next week or the week after. Tanaka threw a 29-pitch bullpen session without any issues, which is a positive sign going forward.

After Monday’s off day, the Yankees will now play a two-game series in Washington D.C. against the Washington Nationals. The Yankees will have an another off day on Thursday, and it is possible that these two off days will help revitalize the Yankees because they had only had one off day in the past 31 days before Monday’s off day.

These are the pitching matchups against the Nationals (22-17), who are in second place in the National League East:

RHP Nathan Eovaldi (3-1, 4.14)
LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.25)
7:05 p.m., YES Network

RHP Adam Warren (2-2, 4.50)
RHP Jordan Zimmermann (3-2, 3.66)
7:05 p.m., YES Network

Light-hitting Rene Rivera drove in four runs for the Tampa Bay Rays in their win over the Yankees

Chase Whitley

Chase Whitley

The Yankees lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 on Thursday night at Tropicana Field, and after winning the first game of the series, they lost the next three. A major reason that they lost the last three games of the series is that they combined to score only five runs in those three losses. The Yankees didn’t do anything well offensively or defensively in the loss on Thursday.

Chase Whitley was only able to pitch 1.2 innings before being taken out of the game due to elbow issues. He was likely more wild than normal because of the issue with his elbow. He threw a changeup that was nowhere near Brian McCann and went all the way to the backstop. He allowed two hits, two walks and three earned runs because the two runners that were on base when he left the game were charged to him.

It seems likely that Whitley will need Tommy John surgery based on the situation. He would have been been replaced when Masahiro Tanaka returned to the rotation anyway, but this injury to Whitley will hurt the team’s depth at starter, especially since he had showed signs of improvement from last season. “It’s in that area that you don’t want to talk about,” Joe Girardi said.

Esmil Rogers, who came into the game after Whitley was taken out after being looked at by the trainer, allowed a three-run homer to Rene Rivera on the first pitch that Rivera saw. Rivera came into the game with a .126 average and only five RBIs, but he was able to go 2-4 with four RBIs against the Yankees in this game.

Rivera, who was hitting ninth in the lineup and is known more for his defense, was not someone the Yankees expected to hurt them coming into the game. He had gone 0-6 in the two other games he played in this series, but that slump didn’t prevent him from hitting his second homer of his season. “The kid may have been looking for the pitch,” Girardi said. “He swung hard and hit it.”

Rivera’s second hit of the night was a single up the middle to center that scored David DeJesus to make the score 5-0. Evan Longoria, who has owned the Yankees the last few years, hit a single to left to drive in Steven Souza Jr. in the seventh inning off of Chasen Shreve. Shreve has pitched well overall in his first season with the Yankees as his ERA is now only 2.70, but he was one of many Yankees who did not perform well on Thursday.

The only run that the Yankees scored came off of a homer to right by Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning. They were 0-4 with runners in scoring position and didn’t hit any extra-base hits besides that home run.

The hits only came from the top of the lineup, which makes it difficult to score runs. Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez combined to go 5-11, but the rest of the lineup did not have a single hit in 19 at-bats.

As a result of their three-game losing streak to the Rays, the Yankees now only have a one-game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East. The Yankees will look to hit better and get back in the win column in Kansas City on Friday with Michael Pineda pitching.

Pineda, who has a 2.72 ERA and 1.01 WHIP, is the ace of the rotation right now and recorded 16 strikeouts in his previous start, which is the second most in a single game by a righty in Yankees history. His 54 strikeouts are third in the American League and his five wins are also tied for second in the league.

Chase Whitley allowed five runs to the Orioles in his worst start of the season

Mar 12, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Chase Whitley (83) pithes during the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 12, 2014; Chase Whitley against the Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan

The Yankees (19-12) lost to the Baltimore Orioles (13-15), 6-2, on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. The win by the Orioles gave the Yankees a 2-1 edge in the series. The Yankees will look to win the series 3-1 on Sunday afternoon with Michael Pineda pitching.

After allowing only one run in his first two starts combined, Chase Whitley gave up five earned runs in 5.2 innings pitched to the Orioles. He has allowed 14 runs in his four games pitched against the Orioles and in his 20 other games between last season and this season he has allowed 32 runs. This proves that he has struggled with the free-swinging powerful Orioles lineup.

Whitely now has a solid 3.06 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. However, those numbers would be much better if not for Saturday’s start. He threw 97 pitches, but really only threw three pitches that hurt him besides hitting Steve Pearce with a changeup.

Whitley started the game off pitching well as he struck out four of the first six batters he faced, but in the third inning Jimmy Paredes, who was in the trade that brought Lance Berkman to the Yankees, hit a solo homer to right. In the fourth inning, Chris Davis, who hit 53 homers in 2013, hit a bullet solo homer over the Playstation sign in right. Later in the inning, with Pearce on first, Alexandro De Aza hit his third homer of the season to give Baltimore a 4-0 lead.

Delmon Young, who had a .362 average in 58 at-bats against the Yankees from 2012-2014, drove in the first of his two runs in the fifth inning. Whitley was taken out of the game after allowing a walk to Ryan Lavarnway with two outs in the sixth.

Whitley relies on his off-speed pitches and locating the ball and this was his first start this season when his pitches didn’t go where he wanted them to. “Whitley was a little bit off today,” Joe Girardi said. “Pitchers are not going to be perfect.”

In his first two starts this season Whitley had improved his changeup compared to last season. After the game Whitley said that there were only a few pitches that he would have wanted back, and those were the pitches that led to the Orioles getting the win.

The Yankees also didn’t score enough runs to give them a chance. Wei-Yin Chen, who won his first game of the season even though he has a very good 2.52 ERA, had seven strikeouts and only allowed five hits and one run in seven innings. John Ryan Murphy hit a sacrifice fly to left that scored Chase Headley in the fifth inning to make the score 5-1.

Headley made a few Gold Glove caliber plays at third base preventing more Baltimore scoring opportunities. He won a Gold Glove in 2012 and he could win another one the way he is playing defense.

In the eighth inning, after Tommy Hunter came into the game in relief of Chen, Carlos Beltran hit a single up the middle to score Jacoby Ellsbury. Beltran was 1-4 and is average is only .194. The one positive sign for Beltran is that he has one or two hits in seven of his past nine games.

Brett Gardner grounded out to first with runners on second and third in the ninth inning to end the game. Ellsbury scored a run, but his 0-5 performance ended his 11-game hitting streak.

The Yankees will look to end the series on a positive note with their current ace of the staff (Pineda) pitching. They will play the Orioles at 1:05 p.m. and will honor mothers on Mother’s Day by using pink bats.

The Yankees lost the first game of the series to the Toronto Blue Jays

Chase Whitley

Chase Whitley

The Yankees (16-10) lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-1, at the Rogers Centre in the series opener. The Yankees swept the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in their previous three games and got yet another solid pitching performance but this time their offense didn’t produce.

R.A. Dickey, who had an impressive 2.87 ERA in seven starts against the Yankees from the 2012 season through the 2014 season, only allowed one run and three hits in eight innings pitched. The Yankees have not had any success against the veteran knuckleballer and that continued on Monday night as he didn’t allow a hit in the first, third, fourth, fifth and eighth innings.

Chase Headley had the team’s first hit of the game in the second inning. However, Garrett Jones’s ground out to shortstop stranded him at first. In the sixth inning the Yankees had runners on first and second with two outs, after a double by Jacoby Ellsbury and a walk by Brett Gardner, but Alex Rodriguez flied out to right to strand both runners.

Rodriguez’s next homer will give him 561 and put him in sole possession of fourth place on the all-time homers list. He is currently tied for fourth with Willie Mays.

The Yankees scored their only run in the seventh inning. Jones’s ground out to first scored Carlos Beltran after he had doubled and been advanced to third on Stephen Drew’s ground out to first. Beltran is now on a modest four-game hitting streak and is hitting more extra-base hits than he did earlier in the season.

Four different players were 0-3 or 0-4 and the offensive’s ineptitude prevented Chase Whitley from getting his second win of his season in his second start. Whitely had six strikeouts, no walks and only allowed seven hits in his seven scoreless innings while only throwing 90 pitches. The Yankees could not have asked for a better performance from the 25-year-old right hander.

It’s unfortunate that we didn’t score some runs to get Whitley the win,” Joe Girardi said. “His location has continued to improve as a starter. His strikeouts came in key spots.” His changeup has also improved from last year, which gives him another way to keep hitters off balance. It appears that Whitley will be a reliable fill-in while Masahiro Tanaka is on the disabled list.

The Yankees had a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the eighth but the bullpen, which has dominated this season and has rarely given up runs, allowed two earned runs and one unearned run in the eighth. Chris Marin came in to start the inning and allowed two consecutive singles after recording one out. Dellin Betances allowed a double to Edwin Encarnacion that scored Josh Donaldson but that run and the second run scored in the inning were both charged to Martin.

The third run that Toronto scored was unearned because of a throwing error by Chase Headley. Russell Martin hit a hard grounder down the line that Headley made an outstanding play on and if Mark Teixeira was playing first instead of Jones he likely would have been able to catch the short hop.

As a result of the error that was called on Headley, Betances still has a 0.00 ERA on the season. He has 26 strikeouts in his 15.1 innings pitched and has only walked two batters in his last 10 appearances after struggling with his control in the first week of the campaign.

The Yankees will look to score more runs on Tuesday night when they will not be facing a knuckleball pitcher.

The Yankees beat the Rays after getting news about Tanaka going on the 15-day DL

Masahiro Tanaka pitching in a game last season.

Masahiro Tanaka pitching in a game last season.

The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-2, on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium to improve their record to 13-8 and give them a two-game lead for first place over the Rays and Boston Red Sox in the mediocre AL East. It was their second win in a row during this series and their fifth win in a row this season against Tampa Bay.

Chase Whitely helped the Yankees get their 10th win in their last 12 games. With the win, the Yankees have now won their last four series that they have played. Whitley, who was called up to make a spot start to give the rotation an extra day of rest, allowed only one run and had five strikeouts in his five innings pitched.

The reason that Whitley was taken out of the game after five innings is because had had thrown 93 pitches. He was able to get out of trouble in the second inning as he got Tim Beckham to fly out to left and and Rene Rivera to ground into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded to prevent any runs from scoring.

Brian McCann, who caught Whitley last year and during Tuesday’s game, was impressed with his performance. “Whitley is a big league pitcher,” McCann said. “He did exactly what we expected him to do.” Whitely was also satisfied with how he performed. “My changeup was better,” Whitely said. “I had to battle but overall I felt good.

After Whitley was taken out, the bullpen came into the game and dominated once again. Chasen Shreve allowed an RBI triple to Logan Forsythe in the sixth for the Rays second and last run of the game. Shreve was taken out of the game after getting one out and then Esmil Rogers struck out the first three batters he faced.

After Shreve came out of the game, Rogers and Chris Martin combined to get 12 outs while only allowing two singles. To end the eighth inning, Rogers struck out Beckham on a nasty slider on the inside corner.

With Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller having the night off, Martin recorded his first save in his first opportunity. He admitted to being nervous after the game, but was able to end the game on an Asdrubal Cabrera strikeout after a single by Steven Souza Jr.

McCann was the hero on offense since his three RBIs would have won the game. In the first inning his double to right scored Mark Teixiera and his double to center scored Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner.

There was some news that the Yankees didn’t want as Masahiro Tanaka, who was on track to get the start on Wednesday, was placed on the 15-day DL with tendinitis in his right wrist and a mild right forearm strain. He will not be back for at least one month and Brian Cashman said that he will not throw for 7-10 days.

He had pitched very well this season as he had a 3.22 ERA in four starts with 24 strikeouts and seven walks. This was very surprising because Tuesday was the first time that he had pain in his wrist.

Whitley will take his spot in the rotation for now. In his first seven starts last season, Whitley had 2.56 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP, which is encouraging as he could be making four or five starts.

Esmil Rogers should be the No. 5 starter instead of Adam Warren

Esmil Rogers.

Esmil Rogers.

As a result of Chris Capuano straining his right quadriceps a few days ago covering first base there is now an open competition for the No. 5 starter in the rotation. The candidates for the final spot in the rotation include Adam Warren, Esmil Rogers, Chase Whitley and Bryan Mitchell.

Mitchell and Whitley will likely come in third and fourth because they have less experience than the other two. Mitchell allowed four runs on six hits in one inning in his start on March 11. He has a 9.00 in four innings so far in spring training.

He is thought of highly in the organization, but he needs more time to develop at Triple A. The 23-year-old made eight starts and nine appearances last season at Triple-A and had 3.67 ERA with 34 strikeouts and 16 walks. The hard-thrower needs to improve his strikeout to walk ratio, as his walks are far too high. That is a solid ERA and an improvement from the 4.84 ERA he had in 61.1 innings at Double-A last season, but he has not proved himself long enough with the RailRiders yet.

Whitley is a 25-year-old who was drafted by the Yankees in the 15th round in 2010 who made 12 starts and 24 total appearances for the Yankees last season. He pitched well in his first few starts, but he had trouble pitching deep into games and being effective the more appearances he made. He had a 5.23 ERA in 75.2 innings with a very high 1.480 WHIP. He makes more sense in Triple-A or in the bullpen.

Whitley has pitched seven innings (one start and three relief appearances) so far in spring training and has not allowed a run. However, that does not prove very much for him as a starter because he was only primarily facing major leaguers in one of those appearances. What that does prove is that he might be better suited for a role as a relief pitcher since he was also successful in the bullpen in the minors as he had a 3.06 ERA in 67.2 innings at Triple-A in 2013 while making 24 of his 29 appearances in the bullpen.

Either Rogers or Warren could be effective in the two months until Ivan Nova returns but Rogers could get the edge because Warren proved last year that he has the ability to pitch very well in the bullpen. In 2014, Warren had a very good 2.97 ERA in 69 games (78.2 innings) coming in from the bullpen. His 76 strikeouts and 24 walks were both higher and lower than in 2013 and he has said that he has embraced his new role as a reliever (even though he wants to be a starter).

According to Brooks Baseball, in 2014, Warren primarily threw a four-seam fastball (95mph) and slider (87mph), while also mixing in a circle change (86mph) and a knuckle curve (82mph). He fits better as a reliever since he has two primary pitches with the ability to mix in others. He would give the bullpen five potentially very reliable options with him and Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, David Carpenter and Justin Wilson.

Rogers, who is entering his seventh MLB season, has made 43 MLB starts, which is many more than any other possible No. 5 starter. He has a 5.54 career ERA, but that is inflated due to his 3.5 seasons pitching for the Colorado Rockies where he had an ERA above 6.13 in two of those seasons. He knows how to get outs and according to Bryan Hoch, “he has been particularly impressive to manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild this spring, as they believe his stuff seems crisper and seems to be more consistent.

The 29-year-old Rogers has six strikeouts in six innings pitched and hasn’t allowed a run during spring training. He has pitched in four games and two of those have been starts. Rothschld has taught Rogers to be more steady with his glove, and Rogers thinks that his adjustment has helped him. He now holds his glove in front like Masahiro Tanaka. The Yankees should go with the pitcher with the most experience especially since Rogers seems to be improving.

The Yankees lost to the Indians on Paul O’Neill Day

Paul O'Neill baseball card

Paul O’Neill baseball card

The Yankees lost to the Cleveland Indians 3-0 on Saturday afternoon in the second game of the series. The offense only had five hits, and the only player who had a multi-hit game was Jacoby Ellsbury, who had two hits. The Yankees were also collectively 0-9 with runners in scoring position, which led to them not scoring any runs.

However, the pitcher that shutdown the Yankees offense is one of the best pitchers in the American League and by far the best pitcher in the Indians rotation. Corey Kluber pitched six innings and had 10 strikeouts and only one walk. Kluber is tied for the most wins in the AL with 13, is fourth in the AL with a 2.46 ERA and is second in the AL with 187 strikeouts.

Joe Girardi was impressed with how Kluber pitched against the Yankees. “He has just got really good stuff,” Girardi said. “He has got an outstanding slider that he used to right handers and left handers. I know there was a lot of talk about what we faced this week with Detroit, but if you look at the top five guys in the AL, he is right there. You are going to run into guys that have great stuff and sometimes you are going to get them and sometimes they are going to shut you down.”

One of the five hits that the Yankees had was an infield single by the future first ballot Hall of Famer Derek Jeter. That single was his 3,431st hit of his career, which put him in sole possession of sixth place on the all time hits list. He had previously been tied with Honus Wagner for sixth place. Jeter now has more hits than any other shortstop in baseball history.

Girardi is impressed with Jeter’s milestone and how he has performed this season. “It is unbelievable,” Girardi said. “I mean the people that he has passed, it is unbelievable. You know, this guy has been consistent for us all year long, and there were a lot of questions about where he would be at. He has played pretty well.”

Jeter was disappointed that the team lost, but he is proud that he now has more hits than anyone else who has played shortstop. “It is one of those wow moments,” Jeter said. “To have more hits than anyone that has played the position at all is something you can be proud of. Obviously, I would like to have won the game, but it is something I will be able to tell my kids one day about. Like I said, Honus Wagner, he is the last one on the last that played short at all, that one hits home a little bit.”

Brandon McCarthy got the start for the Yankees and picked up his first loss in his six starts with the team. He pitched well, as he only allowed two runs and had eight strikeouts in 6.1 innings, but the two-run homer Jose Ramirez hit off of him in the second ended up being the difference in the game. That was Ramirez’s first career home run.

All-Star Michael Brantley’s homer off of the foul poll in the eighth off of Chase Whitely was the third run that the Indians scored.

The Yankees will look to win the three-game series with Hiroki Kuorda pitching in Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. game. He had his second consecutive solid start on August 5 as he allowed three runs in seven innings. Carlos Carrasco, who is not nearly the pitcher that Kluber is, will be making only his fifth start of the season for the Indians.

Before yesterday’s game, the Yankees honored Paul O’Neill with a much deserved plaque in Monument Park. He was nicknamed the “The Warrior” for his hustle and intensity during games. O’Neill played for the Yankees from 1993-2001 and was an integral part of four World Series winning teams. “Let’s face it, we were all lucky to play for the Yankees, especially at that time,” O’Neill said during his speech.