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In a span of seven days, the New York Yankees’ need for pitching reinforcements went from "high priority" to "urgent."
That's because Yankees pitchers just completed the worst seven-game stretch the American League has ever seen.
73 runs allowed.
23 home runs allowed.
Never had that been done before.
It’s been done now, and it highlights why Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has been searching for starting pitching help ahead of Wednesday’s trade deadline.
With ace Luis Severino still sidelined by shoulder issues, the Yankees have been getting by with a rotation that includes Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, JA Happ, Domingo German and CC Sabathia. There’s no shortage of talent there. But there’s also no shortage of question marks, whether they be health or consistency.
Bumps in the road were inevitable. But no one was anticipating the pothole that’s developed. This week’s issues have centered almost entirely around that rotation. During the seven-game stretch, no Yankees starting pitcher has gone beyond five innings. Collectively, they’ve pitched 26 innings while allowing 48 earned runs. That’s a 16.62 ERA.
The lack of innings from the rotation is now taxing the bullpen. Yankees relievers — and catcher Austin Romine — have had to gobble up 34 innings.
Granted, the Yankees have faced two of MLB’s most dangerous offenses — the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox — during this stretch. But if they have any plans on playing deep into October, chances are they’ll have to deal with one or both again.
The issues against Boston’s offense in particular aren’t new. They’ve had a tough time against them dating back to the series in London.
That has to be fixed.
What are the Yankees trade options?
It’s still tough to say who might be a realistic target for the Yankees.
It’s said that trade talks have been moving slow due to selling teams refusing to budge on their asking prices. That will likely change between now and the July 31 deadline. In the Yankees case, though, they might have to up the ante to acquire a needed arm. Or even two.
Madison Bumgarner is sounding more likely to stay in San Francisco. The Mets won’t trade Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler to the Yankees. And who knows what will happen with Marcus Stroman. That could leave the Yankees looking at second tier options like Robbie Ray, Matthew Boyd and Mike Minor.
Landing one from that group would help. Landing two might provide enough boost to get New York’s rotation back on track.
We’ll see how it plays out. But we know Brian Cashman knows something has to be done.
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