Brian Cashman upgraded the Yankees rotation this year in a major way when when he traded away failing starter Vidal Nuno for equally struggling Brandon McCarthy. At the time, this was a scraps for scraps move that looked like the front office was just looking for a guy to eat innings for a while. After all, he had a 3-10 record and an ERA over 5 with the Arizona Diamondbacks on the year before the move. However, since coming to the Bronx he has been a pitcher on fire, and now it appears he is hoping this wasn’t a short term move for the Bombers.
McCarthy has now started 6 games for the Yankees, going 4-1 with a 2.21 ERA and an 8.8 K/9 average – the best average of his career. He has attributed his immediate success to being allowed to throw his cutter more than he was in Arizona. Obviously, the freedom has paid off. While the Yankees are in a rough patch, they are within relative striking distance of the 2nd Wild Card spot and McCarthy is the reason why. Additionally, if the Yankees have any hopes of making the 2014 postseason, the squad will be depending on McCarthy to keep up his performance.
This week McCarthy stated his desire to stay in New York after the season, as he is currently slated to become a free agent this winter. McCarthy is an extremely honest person, follow him on Twitter if you don’t believe me @BMcCarthy32, and his words carry a lot of weight to them. He stated that a month in he has found no negatives in New York from his teammates to his coaches. Now that the initial honeymoon period is over and he still sees all positives is a great sign. It is clear that McCarthy’s quick start is more than simply catching lightning in a bottle. He’s a pitcher that feels more comfortable here than he did in Arizona and feels the team’s desire for success. This is a guy the team cannot lose moving into next season.
The Yankees may miss the playoffs this season. Believe it or not, Yankee fans, it happens from time to time. Losing both CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova for the season early on and both Michael Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka for months (and possibly still the season for Tanaka) should have spelled a 90+ loss season. Even the best teams in baseball cannot lose 80% of its pitching staff and recover. Somehow, the Yankees were able to hold it together and compete. Adding Brandon McCarthy was the first move of many the Yankees made to make the team better. Now, it will be on the Yankees front office to make sure McCarthy is still pitching for the Yankees in 2015 and beyond. We know he’s on board.