The Yankees are just four games out of the American League’s second Wild Card and are still within range of the AL East division. To assist them in their September charge, the Bombers have expanded to 33 men (No team usually ever goes to 40). Among those getting the call to the bigs are some familiar names and some young bloods as well as a few… more obscure pieces to the puzzle that will hopefully push them to the playoffs. So, who are the lucky eight to be putting on pinstripes today and what do they bring to the table?
- Chris Young- Outfielder; 30-years old; Bats-Right Throws-Right; Career Numbers (Playing with the Diamondbacks, Athletics and Mets over his 9 year career): .233 BA 152 Home Runs 476 RBI; Signed by the Yankees in late August after being released by the New York Mets
What does he bring to the Yankees? Power. More importantly bench power which is a real luxury these days. Young was once among the best power hitters in the National League but his struggles in recent seasons have been well documented. In 88 games with the Mets he hit 8 home runs, but batted just .205. But, Yankees fans may remember the big series he had at Yankee Stadium when the Mets faced the Yankees. The smaller and more hitter friendly dimensions of Yankee Stadium may be exactly what Young needs in order to actually produce for a team. Look for Young to be one of the first players off the bench in a pinch-hit situation. He’ll likely stick to right field when he does start in order to give Ichiro some rest and add a little extra pop to the lineup.
- Chaz Roe- Relief Pitcher; 27-years old; Bats-Right Throws-Right; Career Numbers (Just 2013 with the Diamondbacks): 21 games 22.1 IP 1-0 4.03 ERA 24 K’s; Traded to the Yankees from the Miami Marlins in late August in exchange for cash considerations
What does he bring to the Yankees? Bullpen depth. Looking at Roe’s numbers, they’re not the typical “Oh well maybe he’ll do better now” type stats that we’re used to seeing from the Yankees this season. Roe put up decent numbers in 2013 but spent the entire 2014
campaign in the minors. But, for the price the Yankees paid, this is a go0d move for the team who needed to bolster their bullpen and has done so with moves like this along with Josh Outman and others (We’ll get there later. Not spoiling the surprise). With over a strikeout per inning, he fits right in the Yankees’ current crew of bullpen K machines. Knowing Joe Girardi Roe will be given a sizable role which could turn out to be beneficial to the team down the stretch.
- John Ryan Murphy- Catcher; 23-years old; Bats-Right Throws-Right; Career Numbers (Just 40 games with the Yankees total between 2013 and 2014): .286 BA 1 Home Run 9 RBI; Drafted by the Yankees in the 2nd round of the 2009 Amateur Draft
What does he bring to the Yankees? A lot actually. Murphy often gets overlooked when it comes to catchers in the Yankees system, often being overshadowed by the likes of Gary Sanchez (The organization’s number 2 prospect), Luis Torrens (Up and coming young prospect) and even Miguel Flames (Recent high profile international free agent signing). But Murphy has received high praise from his coaches for his defense and ability to call games and his hitting has really improved as evident by his solid numbers this season when he filled in for the injured Francisco Cervelli. Over the course of a season, catchers get beat up more than most players on the field, and it doesn’t hurt to have a quality backstop on the bench in the final weeks of the season.
- Preston Claiborne- Relief Pitcher; 26-years old; Bats-Right Throws-Right; Career Numbers (2013-2014): 59 games 68.0 IP 2-2 3.97 ERA 56 K’s; Drafted by the Yankees in the 17th round of the 2010 Amateur Draft
What does he bring to the Yankees? Quality bullpen depth. Claiborne was impressive for the early part of the 2013 season before tiring out and losing some of his stuff near the end of the year. He struggled with some inconsistencies in 2014 which caused him to have to move back and forth from the majors and the minors before ultimately falling to injury. But, now he’s back and could if he could regain some of his lights out early 2013 ability it would be a huge lift for a tiring Yankees bullpen.
- Antoan Richardson- Outfielder/Pinch Runner; 30-years old; Bats-Both Throws- Right; Career Numbers (Using minor league statistics due to small sample size in the Major Leagues): .277 BA 15 HR 234 RBI 344 SB (10 Seasons); Signed by the Yankees as a non roster invite to Spring Training before the 2014 season and played the whole year in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
What does he bring to the Yankees? Even more speed! Ludicrous Speed! (Look it up!) Richardson probably won’t provide all that much as far as hitting is concerned but he could be used as pinch runner for the Yankees slower players. With 344 stolen bases in 10 minor league seasons, the Yankees should utilize Richardson’s speed as best as possible while he’s with the team going down the stretch. In big spots he’s a nice guy to have on first base because he has the ability to put himself in scoring position and put pressure on the opposing defense. He’ll likely only be used in that kind of role.
- Rich Hill- Relief pitcher; 34-years old; Bats- Left Throws-Left; Career Numbers (Played with the Cubs, Orioles, Red Sox, Indians, Angels and Yankees over the course of his 10 year career): 189 games 468.0 IP 24-22 4.73 ERA 444 K’s; Signed to a minor league deal by the Yankees
What does he bring to the Yankees? Bullpen depth… but not a lot. Hill is another lefty in the Yankees ‘pen which is important for a team in the playoff hunt. But, Hill has struggled his whole career and his antics on the mound are beginning to wear thin. When used correctly. he could be a valuable piece to this bullpen but each of his outings need to come with a short leash. Hill joins Josh Outman and David Huff as the Yankees’ lefty core (Something they’ll need to address after the season concludes).
- Chase Whitley- Pitcher; 25-years old; Bats- Right Throws- Right; Career Numbers (This season with the Yankees): 19 games 68.0 IP 4-3 5.43 ERA 52 K’s; Drafted by the Yankees in the 15th round of the 2010 Amateur Draft
What does he bring to the Yankees? Depth. Whitley can pitch well as both a starter or a reliever and that’s a great thing to have on a team. He could be used as a long man or middle reliever and could pitch well in a spot start if needed. He’s the equivalent of his teammate David Phelps who is currently trying to come back from an elbow injury. Whitley could be used effectively in lots of different ways and that’s a real plus for this Yankees team.
- Bryan Mitchell- Pitcher; 23-years old; Bats- Left Throws-Right; Career Numbers (In the minors due to small big league sample size): 102 games 475.2 IP 22-34 4.45 ERA 433 K’s (5 seasons); Drafted by the Yankees in the 16th round of the 2009 Amateur Draft
What does he bring to the Yankees? More depth. Mitchell’s numbers may not pop out at you, but in his few outings in the Majors he was very impressive and could provide the same thing that Whitley does. Being a starter in the minors allows him to go multiple innings out of the pen or just go out and pitch to one frame. He could also be a decent options for the Yankees if they’re in desperate need of an emergency spot start. There’s a lot of opportunities for Mitchell to succeed in the final month of the season.
- The Yankees released pitcher Matt Daley in order to make room for players being added to the 40-man roster
- Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was moved to the 60-day Disabled List in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Tanaka played catch, experienced no pain and is scheduled to throw a bullpen this week.
- Outfield Prospect Slade Heathcott was also placed on the 60-day Disabled List