The Yankees made it official, James Kaprielian is getting Tommy John surgery. I wasn’t sure if you’ve heard by now, but the New York Yankees can’t have fun, young starting pitchers who stay healthy and consistently good.
Yankees fans (and I mean me) probably went through something along these lines emotionally after reading the news:
"Baseball is a cruel mistress that takes what you love and shreds his elbow ligaments…Googles “Tommy John surgery recovery” and “Tommy John surgery young pitchers” … I’m only half-sure James Kaprielian’s career isn’t over…I mean, Matt Harvey is doing alright now, isn’t he? … Oh, he hasn’t been quite the same? Oh, okay.Masahiro Tanaka’s elbow is supposed to implode at any moment, and he’s doing fine… Races to find wood surface.Wait, don’t the Yankees have a ton of talented minor leaguers in Double- and Triple-A? Turns out, they do, and they’re not all hitters."
One pitcher that might just step up and make us let our collective guard down is Chance Adams, a right-hander currently pitching for Double-A Trenton. Adams will take the mound Thursday and is coming off a hitless outing.
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A 15th-round selection in the 2015 draft, Adams went 5.2 innings on April 8. He walked four batters and struggled with his command, but he also had five strikeouts, six groundouts and didn’t allow a single hit.
Adams burst onto the Yankees’ radar last season when he went 8-1 with a 2.07 ERA in 12 Double-A starts last season. That came after posting a 2.64 ERA in 12 High-A starts. In the 24 starts combined, opposing minor leaguers hit .169 off him in 127.1 innings.
However, control seems to be the last piece of the puzzle for the righty. Despite such an impressive showing immediately after showing up in Trenton, Adams averaged 3.1 BB/9 there.
The Yankees have an opportunity to fix the leaks in the rotation by moving to a sixth starter that would give extra rest to Tanaka and Sabathia.
The beauty of the Yankees’ farm system is that the future doesn’t hinge on one or two guys. Behind Kaprielian is Adams, Albert Abreu, and Justus Sheffield. Abreu struck out 11 batters in 5.2 innings Wednesday night for High-A Charleston and Sheffield, pitching for Trenton, also went 5.2, giving up one run (unearned) on two hits.
See, it’s like I told you from the jump, the Yankees are going to be fine. Get well soon, James.