Yankees need Happ to be as good at home as he is on road
After coming over to the Yankees from Toronto last season, J.A. Happ proved to be well worth the investment. But, as the calendar turned to 2019, Happ has moved in a completely different direction and has not been nearly as effective.
In 2018, J.A Happ finished 7-0 for the Yankees with an ERA of just 2.69. He excelled, only allowing 19 earned runs in 11 starts. This season, however, it has been a completely different tale for Happ.
Through seven starts, he has allowed 21 earned runs which is the most allowed by a Yankees pitcher. He has also allowed 40 hits, which is again the most on the staff.
At Yankee Stadium this season, he is 0-3 with an inflated ERA of 7.35 in four starts. One of the issues with his home outings has been his propensity for giving up the long ball.
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In each of the four starts, the opposing team has been able to blast one into the bleachers. In fact, he is allowing 2.11 home runs per nine innings this season, according to Fangraphs.com.
This contrast from last season to this one is undoubtedly concerning and its damage is being amplified by the almost daily injury news surrounding the Yankees. Recently, fellow lefty James Paxton was sent to the crowded IL with inflammation in his left knee. Additionally, there has been developing news regarding right-hander Luis Severino, and it now looks like he won’t see action until after the All-Star break.
It has been all hands on deck for the pursuit of a 28th World Series championship. The revolving door of players coming in and out of the lineup to compensate for the wounded will hopefully be coming to an end soon.
Several everyday players are slated to return soon, but the rotation will still be thin for at least another month.
Happ has been lackluster this season for the Yanks, and it shows. The bulk of the problem has been pitching in the “comfort” of his home stadium.
On the road, Happ has been excellent, with a 1.96 ERA while only allowing the opposition to hit .194 against him. If he can find a way to translate his away success with his home issues, Happ could be a great No. 3 in the rotation.
Time will tell if Happ can improve from this early season misfortune. Right now, with an ever-expanding injured list, Happ needs to find a groove similar to last season.
Fixing the home start issues should be easy enough for the veteran, but keeping the momentum going throughout the remainder of this long season will be the hard part.