Yankees: This should be JA Happ’s last possible chance to remain starter


This should be it for Yankees enigma JA Happ — a failed start against the Red Sox should boot him to the bullpen.

When the New York Yankees announced their rotation against the Atlanta Braves earlier in the week, fans rejoiced when JA Happ was skipped over in favor of Jordan Montgomery. But not long after, the weekend rotation was revealed, and Happ was slated as the starter on Sunday Night Baseball against the Boston Red Sox.

Just a few days prior, everyone thought manager Aaron Boone was phasing Happ out of the rotation, but nope! He gets another chance in primetime against the team’s biggest rival.

Truth be told, however, this should be his last possible chance to save his job as a starter. There’s no way around it.

The Yankees can’t keep playing this game. Not only does every game count in the short 60-game season, but it’s well-documented that Happ has a vesting option for the 2021 season (to the tune of $17 million!) if he makes at least 10 starts or pitches just above 60 innings (those were the last reported details, and they could perhaps change).

And there’s one sole reason this should be a do-or-die start for the left-hander. One of the main reasons the Yankees traded for him and then signed him to an extension was because of his track record against the Red Sox. In fact, even during his dreadful 2019 campaign, the Yankees won all four of Happ’s starts against Boston, in which he went 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA.

If he can’t get the job done tonight, against a Red Sox team that’s teetering on being the worst in the entire MLB (they’re already the worst in the AL), then that’s the final straw.

On top of that, the Yankees are undefeated against the Sox in 2020. Boston’s best hitters are completely lost at the plate. JD Martinez is batting .234. Rafael Devers is batting .189. They have the worst starting rotation the sport has arguably ever seen. Coming into this four-game set, Boston didn’t know who they’d be starting in THREE of the games!

Now, it’ll be Happ vs Chris Mazza, who has never made an MLB start and owns a 4.74 ERA in 10 games as a reliever since last year. If you mean to tell us this isn’t potentially the end of the road before he’s relegated to the bullpen, then we’re not sure we know anything about baseball.