Yankees pitcher JA Happ had some revealing comments after Sunday Night Baseball.
It seems JA Happ isn’t fully understanding the perspective of the New York Yankees. Yes, he’s a 14-year veteran with 122 wins to his name, but that doesn’t make you immune to changes, especially when you’re playing poorly.
But the left-hander took the fan base by surprise against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday when he earned the win after tossing 5.2 innings of one-run ball, allowing just three hits and two walks. The only problem for Happ? He was skipped over the in rotation earlier in the week when Aaron Boone opted to go with Jordan Montgomery against the Braves.
Why? Because, at that time, Happ had a 10.29 ERA in two starts against the Orioles and Phillies. In those two starts, he pitched a total of seven innings and allowed eight runs. That’s bad! But Happ doesn’t seem to understand based on his postgame comments on Sunday night.
Look, the competitive edge here is respectable. Happ is a baseball player. He wants to pitch every fifth day like he’s been accustomed to for years. But we’re in a very, very different situation right now with a shortened season. The Yankees can’t afford to be putting someone out there once or twice a week who won’t give them a legitimate chance to win.
How does Happ not see that? He registered a near-5.00 ERA in 2019 and got off to a horrendous start in 2020. And he didn’t expect his manager to make the appropriate move? Does he know what a manager’s job is? Last year, Happ’s ERA in the first inning was a 5.10, and in the second, it was a 4.65. Not exactly starting pitching material.
So to come out and say you didn’t expect to be skipped over (he didn’t even lose his job!) is lacking the necessary self awareness it takes to be a teammate on the professional level.
Again, those are merely the optics of the comments given what’s happened over the last few weeks, and combining his 2019 performance as a whole. This is a guy making $17 million per season and very much not living up to that price tag.
Perhaps this outing against the Red Sox — who he’s historically good against — will buy him some time, but expect his leash to still remain short since he has a vesting option for the 2021 season that the Yankees probably don’t want to be on the hook for.