Is there a problem with the New York Yankees‘ bullpen that the fans aren’t aware of?
Last time we checked, that was the team’s best unit, top to bottom. But general manager Brian Cashman felt subtracting from the bench and adding another reliever was a move to make.
The Yankees have traded outfielder Mike Tauchman to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for left-hander reliever Wandy Peralta on Tuesday evening.
Tyler Wade was recalled from the alternate site to take Tauchman’s roster spot ahead of tonight’s game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Tauchman was hardly one of the Yankees’ biggest problems. He, in fact, was a valuable bench piece because he was a great defensive replacement and baserunner.
Now, the Yankees outfield depth is a bit more thin, and that’s an area of the starting lineup that’s been tinkered with the most so far in 2021.
Tauchman’s 2019 campaign feels like a mirage at this point. He slashed .242/.342/.305 with zero home runs across 43 games in 2020 and kicked off this year with a .214/.267/.286 line in 11 games (mostly part-time duty).
As for Peralta, the lefty brings … a career 4.72 ERA and 1.49 WHIP with 158 strikeouts across 192.2 innings to the Bronx. How did the Yankees welcome him? By misspelling his last name in their introductory tweet.
In recent years, Peralta has been more effective against lefties, but for his career they’re slashing .247/.341/.394 off of him. Are we supposed to be excited about that? In 10 games this year, he’s got a 5.40 ERA and 1.69 WHIP. He’ll be a free agent after the 2023 season.
Once upon a time, the Yankees struck gold, trading a prospect nobody’s ever heard of and some cash to the Rockies for Tauchman, who registered a 3.7 WAR in 87 games back in 2019 while filling in when the rest of the roster was decimated with injuries.
Fifty-four games later he’s gone, and Wade is back.
Though the outfield is crowded with Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner, everyone except Judge is vastly underproducing (and Judge is for his standards). Frazier, Hicks and Gardy are putting up some all-time bad April numbers. Keeping Tauchman around as a capable everyday guy and weapon off the bench felt like one of the smarter things the team did out of spring training.
Now? Once again, we have no idea what’s going on.