Ah, yes, whenever we have a reason to revisit the pain of our most hated division rival poaching a young pitcher that’s turned into a Rookie of the Year candidate, we absolutely have to do it. New York Yankees fans love pain. Give us more!
How about another quip about the Boston Red Sox stealing Garrett Whitlock from us in the Rule 5 Draft this offseason? Have you heard that one before?
You’re going to keep hearing about it, unfortunately. And if the Yankees and Red Sox do battle in the AL Wild Card Series, which would happen if the season ended today, then national broadcasts are going to beat it like a dead horse. Be prepared.
Nonetheless, Sox manager Alex Cora revealed an even more frustrating aspect of how Boston snuck in and stole the fiery right-hander from the Bombers.
If you needed any more evidence that we’re truly living in the future, Cora told reporters on Thursday the Red Sox discovered Whitlock on Instagram in a video of him throwing a bullpen session.
Instagram: baseball’s next great recruiting platform. Are you kidding?
The Red Sox discovered former Yankees pitcher Garrett Whitlock on Instagram
Instagram has gifted the Red Sox a rookie reliever who owns a ridiculous 1.52 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with 72 strikeouts in 65 innings of work. It’d sure be great if the Yankees could have that in their bullpen! But it’s not productive to think in that manner. The Bombers have reconstructed their bullpen largely for the better, so we’ll live with it.
But it certainly does sting that seven-time All-Star Chris Sale is hyping him up, too.
Whitlock’s peripheral stats back up his performance, too. He has a very good 2.57 FIP and ranks in the upper percentile among MLB pitchers for average exit velocity, expected ERA, expected slugging percentage, walk percentage, fastball velocity and expected weighted on-base percentage. His ERA has been above 2.00 for just two games this entire year.
A miss of this magnitude always looms large, especially for a team like the Yankees that badly needed a reliable right-handed bullpen arm after Adam Ottavino fell off the face of the earth (and then was traded to Boston). New York thought they solved their problems after adding Darren O’Day, but he suffered a season-ending injury and Brian Cashman had to do heavy lifting at the trade deadline.
It’s just even worse the Red Sox delivered the blow. Again, thanks to Instagram.