When the New York Yankees acquired Andrew Heaney at the trade deadline, there was almost a consensus expression of confusion. Though he was much better for the Los Angeles Angels (technically), baseball fans knew he wasn’t good. Like, at all.
And for a rotation that was among the best in baseball, why seemingly downgrade? The idea that Heaney could provide length to a deep staff isn’t entirely farfetched, but the Yankees have a farm system rich with talent. In fact, the pitcher they traded to the Angels for Heaney already made his MLB debut and has looked good!
At this point, bringing up Deivi Garcia despite his struggles at Triple-A seemed like a better idea. If someone is going to perform terribly, it might as well be a young player trying to work out the kinks and discover a definitive role with the team.
Could Garcia, who was good for the 2020 club, really have been worse than Heaney, who has allowed 24 earned runs in 28.1 innings of work? Could he have been worse than Heaney’s 6.98 FIP with New York?
But whatever. The trade cannot be undone. The last five weeks are history. However … why is Heaney still on this roster when the Yankees have plenty of other guys at this point who can successfully fill a bullpen role/spot start?
Luis Gil will be starting on Wednesday, but many would argue he should’ve returned much earlier, and Clarke Schmidt has been on the mend at Triple-A.
Why haven’t the Yankees freed up a roster spot by cutting bait with Andrew Heaney?
If we know anything about the Yankees organization, it’s that they’re stubborn. They will sit and wait out a trade acquisition or prospect promotion no matter how bad the initial results are so they can be gratified when there’s one outing or performance that might appear as if a corner is about to be turned. But it never is. The poor play usually persists and the decision, as expected, ends up being wrong.
And it’s hard to say that isn’t the case with Heaney. He’s not good, and never really was good. And now you’re transitioning him to a bullpen role when he’s made TWO previous career appearances out of the bullpen prior to arriving in New York … which came during his rookie season back in 2014.
Heaney’s performance against the Orioles on Sunday should’ve really sealed his fate, but instead the Yankees are calling on him to “step up.” Outside of his seven innings of one-run ball against the flailing Boston Red Sox a few weeks ago, there’s no reason to think Heaney will do such a thing and turn his fortunes around. This is par for the course for the left-hander, and it’s not like we’re being overly critical. He has a career 4.71 ERA. He’s often batting practice for the opposition.
So, again, why is he on the roster still? He’s not going to be contributing a lick if the Yankees make the playoffs, which makes it all the more sensible to see if a younger option can provide a spark out of the bullpen with his spot.
Nah, instead let’s have someone who’s rocking an historically bad start for someone in Pinstripes keep toeing the rubber when the games matter the most and the Yankees need to hold onto a Wild Card spot that’s in serious jeopardy.
Once again, all we want is an explanation.