OK, this guy was going to eat innings? But there was a need for actual capable starting pitching? How was this the choice?
Turns out, the Yankees really thought they could turn Heaney around in mere weeks with a few adjustments … despite the left-hander owning a very not good 4.57 ERA. Also, his pitch mix isn’t exactly desirable. He averages under 92 MPH on his four-seam fastball and also throws a slider and changeup. It’s not like he’s pumping 98 with a knee-buckling curveball.
In the end, Heaney’s time in the Bronx was an unmistakable failure. He finished with a 7.32 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 35.2 innings while surrendering a ridiculous 13 home runs. There was nobody worse on the pitching staff. None of Matt Blake’s teachings rubbed off in the two months he spent wasting our time.
But for some reason, the Dodgers felt the veteran was worth more than $8 million for the 2022 season. LA signed Heaney on Monday and it was met with a lot of head scratches and — even more shocking — sympathy and defense from some Yankees fans/writers.
The guy was acquired to pitch and he was mostly terrible outside of ONE start against the Red Sox. And we’re supposed to feel bad about his usage and believe there’s reason someone heading into their age-31 season can turn around what’s been a below-average career?
The Dodgers signed former Yankees trade deadline bust Andrew Heaney.
Factor in Heaney only making 30 starts in a single season ONCE since he debuted in 2014 and the pretzel you have to twist into to convince yourself his fastball spin rate and chase percentage are worth taking a near-$10 million flier on would leave you immobile for months.
You want to talk advanced stats that “tell more of a story”? OK. How about these?
- Career 4.45 FIP
- Career 90 ERA+
- Career 1.6 HR/9 innings
- Career 41.4% hard-hit rate
- Career 84.4% contact rate on pitches in the zone
The Yankees made a bad trade for a player who clearly needed more work to untap whatever potential existed. Both parties are at fault. Heaney doesn’t get a pass because he was asked to pitch important games down the stretch for a contender. The Yankees surely don’t get a pass for trying to patch up their rotation with a player who’s failed to find success for an overwhelming majority of his MLB career.
Now he’ll be the Dodgers’ problem and it truly feels crazy they gave him that much money after what they just saw … especially after pitching coach Matt Blake elevated nearly every other pitcher on the staff while Heaney wildly regressed.