JP Sears, who was added to the New York Yankees‘ 40-man roster this offseason to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft, has began his Major League Baseball career tossing seven scoreless innings, which most recently included his first start.
The left-hander blanked the Baltimore Orioles over five innings in Wednesday night’s victory, but he was immediately sent back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. To say the least, the move was a bit confusing.
Sears has proven to be an asset in the early going while the Yankees have lost pitcher after pitcher in recent weeks. Chad Green is out for the year. Jonathan Loaisiga and Aroldis Chapman have hit the injured list. Clay Holmes (and Michael King) are already overworked, regardless of how well he’s been performing. Lucas Luetge has been bad.
It’s obvious Sears can’t pitch for another five days since he just tossed 84 pitches against the O’s, but why would the Yankees make themselves wait 10 days to be able to call him up again (per the MLB’s option rules)?
Now entering a four-game series with the Rays followed by three against the Angels and Tigers (10 games in 11 days), couldn’t the Yankees have used Sears’ help next week?
He can’t return to the big league roster until Saturday, June 4 despite the fact the Yankees will need plenty of pitching help the four games prior.
Why did the Yankees option JP Sears after Wednesday’s win?
What does this tell us? Perhaps fans can expect a bigger workload from Clarke Schmidt, who helped grind out Tuesday’s win despite only pitching twice in May 1. Maybe there will be more action from Ron Marinaccio, who, similarly, just recently pitched twice for the first time since the end of April?.
Then again, maybe there’s a troll job in the works with former Tampa Bay reliever David McKay finding his way onto the field against the Rays Thursday-Sunday.
Nonetheless, all of the above aren’t what you’d call “solutions” as Holmes, Wandy Peralta and Miguel Castro remain the only capable bullpen arms at the moment. King hasn’t been able to locate his pitches effectively for the last 3-4 weeks and Luetge has yet to get back on track.
Sears’ fastball-changeup-slider mix also feels very appropriate for a bullpen role, especially this early in his career. But what do we know, right?