If JP Sears existed on any other team, he’d infuriate you, Yankees fans. Need a spot starter? No problem; here’s a left-hander who hasn’t allowed an earned run yet in 2022 to ease the burden. Need a lefty to attack the zone? Why don’t you just exchange Nick Rumbelow for him back in 2017, a name Yankee fans haven’t thought about in five full years? The Matt Blake Pitching Machine uncovered another one, didn’t it?
No matter how long Sears’ Yankees career lasts, he’s already done a very important job in 2022 for a rotation that hasn’t missed many turns. Through the Yankees’ first 75 games, only three men outside of the projected rotation have made starts; Sears has two, Clarke Schmidt has one, and Luis Gil took care of the other in Chicago.
All four of those games were Yankee wins, and all four were by design, not by necessity. The Yankees chose to lighten their starters’ workloads a little from a position of strength, and Sears, Schmidt and Gil all answered the bell.
Sears has done it twice as a starter and twice as a reliever thus far this season. He’s been near-perfect for his current team, a group that has the luxury of returning him back to Triple-A every time he’s completed his mission.
So, what’s his second-half fate? Third piece in a trade for a more permanent rotation solution? Headliner of a deal for a left-handed bat? Continued member of the vaunted New York Yankees?
Regardless, the team has enough depth that Sears making franchise history has barely made a dent in the narrative. Two straight dominant shutouts? Yup, that’s the norm, at this point. Thanks for rolling up.
Yankees JP Sears made franchise history in first two starts
Come on, now! First pitcher in Yankees history, and he’s basically on the taxi squad.
The 2022 Yankees hand the ball to Sears when they want their regulars to take a break. The 2020 Yankees handed the ball to JA Happ in Game 2 of a playoff series.
Behind Sears in Triple-A and Double-A, the Yankees still possess a high degree of upper-minors pitching depth. They’re the names you typically hear about in trade discussions or depth chart projections: Ken Waldichuk, Hayden Wesneski, Randy Vasquez, Will Warren. Sears, though, has beaten them all to the majors, and can either be the one to hold things down in New York if the Yankees trade from a position of strength, or the one to go who paves the way for Waldichuk’s/Wesneski’s emergence.
Regardless, he’s doing an incredible job in the meantime — no, not “incredible,” actually. Near-perfect.
For all the talk of the “devastating” loss of Garrett Whitlock last offseason (and, yes, it’s incredibly annoying he had to find the Red Sox, of all suitors), the Yankees’ pitching depth has emerged from a Brooks Kriske funk and remains alive and well.
All things look a lot brighter when you’re 30+ games over .500 at the end of June, but being able to shuttle someone as talented as Sears back and forth will leave your outlook healthier and your rivals concerned.
And even if Sears is traded … there could be a second Sears around the corner.