The trade deadline has come and gone. Fans and professionals alike have been actively pondering the moves made by New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Co., the most head-scratching of which may have been the choice to trade starter Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Harrison Bader. The decision obviously impacts a rotation that over-performed in the first half, but it’s fair to say that the move, along with the others that were “not” made, ultimately hurts New York’s bullpen the most.
Yes, the Yanks did add a key rotation piece in Frankie Montas. They also added relievers Lou Trivino and Scott Effross. However, when one considers the injuries that the Bombers bullpen is already dealing with, it becomes clear that certain arms will be carrying an increased workload down the stretch as a result of losing rotational depth.
Like it or not, Monty could eat innings. Taking away pitching should have never been an option unless there was more pitching on the way. Given that Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon have struggled to string together consistent starts, and that Domingo German has not yet tossed more than five innings in any one of his starts (in addition to the fact he’s not very good), it would have been wise to hold on to Montgomery.
Further, no assumptions can be made yet regarding Sevy’s contributions if and when he returns later this year. The reality is that if the starter’s can’t get somewhat deep into games, relievers such as Wandy Peralta, Clay Holmes, and Aroldis Chapman will naturally be asked to get more critical outs over the course of a given contest.
Losing Montgomery means losing an arm that could have potentially helped the bullpen carry an intense workload. The deadline did not benefit them in this regard.
The Yankees’ trade deadline didn’t exactly help the team’s pitching staff
The help from the new pieces matter, but ultimately, Effross and Trivino will be under the same pressure as the rest of the bullpen. Effross’ ability to limit hard contact and “miss barrels” makes him quite the asset. However, Trivino’s 6.47 ERA and insanely high WHIP is not exactly comforting.
Other players such as Albert Abreu, Jonathan Loaisiga and Ron Marinaccio will be under a spotlight during the middle innings, especially if the rotation falters. It’s fair to wonder if these guys will be able to consistently throw zeroes or deliver in multiple-inning performances, and it’s even more acceptable to wonder if Clay Holmes’ recent struggles are a sure sign of him “leveling off.”
So, while yes, the Yankees did add a few valuable pieces to the bullpen, the removal of Monty ultimately places more stress on an already taxed rotation while simultaneously applying more expectations to a bullpen ripe with young arms that have yet to work such an intense workload.
Really not sure if Cashman made the right moves, but the health of the pitching staff will likely give us that answer over the next two months.