In house Masahiro Tanaka replacements

Let me start by saying I hope Masahiro Tanaka is able to turn things around and figure it out. One month ago I would have said CC Sabathia was done. I couldn’t have been more wrong about that. Star pitchers are often one small mechanical adjustment away from turning their whole season around. I’m hoping Tanaka can do that.

That said, there are those out there who believe that it is time to give Tanaka a long rest, or maybe even time to go ahead and operate on him. I can’t speak on that, but I can definitely highlight some of the in house options the Yankees can call on if he does go on the disabled list.

The Crown Jewel

The most obvious choice, and the one the Yankees would probably love to see most, is Chance Adams. He has soared through the minor leagues and now finds himself one step away from the majors. The Yankees have told him to work on his fastball command, and he seems to be very close to making that happen. He has a 93-96 mph fastball that has reached 99 in the past. His secondary offerings include a plus slider, a plus curve, and a plus change. This is a future cornerstone of the rotation. The only question is whether or not the future is now yet.

The Diamond in the Rough

Caleb Smith has seemingly come out of nowhere this year to become a legitimate big league rotation option. He was drafted in the rule 5 this year, and returned to the Yankees. That’s usually not a good sign, but in this case it has lit a fire in him. His stuff actually compares pretty well to Jordan Montgomery, except he has taken longer to develop. He has a 93 mph fastball that touches 95-96. He also has a slider and a circle change which are above average and can be plus. Most importantly, he is now at the highest minor league level and dominating. He has 56 K : 14 BB and a 2.67 ERA in 57.1 innings. He seems like a lock to make the major leagues at some point.

The “Quality Start” candidates

Luis Cessa and Chad Green have already shown that they can navigate through a major league lineup and give the team five decent innings if needed. They are both solid depth pieces for the Yankees, but I don’t think anyone looks at them as the future of the organization, at least not as starters. Green is carving out a nice role for himself in relief, and I’d hate to see that go away. Cessa has had his struggles in Triple-A this year, although he seems to be hashing that out in his last three starts. We already know what we’re going to get with these two guys. Solid low to mid-90’s fastball, decent secondary offerings, and good control. There’s nothing wrong with that combo, but there’s also nothing terribly exciting about it. Still, they are fantastic depth pieces to have for the organization if a need should arise.

The “Out of Nowhere” Option

Domingo German was largely a forgotten man, especially in this farm system. Now, suddenly he is knocking at the door to the Bronx. He has a 3.34 ERA with 65 K : 17 BB in 59.1 innings so far this year over the top two levels of the minors. He has a fastball that sits mid to upper 90’s, and an above average, rapidly improving changeup. It seems like the curveball has taken a major step forward too. He’ll need that pitch if he wants to be an effective major league starter. He already made his major league debut on Sunday and performed well, so he might even have a leg up on the competition.

The “other” Domingo

One of the fastest rising starters in the minors is Domingo Acevedo. He has crushed Double-A since his arrival, and on the season sports a 3.25 ERA with 83 K to 12 BB in 74.2 innings. He should be ready to throw around 130 innings this year, which may make it hard for the Yankees to call on him. He’s probably more of a 2018 guy, but is rapidly approaching go time. The fastball is upper 90’s and has been clocked over 100 mph. He also has a plus changeup and a developing breaking ball. Not sure where that breaking ball stands this year, but if it has improved he could be ready very soon.

The “I’ll be back” Candidate

It was very sad to see James Kaprielian go down and need Tommy John Surgery this year when he was so close to the majors. That said, at least he’ll be able to put it behind him next year. If all goes well he’ll be back early in 2018 and can hopefully return to his previous stuff; he has a mid-90’s fastball and three secondary pitches which all grade out as above average or plus. Next year he will be fun to watch, and could round out a very young, talented rotation.

If this exercise has proven anything, it’s that the Yankees have some serious starting pitching depth. With Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery firmly planting themselves into the rotation with every passing start, the future is looking really bright. It’s easy to dream on a rotation anchored by those two, and including some combination of Chance Adams, James Kaprielian, Domingo Acevedo, Domingo German, Justus Sheffield, Caleb Smith, Luis Cessa, and Chad Green. Bryan Mitchell is still around too, if he’s ever able to take that next step. I can’t recall a time when the Yankees had this much starting young pitching talent between the major league team and the upper minors.

When you consider how successful Severino and Montgomery have been, the rotation will be in a great position if even one more of these guys can step up. They can fill out those last two spots in free agency if they have to, or maybe Tanaka will figure out his mechanical issue and they’ll be even more flush with talent. It sure would be nice to have their ace back.

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44 Responses to In house Masahiro Tanaka replacements

  1. tom says:

    Smith has above average change? Cool.

    If Tanaka is put on 10 day DL then Green, Cessa and German in order is professionally ideal to take Tanaka's spot in the rotation.

    If Tanaka is put on 60 day DL then Adams should be the one to take the spot. However, Ellsbury has yet to play baseball so Yankees can add new 2 players once he is put on 60 day DL. Adams and Fowler could come up at the same time. umm

    If Yankees drafted David Peterson tonight then Peterson and Acevedo would make it more difficult for Cashman and Girardi next year.

    PS: Any idea what is going on with this blog? A vanilla news will be all right if you can't do any details. Jerry has just run out of tissues. lol.

    • gcorcoran says:

      Lol I have not been briefed on what is going on unfortunately. I agree with most of what you have said here. I hope the Yankees go out and get a big time pitcher either via trade or FA this year and then only one or two guys would have to turn out.

    • Jerry says:

      Hey, I'm just trying to help you poor souls get through these trying times. No tissues for me Tom. I'm on your side.

  2. az yankee says:

    The Yankees continue to win in spite of Girardi and his mismanagement of pitchers (Tanaka – If you get 5 good innings out of him pull him because he will implode) (Clippard – He is to erratic and also self destructs) Girardi is a Puppet Mgr or the Stienbrenners just ignore him. The bottom line is the Yankees were too cheap and didn't sign Sales. Had they done so their pitching staff would have been lights out. Karma will bite them on the butt. Tanaka probably has major physical problems. Hope the aren't pushing the envelope with his physical well being. Time will tell. For being an ex-catcher Girardi does some weird moves (and/or non moves) with the pitchers. Hopefully the Yankees can keep winning in spite of Giardi / Pitching Coaches and Mgmt , to include Cashman. GO YANKEES !!!

    • Jerry says:

      You're the same guy that would have given up Judge and Sanchez to get Sale. They weren't going to get him for nothing. Go root for the Mets!!

    • Jim says:

      Girardi is a pretty good manager, actually probably better at Xs & Os than Torre. He has always done a great job handling bullpens.

      Clippard is a very solid 7th inning option, you seem to want perfection.

      Trading for an impact starter is a bad idea. Better to keep the top prospects and ride it out. We have plenty of starting options as outlines above. If we had traded for Sales, we wouldn't already be seeing Monty mature in front of our eyes. Sales would have cost too much. You can't get an impact starter for our 2nd tier prospects and garbage.

      • buckeye balls says:

        agree-Moncada and Kopech were the equivalent of Torres and either Montgomery or Adams-and that might not have done it. I don't think it was a money issue at all. It will get interesting after this season with how much they try to keep CC and Pineda, who so far I have been wrong about. Hope they keep it up and make it a dilemna

        • Jim says:

          CC I would bring back, the cost for a season should not be too bad. Maybe 13m tops if he finishes the year strong.

          Pineda, someone will end up giving a stupid contract too, I wouldn't want to be the team.

          • gcorcoran says:

            I wouldn't bring either back. CC has become a pitcher who is completely dependent on his location. When he loses that, which he does for long stretches, he gets shelled. I think he should finish his career in the NL, where he could get away with his imperfections a bit more.

            Pineda is probably the guy worth bringing back, provided he can finish the season strong. He seems to have finally figured out how to be more consistent. The problem as you alluded to above, is that he will probably end up costing too much money. I think Tanaka will accept his option at this point, which leaves the Yankees stuck with him. He'll most likely be in the rotation for better or for worse. Hopefully for better. Filling out the last two spots will definitely be complicated. My guess is they either make one free agent signing or they make one trade for a big target. Then they will let Chance Adams and the rest of the farm fight it out for the last spot.

  3. gary b says:

    Jerry Jerry Jerry Wrong Guy I Never Bad Mouthed Judge I stand by what I said in regards to The Yankees not spending the money to get Sales. I'm watching Tuesday Night game. Another great move by Girardi. Bring in "Tuna" Clippard Now The Game is tied. Saving Bettances For The ninth???? Joe is Smoke and mirrors. Quit taking up for him. No Bettances in the ninth. We got lucky. Go Yankees !!!!

    • Jerry says:

      Gary b aka Az, you keep talking about spending money to get Sale, he wasn't a free agent. The White Sox would have wanted a package that may have included the likes of Sanchez, Judge, Torres, Adams etc. We'll never know what was discussed, but what the Red Sox gave up was substantial, and once again where is this great manager who you want to hire? Gary gG

  4. garyb says:

    Hopefully Clippard will out of pinstripes soon. Yankees had him once then he was with the Diamondbacks and the Mets and back in pinstripes. He is a big "Tuna" and doesn't protect leads and/or ties very well. He was garbage here in AZ. Only time will tell. GO YANKEES I still believe at some point all the "Smoke and Mirror" B.S. from "Smokey Joe's Cafe" (Mgmt Ownership & Coaches) will be the team's undoing .

  5. Jim says:

    Well, now it is a question of who subs in for CC.

    I assume German will have the first shot followed by Cessa. It seems like Adams is 2-3 starts away. No sense rushing him.

    • buckeye balls says:

      German has a live arm-A's strike out a lot-would be a good matchup for him or Adams. Cessa and Mitchell aren't pitching well in Scranton so I wouldn't try them. I don't care about the 40 man roster. Girardi hates Refsnyder-they should release him. NATS desperate for a reliever-any interest in getting Clippard back? That's two spots right there we could free up

  6. tom says:

    Caleb Smith pitched yesterday so he is lined up for Sunday against A's. Why not make it a showchase for Billy Beane. lol.

    Cessa is scheduled to pitch tomorrow but today's game is canceled so Lail may be pushed back. Either way, Cessa won't be available for Sunday game.

    Adams, Mitchell and German are available for this weekend but Yankees have to wait until Friday to make a decision on CC and Green (sigh). Chapman may be coming off DL this weekend so CC out and Chapman in is a possibility if we go with Green again. Why Friday? 2 reasons, Yankees are on the freaking west coast and Scranton is having doubleheader games on Saturday.

    I don't want to see German coming back if Green makes 2nd start of this season. Last one was really stupid.

    • tom says:

      Hot Damn! Ronald Herrera is with Yankees now. First pitcher from AA since ??? I know Cashman likes him a lot but wow.

      • buckeye balls says:

        not a great debut

        • tom says:

          Yeah, it was a tough situation for him.

          I was told that AAA game was rainout but it was played. Whatever… Cessa tonight, Mitchell tomorrow, Smith and Adams on Saturday. German may start this Sunday for Scranton.

          Girardi said he could push Tanaka back again so Smith or Adams could be added to 40m this Saturday among with Chapman to the active roster.

          Herrera could stick around longer until CC is actually put on DL so that way either German or Heller will be available for another MLB duty.

          • tom says:

            Other source said it was German.

            Sabathia on 10 DL.

            German to pair up with Green.

            Acevedo to pitch AAA game

            Littell to pitch AA game.

            Chapman won't come out of DL until Sunday. (sigh)

          • buckeye balls says:

            So German starts saturday and Tanaka pushed to Sunday?

          • tom says:

            I wish. I think it will be Tanaka and Green.

          • tom says:

            Seriously, Girardi is the hard man to follow. lol. Cessa is here to take Sabathia with German in the bullpen as the latest report said.

          • buckeye balls says:

            they need another reliever badly-the seventh inning is a disaster-cost 3 games this week. Now Sanchez and Hicks are injured-this could spiral downward quickly. Dare I say Yanks become sellers next month? it is what I predicted before the season-Gardy Pineda with a lot of value right now-unfortunately not for CC

          • Jim says:

            In a few days we should get Chapman back. He pitches tonight for Trenton, expected back this weekend.

  7. tom says:

    The movie title has escaped me but the leading actor proudly showed his made business card to his peer but quickly got upset because someone else made better business card. That may exactly what Brendan McKay felt when the announcement was said him being only 1B. Hilarious!

    Anyway, I don't like the Schmidt and Sauer at the price of only David Peterson. Typically Yankees. Whatever! I can see Yankees strengthen the prospectus status after 2018 by successfully adding Schmidt (2.5bs), Sauer(2.5) and Smith(1.2).

    The rumor said Sauer would receive 2.5m bonus signing. That is 200k above his projection value. Schmidt would take less than slot money but no lower than 2.5m. TJS shouldn't lesser any value greatly. SC has plenty of arms and has no problem with destroying arms as long as victory is in play. RF Smith is a tough one to figure out but 1.2m may make it easier to count on. If Isiah Gilliam comparison was spot on then 500k would be much better. lol.

    • tom says:

      AH.. I found the title. It is American Psycho with Christian Bale starred in.

      • gcorcoran says:

        Great movie. I never know what to think of the draft until after the season. I need to see what they have. This one will be even tougher because we won't see Schmidt until next season. We didn't get much in the way of bats this draft, but there's a lot of potential with the arms. I'm excited to see what we really have, because the BA and MLB scouting reports always leave something important out. There's always something the Yankees' scouts saw that they missed.

  8. Otto says:

    I personally think Green is better in long relief giving two or three quality innings. Cessa I hope they do not put him in the rotation he is not that good. I would like to see Adams or Smith. Ideally I would love to see them make a trade with the A's for Gray and Alonso.

    • Jerry says:

      I like what you are thinking. Esspecially the trade for Alonso and Gray. I don't know what BBD thinks, they are non responsive as have most of the posters. We are all alone out here, trying to hang on until help arrives . Godspeed my friend.

  9. Dan M says:

    I know I'm not the only one who's thought this and their are plenty of people I know who have all ready mentioned this when responding to other articles, but I'm really starting to wonder if we as fans of BBD will ever get a new story to read and comment on again??? I'm not sure what's going on but whatever it is and whoever it involves, it is obviously serious in some nature. Hopefully things get back to normal soon cause I know I love this site and I love posting my comments like everyone else does regardless of whether or not people agree or disagree with me. I'm sure we will all eventually find out what's going on sooner or later, and whatever it is I hope all people involved are doing well.

    • Jerry says:

      I hear you Dan, I also miss this site, but we can keep it going by continuing the banter. Tough game again last night, losing 10-5. Judge hits another bomb, key error by Castro, but hardly the reason we lost. Terrible pitching once again, starting and relief . Looks like we need some help. I'm not giving up , but sure is frustrating. Talk soon.

  10. ERIC PELLIS says:

    With no information given out I am assuming that this site is now DEAD! I will now take my opinions elsewhere. So long everyone!

  11. Dan M says:

    OMG!!! Tonight just got even better, Yankees walk-off and Chris Carter has been DFA!!! No longer shall fans have to suffer watching a guy who looks like he could barely hit a baseball in little league, try and hit at the major league level. Bye Bye Chris Carter and welcome back Tyler Austin hahaha. Oo lord I'm happy.

    • Jerry says:

      Definitely a great win. The best part of the game for me was watching Tanaka who was pitching like Tanaka. He was phenomenal and truly bodes well for the Yankees to remain in this race. And what can you say, Gardner and Torreyes have been terrific. ….As for Carter, I was rooting for him to put that one week together where he would hit 6 or 7 homers. Just never got it going. Big Big win!! And great to see Austin back, hopefully this propels the Yankees to greater heights.

    • buckeye balls says:

      Austin is not the answer just a placeholder

  12. az yankee says:

    That's a start. Next let Joe along with his coaches go (Elevate Pena to Mgr let him choose his own coaching staff) And DFA Clippard . Then, moving forward, the Yankees have a better chance of positive improvement . P.S. After the win last night , did you notice the players reactions and their celebrating it with "Pena" not Girardi. Joe is still all "smoke and mirrors " and should be fired to go. Go Yankees. WIN in spite of Girardi !!!!

    • buckeye balls says:

      they won't fire him.

      • Jerry says:

        I don't think so either. Esspecially since we were not supposed to be this good this quickly.

        • buckeye balls says:

          I'm not sure how "good" we really are-yes first place in the loss column but the entire AL East is in the mix so its basically a restart July 1 for the second half. I just think there are no better managers out there and he seems to have a good temperament for rebuilding-which the second half could be if they keep losing. A lot of games left with Toronto and Boston

  13. Dan M says:

    Dear God, can I get one night without the bullpen nearly giving me a heart attack??? I left my room for one minute to grab a beer outta my fridge and in that minute the pen nearly wasted a fantastic performance by Montgomery tonight. At least they won but my God, this bullpen really scares me right now, never thought I'd say that at the beginning of this season. Would love to see Cash pick up a bullpen arm to re-inforce this bullpen but even more so I wish Yankees held onto Ernesto Frieri, I was really curious to see what he could do this year. His numbers in triple-A overall looked good. In addition what would the yanks have had to loose? If he couldn't cut it at major league level, then in return he gets cut from the team and one of the kids from the "Scranton Shuttle" would've taken that roster spot anyway.

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