Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tanaka's Home Runs, Eovaldi in the Pen & the One-Game Playoff

With the playoffs right around the corner, Masahiro Tanaka missing a start tonight and Nathan Eovaldi playing catch in hopes of coming back into the bullpen this season there is borderline mass hysteria going on right now in Yankees-Land. While the American League East Division race is far from over the Yankees may have to settle for a Wild Card berth and a one-game playoff, and that’s okay, but the idea of having a one-game playoff truly scares me and it should scare you to.

The biggest problem with a one-game playoff is obviously that anything can happen. The Yankees seem unlikely to have to spend their rotation and bullpen in the later parts of the season simply to get in, it’s as close to a done deal as you’re going to get, so New York can line up their ace Tanaka to start the must win victory. While that gives me confidence I still worry about Tanaka’s tendency to give up the long ball. This by no means indicates that I think Tanaka is a bad pitcher or that I think someone else should start the game, because I don’t on either case, but with an “anything can happen” mindset it’s scary to think that Tanaka’s 1.4 HR/9 ratio is a shade under Phil Hughes 1.5 HR/9 ratio that essentially ran him out of town after 2013.

With that said though having Eovaldi in the bullpen essentially replacing the gap left open by Adam Warren when he entered the starting rotation could be a boost. It could give Joe Girardi one more arm that he trusts coming out of the bullpen and one more arm that can reach triple digits. We’ve seen Eovaldi throw 102 MPH in the starting rotation and reach 100 MPH consistently, could you imagine him letting it all go for just one inning? He could make Aroldis Chapman look like Jamie Moyer in his final season, I exaggerate a tad but really.

There is a lot going on inside Yankees-Land right now and that’s a good thing. No one worries about these things if the team was 13 games away from a long winter, the team is headed for at least 14 games if not more, and that’s a good problem to have. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)