Saturday, November 21, 2015

Recapping Chase Whitley’s Short Tenure w/ NY

Chase Whitley learned on Friday that he was claimed on waivers by the Tampa Bay Rays and would be switching his home. Despite staying in the AL East Whitley will throw his home games in front of the crowd in Tropicana Field rather than in the Bronx inside Yankee Stadium so I thought now would be as good of a time as any to recap the quick, yet eventful, Yankees tenure that Whitley had with the team.

Whitley was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 15th round of the 2010 MLB First Year Players Draft out of Troy University and immediately began his professional career with the Staten Island Yankees. Whitley, then, was a closer for the club and made the All-Star Game for the New York-Penn League. Whitley earned the promotion to High-A Tampa in 2011, skipping Charleston all-together, and finished the season in Double-A with the Trenton Thunder. By 2012 Whitley was out of the closer’s role and into middle relief for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders, a minor league affiliate stop that he would stay at for the 2013 season as well. At the end of the 2013 season though the team decided to transition Whitley into being a starting pitcher instead of a relief pitcher and Whitley continued working on the transition into the 2014 season.

Whitley wasn’t long for the minor leagues after switching to a starting pitcher and made his Major League debut on May 15, 2014 against the cross-town rival New York Mets inside Citi Field. Whitley lasted just 4.2 innings in that start but allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out four. Whitley also collected his first career hit in the game when Whitley roped a single off Mets starter Jacob deGrom. deGrom also recorded his first hit and was making his Major League debut in the same game. Whitley took the no decision in a game that the Yankees went on to win 1-0 which propelled him to a 4-3 record and a 5.23 ERA in 12 starts. Whitley was on the Yankees radar.

Whitley was back in Triple-A to start the 2015 season but was called up on April, 27. Whitley started the next day and experience elbow pain that he attempted to pitch through to help the club. Whitley lasted until May 14 before being removed from a start and being diagnosed with a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament. Whitley had Tommy John surgery that essentially ended his 2015 season and will keep him out for much of the 2016 season. That 2016 season will have to come with the Tampa Bay Rays, not the New York Yankees, after the Yankees tried to sneak him off their 40 man roster.

Good luck in Tampa Chase and thank you for the memories.

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