Sunday, July 6, 2014

First Impressions Of Brandon McCarthy Trade

By now you've all heard that the Yankees traded Vidal Nuno to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Brandon McCarthy. It wasn't a straight swap, as the D'Backs will eat $2.05 million of the $4.1 million owed to McCarthy, while the Yankees will pay a $1 million assignment bonus. So basically this move cost the Yankees $3.05 million, which is okay with me seeing as how McCarthy has been worth $6.6 million this year.

So what do I think of the deal?

For starters, I'm not going to miss Vidal Nuno.

Going by other's reactions to Nuno's pitching, I'm not alone.

After 13 starts, Nuno had an ERA of 5.42, to go along with a WHIP of 1.436, and FIP of 5.15. And allow me to point out that only three of those 13 starts were of the "quality" variety. In fact, Vidal failed to give the Yankees six or more innings in eight of those 13 starts, making guys like Adam Warren and Dellin Betances work a little harder.

Before you start thinking Nuno may have just been a little unlucky, his BABIP against was .301, which is almost exactly average for the league. That's not good for a guy whose opponents had a line drive percentage of 23%.

So it sounds like it wouldn't be hard for the Yankees to improve here. Well, let's see...

Brandon McCarthy has an ERA of 5.01, along with a WHIP of 1.377, and FIP of 3.79. A slightly better ERA, along with a slightly better WHIP, doesn't instill a lot of confidence in me. And while the better FIP may look good on paper, in reality that doesn't do much help, seeing as how McCarthy is a ground-ball pitcher and the Diamondbacks defense in the middle of the infield is definitely better than the Yankees.

I suppose you could say Brandon has been somewhat unlucky this season, seeing as how opposing batters have a BABIP of .347 against. However, those same batters have a line drive percentage of 26%, so it's not like McCarthy isn't being hit hard this season.

To cause further concern over this move, Brandon has had shoulder issues almost his entire career. He first suffered a stress fracture in his scapula back in 2007, making him miss 27 games. Two seasons later McCarthy missed 77 games after another stress fracture. A third stress fracture in 2010 caused him to miss 61 games. Guess what happened in 2011? Yep... another stress fracture making McCarthy sit out 41 games. More shoulder issues, although not any fractures, led to Brandon missing 72 games in 2012. Finally, last season, he missed 55 games with shoulder soreness.

Just typing all that out was exhausting.

So even though Brandon McCarthy tends to pitch deeper into games, taking stress off of the already overused Yankees bullpen, how long will it be before he lands on the DL with another shoulder problem?

I guess you could say I'm not a fan of this move. While it's nice to see that Vidal Nuno will never start a game for the Yankees again, I'm not sure Brandon McCarthy is going to do much better. Not because McCarthy isn't a better pitcher, but because I'm not sure if he can avoid the disabled list. If that happens, then the Yankees and I will be happy.

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