Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Is Chase Whitley The Next To Go?

I think it is pretty clear what Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s plan and motives are this season, trade away young talent for veteran pieces and make a run at a postseason spot. Cashman has already traded away a struggling Vidal Nuno to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Brandon McCarthy and Yangervis Solarte and Rafael DePaula for Chase Headley. Is Chase Whitley next?

The one thing that Solarte, DePaula, and Nuno have in common, besides their ages and amount of cheap team control, is their falls from grace. Solarte was easily the Yankees best offensive player for about two months before sample size and the rest of the league caught up with him. I think Solarte could have turned it around but he seems like his own worst enemy, he was obviously in his own head when he went through his lengthy slump that ultimately got him sent down to the minor leagues. Nuno was well thought of last season and for much of Spring Training before heading into the rotation out of necessity early in the season. Nuno is a soft tossing lefty that got figured out and didn’t have the stuff to adjust, simple as that. DePaula represented the Yankees in the 2013 Futures Game and struggled after a move to High A with the Tampa Yankees. DePaula continued to struggle as a starter this season and talks of moving him to the bullpen had already begun before the trade.

Enter Whitley who came out of the gates in the Yankees rotation, again out of necessity, blazing pitching extremely well for his first seven or eight starts before hitting a wall. Whitley struggled for multiple starts consecutively and has been since moved to the bullpen and replaced with Chris Capuano in the rotation. If history is any indicator of the future it seems like with less than two days before the trading deadline Whitley will be moved for another marginal upgrade and rental veteran player.

I truly think the Yankees have something in Whitley and if they can baby him through this season and stretch him out even more over the winter I think he could be an asset. I am under no illusions that he could be a top of the rotation starter but I will say that he has been a starter less than a full calendar year after being converted from a relief pitcher last season in Triple-A. The slate is pretty clear and the sky is the limit for Whitley and I would hate to lose him for a John Danks this week. Hopefully Cashman is reading and won’t make another mistake to win now and screw later. 

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