Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Meet A Prospect: Brandon McCarthy

We haven’t done one of these in a while and since the Yankees just acquired Brandon McCarthy I figured why the heck not. Let me introduce you to the newest member of the New York Yankees, Mr. McCarthy. McCarthy will make his debut for the Bronx Bombers tonight against the Cleveland Indians as he looks to fill the big shoes of Vidal Nuno for New York.

Brandon Patrick McCarthy was born on July 7, 1983. McCarthy spent his high school years at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado and graduated in 2002 before being drafted out of high school by the Chicago White Sox in the 17th round of the 2002 MLB First Year Players Draft. McCarthy signed and started his professional career in 2003 where he pitched 101 innings and struck out 125 batters while only walking 15. McCarthy’s command and control was on display again in 2004 when he led all minor league pitchers with 202 strikes outs opening the eyes of the big league club White Sox. The White Sox called up McCarthy for the 2005 season and he made his major league debut on May 22, 2005 in a spot start against the Chicago Cubs. McCarthy would see 12 games, 10 of them as a starter, that year going 3-2 and getting a World Series ring. McCarthy spent the entire 2006 season with the White Sox as a relief pitcher and spot starter before being traded with David Paisano to the Texas Rangers for John Danks, Nick Masset, and Jake Rasner.

McCarthy had an injury plagued first season with the Rangers, his first full season as a starting pitcher, in 2007 including suffering a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade that kept him out of action for right at two months. McCarthy’s first season as a Ranger did not go as planned as he finished with a 5-10 record in 22 starts. His stat line and luck did not get any better in 2008 when he got inflammation in his right elbow during spring training and was out for a huge chunk of the season between his rehab and the eventual surgery he endured. McCarthy missed all of the 2010 season as well after a right shoulder surgery before becoming a free agent and maybe finding his niche, finally.

McCarthy would sign with the Oakland Athletics as a free agent before the 2011 season and pitched 25 games adding a two-seam fastball and a cutter that turned him into the ground ball machine that we all know him as today. McCarthy finished 2011 with the lowest FIP among American League starting pitchers, a stat that earned him the spot as the A’s Opening Day starter in 2012. 2012 was pretty uneventful for McCarthy until that September 5 night where he took a line drive to the head off the Angels Erick Aybar’s bat that resulted in two hours of surgery to relieve cranial pressure. McCarthy suffered a epidural hemorrhage, a brain contusion (deep bruise), and a skull fracture ending his 2012 season. McCarthy finished the 2012 season, and his Athletics career, with an 8-6 record in 2012 in 18 starts.

McCarthy would spend the 2013 season with the Arizona Diamondbacks after signing a free agent contract with the club in December of 2012. McCarthy signed a two year deal worth $15.5 million and almost immediately went on the disabled list for continued shoulder problems. McCarthy finished 2013 with a 5-11 record in 22 starts and had a less than stellar season in 2014 to date before the Yankees acquired him for Vidal Nuno over the weekend.

All this means nothing in the grand scheme of things, the injuries,  the line drive to the head, the seizure that was linked to his head injury, etc. It’s all in the past. Tonight McCarthy turns the page and starts a new chapter in a new book of his life and his career as he begins his career as a New York Yankees. Go get ‘em Brandon! Good luck!!

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