No doubt Jim Miller’s effort in the Yankees’ Thursday 9-3 loss in Cleveland made many wonder where a replacement could emerge.
Right now, unfortunately, Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi are kind of stuck with guys like Miller, who, tine and time again, has proven he can’t get anyone out.
The likely candidates for promotion from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre – Jose Ramirez and Preston Claiborne – are on the disabled list. At Double-A Trenton, Fred Lewis is on the disabled list and Cesar Cabral, who surrendered home runs in bunches, are not really available.
“They (the Yankees) are going to have to make a move,” said a scout for a National League team. “They have a catching surplus, and St. Louis needs a catcher with Yadier Molina out. Maybe they can get together.
“The Yankees have a needed commodity at catcher.”
The Cardinals have a ton of bullpen depth. Jason Motte has not had a good year and might not improve on his 0-0, 5.87 in the AL East. A guy who would really help the Yankees, and has pitched extensively in the American League is Pat Neshek. The righty sidearmer is 3-0. 0.73 in 42 games.
Neshek would do wonders on nights Dellin Betances is not available. Guys like Miller won’t cut it and, despite those who feel lefty Matt Thornton has great numbers – on paper they are not bad – he still is 0-3 and has a penchant for not coming through in key situations.
Speaking of that catching surplus, both Gary Sanchez and John Ryan Murphy are valuable assets the Yankees can cash in to fill some holes and add to the system. Francisco Cervelli may also be worth something. What value Austin Romine has these days is up to debate.
We agree with the scout. The Yankees, at this point, need to use their catching depth to both fill holes on the big-league level and bolster their system if possible.
There are those who will blame Brian Cashman and Damon Oppenheimer for the lack of farm-system depth. The bullpen situation is one, but, again, injuries are the problem. Claiborne has been effective in the past and Ramirez has the potential to be an excellent reliever.
One mistake the Yankees did make was exposing fireballer Tommy Kahnle to the Rule 5 Draft. Kahnle was taken by Colorado and is 2-1, 2.74 in 34 games and 49.1 innings for the Rockies. The feeling was the system had a similar pitcher in local guy Dan Burawa, who is 3-1, 5.40 in 25 games at Scranton.
There are those who ask how long it will take to get 2014 top draft pick Jacob Lindgren to the majors. He just signed June 14 and made one appearance in the Gulf Coast League and three in Charleston, looking good so far. He could make it to Trenton by the end of the season.
The Yankees bullpen, with Adam Warren and Betances emerging, has performed well. All the injuries to starters have taxed the group. It needs to be bolstered.
Given the injuries and the Yankees’ catching surplus, that seems to be the best route to take.