Monday, August 1, 2022

Yankees Have Mixed Bag On Monday, With Two Trades But Bad News On Pair Of Pitchers


Yankee Stadium.  Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees made a couple of trades on Monday to bolster their pitching, and then it became apparent just how necessary the new arms will be down the stretch.

The Yankees added right-handed pitchers Frankie Montas, a starter, and reliever Lou Trivino from the Oakland Athletics for left-handed pitcher JP Sears, infielder Cooper Bowman, right-handed pitcher Luis Medina, and left-handed pitcher Ken Waldichuk.

In another trade with the Chicago Cubs, the Yankees acquired right-handed pitcher Scott Effross, a reliever, for minor league right-handed pitcher Hayden Wesneski. (bios on all the additions will be featured later in the article)

Then, after those trades were completed, the Yankees announced that starting pitcher Luis Severino and reliever Miguel Castro would be moved to the 60-day injured list, basically ending both of their seasons. 

Severino, who is out with a strained lat, left his start early against the Cincinnati Reds on July 13, made 16 starts after missing most of the prior two seasons, and he went 5-3 with a 3.45 ERA, throwing 86 innings, allowing 34 runs (33 earned) on 67 hits and 25 walks, with 95 strikeouts.

Castro, who has been dealing with a shoulder strain, was acquired by the Yankees from the Mets for Wandy Rodriguez, in a rare trade between the clubs, just days before the season started, and he became a reliable arm in the Yankees bullpen after Chad Green and Jonathan Loaisiga went down. He pitched in 32 games, going 5-0 with a 4.00 ERA, as he threw 27 innings, allowing 15 runs (12 earned) on 25 hits and 13 walks, with 30 strikeouts. 

Along with that brutal injury news, the Yankees optioned right-handed pitcher Clarke Schmidt to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and they signed right-handed pitcher Carlos Espinal to a Major League contract and selected him to the active roster.

Biographies of Who Yankees Acquired:

Frankie Montas, 29 years old, had a superb ERA (earned run average) of 3.18, but due to a lack of run support in Oakland, had a 4-9 record. He threw 104.2 innings, and allowed 44 runs (37 earned) on 91 hits and 28 walks, with 109 strikeouts.

Montas has allowed two runs-or-fewer in 14 of his 19 starts this season, and one-or-fewer in nine starts, and he has thrown at least six innings in 12 of his 19 starts. He has held opponents to a batting average of .233, on-base percentage of .284, and slugging % of .372, and the on-base % is eighth-lowest in the American League. He is seventh in the American League in strikeouts per nine innings at 9.37, and 10th in WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched), 1.14.

In his career, in which he pitched for the Chicago White Sox in 2015 and the A's from 2017-22, he is 35-32 with a 3.73 ERA, and has thrown 552.2 innings, with 523 hits, 260 runs (229 earned), 181 walks, with 578 strikeouts in 121 career games (91 starts). His 3.49 ERA (505.2 IP, 196 ER) since 2018 is the fourth-lowest ERA in the American League in that span.

Lou Trivino, not to be confused with Yankees catcher Jose Trevino, is 30 years old, and has been the Athletics closer the past two seasons. 

This year, in 39 appearances in relief, he has 10 saves, but a record of 1-6 and a high ERA of 6.47, as he has allowed 23 earned runs (25 overall) on 46 hits and 14 walks, with 45 strikeouts. He has allowed just two out of 20 inherited runners to score this season, which is tied for the third-lowest percentage in the Major Leagues.

In 2021, he had 22 saves, eighth-most in the American League, and he was tied for eighth in games pitched with 71, as he went 7-8 with a 3.18 ERA (73.2 IP, 58 H, 32R/26ER, 34BB, 67K). 

In his five-year career, Trivino has held right-handed batters to a .211 batting average, .299 on-base percentage, and a .319 slugging percentage, and a .618 OPS (on-base plus slugging), with 117 hits, 16 doubles, 1 triple, 14 home runs, 60 walks, and 173 strikeouts in 632 batters faced (554 at-bats).

In the postseason, Trivino has five career appearances, in which he has a 1.59 ERA, throwing 5 2/3 innings, with 2 hits, 1 run (earned), 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, and a home run, and did not earn a decision.

Scott Effross, 28, appeared in 47 games (one start) for the Chicago Cubs this season, as he had a 2.66 ERA, and went 1-4 with one save. His 47 appearances are tied for the second-most in the Majors, and he had 44.0 innings pitched, with 19 runs (13 earned) allowed on 36 hits and 11 walks, with 50 strikeouts.

The right-hander was in his second season with the Cubs, and he held opponents to a slash line of .220/.267/.299 (36-for-164), with a .132/.220/.245 (7-for-53) slash line against left-handed hitters. He stranded 24 of his 28 inherited runners this season (85.7%), the third-best mark in the National League. 

Effross did not allow a run in 20 of his 24 relief appearances since the beginning of June, as he posted a 2.01 ERA (22.1 IP, 5 ER) in that span.

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