Start printing playoff tickets: the Yankees sign Bartolo Colon

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Yesterday Brian Cashman said that he’d feel better if he signed a starter. He also said that the Yankees are a starter away from being a World Series contender.

Today he signed Bartolo Colon.  Really.

It’s a minor league deal.  Colon probably doesn’t even make the team.  It’s not going to prevent the Yankees from doing anything they would have otherwise done.  But really, the optics of it are not good, as they say.

It’s the Yankees. Everyone overanalyzes what they do. Because of that — and because absolutely nothing else is going on right now — you have to wonder if this could have waited until the questions about their rotation had been resolved. Because coming as it does now, many people are going to presume that this is Cashman’s answer to those questions, and the media calliope is going to start rum-pum-pumming about it. Bartolo Colon would have still been waiting around in a couple of weeks.  And if he wasn’t, some other tomato can starter like him would have been.  People are now going to bombard Cashman with questions about how the Yankees rotation plans went from Cliff Lee to Bartolo Colon in the space of two months.

I had resisted this line of thinking as it has become more and more popular in recent days, but really, I am now prepared to admit that Cashman is trying to get himself run out of town on a rail.  Or, at any rate, signing Bartolo Colon is something I’d do if I wanted such a thing.

Masahiro Tanaka throws a Maddux

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You do know what a Maddux is, right? In case you forgot, it’s a complete game shutout in which the starter throws fewer than 100 pitches. Friend of HBT Jason Lukehart invented that little metric and, because Greg Maddux is my favorite player ever, it’s pretty much my favorite stat ever.

In the Yankees-Red Sox game tonight it was Masahiro Tanaka doing the honors, tossing 97-pitch three-hitter in which he only allowed one runner to reach second base to beat Boston 3-0. He only struck out three but he didn’t walk anyone. He retired the last 14 batters he faced.

Chris Sale was no slouch himself, striking out ten in eight innings. He’s pitched great this year but he’s not getting any help. The Sox have only scored four runs in his five starts. Boston has scored only 13 runs in their last seven games. They’ve been shut out three times in the past seven. They scored more runs than anyone last year, by the way.

The game only took two hours and twenty-one minutes. Or, like, half the time of a Yankees-Red Sox game in the early 2000s. Progress, people. We’re making progress.

Shelby Miller has a tear in his UCL, considering Tommy John surgery

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and is considering undergoing Tommy John surgery. Surgery would end Miller’s 2017 season and would cut into a significant portion — if not all — of his 2018 season as well.

Miller sent his MRI results to Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. James Andrews for second and third opinions, respectively. He could choose to rehab his elbow rather than undergo surgery, but that comes with its own set of positives and negatives.

Miller lasted only four-plus innings in his most recent start on Sunday and carries a 4.09 ERA on the season, his second with the Diamondbacks. His time in Arizona has not gone well.