Yesterday Matthew ran down the immediate possibilities for the now-depleted Yankees bullpen. One of them he mentioned was Kevin Whelan, who has a 30/6 K/BB ratio and a 1.67 ERA in 27 innings as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s closer this season. That possibility is now a reality as the Yankees have called him up.
One would hope, if one cares about how the Yankees fare, that Whelan will provide enough stability to where Brian Cashman could focus on starters, rather than relievers, at the trade deadline. Because really, even if the bullpen is an acute problem at the moment. it’s the rotation that will need more help over the course of the next couple of months and will go farther in deciding if the Yankees can win the east or not. Get a solid starter and the pressure is off the pen a bit, ya know?
The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.