It still looks like the Yankees are going to finish with the American League’s best record, but not everything is fine and dandy in New York. Freddy Garcia just turned in his third straight poor start Sunday, giving up three runs in 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Blue Jays. Adam Lind homered off him twice.
Here’s the starting pitcher ERAs for the Yankees over the last 30 days:
Ivan Nova: 2.41
CC Sabathia: 3.34
Bartolo Colon: 4.88
Phil Hughes: 5.14
Freddy Garcia: 8.56
A.J. Burnett: 9.00
Each pitcher there except Garcia has had exactly five starts. Garcia has had three since coming off the disabled list.
It’s safe to say Sabathia, Colon and Nova are in. Garcia still has the second best overall ERA of the group, a 3.77 mark that’s slightly better than the 3.81 marks shared by Nova and Colon. Still, Garcia was always going to be a hard guy to trust in the postseason and now it seems likely that the Yankees will instead choose to take their chances one of the harder throwers. Whether that’s Hughes or Burnett will probably depend on how each fares from here.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.