In a column published on Wednesday, Newsday’s David Lennon wrote that Yankees GM Brian Cashman expects to make a trade in the next few weeks. The Yankees enter Friday night’s action at 38-33 in second place in a mediocre AL East. They rank 10th in the American League in team OPS, seventh in rotation ERA, and 10th in bullpen ERA.
Lennon writes that the rotation is the area most likely to be upgraded, and the Yankees might be willing to part with prospects to do it. Lennon suggests that the club could make J.R. Murphy, Gary Sanchez, and Rob Refsnyder available in their quest for a starter. Lennon adds that Cubs pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel might entice the Yankees.
Cashman told the media that CC Sabathia might not be ready to return until August. The Yankees’ rotation presently includes superstar Masahiro Tanaka who is having a ridiculous season (11-1 with a 1.99 ERA), but also features 39-year-old Hiroki Kuroda with a 4.32 ERA, Vidal Nuno (5.90), rookie Chase Whitley, and swingman David Phelps.
Three players were suspended on Monday after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. They are: Indians pitcher Steve Delabar, Mariners pitcher Jonathan Aro, and free agent pitcher Jeffry Hernandez. Aro got a 50-game suspension while the other two were handed 80-game suspensions.
Delabar, 33, hasn’t pitched yet this season after signing a minor league deal with the Indians back in January. He spent last year with the Reds as well as the Hiroshima Carp in the Japan Central League. The right-hander has struggled over the last few seasons.
Aro, 26, also hasn’t appeared yet this season in the minors. He’s worked mostly in relief. The right-hander appeared briefly in the majors with the Mariners last season and logged 10 1/3 innings in the show with the Red Sox in 2015. Aro went to the Mariners along with Wade Miley in the trade that brought the Red Sox Carson Smith and Roenis Elias.
Hernandez, 22, is a free agent and his suspension will be effective if and when he signs with a new team.
The Phillies announced on Monday that starter Aaron Nola has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 21, with a lower back strain.
Nola, 23, compiled a 4.50 ERA with a 15/6 K/BB ratio over his first three starts spanning 16 innings. He felt some back soreness during his last start on Thursday against the Mets, and it lingered when he had a side session on Sunday.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury hears that the Phillies are likely to call up Nick Pivetta from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Nola’s place in the rotation. Nola was scheduled to start on Wednesday.
Pivetta, 24, was acquired from the Nationals in the Jonathan Papelbon trade in July 2015. At Triple-A so far, Pivetta has given up only two earned runs on 12 hits and two walks with 24 strikeouts in 19 innings.