Brandon McCarthy for the Diamondbacks: 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 18 starts.
Brandon McCarthy for the Yankees: 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in five starts.
When the Yankees got McCarthy from the Diamondbacks on July 6 in exchange for left-hander Vidal Nuno plenty of people thought he was a prime bounceback candidate because his secondary numbers and track record were much better than his bloated ERA. But no one expected him to turn things around this much.
McCarthy has allowed zero or one earned run in four of his five starts for the Yankees and he’s also thrown 101, 99, 109, 108, and 116 pitches for New York after topping 100 pitches just four times in 18 starts for Arizona.
McCarthy is someone a lot of baseball fans (myself included) root for because he’s very amusing to follow on Twitter, leading to this exchange with noted Red Sox fan and “Parks and Recreation”and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” creator Michael Schur:
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.