Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland told Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com that Javier Vazquez is dealing with a dead arm.
Vazquez struggled in Friday’s loss to the Red Sox, allowing six runs — three earned — while walking four and allowing two home runs. After the game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi expressed concern in the right-hander’s failure to reach 90 mph with his fastball.
Vazquez entered Friday’s contest with a 3.29 ERA over his last 90 1/3 innings dating back to early May, but his velocity has been down for most of the year. He has averaged 88.9 mph on his fastball this season, compared to 91.1 mph with the Braves last season, according to Fangraphs.
The Yankees don’t believe anything is seriously wrong with him, however Vazquez thought the team may evaluate him further. In an effort to get Vazquez through the dead arm period, Eiland said the team will cut down on his workload between starts.
It’s not like a pitcher having a dead arm is uncommon — heck, even Roy Oswalt is going through it right now — but this is hardly good news for a team that currently holds a razor thin lead in the AL East.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.