Yankees “have expressed interest in” Jorge De La Rosa as fallback option to Cliff Lee

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Cliff Lee is obviously atop the Yankees’ offseason shopping list regardless of whether or not general manager Brian Cashman is “desperate” to sign him, but Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that they’ve also “expressed interest in” Jorge De La Rosa.

De La Rosa is a left-handed starting pitcher, so it seems pretty obvious that any interest the Yankees have in him is as a fallback plan should Lee sign elsewhere, which is fortunate for De La Rosa in that it could help drive up his asking price.

New York is one of several teams linked to De La Rosa already this offseason and the left-hander is widely viewed as the second-best starter on the market behind Lee, but that has more to do with a weak crop of free agent starters than it does De La Rosa.

De La Rosa turned his career around after being traded to the Rockies in 2008 and has great strikeout numbers, but he’s also a 30-year-old pitcher with a 5.02 career ERA, has never posted an ERA below 4.20, and has never thrown 190 innings. His three-year run in Colorado was very solid, as he went 34-24 with a 4.49 ERA and 434 strikeouts in 437 innings, but he also walked 4.1 batters per nine innings, missed significant time with injuries, and posted a mediocre 4.19 ERA away from Coors Field.

De La Rosa is a good starting pitcher, but he’s also one of the best bets to be overpaid this offseason.

On a night full of letdowns, Yankees’ defense let them down the most

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Game 4 of the ALCS was a gigantic letdown for the Yankees for myriad reasons. They lost, first and foremost, 8-3 to the Astros to fall behind three games to one. Their fans continued to act boorishly. CC Sabathia exited with an injury, likely the final time he’ll pitch in his career. The offense went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The biggest letdown of the night, though, was the Yankees’ defense. They committed four errors, their highest total in a postseason game since committing five errors in Game 2 of the 1976 ALCS.

Make no mistake: the two three-run home runs hit by George Springer and Carlos Correa, given up by Masahiro and Chad Green respectively, were the big blows in the game. But the errors contributed to the loss and were downright demoralizing.

The first error came at the start of the top of the sixth inning, when Alex Bregman hit a cue shot to first baseman DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu couldn’t read the bounce and the ball clanked off of his knee, allowing Bregman to reach safely. He would score later in the inning on Correa’s blast.

The Yankees committed two errors in the top of the eighth, leading to a run. Yuli Gurriel hit another grounder to LeMahieu, which he couldn’t handle. That not only allowed Gurriel to reach safely, but Bregman — who led off with a double — moved to third base. He would score when second baseman Gleyber Torres couldn’t handle a Yordan Álvarez grounder.

Error number four occurred when Altuve hit a grounder to Torres to lead off the top of the ninth. The ball skipped right under his glove. Facing Michael Brantley, Jonathan Loaisiga uncorked a wild pitch which advanced Altuve to second base. Brantley followed up with a line drive single to left field, plating Altuve for another run. Loaisiga would throw another wild pitch facing Bregman but that one didn’t come back to haunt him.

The Yankees can’t control injuries, the behavior of their fans, or how good the Astros’ pitching is on any given night. They can control the quality of their defense. On Thursday, it was a farce, and now they’re staring down the barrel of having to win three consecutive games against the Astros to stave off elimination.