Having already placed CC Sabathia on the DL Wednesday, the Yankees suffered an even bigger blow this afternoon: Andy Pettitte will miss at least six weeks due to a fractured left ankle suffered when he was hit by a comebacker in the 5-4 win over the Indians.
Pettitte was removed from Wednesday’s game in the fifth inning after taking a Casey Kotchman liner off his leg. He made several warm-up throws afterwards and even threw a pitch to Lou Marson, but he limped around immediately afterwards and was replaced by Cody Eppley.
Kotchman’s shot went as a single to lead off the fifth. Marson followed that with another single and came around to score off the Yankees’ second reliever of the inning, resulting in the lone earned run charged to Pettitte.
Pettitte also allowed an unearned run following an Alex Rodriguez error in the third inning.
Pettitte had seven strikeouts in four-plus innings before departing today. Maybe the Yankees’ best starter in the month and a half since he returned to the majors, he’ll head to the DL sporting a 3.22 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in nine starts.
The Yankees already intended to have Freddy Garcia replace Sabathia in the rotation through the All-Star break. Now they might need Adam Warren to step in as well. Warren is 5-5 with a 3.86 ERA in Triple-A, but he’s gotten stronger as the year has gone on; in June, he has a 2.03 ERA in five starts.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.