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.
It’s been one issue after the next for Indians reliever Andrew Miller, and on Saturday, the left-hander landed back on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation. According to comments made by club manager Terry Francona, Miller’s knee has been a problem since the start of the year. The team has yet to determine a concrete timetable for his return to the bullpen.
Miller, 33, hasn’t looked like his usual sub-2.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR self this season, though he paired a 4.40 ERA and 6.3 BB/9 with an impressive 14.4 SO/9 across his first 14 1/3 innings. A left hamstring strain and minor back injury hampered his effectiveness on the mound, though this appears to be a more serious issue — especially given the five weeks he spent recovering from a tendon injury in his right knee last year.
In corresponding moves, the Indians designated right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment and recalled Triple-A right-handers Ben Taylor and Evan Marshall. Taylor, 25, was working on a 3.63 ERA, 1.0 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 through 17 1/3 innings in Triple-A Columbus, while 28-year-old Marshall turned in a terrific 0.77 ERA, 0.8 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over his first 11 2/3 innings. Neither reliever has pitched more than a handful of innings at the big league level in 2018.