No matter the cost, no matter what the contract would be, some Yankee fans were willing to sacrifice a recently restocked farm system for even a rental player. I’d hear “Get me David Price,” or “Get me Cole Hamels,” from some who felt the Yankees rotation was not up to par leading up to the final two months of the season. Well, I think those Yankee fans owe their general manager Brian Cashman an apology.
He didn’t need to mortgage the farm system or dish out a ton of money in salary to find an answer to the starting rotation. Cashman to his credit realized the answer for his need for another starting pitcher could be found from within.
As the trade deadline came and went, the Yankees were silent on the dealing front, but called up top pitching prospect Luis Severino from triple A. Instead of dealing Severino away for another pitcher, it was time to see what the 21 year old kid could do at the big league level. Just what the doctor ordered. Severino’s performances in his first four starts in Yankee pinstripes have been simply tremendous. Even though Severino only has a record of 1-2 record, he has a very impressive 2.74 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 23 innings. He’s been exactly the sort of pitcher the Yankees were looking for. The sort of guy who could go out there and dominate on any given night. I’d much rather see Severino get the opportunity to show what he’s about in a Yankees uniform over the final two months as opposed to seeing him elsewhere.
The other name that was prominently featured in all sorts of trade talks was first base prospect Greg Bird. Bird, unlike Severino was not expected to be a factor at all in 2015, but with first basemen Mark Teixeira sidelined with a shin injury, it gave another Yankee prospect an opportunity to showcase his ability. Bird came off the bench, doubled which sparked the Yankees extra inning win against the Twins last Monday and two days later won a game pretty much by himself delivering two home runs. Wednesday’s homer barrage prompted the “Wally Pipp” headlines all over town. I’m not going to get that ridiculous! C’mon now. Mark Teixeira made the All-Star team for goodness sakes! However, the Yankee fan should be very excited about the potential of the young lefty swinging first basemen who has a swing that reminds me a ton of former big leaguers John Olerud and Shawn Greene.
Bird has the sweet lefty swing, the clean cut look, it’s right out of central casting. He looks like the sort of player destined to be a New York Yankee. Seeing Severino and Bird contribute in the midst of a pennant race brought back flashbacks of a pretty memorable second-half of baseball. In 1995, the Yankees decided to call up a few kids from the minor leagues. One of them was a tall skinny left handed pitcher that was pivotal in the Yankees making the postseason, a guy by the name of Andy Pettitte. The same Andy Pettitte who found his way into Monument Park over the weekend. Pettitte & future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera out of the bullpen were pivotal in the Yankees first appearance in 14 years.
I’m sure Yankees fans hope they are saying the same thing about Luis Severino and Greg Bird when it comes to ending the two year playoff drought. In the short term both players are paying dividends, but the investment in both Severino and Bird could be a stroke of long term genius by the Yankee GM.
Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make.
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