On Friday afternoon, it was revealed that the New York Yankees would be without the services of first baseman Mark Teixeira for the rest of the season with a fractured leg.
Luis Severino, the touted rookie who has only had success since making his MLB debut Aug. 5, made the start for New York looking for a key win against David Price and the Toronto Blue Jays. It was an interesting matchup of the ace veteran against the kid.
It’s interesting that these two pitchers would face each other under such circumstances. Severino, the future and present for the Yankees, was among those rumored to be acquired for Price at the trading deadline.
As if it wasn’t challenging enough going against one of the best pitchers in baseball, Severino was handed the task of trying to quiet one of the best offenses in all of baseball; Severino allowed five first-inning runs. Going into the night, he had the second-lowest ERA in the AL since his debut at 2.04. Price was just behind him at 2.15.
Severino’s final line from the night were career-worsts: 2.1 IP, six ER. He had allowed only seven ER in six starts prior to tonight. Severino had success against the Blue Jays the first time he faced them Aug. 16 in Toronto, giving up three ER while striking out nine and lasting six innings.
This bad game by Severino was bound to happen, especially against a very good team. It’s just bad timing as the Yankees try to reel in the Blue Jays, now 2.5 games out of first place.
Instead of focusing on glass half-empty, I’d prefer to look at the glass as half-full. Of course, the Yankees can win the 2015 AL East, but as I’ve mentioned, 2015 should not be considered World Series or bust. The Yankees have a rotation they can continue to build around and, paired with a dynamic bullpen, should continue to be a threat beyond 2015.
Severino lends credence to this, as well as other farmhands coming up and producing at the big-league level.
Mark Teixeira only has one more season remaining on the eight-year contract he signed prior to the 2009 season. Though he has had a resurgent 2015 after battling wrist ailments the past few seasons, Tex’s days appear to be numbered in New York. It also helps to have Greg Bird producing since his call-up in August, while also offering the Yankees a glimpse of the future at first base. Bird, through his first 25 games, has hit five home runs with 17 driven in.
Along with Teixeira’s expiring contract nearing, CC Sabathia is another contract that could come off the books after next season. It is worth noting Sabathia’s 2017 vesting option will become guaranteed if CC does not end the 2016 season on the disabled list due to a left shoulder injury, does not spend more than 45 days on the DL due to a left shoulder injury or does not make more than six appearances in relief because of a left shoulder injury.
That 2017 salary would come at $25 million, a price the Yankees cannot afford for a starter whose best days are long behind him. He could be bought out for $5 million.
Of course, there will be a flurry of other decisions and roster moves to make between now and then. Though Teixeira won’t figure into any of the plans the rest of the way, CC can still try to pitch his team into the playoffs. He left his most recent start against the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday after 4.2 innings, with the bullpen failing to hold the lead.
All things considered, it’s about all Joe Girardi could have hoped for in getting at least five innings out of CC after coming off an injury when it was once feared he might be lost for the season.
The good news for the Yankees? They can turn the page. The Yankees will look to do just that Saturday as they continue their quest for the 2015 division title in tomorrow’s doubleheader.
The probable pitching matchups:
Marco Estrada (12-8, 3.18 ERA) — 1-2, 3.18 ERA vs. NYY this season
Michael Pineda (10-8, 4.15 ERA) — 1-0, 1.29 ERA vs Toronto
For the second part of the doubleheader
Marcus Stroman making his season debut
Iván Nova (6-7, 4.50 ERA) — 1-1, 5.11 ERA vs Toronto.