Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Thursday, July 26.
This is a deal that needed to happen a month ago at least, not after unacceptable performances in recent weeks against the Orioles, Mets and Rays, none of whom can in good conscience be called a major league baseball team. But at long last the Yankees have gotten the starter they needed in 2017, let alone this season. J.A. Happ is said to be joining the Yankees’ starting corps, what there is of it. Sonny Gray has had serious problems when he wasn’t facing the Orioles or the Mets. the two minor leaguers they tried were an unqualified disaster. The third, Domingo Acevedo never got his chance. Now Happ will join Luis Severino (the one man they must count on in a wild card game), CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka. With Zach Britton added to the bull pen, the Yankees may have to resort to “bull pen games” the way the Rays do, just to get Britton any work.
Happ joins the Yankees at a remarkably low price. They gave up Brandon Drury, an infielder they never could find a place for, and an outfielder named Billy McKinney who I’ve followed with AA Trenton. He’s no big loss if you can get a pitcher with any talent at all, and Happ has some. With a bad Toronto team, he’s 10–6 with a 4.18 ERA up to now. In the 6 upcoming games the Yankees have left against their most hated rivals, the Happ acquisition may carry weight. Happ has pitched to an 0.84 ERA this season alone against the Old Town Team, and over his career he has earned a 7-4 record with a 2.98 ERA when facing Boston. He’ll need to step up during an absolutely critical series from August 2–5 at Fenway, and if the team manages to pull itself back into the race he would be needed in one of two home games Sept. 18 and 19 against Boston. At 35 James Anthony Happ isn’t quite as old as Sabathia, the Yankees’ answer to Bartolo Colon. Happ has been in the game since 2007 when the Phillies brought him to the show for the first time. He was there for their 2 World Series appearances in 2008 and 2009, that one against the Yankees. While he won 20 in 2016, this season was the first time he was named an All-Star.
While the acquisitions of Happ and Britton are good news, the Yankees didn’t exactly want to see Gary Sanchez go back on the DL. No matter how poorly he has played since coming off the DL, no man wants to see a player hurt. His home runs will be missed, and the word is he’s on the shelf until late August at best. His lack of hustle and rotten defense won’t be missed. He also needs to hire somebody to teach him English. He’s earning and spending American dollars hand over fist. He owes us the courtesy to speak our language.0