Yanks GM Brian Cashman: “I’m looking to make some additions”
After Vidal Nuno’s sharp outing against the Red Sox on Friday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi noted that he has maintained confidence in all five of the team’s starting pitchers, while also acknowledging that it has been by necessity. There are no replacement options currently in place.
It is Brian Cashman’s mission to change that. Cashman said on Saturday that he continues to actively pursue upgrades to the roster, with the Yankees (41-37) sticking near the top of a very evenly matched American League East.
The Yankees believe they have additions coming later in the year, hoping to get CC Sabathia back after the All-Star break and Michael Pineda in August, but Cashman said that he would prefer not to wait for them.
“I’m looking to make some additions if I can,” Cashman said. “I’d like to try and do things before those guys get back if possible. But I’ve already been trying, so there’s a reason we haven’t done anything. It’s not because a lack of phone calls.”
Starting pitching is believed to be the Yankees’ main priority as the July 31 non-waivers Trade Deadline approaches. Rays left-hander David Price and Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija have been often mentioned as two of the top targets around the league, but observers have voiced doubts that the Yankees have the trade chips to chase either of those elite arms.
There are second-tier pitchers, however, who could interest the Yankees. The Cubs’ Jason Hammel, the Phillies’ Cliff Lee and former Yankee Ian Kennedy – now with the Padres – have been rumored as possible targets, helping a patchwork rotation that has thus far managed to stay afloat.
“We’ve got some guys were asking to do things that weren’t expected to do,” Cashman said. “We’ve had injuries, we’ve had guys that have underperformed. We’ve had some guys that have stepped up to some degree in the absence of some injuries, so we’re keeping ourselves in the mix.
“We’d rather be in a position to excel. Our job is to excel and try and take control and even pull away if possible. We’re not in that taking control, pull-away category right now. We’re just ‘in-the-mix’ category still. So hopefully if I can do my job, I’ll be able to assist us in getting into that higher category.”
Other quick hits from the Yankees GM:
Handling Pineda’s second injury: “We did do something different. The first time, usually when you have a failed rehab you double the down time. So the first time around [he] was shut down for ten days and then got him going. This time we shut him down for 20 days, then repeated the MRI, which showed a trace [of inflammation] left, so we gave an extra week, which takes us to today.”
Pineda back this season?: “Our hope is that if everything goes right, that should be the case. It’s technically a shoulder muscle but not part of any muscle group we’re used to dealing with that’s of concern shoulder-wise. [It’s] really closer to a lat.”
Optimism for Sabathia?: “So far, so good. Just got to get it going, get him stretched out, but so far everything’s gone well for him.”
Rob Refsnyder in Triple-A: “He can hit. He’s still learning the defensive side of second base but he can hit.”
Could Refsnyder come up this year?: “Hard to say. It’s a big transition there to here, but a guy like Chase Whitley’s shown that you wouldn’t bet against anybody coming up here and doing well.”