Chase Whitley didn't last long, but he sure did make an impression on the New York Yankees in a very short time. That doesn't matter now as Whitley has been given a shot at redemption with a start coming on Sunday versus the Baltimore Orioles.
His numbers out of the gate were impressive. Whitley didn't allow more than three runs in any start through his first seven, and six of them were two runs or less. Whitley wasn't giving the Yanks much length, but he kept the team in the game long enough to win it.
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 12, 2014
Following his 3-0 start, the 25-year-old went on a downward spiral. Whitley allowed 17 runs over his next three starts and didn't make it past the fourth inning in any of them.
It didn't take long for Yankees manager Joe Girardi to remove him from the rotation and go in a different direction. Whitley was relegated to the bullpen after his July 4 start and didn't make it back on the mound until July 9 as a reliever.
Girardi says shane greene will stay in the rotation. Chase whitley moves to the bullpen.
— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) July 8, 2014
Whitley's relief appearance was solid as he threw two scoreless innings while only allowing one hit and striking out three. It was just the outing Whitley needed to gain some confidence, which comes at a great time for both he and his team.
With the Yankees set to be without Masahiro Tanaka for at least six weeks—and very likely longer—there is an opening in the rotation for Whitley to fill and he has the chance to retain it starting Sunday. Granted, he won't fill Tanaka's shoes of course, but who can?
Quite possibly the most certain thing about the Yanks' rotation is that general manager Brian Cashman will make a deal to add a pitcher. Even if the Yanks do make some deals, it'll be nearly impossible to fill all their holes in the trade market.
That leaves a small opening for Whitley to capitalize.
But he has to pitch himself back into the rotation. It's easier said than done and while he may get more leash in such an extreme situation for the Bronx Bombers, it still won't be long. Should he bomb again and/or a new arm comes in, Whitley could be back to the bullpen in a best-case scenario for himself.
His first test comes Sunday night against the Baltimore Orioles in what amounts to about as big of a game as there can be in July. Talk about a rough start.
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