Breaking new: three guys to assist them come deadline day.

Breaking new: three guys to assist them come deadline day.

The New York Yankees have an amazing roster, and although though they will ultimately slow down and experience the typical ups and downs of a season, they currently appear to be the best club in baseball. The platoon of Juan Soto and Aaron Judge has been incredibly successful; both players are performing at an MVP caliber, and the pitching staff has outperformed everyone’s expectations. That being said, this club can still get better before the deadline, and they’ll probably work hard to close any gaps that arise.

With their current roster, this club is capable of winning the World Series, but in order to actually be the top team in the league, they will need to consider other options throughout the arduous regular season.

Using This Strikeout Machine to Strengthen the Rotation

Jack Flaherty is a right-hander that the Detroit Tigers signed, but nobody anticipated that he would become such a strikeout machine this season. With 11 starts under his belt and a 3.46 ERA and 104 Pitching+, the 28-year-old is one of the finest pitchers in the American League and has contributed to one of the league’s strongest rotations. Although it’s unknown if the Tigers will sell at the deadline, the Twins, Guardians, and Royals are fighting for postseason positions, so the division isn’t very open.

The most alluring aspect of obtaining an arm like Jack Flaherty is his punchout percentage of 34% and his ability to completely destroy opposition batters with his quirky arsenal. In Stuff+, the four-seamer does not receive a very high grade. Even so, it has special qualities that make it a plus offering; for example, it moves considerably horizontally and with around average vertical movement from a lower release height, producing a phenomenon known as cut-ride.

Although the vertical ride and velocity won’t blow you away, the lower and wider release height gives opposing hitters a strange look, and he backs it up with two solid breaking pitches in addition to his superb fastball. At 85 mph, his slider moves a much and has a Whiff Rate of 42.6%. Given that he has been hit a little harder and is heavily dependent on the fastball in those matchups, we might see Flaherty throw more sliders against right-handed hitters.

His curveball, meanwhile, has an obscene 42% Whiff Rate.174 wOBA permitted, featuring a sharp decline in elevation that complements his four-seamer quite well. He does have a sinker and changeup, but he doesn’t use them very often. After using a cutter for a significant chunk of the 2023 season, I don’t think he will return to using one. He only gets barreled 4.3% of the time, strikes out a lot, and has an ERA that is almost a run higher than his xERA (2.53).

The Tigers probably wouldn’t ask for a huge haul because his contract expires at the end of the season, but they would still need to part ways with some excellent players. In addition to adding some elite infield depth to help strengthen the Tigers’ lineup in a year or two, a combination of Cade Smith, Jared Serna, and Benjamin Cowles might tempt Detroit. Additionally, the arm is a little bit farther away and has an intriguing profile to work with.

Moreover, Jack Flaherty could offer some swing-and-miss relief in the bullpen if you believe he couldn’t stay in the rotation—a notion with which I strongly disagree. Most likely, this would force a starter like Nestor Cortes into the bullpen in October, where he might provide that group with some much-needed lefty strikeout potential.

While LaMonte Wade Jr. is out due to a hamstring injury, he is ideal for this lineup, and the San Francisco Giants don’t seem good right now. LaMonte Wade Jr. is one of the most underappreciated players in all of baseball. He is a patient hitter with the batted ball statistics and defensive ability to be a great lineup extender for the Yankees at first base. Wade only has two home runs and a.426 SLG%, but with a 10.4% barrel rate and a 46.9% hard-hit percentage, his power numbers need to be higher.

Extremely silent With a 168 wRC+ and.470 OBP, LaMonte Wade Jr. may provide the Yankees with the greatest lineup in baseball. It’s not like he’s a horrible hitter off to a strong start; in the previous season, he also hit 17 home runs and had a 122 wRC+. He has +3 Defensive Runs Saved and +3 Outs Above Average at first base in addition to having the fourth-best walk rate of any batter with at least 500 Plate Appearances dating back to 2022 at 15.9%.

Wade is a hitter who causes damage on contact, makes excellent swing decisions, doesn’t widen the zone, and maintains an excellent distribution of launch angles. The Yankees would have all they could ask for in their lineup with him batting sixth, and he might make their order feel even more oppressive:

Anthony Volpe
Juan Soto
Judge Aaron
Verdugo, Alex
Giancarlo Stanton
Wade LaMonte Jr.
Gleyber Torres
Austin Wells and Jose Trevino
LeMahieu, DJ
Pitchers just cannot handle this kind of lineup on a regular basis, and it helps the Yankees work pitch counts in addition to putting runners on base. Being able to strike out pitchers early in a postseason series can force clubs to re-use their relievers when they’re playing five- or seven-game series. The saying that a pitcher becomes less effective after facing a team more than once in a series is backed by data.

The Yankees utterly destroyed Camilo Doval in San Francisco, and even though they were unable to finish the comeback against Cleveland in April, they still managed to prevail against Emmanuel Clase. With respect to fastballs clocked at or above 95 mph, the Yankees have the second-best wOBA in baseball (.332), and they rank sixth in baseball (.296) against breaking and offspeed pitches. These stats should help them in the postseason.

LaMonte Wade Jr. may be a huge upgrade for the Yankees over Anthony Rizzo and adds to that element of hitting the kind of pitches you expect to see in October. With the Yankees’ abundance of catchers and Rice’s close proximity to the major leagues, I could see both teams striking a deal for Ben Rice, who would be acquired by the Giants in exchange for LaMonte Wade Jr.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *