With Chris Capuano on the mend and having just completed a rehab start, it seemed like the Yankees were going to have to make a tricky decision determining which of Adam Warren or Chase Whitley to keep in the rotation. Well, Warren had a nice outing yesterday, but the decisive blow likely came tonight in the finale of the Yankees' four-game series against the Rays. In the same place where Ivan Nova's 2014 season ended early due to a UCL tear, Whitley also departed the mound in grim fashion.
Whitley had surrendered a run on two hits and two walks without striking out a single batter, and it was plain to see that he simply no control. Brian McCann made a bunch of saves behind the plate to prevent a couple wild pitches, but one was uncorked way to McCann's right that he just had no chance to retrieve. Those two walks occurred with two outs in the second, and the one to DH Joey Butler, Joe Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue saw something that they did not like in Whitley's mechanics:
After Whitley's 2d pitch to Butler, he seemed to favor his right leg. Groin? Hamstring? Stay tuned for update.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) May 14, 2015
As of 8:20pm, it has not been revealed what happened to Whitley, but an injury would go a long way toward explaining his performance tonight. As previously mentioned, he never looked right out there and was a far cry from from the starter who had been reasonably successful this year beforehand, notching a 3.06 ERA (75 ERA-) and 4.16 DRA in three starts with 16 strikeouts and just three walks in 17 2/3 innings.
We can only hope Whitley's okay, but for now, he's likely out of the Yankees' current picture and Esmil Rogers is covering for him in long relief. On the first pitch, he gave up a three-run homer to Rene Rivera, who is... not a good hitter. Two of those runs were charged to Whitley, so his official pitching line on the day was 1 2/3 innings and three runs allowed. Woof.
Chase Whitley left the game with "a right elbow injury." Being evaluated by a team doctor & will have imaging tomorrow in Tampa.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) May 15, 2015
Girardi says Whitley has been dealing with elbow problem for a while - but kept it from team/trainers. Tried to pitch through it.— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) May 15, 2015
Sigh. Whitley's not talented enough for him to be worth anything hurt. He should have just told the team rather than potentially costing them wins. Whatever. Capuano will indeed replace him, and my guess is that we won't see Whitley until late 2016 at best.