May did not yield good results for Brian Cashman in the eyes of Pinstripe Alley readers. After creeping up to a 68% approval rating thanks to a solid 13-9 record in April, the ugly 13-16 May dropped him all the down to 40%, the first time he's actually fallen into the "disapproval" zone in 2015.
The month of June was much better for the Yankees, though injuries continued to pester them. On the field, they went a respectable 15-12 and remain just half a game out of first in the AL East thanks in great part to a seven-game winning streak that kicked off the month, but they also lost dominant closer Andrew Miller to a forearm strain around the middle of June. Although he will throw off the mound today, he has yet to appear in rehab games. Jacoby Ellsbury has yet to return from his mid-May quad strain, and both of his rookie replacements, Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams, hit the skids with their own injuries. Brendan Ryan and Sergio Santos were passing ships in the night, as both joined the team in the middle of June only to hit the DL before too long, with Santos vanishing completely due to Tommy John surgery. We'll always have that one game, Sergio (out of two).
Cashman made one notable trade this month, as he dealt badly struggling reliever David Carpenter to the Nationals for second base prospect Tony Renda. It might not make much of a difference in the long run, but the media consensus seemed to indicate that Cashman did relatively well acquiring another young future infield option in exchange for a guy who just wasn't working out in pinstripes. To replace Carpenter and Miller, Cashman and company used the last couple spots in the bullpen as a revolving door, occasionally bringing in some of the Yankees' intriguing Triple-A arms to try and impress the big club in the innings not taken by Dellin Betances, Justin Wilson, and Chasen Shreve. All of Jacob Lindgren, Branden Pinder, Nick Rumbelow, Bryan Mitchell, Danny Burawa, Jose Ramirez, Jose De Paula, Diego Moreno, and Chris Martin saw time with the Yankees. By the end of June, Lindgren was unfortunately, on the minor league DL due to bone spur surgery, but Mitchell seemed to carve out a role in a possible 2014 Adam Warren-type role.
Speaking of Warren, he probably had the best June of any starter, but the roster crunch forced him out of the rotation due to Ivan Nova's return and the Yankees' reluctance to demote CC Sabathia. It's unfortunate but entirely expected, particularly given Warren's recent bullpen success and his inevitable innings limit. The Yankees didn't entirely ignore their future though--in the 2015 MLB Draft, Cashman and the draft team led by Damon Oppenheimer made some fascinating picks, adding polished UCLA righty James Kaprielian, high-ceiling high school righty Drew Finley, and mashing JuCo first baseman Isiah Gilliam, among many. It was a conservative draft, but after years of risks like Andrew Brackman, Cito Culver, and Ty Hensley blowing up in their faces, it was really a strategy that was tough to criticize too much.
Here's how Cashman has fared overall this year:
So was Cashman's June enough to take him out of the pits? Should he be cast further into the fire? You make the call. The Yankees have a big month ahead of them in the midst of trade season, so we'll see how Cashman approaches it.