Since there were some leftover questions that Andrew didn't get to with his response post Monday, we decided to split this week's Ask PSA Mailbag responses into two parts. Here are my answers.
Kwayne29 asked: Will the Yankees ruin [Rob] Refsnyder's chances of being an effective major league ball player like they did with Joba [Chamberlain] and the Joba rules? He has shown that his bat is ready. When will he get a serious look?
The Yankees have tried to increase Refsnyder's versatility by moving him from right field to second base to third base, but there still isn't a clear spot for him on the team. Aaron Hicks seems to have the backup outfielder job locked up, Starlin Castro is in no danger of losing his starting job, and Ronald Torreyes has been doing a fine job backing up third base. There's also Dustin Ackley floating around on the bench. It's difficult to imagine Refsnyder staying up with the team long-term unless someone does get injured, or Torreyes falls out of favor.
Fred Slagle asked: Since the Yankees have turned it around [Joe Girardi] pulled both [Ivan] Nova (64? pitches) and [Masahiro] Tanaka (85 on five days rest), when they could have gone longer. With the exception of Nova now, why can't SP throw well into 3 digit pitch counts? I don't want to hear third time through the batting order, when Nova & Tanaka were dominating the opposition in the games.
I think that you're mixing up Tanaka and Nathan Eovaldi. Tanaka was at 85 pitches through six innings against Oakland and Girardi did let him go back out for the seventh, presumably because the team had a 5-1 lead. On the other hand, Eovaldi had cruised through six innings against the Diamondbacks, and Girardi turned to Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman. After the game, Girardi said "I am going to take my chances 99 percent of the time with Betances, Miller and Chapman."
The Yankees were only working with a 3-1 lead when Eovaldi was removed. Although Nova had only thrown 62 pitches against the Athletics, he was pitching with just a 2-1 lead when Girardi brought Betances in. Early on, both the offense and the rotation have struggled, so I don't blame Girardi for feeling most confident in Betances/Miller/Chapman. At least if one of those three had surrendered the lead Girardi could have taken solace in the fact that those were his best pitchers, as opposed to a scenario where Nova throws a meatball to tie up the game.
Sandman51 asked: How much longer will Girardi stick with [Mark] Teixeira? I know he will never be sent to the bench but do you see a time where he ineptness at the plate will lower him to seventh or lower in the lineup?