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Yankees Should Give Chance (Adams) a Chance

The Yankees received a boost to their line-up this weekend in Boston with the returns of DH Matt Holliday and All-Star 2B Starlin Castro from injury. However, the rotation was dealt a major blow when it was announced that RHP Michael Pineda would be out for the remainder of the season with a partially torn UCL in his elbow. All signs point to Tommy John Surgery even though Pineda will seek a second opinion. Pineda had a solid first half of the season posting an 8-4 record with a 4.39 ERA in 17 starts. Now the team must find a way to fill the hole that he leaves.

Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has said that the Yankees will be "cautious buyers" in the time leading up to the July 31 trade deadline so I don't expect the team to replace Pineda with anyone of significant value via trade. The Yankees have spent the last couple of seasons building one of the top farm systems in baseball and I don't expect them to deal any top prospects to replace Pineda during a season that has begun to slip away. The Yankees know they are still a year away from being true contenders and Cashman won't deal potential future stars to try and salvage a Wild Card birth this year.

The Yankees future looks bright with Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Clint Frazier, Luis Severino, and Jordan Montgomery as the foundations of a potential perennial contender for years to come starting in 2018. It makes more sense for the Yankees to try and replace Pineda from within especially since he and CC Sabathia are both free agents after this season. Bryan Mitchell will get the first crack to replace Pineda during Sunday's day-night doubleheader up in Boston with Luis Cessa looking like a fallback option if things don't work out for Mitchell. However, the internal option that Yankees fans would most like to see inserted into the rotation is Chance Adams.

Adams is currently the Yankees seventh rated prospect and ninety-third overall rated prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com. Adams has pitched at both the AA and AAA levels this season and has been excellent. Adams started the season in AA Trenton and went 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA in his six starts before his promotion to AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Since his promotion to Scranton, Adams has gone 6-3 with a 2.50 ERA in 11 starts. Adams has struck out 28.4% of the batters that he has faced with 64 strikeouts in in 57 2/3 IP. That's a 9.99 K/9 rate. The numbers are very impressive.

According to MLB.com's scouting report of Adams (written at the beginning of the season) says he features a fastball with "a good combination of velocity and command" which make it tough to hit. Adams also features a slider which at times give him two well above average pitches. He also has a fading change-up that has "blossomed" and an average curve ball. The scouting report goes on to say that "he locates his pitches well and loves to attack hitters". The numbers this season seem to back up this scouting report.

So the question becomes: Why don't the Yankees give Adams a chance to take the rotation spot vacated by Pineda? Manager Joe Girardi was quoted as saying, "Comes down to command, using all his pitches, using his third pitch, that sort of thing." However, Girardi didn't rule out Adams getting a chance later in the season by saying, "We still kind of feel he has more work to do. Could he be an option later on? Absolutely."

I'm sure that Adams still has some work to do. Don't all minor league players? However, I'd like to see the Yankees give Adams a chance sooner rather than later. This season for all intents and purposes was labeled as a rebuilding season because the Yankees really aren't good enough quite yet to truly compete. So if the team isn't going to be able to hang with the Red Sox then I think it's important to continue to rebuild. I think the best way to continue it would be by giving Adams a long, hard look the rest of the season. The team needs to see if he is ready to be a part of the rotation in 2018. There will be potentially two open rotation spots and if Adams is ready to fill one of them that could be a big boost for the team. They'd then be able to rely on a rotation that is 3/5 homegrown (Adams, Severino, Montgomery). The Yankees have the potential to really make some noise in 2018 and another young, talented starter would help them reach that potential. That is why in my opinion the team needs to give Chance a chance sooner rather than later in 2017.
This post originally appeared on my blog on 7/15/17. Yankees Should Give Chance (Adams) a Chance

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