The Scranton Shuttle has proved to be a valuable piece of the Yankees’ organization over the past few seasons. No major league team can rely solely on the rotation and bullpen that starts the season on the 25-man roster. Organizational depth is a key component that helps the team navigate a long season while maintaining a reasonable work rate for the best pitching assets. Here are some of the members of the 2019 Yankees bullpen that saw time with both Triple-A Scranton and the big league team.
2019 Statistics: 37.2 innings, 3.11 ERA, 23 strikeouts, 1.22 WHIP, 5.5 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 3.32 FIP, 0.8 WAR
2020 Contract Status: Free agent
David Hale’s 2018 season saw him bounce around the majors, minors, a few trips to the waiver wire and finish the season pitching in Korea. The Yankees were impressed enough with the Princeton grad that they once again brought Hale in on a minor league contract to be a depth piece for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ analytic staff likes Hale’s stuff and he pitched very well for Triple-A Scranton early in the season.
Once he arrived in the Bronx in late May, Hale began working his way onto the fringes of the bullpen circle of trust. After a solid beginning, Hale proved incredibly valuable to the Yankees from June 23rd to July 20th as he pitched in nine games without giving up a run. Just when he was becoming one of the Yankees more reliable and trusted options, he was sidelined with a lumbar strain that landed him on the 60-day injured list. He was able to return and throw 0.1 inning on September 28th but did not show enough to find his way onto the postseason roster.
2019 Statistics: 24.2 innings, 6.93 ERA, 34 strikeouts, 1.99 WHIP, 12.4 K/9, 5.5 BB/9, 5.69 FIP, -0.5 WAR
2020 Contract Status: Pre-arbitration
After opening the season with the major league club, Tarpley claimed an ownership stake in the Scranton Shuttle, as he was sent down to the minors eight times during the season. His constant movement is even more impressive considering that he spent a month on the injured list late in the season. Tarpley’s best moment came in early June when he struck out the side to earn a save in extra innings against Cleveland. That game highlighted the ability to miss bats that the Yankees value out of the bullpen. With two minor league option years left, Tarpley will have to improve his consistency next season or he could easily find himself navigating the familiar highways between Scranton and the Bronx once again.
2019 Statistics: 25.1 innings, 8.53 ERA, 23 strikeouts, 1.97 WHIP, 8.2 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 6.53 FIP, -0.7 WAR
2020 Contract Status: Pre-arbitration
Adams was one of the Yankees’ top prospects as recently as two season ago, even making several top 100 prospects list following an outstanding rise through the minors to reach the Triple-A level. He has never recovered his form after offseason elbow surgery following the 2017 season. After struggling as a swingman in 2018, serving exclusively out the bullpen at the major league level in 2019 did not help Adams find his footing. By the the end of the season he could not even be counted on to eat low leverage innings as he allowed opponents a 1.526 OPS in September. Adams has another year with minor league options, so he is a likely candidate to be riding the Scranton Shuttle again next season.
2019 Statistics: 10 innings, 4.50 ERA, 11 strikeouts, 1.80 WHIP, 6.3 BB/9, 4.71 FIP, 0.0 WAR
2020 Contract Status: Under team control for the Colorado Rockies
The Yankees’ 19th round draft pick in 2014, Harvey was added to the 40-man roster on the heels of a strong 2018 season for Triple-A Scranton. When injuries started hitting the Yankees early and often, he was promoted to make his major league debut during the Bombers’ trip to Houston this season. Over the course of his debut, his dad drew attention on social media while being interviewed on YES.
Harvey was sent back to Triple-A after a short stint at the major league level, and when the Yankees needed a 40-man roster spot in late August they traded him to Colorado to clear the way.