Over the offseason, the Yankees saw a lot of players depart, most in trade packages and some due to free agency. Obviously spring training doesn't actually count for anything, but I thought it'd be interesting to take a look at how spring training has gone for some of the 2014 Yankees who did not return this year.
During yesterday's game thread, Andrew pointed out how underwhelming the competition for the backup catcher role has been between Austin Romine and John Ryan Murphy, who were hitting .196 combined as of yesterday. Meanwhile, Cervelli has been having a great spring with the Pirates. Through 23 at-bats, Cervelli is hitting .304/.484/.739 with three home runs, one double and seven walks. Cervelli was traded to the Pirates in one of the first moves during the offseason, in return for Justin Wilson. This one kind of stings until you look at Wilson's spring, which has been almost perfect. He's allowed just two hits and one walk through seven scoreless innings, along with eight strikeouts.
Instead of bringing back Robertson, the Yankees let their closer walk over the offseason and elected to sign Andrew Miller. Now with the White Sox, D-Rob hasn't had the smoothest spring training. In just 4 2/3 innings, he's allowed four earned runs and four walks, giving him a 7.71 ERA. Lately, the big news has been that Robertson is experiencing forearm soreness. He has said that he's not concerned, isn't experiencing dead arm and won't be having an MRI, but the White Sox aren't going to push him. Robertson isn't expected to miss the start of the season, but he has yet to pitch back-to-back days.
As a result of a rough 2014 campaign, Brian Cashman dealt Kelley to the Padres over the offseason. Kelley has struggled so far, but he tends to do so during spring training (back in 2009 he allowed 12 earned runs off of 22 hits in just 14 innings). As for this year, he's sporting a 3.52 ERA through 7 2/3 frames, having given up two home runs and three earned runs while notching nine strikeouts. The Yankees got Johnny Barbato from the Padres in this deal, but Barbato has not made any spring training appearances.
Prado came over to the Yankees in July after being traded from the Diamondbacks in exchange for catcher Peter O'Brien. He was only with the Yankees for a short stint, thanks in part to an untimely appendectomy, before they flipped him to the Marlins with David Phelps. For a time, it looked like Prado could be the Yankees' starting second baseman while backing up nearly every position, but instead we ended up with Stephen Drew. Prado's currently batting .282/.333/.333, while Drew's batting .244/.311/.439 with two home runs in nearly the same number of at-bats. At least there's that.
Last year at this time, David Phelps was competing for the fifth spot in the Yankees rotation. It ultimately went to Michael Pineda, but Phelps was called upon to fill in during the season. At a time when the Yankees have few backup starters to choose from, of course Phelps would be dominating with the Marlins. Phelps is having the best spring training of his career, by far. Through 16 innings, Phelps has allowed just one earned run, seven walks, only eight hits and he has 12 strikeouts, giving him a 0.52 ERA and 0.94 WHIP.
Remember when the Yankees traded Vidal Nuno to the Diamondbacks for McCarthy? Arizona fans laughed, but McCarthy ended up pitching really well during his time in New York. Some fans hoped that he would sign with the Yankees over the offseason, but they were unwilling to meet his asking price, and he signed with the Dodgers instead. Well, spring training stats may not count for much, but he sure has gotten roughed up so far. McCarthy has allowed eight earned runs off of 13 hits through nine innings pitched. Yikes.
After the rotation was decimated by injuries last year, Greene stepped up in a big way. Because of his success, it was somewhat surprising to see him included in a three-team deal that brought Didi Gregorius to the Yankees. With that being said, the Yankees needed a shortstop and Gregorius was one of the better options out there, even if that meant losing another starting pitcher. Greene hadn't been particularly great this spring, until yesterday's outing against the Cardinals where he gave up just one run in five innings and struck out six. Overall, he has allowed six earned runs through 13 2/3 IP.
Are you surprised by any of these former Yankees' performances so far? Do you wish the team had kept any of them?