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McCarthy Continues to Deal as Yankees Add Chris Capuano

by Gary Phillips | Posted on Thursday, July 24th, 2014
Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports

Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports

 

Nadine Gordimer once said, “A desert is a place without expectation.”

Well, Brandon McCarthy was looking at the exact opposite of that sentiment when the Arizona Diamondbacks shipped him off to the New York Yankees prior to the All-Star break. McCarthy left behind what had become a hopeless team in Arizona, and what had personally become a hopeless season for himself. It was time for the bright lights of New York City, were expectations always run high in the Bronx.

Despite some rather solid advanced stats (a career-high 7.6 K/9 ratio, 2.89 xFIP) McCarthy was having a frustrating year out in the desert. He went 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA for the D-backs, numbers that made many question why the Yankees would have any interest in the pitcher, even with their rotation dismantled by injuries.

Thursday, McCarthy pitched six innings, striking out five as he led the Yanks to a 4-2 victory over the Texas Rangers. It was McCarthy’s third start for the Bronx Bombers, and it was his third straight start in which he surrendered only one earned run while going at least six innings. The 31-year-old is now 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA for New York.

General manager Brian Cashman found quite the bargain when he landed McCarthy, at least that is the case thus far. The question is, why the sudden turnaround for the pitcher?

Perhaps the change of scenery did the trick. Maybe the pressure of a playoff race has McCarthy focused on bringing his A game. Or perhaps it is because the Yankees are letting him use his cutter.

Multiple reports indicated that the Diamondbacks had told McCarthy to abandon the pitch in favor of throwing his sinker more frequently. However, according to John Harper of the New York Daily News, the Yankees’ analytics team determined that McCarthy could see more success by going back to the pitch, and so he has.

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Now he is less predictable, and the Yankees are reaping the benefits.

In other Yankees news, the team acquired left-handed pitcher Chris Capuano from the Colorado Rockies for cashconsiderations following Thursday’s game.

Capuano never played in the majors for the Rockies this season, but posted a 4.55 ERA for the Boston Red Sox earlier this year. Capuano could provide help as a specialist in the bullpen, as Matt Thornton has struggled to get lefties out this year. He could also come in hand as a spot starter should youngsters like Chase Whitley and David Phelps need a rest.

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Sports are my passion. I am a proud supporter of the Yankees, Jets and Knicks, but also a general fan of the three respective sports and leagues. In addition to Double G, you can find my work on Bleacher Report and The Setonian, Seton Hall University's award winning college paper. I can be contacted at gary.phillips@student.shu.edu or on Twitter @GPhillips2727.
About the Author

Sports are my passion. I am a proud supporter of the Yankees, Jets and Knicks, but also a general fan of the three respective sports and leagues. In addition to Double G, you can find my work on Bleacher Report and The Setonian, Seton Hall University's award winning college paper. I can be contacted at gary.phillips@student.shu.edu or on Twitter @GPhillips2727.

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