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TAMPA Eddie Rosario Jersey , Fla. (AP) — and will start the regular season on the injured list.New York general manager Brian Cashman said Betances has an MRI on Tuesday after the 6-8, 265-pound right-hander lacked velocity in his fastball.“He’s had a history in the past of slow starting, but this was a little bit more longer and more significant than we recalled,” Cashman said.Betances, who normally reached the upper 90s, has topped at 92 or 93 mph throughout spring training.He curtailed his offseason throwing program awaiting the birth of his child and was given permission to report a few days late for spring training.“I feel like I was trying to rush it,” Betances said. “I just felt like I was behind the whole time. I’m not too concerned because I think it was just more for caution.”Betances said he will not throw for three to five days.“We need to give him a timeout, hit him with an anti-inflammatory so we can restart that clock,” Cashman said.Betances went 4-6 with a 2.70 ERA in 66 games last season.“Not the end of the world to have him miss a little bit of time and save some innings over the course of a long season,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We’re obviously going to need him and count on him in a big way.”New York has a deep bullpen with Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino and Chad Green. Left-hander Stephen Tarpley is among the candidates to take Betances’ roster spot.At least seven Yankees will be on the injured list when New York opens the regular season against the Baltimore Orioles on March 28: Betances, starting pitchers Luis Severino, CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery, outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Hicks, and shortstop Didi Gregorius.Exploring options to help fill the void with Severino and Sabathia sidelined, Green served an opener and allowed a run in the first inning before rotation candidate Luis Cessa went four scoreless innings in a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.Tampa Bay extensively used relievers as part of opener and bullpen games last season because of rotation injuries en route to a 90-72 record.“It’s just another thing you can throw at a different team Robbie Grossman Jersey ,” Green said. “I wouldn’t say every team is capable of doing it, but it seems like our bullpen is deep enough where we’re able to cover some innings. For us, I think it makes sense. It’s worked in the past for some teams. Obviously it worked for Tampa last year.”Severino, out with right shoulder inflammation, will not be available until May at the earliest. Sabathia is likely to miss the first week or two as he recovers from an offseason that included knee surgery and the insertion of a stent after a blockage was found in an artery from his heart.Severino is set to resume playing catch Wednesday, while Sabathia is scheduled for his first minor league game Thursday.The Yankees agreed Monday to a minor league contract with 33-year-old left-hander Gio Gonzalez, who arrived in camp Tuesday and passed his physical. He could pitch in a game as soon as Saturday.Masahiro Tanaka heads a rotation that includes James Paxton and J.A. Happ. Cessa, Jonathan Loaisiga and Domingo German are competing for two open rotation spots.SPECIAL PITCHAbbey Burns, older sister of Yankees OF Billy Burns, threw the ceremonial first pitch. She has also done it at one of his games at Mercer College and Tuesday marked the seventh time with different pro teams Billy has been with. Abbey has competed in the Special Olympics in both equestrian and swimming.RAYS REPORTTampa Bay two-way minor leaguer Brendan McKay is scheduled to be the starting pitcher in Thursday’s game against Atlanta. “That will be exciting for all of us to get to watch,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. … Opening day starter Blake Snell will make his final spring training start Friday in a minor league game. … 3B Matt Duffy (hamstring) could play Thursday. When Aaron Judge suffered a chip fracture in his right wrist July 26, the initial expectation was that he would only be away from the New York Yankees for a couple of weeks.Well, it's been over a month and the slugging right fielder still isn't back. As much as anything, this explains why Andrew McCutchen is on his way to New York.Not long after the Yankees blew a ninth-inning lead en route to a crushing 8-7 loss to the Detroit Tigers Thursday night, reports surfaced that the San Francisco Giants had agreed to trade McCutchen to the Yankees. According to Joel Sherman of theNew York Post, two prospects are going to San Francisco:Joel Sherman Joelsherman1I hear if the trade is completed #yankees will be sending two prospects to the #sfgiants for McCutchen and that Abital Avelino is one of them.McCutchen, the 2013 National League MVP Kyle Gibson Jersey , isgoing from a sub-.500 Giants team to an 84-50 Yankees club that's positioned for a wild-card berth. Because he was acquired ahead of the August 31 waiver trade deadline, he's eligible to stay with New York for the duration of its October ride.For the Yankees, it's a solid baseball trade.Abiatal Avelino only checks in as their No. 23 prospect atMLB.com.And perRandy Millerof NJ.com, the $2.45 million left on McCutchen's contract shouldn't put the Yankees over the luxury-tax threshold.Now that the basics are out of the way, it's on to the heart of the matter: This deal shouldspare the Yankees from a nightmare of their own making.Adam Hunger/Getty ImagesOriginally, it wasbelieved that Judge would need only three weeks of rest before he was able to swing a bat again. More than three weeks later, however, the 2017 American League Rookie of the Year still isn't close to swinging a bat again.It doesn't need to be speculated that the Yankees erred in thinking Judge could make such a swift recovery. General manager Brian Cashman admitted as much toShermanon August 20:"[Yankees team doctor Chris] Ahmad was optimistic. He recognizes these things take four to six weeks, but for some reason his experience with Judge, [Ahmad] went the most optimistic three weeks. That was a mistake, one he has self-admitted to. In fairness to Aaron, four to six weeks is typical. Usually, we don't over-promise. In this case, we missed on the timeline. It is unfair to the player. The optimism and the timeline were inaccurate."If thereissomething to speculate about, it's whether the Yankees ran with an aggressive timeline for Judge's recovery for the sake of convenience.At the time he was hurt, they had already lost fellow slugger Gary Sanchez to astrained groinand young outfielder Clint Frazier to aconcussion. According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, they adjusted their deadline priorities accordingly:Jon Heyman JonHeymanYankees looking for an extra hitter/OF with judge (and Sanchez and Frazier) out. Probably prefer a righty hitter. But the grandy man cgrand3 could be a potential fit.Under these circumstances Logan Morrison Jersey , a conservative recovery timeline for Judge might have signaled a greater sense of desperation to potential trade partners, resulting in boosted price tags.Had the Yankees' maneuvering worked, it would have been worth a tip of the ol' cap. Instead, nothing happened in the final days of July or through the first 30 days of August. And the Yankees paid for it.Sure, they have a winning record (19-14) in the time Judge has been out. But theiroffense has gone from a .789 OPSwith himto a .762 OPSwithout him, and the team's deficit to the Boston Red Sox in the AL East race has grown from 4.5 games to 8.5 games.By not rushing to bring in help from outside the organization, the Yankees took asense of urgency that should have been on their shoulders and transferred it onto Judge's.Thus, it's no wonder that he recently spoke about returning before he was 100 percent healthy."That's what I've heard, that I can play with it," the 26-year-oldtold reportersTuesday. "I don't need surgery, I don't need anything like that. You can play with it before it fully heals. It's just getting that pain down to zero."Maybe an early return would have worked. This is Aaron Judge, after all.He's a .284/.412/.595 hitter with 78 home runs over the last two seasons. Even a sub-100 percent version of him might have still proved to be elite.However, it's just as likely that an early return would have resulted in calamity.There would have been the risk of his wrist catching another wayward fastballlike the onethat hit him in July. Other forces (an awkward check swing, a hard headfirst slide, a diving catch attempt) could also have put his wrist in jeopardy.Even if Judge avoided all of these, he might not have been up to being a savior anyway. He could have been held back by out-of-whack timing. Or, the 6'7" Orlando Arcia Jersey , 282-pounder'swounded wrist could have rendered him unable to conjure his trademark power.Now that McCutchen is coming to the rescue, there's no need for Judge to rush.McCutchen isn't Judge's equal at this stage of his career, but he can still hit. He has a .772 OPS and 15 homers on the season, and a solid .794 OPS and six homers since the All-Star break.If nothing else, McCutchen is a better option in right field than what the Yankees had been going with in place of Judge.While Giancarlo Stanton and Neil Walker have done their part to carry the load, Shane Robinson has done plenty to chip away at it. The Yankeesrank 28thin right field offense since July 28.Having McCutchen in right field should take care of that problem in the short term. Because of that, Judge can take more time to let his wrist heal. With enough luck, it will be good to go in time for the postseason. At that point, McCutchen would go from a solid everyday player to an enviable platoon option.Of course, it's hard not to wonder where the Yankees would be right now if they'd traded for McCutchen sooner. They'd almost certainly be closer to the Red Sox in the AL East race. If so, their September would be less about saving face and more about seizing an opportunity.Still, a trade made late is better than a trade not made at all. Rather than too little, too late, McCutchen to the Yankees is just enough, just in time.Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and Baseball Savant.
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