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Corey Kluber is the ace the Yankees need

Corey Kluber is the difference maker and impact arm the Yankees need atop their rotation.  In 2017 and 2018, Yankee fans wished ace-like status on Luis Severino, but his inconsistencies have left him just short of owning the name.  Kluber, 32, has been the definition of consistent for the Cleveland Indians, winning 18+ games four out of the last five years and winning 20 games in 2018 for the first time in his career. Kluber has posted an ERA below 3.50 every season since 2014, and has struck out at least 220 hitters in the same span. Kluber keeps getting better, and is not showing any signs of regression. Kluber is an ace, the ace the Yankees need.

Should the Yankees have protected Tyler Webb?

With the upcoming Rule 5 draft just a few weeks away the Yankees had to make some decisions on which Rule 5 eligible players should be protected. The Yankees eventually decided to protect shortstop Jorge Mateo, third baseman Miguel Andujar, and pitchers Dietrich Enns, Giovanny Gallegos, Ronald Herrera and Yefrey Ramirez. Because of their healthy minor league system, the Yankees were going to have to leave some of their prospects unprotected and exposed to the Rule 5 draft, thus the penalty for having a good farm system.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

Because of the tight roster spots, the Yankees left reliever Tyler Webb was left unprotected. Webb, a left hander with a big frame of 6’6”, 225 lbs, was selected in the tenth round of the 2013 draft out of the College of South Carolina, the same alma mater of pitching prospect Taylor Widener who I wrote about last week. In 2016 Webb posted a 4-3 record with a 3.59 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 72.2 innings across 36 games and five starts. Webb projects to be a reliever at the big league level as he has had better success in that role (2.65 ERA in 31 relief appearances in 2016). Webb has also only relieved up until this year when Scranton Wilkes-Barre needed him to start a couple games due to the lack of starting pitching depth. Take away Webb’s five starts this season and Webb has a career 2.94 ERA in 214.2 minor league innings. Webb has also had some closing experience in the minors has he has successfully converted 18 saves in 24 opportunities.

As a big lefty reliever at the cusp of the major leagues, Webb is most likely to be taken in this off season’s Rule 5 draft and could very well stick with the club that chooses him. Even though the Yankees are deep in the reliever department, I personally think Webb should have been protected. The biggest reason is because I think a big left handed reliever like himself could find success in the major leagues and establish himself as a trusted reliever. While Webb doesn’t throw terribly hard for a guy his size, but his off speed pitches and his deception while pitching could help him up in the Bigs. While I know it’s tough to protect everyone and I’m not sure out of who was protected I would replace him with, I would’ve liked to have seen Webb protected as he could very well be with another team come next season. 

Article by: Julian Bussells
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