Midseason Report Card: Chasen Shreve

Grade: B-

I feel like in the context of this season a B- grade may be a little generous but since his season thus far has been an improvement over his 2016 campaign it seems somewhat fair. Still, Chasen Shreve has never been able to get back to the level he performed at for the first half of the 2015 season and has fit right into a bullpen that has been the Achilles heel for a 2017 Yankee team that fell flat on its face heading into the All Star Break.

Credit: Chris O'Meara AP

First Half Performance:

Coming into this spring, it was no sure thing that Shreve would make the team. He was coming off of a disastrous 2016 season in which he pitched to a 5.18 ERA. In 37 appearances he pitched in 33.0 innings, allowed 19 earned runs, walked 13 and posted a 1.27 WHIP. That was the follow up to his debut in pinstripes in 2015 when he pitched to a 3.09 ERA in 58.1 IP.

In addition to his step back in performance Shreve would have to compete with Tommy Layne, who performed well after signing with the team in August of 2016. With all but two or three of the team’s bullpen slots up in the air, it was unclear if there would be room for two lefty specialists.

Shreve made the team though and even though he has pitched better than last season, his performance has been average at best and he has failed to establish himself as a trustworthy option for Joe Girardi. So far this season Shreve has appeared in 26 games, pitching 24.1 innings and posting a 2.96 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 14 walks. Although he has only allowed 17 hits so far this season, Shreve has been killing himself with walks. Even though he has allowed less hits than innings pitched he still has an ugly 1.27 WHIP. Shreve doesn’t have overpowering stuff and he cannot afford to be walking guys and struggling with his location. In a season that has provided plenty of opportunities so far, Shreve hasn’t proven to be reliable or that he is any closer to being what he was back in 2015.

Credit: Caylor Arnold USA Today Sports 
Second Half Expectations:

Shreve was sporting an ERA under two as far into the season as late June, but a poor close to the month shot his ERA up to just under three and it has sat there ever since. Shreve was used sparingly in the weeks leading up to the All Star Break, very rarely pitching a full inning. Whether that means Joe Girardi has lost trust in him remains to be seen but we are now more than two full years removed from his best stretch of baseball and the further we get the less likely it is that he will turn back into that pitcher.

It seems more and more likely that he is nothing more than an average bullpen arm who benefits because he throws left handed and while his numbers against left handed batters are good, holding them to a .172 average for his career, Shreve just doesn’t seem to pass the eye test. His stuff isn’t overpowering and his tendency to walk batters often makes innings far more interesting then they need to be. Tommy Layne has already been DFA’d and released, so Shreve’s spot on the team would seem to be safe for now. His only other competition for the lefty role in the bullpen is Tyler Webb who has been riding the Scranton shuttle while the team has struggled to find capable relievers.

Still, I wouldn't expect him to turn back into 2015 Chasen Shreve anytime soon and while his spot may be safe for now, if the Yankees are able to upgrade their bullpen as the season progresses, Shreve's forgettable performance may put him out of a job. 

Article by Matt Graziano



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