What can the Yankees expect from Chance Adams?
Prior to Monday night’s rainout, Jonathan Loaisiga became the seventeenth Yankee to land on the I.L. this season, succumbing to a rotator cuff strain. Loaisiga had only taken one turn in the rotation to this point in place of the injured James Paxton, but will now be shut down for at least a month. The Yanks will now look to Chance Adams, who was recalled from Triple-A to take his place on the roster.
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You may recall that the right-hander briefly broke into the majors in late 2018. He made his major-league debut in a spot-start against the Red Sox, allowing three runs over five innings. Somewhat surprisingly, he appeared in just two games the rest of the way for the Yanks.
The 24-year-old has had quite the up-and-down year in Scranton to this point. He had surrendered 13 earned runs through his first 11.1 innings, but just three in the ensuing 18.2. Adams attributed the turnaround to mechanical adjustments, namely not standing as tall on the mound, per Yankees’ beat writer Bryan Hoch.
Adams has seen his stock fall in absurd fashion over the past 15 months. Heading into the 2018 season, MLB Pipeline had him ranked as the Yankees’ #2 prospect - after experiencing a dip in velocity, a 6% drop in ground ball rate and a one-plus point spike on his FIP, he now sits at #20. It is worth noting that he underwent surgery on his throwing elbow that offseason, though the concerning change in peripherals can be traced back to late 2017.
Adams has one of the more uncertain futures in recent memory. While the front-end starter projection may no longer be realistic, I believe he could thrive in being moved to a full-time relief role, similar to what we saw with Chad Green. Regardless, it’s far too early to simply give up on a one-time top prospect who terrorized the minors (2.19 ERA over his first 313 innings) just a few short years ago. It’s time to give Adams a second Chance.