Yankees general manager Brian Cashman isn't worried about his team's diminishing lead in the AL East after three straight losses to the Blue Jays.
"Toronto came in, it was a tight series, we pitched extremely well and we obviously came [out] on the short end of the stick," he said Monday. "Obviously, [Monday]'s a much-needed day off, then we go to Cleveland [Tuesday] and hopefully get back on track and get the offense going."
The Yankees, who lead the Blue Jays by 1 1/2 games (three in the loss column), have scored four runs in five games and are scoreless in their last 26 innings -- their longest such streak since 1991, when they went 32 innings without a run. They batted .151 against Toronto and .163 in the last five games.
The Yankees had a seven-game lead on July 28 -- eight games over Toronto -- but Cashman said no one in the organization figured the division was wrapped up. "We've never assumed anything, so I wouldn't say there's any alarm going off," he said. "We've not accomplished anything. Our efforts haven't changed, there's nothing new and different. You wake up every day trying to win that day's game, trying to improve the club the best you can, whether it's outside or inside. Most recently, all our improvements have come from within; it's as simple as that. There's no alarm going off because you know there is no presumption of anything prior."
Cashman regularly checks the waiver wire. "We're always trying to improve the club," he said.
He reiterated that he wasn't going to deal away top prospects. "We tried at the deadline, we just weren't going to do it at the expense of [Aaron] Judge, [Luis] Severino or [Greg] Bird,'' he said. "But we certainly made our efforts, and a lot of offers we made, they didn't fit compared to other offers they were getting, so we'll continue to try. Where we currently are in the standings, most players are getting blocked before they get to us."
He added, "I think the perception currently is we should have added pitching, but yet we're pitching great. Our offense has gotten cold right now and our offense has been spectacular all year and put us, along with our pitching, in the position we're in. But we've hit a little bit of a cold streak. I don't know if [facing] the knuckleballers [Steven Wright and R.A. Dickey] had anything to do with it or it's just our turn on the struggle wheel because of the ebbs and flows of a season. If we can start stringing some wins together, things should start taking care of themselves."
Joe Girardi has spoken of the need for another starting pitcher as the Yankees enter a 16- game stretch with no days off. Barring any transactions, Cashman said that pitcher will come from the current roster. Bryan Mitchell and Adam Warren are the top in-house candidates.
"We've toyed with, 'Do you send Mitchell down to get him a spot start to line up [for the rotation]?" Cashman said. "It's going to come off the 25-man roster."