The Yankees have two games on Friday. J.A. Happ is not starting either of them. The Yankee say he has to wait until Saturday, when he is scheduled to pitch against the Mets.
No big deal, right? Well, Happ has a vesting option for $17 million for next season that kicks in if he makes 10 starts or throws 61 1/3 innings (that’s prorated for the 60-game season).
The Yankees haven’t come out and said it – they’d be nuts if they did admit it – but limiting Happ’s outings and innings would sure be a swell way to keep that expensive option from vesting.
Moving Happ back one little ol’ day could be part of a plan to accomplish that. Or it could be completely innocent.
Which does Happ think it is?
“That’s a longer story,” Happ said on Tuesday. “You guys (reporters) are pretty smart. It actually doesn’t take too much to figure out sort of what could be going on. It certainly seems like . . . I don’t know.”
Happ, 37, is 1-1 with a 6.39 ERA in three starts. He has thrown 12 2/3 innings. He last pitched on Aug. 16.
He’d like to pitch more.
“I know that I’m healthy,” he said. “I know that I’ve been healthy. I know that I’ve been ready to go . . . That’s sort of where I’m at with that.”
Happ called it “a daily struggle” to pitch well with an uneven workload.
“I’d like to be out there every five days and do what I’ve prepared to do,” he said. “I think I can help us.”
Manager Aaron Boone said the Yankees will start Jordan Montgomery in one game of Friday’s seven-inning doubleheader against the Mets. The other game is to be determined, as are both seven-inning doubleheader games on Sunday. Boone said prospects Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt are being considered for the TBD starts.