The Yankees Double A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder, won 4-0 today, continuing a tremendous run by winning 15 of their last 18 games.
While many of those wins were decided by a very potent offense, today it was the pitching of Lance Pendleton, a 26-year-old veteran of six Yankee Minor League seasons.
That long without getting above Double A means the Yankees really like him.
Anyway, he looked good, and had a perfect game going through four innings. He ended up walking three, allowing two hits before leaving after his seven strong innings. He threw 99 pitches and I wonder why the Yankees took him out, since he is 26, past Tom Verducci’s innings limit age restrictions, and is not really a hot, young prospect.
But the Yankees follow all the ground rules for starting pitchers, rarely letting them go more than seven innings.
That is a mistake. Pendleton is big and strong with an effortless delivery. He spots his fastball very well, and mixes in a nice, tight breaking ball. He knows how to pitch. But most major league teams listen too much to scouts that a certain pitcher is not a “top of the rotation” guy, so the organization doesn’t put much into the pitcher other than being an “organizational arm.”
Because he becomes a minor league free agent after next season, the Yankees have his rights basically for another two years.
If Pendleton is not part of the Yankees future (similar to Daniel McCutchen, Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf, etc.), let the kid pitch and dominate. Then move him up to Triple A to get even better exposure. Then give him his shot to make the major leagues by allowing him to become a 7 to 9 inning workhorse, and trading Pendleton to another organization who will use him.
With another draft coming up in two weeks, plus the expected returns of Dellin Betances, George Kontos and Manuel Banuelos soon from rehabs, there might not be any more room at the inn for Pendleton.
And that would be a shame.