New Yankees get another shot at Mariners (Jul 20, 2017)
SEATTLE -- Todd Frazier, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and the Chicago White Sox suffered a three-game sweep against Seattle last weekend.
Those three players will get another crack at the Mariners this week, only this time as members of the New York Yankees, who open a four-game series Thursday at Safeco Field.
Frazier, a third baseman who was a two-time National League All-Star, and right-handed relievers Robertson and Kahnle were acquired by the Yankees on Tuesday night in exchange for reliever Tyler Clippard and three prospects.
Robertson succeeded Mariano Rivera as the Yankees' closer in 2014 before signing with the White Sox after that season.
"Those are all guys that can come in here and help us accomplish what we're trying to accomplish," Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner told The New York Times.
Frazier hit a career-high 40 homers last season for the White Sox but has struggled in 2017, batting .206 with 16 home runs and 44 RBIs. He could play first base for the Yankees, who will be without Greg Bird until at least September after he underwent foot surgery Tuesday. On Wednesday against Minnesota, Frazier struck out as pinch-hitter and was hit by a pitch.
Robertson (4-2, 2.70 ERA, 13 saves) and Kahnle (1-3, 2.50 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 36 innings with the White Sox) should help shore up a Yankees bullpen that has 18 blown saves, the most in the majors. Kahnle made his New York debut in a 6-1 loss Wednesday, pitching a perfect inning with two strikeouts.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the trade should send a message to his players.
"It should tell them, 'Hey, we're in this,'" Girardi told The Times. "We need to continue to play and play hard and play better than what we've done. But it should be a pick-me-up in there in a sense, like, hey, there's a lot of people who believe in this club."
The Yankees are scheduled to start right-hander Luis Severino (5-4, 3.40 ERA) in the series opener Thursday against Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez (5-3, 4.20).
Hernandez, who spent nearly two months on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, has won his past two starts. He is 10-6 with a 3.13 ERA in 20 career starts against the Yankees. Hernandez has not faced New York this year.
Severino is 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA in one previous start against Seattle, last year.
While the Yankees (48-45) currently hold the second and final wild-card berth in the American League, the Mariners (48-48) are one of several teams still in playoff contention.
Seattle just completed a six-game trip to Chicago and Houston in which it went 5-1 to get back to the .500 mark. Closer Edwin Diaz earned saves in all five victories.
"For us, coming out of the (All-Star) break and starting off like this is huge," Mariners catcher Mike Zunino told The News Tribune of Tacoma. "We're recharged. Everyone is all in for this second-half push. Hopefully, we can keep this going and make a run at this thing."