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Stephon Tuitt Authentic Jersey In 2016, Hendricks pitched 190 innings with a 2.13 ERA — best in MLB — and finished third in the National League Cy Young voting. He tossed a gem in Game 6 of the NLCS against Clayton Kershaw and started Game 7 of the World Series against Corey Kluber.
That is what you would call a successful year, but will he ever be that pitcher again? History says it’s unwise to bet against Hendricks.
After his first 11 starts of the season, Hendricks had a 4.08 ERA with just 61 2/3 innings pitched. He went on the disabled list June 5 with tendonitis in his right hand and returned to action seven weeks later on July 24, but his fastball velocity still had yet to return. That could have to do with Hendricks’ mechanics, which have been uncharacteristically spotty this season.
There are a couple things I’ve been trying to fix, Hendricks told Sporting News. It’s very minimal. When you look at it on video it’s hard to even see.
But the 2017 season has not been kind to Hendricks. His fastball velocity has seen a surprising drop, from nearly 90 mph to just 83-85 mph on average, leading many to wonder whether he can still be an effective starting pitcher.
Need to know: The Yankees’ rotation is led by a revitalized CC Sabathia and emerging youngster Luis Severino, but the struggles of Masahiro Tanaka and injury to Michael Pineda have left the Yankees lacking in the rotation. GM Brian Cashman has talked about being a cautious buyer, but dealing for Gray would require abandoning a bit of that caution. Still, the Yankees have a farm system stocked with excellent prospects, and the idea of adding a young, club-controlled starter such as Gray might convince Cashman to loosen the prospect strings.
Need to know: This would mostly be about finding an ace-type pitcher for playoff pushes in 2018 and 2019, but the Braves are still at .500 this season and would love to make a run at a wild-card spot this season. Gray would help on both fronts.