Scranton Times-Tribune beat man Donnie Collins is reporting that former Trenton Thunder reliever Kevin Whelan has been called up to the big leagues by the New York Yankees.
As of now, no corresponding move on the 25 or 40-man rosters have been announced.
As late as opening day of this season, you could have told me that Whelan was going to pitch in the big leagues this season, I’d have probably laughed in your face. Harsh, but it’s true. There was never any doubt as to Whelan’s stuff or his talent, but I’d covered many a Whelan meltdown and he’d spent parts of the last four seasons in Double-A with varying levels of success, so it was hard to picture him being consistent enough to warrant a call-up.
Especially after last season.
Whelan would likely be the first one to tell you he wasn’t good in 2010. He split last year between Trenton and Scranton, and posted ERA’s over 5.75 in each spot. But boy did he turn things around this season.
The hard-throwing 27-year-old reliever recorded 17 saves for Scranton this year, posting a 1.73 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in 26 innings of work. He struck out 28, walked just six, and quickly thrust his name at the forefront of the discussion of possible call-ups.
In my experience in covering Whelan — and this is no secret — it’s all mental for him. As I said, there is no doubting his stuff or talent, but the bad outings would just snowball with him…so I think it’s fair to say that if his Yankees debut goes well, he could be in for a nice run with the big club. But if things go bad early…who knows what might happen.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com