Chase had a painful finish to the offseason, as he watched his beloved Alabama Crimson Tide and Atlanta Falcons both lose in dramatic fashion in the College Football Playoff national championship and Super Bowl...Chase grew up on a poultry farm in Ranburne, Ala., and still helps his family with the cattle in the offseason…his father, Couch, retired from poultry farming and now drives a school bus in addition to raising cattle…after he's finished playing, Chase hopes to return to Alabama to raise cattle...During the offseason he coached a basketball team of 11- and 12-year-old boys-including his cousin-and helped train and teach young athletes at the Excel Baseball Academy in nearby Oxford…Chase also played basketball at Ranburne (Ala.) High School...He married his high school sweetheart, Brooklyn, in December 2010…they welcomed their first child, son Clete Coleman, in February 2015…they volunteer at their church in the offseason (and he frequently speaks to the kids there).
Returned from Tommy John surgery to make 5 apps (1 start) with the Rays…was one of 16 pitchers to undergo Tommy John surgery in either 2014 or 2015 and return to the majors in 2016…that list includes his rehab partner, teammate RH Alex Cobb...Started the Rays season finale on Oct 2 at TEX…got no decision in his first major league start since May 14, 2015 at TB (with NYY), going 506 days in between…his line: 4 IP, 6 H, 2 R/ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR, 67 pitches, 48 strikes...Joined Tim Corcoran in 2005 and Cory Lidle in 1999 as the only Rays to make their first start in the last game of the season...His first 4 apps came out of the bullpen, making his season debut on Sep 11 at NYY- with 485 days in between major league apps…started the season without yielding an earned run in his first 9.2 IP...Made his first start of a rehab assignment on July 18 at Class-A Dunedin (Blue Jays)…went 1-0 with a 0.86 ERA (21-IP, 2-ER) in 6 rehab starts, 3 apiece with Class-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery…reinstated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Montgomery on Aug 17 when his rehab assignment expired…made 3 more starts there before his Sep 5 recall.
Made his ﬁrst career Opening Day roster and combined to go 4-3 with a 5.23 ERA (75.2IP, 44ER) in 24 appearances (12 starts) in two stints with the Yankees (5/5-8/21 and 9/2-28)... As a starter, was 3-3 with a 4.76 ERA (58.2IP,31ER)…allowed one of eight inherited runners to score and retired seven of 12 ﬁrst batters faced in relief... Was signed to a Major League contract and selected to the Yankees' 25-man roster from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to making his MLB debut at NewYork-NL on 5/15…pitched 4.2 scoreless innings, earning a no-decision in a 1-0 Yankees win (2H, 2BB, 4K)…according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Whitley became only the fourth pitcher in Yankees franchise history to make his MLB debut as a starter and allow zero runs, joining Sam Militello (8/9/92 vs. BOS), Vito Tamulis (9/25/34 at PHI) and Russ Van Atta (4/25/33 at WAS)…accordingto ESPN Stats & Information, it marked the ﬁrst time in more than 100 years the Yankees won a 1-0 game in which their starting pitcher made his MLB debut (last: Pete Wilson at Boston on 9/15/1908, complete game at Huntington Avenue Grounds)…also singled in his only plate appearance, becoming the fourth Yankees pitcher to record a base hit in his MLB debut since Interleague play began (also Tyler Clippard on 5/20/07 at NYM, Brad Halsey on 6/19/04 at LAD and Brandon Claussen on 6/28/03 at NYM-G2)... Earned his ﬁrst Major League victory in 6/6 win at Kansas City (7.0IP, 5H, 2ER, 0BB, 3K)... Was 3-0 with a 2.56 ERA (38.2IP, 11ER) in his ﬁrst seven starts (5/15-6/18), joining Masahiro Tanaka as the onlyYankees in franchise history to produce a non-losing start in each of their ﬁrst seven MLB games (credit: Elias)... According to Elias, Whitley became the ﬁrst Yankees pitcher in franchise history to record at least 5.0IP, allow ﬁve-or-fewer hits and issue zero walks in three consecutive starts (6/1 vs. MIN, 6/6 at KC and 6/12 at SEA)... The Yankees won each of Whitley's ﬁrst ﬁve road starts and were 6-1 in his ﬁrst seven starts overall... Faced 133 consecutive batters without issuing a walk, a streak that spanned parts of six starts from 5/21-6/18…became only the third Yankees pitcher since 1952 to record at least 5.0IP without walking a batter infour-or-more consecutive starts (5/26-6/12), joining David Wells (four times) and Fritz Peterson (twice)... Surrendered his ﬁrst home run to Seattle's Logan Morrison on 6/12, snapping a homerless streak of 27.2IP…did not allow a home run in his ﬁrst 53.1 combined innings between MLB and Triple-A in 2014... Made his ﬁrst relief appearance on 7/9 at Cleveland, earning the win in a 5-4, 14-inning Yankees victory (2.0IP,1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K)…entered in the 12th inning with the score tied at 4-4 and retired the ﬁnal six batters he faced... Pitched 6.0 scoreless innings but did not earn a decision in 7/22 win vs. Texas (7H, 0BB, 6K), his ﬁnal start ofthe season…was moved to the bullpen on 7/25 after LHP Chris Capuano was acquired by the Yankees and added to the starting rotation…made his ﬁnal relief appearance in 9/27 loss at Boston, tossing 2.0 scoreless innings (2H, 4K)... Went 3-2 with a 2.01 ERA (31.1IP, 7ER) and 37K in 10 appearances (six starts) with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre... Attended spring training with the Yankees as a non-roster invitee, going 1-2 with a 13.50 ERA (4.2IP, 7ER) insix relief appearances.
Made 29 appearances (5 starts) with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, going 3-2 with 3 saves and a 3.06 ERA (67.2IP, 23ER, 62K, 21BB)…held lefties to a .193 batting average (23-for-119)…finished the season as a starter, going 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA (22.0IP, 4ER)…produced a 0.00 ERA in July (9G, 17.1IP), going 2-for-2 in save opportunities and holding opponents to a .107 BA (6-for-56)…recorded a season-high 6.0IP on 8/30 at Lehigh Valley, allowing 0R and only 1H (5K, 1BB).