Tuesday, April 7, 2015
An unusual offseason and spring training for the Yankees have brought us to this juncture: Their long-term future looks more encouraging than it has in, let’s say, 10 years. And their short-term future looks more discouraging than it has in, let’s say, 23 years.
So what if those looks come to fruition and we’re left with a micro-bad, macro-good campaign? One in which the Yankees not only miss the playoffs for a third straight year but also finish under .500 for the first time since 1992, while also developing a promising core at both the major-league and minor-league levels?
Are the Yankees allowed to have one of those years?
“We’re not allowed to have a bad month,” said Brian Cashman, the team’s longtime general manager, “let alone six months.”
And yet you’ve had 24 bad months and counting…
Monday, April 6, 2015
NEW YORK—Edwin Encarnacion homered and Russell Martin drove in a pair of runs as the Blue Jays knocked around Masahiro Tanaka and celebrated a 6-1 Opening Day victory on Monday at Yankee Stadium.
Toronto hung a five-run third inning on Tanaka, who leaned heavily on his offspeed pitches as he attempts to pitch through a partial tear of his right ulnar collateral ligament. The right-hander needed 82 pitches to get through four frames, forcing the Yankees to go to the bullpen early.
Blue Jays: Drew Hutchison (R) vs. Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (R)
1. Jose Reyes (S) SS
2. Russell Martin (R) C
3. Jose Bautista (R) RF
4. Edwin Encarnacion (R) 1B
5. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B
6. Dioner Navarro (S) DH
7. Dalton Pompey (S) CF
8. Kevin Pillar (R) LF
9. Devon Travis (R) 2B
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Brian McCann (L) C
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B
7. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH
8. Stephen Drew (L) 2B
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS
Sunday, April 5, 2015
2015 CAIRO v1.0 Final Player Projections and Standings
I know that technically the season has started, but here’s the final version of the 2015 CAIRO projections as well as my final projected standings.
Here’s a link to the spreadsheet of the individual projections.
And here are the final projected standings.
W: Projected final 2015 wins
L: Projected final 2015 losses
RS: Projected final 2015 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2015 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)
W+/-: Projected wins within one standard deviation
Nothing really stands out here, aside from the fact that even the notoriously biased CAIRO can’t make the Yankees look very good. They can contend if they have a bunch of players exceed expectations, but that’s an optimistic outcome and not a particularly realistic one.
Maybe I’ll feel differently tomorrow, but I don’t really care that the season is starting. I didn’t watch a pitch of spring training, and if the Yankees are playing a day game tomorrow I haven’t made up an excuse to work from home to watch it.
I hope they do well this year, but I don’t think they will. Poor us…
Friday, April 3, 2015
Alex Rodriguez handled first base so well against the Pirates on Thursday at Steinbrenner Field that Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he would be confident using him in a real game.
“I’m glad he’s confident. Yeah, I think I can manage. Everything to help the team win,’’ said Rodriguez, who scooped two Stephen Drew throws from shortstop out of the dirt for outs and just missed turning a 3-6 double play at second. “I thought it was a play I could have made. But I didn’t make it.”
In his second stint at first, Rodriguez played six innings, recorded seven putouts and one assist.
I’d rather see Rodriguez at first every day over Teixeira, honestly.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
“Tanaka is not healthy right now because I believe Tanaka is hesitant to let it go,” said Martinez, an analyst for TBS and MLB Network. “Tanaka is hanging all those breaking balls that he is throwing.
“The only pitch he is committing to is the split finger, and his problems are actually in a place where you don’t need to put any more stress, which is the elbow. And he’s hesitant. He’s hesitating to throw his fastball, and he’s hanging every breaking ball he’s throwing out there. Plus his velocity is not there yet.”
Please. What would Pedro Martinez know about pitching?
In need of another healthy infielder by Opening Day, the New York Yankees have acquired Gregorio Petit from the Houston Astros for cash.
The teams announced the deal Wednesday night. New York says Petit will report to major league camp.
Petit batted .278 with two homers and nine RBI in 37 games with the Astros last season. He played in 85 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City, hitting .297 with 10 home runs and 43 RBI.
Petit has also played for Oakland (2008-09) and is a .278 career hitter in 62 big league games.
Four days after Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius got hurt, backup Brendan Ryan strained his right calf during Wednesday’s spring training game against Tampa Bay. He is expected to begin the season on the disabled list.
All signs point to Petit making the Big League squad as the back-up at short and second base. There is a reason he didn’t play in the Majors between 2009 and 2014, so don’t expect much from the guy, but he is clearly a good defender and his bat has a little tiny bit of pop in it (plus, he’s a righthanded hitter, which gives Girardi the option to sit either Gregarious or Drew late in a game against a lefty). Plus, he’s so disposable that he can be cut easily when Ryan returns.
However, there is also the slight chance that Nick Noonan makes the team over him and Petit goes to AAA as the back-up plan. Hell, there’s even a theoretical scenario where Refsynder still gets the call and Petit and Noonan go to AAA if Refsnyder can’t hack it at second base.
But the most likely scenario is Petit breaks camp as the Yankees backup shortstop and second baseman. He’s a pretty good defender, so this move is fine, as it wasn’t like Ryan was going to be a great hitter, either.
EDITED TO ADD: Well, Noonan and Refsnyder were both sent down (along with Chase Whitley, surprisingly enough), so it looks like the job belongs to Petit (unless someone interesting gets cut by another team right before the season begins. You just know Cashman is dying for a return of former Yankee MVP*, Jayson Nix).
*As voted on by John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Ellsbury has no worries about being ready for the April 6 season opener against Toronto.
“I don’t have any issues,” he said, adding: “I’m ready now.”
Monday, March 30, 2015
After Sunday’s 7-0 victory over the Astros, the Yankees optioned outfielder Ramon Flores to Triple-A and re-assigned seven players—catchers Francisco Arcia and Kyle Higashioka, infielders Cole Figueroa and Jonathan Galvez, outfielder Slade Heathcott, left-hander Jacob Lindgren and right-hander Nick Rumbelow—to Minor League camp.
Lindgren had enjoyed a strong spring, posting a 1.23 ERA in eight appearances spanning 7 1/3 innings. The 22-year-old was a long shot to make the club, with just 25 professional innings under his belt, but Cashman said earlier on Sunday that Lindgren had made a good impression in camp.
“Obviously, we’ve kept him this long for a reason—because he’s continued to open people’s eyes,” Cashman said.
Like a lot of you, I was surprised by the move, as Lindgren has looked so good and when he was drafted, everyone pointed out at the time that it seemed like the plan was to get him to the Majors as soon as he showed that he could pitch there, and he certainly seems to have shown he can pitch in the Majors. Chad Jennings, though, had an interesting take on the situation at LoHud...
I have no idea what the Yankees are going to do about those final two spots in the bullpen. I think Chase Whitley is a favorite for one of those spots, if only because I think they’ll want another long man other than Esmil Rogers (and all the other long relief candidates have been sent away). What I can’t figure out is who the favorites might be for that last spot in the pen. I do think it’s worth noting that Chris Martin and Chasen Shreve are on the 40-man and have options, and I think that final bullpen spot might be very flexible early in the season. For that reason — because the 12th reliever might have to go up and down to Triple-A a few times — I’m not surprised the Yankees steered away from Jacob Lindgren. He’s looked great, but I imagine that once he’s on the big league roster, the Yankees want him to stay there. Why not carry Martin or Shreve out of camp, send him down for a sixth starter in late April, and then think about adding either Lindgren or Andrew Bailey?
I think he’s probably correct that both Lindgren and Bailey (presuming Bailey remains healthy) will return to the Majors, so whoever makes the roster now will likely be a placeholder.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
TAMPA — Nine and two-thirds inning of game work for CC Sabathia this spring, the last five of those coming Saturday at the Yankees’ minor league complex for Triple-A affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against the Pirates’ affiliate Indianapolis. Five home runs allowed.
A reporter asked the veteran lefty how much stock anyone should put in the results we’ve seen so far.
“I don’t give a [expletive] what stock they put in it,” Sabathia said, as the Yankees were losing a 10-2 game to the Orioles at Steinbrenner Field. “It is what it is. I’ve had spring trainings where I’ve given up a lot of runs and went out and had a good season. I’ve had spring trainings like last year where I didn’t give up [any] runs and I gave up [six] in the first game [April 1 at Houston]. So you all can put stock in whatever you want. I’m not really worried about it.”
So this was new: a defiant Sabathia. We haven’t seen much of this before. Nor had we heard him drop an F-bomb in a formal interview.
I haven’t seen any spring training so I have no idea how Sabathia’s stuff looks. But that’s more important to me than his actual results.
In other pitching news, the Yankees have released Scott Baker and re-assigned Kyle Davies. They will be missed.