Friday, August 19, 2016
NEW YORK — For now, the rest of this Yankees season will go as such in regards to the starting rotation:
1) Masahiro Tanaka (9-4, 3.40)
2) Michael Pineda (6-10, 4.89)
3) CC Sabathia (7-10, 4.49)
4) Chad Green (2-2, 4.05)
5) Luis Cessa (2-0, 5.30)
The first three you know and have mostly been dependable this season for regular starts, even if Pineda and Sabathia’s ERAs are high. But Green and Cessa are recent additions with the loss of Nathan Eovaldi to elbow surgery, Luis Severino to poor performance, and Ivan Nova to a trade.
Green (25) and Cessa (24) were both brought over in a surprise trade with the Detroit Tigers last season in exchange for lefty reliever Justin Wilson, and boy, does that look like a good move right about now.
Wilson, 29, was a fine reliever for the Yankees in 2016 (3.10 ERA in 61 innings) but in 49 games with Detroit this season his ERA has jumped to 4.67 and he’s already allowed two more home runs in 16.2 fewer innings.
But even with all of Wilson’s troubles aside the Yankees, with that one move last December 9, have found two pitchers they’re relying on to finish this season that, even after a mid-season fire sale of their best players, isn’t over. They’re 61-59 heading into this weekend series in Los Angeles against the Angels and with some luck they could find themselves fighting for the American League Wild Card down the stretch.
I don’t think I had much of an opinion on the Wilson trade at the time, since I chose to instead use the thread about it to whine about the stupidity of the Ellsbury contract, again.
But fret not, only four years and one month and 12 days of whining left!
Anyway, Wilson was pretty good last year, not so good this year and the Yankees got a couple of guys who may or may not be useful this year and beyond. Green’s AAA performance can’t be ignored, nor the flashes he’s shown in a few starts this year. Cessa hasn’t been as impressive in either AAA or the majors, but his stuff seems capable of at least being a bullpen guy if he can’ t hack it in the rotation.
So kudos to Cashman, who’s been doing a damn fine job of trading with a roster that’s not that easy to trade from..
Thursday, August 18, 2016
HOUSTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gary Sanchez has quickly supplanted seven-time All-Star Brian McCann as the New York Yankees’ top catcher.
The 23-year-old hit his fifth home run since he was brought up on Aug. 3, his fourth in four games, during the Yankees’ 7-4 loss to Toronto on Wednesday.
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, speaking at the owners’ meetings in Houston, said general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi will decide the future of McCann, who is signed through 2018.
“It was always the case that Sanchez at some point was going to come up and hopefully come up to stay,” Steinbrenner said. “So we’ll cross that bridge in the offseason when we come to it. But McCann’s a great player, too, so we’ll just have to figure that out.”
Carlos Beltran was traded to Texas and Alex Rodriguez was released as part of the Yankees’ recent youth movement, and McCann is the latest veteran to lose playing time.
McCann probably deserves to be starting somewhere, and my guess is he’ll be traded this offseason, even though the Yankees will likely have to eat some of his salary to do it.
I’m also assuming Brett Gardner will be traded this offseason as well, which I would not be happy about on an emotional level, but which I would completely understand from the organizations’ perspective. I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see him traded now if he were to clear waivers.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
1. Devon Travis (R) 2B (.299/.333/.483, 2.8 bWAR)
2. Josh Donaldson (R) DH (.291/.402/.561, 6.3 bWAR)
3. Edwin Encarnacion (R) 1B (.270/.357/.560, 3.2 bWAR)
4. Russell Martin (R) C (.235/.337/.386, 1.0 bWAR)
5. Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS (.257/.325/.476, 2.5 bWAR)
6. Melvin Upton (R) CF (.246/.292/.403, 1.4 bWAR)
7. Ezequiel Carrera (L) RF (.256/.342/.364, 0.5 bWAR)
8. Darwin Barney (R) 3B (.256/.307/.350, 1.5 bWAR)
9. Darrell Ceciliani (L) LF (.130/.167/.217, -0.4 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.264/.340/.462, 18.8 bWAR)
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.263/.352/.379, 2.3 bWAR)
2. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.253/.332/.384, 2.1 bWAR)
3. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.257/.294/.404, 0.4 bWAR)
4. Gary Sanchez (R) DH (.340/.367/.660, 0.8 bWAR)
5. Aaron Judge (R) RF (.357/.438/.857, 0.3 bWAR)
6. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.287/.315/.468, 2.1 bWAR)
7. Tyler Austin (R) 1B (.375/.375/.750, 0.1 bWAR)
8. Austin Romine (R) C (.248/.275/.414, 0.1 bWAR)
9. Aaron Hicks (S) CF (.202/.260/.323, -0.5 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.259/.314/.409, 7.7 bWAR)
Yay, Gardner’s back!
After a rain delay, the Blue Jays scored 12 unanswered runs against the Yankees to erase a six-run deficit and reclaim sole possession of first place in the American League East with a 12-6 victory at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night.
With his team trailing by two runs, Edwin Encarnacion tied the game with a clutch home run in the eighth inning off relief pitcher Adam Warren, driving in Josh Donaldson, who drew a 12-pitch walk just two pitches earlier. Three batters later, Russell Martin broke the tie, unleashing his second home run of the game, scoring Troy Tulowitzki and giving the Blue Jays a two-run lead. Tulowitzki and Martin combined for six hits, five RBIs and three home runs.
Thanks to Boston’s defeat of Baltimore, interestingly enough also decided by an eighth-inning two-run home run, the Blue Jays now hold a one-game advantage over the Red Sox and Orioles, who are tied in second place. With the loss, the Yankees fell to 5 1/2 games back of a Wild Card berth.
Six games back for the second wild card is more or less eliminated, but it wasn’t like we expected them to make the playoffs. I’m fine with them just playing well overall, even if they don’t make the playoffs. 85 wins is likely not enough to make the playoffs, but it would be enough to make me hopeful for the next season (and I suspect it would force their hands with regards to spending on someone like Aroldis Chapman this offseason).
Anyhow, this is the second game this season that the Yankees got screwed by a rain delay. Michael Pineda was rolling along before the rain led to him being pulled. That said, when Adam Warren, who has been excellent as the eighth inning guy since he returned to the Yankees, got his ass kicked and then Chasen Shreve and Brian Parker followed, I guess it didn’t make a difference if Pineda stayed in the game or not, since nearly every non-Tyler Clippard (who continues his fine play since being re-acquired) reliever stunk. Still, this was an awful loss.
Gary Sanchez is great, though. It sure would be nice to see Tyler Austin playing first base tomorrow night instead of Mark Teixeira.
Luis Cessa is getting Nathan Eovaldi’s rotation spot. That’ll be interesting to see.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
1. Devon Travis (R) 2B (.297/.332/.480, 2.8 bWAR)
2. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B (.291/.400/.562, 6.3 bWAR)
3. Edwin Encarnacion (R) 1B (.268/.357/.555, 3.1 bWAR)
4. Michael Saunders (L) DH (.266/.351/.501, 2.3 bWAR)
5. Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS (.249/.319/.462, 2.2 bWAR)
6. Russell Martin (R) C (.232/.336/.366, 0.7 bWAR)
7. Darrell Ceciliani (L) LF (.158/.158/.263, -0.3 bWAR)
8. Melvin Upton (R) CF (.244/.288/.402, 1.4 bWAR)
9. Ezequiel Carrera (L) RF (.258/.346/.368, 0.7 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.263/.343/.473, 19.2 bWAR)
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.266/.322/.365, 2.0 bWAR)
2. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.254/.333/.383, 2.1 bWAR)
3. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.285/.314/.460, 2.1 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.199/.289/.333, -0.4 bWAR)
5. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.257/.295/.405, 0.4 bWAR)
6. Brian McCann (L) DH (.232/.334/.406, 1.1 bWAR)
7. Gary Sanchez (R) C (.302/.333/.512, 0.5 bWAR)
8. Aaron Judge (R) RF (.500/.583/1.200, 0.4 bWAR)
9. Aaron Hicks (S) LF (.205/.263/.327, -0.3 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.249/.311/.393, 7.9 bWAR)
Is it time to throw Tyler Austin on a milk carton?
Thanks in large part to two players who were teammates in Triple-A as recently as four days ago, the Yankees took another step toward pushing their way into the postseason conversation.
Behind six scoreless innings from starting pitcher Chad Green and an RBI double from rookie right fielder Aaron Judge, the Yankees held off the Blue Jays, 1-0, at Yankee Stadium. Judge’s double gave him an extra-base hit and an RBI for the third straight game to open his career, making him the first player in American League history to achieve such a feat. He’s also the first player in Yankees history to record an extra-base hit in each of his first three career games.
“It’s still the same game,” Judge said about his quick transition to MLB pitching. “You’ve just got to try to go out there and have fun.”
Toronto had a chance in the ninth, putting runners on the corners with one out, but Yankees closer Dellin Betances got Edwin Encarnacion to ground into a game-ending double play. With the win, the Yankees are still 4 1/2 games back of the second AL Wild Card spot, but the division race between Baltimore and Toronto is now tied.
What an amazing win. Chad Green is an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a riddle, as he literally either dominates or gets annihilated. It’s so freakin’ weird. However, when you are able to strike out eleven Blue Jays in six innings while not allowing a single run, then you’re someone worth watching.
Dellin Betances continues his odd tenure as closer with another high wire performance. What a play by Chase Headley to seal the victory! It’s great to see him return to form at third base. I think he’ll be a fine veteran presence on this team for the next couple of years.
And Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez…wow, what can I say about them that hasn’t been said? Any time you set a good Major League record it is a good day, and Judge did that with his third straight game with an extra base hit to start his career. And Sanchez looks like a star veteran out there. I’m so happy to have them here. Brian McCann is actually still a fine player. He’s actually been more or less worth his contract so far. And yet I’d love to see him traded to free up more at-bats for Sanchez and the other guys like Tyler Austin and Greg Bird (Teix retiring will free up first base, but McCann being gone will free up DH). That said, I wouldn’t just GIVE McCann away. A McCann/Sanchez/Romine platoon at C/DH is still pretty good. Tyler Austin is the one who gets sort of “screwed” in the process.
Monday, August 15, 2016
1. Devon Travis (R) 2B (.302/.337/.488, 2.8 bWAR)
2. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B (.292/.401/.565, 6.3 bWAR)
3. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH (.271/.360/.560, 3.2 bWAR)
4. Michael Saunders (L) RF (.268/.354/.505, 2.4 bWAR)
5. Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS (.248/.319/.464, 2.2 bWAR)
6. Darrell Ceciliani (L) LF (.125/.125/.188, -0.3 bWAR)
7. Justin Smoak (S) 1B (.223/.316/.408, 0.0 bWAR)
8. Melvin Upton (R) CF (.246/.290/.405, 1.5 bWAR)
9. Josh Thole (L) C (.158/.252/.208, -0.8 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.260/.339/.479, 17.3 bWAR
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.267/.323/.364, 1.9 bWAR)
2. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.253/.329/.381, 2.0 bWAR)
3. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.288/.317/.466, 2.2 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.201/.289/.337, -0.4 bWAR)
5. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.260/.297/.409, 0.5 bWAR)
6. Brian McCann (L) DH (.230/.330/.406, 1.0 bWAR)
7. Gary Sanchez (R) C (.275/.293/.500, 0.4 bWAR)
8. Aaron Judge (R) RF (.429/.500/1.286, 0.2 bWAR)
9. Aaron Hicks (S) LF (.204/.263/.328, -0.2 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.249/.310/.394, 7.6 bWAR
I feel like this is the series where the Yankees’ hopes and dreams of contention will finally get crushed for good.
This Yankees month of August, not even halfway over yet, might end up in a sports management textbook someday. They’ve covered pretty much everything, haven’t they?
Selling high on an asset (Carlos Beltran). Selling low (Ivan Nova). Graceful exits for senior talent (Mark Teixeira). Awkward exits for senior talent (Alex Rodriguez).
The energy and excitement that come from a youth movement. And, on Sunday, the growing pains and speed bumps that accompany a youth movement.
Luis Severino, recalled from the minor leagues to fill an injury void, went right back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barres after getting pummeled in a 12-3 loss to the Rays at Yankee Stadium, ending the Yankees’ four-game winning streak in undramatic fashion. While a second major league homer in two major league games by rookie Aaron Judge gave the crowd of 41,473 something to cherish besides Mariano Rivera receiving his Monument Park plaque, Severino provided a sobering reminder that, in baseball, he who goes up often comes down.
After all, Severino and first baseman Greg Bird served as the Yankees’ youth movement last year, necessary reinforcements that allowed the team to hang onto a playoff spot. Bird has missed the entire season recovering from right shoulder surgery, and Severino sports a ghastly 7.19 ERA in 12 big league games.
The problem with Severino’s lousy pitching right now is the Yankees’ rotation is really thin. With no Eovaldi and Ivan Nova traded, they essentially have Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia and nothing else. I guess they can try and throw Chad Green and Luis Cessa out there a few times and see what happens. They don’t have any other real starting pitching options on their 40 man roster unless they want to try and stretch out Adam Warren.
Sunday, August 14, 2016
All season, Yankees manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman have vowed that the Yanks can get younger and still compete at a high level. On Saturday, the team backed up that notion.
Behind five home runs, two of which were hit by players making their Major League debuts, the Yankees defeated the Rays, 8-4, for their fourth straight win. The two rookies, Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge, started at first base and right field, respectively, and went back to back in the second inning, becoming the first pair of teammates in MLB history to record their first career home runs in their first at-bat in the same game. Both finished 2-for-4 with a home run and a single.
“I don’t think I could’ve asked for anything better,” Austin said. “Especially with us coming out on top with a win today, I think that was pretty awesome.”
I was a big believer in Tyler Austin for years. Even after he struggled after his wrist injury, I thought he would be able to rebound and still be a good player. But then last year happened and I joined with everyone else and just thought that he was finished, that the injury just ruined his career. I still cheered a bit when the Yankees were able to DFA him and still re-sign him (I am always impressed when Cashman does that - he’s like a DFA ninja), but that was more nostalgia than anything else. So to see him not only make it to the Majors but go 2-4 with a home run and a stolen base? That was something special.
The Yankees hit five home runs yesterday, the oldest player to hit a home run was 26. That was a special win.
Saturday, August 13, 2016
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.269/.326/.368, 2.1 bWAR)
2. Aaron Hicks (S) LF (.198/.259/.314, -0.3 bWAR)
3. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.255/.330/.384, 2.0 bWAR)
4. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.286/.316/.458, 2.0 bWAR)
5. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.258/.296/.403, 0.3 bWAR)
6. Gary Sanchez (R) DH (.313/.333/.500, 0.3 bWAR)
7. Tyler Austin (R) 1B
8. Aaron Judge (R) RF
9. Austin Romine (R) C (.258/.285/.430, 0.3 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.259/.308/.396, 6.7 bWAR
Austin and Judge? That’s fun.
Starlin Castro drove in four of the Yankees’ six runs in Friday night’s 6-3 win over the Rays at Yankee Stadium, but it was New York’s first run of the night that fans will remember best.
Before what’s widely expected to be the last game of his 22-year career, Alex Rodriguez had time to reflect on what made him a three-time American League MVP and a 14-time All-Star. Rodriguez didn’t disappoint when he stepped to the plate in the first inning, lining a double into right-center field at a velocity Statcast™ estimated at 103 mph to plate Brett Gardner from first base and knot the score at 1.
“It was great,” Rodriguez said of the double. “I haven’t played a lot of baseball lately, and Chris Archer’s not a guy that I’m racing to go face. I saw him before the game, and I told him to take it easy on the old man. I gave him a hug, and he smiled. He’s a great competitor. I was just glad to drive the ball, especially to right-center, where I’ve made my living.”
Rodriguez was nearly moved to tears by rousing cheers from the crowd in the ninth inning, when he took the field for one last time, playing third base for the first out of the frame. He then left the game to an ovation and hugs from teammates. Rodriguez finished the night 1-for-4 with two groundouts and a strikeout.
Boy, Joe Girardi sure knows how to put together sendoffs, doesn’t he? Are they going to do something for Teix, as well?
Anyhow, what a great win. What a great moment for A-Rod in the ninth to be able to play third base. Ronald Torreyes must be thinking, “Awesome! I get into a game!” That RBI double was great. It got A-Rod’s batting average to .200 for the season, so he ended up above the Hicks line.
How freakin’ adorable was Girardi’s press conference, by the way? Dude was openly weeping.
Tyler Austin will be taking A-Rod’s spot on both the 25-man roster and the 40-man roster. Hopefully he takes Aaron Hicks’ spot in the lineup.
Good luck to A-Rod! I imagine he’ll try to get a job somewhere else, but I am a bit wary about whether any team will give him a shot. My favorite Yankee, Dave Winfield, did whatever it took at the end of his career to keep playing, so I could see A-Rod doing the same thing. “You want me to be a pinch-hitter only? Okay, I can do that.” I just don’t know if any team will accept him. Four home runs away from 700. Yikes. Hard to say no to that.
What is all of your favorite memory of A-Rod as a Yankee? Mine is probably the two home run/seven RBI inning in his final game of the 2009 season to get to exactly 30 home runs and 100 runs batted in. That was in-sane.