The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Monday, March 20, 2017

NY Times: Yankees Capitalize on 2nd Chance With Young Star Who Got Away

TAMPA, Fla. — In 2012, virtually all Latin American baseball scouts and their major league employers knew about Gleyber Torres, an athletic 15-year-old born in Caracas, Venezuela, who had supple hands and a potent, well-honed swing. All the big clubs with money to burn envisioned Torres in their own uniforms, and that included the Yankees.

Their international scouting department had targeted Torres as the top free-agent player outside the United States, and the Yankees were prepared to spend lavishly to sign him in July 2013, by which time he would be 16. But before that could happen, the Yankees, by the autumn of 2012, began to pick up some worrisome signals. Torres and his family were not talking to all the scouts the way they once were, and he wasn’t showcasing his talents for public consumption.

“He stopped doing tryouts and everything,” said Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager. “But he was our No. 1 guy. I kept talking to our guys.”

To no avail, however. The Chicago Cubs had managed to gain an inside track with Torres and his family. Everyone else, including the Yankees, was on the outside looking in.

Better late than never.  I’m still amazed that the Yankees were able to get Torres and more for a few months of Aroldis Chapman.

--Posted at 8:24 am by SG / 56 Comments | - (0)


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WFAN reporting Didi headed back to Tampa due to shoulder injury for further tests. Wade and Gleyber gets to stick around for a while longer.

Ugh… I see this season starting catastrophically… Girardi puts Hicks and Reuben Tejada in his circle of trust and we get Girardi telling everyone everyday those two guys gives the team their best chance to win with a combined OPS of .450. Cashman has to DFA both at end of July to pry the two players out of Girardi’s cold, dead hands and we end up not getting younger and also very boring to watch for 2/3s of the season.

[1] It’s that damn WBC, isn’t it?

Would they put Castro at short and give Refsnyder a shot?

Hardball Talk: Didi Gregorius has a right shoulder injury.

Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is leaving Team Netherlands and the WBC to fly back to Yankees camp in Tampa for tests on an injured shoulder. Ha already had a preliminary MRI which revealed a hematoma of the subcapsular muscle.

[1] To deal with this personnel issue, I suggest the following: release Jacoby Ellsbury.

I rather have Wade at SS than having both Castro and Ref

Is this where Didi gets Wally Pipped by Gleyber?


Pick a shortstop: Kozma, Tejada, Wade.  Erick Almonte is too old to reprise 2003.

I think they’d go with Torreyes at short with Refsnyder making the team. This doesn’t sound super serious, but may require a 15 day DL stint to start the season.

[8] Yeah, I don’t see this causing a drastic change in the Yankees plans to start the year.

[6] Wade is not on the 40 man roster.

[7] Kozma is not on the 40 man roster.
Tejada not on the 40 man roster.

Yeah, I assume it’s Torreyes at short to start the year.

Pineda left today’s game after a mediocre 1.2.  Pitch count or injury? Stupid WBC.

FWIW Torres is not on the 40 either, though you could easily clear a spot by DFA Ellsbury.

[11]  “Mediocre” is being pretty generous.

I mean, this game though proves how good Harper is going to look in a Yankee uniform standing in for simulated games for the flat ground squad.

This is where Castro’s ability to play shortstop really comes in handy, as it allows them to use Ref over the no-hit shortstops like Kozma and Tejada, with Castro backing up short.

[15] Which is only really a plus if Ref actually hits. He didn’t last year. I’m still not sure that this opens up much playing time for Ref. It’ll be Torreyes, but maybe Ref might make the team and get some more of that big league cash.

Saw this at RAB.

From MilB spring training:

Abreu throwing 98, Guzman 98-101 consistently.

Mateo with 2 triples.

16. I think there’s a chance if Refsnyder got off to a good start he could displace Torreyes. When Didi gets back in the lineup, you can basically slot Castro as the back-up SS while he still plays second base. The Yankees love Torreyes though, and why not? He’s versatile, a much better defender than Refsynder, and if Refsynder can’t produce a decent slugging percentage against MLB pitching, his bat doesn’t make-up the difference. I still have a feeling about Refsnyder though. I just like his offensive profile in the Minor Leagues. He makes contact, can hit the ball in the gap, draws walks, and is an underrated base-runner.

[18] Maybe, but I don’t know if he’d get the playing time to prove himself. Maybe if there were spots to pick up ABs in the OF, but with Hicks that’s unlikely.

Well, SS, Alex is still under contract.  wink

Geyber with another double he’s an effing hit machine.  Could he be an Al Kaline/Mike Trout type protege? 464/484/964.

Which is only really a plus if Ref actually hits. He didn’t last year. I’m still not sure that this opens up much playing time for Ref. It’ll be Torreyes, but maybe Ref might make the team and get some more of that big league cash.

He’ll likely hit more than Kozma or Tejada, at least.

Don’t get me wrong, this is still a very bad thing to be without Didi, just noting that Castro’s ability to be a backup at short allows them to start Torreyes at short with Castro at second as the everyday lineup and lets them carry Ref over the no-way-will-they-hit Kozma and Tejada. So that’s a better result.

Gleyber to the Bronx!

23- He could hold his own in the ML right now- I think he’s that good.

Another good day for the Birdman as well.

Pineda looked like same old guy in 2nd inning who can’t limit problems.  His velocity peaked at 93, so he looked tentative with his fastball. Used slider over and over and they started just taking them which ran up his count. Today didn’t argue for an extension, but it is one game.

Someone forgot to ‘spring ahead’, the time is still EST, not DST. For all of the money we pay for this site one would think that the clock would keep up.

How many players have been injured in WBC history? It does seem like it should occur enough for teams to start complaining..but maybe it hasn’t happened. I haven’t paid much attention.

It does seem like it should occur enough for teams to start complaining..but maybe it hasn’t happened. I haven’t paid much attention.

Didn’t it happen to Teixiera in the last WBC? That’s 2 WBC in a row that a prominent position player on the Yankees got hurt. George would have set the MLB offices on fire.

Gleyber might be MLB ready with the bat, but he makes too many errors on the field. There is no reason to rush him.
If Didi is out for 2-3 months this team will definitely be a seller come the trade deadline. I could see Gardner and Headley leaving, maybe Dellin too. We have to root hard for Smellsbury in the first half and hope a team takes on half his salary. Tanaka should be a goner too if they can’t extend him during the season, but I doubt this FO manages that situation well. And Pineda could figure something out and also could be a hot commoditie in July.
I hope this is the last fire sale before this team can project to 86-88 wins by 2018.

But maybe it’s not realistic to expect them to reach a contender level by 2018, maybe 2019 if things go well.

Every member of Team Puerto Rico looks like they’re going to an ironic screening of 8 Mile.

If Darvish hits FA and Tanaka opts out, who would prefer the Yankees go after?

Tanaka is a better pitcher, is significantly younger, and at least he hasn’t already had TJ surgery. Isn’t it the case that those that already had the surgery are more likely to need it again?

[31] Tanaka. But the Yanks should get both.

Tanaka is a better pitcher

I think that’s up for debate. Despite different approaches, they have pretty similar results/value in both FIP and RA based WAR. With both it’s also hard to get a complete picture since they haven’t been consistently healthy in the ML.

I’m not sure I would use health as a decider between the two either. While Darvish has had TJ, it’s not like Tanaka’s elbow is the picture of health. If anything, the edge probably goes to Darvish.

Tanaka doesn’t walk people, but he is slightly more hittable and gives up a tad more hard contact. Darvish has the potential to be more dominant, but his higher walk rates leave him slightly more vulnerable to larger innings.

I think Tanaka’s age is a slight advantage. If his K rates come back up towards his 2014 numbers, I think he’s the clear target, but if he sticks in the 7.5-8 range, I think it’s more of a toss-up (the Yankees do like their strike-outs.

Tanaka could be better if he didn’t allow so many HR.

The average Tanaka start always feels like 7 IP, 1 BB, 7 K, but 3-5 R because of 1-3 HR allowed. As if he only has a few bad pitches but those pitches are destroyed every time.

Also, FG positional rankings are out. So-so at 1b/3b but C in top 5.

Hey guys, I’m putting out the annual call for RLYW fantasy players. We have 1-2 spots to fill on existing teams. Shoot me an email if you’re interested: clayhoadley at gmail

[27] The WBC makes me more anxious about pitchers than full-time players. Hitting and fielding seem like similar endeavors whether in spring training or the WBC. Pitching high-stress innings in the WBC feels like a far more taxing activity and a greater injury risk. Watching Andrew Miller coming in that DR game to face a murderers row with the game on line, I would be holding my breath if I were an Indians fan. I don’t want to see him reaching back for something extra to get high leverage outs in early March. Glad Betances is no longer involved.

Bryan Hoch‏Verified account @BryanHoch

Didi Gregorius has a strain, no baseball activity for two weeks, will not be ready for Opening Day.

I discovered I can’t stay focused on a fantasy season if there isn’t money on the line, but if anyone is taking up a spot and needs a team name: Ben Heller High Water. I’ll leave it to you to do your own Bridges/Heller photoshop job.

37 NYT “This is a sport where injuries happen,” said Andrew Miller, a reliever for the United States team and the Cleveland Indians. “Ideally, you take care of yourself as well as you can and prepare for everything.’’

In a spring training game, Miller said, he might simply work on throwing fastballs down and away. The game result hardly matters. But in the W.B.C., he said, “guys are out here trying to get outs and get hits.” The games do matter, and Miller has to pitch accordingly.

H/T to deadspin Bird’s Cat:

I love the WBC and hope it stays, despite its many flaws.

Taking a 2-3 week break like hockey for the Olympics makes the most sense to me. I also hate how to beef up non-baseball country rosters, Americans just play for countries their families are from. I’d rather Italy just suck than have a bunch of Americans play for them. It also sucks the final will be decided via 1 game opposed to a series. The goal is to grow the game, but maybe do qualifiers for different regions in the year before and then only winners play in this tourney.

As for injuries, oh well.

[42] It happens infrequently enough that a shorter season and a longer AS break would be fine.

How would you implement a shorter season every four years? That seems insane. Or do you just mean cutting the regular season back entirely, which will never happen for practical reasons.

chris sale mowing down yankees isn’t exactly heartening.

No TV. No Gleyber. Sales will be like 7-0 vs us.  Mitchell exemplifies blah.

Thinking optimistically added Gleyber to my phone’s dictionary.

Agree. Maybe the best players will play. How many MVPs and CY are playing?

In what way, exactly, do the results of the WBC matter ? And to whom ?

To me it’s like the Olympics or the Oscars or any of the rest of that garbage. Neither of which I have watched, much less cared about, since Leon Spinks and Sugar Ray Leonard.

I’d rather they feature the AAA World Series or All Stars or just show Rat Patrol reruns (in Technicolor!!)

Wade as a stopgap shortstop sharing time at SS/UTIL with Torreyes is interesting, but he’s not on the 40 and I doubt they make a move for this purpose.

[50] There’s a chance that Didi misses all of April. So a bigger move MIGHT happen. But Wade is still probably behind Ref, Solano, Tejada and even probably Kozma. At least at this point in time. Wade certainly isn’t a great hitter, but I imagine the Yankees want him to have some time at AAA before they throw him into the ML.

Why not simply Castro at SS and Ref at 2b?

Because Castro is a bad SS, Ref is a bad 2B, and neither of them can hit enough to mitigate their bad defense.

Look, if being bad at baseball was any sort of detriment to playing for the Yankees, they would never have signed Youk.

Gleyber to the Bronx!

A month is a long freakin’ time to be without one of their more important players.

Oh well, hopefully they just stick with a Castro/Torreyes/Ref platoon at short and second. I don’t see them making a trade with Didi returning by May. The guy they traded for would then be superfluous. And why burn a 40-man spot if they don’t have to?

Castro/Torreyes/Ref is not a great 2B/SS platoon, but nor is it godawful. I imagine Castro at 2B and Torreyes at short will be the regular lineup and then occasionally Castro playing short and Ref second.

I actually like Torreyes a lot. He is a good defender who can hit a little tiny bit. Did you know that Torreyes was actually the 9th-ranked Yankee in WAR last year? Crazy.

Page 1 of 1 pages: ‘Hiro ball: Tanaka hogs spotlight, beats Sale
(4 Comments - 4/28/2017 4:17:50 am)

Yankees (12-7) @ Red Sox (11-9), Thursday, 4/27/2017, 07:10p ET
(61 Comments - 4/27/2017 11:10:04 pm) Severino, Judge lead Yanks to win over Sox
(26 Comments - 4/27/2017 5:52:32 pm)

Yankees (11-7) @ Red Sox (11-8), Wednesday, 4/26/2017, 07:10p ET
(57 Comments - 4/27/2017 12:20:42 am) Ells, Montgomery not enough in Yanks’ loss
(44 Comments - 4/26/2017 1:51:20 pm)

Yankees (11-6) @ Pirates (7-10), Sunday, 4/23/2017, 01:35p ET
(45 Comments - 4/25/2017 12:50:40 am) Yanks break out the bats to overpower Bucs
(12 Comments - 4/23/2017 1:52:14 pm)

Yankees (10-6) @ Pirates (7-9), Saturday, 4/22/2017, 04:05p ET
(45 Comments - 4/23/2017 3:26:05 am) CC battles, but stuff not sharp vs. Bucs
(3 Comments - 4/22/2017 2:38:30 pm)

Yankees (10-5) @ Pirates (6-9), Friday, 4/21/2017, 07:05p ET
(41 Comments - 4/22/2017 2:01:18 pm)