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

RSS 2.0 Atom Yankees drop series finale to Rangers
(28 Comments - 4/28/2016 5:00:18 pm)

Player A vs. Player B
(16 Comments - 4/28/2016 4:50:52 pm)

Yankees (8-11) @ Rangers (11-10), Wednesday, 4/27/2016, 8:05pm
(30 Comments - 4/28/2016 9:13:14 am) Early deficit too much for Yanks to overcome
(23 Comments - 4/27/2016 8:42:37 pm)

Yankees (8-10) @ Rangers (10-10), Tuesday, 4/26/2016, 8:05pm
(20 Comments - 4/27/2016 9:10:57 am) Yanks ride Nathan’s no-no bid to victory
(18 Comments - 4/26/2016 3:34:56 pm)

Yankees (7-10) @ Rangers (10-9), Monday, 4/25/2016, 8:05pm
(43 Comments - 4/26/2016 8:56:47 am) Pineda hurt by home runs in loss to Rays
(6 Comments - 4/25/2016 3:00:41 pm)

Rays (7-10) @ Yankees (7-9), Sunday, 4/24/2016, 1:05pm
(32 Comments - 4/25/2016 12:14:53 pm) Blast from Gardy gives Yanks 1st walk-off win
(6 Comments - 4/24/2016 2:05:19 pm)


Current Projected

Look what people have to say about the RLYW!

CAIRO just takes the Marcels and changes the underlying assumptions and components in a bunch of ways that make the Yankees look better.

Wow, two stupid posts in one day. I think you’ve reached your yearly quota.

I don’t know if any of you current posters were around for that, but if so, I just can’t understand how you can call yourselves Yankee fans. Pathetic quitters is what you sounded like. Of the lame posts I could stand to read, the only person who had any confidence in the Yankees at that point was a (yeesh) Red Sox fan.
Jeter is King

Quite the attitude you have SG. Maybe you should shitcan this blog and join Steve at WasWatching? Or follow some other stupid team that has made the PS 15 of the last 17 years. Jeez… and some people think Yankee fans are entitled.

This site is best viewed with a monitor.

Disclaimer: If you think this is the official website of the New York Yankees, you're an idiot. Go away.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Player A vs. Player B

Player bWAR Salary Salary/bWAR
A 11.2 51,000,000 4,553,571
B 5.3 44,928,571 8,477,089


--Posted at 12:28 pm by SG / 16 Comments | - (0) Yankees drop series finale to Rangers

Starter Martin Perez earned his first win of the season, and the Rangers took their second straight over the Yankees with a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night. The Yankees have lost 10 of their last 14 games.

Perez, now 1-2 with a 4.20 ERA, allowed two runs on six hits, two walks and three strikeouts. All three strikeouts came in the first inning. The back end of the Rangers’ bullpen closed it out, with Jake Diekman pitching two scoreless innings and Shawn Tolleson working the ninth for his seventh save.

“Martin getting a win, hopefully it will settle him some,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “He came out strong in the first. You could see some urgency. We made some plays behind him. He battled. Not his cleanest outing, but good enough.”

The Yankees are now 28th out of 30 teams in the Major Leagues in runs scored (the 30th-ranked team is the Braves, who are the worst team I’ve seen since I guess one of those Houston Astros teams when they were losing 100 plus games every year).

The Yankees are now 23rd out of 30 teams in ERA (oddly enough, they’re also last in the American League, which is really weird - what’s up with National League pitching this year?).

It’s hard to even say that they’re just having hard luck with RISP, when their OBP is 21st in the league (okay, I guess 21st in OBP and 28th in runs does suggest some bad luck).

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a shitty team is just a shitty team.

--Posted at 8:03 am by Brian Cronin / 28 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Yankees (8-11) @ Rangers (11-10), Wednesday, 4/27/2016, 8:05pm

Yankees: CC Sabathia (L):  (15.1 IP, 5.28 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 0 bWAR) vs. Rangers: Martin Perez (L):  (24 IP, 4.50 ERA, 5.14 FIP, -0.1 bWAR)

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.253/.272/.373, 0.2 bWAR)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.271/.403/.407, 0.5 bWAR)
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.264/.289/.472, 0.2 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.254/.375/.403, 0.5 bWAR)
5. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.145/.242/.273, -0.4 bWAR)
6. Brian McCann (L) C (.259/.365/.444, 0.3 bWAR)
7. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.278/.325/.458, 0.3 bWAR)
8. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.157/.290/.157, -0.2 bWAR)
9. Ronald Torreyes (R) SS (.471/.471/.647, 0.4 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.247/.325/.391, 1.8 bWAR

1. Delino DeShields (R) CF (.229/.316/.314, -0.1 bWAR)
2. Nomar Mazara (L) RF (.365/.426/.519, 0.8 bWAR)
3. Adrian Beltre (R) 3B (.300/.345/.500, 1.3 bWAR)
4. Ian Desmond (R) LF (.211/.309/.366, 0.5 bWAR)
5. Ryan Rua (R) DH (.258/.258/.290, -0.1 bWAR)
6. Rougned Odor (L) 2B (.234/.272/.403, 0.1 bWAR)
7. Elvis Andrus (R) SS (.343/.370/.463, 0.5 bWAR)
8. Hanser Alberto (R) 1B (.143/.143/.143, -0.2 bWAR)
9. Bryan Holaday (R) C (.200/.273/.233, 0.3 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.266/.322/.396, 3.1 bWAR

I’m expecting a correction for CC.  No, not one where he pitches closer to his FIP.

--Posted at 5:05 pm by SG / 30 Comments | - (0) Early deficit too much for Yanks to overcome

A five-run third inning helped bring the Rangers out of their offensive malaise, and they snapped a four-game losing streak with a 10-1 victory over the Yankees on Tuesday night.

The Rangers finished with 13 hits after scoring four runs on 23 hits in their previous four games. Elvis Andrus had three hits, and Nomar Mazara had a two-hit night on his 21st birthday.

Nine of the Rangers runs scored with two outs, including those on homers by Ian Desmond and Rougned Odor.

I like “early deficit too much for Yankees to overcome.” While technically true, it makes it sound like the Yankees made this a real game at any point instead of it being a total blowout all the way through.

Severino has been such a major disappointment this year. He has pitched so poorly that I really would not mind him trying to work out some of his issues in the bullpen as a long man while Ivan Nova takes his rotation spot for a little bit. It is not that I have a lot of faith in Ivan Nova, as I do not but I think he would be at least mediocre, while Severino just looks lost out there.

This should not distract from the recurring suckitude of the Yankee offense, of course. They were bad once again. This might just be a bad team.

--Posted at 8:19 am by Brian Cronin / 23 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Yankees (8-10) @ Rangers (10-10), Tuesday, 4/26/2016, 8:05pm

Yankees: Luis Severino (R):  (16.2 IP, 4.86 ERA, 3.50 FIP, 0.1 bWAR) vs. Rangers: A.J. Griffin (R):  (17 IP, 3.18 ERA, 4.61 FIP, 0.1 bWAR)

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.268/.286/.394, 0.3 bWAR)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.268/.397/.411, 0.6 bWAR)
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.265/.292/.485, 0.2 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) DH (.238/.368/.397, 0.4 bWAR)
5. Brian McCann (L) C (.280/.390/.480, 0.5 bWAR)
6. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.290/.338/.478, 0.5 bWAR)
7. Dustin Ackley (L) 1B (.083/.214/.083, -0.2 bWAR)
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.250/.258/.383, -0.2 bWAR)
9. Ronald Torreyes (R) 3B (.429/.429/.643, 0.3 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.266/.331/.430, 2.4 bWAR

1. Rougned Odor (L) 2B (.233/.263/.370, 0.0 bWAR)
2. Nomar Mazara (L) RF (.354/.411/.521, 0.6 bWAR)
3. Adrian Beltre (R) 3B (.303/.349/.500, 1.3 bWAR)
4. Prince Fielder (L) DH (.187/.247/.293, -0.4 bWAR)
5. Ian Desmond (R) LF (.191/.286/.309, 0.2 bWAR)
6. Mitch Moreland (L) 1B (.222/.290/.413, 0.0 bWAR)
7. Elvis Andrus (R) SS (.317/.348/.429, 0.4 bWAR)
8. Brett Nicholas (L) C (.238/.304/.476, 0.1 bWAR)
9. Delino DeShields (R) CF (.242/.333/.333, 0.0 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.251/.312/.394, 2.2 bWAR

Is it too soon to label Severino a bust?

--Posted at 5:20 pm by SG / 20 Comments | - (0) Yanks ride Nathan’s no-no bid to victory

Starter Nathan Eovaldi took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before giving up a leadoff single to Nomar Mazara, and the Yankees held on for a 3-1 victory over the Rangers on Monday night.

Eovaldi was trying to become the first Yankees pitcher to throw a no-hitter since David Cone’s perfect game on July 18, 1999. That bid ended when Mazara grounded a single through the left side. There have been 10 no-hitters in the regular season in Yankees history in addition to Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.

“They’ve got a lot of early swingers, and I was just trying to locate the ball in and away and locate the offspeed pitches and be careful with it,” said Eovaldi, who improved to 1-2 and lowered his ERA from 6.11 to 4.38. “I feel like I’ve gotten better each outing. For it all to come together tonight, it was nice.”

Eovaldi, getting home run support from Jacoby Smellsbury and Starlin Castro, ended up going seven-plus innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out six. He left after a leadoff walk to Mitch Moreland in the eighth.

It’s always good to know that so long as you throw seven almost no-hit innings, the Yankees will probably score enough to support your start.

Seriously, though, Eovaldi was excellent tonight. This was the sort of performance you know Brian Cashman was thinking of when he made a point of trading for Eovaldi - the guy has such great stuff and a striking array of quality pitches that it really is a wonder that he isn’t a better pitcher than he has been so far in his career. Everything was working tonight, though, and Eovaldi just dominated the Rangers.

There was a sliiiiight scare when Dellin Betances gave up his first earned run of the season with a home run in the eighth inning, but Andrew Miller shut things down in the ninth and the Yankees won the game.

The offense was another shamockery when it came to actually scoring the guys it got on base, as they somehow only scored 3 runs despite having 13 men on base. That might not even sound quite so bad, except when you realize that two of the runs scored on home runs, so it was really one runner scored out of 11 men on base. But hey, it was enough to win the game, so I’ll take it!

Hopefully their ability to drive in runners heats up tomorrow for game 2 of this series!

--Posted at 2:09 am by Brian Cronin / 18 Comments | - (0)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Yankees (7-10) @ Rangers (10-9), Monday, 4/25/2016, 8:05pm

Yankees: Nathan Eovaldi (R):  (17.2 IP, 6.11 ERA, 4.06 FIP, -0.1 bWAR) vs. Rangers: Cesar Ramos (L): (NR)

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.258/.278/.348, 0.2 bWAR)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.294/.429/.451, 0.6 bWAR)
3. Carlos Beltran (S) DH (.277/.294/.508, 0.3 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.220/.361/.373, 0.4 bWAR)
5. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.277/.329/.431, 0.2 bWAR)
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.149/.293/.149, -0.2 bWAR)
7. Dustin Ackley (L) RF (.111/.200/.111, -0.1 bWAR)
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.250/.259/.393, -0.2 bWAR)
9. Austin Romine (R) C (.250/.308/.333, 0.0 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.247/.318/.379, 1.2 bWAR

1. Rougned Odor (L) 2B (.246/.278/.391, 0.1 bWAR)
2. Nomar Mazara (L) RF (.356/.404/.533, 0.6 bWAR)
3. Adrian Beltre (R) 3B (.319/.367/.528, 1.4 bWAR)
4. Prince Fielder (L) 1B (.181/.244/.278, -0.6 bWAR)
5. Ian Desmond (R) LF (.200/.297/.323, 0.2 bWAR)
6. Mitch Moreland (L) DH (.230/.288/.426, 0.0 bWAR)
7. Elvis Andrus (R) SS (.333/.364/.450, 0.5 bWAR)
8. Brett Nicholas (L) C (.222/.300/.333, 0.0 bWAR)
9. Delino DeShields (R) CF (.254/.347/.349, 0.1 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.259/.319/.402, 2.3 bWAR

How many homers will the Yankees’ starter give up tonight?

--Posted at 3:12 pm by SG / 43 Comments | - (0) New York Yankees’ Prospect Sandy Acevedo Killed in Car Crash

News of Alex Rodriguez’s oblique injury was not the only thing on the mind of the New York Yankees organization on Sunday. According to the Associated Press, Sandy Acevedo, an infielder in their minor league system who was set to begin his professional career this season, has been killed in a car crash. He was 18. No other details of the crash have been given as of time of publication.

The team says Acevedo died Saturday night in the Dominican Republic. He signed with the team last year as an international free agent and had not made the jump yet to the organization.
In a 2015 interview, Donny Rowland, the Yankees’ director of international scouting, described how the Yankees discovered Acevedo while working out another player, pitcher Yoan Lopez, who ended up signing with the D-backs.

“Acevedo was one of the hitters that we brought in to face him, and he absolutely owned him in three out of four at-bats and crushed stuff,” Rowland said in the interview. “That’s where our staff became sold on this guy. ‘We like the pitcher, but who is the hitter?’”

A moment of silence was held for him at Yankee Stadium before Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, and a picture of Acevedo batting was shown on the giant video screen in center field.

Sad news. 

--Posted at 9:30 am by SG / No Comments | - (0)

Sunday, April 24, 2016 Pineda hurt by home runs in loss to Rays

Steven Souza Jr. hit two homers and the Rays had five total off Yankees starter Michael Pineda and reliever Nick Goody as Tampa Bay took the final game of a three-game series with an 8-1 victory on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

The first four homers were hit off Pineda, who lasted five innings, allowed 10 hits and struck out nine. Two of the homers were hit in the top of the first inning, two-run shots by Corey Dickerson and Souza, who turned 27 on Sunday. Steve Pearce led off the third with a blast and Souza hit his second with two outs in fifth inning. Logan Forsythe finished the power display with an eighth-inning homer off Goody.

“Offense really came out and set the tone,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “There were some long home runs hit today. Souza, Dickerson, Pearce, the ball Souza hit to right was extremely impressive. You don’t see too many right-handers do that. Just a great offensive day, especially in that first inning.”

What’s funny is that yes, Pineda was godawful, just horrid, horrid, horrid. But had he given up just the first home run, the Yankees would have still lost, because their offense is, well, you know, lost.

Still, taking 2 out of 3 against Tampa Bay was good. Hopefully their bats heat up in Texas.

A-Rod’s MRI on his oblique was negative, but Joe Girardi rightly noted that an oblique issue can be a problem even without a positive MRI. We’ve seen batters hit with injuries before (Donnie Baseball, anyone?) and it can often not be pretty.

--Posted at 9:35 pm by Brian Cronin / 6 Comments | - (0)

Rays (7-10) @ Yankees (7-9), Sunday, 4/24/2016, 1:05pm

TBR: Drew Smyly (#33, 27, LHP, 0-2, 2.91) vs. NYY: Michael Pineda (#35, 27, RHP, 1-1, 5.29

1. Logan Forsythe (R) DH
2. Logan Morrison (L) 1B
3. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
4. Corey Dickerson (L) LF
5. Steve Pearce (R) 2B
6. Brad Miller (L) SS
7. Steven Souza Jr. (R) RF
8. Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF
9. Curt Casali (R) C

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH
6. Brian McCann (L) C
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
8. Starlin Castro (R) 2B
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS

Where would the Yankees be without TPASBG?

--Posted at 11:44 am by SG / 32 Comments | - (0)

Saturday, April 23, 2016 Blast from Gardy gives Yanks 1st walk-off win

Brett Gardner homered in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Yankees celebrated their first walk-off victory of the season, posting a 3-2 win over the Rays on Saturday and spoiling the Major League debut of touted prospect Blake Snell.

Gardner slugged his second career walk-off homer with two outs off right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, having also tied the game in the seventh inning with a run-scoring single that struck left-hander Xavier Cedeno.

“I felt good about getting a good pitch to hit,” Gardner said. “I think [Ramirez] was probably trying to go away and he went middle in, and I put a good swing on it. I felt good at the plate, felt like I was seeing the ball well, and was fortunate to get a good pitch to hit.”

The end result is obviously great, but boy, the Yankees once again struggled big time to score runs before the game-winning home run in the 9th.  Their first run scored on a wild pitch and the second run was on an infield single by Gardner following the previous batter loading the bases on a catcher’s interference call!!

Luckily, Tanaka pitched well and they DID come through with those runs. An improbable win tomorrow sure would be good for what ails the Yankees.

--Posted at 11:03 pm by Brian Cronin / 6 Comments | - (0)

Rays (7-9) @ Yankees (6-9), Saturday, 4/23/2016, 1:05pm

Rays: Blake Snell (L): (NR) vs. Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (R):  (17.2 IP, 3.06 ERA, 2.97 FIP, 0.5 bWAR)

1. Logan Forsythe (R) 2B (.298/.375/.526, 0.9 bWAR)
2. Logan Morrison (L) 1B (.049/.114/.049, -0.8 bWAR)
3. Evan Longoria (R) DH (.269/.300/.478, 0.4 bWAR)
4. Corey Dickerson (L) RF (.220/.245/.540, 0.3 bWAR)
5. Desmond Jennings (R) LF (.245/.322/.340, 0.6 bWAR)
6. Brad Miller (L) SS (.114/.188/.227, -0.6 bWAR)
7. Steve Pearce (R) 3B (.250/.323/.286, -0.1 bWAR)
8. Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF (.220/.333/.366, 0.6 bWAR)
9. Hank Conger (S) C (.200/.238/.200, -0.3 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.214/.279/.364, 1.0 bWAR

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.276/.302/.379, 0.3 bWAR)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.279/.426/.395, 0.5 bWAR)
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.293/.300/.552, 0.4 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.216/.375/.392, 0.4 bWAR)
5. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.143/.250/.265, -0.3 bWAR)
6. Brian McCann (L) C (.302/.412/.535, 0.7 bWAR)
7. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.259/.317/.431, 0.3 bWAR)
8. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.171/.300/.171, -0.2 bWAR)
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.286/.294/.449, -0.1 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.249/.330/.402, 2.0 bWAR

Remember when Castro had an OPS of 1.875?  Those were the days.

--Posted at 10:30 am by SG / 20 Comments | - (0) Ellsbury the catalyst as Yanks run past Rays

Jacoby Ells bury executed the first straight steal of home by a Yankees player in nearly 15 years, Brian McCann homered and drove in three runs and the Yankees held on for a 6-3 victory over the Rays on Friday at Yankee Stadium.

Ells’ fifth-inning dash carried him headfirst past catcher Curt Casali, tying the game at 3 after he took advantage of left-hander Matt Moore, who was attempting to work from the windup.

This game was essentially the precise opposite of all the frustrating games that the Yankees played last week. Their hitters came through in clutch opportunities and they also had one of the most exciting runs that they’ve scored in years, as their regular starting center fielder (who didn’t even start tonight! He replaced Aaron Hicks after Hicks injured his shoulder diving for a ball in the outfield) tied the game with a straight steal of home, possibly the most exciting game in baseball. has a wonderfully in-depth look at the pivotal steal here. I don’t recall thinking many times last season, “What the hell is the Yankee third base coach thinking?” so Joe Espada might actually be a good third base coach, and he sounds like one here, as he is the one who came up with the idea of the steal. The crazy thing is that it VERY easily could have been an out at home (the catcher had the ball in his glove before Ells gets to the plate, but Ells makes a beautiful slide where he caught the top of the plate with his hand ahead of the swipe of the catcher) and then I wonder what we would have thought of the call. I think I’d still have been pro the move, as Espada explains well how it was set up perfectly. Matt Moore was completely ignoring the runner at third AND was doing a full wind-up. I like one of the Yankees noting, though, “What if Gardner had to swing at the pitch (it was 3-2)? What if he hits you in the face with his bat?!”

Even after the steal, the game was only tied, but the Yankees somehow came through with a go-ahead single by Brian McCann (who earlier hit a two-run home run to tie the game after the Yankees went into a 2-0 hole) and then (GASP!) they got two insurance runs, also courtesy of Ells, who hit a two-out double (he got thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple, but come on, who could blame him at that point?). Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller were their usual unhittable selves. Can you imagine how good the back end of this bullpen is going to look when Chapman returns? That will be so awesome to see on the two games a week that the Yankees have a lead in the 7th. Ivan Nova had another excellent game out of the pen, earning the win with two and a third strong innings. Two things stood out to me about Nova:

1. That he has had only one bad inning so far this year (although it was one hell of a bad inning - bad enough that his ERA is still over 4)
2. That he was able to pitch two and a third just two days after pitching a scoreless inning. That’s really good to see.

Hopefully the Yankees can keep this going tomorrow. The interesting thing is that the AL East is filled with teams beating each other up, so if the Yankees win a couple more games here, they’ll be right back into the thick of things. Big if, I know.

--Posted at 2:41 am by Brian Cronin / 1 Comment | - (0)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Rays (7-8) @ Yankees (5-9), Friday, 4/22/2016, 7:05pm

Rays: Matt Moore (L):  (18.1 IP, 2.95 ERA, 2.98 FIP, 0.5 bWAR) vs. Yankees: CC Sabathia (L):  (10.2 IP, 5.06 ERA, 4.16 FIP, 0 bWAR)

1. Logan Forsythe (R) 2B (.288/.373/.500, 0.8 bWAR)
2. Brandon Guyer (R) CF (.381/.536/.524, 0.2 bWAR)
3. Evan Longoria (R) 3B (.258/.292/.468, 0.3 bWAR)
4. Corey Dickerson (L) DH (.244/.271/.600, 0.4 bWAR)
5. Desmond Jennings (R) LF (.245/.327/.347, 0.7 bWAR)
6. Steve Pearce (R) 1B (.240/.296/.280, -0.2 bWAR)
7. Steven Souza Jr. (R) RF
8. Tim Beckham (R) SS (.133/.188/.133, -0.2 bWAR)
9. Curt Casali (R) C (.179/.207/.321, -0.2 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.253/.318/.431, 1.8 bWAR

1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.300/.440/.425, 0.6 bWAR)
2. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.273/.322/.455, 0.3 bWAR)
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.296/.304/.574, 0.4 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.170/.350/.362, 0.2 bWAR)
5. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.156/.269/.289, -0.2 bWAR)
6. Brian McCann (L) C (.275/.383/.450, 0.4 bWAR)
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.189/.326/.189, -0.1 bWAR)
8. Aaron Hicks (S) CF (.095/.174/.095, -0.2 bWAR)
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.261/.271/.435, 0.1 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.234/.324/.390, 1.5 bWAR

Has any team ever been eliminated from the postseason by May 1?

--Posted at 4:07 pm by SG / 41 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, April 21, 2016 Yankees stink

Khris Davis and Coco Crisp hit back-to-back home runs off Chasen Shreve in the seventh inning on Thursday, highlighting a four-homer barrage by the Athletics in a 7-3 victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium that completed a three-game sweep.

Davis launched his first home run of the season to snap a 2-2 tie, and Crisp followed suit on the very next pitch, reaching the second deck in left field. The long ball support made a winner of left-hander Rich Hill, who held New York to two runs (one earned) and three hits over six innings while matching his season high with 10 strikeouts.

Losing five out of six at home to Seattle and Oakland is pretty darn terrible.

There’s still enough talent here that they probably aren’t quite this bad, but they’re also possibly not a whole lot better.

--Posted at 9:35 pm by Brian Cronin / 16 Comments | - (0)

Athletics (8-7) @ Yankees (5-8), Thursday, 4/21/2016, 7:05pm

Athletics: Rich Hill (L):  (13 IP, 4.15 ERA, 3.19 FIP, -0.1 bWAR) vs. Yankees: Luis Severino (R):  (10.2 IP, 5.91 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 0 bWAR)

1. Billy Burns (S) CF (.310/.341/.452, 0.0 bWAR)
2. Mark Canha (R) 1B (.143/.143/.357, -0.3 bWAR)
3. Josh Reddick (L) RF (.220/.333/.440, 0.4 bWAR)
4. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B (.269/.316/.308, -0.1 bWAR)
5. Stephen Vogt (L) C (.277/.314/.468, 0.3 bWAR)
6. Chris Coghlan (L) 3B (.184/.225/.316, -0.1 bWAR)
7. Khris Davis (R) DH (.174/.224/.196, -0.3 bWAR)
8. Coco Crisp (S) LF (.158/.220/.316, -0.1 bWAR)
9. Marcus Semien (R) SS (.217/.302/.478, 0.4 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.225/.284/.373, 0.2 bWAR

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.220/.255/.320, -0.2 bWAR)
2. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.280/.333/.480, 0.4 bWAR)
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.327/.333/.633, 0.6 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.182/.357/.386, 0.3 bWAR)
5. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.163/.250/.302, -0.2 bWAR)
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.182/.333/.182, 0.0 bWAR)
7. Aaron Hicks (S) LF (.050/.095/.050, -0.5 bWAR)
8. Austin Romine (R) C (.200/.273/.300, 0.0 bWAR)
9. Ronald Torreyes (R) SS (.500/.500/.750, 0.3 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.228/.303/.386, 0.7 bWAR

At least Severino is worth watching, right?

--Posted at 3:09 pm by SG / 43 Comments | - (0) Yanks limited to 2 solo shots in loss to A’s

Kendall Graveman pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning and struck out eight, leading the Athletics to a 5-2 victory over the Yankees on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Graveman limited New York to Didi Gregorius’ second-inning solo homer as he led Oakland to its fourth consecutive victory. Carlos Beltran hit an eighth-inning homer for the Yankees, who have lost six of their last seven.
“You gotta think to yourself, solo home runs aren’t going to beat you,” Graveman said. “I know our offense is going to turn it around, and then we score, put up some runs. That turned things around, and then I was able to put together some quick outs.”

Oakland produced all of the runs it needed in a three-run fourth inning against Nathan Eovaldi, who permitted eight hits and struck out seven in a six-inning effort. Billy Burns tied a career high with three hits and Khris Davis broke the game open with a two-run single off Branden Pinder in the eighth.

The worst offense ever is, surprisingly enough, the worst offense ever.

Aaron Hicks at least gave Yankee fans something to cheer about with the fastest throw since Major League Baseball began tracking the speed of balls thrown in from the outfield, as he nailed a runner at the plate with a 105.5 MPH throw from left field!

Nathan Eovaldi wasn’t awful. And the bonus runs likely wouldn’t have scored had the Yankees had the lead (as no way would Brandon Pinder be pitching the 8th if the Yankees had a lead). So this game really was a lot closer than the final score. So it was all on the offense yet again> This offense seems to do everything they can to avoid getting hit with men on base. It’s pathetic. Just pathetic.

Much of this is just bad luck, but it’s a mediocre team with bad luck, meaning that they sort of suck right now.

--Posted at 2:41 am by Brian Cronin / 24 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Athletics (7-7) @ Yankees (5-7), Wednesday, 4/20/2016, 7:05pm

Athletics: Kendall Graveman (R):  (11.1 IP, 2.38 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 0.4 bWAR) vs. Yankees: Nathan Eovaldi (R):  (11.2 IP, 6.94 ERA, 5.46 FIP, -0.1 bWAR)

1. Billy Burns (S) CF (.270/.308/.378, 0.0 bWAR)
2. Chris Coghlan (L) 2B (.176/.200/.294, -0.1 bWAR)
3. Josh Reddick (L) RF (.217/.327/.457, 0.6 bWAR)
4. Danny Valencia (R) 3B (.286/.340/.347, 0.1 bWAR)
5. Stephen Vogt (L) C (.250/.298/.432, 0.2 bWAR)
6. Jed Lowrie (S) DH (.286/.321/.327, 0.0 bWAR)
7. Khris Davis (R) LF (.143/.200/.167, -0.4 bWAR)
8. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B (.143/.163/.167, -0.4 bWAR)
9. Marcus Semien (R) SS (.238/.327/.524, 0.5 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.226/.282/.345, 0.5 bWAR

1. Aaron Hicks (S) CF (.059/.111/.059, -0.5 bWAR)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.308/.438/.436, 0.6 bWAR)
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.333/.340/.600, 0.6 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.200/.385/.425, 0.5 bWAR)
5. Brian McCann (L) C (.286/.390/.486, 0.4 bWAR)
6. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.154/.250/.308, -0.2 bWAR)
7. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.298/.340/.511, 0.5 bWAR)
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.225/.238/.350, -0.1 bWAR)
9. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.200/.342/.200, 0.0 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.244/.332/.407, 1.8 bWAR

If the idea of starting Hicksy in CF and batting him leadoff is to make me hate the Smellsbury deal less, it isn’t working.

Anyway, I had no idea Headley was batting .200 and slugging .200.  Good for him.

--Posted at 3:08 pm by SG / 59 Comments | - (0) Yankees allow A’s to get away in 11th

Jed Lowrie tied his career high with four hits and scored the deciding run on Mark Canha’s 11th-inning, two-out single, helping to lift the Athletics to a 3-2 victory over the Yankees on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Canha’s hit came off rookie Johnny Barbato, shooting just past the reach of shortstop Didi Gregorius and driving home Lowrie, who sparked the rally with a one-out double. The victory was credited to Fernando Rodriguez, who hurled two scoreless innings, while Ryan Madson worked the home half of the 11th to pick up his fifth save.

Another depressing loss for the offense, but at least the starting pitching from Michael Pineda was pretty decent. Oakland’s not much of an offense, either, but still, Pineda probably had his best game of the season. And the bullpen was awesome, as per usual. Johnny Barbato giving up a single run in his second inning of work isn’t really cause for concern, you know?

Man, right now both sides of the Aaron Hicks/John Ryan Murphy trade must be thinking, “Huh?” as both players seem like they’ve completely forgotten how to hit. They’re both still young-ish, but man, very strange.

--Posted at 4:24 am by Brian Cronin / 23 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Athletics (6-7) @ Yankees (5-6), Tuesday, 4/19/2016, 7:05pm

Athletics: Eric Surkamp (L):  (9 IP, 4.00 ERA, 6.24 FIP, 0.1 bWAR) vs. Yankees: Michael Pineda (R):  (11 IP, 6.55 ERA, 5.76 FIP, -0.2 bWAR)

1. Billy Burns (S) CF (.281/.324/.344, -0.1 bWAR)
2. Chris Coghlan (L) LF (.161/.188/.290, 0.0 bWAR)
3. Josh Reddick (L) RF (.238/.340/.500, 0.6 bWAR)
4. Danny Valencia (R) 3B (.273/.333/.295, -0.1 bWAR)
5. Stephen Vogt (L) C (.282/.333/.487, 0.2 bWAR)
6. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B (.227/.271/.250, -0.2 bWAR)
7. Khris Davis (R) DH (.162/.225/.189, -0.2 bWAR)
8. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B (.128/.150/.154, -0.5 bWAR)
9. Marcus Semien (R) SS (.237/.333/.553, 0.6 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.223/.282/.341, 0.3 bWAR

1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.314/.442/.429, 0.6 bWAR)
2. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.333/.378/.548, 0.5 bWAR)
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.341/.357/.610, 0.6 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.216/.383/.459, 0.5 bWAR)
5. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.118/.231/.294, -0.2 bWAR)
6. Brian McCann (L) C (.333/.444/.567, 0.5 bWAR)
7. Aaron Hicks (S) CF (.083/.154/.083, -0.4 bWAR)
8. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.154/.324/.154, 0.1 bWAR)
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.222/.237/.361, -0.1 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.253/.344/.427, 2.1 bWAR

Something about this lineup just feels right.  Swap out Headley for Torreyes and it’s likely the best lineup the Yankees can run out there right now.

That being said, I still expect them to get their asses handed to them.

--Posted at 2:36 pm by SG / 51 Comments | - (0)

NYDN: Yankees GM Brian Cashman has no explanation for Jacoby Ellsbury’s poor fielding

Even the Yankees’ general manager is scratching his head over Jacoby Ellsbury’s play in center field so far this young season.

“I don’t know what’s going on on the defensive side,” Brian Cashman said Monday. “I think I’ve seen three plays now where he’s misjudged a play in the air. I don’t have an explanation for it.”

Smellsbury misplayed two balls on the Yankees’ last road trip, one each in Detroit and Toronto, and then Sunday dove and missed for a liner by Norichika Aoki that went for a triple.

Add that he “double-clutched” on a throw on a play in which Ketel Marte, running on the pitch, scored from first on a single Saturday and you have a difficult fielding start for the man who won a Gold Glove in center with Boston in 2011.

At least the thunder in his bat makes up for the defensive issues.

Cashman says there’s nothing wrong with Smellsbury, who is also struggling at the plate, batting .213 with a .260 on-base percentage.

Uhm, at least he’s not signed for another six years? 

Only four years and 151 games left!

--Posted at 10:25 am by SG / 6 Comments | - (0)

Monday, April 18, 2016

NY Times: Yankees and Alex Rodriguez End Skids in Win Over Mariners

If Manager Joe Girardi’s temperament is a weather vane for the Yankees’ fortunes, then his recent testiness — with a few dashes of sarcasm — may explain how the first two weeks of the season have unfolded.

A 4-3 victory on Sunday over the Seattle Mariners provided plenty of reasons to exhale, beginning with the four-game losing streak it ended.

There was Alex Rodriguez answering his demotion in the batting order and breaking a 0-for-19 slump by slugging a two-run home run. There was Masahiro Tanaka looking like the pitcher the Yankees handed $155 million and outfielder Brett Gardner resembling a catalytic pest. And the back end of the bullpen was not bad either: Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller combined to strike out all six batters they faced.

Hooray for not getting swept at home by a team that’s not very good, I guess.

--Posted at 8:42 am by SG / 29 Comments | - (0)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mariners (5-6) @ Yankees (4-6), Sunday, 4/17/2016, 1:05pm

Mariners: Hisashi Iwakuma (R):  (11 IP, 4.09 ERA, 2.32 FIP, 0.1 bWAR) vs. Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (R):  (10.2 IP, 3.38 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 0.3 bWAR)

1. Norichika Aoki (L) LF
2. Seth Smith (L) DH (.278/.458/.500, 0.2 bWAR)
3. Robinson Cano (L) 2B (.222/.286/.578, 1.0 bWAR)
4. Nelson Cruz (R) RF (.279/.367/.558, 0.9 bWAR)
5. Kyle Seager (L) 3B (.132/.267/.263, -0.1 bWAR)
6. Adam Lind (L) 1B (.192/.192/.231, -0.3 bWAR)
7. Steve Clevenger (L) C (.000/.000/.000, -0.2 bWAR)
8. Leonys Martin (L) CF (.257/.333/.486, 0.3 bWAR)
9. Ketel Marte (S) SS (.211/.262/.211, -0.3 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.216/.299/.400, 1.5 bWAR

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.209/.255/.302, 0.1 bWAR)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.258/.410/.355, 0.4 bWAR)
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.351/.368/.649, 0.6 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.200/.349/.457, 0.4 bWAR)
5. Brian McCann (L) C (.370/.469/.630, 0.5 bWAR)
6. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.100/.229/.200, -0.3 bWAR)
7. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.342/.390/.553, 0.6 bWAR)
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.250/.265/.406, -0.1 bWAR)
9. Ronald Torreyes (R) 3B (.667/.667/1.000, 0.3 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.273/.349/.461, 2.5 bWAR

Sweeping the Yankees shouldn’t really count as a full sweep.  Maybe more like a half sweep.

--Posted at 10:17 am by SG / 21 Comments | - (0)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mariners (4-6) @ Yankees (4-5), Saturday, 4/16/2016, 1:05pm

Mariners: Felix Hernandez (R):  (13 IP, 0.69 ERA, 2.54 FIP, 0.4 bWAR) vs. Yankees: CC Sabathia (L):  (6 IP, 4.50 ERA, 4.16 FIP, 0 bWAR)

1. Norichika Aoki (L) LF
2. Ketel Marte (S) SS (.182/.243/.182, -0.4 bWAR)
3. Robinson Cano (L) 2B (.214/.267/.595, 0.8 bWAR)
4. Nelson Cruz (R) DH (.256/.356/.513, 0.8 bWAR)
5. Franklin Gutierrez (R) RF (.250/.381/.313, 0.0 bWAR)
6. Chris Iannetta (R) C (.320/.452/.560, 0.6 bWAR)
7. Dae-Ho Lee (R) 1B (.231/.286/.692, 0.3 bWAR)
8. Leonys Martin (L) CF (.258/.343/.419, 0.3 bWAR)
9. Luis Sardinas (S) 3B (.231/.231/.462, -0.1 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.241/.324/.462, 2.3 bWAR
1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.225/.238/.325, 0.0 bWAR)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.231/.412/.346, 0.4 bWAR)
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.120/.267/.240, -0.2 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.219/.342/.500, 0.4 bWAR)
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.281/.303/.469, 0.2 bWAR)
6. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.303/.361/.545, 0.4 bWAR)
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.174/.310/.174, 0.2 bWAR)
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.286/.300/.464, 0.1 bWAR)
9. Austin Romine (R) C (.143/.250/.143, -0.1 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.232/.314/.386, 1.4 bWAR

Back in 2009 or 2010 this would have been one hell of a pitching matchup.

--Posted at 11:32 am by SG / 48 Comments | - (0)

Friday, April 15, 2016 Yanks go 0-for-12 with RISP during loss to M’s

On a night where getting on base came pretty easy for both teams, only the Mariners could take advantage of it Friday.

Working off the strength of three RBIs from Chris Iannetta, the Mariners snagged the opener of this weekend’s three-game tilt versus the Yankees, 7-1. Right-hander Nathan Karns earned his first win for the Mariners, striking out seven in five innings. He walked four and allowed five hits in the outing. The only run Karns allowed was a home run to Brett Gardner in the first.

The Yankees’ bats were anemic during scoring opportunities on the night, leaving 12 on base and notching an 0-for-12 mark with runners in scoring position. Right-hander Luis Severino didn’t have his best stuff, allowing four runs and eight hits while striking out only two over 5 2/3 innings.

Just a complete and utter shitshow. The six-run deficit is slightly misleading, as Girardi knew they weren’t scoring any runs, so he let the bullpen roughage finish the game out, with Tyler Olson giving up two runs in two and two thirds innings pitched. I think he should have gone to the bullpen earlier, but whatever, they only scored one run, so it wasn’t like they were going to have a chance in this game.

A poor performance by Severino and a just ungodly performance from this awful offense.

Well, at least the Mariners’ two best starters aren’t pitching the next two ga…oh, wait…

--Posted at 10:11 pm by Brian Cronin / 7 Comments | - (0)

Mariners (3-6) @ Yankees (4-4), Friday, 4/15/2016, 7:05pm

Mariners: Nathan Karns (R):  (5 IP, 7.20 ERA, 4.01 FIP, -0.2 bWAR) vs. Yankees: Luis Severino (R):  (5 IP, 5.40 ERA, 1.21 FIP, 0 bWAR)

1. Norichika Aoki (L) LF
2. Seth Smith (L) DH (.267/.450/.467, 0.1 bWAR)
3. Robinson Cano (L) 2B (.189/.250/.622, 0.8 bWAR)
4. Nelson Cruz (R) RF (.229/.325/.486, 0.6 bWAR)
5. Kyle Seager (L) 3B (.152/.300/.303, 0.0 bWAR)
6. Adam Lind (L) 1B (.095/.095/.095, -0.4 bWAR)
7. Chris Iannetta (R) C (.227/.370/.364, 0.0 bWAR)
8. Leonys Martin (L) CF (.296/.387/.481, 0.5 bWAR)
9. Ketel Marte (S) SS (.172/.242/.172, -0.4 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.201/.302/.388, 1.2 bWAR

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.257/.270/.371, 0.0 bWAR)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.174/.345/.174, 0.1 bWAR)
3. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.241/.333/.552, 0.4 bWAR)
4. Brian McCann (L) C (.455/.538/.773, 0.6 bWAR)
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.286/.310/.500, 0.2 bWAR)
6. Dustin Ackley (L) DH (.000/.000/.000, -0.1 bWAR)
7. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.310/.375/.586, 0.4 bWAR)
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.292/.308/.458, 0.1 bWAR)
9. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.150/.280/.150, 0.0 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.265/.335/.442, 1.7 bWAR

I thought Cano was hitting roughly .900? 

--Posted at 3:48 pm by SG / 50 Comments | - (0)

Newsday: Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez mired in a slump to start the season

TORONTO — Alex Rod riguez’s start in 2016 has looked similar to his 2015 finish. A-Rod, who slumped the final two months of last season, went 0-for-3 Thursday night, leaving him at 3-for-25 with one homer, two RBIs and a slash line of .120/.267/.240.

“I feel great,” he said afterward. “I was very happy today with my swings. Swing at strikes in the strike zone. Results weren’t good, but a much better approach today.”

As opposed to all the other Yankees that are tearing the cover off the ball?

I don’t think I’ve seen a Rodriguez PA yet this season.  How’s he looking?

--Posted at 12:03 pm by SG / 10 Comments | - (0) Homers down Eovaldi as Yanks drop series

Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki each homered while Marcus Stroman tossed eight innings in the Blue Jays’ 4-2 victory over the Yankees on Thursday night at Rogers Centre.

Toronto was struggling to generate any kind of offense against Yankees right-hander Nathan Eovaldi until Donaldson came through with a deep three-run shot to straightaway center field in the fifth inning. One inning later, Tulowitzki added a solo shot as the Blue Jays took a two-run lead and didn’t look back.

Stroman picked up his second victory in three starts despite a rough fourth inning that saw him allow a pair of runs on 34 pitches. Toronto had reliever Pat Venditte warming in the bullpen, but Toronto’s No. 1 starter found a way to survive the inning and then cruised the rest of the way. He was charged with two runs on three hits and a pair of walks over eight innings.

A few things come to mind about this loss, which drops the Yankees to 4-4.

On the bright side, these were the Blue Jays’ two best starters, and the Yankees were competitive in both of their losses.

On the not so bright side, Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi were their typical frustrating selves, throwing too many pitches and seemingly inevitably having an inning where they get rocked.

On the bright side, the Blue Jays’ high-powered offense has not looked all that amazing so far this year.

On the not so bright side, the Yankees’ offense has looked bleak these last couple of games, with their #1-3 hitters being particularly bad.

The Seattle Mariners come to town for a weekend series, and annoyingly enough, the Yankees get the Mariners’ two best pitchers, as well.

--Posted at 3:49 am by Brian Cronin / 13 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Yankees (4-3) @ Blue Jays (4-5), Thursday, 4/14/2016, 7:07pm

Yankees: Nathan Eovaldi (R):  (5 IP, 9.00 ERA, 5.57 FIP, -0.2 bWAR) vs. Blue Jays: Marcus Stroman (R):  (13.1 IP, 5.40 ERA, 3.70 FIP, -0.2 bWAR)

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.281/.273/.406, 0.0 bWAR)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.211/.400/.211, 0.0 bWAR)
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.136/.269/.273, -0.1 bWAR)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.240/.345/.600, 0.3 bWAR)
5. Brian McCann (L) C (.500/.591/.889, 0.6 bWAR)
6. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.292/.320/.542, 0.2 bWAR)
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.167/.273/.167, 0.1 bWAR)
8. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.346/.414/.654, 0.6 bWAR)
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.333/.348/.524, 0.2 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.278/.355/.478, 1.9 bWAR

Blue Jays
1. Kevin Pillar (R) CF (.189/.231/.270, 0.2 bWAR)
2. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B (.306/.359/.694, 0.7 bWAR)
3. Jose Bautista (R) RF (.321/.500/.679, 0.5 bWAR)
4. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH (.265/.316/.265, -0.1 bWAR)
5. Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS (.125/.216/.219, -0.2 bWAR)
6. Michael Saunders (L) LF (.280/.357/.520, 0.2 bWAR)
7. Chris Colabello (R) 1B (.067/.125/.067, -0.2 bWAR)
8. Russell Martin (R) C (.077/.107/.077, -0.4 bWAR)
9. Ryan Goins (L) 2B (.321/.345/.429, 0.2 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.226/.298/.375, 0.9 bWAR

Enjoy the days of the Yankees out-WARing the opposing lineups while it lasts, because it shan’t be lasting long.

--Posted at 3:25 pm by SG / 23 Comments | - (0) Pineda duels, but Yanks fall short vs. Jays

J.A. Happ tossed six innings and allowed one run, while Ryan Goins and Michael Saunders each had a pair of doubles as the Blue Jays evened their series against the Yankees with a 7-2 victory on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.

Making his first start against the Yankees since 2014, Happ allowed seven hits and walked three batters, but worked out of jams in the third, fifth and sixth innings. The veteran lefty has tossed six innings and allowed two runs or fewer in each of his first two starts this season. Dating back to last year, he has allowed two runs or fewer in 11 of his last 12 outings and is unbeaten over that stretch.

“I critique myself pretty hard sometimes, but I think the best thing about tonight was being able to make some pitches in big situations to try and minimize the damage,” Happ said. “I think [Russell Martin] was great back there, and we were battling at the plate, and to add some more runs on at the end was awesome. It was a good win.”

Goins finished 3-for-4 on the evening, with run scored and two RBIs. Saunders and Bautista each had a pair of hits as the Blue Jays scored more than five runs for just the second time this year.

I love that they tried to make it sound like Pineda pitched well in this game. On the surface, he had similar (heck, better) results than Tanaka in the previous game, but he was not sharp at all. Like so many of the Yankee starters, the stuff is definitely there (Cashman has a very specific type of starter in mind - guys with great stuff) but he just seems kind of lost out there. Like it’s lucky to get through any inning.

The offense was bad, but really, the game pretty much turned on Ivan Nova coming out in relief and throwing softballs out there, as the Blue Jays pounded him for four runs in a single awful inning.

Stroman/Eovaldi in the finale does not look good for the Yankees.

--Posted at 1:49 am by Brian Cronin / 10 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Yankees (4-2) @ Blue Jays (3-5), Wednesday, 4/13/2016, 7:07pm

Yankees: Michael Pineda (R):  ( 5 IP, 10.80 ERA, 9.66 FIP) vs. Blue Jays: J.A. Happ (L):  ( 6 IP, 3.00 ERA, 5.10 FIP)

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.250/.241/.393)
2. Aaron Hicks (S) LF (.143/.250/.143)
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.167/.318/.333)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.227/.320/.500)
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.250/.286/.550)
6. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.391/.440/.739)
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.200/.278/.200)
8. Ronald Torreyes (R) SS (.800/.800/1.200)
9. Austin Romine (R) C (.000/.250/.000)

Blue Jays
1. Kevin Pillar (R) CF (.219/.265/.313)
2. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B (.313/.371/.719)
3. Jose Bautista (R) RF (.292/.500/.667)
4. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH (.267/.324/.267)
5. Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS (.107/.212/.214)
6. Michael Saunders (L) LF (.227/.292/.409)
7. Russell Martin (R) C (.083/.083/.083)
8. Justin Smoak (S) 1B (.167/.375/.167)
9. Ryan Goins (L) 2B (.250/.280/.292)

Remember all the way back to 2015 when Pineda had a FIP more than a full run lower than his ERA?  He’s got an even larger difference this year!

That’s good, right?

--Posted at 3:44 pm by SG / 20 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 Ellsbury lifts Yanks past Jays in series opener

Jacoby Smellsbury hit the go-ahead single in the top of the seventh inning and Brian McCann hit a game-tying homer as the Yankees gained an early advantage in their series against the Blue Jays with a 3-2 win on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

New York entered the sixth trailing, 2-1, until McCann evened the score with a deep home run to right field. One inning later, the Yankees put their first two hitters on base before Smellsbury delivered the decisive blow with a bloop RBI single to left field off left-hander Brett Cecil.

Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka was limited to five innings because of a high pitch count. He held the Blue Jays to two runs—a Jose Bautista two-run double—and allowed just three hits, but he walked four batters and frequently struggled with his command. The win went to Johnny Barbato, who walked one batter in an otherwise clean sixth inning.

Damn, how good has Johnny Barbato looked this season? He used to be a very good prospect for the San Diego Padres, but his injury history was pretty scary. Still, he looks a lot better than Shawn Kelley ever did, and Shawn Kelley was not a bad pitcher.

Anyhow, great victory, with some clutch hits by Brian McCann and Jacoby Ell sbury. Tanaka was not particularly good, but nor was he awful. Just way too many pitches. EDITED TO ADD: And yes, the two runs that Tanaka gave up were as a result of a poor play in center field where a late break led to a very catchable ball going in for a two-run double, so that’s fair to take into consideration when reviewing how well Tanaka did. BABIP can be a cruel mistress.

--Posted at 9:45 pm by Brian Cronin / 27 Comments | - (0)

Yankees (3-2) @ Blue Jays (3-4), Tuesday, 4/12/2016, 7:07pm

Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (R):  ( 5.2 IP, 3.18 ERA, 4.75 FIP) vs. Blue Jays: Aaron Sanchez (R):  ( 7 IP, 1.29 ERA, 2.91 FIP)

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.217/.208/.391)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.286/.500/.286)
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.214/.389/.429)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.278/.381/.611)
5. Brian McCann (L) C (.467/.556/.733)
6. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.294/.294/.647)
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.083/.143/.083)
8. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.450/.476/.850)
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.333/.350/.500)

Blue Jays
1. Kevin Pillar (R) CF (.207/.233/.310)
2. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B (.310/.355/.759)
3. Jose Bautista (R) RF (.286/.500/.667)
4. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH (.296/.333/.296)
5. Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS (.120/.207/.240)
6. Chris Colabello (R) 1B (.083/.083/.083)
7. Michael Saunders (L) LF (.263/.300/.474)
8. Russell Martin (R) C (.100/.100/.100)
9. Ryan Goins (L) 2B (.286/.318/.333)

I am not expecting much from this series.

--Posted at 3:56 pm by SG / 32 Comments | - (0) Yankees’ Nick Rumbelow to have Tommy John surgery

TORONTO — Promising Yankees reliever Nick Rumbelow needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the rest of the season, general manager Brian Cashman said Monday.

The surgery, first reported by The Journal News’ Chad Jennings, is a blow to the Yankees’ bullpen, though the 24-year-old didn’t make it out of spring training and was pitching in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre when the injury was first discovered.

Tough blow for Rumbelow, who would likely have gotten some innings and a chance to impress this year.

--Posted at 8:39 am by SG / 4 Comments | - (0)

Monday, April 11, 2016

NY Post: Yankees’ cold reality: Blue Jays could own them again

DETROIT — They hesitated to admit it because we’re generally a stubborn species, but Sunday night’s rainout against the Tigers had to present a welcome relief for the Yankees. After all, how much blustery baseball can one team withstand?

So the Yankees worked out briefly at Comerica Park and headed toward their flight northeast, their ultimate destination being the comfort of three games in a weather-neutralized dome.

The discomfort, of course, comes in getting an early test against the team that bludgeoned them into wild-card submission last year. Their first series against the Blue Jays, defending champions of the American League East title, begins Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

“I think there’s curiosity,” Joe Girardi said Sunday. “See how we match up against them this year.”

“They won our division last year and are the team to beat,” said Masahiro Tanaka, whose second start of the season got pushed back from Sunday to Tuesday.

I thought Boston was the team to beat?

--Posted at 9:24 am by SG / 14 Comments | - (0)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Lohud:  Yankees rained out (or snowed out) for Detroit finale

Looks like your Sunday night just became wide open.

The Yankees and Tigers series finale has been rained out (or snowed out, whatever you want to call it). No official makeup date has been announced, but Marly Rivera reports July 28 is the expected date (that’s between trips to Houston and Tampa Bay, just a few days before the trade deadline).

I guess we need to find something else for our Sunday night complaining.

--Posted at 4:50 pm by SG / 18 Comments | - (0)

Saturday, April 9, 2016 A-Rod, Beltran go deep to back solid CC in win

CC Sabathia’s return to the Yankees’ rotation brought back glimpses of his old effectiveness, even if he doesn’t have his old velocity. While the big left-hander began his 16th Major League season by holding down Detroit’s formidable offense for six-plus innings, the Yankees spoiled Mike Pelfrey’s Tigers debut with six runs over 3 2/3 innings for an 8-4 New York win Saturday afternoon.

The 31-degree first-pitch temperature was the lowest for a game at Comerica Park, but it made little difference for Sabathia, making his first start for the Yankees since leaving the team at the end of the regular season to undergo alcohol rehab. The 35-year-old southpaw retired the Tigers in order the first time through with a nasty changeup and solid command.

“He cuts the ball, he sinks the ball—nothing seems to be straight, and he doesn’t seem to ever give in,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “Part of that was the weather, but I think part of it was by design. He’s not going to give in to guys. He will end up walking them and going after the next guy and try to get a double play.”

Though James McCann’s two-run single broke up the no-hit and shutout bids, making Sabathia pay for walking the bases loaded, the lefty persisted until Jose Iglesias’ single chased him in the seventh. The quality start was a pleasant surprise for the Yankees after Sabathia struggled through much of Spring Training. By contrast, Pelfrey was solid through most of his spring, including three perfect innings against the Yankees on March 1 in Tampa, Fla. He never had his command Saturday, and New York took advantage for eight hits, capped by Jacoby Smellsbury’s three-run triple in the fourth.

Shockingly enough, CC had the best start of the Yankees’ rotation. If you had told me five years ago that CC would be the type of pitcher to get by when he got older with well-placed pitches once his velocity went away, I would say, “Sure, that makes sense to me.” If you told me that CC would be the type of pitcher to get by with well-placed pitches once his velocity went away after having three terrible seasons where he could not adjust to the loss of velocity, I would say, “Hopefully this isn’t a fluke!”

So, well, hopefully this isn’t a fluke!

The Yankees’ offense was outstanding. I was very excited when the Yankees picked up Ronald Torreyes from the Dodgers, as it seemed like the Yankees were taking advantage of the Dodgers’ large pool of talent and snatched a guy the Dodgers wouldn’t normally give up but had to because of a 40-man roster crunch. Then the Yankees let him go for Lane Adams. Then they got him back and dumped Adams, but kept Adams after he cleared waivers. Sooooo…...uhmmm….I guess good job by Cashman? I mean, he got Torreyes and Adams, so I guess he played the waiver wire correctly, but I don’t think Torreyes should ever have been exposed to waivers. Lane Adams isn’t as good. But whatever, it worked out.

Tanaka goes tomorrow as the Yankees try for back-to-back series wins ahead of a matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.

--Posted at 9:24 pm by Brian Cronin / 5 Comments | - (0)

Yankees (2-2) @ Tigers (3-0), Saturday, 4/9/2016, 1:10pm

Yankees: CC Sabathia (L): (NR) vs. Tigers: Mike Pelfrey (R): (NR)

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.222/.211/.333)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.200/.467/.200)
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.200/.385/.200)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.357/.438/.786)
5. Brian McCann (L) C (.455/.538/.818)
6. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.231/.231/.462)
7. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.438/.438/.938)
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.357/.400/.571)
9. Ronald Torreyes (R) 3B (1.000/1.000/3.000)

1. Ian Kinsler (R) 2B (.467/.467/.733)
2. Justin Upton (R) LF (.200/.200/.333)
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 1B (.385/.429/.615)
4. Victor Martinez (S) DH (.333/.333/1.333)
5. J.D. Martinez (R) RF (.333/.429/.417)
6. James McCann (R) C (.111/.111/.111)
7. Jose Iglesias (R) SS (.417/.500/.417)
8. Mike Aviles (R) 3B
9. Anthony Gose (L) CF (.250/.308/.500)

Let’s see if I can predict how this goes.  CC pitches a few innings where he gives up some base runners but somehow gets out of them while limiting the damage.  Then he completely falls apart in an inning, I’ll say the fourth and gives up more runs than the Yankees would be able to score if the game went 27 innings.

Or he gives up nine in the first and Detroit cruises to an easy victory while maintaining their impressive undefeated start.

I certainly know there’s no scenario where Sabathia pitches decently.  None.

--Posted at 10:43 am by SG / 46 Comments | - (0)

Friday, April 8, 2016 Yankees fall quietly vs. Zimmermann, Tigers

Jordan Zimmermann made his Tigers debut a memorable one Friday, tossing seven scoreless innings at Comerica Park as Detroit picked up its eighth consecutive home opener win with a 4-0 decision over the Yankees.

Zimmermann, the first starting pitcher in modern history to make his Tigers debut in the team’s home opener, held the Yankees to a pair of two-out singles—Jacoby Smellsbury in the third, then Mark Teixeira an inning later.

“Pitching in this cold wasn’t the ideal conditions, but I made it out,” Zimmermann said. “I didn’t have my best stuff and I still two-hit the Yankees and gave the team seven, so that was encouraging.”

ew York didn’t put a runner in scoring position against the former Nationals right-hander until his seventh and final inning.

“I thought he did a good job of getting his breaking ball over early after his first go-around,” Smellsbury said. “He really didn’t miss location. For his first outing in the cold, I thought he threw pretty well.”

Yankees starter Luis Severino gave up 10 hits—nine of them singles—over five-plus innings. Ian Kinsler doubled and scored on a Miguel Cabrera single in the opening inning before four consecutive singles tacked on a pair of runs in the fourth. Cabrera struck again in the seventh with his first home run of the year, a solo shot into the right-field corner off former Tigers prospect Luis Cessa.

Severino did give up a lot of contact, but he was also unlucky on a number of the hits. Smellsbury, for instance, misplayed a ball that led to two runs and after getting a groundball with the bases loaded and one out, the ball was hit just too slow for the Yankees to turn two, letting in the third run of the game. I’m still totally in on Severino. He’s probably the Yankees #2 through the first four games of the season.

The offense, well, it took the day off. Jordan Zimmerman is at least a good pitcher.

--Posted at 5:41 pm by Brian Cronin / 1 Comment | - (0)

Yankees (2-1) @ Tigers (2-0), Friday, 4/8/2016, 1:10pm

Yankees: Luis Severino (R): (NR) vs. Tigers: Jordan Zimmermann (R): (NR)

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.214/.200/.357)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.143/.455/.143)
3. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.583/.583/1.250)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) DH (.364/.417/.909)
5. Dustin Ackley (L) 1B (.000/.000/.000)
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.100/.091/.100)
7. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.455/.500/.727)
8. Aaron Hicks (S) RF (.333/.500/.333)
9. Austin Romine (R) C (.000/.000/.000)

1. Ian Kinsler (R) 2B (.455/.455/.727)
2. Justin Upton (R) LF (.273/.273/.455)
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 1B (.333/.400/.333)
4. Victor Martinez (S) DH (1.000/1.000/4.000)
5. J.D. Martinez (R) RF (.250/.400/.375)
6. Nick Castellanos (R) 3B (.125/.111/.250)
7. James McCann (R) C (.000/.000/.000)
8. Jose Iglesias (R) SS (.375/.500/.375)
9. Anthony Gose (L) CF (.375/.444/.750)

Really?  Three decent games and now Starlin Castro is the number three hitter?  Yet after 263 mostly forgettable games, Smellsbury remains entrenched at leadoff where he can continue to gobble up outs like candy?

Anyway, one of these teams is undefeated and is playing at home.  Logic should tell you that makes them exceedingly heavy favorites, to the point where it doesn’t necessarily make sense to play this game.

--Posted at 10:49 am by SG / 44 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, April 7, 2016 Tiebreaking blast from Tex lifts Yankees

The Yankees slugged three home runs, including a three-run shot by Mark Teixeira in the seventh inning off reliever Ken Giles that snapped a tie, en route to an 8-5 win over the Astros in the series finale Thursday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Brett Gardner got the rally started in the seventh with a single off reliever Will Harris, and Alex Rodriguez greeted hard-throwing right-hander Giles with a sharp single to set the stage for Teixeira, who hit a 98-mph fastball the opposite way and down the left-field line to snap a 5-5 tie.

“I think the worrisome trend is more how much traffic we’re allowing as a team on the bases,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “Obviously, you look at that inning and it’s the middle part of their order and they did a lot of damage, and we had held their middle of the order in check pretty well most of the series.”

While Starlin Castro has been amazing through three games, Mark Teixeira playing well is still such a key part of the success of the Yankees’ offense this season. If he hits, then the Yankees will score. By the way, Ken Giles has now pitched twice for the Astros and has given up home runs in both appearances. Not a great start to the Ken Giles era in Houston.

Nathan Eovaldi was terrible today, which was frustrating, since his stuff looked really good. The Yankee starters give up so many home runs. Luckily, the bullpen was excellent once again. Brian Cashman sure knows how to put a bullpen together, doesn’t he?

The Yankees take on the Detroit Tigers tomorrow, and we’ll see if Luis Severino can be the first Yankee starting pitcher to avoid giving up a home run this season.

--Posted at 8:59 pm by Brian Cronin / 7 Comments | - (0)

Astros (1-1) @ Yankees (1-1), Thursday, 4/7/2016, 4:05pm

Astros: Mike Fiers (R): (NR) vs. Yankees: Nathan Eovaldi (R): (NR)

1. Jose Altuve (R) 2B (.286/.444/.429)
2. George Springer (R) RF (.222/.300/.556)
3. Carlos Correa (R) SS (.556/.556/1.556)
4. Colby Rasmus (L) LF (.333/.500/.500)
5. Carlos Gomez (R) CF (.000/.000/.000)
6. Luis Valbuena (L) 3B (.250/.250/.250)
7. Tyler White (R) 1B (.600/.667/.800)
8. Preston Tucker (L) DH (.400/.400/.800)
9. Erik Kratz (R) C (.000/.000/.000)

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.111/.100/.111)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.000/.571/.000)
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.000/.333/.000)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.286/.375/.714)
5. Brian McCann (L) C (.429/.556/.571)
6. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.375/.375/.750)
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.143/.143/.143)
8. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.625/.625/1.250)
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.500/.500/.875)

Why do I have a feeling the Yankees scored all their runs for the rest of the month yesterday.  And if Starlin Castro doesn’t start walking, he’s going to be a bust.  A bust, I tell you.

--Posted at 12:55 pm by SG / 60 Comments | - (0) Castro, Tex lead HR parade; Yanks top Astros

The Yankees chased Collin McHugh early in a six-run first inning, then added a pair of three-run homers from Starlin Castro and Mark Teixeira as they enjoyed a 16-6 rout of the Astros on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

McHugh recorded just one out in the bottom of the first, which saw the Yankees send 12 men to the plate and took 36 minutes to complete. Castro launched his first homer in pinstripes in the second inning and Teixeira went deep in the third inning, both off Michael Feliz. Every Yankees starter had reached base by the second inning.

“I just wanted to be the player that I used to be, to show everybody that I am a good player,” said Castro, who collected four hits and drove in five runs. “I can be a better player if I work hard every day, and that’s what I’m trying to do. [We] come in here every day and we focus on the game and try to be ready every day.”

The Castro era sure has opened up to some astonishing success. Castro has as many RBI in his first two games of the season as any Yankee in team history. Let’s hope he keeps hitting all year long.

Meanwhile, the pitching was both pretty decent (Ivan Nova looking okay through four scoreless innings) and “oh my god what the hell was that?” (Michael Pineda responding to being given a 6-1 lead by giving up a grand slam in the second inning). Pineda did settle down, but we’ve seen this performance from him way too much last year. A few good innings and one “What the hell?!” inning where he gives up a gazillion runs. While Masahiro Tanaka gives up a lot of home runs, he’s good at keeping men off the bases, so his home runs tend to be solo shots. Pineda, on the other hand, tends to give up a lot of homers with men on base. More than half (11) of his 21 home runs last year came with runners on base, and four of them were with three men on base. Tanaka, on the other hand, gave up 25 home runs but just six with men on base.

It really looked like Pineda might be something special last year, but the rest of last season seemed to indicate otherwise, and tonight sure seemed to be closer to the bad Pineda we became familiar with most of last season.

But let’s dwell on the good - pretty much every Yankee was awesome today, including the Yankee debut of back-up infielder Ronald Torreyes, who hit a triple and made an excellent defensive play at third.

The Yankees go for a series win Thursday afternoon with yet another one of their inconsistent starters from last year, Nathan Eovaldi.

--Posted at 2:34 am by Brian Cronin / 14 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Astros (1-0) @ Yankees (0-1), Wednesday, 4/6/2016, 7:05pm

Astros: Collin McHugh (R): (NR) vs. Yankees: Michael Pineda (R): (NR)

1. Jose Altuve (R) 2B (.250/.400/.500)
2. George Springer (R) RF (.200/.200/.200)
3. Carlos Correa (R) SS (.250/.250/1.000)
4. Colby Rasmus (L) LF (.000/.500/.000)
5. Carlos Gomez (R) CF (.000/.000/.000)
6. Luis Valbuena (L) 3B (.250/.250/.250)
7. Tyler White (R) 1B (1.000/1.000/1.000)
8. Preston Tucker (L) DH (.500/.500/1.000)
9. Jason Castro (L) C (.000/.000/.000)

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF (.000/.000/.000)
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.000/.000/.000)
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.000/.250/.000)
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.000/.250/.000)
5. Brian McCann (L) C (.333/.500/.333)
6. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.250/.250/.250)
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.000/.000/.000)
8. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.333/.333/.667)
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.333/.333/1.333)

There’s a whole lot of .000s in there.  And yes, I know it’s been one game.

--Posted at 3:21 pm by SG / 60 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 Castro delivers early, but Yanks edged late

NEW YORK—Carlos Correa reached on an eighth-inning throwing error by Dellin Betances, sending Jose Altuve home with the go-ahead run as the Astros defeated the Yankees, 5-3, on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.

Correa homered and drove in two runs for Houston, but it was his dribbler up the first-base line that wound up deciding the contest. Betances lobbed his throw over both Correa, who was running on the infield grass, and first baseman Mark Teixeira.

Manager Joe Girardi signaled that the Yankees would play the game under protest, arguing that Correa ran out of the baseline. Luis Valbuena added a two-run single off Betances in the three-run eighth.

Starlin Castro had a two-run double in his Yankees’ debut, accounting for the production off Dallas Keuchel, who scattered three hits over seven innings. Masahiro Tanaka made his second straight Opening Day start for New York and permitted two runs and four hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Didi Gregorius hit an eighth-inning homer off Ken Giles. The Yankees have lost five straight season openers, marking the first time they have done so since 1934-38.

I’m just amazed they scored off Keuchel.

--Posted at 4:00 pm by SG / 32 Comments | - (0)

Astros (0-0) @ Yankees (0-0), Tuesday, 4/5/2016, 1:05p

HOU: Keuchel (0-0) vs. NYA: Tanaka (0-0)

1. Jose Altuve (R) 2B
2. George Springer (R) RF
3. Carlos Correa (R) SS
4. Colby Rasmus (L) LF
5. Carlos Gomez (R) CF
6. Luis Valbuena (L) 3B
7. Preston Tucker (L) DH
8. Marwin Gonzalez (S) 1B
9. Jason Castro (L) C

1. Jacoby Smellsbury (L) CF
2. Aaron Hicks (S) LF
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF
6. Brian McCann (L) C
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
8. Starlin Castro (R) 2B
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS

Remember that time in 2015 when the Yankees scored a run off Keuchel?  No, you don’t, because they never did in the three starts he made against them.

The over/under on Yankee runs today is -1. 

It’s somewhat fitting that Keuchel ended the Yankees’ 2015 season and now will end 2016 before it even starts.  You can count the number of teams that made the postseason after losing their home opener on one hand.

Anyway, hooray for Opening Day II: Electric Boogaloo.

--Posted at 9:37 am by SG / 122 Comments | - (0)

Monday, April 4, 2016

MLB: Astros-Yankees opener postponed by rain

The Yankees and Astros will have to wait one more day for a rematch.

Scheduled to open the season with a 2015 American League Wild Card Game reunion, Monday’s Astros-Yankees game at Yankee Stadium was postponed due to inclement weather. The game will be made up at 1:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday, a day that was scheduled to be an off-day for both teams.

Hey, at least Tanaka gets an extra day of rest, right?

--Posted at 8:57 am by SG / 27 Comments | - (0)

Friday, April 1, 2016 Yankees go with CC over Nova for fifth starter

Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced Friday that CC Sabathia will be the club’s fifth starter to begin the regular season. The left-hander is scheduled to make his season debut April 9 in Detroit.

Sabathia, 35, earned the rotation spot over right-hander Ivan Nova, going 1-3 with a 5.51 ERA through five Grapefruit League starts (16 1/3 innings) this spring. Nova is now expected to begin the year working out of the Yankees’ bullpen.

“There was a lot of discussion,” Girardi said. “Lot of it came down to CC’s September last year. He’s been there so many times.”

This was always going to be the call, but it probably is better that they just announce it now instead of dragging it out (if only to keep Wallace Matthews’ cries down, as he was so upset that the Yankees were tormenting CC and Nova with this indecision).

--Posted at 11:14 pm by Brian Cronin / 21 Comments | - (0) Here’s where the Yankees’ roster stands right now

1. CC Sabathia’s fate undecided

The Yankees still haven’t picked their fifth starter. It’s been down to Ivan Nova and Sabathia for just about all of spring training. Girardi called trying to choice between the two a difficult decision because the team isn’t just weighing performance, but track record.

Does track record matter when a player is no longer the player he was when he amassed said track record?  I’m not saying I don’t expect to see CC make a fair number of starts this year.  I’m just saying that the more games he starts, the fewer the Yankees will win.

2. Opening Day starter named

This wasn’t much of a surprise. The Yankees told Masahiro Tanaka that he’d get the Opening Day start for the second straight year. Tanaka said he was happy and honored to have the job.

Hopefully this goes better than the last time Tanaka faced Keuchel.

3. Bullpen spot open

Bryan Mitchell (toe) appears slated to open the season on the 60-day disabled list. Andrew Miller (wrist) might also not be ready for Opening Day. That whittled the Yankees’ no-doubt Opening Day relievers down to just Dellin Betances, Chasen Shreve and the loser of the fifth-starter race. After Thursday’s game, it became clear that rookie righty Johnny Barbato would make it, too, as would righty starter-turned-reliever Luis Cessa. That means the Yankees could look to add one, or as many as two, more relievers to the bullpen before Monday. With Anthony Swarzak getting reassigned to minor-league camp, Kirby Yates stands out as a candidate.

Yates seems like the guy after a strong spring where he fanned 10 and walked one and allowed just two hits in 7 1/3 scoreless innings.  He’s got a career strikeout rate of 10.1 per nine, which is impressive.  Not as impressive, that career ERA of 5.27 and career FIP of 5.51.  But hey, maybe moving to Yankee Stadium will allow him to do better than the 14 home runs he’s allowed in 56 career major league innings.

4. Backup catcher picked

Austine Romine got the job. No shock there.

Nope, and it makes perfect sense.  Sanchez gets some regular playing time and the Yankees can control him for another season if he stays in the minors for 35 days, and Romine stays in the organization a bit longer to show them that he still can’t hit.

Opening Day is almost here.

--Posted at 8:20 am by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Newsday: Andrew Miller has chip fracture in right wrist

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — What had been a mostly healthy camp for the Yankees ended with the unmistakable thud of ball on skin and the team possibly without two-thirds of their much heralded back end of the bullpen.

Andrew Miller was forced out of Wednesday’s game when he was drilled by a line drive hit by the Braves’ Willians Astudillo in the seventh inning.

Miller was sent back to Tampa for X-rays, which came back negative, the Yankees announced early Wednesday evening. However, a CT-scan taken later revealed a chip fracture in the wrist. Miller will visit with a hand specialist to determine the next step. It was not immediately known whether Miller will have to start the season on the disabled list, though it seems likely.

So yeah, this doesn’t seem good.  A quick Google of chip fracture wrist gives me this link.

Recovery time varies and depends on a lot of factors. It is not unusual for recovery to take months. Even then, some patients may have stiffness or aching. Severe wrist fractures can result in arthritis in the joint. Occasionally, additional treatment or surgery is needed.

Depending on the severity, Miller could miss a month or more.  Maybe Aroldis Chapman should appeal his suspension after all…

--Posted at 8:00 am by SG / 33 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 Yankees announce last infield spot on 25-man roster

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Yankees infielder Ronald Torreyes has made the 25-man roster, manager Joe Girardi told reporters Wednesday.

“Just his all-around play,” Girardi said of Torreyes. “I thought he swung the bat well, he played good defense. He runs the bases. He does all the things that he needs to do.”

Cool.  I was laying in bed at night treading seeing Pete Kozma.  Torreyes is more interesting and has more upside.

Hat tip to EB in LA.

In less positive news:

Yankees’ Andrew Miller drilled by liner, leaves game immediately.  At least it was his right wrist.


Bryan Mitchell sprains toe, to have precautionary MRI.

How about they put the rest of their bullpen on ice until the regular season opens?

--Posted at 3:20 pm by SG / 15 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

NY Post: Luis Cessa showing hint why Yankees made confusing trade

According to a scout in attendance, Cessa’s fastball was between 93 and 95 mph, and the curveball was 79 to 82. Most impressive was the location of his pitches.

“He had good arm speed on the change and throws strikes to both sides of the plate,’’ the scout said of the 23-year-old who was signed out of Mexico in 2009 by the Mets and part of the Yoenis Cespedes deal last season. “He was very good.’’

Of Cessa’s five outings this spring, four have been solid. In 10 innings he has struck out 10, allowed eight hits and two walks. In 25 starts last year in Double-A and Triple-A, Cessa was 8-10 with a 4.52 ERA.

I’m not going to get overly impressed by spring training statistics, as we should not.  But if the reports on Cessa’s stuff are accurate, I am more intrigued.

It’s not likely that two teams would have traded Cessa in the past year if he’s going to be particularly good, but you never know.

--Posted at 9:04 am by SG / 16 Comments | - (0)

Monday, March 28, 2016 Yankees’ Jacoby Ellsbury’s wrist pain lingers despite return

TAMPA, Fla. — Jacoby Smellsbury’s right wrist is better, but it’s not totally healed.

The 32-year-old center fielder returned to the Yankees’ lineup for the first time in a week and went 0-for-3 as they lost to the Twins, 5-2, at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Sunday.

Smellsbury had been held out of action as he rehabilitated the joint, which took a 90-mph fastball March 20 and set him immediately out of a game and to a doctor’s office, where tests showed no structural damage.

The team had set his initial return date for Thursday, but Smellsbury said it needed more time.

It’s still bruised and swollen, however, said Smellsbury, who had a wrap on it during the game. It didn’t stop him from making a tumbling catch while coming in on a fly ball in the fifth inning.

“Felt good,” he said. “It was nice to be out there. Definitely a warm one. At-bats felt good. I was pleased with the first day.”

Only five more years.

In other spring training stories:

3 reasons Yankees demoted Rob Refsnyder.

I don’t really have an issue with Refsnyder being demoted.  He’s probably better off playing every day, especially if they’re going to try to teach him 3B.

Yankees’ CC Sabathia turns to Mariano Rivera for cutter help

I could have sworn I saw this article last year, except it was Andy Pettitte instead of Rivera.

Boiling down Yankees’ rotation order: Who will be No. 2?

I have not been able to sleep lately, pondering the order of the Yankees’ rotation.  Thankfully the Post is continuing their tireless effort to answer this massively important question.

Seven days and counting until the Yankees open the regular season.

--Posted at 7:58 am by SG / 16 Comments | - (0)

Friday, March 25, 2016 Yankees demote big prospect Gary Sanchez: What it means


Austin Romine would appear the front-runner to serve behind McCann, though maybe Carlos Corporan has a chance, too. Girardi and Cashman each have praised Romine, who’s hit .273 with four doubles and played his typically strong defense. Corporan has more experience as a big-league backup, but he’s hit .190. For what it’s worth — probably nothing — the Yankees grew and developed Romine, whereas Corporan latched on as a free agent before camp. Expect the Yankees to make this a final-day decision. John Ryan Murphy held the job last year, but the Yankees traded him to Minnesota for outfielder Aaron hicks.

In order to delay Sanchez’s free agency a season, the Yankees must keep the slugger in the minors for at least 35 days. While Cashman and Girardi each have said they didn’t believe the Yankees would factor service time into the decision to keep Sanchez, it would be hard for either to deny that it’s at least tempting.

It didn’t help Sanchez’s case that he went 1-21 this spring, but logically given how little Sanchez would likely play in the first 35 days of the season anyway, there was no reason to have him break camp in MLB.  Romine can declare free agency if he’s outrighted again, so this keeps him in the organization for now and buys the Yankees a bit more time.  I don’t think Corporan is a realistic option for backup catcher, but it doesn’t hurt to keep him around.

Opening Day is only ten days away.  It doesn’t feel like it, does it?

--Posted at 7:59 am by SG / 34 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

TGS: Alex Rodriguez says he’ll retire after 2017 season

Alex Rodriguez plans on retiring at the end of the 2017 season after playing out his contract with the New York Yankees, the designated hitter told ESPN on Wednesday.

“I won’t play after next year,” Rodriguez said Wednesday. “I’ve really enjoyed my time. For me, it is time for me to go home and be dad.”

It will end what has been a legendary and controversy-filled career for Rodriguez, who turns 41 on July 27. He is signed through next season, which is the final year of his 10-year, $275 million contract.

Since he’s likely blacklisted anyway, better to take ownership of it.

--Posted at 2:20 pm by SG / 35 Comments | - (0)

NY Post: Luis Severino erasing any doubts in uphill rotation climb

Severino started Tuesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field against the Mets. It was his fifth game and third start. While it’s not likely he will slip into the second spot because his big league experience consists of 11 games, Severino has pitched very well.

Severino seemingly has erased any question that he will be one of the five. Remember, Girardi said the 22-year-old right-hander “had to earn’’ a spot at the opening of camp despite going 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA a year ago.

“He probably has pitched as well as anyone we have,’’ Girardi said before the Yankees’ 6-3 win over the Mets. “He is up to five innings and 75 pitches so he is where he needs to be. Everything he has done I liked it. It has been good.’’

Across four innings, Severino was very good. Then he surrendered two runs in the fifth.

“The first four innings I was throwing strikes,’’ said Severino, who allowed two runs, five hits, one walk and fanned five in 4 ¹/₃ innings. He threw 77 pitches, 48 for strikes. “In the fifth I was behind in the count and that is what happens behind in the count.’’

The Post really seems obsessed with the ordinal ranking of the Yankees’ rotation, don’t they?

--Posted at 8:27 am by SG / 14 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

NY Post: Yankees have no choice but Masahiro Tanaka on Opening Day

TAMPA — Masahiro Tanaka hasn’t achieved the status where he can avoid a long bus ride to Viera on Florida’s East Coast, but he is a lock to be the Yankees’ Opening Day starter April 4 against the Astros in The Bronx.

Tanaka, who will start against the Nationals in Viera on Wednesday night, will make his second straight Opening Day start in his third season with the Yankees.

With CC Sabathia no longer an ace and Luis Severino, Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda not considered No. 1 starters, the coveted Opening Day assignment is Tanaka’s even though Joe Girardi hasn’t officially announced it.

I figured the $175M the Yankees spent for him should make him the opening day starter.

General manager Brian Cashman’s level of concern about Jacoby Ellsbury’s right wrist doesn’t register.

The GM said he isn’t worried about the wrist that was drilled Saturday and said the leadoff hitter and center fielder will return to action Thursday night against the Rays.

Just five more years!  Only four if you don’t count 2016.

James Kaprielian, the Yankees’ first-round pick last year out of UCLA, was impressive in a minor league game against the Blue Jays on Monday at the minor league complex.

In three innings working for Single-A Tampa against Dunedin, Kaprielian fanned seven of the 11 batters he faced and issued a walk.

According to the speed gun behind the plate, Kaprielian’s fastball ranged from 94-97 mph and his slider was clocked at 85-87 mph.

He’d be great in the pen, wouldn’t he?

--Posted at 8:18 am by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)

Monday, March 21, 2016

NY Times: Once the Yankees’ Future, a Big Three Settle for the Present

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Joba Chamberlain will soon get another World Series ring. He pitched in six games last September for the Kansas City Royals, entering each with his team trailing, saving the bullpen for others. The Royals, his third organization of the season, went on to beat the Mets for the championship.

The Royals did this despite facing Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, the young starters who had blitzed through the National League playoffs. The future spreads before the four of them now, pure and unspoiled, parades and Cy Young Awards, nine-figure contracts and Cooperstown plaques.

Hey, why not? Those pitchers have the talent to inspire such awe.

“We never had that,” Phil Hughes said a few weeks ago at Minnesota Twins camp in Fort Myers, Fla., reflecting on the promise that he, Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy once showed for the Yankees.

“When you see the type of stuff they have, it’s like, why can’t they turn out to be what everybody thinks they’re going to be? There’s no reason — on paper or with the eye — to think otherwise. To always think in the negative, that’s just a horrible way to live, right?”

Hughes, Chamberlain and Kennedy will soon begin their 10th seasons in the major leagues. Kennedy is 31, Chamberlain is 30, Hughes is 29. All are in the American League Central Division now, Kennedy with Kansas City, Chamberlain with the Cleveland Indians, Hughes with Minnesota. All of them have beards, the telltale symbol of rebellion for so many former Yankees.


It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten seasons since Hughes, Chamberlain, and Kennedy debuted.  I don’t know if the Yankees handled them correctly.  We can’t know.  The Yankees could have done everything correctly and still wound up where they are now, with a rotation that’s a pretty big question mark heading into 2016.

The fact that Hughes and Kennedy remain established starting pitchers is actually pretty impressive.  They never quite achieved what we had hoped for, but they’re still in the majors and earning a very nice salary.  As for Joba, he was the most physically talented of the three, and I still think if he hadn’t gotten hurt he may have been the best starting pitcher of the three.  I don’t think there was anything in the Yankees’ handling of him that prevented him from reaching his potential.

But we’ll never know.


--Posted at 6:15 am by SG / 23 Comments | - (0)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Newsday: Yankees’ Starlin Castro prompting thoughts of Robinson Cano

BRADENTON, Fla. — Starlin Castro wears No. 14 on his back, but there are times when you’d swear he should be wearing No. 24 — Robinson Cano’s old number.

Castro made a play in the third inning of Wednesday night’s exhibition game at Steinbrenner Field that was pure Cano when he raced after a pop-up in short rightfield and made an effortless-looking over-the-shoulder catch.

A half-inning earlier, Castro hit an opposite-field two-run home run to right-centerfield, his first homer of a superb spring training at the plate. He hit his second — a prodigious wallop over the batter’s eye in centerfield — in Thursday’s 7-2 victory over the Pirates at McKechnie Field.

Stephen Drew used to prompt thoughts of Cano too.  As in, “Why did the Yankees let Cano go?”

It’ll be pretty exciting if Castro can put up an OPS of .800 or so.  That’s not Cano, but it’s a lot better than the .693 and .683 OPS that they got out of 2B in 2014 and 2015.

--Posted at 8:16 am by SG / 40 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, March 17, 2016 How Yankees prospect is reviving David Robertson comparison

TAMPA, Fla. — The Yankees prospect billed as the next David Robertson before injury fanned his flame is on the comeback path, pitching coach Larry Rothschild told NJ Advance Media on Wednesday.

Right-hander Mark Montgomery racked up big strikeout numbers thanks to a wipeout breaking pitch the way Robertson had before impressing for years in the Bronx, mainly as Mariano Rivera’s trusted set-up man. Then shoulder bursitis derailed Montgomery’s rise in 2013, dropping him off the prospect map.

But Rothschild has been impressed with Montgomery so far this spring, his first spent in major-league camp in three years.

“He’s better this spring,” Rothschild said.

The pitching coach credited Montgomery’s wipeout slider, which used to tally strikeouts the way Robertson’s curveball piled them up. Montgomery, 25, said his shoulder is fully recovered.

There are a few slots available in the Yankee bullpen this year and it’d be nice to see Montgomery pitching well enough to be in the mix.  The Yankees have leveraged minor league options to run what is effectively an eight or nine man bullpen the last few years, and I’d expect them to do the same this year.  The guys who are most effective will probably avoid the shuttle. 

Can Montgomery be one of them?  Maybe.

--Posted at 8:41 am by SG / 16 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 Ivan Nova closes gap on Yankees’ rotation spot

In what will probably be his last year with the Yankees, the only team he’s ever know, righty Ivan Nova has his foot on the gas.

In his latest case to become the Yankees’ fifth starter in 2016, Nova dropped a four-inning, four-strikeout performance against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night at JetBlue Park, an evening where his fastball hit 93 miles per hour and he kept sluggers David Ortiz and Pablo Sandoval hitless.

“Awesome,” Nova said when asked to sum up the evening. “Feel really good. Had a good outing today. A lot of strikes, command of my fastball, good counts. Happy with it.”

He threw 49 pitches on Tuesday, 32 for strikes.

Nova hasn’t been perfect this spring—his ERA’s 2.00—but he’s been better than most expected as he fights for the last spot in the Yankees’ rotation, an uphill battle from the start for the 29-year-old.

Nova is in a race with veteran CC Sabathia, who started spring as the presumed starter for what he did late last year (2-1, 2.17 ERA in his last five starts)—and, really, the previous 14 years—but Nova has been objectively better than Sabathia thus far.

I think Nova, now further removed from his Tommy John surgery, is a better pitcher than Sabathia.  I don’t think that will give him the rotation spot over Sabathia.

However, if the Yankees can get a good full season out of Nova in the rotation, he may be worth extending a qualifying offer to in the hopes of gaining a draft pick if he signs elsewhere.

It’s more than likely that both will get plenty of starts when one or more of the four starters ahead of them miss time, so it’s not really a big deal.

--Posted at 8:00 am by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)

Monday, March 14, 2016

TGS NY: Joe Girardi says that CC Sabathia has to win his spot

Now, though, in 2016, with more than 3,000 major league innings (including the playoffs) and with a fastball that struggles to reach 90, Sabathia is another guy—albeit with a $25 million salary—trying to win a fifth starter spot.

“We are going to take what we think are the five best, bottom line,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

An injury could make Girardi’s decision for him, but if it doesn’t it will certainly come down to Sabathia or Ivan Nova. Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Luis Severino and Nathan Eovaldi are going to be in the rotation, if healthy.

Sabathia, despite having the best resume, is still applying for a job. He did not help himself on Sunday as he only lasted 1 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits. His fastball once again had trouble inching over 90 mph, and that leaves him vulnerable when his slider is off, as it was Sunday. This was a step back after first outing against the Marlins in which he threw two scoreless innings and looked pretty good.

I’d be really surprised if Sabathia is not in the rotation to open the season, even though I don’t think he’s one of the Yankees’ five best starters.

--Posted at 7:41 am by SG / 48 Comments | - (0)

Friday, March 11, 2016

NY Post: Yankees nix Starlin Castro at third, giving hope to Refsnyder

The Starlin Castro third base experiment has ended before it really began, and that is OK with him.

“I feel good, I don’t even think about it,’’ Castro said after manager Joe Girardi said Thursday it wasn’t likely the Yankees’ starting second baseman would get work at third.

That was the plan when camp opened because the Yankees are looking for Chase Headley’s backup.

“At first they said we are going to try and see if I like it,” Castro said. “They wanted me to be comfortable [at second], and that’s what I wanted, too.’’

It never really mad sense for the starting second baseman to also be the primary backup at shortstop and third base, and now the Yankees have confirmed that they will not be doing that.

This is good news for Rob Refsnyder’s chances of making the team, so long as he can actually prove that he can play third base. Otherwise, Pete Kozma and Ronald Torreyes will likely get the spot, with Pete Kozma probably the favorite (as there’s no worrying about losing him to waivers if they send him down).

--Posted at 6:06 pm by Brian Cronin / 24 Comments | - (0) Well-rested Eovaldi gets off to good start

Having Mark Teixeira hobbling around on crutches arguably hurt the Yankees’ late-season chances more than any other injury, but it would be a mistake to discount the significance of deleting Nathan Eovaldi from the starting rotation.

Eovaldi was not able to pitch after Sept. 5 due to right elbow inflammation, and the right-hander finally returned to game action Thursday, hurling two perfect innings in an 11-4 loss to the Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

“I was just trying to locate the ball on both sides and was working on my slider today,” Eovaldi said. “Both felt good.”

Eovaldi paced the American League with an .824 winning percentage last year, finishing 14-3 with a 4.20 ERA in 27 starts, and he would have been available to pitch out of the bullpen had the Yankees made it past the Astros in the American League Wild Card Game.

Instead, he allowed his arm some extra time to rest, and he hopes to continue seeing benefits after Thursday’s 22-pitch outing.

“Outstanding,” said Yankees bench coach Rob Thomson. “Obviously, the fastball velocity was there. He was able to locate his fastball, slider was crisp, he threw a couple of splits. I thought he really pitched well and was getting after it.”

Eovaldi is important not only because he can be a good pitcher himself, but in the way that he moves the Yankees’ pitching depth down the line. Having a healthy rotation means that Ivan Nova can play the Adam Warren long man role and perhaps Bryan Mitchell can be an effective short man (hopefully Chasen Shreve will be the effective third short man that the Yankees will need while Chapman is suspended, and then can become the much-needed fourth short man when Chapman returns, but if not Shreve, the options are kind of bare outside of Mitchell. Pazos? Rumbelow? Returning from injury Lindgren?).

That said, it is also just flat out good to see him pitch well period. The rotation is actually looking pretty darn good so far this Spring Training. The bullpen, not so much, but the rotation (outside of some Severino hiccups) has looked strong.

--Posted at 9:26 am by Brian Cronin / 10 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

ESPN: Gossage: Jose Bautista a ‘disgrace,’ baseball ruined by ‘nerds’

Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage called Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista a “disgrace to the game” and blasted “nerds” for turning baseball into a “joke” during a 10-minute interview Thursday.

“Bautista is a f—-ing disgrace to the game,” Gossage told ESPN. “He’s embarrassing to all the Latin players, whoever played before him. Throwing his bat and acting like a fool, like all those guys in Toronto. [Yoenis] Cespedes, same thing.”

Bautista famously flipped his bat after launching a three-run, seventh-inning home run to give the Blue Jays the lead in Game 5 of the American League Division Series.

Gossage then followed that up by going after the “nerds” that are ruining baseball in his estimation…

“The game is becoming a freaking joke because of the nerds who are running it. I’ll tell you what has happened, these guys played Rotisserie baseball at Harvard or wherever the f—- they went and they thought they figured the f—-ing game out. They don’t know s—-.”

“It is a joke,” Gossage said. “The game is becoming a freaking joke because of the nerds who are running it.

“I’ll tell you what has happened, these guys played rotisserie baseball at Harvard or wherever the f—- they went and they thought they figured the f—-ing game out. They don’t know s—-.

“A bunch of f—-ing nerds running the game. You can’t slide into second base. You can’t take out the f—-ing catcher because [Buster] Posey was in the wrong position and they are going to change all the rules. You can’t pitch inside anymore. I’d like to knock some of these f—-ers on their ass and see how they would do against pitchers in the old days.

“Ryan Braun is a f—-ing steroid user. He gets a standing ovation on Opening Day in Milwaukee. How do you explain that to your kid after throwing people under the bus and lying through his f—-ing teeth? They don’t have anyone passing the f—-ing torch to these people.

“If I had acted like that, you don’t go in that f—-ing dugout. There are going to be 20 f—-ing guys waiting for you.”

Few things would make me question a position I had on something more than Goose Gossage also supporting said position. If I heard Gossage do a rant about how round the Earth is, I’d take a second look at this whole “Flat Earth” theory.

--Posted at 3:07 pm by Brian Cronin / 30 Comments | - (0) Girardi: A-Rod may find calling in managing

Whenever Alex Rodriguez decides that his playing days are over, Yankees manager Joe Girardi doesn’t necessarily believe that the 40-year-old slugger will hang up his uniform, too.

A-Rod did not make the trip to Jupiter for Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium, but Girardi readily responded to a question about the 21-year veteran possibly staying in baseball as a coach or instructor after he retires.

“I think Alex would probably prefer to manage, if he was going to do anything, because I think he likes all the strategy of the game,” Girardi said. “He would be a great hitting coach, because he understands mechanics as well as anyone that’s played the game.”

While the Yankees were waiting for the Marlins to finish their batting practice session, Girardi stopped behind the batting cage to chat with Barry Bonds—MLB’s all-time home run king, who this year has put on a uniform again as the Marlins’ hitting coach. Girardi said he would not be surprised to see A-Rod follow a similar path.

“Until you get away from it a couple years, you’re not sure exactly how much guys are going to miss it, but I think he’s really going to miss it,” Girardi said. “So I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw him in uniform.”

A-Rod is such a fascinating guy. He obviously knows a ton about baseball, he loves to mentor younger players (granted, some of that mentoring led to said younger players getting suspensions for PEDs use, but still!) and he is shockingly charming for a guy who normally seems so divorced from reality (the infamous photo of him kissing himself in a mirror, the Centaur painting rumors, etc.).

When he did some television work during the playoffs, he was excellent. So he could clearly go that route if he wanted it.

However, while I think hitting coach is definitely an attainable goal for him (Barry Bonds is currently a hitting coach, after all, and Mark McGwire has done the job, as well), I wonder if a team would ever actually let him be the manager of their team. What do you folks think? Is manager something that you could see A-Rod doing some day? Or do you think teams would never invite that much drama?

--Posted at 1:30 pm by Brian Cronin / 4 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

CBS New York: Report: Yankees Turned Down Blockbuster Deal Involving Heyward

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Imagine what the Yankees’ lineup would have looked like if they had done this deal. Then imagine how few coveted prospects they would have had.

According to WFAN baseball insider John Heyman, the Atlanta Braves approached the Yankees about a mega-deal a while back that would have sent outfielders Jason Heyward and B.J. Upton, shortstop Andrelton Simmons, and others to the Bronx for a massive package of prospects, including right-hander Luis Severino, outfielder Aaron Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez.

Heyward/simmons/carpenter/bj upton/c Johnson for severino/judge/banuelos/clarkin/sanchez said floated. Nyy didnt pull trigger

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 8, 2016

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t pull the trigger. Heyward eventually was traded to St. Louis, where he hit .293 with 13 home runs and 60 RBI in 154 games last season. He then signed an eight-year, $184 million deal with the Chicago Cubs this offseason.

Phew.  I would have hated that trade. 

--Posted at 8:27 am by SG / 41 Comments | - (0)

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Players Tribune: Sabathia: My Toughest Out

I’ve played in sold out stadiums. I’ve undergone numerous surgeries. And I’ve even pitched in the World Series.

But nothing scared me more than saying these three words: “I need help.”

Well, it’s not even the words, really. Words are easy to say, particularly when you don’t believe them. I was fine saying that I needed help well before I actually believed it. When my wife and close friends started telling me they thought I had a problem, I’d always have the right response. I’d say what I thought they wanted to hear so that they could feel better in that moment. But it was never actually coming from my heart. I never actually wanted to stop drinking. And I didn’t think I needed to. I thought I had everything under control.

But last October, while sitting all alone in a hotel room, I finally accepted the reality that I had been avoiding for so long.

“I need help.”

I was in Baltimore at the time. It was the last Sunday of the regular season and we were about to start the playoffs. We’d gotten rained out on Friday, and I’d spent most of the weekend alone in my hotel room clearing out the minibar.

We had a game that day, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to help my teammates if they needed me. I was struggling to function physically, but I also felt awful in so many other ways. It struck me how tired I was of feeling sick. And how exhausted I was after keeping this secret for so long. Then it finally hit me:

You don’t have to live like this.

After years of struggling, it’s important to me to share my story in my own words. For a long time, I thought I was in this alone. But I want the world to know that there’s always people out there who understand. It’s possible to get better.

This is a well-written article about CC Sabathia’s battle with alcoholism.  Hopefully he’ll be able to get past this.

--Posted at 10:11 pm by SG / 54 Comments | - (0)

NY Post: Yankees’ young prospects show why they could be so special

TAMPA — You don’t always have to see the revolution that’s coming. Sometimes you can hear it. Sometimes you can feel it. There was a small crowd of folks making their way from the third level of Steinbrenner Field to the ground level, walking along the narrow corridor leading to the Yankees clubhouse.

We wanted to talk to Jorge Mateo because he already had given us a splendid preview of what’s next for the Yankees. Mateo is a 20-year-old shortstop with blinding speed. The other day, he star-gazed at a blast that never quite cleared the fence, and still blazed his way to a triple with legs that stole 82 bases last year.

This time, Saturday, he leaned into a knuckleball off Boston’s Steven Wright and crushed one off the scoreboard in left-center. Proving he is a quick learner, Mateo sprinted out of the box, lost his helmet between first and second, and didn’t slow up until he was sure the ball had vanished behind the wall.

“He’s so fast,” Aaron Judge said, “that one of these days he’s going to be at home plate before the ball comes down.”

So we were rushing to ask Jorge Mateo all about that.

And then you heard the rumble, felt it in your feet before it hit your ears. Something had happened outside, on the field.

“What was that?” someone asked.

A security man pointed at a TV.

“Judge,” he said.

The TV feed was a few seconds behind, so there was a crowd around it as Judge took a nice, easy swing at an Anthony Varvaro fastball. By now, the roar was deafening, so you knew this probably wasn’t going to be a sacrifice fly.

“He’s going to miss balls,” manager Joe Girardi marveled later, when this quick and tidy 6-4 exhibition win over the Red Sox was done, “and still hit then out.”

Some days in March are more eventful than others, and this was one of those days for the Yankees. This was one of those afternoons when suddenly it seems perfectly OK if they don’t have the starting pitching, or enough bats, to make a serious run at the World Series. All that was missing was a bugler and a town crier announcing the arrival of The Future.

“It shows you how close they’re getting,” Girardi said. “It’s there. There’s a lot of talent in the minor leagues. If something happens to one of your players you know you have guys you can go to and rely on.”

It’s starting to feel like a good time to be a Yankee fan again.  If only they could get rid of the sunk cost in center field.

--Posted at 7:56 am by SG / 13 Comments | - (0)

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Red Sox @ Yankees, Saturday, March 5, 2016, 1:05 PM

The game is and YES.

Yankees Lineup:

Jacoby Smellsbury CF
Carlos Beltran RF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Chase Headley 3B
Dustin Ackley 2B
Ben Gamel LF
Jorge Mateo SS

I don’t know who Tyler Cloyd is, but I know he’s starting for the Yankees.

--Posted at 1:02 pm by SG / 48 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, March 3, 2016 Severino roughed up, but Yanks rally late

Bryan Holaday hit a second-inning grand slam and Ian Kinsler and Steven Moya also homered for the Tigers, but the Yankees rallied to win, 10-9, in Grapefruit League action on Wednesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

After Moya’s two-run shot in the top of the ninth put Detroit ahead, 9-8, Jorge Mateo led off the bottom of the inning with a triple and scored the tying run on Austin Romine’s one-out single. With two outs, Dustin Fowler reached on a fielding error by Justin Krizan, allowing pinch-runner Tyler Wade to score the winning run.
Holaday’s shot came off Yankees right-hander Luis Severino, who struggled with his command over 1 1/3 innings, surrendering five runs on two hits. Severino issued two walks, hit a batter and struck out two. He threw 37 pitches, 21 for strikes.

“I was not finishing my pitches,” Severino said. “I don’t know what happened. In the first inning I was good from the windup, but when I got to the stretch, everything was up.”

It’s obviously just Spring Training, but boy, Severino did not look good. Luckily, Starlin Castro looked amazing in his first game as a Yankee. If he could turn his career around, then that would sure be swell. Jorge Mateo showed his amazing speed, as well. That dude has some wheels.

The Yankees play again this afternoon, as Ivan Nova makes his Spring Training debut, as does Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez. Brett Gardner, though, wont’ be playing in a game for at least two weeks, because we can’t have nice things.

--Posted at 7:25 am by Brian Cronin / 37 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

NY Post: Yanks prospect a hot commodity nobody knows what to do with

Nevertheless, the Yankees will keep pushing Cessa, who has made 86 minor league starts since 2011. The push’s success or lack thereof could prove quite important for these 2016 Yankees.

“I remember I heard that many a time,” Cashman said of requests to switch starters to the bullpen. “I remember Shane Greene. [People said,] ‘Maybe he’s a reliever.’ And then he came up. I heard that early on about Brian Mitchell. But we’ll see.”

Cessa, a Mexican native and resident, said, “Whatever [the Yankees] want, I can do.” However, he indicated his preference to start. Of 95 professional pitching appearances, 86 have been starts.
He has struck out 419 and walked 110 in 513 2/3 innings, a good enough ratio to remain a starter. Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild praised Cessa for having “command in and out. Just historically, he can throw any pitch in any count.”

That’s where the debate enters. Cessa throws a fastball that reaches 93 mph and a changeup. He also throws a slider and curveball, although he said on Monday — and told his catcher Austin Romine during a live batting-practice session — that he has been working on a slurve. Those in the “Cessa as a reliever” camp aren’t sure he has enough quality pitches to start.

“We think he has starter capability, just like we think Green [the other pitcher acquired from Detroit in the Justin Wilson trade -BC] has starter capability,” Cashman said. “And then if not, all failed starters go to the pen. We feel we acquired, in Cessa’s case, a strike-thrower with a good arm.”

It’s a smart strategy. If Cessa could actually make it as a starter, it’d make the Justin Wilson trade look a whole lot better.

--Posted at 5:51 am by Brian Cronin / 49 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 Chapman gets 30-game suspension from MLB

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman became the first player to be penalized under Major League Baseball’s new Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy with Tuesday’s announcement that he has been suspended for 30 regular-season games.

Chapman, who said last month that he would appeal any suspension, has agreed not to appeal. He will be allowed to continue working out with the team in Spring Training and will be eligible to play in exhibition games. Barring postponements, he will be eligible to play in the regular season May 9 at Yankee Stadium against the Royals.

He will lose approximately $1.7 million in salary, but will accrue enough Major League service time to become a free agent at season’s end. Had the suspension been 46 or more games, it would have delayed his free agency by denying him the necessary service time.

It really seems that we are now in an era (in all leagues, really) where the commissioners have some ridiculously broad punishment powers. I’m not even saying that Chapman doesn’t deserve a thirty day suspension, I’m just saying that there doesn’t seem to be any real precedent for a suspension this long, and we’re basically just in a situation where the commissioner gets to decide whatever he wants to do without any substantive oversight (just like A-Rod’s suspension). 30 was a big enough number to make people pay attention and think MLB is serious about domestic violence but not big enough for it to be worth it to Chapman to appeal. Those seemed to be the guiding principles rather than whether it was a “fair” result.

That said, Chapman, for his part, sounds so off-base that I can’t worry too much about a “fair” process for him:

Today, I accepted a 30-game suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my actions on Oct. 30, 2015. I want to be clear, I did not in any way harm my girlfriend that evening. However, I should have exercised better judgment with respect to my actions, and for that I am sorry.

Suuuure, tons of people are cool with 30 game suspensions for domestic violence when they insist that they did not commit any domestic violence. Loads.

--Posted at 5:03 pm by Brian Cronin / 13 Comments | - (0) Yanks’ Kaprielian proud of Armenian heritage

Yankees 2015 first-round Draft choice James Kaprielian may be a kid by baseball standards, but when it comes to receiving well-wishes from his fellow Armenian Americans, the 21-year-old righty is a seasoned veteran.

“I’ve always received a lot of support from the Armenian community,” said Kaprielian, whose native Southern California boasts the largest Armenian population in the United States.

“I remember in high school, maybe once a week or something we’d always get a random phone call—someone would leave a voice mail at the house saying, ‘Hey, this is so-and-so, I just wanted to call and say we heard about James, and we just want to let you know we’re pulling for you guys, and the Armenian community’s behind you.’

“We’d always get phone calls like that, and people would be like, ‘Hey, I saw the schedule online, we’re going to come out to a game,’ so it was kind of cool having the community behind me like that.”

Was the presence of a large Armenian community in his immediate surroundings something that he became aware of at a young age?

“Yeah, I did and I talked to my [paternal] grandparents about that because they’re full Armenian and they’re very proud of the Armenian community in California and they were very well aware of it as well,” said Kaprielian, whose late mother, Barbara, was of German and English descent.

In all seriousness, this is honestly a fair enough article. I really don’t mean to make fun, it is just when I saw that this was on the front page of, all I could think was, “Yep, it’s early days of Spring Training doldrums time.” No longer the offseason really (although things are still happening, like Ian Desmond taking an $8 million pillow contract to play left field for the Rangers - surprisingly, Desmond has less than kind words for the current free agency system) but not to the point of Spring Training where anything interesting happens, either. Except, of course, injuries - Nathan Eovaldi has mild groin discomfort. Hopefully he still has a groin by the end of the season. Chasen Shreve was hit in the back by a line drive. So if the choices are headlines about Yankee pitchers getting hurt and Yankee pitchers celebrating their ancestry, well, I’ll go with ancestry. I wonder what Chase Headley’s background is…

--Posted at 9:11 am by Brian Cronin / 19 Comments | - (0)

Saturday, February 27, 2016 Castro to take grounders at hot corner

The Yankees are throwing plenty at Starlin Castro this spring, asking him to transition to a new team while preparing to handle everyday duties at second base. Just for good measure, they’ve also asked him if he feels comfortable taking grounders at third base.

Castro doesn’t seem rattled by this growing list of job responsibilities. A three-time All-Star who served as the Cubs’ starting shortstop until last season, Castro is hoping that a change of scenery will help him return to the form that has seen him tally 992 hits in just six big league seasons.

“You just try to learn. I never stop learning,” said Castro, who turns 26 on March 24. “If I get in there, try to learn it quick. And when I get the opportunity to play there, I just play good.”

Castro being the back-up shortstop is just obvious. There isn’t another shortstop on the Major League roster right now, so it pretty much has to be him. Back-up third baseman, though, is fascinating. The Yankees will almost certainly carry Dustin Ackley as the back-up second baseman and back-up first baseman, but I guess he just can’t play third at all. So if they want to bring Refsnyder on to the roster for his bat, it would likely have to be as a second baseman (they’re trying him at third in spring, but come on, the guy can barely play second) and that would leave them without a third baseman backup. So I guess Castro, amazingly enough, might be it. The dude might be the starter at second and the back-up at short and third. Crazy. But I guess that’s the issue when you try to carry three second basemen.

--Posted at 2:03 am by Brian Cronin / 41 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

NY Post: A lingering problem with Brett Gardner’s left wrist is the first ailment in Yankees camp.

A lingering problem with Brett Gardner’s left wrist is the first ailment in Yankees camp.

Gardner, who wasn’t on the batting practice list for Thursday’s initial full-squad workout at George M. Steinbrenner Field, is being monitored for a bone bruise that he suffered Oct. 6 bracing himself making a catch at the wall against the Astros in a 3-0 AL wild-card loss at Yankee Stadium.

“I know he feels good, we are taking it slow,’’ GM Brian Cashman said. “Spring training is long enough, we don’t have to be rushing. The CT scan showed a bone bruise. The last [CT scan] showed significant improvement. It’s going in the right direction. At this point, taking the safe route.’’

Sooo…yeah, that’s not good. Gardner, as you might recall, injured his right wrist early last season, played through the injury with the help of painkilling cortisone shots and then fell apart late in the season around the same time he was no longer allowed to get cortisone shots anymore (feel free to argue against any claims of causality between the two events, as I would agree that it is not a clear cut case of “he started sucking because he couldn’t get cortisone shots anymore”).

That he is still recovering from a bone bruise on his other wrist that he suffered in October is…well, not good, considering the previous one bothered him the entire season (and who knows if the injury from early last year is even fully healed).

--Posted at 5:18 pm by Brian Cronin / 16 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 Yankees sign free agent Chris Parmelee, per report

According to his Instagram, the Yankees have signed former Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles OF/INF Chris Parmelee. The club did not immediately respond to confirm the report.

Cashman later did confirm Parmelee’s post (although you have to think that the Yankees would prefer that they be the ones who announce deals, not players on their Instagram accounts). Anyhow, while the Yankees’ season would most likely be screwed if Teix gets hurt (when Teix gets hurt?), this is still a fine signing. The Yankees had no room on the MLB roster for a back-up first baseman, and now they got a decent enough back-up first baseman in case of injury.

Cashman is really great at the little things. It’s a shame that their payroll restrictions force him to concentrate on the little things, but hey, at least he is really good at them.

--Posted at 1:48 am by Brian Cronin / 42 Comments | - (0)

Monday, February 22, 2016

NY Post: Chasen Shreve’s mystery collapse hangs over Yankees’ hope

TAMPA – You would not be surprised if I told you that as of Sept. 5 last year, Dellin Betances had the second-best ERA (1.30) among the 148 relievers with at least 40 appearances, Andrew Miller was ninth (1.65) and Aroldis Chapman was 14th (1.79).

But what if I told you Chasen Shreve was 16th (1.86)?

In that same timeframe, among relievers who faced at least 175 batters, Miller (.145) and Betances (.147) ranked 1-2 in batting average against and Chapman 17th (.197). No shocker, right?

But how about if I told you Shreve was actually better than Chapman at that point, eighth among relievers at .177?

Yep, for fifth-sixths of 2015, Chasen Shreve was a heck of a reliever and then, well, then he became something less than a batting practice pitcher. In his final nine appearances, Shreve allowed 22 of the 36 batters he faced to reach safely and four homered. After allowing seven of 33 inherited runners to score over his first 50 appearances, Shreve inherited 10 runners and eight scored, and he tacked a 16.20 ERA on top of that, and a 1.594 OPS against.

The Yankees were 0-9 in those games, and Shreve was a major culprit as they barely hung on for a wild-card spot.

Shreve’s collapse really was odd.  I didn’t think he was as good as he’d looked through most of the season, but there was little reason to think he’d suddenly become so completely ineffective.  Hopefully he can be a bit closer to the Shreve we saw for most of the season and less of the Shreve we saw at the end.

--Posted at 12:46 pm by SG / 13 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

NY Post: Yankees prospect thriving after having same surgery as Tanaka

TAMPA — Jacob Lindgren didn’t want to speak for Masahiro Tanaka regarding the Yankees ace’s comeback after having a bone spur removed from his right elbow.

Lindgren, however, said his left elbow has healed very well after undergoing the same surgery late last June.

“It was good, we have a very good medical staff and they trained me hard,’’ said Lindgren, the Yankees’ first pick in the 2014 draft, who made seven big-league relief appearances last year. “It wasn’t long, about three months, and I am feeling great now.’’

Since Tanaka’s surgery was done in late October, he already is past the three-month mark. However, the Yankees are expected to take it slow with their $175 million investment who continues to work with a slight tear in his right ulnar collateral ligament

Hopefully both Lindgren and Tanaka will be able to pitch full healthy seasons this year.  For all the talk of the Yankees’ top three relievers, the back of their bullpen is still uncertain.  I have faith in Joe Girardi building a good pen out of the talent available if at least some of it can pitch to their ability.  If I had to pick the pitcher I’d expect to be the fourth best reliever in the Yankee bullpen this year, it’d be Lindgren.

--Posted at 12:56 pm by SG / 60 Comments | - (0)

Monday, February 15, 2016

NYDN: Five key questions for Yankees heading into spring training

The Yankees returned to the postseason last fall for the first time since 2012, though their stay proved to be brief as the Astros sent them home in the wild card game.

As Joe Girardi and his team prepare to gather in Tampa later this week, it marks the first time in years there is no individual dominating the conversation. Last year, it was Alex Rodriguez’s return from suspension, while the retirements of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera made headlines the previous two springs.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of questions heading into camp. Here’s a look at five of the most important issues that will help determine the Yankees’ success this season.

1. Can Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira do it again?


2. Will Aroldis Chapman break camp with the team?

Is this really key?  If he doesn’t, Andrew Miller will close, Dellin Betances will set up and it won’t matter make any difference over what we have to assume cannot be a suspension of any significant length.

3. Will CC Sabathia’s knee brace be the difference?

Wouldn’t it be great if it was?  Then we could ask why the Yankees paid $69M for 424 innings of 82 ERA+ over the last three years when a $1,000 knee brace would have been the difference.

4. Will Masahiro Tanaka, Nate Eovaldi and Michael Pineda combine for at least 90 starts?

Over the next three years?  Sure.

5. Will Jacoby Smellsbury and Brett Gardner be the table-setters the Yankees need?

One of them will be.  The other one will only have four years remaining on his contract after 2016.

--Posted at 9:37 am by SG / 34 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

NYDN: Harper: GM Brian Cashman takes the Daily News inside the Yankees’ offseason trades

With an edict from ownership to keep a lid on payroll, a desire to make his team younger and more athletic, and a vow to hold onto elite prospects, Brian Cashman had a rather tricky task as the offseason began.

And now that spring training is just a week away, it seems fair to say the Yankees’ GM has gone a long way toward accomplishing that task on all fronts.

Other teams had splashier offseasons, to be sure, most notably the division rival Red Sox, who signed an ace in David Price and traded for a top closer in Craig Kimbrel.

Of course, it cost the Red Sox $217 million to secure Price — or $217 million more than the Yankees spent on major league free agents this winter. Instead Cashman pulled off trades for Aroldis Chapman, Starlin Castro, and Aaron Hicks for seemingly little in return, earning praise from fellow executives.

“You can make a case that they executed a plan as well as any team this offseason,’’ a rival exec said Wednesday. “They wouldn’t have gotten Chapman without the domestic violence situation, but, like it or not, they took advantage of it, and the bottom line is they acquired some quality young talent at a relatively low cost.’‘

Given the restrictions in place, I do think Cashman has done a fine job this offseason.  I don’t think it’s enough to make them strong contenders for the division, but a few breaks and they could be in the mix.  In the short-term, t’s frustrating to think that if the team wasn’t so hell-bent on restricting payroll that they may have projected as the class of their division, but it a longer-term view will possibly vindicate them.


--Posted at 9:32 pm by SG / 42 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 Yankees are Cuban slugger’s preferred landing spot, but ...

Yulieski Gourriel, long considered the best player remaining in Cuba, has defected with his younger brother, Lourdes, and the pair will be seeing major-league employment, according to multiple reports.

And the elder Gourriel likely has his set on the Yankees. 

In 2015, Gourriel told Yahoo Sports he wanted to play at the “maximum level of baseball in all the world” and would cherish a chance to play with his favorite player, Alex Rodriguez.

I don’t suppose he’d take a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training?

--Posted at 9:22 am by SG / 43 Comments | - (0)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Yahoo: Suddenly frugal Yankees playing long game with eye on Bryce Harper

For the sake of argument, though, say they don’t. Hell, say they sign Strasburg for $28 million a year. After the 2017 season, Sabathia is gone, as are Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda and Dustin Ackley. Even factoring in generous raises for Dellin Betances, Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius and Chasen Shreve, that would leave the Yankees at $152 million. And if Masahiro Tanaka were to opt out of his contract, which he has the option to do following 2017, that would shave another $22.1 million in taxable money off the budget.

Here is where the Yankees’ resolve will be tested. The free agent class of 2017-18 is far better than the previous mess, with Jake Arrieta, Tyson Ross, Todd Frazier, Eric Hosmer, Justin Upton, Lorenzo Cain, Johnny Cueto, Brandon Belt, Lucas Duda, J.D. Martinez, Alcides Escobar, Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn, Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Tillman, Mike Moustakas, Trevor Plouffe and others available. If the Yankees can manage to stay competitive enough in 2016 and ‘17 to ward off compulsively spending in the offseasons after, the confluence between their patience and the bonanza awaiting in the class of 2018-19 could save them tens of millions of dollars in luxury-tax payments.

Calling the 2018-19 offseason a bonanza might be selling it short. Though it’s more than two years away, teams already are banking cash in anticipation of it, multiple sources have told Yahoo Sports. The deluge of talent that could be available – Josh Donaldson, Clayton Kershaw, Manny Machado, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey, David Price, Dallas Keuchel, Adam Jones and Jason Heyward – is led by Harper, the reigning National League MVP who will just have turned 26.

Nobody with the Yankees dared comment on Harper, even off the record, because their future marriage is considered so inevitable by most in the sport that the team dare not trifle with tampering charges. Considering the pains to which the Yankees are going to tighten finances, Harper as the endgame makes worlds of sense.

His age – and the ability to cull prime years from a free agent, a rarity – is as much of a selling point as his ability. And Harper’s transformation from enfant terrible to the most marketable player in baseball by a large margin fits the Yankees’ ethos. Star power matters to the Yankees more than any other team.

The Yankees should be planning to bid on Harper if he makes it to free agency.  But I hope they aren’t planning everything with the idea that Harper WILL be a Yankee as soon as he can be signed.

If you were to put odds on Harper being a Yankee, what would you put it at?  50%?  25%?

--Posted at 9:34 am by SG / 97 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, February 4, 2016 Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez ‘just can’t’ play defense anymore, report says

Maybe Alex Rodriguez will never pick up a glove in a Major League Baseball game again.

If you listen to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, it sounds possible, if not likely.

The Yankees aren’t only going to skip giving A-Rod a try at first base in the wake of the news that Greg Bird’s shoulder surgery will keep him out all season, but they won’t even give him a shot in the field, Cashman said, according to a report from the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.

This seems rather inflexible to me.  I find it hard to believe Rodriguez can’t play the field at least once in a while, just to increase the team’s options a bit.  But the Yankees certainly know more about it than I do.

--Posted at 9:54 am by SG / 21 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 Could Yankees’ Mark Teixeira be around in 2017? Maybe now

It was a question raised by WFAN’s Sweeny Murti on Monday, and it’s an interesting one:

2017 plan is in question too as Bird loses a critical year of development. Maybe a stopgap option? Maybe that’s Teixiera??

— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) February 1, 2016

The proposition, of course, stems from the fact that Yankees’ 23-year-old backup first baseman Greg Bird will miss the entire 2016 season because of shoulder surgery he had performed on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum.

The problem with Bird’s injury isn’t so much that he can’t play in the Bronx this year—he was slated to start the year in Triple-A anyway—but that he is going to lose a year of maturation and development.

But Hal-Cap?????

I guess they could extend a qualifying offer to Teixeira and hope he sticks around for a year or they get a draft pick out of it.

--Posted at 12:06 pm by SG / 20 Comments | - (0)

Monday, February 1, 2016

NY Post: Yankees’ Greg Bird to miss 2016 after shoulder surgery

Yankees first baseman Greg Bird will miss the 2016 season due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Bird initially hurt his shoulder last May while in the minors, and felt discomfort again this offseason. He will have surgery Tuesday to repair the torn labrum.

The 23-year-old had 11 home runs in 157 at-bats for the Yankees as a rookie last season.

Bird was projected to begin the season at Triple-A rather than sit behind incumbent first baseman Mark Teixeira, but would have been first in line for major league at-bats in the event of an injury to Teixeira or designated hitter Alex Rodriguez.

Now he misses a full year of developmental time and has a serious injury on his ledger.

This is not good.  Hopefully Bird can make a full recovery, but losing a year of development is not good for him.

--Posted at 3:13 pm by SG / 57 Comments | - (0)

USA Today: Organizational report: Yankees counting on big-ticket stars

The New York Yankees’ vast riches come with sky-high expectations, and both the team and its fans bristle at the concept of rebuilding. So the Yankees entered 2015 with designs on contention but question marks all over the diamond, mostly in the form of aging and high-priced former free agent acquisitions coming off ineffective or injury-riddled seasons.

Then the season started, and many of those same players enjoyed resurgent seasons and good health. And while the club played its way to a American League wild-card berth — losing to Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros — general manager Brian Cashman subtly continued the process of acquiring and developing a new core of young players to buttress the big-ticket stars on the roster and a group fit to support the next crop of marquee Yankees superstars whenever it should come.

The success of the 2016 Yankees will still largely rest on the performance of familiar faces signed to big deals on the long side of 30. The club will count on Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran — the youngest of whom, Teixeira, will turn 36 in April — to provide a good portion of its offense. And it will hope for rejuvenated output from Jacoby Smellsbury and Chase Headley to hang with the homer-happy Toronto Blue Jays and the suddenly retooled Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

But 2015 saw the Yankees debuts of shortstop Didi Gregorius, starter Luis Severino and first baseman Greg Bird, all of whom look ready to be regular contributors at the big-league level. And in Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi, Cashman might have collected the bulk of a solid starting rotation on the cusp of its prime years.

Many prognosticators expected the Yankees to add another starter before the 2016 season to shore up the back end of a rotation rendered shaky by CC Sabathia’s continued decline and struggles with health, alcoholism and velocity. Instead, the Yankees made fireballing closer Aroldis Chapman the biggest acquisition of their offseason, beefing up a bullpen that already included dominant late-inning arms in Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances.

It appears the Yankees will take the approach made famous by the Kansas City Royals, relying on a decent offense and a group of starters good enough to keep them in games through the sixth inning, then turning the ball over to a trio of nearly unhittable relievers.

Is this ‘famous’ approach a sustainable one?

--Posted at 9:42 am by SG / 15 Comments | - (0)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Newsday: A-Rod, at 40, raring to go as Yankees’ spring training approaches

Alex Rodriguez will turn 41 this summer, but it appears he will enter Yankees camp with a spring in his step and the enthusiasm of a rookie.

He has spent the winter working out, spending time with his two daughters and “trying to get this old body ready to go again,’’ he said by phone from Miami yesterday. “I’ve only been 40 once, but it is new territory. I embrace it. One thing about this game, it has a funny way of humbling you and it’s such a difficult game to play every day. It’s so much of a better game today than when I first came in 1994. The young talent is as good as I’ve ever seen it.’’

It’ll be interesting to see how the Yankees handle it if Rodriguez approaches the 27 homers he needs to tie Babe Ruth at 714 for third on the all-time list.  I hope he gets there and more, but I wouldn’t bet on it, at least not in 2016.

--Posted at 10:26 am by SG / 35 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

CBS Sports: Yankees are the only team not to sign an MLB free agent this offseason

Free agency has been around since 1975, and since then the Yankees have never gone an offseason without signing a major-league free agent. Not once. The closest they’ve come is re-signing one or two of their own free agents a few times. They’re on the verge of doing something they’ve never done before.

Not only have the Yankees not signed a big-league free agent, they’ve made it clear this is intentional. Would they jump in sign a player at the right price? Of course. But right now they don’t see any of the prices as being right. Owner Hal Steinbrenner and GM Brian Cashman have indicated they are trying to avoid long-term contracts on multiple occasions.

The last major-league free agent the Yankees signed was Stephen Drew last January. That was a tiny little one-year contract. Most of New York’s major recent moves have been trades, including Chapman and Castro this offseason, Dustin Ackley at the trade deadline, and Didi Gregorius and Nathan Eovaldi last offseason.

The Yankees decided not to sign any MLB free agents during an offseason with seemingly the best free agent class we’ve seen in years.

If that was going to be the case, why didn’t they just go for Yoan Moncada with the money they didn’t spend this offseason?

Time will tell if this plan was wise.

--Posted at 9:47 am by SG / 44 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

TGS NY: For Yankees, replacing Adam Warren—on and off the mound—won’t be easy

There may not be a nicer man in baseball than Adam Warren. But though he was respected by the Yankees’ hierarchy, he always seemed to be an afterthought in the team’s plans. The topper came at the end of June last season, when he was lifted from the starting rotation, even though his ERA was 3.59, while CC Sabathia’s was 5.65.

There was neither a public complaint or a peep from Warren. He just went to the bullpen, did his job and the Yankees finally restored him back to the rotation in the middle of September.

Of all the Yankees who started 17 or more games, Warren’s 3.66 ERA only trailed Masahiro Tanaka’s 3.51. (Luis Severino had a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts.) His success led to the Yankees filling their biggest offseason need, as they traded him to the Chicago Cubs to acquire a starting second baseman in Starlin Castro.

Warren, 28, is the kind of guy you may not appreciate fully until he is gone. In 162 games, a solid swing man, with no whine in him, is in the words of Yankees GM Brian Cashman, a “tremendous asset.”

“He always did everything he was asked,” Cashman said. “That’s how he is wired.”

I’m hoping Ivan Nova can fill the Warren role reasonably well.  I haven’t seen anything out of Bryan Mitchell aside from velocity that makes me think he’s going to be any better than he was last year.  But you never know with pitchers.

--Posted at 12:16 pm by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Minor League Ball: New York Yankees Top 20 prospects for 2016

1) Gary Sanchez, C, Grade B+: Age 23, hit .274/.330/.485 with 18 homers, 29 walks, 78 strikeouts in 365 at-bats in Double-A/Triple-A, threw out 37% of stealers with significant reductions in passed ball and error rates as receiving improved. Can stay behind the plate, getting to his power more often, and seems to have matured emotionally after previous problems.

2) Jorge Mateo, SS, Grade B+: Age 20, hit .278/.345/.392 between Low-A and High-A with strong run late (.321/.374/.452 for Tampa), stole 82 bases, 43/98 BB/K in 449 at-bats. Top-shelf speed and uses it well, may or may not develop more power, tools fit at shortstop but needs more polish as you’d expect given his age. You can make a good case to rank him ahead of Sanchez and I may ultimately do so when the Top 150 prospects list comes out in March.

3) Aaron Judge, OF, Grade B+/B: Age 23 (24 in April), hit .284/.350/.516 with 12 homers in 250 at-bats in Double-A then .224/.308/.373 with eight homers in 228 at-bats in Triple-A. Huge 6-7 wingspan and the power to match, has some pure hitting skills though Triple-A pitchers were able to contain him more often than not, an under-rated fielder. Impact power but still uncertain what his batting average and OBP will look like.

4) James Kaprielian, RHP, Grade B+/B: Age 21 (22 in March), first round pick out of UCLA, ace of the staff there, good curve, good slider, good change-up, throws strikes, main question revolves around fastball which was 88-92 in college but hit 93-96 in the New York-Penn League. Very polished; an Aaron Nola-like rapid rise is possible under the right conditions.

5) Domingo Acevedo, RHP, Grade B: Age 21, posted 1.69 ERA with 53/15 K/BB in 48 innings in New York-Penn League, huge guy (6-6, 240) with huge fastball (95-100 MPH, peaking at 102-103 according to some reports), good change-up, breaking ball is inconsistent. Questions about command and long-term role, could be dominant ace-type if breaking ball comes along, perhaps a closer if it doesn’t.

You can go to the link to see 6-20.

The Yankees don’t have any ‘A’ prospects according to this list, but their top 10 prospects all range from a B+ to a B-, which is good.

--Posted at 7:35 am by SG / 29 Comments | - (0)

Friday, January 22, 2016

NYDN: Yoenis Cespedes prefers to stay in New York, calls Yankees as Mets talk upping contract offer

He’s played in four cities now,” said a person close to the situation, “and he’s told friends that he felt more at home in New York than anywhere else by far. It’s a great city for the Latin guys.”

To that end, another source said that Cespedes’ agents, the Roc Nation group, reached out to the Yankees on Thursday to tell them of the slugger’s desire to stay in New York, and ask if they’d be willing to jump in with a three-year offer.

All indications are that the Yankees have no such intentions, but the scenario itself is revealing and perhaps encouraging to the Mets.

I would certainly be interested in Cespedes on a three year deal if that was really an option, but if the team’s primary goal is getting below the luxury tax threshold, then it’s not an option.

--Posted at 9:21 am by SG / 60 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

CAIRO 2016 v0.1

I honestly didn’t think I would get around to doing CAIRO this year, but for those patient enough to wait, it’s here.

So with that done, i can finally try and project the Yankees as of this point in time.  Here’s how that looks.

Player Pos PA avg/obp/slg Outs BR oWAR Def
Jacoby Smellsbury CF 550 .262/.320/.379 376 57 1.5 1
Brett Gardner LF 575 .256/.332/.400 381 65 1.1 1
Carlos Beltran RF 500 .262/.321/.427 344 59 1.3 -8
Mark Teixeira 1B 450 .238/.332/.463 306 60 1.4 4
Alex Rodriguez DH 450 .247/.340/.434 303 57 0.7 0
Brian McCann C 525 .235/.307/.413 370 59 2.8 0
Chase Headley 3B 600 .252/.328/.381 414 65 1.9 4
Starlin Castro 2B 600 .272/.314/.405 425 65 1.9 2
Didi Gregorius SS 515 .256/.316/.377 352 53 1.8 2
Starters 4765 3271 540 14.4 7
Aaron Hicks OF 375 .251/.330/.391 255 41 1.3 0
Dustin Ackley UT 300 .241/.299/.395 212 31 0.3 0
Gary Sanchez C 150 .231/.283/.383 109 14 0.5 0
Greg Bird 1B 125 .238/.311/.421 87 14 0.2 0
Pete Kozma IF 125 .215/.282/.311 91 9 0.0 0
Rob Refsnyder 2B 50 .256/.325/.388 35 5 0.2 -1
Ben Gamel OF 38 .244/.300/.358 27 3 0.0 0
Mason Williams OF 15 .223/.285/.312 11 1 0.0 0
Bench 1178 828 120 2.4 -1
Team Total 5943 4098 660 16.7 6

CAIRO has taken the underlying assumptions and assumed the Yankees will score 100 fewer runs than last year.  Does that seem too pessimistic?  Maybe, but that’s what it says.

Here’s how the pitching looks:

Masahiro Tanaka SP1 175 78 25 34 163 4.01 3.65 3.82 3.1
Michael Pineda SP2 175 76 21 28 158 3.95 3.70 3.44 3.2
Nathan Eovaldi SP3 170 79 14 49 127 4.22 4.02 3.65 2.6
Luis Severino SP4 170 76 13 56 154 4.05 3.78 3.45 2.9
CC Sabathia SP5 130 71 21 38 111 4.91 4.61 4.55 0.9
Ivan Nova SP6 100 54 13 32 75 4.80 4.63 4.52 0.9
Bryan Mitchell SP7 50 30 5 25 40 5.48 5.04 4.40 0.0
Luis Cessa SP8 20 13 2 6 15 5.91 5.45 4.21 -0.1
Starters 990 478 115 267 842 13.6
Aroldis Chapman CL 65 19 4 30 102 2.64 2.49 2.38 1.9
Andrew Miller SU 65 20 6 22 97 2.78 2.42 2.55 1.8
Dellin Betances SU 75 21 5 31 109 2.60 2.29 2.54 2.2
Nick Goody MR 60 26 6 26 68 3.93 3.63 3.61 0.8
Jacob Lindgren MR 50 20 5 24 59 3.58 3.37 3.54 0.9
Chasen Shreve MR 45 21 6 20 48 4.16 3.88 4.09 0.6
James Pazos MR 45 18 3 19 44 3.63 3.37 3.33 0.8
Branden Pinder MR 30 15 4 12 26 4.57 4.28 4.36 0.2
Nick Rumbelow MR 25 13 3 8 25 4.73 4.34 3.55 0.1
Vicente Campos MR 0 0 0 0 0 7.25 6.72 4.97 0.0
Relievers 460 174 41 193 578 9.4
Team Total 1450 655 155 458 1415 23.0

Assuming that the Yankees will score 660 runs, with a pitching staff that would allow 655 runs combined with a defense that would save about six runs relative to average leaves with you with a .508 winning percentage, or a roughly 82 win team.  You can argue that having the bullpen they have can help them outperform in enough close games that they are maybe closer to an 84 or 85 win team.  Then they just need a few players to exceed their projection here and they should be right in the middle of the wild card race, with a puncher’s chance at the division.

There’s a team tab on the spreadsheet where you can modify the above depth charts for the Yankees in terms of playing time.  You can even add (unlike the real Yankees) and remove players if you want.  Anything highlighted in yellow is adjustable.  Just make sure that your team batting outs add up to 4100 and your team innings add up to 1450 if you want a realistic projected final win total.

You can download the full spreadsheet at the following link:

--Posted at 10:04 am by SG / 55 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 MLB arbitration: Yankees, Didi Gregorius agree on $2.4-million salary

The Yankees and shortstop Didi Gregorius have avoided salary arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $$2.425-million deal, according to the YES Network’s Jack Curry.

The sides were unable to come to an agreement Friday. Early last week, Gregorius filed for a $2.525-million 2016 salary. On Friday, the Yankees filed at $2.3 million. 

The resolution doesn’t come as a surprise. Considering the gulf between the Yankees and Gregorius was so small, and that the Yankees haven’t taken a player to court over arbitration since Chien-Ming Wang in 2009, it was bound to happen.

Still unsigned are Aroldis Chapman, Ivan Nova and Nathan Eovaldi.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take Chapman and Nova to arbitration since neither is likely to be a Yankee after 2016, but I assume they’ll agree with Eovaldi shortly.

--Posted at 11:34 am by SG / 44 Comments | - (0)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Lohud: Yankees about to go full year without Major League signing

Here’s what I’ve been told: The Yankees are not planning to sign a Major League free agent this offseason.

I’m certainly not the only reporter hearing such a thing. The Yankees have taken on some money in trades, and they’re about to pay a bunch of money to arbitration eligible players — and they committed a ton of money two years ago — but it’s entirely possible, if not likely, that the Yankees will not sign a single Major League free agent this winter.

The Yankees’ last Major League free agent signing was technically Garrett Jones during weird situation last season when the Yankees released, then re-signed, then released Jones again, all within a few days.

The Yankees’ last normal Major League signing was Stephen Drew to a one-year, $5-million deal which became official last January 16, exactly a year ago tomorrow.

Happy Hal-iversary!

--Posted at 11:03 am by SG / 68 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

NYDN: Harper: Yankees have better farm system than Mets right now

Now that both the Mets and Yankees have graduated some of their top prospects from the minors the last couple of years, which of the two local teams has the better farm system?, which ranks individual prospects and organizations as well, comes out with rankings for 2016 at the end of this month, and Jim Callis, one of their evaluators, says the Yankees will fare better than the Mets.

“They’re both in pretty good shape, considering some of the guys who have gone to the majors,’’ Callis said on Wednesday. “But I like the Yankees more than the Mets right now. The Yankees should be somewhere in the 6-to-10 range (among all farm systems in baseball), and the Mets will be more in the 11-to-15 range.’‘

Woo!  What do they win for that?

--Posted at 12:53 pm by SG / 24 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 Yankees acquire Olson, Torreyes from Dodgers

The Yankees acquired acquired left-hander Tyler Olson and infielder Ronald Torreyes in a Tuesday deal with the Dodgers, sending infielder Rob Segedin to Los Angeles.

The two newcomers filled out the 40-man roster for the Yankees, who still owe a player to be named or cash considerations to the Dodgers to complete the transaction.

Olson, 26, had been designated for assignment last Wednesday by the Dodgers, who had acquired him in mid-December from Seattle, where in 2015 he had made his Major League debut. Olson went 1-1 in 11 relief appearances with the Mariners after posting a 4.47 ERA in 25 games, including six starts, with Triple-A Tacoma.

Torreyes, primarily a middle infielder (511 of 612 Minor League games at shortstop or second base), appeared in eight games in ‘15 with the Dodgers. Otherwise, the 23-year-old Venezuelan was a vagabond last season, moving about the Double-A and Triple-A levels of three different organizations (Blue Jays, Astros, Dodgers).

For years now, Cashman has been a real master with playing with the back end of the 40-man roster, both in timing when to waive guys and keep them (Austin Romine, Slade Heathcott…other people I can’t remember right this second) and also when to pounce on other team’s 40-man issues. Torreynes is a really decent depth piece at the moment, with some real upside. He was only available due to an L.A. roster crunch, and a lot of teams were interested and Cashman got in there and got him for very little in return (unless the player to be named later is someone notable - I sincerely doubt that, though). Segedin is not terrible, but he’s not nearly as good of a prospect as Torreyes.

Olson is more strictly a depth piece.

Still, a fine trade by Cashman. He has a sharp eye.

--Posted at 11:14 pm by Brian Cronin / 19 Comments | - (0) Here’s where the Yankees are predicted to finish in 2016

By one measure, anyway.

Our friends at Fangraphs recently calculated projected win-loss totals for all 30 major league teams in 2016, factoring in runs scored and allowed. Where do the Yankees fall?

Exactly where they did last year: 87 wins, 75 losses.

Does that translate to a playoff berth? According to Fangraphs, yes, that would make them the No. 1 Wild Card team, even though this year’s squad is projected to score fewer runs than in 2015 when they plated the second-most in baseball.

I’m more of a fan of using runs scored and allowed to project a team’s W/L record than an “add the WAR” approach, but that seems a bit high to me.  That being said, in eyeballing their projected standings, they pass two important sniff tests.  Total wins and losses add up to 2430, and runs scored and allowed are essentially equal aside from rounding.

I would have guessed the Yankees would project to be in the 85 win range, even though they won 87 last year and had a Pythagorean W total of 88 and didn’t really lose anyone important and traded for a couple of upgrades.  So it’s not like they’re hugely over-projected or anything.

For whatever it’s worth, at around this time last year Fangraphs had the Yankees projected at 82-80.

The fact is the bulk of the Yankees’ starting lineup is moving further away from the typical peak of a baseball player and their offense isn’t likely to be as good.  Can Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius make up for declining bats everywhere else?  It’s not particularly realistic which these projections seem to agree with.

But the pitching could be better.  You could make a case that any one of Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, or Luis Severino could pitch like one of the top 15 starters in the AL.  Hell, if they all did, the Yankees could win 100 games.  But they could also all get hurt or be less effective.

I agree with the basic premise behind the statistics here though , which is that the Yankees should be good enough to contend for a wild card, and the division is in play because I don’t think Boston or Toronto are markedly better than them, and I’m pretty sure Baltimore and the Rays are worse.

--Posted at 9:13 am by SG / 56 Comments | - (0)

Friday, January 8, 2016 Yankees acquire right-handed reliever Kirby Yates from Indians

The Yankees just announced that they have acquired right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for cash considerations.

Yates, 28, has appeared in 58 big league games, all with the Rays in the past two years. The Indians acquired him this offseason and ultimately designated him for assignment after they signed Mike Napoli. He’s always posted high strikeout totals with a fastball that averages roughly 93 mph and jumps up to 95. A slider is his primary offspeed pitch.

The Yankees’ 40-man roster now stands at 38.

This move reminds me of the Yankees in past offseasons when they’ve had some 40-man wiggle room and have regularly made small trades and waiver claims to add depth and options heading into spring training.

Yates has options left, so the Yankees can stash him in the minors. He’s also obviously pretty fungible if they ever need room on the 40-man. They definitely like pitchers who misses bats, so he fits in in that regard.

All in all, clearly not a big move, but hey, at least it’s something!

--Posted at 3:04 pm by Brian Cronin / 41 Comments | - (0)

NYDN: Ken Griffey Jr. recalls days with dad, ousting Yankees in playoffs

With his Hall of Fame jersey snug around his chest, and after he briefly switched his baseball cap backwards to the delight of the media audience assembled at the New York Athletic Club Thursday afternoon, Ken Griffey Jr. was asked to delve back into his baseball past.

The time he and his father, Ken Sr., hit back-to-back home runs as Mariners teammates in 1990; the time when Junior robbed Jesse Barfield of a home run at Yankee Stadium, a highlight Griffey Jr. ranked “in the top 10” of his career; and, to the dismay of Yankee fans still, the time Junior scored from first base at the Kingdome in the series-clinching Game 5 of the 1995 ALDS, which sent the Yankees home.

Yeah, I remember that too, but not fondly.  That 1995 ALDS was one hell of a series though.

Congratulations to both Griffey and Piazza.

--Posted at 10:30 am by SG / 9 Comments | - (0)

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