Tuesday, November 24, 2015
President Barack Obama honored legends Yogi Berra and Willie Mays with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House Tuesday.
Obama even dropped a Yogi-ism.
“One thing we know for sure,” the president said, “if you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him.”
Very nice job by the President. It’s a shame that Yogi didn’t live to receive the honor.
Yankees’ catching prospect Gary Sanchez, as you may have heard, lit up the Arizona Fall League the past two months, socking seven home runs (league leader) and tallied 55 total bases.
And for those efforts, Sanchez earned the fourth slot on MLB.com’s annual Top 20 prospect list.
Writes MLB.com’s Jim Callis:
He earned a $3 million bonus out of the Dominican Republic in 2009 thanks to his power and his arm strength, and both were on display as he topped the Fall League in homers (seven), RBIs (21), extra-base hits (14), total bases (55) and catcher caught-stealing percentage (.615).
Knocked in the past for his lack of effort and indifference to catching, he played with passion and showed enough receiving ability to play behind the plate in the Majors.
Sanchez was part of the September call-up contingency for the Yankees this season (0-for-2 in his only at-bats) but may be on the fast track to the big leagues with last season’s backup, John Ryan Murphy, traded two weeks ago to the Minnesota Twins.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees pick up a veteran backup catcher type in case Sanchez isn’t ready—someone like Dioner Navarro, Bryan Pena or Geovany Soto—but I think they are hoping that Sanchez is ready to backup Brian McCann this year and begin transitioning into the starting catcher by the end of McCann’s contract in 2018.
Monday, November 23, 2015
Last week Andy Van Slyke made the news for, among other things, ripping Robinson Cano in a radio interview, claiming that he was lazy, loafed and ended up getting coaches fired in Seattle. There has been a ton of criticism of Van Slyke for saying that, and today John Harper in the Daily News offers several quotes from the Mariners’ former third base coach, Rich Donnelly, defending Cano and his work ethic.
Buried deep in that story, however, is this bit:
So maybe Van Slyke is just so bitter about being fired that he needed someone to blame. But even if Cano has had the best intentions as a Mariner, one long-time friend who spoke to him recently says the second baseman is not happy in Seattle, especially with a new regime in charge there now, and that he’d love to somehow find his way back to New York
My first thought was that Cano slept in his bed so now he has to make it and I wouldn’t take him back.
Upon further thought I decided to look at what was left in Cano’s contract compared to a contract that is likely even worse than his.
A weighted average of Cano’s bWAR from 2012-2015 pegs him around 5.8 in 2016. Assuming a 0.7 win decline per season over the remaining eight seasons of his contract ends up with him providing about 26.5 bWAR for $192M, a rate of $7.2M per bWAR.
A weighted average of this other contract I was thinking of puts that player at roughly 3.0 bWAR in 2016. Assuming the same rate of decline for that player over the five remaining seasons of his deal gives you 8.2 bWAR at a cost of $105M, a rate of $12.9M per bWAR.
Obviously, you’d rather pay $7.2M per win that $12.9M per win but the $87M difference in total remaining commitment is a pretty big risk. However if that were to be reduced by a certain amount with Seattle throwing in some money, would it make sense for the Yankees to at least kick the tires on a Cano for Ellsbury trade? Say, Cano plus $50M for Ellsbury?
On paper it makes sense, but the egos involved make me think it would never, ever happen.
Here’s the problem with the Yankees trading left fielder Brett Gardner: Their only other athletic position players are shortstop Didi Gregorius and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Hicks.
The Yankees need more such players, not less. But they also need controllable starting pitching, and if principal owner Hal Steinbrenner will not authorize an increase in spending, they might need to move Gardner and/or closer Andrew Miller to get it.
It’s a classic rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul scenario.
Gardner batted only .206 with a .592 OPS after the All-Star break, but .302 with an .861 OPS before that. New hitting coach Alan Cockrell, who was with the team last season in an assistant’s role, has acknowledged that playing through a wrist injury contributed to Gardner’s slide.
As for Miller, trading him would diminish the Yankees’ greatest strength — their bullpen. Such a move could be particularly unwise, considering that Dellin Betances has thrown more pitches than any reliever in the American League the past two seasons.
If such financially motivated measures seem to make little sense, the Yankees’ failure to trade potential free-agent second baseman Robinson Cano at the non-waiver deadline in 2013 season remains utterly baffling.
The team essentially was out of contention at that point, and Cano already had rejected an extension offer in spring training, before switching agents from Scott Boras to Roc Nation. The Yankees surely knew that Cano wanted a monster deal, and that they did not want to give it to him.
Cano in a trade could have brought back premium young talent at a time when the Yankees were re-focusing on their farm system. Instead, the team lost Cano and Curtis Granderson and signed Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran in free agency, failing to gain even a draft pick in the process.
Two years later, the Yankees are working under self-imposed financial restrictions, restrictions that could cost them Gardner and/or Miller.
I’m already resigned to the fact that Gardner is gone, but it’d be pretty shady to sign Miller to a four year deal then trade him after one season. But I will try and reserve my snark to see where they are at the end of the offseason.
Friday, November 20, 2015
This is a match made in money. Always remember what 16-year-old Harper said about his career ambitions as a Sports Illustrated cover boy in 2009:
“Be in the Hall of Fame, definitely. Play in Yankee Stadium. Play in the pinstripes. Be considered the greatest baseball player who ever lived. I can’t wait,” he told the magazine.
I also vividly remember Harper ogling Yankees batting practice before a spring training game a few years ago. Every other member of the Nationals was off the field, except Harper. He kneeled on one knee and watched Yankee hitters intently until being summoned by GM Mike Rizzo, who essentially told Harper it wasn’t nice to stare at others, especially when they play for the other team.
Can you see this guy packing up his trophies in two years and going anywhere except New York? Come on. That’s a clown question, bro.
Get younger. Get a drawing card. Get a guy to build your team around for the next 10 years. Check, check, check.
Younger. That’s a key concept when we talk about the Yankees, isn’t it? Do you know that Harper, who turned 23 last month, is six months younger than stud outfield prospect Aaron Judge? Harper will be 26 when hits free agency.
I asked an executive recently who had a better chance of playing right field for the Yankees in 2019, Judge or Harper. The response I got was “Judge in left, Harper in right.”
One can only hope, but I sure hope the Yankees aren’t planning out the next five years on the assumption that Harper will definitely be a Yankee, because that would be stupid.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
DALLAS—This was progress, real measurable progress. In the end, that’s what the 2015 season represented to the Yankees on so many levels. It wasn’t just that they returned to the postseason, although that’s the ultimate measuring stick. It was how they got there that was so impressive.
It was two rookies—right-hander Luis Severino and first baseman Greg Bird—making significant contributions when called upon. It was the progress that catcher Gary Sanchez, outfielder Aaron Judge, right-hander James Kaprielian and others made in the Minor Leagues.
It was the realization that the franchise finally is capable of being what managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has envisioned them being: a roster not built largely around big-ticket free-agent signings.
“I feel better than I did two or three years ago,” Steinbrenner said Wednesday during a break in a regularly scheduled quarterly Owners Meetings. “It was frustrating. It’s frustrating to have all the injuries we had two years in a row and not have anybody that’s capable of coming up and filling the void.
“We’ve been saying these names to our fans for two or three years now. We’ve been showing video highlights of [Double-A] Trenton and [Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre], what they accomplished and what they do. Hopefully, people are getting excited about them.”
Steinbrenner will not apologize for his team’s wealth. He emphasized that the Yankees will continue to spend on big-ticket free agents when it’s needed. But Steinbrenner has never seen it as the best way to do business. His ultimate goal is to get the Yanks under baseball’s $189 million luxury-tax threshold.
“All I know is what I’ve said before,” Steinbrenner said. “I shouldn’t have to have a $200 million payroll to win a world championship. It’s been proven over and over again. The last couple of years, the money that has come off [the books], we’ve had to put it back in to fill voids because we haven’t had the young players to do it with.”
For those dreaming of David Price or Jason Heyward, you can go ahead and stop.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
1. Stephen Strasburg
Oh, he’s an ace, alright. Probably. He comes with risks (Tommy John history, a lousy 2015 season, Scott Boras), but if you’re going to pay for talent, it helps if the pitcher has talent. Strasburg has talent. He practically leaks talent. Uh, anyone want to get some rags and help us out with this talent? It’s sort of getting everywhere.
But, yes, Strasburg has the potential to lead a rotation. Most definitely. Don’t forget just how awe-inspiring he can be at his best.
2. C.J. Wilson
He used to be okay! He’ll be 36, but I could see a team giving him a two- or three-year deal.
Wilson might be the second-best pitcher on the 2016-2017 free agent market.
3. Jered Weaver
Wait, he throws 83 miles per hour.
4. R.A. Dickey
Wait, he’s 83 years old.
5. Andrew Cashner
So much untapped talent that doesn’t have to show up just because you want it to. The Gil Meche of a new generation.
6. Jesse Chavez
Perfectly acceptable, for the most part, kind of.
7. Brett Anderson
Solid pitcher, but he just accepted the qualifying offer because he correctly figured that teams wouldn’t want to give up a draft pick for him.
8. Ivan Nova
Power sinker when right, but he’s been hurt or bad for two years now
9. Jake Peavy
The last time he threw more than six innings in a start was 2007. Hold on, I should look that up, but I’m pretty sure ...
10. Jorge De La Rosa
He’s like the Jorge De La Rosa of pitchers.
Thus endeth the list of the top 10 pitchers available in next year’s free agent market.
The Yankees didn’t clear much payroll this offseason, which may tempt them to wait until next season when Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran come off the books.
But waiting may not be a good idea.
Monday, November 16, 2015
So as they plan for 2016, the Yankees must wonder again: How much can they reasonably expect from their aging middle-of-the-lineup guys? And what should or can they do to avoid an overreliance on a duplication of that surprising production?
“I’m going to try to upgrade our roster and not worry about regression on certain guys,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said last week at the General Managers’ Meetings. “If that’s a possibility, it’s a possibility.”
Oh, it’s a possibility, all right. Teixeira put up 4 ¹/₂ superb months, slashing .255/.357/.548 with 31 homers in 111 games — his best production in three years, at least — before going down with a right shin fracture. He now has failed to play in more than 123 games since the 2011 season.
I’m fairly certain Cashman understands about regression and the likelihood of Teixeira and Rodriguez being less productive next year, but it doesn’t serve him any purpose to talk about it in public.
As luck would have it, the Yankees could have replacements in hand for both should they get injured assuming they’ll have someone to put in RF so they can slide Carlos Beltran to DH and with Greg Bird around. Health’s only part of the risk of regression with both Teixeira and Rodriguez, but it’s probably the biggest one.
Friday, November 13, 2015
1. Aaron Hicks, John Ryan Murphy trade
New York and the Minnesota Twins swapped players on Wednesday, the Yankees absorbing outfielder Aaron Hicks while shipping out backup catcher John Ryan Murphy. Murphy probably wasn’t going to ever start in New York, and it seems likely now that Hicks will replace Yanks’ outfielder Chris Young, who became a free agent after ‘15.
Thoroughly judging the trade is impossible now, but it appears Hicks, a former first-round draft pick, is at least on the upswing.
2. Brett Gardner to be traded?
3. Jose Pirela gone
4. Will Andrew Miller still be Yankees’ closer?
5. Greg Bird: See you in 2017?
1) I was a bit surprised by the Hicks/Murphy trade, although the return seems fair. I’m not sure you want Hicks as a full-time starting outfielder, but I’m not sure you want Murphy as a full-time starting catcher either.
I’m more surprised by the fact that the Yankees have put themselves in a position where a Brian McCann injury would now make Gary Sanchez their starting catcher and I’m not sure that’s really smart. But time will tell.
2) I hope not. But I expect him to be.
3) He will be missed. This was more of a 40 man roster cleaning up for a player who likely wasn’t going to have much of a role on the Yankees. It seemed they were grooming Pirela to be a super-sub type player, and they now seemingly have Dustin Ackley for that role instead.
5) Bold prediction. Greg Bird will get a PA in MLB in 2016.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
BOCA RATON, Fla. − In an ideal world, the Yankees would love to add a lefthanded starting pitcher that has had success in the American League.
Yes, David Price fits that description, but there’s a lesser-known name on the free-agent market that also fits the bill: Wei-Yin Chen.
According to a source, the Yankees could make a serious run at Chen, who has pitched for the Orioles the past four seasons. The 30-year-old is 46-32 with a 3.72 ERA since coming to the majors, including an 11-8 record and 3.34 ERA in 31 starts last season.
“A lot of teams are going to be in on him,” the source said. “But the Yankees are going to be one of them.”
Since Andy Pettitte retired after the 2013 season, CC Sabathia has been the lone lefthander in the Yankees’ regular rotation. Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi can all be free agents by the end of the 2017 season, leaving Luis Severino and Adam Warren as the only big-league starters under control in 2018 and beyond.
According to a source familiar with the situation, Chen is seeking a deal of at least five years, though six isn’t out of the question given the need for pitching around the league.
I think Chen would be a nice pickup, but not at the cost of a draft pick, and certainly not on a contract of five or six years.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
BOCA RATON, Fla. — To further exemplify Brian Cashman’s mantra that he is open to talking about any player on his roster, the Yankees have discussed Brett Gardner with the Mariners, The Post has learned.
No trade discussions were characterized as far along or specifically targeted to just one team. Nevertheless, Gardner has long been a player whom new Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto has liked going back to his time as an executive with the Diamondbacks and Angels. The Mariners, in fact, as part of the six-player trade done last week with Tampa, obtained center field prospect Boog Powell, who is commonly compared to Gardner in projecting his future.
Powell, though, is not expected to be ready to open the 2016 season and the Mariners are in win-now mode. They have identified as a priority adding on-base skills in front of a lineup middle of Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager. Only two of the 11 Mariners who came to the plate at least 200 times last year had a better on-base percentage than Gardner’s .343.
The Yankees are particularly looking for high-end starting pitching that they control for seven years because all of their current starters, except Luis Severino and Adam Warren, can be free agents after either the 2016 or 2017 campaign. The Mariners essentially will not talk about Taijuan Walker. But The Post has learned they would discuss 27-year-old lefty James Paxton, whose delivery has reminded folks of Andy Pettitte. Paxton was among the pitchers the Yankees were looking at more intensely late in the season and now in the Arizona Fall League under the belief they could become available in the offseason.
Hey, if his delivery reminds folks of Andy Pettitte he should be just as good, right?
I think it’s a question of when Gardner is traded and what the return is, rather than if. And I do find that disappointing, but I also don’t see how the Yankees can’t put a better team out there in 2016 without trading some position players and giving themselves more flexibility to upgrade.
I don’t suppose the Mariners would rather have Smellsbury?
Monday, November 9, 2015
American League shortstop may be where this year’s biggest Gold Glove snub lies, but the snub wasn’t made by the selection committee. Instead, the snub was made by the rules for qualification. Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor, whose +8 tDEF grade would have made him the clear favorite, far surpassed the 690-inning minimum set by Rawlings to be eligible for the award. However, the qualifications also specify that a player must have met that inning requirement within his team’s first 137 games, and Lindor fell short of that requirement by 35 innings.
Had Lindor been called up four games sooner, he’d be the favorite to win his first of many Gold Gloves in the AL. Instead, our most deserving candidate becomes Gregorius, who lived up to his reputation as a plus defender in his first full season as an everyday shortstop. The ability to make a cross-body throw on the run with the sort of zip on it like the one shown above is decidedly remarkable.
Gregorius keeping the line moving with the Yankees’ recent history of Gold Glove defense? Sweet!
Sunday, November 8, 2015
The Yankees sound ready to deal.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he’s “open to anything,” according to a report from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
While the report said that Cashman doesn’t anticipate trading any of his three top youngsters — starting pitcher Luis Severino, right fielder Aaron Judge and first baseman Greg Bird — the longtime GM sounded like he expects everything to be on the table this season.
“I’m not afraid,” Cashman said, according to the report.
They probably should be, although I’d obviously prefer if the guys who end up getting dealt are guys over 30. They don’t have many ways to upgrade their lineup without trading some pieces.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
In a conference call late this morning, new Yankees hitting coach Alan Cockrell revealed Brett Gardner played almost the entire season with a wrist injury. Cockrell didn’t know the exact date that the problem started, but he said it started with a hit by pitch very early in the season (he thought it was maybe in Tampa Bay).
Just looking through Gardner’s season, it seems April 13 is probably the date in question. That was the Baltimore game when Stephen Drew hit a grand slam off the bench. Gardner was hit in the right wrist very near a spot where he’d been hit in the opening home stand. He was sent for X-rays, which were negative, but he still missed the next two games. Cockrell might have Tampa in his mind because Tampa was the next stop, and that’s where Gardner returned to the lineup while presumably still getting significant treatment.
“I know that that bothered him off and on the entire year,” Cockrell said.
When I first heard this, I thought it sounded like total baloney. Just a Yankee employee trying to make excuses. However, there was a fascinating wrinkle that I didn’t realize. Players are allowed three cortisone shots per season. Gardner used his last one up at the end of July. So, with that in mind, it suddenly actually sounds kind of believable. Why even run the guy out there, then, though? What the heck? Just put him on the DL!!
The New York Yankees announced seven roster moves on Wednesday, including the news that RHP Andrew Bailey has elected free agency in lieu of accepting an outright assignment to the minors.
The team also sold the contract of RHP Chris Martin to the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of the Japanese Pacific League for $750,000, added RHP Vicente Campos to the 40-man roster, and officially reinstated four players - RHP Domingo German, LHP Jacob Lindgren, RHP Chase Whitley and OF Mason Williams - from the 60-day disabled list.
The moves leave the Yankees’ current 40-man roster at 39 players.
Bailey is still not technically a free agent, he’ll just be subject to arbitration now. That would be dependent on the Yankees tendering him a contract, which they are not certain to do.
In other exciting news, the Yankees confirm that Brendan Ryan has exercised his part of a mutual option which would bring him back in 2016. It’s for $1M if the Yankees decline their part of the option, and $2M if they don’t. And if they don’t, they are paying $1M more than they need to be so I’m not exactly sure why they wouldn’t.
At that price tag, Ryan is not a real problem. He’ll either be a backup infielder or he’ll be somewhere else.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
The Yankees will replace departed hitting coach Jeff Pentland with Alan Cockrell and promote Marcus Thames to the big league staff.
As previously reported by The Post, the Yankees announced Monday that Cockrell will move from assistant hitting coach to the top job, and Thames will be elevated from Triple-A to the big leagues.
It’s the second time the Yankees have stayed within to fill a high-profile job. When assistant GM Billy Eppler left to become the Angels general manager, Yankees GM Brian Cashman promoted professional scout Tim Naehring, though he will receive a different title.
The Yankees have been impressed with Thames, who has worked in their minor league system for three years. He was also drawing interest from other big league clubs.
Is there really much to say about this?
Monday, November 2, 2015
The Royals knew the only way to salve their regret was to win the World Series, and Sunday night at Citi Field, they accomplished that in a very Royal-like manner, with a come-from-behind 7-2 victory in 12 innings over the Mets. The victory, their fourth in five games, gave them their first championship since 1985.
The Royals survived a superb performance by the Mets’ Matt Harvey, scoring twice in the ninth inning to tie the score at 2-2 and breaking through to score five times in the 12th against relievers Addison Reed and Bartolo Colon.
With the way Harvey was throwing, I turned the game off after the top of the eighth and figured there’d be a Game Six on Tuesday. Oops.
Congratulations to the Royals and their fans. Apparently Dayton Moore actually does know what he’s doing.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
The man who replaced the man who replaced Mariano Rivera now has the award named after baseball’s greatest closer.
Andrew Miller, who was signed to replace David Robertson, was named the Mariano Rivera Award winner, which goes to the best reliever in the American League.
Miller received the award from Rivera prior to Game 2 of the World Series in Kansas City. Miller, whom the Yankees signed to a four-year, $36 million last winter, saved 36 games in 38 chances. He was 3-2 with a 2.06 ERA.
While he won the award, it could be argued he wasn’t the New York Yankees’ best reliever with Dellin Betances dominating in setup duties for most of the season. Betances finished with a 1.50 ERA. He struck out 131 batters to Miller’s 100. Betances walked 40 to Miller’s 20. Miller threw 61 2/3 innings to Betances’ major-league-reliever high of 84.
I am guessing the formula is heavily based on saves. Miller had a great season, but Betances was worth almost four wins according to Baseball Reference which is unreal for a relief pitcher.
I never expected Betances to pitch as well as he did in 2014 in 2015, and while his peripherals were a bit worse he was still fantastic, even though he seemed a bit less than fantastic down the stretch.
Let’s hope for a repeat out of both of them in 2016.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Their lives after the Yankees aren’t yet measured in decades, but judging by the intoxicating success Dave Eiland and Kevin Long have enjoyed outside The Bronx, it’s been very satisfying.
The friends and coaches who played big parts in the Yankees winning the 2009 World Series will meet in the World Series, when Eiland’s Royals pitchers attempt to muzzle Daniel Murphy and the Mets as Long’s hitters try to find a way to dent the Royals’ nuclear bullpen.
Game 1 is Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
It’s not the first time Eiland and Long have been in different dugouts: Eiland has been the Royals’ pitching coach for four years and Long was the Yankees’ hitting coach until last season. They both have a 2009 World Series ring, but only one is going to have two.
Coaches tend to get a disproportionate amount of credit or blame in my opinion, but firing them at least allows teams to give the illusion of being proactive and fixing a perceived problem.
Friday, October 23, 2015
After roughly 1642 words about the Mets, the Yankees get the following 40 words.
The Yankees are interested in a right-handed bat, middle-relief help and perhaps one starter. Jeff Samardzija could be that guy, though apparently not Price, Johnny Cueto or Greinke. They aren’t high at the moment on $200 million deals for pitchers.
They may as well not sign any pitcher if Samardzija is who they want.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Masahiro Tanaka went under the knife Tuesday, but not for the surgery so many have predicted and feared.
The Yankees right-hander underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a pre-existing bone spur from his right elbow, the team announced. Tanaka has been pitching with a partial tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, an injury most experts believed would need Tommy John surgery eventually.
The injury dates back to his pitching career in Japan, according to the Yankees, who expect him to be ready for the start of spring training. The expected recovery time is six weeks.
Since he had this bone spur for a few years now, obviously it could not have had THAT much effect on his pitching, but you also have to figure that it can only be a good thing to have a bone spur removed, and it possibly could set him up for even better performance next year. The article features a tweet from Chris Archer giving Tanaka props for being able to pitch through the bone spur.
Tip of the hat to Discofever for the link.
On Sunday, it was revealed that Yankees’ slugger Alex Rodriguez would serve as a postseason baseball analyst for FOX. (Apparently to celebrate, he broke a TV screen with a football on a national broadcast.)
A-Rod debuted Monday in his new role before Game 3 of the American League Championship Series between the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays.
How’d he do?
The reviews, if judged by Twitter (and what isn’t?), were high. Rodriguez’s knowledge of baseball—especially his ability to notice the little things that escape others—showed on the telecast as he broke down both teams’ players and their tendencies.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
For the second consecutive year, the New York Yankees have determined that a hitting coach was the cause of their offensive woes.
According to a story in Sunday’s New York Post, the Yankees have parted ways with Jeff Pentland, who was let go after one season despite marked improvements by the club in home runs and runs scored, and a return to postseason play for the first time since 2012.
Ironically, the hitting coach Pentland replaced, Kevin Long, is now working for the New York Mets, who are three victories away from the World Series.
The dismissal of Pentland, 69, comes as something of a surprise since the 2015 Yankees hit 65 more home runs (212 as opposed to 147), scored 131 more runs (764-633) and also posted a higher batting average (.251-.245) and on-base percentage (.323-.307) than the 2014 Yankees. Only three teams in baseball hit more home runs than the Yankees, and only one, the Toronto Blue Jays, scored more runs.
As I said on the last thread, I think Pentland was always a fill-in candidate. He is even quoted as saying he was told it was probably going to be a one-year deal. I think that the Yankees either wanted to sign Raul Ibanez but he didn’t want to go right into coaching or they wanted to give Marcus Thames an extra year of seasoning (he’s been promoted to each higher level of the Yankee minors as hitting coach from 2013-2015, from Single A to Triple A last year, so I guess the Majors are next).
Considered the top hitting prospect in the Yankees’ system, Judge got a ton of attention in spring training, even with no chance of making the big league roster out of camp. He predictably went to Double-A where he hit .284/.350/.516 with 12 home runs in 63 games. Bumped up to Triple-A, Judge seemed to be finally challenged by minor league pitching. He hit .224/.308/.373 with three home runs in 61 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
A few possibilities for next season:
Not much else to talk about, Yankee-wise, so I figure we might as well discuss Aaron Judge, since Chad Jennings wrote an article on the Yankee prospect.
Jennings lists three options for how the Yankees should handle Judge next season:
1. Call him up, see if he can’t find a role on the team in pinch-hitting opportunities/rest for starters
2. Leave him in Triple A and see what happens
3. Trade him
I am a proponent of #2. What do you folks think?
Friday, October 16, 2015
How it Is
Why you think your team won in the playoffs: We were built smarter, run smarter, played smarter and we’re all better looking than everyone else and have larger pensises
Why your team actually won in the playoffs: Shit broke the right way for you
Why you think your team lost in the playoffs: FUCKING STUPID MOTHERFUCKERS CAN’T FUCKING PLAY THIS GAME THEY DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT STUFF FIRE EVERYONE
Why your team actually lost in the playoffs: Shit broke the wrong way for you
Thursday, October 15, 2015
The Yankees held two picks in the 2015 major league draft last June, choosing 16th and 30th overall, selecting two collegiate prospects from southern California.
New York took UCLA right-handed pitcher James Kaprielian at No. 16 and University of San Diego shortstop Kyle Holder at No. 30, signing both this past summer.
Each player saw time in the Yankees’ organization in the past few months, wetting their feet before heading into the off-season.
Here’s a look at how each performed:
Kaprielian didn’t throw many innings, but seemed to hold his own. Holder got 224 at bats and did the opposite of holding his own.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Ben Lindbergh, writing for Grantland, discusses a “Bullpen Management Above Random” statistic, to see which managers were best in baseball at managing their bullpen, and Joe Girardi has continually ranked near the top in this stat.
Matheny — who told USA Today’s Ted Berg in April that he uses three-year statistical stats as a “tiebreaker” when making bullpen moves but believes that managers “first and foremost have to trust our gut” — ranks at the bottom over a multiyear sample as well as in 2015. Mets manager Terry Collins and Toronto’s Gibbons, who made the perplexing decision to use David Price in low-leverage relief in Monday’s Game 4, aren’t far behind. But Girardi is BMAR’s golden boy.
Girardi is already regarded as a bullpen whisperer; BMAR just clinches the case. In April 2014, Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal passed on the praise of a “rival AL exec” who’d told him that Girardi was “the best [he’d] seen at managing a bullpen.” The BBWAA is onboard: Girardi (who won the NL Manager of the Year Award in 2006) hasn’t finished lower than sixth in AL MotY voting since 2008, even though his high-payroll teams have missed the playoffs twice. After eight seasons in the country’s largest media market, Girardi’s bullpen use still gets a seal of approval from both bloggers and tabloid beat writers, two tough-to-please constituencies. It’s even more impressive that Girardi leads in BMAR given his reluctance to use relievers three days in a row, which limits his options in some high-leverage situations: This season, the Yankees ranked 29th in reliever appearances on zero days’ rest, but they also ranked first in multi-inning outings. For what it’s worth, the Yankees have exceeded their Pythagorean win-loss record by an average of two games per season during Girardi’s years at the helm, as have the Angels during Scioscia’s 16 years in Anaheim. Bochy’s teams have exceeded their Pythagorean records by an average of one win during his 21 seasons.
I will admit that there were a number of times where I was puzzled at some of Girardi’s decisions this year, but I also think that he got way more complaints than he deserved, as the Yankees’ bullpens have always done very well under him, even when he lost Mariano Rivera and suddenly Rafael Soriano became Mo-esque out of nowhere. It is nice to see a statistic that backs up his strong performance.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
What happened to Brett Gardner?
The first half saw the speedy left fielder make it to his first All-Star Game, one of the primary reasons for the Yankees’ surprising ascent to the top of the American League East.
The second half? That was another story.
Following the Yankees’ 21-5 win in Texas on July 28, the Yankees were 57-42 and held a seven-game lead in the American League East.
Gardner – one of three Yankees All-Stars this season – was having a stellar season, hitting .297 with an .850 OPS, 72 runs, 11 home runs, 46 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 93 games.
There was plenty of blame to go around for the Yankees’ late-season struggles, from Alex Rodriguez’s horrific August and September to the crippling injuries to Mark Teixeira and Nathan Eovaldi.
But none stood out as much as Gardner, who hit .196 with a .561 OPS, five homers, 20 RBI and five stolen bases in 58 games from July 29 through the end of the regular season.
Gardner was brutally bad in the second half, although I wouldn’t blame him singularly for the Yankees blowing a seven game division lead over two months. But he sure didn’t help.
Gardner was probably the second most valuable position player on the team overall, even with that abysmal second half. So why trade him? Because he’s one of the few position players that may have positive trade value and who does not have a no-trade clause. You couldn’t give away the albatross known as the five remaining seasons of Jacoby Ellsbury right now. I don’t know if Chase Headley has a no-trade clause, but he’s not exactly someone teams would be lining up to get right now either. I’m fairly certain Brian McCann has a no-trade clause and minimal trade value.
I wouldn’t trade Gardner because his value is probably at a relative low right now, but it makes baseball sense to at least see what’s out there. While it’s tempting to think they could then open a spot for a free agent signing, they could also cobble together a platoon of Chris Young and Slade Heathcott/Mason Williams instead.
I’ll be disappointed if the Yankees do end up trading him, but he’s probably already peaked and his value to the Yankees as a player or a trade chip is likely only going to go down from here.
But wouldn’t it be awesome if they could trick someone into trading for Ellsbury instead?
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Dallas Keuchel continued his season-long mastery of the Yankees with six more scoreless innings, Colby Rasmus and Carlos Gomez homered off Masahiro Tanaka, and the Astros advanced to the American League Division Series with a 3-0 victory on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
With the victory in the AL Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser, the Astros move on to face the Royals in the best-of-five ALDS, which begins on Thursday night in Kansas City (Fox Sports 1). The Yankees’ first postseason appearance in three years was brief, due in large part to Keuchel, who limited them to three hits in a seven-strikeout performance, pitching on three days’ rest for the first time in his pro career.
When I think back upon this game, I think of that line from Bob Dylan’s “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts.” You really couldn’t say any of us were surprised by this, right? John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman talk about not being able to predict baseball (well, Sterling does, at least. Waldman just sort of goes along with it), and that’s technically true, but at the same time, you can pretty reasonably guess how things are LIKELY to go, and the most likely scenario was that the dominant lefthanded pitcher, Dallas Keuchel, who had not given up a hit against the Yankees in sixteen innings this year, would continue to do well against them, particularly as they have struggled mightily against all lefthanded pitching recently, let alone someone like Keuchel, who will either be winning the Cy Young this year or will be coming in second place. So no, it was not surprising.
It was not similarly not surprising that Masahiro Tanaka pitched well, but not, like, exceptionally well. Still, two solo shots in five innings is fair enough. Can’t really blame Tanaka. Dellin Betances had an awful seventh inning, but when the team couldn’t even score a single run, it’s hard to knock him too much for giving up a single run.
Well, the season is over, not with a bang but with a whimper. Next year does not necessarily look to be any better than this one, but, well, this one was better than we expected, right? So hope springs eternal for next season. Maybe 5/9th of the lineup won’t go into months-long slumps all at the same time again next year.
1. Jose Altuve (R) 2B: (.313/.353/.459), 4.5 bWAR
2. George Springer (R) RF: (.276/.367/.459), 3.8 bWAR
3. Carlos Correa (R) SS: (.279/.345/.512), 4.1 bWAR
4. Colby Rasmus (L) LF: (.238/.314/.475), 2.6 bWAR
5. Evan Gattis (R) DH: (.246/.285/.463), 0.5 bWAR
6. Carlos Gomez (R) CF: (.255/.314/.409), 2.3 bWAR
7. Luis Valbuena (L) 3B: (.224/.310/.438), 2.1 bWAR
8. Chris Carter (R) 1B: (.199/.307/.427), -0.1 bWAR
9. Jason Castro (L) C: (.211/.283/.365), 1.3 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 21.1
1. Brett Gardner (L) CF: (.259/.343/.399), 3.3 bWAR
2. Chris Young (R) LF: (.252/.320/.453), 1.1 bWAR
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.276/.337/.471), 0.9 bWAR
4. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.250/.356/.486), 3.0 bWAR
5. Brian McCann (L) C: (.232/.320/.437), 2.7 bWAR
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.259/.324/.369), 1.1 bWAR
7. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.261/.343/.529), 0.9 bWAR
8. Rob Refsnyder (R) 2B: (.302/.340/.512), 0.3 bWAR
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.265/.318/.370), 3.3 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 16.6
If the Yankees are going to advance to the playoffs, they’ll have to get past the most effective pitcher in the American League in 2015. Keuchel should win the Cy Young this year, and he has killed left-handed batters this year which is why the Yankees have benched Jacoby Ellsbury and are playing Rob Refsnyder instead of Dustin Ackley.
Keuchel is going on three days rest, but I don’t think that’s going to be a big deal. The main thing we can hope for is that Masahiro Tanaka can match zeros with Keuchel and the Yankees can get a run off the Astros’ bullpen, which may not be all that easy either since they have some pretty solid relievers as well.
I didn’t think the Yankees would be here, so I guess I’m happy about that. But I’ll be happier if they can pull off the impossible and beat Keuchel.
# PITCHERS (9)
68 Betances, Dellin
48 Miller, Andrew
55 Mitchell, Bryan
47 Nova, Ivan
67 Pazos, James
40 Severino, Luis
19 Tanaka, Masahiro
43 Warren, Adam
41 Wilson, Justin
# CATCHERS (3)
34 McCann, Brian
66 Murphy, John Ryan
73 Sanchez, Gary
# INFIELDERS (7)
29 Ackley, Dustin
31 Bird, Greg
18 Gregorius, Didi
12 Headley, Chase
64 Refsnyder, Rob
13 Rodriguez, Alex
17 Ryan, Brendan
# OUTFIELDERS (6)
36 Beltran, Carlos
22 Ellsbury, Jacoby
11 Gardner, Brett
72 Heathcott, Slade
70 Noel, Rico
24 Young, Chris
Pretty weird seeing a deep and versatile bench. Oh what the seven man bullpen has wrought.
“His drinking got really bad this weekend, and it put him in a really bad place,” said a source close to the team.
“He was afraid. He felt that if I don’t do this now and go into rehab, I don’t know what is going to happen.”
The last straw for Sabathia came during the team’s final regular-season series in Baltimore, where he spent most of his time pounding drinks at a hotel, the source said.
Sabathia, 35, arrived there with his teammates late Thursday after his home victory against the Red Sox clinched a playoff spot for the Yankees.
By Friday, the pitcher looked “out of it” as the team waited around Baltimore’s Camden Yards to play a game that was eventually rained out.
“He drank every day last week apart from the day he pitched,” the source said. “The tipping point was Friday when he was at the stadium. He carried on drinking Saturday.”
CC is about the last player I’d have expected to have a drinking problem, but I’m glad to see him trying to combat it. It’s not likely it will impact his team that much since I would give them maybe a 20% chance of advancing past tonight’s game anyway. I don’t think the drinking is the cause of CC’s decline from effectiveness. I think the drinking is likely because of his decline.
I am not going to be policing comments and banning people, so I’ll just ask that this since this is an emotional topic let’s try to be respectful to each other and to differing viewpoints. For those who have shared or may share related personal stories, thank you for your honesty and openness.
Monday, October 5, 2015
Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia has checked into an alcohol rehab center, the team announced. He will not be available to pitch in the postseason.
Here is Sabathia’s statement:
“Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease.
“I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series. It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.
“I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for their encouragement and understanding. Their support gives me great strength and has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind.
“As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don’t want to run and hide. But for now please respect my family’s need for privacy as we work through this challenge together.
“Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids—and others who may have become fans of mine over the years—to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help. I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that’s exactly what I am going to do.
“I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness.”
The timing is unfortunate for the Yankees, but this situation is much bigger than baseball. Sabathia clearly has a problem and realizes he needs help right away. It takes a lot of courage to admit that. Good for him.
Hopefully Sabathia can get through this.
BALTIMORE — The Yankees are calling it a fresh start and, boy, that sure sounds nice, right? The slate is clean, the scoreboard turned back to all zeroes, and hope is fresh for the start of the postseason on Tuesday when they face the Astros in the American League wild-card game at the Stadium.
Maybe the Yanks’ recent stretch of awful play was just one of those bad streaks that every team endures during the long, 162-game slog of a season. They don’t have to dwell on it any longer, because they’ve got this new beginning and that’s something they must cling to after a rough week.
“Everything is erased,” is how Joe Girardi put it.
Convenient rhetoric or a real-live second chance? Maybe our real answer comes when they take on the tall task of Houston ace Dallas Keuchel and his young, talented teammates.
Because however the Yankees looked as they dropped six of their final seven games − tired is one adjective that springs to mind − they have a chance to prove that they are something more than the club that’s looked so dreadful for a week.
Maybe that week really was a window into what kind of team they are now after six months of play. But they can change the conversation by pounding Keuchel, keeping the Astros in the ballpark − good luck, they tied the Blue Jays for the most homers in the majors with 230 − and advancing to a division series date with the Royals.
If I had an AL Cy Young vote, it’d be Keuchel in a runaway. But I don’t.
Anyway, Keuchel has faced the Yankees twice in 2015 and has held them to a line of .161/.175/.179 which I think is roughly what Jacoby Ellsbury hit this season. In 16 scoreless innings against the Yankees, Keuchel has allowed nine hits, walked one and struck out 21. In 2015 he’s held left-handed hitters to a line of .177/.201/.260 with a strikeout to walk ratio of 8.33 compared to a line of .227/.277/.328 and a strikeout to walk ratio of 3.69 vs. right-handed hitters. That’s not good news for a Yankee team whose primarily starting lineup may have as many as six left-handed batters in it if Joe Girardi decides to start Dustin Ackley at 2B along with Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Brian McCann, Greg Bird and Didi Gregorius. He may opt to go with Brendan Ryan for the ‘platoon advantage’ ignoring the fact that it’s not an advantage if the player you’re using to gain the advantage couldn’t hit water if he fell off of a boat. The odds of Girardi playing Robert Refsnyder are roughly the same as the odds of Ugly Johnny Dickshot becoming a Chase Headley fan.
Granted, Keuchel will be starting on three days’ rest, something he’s never done in his career (although he did start once on two days rest after an 11 pitch relief outing in 2013 and did pretty well).
If I were a betting man, I’d bet pretty much everything I own that the Yankees will not score against Keuchel. That doesn’t mean they can’t win tomorrow, but it sure does make it harder.
We’ll see what happens.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
BALTIMORE—The Yankees secured home-field advantage against the Astros in Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser at Yankee Stadium.
They did so despite losing, 9-4, to the Orioles on Sunday at Camden Yards because the Astros also dropped a 5-3 decision to the D-backs in Phoenix.
Rough end to the regular season, but everything starts from scratch on Tuesday.
This game will determine if the Yankees will be embarrassed by Dallas Keuchel in Houston or in New York.
Normally I’d suggest ignoring this game and watching some NFL, but I’d be telling a bunch of “New York” Giants fans to watch their team get waxed by New York’s only actual NFL team, so I won’t. I guess watch this instead if you must.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
If the Yankees are going to clinch home-field advantage in Tuesday’s American League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser, it may have to wait until the final day of the regular season on Sunday.
The Yanks lost both ends of Saturday’s split day-night doubleheader to the Orioles, dropping the nightcap, 4-3, when reliever Dellin Betances tossed a wild pitch in the eighth inning that scored Paul Janish with the winning run. Betances had come on to relieve Luis Severino, who threw seven innings of five-hit ball, but allowed Baltimore’s first three runs.
Pretty tough loss in the second game.
Okay, so here are the possible scenarios for tomorrow.
First off, if the Royals lose and the Blue Jays win, the Blue Jays play the winner of the Play-In Game.
If they both lose, the Royals play the winner of the Play-in Game.
If they both win, the Royals play the winner of the Play-in Game.
Now for the other stuff…
1. Yankees win, Astros win, Angels win
The Yankees host the winner of a one-game playoff between the Astros and Rangers to determine the winner of the AL West.
2. Yankees lose, Astros win, Angels win
I think the Yankees still host the winner of a one-game playoff between the Astros and Rangers to determine the winner of the AL West.
3. Yankees win, Astros win, Angels lose.
The Yankees host the Astros in the Play-In Game. The Rangers win the AL West.
4. Yankees lose, Astros win, Angels lose
The Astros host the Yankees in the Play-in Game. The Rangers win the AL West.
5. Yankees win, Astros lose, Angels win
The Yankees host the winner of a one-game playoff between the Astros and Angels. The Rangers win the AL West.
6. Yankees lose, Astros lose, Angels win
The Yankees host the winner of a one-game playoff between the Astros and Angels. The Rangers win the AL West.
7. Yankees lose, Astros lose, Angels lose.
The Yankees host the Astros in the Play-In Game. The Rangers win the AL West.
8. Yankees win, Astros lose, Angels lose.
The Yankees host the Astros in the Play-in Game. The Rangers win the AL West.
So, a lot of scenarios where the Yankees still host the Play-In Game. But I don’t think I’d bet it.
Yankees (87-72) @ Orioles (78-81) , Saturday October 3, 2015 , House Money Double Header
Game 1 Lineups
1. Brett Gardner (L) CF: (.262/.346/.405), 3.5 bWAR
2. Rob Refsnyder (R) 2B: (.286/.333/.514), 0.1 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.252/.357/.491), 3.0 bWAR
4. Chris Young (R) LF: (.251/.318/.448), 1.1 bWAR
5. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.262/.326/.374), 1.4 bWAR
6. John Ryan Murphy (R) C: (.283/.329/.414), 0.6 bWAR
7. Jose Pirela (R) RF: (.229/.247/.314), -0.6 bWAR
8. Austin Romine (R) 1B: (—-/—-/—-), 0.0 bWAR
9. Brendan Ryan (R) SS: (.228/.276/.337), 0.0 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 9.1
I’m not sure the weather will even allow these games to be played…
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.261/.320/.351), 2.0 bWAR
2. Dustin Ackley (L) LF: (.229/.281/.424), -0.9 bWAR
3. Carlos Beltran (S) DH: (.273/.333/.470), 0.7 bWAR
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.234/.321/.441), 2.8 bWAR
5. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.255/.337/.530), 0.8 bWAR
6. Rob Refsnyder (R) 2B: (.286/.333/.514), 0.1 bWAR
7. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.263/.317/.364), 3.1 bWAR
8. Slade Heathcott (L) RF: (.391/.370/.696), 0.3 bWAR
9. Brendan Ryan (R) 3B: (.228/.276/.337), 0.0 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 8.9
1. Nolan Reimold (R) CF: (.236/.324/.373), -0.3 bWAR
2. Gerardo Parra (L) RF: (.283/.320/.444), 0.6 bWAR
3. Manny Machado (R) 3B: (.287/.360/.498), 6.9 bWAR
4. Chris Davis (L) 1B: (.258/.355/.549), 4.7 bWAR
5. Steve Pearce (R) LF: (.223/.295/.433), -0.1 bWAR
6. Steve Clevenger (L) DH: (.303/.333/.461), 0.5 bWAR
7. Caleb Joseph (R) C: (.237/.301/.397), 2.3 bWAR
8. Ryan Flaherty (L) 2B: (.208/.289/.365), -0.2 bWAR
9. Paul Janish (R) SS: (.250/.242/.313), 0.1 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 14.5
Friday, October 2, 2015
Twenty-four hours before the series finale, the Yankees were at a crossroads of sorts—so close to the 52nd playoff berth in franchise history, yet frustrated by three straight losses to the Red Sox. Missed opportunities had plagued them, and the anticipation in a frustrated clubhouse was budding.
But on Thursday night, in the 10,000th win in the franchise’s storied history—a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox at rainy Yankee Stadium—the Yankees finally turned the corner, clinching an American League Wild Card spot. The Yanks could clinch home-field advantage for the AL Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser with one more win or one Astros loss.
Gotta love that commitment to the “presented by Budweiser” aspect of the Wild Card play-in game.
It sure was pretty awesome to have the Yankees clinch a playoff spot with their 10,000th career win, at home, against the Red Sox.
I was reading an article today about how many people got the American League playoff picture all wrong, as not a single major prognosticator from ESPN, Fangraphs or SB Nation predicted the Royals to make the playoffs. The Royals! The team that was just in the World Series last year! It made me think about how so many people were wrong about this Yankees team. CC Sabathia said as much during the celebration after the game, noting how people predicted them to finish in fourth place or last place. This team has definitely had more success than I or any of you expected. That said, if I had told you that A-Rod would slug nearly .500 in over 600 plate appearances and that Mark Teixeira would miss the final month plus of the season but still have nearly 40 home runs, you…I wouldn’t say wouldn’t believe it, as both of those things were possible (and of course you’d believe the “Mark Teixeira misses the final month of the season” part), but they also weren’t particularly likely. But if you knew that they were true and if you knew that Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda would not miss too much time this season, then you would believe that this team could win in the high 80s, wouldn’t you? So this team is a bit less of a surprise than, say, Minnesota, who still doesn’t make any sense that they’re legitimately in the hunt for a playoff spot still with three games to play.
But that’s really neither here nor there, as the main thing is WOOHOO! The Yankees made the playoffs!!
For the rest of the weekend, we have to root for a few things:
1. Minnesota somehow pulling it out, as, come on, they are so clearly worse than everyone else.
2. Houston losing at least one game, so the Yankees would at least get home field in the Play-In Game (SPONSORED BY BUDWEISER!). The Yankees can also solve that by just winning one of their games in rain-soaked Baltimore
3. Houston at least having to use Dallas Keuchel in the second-to-last game of the season.
4. Some crazy tie scenario where Dallas Keuchel has to pitch in a tiebreaker.
and then the tricky one…we want Minnesota to make the Wild Card, but for them to do so, they’ll have to defeat Kansas City, and Kansas City is currently tied with Toronto for the best record in the American League. The Blue Jays own the tiebreaker, so if Minnesota makes the Wild Card, then KC cannot finish with a better record than Toronto. I think I’d accept playing the Blue Jays in the ALDS if it meant that the Yankees MADE the ALDS.
In other news, Lazarusabathia had another good game and Adam Warren was excellent in relief. Betances closed it out, which was good to see, as he’s proooobably the Yankee MVP this season. Greg Bird and Rob Refsnyder both hit home runs, giving us SOME hope during the offseason, which will likely begin around 10:30 PM on Tuesday.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
1. Mookie Betts (R) CF: (.296/.344/.488), 6.1 bWAR
2. Jackie Bradley Jr. (L) LF: (.254/.338/.512), 2.2 bWAR
3. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS: (.323/.355/.424), 4.7 bWAR
4. Travis Shaw (L) 1B: (.276/.336/.510), 1.3 bWAR
5. Rusney Castillo (R) RF: (.266/.300/.378), 1.0 bWAR
6. Allen Craig (R) DH: (.135/.229/.189), -0.7 bWAR
7. Deven Marrero (R) 3B: (.250/.250/.318), -0.5 bWAR
8. Sandy Leon (S) C: (.173/.232/.192), -0.4 bWAR
9. Josh Rutledge (R) 2B: (.292/.347/.354), 0.0 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 11.5
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.261/.320/.351), 2.0 bWAR
2. Rob Refsnyder (R) 2B: (.290/.343/.452), 0.0 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.252/.356/.492), 3.0 bWAR
4. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.274/.333/.466), 0.6 bWAR
5. Chris Young (R) LF: (.250/.316/.446), 0.9 bWAR
6. John Ryan Murphy (R) C: (.287/.325/.420), 0.6 bWAR
7. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.255/.339/.517), 0.7 bWAR
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.262/.315/.363), 3.0 bWAR
9. Brendan Ryan (R) 3B: (.225/.274/.337), 0.0 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 10.8
The Yankees received all the good news they needed from the out-of-town scoreboard on Wednesday, but the Red Sox delayed a potential celebration, scoring four runs in the top of the 11th inning to spoil the party with a 9-5 victory at Yankee Stadium.
Deven Marrero connected for a go-ahead single off Andrew Bailey and Mookie Betts added a two-run homer off Chasen Shreve, part of a two-homer game for the budding star, as the Yankees were unable to clinch a postseason berth.
A victory would have popped some corks in the home clubhouse, combined with the Twins’ loss to the Indians and the Angels’ loss to the Athletics. The Yankees have also been stuck on 9,999 regular-season victories, falling short in their third attempt to reach a round number milestone. Their magic number to clinch a playoff berth is now one.
After another dispiriting loss (and right in front of what is likely to be yet another loss, as Rich Hill has been great in his freakish out of nowhere return to starting pitching and he is, you know, a lefty, and CC Sabathia is, you know, not very good, and the Yankees’ only three good relievers will not be available tomorrow night), the fact remains that Wednesday night still worked out pretty well for the Yankees. The Angels lost and the Twins split a doubleheader.
The standings for the Wild Card now read:
NY Yankees 86-72 (four games left)
Texas 86-72 (currently the AL West leaders) (four games left - all against the Angels)
Houston 84-75 (three games left)
LA Angels 83-75 (four games left - all against Texas)
Minnesota 82-76 (four games left)
The Yankees have already clinched at least a tie for the Wild Card.
If the Yankees win a single game in Baltimore (as they’re clearly not winning Thursday night), they’re in.
The interesting thing to me, though, is that their odds have gotten slightly worse regarding backing into the playoffs, as while Minnesota is likely not going to catch them (as it is seems unlikely that they’ll win their last four games), I wouldn’t be surprised at a Houston sweep of Arizona and Los Angeles taking 3 out of 4 against Texas. In that scenario, the records would be:
I honestly don’t know what would happen in that scenario, as no one in the sports media is talking about any scenario in which the Yankees do not win one of their last four games, which is probably good news to hear (everyone thinks it is extremely likely that the Yankees win one of the last four games and clinch), but I don’t see how you don’t show possible scenarios when those scenarios are still, you know, possible.
Anyhow, come on, Yankees, just win one game in Baltimore, please! By the way, just so you know, the Orioles have decided to bump Wei-Lei Chen from his start Thursday to start against the Yankees on Friday to screw with the Yankees. I honestly can’t begrudge them it. If the Yankees are going to continue to be this pathetic against lefties, they deserve getting screwed over for it. Now a win is even more important, if only to stick it to Buck for him trying to stick it to the Yankees.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
1. Mookie Betts (R) CF: (.293/.342/.477), 5.9 bWAR
2. Dustin Pedroia (R) 2B: (.296/.361/.448), 2.1 bWAR
3. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS: (.324/.356/.426), 4.7 bWAR
4. David Ortiz (L) DH: (.269/.355/.543), 2.9 bWAR
5. Travis Shaw (L) 1B: (.273/.335/.498), 1.1 bWAR
6. Brock Holt (L) RF: (.282/.351/.381), 2.8 bWAR
7. Blake Swihart (S) C: (.272/.319/.394), 0.5 bWAR
8. Deven Marrero (R) 3B: (.256/.256/.333), -0.3 bWAR
9. Jackie Bradley Jr. (L) LF: (.259/.343/.522), 2.3 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 22.0
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.262/.320/.351), 2.2 bWAR
2. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.263/.326/.376), 1.6 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.250/.353/.486), 2.9 bWAR
4. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.274/.333/.467), 0.7 bWAR
5. Brian McCann (L) C: (.235/.321/.444), 3.0 bWAR
6. Chris Young (R) LF: (.246/.313/.443), 1.0 bWAR
7. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.250/.327/.514), 0.6 bWAR
8. Rob Refsnyder (R) 2B: (.259/.276/.407), -0.2 bWAR
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.265/.318/.367), 3.2 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 15.0
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
The Yankees were hopeful that Tuesday would be the day they’d celebrate a postseason berth and 10,000 regular-season wins, but a rainout in another game and the first inning of their own 10-4 loss to the Red Sox brought those plans to a screeching halt.
The Yankees needed a win on their end, a Twins loss and either a loss by the Rangers or Angels on Tuesday to clinch their first playoff berth since 2012. But the Minnesota-Cleveland game was postponed due to rain, making it impossible for the Yanks to clinch even if they had rallied to win their own game.
Michael Pineda gave up six earned runs in the first frame as the Red Sox batted around. It was too much damage for the Yanks, who scored four runs in the bottom half of the frame, to overcome.
Do you know what the Yankees’ record is in their last ten games? It seems like it must be, like, 2-8 or 3-7, right? It’s 5-5. They’ve played .500 baseball their last ten games. They’ve played .500 baseball their last four games. In other words, if you want to place higher priority on the last two losses than the wins that preceded them, then fair enough, but I don’t think there’s any real reason to do so. This is not some great team, but nor is it a team in the midst of a free fall. Michael Pineda sometimes shits the bed. That’s just something he does. It sucks. He is a major disappointment. But it is not some grim premonition of doom, either.
You all also get that the Angels finish the season with four games against Texas, right? That’s very, very good news for the Yankees.
Here are the records, presuming Houston and Anaheim both win tonight (Houston is only up a run right now in the middle of the fifth, but that is pretty much a lock for a win, I imagine):
Yankees: 86-71 (5 game left to play)
Texas: 85-72 (5 games left to play)
Houston: 84-74 (4 games left to play)
Angels: 83-74 (5 games left to play)
Twins: 81-75 (6 games left to play, including a doubleheader tomorrow)
See how hard it is for the Yankees to NOT make the playoffs? Two of those AL West teams can make the playoffs without it hurting the Yankees (as one can win the division and the other can win the other Wild Card), but because two of them play each other four times at the end of the season, that almost assuredly eliminates one of them. So it would come down to the Twins having to make up 4 losses in 6 games. Do you like those chances? Minnesota finishes the season with three against Kansas City. KC has been terrible recently, but they’re still unlikely to get swept by the Twins.
If the Yankees win one more game and the Rangers and Twins lose one more game, the Yankees make the playoffs. It seems pretty hard to imagine that the Yankees will go 0-5 while the Rangers and Twins go 5-0 and 6-0, respectively.
Also, the Orioles are throwing a lefthanded pitcher against Toronto on Thursday, so that’s one less lefty for the Yankee to face against Baltimore.
So don’t worry too much. This team is not a great one (they’re considering having John Ryan Murphy play first base to get another righthanded bat into the lineup, for crying out loud!), but they’re still very likely to be playing in the Wild Card Play-In Game come Tuesday.
EDITED TO ADD:
Well, Houston surprisingly lost (our old friend Robbie Cano tied the game with a home run and then the Mariners won it in the 8th inning). So here are the records through tonight’s games:
Yankees: 86-71 (5 game left to play)
Texas: 85-72 (5 games left to play)
Angels: 83-74 (5 games left to play)
Houston: 83-75 (4 games left to play)
Twins: 81-75 (6 games left to play, including a doubleheader tomorrow)
Things are basically the same as they were before, only now the Yankees’ odds go up even more, as now they don’t even necessarily need a Ranger loss, as the Rangers can win out and the Yankees would still make the playoffs if they win one of their last five games and Houston loses one of their last five games and Minnesota loses one of their last six games.
2015 American League Leaders in Outs Per Game
Minimum 100 games played.
It would have been a tidy wrap for the Yankees to secure their first postseason berth since 2012 on the same night they notched the 10,000th regular-season victory in franchise history, but those plans will have to be put on hold for another evening.
The Red Sox defeated New York, 5-1, at Yankee Stadium, to delay the milestone victory for another night. Since the Yankees needed an extensive sequence of events in order to clinch, including both a win and losses by the Twins, Rangers and Angels, that will have to wait at least one more night as well. Both the Twins and Angels won on Monday.
The Yankees can secure at least an American League Wild Card on Tuesday with a victory over the Red Sox if the Twins and Angels lose their respective games Tuesday. With the Blue Jays beating the Orioles, 4-3, on Monday, Toronto has a magic number of two for clinching the AL East crown.
It is really quite maddening when you realize that the Yankees have scored the second most runs in the American League (a distant second, but still) and yet they haven’t been able to score for a month or so now. Don’t get me wrong, a big part of that is that their best offensive player went missing right around that time and their second-best offensive player more or less went missing around the same time (while still getting regular Designated Hitter at-bats since). Not the sort of thing you want to see from a team headed to the postseason, especially since their “reward” if they win the Play-In Game looks pretty much like it will be left-handed ace starting pitcher David Price, as the Blue Jays (who won yet another game that they trailed late - it is like the Jays took all of their early-season bad luck and just flipped it, as they seem to have nothing but good luck lately) are now one game up on the KC Royals, and I suspect that to be about that for the best record in the American League race.
In a rare piece of good news, Masahiro Tanaka has recovered from his injury suffered due to the foolish inability of the National League to enter the 21st Century, so he will start Wednesday in a tune-up for the Wild Card Play-In Game (PRESENTED BY BUDWEISER! DON’T FORGET THAT THE WILD CARD GAME IS PRESENTED BY BUDWEISER!). His hamstring is apparently fine, as is his elbow (the elbow stuff is weird, “How’s the elbow?” “Uhmmm…why would there be a problem with my elbow NOW?”)
Monday, September 28, 2015
BOS: Eduardo Rodriguez (#52, 22, LHP, 9-6, 3.97) vs. NYY: Ivan Nova (#47, 28, RHP, 6-9, 4.87
Sunday, September 27, 2015
The Yankees got one step closer to the playoffs Sunday with a 6-1 win over the White Sox. New York remains four games behind American League East-leading Toronto, while cutting its magic number to clinch a postseason berth to three with seven games remaining.
Brian McCann delivered a sacrifice RBI to score Jacoby Ellsbury in the first after a walk and two Jose Abeu errors loaded the bases for the Yanks. The deciding run came in the sixth on Dustin Ackley’s homer. Later that inning, Rob Brantly’s passed ball allowed Slade Heathcott to score from third, making it 3-0, and Ellsbury’s RBI single in the seventh made it 4-1. The final runs came in the eighth.
Chicago’s run came in the seventh when pinch-hitter Avisail Garcia hit his 13th homer over the center-field wall. It was just the second pinch-hit homer this season for the White Sox, who finished 36-45 on the road.
At least Yankees.com is finally giving up on the division. No “still four games back!” stuff.
Severino was excellent again. A lot of the talk around him today is whether he would actually be the pitcher in the Play-In Game if Tanaka is unavailable. Speaking of that, here is a snippet from Yankees.com about Tanaka’s availability, “Girardi said Tanaka would have to start by Thursday if he was going to be able to start in both one more regular-season game and the American League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser. A start after Thursday wouldn’t give him enough days of rest for the Wild Card Game.” Yes, I shit you not, the article actually says “the American League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser.” That is hilarious.
In addition, in case people were wondering where the heck Stephen Drew has gone, he is suffering dizziness due to a bad sinus infection. He explained “that he thinks sinus congestion instigated fluid in his ears, which aggravated damage done when he was hit in the head by a fastball two years ago.” That kind of sucks for him.
Anyhow, hopefully the Yankees clinch home field for the Play-In Game in the next few games against Boston. Always fun to celebrate with the Red Sox in town.
1. Adam Eaton (L) DH: (.283/.356/.422), 3.4 bWAR
2. Jose Abreu (R) 1B: (.289/.347/.503), 3.8 bWAR
3. Melky Cabrera (S) LF: (.275/.317/.397), 1.6 bWAR
4. Trayce Thompson (R) CF: (.306/.364/.582), 1.3 bWAR
5. J.B. Shuck (L) RF: (.273/.351/.356), 0.9 bWAR
6. Mike Olt (R) 3B: (.195/.271/.351), -0.3 bWAR
7. Rob Brantly (L) C: (.174/.231/.348), 0.0 bWAR
8. Carlos Sanchez (S) 2B: (.228/.269/.337), 1.0 bWAR
9. Tyler Saladino (R) SS: (.234/.275/.347), 1.3 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 13.0
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.260/.316/.347), 2.0 bWAR
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF: (.260/.346/.408), 3.2 bWAR
3. Carlos Beltran (S) DH: (.275/.334/.470), 0.8 bWAR
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.239/.327/.452), 3.1 bWAR
5. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.242/.322/.523), 0.5 bWAR
6. Dustin Ackley (L) 2B: (.230/.280/.405), -0.9 bWAR
7. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.267/.316/.369), 3.0 bWAR
8. Slade Heathcott (L) RF: (.350/.318/.700), 0.4 bWAR
9. Brendan Ryan (R) 3B: (.218/.261/.333), -0.1 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 12.0
That doesn’t strike me as the lineup of a team that is actually heading to the postseason.
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Chase Headley and Alex Rodriguez drove in runs with a pair of consecutive ground-rule doubles, Adam Warren combined with three relievers on a three-hitter and the Yankees posted a 2-1 victory over the White Sox on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
The win reduced the Yankees’ magic number to clinch a postseason berth to four. New York remains four games behind the Blue Jays in the chase for the American League East title with eight games remaining. The White Sox officially were eliminated from postseason contention and guaranteed a third straight losing season.
“These games are all going to be great preparation for October,” said Rodriguez, who knocked in the deciding run facing Chicago starter John Danks, who scattered six hits over six innings, in the sixth inning. “We’re going to be in a lot of tough games, a lot of tight games. We’ve been facing really good pitching and tonight was a good win.”
Warren recovered from a shaky first inning to complete six innings of one-run ball, picking up his seventh victory and his first since rejoining the rotation. Justin Wilson and Dellin Betances hurled scoreless innings to set up for closer Andrew Miller, who logged his 36th save in 38 chances.
It’s adorable how how Yankees.com still talks about the division.
Anyhow, Adam Warren and the bullpen were excellent today and I loved the big hit from A-Rod, but boy, yet another terrible day overall from the offense. This does not bode well for the Play-In Game.
Friday, September 25, 2015
1. Adam Eaton (L) CF: (.283/.356/.425), 3.3 bWAR
2. Jose Abreu (R) 1B: (.291/.349/.509), 4.0 bWAR
3. Trayce Thompson (R) RF: (.315/.378/.618), 1.4 bWAR
4. Melky Cabrera (S) LF: (.277/.319/.401), 1.6 bWAR
5. Leury Garcia (S) DH: (.154/.214/.154), -0.1 bWAR
6. Alexei Ramirez (R) SS: (.250/.285/.358), 1.0 bWAR
7. Mike Olt (R) 3B: (.197/.269/.324), -0.3 bWAR
8. Tyler Flowers (R) C: (.228/.284/.348), 0.2 bWAR
9. Gordon Beckham (R) 2B: (.206/.272/.319), 0.6 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 11.7
1. Brett Gardner (L) CF: (.260/.345/.409), 3.2 bWAR
2. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.262/.327/.375), 1.2 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.251/.355/.492), 3.0 bWAR
4. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.279/.337/.477), 1.0 bWAR
5. Brian McCann (L) C: (.240/.324/.455), 2.9 bWAR
6. Chris Young (R) LF: (.247/.310/.447), 1.0 bWAR
7. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.256/.333/.552), 0.7 bWAR
8. Rob Refsnyder (R) 2B: (.176/.167/.353), -0.5 bWAR
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.267/.315/.370), 2.9 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 15.4
Playing Refsnyder again? Apparently Girardi doesn’t even want to win a wild card at this point.
NEW YORK — The Yankees received good news Thursday evening when doctors cleared right-hander Masahiro Tanaka to throw a bullpen either Friday or Saturday.
Tanaka was skipped his last start in Toronto because of a Grade 1 hamstring pull he suffered last Friday in Queens against the Mets. He strained it when running from the batter’s box after laying a bunt down, something he doesn’t do very often since he plays in the American League.
Manager Joe Girardi said late Thursday night he doesn’t know which day it will be that Tanaka will throw his bullpen, but said either way it would line Tanaka up to pitch in a game early next week, either Monday or Tuesday.
This, then, would likely set Tanaka up to pitch October 6, the American League Wild Card game that appears to be the Yankees’ avenue into the playoffs. (They’re currently up 4.5 games on the Houston Astros for the first slot.)
Since Tanaka probably wouldn’t have pitched much better than Nova did, his missing his turn Wednesday turned out to not matter very much. I’m not looking forward to the Yankees facing Dallas Keuchel in a win or go home situation, so hopefully the Astros have to fight to the end and can’t set up their rotation to pitch him if they make it.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
1. Adam Eaton (L) CF: (.280/.353/.423), 3.2 bWAR
2. Jose Abreu (R) 1B: (.292/.350/.511), 4.0 bWAR
3. Melky Cabrera (S) LF: (.277/.319/.402), 1.5 bWAR
4. Trayce Thompson (R) RF: (.314/.372/.593), 1.2 bWAR
5. Adam LaRoche (L) DH: (.211/.298/.347), -0.6 bWAR
6. Alexei Ramirez (R) SS: (.248/.284/.357), 1.0 bWAR
7. Carlos Sanchez (S) 2B: (.232/.272/.343), 1.2 bWAR
8. Tyler Flowers (R) C: (.224/.281/.346), 0.2 bWAR
9. Tyler Saladino (R) 3B: (.239/.280/.353), 1.4 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 13.1
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.260/.316/.348), 1.7 bWAR
2. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.260/.326/.374), 1.1 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.253/.356/.495), 3.0 bWAR
4. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.277/.336/.470), 0.8 bWAR
5. Chris Young (R) LF: (.246/.310/.449), 1.0 bWAR
6. John Ryan Murphy (R) C: (.281/.322/.417), 0.4 bWAR
7. Dustin Ackley (L) 1B: (.233/.283/.411), -0.9 bWAR
8. Rob Refsnyder (R) 2B: (.143/.133/.357), -0.5 bWAR
9. Brendan Ryan (R) SS: (.226/.270/.345), -0.1 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 6.5
Really? 6.5 bWAR?
I guess this is Girardi conceding the division. I mean how can you possibly play Refsnyder?
TORONTO — When Russell Martin swung and belted a no-doubt-about-it drive into the left-field seats, the baseball was not the only thing to which the Yankees could wave goodbye.
Gone, too — in all likelihood — are their division-title hopes after Martin’s three-run, seventh-inning homer delivered the crowning blow in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 4-0 win Wednesday, which put them three and a half games ahead of the Yankees with 11 days remaining in the regular season.
If it was especially painful that the Yankees were beaten by Martin, a catcher whom they allowed to leave as a free agent after the 2012 season, or that they were stymied for the second time this month by the Long Island native Marcus Stroman, they were most disappointed that the division seemed to be slipping away.
“It’s not mathematically impossible, but it’s difficult,” said Manager Joe Girardi, whose team must face the White Sox’ ace, Chris Sale, when it returns home Thursday night. “We have to play extremely well. We’re going to have to be almost perfect.”
I say It’s pretty much mathematically impossible.
If you had told me before the season started that the Yankees were still going to be contending for the AL East on September 23 and playing a game which would leave them just one game back in the loss column with a victory, I’d have been happy with it. But if you told me they’d have blown a seven game division lead in less than two months, not so much.
So yeah, they’ve been better than I expected and are almost a lock to get into the play-in game and that’s better than I thought before the season started. But it’s still disappointing given where they were on July 28.
I’m not seeing a team that is going to get out of the ALDS either way, so I’m not sure it matters all that much.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.263/.319/.352), 1.6 bWAR
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF: (.262/.347/.412), 3.4 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.253/.357/.495), 3.0 bWAR
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.240/.325/.458), 3.0 bWAR
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.279/.336/.473), 0.9 bWAR
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.256/.336/.562), 0.6 bWAR
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.260/.326/.374), 1.2 bWAR
8. Dustin Ackley (L) 2B: (.231/.283/.407), -0.9 bWAR
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.266/.315/.370), 2.8 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 15.6
1. Ben Revere (L) LF: (.304/.342/.369), 2.6 bWAR
2. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B: (.297/.369/.571), 8.2 bWAR
3. Jose Bautista (R) RF: (.252/.375/.531), 4.6 bWAR
4. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH: (.277/.370/.549), 4.3 bWAR
5. Justin Smoak (S) 1B: (.225/.299/.465), 1.1 bWAR
6. Russell Martin (R) C: (.239/.325/.444), 2.9 bWAR
7. Ryan Goins (L) SS: (.245/.317/.347), 2.6 bWAR
8. Kevin Pillar (R) CF: (.264/.300/.378), 4.1 bWAR
9. Darwin Barney (R) 2B: (.000/.000/.000), -0.3 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 30.1
If only Masahiro Tanaka were pitching tonight.
But missing a start or three doesn’t make up for the thrill we got watching him try to bunt, right?
Yogi Berra, one of baseball’s greatest catchers and characters, who as a player was a mainstay of 10 Yankee championship teams and as a manager led both the Yankees and Mets to the World Series — but who may be more widely known as an ungainly but lovable cultural figure, inspiring a cartoon character and issuing a seemingly limitless supply of unwittingly witty epigrams known as Yogi-isms — died on Tuesday. He was 90.
His death was reported by the Yankees and by the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J. Before moving to an assisted living facility in nearby West Caldwell, in 2012, Berra had lived for many years in neighboring Montclair.
In 1949, early in Berra’s Yankee career, his manager assessed him this way in an interview in The Sporting News: “Mr. Berra,” Casey Stengel said, “is a very strange fellow of very remarkable abilities.”
And so he was, and so he proved to be. Universally known simply as Yogi, probably the second most recognizable nickname in sports — even Yogi was not the Babe — Berra was not exactly an unlikely hero, but he was often portrayed as one: an All-Star for 15 consecutive seasons whose skills were routinely underestimated; a well-built, appealingly open-faced man whose physical appearance was often belittled; and a prolific winner — not to mention a successful leader — whose intellect was a target of humor if not outright derision.
That he triumphed on the diamond again and again in spite of his perceived shortcomings was certainly a source of his popularity. So was the delight with which his famous, if not always documentable, pronouncements, somehow both nonsensical and sagacious, were received.
“You can observe a lot just by watching,” he is reputed to have declared once, describing his strategy as a manager.
“If you can’t imitate him,” he advised a young player who was mimicking the batting stance of the great slugger Frank Robinson, “don’t copy him.”
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” he said, giving directions to his house. Either path, it turned out, got you there.
“Nobody goes there anymore,” he said of a popular restaurant. “It’s too crowded.”
I think my favorite Berra quote is “I really didn’t say everything I said.”
I didn’t get to see any of Berra the player, but Berra the character was a huge part of baseball lore. It’s worth perusing his Baseball Reference page just to get a sense of how good of a player he actually was.
With the way baseball has changed, it seems almost impossible that any player will ever match Berra being a part of 10 World Series victories.
R.I.P. Mr. Berra.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.261/.316/.346), 1.4 bWAR
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF: (.262/.347/.413), 3.4 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.255/.358/.499), 3.0 bWAR
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.238/.325/.458), 3.0 bWAR
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.276/.335/.464), 0.7 bWAR
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.250/.333/.534), 0.5 bWAR
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.262/.328/.377), 1.3 bWAR
8. Dustin Ackley (L) 2B: (.234/.282/.411), -0.8 bWAR
9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.263/.312/.366), 2.7 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 15.2
1. Ben Revere (L) LF: (.304/.343/.370), 2.6 bWAR
2. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B: (.299/.369/.574), 8.2 bWAR
3. Jose Bautista (R) RF: (.253/.375/.534), 4.5 bWAR
4. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH: (.278/.371/.547), 4.2 bWAR
5. Justin Smoak (S) 1B: (.226/.301/.470), 1.1 bWAR
6. Dioner Navarro (S) C: (.250/.309/.372), 0.7 bWAR
7. Ryan Goins (L) SS: (.247/.319/.350), 2.6 bWAR
8. Kevin Pillar (R) CF: (.260/.296/.367), 3.7 bWAR
9. Munenori Kawasaki (L) 2B: (.211/.286/.316), 0.2 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 27.8
TORONTO — David Price vanished after seven shutout frames with a four-run cushion. Aaron Sanchez lasted two batters and Brett Cecil was greeted by a Jacoby Ellsbury single that drove in a run.
Now, after a long night of futility against Price and attempting to climb out of the ditch Adam Warren put them in the Yankees were threatening against the Blue Jays’ bullpen.
Dustin Ackley was on second, Ellsbury on first with Brett Gardner facing Cecil with the Yankees trailing by three runs and one out.
After squandering a scoring chance in the third against Price the Yankees couldn’t let this one get away and still hope to cut into the Blue Jays’ AL East lead.
Then Cecil’s full-count, borderline breaking ball to Gardner was called a strike by umpire Greg Gibbons. Cecil ended the Yankees’ attempt to cut further into the lead by striking out Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann on the way to a 4-2 Blue Jays victory that was witnessed by 47,648 delirious Rogers Centre fans.
“There is nothing you can do about it,’’ manager Joe Girardi said of the pitch Gibbons called Gardner out on. “Maybe it changes the complexion of the inning but we still had our opportunities.’’
Eh. I had pretty much given up on the Yankees winning the East. I’m guessing their odds now are in the single digits.
Monday, September 21, 2015
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.259/.315/.345), 1.2 bWAR
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF: (.264/.347/.416), 3.3 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.255/.359/.501), 3.1 bWAR
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.241/.327/.463), 3.1 bWAR
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.278/.338/.469), 0.9 bWAR
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.264/.331/.380), 1.4 bWAR
7. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.250/.336/.518), 0.4 bWAR
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.264/.312/.368), 2.9 bWAR
9. Dustin Ackley (L) 2B: (.232/.281/.412), -0.7 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 15.6
1. Ben Revere (L) LF: (.303/.342/.370), 2.6 bWAR
2. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B: (.299/.367/.575), 8.1 bWAR
3. Jose Bautista (R) RF: (.251/.374/.533), 4.4 bWAR
4. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH: (.277/.370/.548), 4.2 bWAR
5. Justin Smoak (S) 1B: (.225/.301/.469), 1.1 bWAR
6. Russell Martin (R) C: (.240/.326/.447), 2.8 bWAR
7. Ryan Goins (L) SS: (.246/.317/.350), 2.6 bWAR
8. Kevin Pillar (R) CF: (.261/.296/.369), 3.7 bWAR
9. Cliff Pennington (S) 2B: (.208/.291/.276), 0.0 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 29.5
Yankee Win Probability: 36.46%
Win probability does not lie.
NEW YORK — Can we make this match-up the World Series? (Hey maybe then Matt Harvey won’t come out after five innings!)
The Yankees beat the Mets, 11-2, Sunday night at Citi Field, the finale of a three-game Subway Series that the Yankees won, two games to one. The weekend attendance in Flushing was the largest for a three-game series in the stadium’s seven-season history. And indeed, every game was akin to an October match-up.
CC Sabathia didn’t out-pitch Harvey on Sunday but he lasted longer and that ended up mattering much, much more. The Yankees erupted for five runs in a crucial Harvey-less sixth inning, three of them thanks to their newest second baseman blasting a homer with two outs.
And their newest first baseman chipped in as well, launching a three-run blast of his own two innings later that provided the nail in the coffin.
Think this weekend was a big series? It was.
But the next? It might just decide the season.
Since donning a knee brace, CC has been more effective. It’s only three starts, but the line is encouraging.
17.1 IP, 12 H, 4 R, 2ER, 8 BB, 18 K.
If he can give them quality starts over the rest of the season, the Yankees should be in a good position for the wild card at the very least.
Wouldn’t it have been nice if the Yankees didn’t have to seeMasahiro Tanaka get injured doing something he shouldn’t be doing so he could be starting a game in their most crucial series of the past three seasons?
Yes, it would have been. But instead we’ll get Ivan Nova, who still doesn’t appear to have recovered from his ligament replacement surgery. Or maybe he has and this is what he is.
I would never have expected the Yankees to gain a game against Toronto this weekend, so I’m happy about that.
I’ll be even happier if they can somehow win against David Price tonight.
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Remember when Pineda didn’t stink?
Friday, September 18, 2015
1. Brett Gardner (L) CF: (.265/.349/.420), 3.4 bWAR
2. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.267/.330/.385), 1.2 bWAR
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.277/.336/.463), 0.6 bWAR
4. Chris Young (R) LF: (.247/.311/.453), 1.4 bWAR
5. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.248/.330/.505), 0.2 bWAR
6. John Ryan Murphy (R) C: (.287/.329/.426), 0.4 bWAR
7. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.267/.316/.373), 2.9 bWAR
8. Brendan Ryan (R) 2B: (.225/.271/.350), -0.1 bWAR
9. Masahiro Tanaka (R) P: (.000/.167/.000), 0.0 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 10.0
1. Curtis Granderson (L) RF: (.259/.366/.454), 4.8 bWAR
2. Yoenis Cespedes (R) CF: (.294/.330/.555), 6.4 bWAR
3. Daniel Murphy (L) 2B: (.271/.315/.419), 0.4 bWAR
4. David Wright (R) 3B: (.303/.377/.431), 0.6 bWAR
5. Lucas Duda (L) 1B: (.240/.344/.453), 2.1 bWAR
6. Travis d’Arnaud (R) C: (.293/.360/.551), 2.1 bWAR
7. Michael Conforto (L) LF: (.297/.378/.547), 2.3 bWAR
8. Wilmer Flores (R) SS: (.265/.298/.416), 1.1 bWAR
9. Steven Matz (R) P: (.300/.300/.400), 0.1 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 19.9
Wonderful. Pitchers “hitting”.
No fun fact today. Instead, let’s take a little jaunt down memory lane.
Remember when the Yankees let Granderson go and signed Smellsbury instead?
The Yankees are thinking about giving stud infield prospect Jorge Mateo reps at second base during the Instructional League that started Thursday in Tampa and runs for a month.
By no means have the Yankees given up on the 20-year-old Mateo as a shortstop, the only position he has played in four professional seasons, but with second base in the big leagues a crater since Robinson Cano split following the 2013 season, the Yankees might want to see how the ultra-athletic Mateo handles the other side of the bag.
That’s especially true if Didi Gregorius, 25, can build on what has been a very solid season in his first year with the club.
According to a scout from an AL team who saw the 6-foot, 188-pound Mateo this season, second base is where he will play when he reaches the big leagues.
“His hands are a little too nervous for short,’’ the scout said. “He is more suited for second base. He is a big league player. The bat is good, he can run and he will be able to play second base.’’
I guess Robert Refsnyder’s getting traded for a reliever this offseason.
I’m still not certain Didi has cemented himself as the Yankees’ long-term solution as shortstop, so I’d at least keep Mateo splitting time between short and 2B, which is what I assume they will do.
Honestly, when I saw the headline I assumed it would be about the Yankees tinkering with Dustin Ackley in an attempt to make him their 2B next season, which may also be something worth pursuing if they are hell-bent against giving Refsnyder a chance for whatever reason.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Luis Severino bounced back from a rough outing to pitch into the sixth inning and Greg Bird launched a towering home run as the Yankees defeated the Rays, 3-1, on Wednesday at Tropicana Field.
Having been knocked around by the division-leading Blue Jays his last time out, the 21-year-old Severino shrugged off the first shaky performance of his big league career and limited Tampa Bay to a run on six hits over 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven. The Yanks stayed three back of Toronto in the American League East due to the Jays’ win against the Braves.
The Yankees produced two runs in six innings off Rays starter Chris Archer. Bird doubled home a run in the second inning and Chase Headley connected for a run-scoring single in the sixth. Archer scattered four hits and four walks, striking out seven.
Luis Severino really came through tonight against one of the top starters in the American League. Chris Archer was his typically awesome self, setting the Rays single-season strikeout record in the second inning (it surprised me that Scott Kazmir had that record and not David Price), but Severino was even better.
Tonight the Yankees had the good luck that they sure didn’t have yesterday. Stephen Souza almost tied the game in the sixth inning, even drawing an umpire review to see if it hit a ring in the stupid Tropicana stadium that means it is a home run. It obviously did not hit said ring. Later, Dellin Betances loaded the bases with three straight walks but got out of any further damage by striking out James Loney. Phew.
Greg Bird homered for his second straight game to give the Yankees an always appreciated insurance run. It is nice to see him hitting. Andrew Miller was great.
The Yankees get a day off before a scary stretch of three road games at Citi Field and then Rogers Centre. Big stretch coming up. Luckily for the Yankees, the off day tomorrow allows the Yankees to set their rotation up nicely for the Mets series, including skipping Ivan Nova, who has been pulled from the rotation at the moment (they’re going to a five-man rotation for now).
Anyhow, great win. Hopefully Jacoby Ellsbury uses the off day well.
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.251/.310/.341), 1.1 bWAR
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF: (.267/.351/.424), 3.7 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.257/.360/.506), 3.2 bWAR
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.242/.326/.463), 2.8 bWAR
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.279/.337/.466), 0.6 bWAR
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.235/.315/.459), -0.1 bWAR
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.267/.330/.387), 1.1 bWAR
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.267/.314/.371), 2.8 bWAR
9. Dustin Ackley (L) 2B: (.228/.279/.386), -1.0 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 14.2
1. John Jaso (L) DH: (.284/.379/.439), 0.6 bWAR
2. Mikie Mahtook (R) LF: (.262/.342/.523), 0.9 bWAR
3. Evan Longoria (R) 3B: (.270/.332/.433), 3.3 bWAR
4. Logan Forsythe (R) 2B: (.285/.361/.448), 4.9 bWAR
5. James Loney (L) 1B: (.271/.317/.353), -0.5 bWAR
6. Steven Souza Jr. (R) RF: (.216/.304/.398), 0.6 bWAR
7. Nick Franklin (S) SS: (.143/.205/.286), -0.9 bWAR
8. Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF: (.262/.300/.415), 6.6 bWAR
9. Rene Rivera (R) C: (.179/.212/.278), -2.0 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 13.5
Today’s fun fact? Stephen Drew is finally sitting down, so the Yankees can get a player who’s been 1.6 wins worse than him in the lineup.
Bonus fun fact: Luis Severino’s FIP is 4.63.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Yankees are convinced they’ve identified a flaw in Jacoby Ellsbury’s swing, and that the high-paid center fielder has put in extra work in recent days to fix it, hitting coach Jeff Pentland told NJ Advance Media Tuesday.
Much of Ellsbury’s problem has been that he’s been inconsistent with his front leg’s landing spot, often causing him to “fly open,” the coach said. That’s impacted the lefty hitter’s ability to make solid contact, Pentland said.
Pentland added, however, there are no concerns about the heath of his right knee. Ellsbury sprained it while swinging in late May while in the midst of a All-Star-caliber start and missed 43 games.
But since his July 8 return, Ellsbury has been almost an automatic out, hitting .206 with six home runs and 24 RBI in 238 at-bats.
Great news. I expect him to hit .400/.500/.600 the rest of the way, because he’s a $155M player after all.
Franklin's go-ahead blast came in the sixth inning off rookie right-hander Nick Rumbelow, the second reliever to follow Adam Warren. J.P. Arencibia drove home two insurance runs in the eighth with a flare single to right field off Bryan Mitchell.
The defeat, coupled with the Blue Jays' 3-2 loss to the Braves at Turner Field, kept the Yankees three games behind Toronto in the American League East race.
"I don't want to give up runs in any outing," Rumbelow said. "Today's no different than any other outing for me. It's the same process. I want to get every hitter I face out, and I didn't succeed today."
I don’t necessarily blame Rumbelow for the quote, but yeah, that was a dumb quote.
Anyhow, yet another Murphy’s Law type loss for the Yankees. A great catch by the other team’s outfielder (who sure seems to be making his gaudy defensive stats this year look reasonable), a terrible baserunning play by Didi, a catchable ball falling in for two insurance runs (with the way this team is hitting, it probably wouldn’t have mattered, but still). A-Rod, meanwhile, has a bone bruise in his knee and yet still hit his 32nd home run.
The Yankees are in big trouble with Chris Archer facing them tomorrow. They counter with Luis Severino, who got spanked by the Blue Jays on Friday. Let us hope that Severino shows up against a different top pitcher and, well, let’s just hope period for the Yankees against Archer. They’re going to need that hope.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.254/.313/.345), 1.1 bWAR
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF: (.269/.354/.428), 3.8 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.257/.359/.501), 3.1 bWAR
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.242/.327/.465), 3.0 bWAR
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.279/.338/.468), 0.8 bWAR
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.232/.308/.432), -0.2 bWAR
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.269/.333/.390), 1.5 bWAR
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.268/.315/.373), 2.9 bWAR
9. Stephen Drew (L) 2B: (.203/.272/.385), 0.5 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 16.5
1. John Jaso (L) DH: (.278/.373/.438), 0.6 bWAR
2. Grady Sizemore (L) LF: (.233/.284/.355), -0.8 bWAR
3. Evan Longoria (R) 3B: (.270/.332/.435), 3.3 bWAR
4. Logan Forsythe (R) 2B: (.283/.360/.447), 4.8 bWAR
5. Asdrubal Cabrera (S) SS: (.263/.315/.421), 1.4 bWAR
6. James Loney (L) 1B: (.271/.318/.355), -0.5 bWAR
7. Mikie Mahtook (R) RF: (.230/.319/.492), 0.7 bWAR
8. Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF: (.264/.302/.419), 6.6 bWAR
9. J.P. Arencibia (R) C: (.341/.333/.780), 0.7 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 16.8
Here is today’s fun fact. There are a total of 10 pitchers and position players in the AL who are being paid more than the player starting in CF for the Yankees tonight.
There are a total of 176 pitchers and position players who have been more valuable than him according to Baseball Reference’s version of WAR.
Monday, September 14, 2015
ST. PETERSBURG—Slade Heathcott connected for a go-ahead, three-run home run off closer Brad Boxberger, capping a four-run, ninth-inning rally as the Yankees stunned the Rays, 4-1, on Monday night at Tropicana Field.
The Yankees were down to their final out in the ninth before Alex Rodriguez delivered a run-scoring double off Boxberger, chasing home Brett Gardner with the tying run. Following an intentional walk to Brian McCann, the 24-year-old Heathcott slugged his second career home run over the left-field wall, pumping his fist wildly as he rounded the bases.
The late rally off Boxberger helped the Yankees close within three games behind the idle Blue Jays in the American League East chase. Logan Forsythe had knocked home the game’s first run with an eighth-inning double off Justin Wilson.
Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez held the Yankees hitless into the eighth inning in a gem of a performance. Carlos Beltran broke up Ramirez’s bid with a shot to first base that was immediately scored as a hit, as Ramirez completed 7 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out six.
Making his second start since returning from the disabled list, Yankees starter CC Sabathia turned in one of his best outings of the season, blanking Tampa Bay on three hits over 6 2/3 innings. He was relieved by Wilson, who pitched out of trouble in the seventh but surrendered the decisive hits in the eighth.
Jacoby Ellsbury tried his darndest to blow this game when he grounded into a double play after Dustin Ackley led off the ninth with a single that put the tying run on base, but a massively clutch walk by Brett Gardner followed by an even more clutch double by Alex Rodriguez tied the game, and then Heathcott had his True Yankee Moment™ to cap off an unexpected but very satisfying win.
I only saw bits and pieces but I thought Sabathia looked pretty good, although Tampa’s offense sort of stinks. I mean hell, they made Rich Hill look good and he hadn’t started a game in MLB since Joe Torre was managing the Yankees.
Nice win anyway.
1. FMY (L) CF: (.257/.316/.348), 1.2 bWAR
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF: (.270/.353/.429), 3.8 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.256/.358/.500), 2.9 bWAR
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.244/.328/.468), 3.1 bWAR
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.279/.338/.469), 0.7 bWAR
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.239/.311/.446), -0.1 bWAR
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.271/.335/.393), 1.7 bWAR
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.270/.317/.376), 2.9 bWAR
9. Brendan Ryan (R) 2B: (.231/.277/.359), 0.0 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 16.2
1. Brandon Guyer (R) LF: (.266/.356/.401), 1.6 bWAR
2. Mikie Mahtook (R) RF: (.228/.323/.509), 0.5 bWAR
3. Evan Longoria (R) 3B: (.272/.334/.438), 3.4 bWAR
4. Logan Forsythe (R) 2B: (.284/.361/.447), 4.8 bWAR
5. Asdrubal Cabrera (S) SS: (.263/.316/.423), 1.4 bWAR
6. Steven Souza Jr. (R) DH: (.217/.304/.403), 0.5 bWAR
7. Richie Shaffer (R) 1B: (.209/.320/.442), 0.1 bWAR
8. Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF: (.262/.300/.417), 6.5 bWAR
9. J.P. Arencibia (R) C: (.368/.359/.842), 0.8 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 19.6
Today’s fun fact. The Yankees are paying about $51M for an outfield that has accrued a total of about 5.7 bWAR. The Rays are paying Kevin Kiermaier $513,800 for about 6.5 bWAR.
A Log5 look at the rest of the 2015 AL East Race
So yeah, the Yankees got pretty roundly whipped this weekend, taking only one out of four games against the Blue Jays and falling 3.5 games behind Toronto with just 20 games left in their season. At this point, my simulations put the Yankees odds at winning the division at a scant 6.7%. They are still at 93.5% for making it into the postseason, which puts their odds of getting in the ALDS at around 45-50% depending on who they play and where they play them.
The problems facing the Yankees are pretty simple. They have a more difficult schedule than Toronto, they have to make up ground and they are trying to do that against a better team.
That’s not to say that it’s impossible, but it’s going to be pretty darnn difficult, especially after losing the services of Mark Teixeira and Nathan Eovaldi.
Anyway, I thought it might be useful to look at the rest of the season’s schedules for the Jays and Yankees and see what exactly makes the Yankees’ quest so difficult.
|9/18/2015||@Mets||.491||vs. Red Sox||.607|
|9/19/2015||@Mets||.491||vs. Red Sox||.607|
|9/20/2015||@Mets||.491||vs. Red Sox||.607|
|9/21/2015||@Blue Jays||vs. Yankees|
|9/22/2015||@Blue Jays||vs. Yankees|
|9/23/2015||@Blue Jays||vs. Yankees|
|9/24/2015||vs. White Sox||.566|
|9/25/2015||vs. White Sox||.566||vs. Rays||.611|
|9/26/2015||vs. White Sox||.566||vs. Rays||.611|
|9/27/2015||vs. White Sox||.566||vs. Rays||.611|
|9/28/2015||vs. Red Sox||.540||@Orioles||.583|
|9/29/2015||vs. Red Sox||.540||@Orioles||.583|
|9/30/2015||vs. Red Sox||.540||@Orioles||.583|
|10/1/2015||vs. Red Sox||.540||@Orioles||.583|
xW: Expected winning percentage for each game using Bill James’s log5 method for winning each game
The expected winning percentage is based primarily on the assumption that the Yankees are about an 87 win team as of this morning and Toronto is about a 98 win team. Given that and removing the games where they play each other, we’d expect Toronto to end the season with 92 wins and the Yankees with 87. The Blue Jays are not only better than the Yankees, but their cumulative opponents’ expected winning percentage is a bit worse.
Anyway, assuming the Yankees were to sweep Toronto in Toronto in their three game series, they’d still have to make up two more games somewhere in their expected wins compared to Toronto to catch them, at which point they’d have to play a tie-breaker game just to see who gets the division and who gets to play the play-in game. It’s pretty hard to see that happening.
It will be interesting to see if the Yankees decide to play it conservatively over the rest of the season and put themselves in the best possible position for the play-in game by resting their key relievers and lining up Masahiro Tanaka to pitch the play-in game, while resting some of their position players. I’m not sure how smart it is, but I’m also not sure that it’s smart to go all out for a division title that has for all intents and purposes slipped out of their reach.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Masahiro Tanaka tossed seven scoreless innings and Dustin Ackley hit a two-run homer as the Yankees avoided the sweep with a 5-0 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
The victory pulled New York within 3 1/2 games of the Blue Jays for the top spot in the American League East. It also snapped Toronto’s seven-game winning streak at Yankee Stadium, which was the longest in franchise history.
Tanaka allowed four hits and didn’t walk a batter while striking out seven en route to the quality start. He retired 12 consecutive batters from the third until the seventh and allowed just three runners to reach scoring position. Tanaka improved to 5-2 with a 2.23 ERA in seven career starts against the Blue Jays.
It’s adorable how Yankees.com is acting like the division is still a realistic goal.
However, two things stand out about this game.
1. Tanaka was amazing (although, as someone noted in the game thread, perhaps the Blue Jay hitters were tired after destroying Yankee pitching for three games). While that was important in the here and the now, it’s probably even more important when you consider the possibility of the Yankees playing the Wild Card Play-In game. He’ll be needed to pitch that game and if the opposing pitcher is Keuchel or Hamels, well, the Yankees will need all the pitching they can get.
2. Dustin Ackley is unlikely to be any good, but he at least gives you a theoretical chance at being good, so I’d like to see more of him - but at second base, not first base.
The Yankees head to Tampa Bay where we can hope that CC’s knee brace will help him again. Monday is a big game, considering the Yankees annoyingly pull Chris Archer again on Wednesday.At least I believe this sets Archer up to face the Blue Jays in two weeks (of course, watch Tampa Bay decide to change their rotation to skip him against Toronto just for the heck of it).
1. Ben Revere (L) LF: (.311/.350/.379), 3.1 bWAR
2. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B: (.307/.374/.590), 8.2 bWAR
3. Jose Bautista (R) RF: (.254/.374/.538), 4.1 bWAR
4. Chris Colabello (R) DH: (.330/.378/.529), 0.8 bWAR
5. Justin Smoak (S) 1B: (.224/.301/.464), 0.9 bWAR
6. Kevin Pillar (R) CF: (.261/.295/.369), 3.5 bWAR
7. Ryan Goins (L) SS: (.241/.311/.346), 2.2 bWAR
8. Cliff Pennington (S) 2B: (.211/.296/.269), 0.1 bWAR
9. Josh Thole (L) C: (.211/.268/.263), -0.3 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 22.6
Don’t know, don’t care.
Cliff Pennington homered and Ben Revere enjoyed a four-hit night as the Blue Jays took a commanding 4 1/2-game lead in the American League East with a 10-7 victory over the Yankees in Game 2 of a doubleheader that was delayed 33 minutes because of rain on Saturday night.
New York, which received a pair of three-run homers from Brett Gardner in the losing cause, entered the four-game series trailing by just 1 1/2 games. Toronto took the first game of the doubleheader, 9-5, in 11 innings and has won seven consecutive games at Yankee Stadium for the first time in franchise history.
This Toronto season is crazy. They lose Tulo to an injury and his awful-hitting replacement, Cliff Pennington, suddenly becomes Babe Ruth.
Anyhow, this is all awful but there’s one small, teeny glimmer of hope - and that’s the fact that the Twins and Rangers have done almost as poorly as the Yankees during the Yankees five-game losing streak (five-game losing streak in September? Are they trying to troll us or something?), so the Yankees remain four games up on Minnesota for the second wild card (and three up on Texas for the first wild card). With Brett Gardner hopefully turning it on a bit (three home run day today), the Wild Card still looks like a very real possibility and then, who the heck knows? The brutal thing is that even if they win the Wild Card Play-In game, with the way that they’re playing now, it will likely be Toronto that the Yankees would have to face.
Hey, Tanaka, how about being the first Yankee starter this series not to suck tomorrow. Could you do that for us (of course, now that I say that, he’ll be great but they won’t hit)?
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Blue Jays (80-60) @ Yankees (77-62) , Saturday September 12, 2015, Doubleheader
Twice the torture.
The Blue Jays scored an early advantage in a crucial series against the Yankees by homering early and often en route to an 11-5 victory on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
With the win, Toronto increased its lead over New York to 2 1/2 games for first place in the American League East. It’s the largest lead the Blue Jays have enjoyed this season and their largest lead in the division this late into the season since 1993.
“I said before the series: This is a big series,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We have to come out, pitch better tomorrow and keep them in the ballpark if we want to win.”
Russell Martin led the way with a pair of home runs, while Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Justin Smoak also went deep as Toronto took control early and never looked back. Left-hander David Price picked up the victory after he allowed a pair of runs over five innings before departing with a 9-2 lead.
Look on the bright side. Now Joe Girardi doesn’t have to worry about pitching Dellin Betances or Andrew Miller three days in a row.
But seriously, yeah, this was probably the lowest point in the season so far.
1. Lose the opener of a four game series at home to the team you’re trying to catch? Check.
2. See your promising rookie pitcher get spanked by your opponent? Check.
3. Learn that your best offensive player this season is out for the season? Check.
4. Learn that your best offensive player this season is out for the season from an injury suffered before the waiver deadline but only ruled a fracture two weeks after you could have actually picked up another bat to replace him? Check.
5. Knowing that the owners likely wouldn’t have approved the salary increase in GETTING another bat to replace him even had they known? Check.
With all that being said, David Price is awesome and even when we all figured Severino would do okay tonight (instead of terrible, which is what he ended up being), we knew Price was going to be amazing, and he was. So it wasn’t like we figured this to be a win anyways. The Yankees are more or less playing for a split tomorrow and then hopefully a win by Tanaka. There’s a greater than zero chance that Stroman will struggle in his first start of the season. He has two minor league rehab starts. One was awesome and one was terrible. The awesome one was against Single A hitters while the terrible one was against Triple A hitters. Let’s hope that the second game is more what he will be like tomorrow (translation: expect a no-hitter).
Friday, September 11, 2015
1. Ben Revere (L) LF: (.304/.345/.367), 2.7 bWAR
2. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B: (.307/.374/.592), 7.9 bWAR
3. Jose Bautista (R) RF: (.248/.368/.526), 3.5 bWAR
4. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH: (.269/.362/.530), 3.3 bWAR
5. Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS: (.278/.337/.439), 2.8 bWAR
6. Justin Smoak (S) 1B: (.220/.295/.456), 0.9 bWAR
7. Russell Martin (R) C: (.237/.325/.427), 2.4 bWAR
8. Ryan Goins (L) 2B: (.243/.315/.352), 2.3 bWAR
9. Kevin Pillar (R) CF: (.266/.300/.376), 3.7 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 29.5
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.267/.327/.364), 1.5 bWAR
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF: (.267/.351/.413), 3.2 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.256/.358/.497), 2.9 bWAR
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.244/.327/.477), 3.2 bWAR
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.279/.340/.478), 0.7 bWAR
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.271/.335/.390), 1.4 bWAR
7. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.241/.319/.458), 0.0 bWAR
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.268/.317/.366), 2.7 bWAR
9. Brendan Ryan (R) 2B: (.213/.253/.333), -0.1 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 15.5
Let’s try this again…
NEW YORK — The first game of the Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays game was rained out, meaning there will be at least 36 innings of baseball in approximately 45 hours starting Friday night at 7:05 p.m.
That might cause Yanks’ manager Joe Girardi to violate a rule he hates to break: using a relief pitcher for three consecutive days, or the equivalent in his pitches.
“I might have to, in this situation, just with the doubleheader,” Girardi said.
Friday’s night game will be played as scheduled, and Saturday will feature a double-header, starting at 1:05 p.m. Sunday’s game is at 1:05 p.m.
Girardi did not sound thrilled about what the games due to a pitching staff.
It was hard to see the Yankees winning this series anyway. With the rain out and its possible impact on how frequently Girardi can use his best relievers t it seems damn near impossible..
Thursday, September 10, 2015
1. Ben Revere (L) LF: (.304/.345/.367), 2.7 bWAR
2. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B: (.307/.374/.592), 8.0 bWAR
3. Jose Bautista (R) RF: (.248/.368/.526), 3.6 bWAR
4. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH: (.269/.362/.530), 3.3 bWAR
5. Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS: (.278/.337/.439), 2.8 bWAR
6. Justin Smoak (S) 1B: (.220/.295/.456), 0.9 bWAR
7. Russell Martin (R) C: (.237/.325/.427), 2.4 bWAR
8. Ryan Goins (L) 2B: (.243/.315/.352), 2.3 bWAR
9. Kevin Pillar (R) CF: (.266/.300/.376), 3.8 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 29.8
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.267/.327/.364), 1.5 bWAR
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF: (.267/.351/.413), 3.3 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.256/.358/.497), 2.9 bWAR
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.244/.327/.477), 3.2 bWAR
5. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.279/.340/.478), 0.7 bWAR
6. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.271/.335/.390), 1.4 bWAR
7. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.241/.319/.458), 0.1 bWAR
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.268/.317/.366), 2.7 bWAR
9. Brendan Ryan (R) 2B: (.213/.253/.333), -0.1 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 15.7
I knew Toronto was better than the Yankees. I just didn’t realize they were twice as good.
While the Jays fell twice to the Sawx in three tries, they have gone 29-9 in their last 38 games. Toronto hasn’t lost two straight since Aug. 14-15 at Rogers Centre … to the Yankees.
For sure, the Yankees can take pride in slaying some monsters this year. Remember when they ended the Mets’ 11-game winning streak by beating Terry Collins’ group two of three times April 24-26 in The Bronx? Right before that series, they beat the Tigers three straight times to deflate Detroit’s 11-2 launch (including a win over the Yankees) to the season, and set them toward a course of massive disappointment.
And when they temporarily disrupted the Jays last month, they ended Toronto’s 11-game winning streak.
“If you’re able to stay on that run, then more power to you,” Young said. “But nothing’s given. Nothing’s predicted. You can’t be a fortune-teller and tell the future of how our last 25 games are going to be, no less how their 25 games are going to be.
“Runs are amazing. Twenty-nine and [nine], that’s amazing. The only thing that matters is the end-of-season record. It doesn’t matter how you get there.”
Multiple times this season, the Yankees have veered to the edge of the cliff, threatening to fall off and plummet to the sort of place many folks (including me) anticipated they’d be at the season’s outset: Flirting with .500, at best. They repeatedly have thwarted us doomsayers.
Now comes their most important test yet. If they fail it, then the AL East standings will start sounding irrelevant to their fans.
I feel that if the Yankees do not win at least three of the four games in this series, they’ll be playing for the wild card. But what I feel is irrelevant. Instead, let’s see what my CAIRO Monte Carlo simulator projects.
Here are the AL final standings and postseason probabilities as of this morning.
W: Projected final 2015 wins
L: Projected final 2015 losses
RS: Projected final 2015 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2015 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)
W+/-: Projected wins within one standard deviation
And here’s how they look with the various outcomes of this series.
Honestly, even winning three out of four probably doesn’t cut it at this point. What’s the likelihood of the Yankees sweeping Toronto? Maybe something like 5%.
So yeah. How about that wild card play in game?
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Steve Pearce hit a tiebreaking home run off Adam Warren in the eighth inning on Wednesday and Stephen Drew endured a rough night in the field as the Orioles posted a 5-3 victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
The loss kept the Yankees 1 1/2 games back of the Blue Jays, who lost in Boston on Wednesday, in advance of a four-game set between the American League East’s top two clubs that is scheduled to begin on Thursday night in the Bronx.
Pearce’s 10th home run of the season proved to be the difference after the Orioles tied the game on a fifth-inning Drew error that allowed two runs to score. Baltimore chased left-hander CC Sabathia after just 4 2/3 innings in his otherwise strong return from the disabled list, and Chris Davis added an RBI ground-rule double in the ninth.
Seriously, if I told you on Sunday that the Yankees would 1 1/2 games back (one in the loss column) going into the four-game series against Toronto, you would totally sign up for that. Admit it. Hell, if I told you on Monday that the Yankees would be 1 1/2 games back (one in the loss column) going into the Toronto series, I think a good deal of people would still take it, as the chances of them losing the last two and Toronto winning their next two were quite high. So instead, they went 1-2 against Baltimore and Toronto went 1-2 against Boston. Even Steven.
I said earlier tonight that it seems like the Yankees only have two types of game - amazing victories and excruciating defeats. Tonight was the second type. CC Sabathia pitched pretty well tonight, all things considered (I swear, if the key to his effectiveness is just wearing a stupid knee brace that he doesn’t want to wear for whatever dumb reason, then I will be displeased), but left with the bases loaded and two outs. Adam Warren entered and got a ground ball to third that should have ended the inning. Chase Headley made a poor throw to Stephen Drew for the forceout at second, but Drew just absolutely botched the catch. And even worse than the botched catch, which could be forgivable enough (as, again, the throw from Headley wasn’t amazing), is the fact that he A. didn’t even knock the ball down and B. lollygagged after the errant ball, allowing the tying run to score from second on what should have been an inning ending groundout. Blech.
Warren was pretty good in 2 2/3 innings, but he gave up the game-losing home run to Steve Pearce. Warren was stretched out and apparently will be starting on Monday, which means that the Yankees likely will be going with the rest of the rotation on regular rest, so hell, the Yankees will be sending Severino, Pineda and Tanaka (plus Nova) against Toronto on Thursday-Sunday, so they can’t say that they don’t have their best pitchers going. Let’s just hope that this awful, awful offense can actually do something. It’s not like they’re opening against David Price or anything like tha….oh, wait. Come on, Severino! A nation turns its lonely eyes to you!
1. Nolan Reimold (R) LF: (.234/.317/.364), -0.4 bWAR
2. Paul Janish (R) CF: (.211/.200/.263), 0.0 bWAR
3. Manny Machado (R) 3B: (.290/.355/.494), 6.3 bWAR
4. Chris Davis (L) DH: (.257/.345/.552), 3.6 bWAR
5. Jonathan Schoop (R) 2B: (.282/.310/.498), 1.4 bWAR
6. Caleb Joseph (R) C: (.246/.310/.423), 2.3 bWAR
7. Steve Pearce (R) 1B: (.221/.292/.390), -0.2 bWAR
8. J.J. Hardy (R) SS: (.220/.250/.312), 0.3 bWAR
9. Dariel Alvarez (R) RF: (.250/.308/.333), 0.1 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 13.4
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.270/.330/.368), 1.5 bWAR
2. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.273/.338/.393), 1.4 bWAR
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.276/.339/.470), 0.6 bWAR
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.246/.330/.482), 3.1 bWAR
5. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.258/.361/.501), 3.0 bWAR
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.250/.330/.475), 0.1 bWAR
7. Dustin Ackley (L) LF: (.212/.266/.360), -1.3 bWAR
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.269/.317/.368), 2.6 bWAR
9. Stephen Drew (L) 2B: (.203/.272/.390), 0.6 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 11.6
I still don’t get the point of Dustin Ackley.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Chris Davis connected for his Major League-leading 41st home run in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday, lifting the Orioles to a 2-1 victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. With the loss, the Yanks fell to 1 1/2 games back in the American League East, as the Blue Jays topped the Red Sox.
Davis’ go-ahead shot came off left-hander Chasen Shreve after New York starter Masahiro Tanaka struck out a season-high 10 batters, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning and hurling eight frames of one-run, six-hit ball.
The Orioles’ lone scoring blow off Tanaka came in the sixth inning on Ryan Flaherty’s full-count, line-drive homer to right field.
Alex Rodriguez also hit a sixth-inning home run, his 30th, off Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman, who worked five-plus innings and permitted six hits and a walk while striking out five. The victory was credited to Darren O’Day in relief.
It seems like they either win in amazing fashion or lose in brutal fashion.
The offense was brutal tonight, but what can you do? If they’re not going to hit, they’re not going to hit. It was not like Kevin Gaussman is some great pitcher. He isn’t. So they really should do better against him.
On the bright side, this was vintage Masahiro Tanaka tonight. At least he will give them a good chance in the Play-In Game.
CC pitching tomorrow. That sounds bad. Hopefully he surprises us!
1. Nolan Reimold (R) LF: (.243/.328/.379), -0.3 bWAR
2. Gerardo Parra (L) CF: (.296/.335/.477), 1.2 bWAR
3. Manny Machado (R) 3B: (.291/.356/.496), 6.3 bWAR
4. Chris Davis (L) RF: (.256/.344/.547), 3.5 bWAR
5. Jimmy Paredes (S) DH: (.277/.311/.423), 0.5 bWAR
6. Jonathan Schoop (R) 2B: (.283/.311/.502), 1.3 bWAR
7. Matt Wieters (S) C: (.258/.296/.407), 0.2 bWAR
8. J.J. Hardy (R) SS: (.222/.253/.315), 0.4 bWAR
9. Ryan Flaherty (L) 1B: (.214/.295/.362), 0.0 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 13.1
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.270/.331/.369), 1.5 bWAR
2. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.277/.340/.473), 0.7 bWAR
3. Brian McCann (L) C: (.245/.329/.483), 3.0 bWAR
4. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.256/.360/.494), 2.9 bWAR
5. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.263/.345/.500), 0.3 bWAR
6. Chris Young (R) LF: (.252/.314/.462), 0.1 bWAR
7. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.271/.319/.371), 2.7 bWAR
8. Stephen Drew (L) 2B: (.205/.274/.393), 0.7 bWAR
9. Brendan Ryan (R) 3B: (.208/.250/.333), -0.1 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 11.8
Really? Out-WARed by Baltimore?
During the summer of 2014 the New York Yankees upended the market for international baseball free agents. Their bonus pool was $2,190,000. Instead of sticking to the limits, they spent more than $17,000,000 on international bonuses, with a final cost including overage taxes of over $30,000,000 plus bonus restrictions in 2015 and 2016.
What did they get for their money? Well let’s take a look.
Keep in mind that rookie ball and Latin American summer league performances are not especially predictive. Playing well is better than playing poorly of course, but players this young can improve dramatically and quickly. There are many examples of players who struggle at the lowest level initially but who eventually develop the baseball skills to make their physical tools meaningful on the field.
John Sickels runs through some of the names that may help the Yankees a few years from now.
Nathan Eovaldi has an inflamed right elbow and won’t throw for two weeks, the latest New York Yankees starting pitcher to get hurt.
The Yankees said the injury was diagnosed when the right-hander had an MRI on Monday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Eovaldi, 14-3 despite a 4.20 ERA, has allowed eight runs and 13 hits over 10 1-3 innings in his last two starts.
His place in the rotation likely will be filled by CC Sabathia, who is slated to start against Baltimore on Wednesday night in his return from a chronically sore right knee that has sidelined him since Aug. 23.
Most of the Yankees’ top starting pitchers have been injured at some point this year: Masahiro Tanaka (right elbow inflammation) didn’t pitch between July 8 and 19; Michael Pineda (right forearm strain) was out between July 24 and Aug. 26; Ivan Nova (recovering from Tommy John surgery) didn’t make his big league season debut until June 24.
I’m not sure what’s worse. That Eovaldi is now hurting, or that Sabathia will be the one taking his place in the rotation.
Neither is particularly good.
Monday, September 7, 2015
It seemed as if Michael Pineda and the Yankees were in for a long day on Monday after Pineda allowed four runs to the Orioles in the second inning of the series opener. But the Yanks’ offense chipped away to rally behind Pineda and New York ultimately pulled out an 8-6 win. Greg Bird’s three-run shot in the seventh off O’s lefty Brian Matusz broke open a tie and ended up being the difference-maker for the Yanks, who pulled to within a half-game of the Blue Jays in the American League East.
“He’s come up with some really big hits for us and we’ve talked about him for a couple years as he was rising through the ranks of the Minor Leagues,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Bird. “He was the MVP of the [Arizona] Fall League last year. That’s why we called him up. We thought in [Mark Teixeira’s] absence he could make an impact, and he’s doing that.”
Alex Rodriguez and John Ryan Murphy homered off O’s starter Wei-Yin Chen, and Chris Young drove in two runs off the lefty.
This team does not like to make it easy on themselves, do they? But hell, when the end result is a win, it is difficult to get too upset. So many things to talk about! Let’s go to the…numbered approach!!
1. Michael Pineda sure has a nasty tendency to fall apart in innings, doesn’t he? He was lucky to give up only four runs in the second inning, as a runner was cut down at the plate (great throw by Gregorius). As you can see from the other five innings, he is still a legitimately good pitcher, so I still like the guy, but his “big inning”-itis makes me unwilling to trust him right now in a Game 1 or Game 2 situation in the playoffs (and certainly not in a Play-In Game).
2. Buck Showalter is always a bit of a jerk, but when his team is losing, it just sort of gets magnified more. Speaking of Chen’s poor outing: “I was really expecting a little more. He had six days. We tried to freshen him up.” It is not that Buck’s comments are inaccurate, but what’s the point in piling on your pitcher like that? “I expected more from him.” What good does that do?
3. Girardi had an interesting discussion on Monday regarding over-using his relievers. He says he sticks to a strict “no three games in a row” policy for his relievers, and honestly, I guess that probably makes as much sense as anything. Not for nothing, but it looks like Dellin Betances will actually pitch less innings this year than he did last year. So while it was certainly scary to see Betances struggle with his control in the eight, I don’t think it is fair to automatically attribute that to fatigue. Sometimes the guy might lose the strike zone. It’s been a concern with him his entire career.
4. How about Greg Bird? Wow, what a stint he’s been having with the team. It’ll be difficult to send him back to the minors next season, but with A-Rod and Teix back next year, it seems a bit pointless to keep him on the team as just a pinch-hitter. Probably better to let him play everyday in the minors, but boy, does it seem like a waste now that he’s shown he can handle the Show.
5. A-Rod! That’s now three home runs in four games for Rodriguez, whose August slump (I believe it was the worst month of his entire career) might have actually just been a slump and not impending doom for the aging slugger. Or maybe these homers are flukes and he’ll suck again. I dunno. All I know is that this guy still CRUSHES pitches.
6. Have you folks noticed the little routine that the Yankees have started to do when players hit home runs? I didn’t notice it until today. When they come into the club house, A-Rod takes their batting helmet off for them and puts it away. It’s very cute. Someone else does it for A-Rod when he hits a homer (it was Didi today) and someone else does it when A-Rod is on deck or on base (Chris Young, I believe, took McCann’s helmet when he hit the three-run homer yesterday).
7. This team sure hits a lot of three-run homers, don’t they? I approve.
8. The Red Sox crushed the Blue Jays today to allow the Yankees to actually gain a game on the Blue Jays (raise your hands if you thought that that was going to happen when the Yankees were down 4-1? I thought so). The Red Sox are actually kind of hot right now. In general, that annoys me because it bodes well for them next season, but in this particular situation, I’ll take it! The Blue Jays, being little wimps, have rearranged their rotation so that their two worst pitchers (Hutchinson and Buehrle) pitch against Boston and not the Yankees. So far Buehrle got bombed. Hopefully Hutchinson gets bombed, too.
9. Tanaka going tomorrow against Kevin Gaussman. Big game with CC going on Wednesday. Let’s go, Yankees!
EDITED TO ADD: This is not good news. The Yankees are shutting Nathan Eovaldi down for at least two weeks and possibly the rest of the season after an MRI showed inflammation in his elbow. Not good, not good at all. Let’s just hope that this is “just” inflammation and not something that will lead to TJS for Eovaldi. The Blue Jays keep getting luckier and luckier in the second half with things like this.
Sunday, September 6, 2015
The Yankees put together a dominant sixth inning featuring back-to-back homers from Brian McCann and Alex Rodriguez to rally past the Rays, 6-4, in Sunday’s rubber game in the Bronx.
McCann’s three-run shot scored Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran to knot the game at 3 after Ellsbury had singled and Beltran had walked. It was the catcher’s 25th homer of the season, a career high. Seconds later, Rodriguez put the Yanks ahead for good with his 28th blast of the year. The Yanks tacked on another run in the seventh when Logan Forsythe’s throwing error allowed Didi Gregorius to score, and they added an insurance run in the eighth. For the Rays, Kevin Kiermaier and Asdrubal Cabrera homered in the second and eighth innings, respectively. Forsythe added an RBI single in the third.
“I think this is a big win for us,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We’re facing their ace, who’s been really tough on us for a couple years now. To be able to pull this one out after a frustrating loss yesterday, I think it shows you the character in that room.”
Wow, what a win! I don’t know how this season will end, but I do know that this season sure has delivered a lot of great moments, and in a lot of ways, that’s all you can really ask for from a baseball team - lots of great moments.
Chris Archer is one of my favorite non-Yankee pitchers, and I actually kind of sort of felt bad for him when he went from dominating the Yankees to suddenly losing the game, all in TWO pitches, back-to-back (he looked so sad!) but damn, what a moment!
They got two insurance runs and that turned out to be important, as Dellin Betances gave up a home run. The “problem” with Betances is that while he is amazing, when he does get beat, he gets beat by the long ball, which is scary late in the game. Andrew Miller also made things interesting in the ninth, but he got the save.
Great, great win. Ivan Nova is the latest in a seemingly long series of battling Yankee starters, guys who look bad but come out only giving up three runs in five plus innings.
The Blue Jays, of course, destroyed the Orioles, so the Yankees remain a game and a half back. The Yankees get the Orioles tomorrow for a 1:05 Labor Day game. Let’s go, Yankees!
This pitching matchup is a bigger mismatch than Apollo Creed vs. Ivan Drago.
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Asdrubal Cabrera drove in a pair of runs and the Rays welcomed Matt Moore back to their rotation, snapping Nathan Eovaldi’s career-high unbeaten streak with a 3-2 victory on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
Kevin Kiermaier also drove in a run for the Rays off Eovaldi, who had been riding the longest unbeaten streak in the Majors this season, having gone 13 starts since his last loss on June 16. Eovaldi had been 9-0 with a 3.32 ERA over that span.
Didi Gregorius doubled home a fifth-inning run and Brett Gardner contributed an RBI groundout off Moore, who worked 4 2/3 innings and held New York to three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Xavier Cedeno picked up the victory after pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.
Well, THAT sucked.
A lot of it was bad luck and a lot of it was bad offense. ZBrendan Rtan really should not be the second baseman against lefties. That should really stop happening.
Chris Archer goes tomorrow, so I’m not exactly looking forward to that game, but, well, at least Rtan won’t be starting! They lost the game they gained on Toronto, so that was not good.
Friday, September 4, 2015
Alex Rodriguez, Brian McCann and Greg Bird homered to support Luis Severino’s strong effort as the Yankees defeated the Rays, 5-2, on Friday at Yankee Stadium to move within a half-game of the first-place Blue Jays in the American League East.
The home runs were the only hits allowed by starter Jake Odorizzi, who worked 6 2/3 innings and was tagged with the loss. Rodriguez hit a two-run homer in the second inning, McCann hit a solo shot in the fourth and Bird hit a two-run shot in the seventh.
Severino limited Tampa Bay to Evan Longoria’s sixth-inning solo homer over a career-high 6 1/3 innings. The rookie logged his third consecutive victory, scattering seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts
Luis Goddamn Severino. This guy is legit. I like that he is doing so well that they can’t even think of dumping him when CC Sabathia returns to the rotation.
It was nice to see A-Rod hit a home run. If he returns to even CLOSE to how good he was earlier in the year? Well, that would be really nice.
It was nice to see Dellin Betances get a night off. It was even nicer to see the Toronto Blue Jays get their ass kicked tonight, so the Yankees are now tied in the loss column with the Blue Jays. Sliiiightly annoying is the fact that the Blue Jays lost with their one bad pitcher, Doug Hutchinson, who is set to be replaced by Marcus Stroman pretty soon.
Nathan Eovaldi will try to rebound from his first awful start in over a month tomorrow, as the Yankees begin a three-day stint of 1:05 PM starts. Let’s go, Yankees!
1. Grady Sizemore (L) LF: (.229/.282/.363), -0.7 bWAR
2. Daniel Nava (S) RF: (.186/.307/.229), -0.2 bWAR
3. Evan Longoria (R) 3B: (.268/.329/.426), 3.0 bWAR
4. John Jaso (L) DH: (.281/.373/.430), 0.5 bWAR
5. Logan Forsythe (R) 2B: (.291/.367/.456), 4.7 bWAR
6. Asdrubal Cabrera (S) SS: (.258/.311/.413), 1.2 bWAR
7. James Loney (L) 1B: (.271/.314/.361), -0.5 bWAR
8. Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF: (.260/.293/.416), 6.4 bWAR
9. J.P. Arencibia (R) C: (.412/.389/.824), 0.4 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 14.8
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF: (.272/.332/.374), 1.6 bWAR
2. Brett Gardner (L) LF: (.273/.358/.423), 3.5 bWAR
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.282/.343/.485), 0.8 bWAR
4. Brian McCann (L) C: (.243/.321/.467), 2.7 bWAR
5. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.256/.361/.482), 2.7 bWAR
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.254/.333/.429), 0.0 bWAR
7. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.276/.341/.400), 1.4 bWAR
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.272/.321/.372), 2.8 bWAR
9. Stephen Drew (L) 2B: (.211/.281/.404), 1.0 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 16.5
How the hell does someone with an OBP of .293 have 6.3 bWAR?
Another day, another step for CC Sabathia.
The Yankees left-hander test his problematic right knee while facing hitters Friday at Yankee Stadium.
If all goes well, Sabathia’s next work could come when he’s removed from the disabled list and makes a start. The 35-year-old is eligible to return Tuesday when the Yankees host the Orioles.
Why do I think that he will be declared healthy, come back to make a start, then get shelled in that start?
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
The Yankees hit five home runs in support of Masahiro Tanaka as the right-hander defeated the Red Sox for the third time in as many starts this season, pitching into the seventh inning of a 13-8 victory on Wednesday at Fenway Park.
Greg Bird, John Ryan Murphy and Carlos Beltran homered as part of an eight-run second inning off left-hander Henry Owens, who lasted just 1 2/3 frames while giving up six hits and seven runs. Stephen Drew and Didi Gregorius later homered, as the bottom four hitters in New York’s lineup went deep in the contest.
Tanaka permitted four runs and six hits over 6 1/3 innings, including Xander Bogaerts’ sixth-inning homer, to log his 11th victory of the season. The Red Sox rallied late against New York’s bullpen, scoring twice in the seventh and eighth innings to close the deficit.
That was certainly some offense! Hopefully this carries into the Tampa Bay and Baltimore series (they get an off day tomorrow before a night game on Friday and then three straight day games, including a 1:05 PM start on Labor Day).
Stephen Drew sure has turned his season around, hasn’t he? Like I said last thread, he has now become a rather important bat. It really seems how he goes, so goes the offense (without Teix around, that is). So his recent strong offensive performance has been great to see. Scott Boras must be seeing dollar signs every game, as Drew suddenly looks like, if not a BARGAIN at $5 million, certainly someone who is worth that much money with a dearth of great second base options out there.
The pitching…that was less impressive. Tanaka I can easily forgive as he was pitching with a huge lead. I don’t really knock him for those last two runs. Dude was clearly just trying to get the game over with. It was the relievers that were troubling. Neither Andrew Bailey nor Bryan Mitchell nor Caleb Cotham could do anything against Boston. They weren’t just giving up runs, they were giving up runs without even trading runs for outs - it was just runs and runs and no outs.
So while I personally disagree with the usage of Justin Wilson in the seventh, Dellin Betances in the eighth and Andrew Miller in the ninth, with the off day tomorrow, I at least understand it when the other pitchers are pitching that poorly. It doesn’t make it the right call, but it wasn’t like bringing Betances into a game up 13-7 with no one on base and two outs or whatever.
After the off day, we get to see Severino pitch again! Woohoo! Severino-time is a fun time.
Toronto is only in the third inning, so they can’t be up too much, righ….oh. Okay. Never mind.
Let’s go off day and then Severino-time!
1. Brett Gardner (L) CF: (.273/.358/.422), 3.5 bWAR
2. Chris Young (R) LF: (.245/.306/.460), 1.1 bWAR
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH: (.256/.363/.485), 2.7 bWAR
4. Carlos Beltran (S) RF: (.282/.344/.479), 0.8 bWAR
5. Chase Headley (S) 3B: (.276/.340/.401), 1.3 bWAR
6. Greg Bird (L) 1B: (.237/.313/.373), -0.1 bWAR
7. John Ryan Murphy (R) C: (.279/.311/.385), 0.3 bWAR
8. Didi Gregorius (L) SS: (.270/.318/.364), 2.4 bWAR
9. Stephen Drew (L) 2B: (.205/.276/.389), 0.8 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 12.8
1. Mookie Betts (R) CF: (.274/.319/.452), 4.1 bWAR
2. Pablo Sandoval (L) 3B: (.249/.297/.379), -0.6 bWAR
3. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS: (.316/.346/.406), 3.6 bWAR
4. David Ortiz (L) DH: (.265/.353/.520), 2.1 bWAR
5. Travis Shaw (L) 1B: (.283/.336/.538), 1.2 bWAR
6. Rusney Castillo (R) LF: (.283/.319/.416), 0.7 bWAR
7. Brock Holt (L) 2B: (.280/.349/.383), 2.8 bWAR
8. Blake Swihart (S) C: (.279/.325/.378), 0.2 bWAR
9. Jackie Bradley Jr. (L) RF: (.287/.364/.574), 1.4 bWAR
Total Lineup bWAR: 15.5
The Yankees’ lineup looks much better with a real CF leading off.
BOSTON — Part of the Yankees’ call-up contingency for September includes a player you’ve probably never heard of and one that likely won’t be asked to take one at-bat all month.
Outfielder Rico Noel, 26, was called up to the Yankees for one reason: to run the bases. Across six minor league seasons Noel has 283 stolen bases and will be inserted over the next four weeks (and October?) to steal second base and pinch-run in scoring position.
Indeed, this might be Noel’s only time to play for a major league team unless he latches on elsewhere after the season. Considering he has basically just one role on the team, he was pretty surprised to get the call.
“They said it was a possibility, but I kept going about my business and trying not to worry and the call came,” Noel said Tuesday at Fenway Park. “So when the call came, I was like, Wow, this is it. This is really it.”
Noel was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the fifth round in 2010 and came to the Yankees’ organization just this year. He’s 23-for-28 in stolen bases with the Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes-Barre RailRiders this season.
“It’s really good to have a guy that can fly,” Girardi said.
Noel, 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, is from Lawton, Oklahoma, a city in the southwest corner of the state, about 100 miles from Oklahoma City. He said the big league call was really real when he talked to his mom.
“The excitement in her voice, that’s when it really hit me,” Noel said.
Baseball, though, isn’t the only thing on his mind right now.
His mom and dad, Noel said, weren’t able to make the trip east because they are with his younger brother, Orlandus, at the Baylor Heart Institute in Dallas, Texas.
Orlandus needs a new heart, he said.
“Twenty-four [years old],” Noel said. “Young. Came out of nowhere. But he’ll be all good once he gets that new heart…It shouldn’t be too long of a wait. A lot of people think it’s a lot longer, which I thought when I first heard the news, but once you get on the list it’s pretty quick for the most part.”
I never heard of Noel before seeing this article, but here’s hoping he can help the team a few times and even more importantly, that his brother will be okay.
Stephen Drew drove in two runs, Brett Gardner added some insurance with a late homer and the Yankees spoiled Rick Porcello’s 13-strikeout performance with a 3-1 victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday at Fenway Park.
Porcello scattered five hits and one earned run over eight innings, but he was ticketed for the loss by two big hits, Drew’s two-run double in the fifth inning and Gardner’s two-out solo shot in the eighth.
“For us, it’s huge to capitalize on that,” Drew said. “We’re not always able to, but when you can, it’s huge. In these types of games, and especially the way he was pitching.”
Yankees starter Michael Pineda picked up the victory with six innings of one-run, four-hit ball, striking out seven. Andrew Miller worked the ninth for his 29th save as the Yankees remained 1 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays in the American League East.
I’m not sure if the word “impressive” really works here, but this was as close to an impressive victory as you can get, with the Yankees’ pitching excelling (it is always good to see good Pineda, for instance - when he is on it suddenly makes this rotation look shockingly good) and the offense managing to eke out three runs against an otherwise dominant Rick Porcello. It’s interesting how Stephen Drew has now sort of become an important offensive player for this team with everyone else slumping, his decent hitting of late has made him sort of a key bat - notice how all of their recent most impressive offensive performances seem to involve him. In addition, surprisingly, Drew is at roughly 1 WAR for the year, and with one win being worth roughly $5.5 million, he’s amazingly “worth” his salary.
Tanaka time as the series closes out Wednesday afternoon (an odd 4:05 getaway game time - interestingly enough, after Friday’s 7:05 start, the Yankees’ next three games will all be at 1:05 pm, including Monday’s game against Baltimore). It’ll be fascinating to see who the Yankees have at first and third base on Wednesday against the young promising Red Sox lefty Henry Owens. Girardi has been pushing to see A-Rod play first against some lefties and A-Rod and Cashman have been essentially saying, “Yeah, let’s not do that.” So let’s see who wins that mini-power struggle.