Enjoyed An Off Day…
Monday, Monday. I am glad it’s in the books but it was nice having an off-day while the Yankees enjoyed their free time in Toronto. But it’s now Tuesday and back to work.
Last month, I was in favor of a trade for a proven first baseman like Yonder Alonso (then with the Oakland A’s) or Lucas Duda (then with the New York Mets). Alonso’s bat cooled about the time Chase Headley started heating up so Headley probably blocked any potential deal that would have brought Alonso to New York as either part of the Sonny Gray trade or a separate trade. There’s also speculation that the Mets had a similar offer from the Yankees to one they accepted from the Tampa Bay Rays for Duda which showed the only way the Mets would work with the Yankees would be in an “overpay” situation.
So, where does that leave us with the latest speculation that Jay Bruce would be a good fit for the Yankees? Primarily an outfielder, he has played 11 games at first base this year making him at least as experienced at the position as Headley. He is left-handed and has mashed 29 homers this year to go with 75 RBI’s. He is batting .260/.324/.528. The 30-year-old is a free agent at the end of the year so he’d be a true rental. Admittedly, I’ve never been a big fan of Bruce as he has seemed too much like a feast-or-famine type of hitter. But, like Duda, he might have the swing for Yankee Stadium. So, I’d have to say that I am intrigued by this one to say the least. With so much uncertainty around Matt Holliday and Greg Bird, Bruce would bring a big stick to first base/DH for the rest of the year.
Nevertheless, if the Mets insist an overpay because it’s the Yankees, then it is not worth it. The Yankees are also included in Bruce’s limited no-trade clause but that’s nothing $$$ couldn’t solve. I am skeptical that the Mets would ever give the Yankees a player that could potentially help them make the play-offs and risk losing market share as a result.
I am not sure what I think about rumors the Yankees should pursue Mike Napoli. He is a proven winner. His numbers in his age 35 year are down from last year but he still has some thump in his bat with 22 HR’s albeit with a batting average that is south of the Todd Frazier line. Napoli’s contract carries a 2018 club option that can be bought out for $2.5 million. A costly measure, unless the Texas Rangers pay some or all the freight, to add the potential for a few late season bombs. If only Chris Carter had done what he was paid to do.
I hate to see any more prospects shipped away for a six-week need unless it is for someone that can truly be the difference-maker at this point in the season (a player with the potential to help for an October push). I want to see what Aaron Hicks and Tyler Austin can do, and then there’s, hold your breath, Greg Bird at the end of the month. Okay, maybe don’t hold your breath. I suspect that unless Matt Holliday is able to come back after his DL stint to resemble the player we saw in the first half (unlikely), the DH position is going to be very fluid on a day to day basis with player rotation.
More than anything, the Yankees need Gary Sanchez to step up and deliver the promise he showed us last August and September. At the moment, he’s the most maligned Yankee. The key will be how he responds to the criticism. The Yankees are a better team with El Gary in the lineup but he needs to make the defensive plays and wait for his pitches at the plate. The Yankees play 6 of the next 13 games against the Boston Red Sox and will face Chris Sale twice. Between the two Red Sox series, the Yankees play a home and away set against the New York Mets for four games. This is a very crucial two weeks that could go a long way toward deciding the eventual AL East winner.
According to Baseball America, the Los Angeles Dodgers have released former Yankees LOOGY Tommy Layne. The Dodgers also removed former Yankees prospect Peter O’Brien from the 40-man roster and outrighted him to Triple A. The Los Angeles Angels signed former Yankees reliever Branden Pinder, who was released earlier this summer by the Bombers. I am sure that Angels GM Billy Eppler is relying upon past information about Pinder to take a chance. I hope it works out for Pinder.
Next Up: Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada…
The Toronto Blue Jays may be the AL East cellar dwellers but they always play the Yankees very tough. The Yankees will see old friend Rob Refsnyder who is currently on the Blue Jays active roster as a backup infielder.
The scheduled pitching match-ups are:
Yankees: CC Sabathia (9-4, 3.81 ERA)
Blue Jays: J.A. Happ (4-8, 3.92 ERA)
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (8-10, 4.93 ERA)
Blue Jays: Cesar Valdez (1-1, 7.63 ERA)
Yankees: Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.41 ERA)
Blue Jays: Marco Estrada (4-7, 5.12 ERA)
I am not trying to look ahead but it’s a bummer that we won’t have Sonny Gray for this weekend’s series against Boston at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox have gone out of their way to ensure that Chris Sale gets three starts against the Yankees in the coming weeks.
Farewell to #25…
Former Yankee Don Baylor died Monday at age 68 from cancer. Baylor was American League MVP for the then California Angels in 1979 and he won a World Series with the Minnesota Twins at the end of his 19-year playing career, but I remember his toughness as the Yankees DH from 1983 to 1985, playing along side Don Mattingly and Dave Winfield. He was a magnet for baseballs with 267 HBP’s. I wasn’t a fan of the March 1986 trade that sent Baylor to the Boston Red Sox for Mike Easler. Rest in peace, Mr Baylor…
Have a great Tuesday! Let’s turn a two-game win streak into three! Go Yankees
Credit: Associated Press
Yankees 8, Indians 1…
For three games, it was the Cleveland Indians rolling out an ace. Although Sunday’s game looked to be another pitching duel, the Yankees’ ace persevered and prospered as the Yankee bats woke up to power the Bombers to a series split. The outburst of late runs were capped by Aaron Judge’s 35th home run of the season.
Luis Severino started strong with two strikeouts to open the game, but then Michael Brantley got a hold of one and put it over the center field wall just beyond Jacoby Ellsbury’s reach. Ells probably could have made a spectacular catch with a better timed leap but it was not meant to be and the Indians had the early 1-0 lead. Sevy struck out Jose Ramirez to finish striking out the side, and recorded the first five outs of the game by strikeout.
Credit: Chuck Crow-The Plain Dealer
With Sevy and Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco locked into a pitcher’s duel, the Yankees had a potential scoring opportunity in the top of the 5th when Todd Frazier and Jacoby Ellsbury both singled. Ronald Torreyes grounded into a fielder’s choice for the second out which erased Ellsbury at second but Frazier moved to third on the play. The speed of Torreyes prevented a double play. Frazier was left stranded, like so many Yankee base runners before him, when Austin Romine struck out. But it may not have been for naught as it showed signs that Carrasco was weakening.
With the pump primed in the 5th, the Yankees finally broke through against Carraso in the 6th inning. Brett Gardner led off with a single to center. Clint Frazier doubled to left, moving Gardy to third. After Didi Gregorius popped out to third, Carrasco intentionally walked Aaron Judge after two balls below the strike zone to load the bases. Chase Headley tied the game at one with a deep sacrifice fly to center which scored Gardner. Todd Frazier walked on a full count to re-load the bases. The $153 million man stepped to the plate and tripled to the base of the center field wall when Abraham Almonte lost sight of the ball, clearing the bases. It spelled the end of Carrasco’s day and Bryan Shaw was brought into the game. Shaw was met with a single to left by Ronald Torreyes, which scored Ellsbury, and the Yankees had a 5-1 lead.
Credit: Getty Images
With Mike Clevinger pitching the top of the 7th and one out, Clint Frazier walked on four pitches. Didi Gregorius singled to center (a fly ball that fell in) as Frazier raced around to third. Aaron Judge, who lost the MLB Home Run Lead over the weekend to Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton, hit a line drive homer to center to score three more runs.
Credit: Chuck Crow-The Plain Dealer
In the bottom of the 7th, Luis Severino got the first two outs before giving up only his second hit of the game, a single up the middle to center by Edwin Encarnacion. Manager Joe Girardi used it as an opportunity to pull Sevy and replaced him with Tommy Kahnle who recorded the out to end the inning. It was a brilliant performance by Severino (9-4). For 6 2/3 innings of work, he only allowed two hits and the one run off the first inning home run. He walked a batter and struck out nine while lowering his season ERA to 2.91.
Credit: Chuck Crow-The Plain Dealer
From there, the Yankee bullpen kept the two-hitter intact. Both Adam Warren and Chasen Shreve pitched an inning of hitless relief to give the Yankees the win and a split of the four game series.
The Yankees (59-51) stayed 3 games behind the Boston Red Sox with the win. The Sox, winners of six consecutive games, beat the Chicago White Sox, 6-3, on Sunday. The Tampa Bay Rays stayed 2.5 games behind the Yankees with a 2-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Baltimore Orioles were also winners, 12-3 over the Detroit Tigers, so they remain 4.5 games in back of the Pinstripers.
Both Jacoby Ellsbury and Ronald Torreyes had two hits in the 12-hit Yankees attack. Didi Gregorius was 3-for-5, raising his season batting average to .308. With his home run, Aaron Judge became the 11th rookie to hit 35 homers in MLB history, although he did strike out three times in the game.
After the game, Indians manager Terry Francona, one of my favorite managers, said “We got the one run early on Brant’s home run. And the way Severino was pitching, we might have to make that hold up. That’s as impressive of stuff as you’re going to see. The fastball, everybody sees that, but he’s gaining confidence in an offspeed. That’s a tough day at the plate. That’s a tough guy to face.” Nice job, Sevy! Very nice job!
Odds & Ends…
After Sunday’s game, Manager Joe Girardi made his rotation decision when the Yankees optioned lefty Jordan Montgomery to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre which gave the fifth starter’s role to Jaime Garcia. If the pitchers were auditioning over the weekend, Monty would have won in the head-to-head matchup with Garcia. But the decision was based on experience, track record, and inevitably a potential innings limit on Montgomery. It will probably be tough for Monty to go down to Triple A but he’ll be back in a few weeks when the rosters expand. And of course he’ll be a prime candidate for the rotation entering 2018. I think he’ll be a great influence on other young arms in Scranton, most notably Chance Adams.
Credit: Andrew Schwartz-NY Daily News
Speaking of Chance Adams, he picked up a win yesterday in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s 7-5 victory over the Pawtucket Red Sox. Adams went six innings for the win, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs. He struck out 5 and allowed one home run (a solo shot by Matt Dominguez in the 6th inning). I was glad to see that he walked only one batter. Both Aaron Hicks and Tyler Austin were 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored, while Miguel Andujar and Billy McKinney both had two-run homers. Ji-Man Choi added a solo shot. With the victory, the RailRiders swept the weekend series with the Red Sox.
The Seattle Mariners acquired a Yankees rumored July trade target on Sunday when they traded minor league outfielder Boog Powell to the Oakland A’s for first baseman Yonder Alonso. It’s probably the play of third baseman-turned-first baseman Chase Headley since the All-Star Break that prevented Alonso from donning the pinstripes. Now Alonso gets to rub shoulders with Robinson Cano and Ben Gamel in the Mariners drive for a Wild Card spot.
It was sad to wake up today to news that former Philadelphia Phillies catcher Darren Daulton has passed away after a four-year struggle with brain cancer. Daulton, 55, was one of baseball’s toughest catchers during his time, and although he was a long-time Phillie, he won the World Series in his final season with the then-Florida Marlins in 1997 (as a trading deadline rental).
Have a great Monday! It may be a day off the Yankees as they make their way to Canada, but for us, it probably means back to work day. Make the most of it. Go Yankees!
|Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports|
Yankees 5, Rays 4…
Aroldis Chapman to stop the top of the 9th and Brett Gardner to walk it off in the bottom of inning. This formula seems to be working. Chapman has long been a high end finisher, but Gardy is the one who seems to come through in the clutch when you need him the most. He is the first Yankees player to two walk-off’s in the same series. The Yankees used this formula to pull out another victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, their third consecutive win over the Rays and sixth overall.
|Credit: Julie Jacobson-AP|
Caleb Smith, perhaps making his final start for the Yankees this year, was in a hole immediately when Peter Bourjos homered to left center with the game’s second pitch. He recovered to get out of the inning without any further damage.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Gary Sanchez led off with a ground-rule double to right. Matt Holliday hit a grounder to the left side but Sanchez wisely read that third baseman Trevor Plouffe was committed to throwing to first so he was easily able to take third on the play. Didi Gregorius hit a sacrifice fly to center and Sanchez tagged and scored standing up. Game was tied.
The Rays had a huge opportunity to break the game open in the third inning. Jesus Sucre led off with a single to left against Smith. Peter Bourjos hit a grounder to Didi Gregorius which erased Sucre at second. Steven Souza, Jr hit a hard liner which Gregorius almost snared (man, that would have been a brilliant play) but the ball bounced out of his glove toward third. Runners at first and second. Evan Longoria walked to load the bases, still with only one out. Lucas Duda hit a sacrifice fly to center as Bourjos scored, giving the Rays the 2-1 lead. With runners at the corners and two outs, I thought Todd Frazier had one of the plays of the game when he made a barehanded grab on Trevor Plouffe’s grounder and his throw to Garrett Cooper just beat Plouffe to first. If the Rays had been able to score multiple runs, the game would have had a much different look.
Caleb Smith pitched into the 4th inning. After striking out Corey Dickerson, he walked Tim Beckham. Even the YES Network announcers were commenting about Smith leaving his pitches up in the strike zone. All things considered, he was very lucky the Rays weren’t more successful against him. Smith’s departure after 71 pitches underscored the Yankees need for a quality starter. Adam Warren replaced Smith and struck out Adeiny Hechavarria. Beckham attempted to steal on the swinging strikeout, but the throw from Gary Sanchez to Ronald Torreyes was on target to nail the runner for the final out.
The Yankees tied the game in the bottom of the 4th when Gary Sanchez homered to left center. But this seemed like one of those games where the Rays continually had the answer for the Yankees runs. In the top of the 5th, Steven Souza, Jr homered to left as the Rays re-took the lead, 3-2.
Dellin Betances pitched the the top of the 6th inning. It wasn’t clean as he walked the first batter, Lucas Duda, on four straight balls. But he retired the next three batters to get out of the inning, leaving Duda stranded at second. In the bottom of the frame, Matt Holliday opened with a single to left. A fly out by Didi Gregorius ended the day for Rays starter Blake Snell and he was replaced by former San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo. The Yankees sent Chase Headley to the plate to pinch hit for Garrett Cooper. Good call by Manager Joe Girardi as Headley homered to left to give the Yankees their first lead of the game, 4-3.
|Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports|
The 7th inning brought Tommy Kahnle to the mound to replace Betances. A couple of hits had runners at the corners with one out but he was able to strike out Steven Souza, Jr and get Yankee killer Evan Longoria to pop out in foul territory to strand the runners. Steve Cishek, acquired during this series by the Rays from the Seattle Mariners, entered the game in the bottom of the 7th in relief of Romo. Last Saturday in Seattle, Aaron Judge had homered off Cishek but it was not to be this time around as Cishek struck out the side including Judge who went down swinging.
David Robertson took over for Kahnle in the 8th but he was immediately victimized by Lucas Duda who absolutely crushed the D-Rob pitch into the right field upper deck. Duda has been the Ben Gamel of this series. Watching how tailor-made Duda’s swing is for Yankee Stadium makes one wish that GM Brian Cashman had been more aggressive in his talks with the Mets before the first baseman was acquired by the Rays. Robertson gave up another single was was able to get out of the inning with the game tied at 4.
|Credit: Julie Jacobson-AP|
9th inning and it was time for Aroldis Chapman. It wasn’t a perfect inning as Wilson Ramos was awarded first base on catcher’s interference (if the bat touched El Gary’s glove, it must have only been one of the strings as it wasn’t readily apparent watching replay). A ground out by Steven Souza, Jr eliminated Ramos at second but Souza, Jr subsequently made it to third when he stole second and advanced another base on an error. With the go-ahead run 90 feet away, Chapman retired Evan Longoria for the final out on a pop up in foul territory.
|Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports|
For the bottom of the 9th, the Rays replaced reliever Tommy Hunter with Brad Boxberger. He walked his first batter, Chase Headley, and the Yankees replaced Headley with the $153 million pinch-runner, Jacoby Ellsbury, sporting stylish shades. Ellsbury successfully stole second with Todd Frazier at bat but it didn’t really matter as Boxberger plunked Frazier with a pitch to give him first base. Ronald Torreyes then laid down a beautiful bunt to third which left all three runners safe and the bases loaded. The Rays then pulled Boxberger and replaced him with former White Sox reliever Dan Jennings. Maybe Rays manager Kevin Cash didn’t catch the fact that this was not the best of games for former White Sox relievers (see Kahnle and Robertson). Brett Gardner came the plate and nicely laid down a single to center to score Ellsbury with the winning run. The Yankees win!
|Credit: Julie Jacobson-AP|
The Yankees (56-46) remained the AL East division leaders with the win, but the Boston Red Sox stayed just a half game off the pace with their comeback win over the Kansas City Royals. The Sox won in 10 innings with a walk-off grounder by former Yankee Eduardo Nunez which scored Sandy Leon with the winning run. It was a big game for Nunez. He was 3-for-6 with 2 homers and 3 RBI’s. With the loss, the Rays fell 4 1/2 games behind the leaders.
Matt Holliday was 2-for-4 in the game with a run scored so hopefully it is a sign that his bat is starting to unthaw. Todd Frazier is still cold as he was hitless in 3 at-bats.
Odds & Ends…
Gray skies are forming over Yankee Stadium. I am not referring to the weather but as we near the final 24 hours before the trading deadline, the Sonny Gray rumors will not go away. Twitter was abuzz with words yesterday that Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s had moved off their demand for either Gleyber Torres or Clint Frazier in the deal. I think most of us are expecting outfielder Estevan Florial and 2B/SS/OF Jorge Mateo to be included so it is a matter of what other pitching prospects will comprise the package and whether or not Yonder Alonzo will be coming the other way. It seems like there is strong room for agreement at this point.
This morning’s news brings word that the Yankees are nearing a deal for lefty starter Jaime Garcia of the Minnesota Twins. Pitching prospect Zach Littell (currently in Double A) is a healthy scratch today for the Trenton Thunder which has led to speculation that he’ll be the prospect heading to the Twin Cities. Littell was acquired by the Yankees last fall in the trade that sent reliever James Pazos to the Seattle Mariners and has been terrific in the Yankees system this year. But he is a casualty of the roster-crunch as the Yankees must protect him on the 40-man roster this year or risk exposing him to the Rule 5 Draft. Garcia does not appear to be a fall back plan for Gray considering he is nowhere near the same level of pitcher. He represents rotation insurance, with Jordan Montgomery nearing a career high in innings pitched (and is potentially working with an innings limit) and would be hedge for good health with CC Sabathia and potentially Gray.
Garcia came up with the St Louis Cardinals where he was a starter for the majority of the Matt Holliday years. He was traded last December to the Atlanta Braves. Garcia, who turned 31 earlier this month, was traded to the Twins a week ago for the pennant push. But a string of losses subsequently caused the Twins to re-think their strategy. Entering play today, the Twins find themselves 7 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central. Garcia has only pitched one game for the Twins. He was the winner in Oakland on Friday night (6.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 7 SO).
If the Yankees successfully acquire Gray, Alonzo, and/or Garcia, the MLB roster losers appear to be Caleb Smith, Luis Cessa, and Garrett Cooper. GM Brian Cashman will have to get very creative with his 40-man roster moves.
Word is now breaking that the Yankees have, in fact, acquired Garcia for Littell and Triple A pitcher Dietrich Enns. The Twins will also pay some of the money remaining on Garcia’s contract. My initial reaction is that the cost seems very high to acquire a journeyman starter but Enns held a highly valued spot on the 40-man roster.
Sounds like we are in for a turbulent ride until the trading deadline.
Have a great Sunday! Let’s make the Rays series a sweeping success! Go Yankees!
Angels 10, Yankees 5…
The win on Wednesday was just a tease. Losing teams find ways to lose and unfortunately the Yankees gave another game away last night. Unless they can turn this around, the Yankees are showing that the early season was just a mirage. You can’t blame Aaron Judge. He’s trying. He hit his 25th home run of the season and has hit safely in 24 consecutive games (the longest Yankee streak of the year). But pitching, which has alternated between very good and very bad, is sitting in the latter category at the moment albeit with an occasional solid performance like Jordan Montgomery the other night.
Bronx Pinstripes had a great tweet last night. “What a disaster. At least we have Tanaka tomorrow. …Oh wait.” My line of thinking exactly…
The game started well enough. Despite Cameron Maybin’s lead-off home run to give the Angels an early 1-0 lead, the Yankees quickly answered in the bottom of the first when Angels starter Jesse Chavez walked Aaron Judge and Matt Holliday with two outs. Starlin Castro followed with a run-scoring single to tie the game.
In the bottom of the 2nd inning, it looked like this was going to be our night. Chris Carter doubled and Ronald Torreyes reached base on an infield hit, pushing Carter to third. Brett Gardner grounded into a force-out at second but Carter scored on the play. Aaron Hicks singled, putting runners at the corner, bringing up Aaron Judge. With a three-run shot to center, the Yankees were up, 5-1. I didn’t really expect those to be the final runs scored by the Yankees.
Credit: Kathy Willens-AP
The Angels started chipping away in the third when both Albert Pujols and Yunel Escobar had run-scoring singles with two outs. 5-3, Yankees. Luis Severino settled down after that for a few innings of solid work, but gave up another run in the 6th when Escobar opened the inning with a double and scored on a single by Luis Valbuena. Valbuena, a third baseman, is a guy I thought the Yankees should have pursued in the off-season when he was a free agent.
Still, I had hope that the Yankees could lock down the Angels, score a couple of insurance runs and win the game. Then, the 7th inning happened. Cliff Pennington opened the inning with a single. From there, the game unraveled. Cameron Maybin hit a ground ball to Starlin Castro that should have been turned for a double play but Castro’s fielding error allowed Maybin to reach base, with Pennington moving to third. So, instead of two outs and no one on, the Angels had runners at the corners with no outs. End of game for Luis Severino. Chasen Shreve entered the game and was greeted by a sac fly from Kole Calhoun which tied the score at 5. Exit Shreve, enter Dellin Betances. Maybin stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Gary Sanchez. Albert Pujols said ‘I’ll take your gifts…thank you very much’ and lined a single to right, scoring Maybin for the lead. Betances walked Escobar, followed by a wild pitch moving the runners to second and third. With two outs, Andrelton Simmons doubled to give the Angels two more runs, 8-5.
Credit: Kathy Willens-AP
I was not ready to admit defeat and was pulling for an amazing comeback like the Yankees did earlier in the season against the Baltimore Orioles. Yeah, right. The Yankees went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 7th and the Angels were ready for more in the 8th. Domingo German took the mound, replacing Betances, and retired the first batter on a strikeout. Unfortunately, this was followed by Cliff Pennington’s double and a wild pitch that moved him to third. Cameron Maybin walked. A failed pick-off attempt at first by German, the third Yankees error of the game, allowed Pennington to score with Maybin moving to third. Kole Calhoun graciously accepted the latest gift, and hit a sac fly to push the score to 10-5.
The Yankees could only muster a single from Chris Carter in the 9th, and he was left stranded at second when Ronald Torreyes grounded out.
This was a very disappointing loss. I am not sure how you can lose two of three in your home park against the Mike Trout-less Angels. Giving away free runs on multiple errors and wild pitches are not the signs of a successful team. With the loss, the Yankees (39-31) fell back into a first-place tie with the idle Boston Red Sox. The Tampa Bay Rays, who also had the night off, moved to within 2 1/2 games of the leaders.
Yes, I am mad about this loss. And it scares the hell out of me that we’ll be throwing Tanaka out tonight against Yu Darvish. It doesn’t get any easier…
Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium…
The Texas Rangers make their first trip to NYC for a three-game series starting tonight. Pete Kozma, who started the year with the Yankees when Didi Gregorius was on the DL, is currently a back-up infielder for the Rangers. Ernesto Frieri, who previously opted out of his Yankees minor league contract, is in the Texas bullpen.
Rangers: Yu Darvish (6-5, 3.35 ERA)
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (5-7, 6.34 ERA)
Rangers: Austin Bibens-Dirkx (2-0, 4.25 ERA)
Yankees: Luis Cessa (0-1, 7.36 ERA)
Rangers: Nick Martinez (2-3, 4.33 ERA)
Yankees: Michael Pineda (7-3, 3.56 ERA)
Y’all enjoy the games now, y’hear!
Hopefully, we’ll see the team that throttled the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles a couple of weeks ago. I miss that team…
Odds & Ends…
Prior to yesterday’s game, the Yankees purchased the contract of left-handed reliever Tyler Webb from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. I am very excited to see Tyler finally make it to the Show. I’ve been following his career for a few years and I’ve liked the pitcher. I was worried in the off-season when he was selected in the Rule 5 Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. As a mature lefty reliever (he’ll turn 27 in less than a month), I thought he had the potential to stick with the Pirates. Despite a solid Spring performance, he was returned to the Yankees in a numbers game (fortunately for us). In 21 games for SWB, Webb is 3-1 with 3.24 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He has struck out 47 batters in 33 1/3 innings while allowing 33 hits and 12 runs. He has only given up 3 walks and home runs. They may not be elite numbers but I feel Webb has earned his shot. I am glad that he is here even if it’s only temporary. Rob Refsnyder was sent to SWB to make room for Webb.
Credit: Chris O’Meara-AP
Greg Bird has been given a cortisone shot in his ankle and the hope is that he’ll soon be able to resume his rehab. I find it highly unlikely that this will be the solution that gets Bird back on the field. It seems to me that the problem with the ankle is more serious than we’ve been led to believe. The cortisone shot just masks the pain, it doesn’t fix the problem. There is daily speculation who the Yankees should look at on the trade market. Lately, Yonder Alonso has been receiving the most attention. I like Alonso and do feel that he’d be an upgrade over Chris Carter or Tyler Austin. I have no problems with Matt Holliday at first other than I want to keep the guy healthy. DH is the better avenue to accomplish that goal. The Atlanta Braves did a wonderful job in trading for the under-utilized Matt Adams, previously of the St Louis Cardinals. Adams has done nothing but hit since he became a Brave and has sparked speculation that injured first baseman Freddie Freeman may be moved to third when he returns. I want GM Brian Cashman to make one of those under-the-radar but highly productive moves. I know, easier said than done.
I think Aaron Judge should accept the invitation to participate in this year’s Home Run Derby. I know that some players mess up their swings but like Manager Joe Girardi, I don’t think it would adversely impact Judge’s swing. I like the idea of his exposure to the other great sluggers of the game. It’s all part of his maturation as a Major League superstar. The Yankees have renewed popularity this year because of guys like Judge and Gary Sanchez. The All-Star Game is a great format to represent the pride and tradition of the Yankees.
This is not baseball related but as an owner of a black cat, I found this one quite humorous…and true!
Have a great Friday! Let’s not start a new losing streak today, please.