Feinsand: Yankees will call up Thomas Neal, option David Adams

An optimistic response to last night's debacle
RAB Live Chat

Via Mark Feinsand: The Yankees are expected to call up outfielder Thomas Neal prior to tonight’s game against the Angels. Infielder David Adams will be optioned to Triple-A to clear room on the 25-man roster. The team has an open 40-man spot, so no further move is required.

Neal, 25, is expected to DH against left-handed pitchers according to Feinsand. The right-handed hitter has a .339/.426/.446 (144 wRC+) line with two homers in 195 Triple-A plate appearances this year, including a .333/.435/.436 mark against southpaws. He signed with the Yankees as a minor league free agent over the winter and made his big league debut with the Indians last September. Considering how terrible Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki have been, it won’t take much for Neal to hit his way into a regular lineup spot.

An optimistic response to last night's debacle
RAB Live Chat
  • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

    Please, please give him a legit shot to play at least almost everyday.

    • CountryClub

      Feinsand also said he will be the DH vs lefties.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

        I know. I’m hoping that’s not going to be his only role. I suspect it probably will be though.

        • Nick

          Lefty first up for him tonight. If he gets a couple of knocks and Vernon goes 0/5 with 3 Ks then that might be that!

  • Mouse

    Problem is they are only DH-ing him when he should be playing in place of Wells right now. Wells is absolutely killing this team right now.

    • Joe R

      So is every other outfielder not named Gardner. You keep Wells in there in the hopes he turns it on again like the beginning of the season.

      • Joe

        I don’t know why “you keep Wells in there in hopes it turns it on again.” This is the level he’s played at for the last 2 1/3 seasons. Replacement level.

  • Greg

    Good move. Have to start somewhere to spark this offense. I think the next to go will be Overbay, perhaps to be replaced by Ronnier or Almonte. Another fix could be JR Murphy for Romine. It’s not going to turn this offense around, but every little bit helps.

    • mitch

      Don’t disagree with this, but guys like Neal, Almonte, and Ronnier are fringe MLB prospects for a reason. They’re different than the washed-up guys on the current roster, but there’s little reason to believe they’re going to be the answer.

      • ChrisS

        Gardner and Cano weren’t well regarded MLB prospects either. Cano had to compete with Tony Womack (an older vet on a 2-year deal) for a shot at the 2B job.

        There are plenty of other talented fringey players that get blocked only to show that they belong later on.

        Neal, Almonte or Ronnier don’t have to be all-stars either. Just better than what the Yankees are currently getting from Wells, Ichiro or Youkilis. There’s nothing that says they can’t do just that. Maybe they crash, maybe they don’t. In any event, they won’t cost the Yankees millions of dollars and wins to find out.

        • IRememberCelerinoSanchez

          Cano and Gardner aren’t really good comparisons to Neal, Mustelier and Almonte, all of whom are different from each other.

          It should also be noted that none of Neal, Mustelier or Almonte made Mike’s preseason Top 30 prospects list. Cano (pre-Mike) was #2 on Baseball America’s Yankees prospect list. And Gardner made Mike’s lists for three years running.

          Neal is regarded as a AAAA player. His organization already released him despite stellar minor league numbers (.301/.379/.463 in more than 2,800 minor league plate appearances) after seeing him for a short cup of coffee last year that didn’t go well. It’s really a stretch to even call him a prospect right now. Nobody thought Cano would be what he is, but he was a legit prospect.

          Mustelier is going to be 29 in August. He has hit in the minors since coming to the U.S., and he is more of a prospect than Neal, but not nearly up to the level Cano was.

          Almonte is the wild card. He didn’t break an .800 OPS in his first four years in the minors. It’s only been the last two seasons that he has teased that he might be an MLB player. But, again, he is not at the Cano level of prospect.

          Don’t get me wrong. This lineup needs help desperately, and I’m all for giving Neal, Almonte and Mustelier (he’d be the first one I’d call up if it was up to me, but thankfully it is not) a chance to see what they can do.

          But it would be silly to think any of these three guys is the answer. It’s unlikely any of them will/would make a difference. Look at Adams. He is more of a legit prospect than any of the three, and we saw how he flamed out (not saying forever, but for this time up).

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com GT Yankee

            ^^^^This, This, This^^^^

            I’m all for striving for improvement, but this team needs IMPROVEMENT. If you decide you’re going forward with this team, put together a package for Stanton, even if you go down in flames trying. While people like Thames & Chavez were great for what they were, reclamation projects will only get you so far. Otherwise blow it up as best you can which unfortunately might mean not resigning Cano or maybe even trading him. How many teams will the Yanks not get past in the AL to get to the WS?

      • steves

        The worst aspects of yesterday’s performance to me was that the washed-up guys not only looked washed-up but they also looked docile and like they couldn’t care less waiting for strike 3 to happen. I’ll take some fringe hungry guys playing for their first real payday over that bs attitude anytime. The results couldn’t be worse.

  • mitch

    What’s the scouting report on his defense?

    • jjsabo16

      According to his BA profile last season he has below average speed and arm strength.

    • D$1184

      My question exactly so I googled him. Found a scouting report from when the Indians acquired him in exchange for Orlando Cabrera in 2011. The word is “solid outfield with an above average arm”. I’ll keep digging.

  • King George

    Hey Mike, I have backed you a lot but not on this. Just please look at the facts. Ichiro is hitting .308 in his last 80 AB and is batting .294 in June. Your hatred is irrational and you’re letting your articles become diluted with opinions over facts. He had a slow start. Get over it.

    • jjsabo16

      SO Ichiro is hitting better for a few games still has no power and is not using his speed to actually steal bases.

      • King George

        80 AB is ~20 to 22 games, so certainly not a few. He never was a power hitter, so saying he “still has no power” is completely irrelevant.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

          He’s shown even less power than normal this season. 2nd lowest ISO of his career.

        • Dalek Jeter

          40 games to start this season + 162 games last season + 162 games in 2011 he has hit .265 with no power.

          .265 over ~1500 ABs is a much better sample size than .308 over his last ~100 ABs.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      He also had a hot streak last September.
      I’d trust a 3-year sample size over an 80 PA sample size.
      I think he’s likely better than his currently horrible .637 OPS, 69 wRC+, but not by a whole lot.
      And he’s 238/304/238 over his last 23 PA’s. Maybe the slow start is back.
      That said, Wells is much more in need of replacement right now than Ichiro.

    • http://pinstripepundits.com Derek

      You’re going to pluck 80 ABs and say Ichiro still has something in the tank? He’s been terrible since 2011. I’ll take the 2+ years of suckiness over 80 ABs.

      • King George

        No, but I’m saying it’s absolutely ridiculous of Mike to target a OF batting .264 and has heated up in his last 80 ABs when there are far bigger issues that Mike should complain about. How about Nix/Brignac? How about Youkilis? It gets funny after a while.

        • TCMiller30

          Those guys also suck. And as soon as the Yankees call up a player who is relevant to their status’ on the team, he’ll probably mention them too. A post such as:

          “Yankees call up OF Neal, which is good because Utility infielders Nix/Brignac have been terrible lately” Just doesn’t make sense.

        • IRememberCelerinoSanchez

          But .264 with no walks and no power is pretty awful. At this point Ichiro makes out more than 70 percent of the time and offers zero power in return for those outs. In his prime, form 2001 to 2010, he batted .331 and got on base at a .376 rate. If you do that and average around 40 steals a year (like he did), power is less important (even though he managed to slug .430 in that period). Now, there is no power, he doesn’t get on base, and he runs less. In that context, even .290 doesn’t help much.

    • Nuke Guy (Knoxvillain)

      Two and a half years will tell you more about a player than half of a month. Especially when he is almost 40.

    • TCMiller30

      Agreed. He’s been OPSing (0.634) The crap out of the ball in June!

      • Jim Is Bored

        I’ll take that over what Wells/Brignac/Youk/Nix have done.

        Which is just sad to write.

        • King George

          That’s my point. At least Ichiro is contributing more than Vernon, Youk, Brignac, Nix, etc. I get that he wants to make it relevant, but for crying out loud .264 really isn’t that horrible. Mike just likes complaining.

          • King George

            *Correction* .264 isn’t great, but on this team where offense is sorely missing, you can’t whine about it too much.

            • Brian S.

              Too bad batting average isn’t an appropriate way to measure offense. .264 is awful when there is no power behind it.

              • IRememberCelerinoSanchez


                Plus, no on-base skills. And less running.

            • TCMiller30

              That’s the 11th best OPS on the team, behind Youk, Wells, Stewart and Boesch. It’s still pretty awful and definitely fair to complain about.

            • Dalek Jeter

              .264 would be a fine average if he walked, ever. And I mean ever. Or had even “slightly below average” power. .264 for a singles hitter who has a 5.3% BB% this season and a 5.9% BB% for his career is effectively worthless.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

            .264 isn’t that horrible.
            .264 with a .302 OBP and .335 SLG is horrible.

        • TCMiller30

          Haha agreed. But what he does has nothing to do with the playing time that Brignac/Youk/Nix are doing. If Neal plays the outfield I hope he takes Wells’ spot because Ichiro is playing better at the moment. My point is moreso that complaining about Ichiro and Wells makes perfect sense with the news of Neal being called up. The other guys are kind of irrelevant to the discussion.

          • Jim Is Bored

            Youk DH’s from time to time.

            But you’re right, it is a separate issue.

            • TCMiller30

              Youk is terrible. I hated that signing from the start cause I never expected him to stay healthy. Now that he’s showing that he really can’t stay healthy, and he sucks when he is, it just makes it that much worse.

              • Jim Is Bored

                I expected the injuries. I didn’t expect him to suck this much.

    • King George

      So I guess Nix, Brignac, Youkilis, all get free passes when Ichiro is doing substantially better. Hm, ok. Makes sense.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

        Who’s giving them free passes. They’re all terrible. OF just happens to be a spot where they have a couple of kids playing really well in AAA. They really have no other option at SS right now.

      • Dalek Jeter

        Are you kidding me? Nix gets his ass kicked on this board by just about everybody, Mike included. He’s also talked about Youkilis’ general uselessnes. People will defend Nix by saying he’s the back up to the backup. That makes Brignac literally 4th string. Brignac is Nix’s backup, who is Nunez’s back up, who is Jeter’s back up. And Nix/Brignac also play a position that’s generally devoid of offense across the league. RF is supposed to be an offensive position and we’re getting basically replacement level output from it.

      • IRememberCelerinoSanchez

        You have it backwards, actually.

        Nix, Brignac and Youkilis being awful doesn’t justify Ichiro being awful.

        Plus, the bar is higher for corner outfielders than middle infielders. Nix is closer to the league average for his position than Ichiro is to his.

        And Youkilis got hurt, while Ichiro has stunk while being healthy.

        In a best case scenario, none of those four would be on the roster. But Ichiro is holding a spot where there is a better chance for an upgrade right now.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        A) He’s not doing substantially better.

        B) You are comparing infielders, including 2 middle infielders, to a corner outfielder offensively. Stop doing that.

        • King George

          I understand what I’m doing. I’m pointing out that Mike should write a column every now and then talking about how bad Youkilis has sucked or how bad Brignac is instead of talking about Ichiro 3 out of every 7 posts. It’s annoying.

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            But Brignac and Youk don’t suck as badly as Ichiro does, because the offensive standards for their position are lower, especially for Brignac, the team’s 4th string IF.

    • Kramerica Industries

      His OBP is probably at or below those .308 and .294 figures, too. Furthermore, about all of those hits are singles, I imagine.

      An empty .294 average in June isn’t going to do anything for anybody.

      • King George

        Really? On this team, you’re gonna shoot down .294? Regardless of how empty it is, it’s a substantially better average than a lot of others on this team.

        • IRememberCelerinoSanchez

          Yes, but .294 with no power and no OBP is much worse than, say, Nix’s .265 with a .341 OBP since May 1 (since we are picking arbitrary time periods to look at guys, and, I might add, that’s 113 ABs/132 PAs, a longer period than Nix’s.

          Put another way, Ichiro’s .264 is higher than Youkilis’s .219, but Youkilis’s OBP (.305 v. .302) and slugging (.343 v. .335) are both higher than Ichiro’s.

          They all are awful, but you have to get past batting average as an arbiter of a player’s contribution. Yes, I would shoot down Ichiro’s .264, even on this team, when there is zero on-base skills or power behind it.

          • mitch

            Who cares who’s the worst hitter on the team? The problem is that on any given night at least half of the lineup is below average.

    • HTD

      You do realize that BA is not a great way to judge offensive production right…

      • King George

        I do. I could have used other metrics strengthened my argument, but with Ichiro even I’ll admit it’s hard to do. I’m just saying there are people who have had worse averages. Ichiro isn’t an ideal player, but he’s not awful.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          But he is awful. The only players on the team with worse wOBAs are Brignac and Nix, and they’re both middle infielders.

        • IRememberCelerinoSanchez

          Actually, he is terrible.

          He has 228 plate appearances this season. 137 players have at least 220 plate appearances this season. Here is how Ichiro ranks:

          126th in wRC+
          125th in wOBA
          128th in slugging
          112th in on-base percentage
          82nd in batting average

          If Ichiro isn’t awful, then there are virtually no awful players in baseball.

  • Chesser

    Against left-handed pitching: .333/.435/.436
    Against right-handed pitching: .341/.423/.450

    Seems like he should be getting some at-bats against righties, too, and not just DHing against southpaws.

  • Dalek Jeter

    Can’t they just put him in the outfield? Ichiro and Well’s pride be damned, both have been terrible and have no right to say they deserve a spot in the line up right now.

  • stuart a

    as someone commented every little bit helps. try things out. no harm no foul. as stated above we know what we have with youkilis, wells, etc. try the young guys, they can be called up and sent down if it does not work…

    all i ask is they try to improve the club, I am not talking trading for some marquis expensive talent but looking to make incremental improvements without trading young for older downside talent, enough of that. they have or may have some excess arms, trade an arm or 2 for a bat or potential bat…joba is a trade chip, with kelly and claiborne and joba they have 3 guys who can handle the 7th inning…

  • Jacob the OG

    just wondering, can he play all three OF spots?

    • Dalek Jeter

      From what I’ve read I don’t think he’s got the speed/athleticism for CF, but I guess he could play both corners.

      • Jacob the OG

        that is good since both spots are really in need

  • fabricio

    why the need to dh against lefties let wells dh and neal play the outfield

  • Robinson Tilapia

    You wanted a response after last night’s shitfest? There it is. Would have rather seen Overbay gone than Adams demoted, but it is what it is.

    Welcome to the Yankees, Mr. Neal. May you hit well enough to never leave.

    • Dalek Jeter

      With how terrible Youk and Teix have both looked I can see the logic of keeping the back up 1st baseman. I mean Tex has only been back what? A week and a half? Maybe 2? If Youk or Adams were hitting I’d say “Cut ties with Overbay and if Tex gets hurt again put Youk at 1st and Adams at 3rd” But right now I understand wanting to hold on to Overbay.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Coulda woulda shoulda, but I kinda wish part of Adams’s development this year would have been for them to put a first baseman’s glove on him. Having him be able to play both corners would have made him much more useful. Not really concerned about him slumping after a solid start – that’s what players adjusting to the next level do.

        That being said, I have no issue with a player riding the shuttle his first year. It’s part of baseball life.

        • Dalek Jeter

          I agree with basically all of this, it would’ve been nice to see Adams get some reps at 1st, but there’s nothing wrong with a fringey guy riding the shuttle in his rookie year, unless you’re a superstar it is part of baseball life.

  • D$1184

    The phrase that seems to keep coming up with Neal is “jack of all trades, master of none”. A lot of people seem to call him a “fourth outfielder” so let’s not get our expectations up too high.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      More an attempt at seeing whether there’s lightning in a bottle than anything else. Every team does it at some point during the season unless EVERYTHING broke their way.

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Well, our starting COFs aren’t 4th OF caliber right now, so I’ll take what we can get.

  • trr

    Neal is not a saviour, but this is a good move. Adams seemed overmatched at this level, and tentaive at 3B. Can Neal be any worse than Wells has looked lately?

  • Darren

    It’s been a really long time since we captured the ol Shane Spencer lightning in a bottle. Would love for it to happen with someone like Neal. Obviously you can’t expect it with a fringy Triple A All Star, but you can always hope.

    I smell some grannies in this dude’s future.

  • Mike Rauth

    You guys do realize that Neal is a reject from Indians system.

    Where oh where have the Yankees top prospects gone?

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    They sent down David Adams?!!!!

    I guess it’s time to stop being a Yankees fan! What disrespect!

  • forensic

    Not my top choice, but it’s certainly better than nothing.

    Considering how terrible Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki have been, it won’t take much for Neal to hit his way into a regular lineup spot.

    Yeah, let’s see, first he’ll need to hit lefties really well. Then, to take a regular lineup spot he’ll need to convince Girardi to actually put him in the OF AND then convince him to actually play him against righties.

    So, it’ll basically only take an act of god.

    That’s not too much…