Jul
04

Roberts and relievers shine in 6-5 win over Twins

By


Source: FanGraphs

It wasn’t particularly easy, but the Yankees beat the Twins by the score of 6-5 on Friday afternoon to win their second straight game. The Twinkies always come through whenever the Yankees need a win. Let’s recap the Independence Day victory, for America:

  • Early Offense: The Yankees were all over Kyle Gibson. Three of the first four, four of the first seven, and five of the first eleven men they sent to the plate had extra-base hits, including run-scoring doubles by Brian Roberts and Mark Teixeira. Teixeira missed a homer by a foot or two. Brett Gardner had a triple and Frankie Cervelli had a double amid the carnage. Carlos Beltran (sac fly), Brendan Ryan (sac fly), and Jacoby Ellsbury (two-run single) also drove in runs as the Yankees scored six runs in two innings against Gibson.
  • Chased Whitley: Make it three straight dud outings for Chase Whitley. The right-hander allowed four runs (including two solo homers) and put nine men on base in only three innings of work, needing 74 pitches for nine outs. Over his last three starts, Whitely has allowed 17 runs on 27 hits and six walks in 10.1 innings. That is very bad. The Yankees really need another starter.
  • Turn Back The Clock: When he woke up Friday morning, Roberts was hitting .237/.309/.355 (84 wRC+). He’ll go to bed hitting .248/.318/.384 (94 wRC+). That’s what a 4-for-5 with three doubles and a triple day will do for ya. Two of the doubles and the triple banged off the wall (one double was a grounder inside the line), so this was no luck. He was smashing everything. Roberts is the first Yankee with a four extra-base hit game since Alex Rodriguez had two doubles and two homers against the Devil Rays in 2005. Roberts is also the first Yankee with zero homers in a four extra-base hit game since Jim Mason in 1974 (four doubles). Crazy.
  • Bullpen On Parade: Since Whitley bowed out after three innings, Joe Girardi was forced to dip deep into his bullpen. David Huff chucked three perfect innings then Adam Warren and Dellin Betances combined to throw the seventh and eighth. Betances allowed a run on a single, a hit batsman, a double steal, and a ground out. He looks like he’s running on fumes. The All-Star break can’t come soon enough for him. David Robertson allowed a double and struck out the side in the ninth for his 20th save. Forty-seven of his last 65 outs are strikeouts. Think about that.
  • Leftovers: The Yankees had ten hits, including four by Roberts and three by Cervelli. Gardner, Ellsbury, and Teixeira had the other hits. Gardner drew the only walk, so the team now has two or fewer walks in seven of their last eight games … the Yankees had eight extra-base hits as a team for the second time this year (this was the other game), but it’s the first time they had eight extra-base hits with no homeruns since July 2007 (this game) … Zelous Wheeler made this great catch falling into the dugout, but it didn’t count because he was out of the field of play. Stupid rules.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Blue Jays lost (on a Nick Punto walk-off!) and the Orioles were rained out, so the Yankees are three games back of Baltimore and 2.5 games back of Toronto in the AL East. Depending on the outcome of the late game, they will be either 3.5 (Mariners lose) or 4.5 (Mariners win) games back of the second wildcard spot. David Phelps and Yohan Pino will be the pitching matchup in the third game of this four-game series on Saturday afternoon.

Minor League Update: It’s a holiday, so I’m taking a break from the usual minor league update. Here are the box scores: Triple-A Scranton, High-A Tampa, Low-A Charleston, Short Season Staten Island, Rookie GCL Yanks1, and Rookie GCL Yanks2. Double-A Trenton was rained out. 1B Greg Bird homered, LHP Miguel Sulbaran threw five one-hit innings, and 3B Eric Jagielo singled. Oh, and 2B Rob Refsnyder hit a three-run walk-off homer. That about wraps it up.

  • LarryM Fl

    If I here Girardi say” where staying in rotation,” I’ll just scream. Stretch out Adan Warren or get someone from AAA. Whittley is toast.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Huff would probably be the next option.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I was definitely giving this some thought earlier, and it certainly wouldn’t be the worst idea. Huff is the epitome of short-term fix who would get exposed if left in there for too long in any rotation. I don’t think he’d necessarily give the team length, but he may I’ve them a better five innings for a few turns brought the rotation until they find a solution.

        Does he replace Nuno or Whitley? Flip a coin.

        They need another starter. There is no way around this. Even if you think they’re fucked this season, if you don’t want to see the young guys in the bullpen get completely spent, then they need another starter. It’s a matter of who you keep and who you hug in the system.

      • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

        He has done good in relief, but sometimes those things are funky. Once they know he is coming, and they prepare the scouting report for the start they can unravel tehm.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Except that he’s been acceptable in short spurts before. We’re talking three weeks before the trading deadline. Give us a better five innings than one of these guys until we find a better replacement.

          • Farewell Mo

            I think we should leave Whitley in the rotation. Like Peckerhead Jim said, he very well could be a number 3 starter.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              He very well could become that. However, right this second, this team can’t afford to run through relievers the way they’ve been and have to pitch their best relievers in non-optimal spots.

              • Farewell Mo

                Sarcasm.
                Whitley has no business being in a major league rotation. He’s a reliever/spot starter at best.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  Way too small of a sample to know that so emphatically. Doesn’t mean you may not be right in the long run, but I’m not so sure as to what he is in either direction at the moment. He’s been a regular starter for all of half a season.

                • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

                  Really, your post was sarcastic?

            • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

              Right, because Whitely had pitched this badly when he said that.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                Who’s Whitely?

                • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

                  The King of Typos.

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner

                    I’d rather have Blackly. Once you go Blackly, you never….

                    • RetroRob

                      It’s a Whitely and Blackly world.

                      Yet if only we had Sonny Gray, all would be well.

                    • ropeadope

                      @ RetroRob – How about the reanimated corpse of Red Ruffing?

      • ropeadope

        Give him #70 and stick him in the rotation. A legend is (re)born!

    • WhittakerWalt

      Warren was a terrible starter.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        And he’s looking a bit fatigued as a reliever at the moment.

        • Yanks

          He and Betances have been ridden so hard by Joe and the Yanks. Gotta hope they don’t run out of steam. ASB is very needed for those two.

        • WhittakerWalt

          Exactly. Leave him where he’s been the most effective. He has a 2.58 ERA right now pitching out of the ‘pen. Anyone who thinks he’d be a 2.58 ERA starting pitcher needs to have their head examined.

          • Tom K

            He doesn’t need to be a 2.58 ERA starting pitcher, and I haven’t seen anyone claim he would be.

            • WhittakerWalt

              Not in so many words, but it seems like they’re expecting his terrific bullpen success will translate to *comparable* starting role success. That’s unrealistic.

    • Charles

      You’re just creating a weakness to fill a weakness then. If theres no Warren in the bullpen, who pitches the 7th when Betances can’t go 2 innings? I’d like to see Shane Greene get another chance, he’s had a few good appearances in a row in AAA, might as well see what he can really do.

      Plus I kinda want to keep Huff in the bullpen, having multiple relievers that can go multiple innings is great, plus having a 2nd leftie that can actually get righties out (ala Boone Logan last year) is something the Yankees desperately need.

  • wilcymoore27

    And the GCL 1 squad also won 1-0, despite getting only 3 hits in their 8 innings at the plate.

  • wilcymoore27

    In the Tampa game, five Yankee pitchers including Sulbaran combined to allow 2 hits in 12 innings. Tampa won 1-0.

    • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

      Bird hr.

    • IRememberCelerinoSanchez

      The Tampa play-by-play guy said on Twitter the home plate umpire had a super wide strike zone, leading to both team’s pitchers dominating.

      • Deep Thoughts

        Phew. Good. Too much boring offense is ruining baseball.

  • ropeadope

    Missed the game but checking the box score, Roberts appears to be a perfect fit in the two-hole. Wouldn’t object to Girardi sliding him in there on a more regular basis.

    • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

      Even coming into the game his Wrc+ was higher than Jeter’s, he hits more fly balls, and takes many more pitches.

      • ropeadope

        Yes, and probably a bit more difficult to double up (especially from the left side) when he does hit a ground ball.

    • ropeadope

      As it would display improper etiquette to demote Jeter in the lineup, may I suggest the following:

      1 SS Derek Jeter
      2 2B Brian Roberts
      3 LF Brett Gardner
      4 1B Mark Teixeira
      5 CF Jacoby Ellsbury
      6 DH Carlos Beltran
      7 C+ Brian McCann
      8 3B Zelous Wheeler
      9 RF Ichiro Suzuki

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        So instead of a below average hitter getting the second most PA’s on the team, you now have below average hitters getting the most AND second most PA’s on the team?

        No thanks.

        • ropeadope

          I daresay you’re a bit too wrapped up in the numbers. As Girardi said in today’s post game conference, Roberts has hit the ball hard all year long (unfortunately right at people), and his stats are not indicative of how well he’s played. And my comment was predicated on the necessity to keep Jeter in the top spots of the lineup. Leading him off will (mostly) eliminate the possibility of his hitting into a first inning double play, and if he does so, that means the team batted around.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting

            Roberts has grounded into more DP’s than Jeter.

            And Roberts is a below average hitter. Hasn’t been above average in years. Best case is he might be around average (unlikely). Either way, not somebody they need to find a lot more AB’s for. More likely somebody they’ll need to find an upgrade for.
            I daresay you’re a bit too wrapped up in 1 great game.

            • ropeadope

              Pardon me if I trust Girardi’s judgment (re: Roberts) over yours. Fortunately, you don’t fill out the lineup card.

              • Need Pitching & Hitting

                You’ll notice Girardi has batted Roberts 2nd only 4 times this year (too lazy to look, but I’m guessing all were with Jeter out of the lineup).

                It would seem his judgement on the advisability of both Jeter and Roberts being at the top of the lineup is the same as mine.

                • Need Pitching & Hitting

                  He’s batted 7th or lower in basically every other game (mostly 8th). In a lineup full of many guys who aren’t producing, you’d think if Girardi really believed Roberts is an above average hitter, he’d be batting higher in the lineup.

                  I’ll take Girardi’s actions as more indicative of his beliefs.

                  • ropeadope

                    This doesn’t surprise me. Girardi wants speed up top (Gardner / Ellsbury – Gardner lately with Ellsbury settling in the three hole) and is unwilling to drop Jeter below the two hole. Girardi won’t bat Roberts 3rd thru 6th (power slots), so he’s been in the lower third of the order. I was suggesting a possible alternate lineup. I know many (most?) won’t agree with it (and I do respect your opinion on the matter). Anyway, I’m off to bed now. Have a good night and I’ll see you in the game thread tomorrow.

            • Wolfgang’s Fault

              Your Roberts is a below average hitter/has been for years comment is h/s for the simple reason he was hurt the past 4 years. That hurt guy & this at the present time healthy guy are two different players/hitters. He’s just heating up. If he stays healthy, he’s a very good hitter, is capable of a very strong 2nd half, & in this lineup, probably their best choice to hit 2nd as he takes a lot of pitches, can hit-n-run, sac bunt (if need be), & hit the other way from both sides of the plate. Even if his #’s don’t reflect it by the end of the year, his skill set makes him an above average hitter for that spot in the lineup. If he stays healthy, I believe his #’s will be at least league average by years end. Hitting him at the end of the order wastes much of what he’s capable of providing.

      • Kunta

        Gardner
        Roberts
        Jeter
        Tex
        Beltran
        Ells
        McCann
        Wheeler
        Ichiro

        • ropeadope

          Our lineups are mostly in agreement. We have the tandems of Gardner / Jeter and Beltran / Ellsbury flipped. I’m trying to keep Jeter out of that first inning double play. But I wouldn’t be opposed to your proposal.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          Ells is a much better hitter than Roberts or Jeter (and Beltran, so far). Why drop one of the most productive hitters on the team to 6th to get weaker hitters more PA’s?

        • Silver Jaguar

          I think out lineup should be:
          Ellsbury
          Gardner
          Beltran
          Tex
          McCann
          Johnson
          Roberts
          Jeter
          Ichiro

          • J

            Correct, and mix in Wheeler while he’s hot.

  • Not an ace

    Shane Greene come on up!

  • Not an ace

    Shitty farm day. I can’t find myself getting excited about Sulbaran.

    • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

      More than Nunie?

    • IRememberCelerinoSanchez

      Agreed. Guys who don’t miss bats in A ball don’t tend to have an impact (or even get to) MLB.

  • Not an ace

    If CC is physically unable to pitch anymore what are the implications for the payroll? Does insurance effectively cover what the Yankees owe him do they can spend 25 mil a year on other upgrades?

    • Not an ace

      *so they

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      They’re going to be spending whether insurance covers his salary or not.

    • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

      I’m actually a bit surprised that the Yankees take out so many insurance policies. A big failure wouldn’t hamper them nearly as much as most other teams, and I’m sure they end up spending way more on premiums than they get back. Seriously, when have they actually gotten money from them? Teix was covered under the WBC, and most these policies the player has to be like dead.

  • Mikey M

    There’s no way Whitley can stay in this rotation. He did a great job when he first came up but never provided any length and that was understandable because he was a reliever but he’s snapped back into reality and has nothing. I honestly think I have more faith in Nuno than Whitley at this point. The trading deadline is approaching and if the Yanks wanna stay in the mix, they are going to need to bring in another arm via trade ASAP! Let Huff start the next couple games in place of Whitley.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      He went seven innings once. You may want to consider taking back the “never” there.

      • Mikey M

        That’s true he did that against the Mariners right? Other than that start, he hasn’t really given much length and he really tires out the bullpen along with Nuno. Do you see Phelps staying in the rotation possibly as the number 5 starter?

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Phelps is your third-best starter right now. I can’t possibly imagine the Yankees finding three starting pitchers and pushing Phelps out at this moment.

          I was being a bit nit-picky, but he did look like he was starting to give them some distance a few starts ago.

  • hornblower

    Ref. just hit a three run job in the ninth to win the game.

  • Yanks

    King Ref hit a walk-off three run home run tonight. That’s the only farm update you need.

    • WhittakerWalt

      Wow, he’s already King Ref?

      • Yanks

        Well, people thought Divine Ruler of Mortal Beings Ref was over the top so I had to adjust.

  • Yanks

    Hammel and Shark just got traded for Addison Russell and there may be more going on according to Ken Rosenthal. Wow.

    • Kenny

      Russell, Dan Straily, Billy McKinny, and a PTBNL

    • hornblower

      Every baseball pundit will say this is a steal and Billy Beane is a genius. Of course if these young players excel for the Cubs and the A’s lose along the way they will forget they wrote it.

  • Wayne

    Whitley Whitley Whitley must know he ain’t pitched didly lately. OOOOh Whitley!!

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Did you just step on a tack or something?

  • Sam

    Isn’t it great Whitley isn’t pitching good and hammel/Samardjiza just got traded to Oakland. Just great.

  • Mikey M

    Well, I guess the Yanks have someone else in mind. I wish the Yanks would get Andrew Cashner or Tyson Ross. Or the Dianondbacks pitcher Wade Miley

  • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

    Not the first or last time I’ll be wrong.

  • Tanuki Tanaka

    Buffalo 6, Scranton 7 (Walkoff with 3 in the 9th)
    1B Pirela, 0-4, 1R 1K
    2B Refsnyder, 2-5, 2R, 1HR, 3RBI, 1SB (Hot)
    LF Zoilo, 1-4, 2K
    RF Adonis, 1-4, 3K
    DH Roller, 2-3, 2 2B, 2R, 1RBI, 1BB
    3B Sizemore, 3-4, 2 2B, 1R, 2RBI
    C JRM, 1-4, 2B, 1RBI, 2K

    Pat Venditte 2IP, 2H, 2K, 0ER
    Danny Burawa 2IP, 0H, 1BB, 6K, 0ER
    Jose Ramirez (W) 1IP, 1H, 1ER, 3BB, 1K

    Tampa 1, Lakeland 0 (12 innings)
    CF Cave, 0-5, 1K
    SS Culver, 0-4, 1BB, 1K
    DH Bird, 2-5, 1HR
    3B DBJ, 1-5, 3K
    RF Judge, 0-3, 2BB, 3K
    LF Yeicok, 0-3, 2K

    Sulbaran 5IP, 1H, 0ER, 1BB, 5K
    Brett Gerritse (W) 2IP, 0H, 0ER, 1BB, 2K

    Rome 6, Charleston 1 Rome improves to 28-58 while Charleston falls to 36-50. The minor league equivalent of Astros vs Cubs
    RF O’Neill, 0-4, 2K
    SS Wade, 0-4
    CF Fowler, 1-4
    DH Andujar, 2-4, 1 2B, 1R
    1B Ford 1-4, 1 RBI
    2B Katoh, 1-4, 2K
    3B John Murphy, 2-4 (Our 2013 sixth-rounder. Middle name is Michael.)

    Omar Luis (L) 4IP, 2H, 1ER, 2BB, 0K Last time I paid attention to this guy his name was Omar Luis Rodriguez
    Gio Gallegos 3IP, 6H, 3ER, 1BB, 4K

    Hudson Valley 4, Staten Island 1
    RF Nathan Mikolas, 0-4, 1K
    C Isaias Tejeda, 1-2, 1 2B, 1BB

    GCL Tigers 0, GCL Yankees1 1
    DH Jorge Mateo, 0-4, 1K
    3B Jagielo, 1-2 (Rehab?)
    CF Leonardo Molina, 0-3, 2K

    Gabe Encinas 3IP, 2H, 0ER, 2BB, 3K

    GCL Yankees2 10, GCL Phillies 11 Early 9 run deficit too costly
    Batters Ive Never Heard Of: 11-37, 3 2B, 2 3B, 2HR, 7BB, 2K
    Pitchers Ive Never Heard Of: 8IP, 10H, 7ER, 4BB, 5K

    • RetroRob

      Thanks for pulling that together.

      Yes, Jags is on rehab. Seems to have been activated a few games back, but they haven’t pushed him back up to A+. I wonder if they’re dealing with a roster issue, trying to figure out who to move off as he moves back in.

      GCL2? The only batter I follow there is Angel Aguilar, the SS. I don’t know if he’s a prospect, but seems like he has some promise, and since he hit two HRs in a game, he’s been a few people’s radar. He went 1-3 with 2 BBs.

      There are probably others on GCL 1 and 2, but takes a while to figure out who are worth following and who are not.

      • Tanuki Tanaka

        I don’t follow the farm that much so as you can see the list of names gets smaller and smaller as we move down the system ;)
        Judging by the names I think they’re taking it carefully but also doing some roster stuff, seeing how 3B and DH are kinda filled at Tampa and Charleston by non-negligible prospects.
        For GCL Teams I just go by names I’ve heard as somewhat major signings or some folks’ sleeper picks, like how some people have said Mateo has a plus tool or something (80 speed? Is it him?) and IIRC Molina was a 1.6mil~ IFA. I personally don’t pay much attention to GCL otherwise as we all know the lower in the farm they are, the more likelier that they turn out to be nothing. Also doesn’t help that high draft picks usually skip GCL, so it’s mostly IFAs and maybe some low picks.

        • D23

          GCL2 main man is Frank Frias, a good looking hitter and defensive CF. 6-4″ 250 lbs, Chris Gittens whom the Yanks drafted from the 12th round has not appeared yet but is an interesting player that who at one time was the top 25 player out of state of Texas.

          Sulbaran is a finesse, under the radar pitcher. Next season he should be in Trenton and it will be interesting to see what he can do at the next level. He is still only 20/21.

          Congratulations to Ref on a GW HR!

          • RetroRob

            6’4″ 250 lbs? And he’s a teenager or thereabouts, and playing CF? He sounds huge! He is putting up good numbers. I’ll add him to my list of those to watch, although are sure about his size?

  • RetroRob

    Since about mid-April, when Roberts was hitting .130, he’s triple slashing roughly .265/.330/.410. That’s an approximation based on the numbers I looked up the other day.

    He’s not the problem.

    The problem is there’s not enough around him, or there’s too many light hitters.

    • Tanuki Tanaka

      From April 22nd to May 18th he was hitting around .304/.345/.443 (.338 babip)
      Since then it’s .223/.299/.347 with .242 babip.

      I have a horrible memory so I don’t recall if it’s all swing, but accoring to fangraphs, 25.4 LD%,37.1 GB% and 37.6 FB% on the season, 29%/39.1%/31.9% during hot streak, 24.5%/36.3%/39.2% since then. Although he got twice as many infield hits (11.0 during to 5.3 overall) and no infield flys (10.4 on the season) during the hot streak.

      It’s partially bad luck and partially worse swings (or regression?) from what I can tell.

      I lost where I was going with this while trying to sort through fangraphs.

      • RetroRob

        I’d like to agree with you…or disagree with you, but I’m not sure either. : -)

        There’s really nothing great about Roberts now, although he overall has played better than I expected. I wouldn’t be cutting Roberts as many here would like, although I wouldn’t hold Refsnyder back when the Yankees are comfortable with his defense to call him up, that’s for sure. Roberts needs to remain, because if Refsnyder goes through the growing pains of many rookies, he might weaken the Yankees initially.