Yankees 4, Mariners 1: Homegrown Yankees lead the way

Source: FanGraphs

This trip to the West Coast is already going better than the last. The Yankees started the four-game series in Seattle with a 4-1 win over the Mariners on Thursday night. They’re somehow 4-4 in the first eight games of this eleven-game road trip. Feels worse. Anyway, hooray for a win. Late night West Coast games get bullet point recaps, so let’s get to it:

  • Seven Strong From Sevy: Boy, Luis Severino is turning into one hell of a pitcher. This start was not an easy one — he had only one 1-2-3 inning — but great pitchers find a way to grind through games like this. Severino chucked seven scoreless innings and he faced his biggest jam in the fourth, when he had runners on the corners with no outs. Pop-up, pop-up, walk, ground ball. Inning over. Shout out to Mariners third base coach Manny Acta for not waving Kyle Seager home from second on a single to center that inning. Must not have the scouting report on Jacoby Ellsbury‘s arm. Severino’s line: 7 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Bravo.
  • Two Earned, Two Unearned: Zombie Felix Hernandez rose from the dead to regain his 2010 form Thursday night. He held the Yankees to one bloop single and two walks through the first five innings. It wasn’t until Brett Gardner jumped all over a 1-1 fastball in the sixth that the scoreless tie was broken. A single, an error, and a walk set up Aaron Judge for the inside-out RBI single to plate an insurance run in the eighth. The Yankees scored two more in the ninth when Embedded Yankee Robinson Cano threw away Chase Headley‘s inning-ending grounder. The ball rolled around and Todd Frazier was able to score all the way from second. The Yankees were long overdue for one of those. Severino pitched well, Gardner homered, Judge drove in an insurance run, Cano made a big error. Hooray homegrown Yankees.
  • Same Old Bullpen: We got our first look at how Joe Girardi will manage his new bullpen. David Robertson will be the seventh inning guy. I know this because he warmed up in the seventh inning, and even though he didn’t pitch, Dellin Betances came in for the eighth. I hate that. Robertson’s warm! Just use him! Sigh. Whatever. Betances hit a batter and allowing a seeing-eye single in the eighth but escaped unscathed. Aroldis Chapman labored through the ninth and allowed a run. He was warming when it was 2-0, before Cano’s error, so Girardi brought him in anyway. Robertson warmed up in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. /shrugs
  • Leftovers: Frazier picked up his first hit as a Yankee in the ninth. It was a clean single to left … Gardner has 16 homers now, one short of his career high with 68 games to play … Matt Holliday went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and two double plays. He has been b r u t a l since coming back from the disabled list … two hits each for Didi Gregorius and Headley … Ellsbury went 0-for-4 and is down to .249/.324/.360 (86 wRC+). The Yankees are 51.14638% of the way through his contract … and finally, Severino threw a 101.2 mph (!) fastball to Jean Segura during that fourth inning jam. It’s the hardest pitch thrown by any starting pitcher this season. Goodness.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. This four-game series is just getting started. CC Sabathia and rookie Andrew Moore are the scheduled starting pitchers for the second game of the series Friday night. That’s another 10pm ET start.

DotF: Wade and Culver go deep in Scranton’s blowout win

Triple-A Scranton (13-2 win over Charlotte)

  • 3B Tyler Wade: 2-5, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K — here’s video of the homer
  • DH Jake Cave: 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB
  • LF Billy McKinney: 0-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
  • CF Mason Williams: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • SS Cito Culver: 2-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI — now hitting .248/.314/.461 with a career high tying nine home runs
  • LHP Dietrich Enns: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HBP, 10/2 GB/FB — 72 of 92 pitches were strikes (78%) … I wonder how high he is on the rotation depth chart?
  • RHP Jonathan Holder: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GB/FB — eleven of 16 pitches were strikes (69%)

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Game 94: Back West


The Yankees are out on the West Coast for the first time since the start of this ridiculous collapse. They haven’t won a series since arriving in Anaheim in the middle of last month. The Yankees are 11-22 in the start of their last West Coast trip. Good grief. The season when south the last time the Yankees were in the Pacific Time Zone and hopefully things straight out this trip.

Anyway, for the first time in what feels like forever, the Yankees are playing their regular lineup tonight. Well, Clint Frazier isn’t playing, but eight out of nine ain’t bad. Better than what the Yankees have been trotting out there the last few days. You knew Joe Girardi was going to spend a week resting guys after the 16-inning game and doubleheader on back-to-back days. Please just win, dudes. Here is the Mariners’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. C Gary Sanchez
  3. RF Aaron Judge
  4. DH Matt Holliday
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 3B Todd Frazier
  8. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  9. 1B Chase Headley
    RHP Luis Severino

It is cool and cloudy in Seattle tonight. I’m not sure whether the Safeco Field roof will be open. Doesn’t really matter. Tonight’s series opener will begin at 10:10pm ET. You can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Roster Update: Girardi said Frazier will be the regular third baseman from here on out with Headley moving over to first. Given Headley’s inability to hit southpaws this season, I assume he’ll platoon with Garrett Cooper.

Thursday Night Open Thread

The Yankees are out on the West Coast for a four-game weekend series with the Mariners, which means 10pm ET starts tonight and tomorrow, and a 9pm ET start Saturday. A Saturday night game on the West Coast? The worst. It’s like they scheduled it specifically to annoy me. Groan. Anyway, check out Jeff Sullivan’s post on the Yankees’ new-look bullpen. This unit has a chance to be pretty great.

Here is an open thread to hold you over until the regular game thread comes along. Really light baseball schedule tonight. There’s one 7pm ET game (Rangers at Orioles) and one 8pm ET game (Tigers at Royals) before the West Coast games begin. MLB Network will have games all night. You folks know what to do with these threads by now, so have at it.

Trade Deadline Rumors: Starter, Verlander, Alonso, Duda, Reed

(Duane Burleson/Getty)
(Duane Burleson/Getty)

The 2017 non-waiver trade deadline is now only eleven days away and the Yankees have already made one big move, acquiring Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle from the White Sox. I get the feeling they’re not done. That doesn’t necessarily mean a blockbuster is coming, but I don’t think the Yankees are going to stop here. Anyway, here’s the latest from the trade rumor circuit.

Yankees still looking for a starter

Not surprisingly, the Yankees are still looking for rotation help, reports Ken Rosenthal. They’re casting a wide net. Controllable guys and rentals. They’re all in play. Michael Pineda is out for the season and I don’t think the Yankees want to continue running Bryan Mitchell or Luis Cessa out there every fifth day. You don’t go out and make that trade with the White Sox only to skimp on the rotation, you know?

“I’m going to stay engaged. We are going to remain careful buyers. We want to maximize our present while protecting (our) future,” said Cashman to Meredith Marakovits following the White Sox trade. Unless the Yankees budge on their unwillingness to trade close to MLB prospects, it’s hard to think they’ll land a high-end controllable starter. And that’s okay. They could really use one of those guys, but I am totally cool with keeping the top position player prospects. Build around bats. Even after trades and graduations, the Yankees still have plenty of depth in the farm system to land a useful starter.

“No indication” Yankees are after Verlander

There is “no indication” the Yankees are after (former?) Tigers ace Justin Verlander, reports Jon Morosi. Detroit is very bad this season (43-50) and there’s been plenty of talk they will sell at the trade deadline. Verlander, 34, has a 4.54 ERA (4.25 FIP) in 20 starts and 117 innings this season, though just last year he was the runner-up in the AL Cy Young voting thanks to a 3.04 ERA (3.48 FIP) in 227.2 innings.

Including the remainder of his $28M salary this year, Verlander is still owed roughly $70M through 2019, and his contract includes a $22M vesting option for 2020 based on Cy Young voting. Morosi says the Tigers are willing to eat some money to facilitate a trade, but how much? I doubt it’ll be a ton. I feel like there’s way too much downside here. Verlander was great just last season, sure, but he’s entering his mid-30s and has a ton of innings on his arm. Trading for mid-30s past prime Verlander feels like an old Yankees move.

Yankees talked Alonso, Duda, Reed, Neshek

Before the trade with the ChiSox, the Yankees were talking to the Athletics about Yonder Alonso, and to the Mets about Lucas Duda and Addison Reed, report Morosi and Mark Feinsand. They were also in the mix for Pat Neshek, per Rosenthal. I suppose the Yankees could still go after Reed or Neshek because there is no such thing as too many good relievers, but it seems very unlikely with Robertson and Kahnle on board. Alonso and Duda? There’s no need for those guys now. Not unless someone gets hurt.

With Greg Bird out for most of the rest of the season, it only made sense for the Yankees to explore the first base trade market. Ji-Man Choi and Garrett Cooper had some success this month, though Cashman wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t looking for upgrades. One thing to keep in mind: the Yankees were pretty much the only team with a need at first base (or DH). There was plenty of supply (Alonso, Duda, Matt Adams, Justin Bour, etc.) but very limited demand, so they were able to let the market come to them, then take the most favorable terms.

Reed. (Jennifer Stewart/Getty)
Reed. (Jennifer Stewart/Getty)

A’s scouting Low-A Charleston

In a crazy coincidence (nope), the A’s have had a top scout watching Low-A Charleston recently, according to Rosenthal. There’s no need for Alonso now. Sonny Gray is still out there though. With Blake Rutherford traded, the best prospect on Charleston’s roster is outfielder Estevan Florial by a mile. Others of note include catcher Donny Sands, infielders Diego Castillo and Hoy Jun Park, and righties Nick Nelson, Freicer Perez, and Nick Green.

Unlike the White Sox trade, I have a hard time believing the Yankees could swing a deal for Gray using a Single-A kid as the center piece. Gray is too in demand for the A’s to take someone that far away from the big leagues as the headliner in a trade. Oakland can and will insist for a closer to MLB prospect and the Yankees will probably decline. That said, the A’s have made some weird trades lately, and if the Yankees can get a deal done for Gray with a Low-A kid fronting the package, they should jump all over it. Prospects that far down in the system aren’t close to helping at the MLB level and they’re so risky because they still have so much development left ahead of them.

Yankees were “in strong” for Quintana

Before he was traded to the Cubs, the Yankees were “in strong” for lefty Jose Quintana, according to Feinsand. “They were quietly deep in it,” said one executive. Rosenthal hears the Yankees did make an offer for Quintana, and Cashman told Brendan Kuty the White Sox asked the Yankees for players similar to the ones they received from the Cubs. So I guess that means an elite prospect (Gleyber Torres?), a very good pitching prospect (Chance Adams? Justus Sheffield?), plus two lesser pieces.

It was reported following the White Sox trade that the Yankees offered Rutherford to Chicago for Quintana, though the rest of the package is unknown. If Rutherford was the headliner, then it’s easy to understand why the ChiSox passed and went with the Cubs’ package. I think the Yankees were willing to give up a really nice package to get Quintana, but even then they would set a limit and not increase their offer. I guess that’s why Quintana is a Cub now. For shame. He really would have been a nice get from a pure “he’s a good pitcher” perspective.

DotF: Sauer makes pro debut in GCL doubleheader

Let’s get started with some notes, shall we?

  • Keith Law (subs. req’d) got a look at Low-A Charleston recently and had some notes on OF Estevan Florial. “(Florial) is a physically imposing, athletic kid with a big, furious swing who is loading his hands a little deep and creating some length, which might explain his high strikeout rate this year,” said the write-up.
  • Here is Baseball America’s analysis of yesterday’s big trade with the White Sox. It is not behind the paywall and it includes the latest scouting reports on OF Blake Rutherford, LHP Ian Clarkin, and OF Tito Polo, if you’re interested.
  • With Rutherford and Clarkin gone, OF Jake Cave and OF Billy McKinney have moved into MLB.com’s top Yankees prospects list. Not sure I agree with Cave being a top 30 prospect in this system, but to each his own.

Triple-A Scranton (6-3 win over Norfolk)

  • SS Tyler Wade: 1-3, 1 R, 2 BB — 4-for-14 (.286) with three walks and six strikeouts in four games since being sent down
  • LF Jake Cave: 2-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 K — so maybe he is a top 30 prospect
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-5, 1 2B, 2 K
  • RF Billy McKinney: 2-4 — 10-for-28 (.357) during his little seven-game hitting streak
  • CF Mason Williams: 2-4, 2 R, 1 K
  • RHP Domingo German: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/2 GB/FB — 33 of 52 pitches were strikes (63%) … prior to this game, he’d thrown 7.1 innings and 121 pitches over the last 31 days … he needs to pitch, not sit in the bullpen as the eighth reliever, so hopefully he stays down here and starts until the Triple-A season ends
  • RHP Gio Gallegos: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 21 of 32 pitches were strikes (66%)
  • RHP J.P. Feyereisen: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HB, 4/1 GB/FB — 17 of 28 pitches were strikes (61%)
  • RHP Ben Heller: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GB/FB — 26 of 37 pitches were strikes (70%) … first outing since his two innings of hero ball in the 16-inning game against the Red Sox on Saturday

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Wednesday Night Open Thread

The Yankees played (and lost) earlier today, and now they’re heading out to the West Coast for a four-game set with Seattle. During this baseball-less night, I recommend Tom Verducci’s article on how the Yankees have veered away from one of the core principles of pitching. They don’t pitch off their fastball. The Yankees throw the lowest percentage of fastballs in baseball. “Fastballs get hit,” said pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Make sure you check out Verducci’s article. Really great stuff.

Here is an open thread for the evening. The Mets are playing (on ESPN) and that’s about it. Talk about that game, this afternoon’s loss, the Verducci article, or anything else here. Just not religion or politics.