DotF: Mateo has huge day in Tampa’s doubleheader sweep

RHP Brady Lail has rejoined Triple-A Scranton, reports Matt Kardos. The RailRiders have been short a starting pitcher since RHP Bryan Mitchell was called back up a few days ago. Lail solves that problem. RHP Colten Brewer was sent to Double-A Trenton to clear a roster spot for Lail.

Triple-A Scranton was rained out. No word on a makeup date. They were supposed to face a rehabbing Corey Kluber tonight. Too bad. Would have been fun to see how the kids handled him.

Double-A Trenton (7-2 win over Reading)

  • SS Thairo Estrada: 1-5
  • CF Rashad Crawford: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K — played seven innings in his fifth rehab game
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-1, 1 RBI
  • RF Billy McKinney: 0-3, 1 RBI — 7-for-42 (.167) in his last 13 games
  • 2B Abi Avelino: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 E (throwing)
  • LHP Nestor Cortes: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1/6 GB/FB — 54 of 84 pitches were strikes (64%)
  • RHP Colten Brewer: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/1 GB/FB – 15 of 22 pitches were strikes (68%)

[Read more…]

Thursday Night Open Thread

The Yankees were rained out today, but not even rain can stop HOPE Week. Today the Yankees held an event at Yankee Stadium to benefit A Moment of Magic, an organization dedicated to helping sick children by “restoring the magic of believing at a time when a child needs to ‘just be a kid’ and reminding them to be brave, strong, and fearless.” Several players and Brian Cashman dressed up as superheroes for the kids. Here are all the photos. Click through to see Masahiro Tanaka as a Ninja Turtle, Luis Severino as Iron Man, CC Sabathia as Superman, Michael Pineda as Wolverine, Jordan Montgomery as Captain America, and Cashman as Spiderman. Awesome stuff.

Here is an open thread for this suddenly Yankees baseball-less night. MLB Network is showing regional games at both 7pm ET and 10 pm ET, plus there are NBA and NHL playoff games on too. (Game Seven in the NHL!). Talk about those games, HOPE Week, or anything else here. Just not religion or politics. Get that outta here.

2017 Draft: Bubba Thompson

Bubba Thompson | OF

Background
Thompson, 18, attends McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile, Alabama, where he plays both baseball and football. He’s a good quarterback recruit who received Division I scholarship offers for both sports, though he committed to attend Alabama, where he’ll play baseball only. Odds are it won’t matter. Thompson is expected to turn pro after being drafted.

Scouting Report
At 6-foot-2 and 180 lbs. Thompson is one of the top athletes in the 2017 draft class, and his best tools right now all come on the defensive side of the ball. He’s a rangy center fielder thanks to his top of the line speed, and he also has a strong throwing arm. A long-term center fielder, he is. No doubt about. Thompson is a right-handed hitter with bat speed and bat-to-ball skills, and he’s shown promising power potential this spring. He has the potential to go 20-20 with very good center field defense down the line. Despite splitting his time between two sports, Thompson is not as raw as you’d expect. The kid has legitimate five-tool ability.

Miscellany
The various scouting publications all agree Thompson is a first round talent. Baseball America ranks him as the 18th best prospect in the draft class while MLB.com and Keith Law (subs. req’d) rank him 24th and 25th, respectively. The Yankees hold the 16th overall pick. The biggest knock on Thompson is his age. He’s 18 with a June birthday, so he’s older than most high school prospects. (He’ll be roughly the same age on draft day as Blake Rutherford last year, who slipped out of the top ten in part due to his age.) The Yankees love their toolsy up-the-middle athletes and Thompson certainly fits the mold. For what it’s worth, Baseball America linked the Yankees to Thompson in their most recent mock draft.

Yankees place Ellsbury on disabled list, call up Rob Refsnyder

(Elsa/Getty)
(Elsa/Getty)

As expected, the Yankees have placed Jacoby Ellsbury on the 7-day concussion disabled list, the team announced. Rob Refsnyder has been called up to fill the roster spot. The Yankees have already been rained out today. We won’t see Refsnyder in uniform until tomorrow night.

Ellsbury left last night’s game after crashing into the wall making a catch on literally the first pitch of the game. Trainer Steve Donohue checked him out and Ellsbury did stay into complete the inning — no other balls were hit his way — before being removed prior to the second inning. It’s a concussion and a neck strain, the Yankees say.

The fact Refsnyder was called up rather than a true outfielder like Mason Williams tells us Aaron Hicks will step into the lineup full-time to replace Ellsbury. That’s the best move. Hicks is having a great year, and the Ellsbury injury gives the Yankees a chance to get the switch-hitter into the lineup everyday.

Refnsyder can play both corner outfield spots, but when Hicks sits, Brett Gardner will have to slide over into center field. That’s no big deal. He’s more than capable. The Yankees have not given any sort of timetable for Ellsbury’s return. He’s having a nice year and losing a good player stinks.

Yankees and Royals rained out, makeup game on Sept. 25th

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

This afternoon’s series finale between the Yankees and Royals has been rained out, the two teams announced. They’ll play the makeup game on Monday, September 25th. The start time is TBA. That was supposed to be the Yankees’ final off-day of the regular season. At least the Royals have to come to New York and the Yankees don’t have to go anywhere.

Here’s what the Yankees say about the ticket situation for today’s rainout:

Fans holding paid tickets for today’s postponed game (May 25) may use them for the rescheduled game on Monday, September 25, or exchange their paid tickets for any regular season game at Yankee Stadium within 12 months of today’s postponed game (subject to availability).

Fans holding Complimentary (COMP) tickets for today’s game must use them for the rescheduled game. COMP tickets or equivalent tickets bear no cash value and do not have any additional benefits that may be offered to ticket(s) with a dollar value.

The Yankees already have two makeup games on the schedule for the second half this year. They’ll make up this game with the Royals on September 25th, and they’re also due to play a doubleheader at Fenway Park on July 16th. That’s the first Sunday after the All-Star break. The Yankees and Red Sox were rained out on April 25th.

I suppose the good news is the Yankees get an off-day today to break up their 20 games in 20 days stretch. They’re halfway through it — today was going to be game ten. The Yankees will play three games against the Athletics this weekend before going out on the road for three games in Baltimore and four games in Toronto next week.

The rainout gives all the starting pitchers an extra day of rest, which means if the Yankees had any plans to call up a spot sixth starter at some point during this 20 games in 20 days stretch, they might not have to now. They could still do that, of course, but now they have the option of waiting a little longer or skipping it all together.

Masahiro Tanaka, who has been dreadful the last two times out and owns a 6.56 ERA (6.05 FIP) on the season, was scheduled to start this afternoon. He’ll presumably get the ball tomorrow instead. The Yankees haven’t announced their pitching plans, though I would be surprised if they used the rainout to skip Tanaka’s start.

Losing the final off-day of the regular season to a makeup game isn’t a huge deal. The Yankees will now close the season with ten straight games rather than six. Plus rosters will be expanded, so they’ll have all the extra bodies. And! The last place Royals could very well sell at the deadline, so they might be much less imposing then than they are right now. We’ll see.

Severino dominates as Yankees earn 3-0 win over Royals

Good game, would watch again. The Yankees rebounded from Tuesday night’s deflating loss with a crisp 3-0 win over the Royals on Wednesday. Great pitching, good enough hitting. It works!

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Stellar Sevy
Ho boy. What an outing by Luis Severino. Starts like this show you exactly why the Yankees resisted the urge to keep Severino in the bullpen after last season, why he zoomed through the minors in less than three years, and why he should at least be discussed as a possible All-Star. Severino thoroughly manhandled the Royals in this game, holding them to four hits and one walk in eight shutout innings. He struck out seven.

Kansas City only had one runner reach second base against Severino — Brandon Moss yanked a double into the right field corner with two outs in the fifth — and never once had a runner reach third base. No jams at all. Severino threw first pitch strikes to 19 of 28 batters, and only four of those 24 batters saw a hitter friendly 2-0 or 3-1 count. He generated 14 swings and misses out of 114 total pitches, and check out his velocity (via Brooks Baseball):

luis-severino-velocity

There’s no decline there. Severino’s final pitch of the night was a 98.4 mph fastball. We’ve seen this all year too. Severino loses nothing off his fastball. He’s similar to peak Justin Verlander in that sense. Pitch count over 100? No big deal, here’s a 98 mph heater. It’s amazing. Severino also used his changeup and especially his slider effectively in this game, getting outs on both pitches.

Following these eight dominant innings, Severino now owns a 3.11 ERA (3.29 FIP) with 61 strikeouts and only 14 walks in 55 innings this season. He’s had some clunkers, most notably that dud against the Astros two weeks ago, but gosh, Severino had been totally dominant at times too. He’s the only Yankees starter to complete eight innings twice this season — heck, Masahiro Tanaka is the only other guy to do it once — and each time he’s had a tough outing, he’s bounced back to dominate next time out. Severino looks nothing like he did last year. It’s awesome. Go Sevy.

Three Runs Are Enough
I wouldn’t say the offense broke out Wednesday night, though they did get three runs on the board, and they did it in three different ways. Didi Gregorius opened the scoring with a solo home run to right field in the third inning. Dingers are always great. Love dingers. Gregorius has quietly — or maybe not so quietly? — been excellent since coming back from his shoulder injury. He’s hitting .330/.359/.474 (127 wRC+) on the season.

The Yankees scored their second run thanks to noted speed demon Gary Sanchez. He led off the sixth inning with a single, stole second (!) and moved to third when the throw sailed in center field, then scored on Matt Holliday‘s well-struck sac fly to the right field warning track. In the eighth, Gregorius smacked a ground rule double, moved to third on Chris Carter‘s ground out, then scored on Brett Gardner‘s two-strike single. Matt Strahm struck Gardner out on the previous pitch, but home plate Jerry Layne missed the call, and Gardner took advantage.

Three runs on seven hits and two walks isn’t a whole lot, but it was more than enough to win this game. The Yankees have still scored only 22 runs in their last seven games, and prior to the Holliday sac fly, they had scored their last nine runs on home runs. The offense is fighting it right now. This’ll happen a few times during the season. You just have to hope the pitching can pick up the bats, and it sure did Wednesday night.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Leftovers
Dellin Betances was absolutely untouchable in the ninth inning. He struck out all three batters he faced on 13 total pitches, and geez, they stood no chance. Betances was overwhelming. He was throwing his fastball by hitters and locking them up with the breaking ball. Total domination. As good as you’ll see Dellin look all season. Too bad he’s #notacloser.

Gregorius was the only Yankee with multiple hits. Gardner, Sanchez, Holliday, Aaron Judge, and Aaron Hicks had one hit each. Carter and Judge drew the walks. The Yankees went 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position, so yeah, they didn’t exactly have a boatload of opportunities. When they did though, they capitalized. A solo homer, a sac fly, and an RBI single. Hooray offensive diversity.

And finally, if you missed it earlier, Jacoby Ellsbury had to leave the game with a concussion and a neck strain. He crashed into the wall making a catch on the very first pitch of the game. Joe Girardi already confirmed Ellsbury is going on the seven-day disabled list. Stinks.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
ESPN has both the box score and updated standings. MLB.com has the video highlights. RAB has a Bullpen Workload page. Here is the win probability graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The end of this series, finally. Thursday afternoon the Yankees will play their first last game against a team this season. That make sense? If the Yankees play the Royals again this year, it’ll be in the postseason. Tanaka and young Miguel Almonte are the scheduled starting pitchers. Almonte will be making his first MLB start after debuting out of the bullpen. That’s a 1pm ET getaway day start. RAB Tickets can get you in the door if you feel like catching the midweek matinee.

DotF: Wade, Fowler, and Frazier all homer in Scranton’s win

Two quick notes to start the night:

  • 1B Ji-Man Choi (hamstring) was activated off the Triple-A disabled list, according to Donnie Collins. 1B Mike Ford was sent back to Double-A Trenton to clear a roster spot. Ford went 11-for-36 (.306) with four doubles and four homers in nine games with the RailRiders.
  • Make sure you check out 20-80 Baseball’s recent evaluations of OF Dustin Fowler, OF Clint Frazier, and SS Tyler Wade from a series earlier this month. The reports are glowing.

Triple-A Scranton (5-0 win over Columbus)

  • SS Tyler Wade: 2-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K — three homers in 40 games this year after hitting five in 133 games last year
  • CF Dustin Fowler: 2-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI — eight homers in 40 games this year after hitting 12 in 132 games last year … like Wade, he’s benefited from getting out of Trenton’s AT&T Park as a left-handed hitter
  • 3B Gleyber Torres: 0-3, 2 BB, 1 SB — that’s four straight games at third base … hmmm
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K — my guess is he gets the call tomorrow to replace the injured Jacoby Ellsbury
  • LF Clint Frazier: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 CS — 17 singles and 23 extra base hits (15 doubles and eight homers)
  • RF Mason Williams: 2-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SB
  • RHP Domingo German: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 4/3 GB/FB — 65 of 95 pitches were strikes (66%) … got roughed up a bit in his Triple-A debut last time out (five runs in 6.2 innings), so good to see him bounce back well this time out … 54/15 K/BB in 46.2 innings
  • RHP Gio Gallegos: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 0/2 GB/FB — 24 of 39 pitches were strikes (62%)

[Read more…]