Sunday Night Open Thread

Here is your open thread for the remainder of the weekend. The ESPN Sunday Night Game is the Nationals at the Mets (Zimmermann vs. Syndergaard) and that has been a very entertaining series. The Mets are only a game back in the NL East, so the division is on the line tonight, at least as much as it can be on August 2nd. Hopefully the last game of the series is just as good as the first two. Talk about that game, this afternoon’s win, or anything else right here.

Yanks close ten-game road trip with 12-3 win over ChiSox


Source: FanGraphs

Solid finish to a successful road trip, I’d say. The Yankees walloped the White Sox 12-3 on Sunday afternoon to close out the ten-game trip with a 6-4 record. They scored 78 runs in the ten games. That’s good! They also allowed 53 runs. That’s not so good. Let’s recap the win:

  • One Run Early: The Yankees had a lead two pitches into the game. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a leadoff home run against Jeff Samardzija, a long shot just to the left field side of dead center. Didn’t think Ellsbury had that kind of pop. The Yankees are up to 91 first inning runs on the season, 16 more than any other team. They’re on pace for 142 first inning runs this year. The record is 147 by the 2000 Cardinals.
  • Blown Open: The score remained 1-0 until the fourth inning, when the Yankees blew things open with five in the fourth and three more in the fifth. The fourth inning rally started with a Brian McCann bloop single that should have been caught — it dropped between three fielders. A walk (Carlos Beltran), a single (Chase Headley), a two-run double (Didi Gregorius), a single (Stephen Drew), a sac fly (Ellsbury), and a two-run single (Brett Gardner) followed. Mark Teixeira homered and Drew doubled in two in the fifth. Gardner’s hit was the big blow. Two outs, two strikes, and he turned a 4-0 lead into a 6-0 lead.
  • Live Arm: Ivan Nova put to rest any concerns about his “arm fatigue” on Sunday. He held the White Sox to one garbage time run — the Yankees were up 9-0 at the time — in six innings, striking out seven and getting nine more outs on the ground. For the first time since his first start back, it was vintage Nova. He looked sharp. The rotation has been a bit of a mess of late. It was nice to see someone stop the bleeding, so to speak.
  • Bullpen: Good time for Chase Shreve to have a rough outing. He allowed two solo homers (to righties) and a double in two-thirds of an inning. Hopefully he got it all out of his system. The just called up Branden Pinder recorded four drama-less outs and Andrew Miller retired the side in the ninth on five pitches. Miller had pitched only twice in the past ten days and has been a bit rusty since coming off the DL, so it was a good time to get him some work.
  • Leftovers: Drew tripled in two more runs in the seventh. He went 3-for-5 on the afternoon to raise his batting average to .19858. Almost over the Mendoza line! … Gregorius went 2-for-4 with a walk and is up to an 82 wRC+ on the season. The league average shortstop has an 82 wRC+ in 2015. Progress! … and finally, Nova was hit in the right hand by a foul ball while in the dugout in the fifth inning. The trainers checked him out, he went back into the game, and showed no ill-effects. Phew!

Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, and postseason odds. Here are our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees have an off-day Monday and will opening a three-game series with the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Masahiro Tanaka and rookie southpaw Henry Owens will be the pitching matchup. Owens will be making his MLB debut.

Game 104: End of the Road Trip

(David Banks/Getty)
(David Banks/Getty)

The three-city, ten-game road trip ends today. The Yankees are 5-4 in the first nine games of the trip, which is a bit disappointing considering they won four of the first five games. The offense has certainly shown up this trip (66 runs scored in the nine games) but the pitching has not (50 runs allowed).

Ivan Nova gets the ball this afternoon after leaving his last start with arm fatigue, which the Yankees insist is just a normal dead arm phase following Tommy John surgery. The rotation is really starting to become an issue — the starters have allowed 35 runs in 45.2 innings on the trip — so a solid outing from Nova would be very appreciated. Here is the White Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Ivan Nova

It is cloudy and very windy in Chicago this afternoon. I don’t know if that means the ball will be flying out of the park or getting knocked down. We’ll find out soon enough. Either way, first pitch is scheduled for 2:10pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and TBS nationally. Enjoy the game, folks.

Injury Updates: Diego Moreno has been placed on the DL with irritation in the back of his elbow, Joe Girardi announced. Moreno said he doesn’t think it is serious but he will see Dr. James Andrews tomorrow … Beltran is good to go today. He sat yesterday in part due to soreness in his foot. He fouled a couple pitches into his foot the last few days.

Roster Updates: Chris Capuano has cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Scranton after being designated for assignment a few days ago. He’s starting for the RailRiders today. Capuano could have elected free agency, but he would have forfeited about $2M in free agency by doing so. My guess is we’ll see him again when rosters expand in September … Branden Pinder has been recalled to replace Moreno on the roster.

Sunday Links: A-Rod, Sabathia, Sierra, Jeter

(David Banks/Getty)
(David Banks/Getty)

The Yankees wrap up their ten-game, three-city road trip a little later this afternoon with the series finale against the White Sox. Until then, here are some stray links to help you pass the time.

A-Rod on TV?

According to Bob Raissman, FOX and Alex Rodriguez‘s representatives have had preliminary discussions about A-Rod becoming involved in the network’s postseason coverage. Alex’s camp is talking to TBS and ESPN too. ESPN only carries one wildcard game while TBS gets the other wildcard game, four LDS games, and one entire LCS. FOX gets everything else.

I get the feeling Rodriguez would be an excellent television analyst. Who knows how he’ll be on camera and stuff — live television is hard! — but as far as baseball knowledge, A-Rod is unmatched. The guy lives and breathes the game. He’d have a ton of insight to offer. Of course, none of this will matter because Alex will be busy carrying the Yankees to the World Series this October. Nice of the networks to reach out though.

No talk of removing Sabathia from rotation

This isn’t a surprise. Brian Cashman told Wally Matthews the Yankees have not discussed removing CC Sabathia from the rotation. “That’s not something that we’re considering at this moment,” said the GM. “We’re going to continue to give him every opportunity to work through this for the foreseeable future.”

This is pretty frustrating, but again, not a surprise. Michael Pineda‘s injury means the Yankees couldn’t even take Sabathia out of the rotation if they wanted, but, even with a healthy Pineda, Sabathia was going to stay in there. The Yankees want to try to salvage the last few years of his contract even though he’s hurting their chances of getting back to the postseason. My guess is I’ll be writing this same blurb a few more times the next two years.

Yasiel Sierra works out for scouts

Cuban right-hander Yasiel Sierra worked out for scouts in the Dominican Republic last week, reports Jesse Sanchez. Sanchez says the 24-year-old Sierra works in the 93-97 mph range with a good slider and a recently added changeup. Because of his age and international experience, Sierra is not subject to the international spending restrictions, so the Yankees can sign him to contract of any size.( They’re limited to $300,000 for younger international amateurs the next two signing periods as part of the penalties stemming from last year’s spending spree.) I don’t know anything about Sierra beyond what’s in this post, but if he’s really 93-97 with a good slider, chances are there’s at least reliever potential there.

Jeter in Hollywood Reporter

I don’t really have much to add here: Hollywood Reporter recently ran a feature on Derek Jeter, focusing on his post-baseball life with The Players’ Tribune and his publishing venture. “I didn’t want to wake up one day and say, ‘What am I going to do now?'” said Jeter, acknowledging he’d been thinking about his post-baseball career for quite a while. Check it out. Neat article. (h/t Jeff Beck)

DotF: Judge and Sanchez go deep in Scranton’s loss

Triple-A Scranton (5-4 loss to Columbus)

  • RF Ben Gamel: 2-3, 1 BB, 1 SB — threw a runner out at third
  • LF Jose Pirela: 0-4 — threw a runner out at second
  • CF Slade Heathcott: 1-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 K — the quad must be fine if he’s legging out triples
  • DH Aaron Judge: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-4, 1 R, 1 K — he home run was a bomb according to Donnie Collins
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 K
  • RHP Kyle Haynes: 5 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2/3 GB/FB — box score didn’t have any pitch counts this game for some reason
  • RHP Caleb Cotham: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 0/3 GB/FB

[Read more…]

Game 103: Spot Start

(David Banks/Getty)
(David Banks/Getty)

For the second time in his career, Bryan Mitchell will start for the Yankees this evening. He’s making a spot start necessitated by Michael Pineda‘s forearm injury. Mitchell made one spot start last year, allowing two runs in five innings against the Orioles, but otherwise all of his MLB work has come out of the bullpen.

Mitchell was only able to get stretched out to 65 pitches with Triple-A Scranton after being sent down a few weeks ago, so I don’t think he’ll be able to throw much more than that tonight. Hopefully Mitchell can get through five and hand it over to Diego Moreno so he can pick up one of those cheap saves in another blowout win. Here is the White Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. RF Chris Young
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. C John Ryan Murphy
  8. 2B Brendan Ryan
  9. SS Didi Gregorius
    RHP Bryan Mitchell

It’s a little cloudy in Chicago but there’s no rain in the forecast. Nice night for a ballgame. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm ET and you can watch on WPIX. Enjoy the game.

Roster Move: Nick Rumbelow has been called up and Nick Goody as been sent down, the Yankees announced. Goody pitched each of the last two days and Rumbelow’s a fresh arm. Fun fact: Rumbelow was one of Goody’s setup men at LSU in 2012.

Rotation Update: Luis Severino will make his first start on Wednesday, Joe Girardi announced this afternoon. Masahiro Tanaka will start Tuesday and CC Sabathia will start Thursday in the three-game series against the Red Sox.

Thoughts following the 2015 trade deadline

(Brian Blanco/Getty)
(Brian Blanco/Getty)

Yesterday afternoon, the 2015 non-waiver trade deadline came and went with a lot of rumors, but ultimately no moves by the Yankees. They did pick up Dustin Ackley on Thursday, but that’s all, just the one small move. The lack of trade deadline activity was … unexpected. I have some thoughts.

1. I’ve been saying for weeks I expected the Yankees to make a move or three before the trade deadline, but it didn’t happen, and I’m really surprised. I figured the combination of sitting atop the AL East and missing the postseason the last two years would spring Brian Cashman & Co. into action to try to get whatever help they could to make sure they get back to the playoffs this year. Know what I mean? They don’t want to spend another October at home. The restrain was pretty impressive. The Yankees said they weren’t going to trade their top prospects and they stuck to their guns. It would have been very easy to give up, say, Luis Severino for David Price and go for the kill, but it didn’t happen. Unexpected!

2. Now, that said, was hanging on to every last top prospect the right move? That’s debatable. I’m in the camp that thinks the Yankees have a wonderful opportunity in front of them — seriously, can you expect Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez to hit like this again next year? — and they should have been willing to trade a top or prospect or two to bolster with an impact player, say Price or Ben Zobrist or whoever. I’m glad the Yankees were willing to make Jorge Mateo available for Craig Kimbrel for a few reasons, including the fact shortstop is a position of depth in the system. The Yankees literally have more shortstop prospects than roster spots — guys like Abi Avelino, Angel Aguilar (when healthy), and Yonauris Rodriguez have been stuck playing second or third base this summer — with more on the way thanks to last summer’s international spending spree. (Also, Mateo is sooo far away from MLB. He’s not going to have an impact anytime soon and lots can go wrong.) Every report indicated the Yankees wouldn’t move their upper level prospects and me, personally, I would have been more open to moving them at the trade deadline given the team’s current situation. When the unwillingness to trade prospects gets in the way of getting someone like Price, yeah, maybe that’s going to a little too.

3. Not getting some kind of pitching depth before the deadline was really, really risky. Every pitcher ever is at risk of getting hurt, that’s the nature of the business, though it feels like the Yankees are more at risk than most. Michael Pineda is already on the DL. CC Sabathia has had his knee drained twice this season already. Masahiro Tanaka has his whole elbow situation. Ivan Nova‘s working his way back from Tommy John surgery. Nathan Eovaldi is their most reliable starter right now and, as we saw last night, completing six innings is a challenge. Another starter to protect against injury and soak up some innings really would have been appreciated. And ace would have been awesome! But an innings guy like Mike Leake or even J.A. Happ would have worked. The Yankees are one more pitching injury from having some big problems. They’re already stretched thin as it is.

IPK. (Presswire)
IPK. (Presswire)

4. I have to think the Yankees will be keeping a really close eye on the August waiver trade market for pitching depth. More than usual. Both the Padres and White Sox did not make any trades yesterday because they feel they still have a run in them, but I can’t imagine that will last. How could it? Rental pitchers Ian Kennedy and Jeff Samardzija figure to be available at some point, especially Kennedy because he’s not a qualifying offer candidate. Yovani Gallardo, Bartolo Colon, and Aaron Harang are other August trade candidates. Obviously some of these guys are more desirable than others. (The issue with waiver trades is that teams below the Yankees in the standings can claim players just to block them from going to New York. So, for example, what are the odds the Blue Jays don’t claim Samardzija? Basically zero.) I’m just really worried about the rotation and the pitching staff in general. Hopefully everyone stays healthy in the second half, but man, I really wish the Yankees were able to bring in another starter before the deadline yesterday. What they have available right now feels like the bare minimum. It’s juuust enough to get by if everything breaks right.

5. As for the Ackley pickup … meh. Not really a needle-mover. Ackley’s a slight upgrade over Garrett Jones because he’s better defensively and can play second base, though he’s less likely to run into the occasional short porch homer. Ackley is several years younger — which means he has more “upside,” as people like to say — and is under contractual control for a few extra seasons. It’s certainly not difficult to understand why they replaced Jones with Ackley. Both Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez will be out of minor league options next year and the Yankees didn’t figure to have a spot for either, so they consolidated the assets, turned them into something else, and started to clear up the a 40-man roster logjam. The team has a frickin’ ton of outfielders and relievers in the upper levels of the minors. They dealt from a surplus for sure. It’s a boring yet fair trade that doesn’t figure to have much noticeable on-field impact. If you’re upset about this one, maybe take a step back and chill out for a bit.

6. I could be wrong, but it seems like the Yankees are going to stick with the Stephen Drew/Brendan Ryan platoon at second base for the foreseeable future. Rob Refsnyder‘s not going to come up and take over on an everyday basis anytime soon. That could change in an instant, I have a hard time thinking Ryan will hit like this much longer, but right now the plan seems to be Drew and Ryan. The Yankees have been hesitant to use Refsnyder this year, almost certainly because of his defense, so if they don’t call him up soon to play second, I’m not sure he’ll get another opportunity this year unless there’s an injury. Heck, even Ackley might be ahead of Refsnyder on the depth chart at this point. Maybe next year will be the year for Refsnyder.