DotF: Luis Severino throws three scoreless innings in first rehab game

Two quick notes:

  • IF Deibinson Romero has been released, according to Shane Hennigan. The move clears a roster spot for RHP Brady Lail, who was technically called up from Double-A Trenton. Lail never actually left Scranton though. He was between starts and it was a paper move to temporarily clear a roster spot for LHP Phil Coke last week.
  • 3B Miguel Andujar whacked two home runs yesterday and that landed him in today’s Prospect Report. As always, the Prospect Report is free. It’s not behind the Baseball America paywall. Make sure you check it out.

High-A Tampa (6-4 win over Brevard County)

  • 2B Jorge Mateo: 0-4, 1 RBI, 2 K
  • SS Abi Avelino: 2-5, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-5, 2 K
  • DH Austin Aune: 1-5, 1 RBI, 3 K — leads the farm system with 59 strikeouts (33.1 K%)
  • RF Jake Skole: 2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — five homers in 34 games for the 15th overall pick in the 2010 draft … his career high is nine homers in 124 games back in 2011
  • RHP Luis Severino: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4/1 GB/FB — 27 of 43 pitches were strikes (63%) … Joe Girardi told reporters Severino was scheduled for 45-50 pitches or so, which indicates he’ll be making more than one rehab start … we know Severino can dominate at this level, so I wouldn’t focus on the numbers much … the important thing is that he’s healthy
  • RHP Gabe Encinas: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1 HB, 1/0 GB/FB — 24 of 45 pitches were strikes (53%) … 8/18 K/BB in 14.1 innings this year
  • RHP Jordan Foley: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1/0 GB/FB — 12 of 22 pitches were strikes (55%) … 32/15 K/BB in 24.2 innings

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Pineda pounded yet again, Yankees fall 9-5 to Rays


Source: FanGraphs

Man I hope this season doesn’t turn into a series of “the Yankees are trying to get back to .500″ games, but I fear that’s where they’re heading. They lost Saturday afternoon’s game 9-5 to the Rays to fall to 23-25 on the season. It’s a Saturday, so let’s recap with bullet points:

  • Pineda Pounded: After allowing six runs in 3.2 innings Saturday afternoon, Michael Pineda now ranks 102nd out of 102 qualified starters with a 6.92 ERA. Dead last. He’s 83rd with a 4.62 FIP. Pineda has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball this season if not the worst, and he should not make his next start. But he will. Joe Girardi confirmed the Yankees haven’t discussed pulling Pineda from the rotation even though they were down 5-0 after two innings Saturday. Pineda’s been miserable. Stick him in the bullpen for a while and hope something clicks in mop-up duty.
  • Five Runs Should Be Enough: The Yankees did not go quietly Saturday. They scratched out a run in the fourth (Carlos Beltran solo homer) and rallied for two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. Nine of the 15 batters they sent to the plate those two innings reached base, and Austin Romine had a pair of run-scoring singles. Alex Rodriguez struck out with the bases loaded to end the seventh, and really, that was the end of the comeback. It was their best chance to get back into the game down 9-3. Five runs should be enough to win most days. They weren’t Saturday.
  • Cessa Impresses: Thanks to Pineda’s short start, Luis Cessa got his first extended outing at the big league level, and he looked pretty good. He did miss terribly with a 3-1 fastball that Hank Conger hit out of the park, but overall Cessa allowed one run on three hits and a walk in four innings. He fanned three, got six swings and misses out of 53 total pitches (11.3%), and ran his fastball up to 97.8 mph per PitchFX. I’d like to see some more.
  • Leftovers: Starlin Castro went 0-for-5 and is down to .251/.286/.410 (88 wRC+) on the season. He’s been sneaky bad since the Astros series … Chase Headley, meanwhile, went 3-for-3 with a walk and is up to .235/.321/.316 (78 wRC+) on the season. He hit .150/.268/.150 (23 wRC+) in April, remember … Austin Romine went 3-for-4 in the spot start to continue his productive season … Nick Goody allowed two runs in one-third of an inning … the Yankees have hit a homer in six straight games, easily their longest such streak of the season. They had a few three-gamers.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also make sure you head on over to our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Rays wrap up this three-game series with the rubber game Sunday afternoon. That’s a 1pm ET start. No more of this 4pm nonsense. Nathan Eovaldi and Jake Odorizzi will be on the bump.

Minor League Update: I don’t have time for a bullpen DotF tonight, folks. Sorry. Here are the box scores. Tyler Wade and Jorge Mateo each had two hits, Miguel Andujar hit two homers, Ian Clarkin tossed six scoreless innings, and Kyle Holder extended his hitting streak to 16 games.

Saturday Links: Old Timers’ Day, Mateo, Pettitte, Draft

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees and Rays will continue their three-game series a little later this afternoon. Until then, here are some links to help you pass the time.

Old Timers’ Day roster announced

Earlier this week the Yankees announced the roster of attendees for the 70th annual Old Timers’ Day this summer. Old Timers’ Day is Sunday, June 12th this year. That’s two weeks from tomorrow. Among the first time Old Timers this year are John Wetteland, Mariano Duncan, Bubba Crosby (!), and Eddie Robinson. Robinson, 95, is the oldest living Yankee. Pretty cool that he’ll be there. Here’s the full Old Timers’ Day roster. Still no Core Four members. /shrugs

Mateo among Law’s top 25 midseason prospects

Keith Law updated his list of the top 25 prospects in baseball (subs. req’d) a few days ago. Both Dodgers SS Corey Seager and Twins OF Byron Buxton have since graduated to the big leagues, so Nationals RHP Lucas Giolito now sits in the top spot. SS Jorge Mateo just barely makes the list at No. 25. Here’s a piece of Law’s write-up:

Mateo’s line this year is a little fluky — .388 BABIP and more home runs (5) than he had in all of 2015 (2) — but he certainly can hit and run, which, as long as he’s at shortstop, makes him a future above-average regular with a chance to develop into a star.

I respectfully disagree about the .388 BABIP being fluky. It is not uncommon for a top prospect to run a high BABIP in the minors, especially speedy guys like Mateo. A .380-ish BABIP across the full season wouldn’t be completely nuts. Anyway, Mateo ranked 55th on Law’s preseason list, so he made a real big jump in the span of two months. OF Aaron Judge ranked 35th before the season and is not in the updated top 25.

Pettitte, Thurman to represent Yankees at 2016 draft

Andy Pettitte and scout Mike Thurman will represent the Yankees during the 2016 draft broadcast on MLB Network this year, MLB announced. Here is the full list of team representatives. It reads like an MVP Baseball 2005 roster. Thurman is the team’s Pacific Northwest scout and Pettitte is Pettitte. Commissioner Rob Manfred announces all first round picks during the broadcast before the team representatives take over, so Pettitte figures to announce New York’s second round selection (No. 62 overall). David Cone, Jeff Nelson, Tino Martinez, and Willie Randolph are among those who have represented the Yankees in previous drafts.

Yankee Stadium security guard fired for stealing memorabilia

According to Nathaniel Vinton, a Yankee Stadium security guard — and former NYPD detective — named Joe Flannino was fired for stealing memorabilia. Flannino was on the Yankee Stadium security staff from 1997-2013 before being reassigned to the archive room, which is where he was caught lifting documents. As far as I can tell there was no arrest made. Flannino was terminated and apologized to team officials. I wonder what else is in that archive room. Probably some pretty cool (and valuable) stuff, huh?

Tanaka and A-Rod lead Yankees to 4-1 win over Rays


Source: FanGraphs

It figures that after sitting through those last two losses, I couldn’t watch Friday’s series opening win over the Rays. I was at Citi Field for Julio Urias’ debut and I planned to watch the game on the FOX Sports Go app, but the stupid game was on WPIX, so the app was useless. Blah. I caught a few innings on the radio instead. Here are some thoughts to quasi-recap the 4-1 win.

1. 80 pitches is the new 100. Based on the box score and what I heard on the radio, Masahiro Tanaka was awfully sharp Friday. One single and one double in seven scoreless innings. No walks, four strikeouts, four balls hit out of the infield. Just awesome. And yet, Tanaka was out of the game after only 82 pitches, which is starting to become the norm. Joe Girardi is like a kid on Christmas morning with his bullpen. He’s got all these shiny toys and he can’t wait to play with them. Tanaka was cruising and, as far as I know, there was no reason he couldn’t go out and pitch the eighth. This isn’t the first time a starter was taken out of the game before necessary and I’m guessing it won’t be the last.

2. Narratives: busted. For the last few days we’ve been hearing about Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran being unable to coexist because there is only one DH spot — Beltran’s Golden Sombrero on Thursday didn’t help matters — but they put an end to that Friday. A-Rod smacked a long two-run home in the sixth inning …

… and Beltran hit a solo homer in the eighth as well. Yeah, I think they’ll be just fine. There’s no doubt the defense is worse off with Beltran in right field, but as long as both guys hit, it’ll be worth it. I do love A-Rod’s bat flip too. That is a gentleman’s bat flip.

3. Two quick runners, three quick outs. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner started the game with a single and walk, respectively. Chris Archer has struggled overall this season and especially so in the first inning — he came into the game with 12 first inning runs allowed, second most in baseball (Michael Pineda is first with 13) — so it looked like the Yankees were going to put up a crooked number early. Instead, Beltran and Brian McCann popped up and A-Rod grounded out. Ellsbury and Gardner didn’t move after reaching base. Sigh. Ultimately it didn’t matter when the game was over, but you still hate to see early opportunities like that go to waste.

4. Matte helmets? Whaaa? It has come to my attention the Yankees were wearing helmets with a matte finish Friday night. Here’s a photo:

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

That’s the first time we’ve seen those this season and, well, ever. Apparently the Yankees are only going to wear those on the road. They’ll continue to wear the regular glossy helmets at home. I dunno man, the Yankees uniform is a classic. Why the change? Eh, whatever. No big deal. I do wonder what spurred this on though.

5. Save situation. Like I said, Girardi is like a kid on Christmas morning. He went to Aroldis Chapman for a one-out save (!) because Kirby Yates allowed a two-out solo homer in the ninth with a four-run lead. Now Chapman has pitched two straight days, which will affect his availability the rest of the weekend. Andrew Miller pitched the eighth because he needed the work — he hadn’t pitched since Sunday — so why not stick with Tanaka for the eighth and let Miller close out the ninth? I mean, I know the answer (eighth inning guys pitch the eighth inning), but good gravy, not everyone needs to warm up every day. The bullpen is gonna be toast by August. (Update: Chapman didn’t even get a save. Heh.)

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Don’t miss our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages too. The Yankees and Rays will continue this series with the middle game Saturday. That’s a 4pm ET start for whatever reason.

Minor League Update: I don’t have time for a full DotF tonight, sorry. Here are the box scores. Ben Gamel homered, Chad Green tossed seven scoreless innings, Jorge Mateo had a hit and a walk, and Kyle Holder extended his hitting streak. That’s the short version.

2016 Draft: Baseball America Mock Draft v4.0

T-minus one week and six days until the start of the 2016 amateur draft. Baseball America published their fourth mock draft of the season earlier today, and this time they have the Phillies taking California HS OF Mickey Moniak with the top pick. “Mickey Moniak” is an A+ baseball name. As always, the mock draft is free. It’s not behind the paywall.

As for the Yankees, Baseball America has them selecting Virginia C Matt Thaiss with their first round pick, the 18th overall selection. The 21-year-old lefty hitter owns a .382/.478/.599 batting line with ten homers, 35 walks, and 12 strikeouts this year. Here’s a snippet of MLB.com’s free scouting report:

He has an advanced approach at the plate and solid power, especially on the extra-base front, though he should have some over-the-fence pop at the next level. He’s continued to be very consistent at the plate as a junior, though there are many questions about his ability to stay behind it as a pro. His catching skills are quite raw, with a fringy arm and rough receiving skills … (His) bat alone — and he has played first base at times — should make him a day one selection.

Interestingly, the write-up says reports of the Yankees being in on pitchers is “inaccurate,” and instead “the focus has been on finding a college bat.” Intrigue! This draft is a bit thin on impact college bats beyond likely top five picks Mercer OF Kyle Lewis and Louisville OF Corey Ray. Thaiss, Tennessee 3B Nick Senzel, and Miami C Zack Collins represent the best of the rest.

There is quite a bit of pitching in this draft, both college and high school, and that’s good because the Yankees could use some arms in their farm system. The best strategy may be to take the best available bat in the first round, then take advantage of the pitching depth and load up on arms in the second round and beyond.

2016 Draft: Jordan Sheffield

Jordan Sheffield | RHP

Background
Sheffield, 20, is Gary’s nephew and he’s from the relatively small town of Tullahoma, Tennessee. He was considered a first round talent out of high school in 2013, but he blew out his elbow as a senior and needed Tommy John surgery, which caused him to drop to the 13rd round (Red Sox). Sheffield rehabbed as a true freshman at Vanderbilt before returning to the mound last year. He has a 2.38 ERA with 101 strikeouts and 33 walks in 90 .2 innings this spring.

Scouting Report
At 6-foot-0 and 196 lbs., Sheffield inevitably draws lazy comps to other short-ish righties like Marcus Stroman and Sonny Gray (another former Vandy ace). Sheffield throws harder than those two and lives in the 93-96 mph range with his fastball, and he’s able to hold that velocity deep into games. He also throws a mid-80s changeup and a slurvy low-80s breaking ball, both of which are out pitches on their best days. The change is more consistently excellent than the breaking ball. Among all the college arms in this draft class, Sheffield has the best chance for three above-average pitches. The only drawback is the effort in his delivery, which robs him of command. Sheffield has the stuff to start. The concern is he won’t be efficient and will be a five-and-fly guy long-term. Plus he has Tommy John surgery in his history. That’s kind of a big deal even though he’s been healthy since.

Miscellany
Both Keith Law (subs. req’d) and Baseball America ranked Sheffield as the 23rd best prospect in the draft class in their latest rankings. MLB.com had him a bit higher at 19th. The Yankees pick 18th. Sheffield obviously has premium stuff and good baseball bloodlines — his brother Justus was a first round pick in 2014 (31st overall by Indians) — so the unteachables are very good. The only red flags are the elbow and his inconsistent command. And I guess fastball plane, which is a concern for all pitchers on the short side. For what it’s worth, the Yankees have been connected to Sheffield in a few mock drafts recently, and those tend to be informed speculation. There’s probably more than cursory interest there.

DotF: A-Rod homers in final game of rehab assignment

In case you missed it earlier, C Gary Sanchez has a non-displaced fracture in his right thumb and will be re-evaluated in two weeks. Sucks. He was hit by a foul tip last night. C Sebastian Valle has been bumped up Double-A Trenton to fill Sanchez’s roster spot, so says Shane Hennigan.

Triple-A Scranton (7-1 win over Louisville)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 2-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB — he hasn’t hit much since being sent down and they’ll need him to get hot while Sanchez is out
  • DH Aaron Judge: 1-5, 1 RBI, 2 K — he’s in a 7-for-39 (.179) slump with a 30.4% strikeout rate
  • 1B Chris Parmelee: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB — sixth dinger of the season
  • LF Jake Cave: 1-4, 1 R, 1 K
  • LHP Phil Coke: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 6/1 GB/FB — 43 of 69 pitches were strikes (62%) … Phil Coke starting in the minors like it’s 2006 or something
  • RHP Conor Mullee: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 18 of 35 pitches were strikes (51%)
  • LHP Neal Cotts: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — eleven pitches, nine strikes
  • RHP Anthony Swarzak: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB — eleven pitches, eight strikes

[Read more…]