DotF: Andujar and McKinney have big games in Scranton’s win

A few quick notes to pass along:

  • In case you missed it earlier, the Yankees are sending SS Thairo Estrada, OF Estevan Florial, 1B Chris Gittens, SS Kyle Holder, LHP Justus Sheffield, and RHP Dillon Tate to the Arizona Fall League this year. The Yankees still have two pitching spots TBA as well.
  • Florial was named the Most Outstanding MLB Prospect in the Low-A South Atlantic League, so that’s cool. He hit .297/.373/.483 (146 wRC+) with eleven homers and 17 steals in 91 games with Low-A Charleston before being promoted.
  • 2080 Baseball has write-ups on several lower profile Yankees prospects, including LHP James Reeves. “Reeves has the look of a future role Role 50 situational reliever, with additional utility as a solid change-of-pace look out of the bullpen who could give both righties and lefties fits in a middle-relief role,” says the write-up.

Triple-A Scranton (8-1 win over Rochester) they’ve already clinched the division title … their regular season ends next Monday, and their first round postseason series begins next Wednesday (opponent TBD)

  • SS Tyler Wade: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K, 1 E (fielding)
  • CF Jake Cave: 0-4, 1 BB
  • DH Matt Holliday: 1-4, 1 R — his rehab has been moved up here, obviously … Holliday told D.J. Eberle his goal is to rejoin the Yankees on Friday, conveniently the first day rosters expand
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 2-4, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K, 1 E (fielding) — my dude
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 K
  • RF Billy McKinney: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI — 11-for-32 (.344) in his last eight games, so he’s finishing strong
  • LHP Nestor Cortes: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HB, 5/3 GB/FB — 64 of 87 pitches were strikes (74%) … making the spot start in place of Jordan Montgomery, who will start the second game of tomorrow’s doubleheader for the big league team

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DotF: Cave homers as Scranton clinches division title

Got several days worth of notes to catch up on, so let’s get to it.

  • RHP Domingo Acevedo’s season is over, reports Matt Kardos. He’s been shut down due to his workload. Big Sunday had a 3.25 ERA (3.27 FIP) with 26.0% strikeouts and 6.2% walks in 133 innings at three levels this season. He threw 93 innings last year. Good season for Acevedo. A 40-man roster spot awaits this offseason.
  • Kyle Higashioka (shoulder) has a muscle strain, according to Conor Foley. He’s on the disabled list at the moment. There is no timetable for Higashioka’s return and that’s kind of a big deal with September call-ups looming and both Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine waiting on the appeals of their suspensions.
  • SS Thairo Estrada was named to the Double-A Eastern League end-of-season All-Star Team while 2B Nick Solak did the same in the High-A Florida State League. Also, High-A Tampa manager Jay Bell was named the FSL Manager of the year. Bell was recently named a top managerial prospect. Congrats to them.
  • According to Josh Norris, Estrada is expected to be among the players the Yankees send to the Arizona Fall League after the season. Thairo is on the 40-man roster bubble and the Yankees are probably using the AzFL stint to buy a little more evaluation time. That’s pretty common. The AzFL rosters should be announced fairly soon. Probably this week.
  • J.J. Cooper (subs. req’d) looked at this year’s top breakout prospects, and OF Estevan Florial is among them. “Florial’s strikeout rate is still frighteningly high, but he runs, has developing power and has a chance to be an impact defender in center field in addition to a dynamic power-speed threat in the batter’s box,” said the write-up.

Triple-A Scranton (5-3 win over Rochester) they clinched a postseason spot over the weekend, and this win clinches their third straight division title

  • 2B Tyler Wade & 1B Tyler Austin: both 0-4, 1 K — Wade is 2-for-13 (.154) with five strikeouts in three games since being sent down
  • CF Jake Cave: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI — that’s his 20th home run of the season … his previous career high was eight, set last year
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 2-4, 1 SB — 18-for-47 (.383) during his 12-game hitting streak
  • RF Billy McKinney: 1-4
  • LF Mason Williams: 2-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 9/2 GB/FB — 50 of 72 pitches were strikes (69%)
  • RHP J.P. Feyereisen: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 20 of 33 pitches were strikes (61%)
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4/0 GB/FB — 19 of 27 pitches were strikes (70%) … 44/11 K/BB in 39.1 innings since coming back from Tommy John surgery

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Yankees 6, Mariners 3: Pickles cuts up Seattle in Bird’s return

Source: FanGraphs

Nice bounceback win for the Yankees following that frustrating loss Friday night. The Yankees received some timely hits from Jacoby Ellsbury and great pitching from Sonny Gray, which is exactly why they brought him in. To halt losing streaks. Saturday afternoon’s final score was 6-3.

I only caught the last inning of Saturday’s game — not even, I caught the last four outs or so — so I can’t talk too intelligently about the game. Here are some assorted notes instead.

1. Pickles spears the Mariners. One run, three hits, one walk, seven innings. Nine strikeouts too. The good version of Gray is pretty excellent, is he not? I know it’s Carlos Ruiz, but I’m not going to sweat one solo homer across seven innings from any starter, especially in a game at Yankee Stadium. Through five starts Gray is sitting on a 2.70 ERA (3.46 FIP) in 30 innings with the Yankees. He has a 3.26 ERA (3.35 FIP) on the season overall. The Yankees got themselves a good one.

2. Ellsbury did a thing! Playing time has been hard to come by for Ellsbury the last few weeks — and that’s on him, if he’d played better earlier this season, he’d be playing more in the second half — though when he has played, he’s had a tendency to make some noise. On Saturday he drove in his team’s first run of the game with a single, and then drove in their second, third, and fourth runs with a three-run home run into the short porch. That was a two-out rally too. Two-out single by Greg Bird, two-out walk by Chase Headley, two-out three-run homer by Ellsbury. In a perfect world, Ellsbury would be 1996 Tim Raines the rest of the season, that high-end fourth outfielder who seems to do something every time he finds himself in the lineup.

3. Bird returns. Greg Bird is back! Hooray for that. I didn’t get to see any of his at-bats, so that stinks, but 1-for-2 with two walks and 22 pitches seen sure looks like the good version of Greg Bird to me. Statcast tells me he got the benefit of the doubt on few borderline calls …


… but who cares. Those will even out over the course of the season. Bird has military caliber discipline at the plate, so when he’s laying off those borderline pitches, that’s a good thing. You know he feels like himself at the plate. The Yankees went into Saturday’s game with 183 runs in the second half, ninth most in the AL and 16th most in MLB, so the offense really needs a shot in the arm. Hopefully Bird can provide that.

Also, what the heck was that send by third base coach Joe Espada on Ellsbury’s single to open to scoring? I watched the highlight and, uh, that’s bad. Bird is not fleet of foot, and this was literally his first game back from ankle surgery. I guess Espada was hoping Ben Gamel would make a poor throw? Otherwise I’m not sure what that send was about.

* * *

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. The Yankees and Mariners will wrap up this three-game series Sunday afternoon — that’s another 1pm ET start — when Masahiro Tanaka and Andrew Albers will be on the mound. That’s the kind of game a true division contender should win at this point of the season. Tanaka has been pretty great his last 12 starts (3.38 ERA and 3.65 FIP) and Albers was pitching in an independent league last year. Yeah.

Minor League Update: I’m out of town and don’t have time for a full DotF tonight. Here are the box scores. Most of the games today are night games, so they haven’t even started as of this writing.

Yankees come together as a team after brawl with Tigers to lose 2-1 to Mariners

Source: FanGraphs

Well, if nothing else, maybe this will put an end to the ridiculous notion that Thursday’s brawls with the Tigers would spark the Yankees and get them to rally together. They lost Thursday’s game after the brawls and they lost Friday’s game too. The final score was 2-1. The Yankees looked completely helpless against the Mariners.

I alternated between watching Friday’s game on my phone and listening to the radio, plus I missed big chunks of it, so I can’t do a full recap. Instead, here are some notes and observations.

1. These baserunners are made for stranding. This game was lost when the Yankees left the bases loaded three times. Three freaking times. They did it in the third (Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez flew out), in the fourth (Todd Frazier struck out), and in the eighth (Frazier struck out). The Yankees went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and it was a total team effort. Eight of the nine players in the lineup had an at-bat with runners in scoring position. Only Didi Gregorius did not. A medium deep fly ball scores a run in the third and fourth innings, when the Yankees had a man on third and less than two outs, and they couldn’t do it. Impressively terrible showing by the offense.

2. You don’t need 50 seconds to ask for that replay. How in the world does that Gregorius slide at third base not get challenged in the eighth inning? Didi made a terrible baserunning play. He broke from second base on a ground ball hit in front of him. It looked like he was thrown out at third, but replays showed he managed to avoid the tag with a fantastic slide. And yet, no challenge was made. Joe Girardi said after the game it took too long (50 seconds, to be exact) to get the thumbs up from replay guy Brett Weber, which is why the play was not challenged.

That is complete and total crap. Eighth inning of a tie game, and you’re talking about a bang-bang play that would’ve put the go-ahead run at third base with one out. That’s an insta-challenge. I’ve been harping on these for a while. On plays that important and that just close, just challenge it. Who cares about the team’s challenge success rate? Have them look at it. The difference of that play:

  • Successful challenge (runners on the corners, one out): 77.1% win probability
  • No challenge (runner on first, two outs): 57.8% win probability

The Yankees did end up needing their challenge in the 11th inning to overturn the egregiously bad out call on Brett Gardner‘s stolen base, though the game could’ve been over long before that. Maybe the Yankees waste that opportunity anyway given how poorly they performed with men in scoring position. Probably would have. But man, letting that play go unchallenged is awful. Just awful. A bang-bang play in which the go-ahead run was thrown out at third base in the eighth inning is one of these situations where waiting even 30 seconds for the replay guy to chime in should not happen. Use those challenges. You don’t get bonus points for a high success rate.

3. Chapman is a disaster. An unmitigated disaster. After allowing one home run to a left-handed batter in his first six-plus seasons as a big leaguer, Aroldis Chapman has now done it twice in the last month. This time Yonder Alonso turned around a 100 mph fastball like he knew it was coming for the game-winning home run. And he probably did know it was coming because Chapman throws fastball after fastball after fastball. Thirteen fastballs and one slider Friday. Fourteen pitches and zero swings and misses. Chapman was booed off the mound, which is funny, because Hal Steinbrenner said one of the reasons the Yankees signed him was how pumped up fans were when he entered the games last year. Sound logic.

4. Sabathia is still a boss. On the bright side, CC Sabathia is still the man. Seven innings of one run ball. Five hits, one walk, six strikeouts. Only 94 pitches too. Sabathia allowed a solo homer to Mike Zunino and that’s it. The big man passed Mike Mussina for sole possession of 19th place on the all-time strikeout list Friday night. Awesome. Sabathia is forever cool with me. Damn shame the Yankees wasted this outing.

* * *

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. The Yankees and Mariners will continue this series Saturday afternoon. That’s a regular 1pm ET start. Hooray for baseball on Saturday afternoons. Sonny Gray and Yovani Gallardo are the scheduled starting pitchers.

Minor League Update: I don’t have time for a full DotF tonight and I won’t all weekend, so here’s the box scores and here’s the short version: 3B Miguel Andujar had a single and a walk, LF Billy McKinney had a single and a double, RHP Domingo German struck out eight in 6.1 innings of one-run ball, LHP Stephen Tarpley allowed his first run of the season, SS Kyle Holder had four hits, RHP Freicer Perez allowed one hit and one run in six innings, RHP Trevor Stephan struck out six in 2.2 innings, and LHP Justus Sheffield tossed two scoreless innings in his first rehab game back from the oblique injury.

DotF: Castro and Bird hit back-to-back homers in AAA win

RHP Jonathan Holder has been activated off the Triple-A Scranton disabled list, the team announced. That’s good. Always like to have healthy MLB options stashed in Triple-A. D.J. Eberle says Holder was out with a lower back injury. Those are no fun. At least it wasn’t his arm.

Triple-A Scranton (8-3 win over Rochester)

  • CF Mason Williams: 2-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K
  • 2B Starlin Castro: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K — played seven innings in the field, as scheduled … he still hasn’t played a full nine innings at second base, though the Yankees could’ve been taking it easy on him today in anticipation of activating him tomorrow
  • 1B Greg Bird: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K — he and Castro hit back-to-back homers against former big leaguer Chris Heston … here’s video of the back-to-back jacks
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-5, 1 R, 1 K
  • LF Jake Cave: 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB
  • LHP Jordan Montgomery: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 4/0 GB/FB — 31 of 47 pitches were strikes (66%) … the short start was by design to control his workload … it is in no way a coincidence he is lined up with Jaime Garcia … my guess is Montgomery will make one more short Triple-A start in five days, then rejoin the rotation once rosters expand on September 1st
  • RHP Jonathan Holder: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K — 14 of 25 pitches were strikes (56%)

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DotF: Crawford homers, Tate dominates in Trenton’s win

Good news: LHP Justus Sheffield is on his way to Tampa, according to his Twitter feed. That suggests his oblique strain rehab is going well and he’s getting closer to pitching in games. The minor league season ends in two weeks, so getting back in time for the Double-A postseason might be tough.

Triple-A Scranton Game One (5-4 loss to Rochester) completion of yesterday’s game, which was suspended due to rain with one out in the top of the fourth

  • CF Jake Cave: 3-5, 1 R, , 1 2B, 2 K — he went 3-for-3 in the game yesterday and 0-for-2 today
  • 2B Starlin Castro: 2-5, 1 R, 1 K — here’s video of yesterday’s single
  • DH Greg Bird: 0-1, 1 RBI — he played in the game yesterday, but not the completion today
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 K
  • RF Billy McKinney: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 E (fielding)
  • RHP Brady Lail: 3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3/3 GB/FB — 42 of 69 pitches were strikes (61%) … he started the game yesterday
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/4 GB/FB — 49 of 72 pitches were strikes (68%)
  • RHP Gio Gallegos: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 14 of 22 pitches were strikes (64%)

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DotF: Ford homers, Mesa dominates in Trenton’s win

Triple-A Scranton‘s game was suspended due to rain with one out in the top of the fourth. It’ll be completed tomorrow. Here’s the box score. I’m not quite sure what that means for 2B Starlin Castro‘s and 1B Greg Bird‘s rehab. Castro played the field tonight and Bird was the DH. I imagine they’ll resume those positions in the completion tomorrow, then Castro will DH and Bird will play first base in the second game of the doubleheader. We’ll see.

Double-A Trenton (8-0 win over Portland)

  • SS Thairo Estrada: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • CF Rashad Crawford: 2-5, 1 R, 2 K — threw a runner out at second
  • 2B Nick Solak: 2-4, 1 R, 1 BB — 16-for-47 (.340) in his last 12 games
  • DH Mike Ford: 2-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 HBP — leads the system in homers (20) and walks (84)
  • 1B Ryan McBroom: 0-5, 1 K
  • RHP Jose Mesa Jr.: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 6/2 GB/FB — 53 of 80 pitches were strikes (66%) … in six starts this year: 0.36 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 4.25 K/BB … in 21 relief appearances: 3.12 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 3.11 K/BB
  • RHP Colten Brewer: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K — 12 of 15 pitches were strikes

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