DotF: Gamel, Sanchez have big games in Scranton’s win

Triple-A Scranton (4-2 win over Rochester)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 2-4, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K — he’s hitting .332/.379/.545 with 13 doubles, six triples, and five homers in his last 46 games … jeepers
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder & LF Jose Pirela: both 0-4, 1 K
  • C Gary Sanchez: 4-4, 2 R, 2 2B — slump’s over
  • RF Aaron Judge: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 1B Austin Romine: 1-3, 3 RBI, 1 K
  • RHP Kyle Haynes: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 7/6 GB/FB — 66 of 99 pitches were strikes (67%) … easily his best outing a Triple-A and it came at a good time, their bullpen has been taxed due an extra innings game and the recent shuttling
  • RHP Andury Acevedo: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 25 of 39 pitches were strikes (64%)

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DotF: Aaron Judge’s monster game leads Scranton to a win

Triple-A Scranton (11-5 win over Lehigh Valley)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 1-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 3 K — threw a runner out at third
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-5, 3 RBI, 1 SB — had been in a 3-for-21 (.143) rut
  • LF Jose Pirela: 0-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
  • DH Gary Sanchez: 1-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K — 17th homer of the year leaves him one shy of his career high, set back in 2012 … he’s third in the minors in homers among catchers (two others are tied at 19)
  • RF Aaron Judge: 3-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB — monster game … he’s been struggling of late, but this is a nice little reminder of the kind of impact he can have
  • C Austin Romine: 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI — had been in a 4-for-30 (.133) slump
  • RHP Kyle Davies: 6.1 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 B, 4 K, 6/3 GB/FB — 60 of 102 pitches were strikes (59%)
  • RHP Caleb Cotham: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — eleven of 19 pitches were strikes (58%)
  • RHP Andrew Bailey: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 18 of 24 pitches were strikes (75%) … have to think he’ll be a September call-up as long as he stays healthy

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Saturday Links: Postseason Schedule, Tulowitzki, Patches, Prospects, Online Streaming

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees and Indians continue their four-game series later this afternoon. Here are a few links worth checking out while you wait for first pitch.

Postseason schedule announced

MLB announced the 2015 postseason scheduled this week. Unlike the last two years, I can post this information and not feel like I am wasting a bunch of time. The full schedule can be found right here. Here are the dates potentially relevant to the Yankees:

  • Tiebreaker Game: Monday, October 5th (if necessary to determine division winner, second wildcard spot, etc.)
  • AL Wildcard Game: Tuesday, October 6th
  • ALDS: Thursday, October 8th through Wednesday, October 14th (best of five)
  • ALCS: Friday, October 16th through Saturday, October 24th (best of seven)
  • World Series: Tuesday, October 27th through Wednesday, November 4th (best of seven)

As always, the best-of-three LDS round includes off-days between Games Two and Three and between Games Four and Five. The best-of-seven LCS round and World Series have off-days between Games Two and Three and between Games Five and Six. The World Series will bleed into November unless there is a four-game sweep. There hasn’t been a World Series game in November since 2010. The Yankees won the 2009 World Series on November 4th, as you surely remember.

Cashman preferred Tulowitzki to Jeter

Here’s a fun anecdote. According to Sports Illustrated, Brian Cashman told Derek Jeter he would rather have Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop while in contract talks during the 2010-11 offseason. Here’s the full blurb:

“Who would you rather have playing shortstop this year than me?” Jeter asked Cashman.

“Do you really want me to answer that?” Cashman replied. Jeter told him to go ahead, and he listed Tulowitzki, then the Rockies’ shortstop who was in the midst of his first All-Star campaign. “We’re not paying extra money for popularity,” he added, “We’re paying for performance.”

Jeter was 36 at the time and coming off the worst season of his career. He and the Yankees eventually agreed to a new three-year contract with $51M, though reportedly ownership stepped in to wrap things up. SI has a profile of Cashman in this week’s issue that has yet to make its way online.

Hey, as far as I’m concerned, Cashman did nothing wrong. He asked Jeter if wanted an answer, Jeter said yes, and Cashman gave him an honest answer. There needed to be a bad guy in those contract negotiations just to give the Yankees some sort of leverage. They couldn’t go in there kissing Jeter’s behind and willing to pay anything. I would have rather had Tulo instead of Jeter too.

FanGraphs’ midseason prospect update

Over at FanGraphs, Kiley McDaniel posted an updated look at the top prospects in baseball. Dodgers 3B Corey Seager sits in the top spot and is followed by Twins OF Byron Buxton and Phillies SS J.P. Crawford. The Yankee shave three players among McDaniel’s top 26 prospects: RHP Luis Severino (9th), OF Aaron Judge (22nd), and SS Jorge Mateo (25th). I doubt you’ll see Mateo ranked that highly anywhere else this year or heading into next year. McDaniel seems to really believe in him.

Posada & Pettitte Day patches

Later today, the Yankees will honor Jorge Posada by retiring his No. 20. Then tomorrow they’ll do the same for Andy Pettitte and retire No. 46. Both are very deserving in my opinion. It blows my mind anyone would try to argue otherwise. Anyway, in honor of their special days, the Yankees will wear Posada and Pettitte patches on their hats. Here they are:

Jorge Posada Andy Pettitte patch

The Pettitte patch is A+ work. Posada … I’ll give it a C. Good idea, not the best execution. Pettitte’s stare was kinda his trademark and it makes for a good patch. Posada doesn’t have that signature pose or image or whatever. (Maybe it’s this?) Still pretty cool. I’m really looking forward to seeing the ceremonies the next two days.

MLB, MLBPA announce new domestic violence policy

MLB and the MLBPA announced their new domestic violence policy yesterday. The press release is right here (PDF link). It covers domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. In a nutshell, the Commissioner’s Office will investigate, the player will be placed on leave for up to seven days, and commissioner Rob Manfred can impose any discipline he chooses. There is no minimum or maximum suspension, and discipline is not dependent on whether there are charges or a conviction. After the Ray Rice situation and everything else going on in the NFL, MLB and the MLBPA did a good job getting an agreement worked out. Manfred has the ability to be heavy-handed from the start.

Some online streaming to start next season

According to John Ourand and Eric Fisher, MLB and FOX have agreed to a deal making games available for in-market online streaming. There’s a catch: it only covers FOX affiliates. So Yankees fans in New York won’t be able to watch YES online just yet. FOX holds local broadcast rights to 15 teams, so this does cover half the league. That’s a start.

Part of the hold up with other broadcast networks is MLB’s requirement that MLBAM’s operation be in control to ensure the video security and quality, as well as a 4% rights fee. It’ll end up costing regional networks like YES and SNY a couple million bucks to make games available online in-market, say Ourand and Fisher. Hopefully the other networks hammer out a deal soon. It’s 2015. I’d like to be able to watch the Yankees on something other than my TV.

Update: Turns out the Yankees are covered by the FOX streaming deal. How about that? FOX owns a big stake in YES, remember. They bought in a few years ago.

DotF: Pineda goes 4.2 innings in second rehab start

SS Hyo-Jun Park placed 20th on this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. “He’s rangy and instinctive and has a fantastic eye for the strike zone. He’s a line-drive hitter with pop enough to jerk one out of the park every now and again,” said the write-up.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 win over Rochester in 14 innings, walk-off style)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 2-6, 3 K
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • RF Jose Pirela: 2-5, 1 BB
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-6, 1 RBI, 1 K — in a 6-for-43 (.140) slump
  • DH Aaron Judge: 0-6, 2 K — really limping to the finish line this year
  • LF Slade Heathcott: 2-4, 2 K — left the game after running the bases in the ninth for an unknown reason
  • 1B Austin Romine: 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 CS — walk-off single
  • RHP Michael Pineda: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HB, 6/1 GB/FB — 45 of 62 pitches were strikes (73%) … he was scheduled to throw 65 pitches or so in his second rehab start … Pineda told Billy Witz he felt good and declared “Big Mike is back”
  • RHP Caleb Cotham: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 3/0 GB/FB — eleven of 18 pitches were strikes (61%)
  • RHP Chris Martin: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K — 13 of 20 pitches were strikes (65%) … first outing in a month … Martin told Witz he developed a staph infection from a bug bite in his hand, and it spread to his elbow … yikes
  • RHP Nick Goody: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 18 of 32 pitches were strikes (56%)
  • RHP Johnny Barbato: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GB/FB — 25 of 44 pitches were strikes (57%)
  • LHP James Pazos: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GB/FB – 18 of 28 pitches were strikes (64%)

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DotF: De La Rosa dominates in Pulaski’s win

C Miguel Flames and 3B Nelson Gomez, two of the Yankees top international signings last year, got some love in the Helium Watch section of this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet Prequel. They’re both playing the Dominican Summer League, but apparently they’re tearing the cover off the ball.

Triple-A Scranton was rained out. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader next Thursday.

Double-A Trenton (7-3 loss to Bowie)

  • CF Mark Payton: 0-4, 1 K
  • RF Tyler Austin: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K — alternating one-hit games with no-hit games for about a week now
  • SS Tyler Wade: 0-4, 1 E (throwing) — Double-A is hard
  • RHP Taylor Garrison: 3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 3/2 GB/FB — 38 of 58 pitches were strikes (66%)
  • RHP Rookie Davis: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 4/5 GB/FB — 54 of 93 pitches were strikes (58%) … unusual he came out of the bullpen, but Garrison’s coming off an injury, so they probably wanted him to warm up at his own pace and not in the middle of a game

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Yankees have no shortage of candidates for September call-ups this year

Didi and Slade. (Presswire)
Didi and Slade. (Presswire)

Twelve days from now, the Yankees and every other team in baseball will be able to expand their rosters and carry up to 40 active players. September call-ups are somewhat controversial, lots of people don’t like seeing the final month of the season played with different rules, but I’m a fan of expanded rosters. Players get worn down during the course of the season, so the extra bodies in September are welcome.

For the 2015 Yankees, expanded rosters will be about much more than adding a third catcher or some spare arms for blowouts. They will be in position to add some real weapons to the roster even though most call-ups will be used in limited roles. Still, adding the extra players will be very beneficial. The Yankees have used their depth quite a bit this season and next month they’ll be able to have everyone on the roster at once.

During an interview with YES over the weekend, Brian Cashman said the player development staff has been told to prepare for mass call-ups on September 1st, so the Yankees won’t waste any time. They’re not going to wait for the Triple-A postseason to end or anything like that. The big league team is the priority and the Yankees are going to call guys up as soon as possible. Here’s a breakdown of who we will and could see next month.

Locks To Be Called Up

During that YES interview, Cashman said “any and all” of the relievers who have been shuttled up and down this summer will return in September, and it’s a long list. Caleb Cotham, Nick Goody, Branden Pinder, and Nick Rumbelow are the notables. (Rumbelow is up right now but that could change in a day or two the way things have been going this year.) Those are four extra arms on the 40-man roster who will be able to soak up any miscellaneous innings.

On the position player side, Slade Heathcott and Jose Pirela are safe bets to be called up to serve as the extra outfielder and extra infielder, respectively. Both are still on the 40-man and were up earlier this year — Pirela was sent down due to performance, Heathcott got hurt — and both offer different things. Heathcott adds speed and defense, Pirela offers versatility and another right-handed bat. Heck, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if Heathcott snuck onto the potential postseason roster as a pinch-running specialist.

Called Up If Healthy

Lindgren. (Presswire)
Lindgren. (Presswire)

Bryan Mitchell was just placed on the 7-day concussion DL after taking a line drive to the face, though earlier this week Joe Girardi told Chad Jennings there’s a chance Mitchell will be back in the bullpen within a week. That sounds … optimistic. Either way, Mitchell will be on the roster in September if he’s healthy. No reason to expect otherwise. He’s been on the 25-man roster for a big chunk of the year already.

Righty Chris Martin and lefty Jacob Lindgren are both on the Triple-A DL with elbow problems and figure to return in September, if healthy. Lindgren had surgery to remove bone spurs and the Yankees have said they expect him to return this year, so it’s just a question of whether he gets through his rehab in one piece. The nature of Martin’s injury is unknown. We’re just going to have to wait and see whether he’s healthy and able to pitch in September.

The Obligatory Third Catcher

Cashman confirmed the Yankees will call-up a third catcher because duh. Every team brings up a third catcher. The only catcher on the 40-man roster aside from Brian McCann and John Ryan Murphy is Gary Sanchez, who has hit a bit of a wall with Triple-A Scranton after crushing the level immediately after his promotion. Austin Romine has had a nice year too, but he’s not on the 40-man roster. My guess is Sanchez gets the call as the third catcher but rarely catches, sorta like Jesus Montero in 2011. (Also, Romine would require clearing a 40-man spot.) That is especially true if the race for a postseason spot goes right down to the wire, as expected. Sanchez might only catch in blowouts or after the team clinches all it can clinch.

Likely To Be Called Up, But Not Locks

There’s really only one player in this category: Rob Refsnyder. He’s had a good year in Triple-A, not a great year, and his brief four-game cameo in pinstripes earlier this year was a bit of a mixed bag. Some good, some not so good. There have been unconfirmed reports floating around that the Yankees were less than enthused with Refsnyder’s attitude during his call-up — not so much that he didn’t work hard, but that he was arrogant and acted entitled — and I suppose the club could keep him down in September as something of a wake-up call. My guess is Refsnyder comes up and takes second base platoon at-bats away from Brendan Ryan. I just wouldn’t put his chances at a call-up at 100%. Maybe it’s more like 95% or so.

Unlikely To Be Called Up

Among the healthy 40-man roster players, the only one who I think has less than a 50/50 chance of getting a September call-up is Tyler Austin. Another righty bat would be neat, but Austin’s had a very rough year and was recently demoted from Triple-A Scranton to Double-A Trenton. Players who have struggled like Austin usually don’t get called up unless there’s no other option. There’s a “reward” aspect to being a September call-up, and he didn’t earn this year.

Judge. (Presswire)
Judge. (Presswire)

The biggest name among non-40-man players is Aaron Judge, the team’s top prospect. The Yankees added both Refsnyder and Greg Bird to the 40-man early and called them up this year, but they were both performing in Triple-A. Judge has been striking out a ton of late and he won’t be Rule 5 Draft eligible for another few years, not another few months. I would be surprised if the Yankees tied up another 40-man spot by adding Judge. His time will come eventually. Just probably not this September.

Other non-40-man players I don’t expect to be called up in September: Ben Gamel, Brady Lail, James Pazos, and Johnny Barbato. Lail and Barbato just reached Triple-A and there are too many arms ahead of them on the depth chart to add them to the 40-man roster early. Gamel’s had a breakout season and I wouldn’t necessarily put his call-up chances at 0%. Heathcott will fill the “extra lefty hitting outfielder” role though, and I’m not sure the Yankees should clear a roster spot to add another. Pazos could be a victim of the number’s crunch more than anything. There simply might not be any room for another lefty reliever.

The Non-40-Man Wildcard

The non-40-man player who I think has the best chance of being called up in September is Andrew Bailey. He’s working his way back from shoulder surgery and been able to stay healthy for a few weeks now, plus he’s pitched effectively in all sorts of situations (back-to-back days, multiple innings, etc.) in the minors. The Yankees have put a lot of time and effort into helping him rehab these last two years, remember.

Cashman admitted Bailey was recently held out of a Triple-A game in case he needed to be called up to help the tired bullpen, but that didn’t happen. Bailey wasn’t needed. That they’ve already come thisclose to calling Bailey up this month leads me to believe they will bring him to the show once rosters expand. Bailey hasn’t pitched in MLB since getting hurt in July 2013. It’s been a long and difficult road back. Hopefully he stays healthy these next two weeks and gets the call in September.

The 40-Man Situation

The 40-man roster is full right now. It’s actually extra full. The Yankees have four players on the 60-day DL (Sergio Santos, Diego Moreno, Mason Williams, Chase Whitley) and none of them will be ready to be activated in September following their season-ending surgeries. The Yankees will need to clear a spot to call up, say, Bailey or Romine, and there are a few ways to do that.

First and foremost, the Yankees could call up an injured 40-man roster player and place them on the 60-day DL. Martin (elbow) and Domingo German (Tommy John surgery) are two candidates for that move. The Yankees haven’t done the call-up/60-day DL thing often — they did it with Justin Maxwell and Heathcott a few years ago, that’s pretty much it — but it is an option. Not wanting German to accumulate service time is understandable. Martin though? Who cares. Of course, he’d have to actually be hurt to pull this move. Can’t 60-day DL a healthy player.

Figueroa. (Presswire)
Figueroa. (Presswire)

The Yankees could always outright or designate a player for assignment to clear 40-man space. There just aren’t many obvious candidates. Perhaps they’ll decide to cut Chris Capuano again in September since they’ll have all the extra relievers and won’t necessarily need a long man. Cole Figueroa could also get the axe, especially if Refsnyder does get called up and/or Dustin Ackley gets healthy. Martin? He could lose his 40-man spot if healthy as well.

Capuano, Figueroa, and Martin are the three main 40-man casualty candidates. It would be a surprise if the Yankees dropped someone like Austin, Pirela, or Cotham from the roster. Those guys are probably the next three in line, if anything. Aside from Bailey and maybe Romine, the Yankees don’t figure to need any 40-man spots this September, though they could clear two with the call-up/60-day DL move. We’ll see.

* * *

Once September rolls around, the Yankees will obviously add a bunch of pitchers and a third catcher, plus a few extra position players. The extra arms will be a huge help, the bullpen has worked a ton this year, and Refsnyder could really help if he gets those platoon at-bats instead of Ryan. If not him, then Pirela. Also, Heathcott could be a factor as a defensive replacement/pinch-runner.

No one in their right mind is an expecting major impact from a September call-up — guys who do what Francisco Rodriguez did in 2002 are extremely rare — but they can help in limited roles. Those extra pitchers and platoon bats and pinch-runners are valuable in their own way. Given how tight the AL East race is at the moment, every little upgrade helps. September call-ups this year will be about more than resting regulars in blowouts.

DotF: Aaron Judge goes deep in Scranton’s win

RHP James Kaprielian has been bumped up from the Rookie GCL Yanks to Short Season Staten Island, the team announced. The Yankees’ top three picks in this year’s draft (Kaprielian, SS Kyle Holder, LHP Jeff Degano) are all with Staten Island now. I guess I’m going to have to jump on the ferry and catch a game at some point these next two weeks.

Triple-A Scranton (2-1 win over Lehigh Valley)

  • DH Ben Gamel: 2-4, 1 RBI — got picked off first
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-2, 2 BB — in a 2-for-16 (.125) slump
  • LF Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 2B
  • C Gary Sanchez: 0-4 — in a 3-for-30 (.100) slump after the hot start
  • RF Aaron Judge: 2-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB — 19 homers in 106 games this year after hitting 17 homers in 131 games last year
  • CF Slade Heathcott: 1-4
  • 1B Austin Romine: 0-4
  • RHP Brady Lail: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HB, 11/2 GB/FB — 48 of 76 pitches were strikes (63%) … starting to settle in at this level
  • LHP James Pazos: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 20 of 27 pitches were strikes (74%)
  • RHP Andrew Bailey: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB — half of his 26 pitches were strikes … 39/11 K/BB in 30 innings

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