Athletics 8, Yankees 7: The West Coast is the Worst Coast


Source: FanGraphs

What a nightmare this road trip has become. The Yankees are losing games and players. Thursday’s 8-7 tenth inning loss to the Athletics was, rather easily, the worst loss of the season. At least us East Coasters didn’t have to stay up until 2:30am to watch it or anything. Anyway, West Coast night games get bullet point recaps, so let’s get to it:

  • Bad Monty: Okay, maybe bad is too harsh, but Jordan Montgomery wasn’t good. Solo homers to Jed Lowrie and Yonder Alonso aren’t the end of the world. The second inning rally though. Yeesh. Two quick outs, then a five-pitch walk to No. 7 hitter Matt Chapman (in his first MLB at-bat), a loud ground-rule double to No. 8 hitter Josh Phegley, and a double down the line to No. 9 hitter Adam Rosales gave the A’s two runs. Yuck. Montgomery finished having allowed four runs on seven hits and one walk in 5.2 innings. Not his best outing.
  • Rally to Tie: The Yankees stranded the bases loaded in the first inning against Sonny Gray, who promptly settled down to retire 13 of the next 16 batters he faced. It wasn’t until the sixth that the Yankees got on the board. Five straight batters reached base with one out (four singles, one walk), including a two-run single by Chase Headley and a game-tying one-run single by Chris Carter. Shout out to Khris Davis and his Axisa-caliber arm for making those runs possible.
  • Back & Forth: The late innings, man. After the Yankees tied the game 3-3 in the top of the sixth, Montgomery gave up the solo homer to Alonso in the bottom half to give the A’s a 4-3 lead. Then, in the top of the seventh, Gary Sanchez smoked a double off the wall to plate the tying run. Two singles and a stolen base gave the A’s a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh. In the top of the eighth, Carter hit a solo jack to tie things up. Matt Joyce beat out a double play ball to score a run in the bottom half for a 6-5 A’s lead. Sanchez came through again in the top of the ninth with a game-tying single. Exactly one run in six straight half innings. The A’s took the lead. The Yankees tied. The A’s took the lead again. The Yankees tied again. The A’s took the lead one more time. The Yankees tied it yet again.
  •  A Lead & A Loss: I knew I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up. Thanks to Brett Gardner‘s studly baserunning — he went first-to-third on an infield single! — the Yankees took a 7-6 lead in the top of the tenth on a Starlin Castro sac fly. Woo! One problem: Gio Gallegos was the last guy in the bullpen, apparently. He got two quick outs in the tenth! Then a single, a double, and an intentional walk loaded the bases with two outs. Suboptimal. Gallegos got ahead of Davis with a 1-2 count, missed high with a breaking ball, then left another breaking ball up, which Davis lifted to shallow center. It was in no man’s land. Too far out for the infielder and too far in for the outfielder. Castro ranged out, the ball clanked off his glove, and two runs scored to end the game. 8-7 A’s. Brutal. Absolutely brutal.
  • Leftovers: Tyler Clippard, man. He retired only one of the three batters he faced before Joe Girardi yanked him … Dellin Betances actually pitched! He allowed the run-scoring fielder’s choice to Joyce after replacing Clippard, then added a scoreless ninth … Castro and Sanchez each had three hits. Gardner, Headley, and Carter had two each … Aaron Hicks (Achilles) and Sanchez (abductor) left with injuries, though Girardi said after the game neither seems serious … Adam Warren has a trap issue and wasn’t available … and finally, Didi Gregorius extended his hitting streak to 17 games with his sixth inning single. That’s the longest by a Yankee since Jacoby Ellsbury had a 17-gamer in 2014. The last Yankee with a longer hitting streak was Derek Jeter in 2012. He got to 19 games.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Don’t watch the highlights. Just trust me. This four-game set is just getting started. The Yankees and A’s are back it again Friday night, in the second game of the series. Luis Severino and Sean Manaea are the scheduled starters. I wonder how soul-crushing that game will be.

DotF: Littell dominates in Double-A debut

Promotions! A few pitchers are moving up, and it’s all a big chain reaction to RHP Domingo German and RHP Luis Cessa joining the Yankees in the wake of CC Sabathia‘s hamstring injury. The moves:

  • RHP Domingo Acevedo has been promoted from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton, reports Brendan Kuty. He only got to Trenton on May 19th. Acevedo has a 3.25 ERA (2.66 FIP) with 27.5% strikeouts and 4.0% walks in 12 starts and 74.2 total innings this year.
  • RHP Zack Littell is going from High-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton, according to Matt Kardos. He’d been at High-A since last July, before coming over from the Mariners in the James Pazos trade. Littell has a 1.76 ERA (3.31 FIP) with 20.2% strikeouts and 5.3% walks in 66.1 innings this year.
  • RHP Eric Ruth as been released, per Kardos. He signed with the Yankees as an undrafted free agent shortly after the 2013 draft, and he’s been in the system as an organizational depth arm ever since. The Yankees need the roster spot for all the arms moving up the ladder.

Triple-A Scranton (8-2 loss to Rochester)

  • 3B Tyler Wade: 3-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 SB — hitting streak up to 14 games
  • RF Dustin Fowler: 0-5
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • LF Clint Frazier: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K — threw a runner out at home
  • SS Gleyber Torres: 1-4, 1 K
  • CF Mason Williams: 1-4, 2 K
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 3.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 2/3 GB/FB — 43 of 60 pitches were strikes (72%)
  • RHP J.P. Feyereisen: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3/0 GB/FB — 27 of 37 pitches were strikes (73%) … 11/8 K/BB in 8.2 innings at this level

[Read more…]

Game 64: Win it for CC (and Bird)

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

If you missed it earlier, there was a bunch of roster news this afternoon. CC Sabathia was officially placed on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, and Greg Bird‘s rehab was put on hold. He’s still not feeling right. We’re not going to see either guy for quite some time. That really stinks. Win tonight’s game for them, how about that?

The Yankees are now in Oakland after that yucky series in Anaheim, a series in which the Yankees went 1-2 but could have easily gone 3-0. Losing a winnable game bites so much. Doing it twice in one series? Against that annoying team? Bah. The worst. Take care of business against the A’s this weekend, dudes. Here is the Athletics’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Aaron Hicks
  3. RF Aaron Judge
  4. 2B Starlin Castro
  5. DH Gary Sanchez
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. 1B Chris Carter
  9. C Austin Romine
    LHP Jordan Montgomery

The sky is nice and clear in Oakland tonight, and it’s windy as hell. Is the wind blowing in or out? I guess we’ll find out. Tonight’s series opener starts at 10:05pm ET and YES will have the broadcast. Enjoy.

Roster Moves: In addition to placing Sabathia on the disabled list and halting Bird’s rehab, the Yankees also sent down Ronald Herrera and called up Domingo German and Luis Cessa. Cessa is going to start in Sabathia’s place this weekend.

Yankees place CC Sabathia on DL, send down Herrera, call up German and Cessa

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

As expected, CC Sabathia is heading to the disabled list. Joe Girardi confirmed the move while speaking to reporters this afternoon. It’s a Grade II left hamstring strain. Yuck. Domingo German has been called back up to replace Sabathia on the roster. The ten-day rule doesn’t apply to him since he’s replaceing a player on the disabled list.

The Yankees did not provide a timetable for Sabathia’s return, but the Grade II strain ensures he will be out a while. We’re not going to see him until after the All-Star break. That really bites. Sabathia, who has a 3.46 ERA (4.11 FIP) this season, suffered the injury throwing a pitch earlier this week. The same injury, a Grade II left hamstring strain, ended his season early in September 2013.

German made his big league debut Sunday afternoon and tossed 2.2 scoreless innings to close out the blowout win. Trackman clocked his average sinker at 98.2 mph. Yowza. I’m sure there’s some “first MLB appearance” adrenaline in there, but 98 mph isn’t uncharted territory for German. He can really bring it. German came over in the Nathan EovaldiMartin Prado trade.

In addition to the Sabathia and German moves, the Yankees have also optioned Ronald Herrera and called up Luis Cessa. Girardi told Erik Boland that Cessa is going to replace Sabathia in the rotation, though they haven’t decided whether he’ll start Saturday or Sunday. Sunday is Sabathia’s turn, though starting him Saturday would give Masahiro Tanaka an extra day. I’m a Cessa fan. I’m happy.

In the short-term, man, the Yankees are really going to miss Sabathia. He had an ugly four-start stretch back in May, but otherwise he’s been rock solid all season, and especially of late. Four earned runs allowed in his last six starts and 36.1 innings! With Tanaka doing his best Javy Vazquez impression, Sabathia steadiness was much appreciated.

Thursday Night Open Thread

Good news: only two more 10pm ET starts left on the West Coast trip. Tonight and tomorrow. Thank goodness for that. I can’t handle these late night games/early mornings as well as I once did. Anyway, make sure you check out Joe Lemire’s post on scouting vocabulary. It’s pretty great. “Fall down range” has always been my favorite weird baseball term.

Here is an open thread until the regular game thread comes along. The Mets are playing tonight and MLB Network will have a regional game as well. Talk about those games or anything else here.

Greg Bird still doesn’t feel right, Yankees have “pulled the plug” on his rehab

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

7:33pm ET: The Yankees announced Bird has been pulled off his rehab assignment with a right knee contusion. He fouled a pitch off his shin the other day, but was fine and stayed in the game. I wonder if that’s just a mistake and they meant a right ankle contusion? Either way, it’s a setback.

6:27pm ET: Greg Bird‘s rehab has hit a snag. Brian Cashman told Erik Boland that Bird still doesn’t feel well, so they have “pulled the plug” on his rehab. The issue is still with his ankle, not his surgically repaired shoulder. Bird has been out since early May with a bone bruise in the ankle, an injury he originally suffered in the final week of Spring Training. He fouled a pitch off the ankle and tried to play through it in April.

Bird has been on a minor league rehab assignment the last two weeks, going 9-for-38 (.237) with 12 walks and four strikeouts in 12 games. The numbers don’t mean much though. How does he feel? How does his swing look? Does his have his lower half working right? Those are the important questions, and no, apparently he doesn’t feel good.

Joe Girardi said earlier today Bird will see a doctor, and hopefully that brings good news. Maybe it is nothing more than normal “hey you’re playing baseball everyday again” soreness. It’s not easy to be optimistic though. The Yankees have a pretty terrible history with bone bruises (see: Teixeira, Mark) and Bird himself has had plenty of injury issues in his career, even going back to his days in the minors.

Unless the doctor visit brings good news, the Yankees are going to have to start thinking about trading for a new first baseman. Chris Carter has worn out his welcome and Tyler Austin probably isn’t good enough to start at first base for a contender. Playing Matt Holliday there full-time doesn’t seem like a good idea at his age either.

I suppose the good news is the Yankees are in first place despite getting nothing from first base, a premium offensive position. They shouldn’t bank on that continuing though. If Bird is going to miss more time, they have to start thinking about an upgrade if they plan on giving themselves the best possible chance to contend. They can’t keep waiting for Bird. Not at this point.

2017 Draft: Beck, Mangum, Williams, Abbott, Burns, Brown

Burns. (@MLBDraft)
Burns. (@MLBDraft)

Now that the Yankees have made their selections and the 2017 draft is over, it’s time to see who they actually sign. The signing deadline is Friday, July 7th this year, so three weeks from tomorrow. That’s really close! Anyway, here are my Day One, Day Two, and Day Three recaps. Here are all of the Yankees’ picks, and here’s some draft news and links:

  • In his AL recap, Keith Law notes he doesn’t like the deliveries of South Carolina RHP Clarke Schmidt (1st round) and California HS RHP Matt Sauer (2nd), though he does say, “some teams were fine with the way (Sauer’s) arm works despite all of that and saw a mid-rotation starter.”
  • In their AL East draft recap, Baseball America wrote “college RHPs Trevor Stephan (3), Glenn Otto (5) and Dalton Higgins (7) and LHP Dalton Lehnen (6) all have at least one swing-and-miss offering.” The Yankees always use those middle rounds on Day Two to hoard power arms.
  • Catawba College RHP Bryan Blanton (21st) has a deal in place and is traveling to Tampa today, reports Mike London. Blanton, a reliever, had a 2.70 ERA with 50 strikeouts and 15 walks in 33.1 innings for the Indians.
  • Stanford RHP Tristan Beck (29th) is not going to sign, reports John Manuel. Bummer, but not surprising. Beck was a consensus first round talent before a back issue caused him to miss the season. He was reportedly seeking upwards of $4M to sign.
  • Missouri State OF Jake Mangum (30th), a draft-eligible sophomore, is going to return to school for his junior year, he announced on Twitter. Mangum was a top five rounds pick based on talent, though he slipped due to signability concerns.
  • If you’re into such things, Chris Mitchell’s KATOH system projects Duke OF Jimmy Herron (31st) as one of the best college picks on Day Three at +1.5 WAR. “A draft-eligible sophomore, Herron smacked 17 doubles, stole 17 bases, and struck out in just 12% of his plate appearances this year … Herron doesn’t turn 21 until late July, so he’s a few months younger than most of his draft-eligible college peers, making his performance all the more impressive,” said the write-up.
  • Georgia HS C Steven Williams (35th) will not sign and instead follow through on his commitment to Auburn, he wrote on Twitter. Williams was considered a possible top five rounds pick as an offense-first catcher, though his strong commitment to Auburn caused him to slide to Day Three.
  • Virginia HS LHP Andrew Abbott (36th) is not planning to sign, based on his Twitter feed. That’s not really a surprise. He was considered unsignable from the start. Abbott throws three pitches, including an excellent curveball, though he sits mostly in the upper-80s right now with his fastball.
  • Alabama HS RHP Tanner Burns (37th) will not sign, according to his Twitter feed. Jim Callis mentioned him as one of the most notable picks on Day Three. “Burns drew comparisons to recent first-rounders due to his big arm and advanced command, but his commitment to Auburn must have been too strong for teams to take a chance on him early,” wrote Callis.
  • The Yankees have signed Missouri State OF Cody Brown as an undrafted free agent, according to MSU. He’s heading to Tampa to sign tomorrow. Brown, a lefty swinger, hit .323/.433/.539 with nine homers and ten steals in 64 games this spring.

By the way, our annual Draft Pool Tracker page is now up and running. You can keep tabs on the Yankees’ bonus pool situation there between now and the signing deadline. It is available at all times under the Resources pull down menu in the nav bar at the top of the site.