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)

Melky’s three-run homer helps sink the Yankees 8-2 in Chicago

Summarizes Yankees’ night (Source: Getty)

So that was pretty uneventful. After busting the White Sox pitching staff Friday night, the offense couldn’t repeat it against Johnny Danks and the Chicago bullpen. Bryan Mitchell, tonight’s spot starter, was tagged for four earned runs and Diego Moreno came back to Earth by allowing another four runs in relief. Meh. Not really a banner night for the Bombers. It was largely a very forgettable match. It’s also a Saturday night so let’s go with bullet points.

  • Spotty start: Bryan Mitchell’s second career ML start was a mixed bag. His stuff looked pretty good – fastball went up to the 96-97 range, the cutter was cutting and the curveball made the Sox hitters foolish at times. However, when he mislocated, he gave up some loud contact. All in all, Mitchell gave up seven hits – three of them extra base hits – and four earned runs in four innings pitched. He did strike out five, thanks to his explosive stuff, but when you give up a big homer to Alexei Ramirez (whose OPS climbed to .603 after tonight’s match) on a fastball up, then there’s some work to be done.
  • 0-for-13: That, my friends, is what the top five hitters in the lineup did tonight. You can’t really have lack of production from the big guys and expect to get a win. To be fair, each one of them (except for Brett Gardner) earned a walk, but then again, they also combined for eight strikeouts. Which means that they struck out more than half of the time. No bueno. The bottom of the lineup pretty much accounted for most of the offense and they would’ve scored more if Didi Gregorius‘s long fly ball didn’t get caught by Avisail Garcia right over the fence. That would have made it a 3-2 game instead of 2-1 and who knows how the match would have changed had Garcia not caught it? Oh well.
  • 12-out bullpen: Diego Moreno isn’t really the seventh or eighth-inning guy that they need to monitor innings and he did a chunk of the dirty work tonight. After tossing 5.1 no-hit innings earlier this week, Moreno was much more brittle tonight – allowing four earned runs in three innings while striking out none. The decisive blow for New York came in the fifth when Moreno allowed a three-run HR to our old friend Melky Cabrera – the dinger put the game out of reach at 6-1 and Yanks did not come any close to tying it up. Nick Rumbelow came in the ninth and tossed a scoreless frame.
  • Leftovers: Yankees scored their first run on that woulda-been-homer sac fly by Didi Gregorius in the third. Because Johnny Danks doesn’t have the best control (allowed four walks and three hits), the offense had several chances to drive in more earlier but came up empty-handed (1-for-6 with RISP). New York got another run with one out in the ninth with Brian McCann‘s homer and that was pretty much it. 8-2 is the final score.

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings, video highlights and WPA. Enjoy the rest of your Saturday night. Tomorrow, it’s a day game matchup between Ivan Nova and Jeff Samardzija (got the spelling right on first try!)

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.

Teixeira homers twice again, Yanks pound White Sox 13-6

Source: FanGraphs

The Yankees can’t score on the road, they said. The Yankees are built for Yankee Stadium, they said. Well, that last part is true, the Yankees are built for Yankee Stadium, but can’t score on the road? They’ve now scored 64 runs in eight games on the road trip. The Yankees clobbered the White Sox 13-6 in Friday night’s series opener. Good win. Solid. Anyway, it’s Friday night and my brain is fried following the trade deadline, so let’s recap with bullet points:

  • MVPTEX: For the second straight day, Mark Teixeira clubbed two home runs, including a second inning grand slam that pretty much put the game to bed. He tacked on a two-run shot in the fourth. Teixeira went 3-for-4 with the two homers and two walks. He’s absolutely locked in right now. On everything. It’s wonderful. Oh, and by the way, that was the team’s 42nd grand slam since 2010, the most in baseball. The Red Sox are second with … 28!
  • 5.2 & Fly: Nathan Eovaldi picked a good night for his worst start in a while. Eovaldi allowed three runs, including two on a Jose Abreu homer when the score was already lopsided, but managed only 5.2 innings. And he needed 118 pitches to do that. Eovaldi’s been solid for a while now, but he rarely gives the Yankees length. Joe Girardi pushed Eovaldi as far as possible because he didn’t want to tax his bullpen again, but he couldn’t push him any further. Hopefully the bullpen holds up until rosters expand. These guys are being asked to get too many outs.
  • Rest of the Offense: The 3-4-5 hitters went a combined 8-for-10 with four doubles, two homers, and five walks. Those guys didn’t make their first out until their 12th plate appearance. That’ll do just fine, thanks. Chris Young, Chase Headley, and John Ryan Murphy all had multiple hits as well. Things went so well that even Brendan Ryan went 3-for-6. Of course, he struck out against Adam LaRoche in the ninth, so maybe it wasn’t all good. The Yankees had a .509 OBP as a team.
  • Leftovers: Adam Warren replaced Eovaldi and allowed two runs in 2.1 innings. He was their most consistent starter when he was sent back to the bullpen, and now here he is mopping up games with a huge lead twice in one week. What a waste … Nick Goody allowed a run in the ninth … Dustin Ackley took over in right field in the late innings and went 0-for-2 in his Yankees debut … and finally, Teixeira went deep from both sides of the plate for the 14th time in his career, which is a new MLB record. He broke a tie with Nick Swisher. How about that?

Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, and postseason odds. Also make sure you check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and ChiSox continue this three-game series Saturday night. Bryan Mitchell figures to start with Diego Moreno backing him up. John Danks will be on the mound for Chicago.