Astros 7, Yankees 6: Yet another bullpen meltdown wastes Frazier’s big debut

Source: FanGraphs

Sigh. Just … sigh. Remember when the bullpen was supposed to be a strength? Now it’s a bigger weakness than it has been at any other point during the Joe Girardi era. The Yankees had a three-run lead with five outs to go Saturday and the final score was 7-6 Astros. Life is pain. Let’s recap with bullet points on this Saturday night:

  • Monty’s Loud Outs: Bit of an uneven start for Jordan Montgomery. He cruised through the first four innings scoreless before the ‘Stros really started to hit him hard in the fifth. Yulieski Gurriel’s two-run home run gave the Astros a 2-0 lead in the fifth, and all three outs that inning were loud too. Two went to the warning track. Then, in the sixth, Montgomery gave up a solo homer to Carlos Correa and a hard-hit double to Evan Gattis, ending his night. Six of the final seven batters Montgomery faced hit the ball quite hard. His final line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2/10 GB/FB.
  • YES IN-DIDI: After five innings of doing nothing in particular against Francis Martes, the Yankees exploded for five runs in the sixth inning. It all started with a Clint Frazier double, his first big league hit. A Brett Gardner single and a Jacoby Ellsbury walk loaded the bases with no outs. In business! Gary Sanchez got the Yankees on the board with a fisted single to right field, then Didi Gregorius turned the 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 lead with a grand slam juust over the right field wall. A Yankee Stadium cheapie in Houston. Second straight day with a grand slam for the Yankees.
  • Happier Times: Montgomery’s sudden exit in the sixth inning brought Chad Green into the ballgame. Six up, five down, three strikeouts. That includes fanning Carlos Beltran and Marwin Gonzalez in the sixth, when they represented the tying run. Green has found a home in relief. The Yankees got an insurance run on Frazier’s solo homer into the Crawfish Boxes in left field in the sixth. So awesome. He’s the first Yankee in over a century with a double and a homer in his debut.
  • The Meltdown: Three-run lead with Dellin Betances on the mound and Aroldis Chapman waiting for the ninth? That’s a win that has to be nailed down. Instead, the Astros rallied for four runs in the eighth, mostly because Betances couldn’t find the plate (again) and couldn’t control the running game (again). His inning went strikeout, walk, stolen base, stolen base, RBI ground out, home run, walk, runner reaches second on Chris Carter‘s error (the runner would have stolen second anyway), stolen base, walk. Dellin threw 13 strikes and 16 balls. The death blow was Gurriel’s two-run double into the left field corner against Chapman. Betances’ last two outings have been rough. Chapman hasn’t looked quite right all year. The Yankees aren’t good enough to overcome these two being something less than dominant. They need to be better. Dellin must cut down on the walks (18.3 BB%) and Chapman has to remember how to miss bats (13.6 Whiff%).
  • Leftovers: Because the bullpen meltdown wasn’t enough, the game ended when Gardner slapped a two-out single in the ninth, and was thrown out at first because he took too big of a turn. He was caught in no man’s land. This team has been so bad on the bases lately. Sooo bad … the wraparound 9-1-2-3-4 portion of the lineup: 8-for-19 (.421) with a double, two homers, and two walks … the 5-6-7-8 hitters: 2-for-15 (.133) with a walk … Aaron Judge pinch-hit for Carter in the ninth and flew out. His on-base streak ends at 32 games. What a lame way to end it.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Don’t miss our Bullpen Workload page either. The Yankees wrap up this series with the Astros on Sunday afternoon, then they head back to New York for a six-game homestand to close out the first half. Luis Severino and Mike Fiers will be on the bump Sunday.

DotF: Mateo’s huge game leads Trenton to a win

The various affiliates announced a whole bunch of roster moves today. Let’s get to ’em:

  • LHP Dietrich Enns has been activated off the Triple-A Scranton disabled list. He’d been out since April 14th with a shoulder issue. He made a six-inning rehab start in the Rookie GCL the other day, which was a pretty good indication he was close to returning to the RailRiders.
  • OF Billy McKinney and OF Devyn Bolasky have been promoted from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton. They need outfielders given all the recent call-ups. McKinney has hit .321/.405/.555 (163 wRC+) with five homers in his last 37 games.
  • OF Tito Polo and OF Jhalan Jackson have been promoted from High-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton. Polo is hitting .283/.341/.429 (124 wRC+) with four homers and 19 steals this year. He came over in the Ivan Nova trade.
  • OF Alex Palma was moved up from Low-A Charleston to High-A Tampa. Palma has spent parts of the last three seasons with the RiverDogs. This will be his first stint with Tampa.

Triple-A Scranton Game One (5-2 loss to Pawtucket) completion of yesterday’s game, which was suspended due to rain after three innings

  • CF Mark Payton: 0-4, 2 K
  • RF Clint Frazier: 0-1, 1 K, 1 E (fielding) — he played yesterday, before it started raining … this is the second time a guy has played in a big league game and appeared in that night’s DotF in the last four days … 3B Miguel Andujar did it Wednesday
  • PH-RF Billy McKinney: 0-3 — his Triple-A debut is a relief appearance
  • LF Cito Culver: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K — first career game in the outfield
  • DH Jake Cave: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K — ten homers in 45 games this year is a career high … he had eight in 116 games last year
  • SS Abi Avelino: 0-3
  • LHP Daniel Camarena: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 36 of 64 pitches were strikes (56%) … eight runs allowed in 10.1 innings since coming back from the shoulder issue
  • LHP Nestor Cortes: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 Balk, 1/3 GB/FB — 32 of 51 pitches were strikes (63%) … he got one out yesterday, then stayed in to throw two innings today

[Read more…]

Game 79: Up Goes Frazier


Another day, another big league debut for one of the Yankees’ top prospects. It was Tyler Wade on Tuesday, Miguel Andujar on Wednesday, Dustin Fowler on Thursday, and now Clint Frazier on Saturday. Frazier will make his MLB debut this evening, largely because Fowler suffered that truly awful injury the other day. I don’t think Frazier is here if Fowler is healthy.

More important the Frazier’s debut is tonight’s game itself. The Yankees made a great comeback last night to earn the blowout win, and now they’re trying to win back-to-back games for the first time in more than two weeks. They haven’t won two straight since that bloodbath series against the Orioles. Win it for Dustin. That’s the motto the rest of the season. Here is the Astros’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  3. DH Gary Sanchez
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. 2B Ronald Torreyes
  7. C Austin Romine
  8. 1B Chris Carter
  9. RF Clint Frazier
    LHP Jordan Montgomery

It’s another hot and humid day in Houston, which means the Minute Maid Park roof will be closed. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:15pm ET and FOX will have the broadcast. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: CC Sabathia (hamstring) is tentatively scheduled to rejoin the rotation Tuesday. That’s the plan as long as the hamstring doesn’t act up again … Adam Warren (shoulder) will throw a simulated game tomorrow. If that goes well, he’ll be activated next week. I guess neither he nor Sabathia will go out on a minor league rehab assignment … Aaron Judge is fine. Joe Girardi is trying to give him some rest because he’s played right field basically every day so far this season. Judge is available to pinch-hit and will play the outfield tomorrow.

Roster Moves: Andujar was sent down to Triple-A Scranton to clear a 25-man roster spot for Frazier and Fowler was transferred over to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot. Andujar needs to play every day and that’s not going to happen in the big leagues.

Saturday Links: Padres, Torres, Bullpen Help, Draft Signings

Gleyber. (Presswire)
Gleyber. (Presswire)

The Yankees and Astros will continue their three-game weekend series later today, though not until 7pm ET. Blargh. I really hate Saturday night games, you guys. Anyway, here are some links to check out in the meantime.

Padres have asked about Torres

According to Jon Heyman, the Padres have asked the Yankees about top prospect Gleyber Torres. I’m not sure whether this was before or after Gleyber hurt his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery. San Diego is in the middle of a deep rebuild and needs, well, everything. But especially a shortstop. Before the injury, few prospects could match Gleyber’s combination of near-MLB-readiness and long-term potential.

I imagine Torres is atop New York’s untouchables list, and I don’t think there’s any chance the Yankees would sell low on him while hurt. Also, who in the world could the Padres offer for Torres? Brad Hand? Nope. Not happening. Wil Myers? Meh. He’s good and by far their best player, but I’m not giving up Torres to get him. I don’t blame the Padres for trying. You can’t get Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano without asking. There doesn’t seem to be a fit here at all. The Yankees could use Hand, but not at the price of Gleyber.

Yankees looking for bullpen help

From the no duh department: the Yankees are in the market for bullpen help right now, reports Heyman. I don’t know about you, but I get the feeling a trade for bullpen help is inevitable at this point. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Yankees are going to trade top prospects for a high-end reliever. It could be a smaller deal similar to last season’s Tyler Clippard trade. A change of scenery guy. I trust Brian Cashman to make a good value trade. I can’t even remember the last time the Yankees made a trade that made me say “wow, they overpaid.” The Yankees want bullpen help. News at 11.

Latest 2017 draft signings

The signing deadline for 2017 draft picks is Friday, July 7th, though the Yankees have already handled most of their major business. They’ve signed all of their picks in the top 17 rounds plus several others. Here are my Day One, Day Two, and Day Three draft recaps, and here are all of the Yankees’ picks. Now here are the latest signings (and non-signings):

  • The Yankees have signed Puerto Rico HS C Hemmanuel Rosario as an undrafted free agent, reports Jonathan Mayo. He received a $247,500 bonus, of which $122,500 counts against the bonus pool. Rosario is still only 16, but he already graduated high school, which is why the Yankees were able to sign him. Here’s his Perfect Game scouting report. Nice little find.
  • The Yankees have also signed Carl Albert State C/OF Pedro Diaz as an undrafted free agent, according to his coach on Twitter. No word on his bonus, though I don’t believe this is another over-slot signing. Diaz hit .282/.407/.380 as a freshman in 2016. Seems like an organizational depth pickup.
  • Arizona HS RHP Colby Davis (23rd round) will not sign and instead go to Arizona State, reports Richard Obert. Davis was always expected to go to school. He can locate three pitches right now, though none are an out pitch. He could come out as a top ten rounds guy in three years.

As our Draft Pool Tracker shows, the Yankees still have roughly $317,000 in bonus space remaining. I imagine that money is going to spent somewhere. The Yankees have spent right up to the max each year since the bonus pools were put in place. It’s worth noting Duke OF Jimmy Herron (31st round) is currently 18-for-45 (.400) with six doubles and a home run through 13 Cape Cod League games. He’s got some interesting leadoff hitter skills and the Yankees could offer him as much as $442,000 at this point. Either way, I’d bet on that pool money getting spent on someone.

Brett Gardner’s grand slam fuels the Yankees’ 13-4 win over the Astros

(Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Bob Levey/Getty Images)

A win to close out this dreadful month of June. The Yankees bats attacked the Houston bullpen (and Nori Aoki) to score 12 runs from the sixth through ninth innings. Michael Pineda wasn’t perfect but he did an adequate enough job to bounce back from his previous outing (7 ER, 4 IP vs. Texas) and earned his 8th win of the year. It’s Friday night so let’s do this bullet-point style.

  • Trailing: The Astros scored one right out of the gate in the bottom of the first. George Springer doubled to lead it off, Reddick’s grounder advanced him to third and Jose Altuve slapped a very, very low slider to the center field for a sac fly. 1-0 Astros. Bleh. Not the end of the world, but with their best starter on the mound, not a great thing to fall behind. (But what do I know? The Yankees certainly showed me as the game went on.)
  • Multiple attempts at offense: The Yankees tied it up in the top of the third. Brett Gardner led the frame off with a double, which is good! However, Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Judge both struck out swinging to make it two outs. That is bad! Didi Gregorius, on the other hand, lined an RBI double to right to tie the game at 1-1. The bats were back in business in the fourth. Austin Romine led off the inning with a single (that could have been a home run but missed by a few inches, and because it was hit hard, he didn’t have enough time to go for the second base) and Ronald Torreyes followed it up with a bloop double to the left. With runners on second and third with no outs, Tyler Wade and Chris Carter struck out back-to-back to immediately make it two outs. During Gardner’s at-bat, Lance McCullers Jr. uncorked a wild pitch that had a perfect bounce back to the catcher and they were able to tag Romine out, who ran to home trying to score. Welp.
  • Bigger deficit: The ‘Stros immediately made it tough for the Yankees. In the bottom of the fourth, Altuve hit a single just past diving Gregorius and Carlos Correa followed it up with a hard single to right (with both runners advancing on Tyler Wade’s throw that got past Chase Headley). Brian McCann struck out swinging but Carlos Beltran‘s groundout brought Altuve home, and Marwin Gonzalez hit an RBI single to center to score Correa. 3-1 Astros.
  • The weird, weird sixth inning: McCullers Jr., being one of the best pitchers in the AL, seemed overpowering to many Yankee bats. However, he wasn’t all that efficient, having to exit in the middle of the sixth inning with 97 pitches thrown. A.J. Hinch put Michael Feliz in to relieve McCullers and the floodgates opened. With runners on first and second, Torreyes got the rally started with an RBI single. Wade followed it up with a strike out but Carter (!) hit a hard liner that went off Correa’s glove and Romine hustled home to tie the game at 3. Gardner and Ellsbury each followed it up with a pair of RBI singles to make it 5-3. With runners on second and third, Judge walked but the ball got past the catcher and Ellsbury was able to score. 6-3 Yankees. That went from 0 to 100 real quick.
  • Daggers: A three-run lead! But you never know against these powerful Houston bats. It would have been nice to tack on more runs and that’s exactly what the Yankee bats did. The Yankees got the top of the seventh started by loading the bases with no outs (Headley single, Romine single, Torreyes walk). However, the scoring chance dimmed as Wade grounded into fielder’s choice for a force out at home and Carter struck out swinging. Gardner, on the other hand, delivered a two-out grand slam to make it 10-3. That was pretty exhilarating to watch. Two innings later, the Yankees scored three more against … outfielder Nori Aoki. With Aoki floating 74 mph pitches from the mound, Torreyes and Wade drew back-to-back walks and Carter hit an RBI double to make it 11-4. Gardner hit a sac fly and Ellsbury followed it up with an RBI ground out to continue the carnage. 13-4 Yankees. And, of course, Aoki got Judge to fly out to end the inning. That’s baseball.
  • Leftovers: Bryan Mitchell threw the last three innings of the game and allowed only a run. Aaron Judge had his 33-game on-base streak going but had a relatively quiet night, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and two walks. Five of the Yankees hitters (Gardner, Didi, Romine, Torreyes and Carter) had a multi-hit game so that’ll do pretty well.

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph. The Yankees are back at it again tomorrow at the Minute Maid Park. Jordan Montgomery will be up against Francis Martes. Would be nice to win this one and take the series.

Source: FanGraphs

DotF: De Paula pitches well in tough luck Staten Island loss

OF Clint Frazier is coming to the big leagues, according to Brendan McGair and Jack Curry. I hope they do a good job with the red hair on his Hall of Fame plaque. I imagine the Yankees will use him exactly like they were planning to use OF Dustin Fowler. This also allows them to send 3B Miguel Andujar back down for regular at-bats.

Triple-A Scranton‘s game was suspended due to rain after the third inning. They’ll complete this one tomorrow, and I’ll update the stats then. Here’s the box score. Not a whole lot happened before the rain started.

Double-A Trenton was rained out. They’re going to play a doubleheader Sunday.

High-A Tampa (3-2 loss to Clearwater)

  • LF Tito Polo: 1-3, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 SB
  • 2B Nick Solak: 1-3, 1 BB — 16.3% strikeouts and 14.5% walks for last year’s second rounder
  • SS Angel Aguilar: 0-3, 1 BB
  • RHP Erik Swanson: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 9/1 GB/FB — 43 of 53 pitches were strikes (81%)

[Read more…]

Game 78: Win it for Dustin

This sucks so much. (David Banks/Getty)
This sucks so much. (David Banks/Getty)

Yesterday was, by a frickin’ mile, the toughest day of the season for the Yankees. Forget about the loss to the White Sox. The game is whatever. Dustin Fowler, in the first inning of his first MLB game, blew out the patella tendon in his right knee crashing into the side wall chasing a fly ball. His season is over. His day to remember turned into a day to forget. It’s awful.

I suppose the good news is Fowler is in good spirits. The Yankees got together this afternoon and FaceTimed with Fowler to let him know they’re thinking about him. Fowler said the surgery went well and he’s facing a six-month rehab, which means he should be ready for Spring Training. It won’t be easy, but Fowler is a no nonsense guy who will no doubt attack his rehab. Go out and win a ballgame for him. Here is the Astros’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  3. DH Aaron Judge
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. C Austin Romine
  7. 2B Ronald Torreyes
  8. RF Tyler Wade
  9. 1B Chris Carter
    RHP Michael Pineda

It is very hot and humid in Houston right now, so the Minute Maid Park roof will be closed. Thank goodness for air conditioning. Man’s greatest achievement. Tonight’s game will begin at 8:10pm ET. You can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Roster Moves: In addition to Fowler being placed on the 10-day DL — they’ll slide him over to the 60-day DL next time they need a 40-man spot — the Yankees also sent down Ronald Herrera. Miguel Andujar and Bryan Mitchell were called up.

Roster Update: Tyler Clippard is away from the Yankees. His grandmother passed away. Our condolences go out to him and his family. Clippard will rejoin the team tomorrow.