DotF: Mateo stays hot in Tampa’s loss

OF Aaron Judge and SS Jorge Mateo rank ninth and tenth in this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet, respectively. The calls for Mateo to be promoted are understandable, but he’s only played 46 total games at High-A split across two seasons. At least let him go through the league twice first.

Triple-A Scranton (5-1 loss to Lehigh Valley)

  • RF Aaron Judge: 1-3, 1 BB — threw a runner out at third
  • CF Slade Heathcott: 1-4, 1 R, 1 K
  • LF Nick Swisher: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 K — first game in left field
  • RHP Anthony Swarzak: 5 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 6/4 GB/FB — 54 of 79 pitches were strikes (69%)
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GB/FB — 33 of 50 pitches were strikes

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Update: Ellsbury day-to-day with strained hip muscle


10:28pm: Ellsbury is day-to-day with a strained hip muscle, the Yankees say. The MRI didn’t show anything serious.

8:27pm: Ellsbury left with a “tight right hip” and is heading for an MRI, the Yankees have announced.

7:46pm: Jacoby Ellsbury left tonight’s game with an apparent hip injury after the first inning. He drew a walk then stole second and third bases, and after the steal of third he was seen grabbing at hip right hip. Ellsbury trotted home gingerly on Brian McCann‘s single, then went to the clubhouse. Here’s the video.

The Yankees have not yet announced any updates on Ellsbury, so stay tuned. The Yankees lost Alex Rodriguez (hamstring) and CC Sabathia (hamstring) to injuries this week, and while losing Ellsbury would hurt, the team at least has plenty of outfield depth in Triple-A. Ben Gamel is on the roster now and would be a candidate to stick around, if necessary.

Ellsbury, 32, went into Friday’s game hitting .260/.315/.380 (94 wRC+) with one home runs and seven steals. He has a bit of a history of getting hurt and having the injury linger longer than expected. Hopefully that is not the case here.

Game 27: Win it for CC


Earlier today the Yankees lost CC Sabathia to a left groin strain, two days after he tossed seven shutout innings against the Orioles. It was his best start in about three years. At this point the best thing for the Yankees is probably to keep losing, but how about winning this one for CC? He’s been pretty awesome for a long time around here. Here is the Red Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. 1B Mark Teixeira
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. DH Carlos Beltran
  6. 2B Starlin Castro
  7. RF Aaron Hicks
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 3B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Michael Pineda

There is no rain in the forecast tonight even though it has been raining on and off pretty much all day in New York. It is cold and cloudy though, so it’s not exactly a great night to sit up in the stands. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Alex Rodriguez (hamstring) has something that is slightly more severe than a Grade I strain. The hope is he will only miss the minimum 15 days, but it will probably be longer.

Chapman Update: Aroldis Chapman struck out all three batters he faced in an Extended Spring Training today, says Erik Boland. It was his final tune-up appearance before joining the Yankees Monday. A scout told Boland Chapman looks big league ready.

2016 Draft: Baseball America’s Mock Draft v2.0

Earlier today the crew at Baseball America posted their second mock draft of the season. They have the Phillies taking Florida LHP A.J. Puk with the first pick in what could be a draft pool saving selection. The Phils could take Puk, sign him quickly and below slot, then redirect the savings towards other picks. The Astros did that a few times in recent years.

The Yankees hold the 18th overall selection and Baseball America currently has them taking New York HS RHP Ian Anderson. He’s from Shenendehowa up near Albany. ranked Anderson as the No. 11 prospect in the draft class. Here’s the nuts and bolts of their free scouting report:

Tall and projectable with the ability to add strength, Anderson throws his fastball in the 91-95 mph range with good downhill angle. His breaking ball can be plus at times, getting swings and misses. It has slurve action at this point, but could tighten up and become a true slider in time. Anderson has good feel for an average changeup as well. He’s generally around the strike zone and attacks hitters.

It’s worth noting Anderson is committed to Vanderbilt, which has a history of getting its recruits to put off pro ball and come to school. It typically takes an above-slot bonus to keep kids away from Vandy. That’s how Dellin Betances landed a $1M bonus as an eighth rounder back in 2006. He was ticketed for Vanderbilt.

The Yankees haven’t had a lot of success developing projectable high school arms like Anderson in recent years, which is why they’ve started to skew towards college players. That isn’t to say they definitely would not draft Anderson this June, just that it would be going against the grain. We’ll see.

Baseball America had the Yankees taking California HS RHP Kevin Gowdy in their first mock draft last month. Gowdy seems much more up New York’s alley. Here’s my write-up on him. The mock draft is not behind the paywall, so make sure you check it out. Good way to keep tabs on each player’s stock.

5/6 to 5/8 Series Preview: Boston Red Sox


For the first time this season, the Yankees are playing a team for the second time. The Red Sox will be in the Bronx for a three-game series this weekend. As I’m sure you know, the BoSox swept the Yankees in Boston last weekend. I figured I would remind you of that just in case you wiped it from your memory.

What Have They Done Lately?

The Red Sox just took two of three from the White Sox in Chicago, dropping the first game then winning the last two. They’ve won nine of their last eleven games overall. Boston is currently 17-11 with a +26 run differential on the season. They’re a half-game up on the O’s for first place in the AL East.

Offense & Defense

So far this season the Red Sox are averaging 5.25 runs per game with a team 123 wRC+, so yeah, they’re quite good offensively. Their only injured position player is 3B Pablo Sandoval, who had shoulder surgery earlier this week and is done for the season. Something tells me the BoSox are not too upset about that.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)
Hanley. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

DH David Ortiz (189 wRC+) remains the centerpiece in manager John Farrell’s lineup. The supporting cast includes RF Mookie Betts (94 wRC+), 2B Dustin Pedroia (140 wRC+), and SS Xander Bogaerts (125 wRC+). Those four hit in the top four spots of the lineup game after game. 1B Hanley Ramirez (103 wRC+) and 3B Travis Shaw (142 wRC+) hit fifth and sixth.

At the bottom of the lineup the Red Sox typically run LF Brock Holt (111 wRC+), C Christian Vazquez (66 wRC+), and CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (126 wRC+) out there. Ex-Yankee OF Chris Young (55 wRC+) will start against southpaws, but since CC Sabathia is not scheduled to start this series, we probably won’t see him this weekend. C Ryan Hanigan (45 wRC+) and IF Josh Rutledge (126 wRC+) are the two other bench players in addition to Young. The Sawx are only carrying three reserves.

Since these two teams played just last weekend, I’m going to copy and past what I wrote about Boston’s defense in the previous series preview:

On defense, the BoSox have above-average defenders up the middle in Vazquez, Pedroia, and Bradley. Bradley and Vazquez are truly elite defenders. Bogaerts has improved over the last year or so but is still closer to average than great. Betts has looked lost at times in right — he’s made some great catches thanks to pure athleticism — and Holt’s been adequate in left. Shaw and Hanley are no bueno on the infield corners.

So yeah, nothing has changed. The Red Sox haven’t made any call-ups on the position player side over the last week.

Pitching Matchups

Friday (7pm ET): RHP Michael Pineda (vs. BOS) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (vs. NYY)
Porcello, 27, is off to a nice start this season after his first year with the BoSox did not go so well. He owns a 2.76 ERA (3.59 FIP) in five starts and 32.2 innings with career best strikeout (28.1%) and walk (4.7%) rates. His 49.4% ground ball is also above-average, yet he has been dinger prone early on (1.38 HR/9). Porcello has historically been more effective against righties than lefties. He lives off a sinker right around 90 mph, and so far this season he’s preferred his low-80s changeup to his low-70s curveball. He’ll also throw some mid-80s cutters/sliders. Last weekend Porcello held the Yankees scoreless over seven innings.

Saturday (1pm ET): RHP Nathan Eovaldi (vs. BOS) vs. LHP David Price (vs. NYY)
Depending on your point of view, Price has either been really bad (6.14 ERA) or really good (2.88 FIP) in his first six starts and 36.2 innings with the Red Sox. Peripheral stats are nice, but, at the end of the day, the name of the game is keeping runs off the board. Price has has great strikeout (30.6%) and walk (5.6%) numbers, though he doesn’t get many grounders (40.0%) and you can take him yard (0.98 HR/9). His platoon split has generally been pretty small. Price, 30, is sitting around 93 mph with his four-seamer and sinker these days, and about 89 mph with his cutter. A low-80s changeup is his main secondary pitch, and he’ll also mix in a few low-70s curveballs per start. The Yankees tagged Price for six runs in seven innings last week, though Alex Rodriguez did a lot of that damage, and he’s currently on the DL. Life is pain.

(Adam Glanzman/Getty)
Price. (Adam Glanzman/Getty)

Sunday (8pm ET): RHP Luis Severino (vs. BOS) vs. RHP Steven Wright (vs. NYY)
The 31-year-old Wright is in the rotation because Joe Kelly (shoulder) and Eduardo Rodriguez (knee) are both currently on the DL. He has a 1.67 ERA (3.22 FIP) in five starts and 32.1 innings this year. Early on he’s gotten a lot of strikeouts (23.0%) and a decent amount of grounders (43.5%), though his homer rate is way low (0.28 HR/9) and his walk rate (11.1%) is way high. Expect that homer rate to climb in the coming weeks. Knuckleballers are historically homer prone. Wright throws his floater about 80% of the time and it clocks in at the mid-70s. His get-me-over fastball sits around 83 mph, and he’ll flip a few upper-60s curveballs per start just to mess around with the hitters. I am not looking forward to hearing how facing a knuckleballer can screw up your swing for a few days. Gimme a break.

Bullpen Status

For whatever reason the Red Sox are carrying eight relievers at the moment. I guess they’re concerned about not getting length from some of their starters, specifically lefty Henry Owens, who lasted only three innings yesterday. Here is Farrell’s bullpen:

RHP Matt Barnes: 14.2 IP, 14 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 7 BB, 14 K, 1 HR (19 pitches Thurs., 0 pitches Weds.)
RHP Heath Hembree: 10.1 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 11 K, 0 HR (43 pitches Thurs., 0 pitches Weds.)
RHP Craig Kimbrel: 13 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 22 K, 2 HR (0 pitches Thurs., 12 pitches Weds.)
LHP Tommy Layne: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR (0 pitches Thurs., 0 pitches Weds.)
LHP Robbie Ross Jr.: 13 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 13 K, 1 HR (34 pitches Thurs., 0 pitches Weds.)
RHP Carson Smith: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR (0 pitches Thurs., 0 pitches Weds.)
RHP Junichi Tazawa: 10 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 12 K, 1 HR (19 pitches Thurs., 0 pitches Weds.)
RHP Koji Uehara: 13.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 15 K, 0 HR (0 pitches Thurs., 11 pitches Weds.)

Smith, who was one of the best relievers in baseball last season, was activated off the DL the other day. He was not active for the series in Boston last weekend. Smith suffered a flexor muscle strain in Spring Training. Same thing Andrew Miller had last year.

Farrell likes to give his relievers set innings, and right now Tazawa is his seventh inning guy and Uehara is his eighth inning guy behind Kimbrel in the ninth. They’re easing Smith back into things for now, but he is expected to take over as the fireman once he gets the thumbs up. Layne is a true lefty specialist, not someone who will throw a full inning.

You can see the status of Joe Girardi‘s bullpen at our Bullpen Workload page. Everyone is pretty well rested. This is also the last series the Yankees will play without Aroldis Chapman. His suspension is up Monday.

Yankees place CC Sabathia on 15-day DL with groin strain, call up Phil Coke

(Ronald Martinez/Getty)
(Ronald Martinez/Getty)

3:54pm: Joe Girardi told reporters this afternoon Sabathia hurt himself in the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game. He didn’t say anything until after the game, however. Nova will indeed move into the rotation and start in Sabathia’s place. The timetable for Sabathia is about three weeks, says Girardi.

2:24pm: Earlier this week CC Sabathia had his best start in about three years, so, naturally, he was placed on the 15-day DL with a left groin strain today, the Yankees announced. We’re not allowed to have nice things. Phil Coke has been called up to fill the roster spot. Definitely never expected to write that sentence again.

Sabathia threw seven shutout innings against the Orioles two nights ago. I have no idea when he got hurt, but Sabathia has been known to pitch through pain, so it could have happened during that start. He’s pitched with a bone spur in his elbow, a hamstring strain, and all sorts of knee problems over the years.

In all likelihood Ivan Nova will step into the rotation to replace Sabathia. Luis Cessa and Chad Green, both of whom came over in the Justin Wilson trade, are pitching well in Triple-A and are rotation candidates as well. It’s unclear how long Sabathia will be sidelined. Hopefully it’s only two weeks and not any longer.

My guess is Coke is a stopgap. The Yankees signed him out of an independent league last week where he had been working as a starter, so he’s stretched out to 70 pitches or so. Coke will replace Nova as the long man. Aroldis Chapman is due to return Monday and that may be the end of Coke’s second stint in pinstripes.

Sabathia, 35, has a 3.81 ERA (3.51 FIP) in five starts and 28.1 innings this season. He’s been the Yankees’ second best starter overall. Sabathia’s vesting option for 2017 is based on the health of his shoulder, not his groin, so this injury doesn’t change anything.