Record Last Week: 3-3 (28 RS, 33 RA)
Season Record: 57-53 (446 RS, 474 RA, 51-59 pythag. record) 5.0 GB in ALE, 1.5 GB of WC
Opponents This Week: vs. Tigers (four games, Mon. to Thurs.), vs. Indians (three games, Fri. to Sun.)
Top stories from last week:
- The Yankees opened the week with three games in Texas. They blew a lead in Monday’s loss and barely held on for the win the next day. The Rangers took the series finale because New York’s offense disappeared.
- Following Thursday’s off-day, the Yankees headed to the Boston for a three-game set with the Red Sox. They dropped the opener when the offense came up short, but the Bombers rallied from behind to win the second game on Saturday. They did the same (twice!) to win yesterday’s game as well.
- Injury Updates: Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) will play catch today for the first time since suffering his partially torn ligament. Michael Pineda (shoulder) threw 3.1 scoreless innings his first minor league rehab game yesterday. David Phelps (elbow) has some inflammation and will miss some time. An MRI showed his ligament is intact. RHP Luis Severino (oblique) has a “very slight” issue and the team is “playing it safe.”
- The trade deadline came and went, and the Yankees acquired Stephen Drew (for Kelly Johnson) and Martin Prado (for Peter O’Brien). They also claimed Esmil Rogers off waivers from the Blue Jays. Brian Roberts was designated for assignment while Zelous Wheeler and Zoilo Almonte were shipped to Triple-A Scranton to clear roster space. Jeff Francis was also designated for assignment.
- The Yankees spoke to the Mariners about Dustin Ackley before acquiring Prado, but talks ended when Seattle asked for Bryan Mitchell in return. Other players they were connected to prior to the deadline include David Price, Marlon Byrd, Josh Willingham, Chris Denorfia, Joaquin Benoit, James Russell, Antonio Bastardo, Ian Kennedy, John Danks, Brett Anderson, Jake Arrieta, Alex Rios, and Justin Ruggiano.
- The Yankees invited free agent Cuban OF Rusney Castillo to a private workout in Tampa this week.
- Severino and Gary Sanchez made MLB.com’s midseason top 100 prospects list.
Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the interactive Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.
Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
Masahiro Tanaka will play catch on Monday for the first time since suffering a partially torn elbow ligament and receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection, Brian Cashman confirmed to George King. “He’ll definitely throw. He’s already told the doctors that he feels better,” said a source to Wally Matthews.
Tanaka received his injection three weeks ago and was examined by team doctor Christopher Ahmad on Friday, which is apparently when he was given the okay to play catch. If things go well on Monday, he’ll continue to move forward with his rehab and throwing program. If not, then he’s likely looking at Tommy John surgery. Cashman said that if all goes well, Tanaka could rejoin the rotation in September. The Yankees definitely need him. Fingers crossed. · (52) ·
12:06am: Joe Girardi told reporters Phelps has been dealing with the inflammation for three or four starts now. He had an MRI and his elbow ligament is intact, but he will likely miss some time.
10:37pm: David Phelps left tonight’s start after two innings with elbow inflammation, the team announced. It appeared he was lifted for ineffectiveness at the time. The Yankees say Phelps will be re-evaluated in New York in the coming days. The last thing this team can afford is another starting pitcher getting hurt. · (81) ·
That was a good ol’ fashioned ESPN Sunday Night high-scoring four-hour Yankees-Red Sox nail-biter. I feel like it’s been a while since we’ve had one of those. The Yankees came out on top this time, walking away with an 8-7 win and a series win overall. That was a pretty great win. Let’s recap:
- Early Hole: David Phelps clearly did not have it. He allowed three runs on four hits, a walk, and a sacrifice fly in the first inning, then another two runs on a single, a homer (Dustin Pedroia), and a walk in the second. Phelps was lifted after putting eight guys on base and throwing 53 pitches to get six outs. It initially appeared he was lifted due to simple ineffectiveness, but we eventually learned he’s dealing with some elbow inflammation. That’s not what the Yankees need right now, even if his ligament is fine.
- Rally Back: Phelps has been good overall this year and was just off his game/hurt on Sunday. Clay Buchholz, on the other hand, has been terrible in 2014. Immediately after his team staked him to a 3-0 lead in the first, he handed it back in the second. Two walks (Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann) and a single (Carlos Beltran) loaded the bases with no outs, then Stephen Drew plated one run with a ground ball back to the pitcher (play developed too slowly to turn two) and Brett Gardner drove in two more with a double to right. The two teams combined for eight runs in the first two innings.
- Rally Back, Again: Phelps allowed the two runs in the second to make it 5-3, though the Yankees cut the deficit to 5-4 when McCann and Drew doubled in the fourth. David Ortiz mashed a two-run tater off Chase Whitley in the bottom half, extending Boston’s lead to 7-4. The half-inning after that, New York knotted the game at seven on a double (Beltran), a walk (McCann), a run-scoring double (Headley), and a two-run single (Drew). The Yankees did a great job answering the Red Sox’s runs in the first and fourth with rallies to tie the next half-inning.
- Power-Hitting Left Fielder: Drew’s two-run single in the fifth gave his new team new life after Ortiz’s blast appeared to put the game to bed. BoSox skipper John Farrell went to lefty Craig Breslow to match up against Brett Gardner, but it didn’t work. Not at all. Gardner clubbed his 15th (15th!) homerun of the season leading off the sixth, giving the Yankees their first lead of the game. It wasn’t a no-doubter, in fact I thought it was going to be caught right until the moment it settled into the bullpen. Fifteen homers for Gardner. How about that? He’s been their best player this year and it’s not close.
- Unsung Hero: Whitley wasn’t very good in his two innings, but holy smokes, unsung hero of the night award goes to Esmil Rogers. He made his Yankees debut in the fifth inning and retired nine of ten batters faced, giving the offense a chance to get back in the game. Rogers struck out three and mowed right through Ortiz, Yoenis Cespedes, and Mike Napoli in the seventh, his third inning of work. The Yankees claimed him off waivers from the Blue Jays earlier this week and this outing alone makes the waiver claim worth it. Anything from here on out is gravy. Great job, Esmil.
- Dellin & Dave: As he tends to do, Dellin Betances generated some hilariously awful swings in his perfect eighth inning, striking out two. David Robertson, on the other hand, did everything in his power to bring Ortiz to the plate one last time. He walked number nine hitter Christian Vazquez on four pitches leading off the inning, but Brock Holt bailed him out by lining into a double play. Pinch-runner Mookie Betts took off with the pitch, which was lined right at Headley. Robertson ran the count full to Pedroia, who swung at balls four, five, and six before grounding out to end the game. Ortiz was left on deck. Hey, not every save is pretty, but a save is a save and a win is a win.
- Leftovers: Gardner drew a walk and was a triple away from the cycle … Beltran (single, double), McCann (double, two walks), and Drew (single, double) all reached base multiple times … the ultra-slumping Jacoby Ellsbury was the only starter who failed to reach base … the bullpen held the Red Sox hitless after the fourth inning … Rogers was the 29th different pitcher to pitch for the Yankees this season, a new franchise record … the Yankees have now played 14 straight games decided by two or fewer runs, extending the franchise record.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The Orioles and Royals won while the Blue Jays and Mariners lost, so the Yankees are five games back in the AL East and 1.5 games back of the second wild-card. FanGraphs put their postseason odds at 19.7%. The new look Tigers are coming to the town for a four-game set starting Monday night. Brandon McCarthy and reigning AL Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer will be the pitching matchup. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch the game live.
The Yankees rallied to win yesterday afternoon’s game, and tonight they have a chance to end the six-game road trip with a series win over the last place Red Sox. After dropping two of three to the last place Rangers, taking two of three from Boston would be much appreciated. Here is the Red Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- DH Carlos Beltran
- C Brian McCann
- 3B Chase Headley
- 2B Stephen Drew
- RF Martin Prado
RHP David Phelps
It’s cloudy and really humid in Boston, but there is no rain in the forecast. Tonight’s game will begin just after 8pm ET and you can watch on ESPN. Enjoy.
RHP Luis Severino was scratched from this afternoon’s scheduled start for Double-A Trenton, the team announced. VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman told Sweeny Murti that it’s a “very slight” oblique issue and they are simply “playing it safe.” The good news is that it’s not an arm injury. The bad news is that if Newman says it’s only a minor injury, then Severino will probably miss several weeks and maybe the rest of the season. His track record with injury timetables is … optimistic. Let’s put it that way.
Triple-A Scranton (3-1 win over Syracuse)
- DH Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
- 2B Rob Refsnyder & LF Zoilo Almonte: both 1-4 — Almonte committed a fielding error
- RF Adonis Garcia: 1-4, 1 R, 1 K – hitting streak is up to 16 games
- 1B Kyle Roller: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K — second homer in his last three games
- SS Zelous Wheeler & C Austin Romine: both 0-3
- RHP Michael Pineda: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 4/1 GB/FB — 37 of 58 pitches were strikes (64%) … had a little more on his first rehab outing earlier today
- LHP Tyler Webb: 0.2 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — nine pitches, eight strikes
- RHP Zach Nuding: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 5/5 GB/FB – 46 of 69 pitches were strikes (67%) … just up from Double-A
- RHP Branden Pinder: 0.1 IP, zeroes, 1 K — six pitches, four strikes … first game back at this level after missing almost three months with a groin injury
In his first official rehab start with Triple-A Scranton, Michael Pineda struck out four in 3.1 scoreless innings. He allowed three hits (two doubles) and walked one. Thirty-seven of his 58 pitches were strikes (64%). Pineda, who has been out since late-April with a back/shoulder muscle problem, was scheduled for 60-65 pitches. Shane Hennigan says Big Mike hit 94 mph on the scoreboard radar gun, for what it’s worth.
“You get 60, 65 pitches tomorrow, and then you figure five days later you’re getting close to 80. You’re starting to get pretty close. The big thing is that he responds to going out there and physically feels good. And this is further than he was before, so it makes you feel that this injury is healed,” said Joe Girardi to Chad Jennings yesterday. Assuming Pineda feels fine in the coming days, my guess is he will make one more rehab start with the RailRiders before rejoining the rotation. · (164) ·
Prior to acquiring Martin Prado, the Yankees sought a deal for former second overall pick Dustin Ackley, according to George King. The Mariners asked for Bryan Mitchell in return and that essentially ended talks. King says the Yankees view the right-hander as a potential rotation option either later this season or next year. They had interest in Ackley during the offseason as well, after Robinson Cano bolted for Seattle.
Ackley, 26, is hitting .258/.305/.389 (95 wRC+) with six homers this year and he continues to be a massive disappointment after being taken one pick after Stephen Strasburg in the 2009 draft. He has experience at first base, second base, left field, and center field. Obviously there is talent in there somewhere, but Seattle has been unable to get it out of him. The Yankees bought low in every trade they made this summer and this would have continued the trend.
The 23-year-old Mitchell has a 4.27 ERA (~4.35 FIP) with 81 strikeouts and 39 walks in 86.1 innings split between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton this year. He was actually up with the Yankees on two occasions, though he did not appear in a game. I ranked Mitchell as the team’s 18th best prospect recently because of his mid-90s fastball/hammer curveball combination. His general lack of command holds him back. Part of me wonders if he’s the next Dellin Betances, meaning a great stuff/bad command guy who takes off in a relief role.
Anyway, I have no problem whatsoever swapping a prospect like Mitchell for Ackley. I’d take a chance on guys with that kind of talent all day, every day. The Yankees are not in position to give away any pitching depth at the moment though, so I think they made the right call holding onto Mitchell and grabbing Prado instead. This is a deal they can revisit in the offseason and I hope they do. Getting Ackley away from the Mariners could do him a world of good.
Two innings in, this game had a very “here we go again” vibe to it. Another frustrating and disappointing loss was in the cards. But that didn’t happen. The Yankees rallied early and tacked on runs late for a 6-4 win over the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon, getting a sorely needed win against a last place team. Those have been hard to come by this last week. Let’s recap:
- Early Hole: They could have saved a lot of time if they started every Red Sox at-bat with a 2-0 count in the first two innings. Shane Greene was behind everyone early on, and it came back to bite him in the second when Mike Napoli hit a monster two-run homer in a 2-0 count. It was one of the farthest balls I’ve ever seen hit in Fenway. No-doubter is an understatement. The Sox scored another run on a pair of singles (Xander Bogaerts and Christian Vazquez) and a ground out (Jackie Bradley Jr.) later in the inning. Greene settled down and retired seven of the next eight batters he faced, but his pitch count caught up to him and he was done after 4.2 innings. Not his best outing by any stretch, though he didn’t let things unravel after that second inning.
- Soft Rally: The Yankees answered Boston’s three-run bottom of the second with a four-run top of the third despite hitting zero balls hard. Allen Webster gift-wrapped the rally by walking the bases loaded with no outs, then Derek Jeter blooped a double to right to score the first two runs. I don’t know how that pitch didn’t break his bat. Jeter’s made a career out of pulling his hands in and fighting those pitches off the other way. Jacoby Ellsbury plated another run with a ground out and Carlos Beltran drove in the fourth run of the inning with a dinky little single to center. Webster walked the next two batters but Martin Prado grounded out with the bases loaded the end the inning. I’m pretty sure the hardest hit ball that inning was Prado’s grounder. Well-placed, not well-hit.
- Tack-Ons: Four runs was not going to cut it, so the Yankees did us all a favor and tacked on some insurance runs in the fifth (Mark Teixeira homer) and seventh (Stephen Drew double) innings. Teixeira’s was a bomb off lefty Craig Breslow while Beltran was on second for Drew’s double thanks to a ground-rule double over the short wall in right. Drew’s double was a rocket to right-center. He smoked another ball to the warning track in right later in the game that would have been a homer in Yankee Stadium. Stretching that 4-3 lead into a 6-3 lead turned out to be pretty damn important.
- Hang On: With Greene out so early, Joe Girardi turned to his four relief aces right away. Shawn Kelley entered with two outs in the fifth and retired all four men he faced, three on strikeouts. Adam Warren struggled again, allowing a walk (Brock Holt) and a single (Dustin Pedroia) with one out before being lifted in favor of Dellin Betances. David Ortiz hit a sac fly to score the run — Brett Gardner almost threw Holt out at the plate but Frankie Cervelli couldn’t handle the ball, the throw was there in plenty of time — but otherwise Betances retired all five men he faced. PitchFX says he averaged 99.2 mph and topped out at 101.1 mph (!) in the game. Hot damn. David Robertson pitched around a two-out single for his 28th save in 30 chances. Phew.
- Leftovers: Chase Headley went 1-for-4 with a walk and he’s been playing the hell outta third base lately. One standout defensive play after another … Gardner (two walks), Jeter (single, double), Teixeira (single, homer), Beltran (single, double), Headley (single, walk), Drew (double, two walks), Prado (single, walk), and Cervelli (single, walk) all reached base twice … Drew lost track of the count and got picked off second in the seventh because he started walking back to the dugout following strike two to Cervelli … the Yankees had more walks (seven) than strikeouts (five) for the 12th time this year, the second most in baseball … the Yankees have now played 13 straight games decided by no more than two runs, a franchise record.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some nerdier stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Mariners won while the Orioles and Blue Jays lost, so the Yankees are five games back in the AL East and 2.5 games back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at 16.6% with 53 games to go. David Phelps and Clay Buchholz will be the pitching matchup in Sunday night’s series finale.
With C/1B Peter O’Brien having been traded away, 1B Greg Bird was promoted from High-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton, the team announced.
Triple-A Scranton (13-0 win over Gwinnett)
- LF Jose Pirela: 2-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 CS
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-5, 2 R, 1 RBI — 12-for-40 (.300) in his last ten games
- DH Zoilo Almonte: 2-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 K – four homers in his last five Triple-A games
- RF Adonis Garcia: 3-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K — 25-for-64 (.390) during his 15-game hitting streak
- 1B Kyle Roller: 3-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI –
- 3B Zelous Wheeler: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB — four homers in his last 20 total games
- C John Ryan Murphy: 1-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K – second homer in his last three games
- RHP Chris Leroux: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HB, 3/7 GB/FB — 55 of 92 pitches were strikes (60%)
- LHP Tyler Webb: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB – nine of 15 pitches were strikes (60%)
- RHP Matt Daley: 1 IP, zeroes, 0 K, 0/2 GB/FB – seven of nine pitches were strikes