• Yankees offered to eat $4.5M of Ichiro’s salary in trade with Astros

    According to information allegedly leaked from the Astros’ proprietary “Ground Control” database, the Yankees offered to eat $4.5M of Ichiro Suzuki’s $6.5M salary in order to facilitate a trade with Houston at some point before the season. They also called to ask about a trade involving Chris Stewart before sending him to the Pirates. The leaked info was posted on Anonbin and dug up by Deadspin.

    We heard the Yankees were willing to eat salary to move Ichiro all winter, so this isn’t a surprise. Now we just know exactly how much. More importantly, holy crap someone leaked a bunch of trade chatter from a team’s internal database. It reads like a fantasy league message board too — we’ll trade our okay veteran for your top prospect, stuff like that. Here’s the link again. Make sure you check it out. This kind of leak should never ever ever happen.
    · (41) ·

That kinda season in Tampa. (Mike Carlson/Getty)

That kinda season in Tampa. (Mike Carlson/Getty)

Once again, the Yankees are set to play a division rival as the Rays come to town for three games. This will be the Bombers’ fifth straight series against an AL East opponent and they’ve lost three of the first four. The Yankees will pass the season halfway mark tonight. It’s time to start stringing together some wins. They split four games in Tampa in mid-April and lost two of three to the Rays in the Bronx in early-May.

What Have They Done Lately?
The Rays just did the Yankees a solid and took three of four from the Orioles (in Baltimore!) over the weekend. Tampa has won four of their last five and eleven of their last 18 games overall. Despite that, they still have the worst record (35-49) and sixth worst run differential (-37) in baseball.

Manager Joe Maddon’s team is league average offensively with a team 100 wRC+ and an average of 3.79 runs per game. The Rays are currently without OF Wil Myers (wrist), OF David DeJesus (hand), and SS Yunel Escobar (shoulder). Myers and DeJesus are on the disabled list and won’t be returning anytime soon. Escobar is day-to-day and could return to the starting lineup as soon as tonight.

(J. Meric/Getty)

(J. Meric/Getty)

As usual, Maddon’s lineup is built around 3B Evan Longoria (107 wRC+) and 2B/OF Ben Zobrist (109 wRC+), but neither is having a particularly great year. OF Matt Joyce (121 wRC+) has been their best regular hitter while 1B James Loney (104 wRC+) and OF Desmond Jennings (103 wRC+) have been solid. OF Kevin Kiermaier (162 wRC+ in limited time) has been awesome filling in for Myers.

The rest of the offense is mix and match. C Ryan Hanigan (98 wRC+) and C Jose Molina (14 wRC+) share catching duties while UTIL Sean Rodriguez (96 wRC+) and OF Brandon Guyer (102 wRC+) sub in against lefties. OF Cole Figueroa (49 wRC+ in very limited time) and UTIL Logan Forsythe (76 wRC+ in limited time) fill out the bench. Tampa has stolen the third fewest bases in the league (Jennings leads the team by far with 12), so these aren’t the runnin’ Rays of a few years go.

Pitching Matchups

Monday: RHP David Phelps (vs. TB) vs. RHP Chris Archer (vs. NYY)
Once David Price gets traded, the 25-year-old Archer is going to take over as the staff ace by default. He has a 3.29 ERA (2.96 FIP) in 16 starts and 93 innings this year, with improved strikeout (8.32 K/9 and 21.8 K%) and ground ball (47.5%) rates compared to his strong rookie campaign a year ago. Archer’s walk rate (3.48 BB/9 and 9.1 BB%) has jumped a bit and his homer rate (0.29 HR/9 and 3.9 HR/FB%) is unsustainably low at this point. I don’t think that will last all year. Righties (3.41 wOBA) have actually fared better than lefties (2.55 wOBA) so far this year, which is odd because Archer is a mid-90s fastball/mid-80s slider guy. He throws only a handful of mid-80s changeups per start and those guys tend to have platoon splits, not reverse platoon splits. Small sample, I guess. Archer has never not pitched well against the Yankees — in four starts and 28.2 career inning against New York, he’s allowed four runs and 20 base-runners.

Tuesday: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (vs. TB) vs. LHP David Price (vs. NYY)
Could this be Price’s final start with the Rays? I think that’s possible for every one of his starts from here on out. Price, 28, has a 3.63 ERA (3.00 FIP) in 17 starts and 124 innings this year, but that really undersells just how good he’s been. He has 144 strikeouts (10.45 K/9 and 28.4 K%) and 14 walks (1.02 BB/9 and 2.8 BB%) on the season, and has struck out at least ten batters in each of his last five starts. The last pitcher to strike out double-digit batters in five straight games was sicko Johan Santana back in 2004. Price’s ground ball rate (42.8%) has been about average but he has been homer prone (1.23 HR/9 and 13.3 HR/FB%). His platoon split is small. As always, Price remains a fastball machine, throwing his low-to-mid-90s two and four-seamer and mid-80s cutter more than 70% of the time combined. He backdoors the cutter to righties for called strikes better than anyone I’ve ever seen. Unhittable pitch. Mid-80s changeups and upper-70s curveballs round out his repertoire. The Yankees have seen Price twice this season. One start went well for them (six runs in five innings) and the other didn’t (two runs in seven innings).



Wednesday: LHP Vidal Nuno (vs. TB) vs. RHP Jake Odorizzi (vs. NYY)
After a very rough start, the 24-year-old Odorizzi has turned his season around of late, allowing two or fewer runs in each of his last four starts. He owns a 4.14 ERA (3.16 FIP) in 16 starts and 82.2 innings with a very high strikeout rate (10.56 K/9 and 25.2 K%). His walk rate is kinda high (3.70 BB/9 and 9.5 BB%), his ground ball rate is low (35.6%), and his homer rate is probably a touch low as well (0.76 HR/9 and 7.4 HR/FB%). Righties (.318 wOBA) have been a bit better than lefties (.297 wOBA). Reverse platoon splits seems to be a trend on Tampa’s staff. Odorizzi uses a four-seamer right around 90 mph to set up his mid-80s slider, which is his top secondary pitch. He’ll throw a handful of mid-80s changeups and rainbow upper-60s curveballs per start. The Yankees scored three runs in four innings the only time they saw Odorizzi earlier this year.

Bullpen Status
Because RHP Grant Balfour (4.27 FIP) had some big time meltdowns earlier this year, Maddon has been using a closer by committee system in recent weeks. Balfour, LHP Jake McGee (1.58 FIP), RHP Joel Peralta (4.22 FIP), and RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo (4.50 FIP) have all grabbed saves at one point or another. McGee in particular has been fantastic and is not just a lefty specialist.

Peralta, RHP Brad Boxberger (4.27 FIP), RHP Kirby Yates (4.52 FIP in very limited time), and LHP Cesar Ramos (4.46 FIP) all pitched in yesterday’s game. Ramos threw 45 pitches and probably won’t be available tonight in anything other than emergency. Everyone else threw only one inning and should be good to go tonight. Check out our Bullpen Workload page for the status of Joe Girardi‘s bullpen and then check out The Process Report for everything you need to know about the Rays.

Categories : Series Preview
Comments (49)
  • Yankees continue to prioritize rotation help in trade talks

    The Yankees continue to prioritize pitching help in trade talks, Brian Cashman confirmed to Brendan Kuty. About a week ago we heard they were targeting starters “almost exclusively.” “I’m looking to make some additions if I can, so I’d like to try to do things before (CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda) get back if possible,” said the GM. “But I’ve already been trying. There’s a reason we haven’t done anything. It’s not because of a lack of phone calls. But we’ll see.”

    I think it goes without saying that the Yankees need both pitching help and offensive help. This isn’t a one or the other thing, they need both. Sabathia is still a few weeks away, Pineda just started (another) throwing program, Chase Whitley is not so slowly turning into a pumpkin, and Vidal Nuno is Vidal Nuno, so bolstering the rotation is definitely a pressing need. The Yankees have some internal options that may be able to give the lineup a shot in the arm, but no such pitching options exist. As always, the sooner they can swing trades to improve the roster, the better their chances of actually going to the postseason.
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Record Last Week: 2-4 (26 RS, 28 RA)
Season Record: 41-39 (323 RS, 355 RA, 36-44 pythag. record)
Opponents This Week: vs. Rays (three games, Mon. to Weds.), @ Twins (four games, Thurs. to Sun.)

Top stories from last week:

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?

Categories : Polls
Comments (65)

Source: FanGraphs

For the second time this calendar month, the Yankees have lost three straight series. They dropped two of three to the Twins, Athletics, and Royals a few weeks ago, and now they’ve done the same against the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Red Sox. Believe it or not, they never once lost three consecutive series last season. Somehow the Yankees have only lost one game in the standings during this recent three-series-loss stretch. Thank goodness the rest of the AL East is garbage too. Let’s recap Sunday’s 8-5 series finale loss to Boston:

  • Party’s Over: It appears the clock has struck midnight on Chase Whitley. He allowed ten of the 18 Red Sox batters he faced to reach base after getting destroyed by the Blue Jays last time out, though Sunday’s damage was limited to only five runs because two runners were erased on double plays, one was thrown out stealing second, and one was picked off first. Whitley has now allowed 13 runs and 24 base-runners in his last 7.2 innings. The Yankees need another starter and fast.
  • Almost Comeback: The Bombers made it a game in the middle innings, at least for a little while. Derek Jeter capped off an eleven-pitch at-bat with an RBI single to plate the team’s first run in the third inning, and in the fourth Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran swatted solo homers to make it 4-3. Suddenly we had a ballgame. Then four walks, one single, and one botched pickoff led to three more runs for Boston in the next half-inning and that was that. It was fun pretending the Yankees were back in this game for a few minutes.
  • Bullpen Weirdness: Joe Girardi is usually very, very good with his bullpen, but there were some really funny moves in this game. Whitley was getting smacked around all night, but Girardi sent him back out to start the fifth only to yank him following a leadoff walk. If the leash is one base-runner, why not just let the reliever start the inning clean? In the sixth, Dellin Betances was brought into the game after David Huff loaded the bases with no outs. If this game is important enough to use Betances in that spot, whey even bother sending Huff out? Shawn Kelley and Huff were charged with three runs in one total inning of work. Betances threw two scoreless but did allow an inherited runner to score.
  • Leftovers: Beltran was thrown out trying to score from second on Kelly Johnson‘s single in the sixth inning because apparently no one has a scouting report on Jackie Bradley Jr. He might have the strongest center field arm in baseball … Ichiro Suzuki tripled (with an assist to a diving and missing Mookie Betts) four days shy of the two-month anniversary of his last extra-base hit … Beltran had three hits and Jeter had two. Brian Roberts was the only starter who failed to reach base … the Red Sox drew three straight walks to leadoff the fifth inning, which is more walks than the Yankees have had in five of their last six games … the Yankees are now 18-20 at home and have been outscored 180-140.

For the box score and video highlights, go to MLB.com. FanGraphs has some additional stats and the updated standings are at ESPN. Both the Blue Jays and Orioles lost, so the Yankees remain two back of Toronto and a half-game back of Baltimore. The Rays are coming to the Bronx next and Chris Archer and David Phelps open the three-game series on Monday night. These are the final three home games before the All-Star break, so head over to RAB Tickets if you want to catch any of them live.

Categories : Game Stories
Comments (48)

Triple-A Scranton (6-5 win over Lehigh Valley)

  • DH Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 K — 21-for-46 (.457) with 15 walks and nine strikeouts in his last 15 games
  • LF Zoilo Almonte: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 K, 1 CS, 1 E (fielding) — his 12 total homers are in the organization behind Peter O’Brien (25), Kyle Roller (16), and Mark Teixeira (14)
  • 1B Kyle Roller, SS Dean Anna & C Austin Romine: all 0-4 — Roller struck out once, Romine twice … Romine picked a runner off first with a snap throw
  • 3B Scott Sizemore: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
  • RHP Joel De La Cruz: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 3/1 GB/FB — 35 of 58 pitches were strikes (60%)
  • LHP Francisco Rondon: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3/1 GB/FB — 22 of 41 pitches were strikes (54%)
  • RHP Diego Moreno: 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0K, 2/2 GB/FB — 17 of 27 pitches were strikes (63%)

Read More→

Categories : Down on the Farm
Comments (147)
(Rich Schultz/Getty)

(Rich Schultz/Getty)

Once again, both the Blue Jays and Orioles lost earlier today, so the Yankees are in position to make up some ground on both teams in the AL East race. They blew the same opportunity with last night’s gut punch loss. Chase Whitley will be welcomed to the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry tonight and he’s in position to give his team the series win. Whitley got destroyed by the Blue Jays last time out, now we’ll get to see how well he can rebound. Here is the Red Sox lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. DH Carlos Beltran
  7. 3B Kelly Johnson
  8. 2B Brian Roberts
  9. RF Ichiro Suzuki
    RHP Chase Whitley

It’s a lovely day in New York. Perfect night for baseball. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin a little after 8pm ET and you’ll be able to watch on ESPN. Enjoy the game.

Categories : Game Threads
Comments (195)
  • Pineda feels “very good” after beginning new throwing program

    As planned, Michael Pineda started a new throwing program yesterday. He was scheduled to start throwing last weekend, but it was pushed back after a precautionary MRI showed a lingering “trace” of inflammation. Pineda told Marly Rivera he felt “very good” after throwing while Joe Girardi told Chad Jennings the throwing session was “probably 25 throws at 60 feet, so probably not a lot to get excited about.”

    Pineda, 25, has been out with a muscle problem in his back/shoulder since late-April. He made it as far as pitching in Extended Spring Training games a few weeks ago before suffering a setback. Given his history and the nature of the injury, I think the Yankees have to forget about Pineda and move forward under the assumption that he isn’t coming back. If he does, great. But there’s no way they can count on him to bolster the rotation in the second half.
    · (57) ·

Source: FanGraphs

Well that was an annoying loss. Saturday night’s aces duel went to the Red Sox thanks to a late-inning solo homer, giving Boston the 2-1 win. It was the third time in the last seven games the Yankees scored zero or one run. Let’s recap the loss:

  • Third Best Pitch: Mike Napoli’s two-strike, game-winning homer came on Masahiro Tanaka‘s third best pitch. Tanaka confirmed to Bryan Hoch that Brian McCann initially called for a splitter and then a slider, but he shook him off to get to a fastball away. He missed his spot, Napoli hit a cheap Yankee Stadium homer with two outs in the top of the ninth, and that was that. Tanaka was otherwise outstanding all night, allowing two runs (two solo homers) in nine innings while striking out eight. Not sure what more he could have done other than throw Napoli a splitter in the ninth inning.
  • One Run Ain’t Enough: The Yankees played for one run in the third inning and that’s exactly what they got. Brian Roberts (Stephen Drew error) and Yangervis Solarte (hit-by-pitch) reached base to leadoff the inning, and, for the second straight night, Brett Gardner sacrifice bunted. He’s only the team’s best and hottest hitter at the moment. Derek Jeter drove in Roberts with a ground out and that was it. The Yankees had one batter make it as far as second base the rest of the night.
  • Best Chances: Gardner reached base to lead off the sixth (single) and eighth (walk) innings, but was caught stealing the first time (David Ross got him with a great throw) and erased on Jeter’s double play ball the second. I’m not sure why you would sac bunt down a run in the third inning but not with the game tied in the eighth, when one run would have made a huge difference. Those were their best opportunities to scratch out another run against Jon Lester.
  • Leftovers: The top three hitters in the lineup went a combined 4-for-9 with two walks and no strikeouts while everyone else went 1-for-21 with eight strikeouts and the hit-by-pitch. Anytime the Yankees want to add a bat or three is cool with me … Tanaka is the first Yankees pitcher to take a nine-inning complete-game loss since CC Sabathia last July. The last time before that was Randy Johnson in 2005.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated the standings. Both the Blue Jays and Orioles lost, so the AL East race is unchanged — the Yankees are two games back of Toronto and a half-game back of Baltimore. Chase Whitley will be on the mound looking for the series win Sunday night. Yes, it’s a Sunday night game. John Lackey is getting the ball for Boston. RAB Tickets can get you in the door if you want to catch that or any of the other three games on this final homestand before the All-Star break.

Categories : Game Stories
Comments (59)

Triple-A Scranton (4-3 sin over Lehigh Valley)

  • RF Jose Pirela: 2-4, 1 BB – first career game in right and I don’t think it’s a coincidence … Alfonso Soriano‘s been awful all season and they can’t keep running him out there anymore
  • C John Ryan Murphy: 1-5, 1 R, 1 K
  • LF Zoilo Almonte: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 K
  • 3B Scott Sizemore: 1-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K
  • DH Kyle Roller: 2-2, 1 R, 2 BB — 9-for-20 (.450) in his last six games
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K — second straight game with a homer and third in his last seven games
  • RHP Chris Leroux: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 5/6 GB/FB — 48 of 75 pitches were strikes (64%) … missed the last month and a half with some kind of arm problem
  • SwP Pat Venditte: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 29 of 44 pitches were strikes (66%)
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 12 pitches, seven strikes
  • RHP Matt Daley: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K — 16 of 21 pitches were strikes (76%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
Comments (101)
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