DotF: Estrada stays hot in Charleston’s win

OF Michael O’Neill has been bumped up from High-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton, so says Josh Norris.

Triple-A Scranton (4-1 loss to Columbus in six innings) called early due to rain

  • CF Ben Gamel: 0-3, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB
  • RF Aaron Judge: 1-3, 1 K, 1 SB — threw a runner out at the plate … he’s now 10-for-12 on stolen base attempts in his career
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 E (missed catch) — it’s two games, but he’s already making the most of his latest opportunity at Triple-A
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 1-3, 1 2B
  • DH Jake Cave: 0-3
  • LHP Phil Coke: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 9/3 GB/FB — 58 of 92 pitches were strikes (63%)
  • LHP Tyler Olson: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/2 GB/FB — 19 of 28 pitches were strikes (68%)
  • RHP Layne Somsen: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 14 of 26 pitches were strikes (54%)

[Read more…]

Game 56: Sabathia Sunday

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

Who would have guessed coming into the season that CC Sabathia would be one of the Yankees’ steadiest and most effective starters? He’s pitching to the best case scenario, basically. A 2.85 ERA (3.19 FIP) is vintage Sabathia stuff. It’s been a few years since I’ve looked forward to Sabathia starts. This is pretty cool. CC is definitely one the team’s biggest bright spots this season. Here is the Orioles’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 2B Starlin Castro
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. 1B Rob Refsnyder
  9. RF Aaron Hicks
    LHP CC Sabathia

It was raining in Baltimore much of the morning and the forecast says it’s going to pour later this afternoon. It looks like there will be a long enough window to get the game in though, so that’s good. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Injury Updates: Austin Romine (thumb) was able to hit today and is available if necessary … Chasen Shreve (shoulder) threw off flat ground again yesterday. He’s going to rest today then throw long toss tomorrow. Joe Girardi confirmed Shreve will go out on a minor league rehab assignment before being activated off the DL, which is no surprise.

Ivan the Starter

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

This is my third piece on Ivan Nova this season, including Spring Training. For a player whose game I’m not necessarily overly fond about, that seems like a lot. However, when I wrote my first piece about him in 2016, I did so making a fairly bold claim with regards to what Nova should do with his pitches out of the bullpen. As such, I feel an obligation to check in on how he’s done with the strategy I proposed way back when. Now that Nova’s in the starting rotation–and has been for almost a month–I figured it was worth checking in on the suggested repertoire I laid out back in late January.

Since being placed in the rotation, Nova has made six starts for the Yankees, dating back to a 4.2 inning ‘debut’ on May 9. In those starts, Nova’s thrown 35 innings and given up 36 hits. He’s walked seven and struck out 26. His ERA as a starter is a fairly respectable 4.11, which you’d more than live with from a back-end guy. And though the unsolicited advice I offered was done so with the belief he’d be a reliever, Nova has used that strategy as a starter in 2016.

(Getty)
(Getty)

Having ditched the four-seamer, change up, and slider, Nova’s thrown almost exclusively sinkers and curveballs, even as a starter. And for the most part, those pitches have been at least reasonably effective. The sinker, for instance, has shown slight improvement over his career (up to 5/8/2016) numbers in whiff/swing%, line drives per balls in play, fly balls per balls in play, and pop ups per balls in play. Ivan’s uncle Charlie has also seen big jumps in whiff/swing% and ground ball rate. However, there is a problem with both of these pitches and it speaks to something unmentioned in the previous paragraph.

In his six starts this year, Nova has had a bit of a problem with extra bases. Of the 36 hits he’s given up, 15 of them have gone for extra bases; eight of them have been doubles and seven have been homers. In fact, he’s given up at least one home run in each start he’s made.

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)
(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Therein lies the problem with Nova’s streamlined arsenal. The more pitches you throw of the same type, the more likely it is that you’ll make some mistakes with them, and that might be what’s happening to him. His sinker, which until this recent string of starts carried a 6.4% rate, currently sports a 13.64% mark for HR/FB+LD. Additionally, the curve sits way higher than ‘normal’ (10.26): 16.67%. If you’re giving up dingers on sinkers and curves, they’re likely not sinking and dropping enough, so that’s something Nova will need to iron out going forward.

Ivan started out hot, giving up just three runs in his first three starts. The last three, however, have seen him surrender at least four each time. Granted, they’ve been against Toronto and Baltimore and that’s not good for a pitcher who’s finding himself prone to giving up the long ball. Given that the Yankees don’t seem to have any other viable rotation options at the moment–barring a reemergence from Luis Severino–it’s imperative that he perfect–or at least come close to that–his new pitch selection and keep the ball down.

Yankees beat O’s 8-6 and it was never in doubt, no siree


Source: FanGraphs

That was dangerously close to being a Very Bad Loss. The Yankees took a seemingly comfortable 7-0 lead into the seventh inning Saturday night, but some mistake pitches and questionable bullpen management allowed the Orioles to score six runs in the seventh inning. New York was able to hang on for the 8-6 win. Nice and easy, right? Saturday night games get bullet point recaps because they are the bane of my existence, so let’s get to it:

  • Four In The Fourth: After taking a 1-0 lead on Austin Romine‘s third inning sac fly, the Yankees broke the game open by scoring four runs in the fourth. Starlin Castro (double), Didi Gregorius (ground out), Rob Refsnyder (double), and Romine (single) drove those four runs in. Refsnyder and Romine came up with big two-out hits. They turned a two-run inning into a four-run inning. Huge. Castro singled in another run in the fifth to give the Yankees a 6-0 lead.
  • Safe At Home: Jacoby Ellsbury stole home for the second time this season. This one wasn’t a straight steal like the one against the Rays though. Ellsbury was on third when Brett Gardner attempted to steal second. Matt Wieters threw down to second, and when Manny Machado had to reach down to apply the tag (Gardner was safe), Ellsbury broke for home and beat the return throw. I was surprised a veteran catcher like Wieters threw down to second there. He knew who was at third, right? Either way, that made it 7-0 Yankees in the sixth.
  • Better Than Advertised: The box score is a damn lie. It’ll tell you Ivan Nova allowed five runs in six innings, and while that is true, it is not in any way representative of how he pitched. Nova dominated for the first six innings, holding the O’s to three hits and a walk. He was in total control. Then things unraveled quickly in the seventh. Mark Trumbo hit a homer to make it 7-1, and fine, whatever. It happens. Then Pedro Alvarez managed to sneak a two-run homer just inside the left field foul pole to cut it to 7-3. Argh. A single, a wild pitch, and a walk followed. That ended Nova’s night. It was still 7-3 at the time. Overall, good work Ivan.
  • No Goody: For whatever reason Joe Girardi opted to go to Nick Goody with two on and no outs in the seventh rather than Andrew Miller, who was warming in the bullpen. Goody threw two pitches. The first was a ball, and the second went for an Adam Jones three-run homer to turn a 7-3 game into a 7-6 game. The O’s scored six runs before making an out in the seventh. Not ideal! Miller came in following the homer. Why did Goody come in first? I’ll never know.
  • Big Two: Dellin Betances was unavailable due to his recent workload, meaning Miller had to serve as the seventh and eighth inning guy Saturday. He retired all six batters he faced. Only 28 pitches too. Miller is quite good at this pitching thing. Aaron Hicks (double) and Alex Rodriguez (single) created a much appreciated insurance run in the top of the ninth, then Aroldis Chapman closed the door in the bottom half. Never in doubt. (It was very much in doubt.)
  • Leftovers: Weird injury alert: Austin Romine tore the nail on his left thumb trying to catch a Chapman warm-up pitch in the ninth. Chapman spiked a fastball in the dirt and it came up and hit Romine in a weird way. He had to leave the game, so Brian McCann caught the final three outs. Romine is heading for x-rays just in case … the Yankees had 16 hits total, tying their season high. They had 16 in the 16-6 win over the Astros in the second game of the season … every starter had at least one hit. Ellsbury and Gardner had two each while A-Rod and Castro had three each.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. We have Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages too. The Yankees and Orioles will wrap up this three-game series Sunday afternoon. That’s a 1:35pm ET start and it is the final game of this ten-game, four-city road trip. CC Sabathia and Kevin Gausman are the scheduled starters.

DotF: Fowler stays hot; Acevedo returns from injury

With 1B Chris Parmelee called up to the big leagues, 1B Tyler Austin has been promoted from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton and 1B Matt Snyder has been bumped up from High-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton, report Matt Kardos and Nick Flammia. It’s all one big chain reaction.

Triple-A Scranton (7-5 loss to Columbus)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 SB, 1 HBP — third straight two-hit game
  • RF Aaron Judge: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K
  • DH Nick Swisher: 0-5, 1 K — he has an opt-out sometime this month and I’m guessing he’ll use it after being passed over for Parmelee
  • LF Jake Cave: 1-2, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 CS
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 1-3, 1R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB — he’s one catcher injury away from getting called up, which would be pretty cool after all his injuries and years as a minor league backup
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB — welcome back to Triple-A
  • RHP Brady Lail: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 6/6 GB/FB — 58 of 90 pitches were strikes (64%)
  • RHP Conor Mullee: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0/2 GB/FB — 25 of 37 pitches were strikes (68%)
  • LHP James Pazos: 1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 21 of 35 pitches were strikes (60%) … 24/16 K/BB in 19.1 innings
  • LHP Neal Cotts: 0.1 IP, zeroes — two pitches, one strike

[Read more…]

Game 55: Win it for Tex

(Adam Glanzman/Getty)
(Adam Glanzman/Getty)

Earlier today the Yankees placed Mark Teixeira on the 15-day DL with a knee injury that could very well end his time in pinstripes. Teixeira’s been a pretty darn good player for the Yankees for a long time, though the last few years have been littered with injuries. Still, he hit third on the team’s most recent championship team and he was an All-Star as recently as last year. Go win tonight’s game for Teixeira. Here is the O’s lineup and here is the Yanks’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. DH Alex Rodriguez
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. 1B Rob Refsnyder
  9. C Austin Romine
    RHP Ivan Nova

It is cool and cloudy in Baltimore this evening, and there is some rain in the forecast later tonight. Probably not anything that will affect the game unless it goes to extra innings or something. First pitch is scheduled for a little after 7pm ET and you can watch on FOX. Yep, it’s a FOX game. First of the year, right? Anyway, enjoy the game.

Yankees place Mark Teixeira on 15-day DL with possible season-ending knee injury

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

Earlier today the Yankees placed Mark Teixeira on the 15-day DL with a “right knee articular cartilage tear,” the team announced. He left last night’s game with discomfort in the knee and went for an MRI. Brian Cashman told Chad Jennings that Teixeira may need season-ending surgery. From Jennings:

“The initial effort is going to try to be to treat it conservatively with rest, probably involving injections, and then see how he responds to that,” general manager Brian Cashman said in a phone call this morning. “… If that doesn’t work, then you’re looking at a surgical procedure. If that’s the case, then his season is probably done.”

Surgery could end not only Teixeira’s season, but also his Yankees career. His eight-year contract is up after the season, and while the team will need a backup plan for Greg Bird at first base next year, they could very well go in another direction. For now it seems the Yankees will be without Teixeira for an extended period of time. This doesn’t figure to be a 15-day stint on the DL.

To replace Teixeira on the roster, the Yankees have called up Chris Parmelee — not Nick Swisher — from Triple-A Scranton. Simply put, the team believes Parmelee is better able to help them than Swisher right now. Parmelee has been the more productive hitter with the RailRiders (131 wRC+ vs. 72 wRC+), he’s seven years younger, he’s healthier, and better able to play the outfield if necessary.

Cashman told Jennings the plan is to mix-and-match at first base for the time being. It makes sense to start Parmelee, a left-handed hitter, against righties. Rob Refsnyder or Austin Romine could get the call against lefties. Refsnyder replaced Teixeira at first last night — it was his first game action at the position at any level — and was fine, though he wasn’t tested with many plays.

Teixeira has not hit at all this season. He owns a .180/.271/.263 (48 wRC+) batting line and hasn’t looked anywhere close to snapping out of his slump. It’s been nearly two full months since he last hit a home run. It’s very possible Parmelee and whoever else will give the team more production at first base than Teixeira has this season. They won’t replace his defense though. Teixeira is still all-world with the glove.

Dustin Ackley, who had season-ending shoulder surgery yesterday, was transferred to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot for Parmelee. He’ll be with the Yankees tonight.