Let’s have the innings limit conversation the Yankees say they haven’t had yet

Sevy. (Presswire)
Sevy. (Presswire)

Two nights ago Luis Severino chucked seven innings of one-run ball against the White Sox, striking out a career high 12 in the process. He was awesome. (The bullpen less so.) Severino has been New York’s best starting pitcher all year — that includes the Mets! — and after his rough 2016 season, this is the guy everyone hoped to see. The top of the rotation ability is there and we’re seeing it consistently.

Severino, who is the youngest pitcher on the roster at 23 years and 129 days old, leads the Yankees with 94.1 innings pitched this season. He threw 151.1 innings last year between Triple-A and MLB, down slightly from the 161.2 innings he threw in 2015. Severino is on pace to blow by that number and set a new career high in innings this year, and that’s good! You want to keep building him up.

It has to be done carefully, however. Severino is still a young man and he’s a very important part of the Yankees’ long-term future. He could be fronting the rotation as soon as next season. Heck, he’s doing it right now. The Yankees will be careful with Severino and their other young pitchers because it’s the smart thing to do. And yet, earlier this week Joe Girardi told Brendan Kuty the Yankees have not yet discussed innings limits. Why don’t we do that now?

This is not just about Severino, remember. Jordan Montgomery is in the big league rotation as well, and the Yankees have a few other young pitchers in Triple-A who need to have their workloads monitored. The Verducci Rule, which says no pitcher under 25 should increase his workload more than 30 innings from one year to the next, is outdated. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every pitcher is different and their workload limits should be tailored to their specific needs.

Last week I wrote about both Domingo Acevedo and Chance Adams as bullpen options, and in that post I looked at their workload situations. I guesstimated Adams could throw 160 innings this year while Acevedo is a tick behind at 140 innings or so. Here are the innings totals for the team’s other young arms over the years:

Cessa German Green Mitchell Montgomery Severino
2014 118.1 123.1 130.1 114 107.2 113
2015 139.1 0 148.2 126.2 134.1 161.2
2016 147.2 49.2 140.1 45 152 151.1
2017 so far 77.1 68.0 58 41 86.2 94.1
2017 pace 164.2 145 123.2 87.1 184.2 201

The Yankees have other young pitchers who could be call-up candidates, like Caleb Smith and Brady Lail, but those six in the table plus Adams and Acevedo seem to be the go-to options in whatever order. Heck, the six guys in the table are all in the big leagues right now. Anyway, let’s talk these workload situations out, shall we?

1. Are the Yankees really going to let Severino throw 200 innings? My guess is no. They might let him throw 180 innings, though pushing him up over 200 regular season innings doesn’t seem all that smart. (All bets are off in the postseason. It’s pedal to the metal in October.) Severino is too young and too important to the franchise long-term to put his health at risk. My guess is the Yankees have a soft innings cap in mind and will monitor Severino in the second half. They’ll work in extra rest days whenever possible and watch for signs of fatigue. And if he keeps throwing well, great. Getting to 200 innings is difficult to do anyway.

2. Cessa and Montgomery are in great shape. Both pitchers have been built up quite well over the years. Montgomery hasn’t missed a start since high school, and he’s got that big frame (6-foot-6 and 225 lbs.) that makes you think he’ll be able to chew up innings year after year. He’s on pace for 185-ish innings and that in no way seems to be a problem. That is the next step for Montgomery given his workloads the last few years.

As for Luis Cessa, he approached 150 innings last season, which in theory puts him in line for 180-ish innings this year. The thing is he spent some time in the bullpen earlier this year, and also as part of a six-man rotation with Triple-A Scranton, so his current innings total isn’t has high as you’d expect in late June. Most pitchers have about 17 starts left this season, and if Cessa averages six innings per start, that’ll get him to 180 innings almost on the nose. What are the chances of him making 17 starts and averaging six innings per start? Seems small.

Montgomery’s workload is in good shape because he’s been built up well the last few years. Cessa’s workload is in good shape because he’s been built up well and because his current innings total isn’t as high as most other full-time starters at this point of the season. He’s starting at a lower baseline from here on out.

3. Green might never start a game again. Chad Green is similar to Montgomery and Cessa in that he’s been built up well the last few years. He threw between 130-150 innings each year from 2014-16. Green would have thrown more last year and finished closer to 160 innings had he not come down with a season-ending elbow issue in September. The Yankees could probably ask him for 170 or so innings this year without a problem.

Here’s the thing though: Green is working as a reliever and has been for a while, and he’s really starting to find a home in the bullpen. His fastball plays up and he’s able to hide the fact he doesn’t have much of a changeup. I know Green made that one spot start a few weeks ago, but I don’t see that happening again. He’s been too good in relief and the bullpen has been too crummy overall to take him away. The Yankees surely sketched out some sort of workload limit for Green coming into this season. Now that he’s in the bullpen, he won’t come close to hitting it (whatever it is), and that’s okay.

Green. (Getty)
Green. (Getty)

4. Injuries complicate things. Both Domingo German and Bryan Mitchell had pretty serious injuries in recent seasons, which complicates their workload situations. German missed all of 2015 and the first half of 2016 with Tommy John surgery. This is his first full season with his new elbow ligament and I doubt the Yankees are going to push him all that hard. His previous career high are those 123.1 innings in 2013. That number, or something close to it, might be his limit this season. German is on pace for 145 innings right now, though the longer he stays in the bullpen, the less likely he is reach to that number.

Mitchell, meanwhile, broke his toe covering first base in Spring Training last year. It was a dumb, fluke injury that sidelined him for four months and cost him plenty of innings. He’ll exceed last year’s innings total within the next week. That said, Mitchell is 26 and this is his final minor league option year. It’s put up or shut up time, you know? That plus the fact he’s been over 100 innings several times in the past leads me to believe the Yankees are just going to let him keep throwing. They won’t be reckless about it, of course, but they’ll let him pitch. Also, remember, Mitchell has been in the bullpen for much of the season, so his current innings total is lower than it would be had he been starting.

* * *

Girardi said the Yankees have not discussed a workload limit for Montgomery and Severino, though I don’t buy that. Of course the team kick things around before the season. They do it with everyone. The Yankees and Girardi just don’t want to tell us what those limits are because there’s nothing to be gained from it. We’ve seen some ugly workload situations the last few years. Stephen Strasburg, Matt Harvey, etc. The Yankees want to avoid a situation like that, so they’re not going to tell us the workload limits. I don’t blame them.

Severino is going to be the young pitcher to watch going forward, for more reason than one. For starters, he’s awesome! Secondly, he’s on pace to top 200 innings as a 23-year-old, and the list of 23-year-olds to throw 200+ innings in recent years is a mixed bag:

  • Julio Teheran (221 innings in 2014)
  • Madison Bumgarner (201.1 innings in 2013)
  • Patrick Corbin (208.1 innings in 2013)
  • Clayton Kershaw (233.1 innings in 2011)
  • Trevor Cahill (207.2 innings in 2011)
  • Felix Hernandez (238.2 innings in 2009)
  • Jair Jurrjens (215 innings in 2009)
  • Chad Billingsley (200.2 innings in 2008)

Bumgarner, Kershaw, and Felix are great! Both Corbin and Jurrjens broke down almost immediately after their age 23 seasons, however. Billingsley and Cahill stayed productive a few more years before falling apart. Teheran endured a down age 24 season before getting things straightened out at age 25. Perhaps Severino will be the next Bumgarner or Kershaw or Felix. But do the Yankee want to risk him becoming Corbin or Jurrjens?

Severino threw enough innings the last two seasons that stretching him to 180 or so innings this year is not outrageous. And my guess is he has more of a soft cap. Like I said, the Yankees will watch him and look for signs of fatigue, and scale back when appropriate. The good news is both Montgomery and Cessa are in great shape with their workloads, ditto Mitchell to some degree, so if the Yankees do need to scale back on Severino at some point, they have the arms to cover those starts and innings.

The biggest workload limits are probably attached to German (Tommy John surgery in the not-too-distant past), Adams (converted reliever), and Acevedo (had some injuries last year). If we do see the Yankees shut someone down because they’ve thrown enough this year, it’s probably going to be one (or more) of those three. The guys on the big league roster are in good shape. That doesn’t mean the Yankees can throw caution to the win and let them pitch forever. It just means the chances of an innings cap related headache in September are relatively small.

Domingo Acevedo, Estevan Florial selected for 2017 Futures Game

Florial. (Charleston RiverDogs)
Florial. (Charleston RiverDogs)

Earlier today MLB announced the rosters for the 2017 Futures Game, and the Yankees are sending two players to baseball’s annual top prospect showcase: right-hander Domingo Acevedo and outfielder Estevan Florial. It is the first Futures Game selection for both players. Here are the World Team and Team USA rosters.

Acevedo, 23, has climbed from High-A Tampa to Triple-A Scranton this season, and has a 3.16 ERA (2.72 FIP) with 26.0% strikeouts and 5.5% walks in 15 starts and 94 innings. I ranked him as the 15th best prospect in the farm system before the season and the 13th best prospect in the system in my pre-draft update, though I’ve always been the low man on Big Sunday.

The 19-year-old Florial is having a breakout season with Low-A Charleston. He’s hitting .310/.388/.522 (159 wRC+) with ten homers and 13 stolen bases despite a 30.9% strikeout rate. Florial still swings and misses a bunch, but man, when he connects, the ball goes a long way. His tools are LOUD. I ranked Florial as the 16th best prospect in the system before the season and 14th before the draft.

The Futures Game rosters are selected by MLB with help from the MLB Scouting Bureau and Baseball America. Teams do have input and will often hold players out of the game if they’re considering a big league call-up. Two years ago the Yankees reportedly held Luis Severino out prior to his second half call-up. Maybe Chance Adams isn’t going for that reason. Also, I imagine SS Gleyber Torres received plenty of consideration before his injury.

Last year Jorge Mateo and Gary Sanchez represented the Yankees at the Futures Game. (Clint Frazier represented the Indians.) The year before that it was Sanchez and Aaron Judge. The year before that it was Severino and Peter O’Brien. This year’s Futures Game will be played Sunday, July 9th at Marlins Park. Edgar Renteria and Charles Johnson will serve as managers.

Now it’s Dustin Fowler’s turn as Yankees continue to dip into farm system for help

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees routed the White Sox last night — did this team need a stress-free win or what? — and they did so thanks to Miguel Andujar. Andujar went 3-for-4 with a double and a walk, and became the first Yankee ever to drive in four runs in his MLB debut. Ever! The night before Tyler Wade made his MLB debut and drew a walk that sparked the go-ahead rally. Too bad the bullpen ruined it.

Tonight, another top Yankees prospect is set to make his big league debut. Outfielder Dustin Fowler is being called up, according to Josh Norris and Joel Sherman. The Yankees haven’t officially announced the move, though I have no reason to doubt Norris and Sherman. My guess is Tyler Austin (hamstring) will be placed on the 10-day DL to clear a 25-man roster spot, and Greg Bird will be slid onto the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man spot. (Today is Bird’s 59th day on the DL.)

Fowler, 22, did not play in Triple-A Scranton’s doubleheader yesterday even though he is perfectly healthy — he took batting practice and was in the dugout during the two games — which was a pretty good indication the Yankees were considering a call-up. He’s hitting .293/.329/.542 (132 wRC+) with 19 doubles, eight triples, 13 homers, and 13 steals in 70 games for the RailRiders this season. His 40 extra-base hits lead the farm system.

The Fowler call-up does a few things. One, it gives the Yankees another left-handed bat at a time when they could really use one. There are ten games remaining until the All-Star break and the Yankees are tentatively scheduled to face nine right-handed starting pitchers in those ten games. Two, the Yankees now have another true outfielder on the roster, allowing them to better rest Jacoby Ellsbury and especially Brett Gardner, who’s played a ton the last few weeks.

And three, it gets the Yankees whole again. They are still playing with a three-man bench — eighth reliever Ronald Herrera hasn’t pitched in eight days and has pitched once in the last 14 days, by the way — but it was effectively a two-man bench last night with Austin banged up. The Yankees played three games with Matt Holliday unavailable earlier this week. Playing shorthanded is never good. At least now the Yankees have a full complement of 12 healthy position players.

What the Fowler call-up does not do is address the first base situation. Austin Romine has played there the last two nights, though I’m not sure how much longer the Yankees want to use their backup catcher as their starting first baseman. I suspect we’re going to see Chase Headley start a game at first with Andujar at third at some point soon. Maybe Rob Refsnyder gets a game at first. It won’t be Fowler or any of the outfielders though.

Anyway, injuries have forced the Yankees’ hand here. Wade was called up to replace Starlin Castro. Andujar was called up to replace Holliday. Fowler is presumably being called up to replace Austin. These moves were made to cover for injuries, and they show the depth of the Yankees’ farm system. How many other teams could lose three regulars (three!) in three days and replace them all with prospects who, at the very least, deserve top 100 consideration? I don’t think any. We haven’t even seen Clint Frazier or (sobs) Gleyber Torres yet.

“We’ve kind of went to a little bit younger of a team, but we weren’t expecting it to be (because of injuries),” said Joe Girardi to Meredith Marakovits prior to last night’s game (video link). “But it’s a great opportunity for the kids to get a chance to play at this level, learn what they have to do. I think about the adjustments an Aaron Judge made from last year to this year, and I think at times you have to get up here to find out what else you need to do to complete yourself as a ballplayer. So I think it’s really good for them.”

It’s entirely possible Wade, Andujar, and Fowler are only here temporarily. Castro, Holliday, and Austin could be back relatively soon, and, to be fair, the Yankees are at their best with those guys in the lineup. The young players are helping the Yankees stay afloat for the time being, and that’s what the team needs them to do. The bullpen wasted Wade’s heroics Tuesday, though last night Andujar had a big impact. Now it’s Fowler’s turn.

The benefit of having a great farm system is not limited to the long-term outlook. It helps in the short-term too. Being able to call up talented and eager-to-impress youngsters like Wade and Andujar and Fowler rather than journeyman Quad-A types to cover for injuries is a big advantage. The injuries stink, but they are giving the Yankees a chance to show off their prospects, and so far the young players are the highlight of the season.

The Yankees are reportedly interested in Martin Prado and Justin Bour even though neither of them can pitch

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

We’ve officially reached trade rumor season, folks. According to Bob Nightengale, the Yankees recently reached out to the Marlins to let them know they have interest in third baseman Martin Prado and first baseman Justin Bour. The Red Sox are after Prado as well. The Marlins shipped Adeiny Hechavarria to the Rays earlier this week, which is a pretty good indication they are open for business and ready to move veterans.

A nagging hamstring injury has limited Prado, 33, to 22 games this season, during which he’s hit .276/.297/.391 (79 wRC+). He returned to the lineup last Friday. Prado spent the second half of the 2014 season with the Yankees before being sent to Miami for Nathan Eovaldi, as I’m sure you know. The 29-year-old Bour is hitting .289/.364/.564 (140 wRC+) with 18 homers in 66 games this year. Who knew? Anyway, this is our first real trade rumor of the season, so let’s talk it out.

1. Does this rumor pass the sniff test? The always important first question. There are so many rumors out there these days that it’s important to keep things in perspective. In this case, yeah, I think the rumor makes sense. We know the Yankees have been looking for a third baseman. They also need a first baseman given Greg Bird‘s ongoing injury issues. The headline was a weak attempt at humor. The Yankees need bullpen help more than anything right now. That’s no reason not to pursue upgrades elsewhere on the roster though.

2. Prado is pretty darn expensive. Generally speaking, Prado is a solid hitter. Not a great hitter and not a terrible hitter. He was very good during his half-season with the Yankees and that seems to have left a lasting impression on many folks. It happens. That’s not who he is all the time though. Prado is more or less an average offensive producer at this point of his career:


Source: FanGraphsMartin Prado

I don’t dispute that Prado is a better player than Chase Headley, and apparently the Yankees don’t dispute it either, which is why they’ve shown interest in him. The potential hang-up here is Prado’s contract. The Marlins signed him to an extension last September and he’s owed $11.5M this year, $13.5M next year, and $15M the year after that. Paying 35-year-old Martin Prado a $15M salary in 2019 doesn’t sound fun.

The Yankees are trying to get under the luxury tax in the near future (i.e. 2018) and acquiring Prado would make that more difficult. I suppose the Marlins could eat some money to facilitate a trade, though that seems unlikely, not with the Red Sox after him as well. Besides, Jeffrey Loria is trying to sell the team, so the less money he has on the books, the better. They’ll want to move Prado’s entire contract, the same way they moved Hechavarria’s entire contract.

Headley is a sunk cost at this point. The Yankees owe him his $13M salary this year and $13M salary next year no matter what. Perhaps they could unload part of it in a salary dump after acquiring Prado, though they almost certainly won’t be able to get out of all of it. Between taking on Prado’s salary and Headley’s existing contract, the Yankees would end up paying something like $25M total for two okay-ish third basemen next year. Eh.

3. Bour is a really great fit. Bour, on the other, would really fit the Yankees both now and in the future. He’s a left-handed hitter with big pull power, and that always plays well in Yankee Stadium. Bour also draws plenty of walks (10.3%) and won’t strike out a ton (22.5%). That’s more or less what the Yankee were hoping to get from Bird this season, right? A .289/.364/.564 (140 wRC+) line with 18 homers at the almost halfway point and solid strikeout and walk numbers? I’d say so.

There are, however, two big drawbacks with Bour. For starters, he probably could use a platoon partner. His numbers against lefties this season are pretty good, actually (.340/.421/.740, 198 wRC+), but that’s a sample size issue. Bour’s career numbers against lefties (.261/.323/.438, 104 wRC+) tell a different story. And two, he’s very shiftable. Here is his spray chart, via Baseball Savant:

justin-bour-spray-chart

Bour has power to all fields, yeah, but when he doesn’t hit the ball over the fence, chances are he’s going to hit it to the right side of the field. Opponents will load up their defense on the first base side of second base. Bour is among the most shifted hitters in the big leagues and that spray chart tells you why. He’s a dead pull lefty.

The Yankees used to have several players like that in their lineup. It was a problem. Now they have none with Bird on the disabled list. Acquiring Bour and carrying one pull happy lefty is no big deal. It’s okay to have one guy like that in the lineup. Putting three or four guys like that in the lineup day after day can be an issue though. The Yankees aren’t there.

As I said a few weeks ago, the Yankees should consider acquiring a new first baseman and treating this almost as a rehab year for Bird. Let him rest as much as he needs and then give him a ton of Triple-A at-bats to get his timing back. Picking up a first baseman will eliminate any sense of urgency to get Bird back to the big leagues as quickly as possible. Remember, he’s coming off shoulder surgery too. It’s not just the ankle.

Bour could step in at first base for Bird this year, provide that left-handed thump, then stick around to serve as the designated hitter (and Bird insurance) going forward. He’s under team control as an arbitration-eligible player through 2020. This isn’t a rental. The Yankee are pretty short on left-handed power going forward. It’s Bird and Didi Gregorius, and that’s pretty much it. Most of their top prospects are right-handed hitters. Bour would help balance the lineup.

4. Are we heading for a Yankees-Red Sox bidding war? I suppose it’s possible for Prado. The Red Sox are desperate for third base help, and Dave Dombrowski is not one to take half-measures. He’s going to go get a third baseman and Prado is as good a candidate as anyone. The Red Sox don’t need a first baseman or a designated hitter, so a bidding war for Bour ain’t happening.

That all said, I can’t help but feel the Marlins may be using the Yankees to jack up the price for the Red Sox. Yeah, Prado would make the Yankee better, so there’s a fit, but his contract situation complicates things. The Marlins just need it to seem plausible though. Get the Yankees involved and try to get the Red Sox to pay move. And you know what? I bet Brian Cashman would happily go along with it.

The opposite could be true too, you know. The Marlins could be using the Red Sox to drive up the price for the Yankees. That isn’t quite as believable though. Boston is all-in right now. They’re a win-now team and it stands to reason they’d more aggressively pursue Prado given their third base hole. The Yankees are still focused on their youth movement and reluctant to trade prospects. Eh, whatever.

* * *

I like the idea of the Yankees picking up Bour given the first base situation, though I don’t love adding Prado. The Yankees would be adding another okay veteran third baseman on top of the okay veteran third baseman they already have, except this one is owed more money and under contract an extra year. There’s no harm in kicking the tires because hey, the Marlins could always decide to give Prado away, but that doesn’t seem likely. Bour’s a really good fit in my opinion. I don’t consider Prado enough of an upgrade to take on that contract.

Youngsters thrive in a 12-3 blowout win against the White Sox

What is one way to make sure the bullpen doesn’t ruin the game? An offensive outburst! The Yankees took game three of the four-game series with the White Sox thanks to youngsters driving in tons of runs and Masahiro Tanaka coming up solid. This was a very, very stress-free game especially considering how things have gone lately for the Yankees. 10/10, would watch again.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

#TANAK

The narrative so far has been that Masahiro Tanaka has been in a serious funk this season. However, he’s shown signs of coming out of that slump lately. Including tonight’s start, Tanaka has marked a 2.92 ERA in the past four GS (8 ER in 24.2 IP), striking out 32 and walking 7. That’s more like it. Four games wouldn’t really qualify as the stretch that turned the season around, but for now, it is an encouraging sign.

Looking at Brooks Baseball, Tanaka got 15 whiffs total, with 12 coming from his slider, sinker and splitter. He also brought some extra juice tonight, topping out at 97.3 mph with his four-seam fastball and averaging 94.9 mph. Whoa. His splitter also hit 90 mph multiple times in the YES gun, for what it’s worth. Good conditions? Amped up?

The only major trouble came in the bottom of the fifth. With the Yankees carrying a 3-0 lead, Tanaka allowed the first four hitters to reach base. Omar Narvaez singled to lead it off and Adam Engel hit a double to put two runners in RISP with no outs. Yolmer Sanchez walked to load the bases and Melky Cabrera hit a 2-RBI single to center to make it a 3-2 game.

Fortunately for the Yankees, that was all the damage Tanaka allowed in the frame. Jose Abreu grounded into a double play to give Yankees two quick outs and Tanaka got Todd Frazier to force out to second to end the inning. When it was all said and done, it was a solid 2 ER, 6 IP outing for Tanaka. His season ERA dropped from 5.74 to 5.56 and he earned the 6th victory of the year. It would be very ideal for the Yankees for that ERA to keep decreasing.

(Jonathan Daniels/Getty Images)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Runs! 

The Yankees scored the first runs of the game thanks to some sloppiness from the White Sox. Carlos Rodon, making his first start of the year after missing the first few months suffering biceps injury, was clearly rusty. Brett Gardner walked to lead off the game. In a span of three hitters, Gardner reached to second and third respectively with two wild pitches from Rodon. He scored when Didi Gregorius hit a grounder that looked like an out at first glance, but SS Tim Anderson’s high throw pulled the first baseman off the bag as Didi reached safe. 1-0 Yankees.

Rodon’s command continued to struggle as Chase Headley and Austin Romine worked a back-to-back walk to load the bases. Miguel Andujar, a 22-year-old making his ML debut, hit a grounder up the middle to drive in two. 3-0 Yankees. Not a bad way to make an impression, eh?

As noted, Tanaka got into a bit of a pickle in the bottom of the fifth and allowed two runs. Holding a slim 3-2 lead, the Yankees needed to extend it to make it a stress-free ending after a whirlwind of bullpen nights they had lately. Thankfully, that’s exactly what they did. In the top of the sixth, the kids and Aaron Judge dropped a five-burger on the ChiSox pitching.

With one out, Romine doubled to right to get on base. Andujar grounded softly to put the runner at third and Tyler Wade followed it up with his first ML base hit, an RBI double drilled to left field. Ronald Torreyes continued the doubles parade by hitting one to the right field and scoring Wade. Gardner hit an RBI single to center that drove Toe in. Aaron Judge, being Aaron Judge, then hit a 115 mph screamer of a home run to make it 8-2 Yankees. An all-around enjoyable inning right there.

The Yankees tacked on four more in the top of the ninth. Against the tall RHP Michael Ynoa, Judge started it off with a swift, 5-pitch walk. After Gary Sanchez struck out swinging, Gregorius brought two runs in with a home run just above the right field fence. 10-2 Yankees. They were not done there. Headley and Romine worked back-to-back walks and Andujar doubled to drive both of them in to make it 12-2 Yankees.

(Jonathan Daniels/Getty Images)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Leftovers

Boy, how about Miguel Andujar’s night? He put himself in elite company with tonight’s 3-for-4, 4 RBI performance … a company of only himself. Per Katie Sharp, he’s the only Yankee to have 3 hits and 3 RBI’s in an ML debut. Not bad for a guy who was behind Gleyber Torres in the system’s 3B depth chart. Wade did not have as an awesome night but he did have a double and a stolen base. Pretty fun stuff when the team calls up talented youngsters and they contribute right away.

Aaron Judge, as mentioned, hit another HR tonight and had a solid 1-for-3, 2 BB game. He became the first player this season to crack the 5.0 fWAR mark. By my calculation, he’s on pace for a ~10 fWAR season, which is Trout-esque. His line for this season? .333/.449/.704.

The Yankees brought in Tyler Webb to close the game out and he allowed a HR to Adam Engel, who was one of the very few bright spots for the Sox tonight (2-for-3 and a great catch to rob Torreyes of an extra base hit). Besides that, Webb finished the inning and the game for a 12-3 Yankees victory.

Box score, standings and WPA graph

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees will look for a series win tomorrow at the Guaranteed Rate Field. Luis Cessa will be on the hill seeking for his first win of the season while the White Sox will start James Shields.

DotF: Olivares, Sensley, Garcia, Torres homer in Pulaski’s win

Here are some notes to start the day:

  • In case you missed it earlier, 3B Miguel Andujar was called up to the Yankees and 1B Chris Carter accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Scranton. He hasn’t reported to the RailRiders yet, but will in the coming days.
  • Four Yankees farmhands were selected to the Double-A Eastern League All-Star Game: SS Thairo Estrada, 1B Mike Ford, RHP Yefry Ramirez, and LHP Justus Sheffield. Congrats to them. Here are the Eastern Division and Western Division rosters (PDF links).
  • SS Kyle Holder was placed on the High-A Tampa 7-day disabled list, the team announced. I’m not sure what’s wrong with him. IF Daniel Barrios was brought up from the rookie Gulf Coast League to fill the roster spot. Calling up a GCL kid suggests a short-term injury.
  • Make sure you check out Andrew Marchand’s article on OF Clint Frazier, who spoke about everything he’s learned since joining the Yankees. “I’m not going to shy away from letting people know I’m confident in my ability,” he said.

Triple-A Scranton Game One (7-6 win over Syracuse) completion of yesterday’s game, which was suspended due to rain with one out in the top of the first

  • CF Mason Williams: 2-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB — first homer of the season
  • RF Dustin Fowler: 1-1, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI — homered before the rain yesterday, though he didn’t play in either game today … he is still with the RailRiders (photo evidence), so maybe the Yankees were holding him back in case they needed to call him up (to replace Tyler Austin, maybe?) … either way, that’s his 13th homer of the season and a new career high … he had 12 all of last year
  • PH-RF Mark Payton: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB — threw a runner out at the plate
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-1, 1 R, 1 2B — I’m pretty sure he’s the first player to play in a big league game and appear in DotF on the same day … he played the start of the game yesterday, before the rain (duh)
  • PH-3B Abi Avelino: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • LF Clint Frazier: 3-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS — had been in a 3-for-22 (.136) slump
  • RHP Chance Adams: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 14 of 24 pitches were strikes (58%) … he started the game yesterday
  • LHP Caleb Smith: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 5/3 GB/FB — 63 of 100 pitches were strikes … only the second time in 15 starts that he allowed as may as four runs
  • RHP J.P. Feyereisen: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 27 of 46 pitches were strikes (59%)

[Read more…]

Game 76: Save Us, Masahiro

(Jim McIsaac/Getty)
(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

Five days ago Masahiro Tanaka chucked his second best start of the season. He struck out nine Rangers in eight scoreless innings, and looked like the Masahiro Tanaka we saw most of last season. It was awesome. We haven’t seen enough of that guy this year. The Yankees are going to need him tonight, because the lineup is short and the bullpen is taxed (again). The Yankees are capital-R Reeling. Here is the White Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. C Gary Sanchez
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. 1B Austin Romine
  7. DH Miguel Andujar
  8. LF Tyler Wade
  9. 2B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

It is cloudy in Chicago and there’s a bunch of rain in the forecast too. The rain is supposed to start right about now, and continue for a little while. We might be looking at a delay or two here. That’s not good. Hopefully the forecast is wrong. Tonight’s game is scheduled to start a little after 8pm ET. You’ll be able to watch on YES. Try to enjoy.

Injury Updates: Matt Holliday was placed on the 10-day disabled list with what the Yankees are calling a viral infection. He’s going back to New York for tests. The move is retroactive to Sunday, so Holliday can return as soon as next Tuesday … CC Sabathia (hamstring) will throw a simulated game tomorrow. If it goes well, I wonder whether he’ll be activated right away, or throw one more simulated game … Adam Warren (shoulder) threw 20 pitches in the bullpen. He’ll do that again in the coming days, and it’s possible he could be activated without going on a minor league rehab assignment … Tyler Austin (hamstring) could be headed to the disabled list … Greg Bird (ankle) worked out with Triple-A Scranton today, though he still has soreness and swelling. Joe Girardi acknowledged there is concern Bird may not make it back this year.

Roster Move: As expected, Andujar was called up. Duh. He’s in the lineup. He replaced Holliday on the roster. Told you this would happenChris Carter cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A, the Yankees announced. So he’s still in the organization as a non-40-man roster player.