Fan Confidence Poll: August 3rd, 2015

Record Last Week: 4-3 (62! RS, 36 RA)
Season Record: 59-45 (512 RS, 452 RA, 58-46 pythag. record) 6.0 games up in ALE
Opponents This Week: Mon. OFF, vs. Red Sox (three games, Tues. to Thurs.), vs. Blue Jays (three games, Fri. 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 Features tab in 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?

DotF: Gamel, Bird, Judge, Austin lead the way in AAA win

Triple-A Scranton (4-3 win over Columbus)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 1-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 2 K — fourth triple in his last nine games and his 13th of the season
  • 3B Jose Pirela: 1-3, 1 RBI
  • 1B Greg Bird: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 E (missed catch) — 7-for-17 (.412) in his last four games
  • DH Gary Sanchez: 0-4, 1 K
  • RF Aaron Judge: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB — each of his last four hits have gone for extra-bases (two doubles, one triple, one homer)
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-3, 1 RBI, 2 K
  • SS Cole Figueroa: 2-3, 1 RBI — quietly hitting .310/.369/.397 on the year
  • C Austin Romine: 1-3, 1 K
  • LF Tyler Austin: 1-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB — 10-for-28 (.357) in his last nine games
  • LHP Chris Capuano: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 3/3 GB/FB — 33 of 50 pitches were strikes, plus he picked a runner off first … in case you missed it earlier, he cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment after being designated for assignment the other day … I wonder if we’re going to see him again when rosters expand in September
  • RHP Joel De La Cruz: 3.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 6/2 GB/FB — 37 of 51 pitches were strikes (73%) … 34/18 K/BB with a 59.0% ground ball rate in 76.1 innings for the sinkerballer
  • RHP Johnny Barbato: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0/2 GB/FB — eight of his 12 pitches were strikes

[Read more…]

Sunday Night Open Thread

Here is your open thread for the remainder of the weekend. The ESPN Sunday Night Game is the Nationals at the Mets (Zimmermann vs. Syndergaard) and that has been a very entertaining series. The Mets are only a game back in the NL East, so the division is on the line tonight, at least as much as it can be on August 2nd. Hopefully the last game of the series is just as good as the first two. Talk about that game, this afternoon’s win, or anything else right here.

Yanks close ten-game road trip with 12-3 win over ChiSox

Source: FanGraphs

Solid finish to a successful road trip, I’d say. The Yankees walloped the White Sox 12-3 on Sunday afternoon to close out the ten-game trip with a 6-4 record. They scored 78 runs in the ten games. That’s good! They also allowed 53 runs. That’s not so good. Let’s recap the win:

  • One Run Early: The Yankees had a lead two pitches into the game. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a leadoff home run against Jeff Samardzija, a long shot just to the left field side of dead center. Didn’t think Ellsbury had that kind of pop. The Yankees are up to 91 first inning runs on the season, 16 more than any other team. They’re on pace for 142 first inning runs this year. The record is 147 by the 2000 Cardinals.
  • Blown Open: The score remained 1-0 until the fourth inning, when the Yankees blew things open with five in the fourth and three more in the fifth. The fourth inning rally started with a Brian McCann bloop single that should have been caught — it dropped between three fielders. A walk (Carlos Beltran), a single (Chase Headley), a two-run double (Didi Gregorius), a single (Stephen Drew), a sac fly (Ellsbury), and a two-run single (Brett Gardner) followed. Mark Teixeira homered and Drew doubled in two in the fifth. Gardner’s hit was the big blow. Two outs, two strikes, and he turned a 4-0 lead into a 6-0 lead.
  • Live Arm: Ivan Nova put to rest any concerns about his “arm fatigue” on Sunday. He held the White Sox to one garbage time run — the Yankees were up 9-0 at the time — in six innings, striking out seven and getting nine more outs on the ground. For the first time since his first start back, it was vintage Nova. He looked sharp. The rotation has been a bit of a mess of late. It was nice to see someone stop the bleeding, so to speak.
  • Bullpen: Good time for Chase Shreve to have a rough outing. He allowed two solo homers (to righties) and a double in two-thirds of an inning. Hopefully he got it all out of his system. The just called up Branden Pinder recorded four drama-less outs and Andrew Miller retired the side in the ninth on five pitches. Miller had pitched only twice in the past ten days and has been a bit rusty since coming off the DL, so it was a good time to get him some work.
  • Leftovers: Drew tripled in two more runs in the seventh. He went 3-for-5 on the afternoon to raise his batting average to .19858. Almost over the Mendoza line! … Gregorius went 2-for-4 with a walk and is up to an 82 wRC+ on the season. The league average shortstop has an 82 wRC+ in 2015. Progress! … and finally, Nova was hit in the right hand by a foul ball while in the dugout in the fifth inning. The trainers checked him out, he went back into the game, and showed no ill-effects. Phew!

Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, and postseason odds. Here are our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees have an off-day Monday and will opening a three-game series with the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Masahiro Tanaka and rookie southpaw Henry Owens will be the pitching matchup. Owens will be making his MLB debut.

Game 104: End of the Road Trip

(David Banks/Getty)
(David Banks/Getty)

The three-city, ten-game road trip ends today. The Yankees are 5-4 in the first nine games of the trip, which is a bit disappointing considering they won four of the first five games. The offense has certainly shown up this trip (66 runs scored in the nine games) but the pitching has not (50 runs allowed).

Ivan Nova gets the ball this afternoon after leaving his last start with arm fatigue, which the Yankees insist is just a normal dead arm phase following Tommy John surgery. The rotation is really starting to become an issue — the starters have allowed 35 runs in 45.2 innings on the trip — so a solid outing from Nova would be very appreciated. Here is the White Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Ivan Nova

It is cloudy and very windy in Chicago this afternoon. I don’t know if that means the ball will be flying out of the park or getting knocked down. We’ll find out soon enough. Either way, first pitch is scheduled for 2:10pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and TBS nationally. Enjoy the game, folks.

Injury Updates: Diego Moreno has been placed on the DL with irritation in the back of his elbow, Joe Girardi announced. Moreno said he doesn’t think it is serious but he will see Dr. James Andrews tomorrow … Beltran is good to go today. He sat yesterday in part due to soreness in his foot. He fouled a couple pitches into his foot the last few days.

Roster Updates: Chris Capuano has cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Scranton after being designated for assignment a few days ago. He’s starting for the RailRiders today. Capuano could have elected free agency, but he would have forfeited about $2M in free agency by doing so. My guess is we’ll see him again when rosters expand in September … Branden Pinder has been recalled to replace Moreno on the roster.

Sunday Links: A-Rod, Sabathia, Sierra, Jeter

(David Banks/Getty)
(David Banks/Getty)

The Yankees wrap up their ten-game, three-city road trip a little later this afternoon with the series finale against the White Sox. Until then, here are some stray links to help you pass the time.

A-Rod on TV?

According to Bob Raissman, FOX and Alex Rodriguez‘s representatives have had preliminary discussions about A-Rod becoming involved in the network’s postseason coverage. Alex’s camp is talking to TBS and ESPN too. ESPN only carries one wildcard game while TBS gets the other wildcard game, four LDS games, and one entire LCS. FOX gets everything else.

I get the feeling Rodriguez would be an excellent television analyst. Who knows how he’ll be on camera and stuff — live television is hard! — but as far as baseball knowledge, A-Rod is unmatched. The guy lives and breathes the game. He’d have a ton of insight to offer. Of course, none of this will matter because Alex will be busy carrying the Yankees to the World Series this October. Nice of the networks to reach out though.

No talk of removing Sabathia from rotation

This isn’t a surprise. Brian Cashman told Wally Matthews the Yankees have not discussed removing CC Sabathia from the rotation. “That’s not something that we’re considering at this moment,” said the GM. “We’re going to continue to give him every opportunity to work through this for the foreseeable future.”

This is pretty frustrating, but again, not a surprise. Michael Pineda‘s injury means the Yankees couldn’t even take Sabathia out of the rotation if they wanted, but, even with a healthy Pineda, Sabathia was going to stay in there. The Yankees want to try to salvage the last few years of his contract even though he’s hurting their chances of getting back to the postseason. My guess is I’ll be writing this same blurb a few more times the next two years.

Yasiel Sierra works out for scouts

Cuban right-hander Yasiel Sierra worked out for scouts in the Dominican Republic last week, reports Jesse Sanchez. Sanchez says the 24-year-old Sierra works in the 93-97 mph range with a good slider and a recently added changeup. Because of his age and international experience, Sierra is not subject to the international spending restrictions, so the Yankees can sign him to contract of any size.( They’re limited to $300,000 for younger international amateurs the next two signing periods as part of the penalties stemming from last year’s spending spree.) I don’t know anything about Sierra beyond what’s in this post, but if he’s really 93-97 with a good slider, chances are there’s at least reliever potential there.

Jeter in Hollywood Reporter

I don’t really have much to add here: Hollywood Reporter recently ran a feature on Derek Jeter, focusing on his post-baseball life with The Players’ Tribune and his publishing venture. “I didn’t want to wake up one day and say, ‘What am I going to do now?'” said Jeter, acknowledging he’d been thinking about his post-baseball career for quite a while. Check it out. Neat article. (h/t Jeff Beck)

Melky’s three-run homer helps sink the Yankees 8-2 in Chicago

Summarizes Yankees’ night (Source: Getty)

So that was pretty uneventful. After busting the White Sox pitching staff Friday night, the offense couldn’t repeat it against Johnny Danks and the Chicago bullpen. Bryan Mitchell, tonight’s spot starter, was tagged for four earned runs and Diego Moreno came back to Earth by allowing another four runs in relief. Meh. Not really a banner night for the Bombers. It was largely a very forgettable match. It’s also a Saturday night so let’s go with bullet points.

  • Spotty start: Bryan Mitchell’s second career ML start was a mixed bag. His stuff looked pretty good – fastball went up to the 96-97 range, the cutter was cutting and the curveball made the Sox hitters foolish at times. However, when he mislocated, he gave up some loud contact. All in all, Mitchell gave up seven hits – three of them extra base hits – and four earned runs in four innings pitched. He did strike out five, thanks to his explosive stuff, but when you give up a big homer to Alexei Ramirez (whose OPS climbed to .603 after tonight’s match) on a fastball up, then there’s some work to be done.
  • 0-for-13: That, my friends, is what the top five hitters in the lineup did tonight. You can’t really have lack of production from the big guys and expect to get a win. To be fair, each one of them (except for Brett Gardner) earned a walk, but then again, they also combined for eight strikeouts. Which means that they struck out more than half of the time. No bueno. The bottom of the lineup pretty much accounted for most of the offense and they would’ve scored more if Didi Gregorius‘s long fly ball didn’t get caught by Avisail Garcia right over the fence. That would have made it a 3-2 game instead of 2-1 and who knows how the match would have changed had Garcia not caught it? Oh well.
  • 12-out bullpen: Diego Moreno isn’t really the seventh or eighth-inning guy that they need to monitor innings and he did a chunk of the dirty work tonight. After tossing 5.1 no-hit innings earlier this week, Moreno was much more brittle tonight – allowing four earned runs in three innings while striking out none. The decisive blow for New York came in the fifth when Moreno allowed a three-run HR to our old friend Melky Cabrera – the dinger put the game out of reach at 6-1 and Yanks did not come any close to tying it up. Nick Rumbelow came in the ninth and tossed a scoreless frame.
  • Leftovers: Yankees scored their first run on that woulda-been-homer sac fly by Didi Gregorius in the third. Because Johnny Danks doesn’t have the best control (allowed four walks and three hits), the offense had several chances to drive in more earlier but came up empty-handed (1-for-6 with RISP). New York got another run with one out in the ninth with Brian McCann‘s homer and that was pretty much it. 8-2 is the final score.

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings, video highlights and WPA. Enjoy the rest of your Saturday night. Tomorrow, it’s a day game matchup between Ivan Nova and Jeff Samardzija (got the spelling right on first try!)