A few days ago we learned the Pulaski Yankees of the rookie Appalachian League will be joining the organization as the Yankees’ eighth domestic minor league affiliate starting next season. The club will serve as a stepping stone between the two rookie Gulf Coast League affiliates and Short Season Staten Island. Here are some more minor league notes with the Arizona Fall League still more than three weeks away.
- According to George King, the Yankees have known about the impending retirement of VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman since February. He’s been with the team since 1988 and has been running for the running the farm system for the last 15 years now. King adds that special assistant Trey Hillman, who was tabbed as Newman’s likely replacement, may not be interested in the job. Hal Steinbrenner will conduct a “total evaluation” of the player development system after the season and it may result in a “complete overhaul.”
- C Kyle Higashioka has been re-signed after becoming a six-year minor league free agent, according to Matt Eddy. Josh Norris adds Higashioka has been assigned to the Arizona Fall League as the team’s last position player. He missed most of these season following Tommy John surgery. The Yankees are sending several top prospects to the desert this year, including OF Aaron Judge, 3B Eric Jagielo, 1B Greg Bird, and OF Tyler Austin.
- 2B Rob Refsnyder was named the second baseman for Baseball America’s Triple-A International League All-Star Team. No other Yankees’ farmhands made their classification All-Star Teams. SS Angel Aguilar, UTIL Bryan Cuevas, and OF Alex Palma all made the official GCL postseason All-Star Team.
- Marc Hulet of FanGraphs reviewed the year the was in the team’s farm system. RHP Shane Greene and RHP Luis Severino understandably earned praise for their rises this season, albeit at very different levels.
- And finally, Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs put together a super early look at the 2015 draft class. Lots of names and lots of information. Make sure you check it out. The Yankees are currently slated to have the 18th overall pick.
Sad news to pass along from the extended Yankees family: Joe Torre’s older brother Frank passed away today. He was 82. You might remember when he needed a heart transplant in the middle of the 1996 World Series, which was quite the ordeal for the Torre family. You might not know that Frank also played seven years in the big leagues, spanning the 1956-63 seasons with the (Milwaukee) Braves and Phillies. He hit .273 with 13 home runs in 714 career games, all as a first baseman. Condolences to the Torre family.
Here is your open thread for the night. The Mets are playing, MLB Network will air a regional game later tonight, and there’s a ton of college football on as well. Talk about that stuff or anything else right here.
Sometimes three runs is enough. The Yankees jumped out to an early lead then held on for dear life on Saturday afternoon, beating the Orioles by the score of 3-2. Let’s recap their first win of the series:
- Three-Run Third: The Yankees had four hits all game and three came in the span of four batters in the third inning. Brian McCann hit a solo homer, Mark Teixeira drew a walk, Chris Young doubled, and Antoan Richardson singled in Teixeira. Young then stole home when Richardson stole second and rookie catcher Caleb Joseph tried to throw him out. There’s all three runs and three of the four hits on the afternoon. Good thing they bunched the hits together.
- Greene Grinds: Shane Greene really had to work on Saturday, especially early. Seven of the first 15 Orioles reached base but that only led to one run, on Nelson Cruz’s single to center in the third. Greene had to throw 71 pitches in those first three innings, but he shook it off to retire eight of the final nine batters he faced on 41 pitches. He struck out five of those final nine hitters and had nine strikeouts in the game overall. Two runs on seven hits and one walk in 5.1 innings isn’t particularly pretty, especially when you throw 112 total pitches, but Greene showed some moxie and found a way to grind through it.
- Bullpen: With Dellin Betances unavailable to due to his multi-inning appearance on Friday, Joe Girardi had to mix and match for those final eleven outs. Esmil Rogers got three outs (line out, strikeout, walk, sac bunt), Josh Outman got two outs (fly out, ground out), Shawn Kelley got three outs (single, fly out, two ground outs), and David Robertson got the final three outs (single, sac bunt, two ground outs). I didn’t expect Robertson to be available after throwing a season-high 35 pitches in 1.2 innings on Friday, but there he was. Maybe they’re just getting their money’s worth before he hits free agency this winter.
- Leftovers: Derek Jeter went 0-for-3 with a walk and is in an ugly 0-20 slump. He is down to .251/.300/.300 (68 wRC+) on the season. The end of this Hall of Fame career has been far from pretty … the only non-third inning base hit was Martin’s Prado infield single in the eighth. Jeter, Brett Gardner, McCann, and Teixeira (two) each drew walks. The wrap-around 9-1-2-3 portion of the lineup went a combined 0-for-14 with two walks … the Yankees beat the Orioles for the first time in six tries and only the fourth time in 14 games this season. With the win, New York can not be eliminated from the AL East race this series.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees are currently 4.5 games back of the second wildcard spot and they could end the day four games back depending on the other games tonight. The top of the wildcard race is bonkers right now. FanGraphs puts New York’s postseason odds at 0.7% with 14 games to go. Hiroki Kuroda and Chris Tillman will be the pitching matchup in Sunday night’s finale. Yes, it is the ESPN game.
Via Ken Rosenthal: Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler will not interview for the vacant Diamondbacks GM position. Arizona confirmed he was on their list of candidates soon after firing GM Kevin Towers last week. Eppler interviewed for the Padres GM job earlier this summer and was reportedly the runner-up to the since-hired A.J. Preller. He was also the runner-up to Jerry Dipoto for the Angels GM position a few years ago.
I think it’s only a coincidence we’re hearing Eppler will not interview for the D’Backs gig the day after reports surfaced that VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman is retiring and a “complete overhaul” of the player development staff may be coming. Based on the typical power structure throughout baseball, going from assistant GM to some sort of top player development position would be, at best, a lateral move for Eppler. His decision not to interview may simply have to do with the uncomfortable situation in Arizona, where Tony La Russa appears to be calling the shots and will be looking over the new GMs shoulder constantly. · (11) ·
Following yesterday’s doubleheader sweep (the bad kind), the Yankees are 75-71 and have scored 572 runs (3.92 per game) this season. They were 78-68 with 606 runs scored (4.15 per game) last season through 146 games. The Yankees need to go 10-6 and score 78 runs (4.88 per game) the rest of the way to match last year’s total. Can they do that? I don’t see it based on way they’ve played all year, but hey, I’m open to being surprised. The push to be only as bad as last season begins this afternoon. Here is the Orioles lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- DH Jacoby Ellsbury
- SS Derek Jeter
- CF Brett Gardner
- 2B Martin Prado
- C Brian McCann
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- LF Chris Young
- RF Antoan Richardson
- 3B Zelous Wheeler
RHP Shane Greene
Now, the bad news: it’s raining in Baltimore and has been all morning. It’s supposed to clear up in the afternoon but it there is a good chance the game will begin in a delay. Hopefully not a long one. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm ET at the moment and you can watch on FOX. Not FOX Sports 1, regularly old FOX. Enjoy the game, whenever they play.
Update (1:07pm): The game is currently in a delay. The tentative start time is 1:40pm ET.
For the first time since being scratched from Wednesday’s game with soreness in his elbow, Carlos Beltran was able to take swings yesterday, according to Chad Jennings. He took 20 light swings against soft toss pitches. Beltran told David Waldstein he feels a little bit better and will not have the bone spur surgically removed from his elbow until after the season matter what. He is trying to come back and play.
Beltran, 37, is hitting .236/.305/.409 (97 wRC+) with 15 homers this season, though he has put up a .265/.351/.420 (119 wRC+) batting line in the second half. The Yankees are essentially out of postseason contention and there’s no real reason to delay the surgery. Waiting an extra two or three weeks won’t be that big of a deal — it’s two-month rehab and supposedly will not interfere with his offseason routine — but there’s always a chance Beltran could somehow make it worse by continuing to play through the injury. · (28) ·
One run in 20 innings. The Yankees played 20 innings in hitter friendly Camden Yards on Friday, and they scored just one run. That was a solo homer by Chris Young in the first game of the doubleheader. Pretty gross. The Yankees dropped the nightcap by the score of 5-0. Let’s recap the second loss of the day:
- Mitchell’s First Start: Rookie right-hander Bryan Mitchell held his own in his first career MLB start, limiting the Orioles to two runs on six hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out two, got six ground ball outs, six fly ball outs, and threw 48 of 84 pitches for strikes (57%). That includes seven swings and misses. Mitchell was on an 80-90 pitch limit. Considering he hadn’t pitched in a real game in close to two weeks and had to deal with the usual first career start jitters, he did a fine job.
- Death By Bullpen: David Phelps made his first appearance since since early-August after being activated off the disabled list Friday morning. He got two quick outs, walked the next three batters, then allowed a two-run single to Delmon Young to make it 4-0 O’s. The ball ate up Stephen Drew, who should have made a play on it, but hey, Phelps shouldn’t have walked three straight batters with two outs either. Chaz Roe allowed another insurance run because he’s Chaz Roe. The two lefties (Josh Outman and Rich Hill) combined to retire all four batters they faced.
- Four Singles: The Yankees’ offense was held to four singles — one an infield bunt single — in the shutout loss. Young, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, and Antoan Richardson had the hits. Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki drew the only walks. Pretty pathetic display by the offense in a season full of them. The Yankees were shut out for the third time in the last eight games, the fourth time in the last 13 games, and the ninth time this season overall.
- Leftovers: I don’t think there’s anything else left to cover from this game. Not a whole lot of action aside from everything above. The Yankees have now dropped five straight games to the Orioles and are 3-10 against them on the season. They’ve been outscored 67-32. The division elimination number is down to four, meaning any combination of Orioles wins and Yankees losses totaling four will mathematically eliminate New York from the AL East race. Could happen this series.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights while ESPN has the updated standings. There are some other stats at FanGraphs. The Yankees are currently five games back of the second wildcard spot and could be 5.5 games back by the end of the night. Their elimination number in the wildcard race is 13. FanGraphs has their postseason odds at 1.5%. Shane Greene and Miguel Gonzalez will be the pitching matchup on Saturday afternoon.
7:31pm: Headley visited a neurologist and all tests came back clean. He escaped the beaning with just a cut on his chin. Headley has rejoined the team — the YES cameras showed him in the dugout during tonight’s game — but he is still a few days from returning to the lineup.
11:42am: Tests showed no fractures after Chase Headley was hit in the chin by a Jake McGee fastball in the ninth inning of last night’s game, Joe Girardi announced.
He didn’t even need stitches.Scratch that, he did need some stitches. Headley does still need to see a neurologist before being cleared to play. Good news though, that was a really scary moment last night. · (21) ·
The Yankees suffered a rough but predictable loss this afternoon as Adam Warren was unable to protect a one-run lead in the 11th inning. Let this be a lesson: never use your closer in a tie game on the road, kids. (That was a joke.) The Yankees and Orioles had about two hours to rest between games this afternoon. Here is the Orioles lineup and here is the Yankees lineup for game two of the doubleheader:
- DH Jacoby Ellsbury
- SS Derek Jeter
- CF Brett Gardner
- 1B Brian McCann
- LF Chris Young
- 2B Stephen Drew
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- 3B Zelous Wheeler
- C Austin Romine
RHP Bryan Mitchell
Once again, the weather is splendid. Didn’t change from this afternoon. Tonight’s game will start just after 7pm ET and you’ll be able to watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally, depending on where you live. Enjoy the game.
For not the first time this season, the Yankees’ bullpen was unable to preserve a lead against the Orioles on Friday afternoon. Baltimore walked off with a 2-1 win in eleven innings in the series opener.
Nine Scoreless Innings, The Good Way
Brandon McCarthy gave the Yankees everything they could have possibly wanted against the most powerful offense in baseball. The tall right-hander held the Orioles to three scattered singles and one double in seven scoreless innings, striking out six and recording 14 of his 21 outs on the infield. McCarthy retired 13 straight batters at one point from the second through sixth innings and he retired 17 of the final 19 men he faced overall. Seventy-five of his 106 pitches were strikes (71%). He was dominant.
Joe Girardi opted to send McCarthy out to start the eighth inning even though his pitch count was sitting at 104, and sure enough ex-Yankee Kelly Johnson greeted him with a leadoff ground-rule double. That ended McCarthy’s afternoon. I absolutely hate that, sending the starter back out for another inning when his pitch count is over 100 and his leash is one base-runner. Just let the reliever start the inning clean if that’s the case, especially with expanded rosters and no real need to worry about running out of arms.
Dellin Betances was able to escape the mess with two strikeouts and a ground ball, though it wasn’t that easy. Nick Hundley bunted Johnson to third, and for whatever reason Mark Teixeira tried to throw him out, which didn’t work. He’s lucky the throw hit Johnson as he slid into the base, otherwise it would have sailed into left field. Maybe Teixeira thought it was a force play? Anyway, Betances struck out Jonathan Schoop, then Nick Markakis grounded to Stephen Drew at second base, who was able to catch Johnson wandering too far off third for the second out. That was big. Betances struck out Adam Jones to end the inning after walking Alejandro De Aza to load the bases. Two fastballs, one breaking ball, three swings and misses. Filthy.
Betances and David Robertson combined to walk the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth — one of the walks was intentional — but Robertson was able to wiggle out of it by striking out Schoop. It was a nine-pitch at-bat that included four foul balls with two strikes. Schoop put up a nice little battle. The two other outs came on a Nelson Cruz leadoff line drive to left and a Johnson pop-up to third base in foul territory. Betances and Robertson combined to put four guys on base in the eighth and ninth innings (all walks) after McCarthy put four men on base in the first seven innings.
Nine Scoreless Innings, The Bad Way
The Yankees put nine men on base in seven innings against Kevin Gausman but only one of the nine managed to reach third base. Their best chance to score against him came with two outs in the sixth inning, when Chris Young doubled to left and Drew walked to load the bases. Prado had singled to lead off the inning and I don’t think he would have scored on Young’s double even with a healthy hamstring. It was hit hard and De Aza played it quickly and cleanly. John Ryan Murphy leaned into a hanging slider and flew out to left field corner, in foul territory. He juuust missed it.
Once Gausman was out of the game, the Yankees couldn’t touch Baltimore’s bullpen. Almost literally couldn’t touch them. Andrew Miller struck out all three men he faced in the eighth and Darren O’Day struck out two of three in the ninth. Young popped up in foul territory along the first base side for the first out against O’Day. The Yankees struck out a dozen times in the first nine innings and only had three plate appearances with runners in scoring position (one walk, two outs) despite putting those nine guys on base against Gausman. I miss offense.
This game felt like it had entered “first team to homer wins” territory after Dellin’s escape job in the eighth inning, which usually puts the Yankees at a disadvantage, but not when they have Chris Young on the roster. For the second time in less than 24 hours, the Mets cast-off came up with a big go-ahead homerun on Friday afternoon, this one an 11th inning solo shot off Brad Brach. It wasn’t quite as dramatic as Thursday’s walk-off dinger, but it was still a huge homer. Chris Young, people. Baseball is weird sometimes.
With Betances and Robertson having already been used, Girardi gave the ball to Adam Warren for the 11th inning save opportunity. Warren, like Betances and Robertson in the ninth inning, loaded the bases without surrendering a hit. He walked Cruz, plunked J.J. Hardy with a pitch, then inexplicably walked pinch-hitter Steve Clevenger. The walk to Clevenger was just terrible. Ex-Yankees farmhand Jimmy Paredes jumped on Warren’s first pitch with two outs, lining it into the right field corner for a walk-off two-run single. Three relievers combined to walk six batters and hit another in 3.2 innings. Gross.
Prado, Drew, and Antoan Richardson all had two hits while Jacoby Ellsbury, Drew, and Murphy had one each. Brian McCann, Drew, and Richardson also drew walks. Teixeira and Brendan Ryan were the only starters who failed to reach base, which is par for the course these days. Richardson got picked off first base to end the seventh inning, which is less than ideal for a guy who was brought up to be the pinch-running specialist.
Believe it or not, this was the first time the Yankees and Orioles played nine scoreless innings and went to extras in Baltimore. Like, ever. It had never happened before, not with the Yankees. It did happen when they were still the New York Highlanders more than a century ago.
Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other game stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees are currently 4.5 games back of the second wildcard spot but that’s going to change with all the games tonight. As of this moment, FanGraphs has the team’s postseason odds at 2.8%.
Let’s play two, he said with a shrug. The Yankees and Orioles will play the second game of this doubleheader at 7pm ET, so make sure you come back in a few hours. Bryan Mitchell will be making his first career start. Bud Norris is the scheduled starter for the O’s.