Saturday Night Open Thread

Here is your open thread for the night. The Extra Package is in a free preview through tomorrow, so find the channels and you can watch any baseball game you want tonight. If prefer to watch this afternoon’s loss instead, YES will replay it at 7:30pm ET. The Islanders, Knicks, and Devils are also playing. Talk about whatever you like right here.

Yankees continue to be bad at everything, lose 8-4 to Red Sox

Source: FanGraphs

Boy it sure is tough to win then you can’t hit, can’t field, can’t run the bases, and can’t pitch, isn’t it? The Yankees dropped their third straight game on Saturday, getting outclassed by the Red Sox in the 8-4 loss. They’re 1-4 to start the season for the second time in three years. Let’s recap:

  • Fire Kevin Long: Up until a pair of singles and a garbage time homer from Chris Young in the eighth inning, the Yankees mustered only one hit and two walks on the afternoon. All in the second inning too. Nineteen consecutive Yankees made outs at one point from the second through eighth inning. Their first run scored on a Didi Gregorius sac fly after Alex Rodriguez singled and Garrett Jones and John Ryan Murphy drew walks. Then the offense disappeared until the game was completely out of reach.
  • Fifth Starter: Nice start for Adam Warren, who allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks in 5.1 innings. His pitch count got inflated early because of some poor defense — A-Rod dropped a throw at first and Brett Gardner got twisted around on a fly ball — but overall he held his own. Two walks and one strikeout is unimpressive, but he got 12 swings and misses and that’s pretty good. Solid start.
  • Blown Open: The Red Sox tacked on some insurance runs with three runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. A walk by Justin Wilson and two hits off Chris Martin did the damage in the seventh, then a three-run Brock Holt double off Jones’ glove did the damage in the eighth. The eighth inning rally started with two outs and after an overturned call — Headley’s throw pulled A-Rod off first on what would have been the final out. It spiraled out of control from there for Matt Tracy, who soaked up two innings in his MLB debut.
  • Leftovers: The Yankees committed three errors (A-Rod, Murphy, Headley) to raise their MLB leading total to eight. A team built with no margin for error sure has made lots of ’em … Gregorius made another mental mistake (held the ball instead of throwing home on Holt’s double), which is a drop in the bucket for this game but the continuation of a bad early season trend for Didi … and finally, the Yankees have still only led for one-half inning this season.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and standings. Also check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees will wrap-up their season-opening homestand Sunday night on ESPN. It’ll be Masahiro Tanaka against Clay Buchholz.

Game Five: The Day After

Last night's game in picture form. (Presswire)
Last night’s game in picture form. (Presswire)

Last night’s 19-inning marathon gave me a hangover. That game was all sorts of awful. If you want to blame the offense, you can do that. If you want to blame the pitching, you can do that too. Defense? Base-running? Blame worthy as well. If you’re the type that needs to assign blame to everything, last night was the perfect game for you. Lots of options.

Anyway, none of that matters now. It’s a new day and a new game and boy would it be nice to see the Yankees pick up a win on Saturday afternoon. Or even just hold a lead. They’ve had the lead for exactly one half-inning out of the 45.5 innings they’ve played in 2015. As best I can tell, no team has had a lead for less time this year. Even the 0-4 White Sox held a lead for one full inning at one point the other day. Here’s the lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Chris Young
  3. DH Carlos Beltran
  4. 1B Alex Rodriguezyup
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. RF Garrett Jones
  7. C John Ryan Murphy
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Gregorio Petit
    RHP Adam Warren

As expected, the Red Sox activated Joe Kelly (biceps) off the DL so he could make this afternoon’s start. He’ll be on a 90-pitch limit. Knuckleballer Steven Wright was send down to make room on the roster. Here is Boston’s lineup.

It’s a nice clear day in New York but windy as hell. Nearly lost my hat when I went out to get breakfast this morning. This afternoon’s game will begin just after 1pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and Fox Sports 1 nationally. Enjoy.

Roster Move: The Yankees have called up lefty Matt Tracy to bolster their worn out bullpen, the team announced. Tracy was scheduled to start for Triple-A Scranton today, so he’s good for 80+ pitches if needed. I hope they aren’t. Ivan Nova was transferred to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot and Chasen Shreve was optioned to Triple-A to clear a 25-man roster spot. Shreve was awesome last night. Unfair game, this baseball.

Three comebacks not enough, Yankees fall 6-5 to Red Sox in 19 stupid innings

Source: FanGraphs

I was planning to write a regular recap for this game, but forget it. Nineteen innings is about seven too many. The Yankees made three (three!) dramatic late game-tying comebacks — Chase Headley homered in the ninth, Mark Teixeira homered in the 16th, Carlos Beltran doubled in the 18th — and got stellar work from their bullpen, yet still lost to 6-5 to the Red Sox

The Yankees shot themselves in the foot with awful base-running, as both Brett Gardner and Headley got picked off first base, and Gardner was thrown out trying to steal second as well. Nathan Eovaldi made his first start in pinstripes and showed good stuff without the results to match, which is basically the story of his career. The bullpen though. Look at this:

Marathon Bullpen

Trash Esmil Rogers all you want. He bit the bullet and threw 81 pitches one day after throwing 34 pitches. Respect. Chasen Shreve was stellar in his 3.1 innings of work and the bullpen in general was great. Three runs in 13.2 innings? What more do you want? The relief crew held up their end of the bargain. I’m sure Shreve will go to Triple-A for a fresh arm tomorrow and Rogers might be headed to the DL for a two-week vacation.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also make sure you check out our Bullpen Workload page and brand new Announcer Standings page. I’m still not sure why the second one exists. I made it on a whim and maybe it’ll it prove to be useful at some point. Adam Warren and Joe Kelly will be the pitching matchup in the second game of this series less than 12 hours from now.

DotF: Judge starts the season with a homer in Trenton’s blowout win

Just a heads up, the Aaron Judge Watch is now up in the sidebar, underneath the RAB Tickets and YES Network links. He was the overwhelming choice in our poll. Also, Baseball America post lists of the youngest players at each level, with LHP Jacob Lindgren, LHP Miguel Sulbaran, RHP Luis Severino, and 3B Miguel Andujar ranking among the youngest players in their leagues. Bryce Harper is the youngest player on an NL Opening Day roster for the third straight year. El-oh-el.

Triple-A Scranton (6-0 loss to Syracuse)

  • CF Slade Heathcott: 0-4, 1 K
  • LF Ramon Flores: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-4, 1 E (fielding) — error led to two runs
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 0-3, 2 K
  • RF Tyler Austin: 1-3, 1 K
  • RHP Jaron Long: 5 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 7/1 GB/FB — 51 of 83 pitches were strikes (61%) … rough Triple-A debut
  • RHP Diego Moreno: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 2/2 GB/FB — 22 of 36 pitches were strikes (61%)
  • RHP Branden Pinder: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K — 14 of 19 pitches were strikes (74%)

[Read more…]

Game Four: The Best Hitter Bats Third

"I got this." (Presswire)
“I got this.” (Presswire)

First, the sad stat: the Yankees are only hitting .191/.305/.348 as a team through the first three games of the season. Now, the sadder stat: the Yankees have a collective 100 OPS+ as a team through the first three games of the season. Pitching has dominated so far this year. Teams are averaging just 3.50 runs per game, down from 4.07 last year, and there have been 13 shutouts in 46 total games. It ain’t only the Yankees, folks.

Earlier this week I said I thought Alex Rodriguez would be “hitting in the middle third of the order by May 1st,” and it turns out I overestimated by three weeks. A-Rod is batting third tonight — Carlos Beltran‘s on the bench — and I’m fairly certain it’s because the Red Sox are starting the lefty Wade Miley. I expect Alex to hit sixth or seventh or whatever next time the Yankees face a righty. For now, it’s just like the good ol’ days with A-Rod hitting third. Memories! Here is Joe Girardi‘s starting nine:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. RF Chris Young
  8. SS Stephen Drew
  9. 2B Gregorio Petit
    RHP Nathan Eovaldioh by the way, it’s his first start in pinstripes

The Red Sox are in town to start this three-game weekend series. Here is their lineup.

The bitter cold of the last two nights has passed. The temperature will be closer to 60 degrees for first pitch tonight, and while that’s still not ideal baseball weather, it’s better than yesterday and the day before. It was brutal if you were sitting in the stands somewhere. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET and you can catch tonight’s game on WPIX locally and MLB Network nationally. The Yankees are back on WPIX for the first time since 1998. Now it’s really like the old days. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Jose Pirela (concussion) has resumed baseball activities and is taking swings. He’s not ready to return to game action just yet. “Hopefully it’s not too long,” said Girardi. [Chad Jennings]

Sanchez: Cuban infielder Andy Ibanez planning showcases for scouts this month

Ibanez at the 2013 World Baseball Classic. (Koji Watanabe/Getty)
Ibanez at the 2013 World Baseball Classic. (Koji Watanabe/Getty)

According to Jesse Sanchez, free agent Cuban infielder Andy Ibanez is planning to hold showcase events for scouts in Miami later this month. He was cleared to sign by MLB and the Office of Foreign Assets Control back in February.

Ibanez, 21, hit .283/.348/.419 with 60 doubles and 13 home runs in 242 games in the Cuban league from 2011-13 before defecting. He was on Cuba’s roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic but rode the bench in the deference to their veteran infielders. Here’s a mini-scouting report from Ben Badler:

At 5-foot-11, 183 pounds, Ibanez has a thicker build for a middle infielder but he’s athletic and has good body control. With fringy speed and an average arm at best, Ibanez isn’t flashy, but he has a good internal clock and a high baseball IQ, fitting best at second base. Ibanez’s power is mostly to the gaps, projecting as a doubles hitters rather than a big home run threat, but what’s sold some scouts on him is his bat.

“He’s a strong guy who doesn’t have your prototype, ideal body for a second baseman, but he moves around well for his stature,” said another scout. “And he performs. He’s a good hitter. I liked his swing and the way he manipulated the bat.”

The Yankees have been rumored to have interest in Ibanez and I’m sure they’ll attend his upcoming showcases. They seem to go to all of ’em. Ibanez is no budding star like Yoan Moncada, however. He’s looked at as more of a solid player going forward. A complementary piece, not a centerpiece. Think Adeiny Hechavarria or Jose Iglesias, not Yasiel Puig or Jose Abreu. Then again, who knows. Cuban players have shown a knack for outperforming expectations.

Because of his age and limited experience in Cuba, Ibanez is subject to the international spending restrictions. The Yankees are free to sign him for any amount prior to June 25th, but, after that, they will only be able to offer him $300,000 as a result of the penalties from last July’s international spending spree. The Angels signed the less-heralded Roberto Baldoquin to an $8M bonus back in January, and I’m guessing it’ll take similar if not more money to get Ibanez.

As always, it makes sense for the Yankees to add talent whenever possible, and by all accounts Ibanez has some skills and will be able to help an MLB club in some capacity in the near future. The Yankees don’t have a long-term solution at second base — they might have one in Rob Refsnyder — and middle infield talent is hard to find in general. Of course, the Yankees always seem to stop just short of offering enough to sign a Cuban player. Enough to say we tried but not enough to get him. Until they buck the trend and sign one of these guys, I have no reason to think they’ll actually do it.