DotF: Wade leads the offense in Scranton’s blowout win

As expected, RHP Chance Adams has officially been promoted to Triple-A Scranton. Shane Hennigan says Adams has been added to the active roster. RHP Brady Lail was sent to Double-A Trenton to clear a roster spot.

Triple-A Scranton (12-2 win over Syracuse)

  • 2B Tyler Wade: 4-6, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K — first homer of the season … 23-for-66 (.348) in his last 15 games … now hitting .321/.375/.427 on the season
  • RF Dustin Fowler: 2-6, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K — he’s 26-for-73 (.356) with five doubles, five triples, and three homers in his last 16 games
  • LF Clint Frazier: 1-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB — he has 12 singles and 17 extra-base hits this season (12 doubles, five homers)
  • 1B Ji-Man Choi: 3-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K — up to .353/.438/.506 on the season
  • DH Rob Refsnyder: 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB — remember his slow start? he’s up to .293/.381/.457 on the season … we know he can hit Triple-A pitching though
  • CF Mason Williams: 1-4, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 3B Abi Avelino: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HBP
  • LHP Daniel Camarena: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 7/2 GB/FB — 46 of 78 pitches were strikes (59%) … RHP Chad Green was originally scheduled to start today, so the fact Camarena got the ball instead likely means Green is coming up to be the 26th man for tomorrow’s doubleheader
  • RHP Ben Heller: 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/3 GB/FB — 25 of 42 pitches were strikes (60%) … 18/6 K/BB in 15.1 innings

[Read more…]

Saturday Open Thread

This afternoon’s game was rained out, and tomorrow, prior to the second game of the doubleheader, the Yankees will retire Derek Jeter‘s No. 2. Jeter wrote a thank you letter to New York over at his site, the Players’ Tribune, so make sure you check that out. Hard to believe this is already the third year of post-Jeter era, isn’t? I still remember when he was a fresh-faced rookie who only got the shortstop job because Tony Fernandez hurt his knee. Now the Yankees are retiring Jeter’s number. It was quite a ride.

Here is an open thread for this suddenly Yankees baseball-less day. MLB Network is showing regional games pretty much all day and night, Fox Sports 1 will have a game this afternoon, and the Mets are playing later tonight. There are also some NBA and NHL playoff games on as well. Talk about that stuff, Jeter’s retirement, or anything else right here.

Today’s game rained out, Yankees and Astros will play single admission doubleheader tomorrow

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

As expected, this afternoon’s game has been postponed due to inclement weather, the Yankees announced. The Yankees and Astros will make up today’s game as part of a rare single admission doubleheader tomorrow. The first game will begin at 2pm ET and the second at 8pm ET.

Tomorrow is, of course, Derek Jeter day at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are retiring Jeter’s number — fitting they’ll play two games on the day they’re retiring No. 2, eh? — and having a ceremony and all that. The ceremony is still scheduled to take place at the same time. Nothing has changed. It’ll all go down prior to the late game as scheduled.

As for tickets, only tickets for tomorrow night’s scheduled game will be valid for the doubleheader. If you had tickets for today’s game, you can’t use them tomorrow. The Yankees say you can exchange them for tickets to another regular season game at any point from now through the end of 2018.

I assume Luis Severino (today’s scheduled starter) and Masahiro Tanaka (tomorrow’s scheduled starter) will start the two games tomorrow. The Yankees have yet another off-day Monday, so the doubleheader won’t mess with the rotation. They’ll be able to keep everyone on turn going forward. No need to call up a spot starter or anything like that.

As far as I can tell, the Yankees and Astros will be able to call up a 26th man for the doubleheader. The rulebook says teams can add the 26th man “as long as the second game was scheduled at least 48 hours in advance.” Tomorrow night’s game was the regularly scheduled game. I think that means they’ll have the 26th man.

The ten-day rule doesn’t apply to the 26th man, so the Yankees could call up Chad Green even though he was sent down Thursday. Green is scheduled to start for Triple-A Scranton today, so if he doesn’t make that start, we’ll know he’s coming up. Bryan Mitchell and Luis Cessa started the last two days and won’t be called up because they can’t pitch for a few days.

Other potential 40-man roster call-up candidates include Ben Heller, Mason Williams, and Rob Refsnyder. The Yankees do have an open 40-man roster spot, so I suppose they could add someone like Tyler Webb or Joe Mantiply for the day. I’d bet against it though. We’ll see. I’m not even sure they’ll have the 26th man anyway.

The Yankees also have a doubleheader scheduled for July 16th against the Red Sox. They last played a doubleheader back in September 2015, when they were swept by the Blue Jays. The Yankees got steamrolled by Toronto in the second half that year. Hopefully tomorrow’s doubleheader goes a bit better.

Yankee bats get quieted by Lance McCullers Jr. in a 5-1 loss

Well … at least they didn’t get shut out. But boy, that was a forgettable one. Lance McCullers Jr. is a pretty good pitcher and he pretty much toyed with the Yankee lineup for the most of his outing. Meanwhile, Jordan Montgomery went up against the powerful Astros lineup and the result was so-so (4 ER, 6 IP but 1 BB in 7 K). The offense managed to pick up a run in the bottom of the ninth but that was it. 5-1 Astros. The Yankees are now on a three-game losing streak.

(Elsas/Getty)
(Elsas/Getty)

McCullers’d

Just like Dallas Keuchel yesterday, the Yankee bats let McCullers cruise through the lineup early on. Unlike Keuchel, McCullers is a power pitcher who can get whiffs from his mid-90’s fastball, nasty breaking ball and changeup. Last season, he had some trouble limiting the walks (5.00 BB/9 IP) but that’s not the case so far in 2017: 2.42 BB/9 IP after tonight’s outing. He’s also striking a ton while at it (10.61 K/9 IP). I genuinely think we’re seeing a future Cy winner in development.

For the first five innings, the Yankees only had two baserunners and they were both on Aaron Judge‘s base hits. It was particularly brutal in the fifth. Judge doubled to deep left (114 mph exit velo) to lead off the inning. With the Yankees lineup, you’d think that they could drive in a run or two, right? Nope. McCullers struck out the next three hitters swinging to strand Judge at second. Maybe the lineup is in a bit of a funk but at the same time, they ran into a talented pitcher who had everything clicking tonight.

The Yankees had the best chance against McCullers in the sixth. They got two runners on base with one out (Brett Gardner single and Matt Holliday reaching on an Alex Bregman error). However, Starlin Castro and Jacoby Ellsbury both followed it up with weak grounders to immediately kill that rally. Just been that kind of night for New York.

(Elsa/Getty Images)
(Elsa/Getty Images)

Just trailing the entire game

It was a 0-0 pitching duel until the top of the fourth. Montgomery allowed ground ball singles to Carlos Correa and Marwin Gonzalez. Brian McCann, as he did many times back when he was with the Yankees, hit a fastball in his happy zone into the right field second deck. 3-0 Astros. Houston added another run in the fifth. George Springer led off the inning with a double. Montgomery got the next two hitters out without advancing Springer to the third. However, Correa hit a bloop single that fell right in front of Judge. The right fielder’s throw home was way over Gary Sanchez‘s head but that wouldn’t have mattered – Springer scored easily to make it 4-0 Astros.

I didn’t have too high expectations for Montgomery. 1 BB and 7 K’s are pretty great, especially considering he had walk problems prior to tonight. 4 ER in 6 IP do leave something to be desired. It’s a lot to ask for a rookie pitcher to pitch a gem against the Astros lineup though. He’s still learning and developing. For what it’s worth, this 89 mph cutter to get Jake Marisnick to strike out swinging was a gem. Boy, I hope he throws more of it.

1jm

In the meantime, Astros brought in their bullpen arms starting in the bottom of the seventh. Will Harris and Luke Gregerson each threw a perfect frame with three strikeouts combined. Were the Yankees, who displayed one of the best offenses in the baseball up to this series, finally going to get shut out? Well…

Adding one in the end

Trailing 5-0 into the bottom of ninth, the Yankees were in the danger of being shut out for the first time this season. With the Indians being zeroed earlier today, only the Yanks, Nationals and Twins (!) were the remaining teams this season that haven’t been shut out.

Because it wasn’t a save situation, Astros put in James Hoyt instead of Ken Giles. Hoyt has a neat back story. Check out this read. Anyways, Holliday reached on an infield single to start the frame. Hoyt struck out Castro but Ellsbury singled to right to put the runner on scoring position. Judge struck out swinging and the hopes of Yankees getting a run seemed pretty dim. However, never fear, Didi Gregorius singled to right-center to finally avoid a shutout! But well, that was it. Hoyt struck out Ronald Torreyes to end the game and that was it. 5-1 Astros. Bleh. I won’t be watching the re-run of this game.

Leftovers
On a game that majorly stunk, there were few saving graces. For instance, Giovanny Gallegos made his ML debut in the ninth inning. He threw two pitches and retired Carlos Correa to end the top of the ninth. I’m hoping he gets more looks in the ML.

But wait, there’s more! Aaron Judge, who had been in a little bit of slump lately, went 2-for-4 tonight with a pair of rocket base hits. Didi Gregorius also had a 2-for-4 night and, as I mentioned, drove in the Yankees’ only run of the night.

Also, there was an egregious display of #umpshow in the bottom of the seventh. Chase Headley showed a bunt but the Will Harris cut fastball nicked his finger. The game delayed a bit with the trainer and Girardi tending to the third baseman. However, Headley insisted in staying in the game and it seemed like the game was going to go on … then he got into an argument with home plate ump Adrian Johnson and got ejected. That was a very confusing situation. After the game, Girardi said that McCann asked Headley if the ball hit him and Headley responded. However, Johnson thought that Headley was talking to him and the situation escalated from there. For what it’s worth, here is Adrian Johnson’s version of the story. In my opinion, it was a gross misunderstanding and mishandling of the situation from the ump. It happens but it’s not a good look.

Box score, standings, WPA graph

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


Source: FanGraphs


There is supposed to be a 1 pm EST game tomorrow, but we’ll see. The weather doesn’t seem promising from what I’ve heard. If it happens, it’ll be a match of Luis Severino vs. Mike Fiers. I predict this losing streak will stop at some point – we’ll see if it’ll be at the next game.

DotF: Mateo homers twice in Tampa’s blowout win

Two quick notes to pass along:

  • RHP Chance Adams is being promoted to Triple-A Scranton, report Josh Norris and Joel Sherman. He’ll make his first start Monday. Dating back to last year, Adams had a 1.72 ERA (3.42 FIP) with 25.2% strikeouts and 9.5% walks in 18 starts and 104.2 innings at Double-A. The RailRiders, by the way, now have seven starters for five rotation spots.
  • 1B Tyler Austin is scheduled to begin playing minor league rehab games late next week “if all goes well,” farm system head Gary Denbo told Shane Hennigan. Last week we heard Austin had begun taking batting practice. He’s been out since a foul ball broke his foot very early in Spring Training.
  • OF Dustin Fowler made the Prospect Hot Sheet again. He placed 12th this week after ranking first last week. He went 8-for-27 (.296) with one double and three triples last week.

Triple-A Scranton (10-3 loss to Syracuse)

  • SS Tyler Wade: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K
  • LF Dustin Fowler: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
  • RF Clint Frazier: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K — homered off Nationals righty Joe Ross, who is apparently in Triple-A these days
  • 2B Ron Refsnyder: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 K
  • CF Mason Williams: 0-4, 1 K
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 E (throwing) — 4-for-15 (.267) with two doubles since being sent down
  • RHP Luis Cessa: 3 IP, 10 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 5/0 GB/FB — 47 of 77 pitches were strikes (61%) … 18/15 K/BB in 32.1 innings down here, and that ain’t gonna cut it, Luis
  • RHP Ernesto Frieri: 1 IP, zeroes, 3 K — eleven of 14 pitches were strikes … 16/6 K/BB in 12 innings … I imagine he has an opt-out clause in his contract … those tend to come at some point in June, and June is only three weeks away now

[Read more…]

Game 33: Better Luck This Time?

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

The Yankees have had some rotten ninth inning luck the last two games. Tuesday night Gary Sanchez smashed a line drive right at the third baseman for a game-ending double play with the tying run on base. Then, last night, Jacoby Ellsbury was thrown out at the plate to end game while representing the tying run. Blah. Sometimes you do everything right and lose anyway. At least the Yankees don’t go down quietly.

Anyway, it would be cool to see the Yankees get some better luck tonight rather than hit line drives at people and get thrown out at the plate. Or, even better, they could get an early lead and not play from behind. The Yankees haven’t lost three straight games since the first week of the regular season. It would be cool to avoid that tonight. Here is the Astros’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. C Gary Sanchez
  3. 1B Matt Holliday
  4. 2B Starlin Castro
  5. DH Jacoby Ellsbury
  6. RF Aaron Judge
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. 3B Chase Headley
  9. CF Aaron Hicks
    LHP Jordan Montgomery

It is cool and cloudy in New York this evening, and there is rain in the forecast later on, but not until the wee hours of the morning. Shouldn’t interfere with the game at all. Tonight’s game will begin a bit after 7pm ET and you can watch on WPIX. Not YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Greg Bird (ankle) is still not pain-free. He won’t resume baseball activities until everything feels good. There’s no firm timetable for his return.

Friday Links: Top 100 Prospects, Mock Draft, Jeter, Luxury Tax

Montgomery. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty)
Montgomery. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

The Yankees and Astros continue their four-game weekend series with the second game later tonight. Here are a couple of strays links to check out in the meantime.

Six Yankees on BA’s latest top 100 list

The Baseball America crew released an updated top 100 prospects list this week, which is designed to “reflect the graduations of players who are no longer prospect-eligible and to tweak the rankings based on feedback we have received from scouts and coaches who have seen the prospects this year.” White Sox IF Yoan Moncada is atop the list. Six Yankees farmhands made the top 100:

2. SS Gleyber Torres (Preseason: 5th)
33. OF Clint Frazier (Preseason: 39th)
37. OF Blake Rutherford  (Preseason: 45th)
85. LHP Justus Sheffield (Preseason: 91st)
99. LHP Jordan Montgomery (Preseason: Not ranked)
100. RHP Chance Adams (Preseason: Not ranked)

OF Aaron Judge ranked 90th before the season and has since graduated to the big leagues. SS Jorge Mateo (85th) and RHP James Kaprielian (87th) both made the preseason list but have since dropped off. In a supplemental piece (sub. req’d), the Baseball America crew says Mateo fell out of the top 100 because he simply isn’t performing. He’s hitting .220/.270/.315 (67 wRC+) while repeating High-A ball. Kaprielian fell off because he blew out his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery. Duh.

I can’t say I ever expected to see Montgomery crack a top 100 prospects list, so it’s pretty cool he was able to sneak on. He’s walked a few too many in his brief big league time (11.7%), which is not uncommon for young pitchers. Otherwise Montgomery appears to have all the ingredients necessary to be a back-end starter long-term. Those guys are really valuable during their cheap pre-arbitration years. Montgomery has thrown 28.2 MLB innings so far, so he’s about four starts away from clearing the 50-inning rookie limit and graduating to MLB. This will probably be the only top 100 list he makes. I’m guessing he’s fine with that.

Keith Law’s mock draft v1.0

Keith Law (subs. req’d) released his first mock draft of the year earlier this week, and he has the Twins taking Louisville 1B/LHP Brendan McKay with the No. 1 pick. California HS SS/RHP Hunter Greene, the consensus top prospect in the 2017 draft class, is expected to slip to the Reds with the second overall pick. Lucky them. Law has the Yankees taking California HS 1B Nick Pratto with their first round pick, No. 16 overall. From Law:

Pratto seems to have separated himself as the best pure hitter among the high school crop this year, though high school first basemen taken high don’t have the greatest track record either.

Here’s my Pratto write-up. On paper, Pratto fits the Yankees. Scouting director Damon Oppenheimer has a known affinity for Southern California players, and the Yankees also have a thing for advanced high school bats. They pounced when Rutherford fell into their laps last year. Back in the day, before the bonus pools took the fun out of everything, they paid Greg Bird and Tyler Austin overslot bonuses when their polished bats slipped into the later rounds. The 2017 draft is a little more than five weeks away now.

Loria tried to trade for Jeter with Expos

Jeet & Vlad. (Nick Laham/Getty)
Jeet & Vlad. (Nick Laham/Getty)

Here’s a fun old trade rumor. According to Steven Marcus, Jeffrey Loria ordered general manager Jim Beattie to call the Yankees and make a trade offer for Derek Jeter back in 1999, when Loria owned the Expos. The offer: Vladimir Guerrero for Jeter. Fun! Here’s more from Marcus:

“Mr. Loria really wanted Jeter,’’ said Beattie, a former Yankees pitcher who now is a scout for the Blue Jays. “I kept telling him it wasn’t going to happen and he said, ‘Well, you have to make the call.’ I called (Brian Cashman) and at a point I said, ‘Jeffrey is really interested in Jeter.’ Cash said, ‘No, we’re not going to trade.’ I said, ‘I understand that. Just for conversation and I’m not even sure we would do this, would you trade him for Guerrero?’

“There was silence on the other end. He said, ‘Would you do that?’

“Cash said, ‘That’s a crazy offer, but I’m just not going to trade him. He is a franchise player for us and we’re not going to trade him.’ You could try to trade for him, but they weren’t going to trade him. Yeah, there was an effort.’’

This happened during the 1999-2000 offseason. Jeter, then 25, hit .349/.438/.552 (156 wRC+) with 24 home runs in 1999, in what very well might have been the best season of his career. Vlad was about to turn 25, and he’d hit .316/.378/.600 (139 wRC+) with 42 homers in 1999. This would have been the mother of all blockbusters. Young superstar for young superstar. Carlos Correa for Mookie Betts. Corey Seager for Kris Bryant. Something like that.

Jeter is a no-doubt Hall of Famer and chances are Vlad will get in at some point as well — he fell 15 votes short of induction this past winter — though you can understand why the Yankees said no. They’d just won their third World Series title in the past four years, and Jeter was the face of the franchise. Also, shortstops like Jeter are harder to find than corner outfielders like Guerrero. Still, fun! Loria is a native New Yorker who has made it no secret he admires the Yankees. It’s no surprise he tried to acquire their franchise player once upon a time.

Yankees projected to cut luxury tax bill

According to Ronald Blum, the Yankees are projected to cut their luxury tax bill by nearly $20M this season. Calculations from the commissioner’s office put the team’s luxury tax bill at roughly $9M right now, down from the $27.4M they paid last year. The Yankees are taxed at the maximum 50% rate, so that combined with the $195M threshold suggests their payroll for luxury tax purposes is $213M right now.

Keep in mind the luxury tax payroll is subject to change based on call-ups and send downs, as well as any midseason trades. The Yankees could very well end up buying at the deadline, which would increase payroll. And heck, they could also end up selling again should they fall out of the race. Masahiro Tanaka and Dellin Betances would be their top trade chips, and dealing them would save more luxury tax. The team’s goal is, of course, to get under $197M luxury tax threshold next year, once the monster Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia (and Tanaka?) contracts are off the books.