Yankeemetrics: Let the good times roll [May 9-12]

(Photo credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)

It is high, it is far …
The Yankees turned back the clock on Monday night, showing a rare display of offensive fireworks and power in their 6-3 win over the Royals in the series opener. They hit a season-high five homers, all of them in the first three innings. The Yankees entered the week with only 25 homers, tied for the second-fewest in the AL; they’d hit just five homers in their previous 11 games combined.

A five-homer game isn’t rare by itself, the Yankees have done that more than 100 times in their history, but to score only six runs … now that’s something. Only six other times have the Yankees scored six or fewer runs in a game they also crushed at least five longballs.

Royals starter Chris Young served up all five dingers before getting the hook in the third inning. He’s just the second pitcher in the Live Ball Era (since 1920) to allow at least five home runs and get fewer than nine outs against the Yankees. Rob Bell also pulled off the feat on August 1, 2001 in a game the Yankees won 9-7 over the Rangers at the Stadium.

Aroldis Chapman made his season debut and his left arm looked to be in mid-season form, with six of his 17 pitches hitting triple digits on the radar gun, per Statcast data. Four of those fastballs were 101 mph or faster, matching the same number that all other major-leaguers had thrown in the first month-plus of this season.

Small-ball wins games, too
One day after the Yankees rode the gopher ball to their 12th win of the season, they flipped the script and used a bunch of timely singles, doubles and productive outs to get lucky No. 13. This time it was the Yankee pitchers that were bit by the home run bug, allowing four longballs on the night.

The only other game in the last two decades that the Yankees won while giving up at least four home runs and hitting zero was September 25, 2014 against the Orioles. That’s not an insignificant game, if you remember. It was Derek Jeter‘s final home game, one that ended with The Captain putting a bow on his storybook career with a game-winning, walk-off single in the ninth inning.

Lorenzo Cain would have been the hero in Tuesday’s game, if the Yankees hadn’t pulled out the victory. Cain hit three home runs, becoming the first center fielder to do that against the Yankees since Ken Griffey Jr. on May 24, 1996. He also joined Bo Jackson (1990) and George Brett (1978 ALCS) as the only Royals to go deep three times against the Yankees. Finally, Cain is the ninth visiting player with at least three dingers at Yankee Stadium (including the postseason) — but the only other guy that was on the losing end was Brett.

Little Mike
The Yankees crashed back to reality on Wednesday night as their familiar failures resurfaced in a 7-3 loss to the Royals: ineffective starting pitching (see Pineda, Michael) and awful clutch hitting (1-for-13 with RISP). Their modest two-game win streak was snapped, leaving them as one of three teams (along with the Padres and Astros) this season that haven’t won more than two games in a row.

This is the latest into a season (32 games) that the Yankees have failed to put together a win streak of at least three games since 1925. That team had its first three-game win streak on July 30, in its 95th game, after sweeping the St. Louis Browns.

Michael Pineda‘s struggles in the first inning have become a significant problem – he’s now got a 15.43 ERA and batters are hitting .500/.535/1.026 against him in the opening frame – but his lack of control was also really troubling. He walked four guys and plunked two more, the first time he’s ever done that in a game in his career. The last Yankee to produce a pitching line like Pineda’s (six runs allowed, four walks, two hit batters) was Randy Johnson on April 29, 2006 against the Blue Jays.

(Photo credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)

Miracle on 161st Street
Our long national nightmare is finally over. With one swing of the bat, Chase Headley broke out of the most miserable slump of his career and did it in style, drilling a two-run homer to left field in the second inning of Thursday’s game. That was his first extra-base hit of 2016, snapping a 90 at-bat streak that was the longest to open a season by any Yankee player since Roy White in 1973 (93 at-bats). Hey Chase, keep your chin up: White somehow ended that season with 43 extra-base hits (18 homers, 22 doubles, 3 triples).

Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius also joined the homer parade, powering the Yankees to a convincing 7-3 win over the defending world champs. The Yankees are now an impressive 10-1 when scoring at least four runs in a game, the third-best record in such situations, behind only the Cubs (24-2) and Mariners (16-1). That’s the good news. The bad news is that even after Thursday’s victory, no team has fewer games scoring four-or-more runs than the Yankees this season.

Mailbag: Trout, Tanaka, Pomeranz, Freese, Sabathia, Judge

Got 14 questions in the mailbag this week. We’re getting a lot of questions asking for injury updates on prospects (James Kaprielian, etc.), and folks, if I had any, I’d give them to you. I’d stick them in DotF or give them their own post if it was significant enough. Everything I know is on the site. Anyway, the RABmailbag (at) gmail (dot) com is the place to send us questions throughout the week.

Trout. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty)
Trout. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty)

Peter asks: If the Yankees emptied the farm would they have enough to trade for Mike Trout? Would the Angels want it? Should the Yankees do it even if it took the best package they have of Sanchez, Mateo, Severino, and Judge? My Trade Proposal Sucks, I know.

Angels GM Billy Eppler has said the team has no plans to trade Trout, and even though that’s the kind of thing every GM says about their star player, I believe him. Trout is too special to trade, even with the Angels looking worse by the day. I suppose it’s possible Eppler has some leftover love for certain Yankees prospect following his time in the front office, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Not when it comes to a Trout trade.

Trout is the kind of player you trade anything and everything to acquire. How could the Yankees say no to a package that includes, say, Luis Severino, Dellin Betances, Aaron Judge, Jorge Mateo, Gary Sanchez, and Kaprielian? They couldn’t possibly say no. It is a heck of a lot easier to rebuild a farm system than it is to have the best player in the world in his mid-20s. I don’t think Trout will be traded, but the Yankees should call and offer everything anyway.

Matt asks: What’s the date Gary Sanchez would need to remain in the minors until in order to delay his free agency one year? Do you think the Yankees will call him up immediately after that date has passed to see if he can help generate some sort of offense?

The date has already passed. It was Monday this week. Austin Romine has been mostly fine as the backup and while Sanchez would likely be an upgrade, I don’t have a problem with the Yankees keeping him in Triple-A a little longer so he can play everyday. Romine’s playing well, so ride it out and maybe turn him into a prospect via trade come July. There’s no reason to make a change at backup catcher just yet. It would be different if Romine were stinking up the place.

Mendel asks: If Tanaka keeps up this kind of production, and the Yankees continue their terrible season, would/should they consider trading him at the deadline? And what kind of package can they get in return?

This question was sent in before the Yankees won a bunch of games over the last week. Obviously the chances of them selling — which were small to start with — have gone down quite a bit since them. If, however, they do take a plunge and sell later this summer, as unlikely as that may be, they have to make Masahiro Tanaka available. Don’t half-ass it. Put everyone on the table.

The Yankees could market Tanaka as a No. 1 starter with a year and a half of team control remaining, so he’d help you for two postseason runs. The Yankees should even be open to eating some money to increase the prospect haul. David Price was traded for two young MLB players (Nick Franklin, Drew Smyly) and a good prospect (Willy Adames), so that’s the benchmark for Tanaka. Two players you can plug into the big league roster — given the team’s roster situation, a starting pitcher would be preferable — plus a third piece.

Andrew asks: How does the Nationals re-signing of Strasburg affect their re-signing of Bryce Harper and the possibility of Harper signing with the Yankees if at all?

I don’t think it changes anything. I guess it shows it’s not impossible to sign a top Scott Boras client to an extension right before free agency, but Stephen Strasburg and Harper are two different people with different motivations. Strasburg is a pitcher who has already had a major arm injury, remember. That’s not insignificant. Harper is as confident in his talent as any player we’ve seen. He seems like the type determined to smash contract records. Harper is the kind of player who will go into free agency and take the biggest contract, no questions asked. If the Yankees make that offer, they’ll get him.

Jason asks: Humor me here, I’m just going to throw out a couple of names for you to opine on in case the Yankees decide to buy instead of sell or just shake things up a little bit: Nick Markakis, Carlos Gonzalez, Drew Pomeranz, Yasmany Tomas.

I don’t see the point in adding another declining veteran outfielder like Markakis and Gonzalez, even if they are still productive. At least Tomas has youth on his side, plus he’s right-handed, so he makes more sense than the other guys. The Yankees need to keep a spot open for Judge and it’s unlikely Jacoby Ellsbury is going anywhere, which means acquiring Tomas or CarGo or Markakis pushes Brett Gardner out the door. No thanks.

Pomeranz, who has a 1.80 ERA (2.61 FIP) with a 31.9% strikeout rate in 40 innings this season, has always been interesting. It’s a question of health, more than anything. He’s got an out pitch curveball and a lively low-90s fastball, so the stuff is fine. More than fine, really. Pomeranz just has no track record of staying on the field. He’s thrown 120+ innings once in his career, and that was way back in 2012. The Padres got him for Yonder Alonso and Marc Rzepczynksi over the winter, so I wouldn’t pay substantially more than that. How about Rob Refsnyder and Chasen Shreve, plus maybe a non-top prospect? My trade proposal sucks. I’ll roll the dice on a bat-missing southpaw with two years of team control remaining even with the health issues.

Pomeranz. (Denis Poroy/Getty)
Pomeranz. (Denis Poroy/Getty)

Travis asks: If the Nationals are in on Miller or Chapman at the deadline, what kind of return could the Yankees get (if they decided to deal either one)? Example: (my trade proposal sucks) Chapman for Victor Robles, Austin Voth and Trevor Gott.

Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman have different value because of their contract situations. Chapman is the better pitcher, but Miller has more value because he’s under contract for two years beyond this one. Back when he was a rental Miller was traded for Eduardo Rodriguez, and I think that’s the benchmark for Chapman. One stud young player. I’d love love love to see the Yankees get Joe Ross for Chapman, but I don’t think it’ll happen. Ross is too damn good at this point.

The Robles/Voth/Gott package would be a pretty good return for Chapman in my opinion. Voth is pretty close to MLB ready as a Triple-A starter, Gott is a bullpen option right now, and Robles is the top prospect lottery ticket in the low minors. He’s basically the outfield version of Mateo. Lucas Giolito and Trea Turner are presumably untouchable. I’d focus on Robles, Voth, righty Reynaldo Lopez, and outfielder Andrew Stevenson in trade talks. Here is MLB.com’s top 30 Nats prospects, if you want to look them over yourself.

John asks: Do you think the Yankees should look into acquiring David Freese? The Pirates have an excess of infielders with Kang back. What would it take to get him, and is it realistic? Thanks.

Freese would definitely make sense and I think he’s more realistic than most trade targets sent into the RAB inbox. (No offense, folks.) Jung-Ho Kang came back a few days ago, mashed two homers in his first game, and he’s been starting at third base ever since. Freese is basically a platoon first baseman and fill-in third baseman now, and Pittsburgh has Jason Rogers in Triple-A to fill the same exact role. (Rogers can play other positions too.)

Chase Headley is maybe possibly kinda sorta starting to hit a tiny little bit, but he’s still not hitting for any power, and at some point the Yankees will have to make a change barring a huge breakout. Freese, who is on a one-year contract, would be a fine fill-in. The Pirates could use some pitching help, both starters and relievers. Would Nick Goody or James Pazos for Freese work? I wouldn’t offer much more than that. Freese could fit though, yeah.

Andy asks: I’m looking at Mateo’s stats on Fangraphs and it’s tough not to be impressed. How does BABIP work for the minor leagues, though? Mateo’s .456 is outrageous, as is his 212 wRC+. Is it easy for good players to post really high BABIP’s in the low(ish) minors?

A .456 BABIP is very high even for the minors, but it’s not at all uncommon for top prospects to post sky high BABIPs. Kris Bryant had a .405 BABIP between Double-A and Triple-A in 2014, for example. Refsnyder had a .377 BABIP that same year. There’s a lot of bad in the minors. Bad pitching and bad hitting. That doesn’t mean it’s easier to hit, but pitchers make more mistakes and the good prospects don’t miss them. Given his speed, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jorge Mateo finished the season with a .400 BABIP or so. It’s not crazy. A .380+ BABIP in the minors doesn’t automatically mean a hitter got lucky. And the opposite is true for pitching prospects. A sub-.250 BABIP isn’t uncommon.

Paul asks: What is Girardi’s nickname for Aroldis Chapman?

Chappy! That’s actually not a Joe Girardi original though. People have been calling him Chappy for years now. It fits the standard Girardi nickname nomenclature, so he’s stuck with it.

Jonathan asks: I’m curious to see any promotion predictions you may have for top prospects. Player, current level, and when this year (if applicable) you think we might see them make the jump to the next level, then the next ya know? To the highest level you think they’ll reach this year.

Promotion season is coming up. They usually start happening in early-June and continue throughout the summer. Mateo to Double-A is the obvious one and I think it’ll happen next month. Tyler Wade will have to slide over to second and make spot starts at short. Mateo is the priority prospect there. Miguel Andujar could move up to Double-A as well. He’s had a strong season overall and did spend all of last year with High-A Tampa. Can’t keep him there forever.

That’s probably it for the notable position players, unless you count Sanchez and Judge getting big league time at some point. On the pitching side, Domingo Acevedo figures to move up to High-A assuming this recent lower body injury is nothing serious. Chance Adams could get bumped from High-A to Double-A, and Jonathan Holder going to Triple-A is an easy call. Kaprielian’s injury threw a wrench into things. He’s might be in Double-A right now if he were healthy. He could still get there if he comes back reasonably soon.

The Yankees have a bunch of injured players coming back (Luis Torrens, Wilkerman Garcia, Ty Hensley, Austin DeCarr) plus others in Extended Spring Training (Drew Finley, Jeff Degano) who are going to join an affiliate at some point. I think players like Wade, Dustin Fowler, Hoy Jun Park, Abi Avelino, Thairo Estrada, and Kyle Holder are at their levels to stay this season.

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

Anonymous asks (short version): What about trading CC Sabathia to the Giants?

The thinking here is Sabathia has pitched decently in the early going, he’s from the Bay Area, and the Giants have big time concerns at the back of their rotation. Jake Peavy and Matt Cain have been very bad. I would be surprised if Sabathia accepted a trade at this point though, even home to Northern California because his family lives in New Jersey full-time now. The salary is an obstacle; there’s no such thing as an untradeable contract, but Sabathia’s deal is as much a deal-breaker as any in baseball. I could see this if Sabathia were a rental. Maybe he’d be willing to go pitch in San Francisco for two months and try to get another ring. But a year and a half? That’s pushing it.

Paul asks: Anecdotally, people swing on 3-0 counts more often than even 2 or 3 years ago. Does the data back this observation up?

It definitely seems like more players are swinging 3-0 this season. Not only Yankees, all around the league. Offense is down and I guess teams think ambushing a 3-0 pitch from time to time will help them score. Alex Rodriguez famously hit his 660th homer last on a 3-0 pitch last year (video). Here are the league averages as far as back as Baseball Savant can go before it starts timing out:

2016: 7.4% swings in 3-0 counts
2015: 7.9%
2014: 8.4%
2013: 7.7%

Unexpected! I sorta love it when the numbers are the complete opposite of what my eyes are telling me. It’s good to be humbled once in a while. Anyway, swinging 3-0 has gone down the last few years, though we’re talking about a window of one percentage point here, from 7.4% to 8.4%. That’s not a huge difference, but it is a difference nonetheless. I’m guessing that come the end of the season, the rate will again be up around 8.0%.

Asher asks: Why the heck does Eovaldi not throw a 2-seamer more often? Pitcherlist pointed it out, and then perusing Fangraphs showed me that it has markedly more movement than his 4-seamer while carrying almost the same velocity (his max with the 2-seamers is still 100.7mph!) yet in his entire career he’s only thrown 545 of them compared to almost 6000 four-seamers.

I prefer Brooks Baseball for PitchFX info, and it says Nathan Eovaldi threw a sinker earlier in his career, but he hasn’t thrown it regularly since 2012. He threw zero sinkers in 2013, 36 sinkers in 2014, and none since. I’m not sure why he scrapped it, though I’m sure there’s a reason. Eovaldi probably didn’t feel comfortable locating it given the movement or something like that. It could be worth tinkering with again. I tend to think when a pitcher stops throwing a pitch all together, especially early in his career when he’s still looking to establish himself, it’s because it was one of his worst pitches and he kept getting burned on it.

Anonymous asks: Where do you feel Aaron Judge’s K rate needs to be in Triple A for you to be comfortable bringing him up to the majors? And, once he’s up, what should it be for him to have success?

I don’t think there’s a magic number, and really, the box score is not going to tell us when Judge is big league ready. He’s someone you’ll really have to see to know when he’s ready. Judge has a very specific weakness (soft stuff away) he’s set out to correct and his strikeout rate is nothing more than a proxy for that weakness. Even if he cuts his strikeout rate down to, say, 15%, he might still be flailing away at breaking pitches away. The flaw could still exist even if the numbers look great, you know?

Long-term I think Judge will settle in as a 25% strikeout rate guy, which is higher than average but not outrageously so. That’s Jay Bruce/Mark Trumbo territory. His first few weeks and months in the big leagues could easily feature a 35.0% strikeout rate though. There figures to be an adjustment period. As long as Judge hits for power, draws walks, and plays a solid right field, that strikeout rate is fine. I do not think he’s a budding superstar. I see Judge as someone who could become a +3 to +4 WAR outfielder, and maybe someone who has a +6 WAR career year along the way.

Three long balls lift the Yankees to a 7-3 win over the Royals

Al Bello/Getty Images

The Yankees won a four-game series! Against the reigning World Champs Kansas City Royals! Nathan Eovaldi threw another so-so start but the Yankee bats provided some big hits at the right times to help defeat the Royals 7-3. Story of the game? Chase Headley actually getting an extra base hit and Chien-Ming Wang‘s return to the Yankee Stadium.

Long Balls From Infielders

Through the first five innings, the Yankees scored five runs on three home runs – those long balls happened to be the only their only hits at the time. A neat thing about them is that they were all hit by infielder – Starlin Castro, Headley (!!!) and Didi Gregorius all went yard to drive in five.

Castro got the scoring started in the first inning. He drilled the third pitch of the at-bat from Ian Kennedy into right field to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead. It was his fourth home run of the year. He’s having a nice hitting season so far with a .300/.343/.483 line after the game. Castro also had another RBI later in the game in the seventh. With the bases loaded and Yankees leading 5-3, he blooped a single between second baseman and right fielder to drive one in. Not a shabby day for Starlin.

The next dinger came from none other than Headley, whose lack of extra base hits has been a subject of ridicule by many for awhile. In the bottom of second, with Carlos Beltran on base, Headley drove a 93-mph fastball from Kennedy the opposite way out for a two-run homer, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Headley’s teammates seemed understandably pumped, who was in a big time hitting funk for a long while. It took him about a month and half, but Chase finally has an extra base hit this season, raising his ISO to .032 and his SLG to .226. He’s got nowhere to go up (you’d hope).

The Yankees didn’t stop there with homers. Eovaldi gave up two runs in the fourth to narrow the lead to 3-2. In the bottom of fifth, Didi widened it back with a two-run homer. He uppercutted a hanging curveball into the right field seats. All these dingers came against the former Yankee top prospect Ian Kennedy, who was actually having a nice season prior to tonight’s start (2.13 ERA/3.61 FIP in 6 starts coming in), but still giving up a lot of fly balls in general (35.7 GB%, which is quite low).

Al Bello/Getty Images

Wang’s Return

Chien-Ming Wang, who was ace-like for the Yankees back in the 2006 and 2007 seasons, made his return to Yankee Stadium as a Kansas City Royal. Ever since the unfortunate baserunning incident in Houston in 2008, he struggled to regain his form. He bounced around different organizations (Nationals, Blue Jays, etc.), once signed with Yankees for a MiLB deal, etc. but it wasn’t until 2016 that he reportedly got his velocity back in the low-to-mid-90’s. The Royals liked what they saw in him in ST and gave Wang an ML roster spot.

He relieved another former Yankee Ian Kennedy in the seventh inning with one out and two runners on. He walked Brett Gardner to load the bases and allowed a RBI single to Castro for a 6-3 Yankees lead. Wang did strike out Mark Teixeira but walked Brian McCann to force in a run, 7-3 Yankees. Beltran popped out to end the inning and Wang’s outing for tonight. His sinker was up to 93 mph tonight in the YES broadcast gun but he noticeably had trouble commanding the zone.

I don’t know about you guys but seeing Wang pitch in the Bronx was something sentimental for me. His career as a Yankee ended prematurely because of a freak accident, which is quite unfortunate. I’ve always felt bad for Wanger and hoped that he’d rebound into having a nice ML career. We’ll see how he goes from here. After tonight’s game, he has a 3.27 ERA/2.81 FIP in 11.0 IP. Best of luck, Wang.

Betances – Miller -…Shreve?

The Yankees had a 5-3 lead heading into the seventh. At that point many people, including the YES Broadcast, thought this would be the first time that the trio in the back of the bullpen would each throw a scoreless inning to close out the game. Dellin Betances started off with a scoreless inning, striking out one. In the bottom of the frame, Yankees scored two off of Kennedy and Wang, extending the lead to 7-3. Joe Girardi, who already had Andrew Miller warming up, put him to take care of the eighth and he did what was pretty much expected – a nice one-two-three inning with a strikeout.

Instead of going with Aroldis Chapman in a non-save situation, Girardi put Chasen Shreve in to close out the game. Chasen hadn’t been great this season, carrying a 5.25 ERA with 7.08 FIP in 12.0 IP coming into tonight’s game. Tonight, however, he managed a scoreless inning to not make it dicey for the Yankees.

Box Score, WPA, Highlights and Updated Standings

Here’s box score, video highlights, standings and WPA.

Source: FanGraphs

The Yankees welcome the White Sox for a three-game series in Bronx this weekend. I’m guessing that it will be a challenging one – the ChiSox have one of the best record in ML with 23-12, leading AL Central by five games.

Hennigan: Gary Sanchez promoted to Yankees


Looks like the Yankees are adding another bat for the weekend. Top catcher prospect Gary Sanchez has been called up to the Yankees, reports Shane Hennigan. The team has not yet announced the move. They probably won’t until a few hours before the game Friday. No reason to think Hennigan’s report is bonus though.

My guess — and this is only a semi-educated guess — is the Yankees want Sanchez’s right-handed bat in the lineup against lefties Chris Sale and Jose Quintana this weekend. I think they’ll call up Sanchez and send down eighth reliever Tyler Olson, then send down Sanchez on Monday in favor of an extra reliever (James Pazos?) until Alex Rodriguez comes off the DL, hopefully when he’s eligible to be activated Thursday. We’ll see.

Sanchez, 23, was hitting .290/.339/.551 (162 wRC+) with five home runs in 26 games with Triple-A Scranton this season before going 2-for-4 on Thursday, so those numbers are only going up. I would bet on Sanchez serving as the DH against Sale and Quintana, not catching. Then again, Sanchez and Luis Severino are familiar with each other, so maybe they’ll be paired together as a battery Friday.

At this point Sanchez has been in the minors long enough to delay his free agency. (Monday was the earliest they could have called him while still pushing free agency back a year.) Austin Romine has been pretty good as Brian McCann‘s backup in the early going. I would be surprised if they were to cut bait on Romine at this point and go with Sanchez as the backup.

DotF: Refsnyder, Sanchez extend hitting streaks in Triple-A win

Make sure you check out Tim Casey’s article on 1B Nick Swisher. Swisher spoke about trying to stick around and get back to the big leagues, and, as you’d expect, it’s chock full of bro quotes.

Triple-A Scranton (6-4 win over Pawtucket)

  • LF Jake Cave: 3-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI — threw a runner out at third … does he automatically go back to Double-A with Ben Gamel on his way back down?
  • DH Aaron Judge: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • C Gary Sanchez: 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 PB  — 16-for-40 (.400) during his nine-game hitting streak
  • RF Rob Refsnyder: 1-4, 1 K, 1 SB — back in right field … hitting streak is up to 16 games and on-base streak up to 20 games
  • 1B Nick Swisher: 1-4
  • RHP Brady Lail: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 6/5 GB/FB — 69 of 98 pitches were strikes (70%) … this is his ninth career Triple-A start, and it’s only the second time he had more strikeouts than walks
  • RHP Johnny Barbato: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 20 of 38 pitches were strikes (53%) … first appearance since being set down
  • RHP Anthony Swarzak: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 19 of 26 pitches were strikes (73%) … so I guess the move to the bullpen was not a one-time thing despite all the pitching injuries

[Read more…]

Game 33: Teixeira Returns

(Ronald Martinez/Getty)
(Ronald Martinez/Getty)

After two days on the bench with neck spasms, Mark Teixeira returns to the lineup tonight for the series finale against the Royals. His defense has been missed, for sure. His bat? That’s been a problem this year. It’s May 12th and Teixeira is slugging .298. Yikes. The Yankees need him to start hitting some home runs and soon. Hopefully a few days on the bench will recharge the batteries. Here is the Royals’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 2B Starlin Castro
  3. 1B Mark Teixeira
  4. DH Brian McCann
  5. RF Carlos Beltran
  6. CF Aaron Hicks
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. 3B Chase Headley
  9. C Austin Romine
    RHP Nathan Eovaldi

It’s another really nice day in New York. Just a few clouds and a nice breeze. Pretty good night to spend outside. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Injury Updates: Alex Rodriguez (hamstring) did some light running and hit off a tee. He’s eligible to be activated one week from today … Jacoby Ellsbury (hip) is still on track to return this weekend.

Roster Move: Lefty Tyler Olson was called up and outfielder Ben Gamel was sent down today, the Yankees announced. Olson, who last pitched Saturday (45 pitches), will take over as the long man on a temporary basis following Phil Coke‘s extended outing last night.

TiqIQ: Yankees Host First-Place White Sox This Weekend, Tickets Start From Just $17 on Primary Market

The Yankees have been the latest beneficiaries of the Royals’ supposed World Series hangover, taking the first two games in a four-game stint at the Stadium this week. While the starting pitching has been less-than stellar in the series, emphasized by Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda’s respective six-earned-run outings, the bats have woken up to give the Bombers an edge over the defending champions.

With a series win over the Royals on the horizon, they’ll need to keep the offense alive as they welcome the red-hot White Sox to the Bronx this weekend. It will be a telling series for the Yankees, who continue to climb the stairs out of the basement of the A.L. East. Navigating around the pitching tandem of Chris Sale and Jose Quintana will be no easy task, but with momentum slowly building, there is hope that the wins will continue to come this weekend.

And for fans heading out to the ballpark this weekend, relatively inexpensive Yankees tickets on Ticketmaster will keep the wallet fluffed to provide extra sitting support at the game. The opening game of the series on Friday night will feature the struggling Luis Severino against Chris Sale, and tickets start from just $17 in the outfield bleachers. Sale has recorded seven wins over his first seven starts of the season and owns a 1.79 ERA. Severino has posted polar opposite numbers; he sits at 0-5 with a 6.12 ERA.

Ivan Nova gets the nod for the Yankees on Saturday against the streaking Quintana, who has won in each of his previous four starts. The matinee game will also feature outfield bleacher tickets starting from $17 while upper deck outfield seats can be found from $21. Nova enters Saturday’s game at 1-1 on the season and gave up just one run in 4.2 innings in his last start against the Royals on Monday.

Sunday afternoon’s finale will see Tanaka take the mound against the White Sox’s Miguel Gonzalez. Tickets are still available in the outfield bleachers for $17 with upper echelon seating starting from $21. Tanaka looks to recover after being tossed around by the Royals on Tuesday, where he allowed three home runs and six runs in seven innings. He sits at just 1-0 with a 3.11 ERA on the season. Gonzalez makes his third start for the White Sox and is in search of his first win of the season.

Should the Yankees continue their hot-hitting ways, their weekend series with the White Sox will be the latest checkmark in their quest to flee from the divisional cellar. The true test will be getting to Sale and Quintana, however, as the two aces have produced All-Star-caliber results through the first month of the season.