Yankees pour in runs early to down the Cubs 11-6

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

I’ll take many more games like this. The Yankees tacked on a bunch of runs early and added more late once the Cubs started to score. Aaron Hicks had four hits, which is neat and adds to his fascinating breakout season. Jordan Montgomery had an acceptable start, but the bullpen made it bit uncomfortable in the eighth. Anyways, the Yankees held on to win it 11-6, taking the series at the Wrigley Field against the defending World Champs. It’s the weekend so let’s do it bullet point style.

  • Five-run first: The Yankee bats got off to a really quick start, scoring the two runs within the first seven Brett Anderson pitches. Brett Gardner led the game off with a double, and Hicks got on base with a bunt single. Anderson’s throwing error scored Gardner and that pretty much set the tone for his night. On the very next pitch, Starlin Castro, as he often does, swung at the first pitch for an RBI double to score Hicks. After Aaron Judge struck out, Gary Sanchez singled to shallow left to score Castro. Didi Gregorius hit a shallow single off the end of the bat to add another baserunner and Chase Headley brought both of them in with a double. That’s a quick 5-0 lead for the Yanks. Anderson then left the game for back tightness but I didn’t think that he was going to last on the mount for long anyways. After being shut out for the first 8.2 innings of yesterday’s game, this early outburst is refreshing.
  • Not done scoring: In the third, against Felix Pena, the Yankees put two runners on with singles from Sanchez and Gregorius. Two batters later, Chris Carter hit a hard grounder that Kris Bryant failed to snag and trickled into the left field. They gave Bryant an E5, which I find it harsh, but understandable. Anyways, Sanchez scored on that error and Yankees built a 6-0 lead. On the fourth inning, with Pena still pitching, Hicks got things started with a deep double to right and Castro followed it up with a home run to the left field seats. Hello again, Cubs fans! 8-0 Yankees.
  • Montgomery good: If you look at Montgomery’s line, it’s not the sexiest start (6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K) but it’s respectable considering he’s a rookie starter facing the World Champion Cubs. Gumby looked great for the first four innings, allowing only two baserunners and mowing down the Chicago lineup. In the fifth inning, he walked Albert Almora and allowed a double to Javier Baez to get into a jam. Jon Jay’s ground out scored Almora and Didi’s throwing error got Baez home to make it 8-2 Yankees. My thought is that Montgomery could’ve gone deeper into his start if not for that E6, seeing that it took him extra 9 pitches to get out of the inning.
  • Don’t do this, bullpen: After Montgomery came out in the seventh, Tyler Clippard got the last out to advance the game. In the eighth, Joe Girardi put in Tommy Layne with a 11-3 lead and the lefty got only two outs while allowing three runs. Layne is not really having a good season, as that poor showing up’d his ERA to 9.45. Not going to say his time is running out with the big league club, but I’d guess the team wants to seek out another lefty arm out of the bullpen. Adam Warren relieved Layne and got out of the eighth. The Cubs are not off to a great start to 2017 but you know what their offense can do, especially when they have bigger bats like Miguel Montero pinch-hitting late in the game. Anyways, Warren pitched a clean ninth against his former team to close the game out at 11-6.
  • Leftovers: On a night the Yanks scored 11 runs (and had the Cubs pitch Miguel Montero in the ninth), the only hitter that didn’t reach the base was Judge (0-for-5 with a strikeout). That hole, however, got covered more than enough with guys like Hicks (4-for-5 with a HR and double), Castro (3-for-4 with a HR and double), Gregorius (2-for-4), Gardner (2-for-5) and Sanchez (2-for-4) having good nights. We can agree that it’s a fun team to watch when they are all clicking. Also, Montgomery reached on a walk, raising his OBP to .400.

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph. The Yankees have a Sunday night match tomorrow at Wrigley. Luis Severino will be on the mound versus Jon Lester. That will be a fun matchup to watch if both starters deliver to their hype. Have a good Saturday night, folks.

Source: FanGraphs

DotF: Frazier extends hitting streak in Scranton’s win

Two quick injury notes:

  • Tyler Austin update! Brian Cashman told Brendan Kuty that Austin has started taking batting practice as he works his way back from a broken ankle. Austin got hurt in February, so he essentially has to go through Spring Training before returning. Progress, at least.
  • LHP Ian Clarkin was placed on the High-A Tampa disabled list, the team announced. No idea what’s wrong with him. He missed all of 2015 with an elbow injury and the second half of last season with a knee injury.

Triple-A Scranton (9-3 win over Syracuse) they’ve scored 42 runs in their last five games

  • 3B Tyler Wade: 1-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI — over the last week he’s played three games at short, one at second, one at third, and one in left field
  • DH Dustin Fowler: 2-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 SB — that’s his fifth triple of the season and fourth in his last eight games
  • LF Clint Frazier: 2-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB — 10-for-24 (.417) with three doubles, two homers, eight walks, and six strikeouts during his little seven-game hitting streak
  • 1B Ji-Man Choi: 2-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB — now hitting .369/.457/.523 on the season
  • SS Ruben Tejada: 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB — now hitting .319/.410/.580 with 12 walks and eight strikeouts … Pete Kozma being lost on waivers sure helps Tejada’s chances of a call-up should the Yankees need an infielder at some point
  • CF Mason Williams: 0-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
  • 2B Abi Avelino: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K — Triple-A debut … he’s here filling in for Rob Refsnyder, who is with the big league team
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 30 of 43 pitches were strikes (70%) … they’re going to stretch him out as a starter this season because why not?
  • RHP Luis Cessa: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 7/3 GB/FB — 55 of 99 pitches were strikes (56%) … they have six starters for five spots at the moment … he can piggyback with Mitchell while Mitchell gets stretched out, but that won’t work forever

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Game 28: A Big Test for Montgomery


I can’t imagine many pitchers have made starts at Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field within the first five games of their MLB career, yet Jordan Montgomery will join the club tonight. This will be Montgomery’s biggest challenge as a big leaguer. He’ll face the defending World Series champion Cubs and their great lineup on the road in an intimidating classic ballpark. Can’t simulate outings like this in the minors.

Anyway, the Yankees stunned the Cubs yesterday afternoon with their latest come-from-behind win. It would be cool to get a lead and not play from behind tonight, you know? Comeback wins are fun! But I could use an easy win one of these days. Jump out to an early lead and protect it the rest of the way. That sort of thing. Just win the series though. That’s the most important thing. Do that and everything will take care of itself. Here is the Cubs’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

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

It has been sunny in Chicago all day and it’ll be clear tonight. Very cold though. Temperatures in the 40s, but at least there isn’t as much wind as yesterday. Tonight’s game will begin at 7:15pm ET and you can watch on regular old FOX. Not FOX Sports 1. There is no YES broadcast. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Jacoby Ellsbury (elbow) is still receiving treatment and hopes to play tomorrow. Right now throwing is the problem more than anything. I assume he’s available to pinch-hit and run today.

Saturday Open Thread

The Yankees and Cubs won’t play the second game of their series for another few hours, so here’s an open thread for the time being. MLB Network has a regional game on right now, and in a little bit FOX Sports 1 will carry the Indians and Royals. Also, the (hockey) Rangers are playing Game Five of their second round playoff series right now on NBCSN. The best-of-seven series is tied at two games apiece, so this is kind of a big game. Talk about that stuff or anything else here. Just don’t be a jerk.

Yanks acquire pitching prospect Yoiber Marquina from Indians to complete Nick Goody trade

Yesterday afternoon the Yankees announced they have acquired right-handed pitching prospect Yoiber Marquina from the Indians as the player to be named later in the Nick Goody trade. Goody was sent to Cleveland back in December. He was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot when the Yankees signed Aroldis Chapman.

According to the press release the 21-year-old Marquina had Tommy John surgery on May 1st, so we won’t see him on a mound until next season. He had a 3.16 ERA (2.90 FIP) with 32.3% strikeouts and 10.5% walks in 31.1 relief innings in the Low-A Midwest League last year. He’s a career reliever. Not a single start among his 69 career pitching appearances in pro ball.

MLB.com did not rank Marquina among Cleveland’s top 30 prospects prior to the trade, nor does he rank among the Yankees’ top 30 prospects right now. Eric Longenhagen did list Marquina among the notable prospects in the Indians system a few weeks ago. Here’s his scouting report:

A converted catcher, Marquina mixes a mid-90s fastball with a feel for creating movement on a breaking ball and changeup, but they often play down due to arm deceleration. His secondaries obviously remain projectable because of the recent conversion. Marquina missed time this year with a shoulder ailment.

Up-and-down players who have been designated for assignment like Goody don’t have much trade value. They’re usually traded for an amount of cash equal to the waiver claim fee, which I believe is $50,000 these days. Rather than take the cash, the Yankees are rolling the dice on a relief prospect, and hoping he’ll reward them once his elbow heals. If he does, great! If not, well no big deal.

Saturday Links: Posting System, IFAs, Sanchez, All-Star Game

Otani. (Masterpress/Getty)
Otani. (Masterpress/Getty)

The Yankees and Cubs continue their three-game weekend series with the middle game today, though not until 7pm ET. Weekend night games are just the worst. Here are some notes to check out as you wait for first pitch.

MLB seeks to revise posting agreement with NPB

According to report out of Japan, Major League Baseball has applied to renegotiate a provision in their posting agreement with Nippon Pro Baseball. That’s the system used to bring players from Japan over to MLB. Apparently MLB wants to reduce the maximum release fee, which is currently $20M. The owners are trying to cut costs? I’m shocked. Shocked I tell you. The two sides will reportedly discuss the matter Monday.

MLB managed to get NPB to agree to an overhauled posting system four years ago, conveniently right before Masahiro Tanaka came over. The old system was a blind auction, and the team that made the high bid won the player’s negotiating rights. Under the new system, the player is allowed to negotiate with every team like a true free agent, and only the team that signs him has to pay the release fee. That’s how the Yankees landed Tanaka.

So, the last time a significant player was set to come over (Tanaka), MLB was able to change the system to lower costs. (The Rangers won the rights to Yu Darvish with a massive $51.7M bid under the old system years ago.) Now another significant player (Shohei Otani) is expected to come to MLB soon, and they want to lower costs again. A sense a pattern.

Yankees expected to sign three top international free agents

MLB.com released their top 30 prospects for the 2017-18 international signing period earlier this week, and according to the write-ups, the Yankees are expected to sign three of those top 30 players: Venezuelan OF Everson Pereira (No. 4 on the top 30), Dominican 2B Ronny Rojas (No. 11), and Venezuelan OF Roberto Chirinos (No. 16). You can read the scouting reports for free at the MLB.com link. We’ve heard the Yankees connected to Pereira before. The international signing period opens July 2nd, as always.

A few things about the 2017-18 IFA signing period. One, the Yankees can spend again! The penalties from the 2014-15 spending spree, which limited the Yankees to a maximum bonus of $300,000 in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 signing periods, have expired. Two, this is the first signing period with the hard cap, and the Yankees only have $4.75M to spend. Not a penny more. That stinks. And three, this is potential the Otani signing period. He’ll be subject to the hard cap because he is not yet 25 years old. His earning potential is severely limited at the moment.

Based on the write-ups, several other potential Otani suitors (Red Sox, Cubs, Blue Jays, Mariners, etc.) are expected to sign some of MLB.com’s top 30 international prospects, indicating they are not saving their bonus money for Otani. Others like the Dodgers, Giants, Astros, Nationals, and Cardinals will be limited to $300,000 bonuses as part of the penalties for past international spending. Is anyone going to have hard cap space left for Otani? Assuming teams following through on their agreements with international amateurs, there might not be any money left over. Hmmm.

Sanchez has top selling AL jersey

Gary & 'Hiro. (Elsa/Getty)
Gary & ‘Hiro. (Elsa/Getty)

Two weeks ago MLB and the MLBPA announced their annual top selling player jerseys list based on online sales since the end of the 2016 World Series. Here is the press release. You will be surprised to learn the defending World Series champion Cubs dominate the top of the list:

  1. Kris Bryant, Cubs
  2. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
  3. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
  4. Javier Baez, Cubs
  5. Kyle Schwarber, Cubs

Gary Sanchez ranks ninth on the best selling jerseys list overall, but is first among AL players. He’s one spot ahead of Mike Trout and five spots ahead of Mookie Betts. Sanchez, Trout, Betts, Francisco Lindor, Jose Altuve, Dustin Pedroia, and Josh Donaldson are the only AL players in the top 20. The list is decidedly NL (and Cubs) heavy. Pretty cool that Sanchez is so popular already. I guess doing what he did last year has a way of creating attention.

Over the last week, however, Aaron Judge has the third best selling player jersey behind Bryant and Rizzo, according to Buster Olney. The Yankees should have give away Aaron Judge-sized Aaron Judge shirts at a game one day as a promotion. That would be pretty cool.

All-Star Game voting opens

Voting for the 2017 All-Star Game starters is now open. They get a really early start on this each season. The ballot is right here. You can vote pretty much an unlimited number of times, though you’ll need different email addresses. On merit, both Aaron Judge and Starlin Castro legitimately deserve All-Star votes right now. Will they in two months? I sure hope so. I doesn’t really matter though. Royals fans are going to stuff the ballot like they always do anyway. Looking forward to seeing Eric Hosmer at first base, you guys.

DotF: Wade, Fowler, and Frazier stay hot in blowout AAA win

Five days after hitting a walk-off home run to compete the cycle, OF Dustin Fowler claimed the top spot in this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. Fowler went 13-for-27 (.481) with two doubles, two triples, one home run, three walks, and two strikeouts overall last week. Also, LHP Daniel Camarena placed 18th on the Hot Sheet. “Camarena throws in the low 90s with a nice changeup, so if he continues to sharpen his breaking stuff he has big league starter potential,” says the write-up.

Triple-A Scranton (10-2 win over Syracuse)

  • 2B Tyler Wade: 2-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 K — 11-for-33 (.333) in his last eight games
  • CF Dustin Fowler: 2-5, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 K — already his fourth triple of the season … he led the minors with 15 last year
  • DH Clint Frazier: 2-2, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB — 12-for-38 (.316) with four doubles and two homers in his last ten games, so it sure seems like he’s starting to figure things out … he’s now hitting .256/.360/.489 on the season
  • 1B Ji-Man Choi: 2-3, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • LF Mason Williams: 1-5, 1 R
  • RF Mark Payton: 3-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB — he’s going to be someone’s fourth outfielder one day, you watch
  • LHP Caleb Smith: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 1 HB, 6/3 GB/FB — nice bounce back from a rough start last time out (3.1 IP, 6 R)
  • RHP Ben Heller: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K — 19 of 31 pitches were strikes (61%) … 15/5 K/BB in 10.2 innings so far

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