In recent years, playing the Rangers seven times in a ten-day span would have really, really sucked. They were varying degrees of dangerous from 2010-13, and playing them that many times in that short a period would have meant a worn out bullpen and a few losses.
Things are different now. The Rangers are terrible, like worst team in baseball terrible, so seeing them on the schedule seven times in a ten-day span was a welcome sight. That doesn’t guarantee wins, of course. Any team can beat any team on any given night, but I’m sure glad the Yankees are playing the 2014 Rangers and not the 2010-13 Rangers so many times in these ten days. Here is the Rangers lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- CF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- 1B Brian McCann
- DH Carlos Beltran
- 3B Chase Headley
- C Frankie Cervelli
- 2B Brian Roberts
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- LF Zoilo Almonte
RHP David Phelps
It is oppressively hot in the Dallas area and there are some thunderstorms in the forecast for later tonight. Nothing heavy like last week. There would be a delay, if anything. Not a postponement or shortened game. First pitch is scheduled for 8pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.
Roster Move: Prior to tonight’s game, the Yankees called up Zoilo Almonte and designated Jeff Francis for assignment, the team announced. They are back down to a normal seven-man bullpen and a four-man bench.
Injury Updates: Mark Teixeira (lat) feels fine and he will take regular batting practice on the field today. If that goes well, he will return to the lineup tomorrow … Jacoby Ellsbury is fine. Just a routine day off. He’ll be back in the lineup tomorrow.
The crew at MLB.com released the midseason update of their top 100 prospects list late last night. Twins OF Byron Buxton remains in the top spot and is followed by Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras and Astros SS Carlos Correa. The Cubs have three of the top seven prospects in baseball thanks to their high draft picks and recent trade with the Athletics.
Two Yankees farmhands cracked the top 100: RHP Luis Severino is 70th and C Gary Sanchez is 76th. “If Severino continues to fill the strike zone with three quality pitches, he’ll continue to accelerate his timetable,” said the write-up, which also said Sanchez’s bat “would make him a valuable Major Leaguer, even if he had to change positions, but he has star potential as a catcher.” As with all MLB.com lists, the write-ups include scouting reports/grades and video, and it’s all free.
MLB.com also released an updated top 20 prospects list for each team. Severino and Sanchez top the Yankees list (duh), and are followed in order by 3B Eric Jagielo, LHP Luis Severino, and OF Aaron Judge. I’m pretty sure you won’t see Judge ranked that low by any other scouting publication, which is fine. I enjoy MLB.com’s occasionally off the beaten path rankings. Again, scouting reports and everything else are free. · (30) ·
After a successful ten-game homestand to open the second half, the Yankees now head out on the road for a six-game, seven-day road trip against two last place teams. They open a three-game set at Texas tonight. The Yankees won three of four against the Rangers in the Bronx just last week.
What Have They Done Lately?
Texas dropped two of three to the Athletics over the weekend and they’ve lost seven of ten games since the All-Star break. They are 41-64 overall with a -119 run differential, both the worst marks in all of baseball.
As you saw last week, the Rangers currently have a below-average lineup due to injuries. Their overall season averages of 3.99 runs per game and a team 88 wRC+ don’t tell the whole story either. 1B Prince Fielder (neck), 1B Mitch Moreland (ankle), 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff (back), and IF Jurickson Profar (shoulder) are out for the rest of the season. C Geovany Soto (groin) and OF Jake Smolinski (foot) were placed on the disabled list since the last time these two clubs played as well.
Even with all the injuries, manager Ron Washington still has one outstanding hitter in 3B Adrian Beltre (140 wRC+). He’s the guy the Yankees can’t let beat them these next three games. OF Alex Rios (101 wRC+) is a nice supporting piece and OF Shin-Soo Choo (101 wRC+) has been very disappointing during his first year with the Rangers. OF Leonys Martin (89 wRC+) and 2B Rougned Odor (91 wRC+) have been good enough considering their defense.
SS Elvis Andrus (76 wRC+) has taken a big step back offensively these last two years at an age when he should be taking big steps forward. C J.P. Arencibia (28 wRC+) is now at first base and the trio of OF Jim Adduci (96 wRC+), IF Adam Rosales (63 wRC+ in limited time), and OF Daniel Robertson (69 wRC+ in limited time) are helping cover for the injuries. C Chris Gimenez (92 wRC+) and C Robinson Chirinos (75 wRC+) are the catching tandem. Keep Choo and Andrus off base in front of Beltre and everything should be okay.
Monday: RHP David Phelps (vs. TEX) vs. RHP Yu Darvish (vs. NYY)
The Yankees lucked out and beat Darvish with the help of Mother Nature last week. The 27-year-old has a 2.92 ERA (2.80 FIP) in 19 starts and 129.1 innings this year with spectacular peripherals: 11.33 K/9 (30.4%), 2.99 BB/9 (8.0 BB%), 0.78 HR/9 (8.1 HR/FB%), and 34.1% ground balls. Yeah, he gives up a lot of fly balls, but he has one of the highest infield pop-up rates in baseball. Not every ball in the air is hit to the warning track, you know. Lefties (.322 wOBA) hit him a lot harder than righties (.245 wOBA) and he’s been much better at home (.253 wOBA) than on the road (.245 wOBA). Darvish throws six different pitches and uses his mid-80s splitter and slow upper-60s curveball the least, just a little more than 9% of the time combined. He throws his low-90s four-seamer, low-90s two-seamer, upper-80s cutter, and upper-70s slider regularly. The Yankees managed to score two runs in 4.1 innings against Darvish before the rain last week.
Tuesday: RHP Brandon McCarthy (vs. TEX) vs. RHP Nick Martinez (vs. NYY)
Martinez, 23, has a 4.73 ERA (5.74 FIP) in 72.1 innings across 12 starts and five relief appearances this year after making the jump from Double-A to help cover for the team’s injuries. He has exactly as many walks as strikeouts (3.98 per nine and 9.9%) and he gives up both a lot of homers (1.49 HR/9 and 9.8 HR/FB%) and a lot of fly balls (32.0%). Lefties pound him (.403 wOBA vs. .336 for RHB) and he’s been much worse at home (.443 wOBA vs. .339 on the road). A low-90s four-seamer is Martinez’a primary fastball, though he will also throw a few low-90s two-seamers and upper-80s cutters per start. His two secondary pitches are a slider and a changeup, both in the mid-80s. Martinez managed to throw 5.1 shutout innings in Yankee Stadium last week, annoyingly.
Wednesday: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (vs. TEX) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (vs. NYY)
The Rangers have been hit so hard by injuries this year that the 34-year-old Lewis and his 6.23 ERA (4.13 FIP) have made 18 starts and thrown 95.1 innings. They’ve simply run out of alternatives. Lewis’ strikeout (7.55 K/9 and 17.8 K%), walk (3.02 BB/9 and 7.1 BB%), and homer (1.04 HR/9 and 8.0 HR/FB%) rate are not great but not terrible either. He doesn’t get any grounders (33.2%) and lefties (.426 wOBA) have been less forgiving than righties (.353 wOBA). Home (.426 wOBA) hasn’t been as kind as the road (.364 wOBA) either. At this point of his career, Lewis works with an upper-80s four-seamer and a low-80s slider as his two main pitches. He’ll also throw a few low-to-mid-80s changeups and mid-70s curveballs per start. Lewis held the Yankees to three runs in 6.1 innings last week.
As you might remember, the Rangers traded closer Joakim Soria in the middle of their series with the Yankees last week. RHP Neftali Feliz (5.79 in limited time) has moved back into the ninth inning with RHP Roman Mendez (3.41 FIP), RHP Shawn Tolleson (4.81 FIP), and LHP Neal Cotts (2.76 FIP) handling setup duty. Both Mendez and Tolleson threw an inning yesterday.
The Rangers are currently carrying eight relievers (like the Yankees!), so the rest of Washington’s bullpen includes RHP Nate Adcock (13.14 FIP in very limited time), RHP Scott Baker (4.65 FIP), LHP Ryan Feierabend (2.87 FIP), and RHP Jerome Williams (4.33 FIP). Williams made a spot start over the weekend and won’t be available right away. Feierabend threw multiple inning yesterday. Check out our Bullpen Workload page for the status of the Yankees’ relievers and Lone Star Ball for everything you need to know about the Rangers.
The non-waiver trade deadline is 4pm ET this Thursday, and between now and then there will be a ton of rumors and speculation. Some actual moves too. The Yankees have already swung trades for Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley, but Brian Cashman has said he is still seeking another starter and another bat. I don’t know if they’ll get another deal done, but I fully expect plenty of Yankees-related rumors this week, hence a full week of open threads rather than one or two days.
Over the last few days we’ve heard New York connected to John Danks (link) and Ian Kennedy (link). They do not have interest in Matt Kemp (link), however. The Rockies and White Sox are said to be keeping an eye on Francisco Cervelli (link). Obviously young catching is one of the team’s most tradeable assets. We’ll keep track of the day’s Yankees-related rumors right here in this post, so make sure you check back throughout the day. All of the timestamps below are ET.
- 5:35pm: The Yankees have been connected to outfielder Chris Denorfia, but they are not engaged in talks with the Padres about him. [Sherman]
- 5:11pm: The Red Sox are getting “hit hard” with inquiries about both Jon Lester and John Lackey, including from other AL East clubs. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Yankees called, but it would make sense if they did. [Ken Rosenthal]
- 4:03pm: The Yankees are “in on everything” but they are very reluctant to trade away their best prospects. If true, they won’t be able to make any big upgrades, just smaller, incremental ones. [Joel Sherman]
- 3:05pm: The White Sox have been scouting New York’s minor league catching depth in recent days, furthering speculation of a Danks trade. The Yankees are also focusing on a right-handed platoon partner for Ichiro Suzuki, which doesn’t really make sense given his splits the last few years. [Jayson Stark]
- 12:25pm: The Yankees and Cubs have discussed Jake Arrieta, though it would take a huge offer to pry the right-hander away from Chicago. Arrieta is in the middle of a breakout year following some mechanical and pitch selection adjustments. [George Ofman]
- 11:00am: The Yankees are eyeing Josh Willingham as well as other outfield bats like Alex Rios and Marlon Byrd. They prefer Willingham because he is a pure rental. The Yankees are included in Rios’ six-team no-trade list. Here’s my Scouting The Market post on Willingham. [Jon Heyman & Ken Rosenthal]
- Danks remains a target and is among the most likely players to be moved. There is no evidence they’ve talked with the Padres about Kennedy and they aren’t focused on Cliff Lee because his contract ensures he’ll be available in August. The Yankees do not appear to have interest in Wade Miley, Bartolo Colon, or Edwin Jackson. [Heyman]
- Just in case you got your hopes up after his appearance at Yankee Stadium yesterday, Troy Tulowitzki is not close to being traded to the Yankees. “I’m with my family. I wanted to see (Derek) Jeter play one more time,” he said. Tulo was in the area seeing a specialist about his hip injury. [Nick Groke]
Record Last Week: 4-3 (24 RS, 23 RA)
Season Record: 54-50 (418 RS, 441 RA, 49-55 pythag. record) 4.0 GB in ALE, 1.0 GB of WC
Opponents This Week: @ Rangers (three games, Mon. to Weds.), Thurs. OFF, @ Red Sox (three games, Fri. to Sun.)
Top stories from last week:
- The week started with four games against the last place Rangers. Texas took the series opener but the Yankees rebounded to walk-off with a win the next day. They won a rain-shortened game on Wednesday and won the series finale the following afternoon.
- The Blue Jays came to town for a three-game series next, and the Yankees took the opener thanks to the long ball and their bullpen. The Jays snapped their 17-game losing streak at Yankee Stadium the next day before winning yesterday’s game as well.
- Injury Updates: Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) still feels some discomfort. Michael Pineda (shoulder) has started facing hitters. Mark Teixeira (lat) took swings and grounders yesterday. Joe Girardi hopes he can return to the lineup tomorrow. Carlos Beltran (elbow) has started a new throwing program. Kelly Johnson (groin) was placed on the disabled list.
- The Yankees acquired Chase Headley (and cash!) from the Padres for Yangervis Solarte and Rafael DePaula, addressing their third base problem. They also acquired Chris Capuano from the Rockies.
- With the trade deadline only a few days away, the Yankees have discussed John Danks but do not have interest in Matt Kemp. Both the White Sox and Rockies are keeping an eye on Frankie Cervelli.
- Chris Leroux and Bruce Billings were both on the roster and designated for assignment at various points this week. Capuano stepped right in the rotation.
- Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo held a showcase in Miami and the Yankees were among the teams in attendance.
- Joe Torre was officially inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the interactive Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.
Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
Some roster moves:
- RHP Brady Lail has been placed on the High-A Tampa DL, according to Nicholas Flammia. Not sure what’s wrong with him, but it could be an innings management thing. It’s the time of year for that stuff.
- RHP Danny Burawa has been demoted from Triple-A Scranton to Double-A Trenton while RHP Jaron Long goes from Trenton to Tampa, report Flammia and Matt Kardos.
Triple-A Scranton (3-1 win over Pawtucket)
- 2B Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 RBI, 2 K
- RF Zoilo Almonte: 0-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
- 1B Kyle Roller & C Austin Romine: both 0-4 — Roller struck out once, Romine twice
- RHP Bryan Mitchell: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 5/4 GB/FB — 51 of 82 pitches were strikes (62%) … Good Bryan showed up today … he’s at 75/37 K/BB in 81.1 total innings this year
- LHP Tyler Webb: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB – nine of 17 pitches were strikes (53%)
Former Yankees manager Joe Torre was inducted into the Hall of Fame this afternoon, along with Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Tony La Russa, and former Yankees infielder Bobby Cox. Maddux thanked both former battery mate Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild during his speech. Torre’s speech is above — he accidentally omitted George Steinbrenner and told reporters afterwards he “feels terrible” — and his plaque is right here, in case you missed it.
Here is your open thread for the night. The ESPN Sunday Night Game is a good one, the Dodgers at the Giants (Ryu vs. Peavy). Talk about that game, the Hall of Fame inductions (more video), this afternoon’s loss, or anything else right here.
That was a dumb end to the homestand, but hey, I’m pretty sure we all would have signed up seven wins in ten games coming out of the All-Star break. Let’s recap Sunday afternoon’s 5-4 loss to the Blue Jays:
- Rally to Tie, Part I: The Yankees made J.A. Happ look like Felix Hernandez or Miles Mikolas for the first four innings. He faced one over the minimum in those innings and retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced before Chase Headley and Frankie Cervelli teamed up for back-to-back solo homers in the fifth. Headley’s was a bomb out to left, Cervelli’s a Yankee Stadium cheapie to right-center. They were the team’s 18th and 19th homers by right-handed hitters this year. Yep.
- Mean Greene: Not the prettiest outing for Shane Greene, who did wiggle out of a second and third with no outs jam in the first inning while allowing only one run. He surrendered a solo homer to Juan Francisco, and, after the offense rallied to tie the game, a run-scoring double to Colby Rasmus in the sixth. Three runs on eight hits and two walks in 5.1 innings isn’t great but it’s hardly a disaster. Greene bent but he did not break.
- Rally to Tie, Part II: In a refreshing role reversal, the other team’s infield defense led to a run in the sixth inning. Derek Jeter singled and Jacoby Ellsbury walked with one out before moving up on Carlos Beltran‘s ground out. Brian McCann plated the game tying run with a weak grounder. The second baseman short-hopped the throw to first and full-in first baseman Jose Bautista couldn’t handle the throw. McCann was safe and credit with an infield single, and Ellsbury scored the tie the game at three.
- Wild Wild Wild: Dellin Betances pitched out of a David Huff created mess in the seventh inning — he inherited first and second with no outs — but his wildness hurt him in the eighth. He walked Rasmus to start the inning and let him get to third by throwing away a pickoff throw. A Munenori Kawasaki sac fly gave Toronto a 4-3 lead. Dr. Dellin in the seventh, Mr. Betances in the eighth.
- Rally to Tie, Part III: For the third time in the game, the Yankees answered right back immediately after the Blue Jays scored. Brett Gardner led the eighth inning off with a single, moved to second on Jeter’s bunt, and scored on Beltran’s single to shallow left. Good ol’ manufactured run. I wish they would hit-and-run or just flat-out tell Gardner to run in those situations. Bunting is a waste of his speed.
- No Shutdown Innings Allowed: The Yankees weren’t the only team to do the answering. Toronto scored the next-half inning each time the Bombers scored, including in the ninth. A single by Melky Cabrera, a run-saving diving stab by Headley to cut down the lead runner at second, a stolen base by Bautista, and a single by Dioner Navarro re-gave the Jays the lead off David Robertson. Just one shutdown inning would have been cool. There was no ninth inning rally for New York. Not even a base-runner.
- Leftovers: The YES cameras caught Troy Tulowitzki at the game wearing an Arrested Development shirt (photo). He’s in New York to see a specialist about his hip injury … the usually reliable bullpen allowed two runs on two hits and two walks in 3.2 innings. Can’t expect zeroes every single day … every starter had exactly one hit except Ellsbury and Brendan Ryan. Ellsbury drew a walk though … Cervelli made two great plays at the plate. First to reel in Zelous Wheeler‘s off-line throw to tag Dan Johnson in the fourth, and again to hold onto McCann’s short-hop throw for the force out in the seventh.
For the box score and video highlights, go to MLB.com. FanGraphs has some other stats and ESPN has the updated standings. Depending on the outcome of the afternoon, the Yankees will be either three games back (Orioles lose) or four games back (Orioles win) of the top spot in the AL East. They’re one game back of Toronto for the second wildcard either way. The Yankees are off to Texas to play the last place Rangers now. David Phelps and Yu Darvish open the three-game series on Monday night.
The scheduling gods did the Yankees a favor and gave them a ten-game homestand to open the second half. They’ve taken advantage and won seven of the first nine games with a chance to make it eight of ten this afternoon. Playing better at home these last two months is imperative if the team wants to contend and so far they’ve done that. Wrap up the homestand with a win this afternoon, then head out on the road to play two last place teams. Here is the Blue Jays lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- DH Carlos Beltran
- 1B Brian McCann
- 3B Chase Headley
- C Francisco Cervelli
- RF Zelous Wheeler
- 2B Brendan Ryan
RHP Shane Greene
It’s hot, humid, and cloudy in New York this afternoon, and there is rain in the forecast for later today. It shouldn’t be a problem unless the game goes long. This afternoon’s game is scheduled to start at 1:05pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and TBS nationally. Enjoy.
Injury Update: Mark Teixeira (lat) took swings in the batting cage and fielded grounders earlier today. Joe Girardi said he is hopeful he will be back in the lineup either Tuesday or Wednesday … Carlos Beltran (elbow) is continuing his throwing program and Girardi indicated he could return to the outfield within two weeks.
Via Andrew Marchand: The Yankees do not have interest in Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp at the moment. Jon Heyman reports Los Angeles is shopping the 2011 NL MVP runner-up and his agent has said it might be best for both parties if he moves on. Kemp would welcome a trade if it allows him to move back to center field full-time, according to Ken Rosenthal.
Kemp, 29, is hitting .273/.339/.429 (119 wRC+) with eight homers in 369 plate appearances this year. He’s owed roughly $118M through 2019. There is almost always a point where it makes sense to acquire a player, especially someone of Kemp’s caliber, but I think this is the type of contract the Yankees have to avoid. The structural problems with his shoulder (surgery in each of the last two offseasons) suggest his power loss is not a fluke, plus he already contributes nothing defensively. Healthy Matt Kemp is a monster, one of the five best players in the world, but he hasn’t been that player for three years now. · (46) ·