DotF: Aguilar homers, Staten Island clinches playoff spot

Triple-A Scranton (5-3 win over Buffalo)

  • DH Mason Williams: 1-4, 1 R, 1 K
  • RF Cesar Puello: 1-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 HBP — that’s hit-by-pitch No. 18, easily the most in the system
  • 3B Donovan Solano: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K — their primary No. 3 hitters this season have been Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Rob Refsnyder, and now Donovan Solano
  • 1B Chris Parmelee: 0-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 0-4, 1 K
  • CF Jake Cave: 0-3, 2 K — unless the Yankees surprisingly add him to the 40-man roster after the season, these could be his final games in the organization
  • RHP Brady Lail: 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 9/6 GB/FB — 61 of 101 pitches were strikes (60%)
  • LHP James Pazos: 1 IP, zeroes, 3 K — 14 of 17 pitches were strikes (92%) … 12 strikeouts in 5.1 innings since returning from his injury
  • LHP Dietrich Enns: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — eight strikes, ten pitches … Proven Closer™

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Orioles 2, Yankees 0: Gausman dominates (again) and Yankees get shut out (again)

Source: FanGraphs

The Yankees came to Baltimore knowing this is their biggest series of the season to date. They’ve responded by being shut out in the first two games. Only six total hits too. And two were infield singles. The Yankees have actually been shut out in three straight games by the Orioles dating back to last weekend’s series at Yankee Stadium. Good job, good effort. This final score was 2-0. It’s Saturday night and it’s a holiday weekend, so this one is getting bullet points:

  • Strong Sabathia: Two runs (one earned) in six innings against the O’s in Camden Yards? CC Sabathia did his job. Aaron Judge bobbled a broken bat single in the fourth inning, allowing the first run to score, then Adam Jones hit a solo homer into the first row in the fifth. Sabathia allowed six hits and walked two in his six innings. He only had one strikeout and did have to battle through some innings, but, at the end of the day, two runs in six innings against that offense in that park is really good. Sabathia deserved better.
  • Cy Gausman: For the fifth time this season, the Yankees were completely shut down by Kevin Gausman. They’ve scored three runs total in 33.2 innings against him, and two of the three were driven in by a guy who was forced into retirement. The Yankees had their best chance to score in the fourth, when a walk (Jacoby Ellsbury), an infield single (Gary Sanchez), and a hit-by-pitch (Didi Gregorius) loaded the bases with one out. Starlin Castro then struck out on a 3-2 pitch way out of the zone (surprise surprise) and Brian McCann flew out weakly (surprise surprise) to end the threat. Gausman has a 0.80 ERA against the Yankees and a 4.41 ERA against everyone else in ’16.
  • Leftovers: Sanchez, Castro, McCann, and Chase Headley had the team’s four hits, all singles … Ellsbury and Judge drew the only walks … Adam Warren and Tyler Clippard both pitched into and out of trouble in their scoreless innings … the Yankees have been shut out in three straight games by the same team for the first time since 1973 (White Sox). They’ve also been shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since last season and only the second time this century.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Orioles wrap up this three-game series Sunday afternoon. It’s pretty much a must-win if this team wants to remain relevant a few more weeks. Michael Pineda and Wade Miley are the scheduled starters.

Game 134: Bounce Back

(Patrick Smith/Getty)
(Patrick Smith/Getty)

Last night’s game was just one of those games. Every team has those throughout the season. You get blown out, the offense doesn’t do much … it happens. That’s baseball. Unfortunately the Yankees couldn’t really afford a game like that. The loss to the Orioles combined with the Tigers’ win means the Yankees are again 3.5 games back of Baltimore and Detroit for the second wildcard spot.

These next two games this weekend aren’t must wins, but they are incredibly important and the Yankees need to take advantage of these head-to-head matchups against the O’s. The easiest way to gain ground is to beat the team you’re chasing yourself. The Yankees have a chance to do that this weekend. They dropped the ball last night. Now they have to do what they did in Kansas City and win the next two games. Here is the Orioles’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  3. DH Gary Sanchez
  4. SS Didi Gregorius
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. C Brian McCann
  7. 1B Mark Teixeira
  8. RF Aaron Judge
  9. 3B Ronald Torreyes
    LHP CC Sabathia

It’s another cool and cloudy night in Baltimore, though there’s no rain in the forecast, so that’s good. Tonight’s game will start a little after 7pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy.

Awards Notes: Sanchez was named both the AL Rookie of the Month and AL Player of the Month for August. That’s pretty cool. He’s the first player to win both in the same month since Jose Abreu in July 2014. He’s the first Yankee to be named Rookie of the Month since Robinson Cano (September 2005) and the first Yankee to be named Player of the Month since Curtis Granderson (August 2011).

Update: Green diagnosed with sprained UCL and strained flexor tendon

(Denis Poroy/Getty)
(Denis Poroy/Getty)

Saturday, 4:58pm: Today’s tests revealed a sprained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor tendon, according to reporters in Baltimore. Green is going for a second opinion. Injuries like that often result in Tommy John surgery, though Green may be able to avoid the knife if the UCL sprain is minor.

Friday, 8:10pm: Green left the game with right elbow pain, the Yankees announced. That’s a big ol’ WELP. Green’s going to head for additional tests and all that.

8:01pm: Chad Green exited tonight’s start in the second inning with an unknown injury. His velocity did seem to be down in his second inning of work, though that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Didi Gregorius called for the trainer and Green exited the game without throwing any test pitches.

The Yankees traded away Ivan Nova at the deadline and Nathan Eovaldi‘s elbow exploded a few weeks ago, so they’re short on starters as it is. They do have Luis Severino available and he would be the obvious candidate to replace Green should he need to miss an extended period of time. Bryan Mitchell is in Triple-A too.

Now, that said, Severino has been pretty terrible as a starter this season, plus the Yankees seemed to be counting on him to improve their middle relief situation these last few weeks of the season. We’ll see what happens. The Yankees have not yet released an update on Green, so stay tuned.

Saturday Links: Playoffs, Tebow, Garcia, Yankee Stadium


The Yankees and Orioles will continue their ultra-important three-game series at Camden Yards later tonight. Saturday night games are just the worst, aren’t they? Blah. Anyway, here are some links to help you pass the time.

MLB announces postseason schedule

A few days ago MLB announced the 2016 postseason schedule, and despite the first four months of the season, the Yankees are still hanging around in the wildcard race. Here’s the portion of the postseason schedule potentially relevant to the Yankees:

  • AL Wild Card Game: Tuesday, October 4th (on TBS)
  • ALDS A: Thursday, October 6th through Wednesday, October 12th (on TBS)
  • ALCS: Friday, October 14th through Sunday, October 23rd (on TBS)
  • World Series: Tuesday, October 25th through Wednesday, November 2nd (on FOX)

The AL has homefield advantage in the World Series this year, remember. I assume a tiebreaker game would be played the day before the Wild Card Game. What happens if there’s a three or four-team tie? Not sure. Kinda hope we find out. I explained the tiebreaker procedures in yesterday’s mailbag. Here’s the full postseason schedule.

Yankees attended Tebow’s workout

According to multiple reports, the Yankees had a scout on hand for Tim Tebow’s workout at USC earlier this week. Ken Davidoff says there were 42 scouts representing 28 teams in attendance — the Cubs and Athletics were the only no-shows — but no high-ranking evaluators. Just area scouts. Tebow did the usual. Running, throwing, live batting practice, the works. Here’s a little bit of video:

I don’t have any problem with Tebow or anyone else giving baseball a try. If he can do it, more power to him. He played in high school and is obviously a great athlete, and based on the video he didn’t seem completely out of place on a baseball field. I just wonder about things like pitch recognition and outfield/baserunning instincts, the stuff that gets honed through repetition. This guy’s been away from the game for 12 years now. Also, how will his minor league teammates receive him? I don’t see this as Tebow taking someone’s job, but the players might.

Jose Garcia leaves Cuba

Outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia, brother of ex-Yankees farmhand and current Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia, has defected from Cuba, reports Ben Badler. The 24-year-old still has to go through the process of being declared a free agent and all that, which could take months. Badler ranked Garcia as the 20th best prospect in Cuba last year (subs. req’d). Here’s a piece of his most recent scouting report:

(Garcia) was one of the most tooled-up players in Cuba, with 60 speed on the 20-80 scouting scale and a plus-plus arm … he has played center field during international tournaments and looked comfortable there, with the tools and athleticism that should allow him to play center field in pro ball … At 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Garcia has quick bat speed from the right side of the plate  … his long swing, free-swinging approach and struggles to recognize offspeed pitches are significant concerns about his ability to perform against better pitching.

Meh. That sounds almost exactly like a right-handed Leonys Martin, though, if I’m remembering correctly, there weren’t a ton of questions about Martin’s bat when he defected. No one expected him to be an MVP or anything, but he could hit. The Yankees haven’t been all that active on the big money Cuban market since Jose Contreras, and while up-the-middle players are always worth checking out, this tiny little bit of information makes Garcia seem like a non-priority.

Yankees looking to refinance stadium payments

The Yankees are looking to refinance about $1 billion worth of debt from the construction of Yankee Stadium, report Josh Kosman and Lois Weiss. They’re trying to get a better interest rate, basically. Happens all the time. Businesses do this regularly and so do regular folks. They refinance their mortgages, their car loans, whatever. The team’s stadium debt payments are $73M a year. They’re slated to rise to $76M in 2018.

“He’s always looking for ways to cut expenses,” said one of Kosman’s and Weiss’ sources, referring to Hal Steinbrenner. That’ll be misconstrued as Hal being cheap, but it just means he’s like every other business owner on the planet. Kosman and Weiss say the Yankees are breaking even financially right now, but that’s just the team itself. They’re still making a boatload of cash from YES and Legends Hospitality, among other things. Don’t worry, the Yankees won’t go broke anytime soon.

Yankees get walloped in Baltimore, lose 8-0 to Orioles


To put it succinctly, this game was not good. An 8-0 loss is, surprisingly enough, the worst ever shutout loss for the Yankees at Camden Yards. The lineup managed only two hits total while Chad Green exited early with a right elbow pain. No bueno. Aside from the fact that Jonathan Holder had a pretty nice debut inning, let’s forget this game happened.

Green = hurt

After a hit-or-miss first in which he loaded the bases but also struck out the side and allowed no runs, Green allowed the first run of the day in the second. He allowed a double to J.J. Hardy (which Jacoby Ellsbury got a bad jump to start with but I don’t think he was getting there anyway) and two batters later, an RBI single to Adam Jones to give O’s a 1-0 lead.

A batter later, Pedro Alvarez hit a fastball right down the middle for a 424 ft two-run homer. 3-0 Orioles. After walking Manny Machado, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius saw something wrong with Green. Joe Girardi immediately took him out and replaced him with Nick Goody. Yikes. Goody didn’t fare that well either. He gave up a dingers Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo back-to-back. The Yankees allowed six runs after two outs, which is not what you want.

Losing Green is a bummer. He’s still a young guy but has shown flashes of brilliance in several starts. I think he can he a long-term ML pitcher but if this injury turns out to be a serious one – fingers crossed that it’s not – it could throw a wrench into the progress.


Bullpen arms = brought in 

As I mentioned, the Yankee bullpen had to absorb tons of innings after Green left after only 1.2 IP. Goody came in and promptly allowed back-to-back jacks. The following inning was kinder to Goody – a scoreless frame with a strikeout and a double allowed. He doesn’t strike me as a potentially dominant ML relief guy. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff and is frequently guilty of leaving pitches up to be prone to homers. Sure, he can develop and fix some of the bad habits but I don’t see a high ceiling in him.

Kirby Yates came in the fourth and took care of two innings. Like Goody, he was pretty ho-hum mediocre. While striking out two in two frames, he also allowed a two-run dinger to Manny Machado, making it 8-0 in the bottom of fourth.

The silver lining of the game happened in the sixth. Jonathan Holder, who had an incredible season in minors (13.9 K/9 and 1.0 BB/9 with 1.65 ERA across three levels), made his ML debut. Against the first hitter faced in ML – Adam Jones – Holder made it look rather easy by striking him out swinging with three fastballs. Not so shabby. He also went on to retire Alvarez and Machado to make it a clean 1-2-3 inning. I have no idea how good of an ML reliever he could be but YankeeSource guy thinks he has a ceiling of David Robertson. Any comparison to a guy like D-Rob warrants some kind of skepticism but hey, drink the kool-aid while it’s cold.

After Holder, Luis Severino and Blake Parker came in and each pitched a scoreless one. Nope, I don’t have a take about Severino being a bullpen arm long-term. He sure does look better there right now but he’s still too young to give up being an ML starter.


The Yankees had two hits the entire game. One of them was a Brett Gardner leadoff single in the 1st (he went on to be picked off almost immediately) and another was an Ellsbury single in the third that put their only runner in RISP all game. They did work Dylan Bundy for four walks but failed to threaten anything major.

To be fair, Bundy is a talented young guy and is capable of shutting down lineups. He will be pain in other AL East teams’ sides for a long while as long as he’s healthy.

Box Score, Highlights, WPA and Standings

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

Source: FanGraphs

Tomorrow is another day. CC Sabathia will take the mound against Kevin Gausman, who will look to give the O’s the series win. For now, enjoy this incredible photo of Camden Yards at dusk today by Patrick Smith of Getty Images.


DotF: Sheffield strikes out nine in Double-A debut

Got some notes to pass along, including a bunch of chain reaction roster moves:

  • In case you missed it earlier, the Yankees called up RHP Luis Severino, RHP Nick Goody, RHP Kirby Yates, UTIL Rob Refsnyder, OF Eric Young Jr., and RHP Jonathan Holder earlier today as their first round of September call-ups.
  • RHP Matt Wotherspoon, RHP J.R. Graham, RHP Mark Montgomery, UTIL Jose Rosario, and OF Mark Payton were all bumped up from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton, reports Matt Kardos. They’ll fill-in for the September call-ups.
  • LHP Justus Sheffield, RHP Matt Marsh, and RHP Eric Ruth were promoted from High-A Tampa to Trenton, the team announced. The Sheffield move was reported Wednesday, but now it’s official.
  • RHP Domingo German was activated off the High-A DL and both OF Tito Polo and LHP Stephen Tarpley have officially been added to the Tampa roster, the team announced. Polo and Tarpley came over as the players to be named later in the Ivan Nova trade a few days ago.
  • Holder, meanwhile, claimed the top spot in the final Prospect Hot Sheet of the regular season. That’s what happens when you strike out 12 batters during a four-inning postseason-clinching save. Quite a week for Holder.
  • And finally, 2B Nick Solak made Baseball America’s Prospect Team of the Month for August, so congrats to him.

Triple-A Scranton (2-1 win over Buffalo, walk-off style) their season ends Monday … they’ve already clinched a postseason spot

  • CF Mason Williams: 0-3, 1 RBI — drove in the game-tying run with a sac fly in the eighth
  • RF Mark Payton: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 SB — threw a runner out at the plate in his Triple-A debut
  • 3B Donovan Solano: 1-4, 2 K
  • 1B Chris Parmelee: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — walk-off home run
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 0-3, 2 K
  • LF Jake Cave: 0-3, 1 K
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HB, 7/2 GB/FB — 57 of 91 pitches were strikes (63%) … so does he make Chad Green‘s start in five days?
  • LHP James Pazos: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/0 GB/FB — seven pitches, four strikes
  • RHP Gio Gallegos: 2 IP, zeroes, 4 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 17 of 27 pitches were strikes (63%) … 103/17 K/B in 75.2 innings
  • RHP J.R. Graham: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — eight of ten pitches were strikes

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