Fan Confidence Poll: August 8th, 2016

Record Last Week: 4-3 (35 RS, 35 RA)
Season Record: 56-55 (454 RS, 487 RA, 52-59 pythag. record), 5.0 GB of postseason spot
Opponents This Week: Mon. OFF, @ Red Sox (three games, Tues. to Thurs.), vs. Rays (three games, Fri. to Sun.)

Top stories from last week:

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 Features tab in the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.

DotF: Judge’s grand slam helps Scranton to another win

Triple-A Scranton (5-0 win over Syracuse) one day after beating up Nationals RHP Lucas Giolito, they worked over Nationals RHP Reynaldo Lopez (6 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 K), another one of the top pitching prospects in baseball

  • DH Ben Gamel: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB
  • RF Clint Frazier: 1-4, 1 R, 1 K
  • LF Aaron Judge: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K — Shane Hennigan has video of the grand slam he hit off Lopez … Hennigan says Judge made a great leaping catch in left too
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 0-4, 2 K, 1 PB
  • 1B Chris Parmelee: 1-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI — played five innings in his first rehab game in the field
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 0-1
  • CF Jake Cave: 1-3, 1 2B
  • LHP Jordan Montgomery: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 7/3 GB/FB — 63 of 97 pitches were strikes (65%) … he’s not going to be an ace or anything, but Montgomery definitely has a chance to help the Yankees in some capacity, maybe as a lefty David Phelps type
  • LHP Phil Coke: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HB, 0/2 GB/FB — 20 of 35 pitches were strikes (57%)
  • RHP Ben Heller: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — eight pitches, six strikes … 52/13 K/BB in 45 total innings this season

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Yankees, Tanaka hang on for 3-2 win over Indians

Source: FanGraphs

Is it too late to join #TeamBuy? The Yankees took yet another series from the first place Indians this weekend, beating the Tribe 3-2 in Sunday afternoon’s series finale. They also won three of four in Cleveland prior to the All-Star break. It’s Sunday and I’ve been busy all day, so let’s go with bullet points:

  • Bounceback Start: Last time out Masahiro Tanaka allowed a career-high seven runs in 6.1 innings. He rebounding with six strong innings Sunday, holding the Indians to one run on six hits and no walks while striking out a season-high eight. It would have been six scoreless had Joe Girardi not gone batter-to-batter with him in the seventh. (Tanaka allowed a first pitch double.) Nice work, Masahiro.
  • One Run, Three Times: The Yankees scored a first inning run on Brett Gardner‘s triple and Jacoby Ellsbury‘s sac fly. They scored a fourth inning run on Didi Gregorius‘ solo homer into the short porch. They then scored a fifth inning run thanks to a two-out walk (Ellsbury) and a double (Mark Teixeira). A deliberately built lead, that was. The final ten Yankees to bat made outs. I hate that.
  • Some Runs … WCD? For the first time since coming back, Adam Warren had a shaky outing. He allowed Tanaka’s inherited runner to score on a single, then needed Teixeira to bail him out with a great stop on a ball hit hard down the line. That would have almost certainly tied the game had it gotten by Teixeira. Tyler Clippard and Dellin Betances conspired to allow a run in the eighth. A walk, a steal, an error, and a wild pitch did the trick. Betances then pitched around a leadoff single in the ninth for his second save.
  • Leftovers: The Yankees only had five hits: Gardner (triple), Ellsbury (single), Teixeira (double), Gregorius (homer), and Rob Refsnyder (single) … Ellsbury and Brian McCann drew the walks … Refsnyder, Gregorius, and Austin Romine all made errors … the Yankees have alternated wins and losses since the trade deadline.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. We also have Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees have an off-day Monday, then they’ll head up to Boston for three games with the Red Sox. Luis Severino makes his return to the rotation in Tuesday night’s opener. He’ll be opposed by Rick Porcello.

Sunday Open Thread

Here’s an open thread for the rest of the weekend. There is no Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN tonight. There’s a preseason football game instead. (Already?) The Dodgers and Red Sox are playing at 7pm ET on MLB Network though (McCarthy vs. Price). Talk about whatever right here.

Game 111: Win it for A-Rod

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

After a night of suspense, Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees announced earlier today that A-Rod will play his final game next Friday before joining the front office. It’s a sad day — at least I think it is — even though the Yankees are clearly better off moving on at this point. Only five more games in the A-Rod era. Crazy. Go win a damn game for the guy. Here is the Indians’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  3. 1B Mark Teixeira
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 2B Rob Refsnyder
  8. RF Aaron Hicks
  9. C Austin Romine
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

It’s a gorgeous day in the New York. Nice and sunny and not too hot. Pretty great. Today’s game will begin at 1:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy.

Alex Rodriguez to play final game next Friday, join Yankees as special advisor

It’s time to say goodbye to another all-time great Yankee. Earlier today the Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees announced he will play his final game next Friday, August 12th, then join the front office as a special advisor and instructor. He will be unconditionally released following Friday’s game.

“This is a tough day … this is also a proud day,” said A-Rod at the press conference. “I never thought I could play for 22 years. At 18 I just wanted to make the team … I want to thank the Steinbrenner family for giving me this opportunity, and for making me part of this team and for giving me an opportunity to stay involved by mentoring the next generation of Yankees … I especially want to thank the fans for letting me play the game that I love.”

During the press conference A-Rod said Hal Steinbrenner approached him a few days ago about joining the team in some sort of front office capacity. He didn’t come out and say it, but it sure sounded like an ultimatum may have been given. Either retire with grace and join the front office, or we’re going to release you. That sort of him. A-Rod was pretty diplomatic during the press conference.

“After spending several days discussing this plan with Alex, I am pleased that he will remain a part of our organization moving forward and transition into a role in which I know he can flourish,” said Hal Steinbrenner in a statement. “We have an exciting group of talented young players at every level of our system. Our job as an organization is to utilize every resource possible to allow them to reach their potential, and I expect Alex to directly contribute to their growth and success. Baseball runs through his blood. He’s a tireless worker and an astute student of the game. Alex has already proven to be a willing and effective mentor to many players who have come through our clubhouse, and I am confident that this next phase of his baseball life will bring out the best in Alex and the next generation of Yankees.”

Rodriguez has not played much the last few weeks — he’s started one of the team’s last 14 games — because he hasn’t hit much this year. He owns a .204/.252/.356 (58 wRC+) batting line with nine homers in 62 games, and the Yankees have used the DH spot for other players. The team has been playing with a 24-man roster the last few weeks and it’s been pretty awkward. Seeing A-Rod on the bench game after game was just weird. It really was.

Because the Yankees are releasing Rodriguez, the Yankees will pay him the remainder of his contract and yes, he will still count against the luxury tax. “He gets everything he deserves — the contract he negotiated — in full force,” said Brian Cashman. Cashman, by the way, dropped the mic when asked how Alex should be remember.

What a power move. Highlight of the press conference right there.

Considering this is essentially a forced retirement, the Yankees accepted the financial impact of releasing A-Rod. They simply decided he couldn’t help them on the field and were better off paying him to do something else while giving the roster spot to someone else.

A-Rod has long been praised for his work with young players and a mentorship/instructor role should suit him well. This is sort of a bittersweet day. I’m sad to see A-Rod go, but it’s clearly the best thing for the Yankees at this point in time. I hope he socks some dingers between now and Friday and goes out with a bang. This has been one hell of a ride.

DotF: Frazier homers, RailRiders rough up Giolito in win

Got some mostly injury related notes to pass along:

  • RHP Domingo Acevedo (back) played catch today and will do so again tomorrow, according to Matt Kardos. If all goes well, he’ll throw a bullpen session sometime next week. Acevedo was reportedly on the verge of being promoted to Double-A Trenton before the injury.
  • 1B Chris Parmelee (hamstring) started a minor league rehab assignment today, reports Shane Hennigan. His 20-day rehab stint will expire on Thursday, August 25th, though I would be surprised if they use the entire 20 days. Parmelee is out of options, so he might designated for assignment as soon as he gets activated.
  • LHP Justus Sheffield made an appearance in today’s Prospect Report after his eleven-strikeout organizational debut last night, so check that out.

Triple-A Scranton (4-3 win over Syracuse) they faced Nationals RHP Lucas Giolito, arguably the best pitching prospect in baseball, and they roughed him up pretty good (3.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K on 93 pitches)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
  • RF Clint Frazier: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 K — first homer since the trade, and yes, he took Giolito deep
  • LF Aaron Judge: 1-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 HBP
  • 3B Tyler Austin: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K — second game at third this season … with Parmelee in town on rehab, there’s not enough room to play everyone, so they have to improvise
  • DH Chris Parmelee: 1-4, 2 K – first rehab game since the hamstring injury
  • RHP Brady Lail: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 4/3 GB/FB — 59 of 93 pitches were strikes (63%)
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 13 of 21 pitches were strikes (62%)
  • RHP Kirby Yates: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — nine of 16 pitches were strikes (56%)

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