The 2014-15 international signing period opens on July 2nd, so a little less than two months from now, and the Yankees are reportedly planning to blow their $2.2M spending pool right out of the water. The team is said to be willing to spend upwards of $15M on prospects, including another $15M in penalties. They would also be prohibited from signing a player for more than $300k in each of the next two signing periods.
Last week we heard the Yankees were heavily in on four 16-year-old position player prospects from the Dominican Republic, all of whom would command $2M bonuses or more. Today, Ben Badler reports the club is also targeting three other position player prospects likely to sign seven-figure deals of their own, likely in the $1M range. The scouting reports are subscriber-only, so I can only give away so much:
- C Miguel Flames: “Scouts who liked Flames were impressed by his raw power, ability to work the count and put together consistent game at-bats.”
- OF Jonathan Amundaray: “He projects as a right fielder with a good arm and a tick above-average speed … Amundaray has a quick bat and home run power.”
- SS Diego Castillo: “One of the most instinctive baseball players on the market … a line-drive hitter with a clean, repeatable swing and feel for the barrel.”
All three players hail from Venezuela and sorry, I can’t find any video. I also have no idea how old they are, but 16 is a safe assumption. Flames was a third baseman for most of his life until recently moving behind the plate. Badler says the Yankees “are high on” Amundaray and are merely connected to the other two, for what it’s worth.
If the Yankees were to sign these three plus the four guys from last week, it will amount to $12M or so in bonuses based on Badler’s numbers. That would still leave $3M leftover, which is a ton. I have to think some of that would go towards pitching, though I’m not sure about the quality of this summer’s crop of arms. It’s safe bet the Yankees will grab at least a few pitchers though. Need to balance things out.
It has only been about five weeks, but so far this year the farm system has made a nice rebound from last season’s disaster. Adding three first round picks last year helped, as did Manny Banuelos‘ return from Tommy John surgery and the continued progress of guys like Peter O’Brien, Luis Severino, and Gary Sanchez. It sure sounds like an international draft is coming in the near future, so this might be the Yankees’ last chance to spend like crazy and add several impact youngsters to the system.
Via Chad Jennings: Joe Girardi confirmed Michael Pineda started a throwing program on Saturday — he played catch from 60 feet — and said he will likely need more than the original 3-4 week timetable to return to the team. No surprise there. “Everything was fine,” said Girardi to Jennings and Brendan Kuty. “We have a plan. As long as he makes every step along the way, I don’t know if it’s quite six weeks (until he returns).”
Pineda, 25, originally got hurt on April 29th, so tomorrow would mark two weeks out. He just started playing catch, so he still needs to throw off a mound before he can get into minor league rehab starts. Pineda needs to get stretched all the way out and will probably have to make several rehab starts. He might be be 3-4 weeks away from returning right now. You have to think the Yankees will be careful with him because the injury is so close to his surgically repaired shoulder as well. Pineda had a 1.83 ERA (2.68 FIP) in 19.2 innings before getting suspended and hurt. · (18) ·
It’s that time of year again, the Subway Series. The Yankees and Mets will meet four times this week, and, like last season, they will play a four-game home-and-home series. The battle for bragging rights opens tonight at Yankee Stadium and will wrap-up on Thursday at Citi Field. Two games at each building.
What Have They Done Lately?
Following a surprisingly strong start to the season, the Mets have lost eight of their last ten games. They did win yesterday (via walk-off), however. The Amazin’s are 17-19 with a -8 run differential overall this season, which has them tied for last in the top heavy NL East.
The Mets have a below league average offense at 3.94 runs per game with a team 83 wRC+. They also have a 23.0% strikeout rate as a team, the seventh highest in baseball, so they struggle to score runs and struggle to put the ball in play. Manager Terry Collins does not have any position players on the DL but 1B Lucas Duda (118 wRC+) has missed the last few games with a stomach problem.
As usual, the Mets’ lineup is anchored by 3B David Wright (104 wRC+), who is off to a relatively slow start. Former Yankee OF Curtis Granderson (72 wRC+) got off to a brutally slow start but has been much better over the last two weeks or so (151 wRC+). Defensive wiz OF Juan Lagares (121 wRC+) has had an unexpectedly strong start to the season. He was always a glove first guy. 2B Daniel Murphy (133 wRC+) has been excellent and Duda has been more than solid since taking over as the full-time first baseman following the Ike Davis trade.
Other than those five, the Mets have OF Chris Young (97 wRC+), C Travis d’Arnaud (67 wRC+), OF Eric Young Jr. (79 wRC+), and SS Ruben Tejada (54 wRC+) playing everyday. IF Wilmer Flores and UTIL Eric Campbell were just called up to add some spark. Flores has played three games and Campbell made his MLB debut yesterday. C Anthony Recker (103 wRC+) and former Yankee OF Bobby Abreu (91 wRC+) round out the bench. Yes, Bobby Abreu is in the big leagues.
It’s worth noting Mets’ pitchers are 0-for-63 this year, the longest hitless streak by a pitching staff to start a season in baseball history. The chances of them picking up their first pitcher hit on Wednesday or Thursday is roughly 10,000%.
Monday: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (vs. NYM) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (vs. NYY) (Pitcher GIFs)
Remember when the Yankees dragged Colon out of winter ball and we all laughed? Three years later, he’s still going strong in the big leagues. Who would have guessed? The 40-year-old Colon has a 5.36 ERA (4.09 FIP) in seven starts and 43.2 innings this year, with his best strikeout (7.01 K/9 and 17.8 K%) and walk (1.03 BB/9 and 2.3 BB%) rates since his stint in pinstripes. Homers (1.44 HR/9 and 12.1 HR/FB%) and a lack of grounders (37.4%) have been his biggest problems. Colon still throws almost nothing but fastballs, upper-80s four-seamers and mid-80s two-seamers. His velocity isn’t what is was three years ago. On occasion he’ll throw low-80s sliders and changeups. There’s no mystery here. Colon comes right at guys with fastballs.
Tuesday: LHP Vidal Nuno (vs. NYM) vs. RHP Zack Wheeler (vs. NYY) (Pitcher GIFs)
Wheeler, 23, is the second of the Mets’ three big pitching prospects, sandwiched between Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard. He has a 4.35 ERA (3.13 FIP) in seven starts and 39.1 innings this season, and his only real problem has been walks (4.12 BB/9 and 10.6 BB%). Young pitchers, man. The two things they do better than anything is walk guys and get hurt. Wheeler has very good strikeout (8.92 K/9 and 22.9 K%), homerun (0.46 HR/9 and 6.3 HR/FB%), and ground ball (52.3%) rates, though he’s been getting clobbered by left-handers (.393 wOBA). Righties haven’t had as much luck (.277 wOBA). Two mid-90s fastballs (four and two-seamer) set up his upper-80s slider and upper-70s curveball. Wheeler throws only a handful of changeups per start. He’s got nasty stuff, but like most young pitchers at this point of their careers, Wheeler is still rough around the edges.
Wednesday: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (No vs. NYM) vs. TBA
This start was supposed to go to RHP Jenrry Mejia, but after three straight rough outings, Collins told David Lennon they may skip his start and give him some time in the bullpen. They need to limit his workload anyway. If that does happen, either RHP Rafael Montero or RHP Jacob deGrom figures to get the call for the spot start. Both would be making their big league debuts. Montero, 23, has a 3.67 ERA (3.97 FIP) in 42.2 Triple-A innings this season and is by far the better prospect of the two. He was really impressive in Spring Training. Everything (delivery, ball out of his hand, etc.) looks easy. The 25-year-old deGrom has a 2.58 ERA (3.73 FIP) in 38.1 innings at Triple-A this season. He spent all of last year at Triple-A, so if the Mets make this decision based on seniority, deGrom would be the guy.
Thursday: TBA vs. RHP Dillon Gee (vs. NYY) (Pitcher GIFs)
Gee, 28, turned his season and to some extent his career around during the Subway Series last season, when he held the Yankees to one run in 7.1 innings while striking out 12. He went into that start with a 6.34 ERA and has pitched to a 2.72 ERA (3.85 FIP) in 202 innings since. Gee comes into this series with a 2.73 ERA (4.28 FIP) and just okay peripherals — 5.64 K/9 (15.6 K%), 2.56 BB/9 (7.1 BB%), 1.03 HR/9 (9.5 HR/FB%), 40.9% grounders, .302 wOBA against lefties, and .262 wOBA against righties — though he’s obviously doing something right. He’s one of those guys who defies the usual ERA/FIP relationship. Gee has the standard issue four-pitch mix: upper-80s fastball, mid-80s changeup, low-80s slider, and mid-70s curveball. Far from flashy, but it’s damn effective, especially over the last year.
As for the Yankees, they seem likely to start Alfredo Aceves in the series finally now that CC Sabathia is on the 15-day DL with a knee issue. Chase Whitley, the other starter candidate, is pitching for Triple-A Scranton today according to Donnie Collins. It could be a short tune-up outing for Thursday or remove him from consideration all together. If that happens, maybe they’ll just stick with Matt Daley as the extra reliever.
Update: Whitley threw only one inning and seven pitches this afternoon, so it was just a tune-up appearance. He is very likely coming up to either make the spot start or replace Aceves as the long man. I assume it’s the latter.
It seems like the Mets have had one of the very worst bullpens in baseball this year thanks to some high-profile meltdowns, but they’re closer to middle of the pack with a 3.99 ERA (4.31 FIP). It could be worse, I guess. Believe it or not, former Yankee RHP Kyle Farnsworth (4.39 FIP) is closing with RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (3.52 FIP) getting most of the setup innings. That’s a real thing that is happening. RHP Carlos Torres (2.94 FIP) will also see some late-inning time.
LHP Scott Rice (3.97 FIP) is Collins’ only lefty right now. RHP Gonzalez Germen (4.21 FIP), RHP Jeurys Familia (3.77 FIP), and RHP Jose Valverde (5.36 FIP) fill out the rest of the bullpen, which could get a boost from Mejia this week. We’ll find out soon enough. Dice-K threw two innings and 34 pitches yesterday, so he might not be available tonight. Valverde, Familia, and Rice also pitched briefly on Sunday. Our Bullpen Workload page has the status of the Yankees’ relievers. Check out Amazin’ Avenue for the latest and great on the Mets.
Record Last Week: 3-3 (28 RS, 23 RA)
Season Record: 19-17 (155 RS, 166 RA, 17-19 pythag. record)
Opponents This Week: vs. Mets (two games, Mon. and Tues.), @ Mets (two games, Weds. and Thurs.), vs. Pirates (three games, Fri. to Sun.)
Top stories from last week:
- The Yankees opened the week out on the West Coast, and they dropped the series opener to the Angels thanks to five straight walks in the eighth inning. Brian Roberts‘ unexpected homer gave the club a win on Tuesday, then the Bombers blew the Halos out in the finale.
- Following Thursday’s off-day, the Yankees kicked off a series in Milwaukee with a win over the Brewers. Saturday’s comeback fell short and the Brewers walked off with the series win yesterday.
- Injury Updates: CC Sabathia (knee) was placed on the 15-day DL with inflammation. Michael Pineda (shoulder) was placed on the 15-day DL when his suspension expired and Brendan Ryan (back) was activated. Shawn Kelley (back) is day-to-day and was available yesterday, though he did not pitch. Andrew Bailey (shoulder) is throwing but not yet off a mound.
- Joe Torre’s uniform No. 6 will be retired later this summer. Paul O’Neill, Goose Gossage, and Tino Martinez will receive plaques in Monument Park. Bernie Williams will be honored in some way next season.
- The Yankees have re-signed Nik Turley to a minor league contract. Chris Leroux was outrighted to Triple-A Scranton and accepted the assignment rather than electing free agency. The Yankees are targeting four international players for deals worth $2M+.
- The club has stopped shifting the infield behind Hiroki Kuroda. Brett Gardner is working to eliminate some head movement in his swing in an effort to cut down on his strikeouts.
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?
The total score of the weekend series: Yankees 14, Brewers 14. But they can’t split the series, so the Brewers ended the weekend on top, winning Sunday’s game in a walkoff. The Yankees came back from behind in both Saturday and Sunday’s games, but it wasn’t enough.
Jay and I look at the series that was, and then look ahead to this week’s series, both against the Mets. To talk about the crosstown
rivals other team, we have Marc Carig of Newsday. You might remember him from the Yankees beat a few years ago. The man knows his Mets.
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I was out visiting family for Mother’s Day, and it looks like I picked a good game to miss. Mark Teixeira‘s two-out, two-strike, game-tying solo homer off Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth inning was wasted as former Yankee Mark Reynolds and the Brewers walked off with a 6-5 win a half-inning later. Like Saturday, this was a winnable game that will go for a loss.
David Phelps managed to put eleven men on base in five innings plus two batters of work, including the leadoff man in five of the six innings he started. It’s a miracle he didn’t give up more than four runs. His balk and some (more) shaky defense came back to bite the Yankees in the middle innings, after they jumped all over Matt Garza for three runs in the first inning. I’m sure this one had the look of a laugher early on.
My least favorite thing about David Robertson being the closer is that he never pitches. He’s pitched twice in the last nine days, and Joe Girardi preferred to use Adam Warren for 40+ pitches and Shawn Kelley‘s balky back (he warmed up) before Robertson on Sunday. Matt Thornton against a righty predictably went wrong — didn’t Girardi see the pinch-hitter coming? — and Dellin Betances finally found a jam he couldn’t escape. The Yankees had 15 base-runners in nine innings, but apparently that wasn’t enough.
For the box score and video highlights, go to MLB.com. FanGraphs has some other stats and ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees now head home for what amounts to a seven-game homestand — two of the seven are in Flushing, so they aren’t traveling — starting Monday night against the Mets. Hiroki Kuroda and Bartolo Colon, two of the three oldest starters in baseball this season (R.A. Dickey is the other), will be the pitching matchup. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch the Subway Series live.
Bunch of notes to pass along:
- C Gary Sanchez had a closed door meeting with Double-A Trenton manager Tony Franklin, coach Orlando Mercado, and catching coordinator Julio Mosquero following today’s game, according to Nick Peruffo. They just wanted to iron out some bad catching habits, apparently. “It’s not that he’s doing wrong, it’s just some things that Julio saw in the last couple of days that he wanted to talk to him about, and be a little more emphatic about,” said Franklin. “There is more that goes in to coaching besides going out and tossing them balls all the time.”
- RHP Chase Whitley was scratched from today’s Triple-A Scranton start for an unknown reason, according to Donnie Collins. Seems like it has something to do with CC Sabathia‘s injury than anything else. If Al Aceves moves into the rotation, Whitley might replace him as the long man.
- OF Tyler Austin (groin) was activated off the Double-A Trenton DL yesterday. SS Carmen Angelini was placed on the DL with an unknown injury, according to Peruffo. Matt Kardos says RHP Brett Gerritse has joined the Thunder as well.
- RHP Nick Rumbelow and RHP Stefan Lopez were promoted from Low-A Charleston to High-A Tampa, the River Dogs announced. LHP Rony Bautista has joined Charleston.
Triple-A Scranton (2-1 win over Durham in eleven innings, walk-off style)
- RF Ramon Flores: 1-5, 1 R, 1 K
- 3B Scott Sizemore: 1-5, 2 K
- SS Dean Anna: 0-4, 1 BB, 2 K — hasn’t hit much here yet
- LF Zoilo Almonte: 2-5, 1 RBI — walk-off single
- DH Zelous Wheeler: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 HBP
- 1B Kyle Roller: 1-4, 1 K
- LHP Eric Ruth: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 8/4 GB/FB — 56 of 92 pitches were strikes (61%) … called up from Tampa to make the spot start in place of Whitley
- RHP Mark Montgomery: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 2/1 GB/FB – 14 of 28 pitches were strikes
- RHP Branden Pinder: 2 IP, zeroes, 2/3 GB/FB — 12 of 22 pitches were strikes (55%)
Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. You’re all pretty great in my book. Here’s your open thread for the night. The Cardinals and Pirates are the ESPN Sunday Night Game (Miller vs. Morton), plus there’s NBA and NHL playoff action on, including the Rangers. Talk about those games, your mother, or anything else right here. Enjoy the evening.
The Yankees have guaranteed themselves of at least a split of this six-game road trip through Anaheim and Milwaukee, so today’s game is the difference between a 4-2 trip and a 3-3 trip. A 4-2 trip just looks better. Grab a win for mom today and head home to New York for a week. Sounds like a Mother’s Day plan to me. Here is the Brewers lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- 3B Kelly Johnson
- 2B Yangervis Solarte
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- C John Ryan Murphy
- RHP David Phelps
It’s warm and overcast in Milwaukee, and there’s rain in the forecast this afternoon, so the Miller Park roof will probably be closed for the game. At least part of it. First pitch is scheduled for a little after 2pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally, depending on where you live. Enjoy the game and Happy Mother’s Day.
The Yankees will be without CC Sabathia for at least the next two weeks. After last night’s game he had an MRI on his right knee, which revealed fluid build-up. He will have it drained, which will keep him out of action and necessitate the DL trip.
The good news: the MRI showed no tear, so Sabathia should need only the minimum stay on the DL.
For right now the Yankees have recalled RHP Matt Daley. Joe Girardi says that Al Aceves is the leading candidate to take Sabathia’s start Thursday against the Mets. That’s not set in stone, though. Just before the Sabathia news broke, we learned that RHP Chase Whitley had been scratched from his start at AAA Scranton. Donnie Collins of the Times-Tribune speculates that Whitley could be up to replace Aceves as the long man, with Preston Claiborne headed back to AAA. It could just as well be Daley headed back to AAA tomorrow if that’s when they decide to make the move. Whitley is not on the 40-man roster, which causes further complications.
While Sabathia has struggled at times this season, he has shown some definite signs of life, particularly as he continues to strike out hitters. His problems seem to center on consistency. Perhaps he can right the ship upon return at the end of May.