Revisiting the MLBTR Archives: August 2011

Magic Wandy. (Jared Wickerham/Getty)
Magic Wandy. (Jared Wickerham/Getty)

A new month has begun, which means it’s time again to scroll back through the MLB Trade Rumors archives. We’re now in August 2011, so the trade deadline has passed, and the Yankees did nothing. No trades at all despite their pitching needs and some roster holes created by injury. The natives were rather restless about that.

It didn’t help that the Yankees slipped behind the Red Sox in the standings in July. They were 65-42 and a game back of Boston for first place on the morning on August 1st, and the Yankees were looking more and more vulnerable with each passing week. August was an opportunity to add pieces through waiver trades that maybe weren’t available at the deadline. Time to get to the rumors.

August 1st, 2011: Rosenthal On Yankees, Wandy, Ubaldo, Bailey

Yesterday’s push by the Yankees to acquire Astros lefty Wandy Rodriguez came from ownership, not GM Brian Cashman.  SI’s Jon Heyman wrote yesterday that the Yankees offered to pay $21MM of the $38MM left on Rodriguez’s contract, implying they feel that Rodriguez is worth less than $7MM a year.  Rosenthal says the Astros were willing to pay $2MM of Rodriguez’s salary this year (essentially all of it) “or $5MM if his [player] option for 2014 were exercised.”

Wandy was pretty good back then. He had a 3.60 ERA (3.50 FIP) in 195 innings in 2010 and finished the 2011 season with a 3.49 ERA (4.15 FIP) in 191 innings. The next year he had a 3.76 ERA (3.93 FIP) in 205.2 innings before falling apart in 2013. Adding Rodriguez would have been a fine move at the time, especially since the Yankees could have used another left-handed starter.

The larger point here is ownership taking the reins and trying to make a move over the head over the baseball operations department, which has happened before and will surely happen again. Ultimately, the Yankees were unwilling to take on much money and the deal fell apart. I’m curious to know what ownership was willing to send the Astros in the trade. I’m almost afraid to ask.

August 2nd, 2011: Olney On Bell, Yankees, Pirates

The Yankees are well-positioned to pursue the next starting pitcher who becomes available on the trade market, since they kept their top prospects this July. They also figure to pursue Weaver when he hits free agency after the 2012 season.

Weaver in this case is Jered Weaver, who wound up signing a long-term extension with the Angels a few weeks after this report. Jeff’s little brother had a 2.41 ERA (3.20 FIP) in 2011 and was still in the middle of his legitimate ace phase. His performance started to collapse in 2014 as his fastball disappeared. Imagine if the Yankees had him on the books right now. It probably would have taken a five or six-year deal to sign him as a free agent after 2012, so they’d still have him through next year or the year after. Yikes.

As for getting involved in the pitching trade market during the 2011-12 offseason, the Yankees did exactly that. They traded Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda. The Yankees have come out ahead in that trade, but yeah, it hasn’t really worked out for anyone. Other starters traded that offseason include Derek Lowe, Jonathan Sanchez, Trevor Cahill, Mat Latos, Edinson Volquez, Travis Wood, Gio Gonzalez, Jason Hammel, and Jeremy Guthrie. There’s a couple good ones in there, but the Yankees opted for Pineda, and given how good he was a rookie, I can’t say I blame them.

August 2nd, 2011: AL East Note: Bundy, Cervelli, Upton, Red Sox

The Yankees and Pirates almost agreed to a deal that would’ve seen Francisco Cervelli go to Pittsburgh in exchange for right-hander Brad Lincoln, reports George A. King of the New York Post.  King hears from a Pirates source that the trade “was very close but [the teams] couldn’t agree on the value of the players.”  Such a move would have given the Yankees room to call up Jesus Montero as both a backup catcher and as a potential DH platoon partner for Jorge Posada.  Brian Cashman said Montero could potentially be called up once the rosters expand in September.

There seem to be a lot of “the Yankees almost traded Cervelli” stories out there. They tried to trade him for Russell Martin in 2010, they offered him to the Pirates for Justin Wilson a year or two before the Cervelli-Wilson trade actually happened, and now we hear they tried to trade him for Lincoln. Huh.

Anyway, Lincoln was the fourth overall pick in the 2006 draft, and by 2011 it was pretty clear he was not going to live up to that draft spot. He had a 6.66 ERA (5.49 FIP) during his MLB debut in 2010, and in 2011 he was an up-and-down spot starter. I’m guessing the Yankees were planning to try Lincoln in relief. He had a 3.76 ERA (4.40 FIP) in 119.2 mostly relief innings from 2012-13 before falling apart. Good thing this one didn’t happen.

August 3rd, 2011: Heyman On Hendry, Yankees, Astros

Yankees people don’t think Erik Bedard would last 20 minutes in New York. Red Sox GM Theo Epstein said Sunday that he’s happy to let Bedard’s arm respond to his critics.

Bedard allowed 22 runs and put 59 men on base in 38 innings with the Red Sox.

Goodfellas laugh

August 7th, 2011: New York Notes: Jimenez, Nova, Collins, Wade

Within the same piece, Blakeley goes on to discuss the Yankees’ July pursuit of Ubaldo Jimenez, saying that the organization feels Ivan Nova “is as good as this version of Jimenez.”

Blakeley is Gordon Blakeley, a longtime member of the Yankees’ front office. He left to join the Braves a year or two ago. Anyway, that comparison is not totally crazy. Ubaldo was signed through 2013 at the time. Here are his numbers and Nova’s numbers from the 2011 trade deadline through the end of the 2013 season:

Jimenez 424.2 4.45 4.17 21.3% 10.8% 42.0% 1.02 1.8 4.7
Nova 376.1 3.99 3.96 19.3% 7.4% 49.4% 0.96 5.6 4.9

See? Not crazy at all. At worse the two were comparable from the 2011 trade deadline through 2013, and at best Nova was far superior based on producing more WAR in almost 50 fewer innings. Plus Nova was making the league minimum and the Yankees would have had to give up other players to get Ubaldo too.

I wanted the Yankees to trade for Jimenez back in 2011. I really did. I was on the “send Montero to Colorado!” train. Good thing that trade didn’t come together for a few reasons.

August 8th, 2011: AL East Notes: Millwood, Posada, Lawrie

Jorge Posada is no longer the Yankees‘ regular DH and the final chapter of his career may be characterized by inactivity, writes Mike Bauman of

There are a lot of similarities between Posada in 2011 and Alex Rodriguez in 2016, aren’t there? Let’s list ’em:

  1. Neither was hitting. Posada was hitting so poorly in 2011 that he was demoted to ninth in the lineup while A-Rod has been so bad this season that he doesn’t even play anymore.
  2. Neither could play the field. Posada had to stop catching because of concussion issues. A-Rod had to stop playing third base because his hip surgeries sapped his mobility.
  3. Both were kept on the roster for off-the-field reasons. The Yankees did not release Posada in 2011 because he was a legacy Yankee. A-Rod has not been released because the team owes him a ton of money through next season.

The Yankees have cut back on Rodriguez’s playing time this season rather dramatically. They did the same to Posada in the second half of the 2011 season as well. He started only 20 of the team’s final 56 games that year, including only seven of 28 games in September. The key difference is the contracts. Posada was a free agent after that 2011 season while the Yankees are stuck with A-Rod through next season.

August 10th, 2011: Quick Hits: Tigers, Angels, Rhodes, Pirates

The Yankees have some interest in signing recently-released left-hander Arthur Rhodes to a minor league deal, according to George A. King III of the New York Post.

Arthur Rhodes was still pitching in 2011, huh? I guess he was. The Cardinals picked him up after the Rangers released him and he threw 8.2 innings for them. The Yankees were connected to Rhodes fairly often through the years and I never wanted any part of him. I’d seen him give up way too many back-breaking homers to the Yankees, most notably in Game Six of the 2000 ALCS …

… and Game Four of the 2001 ALCS …

… so yeah, I never wanted the Yankees to go near him. You don’t forget homers like that. I wanted the Yankees facing Rhodes, not employing him.

August 13th, 2011: Yankees To Sign Fifth Round Pick For $1MM+

The Yankees will sign fifth round pick Greg Bird for a signing bonus in the seven figures, reports ESPN’s Keith Law (on Twitter). MLB’s slot recommendation for the 179th overall pick is just under $132K.

The 2011 draft was the last draft before the bonus pools and Bird received the largest bonus the Yankees handed out that year ($1.1M). Only three players drafted and signed by the Yankees that year have reached MLB: Bird, Branden Pinder, and Matt Tracy. (Jon Gray and Nick Goody went back to school and were drafted again later.) The success of this draft class is all tied to Bird. If he returns from shoulder surgery and becomes an impact player, great. If not, the Yankees got nothing of value from this draft.

August 13th, 2011: Yankees Sign Scott Proctor

The Yankees have signed Scott Proctor to a minor league contract, reports Mark Feinsand of The New York Daily News (on Twitter). He’ll report to their Triple-A affiliate early next week.

The one thing I’ll never forget about Proctor’s second stint in pinstripes was Game 162. That was the game the Rays made the huge comeback while the Red Sox collapsed in Baltimore, and ultimately missed the postseason. Proctor came out of the bullpen in the ninth inning of Game 162 and you could tell he was in there for the duration. The Yankees had clinched everything they could have possibly clinched, so Joe Girardi kept sending Proctor back out there, inning after inning. He threw 2.2 innings and 56 pitches before Evan Longoria hit his walk-off homer. Proctor was going to thrown 200 pitches if necessary.

August 14th, 2011: Yankees Notes: Swisher, Sabathia, Soriano, Garcia

There’s no guarantee Bartolo Colon or Freddy Garcia are Yankees next season, but Garcia projects as a Type B free agent, meaning the club figures to at least offer him arbitration.

Garcia did actually qualify as the Type-B free agent that offseason and yes, the Yankees offered him arbitration. Which he rejected! Ultimately the Yankees ended up re-signing Garcia, but had he gone elsewhere, they would have received the 54th pick in the draft as compensation (assuming my math is correct).

The 54th pick in the draft that year? A kid named Mitch Gueller, who I actually wrote up as a potential draft target. Gueller currently has an 8.10 ERA in Low-A ball. The best player taken between that 54th pick and the Yankees’ next pick (89th overall, Austin Aune) is Alex Wood, almost by default. Not much to see in the late supplemental first/early second round that year.

August 16th, 2011: Yankees Claim Raul Valdes

The Yankees claimed left-hander Raul Valdes off of waivers from the Cardinals, according to Bryan Hoch of (on Twitter). To create space on the 40-man roster, the Yankees moved Jeff Marquez to the 60-day DL. They’re assigning Valdes to Triple-A and won’t need an active roster spot for him, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).

The Yankees called up Valdes that September and he allowed two runs in 6.2 innings as a lefty specialist. Forgettable Yankees don’t get more forgettable. Valdes is still pitching at age 38, you know. He currently has a 3.61 ERA in 77.1 innings as a starter for the Chunichi Dragons in Japan. How about that?

August 19th, 2011: Yankees Claim Laffey, Designate Gustavo Molina

The Yankees claimed left-hander Aaron Laffey off of waivers from the Mariners and designated catcher Gustavo Molina for assignment, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (on Twitter).

Like Valdes, Laffey got a look in September and he allowed four runs in 10.2 relief innings. Laffey is exactly why you should teach your kids to throw left-handed. The guy has hung around the league since 2007 and he’s banked roughly $4M as a journeyman southpaw. And he’s got a good pension coming too. It’s good work if you can get it. Laffey is only 31 and he’s currently in Triple-A with the Nationals. He’s still got a few more years of call-ups ahead of him.

August 20th, 2011: Yankees, Other Contenders Scouting Rich Harden

Rich Harden has been drawing interest from several contenders, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Yankees were just one of the teams on hand to witness his dazzling start last night. Harden held a potent Blue Jays offense scoreless through seven innings while punching out 11 batters and allowing just two hits and four walks.

At this point Harden was already battling all those injuries and trying to hang on. Here’s that eleven strikeout performance mentioned in the blurb. Harden’s stuff still looked pretty good back then:

The Athletics never did trade Harden that year. Not at the deadline and not in an August waiver deal. He finished the season with a 5.12 ERA (4.69 FIP) in 82.2 innings and that was it. Harden got hurt the following spring and hasn’t pitched since. Baseball is cruel.

August 23rd, 2011: AL East Notes: Blue Jays, Red Sox, Darvish

The Yankees have scouted Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish heavily, according to Sherman. Darvish, 25, “is coming” to the Major Leagues this offseason, according to one of Sherman’s sources.

The Yankees did make a bid for Darvish after the season, though we never did hear the amount. Reportedly it was well short of the $51.7M the Rangers bid to win his negotiating rights. I don’t think anyone didn’t want the Yankees to go after Darvish, who has been pretty much as advertised since coming over. He’s an ace and he misses a ton of bats. The Tommy John surgery stinks, but that’s an occupational hazard, not a character flaw.

That offseason the Yankees focused on re-signing CC Sabathia and understandably so. Sabathia was awesome and he showed he could thrive in the tough AL East. The extension hasn’t worked out as hoped, and yeah, going after Darvish rather than Sabathia would have been a much better move based on what we know now. Back then it was very different. Sabathia was coming off another Cy Young caliber season.

August 24th, 2011: Yankees Claim Carlos Pena; Deal Unlikely

5:06pm: GM Brian Cashman told’s Bryan Hoch that a trade is “very unlikely” for the Yankees and that he’s “not optimistic” about making a deal.’s Carrie Muskat reports (on Twitter) that Pena isn’t going anywhere.

4:16pm: The Yankees claimed Pena, according to Jon Heyman of (on Twitter). That means every team in baseball other than New York and possibly Boston passed on Pena. It’s clear that the Yankees want Pena, according to’s Buster Olney, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Cubs remain reluctant to make a deal (Twitter links).

Hah, I forgot the Yankees claimed Pena. He was having a typical late-career Carlos Pena season in 2011, hitting .225/.357/.462 (121 wRC+) with 28 homers, a ton of walks (16.7%), and a ton of strikeouts (26.6%). I assume the Yankees wanted him as first base/DH insurance. The Cubbies went 71-91 that season and were 56-73 on the day of this report, and I’m not quite sure why they were unwilling to discuss a trade with the Yankees. Pena was on a one-year contract. Weird.

August 31st, 2011: AL East Notes: Red Sox, Orioles, Montero, Rays

The Yankees were also involved in trade talks for Gonzalez, according to’s Roch Kubatko. However, Baltimore president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail preferred the pitcher the Rangers were offering.

The Gonzalez referred to here is Mike Gonzalez, the southpaw reliever. He had some incredible years with the Pirates back in the day, but, by 2011, he was essentially a middle reliever and left-on-left matchup guy masquerading as a high-leverage pitcher. The O’s traded him to the Rangers for Pedro Strop that year and the Yankees instead cycled through the Aaron Laffeys and Raul Valdeses of the baseball world as they looked for a second lefty to complement Boone Logan. How thoroughly unexciting.

Yankees rank second in’s updated farm system rankings

Frazier. (@Kelsie_Heneghan)
Frazier. (@Kelsie_Heneghan)

In the span of one week, the Yankees transformed their farm system from middle of the pack to arguably the best in baseball. The three recent trades (Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran) brought ten new prospects to the system, plus the Yankees have two players to be named later on the way thanks to the Ivan Nova trade. Let’s not forget about drafting and signing Blake Rutherford too. That’s a pretty big deal.

Yesterday afternoon prospect guru Jim Callis posted an updated ranking of the top ten farm systems in baseball. The Yankees are not No. 1. That distinction goes to the Brewers, who are in the middle of a massive rebuild and added a bunch of prospects themselves prior to the deadline with the Will Smith and Jonathan Lucroy/Jeremy Jeffress trades. The Yankees are No. 2 though, and that’s pretty awesome. Here is Callis’ blurb:

If not for the Brewers’ Monday moves, the Yankees’ Trade Deadline activity would have given them the best farm system in baseball. They maximized the value received for Aroldis Chapman (shortstop Gleyber Torres, No. 24 on the Top 100, among four players), Andrew Miller (outfielder Clint Frazier, No. 22, and left-hander Justus Sheffield, No. 93, among four players) and Carlos Beltran (right-hander Dillon Tate, the fourth overall pick in the 2015 Draft, among three players). Even before that, New York had plenty of high-ceiling talent, including speedy shortstop Jorge Mateo (No. 25), a pair of nearly-ready sluggers in outfielder Aaron Judge (No. 30) and catcher Gary Sanchez (No. 37), and toolsy outfielder Blake Rutherford (No. 62).

In a separate piece Callis says the Yankees “were doing a strong job of building up their farm system” even before the trades earlier this week. “They’re one of the most aggressive teams on the international market,” wrote Callis, “… (and) New York has drafted better in recent years as well.” I have some quick things to add.

1. The Yankees really did kill it at the deadline. I can’t stay this enough: the Yankees did far better with their trade deadline deals than I ever possibly imagined. Best case scenario stuff on the three big trades. Part of that is just me not having a firm grasp on the market as an outsider. Another part of it is the Yankees doing a really good job getting teams to chip in those extra third and fourth pieces. Mark Melancon and Will Smith are really great relievers and they combined to fetch four players total. The Yankees managed to get four players each for Chapman and Miller. That’s pretty incredible.’s updated farm system rankings reflect just how well the Yankees did at the deadline.

2. Expect some of these prospects to be traded. Prospects serve two purposes. One, they come up and assume roles on your big league roster. Some turn into stars, some turn into regulars, and some turn into role players. That’s the way it goes. And two, they’re trade chips. No one likes to think about their favorite prospects getting traded but it is part of the game. Not all these players are going to work out — the majority are not going to work out, in fact, because baseball is hard — and the key for any organization is figuring out which is these guys are worth keeping and building around, and which should be used as trade chips. That’s much easier said than done, obviously. The more prospects in the system, the more wiggle room you have when making those keep or trade decisions.

3. Farm system rankings are not meaningless. There have been countless studies about prospect rankings over the years, and by and large they’ve shown overall farm system rankings correlate well to future big league team success. (Here’s one, here’s another.) Does a good farm system guarantee future success? Of course not. But the more talent you have in the system, the more likely you are to be successful in the future. Right now the Yankees have more depth and talent in their system than they have at any point in the last 15-20 years, maybe even longer, and that bodes well for a franchise that is in desperate need of a youth infusion.

Starter or reliever? It doesn’t matter, it’s just good to see Severino have success again


Last night, for the first time this season, we got to see the dominant version of Luis Severino. I’m talking about the guy who tore through the league last season, not the guy who got hammered in seven starts earlier this season. Severino came out of the bullpen and held the Mets to one run on one hit and one walk in 4.1 innings, striking out five.

The seventh inning was standout moment for Severino. The Yankees were nursing a three-run lead and the Mets managed to load the bases with no outs on a walk, a bunt single, and an error. It was a dumb rally, but Severino was letting dumb rallies like that get out of hand earlier this season. Last night he was able to bear down and escape the jam while keeping the damage to a minimum (one run).

“Today was the best I’ve seen him,” said Joe Girardi to Chad Jennings after last night’s game. “We were really pleased with what we saw, and (pitching coach Larry Rothschild) actually worked with him before the game on it a little bit. He did an outstanding job. His slider – as we’ve obviously talked about – has been better, but I thought his fastball command was better, and he even threw a few changeups. Obviously I think that can get better too. But tonight, what I’ve seen, was the best I’ve seen him.”

Last night’s appearance was Severino’s third since coming off the DL, all of which have been in relief. He’s allowed one run on one hit and three walks in 8.1 total innings while striking out ten. That’s really good, but it’s 8.1 innings, so we can’t get too excited. Still, when Severino dominates like that last night and Chad Green can’t complete four innings, it’s easy to understand why folks want Luis back in the rotation.

As far as I’m concerned, Severino’s role doesn’t really matter right now. As long as he pitches multiple innings and gets to experience some success after his dreadful start to the season, I couldn’t care less whether he was starting or relieving. It’s not like the Yankees are in the thick of a playoff race, you know? There are a few things I consider more important than Severino’s role.

1. He’s keeping his slider down. The single biggest problem with Severino earlier this season was his command of his offspeed pitches, or lack there of. Especially with his slider. He threw way too many cement mixers that spun up in the zone and caught too much of the plate. The Yankees optioned Severino to Triple-A a few weeks ago specifically to work on this, and, well, look at his slider locations last night, via Brooks Baseball:

Luis Severino pitches

Almost all the red dots are down in the zone, exactly where you want the slider. If it’s too far down in the zone and the hitter takes it for a ball, that’s okay! That’s better than leaving it up and watching it go for extra bases. There are good misses and there are bad misses. Missing in the dirt is better than missing in the zone. Severino’s slider location has been better in general since being called up a week or two ago. Last night it was outstanding. Best it’s been all season.

2. He’s still using his changeup. This is an important one to me, and you know what? It’s not happening. Severino threw one changeup out of 60 pitches last night. One. He’s thrown two changeups total out of 112 total pitches in his three relief appearances since coming back up. Severino hasn’t thrown the changeup in relief because he hasn’t needed it. That’s true of most relievers.

Earlier this season Severino averaged about 14.6% changeups as a starter — it was 14.6% last year as well — and I’d like to see him get back to that rate now. That changeup is an important pitch. Severino needs a third pitch to have success long-term as a starter and right now he’s dominating as a fastball/slider guy out of the bullpen. You don’t want the development of his changeup to stall out. That would be bad. Luis is still developing as a young pitcher and he needs to throw that changeup to build a reliable third pitch.

3. He’s turning the lineup over multiple times. This is difficult to do in relief but Severino was able to do it last night. He faced 16 batters yesterday, so seven Mets got to see him twice. That’s pretty important. It’s relatively easy to air it out and empty the bag of tricks when you know you’re only going to face a hitter once. Going through a lineup two or three times is a different animal, and if Severino’s going to hack it as a starter, he has to learn to do that. (That also plays a role in the development of his changeup.)

4. He’s building confidence. These days we can track slider location and changeup usage rates and all that stuff. There’s no real way to measure confidence though, and it’s pretty important. Severino got hit around very hard earlier this season. A 7.46 ERA with a .327/.373/.547 opponent’s batting line is terrible, and that’s what Severino did for seven starts to open 2016. That’s brutal.


Luis is only human and I have a hard time thinking his confidence didn’t suffer when he was taking a pounding every fifth day back in April and May. How could it not? Last night Severino looked very confident and it was evident during that seventh inning jam. He attacked hitters with the bases loaded — Jay Bruce, James Loney, and Michael Conforto saw nine total pitches with the bases loaded, and eight were strikes — and challenged them with fastballs. It was no nonsense pitching.

“He looked like he had his confidence back. He looked like he had his swag back,” said Austin Romine after the game. Severino did indeed look more confidence last night than he did earlier this season and that’s great. He needs to build back some confidence and I’m guessing the stint in Triple-A helped. Being a Major League Baseball player is hard enough as it is. Imagine trying to do it when your confidence is shot.

I thought it was smart by the Yankees to bring Severino back as a reliever just because it’s a little easier to have success in that role even though he’d never really done it before. Things went so poorly earlier this season that Severino just needed to experience some level of success in MLB in any role just to remind himself that yes, I can do this. We can see the confidence growing with each outing.

* * *

It’s very easy to make too much out of one game and I’m guessing there will be plenty of calls to put Severino in the rotation after last night. I get it. I do. But like I said before, I honestly don’t care whether Severino starts or relieves in the short-term. (Yes, he should definitely start long-term.) As long as his slider location improves, he continues to use his changeup, and he gets a chance to turn a lineup over once or twice, then the Yankees are putting Severino in position to further his development, and that’s the most important thing.

Offense, Severino pick up Green in a 9-5 win over the Mets

It doesn’t matter where the two teams are in the standings. Watching the Yankees beat the Mets never gets old. The Yankees won Wednesday night’s game 9-5 and we all had a good laugh along the way. Good game. Would watch again.


It’s Not Easy Being Green
Boy, that could have been much, much worse for Chad Green. Don’t get me wrong, three runs and 12 baserunners (!) in 3.2 innings is no good, but the Mets had him on the ropes a few times and failed to take advantage. Three ground ball double plays will do that. The Yankees had the bullpen working in every inning Green pitched. Heck, there was a reliever warming before he even got an out. He was that shaky.

The game started with a leadoff home run by Curtis Granderson, who knows a thing or two about going deep in this ballpark. That is the third leadoff homer the Yankees have allowed in the last nine games. Annoying! A string of singles followed to create another run — to be fair, none of them were hard-hit — before Green got the inning-ending double play. A defensive misplay by Mark Teixeira and another single create the Mets’ third run of the game in the second inning.

Green faced 20 batters and 13 saw at least four pitches. Seven saw a three-ball count. There were an awful lot of long counts and foul balls — Green got six swings and misses and allowed 18 fouls out of 86 total pitches — because Green simply had nothing to put hitters away. They were on his fastball and his offspeed stuff was finishing too far out of the zone. Not a good start by any stretch.


Pick Up The Pitcher
The top of the first inning was mighty ugly — the Mets scored two runs and put five men on base total — and yet the Yankees were able to take the lead in the bottom half. Chase Headley drove in Rob Refsnyder (single) and Mark Teixeira (walk) with a booming double into the left-center field gap, then Didi Gregorius cashed in the third run with a two-run double. So, after all of that, the Yankees led 3-2 after the first.

The Mets knotted the game back up in the next half inning, but the Yankees responded by taking the lead for good in the bottom of the second. It all happened with two outs too. Jacoby Ellsbury and Refsnyder slapped two-out singles, then Teixeira drove a not terribly located 1-0 fastball …

Mark Teixeira Steven Matz

… into the right-center field seats for a three-run home run. Was a cheap Yankee Stadium homer? Yes. Yes it was. It still counts. It’s not like Granderson’s leadoff dinger landed in the second deck. That was a wall-scraper too. Anyway, the opposite field homer gave the Yankees a 6-3 lead. Amazing they had a three-run lead considering a) the general terrible-ness of the offense this season, and b) Green’s ineffectiveness.

Shutdown Sevy
Since resurfacing a week or two ago, Luis Severino has look pretty good while pitching in mostly low-leverage relief innings. The Yankees have been taking it easy on him. Severino came out of the bullpen to replace Green and retired the first seven men he faced to take the ball into the seventh inning. That’s when things started to unravel.

That seventh inning started with a leadoff walk, then Neil Walker laid down a bunt single and Headley booted a potential double play ball. Just like that, the bases were loaded with no outs and the Yankees still nursing that 6-3 lead. The Mets had their 4-5-6 hitters coming up too. It was a certifiable mess, and yet Joe Girardi stuck with Severino. No one was warming in the bullpen.

Rather than implode, which happened far too often when Severino was in a jam earlier this season, he was able to bear down and escape while allowing just one run. He struck out Jay Bruce on three pitches, got Yankee Killer James Loney to ground out to first (run scored to make it 6-4), then struck out Michael Conforto to escape the inning. Severino went full Joba with his fist pump:

Luis Severino

That was some serious F.U. pitching by Severino. He was throwing with conviction and went right after hitters with the bases loaded; Bruce, Loney, and Conforto saw nine total pitches, only one of which was a ball. That was easily his best inning of the season. Severino was letting those innings spiral out of control earlier this year when he was still in the rotation. On Wednesday, he kicked it into another gear and got out of the jam. That was impressive.

Broken Open Late
Immediately after Severino escaped that jam, the offense put three more runs on the board. Refsnyder had a sac fly, Starlin Castro beat out an infield single to score a run, and Gregorius drew a bases loaded walk. Hansel Robles chirped at Teixeira that inning because he thought he was stealing signs from second base. It was pretty funny. Robles was clearly distracted and Teixeira was just laughing at him the whole time. The three runs gave the Yankees a 9-4 lead.

Severino chucked a scoreless eighth inning to finish the night with one run allowed in 4.1 innings. He allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out five. Severino threw 60 pitches and got nine swings and misses, which is pretty excellent. This was by far the best he’s looked all season. Tyler Clippard followed Severino and allowed a garbage time solo homer in an otherwise uneventful ninth inning.


The benches cleared in the fifth inning. Steven Matz drilled Teixeira with a pitch in the leg and Mark didn’t like that. He thought it was intentional after the home run in the third inning. There were no punches thrown or anything like that, but Teixeira had to be restrained and the dugouts did empty out on to the field. He got his payback when he slid in hard at second on Headley’s double play ball.

The Yankees had nine hits total. Refsnyder had two, Austin Romine had none, and the other seven starters had one each. The Yankees also drew four walks total. Teixeira had two of them. He reached base four times (homer, hit-by-pitch, two walks). The Yankees went 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The Mets? They went 2-for-12 in those spots. Difference in the game right there.

And finally, congrats to Gary Sanchez. He picked up his first big league hit in the seventh inning on a solid ground ball single back up the middle. Sanchez went first-to-third on Aaron Hicks‘ double, then scored his first big league run on Refsnyder’s sac fly. Here’s to many more of those, Gary.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
For the box score and updated standings, I suggest going to ESPN. is the place to go for the video highlights. We have Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings you may or may not find interesting. Here’s the graph of win probability, which is based on thousands and thousands of games worth of historical data:

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The four-game home-and-home Subway Series is finally coming to an end. The Yankees and Mets wrap things up Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. Nathan Eovaldi and Bartolo Colon are the scheduled starters. RAB Tickets can get you in the door for that game or any of the other three games remaining on the homestand.

DotF: Higashioka goes deep in Scranton’s win

Got some notes to pass along:

  • Josh Norris (no subs. req’d) has a really good article on C Donny Sands’ conversion to catcher. Turns out Sands is not catching much in GCL games because he has regular 5am workouts with the team’s catching instructors. “The first time I threw out a guy — we had worked out at five in the morning on footwork, footwork, footwork — and the first time, it just clicked. That’s when I started feeling like, ‘This is starting to pay off,'” he said. Pretty cool.
  • LHP Justus Sheffield was officially added to the High-A Tampa roster following today’s game, the team announced. I’m guessing that means he’s going to make his first start tomorrow. Sheffield was part of the Andrew Miller trade this past weekend.
  • In case you missed it earlier, LHP Jacob Lindgren will have Tommy John surgery on Friday, so we probably won’t see him again until 2018. Also, RHP Conor Mullee is still have issues with his hand and is heading to see a doctor.

Triple-A Scranton (7-0 win over Lehigh Valley)

  • CF Jake Cave: 1-5, 1 RBI, 3 K
  • LF Clint Frazier: 1-5, 1 R, 1 K — gets his first hit in his second game in the organization
  • DH Aaron Judge: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K — 3-for-8 with two doubles in his two games back from the knee injury
  • 1B Ike Davis: 0-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • RF Tyler Austin: 3-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB — I wrote about him earlier today
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB — he’s hit five homers in his last nine Triple-A games
  • LHP Dietrich Enns: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 3/5 GB/FB — 49 of 86 pitches were strikes (57%), plus he picked a runner off first … exactly half of his 20 starts this season have been scoreless, which is pretty nuts
  • RHP Kirby Yates: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 2/2 GB/FB — 16 of 21 pitches were strikes (76%)
  • RHP Gio Gallegos: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — eleven pitches, nine strikes
  • RHP Jonathan Holder: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K — eleven pitches, eight strikes … 74/7 K/BB in 51 innings

[Read more…]

Game 107: Sanchez returns, maybe for good this time


As expected, the Yankees called up top catching prospect Gary Sanchez today and he is in tonight’s lineup (at DH) against southpaw Steven Matz. They’ve done this before, calling up Sanchez to spot start against a left-handed pitcher, but this time it seems he may be up for good. For starters, the Yankees gave him No. 24 this time, which looks like a “you’ll be here a while” number. Sanchez wore 73 and 57 his last two times up.

Secondly, the Yankees have spent the last few days doing nothing but talking about prospects and incorporating them into the lineup in the second half. Sanchez is as ready as he’s going get, and with Carlos Beltran gone and Alex Rodriguez glued to the bench, the DH spot is wide open. He just might be here for a while. Here is the Mets’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. RF Rob Refsnyder
  3. 1B Mark Teixeira
  4. 3B Chase Headley
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. C Austin Romine
  8. DH Gary Sanchez
  9. LF Aaron Hicks
    RHP Chad Green

The weather in New York is pretty much perfect. Nice and sunny but on the cool side and a little breezy. There are worse days to spend at the ballpark. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin a little after 7pm ET. You can watch on YES and SNY locally, and ESPN nationally. Enjoy the game.

Roster Move: Ben Gamel was sent down to clear a spot on the roster for Sanchez, the Yankees announced. That’s not surprising. Releasing A-Rod is a pipe dream at this point. Joe Girardi did say the team is likely to call up other young players before rosters expand in September, for what it’s worth.

Injury Update: Conor Mullee (hand) is heading to see a doctor after feeling renewed symptoms during his latest minor league rehab game. He’s on the DL with some sort of nerve issue that is making his fingers go numb.

TiqIQ: New-Look Yankees Welcome Crosstown Mets, Divisional Counterparts to Stadium in August

The dust has finally settled, and out of the Yankees’ deadline fire sale come a slew of young players that will have an immediate impact on the franchise’s farm. Top prospects Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres highlight the list of 10 minor leaguers the Yankees hauled in by Monday afternoon, the prized new additions to an organization that now boasts one of the best farm systems in the league.

So where does that leave 2016’s Yankees team? Well, the “No Runs DMC” trio is no longer, with Aroldis Chapman shipping out to Chicago and Andrew Miller taking up new digs with the Cleveland Indians. Carlos Beltran is the latest piece to the Texas Rangers’ playoff hopes while Ivan Nova now dresses in black and yellow in Pittsburgh. Still, with four key players skipping town, there are still plenty of reasons to watch the Yankees battle in the Bronx this month.

The Wild Card race is slowly slipping out of reach, and following Tuesday’s loss to the New York Mets the Yankees now sit 5.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot. There will be several notable teams making their way to Yankee Stadium over the next four weeks, however, and Yankees tickets in August won’t be too taxing on the wallet for fans attending an upcoming game.

The Mets will be in town for the second half of a four-game series beginning tonight. Despite both teams’ recent shortcomings, the hype surrounding the Subway Series games will make them the most expensive to attend in the Bronx this month. As it stands now tickets to tonight’s game start from $95. The final game of the series will be slightly cheaper to attend, with tickets listed from $58 in the 200 level headed out towards right field.

Following their two-game bout with the Mets, the Yankees welcome the red-hot Cleveland Indians for a three-game series this weekend. The Indians made a splash last Sunday after acquiring the former Yankee Miller, who was greeted to the team with a home run from Joe Mauer in his first appearance Monday night. With the lockdown lefty back in town this weekend, all three games will offer relatively cheap price points, with tickets starting from just $17 each in the outfield bleachers.

A mid-week trip to Boston will pen three games against the Red Sox from August 9-11. The Yankees return home for a six-game homestand against the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays, the latter of which are neck-and-neck with the Orioles atop the division to begin the month. While tickets are listed from $17 during the Rays series, fans can take advantage of the MasterCard Half-Price Game against the Blue Jays on August 17, where tickets can be found at just $9 each in the outfield bleachers when checking out with a MasterCard.

The first-place Orioles will be the final team to visit Yankee Stadium this month for a three-game stretch between August 26 and 28. Barring an unlikely playoff series, the O’s make their second-to-last trip to New York this season. Like that of the Indians and Rays series, tickets start from $17 on Ticketmaster.