Saturday Night Open Thread

Happy Saturday, everyone. This afternoon’s loss will be replayed on YES at 7pm ET, if you’re interested. The Mets are playing, MLB Network will show a regional game a little later, and there’s both NBA and NHL postseason action as well. Talk about that stuff or anything else right here.

Orioles rough up Whitley, Ellsbury’s hit streak snapped at 11 as Yankees fall 6-2

Source: FanGraphs

You could kinda see Saturday’s loss coming given the state of the overworked bullpen. What are you gonna do. You win some and lose some, and the Yankees lost 6-2 to the Orioles on Saturday afternoon. They’ve still won 16 of their last 22 games. It’s Saturday, so let’s recap with bullet points:

  • Bombs Away: Chase Whitley‘s third start of the season was easily his worst. The O’s tagged him for five runs in 5.2 innings, four thanks to a trio of homers. Jimmy Paredes (solo), Chris Davis (solo), and Alejandro De Aza (two-run) all took him deep. All lefties in Yankee Stadium. Probably not a coincidence. Whitley at least soaked up some innings despite getting hit around, and the bullpen needed that.
  • Not Enough Offense: The Yankees didn’t score their first run until the fifth inning, when they were already down five-zip. Chase Headley singled, Stephen Drew doubled, and John Ryan Murphy hit a sacrifice fly, all in succession. They scored their second run in the eighth, down 6-1. Carlos Beltran singled in Jacoby Ellsbury, who reached on an error. The Yankees made some noise in the ninth (two on, one out) but couldn’t capitalize. Wei-Yin Chen threw 43 pitches in the first two innings and finished the afternoon with 105 pitches in seven innings. Womp womp.
  • Leftovers: The David Carpenter rehabilitation program got underway with a 1.1-inning outing, during which he allowed a run on two hits. Chasen Shreve faced the minimum in his two scoreless innings … Jose Pirela had two singles, both off a lefty. Chris Young (double, walk) was the only other player to reach base twice … Headley had a really strong day in the field, making several tough stops including a few diving plays … Ellsbury’s hit streak ended at eleven games.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. We also have Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages available. The Yankees and Orioles will wrap up this four-game series with a Mother’s Day matinee. Michael Pineda and Bud Norris are scheduled to be on the mound Sunday afternoon, but Roch Kubatko says Norris is sick, so they might need a spot starter. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Yankees place Chris Martin on 15-day DL with right elbow tendinitis


The Yankees have placed right-hander Chris Martin on the 15-day DL with right elbow tendinitis, the team announced. The move was made before this afternoon’s game. Fellow righty Branden Pinder was called up to replace Martin on the roster.

Martin, 28, has a 3.55 ERA (2.05 FIP) in 12.2 innings this season, though he’s struggled his last three times out and it could be related to the elbow issue. Martin missed some time with elbow inflammation in Spring Training last year and had major shoulder surgery years and years ago. Martin’s velocity has been fine recently, no red flags there.

The Yankees didn’t give a timetable for Martin’s return. Pinder gets the first opportunity to replace him, but the team could also turn to Jacob Lindgren, Danny Burawa, Jose Ramirez, or a few others. Chris Capuano is also close to returning from a quad injury, which would lead to Chase Whitley or Adam Warren moving to the bullpen.

Update: Following this afternoon’s game, Martin told reporters he first felt discomfort after the series with the Rays last week. So yeah, the timing of the injury coincides perfectly with his recent struggles.

Game 31: Steal A Win


On paper, this looks like a game the Yankees will have a very tough time winning. First of all, Chase Whitley is starting, and while he was phenomenal last time out and very good in his two starts overall, I’m not sure anyone is truly comfortable expecting Whitley to take the ball deep into the game and pitch well given his fade last year. Maybe it’s just me.

Secondly, the bullpen is taxed. Check out our Bullpen Workload page for details. Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, and Justin Wilson have all pitched three days in a row, and Joe Girardi hates asking his guys to pitch three straight days, especially this early in the season. Furthermore, Esmil Rogers has warmed up in each of the last two games after pitching Wednesday. His arm is not exactly fresh. This is a game the Yankees shouldn’t win on paper, but they’ve already won a lot of those types of games this season. Here is the Orioles’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. RF Chris Young
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. DH Carlos Beltran
  6. 2B Jose Pirela
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Stephen Drew
  9. C John Ryan Murphy
    RHP Chase Whitley

The weather is kinda yucky in New York today. I was disappointed to not see the sun when I went out for breakfast this morning. It’s cloudy and gray out, but there is no rain in the forecast, so that’s good. Not the prettiest day for baseball. It happens. This afternoon’s game will begin at 1:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy.

Late Roster Move: Branden Pinder is with the Yankees, according to Meredith Marakovits. Chris Martin has been send down to clear a roster spot placed on the 15-day DL. No word on the injury yet.

Andrew Bailey close to starting throwing program after being shut down with shoulder strain

(NY Post)
(NY Post)

A little more than one week after being shut down with a right shoulder strain, right-hander Andrew Bailey is a few days from starting a throwing program, Brian Cashman told Brendan Kuty. “He’s trying to do almost the impossible,” said Cashman, referring to Bailey’s attempt to return from a torn shoulder capsule, a very severe injury.

Bailey, 30, was shut down with discomfort in his surgically repaired shoulder after pitching in back-to-back games with High-A Tampa. Bailey made six appearances in Spring Training and had a 5.40 ERA (3.59 FIP) with seven strikeouts and one walk in five innings with Tampa before being shut down. It was the first time he pitched in back-to-back games as part of his rehab.

Obviously the Yankees aren’t counting on Bailey to help in any way this year. Anything he gives them is a bonus, and they have enough bullpen depth in Triple-A that they don’t need to count on him. The Yankees took a low-risk flier and gave Bailey a minor league contract, so if he can help, great. If not, they’ve lost nothing.

Now, that said, Bailey could give the Yankees a nice shot in the arm, especially now that Chris Martin appears to be coming back to Earth and David Carpenter couldn’t be any further outside the Circle of Trustâ„¢. Another right-hander wouldn’t hurt. There’s a spot for Bailey in the bullpen if he manages to stay healthy and show he can produce.

Yankees take early lead, then bullpen nails down 5-4 win over Orioles

Was it easy? Nah. Was it a win? Yes it was. A win is a win is a win. The Yankees won for the 16th time in their last 21 games on Friday night, beating the Orioles by the score of 5-4. The Bronx Bombers — we can call them that unironically again! — are 14-9 (.609) against AL East opponents this year. They were 37-39 (.487) within the division last year.


Swinging 3-0 Makes It 3-0
Exactly one week ago, Alex Rodriguez unloaded on a 3-0 pitch at Fenway Park for his historic 660th career home run. On Friday night, Brian McCann did the same, except his homer wasn’t as historic. He took a healthy cut at Miguel Gonzalez’s 3-0 offering in the first inning for a two-run homer to right field. A Yankee Stadium special. The kind of home run the Yankees signed him to hit.

The homer gave New York a quick 3-0 lead. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner — who else? those two are something else atop the lineup — set the inning up with a single and a double, and A-Rod plated the first run of the night with a sacrifice fly. It was well-struck but not “hey that might get out of here” well-struck. In the span of five batters, the Yankees scored three times as many runs as they scored in seven innings against Gonzalez three weeks ago.

Ellsbury and Gardner set up another multi-run rally in the third, this time with a leadoff walk and a single. The next two batters made outs and Gonzalez again fell behind 3-0 on McCann, but he knew better this time. He walked him intentionally to load the bases for Carlos Beltran. Zombie Beltran rose from the dead and whacked a double to right-center field, scoring two runs, though McCann was thrown out at home trying to score at first.

In hindsight, that was a pretty big out at the plate. I was too busy being happy Beltran actually got a hit to care about the out at the time. That would have been a nice insurance run to have in the late innings, but thankfully it wasn’t necessary. Through the first three innings, the Yankees went 6-for-13 (.462) with a two doubles, a homer, a sac fly, a walk, and a stolen base against Gonzalez.

Six innings, Adam. You can do it. (Elsa/Getty)
Six innings, Adam. You can do it. (Elsa/Getty)

Five & Fly
This was Adam Warren‘s sixth start of the season, and it followed the same script as his other five starts. Pretty good the first time through the order, not as good the second time through, terrible the third time through. Warren got some help from his defense early in the game and navigated the first four innings unscathed despite putting at least one man on base in each inning.

The fifth inning is where it got messy. Warren didn’t just walk the first two batters to start the inning, he walked the number eight and nine hitters to start the inning. Ouch. Manny Machado followed with a single to left to drive in Baltimore’s first run. Warren rebounded to strike out Jimmy Paredes, but Adam Jones laced a single to right to load the bases. He hit it so hard Ryan Flaherty was unable to score from second.

With his pitch count rising and his command deteriorating — a classic sign of fatigue and something we’ve seen from Warren in his other starts this season when his pitch count crossed 85 or so — Warren was able to get Delmon Young to weak tapper to shortstop, too weak to turn the double play. The out was made at second and the second run scored, ending his night. Justin Wilson came in and struck out Chris Davis to end the threat.

Warren finished the night with two runs allowed on five singles and two walks in 4.2 innings. He struck out two and recorded ten of his other dozen outs on the infield. That’s sorta cheating though — one runner was thrown out at the plate and another was thrown out trying to steal. Warren is averaging 91.5 pitches and 5.1 innings per start this year, so he’s the very definition of a five-and-fly pitcher. Not terrible, not great. The Warren as a starter story.


Hang On
The bloom seems to be off the Chris Martin rose. After Wilson put two men on base with two outs in the sixth, Martin came in, walked Machado on six pitches that weren’t particularly close to the strike zone (Manny’s a hacker), then allowed a two-run single to Paredes to make it a 5-4 game. Martin has inherited seven runners this year and five have scored. Probably not the best guy to use in a fireman role going forward.

Joe Girardi doubled down and left Martin in to start the seventh, and he rewarded his manager’s faith with two quick outs before blossoming Yankees killer Caleb Joseph singled up the middle. Martin has faced eleven batters in his last three outings and six have reached base. Slump or a crash back to Earth? Girardi went for the kill with two outs and a man on first in the seventh by bringing Dellin Betances.

Betances struck out Travis Snider to end the seventh, got two ground balls and a fly out to the warning track in the eighth, then gave way to Andrew Miller. A strikeout, a pop-up, and a ground out later, Miller had his 13th save in 13 chances. Dellin and Miller this season: 33.1 IP, 11 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 16 BB, 54 K. This is good. I enjoy this. Oh, and by the way, Girardi officially named Miller his closer after the game. Never woulda guessed it.

Meeeeanwhile, the offense stopped scoring after the third inning. They had runners on the corners in both the fifth and eighth innings, but failed to capitalize. After Beltran’s double, 15 of the final 19 Yankees to bat made outs, and two of the four guys who reached base did so on an intentional walk and an infield single. Coulda used an insurance run or five there, fellas.

Nope, out. (Elsa/Getty)
Nope, out. (Elsa/Getty)

Each of the top six hitters in the lineup had at least one hit, and that includes Stephen Drew, who came off the bench to replace Beltran for defense in the late innings. (Drew took over at second and Chris Young went to right, replacing Jose Pirela.) The bottom three hitters in the lineup went 0-for-10 with a strikeout. New York’s lineup is very top heavy. They rely an awful lot on that Ellsbury-Gardner-Rodriguez-Teixeira foursome. It would be nice if some other guys got going.

The Yankees had eight hits, five for extra bases: McCann homered, A-Rod tripled, and Gardner, Teixeira, and Beltran each doubled. A-Rod tripled off the very top of the wall in right-center. It looked the ball glanced off the glove of a leaping Adam Jones before rolling away from Snider. The Yankees have five triples this year: McCann, A-Rod, Beltran, Chase Headley, and Garrett Jones. Go figure.

Gardner threw Machado out at the plate to end the first inning — it was a really bad send, Gardner was scooping the ball before Machado even got to third — for the team’s fifth outfield assist of the season. It’s the first runner they’ve thrown out at the plate this year. Don’t ask me why I looked that up. Even I’m not sure.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also make sure you check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. Important stuff going on there. Here’s the win probability graph:

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Same two teams on Saturday afternoon, in the third game of this four-game series. Chase Whitley and Wei-Yin Chen will be the pitching matchup in the matinee. If Whitley wants to go out and throw a complete game, that would be swell. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch that game or Sunday’s game live. The Yankees won’t be back in the Bronx until May 22nd after this weekend.

DotF: Roller goes deep in Scranton’s win

What do you want first, the good news or the bad news? Okay, the good news: OF Aaron Judge placed seventh in this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. He came into tonight 12-for-28 (.429) with two homers and two doubles during his six-game hitting streak.

Now, the bad news: 1B Greg Bird has been placed on the Double-A DL with a right shoulder injury, the team announced. Josh Norris says he’s heading for an MRI. Bird has a history of back issues but this is his first shoulder trouble as far as I know. 1B Matt Snyder was bumped up from High-A Tampa to Trenton to take Bird’s spot on the roster.

Triple-A Scranton (5-4 win over Indianapolis)

  • RF Slade Heathcott & DH Ramon Flores: both 1-4, 1 BB — Heathcott scored a run, stole a base, and threw a runner out at second … Flores struck out thrice
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K — snaps his ten-game hitting streak
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 2-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB — third homer in the last seven games
  • LF Tyler Austin: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K — came into the game in an 0-for-15 slump
  • C Austin Romine: 1-3, 1 RBI
  • LHP Matt Tracy: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 Balk, 7/1 GB/FB — 52 of 84 pitches were strikes (62%)
  • RHP Jared Burton: 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 12 of 17 pitches were strikes (71%)
  • RHP Jose Ramirez: 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 19 of 26 pitches were strikes (73%)

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