Beltran, Betances, Miller selected to 2016 All-Star Game

(Jim McIsaac/Getty)
(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

For the second straight season, the Yankees will have three All-Star representatives. Carlos Beltran, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller were all selected for the 2016 All-Star Game, it was announced Tuesday night. Last year Betances, Mark Teixeira, and Brett Gardner represented the Yankees. Here are the full 2016 All-Star rosters.

Beltran has been far and away the Yankees’ best hitter this season. He owns a .296/.337/.567 (136 wRC+) batting line with 19 homers, seventh most in the AL. Only Mike Trout (169 wRC+), Nelson Cruz (141 wRC+), Jackie Bradley Jr. (141 wRC+), and Michael Saunders (140 wRC+) have been better among AL outfielders. This is Beltran’s ninth All-Star Game and, believe it or not, his first as an AL player. Who knew?

Betances is heading to his third straight All-Star Game even though this feels like the worst of his three full seasons in the big leagues. He’s set the bar rather high. Dellin has a 2.63 ERA (1.17 FIP) with 74 strikeouts in 41 innings. He leads all relievers in strikeouts and fWAR (+2.1), and he’s second in strikeout rate (46.3%). Betances has been insanely good this season. Again.

As for Miller, he is going to his first All-Star Game. He has a 1.47 ERA (1.91 FIP) with 66 strikeouts in only 36.2 innings. Miller leads all relievers in strikeout rate (48.2%), is second to Betances in strikeouts, and is fourth in fWAR (+1.4). He’s behind Betances, Kenley Jansen (+1.9), and Will Harris (+1.5). Needless to say, Miller is very deserving. I thought he was the only All-Star Game lock among Yankees players.

The Yankees don’t really have a snub for the All-Star Game. Masahiro Tanaka has a case for a spot, but he’s going to start this Sunday, which means he’s ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game anyway. Brian McCann could have made it given the generally awful crop of AL catchers, but alas. Didi Gregorius has been awesome, though there are too many good shortstops in the AL. Congrats to Beltran, Betances, and Miller. They were all very deserving.

Game 83: Tanaka Tuesday

(David Banks/Getty)
(David Banks/Getty)

Folks, I have bad news. The Yankees are playing another game tonight. I know, it sucks. The Yankees can’t score and they have like one good pitcher, and he needs an extra day of rest to actually be, you know, good. Luckily, that guy is on the mound tonight with an extra day rest, so there’s a chance tonight’s game will be marginally entertaining. Small victories, I suppose. Here is the White Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Carlos Beltran
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. SS Starlin Castro
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. 2B Rob Refsnyder
  8. CF Aaron Hicks
  9. C Austin Romine
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

It’s cloudy in Chicago and there’s a small chance of rain pretty much all night. Hopefully it won’t be anything that interrupts the game. That would suck. Tonight’s game will begin a bit after 8pm ET. You can watch on YES. Try to enjoy.

Roster Move: The Yankees have called up Chasen Shreve and sent down Luis Cessa, the team announced. Good. Cessa needs to pitch to continue his development, not sit around so he can throw two mop-up innings every ten days.

Sticking Eovaldi in the bullpen is a fine short-term move that creates some long-term questions

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Although he did not appear in the game, Nathan Eovaldi was in the bullpen yesterday afternoon and available in relief in needed. It was Eovaldi’s normal throw day between starts and the bullpen was short-handed after being worked hard over the weekend, so to the bullpen he went. Teams do stuff like this all the time.

Prior to yesterday’s game Joe Girardi said the Yankees plan to keep Eovaldi in the bullpen through Sunday, the end of the first half. Chad Green, who pitched so well Sunday, is going to make Eovaldi’s next start Friday. That’s pretty cool. The Yankees will reevaluate their rotation situation during the All-Star break next week.

“I envision Nathan as a starter. This is not something we are saying is long-term,” said Girardi to George King yesterday. “We kind of have a need right now … Right now the plans are for him to help us in the bullpen. I know he wants to start and he will start again. If I had (Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances today), he probably would have started (Friday).”

In the short-term, moving Eovaldi to the bullpen makes total sense. Not only is there a need right now, but he’s also been historically awful recently, allowing 31 runs and 57 baserunners — including 12 (!) home runs — in his last seven starts and 30.1 innings. You can’t keep running that guy out there. You just can’t. Eovaldi had a 3.71 ERA (3.58 FIP) through his ten first starts and now has a 5.54 ERA (5.14 FIP) through 16 starts.

What about the long-term? Well that’s a little more up in the air. Girardi said he still views Eovaldi as starter and I do too. At some point the performance needs to improve though. He’s been so bad of late that I kinda sorta expected him to land on the DL following his start Friday. This seems like something that goes beyond a mechanical flaw or general suckiness. An injury would have not surprised me at all. So, where do the Yankees and Eovaldi from here?

It’s not Eovaldi or Green. It’s Eovaldi or Nova.

Green is going to make Eovaldi’s start Friday, but this shouldn’t be an “Eovaldi or Green” situation. This should be an “Eovaldi or Ivan Nova” situation. Nova, despite his fine start Saturday, has been pretty bad of late too, pitching to a 5.06 ERA (4.81 FIP) in 74.2 innings. That’s after he put up a 5.07 ERA (4.87 FIP) in 94 innings last year. His performance has not improved as he’s gotten further away from Tommy John surgery.

Remember, Nova is a goner after the season. He’s going to be a free agent this winter, and while we can’t completely rule out the Yankees re-signing him, I think it would be surprise. Eovaldi has another year of team control remaining before free agency. The guy who is going to be around longer should be the priority here. Eovaldi has a chance to help the Yankees win next season. Nova doesn’t. Whenever Eovaldi is ready to rejoin the rotation, be it after the break or later in the season, Nova should not stand in his way.

What if Eovaldi dominates in relief?

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Good question, me. Most pitchers see their stuff tick up in the bullpen because they’re able to cut it loose for an inning. Pitchers have to pace themselves as a starter and hold a little something back for the second and third time through the lineup. Eovaldi is averaging a career high 98.0 mph with his fastball this season. Averaging. What’s he going to throw as a reliever? 106? Golly.

Should Eovaldi dominate in the bullpen, it would create something of a Catch-22. There would be the temptation to put him back in the rotation because he’s pitching well and would be more valuable there. At the same time, when a guy dominates in the bullpen, it’s really easy to just keep him there and stick with what works. What’s the right move? We can’t answer that without seeing Eovaldi in action in relief first.

In the short-term, reliever Eovaldi could shore up the middle innings hole that has hampered the Yankees all season. In the long-term, reliever Eovaldi could step into the end-game mix with Miller a trade candidate and Aroldis Chapman coming up on free agency (if he isn’t traded first). There is always room for another good reliever. Always always always.

* * *

Like I said, I still see Eovaldi as a starting pitcher, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested to see what he does in relief. He could very well end up throwing the fastest pitch in baseball history. That’s not hyperbole. This guy threw a pitch 102.5 mph last season while working as a starter. Eovaldi could be another Betances as a reliever.

For now let’s just worry about getting through the rest of the week. The Yankees have six games to go before the All-Star break, then everyone can catch their breath and figure out where things stand. Girardi made it sound like the team wants to get Eovaldi back into the rotation at some point, and these things usually have a way of working themselves out. Hopefully we see him in relief a few times before that just to see what he can do.

Trade Deadline Notes: Rangers, Nats, Miller, Moore, Hill

Hill. (Brian Blanco/Getty)
Hill. (Brian Blanco/Getty)

With 82 games in the books, the Yankees are 40-42 and 4.5 games back of the second wildcard spot. There are six teams ahead of them in that wildcard race. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at a mere 7.0%. Contention is a long shot at this point, which means the trade deadline could be very, very interesting. Buster Olney (sub. req’d) says the Yankees are taking offers right now, which strikes me as the kind of thing they’d do anyway, regardless of their record. Anyway, here are some miscellaneous trade notes with the deadline three weeks and six days away.

Rangers, Nationals, Cubs scouting Yankees relievers

Scouts from the Rangers, Nationals, and Cubs were on hand to see the Yankees’ big three relievers in San Diego over the weekend, reports George King. The Cubs have been on those guys for a while now, but the Rangers and Nationals are new to the party. Then again, it’s not exactly a surprise they’re watching New York’s end-game arms. All three of those clubs are in contention and they all could use varying levels of bullpen help.

I know it seems sorta silly that teams are scouting Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman. It’s not like they need to send a scout to San Diego to tell them they’re awesome. They’re just doing their due diligence though. They want to see if someone’s mechanics have changed or anything like that. Basically, they’re looking for red flags. Everyone knows these guys are great. Is there reason to believe they may suddenly not be great?

Yanks tell Miller they haven’t “discussed or planned” trading him

Should the Yankees decide to sell, their best trade chip is most likely Miller. He’s awesome, he’s signed affordably for another two years, and he’s the ultimate team player. Lots and lots of clubs would love to add him to their roster. For now, the Yankees have told Miller they haven’t “discussed or planned” trading him, writes Barry Bloom.

“The media has been throwing a few things out there, but I’ve had reassurances from them at the times I’ve talked to them that it’s something that hasn’t been discussed or planned for or anything like that,” he said. “I think that’s kind of nice … But I have no trade protection. I’m at the mercy of that what they decide to do. I get it. It’s a business. I want to be here. I want to play here. But it’s impossible to avoid sometimes.”

I’ve seen that quote misconstrued as “the Yankees told Miller they aren’t trading him” and that’s not true. Well, I guess they may have told him that at some point, but that’s not what Miller is saying there. He’s only saying the Yankees have told him they haven’t yet had any trade talks about him. Miller’s not stupid. He knows he’s good and teams are going to want him. It comes with the territory.

Moore. (Brian Blanco/Getty)
Moore. (Brian Blanco/Getty)

Yankees interested in Matt Moore

The Yankees are one of several teams with interest in Rays left-hander Matt Moore, reports Nick Cafardo. Tampa Bay is said to be ready to trade away their starters in an effort to take advantage of the seller’s market. The Rays are are not only in last place, they’re in the middle of a free fall right now. They’ve won only three of their last 19 games and are 10.5 games out of a wildcard spot.

Moore, 27, held the Angels to two runs in 6.2 innings yesterday. He has a 4.54 ERA (4.53 FIP) in 103 innings this year, which is better than the 5.43 ERA (4.82 FIP) he had in 63 innings last season, after returning from Tommy John surgery. Moore is signed super cheap (owed $28.5M through 2019 if the options in his deal are exercised) and he’s got a fantastic arm, but he’s now three years removed from the last time he was even an average starter. I can’t imagine the Rays would be eager to trade with the Yankees either.

Yankees scouting Rich Hill

According to Susan Slusser, the Yankees were among the many teams with a scout in attendance for Rich Hill’s start over the weekend. Hill returned from a groin strain to hold the Pirates to two runs in six innings. The 36-year-old has a 2.31 ERA (2.71 FIP) with a 27.8% strikeout rate in 12 starts and 70 innings this season. Simply put, he’s been one of the best starters in the AL in 2016. Go figure.

Hill, who is signed to a one-year deal worth $6M, figures to be an extremely hot rental commodity at the deadline. He might very well be the best starter traded this summer. In a vacuum, adding Hill to the rotation would make the Yankees a better team. I mean, duh. At this point though, giving up prospects for a 36-year-old rental is pretty much the last thing the Yankees should do at the deadline. They have to build for next year, not continue to fake contention this year.

Chad Green is worth a longer look in the Yankees’ rotation

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

Thanks to CC Sabathia‘s balky knee, rookie right-hander Chad Green was called up to make a spot start for the Yankees over the weekend. The team didn’t want Sabathia hitting and running the bases in San Diego, so they called up Green and pushed everyone else in the rotation back a day. They like to use a spot sixth starter whenever possible and Sunday was a perfect time to do it.

Green rewarded the club’s faith in him by holding the Padres to one run on three hits and no walks in six innings. He struck out eight and generated a healthy eleven swings and misses out of 75 total pitches. Green could have remained in the game to pitch the seventh, but his lineup spot led off the inning, so Joe Girardi opted to pinch-hit and try to create some more offense with his team up only 2-1. Makes sense. Blame the NL, I guess.

Sunday’s start went far better than Green’s first start with the Yankees, when the Diamondbacks hammered him for six runs (four earned) in four innings back in May. That was his MLB debut and he looked jittery at times, which is understandable. He’s not the first guy to struggle his big league debut. Green shook that rough debut off, pitched well Sunday, and earned himself another start Friday.

“Compared to my last start, it was different. From the first inning on, it just felt like another game. As soon as I got the first pitch out of the way, I felt a lot better after that,” said Green to Randy Miller. Joe Girardi declined to say whether Green is in the rotation for good yesterday — “Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves,” he said to Chad Jennings — but he’s going to start again Friday and clearly the opportunity exists to stick a while. There are plenty of reasons to keep Green in the rotation too.

1. He dominated in Triple-A. This is sort of a prerequisite for a call-up. Unless it’s an emergency situation, you have to pitch well in Triple-A to earn a promotion, and Green did exactly that. He currently leads all qualified International League pitchers in both ERA (1.54) and FIP (2.17), and by decent margins too. Wade LeBlanc is second in both categories (1.71 ERA and 2.47 FIP). Being great in the minors doesn’t guarantee big league success or even a big league roster spot, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Green took care of business in Triple-A. He made the Yankees take notice.

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

2. He’s added a cutter. During his debut against the D’Backs, Green struggled against Arizona’s left-handed hitters because he doesn’t have much of a changeup. He was out there with his fastball and slider only. On Sunday, he showed off a new cutter that he picked up in Triple-A to help combat batters of the opposite hand.

“From my last outing, I added a cutter. I’ve been working on that the past couple of weeks. I think that made a big difference, being able to throw that for strikes,” he said to Miller. Green threw 17 cutters (12 for strikes) on Sunday after throwing zero cutters in his first start. (He threw zero in his first start because he didn’t have the cutter at the time.)

How about that? Green came up, realized he needed something to better handle lefties, then added a cutter. Player development in action. Green has shown the ability to make adjustments and take to instruction in a relatively short amount of time. That’s a reason to keep him around. To keep learning and to continue his development.

3. It’s time to start thinking about the future. This is the big one. By all accounts Green is big league ready. He has good stuff, his command is solid, and he did what he had to do in Triple-A. The Yankees exist in a perpetual state of “what’s best for me right now,” but that’s going to have to change at some point reasonably soon, preferably before the trade deadline in a few weeks.

Not counting Green, the Yankees have five starters in their rotation eligible to become free agents at some point in the next two years. They’ve been trying to acquire a young starter controllable beyond next year for that reason, and you know what? They may have done that with Green. Unless he starts getting hammered every fifth day, the Yankees owe it to themselves to run him out there and see what they have. Green might be able to help them win now. More importantly, he might be able to help him win in the future.

* * *

Friday’s start is going to be a really good test for Green. He’s going to face the first place Indians, a team with a good offense and a ton of quality left-handed batters. The only lefties in San Diego’s lineup Sunday were Yangervis Solarte, Alex Dickerson, and Ryan friggin’ Schimpf. The Indians figure to have Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana, Francisco Lindor, and Lonnie Chisenhall in their lineup Friday, among others. Those guys are all quality hitters.

The All-Star break is coming up next week, so the Yankees can let Green make this start Friday, then take a step back next week and reevaluate their rotation options. Nathan Eovaldi is in the bullpen right now, Ivan Nova has not been good most of the year, and who knows what Michael Pineda will do from one start to the next. Even if Cleveland works him over Friday, there are still reasons to keep Green in the rotation going forward. He’s put himself in position to earn a longer look for a team in desperate need of young building blocks.

DotF: Blake Rutherford makes pro debut with GCL Yanks

The Yankees have signed Florida JuCo C Doug Borgh as an undrafted free agent, according to Matt Eddy. Borgh hit only .190/.320/.190 in 18 games this spring. Sounds like they just need a spare catcher for the lower levels. Borgh is local and available, and presumably cheap.

Triple-A Scranton (5-2 win over Lehigh Valley)

  • DH Ben Gamel: 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB — he’s hitting .336/.420/.459 in 150 Triple-A plate appearances since June 1st
  • RF Aaron Judge: 2-4, 3 RBI — 19-for-50 (.380) with eight walks in his last 13 games
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 0-4, 1 K
  • CF Jake Cave: 1-4
  • RHP Luis Severino: 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 6/7 GB/FB — 64 of 94 pitches were strikes (68%) … 38/11 K/BB in 44 Triple-A innings, which is good but not great
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 1 IP, zeroes, 2/1 GB/FB — 12 pitches, nine strikes
  • RHP Nick Goody: 1 IP, zeroes, 0/1 GB/FB — nine pitches, six strikes

[Read more…]

Yankees get outplayed in all phases by White Sox, lose 8-2


Source: FanGraphs

That was sneakily one of the uglier games of the season. The Yankees didn’t pitch well, they didn’t hit well, and they didn’t defend well. They sucked at everything, and the result was an 8-2 loss to the White Sox. Each loss theoretically pushes the Yankees closer to coming to their senses and selling at the deadline, so go team, I guess. It’s a holiday, so let’s recap the latest loss with bullet points:

  • CC’s HRs: The home run regression monster has come for CC Sabathia. The big man owned an unsustainable 0.28 HR/9 (3.1 HR/FB%) in his first eleven starts and 65.1 innings, and he’s now given up four homers in his last three starts, including two two-run shots Monday. Tim Anderson and Dioner Navarro got him. Sabathia now has a 0.65 HR/9 (6.9 HR/FB%) through 14 starts and 82.2 innings, which is still really low. He allowed five runs total in six innings to the White Sox, though he did strike out nine, so hooray?
  • Two Token Runs: The Yankees did actually hold a lead Monday, though it only lasted one inning. Chase Headley swatted a two-run homer against James Shields in the second inning, and that was it for the scoring. Two runs for show. The Yankees had some chances — they went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position, their worst 0-fer with RISP since 2012 — but never did get The Big Hit. Aaron Hicks made the final out of three separate innings with multiple men on base.
  • Leftovers: Starlin Castro went 4-for-4 in his return to Chicago, albeit on the south side of town. The rest of the Yankees had four hits total. Headley homered and drew two walks … rough day for Didi Gregorius, who went 0-for-4 and committed three errors (two bobbles, one throw). Didi is the first Yankee to make three errors in a game since Shane Greene, the guy he was traded for … Luis Cessa allowed three runs (two earned) in two garbage time innings … the Yankees have lost 42 of their first 82 games for the first time since 2007 and only the second time since 1990.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also make sure you check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and White Sox continue this three-game series Tuesday night. Masahiro Tanaka and Carlos Rodon are the scheduled starters.