2015 Draft Signings: Finley, Jackson, Krill, Amburgey

Krill. (Patrick Record/The Ann Arbor News)
Krill. (Patrick Record/The Ann Arbor News)

The draft signing deadline this year is Friday, July 17th. First rounder UCLA RHP James Kaprielian might not sign until right before the deadline as a Scott Boras guy, but several other Yankees draft picks have already turned pro. Our 2015 Draft Pool Tracker page is now live, so use that to keep tabs on the draft pool situation. It’s available at all times via the Resources tab in the nav bar above. Here are some draft signing updates.

  • California HS RHP Drew Finley (3rd round) either has signed or will sign soon based on his Twitter feed. Finley’s pick is slotted for $626,600 and I think there’s a good chance he’ll get more than that. Finley was expected to be a late first or early second round pick.
  • Florida Southern OF Jhalan Jackson (7th) has signed for $100,000 according to MLB.com. That is a bit more than half the $192,000 slot value. Jackson was a college junior but was not expected to go in the top ten rounds, so the Yankees probably worked out a deal ahead of time for more than Jackson expected to receive.
  • Michigan State 1B Ryan Krill (9th) signed for a $5,000 bonus, according to Chris Cotillo. That is well below the $159,000 slot value, so pretty substantial pools savings there. Krill was a college senior with no negotiating leverage, hence the tiny bonus.
  • Louisville LHP Josh Rogers (11th) will pitch for the Bourne Braves in the Cape Cod League this summer, he says on Twitter. Seems like Rogers will be a summer follow this year, meaning the Yankees will track his progress on the Cape, and if they like what they see, they’ll make him an offer. If not, no big deal. They won’t lose draft pool space.
  • According to their Twitter feeds, late round picks St. Petersburg OF Trey Amburgey (13th), Alabama RHP Will Carter (14th), BYU RHP Kolton Mahoney (16th), and Fresno State RHP Garrett Mundell (23rd) have all signed. C. Jemal Horton also reports Clemson RHP Brody Koerner (17th) has signed. No word on their bonuses but there’s no reason to think they received more than the $100,00 slot for post-tenth round picks.

6/15 to 6/18 Series Preview: Miami Marlins

The Marlins play in a space ship. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
The Marlins play in a space ship. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Time for another interleague series, though this is really two series. The Yankees and Marlins are playing a four-game home-and-home series — the first two games are at Marlins Park and the last two are in Yankee Stadium. This is the first Yankees-Marlins series since 2009, when they were still the Florida Marlins.

What Have The Marlins Done Lately?

Miami won yesterday but lost three straight immediately prior to that. They’ve really underachieved this year. I thought they’d be in the wildcard mix, but instead they are 27-37 with a -22 run differential overall. The Marlins are a distant fourth in the NL East.

Offense & Defense

A few weeks ago the Marlins fired manager Mike Redmond and replaced him with GM Dan Jennings, who moved from the front office to the dugout. It was … weird. Regardless of who is managing, Miami has a below-average offense with an average of 3.83 runs per game with a team 97 wRC+. They’re currently without 1B Mike Morse and UTIL Don Kelly, both of whom have finger injuries and are not due back this series.

Giancarlo. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty)
Giancarlo. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty)

Offensively, the Marlins are led by OF Giancarlo Stanton (154 wRC+), who leads baseball in homers (23), RBI (59), and strikeouts (84). You can get him out with quality breaking stuff, but man, if you miss your spot, he’ll hit the ball a mile. Stanton leads MLB with a 98.6 mph average exit velocity, nearly five (!) miles an hour better than any other hitter in baseball. Good gravy. The man is a monster at the dish. The Yankees will be lucky if he hits just one home run in this series.

2B Dee Gordon (118 wRC+) was been an excellent table-setter from the leadoff spot and 1B Justin Bour (125 wRC+) has done a nice job filling in for Morse. The Marlins got him from the Cubs in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft a few years ago. OF Marcell Ozuna (97 wRC+) has been average and while OF Christian Yelich (68 wRC+) has been bad overall, he’s warmed up of late and will be a tough out. He’s one of my favorite random players in the league. The Stanton/Ozuna/Yelich trio is a really impressive young outfield, at least when everyone is playing up to expectations.

Ex-Yankee 3B Martin Prado (88 wRC+) hasn’t done much this year and he left yesterday’s game with a shoulder sprain after taking a tumble when he ran through first base awkwardly. He’s day-to-day for the time being. SS Adeiny Hechavarria (98 wRC+) and C J.T. Realmuto (75 wRC+) are the regular shortstop and catcher, respectively. C Jeff Mathis (13 wRC+), IF Derek Dietrich (-100 wRC+), UTIL Jeff Baker (130 wRC+), IF Donovan Solano (-52 wRC+), and OF Ichiro Suzuki (86 wRC+) fill out the team’s bench. All those guys have very limited plate appearances aside from Ichiro.

The Marlins are a very good defensive team, especially up the middle, where Gordon, Hechavarria, and Ozuna are all above-average glove men. Yelich and Stanton are above-average in the outfield corners as well. Realmuto has thrown out attempted base-stealers at an average rate but has graded out as a below-average pitch-framer in his limited MLB time. Prado and Bour are rough on the infield corners. The outfield and middle infield are very good defensively.

Pitching Matchups

Monday: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (No vs. MIA) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (Career vs. NYY)
The 28-year-old Koehler was briefly demoted to the bullpen earlier this year, but returned to the rotation when Henderson Alvarez landed on the DL. Koehler has a 4.13 ERA (4.67 FIP) in 72 innings across 12 starts and one relief appearance, and nothing stands out about his underlying performance (17.2 K%, 9.3 BB%, 45.0 GB%, 1.25 HR/9). Lefties (.377 wOBA) have done a lot more damage against him than righties (.276 wOBA). Koehler throws low-90s two and four-seam fastballs at almost an equal rate, and he features mid-80s sliders and upper-70s curveballs. He has a mid-80s changeup but rarely throws it. Koehler is the very definition of a generic back-end starter. Not replacement level! But nothing that will wow you. The kind of guy who is nice to have during his cheap pre-arbitration years.

Tuesday: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (Career vs. MIA) vs. RHP David Phelps (Career vs. NYY)
Hey, look at that, it’s a matchup between the two guys who were traded for each other. Or at least traded as part of packages for each other. Phelps has a 4.11 ERA (3.59 FIP) in 65.2 innings spanning eleven starts and a pair of early-season relief appearances. The Marlins actually sent Koehler to the bullpen and kept Phelps in the rotation a few weeks ago. Phelps, 28, has a career low strikeout rate (16.0 K%), a career low walk rate (6.1%), a career high ground ball rate (43.2%), and a career low home run rate (0.69 HR/9). Career highs and lows all over the place. Righties (.313 wOBA) have hurt him more than lefties (.291 wOBA), but for his career he has close to no platoon split. As you know, Phelps is a five-pitch pitcher, using low-90s two and four-seamers to set up his mid-80s slider, low-80s changeup, and upper-70s curveball. He uses the slider against righties and the curve against lefties.

Phelpsie. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Phelpsie! (Doug Pensinger/Getty)

Wednesday: RHP Michael Pineda (No vs. MIA) vs. RHP Jose Urena (No vs. NYY)
Urena, 23, has been up twice this season, the first time to work in relief and the second time to help out the rotation. He’s made two relief appearances and four starts and has a 4.44 ERA (4.47 FIP) in 26.1 big league innings. Urena hasn’t missed many bats thus far (11.3%) but he has limited walks (5.7%) and gotten ground balls (55.8%). Homers (1.03 HR/9) haven’t been a huge problem, nor has his platoon split (.330 vs. .322 wOBA in favor of righties). Urena has a big fastball, sitting in the low-to-mid-90s, and he also throws mid-80s sliders and changeups. From what I’ve read, the general consensus is Urena isn’t quite MLB ready and was rushed to the big leagues because of injuries. Baseball America (subs. req’d) ranked him as Miami’s fourth best prospect before the season and said his future may lie in the bullpen because his slider is below-average.

Thursday: LHP CC Sabathia (Career vs. MIA) vs. RHP Mat Latos (Career vs. NYY)
This has not been a good season for the 27-year-old Latos, who has a 5.44 ERA (3.08 FIP) in ten starts and 49.1 innings around knee and hamstring problems. His strikeout (21.5%) and walk (8.2%) rates have been about average while his ground ball (38.4%) and homer (0.54 HR/9) rates are lower than the league average. One of those is a good thing, the other a bad thing. Latos has been hit harder by lefties (.368 wOBA) than righties (.312 wOBA). A low-90s four-seamer is his main fastball, though he also throws a low-90s cutter. Latos uses his low-80s slider as his primary out pitch but will also throw low-80s changeups and upper-70s curves. It’s worth noting Latos has been much better from the windup (2.47 FIP) than out of the stretch (3.81 FIP) this year. Get men on and he unravels a bit.

Bullpen Status
The Marlins have had a surprisingly bad bullpen this year (3.71 ERA and 3.07 FIP) thanks in large part to ex-closer RHP Steve Cishek (4.25 FIP), who melted down spectacularly earlier this season. He didn’t just lose his closer’s job, he was demoted to Double-A at one point. Not Triple-A, Double-A. RHP A.J. Ramos (1.80 FIP) has taken over in the ninth inning with RHP Carter Capps (1.53 wRC+) seeing most of the setup time. This is Capps’ delivery (via @MLBGIFs):

Carter Capps

Also in the bullpen are RHP Sam Dyson (2.90 FIP), RHP Vin Mazzaro (4.49 FIP), LHP Mike Dunn (3.42 FIP), and LHP Brad Hand (2.42 FIP). Neither Dunn, a former Yankee, nor Hand is a left-on-left specialist. Dunn will throw full innings and Hand is the long reliever. Mazzaro (19 pitches), Cishek (13 pitches), and Hand (24 pitches) all pitched yesterday. Check out our Bullpen Workload page for the status of New York’s bullpen, then check out Fish Stripes for everything you need to know about the Marlins.

Yankeemetrics: No sweep for you (June 12-14)

Welcome to The Show, Mason. (AP Photo)
Welcome to The Show, Mason. (AP Photo)

Orange crushed
So maybe that plan to skip Michael Pineda’s last start in order preserve his innings this season wasn’t the best idea. Sure, it might pay off in the long run, but in the short-term, it was really costly for the Yankees.

Pineda was rocked for six runs (five earned) on nine hits in Friday night’s 11-3 loss, and was pulled after getting one in the fifth inning. He is now 1-7 with a 4.23 ERA on six-plus days’ rest in his career, more than a full run higher than his ERA in all other games (20-11, 3.00 ERA).

The lone highlight of the game was the debut of Mason Williams, who joined a few notable names when Joe Girardi wrote his name on the lineup card as the starting center fielder for his first major-league game. The other Yankees to do that in the last 30 years were Melky Cabrera (2005), Bernie Williams (1991), Deion Sanders (1989) and Roberto Kelly (1987).

Williams wasted little time in showing why he deserved the call-up, getting his first big-league hit and home run with one swing of the bat in the fourth inning. His two-run blast was a historic one, making him just the ninth Yankee to homer in his first major-league game.

Only three others in that group, though, hit their milestone homer with at least one guy on base like Williams did: Marcus Thames (June 2, 2002 off Randy Johnson!), John Miller (Sept. 11, 1966) and Yogi Berra (Sept. 22, 1946).

Wild, wild, wild Martin
Somehow, someway, the Yankees keep finding new ways to lose games. On Saturday night, the goat was Chris Martin, who entered in relief of CC Sabathia in the sixth inning when the teams were locked in a 4-4 tie.

Martin then uncorked three (!) wild pitches in the frame and allowed three runs, and the Yankees could never recover in the 9-4 loss. Martin had thrown only one wild pitch in his career before this game … because, of course, baseball.

Oh, and he is just the second Yankee reliever in the last 100 seasons to throw at least three wild pitches in a game. The other was Ken Clay on July 28, 1979 against the Brewers.

Sabathia’s recent struggles at Camden Yards continued (4 R, 8 H, 5 IP) as he got the no-decision and is 0-5 in his last eight starts in Baltimore. That is tied with Stan Bahnsen (1968-71) for the longest road winless streak by a Yankee starting pitcher against the Orioles since the team moved to the Charm City in 1954.

The Orioles pounded all the Yankee pitchers for the second straight night, with 15 hits to go along with their nine runs. It is the first time the Yankees have allowed at least nine runs and 15 hits in back-to-back games against the Orioles since 1932 — when the team was known as the St. Louis Browns.

Losing streak is Ooooooh-ver
The Yankees avoided the series sweep on Sunday afternoon with a come-from-behind 5-3 win. John Ryan Murphy’s tie-breaking two-run double in the fifth inning was the game-winning hit, and the bullpen pitched 4 1/3 hitless innings to secure the victory.

Murphy is the first Yankees catcher to have at least three hits and two RBI in a road game against the Orioles since Thurman Munson on Sept. 5, 1976.

Once again, a Yankees starter failed to give them length, yet they still managed to win the game thanks to their dominant relief corps. It was the fifth time in 2015 the Yankees won a game despite their starter pitching fewer than five innings. No other team in baseball has won more such games this season.

Fan Confidence Poll: June 15th, 2015

Record Last Week: 2-3 (22 RS, 29 RA)
Season Record: 34-28 (287 RS, 264 RA, 34-28 pythag. record)
Opponents This Week: @ Marlins (two games, Mon. and Tues.), vs. Marlins (two games, Weds. and Thurs.), vs. Tigers (three games, Fri. to Sun.)

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the interactive Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the Features tab in the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.

Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?

DotF: Mateo and Aune have big days in Charleston’s win

A few days ago the benches cleared because Triple-A Rochester RHP Lester Oliveros intentionally threw at C Austin Romine‘s head after giving up back-to-back homers. Here’s video. Romine has not played since but Joe Girardi told Chad Jennings he is doing okay. No concussion and all other tests came back good. Still, scary moment. Oliveros has not yet been suspended. Oliveros was suspended a whole seven games.

Also, OF Tyler Austin was placed on the Triple-A Scranton DL, according to Donnie Collins. He hurt his hip diving after a ball in the outfield recently.

Triple-A Scranton (2-1 loss to Rochester)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 0-4, 1 RBI, 2 K
  • RF Jose Pirela & DH Rob Refsnyder: both 1-4 — Pirela struck out
  • LF Ramon Flores: 0-3, 1 K
  • 3B Gregorio Petit: 2-3
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 8/4 GB/FB –– 59 of 97 pitches were strikes (61%) … gave up six runs in 0.1 innings on May 11th and has allowed just six runs in 36 innings since
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 2 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 1/3 GB/FB — 14 of 19 pitches were strikes (74%)

[Read more…]

Sunday Night Open Thread

Here is your open thread for the last few hours of the weekend. The Cubs and Reds are the ESPN Sunday Night Game (Lester vs. DeSclafani) and Game Five of the NBA Finals is on as well (8pm ET on ABC). Talk about those games or anything else right here. Talk about those games, this afternoon’s win, or anything else right here.

Yankees grind out a 5-3 win to avoid being swept in Baltimore

This game started 1:35 pm EST and ended at 5:08. It did not reach the long-awaited four-hour mark (see what I did there) but at least earlier in the game, it was quite tense — jams after jams and #RISPFail after #RISPfail. New York, however, broke through in the three-run fifth to take a 5-3 lead and would not look back, snapping their three-game losing streak.

(Source: Getty)

Farewell (out of rotation)? 

This was definitely not a banner series for Yankee starters. Adam Warren pitched 4.2 IP, allowed six hits, three earned runs, three walks and struck out five. The only positives from that line are that he struck out five in 4.2 IP and that he didn’t allow any more runs, keeping the Yanks in the game. His outing was the best that a Yankee starter tossed this weekend, so, how about that.

Also the thing about Warren is that he is probably the odd man out of the rotation if they go with a five-man rotation when Ivan Nova returns. I would honestly prefer having Warren stay and CC Sabathia be the odd man out because, well, Sabathia honestly hasn’t been a good pitcher. But because of the obvious reasons – a lot of which that has to do with the contract – I don’t see Girardi placing Sabathia out for Nova. Oh well.

Nova recently threw a nice outing at Triple-A and it seems like a matter of time before he comes back. If this was indeed Warren’s last start, he’ll head to bullpen with 64.1 IP, 55 hits allowed, 22 walks, 38 strikeouts and a 3.78 ERA. Not too shabby numbers for a starter, really – especially considering the slow start he had.

#RISPFails

Yankees were 2-for-12 in RISP today. That is not good. A 5-3 win is a win but if the Yankees capitalized on earlier opportunities, not only they would have had a less stressful win but also Warren would probably have had the opportunity to go at least five full innings to pitch for a win.

In the second inning, Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs – Stephen Drew, Didi Gregorius and John Ryan Murphy had all reached with singles. Mason Williams came to bat and squibbed a ball down to 1B Chris Davis. Davis threw to make a force out at home. Welp. Brett Gardner came up next – after a torturous nine-pitch battle, Brett managed to line one to the outfield … right at Adam Jones. The run did score on a sac fly but it was far from the worst case scenario for the Orioles. 2-2 tie. Moreover, Chase Headley struck out swinging to end the inning. That was one of the most stressful one-run-scoring innings I’ve ever seen.

The Yankees had another golden opportunity on third inning. With one out, Mike Wright plunked Mark Teixeira. Garrett Jones followed it up with a single to make it runners in corners with one out. And, without fail, the next two hitters – Drew and Gregorius, popped out to end the threat. Ugh.

By the way, Mike Wright had a lot of trouble throwing strikes and putting hitters away. He was leaving pitches up and some of his arm actions on changeup pitches were obviously slowed-down – yet the team didn’t break through until after he left in the fifth (with whopping 104 pitches thrown in 4.0 IP !) and speaking of which…

#NotRISPFail

Top of the fifth, Wright loaded the bases for the Yanks with no outs … with three walks. Buck Showalter sub’d in Brian Matusz, who hadn’t pitched since May 31, and he was a bit rusty with the first batter, Garrett Jones. Yankees tied the game when he walked with the bases full. 3-3.

Things seemed like it was heading towards another #RISPFail outcome when Matsuz went on to strike out both Drew and Gregorius. But John Ryan Murphy refused to go down quietly – on the third pitch of the at-bat, Murphy drilled a liner past Manny Machado’s glove for a 2-RBI double. Finally! That gave Yanks a 5-3 lead and the score would never change.

Actually winning a game! (Source: Getty)

Bullpen

In the fifth inning, with New York leading 5-3, Adam Warren allowed a single to Jimmy Paredes and, later, walked Chris Davis to put two runners on with one out. While he did strike out Nolan Reimold to make it two outs, Joe Girardi decided not to take the chance letting generally-ineffective righty Warren to face a lefty Travis Snider. Chasen Shreve came into relief and went on to induce a fly out to get out of the inning. The lefty went on to toss a 1-2-3 sixth as well, which was a big stress reliever after a slow-paced drama it was for the first five innings.

You know who was really impressive today? Justin Wilson. He tossed two perfect winnings, striking out three along the way. In the seventh inning, coming in to relieve Chasen Shreve, the Orioles had Delmon Young pinch-hit to face the lefty. Wilson fired three straight fastballs down the middle – and Young swung and missed at all of them! Wow, I mean, that was some kind of statement the lefty made right there. When he can put the pitches in the zone, he’s very hard to hit. Some of us wondered if Dellin Betances will come in during the eighth to try for a four or five-out save. Instead, Wilson had a very clean eighth to reduce Betances’ workload to just an inning.

And, of course, Betances came into pitch in the ninth. And, again of course, he earned a save. He did allow a five-pitch walk to Machado and had to face Matt Wieters as the game-tying run … but the Oriole catcher didn’t have much of a chance. Dellin struck Wieters out in four pitches to seal the Yankee victory.

Leftovers

A-Rod went 0-for-4 today. He’s still five hits away from 3,000th hits so unless if he goes 0fer for a long while, I assume he’ll get that milestone either in Miami or in Bronx. That’s just me saying it with fingers crossed, by the way.

Teixeira drove in a run in the first with Gardner on first for his 47th RBI of the season, which leads the AL and good for fifth in the entire ML (behind Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado). I say this again and again: I enjoy Tex’s age-35 season revival. All hail gluten-free diet.

Box score, WPA, standings, highlights

Here’s today’s box score, updated standings, video highlights and WPA.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees will head to Miami to face the Marlins on their own field for two games. If you, like me, have somehow managed to sit through the whole three-and-half of this game, take a break from staring at screens (or not) and have a less stressful rest of Sunday!