DotF: Tampa sweeps doubleheader behind Mateo, Avelino, Fowler, and Andujar

SS Jorge Mateo, IF Vince Conde, and SS Hyo-Jun Park were named the Offensive Players of the Week in the High-A Florida State League, the Low-A South Atlantic League, and Rookie Appalachian League, respectively, so congrats to them.

Also, RHP Alex Robinett has been placed on the Military List, the River Dogs announced. Robinett, this year’s 32nd rounder, is a West Point cadet who has to fulfill his military obligation. His 6.17 ERA in 23.1 pro innings is skewed by one disaster no-out, seven-run outing. Robinett pitched quite well the last few weeks.

Triple-A Scranton, Double-A Trenton and Short Season Staten Island all had scheduled off-days.

High-A Tampa Game One (6-2 win over Lakeland) makeup of the June 25th rainout

  • SS Jorge Mateo: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)
  • 2B Abi Avelino: 1-3, 1 R — two-hit game streak ends at six
  • CF Dustin Fowler: 0-3, 1 RBI, 2 K
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 2-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI — five homers in 112 games this year after hitting ten in 127 games last year
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI
  • RHP Vicente Campos: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2/6 GB/FB — 43/8 K/BB in 48 innings as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery

[Read more…]

Update: Bryan Mitchell suffers small nasal fracture after being hit by line drive


8:00pm ET: Scary moment Monday night. Bryan Mitchell left tonight’s game in the second inning after being hit by a line drive in the face. It looked as though he was able to turn away at the last moment to avoid a direct shot, but it still hit him and deflected far into the outfield. Maybe it got him in the cheek or nose? Hopefully not the eye.

Here’s the play:

Mitchell was on the ground for a few moments but was eventually able to walk off the field with help from the trainer. He was bleeding quite heavily though and had a towel to his face. The Yankees have not yet given any updates on Mitchell but I’m sure one is coming soon enough. That was really scary. Hopefully it’s just a flesh wound.

Update (8:45pm ET): The Yankees announced Mitchell was taken to the hospital for a “full evaluation” but did not say where exactly the ball hit him. I’m sure he’s undergoing x-rays, concussion tests, the whole nine.

Update (10:05pm ET): Mitchell suffered a small nasal fracture and has been released from the hospital, the Yankees announced. He will be monitored for concussion symptoms going forward. All things considered, good news.

Game 117: Home … For A While


The Yankees are back home in the Bronx and they’re going to be here for a while. They start a ten-game homestand tonight and 20 of their next 26 games (!) will be played at Yankee Stadium. We all know the Yankees play much better at home, so these next 26 games are a huge opportunity to create some distance in the AL East. (The Blue Jays also play much better at home, and they play 17 of their next 26 on the road.)

I figure the Yankees will probably have to win at least 12 or 13 of these upcoming 20 home games to give themselves a really good chance to win the division. That seems like a decent number, no? It’s not set in stone or anything, but 12-8 feels like an okay record in those 20 home games. 11-9? Eh, not so much. Take it one game at a time though. Win today, worry about tomorrow tomorrow. Here is the Twins’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Bryan Mitchell

Gosh is it hot in New York. It’s been in the mid-90s all day with enough humidity to make you stick to everything. Yuck. It rained for a little while this afternoon and there’s a small chance of rain tonight. Nothing major though. The game is scheduled to begin just after 7pm ET and you can watch on WPIX. Enjoy.

HOPE Week: This is week is HOPE Week, when the Yankees reach out to various individuals, families, and organizations doing some wonderful things. HOPE Week begins tonight with Chris Singleton, a college baseball player who lost his mother in the Charleston church shooting a few weeks ago. Chad Jennings has the details. Also, as part of HOPE Week the Yankees are holding a back-to-school supplies drive on Wednesday. Here are the details.

Schedule Update: The Subway Series game at Citi Field on Sunday, September 20th, has been bumped from 1pm ET to 8pm ET, MLB announced. I guess ESPN deemed the Yankees and Mets worthy of a late-season Sunday night broadcast.

Heyman: Yankees among teams “poking around” on Jose Reyes


Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes has cleared trade waivers and the Yankees are among the teams “poking around,” reports Jon Heyman. They remain on the periphery of the Chase Utley chase but generally seem unlikely to make any sort of major addition this month, whether it be Utley or Reyes or someone else.

“We got a shortstop, we are good,” said Brian Cashman to George King when asked about adding an infielder recently. “Adding money in the short term and long term, how does it fit? (Hal Steinbrenner) is open to money, that’s never an issue. Hal is also sensible and practical and not doing something just to do it.”

The offense has sputtered of late — the Yankees have scored 26 runs in their last eleven games (!) — yet the only position they can realistically make a change is second base. We’d all love to see Greg Bird get regular at-bats but there’s no way to do it without sitting Mark Teixeira or Alex Rodriguez, who have been the team’s two best hitters this season.

Stephen Drew is hitting .194/.261/.392 (77 wRC+) with 15 home runs, and those homers are his only redeeming quality at the plate. Making an out nearly 74% of the time is not acceptable. At least not to me it isn’t. (It is to the Yankees apparently.) Rob Refsnyder is not necessarily out of favor, but it’s telling the Yankees have opted not to call him up for an extended trial.

Reyes, 32, is hitting .274/.308/.365 (81 wRC+) overall this season, so he hasn’t been that much better than Drew, especially since he’s only stolen 19 bases. The days of 50+ steals are long gone. Reyes is also owed $48M from 2016-17 and hasn’t played second base in about a decade, so that would be an adjustment. Then there are all the leg injuries he suffered over the years.

While I certainly understand why more than a few folks want Reyes, I think there’s too much downside. I mean, it’s almost all downside. Speed guy whose legs aren’t what they once were, bat clearly in decline, defense slipping, ton of money left on the contract … yeah that’s a deal to avoid, even if the Rockies are willing to eat money and take Grade-B prospects in return.

At this point, with September call-ups just two weeks away and Refsnyder likely to take platoon at-bats from Brendan Ryan, I think the best thing the Yankees can do is wait. Just ride out this second base situation, hope some other slumping players snap out of it, then look for a long-term solution in the offseason. Maybe it’s Refsnyder, maybe it’s a player in another organization.

8/17 to 8/19 Series Preview: Minnesota Twins


Home sweet home. The Yankees start a three-game series against the Twins tonight, and they will play their next ten and 20 of their next 26 (!) games at home in Yankee Stadium. They’ve been much better at home (32-21, +48 run differential) than on the road (32-31, +15) this season, so this 20-in-26 stretch is a golden opportunity to increase the lead in the AL East. The Yankees took two of three from the Twins in Target Field late last month, thanks in part to Alex Rodriguez‘s three home-run game.

What Have The Twins Done Lately?

The Twins are going down in flames. They had a nice little start to the season but they have lost 18 of their last 27 games, getting outscored 157-105 in the process. They are who we thought they were, as Dennis Green once said. Minnesota has fallen out of wildcard position (they’re 1.5 games back) and are 59-58 with a -24 run differential overall in 2015. Don’t overlook this series though. The AL East title is in doubt and the Twins are one of about six teams vying for a wildcard. This series as some postseason implications.

Offense & Defense

With an average of 4.22 runs per game and a team 90 wRC+, the Twins are a below-average offensive club. (They’re actually slightly better than average in terms of runs per game, but that wRC+ …. yikes.) That doesn’t mean they don’t have any individually dangerous hitters, of course. Manager Paul Molitor’s team is healthy on the position player side. No one on the DL or even day-to-day.


Right now, Minnesota’s most dangerous hitter is DH Miguel Sano (156 wRC+ in limited time), who is absolutely terrifying at the plate. I’ll be happy if he hits only one homer in the three-game series. 2B Brian Dozier (120 wRC+) is quite dangerous and both OF Aaron Hicks (105 wRC+), OF Eddie Rosario (104 wRC+), and 3B Trevor Plouffe (107 wRC+) are strong supporting players. 1B Joe Mauer (93 wRC+) and OF Torii Hunter (94 wRC+) are both on the downside of their careers.

C Kurt Suzuki (60 wRC+) is the everyday catcher and lately UTIL Eduardo Escobar (78 wRC+) and former Yankees UTIL Eduardo Nunez (92 wRC+) have been splitting time at short. C Chris Herrmann (52 wRC+) is the backup catcher and OF Shane Robinson (78 wRC+) is the other bench player. Only a three-man bench for the Twinkies these days.

The defensive stats are not fans of the Twins. Hicks and Dozier are excellent, and Rosario is fine in left, but Hunter and Plouffe are not the rangiest of fellows. Mauer’s fine around the bag at first but also doesn’t offer much range. Nunez at short? We’ve seen that movie before. (Escobar’s fine there.) Suzuki is solid behind the plate.

Pitching Matchups

Monday (7pm ET): RHP Bryan Mitchell (No vs. MIN) vs. RHP Kyle Gibson (vs. NYY)
The 27-year-old Gibson is finally starting to settle in as a solid big league starter, pitching to a 3.75 ERA (4.11 FIP) in 23 starts and 141.2 innings this year. I thought he was going to be star coming out of Mizzou back in 2009 (22nd overall pick), so that shows what I know. Gibson has a below-average strikeout rate (17.3%), but both his walk (7.5%) and homer (0.95 HR/9) rates are good, plus he gets a ton of ground balls (52.8%). Righties (.334 wOBA) have had more success against him than lefties (.293 wOBA), which is the opposite of what happened last year. Also, it’s worth noting Gibson has been much more successful at home in spacious Target Field (3.12 ERA and 4.15 FIP) than on the road (4.57 ERA and 4.06 FIP) this year. He works in the low-90s with two and four-seam fastballs and also throws mid-80s sliders and changeups. Gibson has used all four pitches at least 18% of the time this season. The Yankees saw Gibson last month and scored six runs in 5.1 innings.

As for the Yankees, tonight was supposed to be CC Sabathia‘s turn, but last night various Twins beat reporters said Minnesota had been informed Bryan Mitchell will start instead. Sure enough, Brian Cashman confirmed this morning Mitchell will start tonight. Sabathia will start tomorrow. The Yankees had been talking about using a spot sixth starter at some point during this stretch of 16 games in 16 days to give the rest of the rotation extra rest, and tonight’s the night.

Tuesday (7pm ET): LHP CC Sabathia (vs. MIN) vs. RHP Mike Pelfrey (vs. NYY)
Big Pelf has a 3.70 ERA (3.95 FIP) in 22 starts and 129 innings this year, though this has really been a tale of two seasons for the ex-Met. He had a 2.28 ERA (3.84 FIP) in his first eleven starts and has a 5.23 ERA (4.06 FIP) in the eleven starts since. Pelfrey has the second lowest strikeout rate among qualified starters at 11.3% — Jeremy Guthrie has the lowest at 11.1% — so he instead relies on limiting walks (6.9%), getting grounders (53.7%), and keeping the ball in the park (0.49 HR/9). Lefties (.340 wOBA) have hit him a bit harder than righties (.310 wOBA). The 31-year-old Pelfrey lives off his low-to-mid-90s sinker but will also throw some straight low-to-mid-90s four-seamers to keep hitters honest. Low-80s splitters and sliders are his two offspeed pitches. The Yankees did not face Pelfrey when they visited Minnesota a few weeks ago.


Wednesday (1pm ET): RHP Nathan Eovaldi (vs. MIN) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (vs. NYY)
Santana, 32, returned a few weeks ago after serving an 80-game performance-enhancing drug suspension to start the season. Not the best way to kick off a four-year contract, eh? Santana has a 5.66 ERA (5.59 FIP) in eight starts and 47.2 innings since coming back and he has been incredibly homer prone (1.70 HR/9). His walk rate (8.4%) is in line with his career norms but his strikeout (13.0%) and grounder (37.6%) rates are way down. Left-handed batters (.358 wOBA) have had more success against Santana than righties (.336 wOBA) this year. A low-to-mid-90s four-seam fastball is his primary weapon and he’ll also throw a ton of mid-80s sliders each time out. Santana has thrown his slider at least 33% of the time every year since PitchFX was fully put in place in 2008. He has started throwing his mid-80s changeup a bit more often in recent years but it is still a distant third pitch. Santana shows you can carve out a pretty long career as a starter as a two-pitch pitcher, as long as one pitch is mid-90s heat and the other is a wipeout slider. The Yankees did not see Santana the last time these teams played.

Bullpen Status
Molitor is stuck with one of the league’s worst bullpens (4.08 ERA/4.16 FIP) despite having a shutdown closer in LHP Glen Perkins (2.49/3.39). RHP Casey Fien (3.89/3.73) has been his primary setup man alongside trade deadline pickup RHP Kevin Jepsen (2.79/4.06). LHP Brian Duensing (4.54/4.06) is the main matchup southpaw.

RHP A.J. Achter (10.13/6.49 in very limited time), RHP Trevor May (4.15/3.26), LHP Ryan O’Rourke (3.38/3.19 in limited time), and Rule 5 Draft pick RHP J.R. Graham (4.50/4.61) fill out the rest of the bullpen. Duensing, Fien, Jepsen, and Perkins all pitched yesterday. Check out the status of Joe Girardi‘s bullpen at our Bullpen Workload page, then head over to Twinkie Town and Aaron Gleeman’s site for updates on the Twins.

Yankeemetrics: Payback north of the border (Aug. 14-16)


Streaks are made to be broken
So this is what it feels like to be in a pennant race, eh? The Yankees stunned the scorching-hot Blue Jays with a 4-3 comeback victory at the Rogers Centre on Friday night, ending Toronto’s 11-game win streak and jumping back into first place in the AL East.

For a while it looked like the Yankees might never score against the Blue Jays again (they had been shut out in each of their last two matchups) and the Blue Jays might never lose again. But then the eighth inning happened, when the Yankees rallied from down 3-0 to take the lead thanks to an RBI double from Chase Headley and a three-run homer from Carlos Beltran.

With one swing of the bat, Beltran became the first Yankee pinch-hitter to hit a go-ahead homer when trailing in eighth inning or later on the road since Don Mattingly on July 24, 1994 against the Angels. Perhaps even more amazing is that it was Beltran’s first homer on a pitch of at least 97 mph since August 9, 2008, when he got Matt Lindstrom.

Andrew Miller locked down the win with his 26th save of the season … But not before he made every Yankee fan hold their breath for the entirety of the near-eight-minute final at-bat, which ended on the 12th pitch when Miller struck out Troy Tulowitzki with runners on second and third.

How clutch was Miller’s strikeout? Since 1988 (as far back as we have reliable pitch data), Miller is the only pitcher in the majors with a game-ending strikeout in an at-bat lasting at least 12 pitches and the go-ahead run on base.

Second place is for losers
The Yankees made sure that they’d leave Canada as a first-place team, beating the Blue Jays on Saturday 4-1 to take a game and a half lead heading into the series finale.

Masahiro Tanaka called it “one of the most important games” he’s ever pitched in as a Yankee and he delivered like an ace, throwing a complete-game five-hitter with eight strikeouts. It was his fourth complete game as a Yankee — the same number that all other Yankee pitchers have combined for since his debut last season.

Before Tanaka’s gem, the last Yankee to get a complete-game victory against the Blue Jays with at least eight strikeouts and five hits or fewer allowed was Ron Guidry on September 28, 1978.

And finally, Brett Gardner ended another streak for the Yankees when he stole second base in the top of the ninth inning. That snapped a stretch of 19 games in a row without a stolen base by any Yankee, their longest drought on the basepaths since 1963.

Not-Lucky Luis
A sweep would have been nice, but winning two of three against the team you’re fighting for the division lead isn’t bad, right?

The Yankees dropped the series finale to the Blue Jays, 3-1, despite another impressive performance by Luis Severino in his third major-league start. Severino, who allowed three runs in six innings, became the youngest Yankee pitcher with at least nine strikeouts in a game since a 20-year-old Ray Keating on May 19, 1914 versus the St. Louis Browns.

He made a couple mistakes with his off-speed pitches but otherwise dominated the powerful Toronto lineup with his dazzling fastball. The Blue Jays went 0 for 14 with eight strikeouts in at-bats ending in Severino’s four-seamer.

However, the Yankees scored just one run to support him — they’ve scored just two runs in the 17 innings he’s been on the mound — and he once again failed to get his first career win. In the last 100 years, Severino and Dave Righetti (1979) are only Yankees with at least five innings pitched and no wins in each of their first three career games.

The Blue Jays have now held the Yankees to one run or fewer in seven of their 12 matchups in 2015. The only other teams in the Divisional Era (since 1969) to allow no more than one run in at least seven games against the Yankees in a season were the 1990 Athletics — who went 12-0 against the Yankees that year! — and the 1973 Red Sox. And the Yankees still seven more games to play against our neighbors north of the border …

Fan Confidence Poll: August 17th, 2015

Record Last Week: 3-3 (22 RS, 20 RA)
Season Record: 64-52 (551 RS, 488 RA, 65-51 pythag. record) 0.5 games up in ALE
Opponents This Week: vs. Twins (three games, Mon. to Weds.), vs. Indians (four games, Thurs. 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 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?