Yankees grab defeat from jaws of victory, fall 6-5 to O’s

Source: FanGraphs

You know what the worst thing about Friday’s come-from-ahead loss to the Orioles is? It’s that it doesn’t bother me. Usually a loss like that would make me feel annoyed, angry, frustrated, all sorts of things. Instead … nothing. I guess I’ve come to accept the Yankees being bad and am now numb to the brutal losses. Anyway, Friday’s final score was 6-5. Let’s recap with bullet points on this Friday night:

  • OMG Dingers!: For the first time this season, the Yankees hit 3+ home runs in a game away from Yankee Stadium. Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez went back-to-back in the fourth inning, then Austin Romine went deep in the fifth inning. The three homers accounted for four of the team’s five runs. (Beltran’s was a two-run shot.) The Yankees scored their fifth run when Chase Headley singled in Didi Gregorius in the sixth. That gave them what felt like a comfortable 5-2 lead.
  • Nate Loses It: Through the first five innings Nathan Eovaldi made only one mistake, and Chris Davis hit it about 500 feet for a solo homer. The O’s built a run in the second when noted pull hitters Mark Trumbo and Pedro Alvarez took outside pitches the other way. Go figure. Eovaldi was pitching well (again), but things unraveled in the sixth. Four of the first first batters of the inning reached base, the last of which was Matt Wieters, who singled in a pair to cut the deficit to 5-4. That ended Eovaldi’s night.
  • Bad Bullpen: The magic is starting to wear off Kirby Yates. He entered the game with two on and one out in the sixth, then allowed the game-tying run on a Jonathan Schoop double to left. Eovaldi was charged with five runs in 5.1 innings. With the score tied 5-5 in the seventh, in came Dellin Betances, who has been mortal in recent weeks. The O’s pushed across a run on a ground ball single, a flare single to left, and a soft ground ball along the third base line. Not exactly hammered, but still. That’s three straight games with a run for Dellin. He’s on pace for another 81 appearances. Maybe pitching ALL THE TIME is bad and his workload should be lightened?
  • Leftovers: The Yankees had ten hits, including two each by Brett Gardner, Gregorius, and Headley. Gardner also drew a walk. Even with his recent slump, he still leads the team with a .350 OBP … Mark Teixeira left the game in the third inning with a knee injury, forcing Rob Refsnyder to play first base for the first time. He wasn’t tested with anything particularly tough. My guess is we’ll see more of him there going forward … the Yankees have lost seven of their last ten games to drop their postseason odds to 13.3%.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Orioles will continue this series Saturday night (argh). Ivan Nova and Tyler Wright will be on the bump.

DotF: Judge snaps out of slump; Severino makes first AAA start

Got a bunch of notes to pass along:

  • SS Jorge Mateo, 3B Miguel Andujar, and OF Mark Payton have all been named to the High-A Florida State League All-Star Game. Congrats to them. Here are the North and South rosters. The All-Star Game is Saturday, June 18th. My guess is Mateo and Andujar will be promoted to Double-A Trenton immediately after the break.
  • Andujar placed 13th in this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. Also, he made Baseball America’s All-Prospect Team for May, which is pretty cool. He’s mashing with High-A, which is what you’re supposed to do when you repeat a level. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does in Trenton.
  • LHP Matt Tracy has been released, reports Matt Kardos. The move clears a Double-A roster spot for RHP Mark Montgomery, who was send down yesterday to clear a Triple-A spot for RHP Luis Severino. Tracy, a former 24th round pick, was up for a day with the Yankees last season and got that affordable health care for life. He’s left-handed and breathing, so I’m sure he’ll hook on somewhere else soon.
  • Every Friday around 5pm ET MLB announces minor league drug and PED suspensions. They announced seven today and five were Yankees. They’re all in the Dominican Summer League and I’ve heard of exactly zero of them: C Oliver Cedeno, LHP Jean Carlos De Jesu, RHP Arikson Ramirez, RHP Leyfer Ramirez, and RHP Jhostin Vargas.

Triple-A Scranton (10-3 win over Columbus)

  • DH Ben Gamel: 2-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI
  • LF Aaron Judge: 2-3, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB — big game to break out of an 0-for-24 (!) skid
  • RF Nick Swisher: 1-5, 1 R, 2 K
  • CF Jake Cave: 2-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K — he’s 23-for-78 (.295) with seven doubles, three triples, and two homers since being promoted
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • RHP Luis Severino: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1/5 GB/FB — 46 of 67 pitches were strikes (69%) … he was on a 70-pitch limit tonight … Donnie Collins says he got away with a few sliders up in the zone, which won’t happen at the big league level … Severino retired the first nine batters he faced before the wheels came off in the fourth, perhaps due to fatigue
  • RHP Anthony Swarzak: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 4/1 GB/FB — 30 of 40 pitches were strikes

[Read more…]

Update: Mark Teixeira heading for MRI on right knee

(Patrick Smith/Getty)
(Patrick Smith/Getty)

8:50pm: Teixeira left the game with right knee discomfort, the Yankees announced. He’s heading for an MRI.

7:47pm: Mark Teixeira left tonight’s game with what looked to be a right knee injury. Nothing obvious happened on the field, but YES showed Teixeira grabbing his knee and talking to the trainer in the dugout during the third inning. The Yankees haven’t announced any sort of update yet.

The Yankees are already without Dustin Ackley (shoulder) and Greg Bird (shoulder), so their first base depth chart is mighty thin. Austin Romine is the backup first baseman by default right now, but with Brian McCann banged up, the team needs him behind the plate. Rob Refsnyder has been working out at first and he replaced Teixeira in the game.

Teixeira has not hit this season at all — he came into this game hitting .181/.273/.265 (49 wRC+) overall, and it’s been nearly two months since his last homer — so the Yankees aren’t going to miss his bat. They will miss his defense though. Teixeira is still a high-end defender at first base. Among the best in baseball. We see it game after game.

The Yankees have Nick Swisher and Chris Parmelee at Triple-A, and while Parmelee is out-hitting Swisher by a decent margin, my guess is the team would go with Swisher should Teixeira miss an extended period of time. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that. A healthy and productive Teixeira is the best thing for the Yankees.

Game 54: One-Third


Today is the game No. 54 for the Yankees and that means they’ve officially reached the one-third point of the season. Billy Beane likes to say the first third of the season is for evaluating, the second third is for making changes, and the final third is for riding out those changes. My evaluation of the Yankees one-third of the way through the season:

Lloyd Christmas

They’ve been pretty bad overall and horrendously so at times. Like, unwatchably bad. The pitching has been much better the last few weeks (much, much better) but the offense is a nightmare. It’s one thing to be bad, but the Yankees are bad and boring, at least offensively. Watching strikeouts and grounders into the shift gets real old real quick.

Anyway, the Yankees are now in Baltimore after their night in Detroit. They’re 9-15 against AL East teams this year and boy, that has to change in a hurry for the Yankees to get back into any sort of postseason race. Tonight would be a good night to start. Here is the O’s lineup and here is the Yanks’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. DH Alex Rodriguez
  5. 1B Mark Teixeira
  6. 2B Starlin Castro
  7. SS Didi Gregorius
  8. 3B Chase Headley
  9. C Austin Romine
    RHP Nathan Eovaldi

It is warm and humid in Baltimore, and it was raining for part of the afternoon too. It’s supposed to stop in time for the game if it hasn’t already. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET and the game will be broadcast on YES. Enjoy.

Injury Updates: Brian McCann is day-to-day with a hyper-extended left elbow. “I don’t think it will be too long,” said Joe Girardi. Ronald Torreyes is the backup catcher for the time being … Chasen Shreve (shoulder) played catch again today. He’s going to throw again tomorrow and increase the intensity … Dustin Ackley had his labrum surgery today.

2016 Draft: Latest mock drafts from MLB.com, Keith Law

The 2016 draft is less than one week away now. The three-day event begins next Thursday and runs through Saturday. I always liked it better when it ran from Monday to Wednesday. Following the draft on the Saturday seems weird. Oh well. It is what it is. Two new mock drafts were posted today, so let’s dive in.

MLB.com v3.0

In his latest mock draft, Jim Callis has the Phillies selecting Florida LHP A.J. Puk with the No. 1 pick. Puk’s had an up-and-down college career — he also missed time with back spasms this spring — but gosh, 6-foot-7 lefties with mid-90s gas and a knockout slider sure are hard to pass up. Callis has the Yankees taking Texas HS RHP Forrest Whitley with their first round pick, No. 18 overall. Here’s my write-up on Whitley.

Within the write-up Callis says there are “mixed signals” coming from the Yankees, with indications being they want either a high school arm or a college bat. Whitley, New York HS RHP Ian Anderson, California HS RHP Kevin Gowdy, Virginia C Matt Thaiss, and Wake Forest 3B Will Craig are on their radar, per Callis. Georgia HS OF Taylor Trammell is considered a dark horse. Here are my write-ups on Anderson, Gowdy, Craig, and Trammell. Haven’t done one for Thaiss yet.

Keith Law v3.0

Like Baseball America, Law has the Phillies taking Puk first overall in his latest mock draft (subs. req’d). Law has the Yankees selecting Anderson with their first round pick and mentions both Gowdy and Trammell as possibilities. He also throws a new name into the mix: Texas HS LHP Kyle Muller. Here is a piece of MLB.com’s free scouting report on Muller:

(He) added significant strength during the offseason, giving him a heater that now sits in the low 90s and climbs as high as 95 mph. His fastball features some sink and tail, and he uses his 6-foot-5 frame to create angle and plane that are difficult for hitters to handle … Muller’s curveball is inconsistent because his delivery can get a bit methodical, but it should give him a solid second offering. He also shows feel for a changeup with some fade and tumble that he’ll need to use more at the next level.

Muller already looks like a big leaguer at 6-foot-5 and 230 lbs., though that also means he doesn’t have much projection remaining. This isn’t a kid who is going to fill out over the next few years. Moreso than any other year in recent memory, things around the Yankees seem to be very up in the air. It sounds like they’re in on basically everyone. We’re going to be in for a surprise come Thursday. That’ll be fun.

6/3 to 6/5 Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles


Third city in three days for the Yankees. This is also the fourth city and sixth day in a trip that will take the Yankees through five cities in nine days. Tampa to Toronto to Detroit to Baltimore to New York. At least most of the flights are short, I guess. Anyway, the Yankees will play three games against the Orioles at Camden Yards this weekend. The O’s took two of three from New York in Baltimore a few weeks ago. These two teams have yet to play in Yankee Stadium this year.

What Have They Done Lately?

The Orioles and Red Sox just played one of those old school AL East slugfest series. They split the four games and each team scored 29 runs. Twenty-nine runs in four games. Reminds me of the mid-2000s. Anyway, Baltimore is 30-22 with a +17 run differential overall. They’re one game back of Boston for the AL East lead and 5.5 games up on the fourth place Yankees.

Offense & Defense

As expected, the O’s are one of the better offensive teams in baseball this year. They’ve averaging 4.37 runs per game with a team 107 wRC+, and they’re second in baseball with 75 home runs. SS J.J. Hardy (85 wRC+) and C Caleb Joseph (21 wRC+) are both on the DL and not coming back this series. Hardy fouled a pitch off his foot and broke a bone. Joseph? He took a foul tip to the biscuits and was placed on the DL with what the team called a “testicular injury.” Yikes. Calling it a groin injury would have sufficed. Here’s the video.

Kim. (Rob Carr/Getty)
Kim. (Rob Carr/Getty)

Manager Buck Showalter shook up his lineup recently and now bats CF Adam Jones (86 wRC+) leadoff despite his chronically low OBPs (.296 this year). Jones and Jose Bautista are now leadoff hitters. What a world. Korean import LF Hyun-Soo Kim (161 wRC+) has forced his way into the lineup even though Showalter wanted nothing to do with him earlier this season. He bats second. Megastar SS Manny Machado (165 wRC+) bats third and 1B Chris Davis (109 wRC+) cleans up. RF Mark Trumbo (149 wRC+) bats fifth. That’s a dangerous fivesome right there.

The rest of the lineup includes C Matt Wieters (102 wRC+), DH Pedro Alvarez (86 wRC+), and 2B Jonathan Schoop (99 wRC+). The O’s are playing Machado at short during Hardy’s absence while UTIL Ryan Flaherty (44 wRC+) and IF Paul Janish (5 wRC+) handle third base. Alvarez has even seen some time at the hot corner too. C Francisco Pena (4 PA), Tony Pena‘s son, is the backup catcher, and OF Joey Rickard (80 wRC+) and OF Nolan Reimold (133 wRC+) are the other outfielders.

Baltimore is a strong defensive team at certain positions. Machado is an elite defender even at short while Schoop, Davis, and Jones are average or better at their positions. Wieters is rock solid behind the dish too. Trumbo is a disaster in right field and honestly, I haven’t seen much of Kim to know what he is capable of defensively. The numbers say he is basically average in limited time. Flaherty and Janish are fine at third. Alvarez? lol no.

Pitching Matchups

Friday (7:05pm ET): RHP Nathan Eovaldi (vs. BAL) vs. RHP Chris Tillman (vs. NYY)
Tillman’s up and down career continues. He’s had some great seasons and some truly awful seasons too. This year the 28-year-old has a 2.92 ERA (3.78 FIP) with a 23.7% strikeout rate in eleven starts and 64.2 innings. His walk (10.5%) and grounder (40.1%) rates leave something to be desired, and he’s keeping the ball in the park (0.84 HR/9) way more often than he has for most of his career. Lefties have hit him harder than righties so far this season, though his career platoon split is pretty small. Tillman has actually added some velocity this season and he now sits closer to 92-94 mph than 91-93 mph with his four-seam fastball and occasional sinker. A big upper-70s curveball is his trademark pitch. Tillman also uses mid-80s changeups and upper-80s cutters as well. Tillman limited the Yankees to one run in seven innings when they met in early-May.

Saturday (7:15pm ET): RHP Ivan Nova (vs. BAL) vs. RHP Tyler Wilson (vs. NYY)
The O’s had some big question marks at the back of their rotation in Spring Training, and the 26-year-old Wilson took advantage of the opportunity and won a job. He has a 3.83 ERA (4.70 FIP) in 49.1 innings spread across seven starts and three relief appearances so far this season. Wilson gets grounders (49.4%) and limits walks (5.8%), but his strikeout (12.6%) and homer (1.28 HR/9) problems are scary bad. His platoon split is fairly small because his low-80s changeup is a solid pitch. Low-90s four-seamers and sinkers set up the change as well as an 80 mph slider. Wilson won’t miss many bats and that’s a plus for the Yankees. Of course, he held them to three runs (two earned) in six innings last month, so who knows.

Gausman. (Stephen Dunn/Getty)
Gausman. (Stephen Dunn/Getty)

Sunday (1:35pm ET: LHP CC Sabathia (vs. BAL) vs. RHP Kevin Gausman (vs. NYY)
The Orioles player development system strikes again. It looked like the 25-year-old Gausman was ready to take the next step this season, but instead he has a 3.78 ERA (4.50 FIP) with an alarming 1.70 HR/9. The O’s haven’t drafted and developed a quality MLB starter since Mike Mussina. (The Yankees haven’t done a whole lot better during that time, sadly.) Gausman’s other underlying stats are solid (22.8% strikeout, 5.6% walks, 44.9% grounders) and he’s dominated lefties this season, though that’s a bit out of line with the rest of his career. A mid-to-high-90s heater is his No. 1 pitch, and he also throws a nasty mid-80s splitter. Gausman also has a low-80s curveball. The stuff is definitely there. He just hasn’t put it together yet. Gausman chucked eight scoreless innings against the Yankees a few weeks ago. He was dominant that night. Would have crushed any lineup with the split he had that game.

Bullpen Status

As always, the bullpen is a strength for the Orioles. Their end-game arms are very good. Not as good as the guys the Yankees trot out there, but still very good. Here is Showalter’s eight-man relief crew:

Closer: LHP Zach Britton (1.21 ERA/1.95 FIP)
Setup: RHP Darren O’Day (3.15/5.37) and RHP Brad Brach (0.91/2.28)
Middle: RHP Mychal Givens (2.16/2.84), LHP T.J. MacFarland (4.73/3.42), RHP Dylan Bundy (4.71/5.31)
Long: RHP Vance Worley (2.41/3.48) and LHP Brian Duensing (1 IP)

The O’s had to dip so deep into their bullpen during the series with the Red Sox that they optioned out fifth starter Mike Wright in favor of an extra bullpen arm (Duensing) yesterday. It was one of those kind of series. Givens (21 pitches), Brach (12), and Duensing (25) all pitched yesterday. Worley threw 60 pitches Wednesday night and probably won’t be available until at least tomorrow, if not Sunday. Our Bullpen Workload is the place to go for the status of Joe Girardi‘s bullpen.

TiqIQ: As Struggles Continue, Yankees Will Roll Out Notable Promotional Schedule in June

The summer is nearly here, and for the first time in recent memory, the Yankees are clinging to relevancy in the AL East. Despite a strong May for the struggling Bombers, who went 18-13 and led an eight-game winning streak through the later weeks of the month, offensive and pitching woes have stunted any climb out of the bottom half of the division. The Yankees own the fourth-worst batting average in the league (.231) and a middling team ERA (4.15), two factors that have directly influenced their sub-.500 record through the first 52 games of 2016.

The on-field production has come at a frustrating pace, but there is reason to believe June will be a bounce-back month for the Pinstripes. The Yankees will play 19 games against teams currently below the .500 mark, including seven meetings with the league-worst Minnesota Twins. The Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Colorado Rockies are also on the ledger, setting the pace for a memorable stretch that may catapult them back into contention as the calendar flips to July.

For those interested in attending an upcoming game at Yankee Stadium, the team’s June schedule at home will include a number of marquee fan promotions. Yankees tickets in June will be in considerable demand for the 70th Annual Old-Timers’ Day, Mickey Mantle Triple Crown Bobblehead Night, Brian McCann Figurine Night and, perhaps the most simple-yet-effective promotion, Cap Night on June 29.

Old-Timers’ Day will occur on Sunday, June 12, when the Yankees host the Tigers for a weekend matinee game. Headlined by former Yankee greats and Hall of Famers Whitey Ford, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson and Joe Torre, Old-Timers’ Day will likely be the hottest ticket in the Bronx this month. However, fans won’t have to break the bank to attend, as Yankees tickets on Ticketmaster start from just $17 in the outfield bleachers. If looking for a legitimate seat in the Stadium, upper-level seating can be found from $21 per ticket.

Stadium giveaways are always a big commodity, and the Yankees are packing a punch later this month. The team will honor the late Mickey Mantle’s 1956 Triple Crown season with a celebratory bobblehead on Friday, June 24 against the Twins. The first 18,000 guests in attendance will receive the collectible, which fittingly portrays Mantle with a crown and bats in arms. Tickets for the game also start at $17 in the outfield bleachers.

It hasn’t been the smoothest transition into pinstripes for catcher Brian McCann, who posted a .232 batting average in each of his first two seasons as a Yankee in 2014 and 2015. The 32-year-old’s production at the plate has dropped off further this season, though fans will pack the Stadium for his Figurine Day on Sunday, June 26 against the Twins. The first 18,000 guests will receive the action-posed figurine that expresses McCann in a throwing motion with catcher’s gear on. Like the previous two giveaways earlier in the month, tickets can be found starting from $17 on the primary market.

Cap Day will be the final giveaway at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, June 29 against the Texas Rangers. Presented by Pepsi, the Yankees hat will be handed out to the first 18,000 fans in attendance. $17 tickets are still available while outfield seating starts from $21.

The Yankees will need a big month if they hope to hang onto their postseason hopes. They currently sit 7 ½ games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox, who show no signs of slowing as the summer approaches. For that to happen however, the bats will need to awaken to support a staff that has had brief flashes of greatness over the first two months. With a favorable schedule on the docket for June, expect the Bombers to return to form and quickly close the cellar door on their way up the standings.