TiqIQ: Tickets Are Still Available for A-Rod’s Last Game Friday

Friday marks the end of Alex Rodriguez’s career in pinstripes, and while the nation draws its attention to Yankee Stadium as the beleaguered star takes his last licks, there’s still a chance to witness the festivities live.

A mad dash to the box office ensued after the 41-year-old’s press conference Sunday morning, and by Monday afternoon only a few dozen seats were still available on Ticketmaster. However, those that slept on purchasing can still find Yankees tickets for A-Rod’s last game. Don’t expect them to be there much longer, though.

As it stands now the cheapest available tickets to Friday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays are $95 each in Section 105 next to the Yankees bullpen. It is the only section currently offering ticket prices below $100. In Section 114, which is located on the first base side, tickets are currently listed from $150 each. Several other seats are available starting from $175 each in Section 128 headed out towards left field.

Prepare for prices to spike if looking elsewhere in the stadium. Tickets are still available in the 100 section behind home plate but will cost upwards of $275 each. The most expensive available tickets are going for $500 each in wheelchair-accessible seats in Section 122A.

Whether watching from right field or the comfort of the living room couch, Friday night will mark the end of an era in the Bronx. A-Rod’s tumultuous 12-year run as a member of the Yankees was a polarizing one; two MVP Awards and a World Series title were overshadowed by his illicit use of performance-enhancing drugs, which he initially claimed to have used solely during his brief career in Texas. That would later prove to be false, as the slugger would also admit to using PEDs from late 2010 to October 2012.

Still, weighed down with the fact that he will never enter the Hall of Fame with pure intentions, A-Rod’s many accomplishments both off and on the field cannot be overlooked. He was a poster child for the game for nearly two decades, and though his play was virtually non-existent over the last four weeks, there’s no doubt that Yankee Stadium will be packed to the brim to see his final at-bats Friday night.

And who knows, maybe this isn’t the end for the aging slugger. The thought of playing again hasn’t been ruled out, so perhaps he’ll be back in the opposing dugout wearing road greys next season. And wouldn’t that be something.

Cashman: Yankees getting two “legitimate” lower level prospects for Nova

(Justin K. Aller/Getty)
(Justin K. Aller/Getty)

Even after receiving ten prospects in their various trade deadline deals, the Yankees still have two more prospects coming to them. Ivan Nova was traded to the Pirates for two players to named later, and after the trade, Brian Cashman told reporters the Yankees will pick those players from a list after the season. They’ll spend the next few weeks scouting before making a decision.

Cashman appeared on Buster Olney’s podcast last week, and during that appearance he gave some more details about those players to be named. They’re going to be two “legitimate” prospects from the lower levels of the minors. Here’s what he said:

“We’re getting two prospects from Pittsburgh for Nova, so we have to pick from a list of players and evaluate those the remaining two months (of the season). We’ll be bouncing throughout lower levels of the Pirates’ system as we make that selection and add two more pieces that are legitimate prospects.”

I saw folks I trust on Twitter saying that, in a separate radio interview, Cashman said the Yankees will be picking from a list of four players who are among Pittsburgh’s 30 prospects. I can’t find that radio interview, but like I said, I trust those who were talking about it. Also, Rob Biertempfel says the two players are not on the 40-man roster.

So, if nothing else, this helps us narrow down the list of players. Two non-40-man roster players in the lower levels who are among the Pirates’ top 30 prospects. Top 30 prospects according to whom? Who knows. Maybe Baseball America, maybe MLB.com, maybe probably the Yankees’ internal evaluation of Pittsburgh’s system. Let’s stick with MLB.com’s list because it’s free. Here are the players who fit that criteria:

5. RHP Mitch Keller
6. 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes
8. SS Cole Tucker
13. RHP Yeudy Garcia
17. LHP Stephen Tarpley
18. RHP Luis Escobar
20. RHP Gage Hinsz
21. 3B Kevin Kramer
25. LHP Taylor Hearn
27. RHP Dario Agrazal
28. OF Tito Polo

The Yankees did exceptionally well in their other trade deadline deals, though this is still Ivan Nova we’re talking about, so I doubt any of those first three guys are in play. Keller, Hayes, and Tucker are among the Pirates’ best prospects. Also, Hearn just came over in the Mark Melancon trade, so he’s probably off-limits too.

Based on all of that, that list of eleven players above has already been whittled down to seven: Garcia, Tarpley, Escobar, Hinsz, Kramer, Agrazal, and Polo. Personally, I really like Kramer and would be pretty thrilled to get him in the Nova deal. Really though, I’ll be happy with anyone with actual prospect value. That the Yankees are getting two players is just gravy.

Nova will be a free agent after the season and he’s not a qualifying offer candidate, so the Yankees didn’t have a ton of leverage in trade talks. His performance since returning from Tommy John surgery didn’t helped matters either. The Yankees were smart to trade Nova for whatever they could get rather than lose him for nothing after the season, and it sounds like they might actually get a pair of halfway decent prospects in return.

Late-blooming Kyle Higashioka gives Yankees extra layer of catching depth

(Times Tribune)
(Scranton Times-Tribune)

By and large, this has been a really excellent season for the Yankees in the minors. They imported several high-end prospects at the trade deadline, and the top prospects they already had have performed well. The only major negatives are Jorge Mateo‘s suspension/slump and James Kaprielian‘s injury. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not too bad.

Among the best feel good stories in the system this year is catcher Kyle Higashioka, who, at age 26, is finally healthy enough to put together a breakout season. He missed most of the 2013-14 seasons with Tommy John surgery — Higashioka blew out his elbow making a snap throw to first — and a broken thumb, and he’s been stuck playing second fiddle to the Yankees’ top catching prospects over the years, most notably Gary Sanchez.

“I had a lot of time to think, and with all that downtime (while injured), your mind just goes everywhere and you think, ‘What if I don’t come back?,'” said Higashioka to Shane Hennigan back in June. “Obviously, it wasn’t encouraging to take a step back (due to the broken thumb). But on the other hand, I was really grateful that they gave me the opportunity to play every day rather than just stick me as a backup at one of the higher levels — that’s what I’m really grateful for.”

So far this season Higashioka is hitting .308/.368/.563 (157 wRC+) with a career high 17 homers and a career high 22 doubles in an almost career high 326 plate appearances. This is only the fourth time since being a seventh round pick back in 2008 that Higashioka has cleared 300 plate appearances in a season. His career high is 359 plate appearances back in 2010. It’s been a long time since he played this regularly, and he’s handling it well.

In most cases like this, it would be easy to write off Higashioka as an older guy having success in a relatively small number of at-bats. That happens all the time. The fact Higashioka is a catcher and finally healthy after years of injuries forces us to take notice, however. This is a guy at a premium position displaying power after all those physical issues. This might not be a fluke. Higashioka might be a late-bloomer, and there are reasons to think he’s legit.

1. His background provides important context. The Yankees gave Higashioka a $500,000 bonus out of an Orange County high school when they selected him in the seventh round of that 2008 draft, so they really believed in his two-way potential. Also, the Yankees brought him to Spring Training as a non-roster player every year from 2010-16 except 2014, when he was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Higashioka was the youngest player in camp in 2010.

There’s also this: Higashioka became a minor league free agent last offseason. The Yankees liked him enough to bring him back, and he was happy enough with the Yankees to come back. That’s kind of a big deal. It must be pretty daunting to be a young catcher suck behind Brian McCann, Austin Romine, and Sanchez on the depth chart. Higashioka could have easily left and looked for a greater opportunity elsewhere, and no one would have blamed him. There’s definitely some loyalty going both ways here, and that’s not nothing.

2. He’s always had some power. Although he’s never shown quite this much power before, Higashioka has always had some pop in his bat. I mean, look:

Higashioka’s offensive performance has been so good this season because he’s hitting for a higher average and drawing more walks than ever before. The power has always been there though.

2009: .079 ISO in 247 PA with Short Season Staten Island
2010: .113 ISO in 359 PA with Low-A Charleston
2011: .136 ISO in 324 PA between Charleston and High-A Tampa
2012: .157 ISO in 164 PA between Tampa and Double-A Trenton
2013-14: .198 ISO in 109 PA around Tommy John surgery
2015: .117 ISO in 348 PA between Tampa and Triple-A Scranton
2016: .255 ISO in 326 PA between Trenton and Scranton

That’s a really nice, steady progression from 2009-12 before the elbow injury and broken thumb threw a wrench into things. I know that .136 ISO in 2011 doesn’t look impressive, but we’re talking about a kid who was almost two years young for his level and playing the most demanding defensive position. Ten catchers have 200+ plate appearances in the High-A Florida State League this year and three have a .100+ ISO. Two have a .130+ ISO and both are older than Higashioka was in 2011. It’s hard!

Furthermore, check out Higashioka’s spray chart this season, via MLB Farm. This is Double-A and Triple-A combined, so it’s everything. All his balls in play:

Kyle Higashioka spray chart

No one will confuse Higashioka for Alex Rodriguez when it comes to opposite field power, but a right-handed hitting catcher who can occasionally poke one out to right field is a nice little piece in Yankee Stadium. Higashioka’s power was developing steadily before the Tommy John surgery complicated things. Now that he’s healthy again, Higashioka is showing more power than ever before, and it’s probably not a coincidence that it’s happening right as he enters what figure to be his prime years.

3. He’s a good defensive catcher. The scouting report on Higashioka has long said that he is an excellent defensive catcher, dating back to his draft year. Baseball America (subs. req’d) said he “receives the ball smoothly and is quiet behind the dish … he’s consistently posting pop times in the 1.95-2.0-second range” during his draft year, which was a baseball lifetime ago. If nothing else, that tells us the defensive tools were there once upon a time.

The Tommy John surgery is significant. I know it’s easy to overlook for a position player, but catchers are different because so much of their defensive value is tied up in their arms. From 2010-12, Higashioka threw out 36.3% of basestealers. Last year it was 25% and this year it’s 30%. That’s a pretty big drop that can be attributed to not just the elbow reconstruction, but moving to higher levels, where the baserunners are ostensibly better.

Catcher defense is difficult to measure as it is. It’s damn near impossible in the minors. The folks at Baseball Prospectus whipped up some new catcher defense stats over the winter — I used them to look at Sanchez’s defensive development — and they are, by far, the best information we have on minor league catcher defense. Data for 2016 rates Higashioka as 14.7 runs above-average defensively, seventh best among all catchers in baseball, majors and minors.

It goes without saying this data comes with a ton of caveats. It’s one tool in the shed. That’s all. Without seeing Higashioka catch every single day, it’s pretty much impossible to evaluate him defensively. All we know is that he has a reputation for being a standout gloveman, and the latest numbers back that up. There’s evidence this guy is an asset behind the dish, and that’s huge. An outfielder or first baseman doing what Higashioka is doing this year probably isn’t worth a second thought. But a catcher? That’s different.

4. It’s not uncommon for catchers to be late-bloomers. I have not seen any research on this, but anecdotally, it seems like catchers are late-bloomers moreso than any other position. By late-bloomer I don’t necessarily mean someone who comes up for the first time at 25 or 26 or 27, but someone who doesn’t stick in MLB for good until that age. Jorge Posada wasn’t in MLB for good until he was 26, for example. Giovanny Soto won Rookie of the Year at 25. Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Hanigan, and Caleb Joseph didn’t break in until they were 28. David Ross was 26 in his first full MLB season. The list goes on and on.

There’s a few reasons for this. First and foremost, there is so much defensive responsibility at the catcher position that sometimes is takes players time to get it down. (It’s also not uncommon for their bats to lag because they’re so tied up in improving defensively.) There also seems to be some bias against young starting catchers. Unless you’re talking about an elite catcher prospect like Buster Posey or Matt Wieters, teams usually don’t throw these guys to wolves. They like to ease them into big league duties. Injuries can be a factor too, as they are in Higashioka’s case.

Higashioka would not be the first nor the last catcher who broke into the big leagues closer to his 30th birthday than his 20th. Guys like Ruiz, Hanigan, Ross, and Soto show it’s possible to break in late and still carve out a pretty long and successful career. Catcher is a highly valuable position, and if you can play it capably, teams won’t care if you’re a 27-year-old rookie. Sometimes it takes these guys time to develop and they don’t hit their stride until, well, until they’re Higashioka’s age.

* * *

The Yankees have some very nice depth behind the plate right now thanks to Sanchez’s development and Romine showing he’s a passable backup. Higashioka’s breakout season further adds to that depth and gives the Yankees another safety net in case they decide to do something like trade McCann or Romine this month or in the offseason. (Or even Sanchez in a blockbuster.) That assumes his breakout is for real, of course.

Higashioka will again be a minor league free agent this offseason, and given his monster offensive numbers and supposedly good defense, the odds are strongly in favor of him landing on someone’s 40-man roster this winter. Young-ish catchers with those numbers and this kind of defensive reputation usually don’t stay unemployed very long.

I think the Yankees should absolutely add Higashioka to the 40-man after the season. They can’t let him go for nothing and quality catchers are so damn valuable that it’s worth keeping him around to see if this breakout is for real. A year ago at this time Higashioka was pretty much off the radar, mostly due to injuries. Now he’s suddenly someone who could factor into the team’s short and long-term plans.

The Yankees and Joe Girardi don’t come off looking too good in the final days of A-Rod’s career

(Adam Glanzman/Getty)
(Adam Glanzman/Getty)

Last night, for the 15th time in the last 16 games, Alex Rodriguez was not in the Yankees’ starting lineup. A-Rod has started only nine of the team’s last 33 games now, so seeing him on the bench was not unusual. He hasn’t hit since last August and the Yankees have benched him, understandably so. The circumstances were slightly different last night, however.

Over the weekend the Yankees and A-Rod announced he will play his final game this Friday before joining the front office as a special advisor and instructor. Listening to the press conference Sunday, it was pretty clear Alex feels he still has some quality baseball left in him. You can tell this isn’t what he truly wants, but it is his best option, so he’s taking it.

During Sunday’s press conference Joe Girardi said he will talk to A-Rod to see what he wants to do this week as far as playing time. The team only promised him a start on Friday, in front of the home fans at Yankee Stadium, but they have to play three games in Boston before that, and Girardi did say he’ll play Alex in those games if he wants to play.

“I’m going to talk to him as we move forward here,” said Girardi on Sunday (video link). “Probably sit down and talk to him Tuesday when we get to Boston — maybe today after the game — and see where he’s at mentally … He’s earned the right to have the conversation with me and (say what) he wants to do here … If he wants to play in every game, I’ll find a way.”

And yet, A-Rod was not in the lineup last night, and not because he didn’t want to play. He told reporters before the game he wanted to play these three games in Boston. During the game YES showed a clip of Alex’s pregame chat with reporters and he looked totally bummed he wasn’t in the lineup. It was kinda sad. The guy just want to play some games before his career ends, you know?

“I came to the stadium really excited, hoping I would play all three games or maybe two out of three,” said A-Rod to reporters yesterday, including George King. “He just said, ‘We’re trying to win games.’ It was surprising and shocking … He has his opinions and I have mine. But like I’ve said from the time I came back from my suspension, it’s up to Joe and I’ll do whatever he wants.”

Girardi justified his decision to sit A-Rod despite his “if he wants to play in every game, I’ll find a way” declaration by saying he got caught up in the emotion of Sunday. He said something at the time and regretted it, basically. “I’m an emotional guy and my heart can get tugged at. I think I got caught up in the emotions. I’m human,” said Girardi yesterday. “I’m not saying he won’t play these next two days, but I’m managing to win the games. This is a very important series for us.”

Going back on that promise is pretty damn weak, isn’t it? One day Girardi says if Alex wants to play, he’ll play. The next day he says they can’t play him because they’re trying to win, which is a load of crap because the Yankees traded most of their good players at the deadline. Mark Teixeira still bats third. The wholly unproductive Aaron Hicks plays every day. Anthony Swarzak is a trusted reliever. They aren’t trying to win anything, and if they are, holy cow are they doing a bad job.

Girardi has been extremely supportive of A-Rod over the years, whether he was under fire because he didn’t get The Big Hit in the postseason or was returning from his 2014 suspension or something else entirely. Remember when Girardi almost punched Brian O’Nora as part of his tirade when Ryan Dempster threw at Alex back in 2013? (GIF via SB Nation)

Joe Girardi

All that unwavering support over the years is part of what makes the sudden change of heart this week so odd. I can’t help but wonder if Girardi is getting orders from above to not play A-Rod this week, or maybe something happened behind the scenes that caused him to change the way he feels about Alex. Or maybe he never truly cared about him and only had his back out of obligation. Who knows?

All I know is that on Sunday I heard A-Rod will play this week if he wants, and now that’s not happening. That’s not cool. The Yankees will be the first to tell you they’re a classy organization and all that, but we’re not seeing it here. The “we’re trying to win games” reasoning is dubious at best and a straight up lie at worst. A-Rod’s no saint. We all know that. But that’s not a reason to pull the rug out from under him this week.

It’s important to note the Yankees don’t own Alex anything. Well, other than the $20-something million left on his contract, but you know what I mean. They didn’t have to offer him an advisor/instructor job. They didn’t have to agree to let him play one final home game Friday. They didn’t have to do any of this. The Yankees could have released A-Rod on Sunday and it would have been 100% justifiable.

But they did do all of this. They offered him the advisor/instructor job, they agreed to let him play Friday, and Girardi stood at the podium Sunday and told everyone “if he wants to play in every game, I’ll find a way.” Now that’s not happening, and it reflects poorly on Girardi and the Yankees because they’re backtracking. This is the team making one of the veteran leaders a promise and then reneging. How does everyone else in the clubhouse feel about that?

I want to see A-Rod play these final three games because he’s one of my all-time favorite players and his career will be over in less than 64 hours. I want to see him try to sock a dinger one last time. I want to see him play the field and show off the rocket arm one last time too, but maybe now I’m asking too much. Either way, if A-Rod strikes out five times and makes an error instead, well, who cares? The Yankees aren’t going anywhere and that’s not how I’ll remember Alex anyway.

I didn’t think this was possible, but the Yankees have managed to turn A-Rod into a sympathetic figure these last few weeks between the benching and the forced retirement and not playing him these final few games against his wishes. I doubt that was their intention, but it happened. Alex is the one who has come out of this looking good. Now it’s the Yankees who are saying one thing and doing another, and as A-Rod showed all these years, that no way to win over fans.

Yankees fall short in the ninth, lose 5-3 to the Red Sox

This picture summarizes it, I think (Getty)

This game started off pretty nicely with a two-run explosion by the bats. With this Yankees team, that’s kind of too good to be true, right?  The Red Sox then scored five runs and held on during a pretty dicey ninth to win the game 5-3.

Taking the lead

For a little while in the game, I was a bit excited about the possibility of Luis Severino out-dueling Rick Porcello. If you haven’t been paying attention, Porcello’s numbers have been pretty neat this year. Prior to tonight’s game, he had a 14-3 record with a 3.46 ERA, becoming the pitcher that Boston envisioned to be when they gave up Yoenis Cespedes. Severino, on the other hand, has had a very up-and-down season in which he’s experienced major growing pains in the majors.

Happier times (Getty)

The Yankees, however, struck first. In the second, Starlin Castro doubled to lead off the inning and Chase Headley drove him in with a two-bagger of his to give New York a 1-0 lead. Castro seemed to move a bit gimpy after his double but thankfully, he stayed in game and played rest of the way.

You don’t call it an offensive explosion without consecutive innings of scoring. Brett Gardner doubled (yeah, again) to lead off the inning. Two batters later, Brian McCann squared up one to right for an RBI single, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Well, that’s as close to the climax for Yanks’ part of the game.

Giving’em back (and then more)

Severino started the bottom third with a Sandy Leon K. However, Andrew Benintendi singled (his first Fenway hit, by the way) and Mookie Betts followed it with a double to put him in a hot water all of sudden with runners on second and third. On the 9th pitch of the at-bat, Severino left a fastball middle up and Dustin Pedroia drove it down the right field line for a two-run double. Argh. Pedroia will do that to ya, especially if you’re a young pitcher going through things.

After tossing a scoreless fourth, Severino got into more trouble in the fifth by allowing a leadoff triple to Sandy Leon. Benintendi followed it with a looooong double that was initially called a double… then called a home run… then reviewed and called a double again. A batter later, Pedroia struck again, hitting a sharp liner down the right field (again) to drive in a run. 4-2. I’m honestly willing to give it time for Severino to develop as a possible ML starter but tonight was just not great – not being able to finish hitters off, giving up big hits, etc. Fortunately, he’s at a stage of the career that there’s always a next time.

Oh, Severino had his earned run tacked on to his ledger when Tommy Layne, making his Yankee debut, let the inherited runner score on an Ortiz RBI single. Sevvy’s final line: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 0 BB and 3K.

The unlucky seventh

Behind 5-2, the Yankees could’ve padded about two runs (or even more) had it not been for some unfortunate baserunning hijinks. Headley hit a big fly bouncing off the center field wall to lead off the inning. The ball trickled away and it appeared that Headley could reach third. However, Jackie Bradley Jr.’s strong, accurate throw caught him out there. As third base coach Joe Espada wanted to check with dugout to see if they could challenge the call, apparently Porcello and Headley had a heated exchange that led to both benches clearing. The Yankee – Sox rivalry ain’t what it used to be, but hey, nothing like a drama like that to make things exciting.

With two outs, Aaron Hicks hit a weak grounder to third that Travis Shaw misplayed, allowing him to reach first base. Gardner followed it up with a sharp grounder down the left field line that seemed like Hicks should’ve scored on. However, Hicks missed Espada furiously waving him home and hesitated as he rounded the base. By the time Hicks saw it, it was too late – he had to stay there or he was dead meat at home. I have no idea how to explain that besides not really paying attention or losing Espada in the vision while running – or both. Yanks’ scoring chance died with Ellsbury’s line out to right.

Close call

Porcello threw eight innings of two-run ball and Farrell brought in his closer Craig Kimbrel to close out the game. Kimbrel is, well, known to be pretty good at this. Tonight, however, he seemed like he had difficulty putting balls into the zone.

After striking out Didi Gregorius, Kimbrel walked Headley. Once Gary Sanchez followed it up with a line out though, it seemed like the end of game was imminent. Well, that’s when Kimbrel walked three hitters in a row – the last one coming in a bases-loaded situation versus Jacoby Ellsbury. Pitching is pretty hard and that’s not really news to anyone. Kimbrel seemed like he was out of sync and not finishing the pitches well, resulting in a lot of pitches way off the mark and, well, walking a bunch of hitters.

The Yankees decreased the deficit to two runs and Farrell took Kimbrel out for Matt Barnes. Barnes had only one job and he got it done – getting the last out of the game. He did so by striking out Mark Teixeira looking with a fastball outside. I don’t know how to say it but this seemed like a fitting end to tonight’s game – the Yankees tried, but for one reason or another, they didn’t execute.

Box score, highlights, WPA and standings

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

Source: FanGraphs

Up next

The Yankees and Red Sox will play game two of this series tomorrow. Nathan Eovaldi and Drew Pomeranz will be the starters.

DotF: Frazier, Judge, Austin lead Scranton to another win

Got some links to pass along:

  • Jon Schwartz has a great Yankees Magazine article on Drew Henson, the first prospect who truly broke by heart. Henson is currently a pro scout with the Yankees, and Schwartz shadowed him during a recent scouting trip through St. Louis and Kansas City.
  • Shane Hennigan has a really good story on LHP Jordan Montgomery, whose first two Triple-A starters have been easy to overlook given OF Clint Frazier‘s arrival and the OF Aaron Judge/1B Tyler Austin potential call-up stuff.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 win over Lehigh Valley, walk-off style)

  • LF Ben Gamel: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 K — walk-off sac fly
  • CF Clint Frazier: 2-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 K — 5-for-16 (.313) with a double, a triple, and a homer in his last four games
  • RF Aaron Judge: 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — 8-for-25 (.320) since coming off the DL
  • 1B Chris Parmelee: 1-3, 1 K — played seven innings at first in his second rehab game in the field
  • 3B-1B Tyler Austin: 1-4, 1 2B, 2 K — 7-for-17 (.412) with three doubles in his last five games
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K
  • RHP Chad Green: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 3/1 GB/FB — 62 of 92 pitches were strikes (68%) … ho hum, Green continues to be a Triple-A ace … I wish the Yankees would give him an extended stint in MLB rather than one start here and there
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 15 of 29 pitches were strikes (52%)
  • RHP Johnny Barbato: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 12 of 19 pitches were strikes (63%)
  • RHP Jonathan Holder: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 1/0 GB/FB — ten pitches, eight strikes … 78/7 K/BB in 53.1 innings

[Read more…]

Game 112: Sevy the Starter


I have to admit, I’m a little surprised the Yankees are giving Luis Severino the start tonight. I know he dominated in long relief last time out, but pitching in relief against the crappy Mets is a very different animal than starting against the Red Sox in Fenway Park. The BoSox are hitting .302/.369/.493 as a team at Fenway this year. Severino is facing a lineup of Victor Martinezes tonight (.302/.357/.490).

Yesterday’s off-day allowed the Yankees to delay Severino’s start until Friday, when he would have had a more friendly matchup (Rays at home), but nope. He’s going tonight. This is going to be Severino’s biggest test (by far) since returning from Triple-A a few weeks back. Hope it goes well. Here is the Red Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez-less lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  3. 1B Mark Teixeira
  4. DH Brian McCann
  5. 2B Starlin Castro
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. C Gary Sanchez
  9. RF Aaron Hicks
    RHP Luis Severino

The internet tells me it’s clear and cool in Boston this evening, so it should be a nice night for a ballgame. Tonight’s series opener is scheduled to begin at 7:10pm ET, and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. I’m guessing every game will be on national television this week because of A-Rod. Enjoy the game.

A-Rod Update: Alex will start Thursday’s game and may pinch-hit tonight and tomorrow as well, Joe Girardi said. A-Rod told reporters he was “disappointed” to see he wouldn’t start today or tomorrow. Lame as hell. I wanted to see him play all four of these games this week. Those seven or eight at-bats someone else won’t get aren’t a huge deal.

Roster Move: In case you missed it earlier, the Yankees have signed lefty specialist Tommy Layne to a big league contract. He’s in the bullpen and available tonight. Richard Bleier was optioned to Triple-A Scranton to clear a roster spot … also, the Yankees claimed Blake Parker off waivers from the Mariners. He’ll be added to the roster once he officially reports.