Update: Sorry for the abrupt end to the chat. ScribbleLive started giving me problems on the back end and I’m not sure what’s wrong.
Humiliated in Beantown
There’s ugly losses and embarrassing games … and then there’s what the Red Sox did to the Yankees in the series-opening 14-1 rout at Fenway Park. Last year the Yankees’ worst loss was by seven runs; they were the only team that didn’t suffer a loss of eight-or-more runs. After Monday night’s debacle, they joined the Phillies and Marlins as the only teams this season to lose a game by at least 13 runs.
If you believe in the power of deja vu and strange coincidences, the last time the Yankees lost by the exact score of 14-1 was August 22, 2009. The opponent? Red Sox. The place? Fenway Park. And that 2009 season turned out okay ….
While some blame must be placed on the dead-bat offense and lack of clutch hitting, the implosion by the pitching staff — from top to bottom — was the most humiliating part of the game.
Three Yankee pitchers allowed at least four runs, just the second time in the last 25 seasons of this rivalry that had happened (the other game was July 15, 2005 in a 17-1 loss at Fenway). While Luis Severino looked bad and put the Yankees in an early hole, the meltdown by Tommy Kahnle and Chasen Shreve in a disastrous sixth inning essentially torched the game.
The nine runs coughed up by the two pitchers in that frame was the Yankees most allowed in an inning against the Red Sox in nearly two decades (May 31, 1998). Six of those runs were unearned, their most given up in any game at Fenway Park since April 10, 1985 — the Yankee debut of anti-legend Ed Whitson.
Kahnle was charged with five runs in two-thirds of an inning pitched, the first Yankee reliever since Ron Davis in 1981 to give up five-plus runs while getting fewer than two outs in a game at Fenway Park. Shreve gave up only one hit but it was a painful one — a grand slam to Mookie Betts that made it 14-1. Betts had a historic night at the plate, going 4-for-4 with five runs scored and four RBI. The only other player to score at least five runs and drive in at least four runs in a game against the Yankees was Ken Griffey Jr. on May 24, 1996.
One of the few blemishes on Aaron Judge’s historic rookie season was his .083/.233/.167 slash-line in nine games at Fenway Park. It was the worst batting average by any Yankee in a single season with at least 35 at-bats at the stadium.
He quickly slayed that dragon, going 3-for-4 with a mammoth 444-foot, 116.3 mph home run off Chris Sale in the fifth inning. Since Statcast began tracking data in 2015, it was the hardest-hit homer allowed by Sale and the second-longest homer allowed by Sale, behind a 451-foot blast from Tyler Flowers on July 8, 2016.
The Yankees rebounded from Tuesday’s debacle with a 10-7 win, prevailing in an old-fashioned slugfest highlighted by dingers, haymakers and plenty of boiling-hot emotions. One day after scoring a single run on 10 hits, the Yankees pounded out 12 hits and plated 10 runs. It helps when you are 5-for-13 with RISP and 8-for-20 with runners on base, instead of 0-for-5 and 1-for-20 in those situations (as they did in the series opener).
Gary Sanchez busted out of his early-season slump with a monster game, going 3-for-5 with two homers, a double, three runs scored and three RBI. Entering Wednesday, there were 228 players with at least 30 plate appearances; Sanchez ranked 228th in batting average (.056), on-base percentage (.081), OPS (.248), wOBA (.112) and wRC+ (-41). Yeah, he was literally the worst hitter in baseball.
Sanchez’s epic night at the plate put him in elite company:
- He became the only Yankee catcher with at least three extra-base hits and four RBI in a game against the Red Sox.
- It was also his eighth career multi-homer game, the most ever for a player in his first 200 career games. Oh yeah, this was Gary’s 187th game in the majors.
- Only four other Yankees had at least eight games with two-plus homers before their 26th birthday: Joe DiMaggio (17), Mickey Mantle (14), Lou Gehrig (13) and Joe Gordon (9). El Gary turns 26 on December 2, so he’s got the entire season to climb that list too.
Masahiro Tanaka was solid through the first four innings — his only blemish was a solo homer to Hanley Ramirez in the first inning — but completely unraveled in the fifth. After surrendering an RBI double to Mookie Betts and then loading the bases, he left a flat slider over the heart of plate and J.D. Martinez planted it 436 feet into the centerfield seats. Before Martinez, the last Red Sox cleanup hitter to hit a grand slam against the Yankees was Jim Rice in 1987.
It was the second time in two games that the Red Sox hit a slam against the Yankees, a remarkable feat considering that in 76 rivalry games from 2014-17, the Yankees gave up zero grand slams to Boston. The last time the Yankees allowed slams in back-to-back games against the Red Sox was when Juan Rivera and Mike Greenwell pulled it off in 1990.
It was also the fourth grand slam the Yankees have given up in 2018 — the most in the majors and the most ever for the franchise in the team’s first 12 games. The major-league record for a single season is 14 by the 1996 Tigers, and the most allowed by a Yankee pitching staff is nine in 2000. Stay tuned, folks.
A Miserable Gray-day
The Yankees dropped the rubber game Thursday, 6-3, a score that looks much closer than the lifeless brand of baseball the team played for much of the night. The best part about the game was … they didn’t get no-hit?
Sonny Gray was as awful as the weather at Fenway, getting rocked for six runs before getting pulled in the fourth inning. He also squeezed in three wild pitches and a hit batter. If that sounds hard to do, you are correct! For that horrible performance, Gray earned our Obscure Yankeemetric of the Series: He is the first Yankee pitcher ever to give up at least six earned runs, throw at least three wild pitches and hit a batter in an outing of fewer than five innings.
And following his latest clunker, Gray’s career ERA at Fenway Park stood at 8.66 in four starts, with 36 baserunners allowed (28 hits, 8 walks) in 17 2/3 innings. He’s also 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox since joining the Yankees last July.
Aaron Judge was the first hero of the night, breaking up Rick Porcello’s no-hitter with a booming lead-off double to deep center in the seventh inning. Judge entered that at-bat 1-for-12 in his career against Porcello. Gary Sanchez was the second hero of the night, ending the shutout with a three-RBI, bases-loaded double in the ninth. That gave him a .662 slugging percentage at Fenway Park, the highest by any Yankee at the ballpark (min. 60 PA), and just ahead of two guys named Babe Ruth (.634) and Roger Maris (.630).
Got a dozen questions in this week’s mailbag. Send any questions or comments to RABmailbag (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll get to as many as I can each week.
Brent asks (short version): The Phillies just signed Kingery. Which leads to my question. Do you think they would make Cesar Hernandez available? I feel like he is a perfect fit (besides that we have Gleyber). He is a high average high on base guy that I think would be great in the front of the lineup?
I am a Cesar Hernandez fan. He’s a pain in the butt and I mean that in a good way. Hernandez grinds out at-bats, makes lots of contact, and a good runner. Plus he’s a switch-hitter and a good defensive second baseman. He was hitting .300/.440/.500 (162 wRC+) going into last night’s game, and while that’s not going last, the 27-year-old Hernandez hit .294/.372/.406 (109 wRC+) in nearly 1,200 plate appearances from 2016-17. That’ll play.
Here’s our offseason Scouting The Market post on Hernandez. I’ll never be opposed to bringing in a quality middle infielder, even with the Yankees having several promising young infielders either at the MLB level or knocking on the door. Get talent, sort it out later. Hernandez won’t be a free agent until after 2020 and the Phillies locked up Scott Kingery, a natural second baseman, before Opening Day. I’m sure Hernandez is available.
Maybe the Jean Segura trade — the trade that sent him from the Brewers to the Diamondbacks with three years of control — is a trade package benchmark? The Brewers got a depth starter (Chase Anderson) and a good lower level prospect (Isan Diaz) out of that, though they also took back a couple million bucks worth of Aaron Hill. Chance Adams and Albert Abreu? I dunno. Hernandez won’t come free just because the Phillies have Kingery. They’ll want quality in return.
Eric asks: Before the shoulder injury last year Judge hit .329/.448/.691. This year he’s hitting .348/.474/.587. Is this how non-injured Aaron Judge hits? That makes him one of, if not the best hitter in baseball, right?
Man, it would be amazing if this is healthy Aaron Judge’s true talent level. It seems impossible that someone could truly be this good, but hey, why not? Frank Thomas, another massive human, hit .334/.455/.631 (177 wRC+) from 1993-97, his age 25-29 seasons. It’s been done before. Why can’t Judge do it now? He’s incredibly disciplined, he hits to all fields, and he’s shown throughout his career he can make adjustments. Maybe Judge really is this good when he’s healthy. I know this much: The normal rules of baseball do not apply to Judge. We have to stop projecting him and comparing him to everyone else, because he’s not like anyone else.
Paul asks: How much input does MLB have on start times? MLBPA? Opposing team?
It’s a big collaborative effort with many outside factors. The Collective Bargaining Agreement has rules about getaway days and whatnot, and of course the television networks have a say too. ESPN gets to pick their Sunday Night Game. It’s basically impossible to make everyone happy. Someone will always be upset with the start time, either the teams or the fans. It’s a giant puzzle that has to be solved each year and the schedule makers do their best.
Michael asks: While Ellsbury is on the disabled list do the Yankees collect insurance money because he is not playing? If that’s the case maybe that’s why they keep him. At least they could recover some of his salary that way.
I don’t know whether the Yankees have insurance on Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract. From what I understand teams approach insurance policies on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes the insurance premiums are more expensive than the contract itself, so they don’t bother. In Alex Rodriguez’s case, the Yankees had insurance on his deal, so all the time he spent on the disabled list didn’t cost the Yankees as much out of pocket. There are three years remaining on Ellsbury’s contract and they’re not going to cut him loose with that much time to go. Even without insurance, they’ll see whether they can salvage something first. Something is better than nothing. If the Yankees have insurance on the contract, good for them. It doesn’t change anything as far as the luxury tax payroll goes.
Marc asks (short version): Can we start a petition, or maybe you have a connection, but can we please get rid of the strike zone box during Yankee telecasts? It is really not an improvement, and is way more of a distraction, than anything. And, as a side, how about the center-field camera angle as close to dead center as possible, so I can actually see the *real* movement of a pitch.
Nothing we can do about the strike zone box. It is what it is. All the FOX networks have it nowadays, and FOX owns a majority stake of the YES Network, so now YES has it too. I don’t like it but it’s not going away. Such is life. As for the dead center field camera, I would absolutely love it. The Cardinals have the best home camera angle, in my opinion:
That’s the movement you just don’t see with the offset center field camera. Yankee Stadium doesn’t seem set up well for such an angle, unfortunately. The camera is on the top of the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar at the moment, and if they slide it any more to center field, the pitcher will block the plate. The camera angle is just too low. I’m not sure there’s a realistic way to raise it up without obstructing views and whatnot. Alas.
Adderlyn asks: Now that Aaron Hicks started his rehab assignment, it got me thinking… what happens if a player on a rehab assignment has the same uniform number as a minor league player? Does the minor leaguer have to change their number during the rehab assignment? Sit out the games? Or do they both wear it?
Usually the minor leaguer changes his uniform number during the rehab assignment. Sometimes the big leaguer will wear whatever’s available. Others are very superstitious about their numbers, so the minor leaguer has to wear a different number for the time being.
David asks: How about having Stanton during the off-season and spring training play first base? Let him and Bird split DH and 1B (or even gave bird as the primary DH). It will hopefully help the outfield logjam (yeah, I know we all thought there would be one this year) and hopefully help Bird healthy by having him play the field much less.
Yeah, I think having Giancarlo Stanton learn first base is a worthwhile endeavor at this point. Not on the fly during the season, but during the offseason and Spring Training. The long-term outfield picture is a little up in the air — what happens with left field after this season? — but if the plan going forward is splitting time between the corner outfield spots and DH, why not add first base to the mix as well? Forget about Greg Bird in this equation. Getting Stanton familiar with first base would be a smart move because it would give the Yankees a little more roster flexibility, and that’s a good thing even if you have Joey Votto at first base.
Justin asks: With the Rays in rebuild mode yet again and having been last in attendance since 2012, is there any good reason not to talk about relocating the franchise?
The Rays are looking for a new ballpark site somewhere in Tampa, which is understandable. Before they commit to anything, MLB has to honestly evaluate whether baseball can succeed in Florida. They’re stuck with the Marlins because that ballpark is only a few years old. Do they want to build another new stadium only to have it half empty every night, even when the team is competitive? You’d think baseball would thrive in Florida. The Rays and Marlins have now given us 45 individuals seasons worth of data suggesting it might not work though. Relocation has to be a serious consideration for the Rays. Put teams where fans are interested.
Seth asks: What is that thing Gary keeps looking at on his arm when hes behind the plate? What’s on that exactly? For reference I see him doing it right now. 5th inning of Wednesdays game.
Good catch! I didn’t notice it while watching the game, but here’s Gary Sanchez checking out something on his wristband Wednesday night:
Back in Spring Training it was reported the Yankees were considering having their catchers wear wristbands to help combat sign stealing. (I’m not sure how, exactly.) Apparently the wristband includes pitch sequences and things like that so they can change signs on the fly without a mound visit. I guess the Yankees went from considering it to doing it at some point. They’re not the only team whose catchers wearing wristbands. I know that much. The Dodgers and Indians were doing it last year. Now the Yankees are on board.
Asher asks: Brandon Drury is saying that he has dealt with the migraine issue for a number of years, yet the Yankees say that this instance was the first that they have heard of said issue? In that case, would the Yankees have a potential grievance against the Diamondbacks, assuming they knew about the issue?
Drury himself said he didn’t tell the Diamondbacks about the migraines, so the Yankees are pretty much out of luck. For the Yankees to have any sort of standing for a grievance, the D’Backs would’ve had to know about the migraines (or any injury) and hide it from the Yankees, meaning omit it from his medical file and not just conveniently neglect to mention it during the phone call. The Padres got in trouble over the Drew Pomeranz trade a few years ago because they intentionally hid information about treatment he was receiving on his elbow. San Diego didn’t include it in his medical file and deceived the Red Sox. I’d be shocked if the D’Backs did something unethical like that. Athletes hide things all the time and Drury said he did exactly that. Not hard to believe.
John asks: Yankees are giving up what seems like a ton of grand slams recently. Wondering what the record is for most grand slams given up by a team in a single season?
They have given up a ton of grand slams, haven’t they? Four of them already (Justin Smoak, Pedro Alvarez, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez). They gave up five all last season. The franchise record is nine grand slams given up by the 2000 Yankees. Here are the most grand slams ever allowed in a season:
- 1996 Tigers: 14
- 2000 Expos: 12
- 2006 Orioles: 12
- 2010 Mets: 12
- Several tied with 11
Only 18 teams in history have allowed double-digit grand slams in a season. That surprises me! I would’ve guessed double or even triple that number because of expansion years and the so-called Steroid Era. The 2018 Yankees are on pace to give up 50 grand slams. Something tells me they’ll fall well short of that total (I think!).
Dana asks: Hypothetical question: Judge ends up winning the triple crown with, say, .349 BA, 50+ home runs, and 130+ RBIs, however Ohtani goes 21 and 4 with 20+ home runs. All other things being equal, who wins MVP?
Shohei Ohtani probably, even if the Angels don’t make the postseason. The narrative would transcend the team’s performance. The voters got the “the Triple Crown winner has to win MVP!” stuff out of their system with Miguel Cabrera a few years ago, and, frankly, a dude having that sort of two-way impact would deserve to win MVP in my book. I would be curious to see whether voters dock Ohtani for playing time, because based on his current schedule, he’s going to finish with about 150 innings and 200 at-bats. On their own, neither total is anywhere close to MVP worthy. Combine them though, and maybe it works.
So much for the brawl lighting a fire under the Yankees. If not for a too little, too late ninth inning rally they would’ve been thoroughly dismantled by the Red Sox for the second time in three days Thursday night. The final score was 6-3. The Yankees’ top three starters — or three of their top four starters, I guess — allowed 17 runs in 13 innings in the three-game series. Pretty terrible!
Good gravy what an excruciating start from Sonny Gray. I mean, even when he pitches well his starts are difficult to watch because he works so slowly and runs deep counts, but this was extra bad. He faced 21 batters and ten reached base. The leadoff man was on base in three of the four innings he started, and out of his 68 pitches, he got only four swings and misses. The final line: 3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3 WP, 1 HBP. (The hit-by-pitch was obviously unintentional. No carryover from the brawl or anything.)
What was wrong with Gray? Well, everything. He threw a first pitch strike to only nine hitters. He went to a two-strike count on only eight batters, and five of them reached base. He went to a three-ball count on four batters but it felt like 14. The location wasn’t good, the breaking ball was generally flat, and there was no out pitch. Three starts into the year, Gray has allowed ten runs and 26 baserunners in 13 innings. He’s averaging 18.7 pitches per inning and I’m shocked it’s that low.
Gray was awful. So was his defense. I’m not excusing Gray! He was terrible. But he had help being terrible. Tyler Wade tried to cut down a runner at the plate and the throw short-hopped Gary Sanchez at home. I’m not sure they get the out even with a good throw, but the bad throw was emblematic of the team’s play overall. Giancarlo Stanton misplayed a routine fly ball into a double. He overran it and it dropped in. Sanchez tried to get the lead runner at third on a strikeout/wild pitch and the throw was late. Gross. Sloppy all around.
The season is 13 games old and that’s nothing. More than enough time (and talent) to turn things around. At the same time, the Yankees have now committed eight errors in their last six games. Errors are not a good way to evaluate defense, but in this case, that total matches the eye test. They would’ve lost Thursday even with good defense. There are just too many mistakes being made though. Gray was terrible. It would also be nice to see someone other than Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner, and Aaron Judge play sound defense at some point.
Uninspiring showing from the offense. Rick Porcello was everything Sonny Gray was not. Aggressive, quick-working, and able to avoid hitter’s counts. Porcello’s pitch count by inning: 12, 18, 15, 10, 5, 14, 25. He was throwing a lot of strikes — a lot of strikes — so the second time through the lineup, the Yankees shifted gears and started swinging early in the count. Falling behind 0-1 and 0-2 wasn’t working so well. Neither did swinging early.
It wasn’t until Porcello grazed Stanton’s elbow guard with a pitch with two outs in the fourth inning that the Yankees had their first baserunner. It wasn’t until the seventh inning that they had their first hit. Judge ripped a rocket double to dead center field. He broke up the no-hit bid with authority. Porcello’s final line: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Here are his pitch locations:
Porcello filled up the strike zone all night. He was great. The Yankees stunk. It wasn’t until the ninth inning, when Alex Cora decided 29-year-old rookie Marcus Walden was the right man to face the Judge-Stanton-Didi-Sanchez portion of the lineup, that the Yankees got on the board. Judge walked, Stanton reached on an error, Didi walked, and Sanchez cleared the bases with a rocket double. Cora then went to Craig Kimbrel, who snuffed out the rally.
Prior to the ninth inning, the Yankees had three hits total. Judge’s double, a Stanton infield single, and booming Ronald Torreyes double to center field. Torreyes might not hit a ball better all season. I’m not trying to dump on him! That’s just not his game, banging doubles off the wall. Heck, include Sanchez’s bases-clearing double and the Yankees still only four hits. At least they didn’t get shut out for the first time this season. Small victories.
Domingo German looked pretty excellent in long relief. He allowed one hit and struck out three in three scoreless innings. This outing takes him out of the running to start in CC Sabathia’s place Saturday. It’ll either be Luis Cessa, a call-up, or Corey Kluber. Kluber lines up to pitch Saturday and the Yankees could swing a trade. (Fingers crossed!)
Aaron Boone gave Tommy Kahnle and Adam Warren an inning each as the Yankees look to get them both right. Kahnle’s heater averaged 95.0 mph, which is still down from last year but is up from his last outing, so I guess that’s good. He’s maybe trending in the right direction. Kahnle walked a batter, otherwise he and Warren had quick and uneventful outings.
And finally, welcome back Aaron Hicks. He returned from his intercostal injury and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. His at-bats were good though. Hicks just didn’t get results in his first game back. Glad he’s back in the lineup though. The Yankees need all the help they can get.
This three-game series is over and the Yankees are now heading to Detroit for a three-game weekend set with the rebuilding Tigers. Jordan Montgomery and Mike Fiers are the scheduled starters for Friday night’s series opener.
A few quick notes and links:
- RHP Dillon Tate told Mark Sanchez he changed his offseason workout routine in an effort to stay healthy. He missed the first few weeks of last season with a shoulder injury. Tate said he’s doing more stretching and mobility exercises to improve flexibility.
- C Kyle Higashioka is on a 2-1-2-1 schedule, Triple-A Scranton manager Bobby Mitchell told Conor Foley. That means two days at catcher, one day at DH, two days at catcher, one day off. Higashioka has had a ton of injury problems over the years and the Yankees are trying to keep him on the field, so he won’t catch three days in a row.
- Sam Dykstra has a good piece on RHP Glenn Otto, the latest college reliever the Yankees are turning into a starter. “He’s got the stuff. He’s got three really nice pitches … He’s a horse with his size. He’ll be able to handle the innings, I think. But mainly, it’s the stuff. The more reps he gets, the better he’ll be as a starter,” said Low-A Charleston pitching coach Justin Pope. Otto was New York’s fifth round pick last year. Here’s our Prospect Profile.
Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barres RailRiders (11-1 win over Charlotte)
- 3B Gleyber Torres: 2-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — got picked off first … 10-for-25 (.400) in his last six games
- C Kyle Higashioka: 1-5, 3 K
- DH Mike Ford: 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI
- CF Rashad Crawford: 2-5, 2 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 K
- SS Abi Avelino: 3-3, 2 R, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SB — 8-for-24 (.333) in the super early going … the Thairo Estrada injury created an opening and this might be Avelino’s last chance to show the organization he can have some value at the next level
- LHP Josh Rogers: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K,8/3 GB/FB — 64 of 86 pitches were strikes (74%) … Rogers had some prospect shine before needing elbow surgery last year … sure would be nice to see him regain some of that luster and give the Yankees a second legitimate left-handed pitching prospect
- Jonathan Holder: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GB/FB — 14 of 26 pitches were strikes (54%)
The first two games of this three-game series with the Red Sox have been eventful. The Yankees got embarrassed Tuesday night. It was bad. Then, last night, they answered back with a good team win. And the benches cleared and punches were thrown. Even before the brawl, you could tell the rivalry has some more fire to it this year. I reckon last night’s brawl won’t the last two time tempers flare between these two clubs.
As for tonight’s game, the Yankees are getting Aaron Hicks back from the disabled list, as expected. He went 2-for-4 on Opening Day before an intercostal issue sent him to the sidelines. Hicks played in Triple-A tune-up games the last two days (2-for-6 with a walk) and now he’s ready to return. Glad to have him back. The lineup looks a bit more formidable with Hicksie and his switch-hitting bat. Here are the starting lineups:
New York Yankees
1. CF Brett Gardner
2. RF Aaron Judge
3. DH Giancarlo Stanton
4. SS Didi Gregorius
5. C Gary Sanchez
6. DH Aaron Hicks
7. 1B Neil Walker
8. 2B Tyler Wade
9. 3B Ronald Torreyes
RHP Sonny Gray
Boston Red Sox
1. RF Mookie Betts
2. LF Andrew Benintendi
3. 1B Hanley Ramirez
4. DH J.D. Martinez
5. 3B Rafael Devers
6. 2B Eduardo Nunez
7. CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
8. C Sandy Leon
9. SS Brock Holt
RHP Rick Porcello
The bad news: There’s some rain in the forecast tonight. Not a ton, but there are supposedly showers on the way between 8pm and 10pm ET. Hopefully it’s nothing that delays the game. That would stink. Tonight’s series finale will begin at 7:10pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.
Roster Move: Shane Robinson was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for Hicks, the Yankees announced. As with Jace Peterson, I bet Robinson clears waivers, accepts the Triple-A assignment, and remains in the organization as a non-40-man roster player.
Injury Update: Brandon Drury (migraines) isn’t done going through his battery of tests. He has more scheduled for the coming days. “A lot of the tests have come back negative so far but still waiting on a number of things he is going through. Hopefully we start to get answers trickling in more so (later this week) and beyond,” said Aaron Boone to George King.
Suspensions: As expected, Tyler Austin and Joe Kelly were both suspended for last night’s brawl. Austin got five games and Kelly got six games. They’re both appealing and are eligible to play tonight.
As expected, Joe Kelly and Tyler Austin have been suspended for their roles in last night’s benches clearing brawl at Fenway Park. Here’s all the discipline announced by MLB:
- Kelly suspended six games and fined for “intentionally hitting Austin with a pitch and fighting.”
- Austin suspended five games and fined for “charging the mound and fighting.”
- Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin were both fined.
- CC Sabathia, Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, and Marco Hernandez were all fined for going on the field while on the disabled list.
Both Kelly and Austin are appealing their suspensions, so they are eligible to play the meantime. Last year Gary Sanchez was suspended four games for his role in the benches clearing brawl with the Tigers, and it was reduced to three on appeal. Austin’s suspension might get knocked down to three or four games.
Teams have to play shorthanded while players are suspended — if you remember, the suspensions from last year’s brawl with the Tigers were served consecutively to avoid playing with fewer than 24 players on the active roster — which is not ideal, but the rules are the rules. At least no one got hurt.