Game 35: Derek Jeter Day

(Rich Schultz/Getty)
(Rich Schultz/Getty)

I’m not going to lie, Derek Jeter was never my favorite member of the Core Four Five. I certainly appreciate his greatness and status as an all-time great player and Yankee, but I was always partial to Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. That’s just me. Posada and Rivera (and Andy Pettitte) had their days the last few years. Today is Jeter’s day.

It was never a question of “if” the Yankees would retire Jeter’s number, of course. It was only a matter of “when.” Jeter is the greatest Yankee of my lifetime and he’s on the short list of the best shortstops in baseball history. He’s sixth all-time in hits. That blows my damn mind. Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Tris Speaker. The only players in the history of the universe with more MLB hits than Jeter. Amazing.

A who’s who of Yankees greats are expected to be in the ballpark for tonight’s Jeter ceremony. Here’s the full roster of attendees. The Yankees say the ceremony itself will begin at 6:40pm ET, and I do believe you’ll be able to watch it on both YES and ESPN. Definitely on YES. I know that much. I’m pretty sure I remember reading somewhere that ESPN will carry it too. Should be fun.

After the ceremony, the Yankees will wrap-up their four-game series with the Astros with the second game of today’s doubleheader. The Yankees won the first game this afternoon. I haven’t seen the Astros’ lineup anywhere, but here are the players the Yankees will run out there tonight:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. C Gary Sanchez
  3. DH Matt Holliday
  4. 2B Starlin Castro
  5. RF Aaron Judge
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. CF Aaron Hicks
  8. 1B Chris Carter
  9. 3B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

The Yankees and Astros played through some showers this afternoon and they might have to do the same again tonight. Looks like the rain is far enough away that it won’t interfere with the Jeter ceremony though. Also, it shouldn’t be enough to delay or postpone the game or anything. First pitch is scheduled for 7:38pm ET, though who knows. The ceremony may run long. Either way, enjoy the ceremony and the game.

Yankees 11, Astros 6: Big seventh inning snaps three-game losing streak


Source: FanGraphs

That was a good way to snap the little three-game losing streak, I’d say. The Yankees mounted yet another late-inning comeback in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader — but not before blowing their own late lead, I should note — to earn an 11-6 win over the Astros. Nice to see the offense snap out of its recent funk. There is no chance I’m writing two full recaps on a Sunday, so let’s bullet point this one:

  • Bad Sevy: It was clear early on Luis Severino had no idea where the ball was going. He walked three of the first six batters he faced, but was able to skate through the first two innings scoreless thanks to some timely strikeouts and a double play ball. The third inning was less forgiving. It went hit batsmen, single, fielder’s choice, single, single, single, single, showers. Severino allowed three runs in that third inning, and left with the bases loaded and one out. Zoinks. The return of 2016 Severino, for at least one day.
  • Two Leads: The Yankees took their first lead of the series three batters into the game on a double (Brett Gardner) and two ground outs. Nice and easy. They took their second lead of their series in the fourth inning. The Astros were up 3-1 at the time, then Starlin Castro lifted a two-run homer into the short porch, and Aaron Judge hammered a solo homer off the top of the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar. Just like that, it was 4-3 Yankees. Matt Holliday drew a walk to set up Castro’s two-run shot. It’s the second time this season Starlin and Judge have gone back-to-back.
  • Blown Lead: What a job by Chad Green. He escaped Severino’s third inning mess with a double play, then chucked three more scoreless innings on top of it. Great, great work by him. And I was totally cool with Joe Girardi pulling Green when he did. He was about to face the middle of the lineup a second time. Adam Warren has been great this year and he just didn’t get the job done in the seventh. Castro botching a double play — he flipped the ball into left field — didn’t help, but the lead was gone by then. An infield single, a walk, and a single did that. The botched double play and a sac fly gave the Astros two more runs. The 4-3 lead became a 6-4 deficit.
  • Fighting Spirit!: The Yankees answered Houston’s three-run top of the seventh with a six-run bottom of the seventh. A single (Gardner) and a double (Jacoby Ellsbury) with one out set it up. Holliday drove in the first run with an infield single. It was a great play by Carlos Correa. The ball was ticketed for center field, but Correa dove to stop the ball, preventing Ellsbury from scoring from second. Saved a run. Temporarily, anyway. Castro came through with a game-tying two-strike double to right, which also left the Yankees with men on second and third. An intentional walk to Judge set up Chase Headley (!) for the go-ahead triple (!!!). Shout out to Josh Reddick for making that possible with a weird route in right field. Chris Carter tacked on an insurance run with a double, giving the Yankees a 10-6 lead. All the fan favorites came through that inning.
  • Leftovers: Warren remained in to pitch the eighth inning and retired the side in order. Jonathan Holder did the same in the ninth … Gardner tacked on another insurance run with a solo homer in the eighth. His seven homers match last year’s total … every starter had a hit except No. 9 hitter Austin Romine … the Yankees had eleven hits total, but only two singles. Two! Five doubles, one triple, three homers. This is their second game with nine extra-base hits this season. They had two all of last year … the Yankees are a perfect 12-0 when Judge homers this season.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Don’t miss our Bullpen Workload page either. The Yankees will retire No. 2 in honor of Derek Jeter later today, then play the second game of the doubleheader. Masahiro Tanaka and Charlie Morton are the scheduled starters for that one. Ready to do this all over again?

DotF: Torres and Rutherford both go deep in losses

Triple-A Scranton announced several roster moves today. 1B Ji-Man Choi and LHP Daniel Camarena have been placed on the disabled list — I have no idea what’s wrong with either (Camarena missed the entire 2015 season with an elbow injury, it’s worth noting) — and both 1B Mike Ford and RHP Colten Brewer have been bumped up from Double-A Trenton. The Camarena injury and RHP Chad Green call-up solved the whole “seven starters for five spots” problem real quick.

Triple-A Scranton (6-2 win over Syracuse)

  • 3B Tyler Wade: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 CS — he’s been on base 41 times in his last 16 games (.420 OBP)
  • CF Dustin Fowler: 1-5, 2 K
  • RF Clint Frazier: 2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI — 13-for-43 (.302) in his last eleven games
  • 1B Mike Ford: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K — nice Triple-A debut
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • DH Mason Williams: 1-5, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • RHP Chance Adams: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HB, 5/2 GB/FB — 57 of 97 pitches were strikes (59%) … strong Triple-A debut … 39/18 K/BB in 40 innings so far this year … I’d like to see him get the walks down, and I’m sure the Yankees would too
  • RHP Colten Brewer: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 20 of 28 pitches were strikes (71%) … makes his Triple-A debut exactly two weeks after making his Double-A debut

[Read more…]

Game 34: Let’s Win Two

(Elsa/Getty)
(Elsa/Getty)

The Yankees have a pair of games today, and I suppose it’s fitting they’re going to play two on Derek Jeter day. Jeter’s No. 2 will be retired later tonight, prior to the second game of today’s doubleheader. But first, the Yankees have Astros have to play the first game, and the Yankees will have to do it without Aroldis Chapman. He was placed on the disabled list earlier this morning.

Anyway, the Yankees come into today having lost three straight games for the first time since the first week of the season. Annoying! The Yankees are still in first place though — shout out to the Royals for taking care of business against the Orioles these last few days — and their +51 run differential remains best in the AL. A little bump in the road, this is. You’ve got to win one before you can win two, so let’s do that this afternoon. Here is the Astros’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  3. DH Matt Holliday
  4. 2B Starlin Castro
  5. RF Aaron Judge
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. 1B Chris Carter
  9. C Austin Romine
    RHP Luis Severino

Perfect baseball weather in New York today. Bright blue sky, only a few clouds, and temperatures in the 80s with a cool breeze. Love it. This afternoon’s game will begin at 2:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Roster Updates: As I said, Chapman has been placed on the disabled list. Chad Green is up to take his roster spot. Also, Rob Refsnyder has been called up to serve as the 26th man for the doubleheader, but apparently the rules say he is only available for the second game, not the first. Weird.

Yankees place Aroldis Chapman on 10-day DL with shoulder inflammation

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

So it turns out there was something physically wrong with Aroldis Chapman these last few days. Earlier this morning the Yankees announced they have placed their closer on the 10-day disabled list with left rotator cuff inflammation. Marly Rivera says Chapman had an MRI yesterday morning, which showed no structural damage.

The plan, according to Brian Cashman, is to shut Chapman down for two weeks, then reevaluate things. Chapman first told the Yankees he was experiencing discomfort Friday, after his rough outing against the Astros. He is six weeks into a five-year contract worth $86.5M, so you can be sure the Yankees are going to play it safe here. They’re not going to push him hard and risk a more serious injury.

Fortunately the Yankees have a top notch reliever to replace Chapman in the ninth inning in Dellin Betances. I know Dellin struggled a bit late last season, but as long as he’s healthy, I am 100% confident in him closing games. Tyler Clippard will presumably take over the eighth inning and Adam Warren the seventh. That’s usually how Joe Girardi rolls.

Of course, having a great closer replacement doesn’t mean losing Chapman won’t hurt. The Yankees are now short a high-end reliever and their bullpen will suffer because of it. Bullpen depth was an undeniable strength for the Yankees in the early going this season. That takes a hit now. Hopefully they can weather the storm until Chapman returns.

Starting with his outing in Boston two weeks ago, Chapman hasn’t looked quite right the last few times out, especially so in his last two appearances. His velocity was fine — Chapman has averaged 99.6 mph and topped out at 101.4 mph this month — but his command was non-existent and nothing seemed to be coming easy. The shoulder issue would explain that.

It’s worth noting Chapman has a history of relatively minor shoulder injuries. He missed a little more than a month with shoulder inflammation at midseason in 2011, and he also missed a few games with shoulder soreness in 2012, 2014, and 2015. None of those required a trip to the disabled list. A history of shoulder problems, even minor ones, doesn’t exactly make me feel any better.

The Yankees called up Chad Green from Triple-A Scranton to fill Chapman’s roster spot. He’ll presumably take over as the long man, allowing Warren to slide into a more traditional setup role. I have to think Jonathan Holder will see some increased responsibility with Chapman out as well. He might share seventh inning duty with Warren. We’ll see.

My Obligatory Derek Jeter Post

The Captain circa 2009. (Paul Bereswill/Getty)
The Captain circa 2009. (Paul Bereswill/Getty)

In 1995, I began my Yankee ‘career’ in earnest with a love for Don Mattingly. As an 8 1/2 year old–or thereabouts–I cried when Mattingly retired, still not exactly sure what that term meant beyond knowing I couldn’t watch him play anymore. The next year, though, someone else came along to begin his actual Yankee career in earnest: Derek Jeter.

While Jeter never occupied the coveted space as my ‘favorite player’ during the most recent Yankee dynasty–Bernie Williams held that spot; I even copied my batting stance after his–it’s impossible to say that he and what he has come to represent aren’t greatly responsible for the fact that I became and still am a rabid fan of the Yankees.

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

As I grew older and became a different fan than I was in my elementary, middle, and high school years, my view of the team, of baseball, and even of Jeter himself changed. Your team didn’t win the World Series every year. Jeter wasn’t a perfect player. And part of that still carries over; this week of All Jeter All the Time is definitely a bit of overkill, considering he just retired in 2014.

The celebration, though, is warranted. Jeter is one of the most accomplished and most successful players in the history of the game and that applies to his place with the Yankees just as much. At some point, it became the cool thing to do to try to knock Jeter’s game down a peg or two, but that, in the end, just leads back to an easy appreciation for the player he was.

In the course of his career, Jeter became so overrated–the intangibles, the winning, the ‘mystique and aura’–that he was underrated on the field. His defense was never great, sure, but as a shortstop, he racked up an offensive career that corner players might kill for. In his 20 year career, Jeter had only two seasons in which he came to the plate at least 500 times and failed to be a league average hitter.

(Jim Rogash/Getty)
(Jim Rogash/Getty)

Necessarily, I’m a completely different fan of baseball now than I was when Jeter came to prominence. I’m more critical, more analytical, less wide-eyed, and less idealistic. I certainly understand the game better and in a more nuanced way and that goes for Jeter himself as well. But when I think of Derek Jeter, I think of my fandom as a kid. It was pure. It was always optimistic. It was always hopeful. At times, I miss that attitude towards the game. That is Jeter’s legacy to me, even beyond the great hitting and all the winning. Jeter–at a game I attended in 2014–thanked the fans for keeping him young. Talking about him and his career, no matter how old I get, will always make me feel young. Thanks for a great ride, Derek. Can’t wait to see you in Cooperstown.

DotF: Wade leads the offense in Scranton’s blowout win

As expected, RHP Chance Adams has officially been promoted to Triple-A Scranton. Shane Hennigan says Adams has been added to the active roster. RHP Brady Lail was sent to Double-A Trenton to clear a roster spot.

Triple-A Scranton (12-2 win over Syracuse)

  • 2B Tyler Wade: 4-6, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K — first homer of the season … 23-for-66 (.348) in his last 15 games … now hitting .321/.375/.427 on the season
  • RF Dustin Fowler: 2-6, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K — he’s 26-for-73 (.356) with five doubles, five triples, and three homers in his last 16 games
  • LF Clint Frazier: 1-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB — he has 12 singles and 17 extra-base hits this season (12 doubles, five homers)
  • 1B Ji-Man Choi: 3-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K — up to .353/.438/.506 on the season
  • DH Rob Refsnyder: 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB — remember his slow start? he’s up to .293/.381/.457 on the season … we know he can hit Triple-A pitching though
  • CF Mason Williams: 1-4, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 3B Abi Avelino: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HBP
  • LHP Daniel Camarena: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 7/2 GB/FB — 46 of 78 pitches were strikes (59%) … RHP Chad Green was originally scheduled to start today, so the fact Camarena got the ball instead likely means Green is coming up to be the 26th man for tomorrow’s doubleheader
  • RHP Ben Heller: 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/3 GB/FB — 25 of 42 pitches were strikes (60%) … 18/6 K/BB in 15.1 innings

[Read more…]