DotF: Ellsbury plays seven innings in rehab game; Sanchez goes deep in third straight game

Triple-A Scranton Game One (4-0 win over Buffalo) makeup of the June 27th rainout

  • CF Ben Gamel: 3-4, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI — seven multi-hit games, four one-hit games, and six no-hit games in his last 17 games
  • RF Aaron Judge: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • 1B Greg Bird: 1-4, 2 K — first Triple-A hit was a single
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-4, 1 K
  • C Austin Romine: 0-4, 1 R
  • RHP Joel De La Cruz: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 7/7 GB/FB — 39 of 53 pitches were strikes (74%) … efficient!
  • LHP James Pazos: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HB, 4/0 GB/FB — 26 of 42 pitches were strikes (62%) … 23/1 K/BB in 21 innings

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No Yankees voted in as starters for 2015 All-Star Game

(Mike Skobe/Getty)
(Mike Skobe/Getty)

As expected, no Yankees were voting into the starting lineup for the 2015 AL All-Star Team, it was announced tonight. No Yankees were close to the top spots at their positions in the various fan voting updates in recent weeks. The starters were announced during a live television broadcast on Sunday night.

This will be the first All-Star Game without a Yankee in the starting lineup since 1999, believe it or not. The starters for both the AL and NL can be seen right here. Here are the final voting results for the NL and here are the final voting results for the AL:

AL All-Star Game votingJacoby Ellsbury, who hasn’t played in weeks, was the closest Yankee to a starting spot, and he was a mere 7.6M votes behind Alex Gordon for the final outfield spot. Brian McCann and Alex Rodriguez were well short of the top spots at catcher and DH, respectively. Mark Teixeira wasn’t even in the top five at first base.

The rest of the All-Star Game rosters will be announced Monday night. Dellin Betances is the only Yankee who seems like a lock for the game, though McCann, A-Rod, Teixeira, and Brett Gardner certainly have strong cases as well. We’ll find out tomorrow.

The 2015 All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 14th in Cincinnati.

Sunday Night Open Thread

Here is your open thread for the last few hours of the holiday weekend. The All-Star Game starters will be announced tonight (7:30pm ET on ESPN) though based on the various voting updates, don’t expect to see any Yankees named tonight. The rest of the rosters will be announced tomorrow. The Giants and Nationals are the ESPN Sunday Night Game (Vogelsong vs. Zimmermann) and the Women’s World Cup Final is on as well (USA vs. Japan at 7pm ET on FOX). Talk about whatever here. Have at it.

Yankees can’t finish sweep, get blown out 8-1 by Rays

Man, a sweep would have been so nice, but it was not meant to be. The Yankees dropped the series finale to the Rays on Sunday afternoon, getting blown out 8-1 thanks to an ineffective Ivan Nova and some hilaribad defense. Two out of three in the series ain’t bad. Just kinda disappointing.


No Command
This was definitely not Nova’s day and it was clear from the get go. Nova allowed two runs on three hits to the first four batters he faced — David DeJesus and James Loney singled around an Evan Longoria double — and he threw a first pitch strike to just three of the first ten Rays to bat. Loney’s single drove in two runs and Tampa scored their third run thanks to a Brett Gardner mistake — he misread a line drive and let it sail over his head for a triple. It should have been an error but was scored a triple.

Nova put men on base in the third and fourth innings but escaped unscathed. The fifth inning started with a double and continued with an error. Asdrubal Cabrera laid down a bunt, Nova threw to third — Brian McCann told him to go to third — and the ball sailed wide of the bag and into foul territory, allowing the run to score. The throw to third was ill-advised in hindsight but I thought it was the right play. The catcher was running and it appears Chase Headley would have had plenty of time to apply the tag had the throw been on the money:

Ivan Nova error

The throw wasn’t on the money though, so Curt Casali scored the fourth run for the Rays. Nova got out of the inning without allowing any more damage. His afternoon ended with four runs (three earned) allowed on six hits and three walks in five innings. He struck out just one and threw only 45 of his 81 pitches for strikes (56%). Too few strikes. Too few first pitch strikes too — Nova went to a 1-0 count on 14 of 23 batters faced. Egads.

The road back from Tommy John surgery is rarely smooth and this was one of he bumps. Nova couldn’t locate consistently, was behind in the count all afternoon, and simply had to grind each at-bat. The misplay by Gardner and the error on the throw to third didn’t help either, though Ivan’s problems extended beyond that. Just one of those days. It happens, especially after elbow surgery. Shake it off, get ready to start again in later this week.


Blown Chances
You could see it coming a mile away. The Yankees had Erasmo Ramirez on the ropes in the first and second innings, never delivered the knockout blow, then Ramirez settled in. A double by Headley and walks by Mark Teixeira and McCann loaded the bases in the first before Garrett Jones grounded out. He swung at the first pitch after the back-to-back walks, which is always annoying, though the line of thinking is the pitcher wants to get one over and the most hittable pitch of the at-bat is the first. Didn’t work.

In the second, Didi Gregorius reached base on an error and Gardner drew a walk to put runners at first and second. Headley popped up in foul territory to end the threat. The Yankees had just one base-runner from the third through fifth innings and that was a hit-by-pitch. Ramirez started to tire in the sixth — Alex Rodriguez hit a solo homer and Teixeira hit a ball to the wall — but was able to strand a runner at second to end the inning. The solo homer cut the deficit from 4-0 to 4-1. Too little, too late.

Defense Optional
The Rays tacked on four runs in the eighth inning — after the Yankees brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh only to have Headley bang into a double play, womp womp — because lol infield defense. Gregorius bobbled a slow chopper he tried to barehand (but didn’t need too because Longoria was running) and Jose Pirela managed to turn a double play ball into second and third with no outs. He booted the grounder, took his time retrieving the ball, then threw it into the dugout. Two errors on one play. That’s always a treat. A bloop drove in both runs. The Yankees were charged with three errors on the day (Nova, two on Pirela) but it could have easily been five because of the Gardner and Didi plays. The second base situation has become untenable. They need to fix this and fast.


Bryan Mitchell was charged with four totally undeserved runs (two earned) in two innings. He threw fire in his scoreless sixth and seventh innings, then allowed four runs on two soft ground balls, a bloop, and a hit batsman in the eighth thanks largely to the Didi and Pirela miscues. It didn’t help that Chris Capuano walked in a run and allowed a sac fly either. I’m digging Mitchell in short relief. He’s been impressive when the defense is Major League caliber behind him.

Oh by the way, the Yankees had just three hits on the day. A-Rod homered and both Headley and Jones doubled. They did drew five walks though, two by Gardner and one each by A-Rod, Teixeira, and McCann. Chris Young was also hit by a pitch but just barely. Same number of doubles plays as hits. Not good!

And finally, rumblin’ Nick Rumbelow tossed a perfect ninth inning, striking out two. He’s been impressive in his very limited big league time like Mitchell. Those two plus not a starter Adam Warren‘s return to the bullpen have settled down the righty reliever revolving door.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Here are the box score and video highlights. Also check out the updated standings as well as our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. Here’s the LPA graph:

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees have an off-day Monday and will open a three-game set against the Athletics at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Nathan Eovaldi will be on the mound against … someone. Oakland’s starter is officially TBA right now. They’re hoping it will be Sonny Gray, who’s been battling an illness of late. It’s the last home series before the All-Star break, so head over to RAB Tickets if you want to catch one of those three games live.

Game 82: Finish the Sweep


Another walk-off win? Probably not, but I’ll be happy with any kind of win this afternoon. The Yankees have taken care of business the first two games of this series against a division rival, though there’s still one more game to be played, one more win on the table. Today’s game will determine if this was a good series or a great series.

The bullpen has been worked hard the last few days, specifically Dellin Betances and Justin Wilson, who each pitched the last two days and three of the last four. Even with the off-day tomorrow, I’m guessing Joe Girardi will stay away from those two today. That means not a starter Adam Warren might pull double duty today — he might throw the eighth and ninth, with a little Chasen Shreve mixed in. We’ll see. Here is Tampa Bay’s lineup and here is New York’s lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Garrett Jones
  7. LF Chris Young
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Stephen Drew
    RHP Ivan Nova

It’s a lovely day in New York. Warm but not too hot, some clouds but not too many. Nice day for a ballgame. Today’s series finale will begin at 1:05pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Injury Update: Andrew Miller (forearm) will throw one inning or 25 pitches for Triple-A Scranton tomorrow. It’s possible he will be activated after that. Depends whether he feels sharp.

Two Months of Alex

Coming into April of 2015, the range of expectations for Alex Rodriguez wasn’t all that wide. There were essentially two lines of thought regarding how he’d fare coming off of his suspension and various nagging injuries still leftover from 2013 and before. One line of thought was, at least nominally, optimistic: he’d probably do okay because of health and his immense talent as a baseball player. The other was damningly pessimistic: he’d probably embarrass himself because of rust and age. Suffice it to say, Rodriguez has surpassed those expectations. Aside from a few hot weeks by Brett Gardner, A-Rod has arguably been the team’s best and most consistent hitter for all of 2015. He went into yesterday’s games with a line of .284/.390/.508/.898 with 15 home runs, a total few would’ve guessed he’d have through July 4.

Rodriguez’s so far, so great season was largely aided by an absolutely stellar month of May, in which he hit .316/.369/.571 with six homers and five doubles. That power output–marked by a .255 ISO–was his best of the season so far (we’ll have to wait and see what July brings). While June was still successful–a .411 OBP with 18 walks as opposed to the seven free passes he got in May–it was his “worst” in terms of power, indicated by a .168 ISO. That number is definitely still good, but after what he did in May, June was a slight let down.

In terms of the way pitchers approached Alex, May and June were fairly similar. He faced about the same amount of fastballs and changeups, though there was an uptick in sinkers against him in June, which is actually where we can find some of the swooning power. Taking a look at his results, Rodriguez performed well against sinkers in May. While he had an ISO of just .105 against them, that stings a lot less when you’re hitting .316 against a given pitch type. In June, however, both of those numbers fell off the table. The increase in sliders–85 in May, 112 in June–led to a lower batting average, .208, and a nonexistent ISO of .000. A similar decrease occurred in the changeup category as well. During May, Rodriguez hit just .250 against the 41 changeups he saw, but he crushed the ones he did put in play to a .750 SLG and a .500 ISO. Once again in June, A-Rod hit .250 against changeups, but this time, his hits against the pitch only went for singles.

Anecdotally this year, we’ve watched A-Rod crush fastballs and hard stuff while struggling against breaking balls and other soft pitches. This runs contrary to what we may’ve thought coming into the year–time off could mean diminished bat speed, etc.–but it’s been fairly true and was fleshed out in both his best and “worst” power months. In both May (.375 AVG; .679 SLG; .304 ISO) and June (.333/.536/.222), he’s demolished fastballs and struggled a bit against breaking pitches–averages of .188 and .192 respectively, as well as SLGs/ISOs of .313/.125 and .308/.115. May saw Alex rip offspeed pitches (.400/.800/.400), but that didn’t happen in June: .222/.222/.000.

Regardless of the power drop-off from May to June, June was still a great month and Al from Miami has had a great season; there is little, if anything, to fret or complain about. He’s been a great hitter; he’s taken to the DH role well; he’s said and done all the right things. Here’s hoping he can continue this great year into the second half, and hopefully, into the playoffs.

Fourth of July Open Thread

Happy Fourth of July, everyone. Hope you’re spending the holiday with friends and/or family and having a good time. Here’s an open thread to talk about whatever throughout the night. MLB Network and FOX are showing a whole bunch of regional games through the afternoon and evening, so there’s lots of baseball on the tube. Enjoy.