Archive for Casey McGehee

The Yankees went into the season thinking Andruw Jones was going to be their designated left-handed pitching masher, and for the first half of the season he was. Things went horribly wrong for Jones in the second half, and when coupled with Alex Rodriguez‘s hand injury in late-July, the Yankees were suddenly very light on right-handed power and thus susceptible to lefty pitching. They acquired two players to help fill that void, neither of whom worked out.

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

Casey McGehee
Acquired from the Pirates for Chad Qualls (!) just prior to the trade deadline, the 30-year-old McGehee brought with him a track record of hitting southpaws and an 86 wRC+ in 293 plate appearances for Pittsburgh. He bounced between first and third bases in his first few starts with New York, and he actually hit well early on: 6-for-21 (.286) with three doubles, three walks, and the team’s third longest homer of the season. McGehee looked like a shrewd deadline pickup, but instead things fell part.

He went 2-for-22 (.091) with six strikeouts and no walks in his next seven games, and fell so out of favor that the Yankees sent McGehee all the way down to Low-A Charleston. It was a procedural move that allowed the team to recall him sooner than the usual ten days. All told, McGehee hit just .151/.220/.264 (28 wRC+) in 59 plate appearances with the Yankees, including 7-for-37 (.189) against lefties.. He was obviously left off the postseason roster, and after the season he elected free agency after being removed from the 40-man roster.

(Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post)

Steve Pearce
The Yankees originally signed Pearce way back at the end of Spring Training, and he spent two months absolutely mashing in Triple-A (173 wRC+). Pearce exercised an opt-out clause in his contract in early-June, forcing the Yankees to either release him or trade him to a team willing to place him on their 25-man big league roster. A few days later he was dealt to the Orioles for cash, but nearly three months after that he was back in pinstripes — the Yankees acquired Pearce from the Astros for cash after Houston claimed him off waivers from Baltimore earlier in the summer.

Pearce, 29, made his debut with the team as the cleanup hitter against the Blue Jays on August 28th, and he responded by scoring the winning run on a walk, wild pitch (move to second), ground out (move to third), and sacrifice fly. Pearce hit a two-run homer against the Orioles two weeks later, but that was pretty much it. He hit .160/.300/.280 (66 wRC+) in only 30 plate appearances with the team, including a 4-for-24 (.167) mark against southpaws. The Yankees designated Pearce for assignment when Brett Gardner came off the DL in late-September, and the Orioles subsequently claimed him off waivers. That was that, neither he nor McGehee contributed much to the team’s cause in 2012.

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Casey McGehee has elected free agency, the Yankees announced. I guess the team outrighted him off the 40-man roster at some point and he refused the minor league assignment. The 30-year-old infielder was acquired from the Pirates at the trade deadline and hit .151/.220/.264 in just 59 plate appearances with the Yankees. He was buried behind Steve Pearce for a while and was left off both the ALDS and ALCS rosters. McGehee was a prime non-tender candidate and this gets him off the roster a little sooner.

In other news, the Yankees also announced that they’ve returned Rule 5 Draft pick Brad Meyers to the Nationals. The 27-year-old right-hander didn’t pitch at all this year after hurting his shoulder during an offseason workout. Left-hander Cesar Cabral, the team’s other Rule 5 Draft pick, is still on the roster. He’s a special case as a two-time Rule 5 guy and could be retained long-term. The 23-year-old pitched well in Spring Training and might have beaten Clay Rapada out for the second lefty reliever’s job had he not fractured his elbow near the end of camp. The Yankees currently have 12 open spots on their 40-man roster, but both Cabral and Michael Pineda still need to be activated off the 60-day. So it’s really ten open spots.

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Over at MLBTR, Matt Swartz published his projected salaries for this winter’s arbitration-eligible players. His model was accurate to within 10% for players who did not sign multi-year deals last year — including just a 5% error for the Yankees — and after a summer of tweaks and refinements, he could be even closer this year.

The Yankees have seven arbitration-eligible players to deal with this offseason — Chris Dickerson and Frankie Cervelli fell just short of qualifying — though Casey McGehee is a prime non-tender candidate. The biggest expected raise belongs to Phil Hughes, who should see his salary jump from $3.2M to $5.7M. David Robertson and Boone Logan figure to get ~$1M raises while Brett Gardner and Joba Chamberlain are in line for negligible pay increases following their injury-shortened years. Jayson Nix still projects to get a six-figure salary and could be non-tendered as well. Without McGehee, the six-man arbitration class will cost the Yankees approximately $16.7M. Not too bad at all.

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Via Andrew Marchand, infielder Casey McGehee said he was informed that he will not be on the ALDS active roster. Meanwhile, Joel Sherman reports that utility man Jayson Nix took some at-bats against David Aardsma and Adam Warren in a simulated game today.

Nix has been out for a week with a strained left hip flexor, and the original report indicated that he would miss 10-14 days. The last bench spot on the ALDS roster appeared to be a decision between Andruw Jones and McGehee, but the versatile and right-handed hitting Nix would obviously get the call over both if he’s actually healthy enough to play.

Categories : Asides, Injuries, Playoffs
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Nova threw live batting practice before the game. (click to embiggen)

Robinson Cano is in tonight’s lineup as the DH after testing his left hip both in the batting cage and during batting practice. The second baseman said his the joint still feels “tight” following last night’s awkward step on the game-winning eighth inning hit, and he still feels it when he bends over. Hence the DH thing. There are no tests planned at the moment, but Joe Girardi wouldn’t commit to the lineup until Robbie hit on the field and gave the thumbs up.

  • That lineup, by the way, can be found here. Curtis Granderson is back in not just center field, but also in the second spot of the batting order. The regular 2-3-4 hitters have just been bumped down a slot.
  • Ivan Nova (shoulder) threw live batting practice to Eduardo Nunez and Chris Dickerson before the game. He faced seven “hitters” and threw north of 20 pitches, including breaking balls and changeups. Nova said he feels fine and right now the plan is to see how he responds tomorrow before determining the next step.
  • Mark Teixeira (calf) has been jogging but has yet to really push it and run sprints. He’s still not ready for that, making a Thursday return to the lineup unlikely at the moment. Unsurprisingly, Teixeira hopes to be back no later than the weekend.
  • Casey McGehee is back with the club and will be active tonight. The Low-A Charleston season ended yesterday, so he was able to rejoin the team without waiting the full ten days.
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To make room on the 25-man roster for the recently-acquired Steve Pearce, the Yankees have optioned Casey McGehee all the way down to Low-A Charleston. The River Dogs have already been eliminated from postseason contention, so McGehee can return to the big leagues when their regular season ends next Monday rather than wait the full ten days. I thought they would make a similar move with David Phelps since he just started last night and Thursday’s off-day would allow them to shuffle the rotation, but they opted to play with a short bench instead. Weird.

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August 2nd: Apparently the Yankees designated Pena for assignment yesterday, according to the official site. That seems weird, they didn’t need to clear a 40-man roster spot for McGehee and could have easily sent Ramiro to Triple-A. Brian Cashman did confirm the move to Chad Jennings, however.

August 1st: As expected, the Yankees have sent Ramiro Pena back down to Triple-A to make room on the 25-man roster for the recently acquired Casey McGehee. Pena had one single in four plate appearances and two pinch-running appearances during his brief stint with the big league club. McGehee is in this afternoon’s lineup, playing first base and hitting seventh.

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(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Yankees apparently had very real interest in acquiring Ryan Dempster prior to yesterday’s trade deadline (according to Joel Sherman), but they instead walked away having made just one minor move, sending Chad Qualls to the Pirates for corner infielder Casey McGehee. Considering that Qualls was on his way out once Joba Chamberlain was ready to come off the DL, give Brian Cashman credit for turning a completely disposable piece into a potentially useful one. Alex Rodriguez‘s hand injury created a need for some infield depth, and that’s exactly what they got.

McGehee, 29, is a classic right-handed platoon bat who can hold down both first and third base. He’s hitting .250/.344/.463 (119 wRC+) against southpaws this season and owns a .259/.327/.427 (100 wRC+) line for his career against pitchers of the opposite hand. McGehee had an excellent rookie campaign as a part-time player in 2009 (124 wRC+) and was solid in full-time duty in 2010 (114 wRC+), but he started to get exposed a bit with more playing time these last two seasons…

Year Age Tm G PA H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ GDP HBP IBB
2008 25 CHC 9 25 4 1 0 0 0 8 .167 .160 .208 .368 -7 1 0 0
2009 26 MIL 116 394 107 20 1 16 34 67 .301 .360 .499 .859 126 13 1 2
2010 27 MIL 157 670 174 38 1 23 50 102 .285 .337 .464 .801 114 18 2 5
2011 28 MIL 155 600 122 24 2 13 45 104 .223 .280 .346 .626 69 19 1 4
2012 29 PIT 92 293 61 13 1 8 24 60 .230 .297 .377 .674 88 7 2 0
5 Yrs 529 1982 468 96 5 60 153 341 .260 .316 .419 .735 97 58 6 11
162 Game Avg. 162 607 143 29 2 18 47 104 .260 .316 .419 .735 97 18 2 3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/31/2012.

The Yankees aren’t going to ask McGehee to play regularly, not unless something goes horribly wrong or he just hits the snot out of the ball and forces his way into the lineup. They acquired him specifically to combat lefties and provide some right-handed pop while A-Rod is on the shelf, presumably from the bottom third of the order. Don’t count on him being a savior.

One thing that McGehee really has going for him is his opposite field stroke (here’s some video), something he’s maintained even during his two subpar seasons. During his career he’s hit .336 with a .199 ISO on balls hit to right field, good for a 128 wRC+. The numbers since the start of 2011 are essentially identical, a .328 average with a .199 ISO and a 128 wRC+ that ranks 17th out of all right-handed batters with at least 100 balls in play to the opposite field. The 16 guys ahead of him are basically the best right-handed hitters in the world, I’m talking Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun, Andrew McCutchen, Miguel Cabrera … pretty great hitters. McGehee’s opposite field production is a notch below those guys but still very good.

Thanks to the magic of Texas Leaguers, we can take a quick look at his spray chart over these last two seasons…

Remember, the dots show where the ball was fielded by the defender, not where it landed. McGehee has hit 21 homers since the start of 2011 and I unofficially count 15 that have been hit out to right and right-center. Given the short right field porch in Yankee Stadium, he has a chance to be surprisingly productive if he just maintains his natural stroke and is platooned properly. Only half of that is under his control, it’s up to Joe Girardi to take care of the other half.

Once Mark Teixeira‘s wrist heals up and he’s back at first base full-time, I suspect we’ll see McGehee play third base against southpaws regularly while Andruw Jones starts at DH and Jayson Nix roams left field. He could make his Yankees debut as soon as this afternoon with the left-handed Zach Britton on the mound, though that depends on his travel schedule and what not. The Yankees aren’t going to be able to replace all that A-Rod gives them but they do have some solid substitutes. McGehee might work out or he might not (when the cost is Chad Qualls, the team is playing with house money), but he has the skillset to be productive in the role he’s being asked to fill.

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Jul
31

Yankees acquire Casey McGehee

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(Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Yankees needed to add some infield depth following Alex Rodriguez‘s hand injury, and they did so by acquiring Casey McGehee from the Pirates in exchange for Chad Qualls before Tuesday’s trade deadline. Joel Sherman broke the news and reports that New York will receive $250k in the deal as well. McGehee will almost certainly take Ramiro Pena‘s roster spot.

A 29-year-old right-handed hitter, McGehee owns a career 100 wRC+ against left-handers (95 vs. RHP). The split is much more pronounced this year (119 vs. 67 wRC+), however. He has some power (career .159 ISO) and is basically league average in the strikeout (17.2%) and walk (7.7%) departments. The various defensive metrics says he’s about average at the hot corner and you can forget about speed on the bases. Not happening.

McGehee’s an upgrade over Pena and he gives the Yankees another right-handed bat. They could use him at third, Jayson Nix in left field, and Andruw Jones at DH against southpaws with Ichiro Suzuki glued to the bench. He’ll also provide some depth in the short-term as Mark Teixeira deals with his wrist issue. McGehee started to get exposed when the Brewers and Pirates tried playing him everyday, but he’s a useful role player and won’t see that much playing time with the Yankees. As an added bonus, he’s under team control as an arbitration-eligible player through 2014.

Qualls, 33, pitched to a 6.14 ERA (3.76 FIP) during his brief time in pinstripes. The Yankees acquired him from the Phillies earlier this month, but he was clearly going to be the odd man out once Joba Chamberlain was ready to come off the DL. The fact that Brian Cashman was able to turn him into a useful piece is a minor miracle, frankly. McGehee is not expected to join the team in time for tonight’s game.

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