DotF: Scranton walks off with a win behind Andujar, McKinney

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the standings, so let’s do that today. Here are the day’s notes first:

  • LHP Justus Sheffield was placed on the Double-A Trenton disabled list with a right oblique strain, the team announced. Manager Bobby Mitchell admitted to Kyle Franko it is a pretty significant strain. Sucks. There is no timetable for Sheffield’s return. At least it’s not his arm, I guess.
  • Baseball Prospectus released their midseason top 50 prospects list, which includes three Yankees: SS Gleyber Torres (7th), RHP Chance Adams (37th), and Sheffield (47th). Prospect eligible players in the big leagues (so OF Clint Frazier, OF Dustin Fowler, and IF Tyler Wade) were not included, ditto 2017 draftees.
  • OF Zack Zehner and LHP Nestor Cortes have been added the Double-A Eastern League All-Star Game, it was announced. Zehner is replacing 1B Mike Ford (promoted) on the roster and Cortes is replacing Sheffield.
  • Welcome back, Mason Williams. He cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Scranton, the Yankees announced. That’s good. Never hurts to have a spare center fielder lying around.

Triple-A Scranton (4-3 win over Buffalo in eleven innings, walk-off style) they are 54-32 and have a one-game lead in the North Division

  • DH Jake Cave: 2-6, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 K
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-6, 2 RBI — two-run walk-off single in the 11th
  • 1B Mike Ford: 3-4, 1 R — Conor Foley says Ford left the game with hamstring soreness and he’ll be reevaluated tomorrow … the first base depth chart is really, really thin right now
  • RF Billy McKinney: 3-5
  • 2B Jonathan Diaz: 3-5, 1 R, 1 K — first game back with the RailRiders after yesterday’s minor trade
  • LHP Dietrich Enns: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 7/3 GB/FB — 67 of 92 pitches were strikes (73%) … 28/5 K/BB in 28 innings around the shoulder injury
  • RHP Jonathan Holder: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 13 of 24 pitches were strikes (54%) … he’s going to have to do better than that to get back to the big leagues
  • RHP Ben Heller: 2 IP, zeroes, 3 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 18 of 28 pitches were strikes (64%)

[Read more…]

Saturday Links: Padres, Torres, Bullpen Help, Draft Signings

Gleyber. (Presswire)
Gleyber. (Presswire)

The Yankees and Astros will continue their three-game weekend series later today, though not until 7pm ET. Blargh. I really hate Saturday night games, you guys. Anyway, here are some links to check out in the meantime.

Padres have asked about Torres

According to Jon Heyman, the Padres have asked the Yankees about top prospect Gleyber Torres. I’m not sure whether this was before or after Gleyber hurt his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery. San Diego is in the middle of a deep rebuild and needs, well, everything. But especially a shortstop. Before the injury, few prospects could match Gleyber’s combination of near-MLB-readiness and long-term potential.

I imagine Torres is atop New York’s untouchables list, and I don’t think there’s any chance the Yankees would sell low on him while hurt. Also, who in the world could the Padres offer for Torres? Brad Hand? Nope. Not happening. Wil Myers? Meh. He’s good and by far their best player, but I’m not giving up Torres to get him. I don’t blame the Padres for trying. You can’t get Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano without asking. There doesn’t seem to be a fit here at all. The Yankees could use Hand, but not at the price of Gleyber.

Yankees looking for bullpen help

From the no duh department: the Yankees are in the market for bullpen help right now, reports Heyman. I don’t know about you, but I get the feeling a trade for bullpen help is inevitable at this point. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Yankees are going to trade top prospects for a high-end reliever. It could be a smaller deal similar to last season’s Tyler Clippard trade. A change of scenery guy. I trust Brian Cashman to make a good value trade. I can’t even remember the last time the Yankees made a trade that made me say “wow, they overpaid.” The Yankees want bullpen help. News at 11.

Latest 2017 draft signings

The signing deadline for 2017 draft picks is Friday, July 7th, though the Yankees have already handled most of their major business. They’ve signed all of their picks in the top 17 rounds plus several others. Here are my Day One, Day Two, and Day Three draft recaps, and here are all of the Yankees’ picks. Now here are the latest signings (and non-signings):

  • The Yankees have signed Puerto Rico HS C Hemmanuel Rosario as an undrafted free agent, reports Jonathan Mayo. He received a $247,500 bonus, of which $122,500 counts against the bonus pool. Rosario is still only 16, but he already graduated high school, which is why the Yankees were able to sign him. Here’s his Perfect Game scouting report. Nice little find.
  • The Yankees have also signed Carl Albert State C/OF Pedro Diaz as an undrafted free agent, according to his coach on Twitter. No word on his bonus, though I don’t believe this is another over-slot signing. Diaz hit .282/.407/.380 as a freshman in 2016. Seems like an organizational depth pickup.
  • Arizona HS RHP Colby Davis (23rd round) will not sign and instead go to Arizona State, reports Richard Obert. Davis was always expected to go to school. He can locate three pitches right now, though none are an out pitch. He could come out as a top ten rounds guy in three years.

As our Draft Pool Tracker shows, the Yankees still have roughly $317,000 in bonus space remaining. I imagine that money is going to spent somewhere. The Yankees have spent right up to the max each year since the bonus pools were put in place. It’s worth noting Duke OF Jimmy Herron (31st round) is currently 18-for-45 (.400) with six doubles and a home run through 13 Cape Cod League games. He’s got some interesting leadoff hitter skills and the Yankees could offer him as much as $442,000 at this point. Either way, I’d bet on that pool money getting spent on someone.

DotF: Wagaman homers twice in Pulaski’s season opener

Here are the day’s notes:

  • The Yankees called up LHP Tyler Webb, they announced earlier today. UTIL Rob Refsnyder was sent down to clear a roster spot. Webb, the team’s tenth round pick in 2013 and LHP Jordan Montgomery‘s former college teammate, spent nearly all of the last four seasons with Triple-A Scranton. Cool to see him get the call. Webb has a 3.24 ERA (2.14 FIP) with 47 strikeouts and only three walks in 33.1 innings this season.
  • SS Gleyber Torres told Conor Foley and D.J. Eberle he is heading to Tampa on Saturday following yesterday’s Tommy John surgery. He’ll rest the next two weeks before beginning rehab work. Apparently Torres was told he could be ready to play by November, which means winter ball could be in play, though I don’t see that happening. The Yankees won’t push their top prospect. Gleyber said he’s focused on Spring Training.
  • C Kyle Higashioka has been placed on the 7-day DL, the RailRiders announced. Foley says Higashioka is dealing with bad lower back spasms. He was supposed to see a doctor today, and if they’re calling it spasms, I guess that means there’s no structural damage. That’s good.
  • No Triple-A Scranton players lead their positions in the All-Star Game fan voting. Here’s the update. RHP Chance Adams does lead the write-in votes, however. Lehigh Valley fans are really stuffing the ballot, it seems. Voting ends tomorrow. Here’s the ballot.
  • Two links to check out: Chris Crawford asked executives whether they’d take the Yankees farm system or the Braves farm system, and Jim Callis listed OF Clint Frazier as a potential impact prospect for the second half.

Triple-A Scranton (11-1 with over Pawtucket)

  • SS Tyler Wade: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP
  • CF Dustin Fowler: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 SB
  • DH Tyler Austin: 2-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K — three straight games with a homer … here’s video of the double and home run
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-4
  • RF Jake Cave: 2-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI — four homers in his last six games
  • LF Mark Payton: 3-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI — some team’s future fourth outfielder is hitting .293/.350/.421 on the season
  • RHP Chance Adams: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 5/5 GB/FB — 60 of 100 pitches were strikes … has a 43.7% ground ball rate this year, which is pretty terrible for a good pitching prospect in the minors … the book on him is that he doesn’t get great downhill plane on his fastball (he’s only 6-foot-1) and his heater can be pretty straight … I worry that when he comes up, he’ll initially be really home run prone, especially with the ball flying out of the park all around the league this season
  • RHP Ben Heller: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 19 of 30 pitches were strikes (63%)

[Read more…]

DotF: Staten Island wins opener; Tate returns in Tampa’s win

Some notes to get us started:

  • SS Gleyber Torres is having his Tommy John surgery tomorrow, according to Bryan Hoch. Mets team doctor Dr. David Atlchek will perform the surgery. See you in the spring, Gleyber.
  • 3B Nelson Gomez is listed as suspended on the Staten Island Yankees roster for some reason. Not sure what happened there. He didn’t fail a drug test or anything like that. Those are announced by MLB. Must have violated team rules.
  • RHP Travis Hissong has been released, the Tampa Yankees announced. Hissong had been with the Yankees since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He threw some innings as an extra arm in Spring Training this year.

Triple-A Scranton Game One (4-3 loss to Syracuse in seven innings)

  • 2B Tyler Wade & C Kyle Higashioka: both 0-3 — Higashioka struck out twice
  • CF Dustin Fowler: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K — 12 homers in 64 games this year after hitting 12 in 132 games last year … getting out of Trenton is a part of it, no doubt, but not all of it
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 0-2, 1 BB
  • LF Jake Cave: 1-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB — three homers in his last eight games
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 4.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 7/0 GB/FB — 43 of 67 pitches were strikes (64%) … he’s thrown 56, 60, and 67 pitches in his last three starts, which is weird … they’re not really stretching him out much
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 22 of 34 pitches were strikes (65%)

[Read more…]

Thoughts following Gleyber Torres’ Tommy John surgery news

Gleybaby :( (Scranton Times Tribune)
Gleybaby :( (Scranton Times Tribune)

Over the weekend, top prospect Gleyber Torres managed to tear the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow on a play at the plate. He will have season-ending Tommy John surgery. It sucks so much. Sooo much. The injury combined with the disaster West Coast road trip make this one of the worst weeks in recent Yankees history. No doubt about it. Anyway, I have some thoughts on the injury and the fallout.

1. If this injury comes with a silver lining, it’s this: the injury is to Gleyber’s non-throwing elbow, and he’s a position player. The Tommy John surgery rehab timetable for position players is usually 6-8 months, not the 14-16 months it is for pitchers nowadays. The Yankees say they expect Torres to be ready in time for Spring Training — the Arizona Fall League or winter ball isn’t going to happen though — and that isn’t aggressive at all. There is always risk with surgery and the lost development time shouldn’t be ignored. Torres is going to lose 300 or so plate appearances and he’ll never get them back. At the end of the day, this is a severe injury, but it is also fairly straightforward and correctable. And he is only 20. It’s not like he’s 25 or 26.

2. A torn elbow ligament and Tommy John surgery is pretty darn common these days, though the way Torres tore his ligament is pretty unique. When’s the last time someone blew out their elbow on a slide? Heck, when’s the last time someone blew out their non-throwing elbow? Usually the ligament tears during a throw, even with position players. I can’t remember ever hearing of a player tearing his elbow ligament on an impact play like a slide into home plate. Weird. Torres must have really come down on that elbow hard, huh? Or maybe the ligament was already frayed and on the verge of tearing, and the slide was the straw that broke the camel’s back. At the end of the day, it was a fluke injury suffered during a fairly common baseball play. It’s just weird that it resulted in this injury.

3. As good as he is — and Torres is insanely talented — probably the biggest weakness in his game right now is his baserunning. He’s overly aggressive and it leads to a lot of pickoffs and outs on the bases. There were a few of them back in Spring Training. Torres would push the envelope when he shouldn’t have, and the result was an out. Not a fatal flaw! A correctable flaw through experience. Here’s the slide that resulted in the injury:

That’s not a headfirst slide. That’s more of an awkward feet first slide with an arm extended. Perhaps the awkwardness of the slide contributed to the injury. I mean, it almost certainly did. Torres plays with a lot of energy and you’d hate to take that aggressiveness away from him. Pushing the envelope is a good thing (at times). But, in this case, that aggressiveness combined with crummy slide fundamentals led to an injury. Gleyber’s baserunning issues resulted in something much worse than an out this time.

4. Interestingly enough, after Torres got hurt Triple-A Scranton manager Al Pedrique told Amy Moritz the Yankees teach their players not to slide headfirst. Headfirst slides are too dangerous. Here’s what Pedrique told Moritz before the torn ligament was discovered:

“It’s one thing that we teach as an organization, try not to have the guys slide head-first, any base and especially home plate because of all the gear the catcher has on,” Pedrique said. “When I saw the slide it was a concern and then afterwards when I saw him stay on the ground, definitely it was a scary moment for everybody. He came back from the hospital. Everything’s normal. So from that end, we’re very excited he didn’t get hurt worse. Again, that’s one thing we try to tell the player and teach them how to slide. But in the moment of the game, the competition, sometimes they don’t use the information to slide feet-first.”

“Injuries are part of the game but if we can avoid one like that one, we’re going to do the best we can to make sure they understand the reason why we don’t like the head-first slide,” Pedrique said. “He’s a young guy. He has a long way to learn about a lot of things in the game but he has a lot of talent and again thank God he didn’t get hurt worse.”

Mike Trout tore ligaments in his thumb during a headfirst slide a few weeks ago. Feet first slides are dangerous too! Everything in baseball is inherently dangerous. Former Yankees prospects David Adams and Ravel Santana suffered catastrophic ankle injuries on feet first slides and were never the same. But there are so many tiny bones and ligaments in your hands. Players are bigger and faster than ever before, and when you hit that bag with all that force, it can be easy to break or tear those little bones or ligaments. I’m guessing the Yankees are not the only team trying to teach their players to avoid headfirst slides, and I’m glad they’re doing it. Sometimes the player’s instincts take over and they go in with their hands though.

5. I absolutely believe the Yankees were planning to call Torres up at some point, possibly soon after the All-Star break. They promoted him quickly from Double-A and there’s been chatter they were grooming him to take over at third base. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Gleyber still needed to improve his defense at third before getting called up, but I think he would have gotten comfortable there fairly soon. He made a remarkable amount of process this season otherwise. Now a call-up is completely off the table. Even if you didn’t love the idea or weren’t sold on Torres being a short-term upgrade at third base, the option existed. Now it doesn’t. That bites. I thought Torres would be up at some point in the second half and help right away. Not like Gary Sanchez helped last year, but enough.

6. So, with that in mind, the Yankees are probably going to ramp up their search for third base help. I’m not 100% convinced they’ll buy at the trade deadline, but they will do their due diligence. Chase Headley has settled in following an uneven start to the season. He hit .251/.329/.383 (92 wRC+) last year and he’s at .249/.329/.364 (86 wRC+) this year. This is pretty much who he’ll be going forward. It’s one thing to sit Headley for a top prospect like Torres. It’s another to sit him for a veteran you pick up in a trade. Guys like Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie might not be enough of an upgrade to sacrifice the prospects. Mike Moustakas would be a different story, though the Royals have climbed back into the race, so he might not be available now. Furthermore, teams know Torres is a non-option now, so the Yankees doesn’t have much leverage. That top prospect they could call up instead of trading for your guy isn’t available. Right now, my guess is Headley will be the third baseman the rest of the season. I didn’t think that was the case before the Torres injury.

7. All things considered, the injury is worse news for Torres than the Yankees. He was maybe weeks away from making his big league debut, and now he’ll have to wait until at least next season, maybe longer if the Yankees decide to be be cautious after surgery. The Yankees aren’t losing anyone off their big league roster — I personally thought Torres would get called up, but it was not set in stone — and they’re not losing a trade chip either because Torres is presumably atop their untouchables list. Tommy John surgery for position players has an extremely high success rate — the only position players to have a real hard time with the rehab are catchers, who use their arms so much — and Torres didn’t even hurt his throwing elbow. The injury bites because Torres will miss so much development time. That’s baseball. Players get hurt but there’s still another game to play tonight. The division title ain’t gonna win itself. Onward.

Gleyber Torres will undergo Tommy John surgery

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The season is over for Gleyber Torres. The Yankees announced this afternoon that their top prospect, and one of the best prospects in baseball, will soon undergo Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. Torres tore his ulnar collateral ligament when he hyper-extended his elbow on a play at the plate over the weekend.

Here is video of the play:

Initial x-rays came back negative, but additional tests Monday showed the ligament tear. I suppose the silver lining here is that the injury is not to his throwing elbow. Torres is expected to be ready to go in time for Spring Training. The Tommy John surgery rehab timetable for position players is much shorter than it for pitchers.

Torres, 20, came over from the Cubs in the Aroldis Chapman trade last summer. He hit .287/.383/.480 (142 wRC+) with 14 doubles, seven homers, a 20.0% strikeout rate, and a 12.8% walk rate in 55 games and 235 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A this season.

Reports indicated the Yankees were planning to call up Torres later this season to take over at third base, though obviously that is off the table now. Baseball, man, It can be a real son of a bitch. Get well soon, Gleyber.

DotF: Sheffield, Andujar lead Trenton to doubleheader sweep

As expected, SS Gleyber Torres was placed on the Triple-A Scranton disabled list today, the team announced. He hyper-extended his elbow on a play at the plate yesterday. X-rays came back negative, so that’s good, though Torres will have more tests tomorrow.

Triple-A Scranton (2-0 win over Buffalo in seven innings) completed early due to rain

  • SS Tyler Wade: 1-4, 1 E (throwing) — hitting streak is up to 18 games
  • LF Dustin Fowler & DH Clint Frazier: both 0-3 — Fowler scored a run
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 0-2, 1 RBI
  • CF Jake Cave: 2-3, 1 2B
  • LHP Caleb Smith: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 7/6 GB/FB — 58 of 84 pitches were strikes (69%)

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