Category Archives: In-Season Moves

The minors.

First off, I can’t recap the games I missed when I had no DSL/Internet access. Too much work.

I CAN tell you this. Top pitching prospect Luis Severino was promoted to AA Trenton. He started the year at Low A Charleston so this makes two promotions this year. 20 years old and now in AA. He pitched in the futures game. In his first game for AA Trenton, he got the win. 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H.

I hope they don’t include Severino in a deal for someone like Cliff Lee. I don’t want Lee, who turns 36 soon. Why take on all that $$$ ($22MM) for someone 36 next month and just off the DL? Not only that, Lee didn’t want to come to NY a few years ago. Why bring in someone who doesn’t want to be here? Remember the problems with Randy Johnson? Past his prime, didn’t want to be here…. the same could happen with Cliff Lee….

As for tonight, 7-21…

AAA: SWB got a run in the top of the 9th to win 2-1 on a SF by 3b Rob Segedin, just promoted from AA. For those following Jose Pirela (.313) and Rob Refsnyder (.290) there are the batting averages. Cashman has stated he’d prefer to keep Refsnyder in the minors. I disagree, unless Cashman has something up his sleeve like acquiring Marlon Byrd from the Phils. Byrd, a RHB, can platoon with Ichiro and give the pop that Ichiro doesn’t give. If not, then why not promote Refsnyder to platoon with Ichiro? Ichiro, 40, isn’t an everyday player. Refsnyder, a RF converted to 2b by the Yanks, has seen more time in his natural RF position lately. Bruce Billings 1 R in 7 ip, 4.94. Refsnyder had a double and RBI tonight.

AA: Trenton swept a DH.

Game 1: 4-1 win. Jaron Long (Kevin’s son) 6 IP, 1 R, 4 H. C Gary Sanchez, HR, 2 RBI. CF Jake Cave promoted to Trenton. Double, RBI.

Game 2: 8-5 win. CF Mason Williams 3 h, triple, rbi. 3 hits, double, solo HR, Pete O’Brien. That makes 30 HR for O’Brien between High A Tampa and AA Trenton. 1B Tyson Blaser 3 h, 2 doubles, 2 rbi. C Francisco Arcia 2 h, HR, 2 rbi.

High A: Tampa won 5-2. Rafael De Paula (6-5, 4.15) 1 R in 5 2/3, CF Danny Oh triple 3 rbi.

Low A: Charleston won 8-5. 17 hits. LF Brandon Thomas 4 for 4, 3 rbi. CF Mark Payton, 2 h, HR, 2 rbi. SS Tyler Wade 3 h, rbi.

Keep an eye on players… there have been and will be promotions.

Game 92. Yanks fall to .500 with 3-2 loss in 10.

Hiroki Kuroda pitched a good game, but once again got little run support as the Yanks lost 3-2 in 10 innings in Baltimore Friday night to fall to .500.

The Yanks got a run in the second on Brian Roberts’ fifth HR of the year, and another in the third on Kelly Johnson’s sixth HR of the season, but that was all.

Kuroda gave up two runs in the fourth on a HBP, single, WP that enabled a run to score, another WP to move a runner to third, and a SF. Ouch.

He went 7, 2 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K. Except for those wild pitches and HBP (he did hit another batter in the fourth, but no damage with that one), he was great. 4.10.

Betances once again proved why he is an All-Star. 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 3 K. 1.46.

Adam Warren gave up a leadoff double and a one-out single in the bottom of the 10th to lose the game. (L, 1-5, 2.79). 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 1 K.

The loss knocks the Yanks down to .500, 46-46. They are now five games behind the Orioles in the AL East. Third place. They are 3 1/2 out of the final wild card spot.

Earlier in the day, the Yanks DFA’d Jim Miller, who had a bad outing Thursday night, and called up Matt Daley. They also acquired Jeff Francis from the A’s for cash considerations and a player to be named later.

Francis, a 33-year-old lefty, was 0-2, 5.89 in 10 games this year for Cincinnati and Oakland. One start out of those ten games. The long-time Rockie is 70-80, 4.95 in his MLB career with an ERA+ of 94. His best years were in 2005-2007 when he was 44-32, 4.65 and helped Colorado to their only WS appearance in 2007. Since then he is 23-46, 5.22 for various teams.

Game 91. Bullpen fails Yanks in 9-3 loss. Also, Injury updates.

David Phelps threw six shutout innings, but the Yankees’ bullpen let him and the team down in a 9-3 loss Thursday night.

The Yanks got two in the fourth on a HR by Zelous Wheeler (2) and went up 3-0 in the fifth on an RBI single by Yangervis Solarte.

In the seventh, Phelps gave up hits to the first two batters in the inning, and the Yanks brought in Matt Thornton. That’s when things unraveled. A single, bases-loaded triple and SF put the Indians up 4-3.

Jim Miller was terrible in the eighth inning, giving up five runs on 2 HR.

Phelps 6+, 2 R, 7 H, 3 walks and 5 K. 3.94.

Thornton 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 h, 0 walks, 0 K. (L, 0-3, 3.10).

Miller 1 2/3, 5 R, 6 H, 1 walk, 2 K. 20.25.

Derek Jeter got two hits to take his career total to 3405.

It turns out Carlos Beltran got more than bruises in that freak batting practice accident the other day. Two minor fractures in his nose and a concussion force him to the 7-day DL.

The news on Masahiro Tanaka isn’t good. It could be worse, and personally, I have my fears. There is a slight tear in a ligament in his pitching elbow. Surgery is not recommended at this time (good) but platelets are to be injected and he is to then start a throwing program. The hope is that after six weeks of rehab (late August), he will be ready to pitch down the stretch.

That is the hope. The fear is Tommy John surgery that would take Tanaka out until 2016. The fear I have is that the Mets tried this same procedure with Matt Harvey. It didn’t work and Harvey needed the surgery.

It is a devastating blow for the Yanks, who now have four of the five starters from the Opening Day rotation on the DL. CC is most likely done for the year, and may need microfracture surgery—his career is in jeopardy. Nova TJ surgery, done for the year and most of 2015. Pineda is still trying to come back from a strained shoulder muscle and there is no guarantee he’ll be back this year. Now Tanaka. Just devastating. You can’t go far when you are dipping down into your #9 starter.

It begs the question. Trade for help now to try to save the season, or become sellers at the deadline, acknowledge the devastating blow losing Tanaka is, and build for the future.

But as someone wrote somewhere, are you going to be the one to tell the retiring Derek Jeter that you are throwing in the towel on his final season?

The tease is that in this division, anything may happen yet. The Yanks are only 46-45, and just four out. In a normal season, they would be 8-10 out. The division is still there for the taking, and it may be easier to win the division this year than to get any of the wild card spots.

The Yanks have some major decisions to make at the trade deadline.

Meanwhile, we hope and pray that Tanaka avoids the TJ surgery.

Another move. Yankees DFA Alfonso Soriano.

The Yanks DFA’d Alfonso Soriano today. the 38 year old veteran was hitting just .221-6-23 for the Yanks this year, and his OPS+ was only 68. He drew just six walks and struck out 71 times.

Soriano is a .270 career hitter with 412 career HR, of which 121 came in two stints with the Yankees.

Yankees trade Nuno for McCarthy

The Yankees traded Vidal Nuno to Arizona for Brandon McCarthy.

McCarthy turns 31 tomorrow and is a big righty (6’7″) who has pitched for the White Sox, Rangers, A’s and Diamondbacks in his career. For Arizona this year, he was 3-10, 5.01, ERA+ 75 and led the league with 18 starts.

McCarthy has had trouble staying healthy in his career. He’s never had more than 25 starts in a season, and only once has thrown more than 135 innings in a season. For his career, he is 45-60, 4.21, ERA+ 99.

Nuno, who turns 27 at the end of this month, was 2-5, 5.42 for the Yanks this year, ERA+ 74. He’s 3-7, 4.78, ERA+ 84 in his big league career, all with the Yanks.

Bruce Billings is back with the Yanks, no word as to who was sent down (Jim Mlller?). Billings will probably be a long man, and pitched in one game earlier this year for the Yanks, giving up four runs in four innings. Between AA/AAA he was 4-5, 5.22. He’s 0-0, 9.82 in his MLB career in five games.

Game 86. Cervelli’s error costs the Yanks. Lose 2-1 in 11.

It’s been no secret that the Yanks’ offense has been struggling. On Saturday, they lost 2-1 for the third time in their last eight games. This time it was in 11 innings.

David Phelps pitched well and made one mistake. A HR given up to Josh Willingham in the seventh. Phelps went 7, 1 R, 3 H, 2 walks and 3 K. ERA to 4.01. He deserved to win.

The Yanks only run came in the fifth when Beltran walked, Ichiro forced him, stole second, went to third on a WP and Cervelli singled him home.

Shawn Kelley pitched two scoreless innings, 2 H, 0 walks and 4 K. 4.26.

Matt Thornton (L, 0-2, 2.33) went 1 2/3, 1 R, unearned, 2 h, 1 walk and 1 K. He pitched a scoreless 10th but gave up a leadoff double in the 11th. After an out that moved the runner up and an intentional walk to set up a DP, Thornton hit a batter to load the bases. He then got a tapper back to him that looked like a 1-2-3 DP to get out of the inning. The throw home forced the runner, but Cervelli sailed his throw to first into RF and the winning run scored.

Derek Jeter, honored before the game by the Twins, got one hit, #3397.

The loss puts the Yanks back at .500 at 43-43.

Apparently the Yanks came in second as far as getting Samardzija from the Cubs to bolster their rotation. Instead, the Cubs sent Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A’s for prospects.

Game 84. Yanks carry Tanaka to 7-4 win.

This year, Masahiro Tanaka has carried the Yankees. In his last start, he lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to Boston.

It was time for the Yankees’ offense to return the favor.

Last night was the first night Tanaka didn’t get a “quality start”, after 16 consecutive quality starts to begin his MLB career.

Tanaka had his worst start as a Yankee, going 7 innings, giving up 4 R on 9 H, 0 walks and just 3 K. He improved his record to 12-3, and his ERA went up to 2.27.

Down 2-0 in the fifth, Carlos Beltran hit a 3-run HR (9) to give the Yanks the lead. It was the 367th HR of Beltran’s career. After an out, Zelous Wheeler, just called up from SWB, hit a HR in his second MLB at bat to put the Yanks up 4-2.

Tanaka gave up a run in the sixth before the Yanks gave him a cushion by scoring three times in the seventh. Ichiro walked, Wheeler singled, and Brendan Ryan doubled home a run. Brett Gardner singled in a run and Derek Jeter hit into an RBI force out to make it 7-3. Tanaka gave up a run in the bottom of the inning to make it 7-4.

Dellin Betances pitched the 8th. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.47.

David Robertson picked up his 19th save by pitching the 9th. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 3 K. 2.83.

The win put the Yanks back at .500, 42-42, 3 1/2 back of Toronto in the AL East.

Earlier in the day, disconcerting news on CC Sabathia. After his rehab outing on Wednesday, CC woke up with swelling and fluid in his knee Thursday. A setback.

In order to bring Wheeler up, Yangervis Solarte was sent down. Dean Anna was DFA’d. Meanwhile, Alfredo Aceves was suspended 50 games for marijuana usage.

Game 81. Yanks lose in 12, 4-3.

The Yanks reached the halfway point of the season 41-40 after a 4-3 loss in 12 innings.

David Phelps started vs. the Rays and did ok, giving up two solo HRs in 5 2/3 IP, one in the first and one in the third.

The Yanks tied it in the bottom of the third when Ichiro was HBP, Gardner tripled and Jeter got an RBI with a groundout.

Phelps 5 2/3, 2 R, 4 h, 3 walks and 4 K. 4.26.

Warren 1 1/3, 0 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 1 K. 2.70.

Dellin Betances, so great this year, stumbled. 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 2 walks and 0 K. 1.50. He got the first two outs in the eighth, but then a walk, SB and walk made Girardi go to Robertson. Robertson gave up a hit to the first batter he faced to put the Rays up 3-2.

Brian Roberts temporarily saved the Yanks with a HR in the bottom of the 9th (4) to tie the game.

Robertson went 1 1/3, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.93.

Shawn Kelley pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the 11th, getting two strikeouts. He went 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 Walks, 2 K (1 HBP), 4.43.

The Yanks’ offense could not put together the run(s) that would put them over the top. Gardner and Teixeira each struck out 3x, McCann 2x. The team was 0 for 7 with RISP.

In the 12th, rookie Jose Ramirez got the first two men out, but a walk, SB and single put the Rays up 4-3 and they held on to win the game.

Ramirez (L, 0-2, 5.40) 1 Ip, 1 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 0 K.

The loss puts the Yanks at 41-40 at the halfway point. June was disappointing, since the team was only 12-15 in that month. Amazingly, they started June 2 1/2 out and finished 2 1/2 out. The only thing is, they started in second place and finished in third. Thank goodness no one is running away with the division. It is still there for the taking, but the team must play better. Most importantly, they need to hit, especially the middle of the lineup.

Jeter got hit #3394 in the loss.

Teixeira is at .243, McCann .221, Beltran .219, Johnson .224, Roberts .236. Soriano is almost a forgotten man right now and at .228.

If all these players make a run at .250 by the end of the year, it means they all would have 1) had basically just an average season but more importantly, 2) they all would have had good second halves… good enough to still, perhaps, propel the Yanks into the playoffs.

Here’s hoping that the second half is much better than the first. We’ll also see what moves are made. Today is July 1st. The deadline is soon. You know something will be done, but what?

Game 79. Tanaka, Yanks, lose heartbreaker, 2-1.

In his last two outings, Masahiro Tanaka has given up 5 runs in 16 IP.

That is an ERA of 2.81. But Tanaka has lost both games because in those 16 innings, he got one unearned run of support.

Saturday night, Tanaka pitched a complete game, but two mistakes, both hit for HR, cost him the game, 2-1.

Tanaka gave up a HR to Cody Ross in the top of the 3rd. The Yanks tied the game in the bottom half of the inning on an error, HBP, sac bunt by Gardner and groundout by Jeter. Jeter did get one hit tonight to go to 3391 for his career, but also had a key GIDP besides the RBI groundout.

I hate to say this, but in my opinion, Jeter shouldn’t be hitting second anymore. Ellsbury isn’t a #3 hitter. But Girardi 1) doesn’t want to disrespect Jeter by dropping him to 8th in the lineup, even though, halfway through the season, Jeter’s numbers for the year project to .270-4-37 or so, which isn’t that great (ok for a 40 year old but very Alvaro Espinoza-like, otherwise) and 2) Girardi is so tied into splitting up the lefty hitters Gardner and Ellsbury by having the righty hitting Jeter hit between them. Personally, I feel that keeping Jeter second, and not putting Gardner/Ellsbury 1-2 is hurting the team. Of course, the problem, then, is who do you hit #3? For the guys supposed to be the beef of the lineup are not producing.

The game stayed at 1-1 until the 9th. Heck, in the fourth, Tanaka showed a lot of mettle. He gave up a leadoff single to Pedroia (the little pest had three hits tonight) and a double to Ortiz. 2nd and 3rd, no one out and Tanaka got two strikeouts and a ground out to get out of it. GUTS.

But the Yanks did not even get a hit off Lester until the sixth.

In the top of the 9th, with two out and two strikes on Napoli, Tanaka threw a fastball. Should he have thrown the splitter? In retrospect, yes. The fastball was 96 and on the black, but up. An inch further outside and Napoli may swing and miss for strike three. But he went the other way and the ball cleared the short porch by a foot to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead and ultimately, the win.

After the HR, Napoli supposedly called Tanaka a “f***ing idiot.” I know what I’d do tomorrow if I were pitching. I don’t expect Whitley, a rookie, to do it. I’d shave Napoli’s ugly beard with my first pitch. You don’t disrespect my teammate by saying that. I show toughness. I knock his ass down. I’d love to see Whitley do that tomorrow night. If Napoli charges the mound, bring it on. But Napoli showed no class by doing that tonight. F*** Napoli.

Now as for the Yanks. I got to be honest here. Being less than honest isn’t my style and you would have every right to disrespect me and my postings if I weren’t. This offense needs some help. You read above that I don’t think that Jeter should be hitting second anymore. If his name wasn’t Derek Jeter he probably wouldn’t be. You just gave your ace only one unearned run of support over his last 16 innings of very good work.

Hey, Koufax and Seaver and every other great pitcher couldn’t win with only one unearned run of support over a 16 inning stretch.

2B. Brian Roberts is 36 and is hitting .237. He hasn’t been a full-time player in four years because of injury. The future is now. Bring up Rob Refsnyder, who was hitting .342 at AA Trenton and even though he has been at AAA only a couple of weeks, is raking there. He is the future. Roberts isn’t. Start the future now. See what you have in him.

RF: Soriano is hitting .228. He is 38 years old. I love Soriano. He has had a great career. But he is one of the biggest reasons this offense has been struggling (along with McCann and Beltran). RF is a major problem for the Yanks right now. Heck, Sori’s defense tonight was questionable, let alone that .228. Bring back Almonte and play him everyday or bring in a power-hitting RF. That brings me to Ichiro. Yes, Gardner, Ellsbury and Ichiro are a good defensive OF, but Ichiro, despite a .298 BA, has absolutely no pop anymore. Of Ichiro’s 45 hits, 41 are singles, 4 are doubles. If you play him with Gardner & Ellsbury, your OF is one of the weakest in the league power-wise. Get rid of Soriano, make Ichiro a backup defensive OF/PR and either get a RF or play Almonte everyday to see what you have. But get one with some pop in his bat.

The middle of the lineup has Teix (who leads the team in HR and RBI) at .243. Beltran (who has 2 more years on his deal) at .209. McCann, in the first year of a five-year deal, at .224. Soriano is at .228. The Yanks can’t and won’t win if that continues. It’s amazing that they are only two games out right now, considering the lack of production by the middle of the lineup and the fact that 3/5 of their Opening Day starting rotation is on the DL. They are still in it, but to stay in it and win it some members of the offense either need to pick it up, be benched, and/or a deal must be made. Some may not like to hear that, but we are halfway through the season. I say this not to be negative but to try and improve this team, for the Yanks middle of the lineup cannot continue like that. Period.

For you see the result. They waste a great outing by Tanaka tonight. They are forcing pitchers to be perfect. Even Tanaka isn’t perfect, and he is the best of the bunch. What about someone like Phelps, Whitley or Nuno?

Tanaka’s ERA actually DROPPED tonight. 9 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 1 walk, 8 K. ERA 2.10 (came in at 2.11). He still leads the majors in wins (11) and CG (3) and the AL in ERA (2.10), and ERA+ (190).

This was a tough loss. But the middle of the Yanks offense MUST produce better. At present, and at its current pace, the Yanks RBI leader at the end of the year will have only 84 RBI or so. Nowhere near 100. That won’t cut it.

As far as help on the way, CC went 2 1/3 at High A Tampa in a rehab outing. 2 R on 3 H. Pineda threw 25 pitches from 60 feet, no problems. Both 4-6 weeks away, but even if they come back healthy and well, what kind of offensive support will they receive?

Moves are forthcoming. I suggested a few of my own. But something needs to be done to make the team better so that they can make the postseason, and every Yankees fan wants to see that.

The minors 6-24-14

The Heath Bell experiment is over. The Yanks signed the ex-major league reliever a while back and released him after five games with SWB. There have been a couple of other moves due to people coming off the DL.

P Luis Severino and 1B Pete O’Brien will be playing in the Futures Game during All-Star Weekend.

Severino, 20, RHP. Between Low and High A this year, 15 starts, 3-3, 2.99.

O’Brien, 24 in a few weeks. Mostly a C, but also has played 1B, 3B and RF. Listed at 1B for the Game. Between High A and AA this year, .263-25-54. Was hitting .321 at Tampa with 10 HR, and since his promotion to Trenton has 15 HR but only a .223 batting average.

AAA: SWB lost 7-5. LF Jose Pirela (.320) HR, 2 RBI. C John Ryan Murphy double, HR, 3 RBI.

AA: Trenton lost 6-3. C Gary Sanchez a solo HR (.260-9-39). 2B Ali Castillo 2 hits, 2 rbi.

High A: Tampa won 4-3. Jaron (son of Yanks’ hitting coach Kevin) Long 2 R in 5 2/3 IP. 2-2, 3.38 at Tampa. DH Matt Snyder HR, 3 RBI. 2 hits for 2B Jose Rosario.

Low A: Charleston split a DH.

In the regularly scheduled game, Charleston won 6-1. CF Dustin Fowler a 3-run HR. Both SS Tyler Wade and 2B Gosuke Katoh had 2 hits, rbi.

In the makeup game from June 23rd’s rainout, Charleston lost 2-0 and got just two hits. Rookie Davis (3-7, 4.86) 1 R in 6 IP.