Tag Archives: Pirela

If you were Cashman….

If I were Cashman….

 

Ok. There are a lot of thoughts out there as to what someone would do if they were the GM of the Yanks. If they were Cashman. Here is what I would do. Here is what some think will happen. Feel free to add what you would do.

Remember, you don’t have an unlimited budget. You have to work within the constraints and budget that Hal Steinbrenner gives you.

Also, realize that you are stuck with some ballplayers. McCann has four years left on his deal. A-Rod and Teix two, CC a couple, two for Beltran, six for Ellsbury and Tanaka, etc.

So, I’ll take this position by position, and check into free agents and upgrades.

 

Catcher: McCann has four years left. He led the Yanks in HR and RBI in 2014 with 23 and 75. He only hit .232. The OPS+ was just 93. I’ll take the power numbers, but the average has to increase. Now, as for Cervelli, Romine, Murphy and Sanchez, you now have five catchers (inc. McCann) for the majors and AAA. That is too many. Someone (or two) has to go. McCann will get most of the playing time in the majors. Someone has to get most of the time at AAA (Sanchez?). That means you have to choose on backups. There isn’t enough playing time to go around. The Yanks have to decide who will back up McCann on the MLB level, and who will be the top starter (prospect) at AAA. Someone, or two, have to go. The Yanks have to decide who stays, and who gets included in a package deal. They also need to know what the market would bring for a Cervelli, Romine, Murphy…

So… if I were Cashman, I move one or two of these catchers in a package deal.

 

Infield/DH: You are stuck with Teixeira at 1B. You are stuck with A-Rod as probably the DH (with some time at 3B and maybe backup to the fragile Teix at 1B). Martin Prado fits in here somewhere at 2B or 3B. Ok, do you bring back Chase Headley for 3B/1B? Apparently the Yanks are talking to him about doing so. If they bring him back, does that mean Prado will be at 2B in 2015 and Headley at 3B (with A-Rod mostly DH-ing and playing 3B or 1B only when Headley or Teix need a breather?)

What about Jose Pirela or Rob Refsnyder? Both hit .300 at AAA in 2014. Pirela is more versatile than Refsnyder. Do you give one, or both, a chance?

And what about SS? Brendan Ryan has a good glove, but couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. Hanley Ramirez is a free agent, but he has been injured recently and some think he is better suited for 3B now than SS. That doesn’t help the Yanks. Ramirez, 31 next year, if healthy, can give .290-20-95 with 20 SB. If the Yanks don’t get him, they could go after a lower-tier SS like bringing back Stephen Drew, or going after Asdrubal Cabrera or Jed Lowrie.

What I would do is something different. Last year at the trade deadline, the Cubs picked up a top SS prospect from the A’s in the Samadzija/Hammel deal. Now, do they want the young prospect at SS, or do they want to keep Starlin Castro there? Is Castro available now that they have that young top prospect? Castro is 25, a 3x All-Star. Eventually the Yanks have to get younger. A 3x All-Star who is only 25 is a nice way to go. The only thing is, will the Cubs trade and who will they trade? They have a lot of money and some indications are they will go “full Steinbrenner” mode and spend a lot on free agents this offseason. So are they open to a trade?

Another trade possibility could be with the Rockies for Troy Tulowitzki. Tulo, like Ramirez, would come with injury questions. Great players, but they have to stay on the field. Ramirez is a free agent, while you would have to work out a trade for Tulo.

My first option: with the young prospect that the Cubs have for SS, see about a deal (and include one of the catchers listed above—Cervelli, Romine or Murphy) in a package deal for Castro. Maybe include Sanchez if necessary (after all, you have McCann for four more years). Tulo and Ramirez are some five to six years older than Castro. Maybe the Cubs don’t go for the package deal. Maybe they are fixed on free agent Russell Martin for catcher. See about a trade first for Castro. Then see about one for Tulo. Then go after Ramirez if the trades are not there. There is less talk about Castro or Tulo not cutting it at SS any more than there is with Ramirez.

Of course if Castro, Tulo, Ramirez fail, then there is plan B—-Drew, Lowrie, Cabrera.

I also let Headley go. I go with the kids Refsnyder and Pirela, and play Prado at 3B. I don’t think the Yanks will do that. I think they will go full in for Headley at 3B, want Prado at 2B and want to give Refsnyder more time at AAA. What they do with Pirela, I don’t know. Maybe a backup. But I give Refsnyder the job at 2B. I make Pirela (who can play five positions) a utility guy and I let Headley go.

Outfield: You have Gardner, Ellsbury and Beltran. If A-Rod Dh’s, Beltran has to be able to play RF. They could use a righty bat to compliment these players. Soriano is gone. Chris Young was there late last year.

My choice: sign Michael Morse as a free agent. His defense isn’t the best, but the dude can hit. He can play LF/RF and back up Teix at 1B.

 

So if I had 13 position players to start 2015 with, here are my choices.

C: McCann 1B: Teixeira 2B: Refsnyder (give the rookie a shot) SS: Castro (or Ramirez or Tulo) 3B: Prado. LF: Gardner CF: Ellsbury RF: Beltran DH: A-Rod.

Ok, that is 9. Now, four backups.

My choices: Backup C: Cervelli (or Murphy, whoever isn’t dealt). Sanchez at AAA with Murphy or Romine, whoever is still here.

Jose Pirela: He can play 1B, 2B. 3B, LF or RF. Versatile. Give the kid a shot, along with Refsnyder.

Mike Morse. Can fill in at LF/RF/1B and DH.

Brendan Ryan. Last guy on the bench. Glove man. All infield positions. Mostly backup at 2B and SS.

Pitchers. Assuming Kuroda is retiring.

Let McCarthy go via free agency.

Go full bore after Max Scherzer. Lester and Shields are available as Plan B if you don’t get Scherzer. Apparently the Cubs want Lester, Boston wants Shields. The Cubs could go for Scherzer AND Lester. But Scherzer, 30, 39-8 in the past two years, is priority #1.

The rotation could then be Scherzer, Tanaka, Pineda, CC (aging and coming off a knee injury, he drops to #4) and Shane Greene. It’s nice to have two aces at the top. Even three.

If Greene fails at #5, Ivan Nova comes back from TJ surgery next year, probably at mid-season.

You also could fill the #5 slot with Phelps, Manny Banuelos (if he isn’t dealt in a package deal), Bryan Mitchell (package deal?), or Jaron Long (same thing).

 

Go full out in keeping Robertson (the Yanks made him a qualifying offer, will he accept?). That way, Betances can stay as a setup guy (and you could use him two innings at a time). Phelps, Warren and Kelley make five relief guys, with Phelps and Warren able to give more than one inning and being available to spot start if needed. This leaves room for two lefties. Give Jacob Lindgren a shot. Maybe bring back David Huff, who can give innings also.

 

There are still problems with the team. I’m not sold on Beltran, A-Rod, McCann and Teix being the 4-7 hitters (in whatever order). There is still some age.

But I try to bring in some youth in Lindgren, Refsnyder, and Pirela. I try to have a two or three-ace pitching rotation with Scherzer and Tanaka. It’s three if Pineda (1.89 ERA in 2014) can stay healthy. Four if CC can be CC again (I don’t think it’ll happen).

I look for some versatility in Prado (mostly 3B, but can play 2B, LF, RF), Morse (LF/RF/1B) and Pirela (1B/2B/3B/LF/RF). Look for A-Rod to mostly DH but fill in at 1B/3B.

Anyway, for me, I go one big free agent splash (Scherzer), one minor one (Morse) and then see about acquisition #3… either big free agent splash (Ramirez) or big trade (Tulo or Castro).

That is what I’d do… as for others….

MLB Trade Rumors and SI have the Yanks getting Scherzer and Ramirez.

However, in the NY Post, Ken Davidoff has them getting neither, but getting cheaper alternatives.

So here is my team, with the crossouts from my team with a line through them, and then the Davidoff replacements following in italic.

McCann, Cervelli or Murphy, Teixeira, Refsnyder, Headley , Prado, Ramirez (or Tulo or Castro), Drew, A-Rod, Ryan, Pirela. So it would look like the infield would be Headley at 3B, Prado at 2B with Drew at SS. No offense to Drew, but a big comedown from my hoping for Castro, Ramirez or Tulowitzki.

Outfield: Gardner, Ellsbury, Beltran, Morse. (maybe the Yanks go cheap and instead of Morse, keep Chris Young. Again, a comedown?)

 

Pitching: Scherzer, McCarthy, Tanaka, Pineda, CC and Greene. (with Nova coming back mid-season if someone falters/gets hurt)

Robertson, Betances, Warren, Phelps, Kelley, Lindgren and Huff. Andrew Miller. Not sure who would be scratched, Huff or the rookie Lindgren.

But with Davidoff’s team, it appears like Refsnyder and Lindgren get more minor league time. Also, the Yanks go with cheaper alternatives (McCarthy and Drew) than the big play Scherzer/Ramirez types.

If the Yanks are able to get Miller and retain Robertson, that bullpen could be lights out.

But the offense really worries me, esp. if they go on the cheap and hope for a rebound from Drew instead of going in the direction I am going in.

 

Ok, you’ve seen some scenarios.

 

Now if YOU were Cashman, what would YOU do?

Recent happenings.

Ok, since the WS ended, a couple of managerial moves.

Joe Maddon has opted out of his Rays contract and has taken over the Cubs job, replacing Rick Renteria.

HOF Paul Molitor will be the new manager of the Twins, who let Ron Gardenhire go.

The Yanks have offered a qualifying offer to David Robertson (1 yr., $15.3 MM). We will see if he accepts. So far, no one receiving a qualifying offer has accepted. This burned Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales last year. If D-Rob declines and goes elsewhere, the Yanks get a draft pick. Will D-Rob accept? Can they work out a deal?

The Yanks are apparently talking to Chase Headley to see if he wants to return. Headley could hit the open market, too.

Soon, I’ll be taking a look at the Yanks and will state what I would do if I were Cashman. You may have your own thoughts. Feel free to share.

In winter league ball, Greg Bird, Tyler Austin, Jose Pirela and Aaron Judge are all doing well. Bird tagged a 450 ft. hr in the Arizona Fall League all-star game.

Game 162. Yanks win season/Jeter’s finale, 9-5.

The Yankees got off to a 9-0 lead and held on to win the season finale—also the last game of Derek Jeter’s career—9-5 on Sunday.

With the win, the Yankees ended the season at 84-78 and all alone in second place in the AL East (Toronto lost to Baltimore in their season finale and finished 83-79). The Yankees finished 12 back of Baltimore in the division, and 4 out of the final wild card spot.

In 2013, the Yanks finished tied for 3rd, but with 85 wins. So this year they finished better in the division, but with one less win. It was their worst record since 1992.

With the offseason moves (and lots of spending) on Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran, Tanaka, as well as the returns of Jeter and Teixeira, it was a disappointing season after a hopeful offseason.

Derek Jeter got an RBI infield single on a Baltimore chop in his last at bat to retire with 3465 hits (sixth all-time) and a .310 lifetime batting average. It was his 50th RBI of the season. He had lined to SS in the first. He was pinch-run for after his hit and finished his final game 1 for 2. His final season: .256-4-50 with 10 SB in 12 attempts. OPS+ 75.

The Yanks got four in the third on a two-run triple by Ichiro, Jeter’s single, and a SF by Teixeira.

They got five in the seventh on a two-run double by Jose Pirela, single by John Ryan Murphy, double by Austin Romine and single by Chase Headley.

Meanwhile, Michael Pineda was cruising. After he was pulled, the bullpen made things a bit sloppy by giving up five to Boston in the bottom of the seventh.

Pineda had an ERA of 1.89 this year. Too bad he only started 13 games and the Yanks didn’t give him much run support.

Pineda (W, 5-5, 1.89) 6 1/3, 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 10 K.

Rogers 1/3 IP, 4 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 1 HBP, 1 K. Overall ERA 5.72.

Warren 1 1/3, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.97.

Phelps 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 4.38.

The postseason now begins for 10 teams. In the AL Oakland (who barely held on to make the postseason) will be at KC for the wild-card playoff game, winner gets the Angels. The other ALDS has Detroit vs. Baltimore.

In the NL, SF will be at Pittsburgh in the wild-card game with the winner getting Washington. The other NLDS will be the Cardinals vs. the Dodgers.

 

Game 156. Yanks one-hit O’s, 5-0.

Michael Pineda was dominant as he teamed up with three relievers for a one-hit shutout of Baltimore Monday night, 5-0.

Derek Jeter drove in three runs, and Jose Pirela tripled and singled in his first two MLB at bats to lead the Yanks.

Pineda retired the first 13 batters he faced before J.J. Hardy got the Orioles only hit of the game. Pineda (W, 4-5, 1.93) went 7 1/3, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 8 k.

Shawn Kelley 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 4.38.

Rich Hill 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 1 K. Overall ERA 3.60.

David Phelps 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 4.38.

The Yanks got 2 in the third when Ichiro reached on an error, Pirela tripled in his first MLB bat to knock in Ichiro and Jeter drove in Pirela on an RBI groundout.

They got two more in the fifth on a 2-run double by Jeter (hit #3460).

Chase Headley’s HR in the 8th (his 12th overall) finished off the scoring.

Earlier in the day, the Yanks picked up OF Eury Perez and DFA’d Josh Outman. The team has used a franchise-record 57 players this year.

The win ensures that the Yanks will not have their first losing season since 1992. They are now 81-75 with six games left. One more win and they have a winning season, if not a play0ff-bound one. They remain two games ahead of Toronto for second place in the AL East. They are four out of the last wild card spot with just six games to go.

The minors.

AAA: SWB split a DH.

Reg. sched. game: They gave up 5 in the top of the 7th (7-inning games if DH) and lost 6-5. Rob Refsnyder (.307 at AAA) and Adonis Garcia each had two hits.

Makeup of 4/25 game:  8-3 SWB win. 1B Kyle Roller 3 for 3, double, HR, 3 rbi. SS Carmen Angelini 2 h, 2 rbi. 2 h, 2 rbi 2B Jose Pirela (.307).

AA:  8-2 win for Trenton. CF Jake Cave 2 h, HR, 3 rbi. 2B Dan Fiorito 3 rbi. LF Ben Gamel and C Gary Sanchez 2 hits each.

High A: 9-7 loss in 12 by Tampa which hurts their playoff chances. SS Cito Culver 4 hits, 2 doubles, HR, 2 rbi. 3B Eric Jagielo 2 hits, double, HR, 2 rbi. They are 3 back for the 2nd-half division title with just five games left.

Low A: Charleston won 8-0. LF Claudio Custodio HR, 2 rbi. 2 h, 2 rbi 3B Miguel Andujar.

The minors.

Since I was away for the weekend, I will only recap the Sunday games, not the Friday or Saturday ones. Sorry, but too little time and too much for me to catch up on now that I am back home (and I took today off from work in order to catch up!)

AAA: SWB lost 5-4. Chase Whitley, sent down a few days ago when the Yanks recalled Zelous Wheeler, pitched two shutout innings. RF Ramon Flores 3 hits, double, 2 HR, 3 rbi. The top four guys in the lineup, Jose Pirela, Flores, Rob Refsnyder and Kyle Roller, had 9 of SWB’s 10 hits, two each for the three other than Flores.

AA: Trenton won 7-3. Luis Severino 2 2/3, 1 R, 4 H, 0 walks and 2 K. CF Jake Cave and 3B Rob Segedin each with a HR and 2 RBI.

High A: 5-1 win for Tampa. Brady Lail 1 R in 6 IP. RF Aaron Judge 2 h, 2 rbi.

Low A: Charleston lost 5-4 in 12. RF Yeicok Calderon 2 hits and an RBI.

The minors

AAA: SWB won 6-5, getting 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth on a two-out bases-loaded triple by Jose Pirela, who had three hits, including a solo HR (.306).

AA: Trenton lost 2-1. Luis Severino, in his first outing since coming off the DL, took the loss. 3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 3 K. 2-1, 2.55 at AA. Overall this year, 6-4, 2.46 in 22 starts (Low A, High A and AA). Jacob Lindgren 2 scoreless IP, 2 K. Overall he is 2-0, 0.87 (1-0, 1.23 at AA) ranging from Rookie league through AA. 41 of his 62 outs have been strikeouts.

High A: Tampa gave up 2 in the bottom of the 9th and lost 2-1. Brady Lail pitched six no-hit innings, 2 walks, 3 K. Both runs given up were unearned.

Low A: Charleston won 8-7. 3B Miguel Andujar 3 hits, solo HR. 1B Jackson Valera 3 h, rbi. RF Yeicok Calderon 2 h, 2 rbi.