Tag Archives: Soriano

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.

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.

Game 70. Gardner, McCann lead Yanks to 7-3 win.

Brian McCann, struggling all season, had 5 RBI with a 2-run HR (8) and a base-loaded triple, and Brett Gardner had four hits as the Yanks beat Toronto 7-3 to climb to within 2 1/2 games of the Blue Jays. The win made the Yankees 37-33 on the season.

It’s hard to say who has been a bigger surprise this season, Yangervis Solarte (who has been slumping lately) or Chase Whitley.

Whitley (W, 3-0, 2.56) got the win by pitching 5 innings, 2 R, 5 H, 1 walk and 2 K.

The Yanks got one in the first on an RBI single by Soriano.

After the Blue Jays got two in the fourth off Whitley, McCann’s two-run blast in the bottom of the inning put them back in the lead.

The Yanks broke it open in the seventh. Ichiro walked with the bases loaded to force in a run then McCann cleared the bases with his triple.

After Whitley left the game, Warren went 2, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3 K. 2.08.

Jose Ramirez came in and just faced two batters, giving up doubles to both. 0 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 6.75.

Girardi wasn’t about to wait. After those two doubles, in came Betances. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 2 K. 1.51.

Robertson in the 9th. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.28.

The win puts the Yanks at 37-33, 2 1/2 back of Toronto in the AL East, 2nd place. They are tied with Detroit for the 2nd WC spot.

Game 65. Jeter, Whitley, pace Yanks in 6-3 win.

Two months ago, you would have won a lot of money by betting that on June 12th, Chase Whitley would be the Yanks #2 starter behind Masahiro Tanaka.

In fact, most people would have said Chase Who?

But Whitley, a converted reliever turned starter, has been great since he was promoted to the majors to replace the injured CC Sabathia. He’s been everything Yankees fans hoped they’d be getting from CC, but weren’t this year.

Whitley pitched 7 2/3 innings last night against Seattle, giving up 2 R, 5 h, 0 walks and 6 K, with 1 HBP, in the Yanks 6-3 win over Seattle. Whitley improved his record to 2-0, 2.41.

Derek Jeter, in his last game in Seattle (unless the teams face each other in the playoffs), had three hits and drove in two runs. His career hit total now stands at 3377.

The Yanks got two in the first on a two-run HR by Jacoby Ellsbury (4). Ellsbury also made a couple nice catches in the game.

After Seattle got a run (Logan Morrison HR) off Whitley in the second, the Yanks got two in the third on a Soriano double and two more in the fourth on a Jeter single.

Seattle got one in the fifth and one in the ninth for the final tally.

After Whitley left the game, Matt Thornton pitched 1/3 of an inning, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 3.65.

Shawn Kelley, just off the DL, came in, 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 h, 0 walks and K. 4.02.

David Robertson picked up his 16th save. 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 3.57.

It appears that Francisco Cervelli will be activated soon and John Ryan Murphy will be sent down to SWB to get more regular playing time. Although I understand the move (Cervelli is out of options and Murphy has them), I don’t like it. Hopefully Cervelli plays well enough to have some trade value at the deadline so that Murphy is brought back soon. Murphy had two hits last night and is hitting .310. A 23-year-old, doing well as a backup, hitting .310 and he gets sent down? I don’t like that a bit.

Ellsbury was removed from the game with hip tightness but expects to be ok.

The win puts the Yanks at 34-31, tied for 2nd with the Orioles, 3 1/2 behind Toronto in the AL East. They are tied with the Orioles for the final WC slot.

Game 62. Yanks shoot themselves in foot in 2-1 loss.

I’d rather lose 9-0 then lose this way.

The Yanks went 1 for 17 with RISP in losing to KC 2-1. They fall to .500 (31-31) with the loss and are 2-6 this month.

Hiroki Kuroda went 7, 2 R, 5 H, 2 walks and 3 K as he fell to 4-4, 4.12.

Adam Warren pitched a scoreless 8th, 1 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.38.

It had to be painful for Kuroda, who pitched well, but who watched his offense shoot themselves in the foot time and time again. 1st and 2nd, two out in the first, nothing. In the second, the Yanks loaded the bases and couldn’t score as Johnson struck out, Gardner grounded into a 3-2 force and Jeter struck out. They wasted a leadoff double by Ellsbury in the third.

In the fourth, a one-out double by Roberts. Nothing. They finally got their run in the sixth when Solarte doubled, went to third on a PB and scored on an Ichiro groundout.

A one-out triple by Gardner in the 7th. Surely they would tie the game. But, remember, Girardi NEVER ******* squeezes. He doesn’t bunt guys over or in. It’s what I don’t like about Girardi (who I do regard as a good manager). With Jeter up there, he should have bunted. Jeter isn’t Jeter anymore. He’s only 2/3 of the Jeter we remember, if that. Heck, (and I hate to say this), Jeter shouldn’t be hitting 2nd anymore. He should be hitting 8th. He’s hitting .254, OPS+ 72. Just seven of his 54 hits are for extra bases. Jeter grounds out, runner can’t score. Ellsbury strikes out. In the 9th, Ichiro singled and went to 2nd on a WP. Tying run on second, no out, nothing.

So it went.

I hate to say this, but Jeter was a major culprit today in the Yanks losing. Derek isn’t Derek anymore. Not even close. Look at what I wrote above. Bases loaded, two out, he whiffed. Man on third, one out, a weak grounder that can’t get the run in. He and Gardner each left five on, Johnson four, McCann three.

It was like Chinese water torture. They would get guys on and leave them there.

A painful loss.

If the Yanks continue like this, I’d consider some major changes. Once Cervelli comes off the DL, I’d look to trade him. Go with the kid, Murphy. I’d also look to dump Soriano, Ichiro, Johnson and Roberts, as well as good-field/no-hit Brendan Ryan. Go with a youth movement. You are using a soon-to-be 40 year-old SS in Jeter, a 36 yr. old 2b in Roberts, Beltran is 36 (and on a 3-yr. deal), Soriano 38 and Ichiro 40. The age is showing.

Obviously, Jeter is going nowhere.

Some things I’d consider if I were in the Yanks’ front office:

Replace Roberts (.239-2-13, OPS+86) with Rob Refsnyder, 23, 2B, currently hitting .340 or so at AA. RHB

Replace Johnson (.216-4-14, OPS+ 85) with Zelous Wheeler, 27, mostly 2B/SS/3B as another utility man (He’s played a little OF as well). Hitting .298 at AAA, RHB.

Replace Ryan (.238 career hitter, .217 2010-2013) with Pirela, who has played 2B/SS/LF (gives you an OF in an emergency, 24) currently around .333 at AAA.

Replace Ichiro with Almonte, a switch-hitter and 25 this week and see what you have in him. You won’t know unless you play him. Bringing him up and not playing him, or playing him once every seven games or so, does nothing. In 105 AAA games, Almonte is .293-14-66 with 8 SB. Over a full season, he would be .293-21-99 with 12 SB. You don’t know how that would translate to the majors, but I’d rather lose with a 25 year old, seeing what he has and what he could offer, than a 38 year old Soriano and/or a 40 year old Ichiro. Yes, I know Ichiro is hitting .320, but he’s not your future, and only four of Ichiro’s 33 hits are for extra bases. Maybe you get some power, as well as some consistency, if Almonte plays every day instead of once in a blue moon when you bring him up.

Replace Soriano (.229-6-20, OPS+ 78) with Kyle Roller, a legit 1B (instead of Johnson) who is a lefty power hitter. 26, and between AA/AAA, .343-14-38 this year. Maybe he could be like Kevin Maas when Maas first came up in 1990 and you catch lightning in a bottle with him as he takes advantage of the porch as a DH and 1B sub for Teixeira.

Couldn’t hurt. I’d rather be .500 with youth who could develop than washed-up has-beens, no matter how much I love what they did in their prime.

Maybe it sounds harsh, but this game was the 10th in a row in which the Yanks scored four runs or less. You can’t just keep going on this way.

Some changes may need to be made. I just made a few suggestions.

Game 59. Yanks end skid behind Tanaka, 2-1.

The guy never ceases to amaze. Even when he is made to work and doesn’t have his best stuff, the guy still delivers a quality start and gets a win despite hardly any support from his offense.

Not only that, but Masahiro Tanaka LOWERS his AL leading ERA from 2.06 to 2.02 while improving to 9-1.

Consider this. In the WORST game that he pitched this year, the one he’s lost, he went 6 IP, 4 R, 3 ER. That is still considered a quality start. … and that is the WORST game out of the twelve he has pitched this year.

The guy has been worth every penny.

He gave up a HR to the second batter he faced, but that was it. He then retired the next 10 in a row.

He did have to work for it today. He “only” went 6 IP. 84 2/3 ip for the year in 12 starts. That’s just over 7 innings per start. Quality.

Today, 6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 walk and 4 K. He goes to 9-1, 2.02.

Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 1.54.

Now I will admit that I was NOT happy when Girardi went to Warren in the 8th. My attitude is why? Betances did well, LEAVE HIM IN. If the seas are calm, why rough them up? If a guy is doing well, why take him out? I HATE ROLES, like 7th inning guy, 8th inning guy, etc. RIDE THE HOT HAND.

Warren got into trouble in the 8th and I was cursing. To his credit, he did get out of it, with help from Ichiro on a nice defensive play, which helped to save the game. Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.45.

Robertson in the 9th for his 13th save. 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 k. 4.05.

The Yanks didn’t hit much in the 2-1 win. They wasted an opportunity in the first when Jeter singled (hit #3369) and Ellsbury doubled, just missing a 2-run HR by a foot or so. With men on 2nd and 3rd with one out, they couldn’t get a run in.

They got a run in the third to tie the game when McCann singled, went to second on an error, and scored on a single by Soriano.

The game-decider came in the third when Gardner homered (4) to make it 2-1 Yanks, and no one scored after that.

The Yanks now go to KC as they start a road trip to KC, Seattle and Oakland.

With the win, they go above .500 to 30-29 and stay 6 back of Toronto in the AL East.

Game 57. Yanks waste Kuroda’s effort, lose in 10, 5-2.

Adam Warren didn’t have it tonight. Unfortunately the Yanks offense doesn’t seem to have it every night right now. As a result, the Yanks lost to Oakland 5-2 in 10 innings.

Mark Teixeira returned to the lineup, and had an RBI single and a solo HR (10). But that was all the Yankees’ offense could muster. Teix’s HR (351) tied Dick Allen on the all-time list.

In the last seven games, they’ve scored just 17 runs, and 7 of those were in one game. The offense is 10th in the AL in OBP, SA and OPS. They are 12th in R, 13th in doubles and 9th in HR. The OPS+ is 95, 5% below average. That needs to improve.

The Yanks wasted a superb outing by Hiroki Kuroda, who went 6 2/3, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 2 hits. ERA to 4.27.

The Yanks took a 2-1 lead into the eighth, but Dellin Betances could not hold it. 1 1/3, 1 R, 1 h, 1 walk, 2 K. 1.59.

Robertson the 9th, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 4.26.

Warren (L, 1-3, 2.53) 3 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 0 K in 1/3 IP.

Claiborne 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 k. 3.57.

Blame Warren all you want, but when your starter goes 6 2/3 and only gives up one run on two hits, he deserves better support than that. Two runs. Right now it’s an effort for the Yanks to put up four runs in a game. The Yanks struck out 13 times last night.

Soriano was 0 for 3 with 3 strikeouts. He’s down to .226, has walked just six times and has struck out 58 times. His OPS+ is down to 76. I love Sori, but those numbers are screaming for a release.

Before the game, the Yanks sent Almonte down, brought up Sizemore, placed Pineda on the 60-day DL retroactive to May 6th (won’t be back until mid-July at the earliest) and claimed lefty Wade LeBlanc off waivers. The lefty may be replacing Aceves. LeBlanc is 29, and has pitched in 97 MLB games for SD, Miami, Houston and the Angels, 68 starts. He is 20-32, 4.53, ERA+ 84 in his career.

The loss drops the Yanks to 29-28 and to third in the AL East, 5 back.