Tag Archives: Stewart

Waiting for reality.

As always with the Winter Meetings, there are rumors and then there is reality. I love the hot stove league and the chess-like maneuverings. Who goes where, rumors of trades, etc.

But for the purpose of the blog, I don’t have the time to report on every rumor, and there are many of them out there. What I will do is try to focus on the reality and report and comment on what actually happened or went down. But here is a brief rundown, some of which are rumors and hasn’t happened yet (if it will at all).

That said, the Yanks did turn down a Gardner for Brandon Phillips swap. Yes, the Yanks need a 2B after Cano’s departure, and Phillips (.261-18-103 for the Reds in 2013) would have fit the bill. However Phillips is owed $50MM over 4 years, and has a no-trade clause. He also wanted to renegotiate his deal as part of a possible trade. Checking out various info on Twitter, Gardner (who obviously doesn’t have Phillips’ power) had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 4.2 to Phillips’ 1.7. Also, Gardner had an OPS+ of 108, Phillips a 92.

With some recent acquisitions (Cano, Hart, Morrison), one-time Yankee prospect Jesus Montero is available. His stock has dropped (PED suspension, poor defense).

The Astros could be interested in Joba. So are the Tigers. Ex-Yank Raul Ibanez is talking with the Angels.

The Yanks could have interest in Joaquin Benoit. Also Johan Santana, but Santana would have to be on a minor-league, “Let’s see what you have left” deal.

Omar Infante wants 4 years at $8MM+. This could be a deal-breaker when it comes to the Yanks getting him. As with Beltran, KC could be the Yanks’ main competition here.

The Yanks picked up an A-ball pitcher from the Pirates in return for Chris Stewart.

Yankees deal Stewart to Pirates

The Yankees traded Chris Stewart to the Pirates today for a player to be named later.

It’s no surprise, given the catching logjam that developed once they signed Brian McCann. Apparently they will bring Cervelli back to be McCann’s backup.

Gary Sanchez will be slated for AA. Romine and/or Murphy would be slated for AAA. One of them could still be dealt, given the logjam (not enough time/at bats for BOTH Romine and Murphy at AAA).

Given the fact that Stewart (an excellent defensive catcher) hit just .211-4-25 for the Yanks last year in 109 games, I’ll be happy if the Yanks get a case of Iron City back for him. (j/k).’

The Yanks non-tendered Nix, Adams and Daley.

Yankees upgrade at catcher, sign McCann

Sorry I’ve been away. My computer died and I had to get a new one. I’m still trying to figure the new one out (new operating system, etc.)

Last year’s catchers were terrible offensively. Cervelli (before he got hurt), Stewart, Romine and Murphy—the latter two just rookies—combined to hit just .213 with 8 HR.

That has changed. The Yankees signed former Brave Brian McCann to a five-year deal worth $85MM, with an option for a sixth year which could take the deal to $100MM.

McCann turns 30 in February. He is a 7x All-Star and 5x Silver Slugger. Since becoming a full-timer in 2006, his average line since then is .277-21-80, which is Posada-like numbers. OPS+118. He is a middle of the order threat.

Compare this to Stewart’s .211-4-25, OPS+ 57 of last year, or the rookie Romine’s .207-1-10, OPS+ 51.

The next question is what this deal will mean for Cervelli, Stewart, Romine, Murphy or even Sanchez. I’d dump Cervelli (50 game suspension last year as well as the injuries) and Stewart (good defense but can’t hit a lick), and decide on which of the prospects to keep. Since McCann is signed for five years (and with a no-trade clause), you may see two of the prospects dealt. After all, the Yanks have to fill holes elsewhere as well, and using the prospects in a trade–especially when they are blocked by McCann right now—makes sense.

Game 133. Toronto roughs up Kuroda, 7-2.

Hiroki Kuroda had a bad start, and Chris Stewart made a PB and a throwing error on the same play, allowing two runs to score as the Yanks lost to Toronto 7-2.

Kuroda went 5, 7 R, 5 ER, 9 H, 1 walk and 4 K. He drops to 11-10, 2.89.

The Yanks got just five hits in the game, while striking out 13x. Jeter got hit #3011. Mark Reynolds, who had to play 2B what with Cano’s bruised hand, had three of the hits.

Joba went 2, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 4.21.

Kelley 1/3, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 3.65.

Logan 2/3, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.70.

Stewart’s error was only his second of the season.



Game 127. Yanks sweep Jays, 5-3.

The game started 3 1/2 hours later than it was supposed to (rain delay) but the wait was worth it as the Yanks swept all four games from the Jays in this series, concluding it with a 5-3 win today.

The Yanks five runs were managed despite getting just four hits.

Andy Pettitte got win #254 of his career, enabling him to tie Jack Morris and Red Faber on the all-time list. Next up is Ted Lyons at 260, and it appears that is out of reach unless Pettitte surprises us all and comes back next year.

Andy went 6, 1 R, 4 H, 3 walks and 3 K in evening his record at 9-9. His ERA drops to 4.23.

It was scoreless until the fifth. J.P. Arencibia hit a HR to put the Jays up 1-0.

The Yanks got two in the bottom of the inning. Granderson led off the inning with a HR (4). It was especially sweet because it came off of J.A. Happ, the southpaw who hit Granderson with a pitch in his first spring training at bat and who broke his arm.

With one out in the same inning, Nunez walked, Stewart singled and Ichiro walked. Wells hit a liner that appeared to be caught, and what would have been a DP. It was ruled a trap and a force. But even if it WERE a DP, Nunez scored before what would have been the last out. 2-1 Yanks. Manager Gibbons and P Mark Buehrle (arguing from the bench) were ejected.

The Yanks broke it open with three in the sixth. After Soriano whiffed, A-Rod walked, stole second and Granderson walked. Reynolds walked. Nunez singled in two and Stewart had an RBI groundout. 5-1.

Shawn Kelley gave two right back in the top of the seventh. 2/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 walk and o K. ERA to 3.70.

Boone Logan in to close out the seventh. 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.80.

Preston Claiborne the 8th. 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.68.

With Mo unavailable because he pitched yesterday and in both games of Tuesday’s DH, Robertson closed and got his second save of the season.

1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. ERA 1.68.

Game 124. Cano, Stewart HRs back Nova, 8-4.

Ivan Nova had one bad inning, but he didn’t let it affect his game as the Yankees won 8-4 this afternoon in the first game of a D/N DH.

Nova gave up 4 runs in the second inning, but that was all. He went 6 1/3, 4 R, 9 H, 2 walks and 2 K. He goes to 7-4, 3.17.

Cano hit a 3-run HR in the third (23) to cut the margin to 4-3. It was Robbie’s 200th career HR. He went 4 for 4 and drove in 4 runs.

Stewart’s 3-run HR in the sixth was the game-deciding blow. It was his fourth HR of the season.

Logan 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.83.

Kelley 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks and 0 K. 3.38.

Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.71.

Joba 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 4.78.

Mo 2/3 (no save). 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.35.

Ichiro got two hits, bringing him to 3999 between Japan and the majors. Maybe he gets 4000 tonight in the nightcap.

Game 116. Lineup, Stats & Comments

RHP Dellin Betances has been brought up, INF David Adams has been sent down.

Yanks 58-57, 11 games back in A.L. East. 4th in A.L. East. They are 7 games out of the final playoff spot.

They are 3 games better than their Pythagorean (expected) record. OPS+ 84 (16% below average), ERA+ 106.

They face Detroit’s Justin Verlander today. Game 1 p.m., TBS.

Andy Pettitte is still looking for career win #253, which would tie him on the all-time list with another great NY lefty, Carl Hubbell.  

BA/HR/RBI   SB/total att.   OPS+   Comments in italic.
Team Leader in bold and significantly subpar in bold italic. 

Gardner CF .274-7-37  20/27   106
Suzuki RF .282-6-27   17/20  90    7 hits from 4000, Japan & MLB
Cano 2B .287-22-73  7/8   136
A-Rod 3B .200-0-0   0/0  53    3 for  15    2904 hits, 647 HR, 1950 RBI. If he hits one, will the HOME fans throw it back?  
Overbay 1B .252-13-50  0/0  100
Soriano LF .248-19-58  11/17  98   As Yankee, .200-2-7, OPS+ 55, 10 for 50. 391 career HR.
Granderson DH .208-2-4  3/3  87   11 for 53
Nunez SS .227-1-12  5/8  70  172 at bats, unlike Alex or Granderson, who have hardly played.
Stewart C  .224-3-16  4/4  63   And  if Nunez hits a triple with no out or one out, Girardi still won’t put on a squeeze with this guy at the plate. Sheesh.

Pettitte LHP 7-9, 4.71  ERA+ 85   Showing his age. (41)
                               Retirement looming?


Game 103. CC disappoints again…

The addition of Alfonso Soriano, who batted cleanup and played LF for the Yanks last night, won’t mean anything if CC Sabathia isn’t straightened out, and fast.

Yes, all the injuries this season have been disappointing, and without Jeter, Teixeira, Granderson, Youkilis and/or A-Rod and without a catcher who could hit with power like Posada and Martin were capable of, it appears as if the Yanks are playing with 1/2 or 1/3 of a lineup most of the time.

But the most disappointing thing about the Yanks this year could be Sabathia. The $23MM man isn’t pitching like an ace. After last night’s debacle, his record is 9-9, 4.65. His ERA+ falls to 87.

To put that into perspective, consider this: his ERA is now higher than that of Phil Hughes (who is criticized heavily) (4.33) and of Andy Pettitte (4.39). It’s also higher than Ivan Nova’s (3.66). We know that Kuroda, at 2.51, is the real ace this season.

CC is 33, and maybe he needs to adjust. This isn’t the CC we expect. You expect CC to be 13-5 right now, now 9-9. The Yanks are seven out, and even with all the injuries, if CC were the CC he is supposed to be, that four game difference, 13-5 vs. 9-9, is huge. Three games out as opposed to seven games out.

You expect an ERA of about 3.40 from CC, not 4.65.

He gave up six runs in the second inning to basically take the Yanks out of the game right there and then. He went 5, 7 R, 9 H, 3 walks and 6 K.

Five of the six runs he gave up in the second were with two out. It could have been more except that Soriano threw a runner out at second for out #3.

Adam Warren came in and gave up a 3-run dinger. 3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 3 walks and 2 K. He’s been struggling a bit lately as his ERA climbs to 3.54.

The bats didn’t get things going until late, when Girardi rested some regulars and some scrubbinis chipped in to give the Yanks two in the eighth and three in the ninth to make the score respectable. Still, a 10-6 loss to the Rays.

If you haven’t noticed, the Rays are now in first. Yup, Joe Maddon (one of the best managers in baseball), is doing it again with his batch of mostly no-names.

Non-starters Melky Mesa entered the game and went 2 for 2 with an RBI. David Adams entered and went 2 for 2 with 2 RBI. Chris Stewart had a hit and an RBI.

Thomas Neal was sent down to make room for Soriano.

The Yanks still have NOT hit a HR since the All-Star break. Perhaps they get Jeter back today and the lineup, with Jeter and Soriano added on, starts to resemble a MLB lineup.

But without CC being CC….

Game 97. Kuroda, lineup switch lead Yanks, 5-2.

It goes w/out saying that the real ace of the Yankees’ staff this year hasn’t been Pettitte or CC but Kuroda. It’s a shame he wasn’t named to the All-Star Team.

Kuroda went 7 innings today, giving up 2 R, 5 H, 1 walk and 4 K in improving to 9-6, 2.65 as the Yanks won 5-2.

David Robertson pitched the 8th. 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. ERA to 2.06.

Then Mo. Save #31 and #639 of his remarkable career. 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. His ERA drops to 1.78.

After missing most of last year b/c of a torn ACL, the Great Rivera, at age 43 1/2, has 31 saves and an ERA of 1.78. You wonder, if he weren’t retiring, how long he would still be able to do this… until he would be 47?

One lineup change paid dividends today. After weeks of struggling with Hafner (now at .215) or Wells (.239 with no HR since 5/15) in the cleanup slot, Overbay batted cleanup today. He went 3 for 4, 2 doubles and an RBI.

Eduardo Nunez finally woke up with a 3-hit game, and Brett Gardner had 3 hits and an RBI.

Robbie Cano drove in two. Luis Cruz scored 3, drove in one.

Chris Stewart made a couple of fine defensive plays.


Game 96. Yanks lose, another to DL. How will Yankees handle critical week?

The Yanks lost 4-2 to Boston Friday night, dropping them 7 back of Boston in the division chase. Another starter goes on the D.L. The position players on the field at the end of the game was pathetic. Two more players are coming up from SWB. With a chance to tie the game in the 8th,  realistically you knew the Yanks wouldn’t do it. The schedule has tonight’s game and the next two in Boston, then four in Texas then they come home to face the Rays. These games could be the season.

If the Yanks go, say 2-8 in these 10 games, then guess what. Season over.

Andy Pettitte started tonight and once again was shaky early on. The first batter he faced hit a HR off him. In the second, he gave up a 2-run HR. With this poor Yankees’ offense, you can’t get in a 3-0 hole after just two innings.

Andy did straighten himself out, and I give credit for that, but in 6 1/3 gave up 4 R, 6 H, 1 walk, 4 K and 2 HR in falling to 7-7, 4.47.

From Lohud’s blog:

Pettitte has now allowed four runs or more in seven straight starts, tied for the longest such streak of his career. He’s 4-7 with a 5.14 ERA in his last 14 starts.

That’s a problem. 4-7, 5.14 in his last 14 starts. As much as Yankees fans are bitching about Phil Hughes, I hate to tell them that in the last two months that Pettitte is as much of a problem as Hughes is. But Pettitte, because of his track record and him being an iconic figure in Yankees’ history, gets a pass where Hughes would not. But do you see what I see in Andy? I see someone running on fumes (at age 41) who has little left. Someone who should retire at the end of the year. Someone, who, frankly, if he wasn’t Andy Pettitte, might be replaced in the rotation by a Michael Pineda right now if Pineda was ready.

But the Yanks won’t embarrass Pettitte by doing that. He’s too much of an icon in Yankees history.

Still in all, we have to admit to ourselves that Andy, at age 41, seems to be running on fumes.

Brett Gardner created a run in the game on no hits. He walked, stole second and third and scored when while stealing third, the catcher made a throwing error.

Chris Stewart’s double drove in the other Yankees’ run.

But at the end of the game, down 4-2, the Yanks had a shot in the eighth. They had men on second and third with one out. A single may tie the game. But they had Vernon Wells and Luis Cruz up. You just knew it wouldn’t get done and it wasn’t done. Wells hasn’t hit a HR in over two months.

Brett Gardner was thrown out of the game for arguing a strikeout, and Zoilo Almonte was put on the DL after he sprained an ankle in this game. The position players at the end of the game were Stewart at catcher, an infield of Overbay, Cano, Nunez and Cruz, and an OF of Alberto Gonzalez, Ichiro and Brett Lillibridge. Not inspiring. Two utility infielders in the corners. The Yanks had just five hits in the game.

Thomas Neal and Melky Mesa are coming up from SWB.

Shawn Kelley went 1/3, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 3.63.

Boone Logan 1/3, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 2.13.

Preston Claiborne 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.35.