Category Archives: In-Season Moves

The minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

AAA: Luis Severino has been promoted from AA to AAA. I hate to pick on CC but the way he’s going (19-24, 5.02 since 2012, 2-7, 5.67 now), I’d rather see the kid.
SWB was off yesterday.

AA: In the makeup of a game ppd 4/13 and started and suspended Wednesday, Trenton won 4-3 in eight innings. C Gary Sanchez had a solo HR.

In the regularly scheduled game, they lost 4-2. Miguel Sulbaran (3-3, 4.05) gave up 4 runs in 5 1/3 IP. RF Aaron Judge (.295) 2 h, rbi.

High A: In a makeup game ppd from 5/26, Tampa won 3-0. Gabriel Encinas 5 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 7 K. 2B Tyler Wade 2 H (.321), rbi.

In the regularly scheduled game, Tampa won 2-1 in 12 innings. (Wade dropped to .315). CF Mike O’Neill, Paul’s nephew, hit a walk-off HR.

A: Charleston lost 2-1. Joey Maher 7 IP, 1 unearned run.

Game 48. A’s nip Yanks, 5-4.

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So far, CC Sabathia and David Carpenter have disappointed this season, and that continued on Thursday night when the Yanks lost 5-4 in Oakland.

The Yanks had a 3-0 lead after 4 1/2, but CC gave up one in the fith, two in the sixth and another two in the seventh (helped by Carpenter, who couldn’t keep the inherited runners from scoring) to lose the game.

Brian McCann homered (7) in the second to put the Yanks up 1-0, and he singled in a run in the fourth to make it 2-0 Yanks. The HR was a rare road HR for McCann, who has hit most of his Yankees HRs at home.

In the fifth, an A-Rod SF made it 3-0. RBI #1996 tied Barry Bonds on the all-time list. MLB has A-Rod tied for 2nd on the all-time list. Baseball-Reference lists Aaron 2297, Ruth 2214 (MLB doesn’t count some 222 Ruth RBI from 1914-1919 because the RBI became an official stat in 1920), and Cap Anson 2075 (and MLB doesn’t count his because Anson played in the 19th century).

But then, up 3-0, CC lost it. He gave up a HR for a run in the fifth, two runs in the sixth and two more runs in the seventh.

The Yanks did get one in the ninth on a Brett Gardner double, but came up short, 5-4.

The loss drops the Yanks to 25-23, and narrows their lead to one game.

Truthfully, with the record he has, if CC weren’t making $23MM a year, he’d be dropped from the rotation when Tanaka or Nova is ready, and Carpenter may be best replaced by one of the kids in the minors like Pinder, Burawa, Ramirez or Diego Moreno.

Both CC and Carpenter need to step it up.

But personally, and I hate to say it, I think CC is done. Since 2012, he is 19-24, 5.02 and his seven losses this season lead the majors. The Yanks can sweet talk it all they want, but Sabathia, his contract and the years left on it are a real problem right now.

CC (L, 2-7, 5.67) 6+ innings, 5 R, 8 H, 1 walk and 4 K.
Carpenter 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 5.00
Shreve 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.79

It is looking like Tanaka may return to the rotation in Seattle. Capuano would probably be the one dropped. But when Nova returns, I’d rather have Warren stay in the rotation and drop CC. Won’t happen, though.

Game 40. Yanks lose game and Ellsbury.

 

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This was a bad loss. The Yanks’ sixth in their last seven games to drop them to 22-18 and into a first-place tie in the AL East with the Rays. On top of that, Jacoby Ellsbury sprained his knee and is on the 15-day DL. Slade Heathcott has been called up from AAA. Heathcott, 24, is a lefty hitting CF who was hitting .285-1-17 at SWB.

Earlier this week, Chase Whitley underwent TJ surgery. He’ll not return until mid-2016.

Pin this loss on Nathan Eovaldi. As for Andrew Miller, the law of averages caught up with him.

Eovaldi gave up 2 HR in the first inning, then seemed to settle down.

The Yanks got four in the fourth on an RBI single by Chris Young (batting 3rd what with no DH and A-Rod on the bench), an RBI double by Headley and a 2-run single by Stephen Drew. With the pitcher in the lineup, production from the #8 hitter, Drew, was a bonus. Drew’s two hits raised him to .188.

Mark Teixeira’s 2-run HR in the 5th made it 6-2. #12 on the season and #375 of his career.

Up 6-2, and needing one more inning to qualify for a possible win, Eovaldi has to hold them there. Qualify for the win, go at least five and maybe more, save the bullpen. He failed.

Eovaldi got only one out and gave up 3 runs in the fifth. David Carpenter gave up a game-tying HR in the sixth.

Lefties Justin Wilson and Chasen Shreve got big outs (both against Bryce Harper, who homered against Eovaldi in the first).

But in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Zimmerman sliced a 2-run HR off of Andrew Miller the other way. It hit the foul pole.

8-6 Nationals.

Miller had an ERA of 0.00 before that. Sooner or later he was going to give up a run, and the law of averages caught up with him.

But handed a 6-2 lead, Eovaldi has to do better.

Eovaldi 4 1/3, 5 R, 7 H, 2 walks and 5 K. 4.73
Wilson 2/3, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 5.25
Carpenter 1 2/3, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 5.28. Carpenter, recommended to the Yanks by his former and current catcher, Bryan McCann, has been a disappointment so far. Come to think of it, McCann, who hit .232 last year and is at .228 right now, has been a disappointment himself.
Shreve 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.30
Betances 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 3 K. 0.00
Miller 2/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 2 K. (L, 0-1, 0.98)

No game today or Thursday…in between, no DH.

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The Yanks are off today (Monday) and are also off on Thursday. In between, they have two games in Washington, D.C. against the Nationals, which means no DH.

Which means that Joe Girardi will have to decide if Alex Rodriguez plays the field.

Making the decision more complicated is whether Mark Teixeira will be ready to go in those games (see the update below). Teix was removed from Sunday’s loss against KC with a bone contusion on his toe after being HBP.

Which means that if he can’t go Tuesday or Wednesday, the Yanks lose the DH and their top HR hitter.

Which means if A-Rod doesn’t play the field, the Yanks lose their top TWO HR hitters.

Going into Sunday’s game (in which they were shutout), the Yanks were hitting .247 as a team. The offense has struggled lately as the Yanks have lost five of their last six. You want to stop that bad momentum. Losing the DH won’t help stop it.

If Alex doesn’t play 1B or 3B (with Headley sliding over to 1B), and Teix can’t play 1B, then it’s up to Garrett Jones to play 1B. Jones has disappointed so far in 37 AB (.162-0-1). Teix and Alex have 21 of the Yanks’ 46 HR.

The Yanks, going into Sunday, were 9th in the league in batting average, but 2nd in HR. Losing both Teix and Alex for the two-game series against the Nationals would be a huge blow. The Yanks were third in the AL in walks. The top two guys on the team in drawing walks? You got it—-Teix and Alex.

If Alex doesn’t take the field against the Nats,  and Teix can’t go, you could be looking at:

Ellsbury CF
Gardner LF
Beltran 1B
McCann C
Headley 3B
Jones 1B
Drew 2B
Gregorious SS
The Pitcher

Hmmm. Going into Sunday, Beltran was at .233, McCann .237, Headley .228, Jones .162, Drew .183 and Gregorious .210.

Now throw in the pitcher.

If Teix can’t play, Girardi’s decision may have to be to play A-Rod in the field.

There may be no other choice against a Nationals team that boasts Scherzer, Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman and Gio Gonzalez among its starters. Granted that Strasburg has struggled (2-4, 6.06) and Doug Fister is on the DL, but…

If Alex DOES sit, it would be a good time for the bottom of the lineup—Drew and Didi Gregorious, to snap out of it.

Heck, it would be a good thing in any case. The two combined are at about .200. Now they are hitting before a pitcher, and you can’t expect much there. Which means if they continue as they are, you are basically giving away three innings in each of these games.

Hopefully the offense picks it up.

Update: Girardi states that Teix is day-to-day and will probably play against the Nationals. That is good news. For if he wasn’t ok, you can see above what the ramifications would have been. Still, losing Alex as DH will hurt.

 

The Minors. Refsnyder heating up.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

AAA. See Game 39, Yankees big league squad game, about the Yanks’ dilemma in the middle infield right now. For Didi (.204) and Drew (.177) aren’t cutting it and 2B Rob Refsnyder had 3 hits, 2 HR and 3 RBI in SWB’s 5-0 win today. Refsnyder is up to .304. But Drew is Didi’s backup at SS, Pirela isn’t considered a SS. Ryan is on the DL (and he can’t hit either). So a Yankees’ offense that needs another bat has one in Refsnyder, but it isn’t as easy as it appears, because Refsnyder isn’t a guy who can also play SS or 3B, and also because both Didi Gregorous AND Stephen Drew are lefty hitters (you can’t platoon them at SS and just put Refsnyder at 2B).  So as much as you would want to bring up Refsnyder, the pieces aren’t falling into place. 1B Kyle Roller had a solo HR and reliever Diego Moreno’s ERA is down to 1.16 after two scoreless innings today. As I have mentioned before, keep an eye on Miguel Sulbaran. Overshadowed by Luis Severino, Sulbaran, a young lefty, has pitched well. With the Capuano callup, Sulbaran was promoted to AAA, made this start, and pitched five scoreless innings in getting the win.

AA:   Trenton lost 10-4. Capuano moving up had a ripple effect. With Sulbaran moving up from AA to AAA today, Luis Niebla went from an excellent  reliever at High A Tampa to starting this AA game. It did not work out well.

High A: 4-1 win for Tampa. DH Mike Ford 2 RBI.

A: Charleston lost 4-1. Joey Maher 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H.

Game 39. Yanks get shutout by KC 6-0.

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Chris Capuano showed some rust, and the Yankees offense showed nothing in a 6-0 loss to KC on Sunday. The loss is the Yankees’ fifth in their last six games, and the offense has gone to sleep in those games.

The Yanks are off Monday and Thursday. In between, they have two games in Washington, which means no DH. Mark Teixeira left today’s game early with a contusion of his toe (X-Rays negative) after a HBP. What the Yanks could do is to play Garrett Jones at 1B one day, A-Rod the other, and give Teix 4 days off.

Capuano (L, 0-1, 12.00) 3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 2 walks and 4 K.
Rogers 2 2/3 IP, 2 R, both unearned, 3 hits, 2 walks and 1 K. 3.24.
Wilson 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 5.56.
Shreve 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.35.

The Yanks have a dilemma. Jacoby Ellsbury, the leadoff man, is hitting .327. We are almost 1/4 of the way through the season. Ellsbury has 6 RBI. The reason why? It’s the guys at the bottom of the order who are not getting on before Ellsbury comes to bat. Stephen Drew is hitting .177. Didi Gregorious is at .204. There are no rbi opportunities for Ellsbury. No one is on base.

Today, at AAA, Rob Refsnyder had 3 hits, 3 rbi and 2 HR. He is heating up. He is up to .304 (I don’t know about his defense, though). But Refsnyder (or Pirela, currently on the team) isn’t a SS. Pirela has played SS in the minors, but the Yanks don’t consider him a SS. So if the Yanks were to bring up Refsnyder (which, considering their lack of offense, sounds good), who goes? The only legitimate SS backup to Gregorious is Drew. Both hit lefty so it is not like you can platoon the two. What I would love is that whenever Brendan Ryan (a righty hitter) is ready to come back as a backup IF, you get rid of Gregorious or Drew (release Drew, eat the $5MM or trade or demote Didi), bring up Refsnyder, and send Pirela back to AAA or trade him. (I like Pirela, but if you are activating two people, then two people have to g0. If Refsnyder and Ryan are on the team, two people have to be dropped among Pirela, Drew and Didi).

Refsnyder is up to .304. He doesn’t fill needs at SS or 3B. The Yanks have McCann at .237, Beltran at .234, Drew at .177, Didi at .204.  Headley is at .236. Could they use Refsnyder’s bat? Yes. But how to squeeze it in?

The Yanks are 22-17. They still are the leaders in the AL East, by one game over Tampa Bay.

But they cannot continue with a DP combo hitting .177 and .204. But the solution, bringing up Refsnyder, isn’t as easy as it appears, given the situation I described above.

So what to do?

 

Game 35. Yanks fall to Rays, 3-2.

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For the second consecutive evening, the Yankees scored two runs in the first and didn’t tack on. It’s hard to win ballgames when you score only two runs, and for the second consecutive evening, the Yankees lost. This time it was 3-2. The loss on Tuesday evening was 4-2. The loss drops the Yanks to 21-14. They still have a 2-game lead in the A.L. East.

21-14 is a .600 winning percentage, which is or should be a goal for teams. If the Yanks continue at that pace, they’ll have 97 wins, which often is good enough to win the division.

The Yanks scored two in the first on RBI singles by Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann but Adam Warren gave up one in the bottom of the first and two in the second.

Warren settled down after that but it was too late.

Warren 7 IP, (L, 2-2, 4.50) 3 R, 7 H, 1 walk and 7 K.
Miller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3 K. 0.00

You have to wonder if Warren, who hasn’t been bad, but also not great in the starting role (average) will drop back into a long-man role once Chris Capuano, Ivan Nova and/or Masahiro Tanaka come off the DL, or if the Yanks send down Chase Whitley. If Warren drops back into the bullpen, it should make a strength even stronger. It’ll be interesting to see what move is made when the time comes, and that time isn’t too far off.