Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

S.T. Game 15. Stanton HR’s in 10-3 Yanks’ win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Giancarlo Stanton homered today in a 10-3 Yanks’ win over the Mets that made their spring training record 11-4.

The Gardner/Judge/ Stanton 1-2-3 today was a thing of beauty. In the first, Gardner and Judge singled and Stanton was HBP. Brandon Drury singled in one run and Tyler Austin’s force out brought in another.

I am not a big fan of Luis Cessa. Driving home from a 1/2 day of work today, both John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on the radio criticized Cessa for nibbling even though he throws 97. Good point. Cessa, it seems, struggles to get hitters out even when he is doing well. It doesn’t come easy. No easy outs. It’s one reason why if the Yanks need an emergency starter, I would rather have Domingo German than Cessa.

Cessa reached his pitch limit before he even pitched two innings. He was pulled with the bases loaded after just 1 1/3 innings pitched.

Then you saw something incredible.

We had not seen David “Houdini” Robertson pitch yet this spring training. Partly because of a touch of food poisoning he got recently. So in his first spring training appearance, “Houdini” comes in with the bases loaded and one out.

He strikes out both batters he faces. Really?

In the third, Gardner singled and Judge doubled. An RBI ground out by Drury made it 3-0 Yanks.

The Mets got a run in the fourth off Betances because Jose Reyes stole second and third off him. When asked in an in-game interview if he would prefer Betances slide-step, manager Aaron Boone said no, he doesn’t want to screw Betances up, but to let Betances concentrate on getting the batter out. But Betances’ slow move to the plate is a concern. He needs to hold runners on better. Boone’s point was to not let them get on base in the first place.

The Yanks got two in the fifth to make it 5-1 on Stanton’s HR.

An RBI single by Reyes in the sixth made it 5-2, and the Yanks got lucky on the play. Tyler Wade dove for the ball and rolled over his wrist. At first, it appeared as if he may have broken or severely sprained it, but he is OK.

The Yankees got two in the bottom of the sixth on a walk to Jace Peterson, a double by Ronald Torreyes, and a 2-run double by Kyle Holder. 7-2 Yanks.

The Mets got a run in the seventh but the Yanks came back with three in the eighth.

Francisco Diaz and Jace Peterson singled. A force out by Abiatal Avelino drove in one run. Holder singled to put runners at first and second. Estevan Florial singled, one runner scored and an error put runners on second and third. Shane Robinson hit a SF to make it 10-3 Yanks.

One friend of mine is still critical of Judge batting second because of his 52 HR last year. He would like to drop him down in the lineup. He is critical of the 208 strikeouts last year, too. But a guy batting first or second is a guy you want to have a good OBP. Judge, despite the strikeouts, did lead the AL with 127 walks, so his OBP was excellent, the best in the league. You want good OBP guys in front of Stanton and Sanchez. So Judge does fit the bill there.

The fact that Gardner/Judge/ Stanton makes a pitcher wary of facing BOTH Judge and Stanton right away in the first inning is a valid point.

Earlier, I advocated a Gardner/Judge/Bird/Stanton/Sanchez/Didi first six.

I change my mind. Instead, I would like Gardner/Judge/Stanton/Didi/Sanchez/Bird front six.

I say this for a couple of reasons. One, get both Judge and Stanton up right away in that first inning.

The other? Instead of Bird splitting up the righty bats, use Didi instead. If one is on first base, and Sanchez doubles, who is more likely to score from first on the double, Didi or Bird? That is why, even though unconventional, I would bat Didi cleanup.

Gardner 2 for 3 with a walk, scored 2 runs.
Florial 1 for 1
Judge 2 for 2 with a walk, scored 2 runs. Finally broke out.
Stanton 2-run HR.
Drury 2 RBI.
Kyle Holder 2 for 2 with 2 RBI.

We saw a lot of the bullpen today.

Cessa (W) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 W, 2 K. Really, not good. 3 walks. Nibbling too much. Way off. Four outs. Five base runners. Three by walk.
Robertson (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. See above. Fabulous.
Chapman (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Betances (H) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Warren (H) 2 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Green 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Reeves 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Foley 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.

Yankees’ pitchers combined for 14 K.






S.T. Game 11. Lind gets RBI, Yanks get double steal, and McKinney gets 3-run HR in Yanks’ 7-2 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I like some aggressiveness I see in the Yanks’ spring training so far. Even with all the power, I see a drag bunt by Tyler Wade the other day and a double steal today. I like it.

Now for Aaron Boone to call what Joe Girardi never did—a squeeze.

I like the aggressiveness. The homers will come, but be aggressive. Don’t just sit and wait for the HR.

The Yanks beat the Tigers today, 7-2, to run their spring training record to 9-2.

Jordan Montgomery pitched into and out of trouble, walking four in his outing.

After Detroit got a run in the second on a bases-loaded walk, the Yanks tied it in the top of the fourth on an Aaron Hicks single.

The Tigers went up 2-1 in the fifth.

The Yanks tied it in the top of the sixth when newcomer Adam Lind singled in a run.

In the eighth, a double by Tyler Austin (hard choice to back up Bird, a lefty hitter: the lefty Lind or righty Austin) an error and a walk to Erik Kratz loaded the bases. Estevan Florial grounded into a force out, scoring one run, then he and Shane Robinson, who had reached on that error, pulled off a double steal, Robinson scoring to make it 4-2. Nice aggressiveness there.

In the ninth, Tyler Wade reached on an error, Ron Torreyes singled and Billy McKinney hit a 3-run HR to make it 7-2.

McKinney 3 run HR, his 3rd HR of spring training.
Hicks 2 for 2 with an RBI.
Lind 2 for 3 with an RBI.

Montgomery 3 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 4 W, 4 K.
Holder 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Shreve 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Carroll (W) 1 IP, 0 r, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Lane (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Feyereisen 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K.

S.T. Game 8. Austin’s walk-off HR gives Yanks 5-4 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Sorry for the late report. High winds in the northeast have knocked out power off and on.

As for Friday’s game, there is something about getting someone who may take your job that puts a bug up your butt and makes you work harder, and in the case of a couple of Yankees, better.

We’ve seen what Miguel Andujar has done since the Yankees traded for Brandon Drury.

Yesterday the Yanks signed Adam Lind to a minor league contract to have insurance for Greg Bird. Tyler Austin responded by hitting a 2-run walk off HR in the bottom of the ninth to give the Yanks a 5-4 win and better their record to 7-1 in this exhibition season.

This has been a strange free agent off-season. I mean, Lind is forced to accept a minor league deal? It has an opt-out at the end of spring training, so Lind may not be here long. But if anything happens to Bird or Austin between now and then…. Lind, 34, is a lefty hitter who, in a platoon role with Washington last year, hit .303-14- 59, OPS+ 123. He has hit 20 or more HR in six different seasons, and in 2009 had a .305-35-114, OPS+ 141 season for Toronto, for whom he has spent most of his MLB career. His 162 game average is .272-24-87, OPS+ 112. A professional hitter who has exactly 200 HR in his career. You think someone would have picked him up by now.

The only thing about Lind is his splits, and why he platooned last year. A .288 hitter vs. righties, just .217 against lefties in his career. Primarily a 1B or DH, he can play LF, but it isn’t advised.

Speaking of LF, manager Aaron Boone stated that Jacoby Ellsbury would get some playing time there (a nice decision if Gardner is hurt or needs a day, because you are getting the same type of player there), but Ellsbury then strained an oblique so he’s out for a while.

Clint Frazier is still having problems after getting that concussion a week ago.

As for the game, you don’t know what to make of Masahiro Tanaka. He had a bad outing yesterday, but you don’t know how spring training carries over to the regular season. In 2016, Tanaka had a rough spring training, but a 14-4, 3.07 regular season. Last spring, he only gave up one run all spring training long, but then struggled most of the year to a 13-12, 4.74 year before his great postseason. So who knows? Anyway, he couldn’t make it through two innings and gave up four runs.

Down 4-0 early, the Yanks got two in the fourth on a double by the red-hot Andujar, and another in the fifth on an RBI single by Didi Gregorius, who went 3 for 3.

Austin then hit his two-run walkoff HR in the ninth for the 5-4 win. Tyler Wade got the inning going by beating out a bunt. Nice to see.

Giancarlo Stanton had two doubles.

Seattle Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson had a pinch-hit appearance, and struck out. He did take a couple good rips, though.

Jordan Montgomery had a nice outing.

Tanaka 1 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up HR to top Atlanta prospect, maybe the best young prospect in the game today.
Shreve 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Montgomery 3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 5 K.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Feyereisen (W) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.



S.T. Game 6. Yanks lose, 9-6, but Sanchez hits tape-measure HR.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks finally lost a S.T. game, 9-6 (not that spring training results matter), to drop to 5-1 on the exhibition season, but Gary Sanchez hit an absolute bomb of a HR in the game.

The lineup looked like what could be the Opening Day lineup: Gardner, Judge, Stanton, Sanchez, Bird, Didi, Hicks, Drury and Torres. I would move Bird, a lefty hitter, up, to split up the three righty bats of Judge, Stanton and Sanchez, but have no complaints if manager Aaron Boone wants those three right in a row.

Sanchez hit a two-run bomb, over the “o” of the scoreboard announcing George M. Steinbrenner field, in the first inning.C

Luis Cessa, who will probably start at AAA, and serve as rotation insurance in case of injury, had a good first inning, struggled in the second (not giving up a run), but came unglued in the third.

Single, single, error by Torres (who made a couple nice plays later) for a run, then gave up a 3-run HR.

The Tigers got a run in the sixth off Betances and another in the eighth off of Will Carter.

6-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth.

With two out, Erik Kratz was HBP and both Ryan McBroom and Tyler Wade walked. Estevan Florial singled in two.

One thing I’ve seen about the 20 yr. old Florial, who probably is slated for High-A Tampa, is that this kid can fly. Two triples so far in spring training. Probably two or three years away from the majors, but can he run. CF of the future (no offense to Hicks or Ellsbury).

His single made it 6-4. He stole 2nd and went to third on a WP that enabled Wade to score. He then scored on another WP to tie the game.

Michael King gave up three runs in the top of the ninth to lose the game for the Yanks, 9-6.

The Yanks only got five hits in the game, 2 by Stanton (inc. a double that hit the fence), 2 by Sanchez (inc. the bomb of a HR) and the one by Florial.

Cessa 2+ IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K, 1 K.
Warren 3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Betances 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Lail 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Carter 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K.
King (L) 0 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Schwaab 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.

Even though I do the minor league reports all year long, I have no clue who Will Carter and Michael King are.

Carter, 25, RHP, went 3-1, 3.26 in 15 games (six starts) for AA Trenton last year.

King, a 22 yr. old RHP, was in Low A for the Marlins last year, going 11-9, 3.14.

Remember that often in spring training, games are decided at the end by players who will be starting the season in maybe AA or lower.

Rudy Regalado, a backup INF for the 1954 pennant winning Cleveland Indians, has passed away at the age of 87.

Toddfather to Mets; Yanks finalize coaching staff.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

To no one’s great surprise, NJ native Todd Frazier stayed home, but made the crosstown trek from the Bronx to Queens, signing a 2-yr., $17MM deal with the Mets.

The Mets need 3b help, since it appears increasingly likely that David Wright will not play again.

No offense to Wright, a great player who has spinal stenosis, but it’s time to call it a day.

The Yanks could have squeezed in the $8.5MM/per, but most likely could only offer 1 yr. A multi-year deal for the Toddfather doesn’t work because:

  1. Miguel Andujar may be ready at the major league minimum, and if he is, he helps the Yanks re-set the bar on the luxury tax. They really want under the cap.
  2. If Andujar is ready, great. If not, Manny Machado becomes a free agent next year. One reason not to sign the Toddfather to a multi-yr. deal. Why do that when Machado is available next year?
  3. If Andujar has a great rookie year, you can just keep and control Andujar, not worry about Machado and focus elsewhere.
  4. If Andujar has a great rookie year and you want Machado anyway, Andujar has increased his trade value, which even now is high because other teams are asking about him and the Yanks have him off the table.
  5.  If Andujar struggles, you may be able to get someone (Machado even?) at the trade deadline this year.

So the Yanks best option may be just to do what they are doing now, which appears (it isn’t official yet) to just hand the 3B job to Andujar (Torreyes, Torres, Wade and Estrada are still in the mix).

As for Frazier, MLBTR had him projected as 3 yr./$33MM so he’s getting less than that. They did have the right team (Mets) projected.

The Yanks formalized their coaching staff today. Joining manager Aaron Boone are Josh Bard bench coach, Phil Nevin 3B, Larry Rothschild Pitching coach, Marcus Thames hitting coach w/P.J. Pilletere asst., Reggie Willets 1B/OF, Harkey BP coach, Jason Brown catching coach, Carlos Mendoza Quality Control/Infield, Radley Haddad coaching asst./Bullpen c, Brett Weber Coaching asst/instant replay coordinator.

The way some cities “celebrate” championships are disgusting. I could NEVER root for a Philadelphia team, although I live about 60 miles from Philly. Some fans, including friends and relatives, are OK obviously. But some Philly fans are, to put it mildly, boorish. Celebrate, but celebrate in a civilized fashion.

SWB staff set. Yanks’ ticket sales WAY up.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks’ AAA affiliate has their coaching staff set for 2018. Major changes.

Manager: Bobby Mitchell
Hitting coach: Phil Plantier
Pitching coach: Tommy Phelps
Bullpen coach: Doug Davis
Defensive coach: Travis Chapman

Mitchell was with the Dodgers and Twins 1980-1983. OF. 202 MLB games. Batted & threw Lefty. .243-3-43. OPS+ 77.

Plantier: OF, Batted L, Threw R. Boston 1990-1992, SD, 1993-1994; Houston 1995; Back to SD 1995. Oakland 1996. San Diego yet again, and St. Louis 1997.

Plantier was 8th in ROY in 1991, hitting .331-11-35, OPS+ 178 in just 53 games with Boston. He hit .240-34-100, OPS+ 122 for the 1993 Padres.  In 610 MLB games, he hit .243 w/91 HR, OPS+ 104. 162 g. average, .243-24-78.

Phelps: Lefty pitcher. FL and Milw. 2003-2005. 75 games, 11 starts. 4-5, 4.34. ERA+ 97.

Davis: C, 3B. From Bloomsburg, PA. 1989 Angels, 1992 Rangers. 7 MLB games. 1 for 13.

Chapman: 3B. 2003 Phillies. 1 at bat.

The addition of Giancarlo Stanton has energized the fan base. Ticket sales are up 550,000 over last year at this time.


The Yankees have signed right-hander David Hale to a minor league contract, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter link).  Hale posted a 3.30 ERA over 87 1/3 IP for the Braves as a reliever and occasional starter in 2014, but his performance suffered after a trade to Colorado that offseason.  The ground-ball specialist struggled to a 6.09 ERA over 78 1/3 IP (mostly as a starter) that year and then tossed only two MLB innings in 2016.  Hale has since pitched in the Orioles’ and Dodgers’ farm systems.



Next year’s HOF ballot. Mo! Pettitte? Mussina? Other Yankees’ news.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

So this year’s HOF class has been chosen.

Personally, I hope to see if a bus is going up to the 2019 induction. I’d love to be there for Mo.

The main candidates for the summer of 2019 are:

Off this year’s ballot? Edgar Martinez, who will be on his last year, and Ex-Oriole AND Yankee Mike Mussina, who has a couple of years left and who is trending upward.

It looks like Bonds, Clemens and Schilling are stalling out in the 50’s, whereas 75% is needed for induction.

Of course, 2019 is Mo. He comes on the ballot for the first time and the only question is how many huckleberrys don’t vote for him.

He is a slam dunk. I would love to be there. Book your busses now. Maybe Mo and Moose?

Pettitte is also on the 2019 ballot, and it’s his first year. He has serious credentials, 256 wins, 19 more in the postseason, but the HGH admission will hurt him.

Other new candidates on the 2019 ballot that will merit serious consideration are Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Roy Halladay and Todd Helton.

The Yanks also announced that P.J Pilittere (sp.?) will join Marcus Thames as a hitting coach. So manager Aaron Boone, it seems, has Pilittere and Thames (hitting coaches), Josh Bard (bench coach), Reggie Willets 1B coach, Mike Harkey BP and Larry Rothschild pitching, Phil Nevin 3B coach, and Carlos Mendoza infield coach.