Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

Yanks trade McCann; MVPs announced; AFL ends.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

 

The Yankees traded Brian McCann to the Astros for two young righty minor league pitchers. In his three seasons with the Yankees, McCann hit 69 HR but only hit .235. The emergence of Gary Sanchez made McCann expendable. The Yanks will pay the Astros $11MM of the $34MM remaining on his contract.

In return, the Yanks get Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman. Here is what MLB Trade Rumors has to say about them:

Abreu is the more highly regarded of the two; as J.J. Cooper of Baseball America explains, he throws a live fastball that occasionally nears the triple-digits. With a four-pitch arsenal, he perhaps has a chance to stick as a starter. Still, he only just turned 21 and struggled with his command last year at the Class A and High-A levels.

Guzman, meanwhile, has even more velocity, with his heater ticking up to 102-103 mph at times. Cooper notes, though, that he’s more effective when he’s operating at a slightly lower velocity (in his case, the upper-nineties). While the long-term outlook suggests that Guzman will end up in the pen, he is said to have a promising slider and also a change-up that’s in the works. The 20-year-old has yet to move past Rookie ball, but showed big strikeout ability (12.2 K/9) in his time in the Gulf Coast and Appalachian leagues last year.

Abreu, 21, was 3-8, 3.72 between low and High A in 2016. 16 starts, 8 relief appearances. 115 K in 101 2/3 IP.

Guzman, 20, was 3-4, 4.05 in Rookie League ball. 8 starts, 5 relief appearances. 54 K in 40 IP.

MLB announced its MVPs yesterday, Mike Trout of the Angels and Kris Bryant of the Cubs.  For Trout, it’s his second MVP (he won in 2014) and he has finished 1st or 2nd in MVP in each of his five full seasons in the bigs. He is still just 25 years old.Bryant, 24, was the ROY last year and now wins the MVP in just his second MLB season.

No Yankee received MVP consideration (meaning at least a 10th place vote).

The Arizona Fall League ended yesterday. They have a championship game Saturday but Scottsdale and Yankees’ prospects will not be playing in it. Only Tyler Wade played in the final game, and he went 1 for 3, scored a run and drove in two in a 6-6 tie. Wade ended the AFL at .241. He had a SF yesterday and stole 3 bases, giving him 10 for the AFL.

Former MLB catcher and manager Russ Nixon died recently. He was 81. He played from 1957-1968 for Cleveland, Boston, Minnesota, and Cleveland again. He was the catcher when Roger Maris hit his 61st HR. Nixon later managed the Reds and Braves. He hit .268 with an OPS+ of 84.

Yankees Notes: Girardi 5th in Mgr. of year; AFL Notes.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Joe Girardi finished 5th in voting for AL Mgr. of the Year, won by Cleveland’s Terry Francona.

The NL Mgr. of the Year was Dave Roberts, giving the Dodgers the Mgr. and Rookie of the Year (Corey Seager) thus far.

In Arizona Fall League action, Scottsdale won 8-6. Here are the Yankees’ prospects today:

Tyler Wade, CF, 1 for 3, scored 2 runs. SB. .250.

DH Greg Bird. 1 for 3, RBI. Scored a run, walked, struck out. .215.

WS Game 4: Indians one win away from breaking Cubs’ heart again.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Cleveland Indians are one win away from their third WS title—and first since 1948—after a 7-2 win over the Chicago Cubs in Game 4.

For the Cubs, it’s one more loss until they chant “wait ’til next year” which they have done each year since 1908.

For Terry Francona, now 11-1 in WS games, it’s one win away from ensuring a ticket to Cooperstown as a HOF mgr. We won in 2004 and 2007, both in sweeps while Boston’s manager. If he now takes the Indians to a title, breaking yet another curse (86 years for Boston, 68 for Cleveland), his election should be assured.

Jason Kipnis had 3 hits, inc. a 3-run HR (the first player to hit a 3-run HR at Wrigley Field in a WS since… Babe Ruth) and Carlos Santana had 3 hits, inc. a HR in the victory. Francisco Lindor had 2 hits and an RBI.

Corey Kluber pitched six strong innings for the win, giving up 1 run. He even drove in a run with an infield single.

Andrew Miller finally cracked, giving up a HR to Dexter Fowler.

Game 5 is tonight in Chicago.

Cleveland wins AL Pennant, Miller ALCS MVP; Cubs even NLCS.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Cleveland Indians are going back to the World Series for the first time since 1997. They have only won it twice, in 1920 and 1948.

Andrew Miller was named the ALCS MVP after the Indians beat the Blue Jays in Game 5 in Toronto 3-0 to win the series four games to one.

Terry Francona should probably be put in the Hall of Fame now. With a depleted rotation, two guys down (Carrasco and Salazar), another cuts up his hand (Bauer), he deftly guided his bullpen—thanks to Miller—to a sweep of Boston and a five-game win over Toronto. Good pitching beat good hitting. When you look at his rotation problems right now, you say “No Way!”. Fabulous job by Francona.

Here is one example of the Indians depleted rotation and the job Francona did. The Game 5 starter for Cleveland was Ryan Merritt, a 24 yr. old rookie who had just four major league games under his belt and just one start. He pitched 4 1/3 innings.

Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp hit solo HRs for Cleveland in the game. Francisco Lindor, who could have been ALCS MVP himself, had 3 hits.

In the NLCS, the Cubs offense woke up after being shut out in Games 2 and 3 and they evened the series at two games apiece, winning Game Four 10-2.

Anthony Rizzo had 3 hits, 3 RBI, inc. a HR. Addison Russell had 3 hits, 2 RBI inc. a HR. The Dodgers were sloppy in making four errors.

I never saw a pitcher wearing a single digit number before Urias last night. And that is in 50 years of watching baseball. How about you?

 

 

ALCS Game 3: Kipnis, Miller, put Blue Jays on the brink.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Jason Kipnis once again got the big hit, a HR that broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth, and Andrew Miller was once again dominating, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings and striking out three for the save, in Cleveland’s 4-3 win over Toronto last night.

In nine postseason innings, Miller has struck out 20.

The win puts Cleveland on the brink of winning the AL Pennant. They are up 3 games to none in the series. The last time the Indians were in the WS was in 1997 when they lost Game 7 in extra innings to the Marlins. The last time the Indians won the WS was in 1948 when they beat the Boston (Spahn and Sain and pray for rain) Braves.

Indians pitcher Trey Bauer only lasted 2/3 of an inning because a laceration on his pitching hand (pinky finger) opened up and he was bleeding badly on the mound. Indians’ manager Terry Francona mixed and matched, and the Indians used seven pitchers in the game, including Bauer.

The Indians go for the sweep at 4 pm today.

In the NLCS, Game 3 between the Cubs and Dodgers is at 8 pm. The series is tied at one game apiece.

I read one post somewhere from one fan who thinks the umpires should be split across countries because Toronto is from Canada. That there should be some Canadian umpires in this series. What’s next? Japanese umpires if you have a Japanese pitcher like Tanaka? Dominican umpires for those players? Just the whines of a crybaby Blue Jays fan.

Cubs slam Dodgers in Game 1 of NLCS; Cleveland goes up 2-0 in ALCS.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Andrew Miller may be the most dominating player in the postseason right now. In 7 2/3 innings of relief, he has struck out 17. He pitched two more scoreless innings of relief yesterday, giving up no hits and no runs and striking out five in Cleveland’s 2-1 win over Toronto.

The win puts Cleveland up 2 games to none. They now head to Toronto for the next three games in the best-of-seven ALCS. Today is an off day.

Once again, Francisco Lindor came up with the game winning hit for the Indians.

In the NLCS, Miguel Montero hit a PH grand slam in the bottom of the eighth to break a 3-3 tie and lead the Cubs to a 8-4 win in Game One of the NLCS. I don’t know what Joe Blanton was thinking. He gave up the meatball on an 0-2 pitch. Then, the next hitter, Dexter Fowler, hit another HR and it was game over.

This after Aroldis Chapman entered the game in the top of the eighth with the bases loaded, no one out and the Cubs having a 3-1 lead. He got two strikeouts but Adrian Gonzalez tied the game with a single before Chapman got the final out.

Ex-NY Jet Dennis Byrd over came a severe injury on the football field to learn how to walk again when it looked like he would be paralyzed for life. How sad is it to learn that after overcoming that, that Byrd died in a car accident yesterday.

I am watching the ND-Stanford game yesterday, and ND gives up a safety. I have to ask, why with your team backed up against its own end zone, is the QB in a shotgun? The center snaps the ball over the QB’s head and into or through the back of the end zone for a safety. Too often I see shotgun and no back formations. When backed up against your own end zone, do it the old-fashioned way—-have your QB right under the center with his hands under the center’s ass for the snap. It’s not that complicated, coaches.

Arizona Fall League: Only Gleyber Torres of the Yankees’ prospects played. He was 0 for 4 and struck out twice. There are no games today, Sunday.

Dodgers advance to NLCS.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Dodgers beat the Nationals 4-3 in Game 5 to advance to the NLCS where they will play the Cubs.

The Dodgers scored all four runs in the seventh, coming from down 1-0. Clayton Kershaw had to come out of the bullpen with two on and one out to close out the game. Justin Turner drove in two runs.

I don’t know what the Nationals third base coach was thinking on one play when Jayson Werth was thrown out at the plate. He was out by 30 feet.

Chris Parmalee refused assignment to SWB and opted to become a free agent.

No Yankees prospects played for Scottsdale in their Arizona Fall League game yesterday.