Aaron Judge hit a 3-run HR with one out in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Toronto Tuesday night, 6-5. George Springer led off the game by homering off of Yankees’ starter Luis Severino. Toronto got two more runs off of Severino in the second inning. The Yanks didn’t get a hit until the bottom of the sixth. Down 3-0, D.J. LeMahieu led off the inning with a double, and Judge reached on an infield single. After Anthony Rizzo flied out to moved D.J. to third, Giancarlo Stanton homered (7) to tie the game. After that HR, Josh Donaldson was hit by a pitch, and Toronto pitcher Yimi Garcia and pitching coach Pete Walker were both ejected. Later in the game, Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo was also ejected. Toronto got two runs in the top of the eighth to go up 5-3 and the Yanks went into the bottom of the ninth looking up at that score. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, both Jose Trevino and LeMahieu drew walks. Judge then crushed his tenth HR of the season, a 450 ft. shot, to win the game. The Yanks are now 21-8, four games up on Tampa Bay and five up on Toronto. The offense is still not clicking, as they are hitting .237. But that .237 is still good for 4th in the AL. They are 2nd in HR, 3rd in OBP, 2nd in Slugging, 2nd in OPS and the OPS+ is 116. The pitching has been carrying them. The ERA of 2.59 is best in the AL, and the ERA+ is 142. (100 is average). Judge 2 hits, 3 RBI. GW 3-run HR (10) Leads MLB in HR. Stanton 2 hits, 3 RBI. 3-run HR (7). Severino 4 2/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 W, 8 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.08 Castro 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 4 K. 1 HBP. 1.59 Loaisiga 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 4.97 Green 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.97 Peralta (W, 1-0) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1.64 John Cumberland, briefly a Yankee from 1968-1970, passed away April 5 at the age of 74. Cumberland was with the Yankees 1968-1970, Giants 1970-1972, Cardinals 1972, and Angels 1974. As a Yankee, in 18 games, 8 starts, he was 3-4, 4.11, ERA+ 87. For his career, he was 15-16, 3.82, ERA+ 92. He started and lost Game 2 of the 1971 NLCS for the Giants.
Posted in Ex-Players, Managers and Coaches, Mike's Musings, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Castro, Cumberland, Green, Judge, Loaisiga, Peralta, Severino, Stanton
No streak lasts forever, and the Yankees (18-7) 11-game winning streak ended last night with a 2-1 loss in Toronto. They didn’t go down quietly, however. Hard-luck losing pitcher Nestor Cortes, Jr. didn’t have his best stuff, but he kept the Yankees in the game. Cortes gave up a HR to Matt Chapman in the second inning that put Toronto up 1-0, but the Yankees’ Joey Gallo hit his third HR of the season to tie the game in the top of the third inning. With two out in the bottom of the third, Bo Bichette doubled, then Vlad Guerrerro, Jr. singled him home to put Toronto up 2-1 and that turned out to be it. Bichette seems to always kill the Yanks. The Yanks had a man on third, one out in the top of the sixth but couldn’t score. They had two on and one out in the seventh but could not score. Manager Aaron Boone was thrown out in the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes. In the ninth, with two out and two on, Gallo walked to load the bases, but Isiah Kiner-Falefa grounded out. The Yanks challenged the call, but it was determined that Guerrero kept his foot on the bag during his stretch. The Yanks are off today. They return home to play a weekend series against Texas. Michael King was great again in relief. Gallo solo HR (3) Cortes (L, 1-1) 4 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 4 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1.82 King 3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 0.51 Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.69
AAA: SWB (4-0) won both games of a double header. Game 1: 7-6 in 8 innings (minor league games are 7 innings if a DH). 1B Greg Bird hit a 2-run HR (1) in his first at bat back with the Yankees’ organization. He had 2 hits. 3B Phillip Evans had 2 hits and an RBI, RF Tim Locastro had 2 hits. D. Garcia (#29 prospect) 3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 3 W, 1 K. 1 WP. 2 HBP. Was Wild. 3.00 Nittoli 1 1/3 IP, 3 R, 1 H, 2 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1 HBP 20.25 McClain 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K. 1 WP, 1 HBP. 0.00 Seeing a lot of wildness here, Walks, WP, HBP… McKay (W 1-0, BS, 1) 2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR. 9.00 Weissert (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 0.00 Game 2: Won a blowout, 10-1. SS Oswaldo Cabrera 3 hits, 3 RBI, (#14 prospect) CF Ender Inciarte 2 hits, 4 RBI, Both hits were 2-run HR. (2) C David Freitas 3 hits, RBI, HR (1) LF Matt Pita 2 hits, RBI, HR (1) Weber 4 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 4 K. 2.25 Semple (W, 1-0) 3 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 1 W, 2 K. 0.00 AA: Somerset won their opener, 6-2. Interesting game. A combined one-hitter, but with 10 Walks and 2 HBP. #1 prospect SS Anthony Volpe 2 hits, RBI LF Elijah Dunham 2 hits, RBI (#27 ranked prospect in Yankees’ system) C Josh Breaux 2-run HR (1) (#26 prospect) RF Michael Beltre 2 hits Medina 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 4 W, 2 K. 5.40 Wild. (#12 prospect) Loseke (W, 1-0) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 0.00 1 HBP Maciejewski (H, 1) 3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 4 K. 3.00 M. Gomez (H, 1) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 W, 2 K. 0.00 1 HBP Jennings 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 0.00 High A: Hudson Valley lost their opener, 7-6. SS Trey Sweeney solo HR (1) (#5 prospect) CF Everson Pereira 2 hits (#11 prospect) RF Pat DeMarco 4 for 4, RBI Sauer 3 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 W, 6 K. 1 WP. 3.00 Barclay 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1 HBP. 5.40 Alvarez (BS, 1) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K. 0.00 Hutchison (L, 0-1; BS, 1) 1 2/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 21.60 W. Diaz 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.00 Low A: Rachel Balkovec, first female manager of a minor league affiliate, won her debut, as Tampa won their opener, 9-6. C Antonio Gomez 3 RBI (#19 prospect) 1B Anthony Garcia grand slam (1) 3B Marco Cabrera solo HR (1) Yulie 3 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 3 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2 WP, 1 HBP 8.10 Milam 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K. 6.75 Watson (W, 1-0) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 4 K. 0.00 Montas (H, 1) 2 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 W 4 K. 4.50 Messinger (S, 1) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H,0 W, 1 K. 1 WP 0.00 All in all, very nice, but the one concern was in pitchers being wild.
Posted in Managers and Coaches, Minor Leagues, Players, Regular Season
Tagged Alvarez, Balkovec, Barclay, Beltre, Bird, Breaux, Cabrera, DeMarco, Diaz, Dunham, Evans, Freitas, Garcia, Gomez, Hutchison, Inciarte, Jennings, Locastro, Loseke, Maciejewski, McClain, McKay, Medina, Messinger, Milam, Montas, Nittoli, Pereira, Pita, Sauer, Semple, Sweeney, Volpe, Watson, Weber, Weissert, Yulie
The Yanks lost their last spring training game today, 5-3 to Detroit, and wound up spring training with a record of 8-10-1. The open the regular season at home vs. Boston on Thursday. Meanwhile, the AAA season starts tonight for SWB, and I’ll report on that game in another post. The other minor league levels start their seasons on Friday. In looking at recent spring training lineups, it appears as if manager Aaron Boone will separate the big power but high strikeout guys like Judge, Stanton and Gallo with guys more inclined to make contact. Looking at those lineups, Rizzo was hitting third between Judge and Stanton, and LeMahieu was separating Stanton from Gallo. In the game today, Gallo had two hits. One-time Yankees’ prospect Manny Banuelos started for the Yanks, and he will be going to AAA SWB (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre) to start there. Banuelos gave up a 3-run HR to Miguel Cabrera, he of the 502 MLB HR. The pitching line: Banuelos (L) 3 1/3 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 1 W, 2 K. gave up 1 HR King 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K Castro 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K Marinaccio 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K Brito 3 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. Ron Marinaccio has made the opening day roster. The 26 year old RHP was 2-1, 2.04 in AA/AAA last year, with 105 K in 66 1/3 IP. Another rookie making the team is J.P. Sears, 26, LHP. Sears was 10-2, 3.46 in AA/AAA last year, 136 K in 104 IP. The roster will be 28 players for the first month because of the shortened spring training caused by the lockout. The Yanks will carry 16 pitchers, 12 position players. The 12 position players are: Higashioka, Trevino, Rizzo, Torres, LeMahieu, Kiner-Falefa, Donaldson, Gallo, Hicks, Judge, Gonzalez and Stanton. The 16 pitchers are: Cole, Severino, Montgomery, Taillon, Cortes, Chapman, Loaisiga, Green, Luetge, Marinaccio, Schmidt, Sears, King, Holmes, Peralta, and Castro. Some that look to be starting the season at AAA are: Tim Locastro, Banuelos, Oswald Peraza, Deivi Garcia, Luis Gil, Ender Inciarte (if he accepts the assignment), Miguel Andujar, Estevan Florial, Oswaldo Cabrera, Max Burt, Hayden Wesneski, Rob Brantly, David Freitas, Max McDowell, Ron Guzman, Ryan LaMarre … and (wait for it) Greg Bird. The one-time Yankee was re-signed by the Yankees today to a minor league deal after failing to make Toronto’s team and being released by the Blue Jays. Yesterday the Yanks made a move I am scratching my head about, picking up David McKay from Tampa Bay for cash considerations. McKay has 26 MLB games under his belt, is a 27 year old RHP who is 0-0, 6.08 in his MLB career, ERA+ 79.
Posted in Managers and Coaches, Mike's Musings, Minor Leagues, Offseason Moves, Players, Spring Training
Tagged Banuelos, Bird, Boone, Brito, Castro, Gallo, King, Marinaccio, McKay, Opening Day Roster, Sears
A non-roster invitee (Ryan Weber) trying to make the team who gives up 3 runs to lose the game doesn’t bother me that much. Performances like that means he doesn’t make the team. He’s sent to the minors or released. What does bother me is a member of your starting staff (Luis Severino) struggling greatly. Such was the case as the Yankees (2-5-1 in spring training) lost to the Phillies, 6-5 on Friday afternoon. Kyle Higashioka was 3 for 3 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI. Marwin Gonzalez (don’t be surprised if his versatility lets him make the team) had an RBI, as did minor leaguer Brandon Lockridge. D.J. LeMahieu had 2 hits and walked. Aaron Judge walked three times. The Pitching line: Severino 1 2/3 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 4 W, 0 K. Coleman 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. Weissert 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. Banuelos 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. Weber (BS, L) 2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 0 W, 3 K. MLB network will have a documentary on Don Mattingly on April 3. I saw a picture of the damage Yankees’ Low A Tampa manager Rachel Balkovec received. It’s nasty. Lucky she’s ok, but she will have a shiner for a while after being struck in the face from a batted ball.
Posted in Ex-Players, Managers and Coaches, Minor Leagues, Players, Spring Training
Tagged Balkovec, Banuelos, Chapman, Coleman, Gonzalez, Higashioka, Judge, LeMahieu, Lockridge, Mattingly, Severino, Weber, Weissert
D.J. LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres and Giancarlo Stanton homered, and the Yankees (2-3-1 in Spring Training) got good outings from young pitchers Deivi Garcia and Luis Gil in beating Baltimore 7-1 Wednesday night.
For Garcia, that was especially good after an atrocious 2021 season. Remember though, that Garcia won’t be 23 until May. Gil turns 24 in June. Joey Gallo was 2 for 3. Beside his HR, Stanton had another hit, as did Torres. LeMahieu’s HR was a solo shot, Torres’ and Stanton’s were both 2-run HRs. Also with 2 hits was Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Garcia 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gil 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. Green (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W 1 K. Peralta 1 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K. Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H. 0 W, 0 K Luetge 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Greene 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. Minor league manager (Low A Tampa) Rachel Balkovic will be out of action for a while after taking a ball to her face while minor leaguers were taking batting practice. The man on second rule to begin extra innings (I hate that rule) stays for this year, then gets scrapped. Rosters will be at 28 until May 2, with unlimited pitchers (due to the short spring training caused by the lockout). Rosters then go to 26 with no more than 13 pitchers. Then there is the “Ohtani rule”. If say, Ohtani pitches AND is listed as the DH, and he gets knocked out of the game as far as pitching, he can remain as the DH.
Posted in Managers and Coaches, Minor Leagues, Players, Spring Training
Tagged Balkovec, Gallo, Garcia, Gil, Green, Greene, Holmes, Kiner-Falefa, LeMahieu, Luetge, Ohtani, Peralta, Stanton, Torres
Yankees’ legend Derek Jeter stepped down as CEO of the Marlins yesterday, effective immediately. While talks to try and get a resolution to the labor deal went on throughout the night, the Yankees named a new assistant hitting coach. Hensley Meulens replaces Eric Chavez, who was named asst. hitting coach but then left to become the hitting coach for the Mets. Meulens was a Yankee OF (with some time at 3B and 1B) from 1989-1993, and was with Montreal in 1997 and Arizona in 1998. He won 3 WS rings as a coach with the SF Giants. He was one of those considered for the managerial job that went to Aaron Boone in 2017. Another person who interviewed for that job was Carlos Beltran, who is now with the YES broadcasting team.
One recent occurrence, and one we are in now, have me thinking. What could have been? The recent hiring of a female to manage the Yankees’ Low-A Tampa team is groundbreaking. The Yankees could have been the first to break some other ground many years ago. With this being Black History Month, MLB.com has a feature up on Elston Howard, who became the first black Yankees player in 1955. In 1963, Howard became the first black player to win the AL MVP award—an award that had already been won several times by blacks in the NL. The YES network, I am sure, will also run their biography on Howard this month. I have seen that bio before and it does raise an interesting what if? In 1973, the Yankees played their final season in the original (pre-renovation) Yankee Stadium. After the last game of the season, Ralph Houk resigned. As the Yankees were going to play in Shea Stadium in 1974 and 1975 while Yankee Stadium was being renovated, the question now arose as to who would be the Yankees manager in 1974. At first the Yankees hired Dick Williams, who had just managed the Oakland A’s to two straight WS titles but then who resigned immediately after the 1973 WS (in which the A’s beat the Mets). But the hiring was nullified by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn after A’s owner Charlie Finley protested that Williams owed Finley the final year of his deal (Finley had no qualms of releasing Williams from the obligation in mid-1974 so that Williams could manage the Angels). The Yankees turned to Bill Virdon instead. But what if they had chosen Howard? In the YES bio, Bobby Murcer talks about how Ellie had the respect of the whole team and no one would have argued against the hiring of Howard to be the Yankees’ manager. Howard, upon his retirement from playing after the 1968 season, had become a coach for the Yankees. In so doing, he became the first black coach in the AL. If the Yankees WOULD have promoted Howard to manager for the 1974 season, he would have become the first black manager in MLB history—-an honor that went to Frank Robinson (Cleveland) in 1975. But from 1974-1991, as you know, the Yankees had an endless parade of managers, led by Billy Martin’s five separate terms. Others had repeats, too. Virdon 1974-1975 Billy Martin I 1975-1978 Bob Lemon I 1978-1979 Billy II 1979 Dick Howser 1980 Gene Michael I 1981 Lemon II 1981-1982 Michael II 1982 Clyde King 1982 Billy III 1983 Yogi Berra II 1984-1985 (Yogi I was in 1964) Billy IV 1985 Lou Piniella I 1986-1987 Billy V 1988 Lou II 1988 Dallas Green 1989 Bucky Dent 1989-1990 Stump Merrill 1990-1991 Since 1991, there have been just four managers. Buck Showalter 1992-1995 Joe Torre 1996-2007 Joe Girardi 2008-2017 Aaron Boone 2018-present. So some stability since 1992. But you wonder. If the Yankees had hired Ellie, and if Ellie’s health had held out (he died of a heart condition Dec. 14, 1980 at the age of 51, on the same day that thousands of people in Central Park, along with millions around the world, gathered to mourn the loss of John Lennon, who was assassinated six days before) would the Yankees have had stability in the 1970s/1980s? Granted, stability in managers wasn’t a trait of the Boss, George Steinbrenner, but you wonder. If Ellie were manager, how well would he have done, and would it have stopped the merry-go-round of managers, especially with Billy Martin? We’ll never know what could have been.
The YES network will have a very different look this year (that is, if there IS a season). For one thing, Ken Singleton has retired. Buck Showalter is now the Mets manager. David Cone will be doing games not only for YES, but also Sunday nights on ESPN. Michael Kay will be doing games with A-Rod, kind of like that Manning brothers style that Eli and Peyton do for football. To help fill in the gap, Carlos Beltran will be doing 36 games. For Beltran, its redemption for his part in the Astros cheating scandal. That part may hurt him as he comes on the HOF ballot next year. Beltran, according to baseball-reference. com and an elaborate grading scale, is ranked as the 9th greatest CF of all-time. He played for the Royals, Astros, Mets, Giants, Cardinals, Yankees, Rangers and finished up back with the Astros (and the scandal). He hit .279 in his career with over 2700 hits, 435 HR and 312 SB. An OPS+ of 119 (100 is average; 119 means 19% above average). He was supposed to become the Mets manager, but his involvement in the cheating scandal had him fired before he even managed a game. I’m all for redemption and giving someone a second chance, as long as the person is contrite. It matches my faith (not to get religious, here, but the comparison is apt). That goes for me in my own life. I make mistakes and ask the Lord to forgive me. So for Beltran, a chance to redeem himself (much like A-Rod as A-Rod in trying to do with his broadcasts). I get the hunch that Beltran will be more successful, simply because A-Rod is more flamboyant than Beltran, and, it seems, more likely to mess up again (hope he doesn’t). You have to wonder if this step back into baseball may lead Beltran into the manager’s office. Will some team forgive Beltran and give him the managing job that Beltran was going to have with the Mets? Aaron Boone just did get an extension. But with Beltran now working for YES, if the Yanks were going to make a move, could Beltran now be on their short list of possible replacements?
In a historic decision, the Yankees have chosen a woman, 34 year old Rachel Balkovec, to manage their Low-A Tampa club for 2022.