Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

S.T. Game 29. Yanks lose, Gio rusty. Roster set? Trade made.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

You may be working out on the side, but until you get that game experience ….

Newly signed Gio Gonzalez showed his rust as the Yanks lost to Toronto Saturday afternoon, 7-3.

The loss puts the Yanks S.T. record at 16-9-4.

Gleyber Torres had a 3-run HR for the Yanks in the first inning.

Masahiro Tanaka only worked two innings in preparing for his Opening Day start this coming Thursday and looked sharp. We can only hope he’s like this on Thursday. Two scoreless innings.

Besides Gonzalez’ rust, Aroldis Chapman had a rough outing. His velo is down and I am a bit concerned about him.

Tanaka 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Chapman (H) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K.
Green (H) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Holder (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Gonzalez (BS, L) 2 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Kriske 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 2 W, 2 K
Bristo 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.

I had to look up who Kriske was. Never heard of him. Brooks Kriske, 25, RHP, 2-2, 1.09 at short season Staten Island last year. 33 K in 24 2/3 IP. 2 games for Low A Charleston. 0-0, 4.50 in four innings. Far down on the “totem pole”. But had to see who was this guy? Was with Staten Island a bit in 2016, missed all of 2017. My guess is Charleston (low A) bound.

The Yanks basically set the 25 man opening roster today, but there could be a minor move yet.

C Sanchez and Romine
IF Bird (could still make a move here to put him on DL if elbow (HBP recently) problem lingers. If he is on DL, Wade AND Tauchman could make team? See below), Voit, Torres, LeMahieu, Andujar, Tulowitzki
UT Wade? See below.
OF Gardner, Judge, Stanton (Tauchman? See below).

The ? is Wade. I mentioned in my this blog earlier today that the Yanks could pick up an OF via someone getting cut by another team or by trade. I nailed that one. Just a few hours after I wrote that, the Yankees made a deal today for an OF.

The Yanks sent LHP Phillip Diehl to Colorado for OF Mike Tauchman. I was concerned about Wade’s lack of OF experience and the Yanks apparently are too.

So that final spot could come down to Wade or Tauchman.

UPDATE: Bird makes team, is OK. Wade sent down. Tauchman is backup OF.

First off, Diehl. 24. LHP. Goes to Colorado. Last year 2-3, 2.51 between High A Tampa and AA Trenton. Probably going back to AA. Boone was impressed with him in S.T.

Wade, mostly an IF (2B/SS/3B) has been used in the OF to increase his versatility, but is not a true OF. In 124 MLB at bats for the Yanks in 2017 and 2018, has hit only .161-1-7, 42 strikeouts, OPS+ 25. In 176 AAA games, .282-11-58 with 37 SB. He hasn’t taken that to the majors yet, and the 24 year old lefty hitter, although possessing great speed, hasn’t had a lot of OF experience.

Hence the trade for Tauchman. That last spot on the team for now (position player) is between Wade and Tauchman (unless Bird has to go on the DL, then both may make the team). Tauchman, a lefty bat, is 28, and is only 9 for 59 in his MLB career (.153-0-2, OPS+ 20). Like Wade, he needs his skills to translate from AAA to a major league level. While Wade has the speed, Tauchman could show the power, and is a true OF, which Wade isn’t. In 112 games at AA in 2018, Tauchman hit .323-20-81 with 12 SB. In 2017 at AAA, Tauchman hit .331-16-80 in 110 games with 16 SB.

Unlike Wade, Tauchman has a lot of experience in all three OF positions.

Whether it is Wade or Tauchman, expect neither to be there long. He’ll be gone once Hicks is ready.

As for what happens if or when Ellsbury is ready? We won’t go there.

The 13 ptichers are:

Tanaka
Paxton
Happ
Cessa (starter? Middle relief?)
CC (to start year w/suspension, then go on DL)
Chapman
Tarpley (I told you not to overlook him…. made team)
Britton
Green
Ottavino
Holder
German (starter? relief?)
Kahnle

When CC goes on the DL, Loaisiga, who was sent down, will replace him temporarily.

As for room for Gio (rusty today, see above) or Severino when ready, who knows. Same with Betances, and same with Montgomery this summer.

But you can never have enough pitching.

As I said in my prior post, sometimes you have to make tough decisions, and sometimes due to poor performance and/or injury, they are made for you.

Some decisions you just have to wait on. Cross that bridge when we get to it.

But also, don’t be surprised if, until Seve and CC are ready, Boone goes with an “opener” in a couple of games.

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Who will be the final cuts?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

As the Yanks head into their final weekend of spring training baseball, we await the final cuts to see what the 25-man Opening Day roster will look like.

With one possible exception, the 12 position players are set.

C Sanchez & Romine
IF Bird, Voit, Torres, LeMahieu, Tulowitzki, Andujar
UT-IF/OF Wade

OF Gardner, Judge, Stanton (after I wrote this, Yanks traded for Mike Tauchman and sent Tyler Wade down) Tauchman

Hicks starts the year on the DL. When he comes back, then the Yanks have to decide who goes—they’ve said that they only want to carry one 1B, so either Bird or Voit would be sent down and Wade would stay. (Update see below. Keep Tauchman, Bird or Voit would go? )

If the Yanks are concerned about Wade’s OF play, since he isn’t a natural OF, they could see what OF gets cut from another team, pick him up, have him on the team, and then cut him themselves once Hicks is ready. This would mean Wade goes down to AAA. (Update: exactly what happened)

I don’t see it, but it could happen. Wade’s versatility and speed make him a nice bench piece. Now to hit MLB pitching.

The pitching staff isn’t as clear cut.

They’ll carry 13 pitchers.

The givens are Tanaka, Happ, Paxton, Chapman, Britton, Green, Holder and Ottavino. So that is eight.

Severino and Betances start the year on the DL.

CC has that 5 game suspension. They’ll probably put him on the team, have it served right away, then to the DL for a while until he’s ready, so for now CC would be 9, replaced by someone when he goes to the DL.

Kahnle is out of options, so he is probably #10 (UPDATE YES). Cessa had a great spring training, and with Severino out, will replace him. #11. (UPDATE YES)

So three more. I really do think Stephen Tarpley will be #12. A great spring and a third lefty out of the bullpen. (Update: He made it)

That leaves (and I hope I ain’t forgetting anyone) Loaisiga and German. It’s looking like German makes it (Update: Yes), and Loaisiga goes down (to come back up when CC goes on the DL and back down when CC comes off of it). (YES HERE TOO).

Then there is Gio Gonzalez, who if he is put on the team, probably takes German’s spot.

As to what happens when Severino and Betances are ready to come back? Who knows. Release Cessa (out of options)? Move Cessa to BP and send down Tarpley? Gio has the April 20 opt-out.

Then you have Jordan Montgomery at the end of the year when he comes back from TJ surgery (and, regarding position players, when Didi comes back from HIS TJ surgery. And we won’t discuss Ellsbury).

Interesting decisions are to be made regarding the pitching staff, and we’ll find out this weekend.

You can never have enough pitching.

And remember, sometimes you don’t have to make a decision. Sometimes, due to poor performance or injury, the decision is made for you.

Spring training instructor Lee Mazzilli was released from the hospital yesterday after being kept there for observation after being struck in the head by a line drive during Yankees’ BP the other day.

 

Giants Manager Bochy to retire after this upcoming season.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Bruce Bochy, SF Giants manager who led the Giants to WS titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014, has announced that he will retire after the 2019 season.

Besides those 3 WS titles, Bochy managed the 1998 SD Padres to the NL pennant. They were swept by the Yankees in that year’s WS.

Going into this, his final season, Bochy’s managerial record is 1926-1944 in 24 seasons. A .498 winning percentage. Despite the losing record, the 3 WS titles in five seasons may merit him HOF consideration, as well as his longevity, 25 years what with this season.

He managed the Padres 1995-2006 and the Giants 2007-present.

He has managed 8 teams to the postseason.

As a catcher from 1978-1980, then 1982-1987, Astros, Mets and Padres, he never played in more than 63 games in a season. In 802 at bats, he hit .239 with 26 HR.

162 g. average .239-12-42, OPS+ 92.

He did play a little for the 1980 Astros (NL West Champs) and 1984 Padres (NL Champs).

 

 

New Daddy Betances reports in a few days.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Dellin Betances and his wife became parents of a baby boy, Dellin, Jr. the other day, so Betances will be reporting to the Yankees spring training camp a little later than his pitching mates. Probably Monday, according to manager Aaron Boone.

 

Pitchers and catchers report and guess who is hurt again?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

So as pitchers and catchers report, guess what Yankee player will miss the first couple of weeks of spring training because he is hurt again (foot)?

If you said Jacoby Ellsbury, this decade’s version of Carl Pavano, advance to the head of the class.

Personally, I’d like to just cut Ellsbury, eat the two years and $47mm and move on with Gardner and Frazier platooning in LF.

Anyone surprised at this news?

Manager Aaron Boone all but appointed Luis Severino the Opening Day Starter (barring something unforeseen). No shock there.

CC will have a press conference Saturday. Apparently to confirm his retirement at the end of the season.

Bad news concerning top prospect Michael King, who rose from High A to AAA last year. He’ll be shut down for 3 weeks due to elbow soreness. You fear TJ surgery.

 

HOF Frank Robinson dies at 83; Britton adds a “K”, and more.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

2943 hits. 586 HR. The only player to win the MVP in both leagues (1961 Reds, 1966 Orioles), winner of the triple crown in 1966, ROY 1956, baseball’s first black manager. A record of 38 HR for a rookie that stood for a long time.

Those are some of the achievements of HOF OF Frank Robinson, who passed away today at the age of 83.

Robinson was a 14x All Star who was on two WS Champs (1966 and 1970 Orioles) and three other pennant winners (1961 Reds, 1969 and 1971 Orioles). He won the 1966 WS MVP, was an All-Star game MVP, Manager of the Year.

What a resume.

He led the league in runs scored 3x. Doubles once. HR once. RBI once. Batting average once. OBP 2x. Slugging 4x. OPS 4X. OPS+ 4x. Total bases once. He crowded the plate and led the league in getting HBP 7x. He led the league in SF 2x, intentional walks 4x.

He played for the Reds (1956-1965), Orioles (1966-1971), Dodgers (1972), Angels (1973-1974) and Indians (1974-1976). His 162 game average was .294-34-105, 12 SB and an OPS+ of 154.

10x he finished top 10 for MVP voting.

In 35 postseason games, he hit .238-10-19.

He was elected to the HOF his first year eligible in 1982. He should have received more than 89.2% of the vote.  He is considered (by JAWS on baseballreference.com) the 5th greatest RF of all-time.

As a manager (Indians 1975-1977; Giants 1981-1984; Orioles 1988-1991 and Expos/Nationals 2002-2006) he went 1065-1176, winning pct. .475. Average year 77-85. His best teams were the 1982 Giants and 1989 Orioles (when he won Manager of the Year). He never managed a team to the postseason.

He was one of the greatest players ever.

Elsewhere…

Every pitcher wants a “K” but the Yanks’ Zach Britton is now Zack Britton. At least he gets a k.

The Marlins traded C J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies for C Jorge Alfaro, top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, minor league prospect Will Stewart and international bonus money.

Earlier this offseason, it was rumored that the Marlins were involved in a possible 3-way deal for Realmuto with the Yanks and Mets. The names have come out. The Marlins would have sent Realmuto to the Yanks for BOTH Sanchez and Andujar, with the Yanks flipping Realmuto to the Mets for Syndergaard. Um, who would then be starting C for the Yanks then? Romine? And what about 3B? Need to then get Machado? And with Didi still out, you still need a SS. You can see why the Yanks nixed that possible deal.

 

Ottavino #0, Dodgers sign Pollock, cap preference, Bell new mgr. at SWB

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks announced today that Adam Ottavino will, indeed, be the first Yankee to wear the number zero.

All numbers 1 through 10 have been retired.

The Dodgers signed a deal with the 2nd best OF on the marker, A.J. Pollock, 5 yr., $60MM.

The best OF still Harper.

The Yanks promoted Jay Bell to AAA manager at SWB. Bell scored the winning run of the 2001 ws against the Yanks. He finished first in 2017 with A+ Tampa, and first in 2018 with AA Trenton.

He is working his way up.

Update: Forgot to mention the cap preference. Roy Halladay’s family announced that Halladay’s cap will be blank. I am a bit surprised, since Halladay spent 12 years with Toronto, 4 with the Phillies as opposed to Mike Mussina’s 10 with Baltimore and 8 with the Yankees. It is not like Halladay’s was as even as Mussina’s split time.

Mussina is still making up his mind (the HOF has final say) and could be (ala Greg Maddux and Halladay) having a blank cap on his plaque as well.