Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

Random thoughts as we head to Opening Day.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I don’t mind the Sanchez 2 Bird 3 lineup. Girardi wants to be certain that both get up in the first inning where if they weren’t 2-3 one of them wouldn’t get up in the first in the event of a 1-2-3 inning. Also more at bats for when the lineup turns over.  Basically it’s subbing Bird in the first inning for Ellsbury (as well as splitting lefty/righty hitters).

I do wonder about Ellsbury fifth, and also have to wonder how temporary that would be and how much lower Ellsbury goes down in the lineup.

For don’t you think that when Didi Gregorius is back, that HE will be hitting fifth, not Ellsbury, and that Ellsbury would then be hitting, say, eighth? Especially since Didi had 20 HR last year and was showing power again in the WBC and in spring training before his injury?

Gardner-Sanchez-Bird-Holliday-Didi-Castro-Headley-Ellsbury-Judge/Hicks when Didi gets healthy?

More random thoughts. It depends on how long Tyler Austin takes to heal, but if Chris Carter continues to be a whiff machine, should he be looking over his shoulder when Austin finally is ready to play?

The coaching staff wanted to bring Gleyber Torres north, even though he has never played above AA. Says a lot. The front office wants him to get more experience in the minors, at least in AA before coming up to the majors. Could be bypass AAA altogether? It just shows how fast he is coming.

I also think Gardner and Ellsbury should be looking over their shoulders. Gardner would be the easiest one to move because of Ellsbury’s prohibitive salary. But with both starting to hit the age of 33 and showing some decline, and with some promising outfielders coming (Fowler, Rutherford, Frazier, McKinney, Mason Williams), I wouldn’t be surprised to see one moved.

In fact, Gardner hasn’t had too good of a spring training. If the Yanks wanted to play their best outfield based on spring training results, the argument wouldn’t be over RF (Hicks or Judge) but CENTER field (Gardner or Ellsbury). They would have Hicks in LF and Judge in RF, for both have done better than Gardner or Ellsbury this spring. Just saying.

Jon Niese re-signed with the Yanks after being released the other day. He’ll stay in Tampa in extended spring training to build up more arm strength. A surgery late last year has him behind.

The next two days are huge in filling out the rotation. Jordan Montgomery starts today vs. Toronto and Luis Severino starts tomorrow vs. the Phillies. It will be very interesting to see how they do and if their performances make them or break them as far as being in the rotation. The Yanks won’t need a fifth starter until April 16.

Pete Kozma (good field/can’t hit water if he fell out of a boat) may make the team with Didi out, then get DFA’d when Didi is ready.  I’d like to see Tyler Wade there instead of Kozma, though.

UPDATE: Wade and Kyle Higashioka were sent down to minor league camp last night.

We’ll see what happens. A lot of decisions on the 25 man roster have to be made in the next few days. The season starts Sunday.

S.T. Game 32. Yanks reveal lineup in 6-3 loss?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Masahiro Tanaka finally gave up a spring training run as the Yanks lost to the Tigers in spring training action today, 6-3.

Tanaka was still sharp however, despite taking the loss. He went 5 innings, and of the two runs he gave up, 1 was unearned.

Of note was the Yankees’ lineup, which Joe Girardi said could be the Opening Day lineup. It featured Gary Sanchez hitting second, Jacoby Ellsbury fifth (!) and Aaron Hicks 8th and in RF. (I would prefer Judge, myself). Ronald Torreyes would be the SS, batting 9th.

Earlier in the day, it was confirmed that Adam Warren is heading to the bullpen, leaving four candidates for the #4 and #5 spots in the Yankees’ rotation—Severino, Mitchell, Green and Montgomery.

The Tigers scored two in the top of the first, with help by two errors, one by Bird and another by Sanchez.

Ellsbury got an RBI groundout in the first.

Dellin Betances gave up a 2-run HR in the sixth. 4-1 Tigers.

The Yanks got two in the seventh to cut it to 4-3. Judge hit a solo HR. Tyler Wade singled and went to third on a two-base error and scored on a SF by Rob Refsnyder.

Apparently the Rays were interested in trading for Refsnyder earlier this week, but instead they made a deal with the White Sox for Peter Bourjos.

Ernesto Frieri gave up a 2-run HR in the eighth for the final score of 6-3 Tigers.

The Yanks are apparently going to try out Johnny Barbato as a starter at AAA SWB.

Tanaka (L) 5 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 walks, 6 K. Looks ready to go Opening Day (Sunday).
Betances 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 3 K. Gave up HR. Struck out the side but the 2-run HR.
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Frieri 1 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 2 K. Gave up a 2-run HR.
Feyereisen 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 k.

S.T. Game 30. Yanks get two in bottom of 9th to win. Rotation battle continues.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees took advantage of a couple of Blue Jays’ errors to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 win that raised their spring training record to 22-7-1 (if only they can start the regular season 22-7!).

To me, the story of the game isn’t the win. It is that Adam Warren didn’t pitch well in starting the  game, and thus, the battle for the #4 and #5 starter spots is still wide open.

A few days ago, Luis Cessa was sent to minor league camp.

A #5 starter may not be needed until Game 13 or so. In fact, because of off days, a #4 starter may only be needed once in the first 13 or so games.

So manager Joe Girardi may have extra time to make a decision. With Warren not stepping up today, he may be going back to the swing man role. Spot starter/Long relief.

Which would leave four others for the two spots (unless the Yanks make a trade). Those four are Luis Severino, Chad Green, Bryan Mitchell and the surprise, Jordan Montgomery.

Severino I talked about yesterday. Big difference in him between starting and relieving.

Mitchell may have won one of the spots.

Could Montgomery surprisingly win the other?

Toronto got a run in the first and two in the second to go up 3-0, Warren giving up a 2-run HR in the second.

The Yanks got two in the second when Greg Bird continued his phenomenal spring with yet another HR (7) and Austin Romine singled in a run.

The Yanks tied it in the third on an RBI single by Matt Holliday.

Warren gave up another HR in the fourth and Toronto went up 4-3. The Blue Jays got a run in the seventh off of Jon Niese to make it 5-3.

I like Mason Williams, who is overlooked when talking about Yankees’ outfield prospects. It seems like he is always hurt. He singled in a run in the bottom of the seventh to cut Toronto’s lead to 5-4.

In the bottom of the ninth, Zach Zehner singled and after Wilkin Castillo struck out, Ronald Torreyes reached on an error. Rob Refsnyder flied out but Williams reached on a two-base error that tied the game and put runners on second and third. Pete Kozma singled to win the game.

Opening Day is just over a week away. The first three starters are Tanaka, CC, then Pineda. But who gets #4 and #5? It seems like no one is stepping up to outright claim it.

And that is why Montgomery has a chance.

Warren 3 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 2 walks, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Layne 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Holder 2 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Niese 1 IP, 1 r, 2 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Feyereisen 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 2 K.
Marsh (w) 1 Ip, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K.

 

S.T. Game 27. Bird is the word. 2 HR. Tanaka dominant again. Ex-Yanks’ mgr. Green dies at 82.

Yankee Stadium Frieze
Greg Bird found out before the game that not unsurprisingly, he won the 1B job for the Yankees. He celebrated by hitting 2 HR and driving in 5 runs in the Yanks’ 7-3 win over the Phillies today. The win made the Yanks 20-7 for the spring.

Masahiro Tanaka pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings, continuing his dominant spring. In 19 2/3 spring training innings, he hasn’t given up a run.

Bird hit a 2-run HR in the 4th, and added a 3-run shot in the 6th. Chase Headley hit a solo HR in the 6th.

Ruben Tejada doubled a run in during the 8th inning to make it 7-0 before the Phils scored 3 late runs.

Tanaka (w) 5 1/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 walk, 3 K.
Holder 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K.
Frieri 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 3 K. Nice comeback from rough Yanks’ debut the other day.
Marsh 1 Ip, 2 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K.
Mantiply 1 Ip, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 1 K.

Dallas Green, who managed the Yanks for most of 1989, going 56-65, died today at the age of 82. He is most famous for managing the 1980 Phillies to the first world championship in that team’s history. He also managed the Mets. He was a major league pitcher from 1960-1967, with the Phils and Mets teams he pitched for.

I wasn’t a fan of Green, esp. in 1989 when he managed the Yanks. God bless him and his family but one thing happened to Green that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

His granddaugher was killed several years ago by that nutcase who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords survived, Green’s granddaughter did not.

 

S.T. Game 25. Yanks win, but problems loom.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees’ 9-3 win today that raised their spring record to 19-6 was overshadowed by other concerns.

I don’t like the World Baseball Classic because of its timing. Players should be getting ready and not competing heavily in games in March. The WBC advances the timetable, which is why I am concerned about injuries in March to players going all out when they should be pacing themselves.

The Yanks found out today that Didi Gregorius, who was doing well in the WBC, will probably miss the start of the regular season because of a sore throwing shoulder.

As good as phenom Gleyber Torres has been this spring training, he has never played above High A ball (Tampa) and the Yanks won’t consider jumping him three levels to replace Didi. Instead, it looks as if it would be Tyler Wade at SS until Didi is ready. Wade is versatile, has more experience and has played at a higher level than Torres. It seems either he or Ronald Torreyes will man SS until Didi gets back.Ruben Tejada could be in the mix as well.

A blow and why I don’t like the WBC. As for Wade, all the Yanks want from him is to make the plays, and do the little things. He doesn’t have the power Didi would have. Just make all the plays on D, and do the little things offensively—steal a base, lay down a bunt, move the runner over. Nothing spectacular.

Michael Pineda exasperated us today. One outing after a 15 up, 15 down, 8 strikeout performance, he was knocked out in the second inning. This is why he drives us nuts. So much potential, so little consistency. Just like A.J Burnett.

The Yanks got four in the second. Refsnyder doubled in one, Torreyes singled in one and Gardner singled in two.

Given a 4-0 lead, Pineda drove us nuts again, giving up three runs and not making it out of the second inning. How long do we have to wait for him to realize his potential consistently? Thank goodness it is spring training. Starting pitchers just can’t give back four run leads in the regular season.

The Yanks got two in the fifth on a two-run HR by Matt Holliday.

Gleyber Torres doubled in two in the eighth (and I, like many others, wish this kid would be the one replacing Didi until Didi is ready, but at 20, and no experience above High A, I could see not putting him the major league roster just yet, but yes, we all are impatient for him to arrive).

Dustin Fowler got a SF for the final run.

So a win, but concerns about Didi’s injury and Pineda’s inconsistency.

Two RBI for Gardner, two hits for Bird. Holliday with the 2-run HR. Billy McKinney went 2 for 2.

To me, besides Mitchell, Green has done very well. I would put Mitchell and Green in the rotation, send Severino and Cessa back to AAA and Warren to the bullpen. We’ll see what Girardi does.

Pineda (w) 1 2/3 IP, 3 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 1 K.
Graham (H) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 3H, 1 walk, 0 K.
Green (H) 3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 2 K.
Heller (H) 2/3, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K.
Holder 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K.

 

S.T. Game 22. Yanks no-hit Tigers, 3-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Masahiro Tanaka continued his impressive spring training, and prospect Jordan Montgomery continued to impress as they, along with Chasen Shreve, combined to no-hit the Tigers today, 3-0.

The win improves the Yanks spring training record to 17-5 (I count the win over the Canadian WBC team, MLB doesn’t). Too bad these games don’t count.

The Yanks got all of their runs in the fourth. Matt Holliday doubled and scored on a double by Chase Headley, who himself scored on a double by Rob Refsnyder. Refsnyder scored on a single by Ronald Torreyes.

Before the game, Jorge Mateo was sent back to the minors, and not to AA Trenton, but to High-A Tampa.

Tanaka (w) 4 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 6 K.
Shreve (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Montgomery (S) 4 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K.

Montgomery is a big lefty, 6’6″, 225, and 24 years old. His minor league career has been:

2014 Rookie/short season A (Staten Island) combined: 7 starts, 3 relief, 1-1, 3.79. 20 K in 19 IP.

2015 Low and High A combined. 10-8, 2.95. 24 starts, 1 relief. 132 K in 134 1/3 IP.

2016 AA and AAA combined. 14-5, 2.13. 25 starts. 139 1/3 IP, 134 K.

So far he has impressed manager Joe Girardi in camp.

Tanaka hasn’t given up a run in some 13 1/3 spring training innings.

Yankees in the WBC.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I’ll admit, I don’t follow the WBC. This information comes from NJ.com.

Betances: Dominican Rep. 0-0, 0.00. 3 games. 2 Ip, 0 R, 2 H, 3 walks, 2 K.

Gregorius: Netherlands. 8 for 23. .348. 4 doubles, 1 HR. 8 RBI. 5 games. Went 0 for 4 this morning vs. Cuba in Netherlands’ 14-1 win.

Clippard: USA. 1-0, 0.00. 2 games, 3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 5 K.

Layne: Italy. 0-0, 0.00. 3 games, 3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 3 walks, 4 K.

Solano: Colombia. 3 for 14, .267. 2 RBI in 3 games.

Gallegos: Mexico. 0-0, 4.50. 1 game. 2 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 walk, 1 K,. Gave up HR.

In addition to them, 1B coach Tony Pena is managing the Dominican Republic, and third base coach Joe Espada is a coach for Puerto Rico.