Category Archives: Mike’s Musings

Yanks have 3 prospects on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100.

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MLB pipeline has three Yankees prospects in their top 100. Here is what they have to say as well as their ranking, and a little about each one from me.

Yankees (3)
54. Jasson Dominguez (ETA: 2024)
88. Clarke Schmidt (2020)
92. Deivi Garcia (2020)

Homegrown talent has helped fuel back-to-back 100-win seasons for the Yankees, though promotions and trades have thinned out their farm system somewhat since MLB Pipeline ranked it as baseball’s second-best three years ago. Dominguez has an immense ceiling and is drawing athletic comparisons to Bo Jackson and Mickey Mantle before making his pro debut, while Schmidt and Garcia could bolster the big league rotation in 2020.

It’s important to note that Dominguez was just signed to a deal (international signing) last year at the age of 16(!). Already #54. He hasn’t even played a minor league game yet (too young for it last year) but look at those comparisons—and before even making his pro debut.

Schmidt, RHP, turns 24 next month. He was the Yanks’ 1st round pick in 2017 out of the University of South Carolina. He spent most of 2019 at High A Tampa, ending up in AA Trenton. I’d expect him to start at AA Trenton, but won’t be surprised if he actually starts the year at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (abbreviated as SWB to make things easier). In a total of 18 starts and one relief appearance, Schmidt was 6-5, 3.47 in 2019 and struck out 102 in 90 2/3 IP. You have to wonder what his innings limit would be this year, though. 125? An injury cost him a lot of 2017 and 2018. He only has 114 minor league innings under his belt, going 6-8, 3.39 with 132 K in 114 IP. In his college career, he was 15-9, 3.21 in 45 games (36 starts) with 254 K in 229 2/3 IP. I wonder if he may actually be a year away, needing more time and innings in the minors, and ETA more likely 2021.

Garcia, RHP, is slight, 5′ 9″, 163 lbs., as opposed to Schmidt’s 6’1″, 200 lb frame. Garcia is still 20, turns 21 in May. He rose quickly, starting 2019 at High A Tampa and finishing at AAA SWB. He’ll probably start the year at SWB. His 2019 combined record was 5-9, 4.28, (21 starts, 5 relief appearances) with 165 K in 111 1/3 IP. The record wasn’t great, but he is only 20 and look at the number of K’s to IP. I wonder about his innings limit for this year, but if around 140-150, he seems more likely for a 2020 arrival than Schmidt. I could be wrong, we’ll see, but he did pitch some 20 innings more than Schmidt did last year.  In his whole minor league career so far, Garcia is 17-20, 3.37 with a whopping 416 K in 293.2 IP. In 2018, between A to AA (three levels), Garcia was 5-4, 2.55 in 14 starts, with 105 K in 74 IP. Young, still learning, but already, with that K to IP ratio, showing a very high ceiling.


There is a resolution approved by L.A.’s City Council calling for the 2017 World Series title to be stripped from the Astros and awarded to the Dodgers. We know is won’t happen, even though the Astros should probably now be called the Asterisks for what they did.

However, isn’t it presumptuous of L.A.’s City Council to think the Dodgers would have won the WS? Let’s say Houston’s cheating kept the Yankees from the AL Pennant and that the Yankees would have and should have played the Dodgers in the World Series that year. Who’s to say that the Yankees wouldn’t have won that World Series? Sorry, L.A. City council, but we’ll never know what might have happened if the Yankees, not the Astros were your opponent in the WS in 2017. If you think Houston screwed you over in the 2017 WS, well, the Yankees think the same as far as the 2017 ALCS.

Andujar to learn new positions; A different looking Sanchez.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

After finishing second in ROY voting in 2018, when he hit .297-27-92, OPS+ 130, Miguel Andujar suffered an injury that cost him most of the 2019 season—a season in which he was only 6 for 47.

How things change.

 

From MLBTR (my bold for emphasis):

In Andujar’s absence last year, the Yankees saw fill-in Gio Urshela enjoy an out-of-nowhere breakout. Urshela’s now set to enter 2020 as the Yankees’ top option at the hot corner, which could force Andujar to another position. Yankees manager Aaron Boone has told Andujar that he’ll have to learn to play first base and left field in spring training, Randy Miller of NJ.com reports.

Andujar’s no sure thing to begin 2020 with the Yankees if he’s unable to adapt to his new spots. Considering he has minor league options left, the Yankees could opt to send him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. But Andujar’s “makeup is off the chart,” general manager Brian Cashman told the YES Network, so the Yankees are still banking on him doing enough to crack their 26-man roster.

If Andujar does start the season in the majors, it’s up in the air how much playing time he’ll receive from the get-go. As mentioned, he’s now the Yankees’ No. 2 guy at third. Meanwhile, the Yankees have fellow right-handed hitter Luke Voit, who has been quite productive since he joined the club in 2018, as well as lefty Mike Ford as first base possibilities. They also boast Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier as left field choices. So, there doesn’t appear to be an easy path to early season playing time in New York for Andujar, despite the .297/.328/.527 line he recorded and the 76 extra-base hits he amassed during his rookie campaign.


One other piece of Yankees’ news. Have you seen pictures of Gary Sanchez recently? He always seemed to look a little “pudgy”. That baby-fat “catcher’s look” if you will. Pictures of him recently show him ripped. It seems like he may have lost 20 pounds. You will be a little surprised at next look.

Yanks bring back Lyons on minor deal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees have re-signed LHP Tyler Lyons to a minor league deal.

Lyons split 2019 between the Pirates and Yankees, going 1-2, 6.39 with an ERA+ of 72 in 14 games.

With the Yankees, he was 0-1, 4.15 in 11 games. ERA+ 111.

Lyons, who will be 32 next month, has a career record of 13-12, 4.20, ERA+ 95 with 3 saves. He has pitched for St. Louis (2013-2018), Pittsburgh (2019) and the Yankees (2019).

He got into two postseason games with the Yankees last year, going 0-0, 0.00 in a total of 1 2/3 IP.

 

Yanks make a minor signing. Thoughts on comparing players.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks made a minor signing on Wednesday, signing lefty reliever Luis Avilan to a minor league deal.

Avilan, 30, pitched for the Mets in 2019, going 4-0 but with a 5.06 ERA (ERA+ 81). Not so good.

Avilan has pitched for the Braves (2012-2015), Dodgers (2015-2017), White Sox (2018), Phillies (2018) and Mets (2019).

His MLB record is 23-10, 3.28, ERA+ 121 so 2019 was a really off, bad year for him.

His 162 game average is 4-2, 3.28, ERA+ 121. He is a lefty specialist (averaging 68 appearances a year but only 52 IP per year) so how these new rules would affect him would be interesting.

He has pitched in 11 postseason games, going 0-0, 0.00 in 7 2/3 IP. Nice.

Not a bad signing on a minor league deal. Good track record, hoping for a bounce back season.


Some people comparing Derek Jeter to other greats miss the point. You cannot compare across positions. If you are going to compare Jeter to anyone, it has to be against a Honus Wagner, Cal Ripken, A-Rod (when A-Rod was a SS), Nomar, Ernie Banks (as a SS), Nomar, etc.

You can’t compare Jeter to  Griffey, Mays, Aaron, Musial, Mantle, DiMaggio, etc.

Really. You have to compare him to other SS. You can’t compare a SS to a CF.

Do you really want to compare HOF credentials Rizzuto vs. DiMaggio?

Ozzie Smith vs. Pujols?

Luis Aparicio vs. Mickey Mantle?

Ridiculous.

I wish people would stop saying  “Jeter isn’t Mays or Aaron.”

Of course not. Jeter was a SS.

Stop comparing SS against OF.

Make similar comparisons. Like Jeter vs. Cal Ripken, Miguel Tejada, etc.

 

Another time the BBWAA really screwed up (and there have been many).

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I don’t care what Ken Rosenthal, Joel Sherman or others say, I am still upset about one voter not putting Derek Jeter on his or her ballot.

Don’t tell me how to think, Ken. In other words, STFU. (By the way, you still look like Pee Wee Herman with those bow ties).

By the way, Ken, when you say “this is a democracy”, as you do on your Fox video telling people to “just pipe down”, go back to school. The USA is not a democracy. It is a constitutional republic. Learn the difference.

A democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what is for dinner.

And you know what? I’m still upset that three voters didn’t include Ken Griffey, Jr., nine didn’t include Henry Aaron, 23 (!) didn’t include Willie Mays, and that Mickey Mantle only got 88% of the vote.

I could go on and on.

But here is one of the worst cases of BBWAA stupidity that you may not know about.

It happened in 1960, when Lefty Grove, the former Philadelphia A’s and Boston Red Sox great (1925-1941) got 2.2% of the votes.

Now Grove, one of the greatest lefty pitchers ever, with 300 wins and 9 ERA titles, deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

The point is, he WAS ALREADY ELECTED IN 1947!

And it wasn’t one voter. It was SIX. SIX who voted for Lefty Grove in 1960 despite the fact he already was in the HOF.

Now maybe they meant to vote for Lefty Gomez. Gomez pitched for the Yankees (1930-1942) and one game for the Washington Senators in 1943. Gomez won 2 ERA titles and was, along with Red Ruffing, one of the key pitchers on six WS Champion teams (1932, 1936-1939, 1941).

Gomez did make it into the HOF—by veteran’s committee—in 1972.

But to think, six voters in 1960 couldn’t get Lefty Grove vs. Lefty Gomez straight.

Stupidity in the BBWAA goes back a LONG ways.

 

Finally official. Jeter in HOF with Larry Walker. Jeter misses being unanimous by ONE vote.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It’s finally official. SS Derek Jeter is headed to Cooperstown.

ONE voter kept Jeter from being unanimous. ONE. Sorry, Joel Sherman and Ken Rosenthal, but I welcome a witch-hunt to find out who the jerk was.

Really. I want to know who and what stupid rationale he or she has. See below for more comments and my opinion.

Jeter is sixth all-time with 3465 hits. Two of the five players above him (Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker) were born in the 1880s and last played in 1928. A 5x World Series Champ, Jeter hit .310 in his career. His 162 game average was .310-15-77 with 21 SB. OPS+ 115.

He also played in 158 postseason games, hitting .308 with 20 HR.

He was SI’s Sportsman of the Year for 2009.

The 1996 ROY was also a 14x All-Star, won 5 Gold Gloves, 5 Silver Sluggers, and was both the 2000 All-Star Game and 2000 WS MVP.

He finished in the Top 10 of MVP voting eight times.

He spent his whole career with the Yankees, 1995-2014.


Larry Walker joins Jeter (as well as Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller, both voted in by committee last month). Walker played for Montreal (1989-1994), Colorado (1995-2004) and St. Louis (2004-2005). He was a 5x All-Star, 7X Gold Glove, 3x Silver Slugger, won 3 batting titles and was the 1997 MVP.

Besides winning the 1997 MVP, Walker had three other top 10 finishes.

He hit .313 in his career with 383 HR. His 162 game average was .313-31-107 with 19 SB and a fabulous 141 OPS+.

The right fielder played in 28 postseason games, hitting .230 with 7 HR and 15 RBI.


From MLB.com: (298 needed for induction)

COMPLETE VOTING TOTALS

Derek Jeter: 396 votes (99.7 percent)   1 vote short of unanimous.

Larry Walker: 304 (76.6)  Made it barely.

Curt Schilling: 278 (70.0)  Missed by 20.

Roger Clemens: 242 (61.0)

Barry Bonds: 241 (60.7)

Omar Vizquel: 209 (52.6)

Scott Rolen: 140 (35.3). Big drop off from the publicized ballots, here down.

Billy Wagner: 126 (31.7)

Gary Sheffield: 121 (30.5)

Todd Helton: 116 (29.2)

Manny Ramírez: 112 (28.2)

Jeff Kent 109: (27.5)

Andruw Jones: 77 (19.4)

Sammy Sosa: 55 (13.9)

Andy Pettitte: 45 (11.3)

Bobby Abreu: 22 (5.5)

20 votes were needed to stay on the ballot. Abreu barely made the cut.


The following drop off of the ballot:

Paul Konerko: 10 (2.5)

Jason Giambi: 6 (1.5)

Alfonso Soriano: 6 (1.5)

Eric Chávez: 2 (0.5)

Cliff Lee: 2 (0.5)

Adam Dunn: 1 (0.3) Guy below?

Brad Penny: 1 (0.3)

Raúl Ibañez: 1 (0.3)

J.J. Putz: 1 (0.3)

If the same guy who voted for Putz didn’t vote for Jeter, then who IS the Putz?

Josh Beckett: 0 apparently he did get ONE vote, see below. IS BELOW REAL OR FAKE?

Heath Bell: 0

Chone Figgins: 0

Rafael Furcal: 0

Carlos Peña: 0

Brian Roberts: 0

José Valverde: 0  As with Beckett, apparently he did get one vote, see below.


Ok, here are some thoughts. It’s a shame that Jeter did not join Mariano Rivera as unanimous selections because to me, it was important, after all that went on this week with the cheating allegations from Houston and Boston, three managers and a GM fired as a result of it, and after all that has gone on with steroid allegations over the last two decades or more, to send a message.

That message is to not only play the game well, but to play the game RIGHT.

To carry yourself a certain way. To gain and EARN the respect of your teammates and opponents.

Mariano Rivera did so and was awarded with a unanimous selection.

Derek Jeter did so as well, and should have been rewarded the same way.

It’s too bad one voter disagreed. I have a lot of thoughts and words for that voter which I (for the sake of children who may be reading) won’t repeat here.


UPDATE:

Apparently Dave Williams was the jerk (and I won’t take it back) who did NOT vote for Jeter.

UPDATE 2: TRYING TO FIND OUT IF REAL BALLOT LISTED OR FAKE

UPDATE 3: FAKE. Apparently Dave Williams isn’t a BBWAA voter, but put up a fake ballot on Barstool blog which people thought was a real ballot (sure looked like one). Now that Jeter fell one short of being unanimous, Williams is (rightfully?) being hammered.

Hey, even if it wasn’t him, serves him right for being a jerk.   So…. yeah, rightfully.

 

 

What is worse is who this guy did vote for:

Josh Beckett? Really?

Barry Bonds

Adam Dunn? Really? And leave Jeter off?

Jason Giambi

Paul Konerko

Jose Valverde? Please.

Billy Wagner

Anyway,

Whoever it was, he/she WILL be found out. — unless the person, in cowardice, requested anonymity.

 

 

 

HOF announcement tonight.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Baseball makes its HOF announcement tonight, as we see who the writers put in the Hall to join Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller, who both were selected by committee earlier.

You need 75% to get in.

As of this writing, 211 votes, 51.2%, are known.

Derek Jeter is still running unanimously at 100%, we will see tonight if that still holds up and if Jeter will join Mariano Rivera as the only unanimous selections.

Larry Walker, in his last year on the ballot, is at 83.7%. Curt Schilling is at 78.7%.

But only a little over half of the votes are known. Usually when the other, non-publicized part comes in, players drop, and someone like Schilling then is really on the bubble.

Barry Bonds and one-time Yankee Roger Clemens are at 71.6 and 70.6% respectively, thus a little short and expected to drop once more votes become known.

So it appears as if Jeter and Walker get in and the question is whether Jeter is unanimous and if Schilling joins them

Other notables: staying on the ballot would be Omar Vizquel, Gary Sheffield (the one -time Yankee at 36%), Scott Rolen, Billy Wagner, Jeff Kent, Todd Helton, Manny Ramirez, one-time Yankee Andruw Jones (23.7%), Sammy Sosa, Andy Pettitte (the Yankees’ great is at 10.4%) and another former Yankee, Bobby Abreu (6.2%).

You need 5% to stay on the ballot. Abreu is on the bubble. Pettitte stays on, but isn’t getting much support.

It appears like these notables will drop off the ballot, among others:

Ex-Yankees Jason Giambi (1 vote), Alfonso Soriano (0). Eric Chavez (one vote). Brian Roberts (0) and Raul Ibanez (0). 

Also dropping off would be Cliff Lee (1), Adam Dunn (0), and Paul Konerko (1).

The bold is players with Yankees’ connections, even if ever so briefly.