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Category Archives: Mike’s Musings
Before we get into the minor league report, some Yankees news. The Subway Series starts tonight, weather permitting (rain in the forecast could cause another rainout). The Yankees caught a break in that they miss the Mets’ Jacob DeGrom. Even though he gave up 3 runs last night, DeGrom’s ERA is still an astonishing 0.95.
Starters for the All-Star Game have been announced and the Yankees will have one starter in Aaron Judge. We’ll have to see about pitchers and reserves as far as any other Yankees being selected.
Even thought the Yankees (41-39, 4th in AL East) were rained out last night, they lost ground. They are now 9 back of Boston, who won last night.
Now the minor league report. Once again, rain wreaked havoc.
AAA: SWB Split a doubleheader.
Game 1; Completion of suspended game. SWB (34-14) lost 6-2. Nick Nelson started and gave up 2 R in 2 IP before the game was suspended. When the game resumed, Deivi Garcia took the mound. Nelson took the loss, and he is 1-1, 2.73 at AAA after going a horrendous 0-2, 9.75 ERA with the Yankees. Garcia’s troublesome season continues. He pitched 4 innings, and although he struck out 7, he gave up 3 runs. Garcia in two starts with the Yankees was 0-2, 6.48, but his AAA ERA is an atrocious 8.55. 2B Hoy Jun Park 2 hits, solo HR. (How I wish the Yanks would replace Odor with Park, who is at .350 and more versatile). DH Ryan LaMarre 2 hits.
Game 2: SWB won 1-0 in a rain-shortened 5 inning game. Both teams only had 2 hits each in this game.
AA: Somerset (32-17) was supposed to have a doubleheader. They won the first game, 4-3. The second was rained out. Ken Waldichuk 5 IP, 3 R, but only 1 was earned. 3 hits, 8 K. ERA at AA 3.60, overall (High A/AA) this season, 10 starts, 3-0, 1.18. In 20 minor league starts, 3-2, 2.16.
High A: Hudson Valley rained out.
Low A: Tampa (33-15) was supposed to play a doubleheader. They won the first game 8-1 in a 7-inning game. SS Anthony Volpe should be promoted soon. 2 hits, 4 RBI, a grand slam (.316-10-45). 2B Trevor Hauver 3 for 3, RBI. DH Carlos Narvaez 2 for 2, RBI. Three Tampa pitchers combined on a one-hitter.
The second game was suspended before Tampa came to bat in the bottom of the first. Jupiter had not scored in the top of the first.
Aaron Judge. A. Leads team in BA, HR and RBI. Also in OPS+ 148, and anything over 140 is MVP consideration material. Best hitter and non-pitcher on the team. Gets screwed by umps who won’t adjust the strike zone to adjust to the fact Judge is 6’7″. As a result low pitches below his knees are called strikes as if Judge were 5’10”. Defense still great, and forced to play CF at times.
Giancarlo Stanton B. I would give him an A except he can’t play the field. His inability to (or the Yankees refusal to) play him in the OF occasionally means Judge or Sanchez can’t have a day at DH. This inflexibility hurts the Yanks, and also when the Yanks play in NL parks (no DH; see the Phillies series where the Yanks lost both games, Stanton couldn’t play). 136 OPS+ is solid. Needs to stay healthy. Also needs to be able to play the OF once in a blue moon!
No grades for the lack of much playing time for Mike Tauchman (traded after 3 for 14), Ryan LaMarre (0 for 7 in 3 games) or Estevan Florial (just one game). The exceptions were made for Voit’s 1B fill-ins.
Gerrit Cole A. Been struggling a bit lately, but 8 wins, ERA 2.66, ERA+ 161, which if continued all merit CYA consideration. Yanks wasting his starts by giving him no run support.
Jordan Montgomery B. ERA+ 106. ERA 4.06.
Lot of no-decisions, just 3-2, but Yanks 11-4 in his starts (Cole, b/c of lack of run support, is 8-8).
Corey Kluber B+. Was 4-3, 3.04 ERA+142 with a no-hitter when the shoulder acted up. Any ERA+ over 140 CYA worthy. Big loss.
Domingo German. C. Inconsistent. Two lousy outings, sent down, came back, very good for two months, now lousy again. 4.50 ERA, ERA+ 95. Fields his position very poorly.
Jameson Taillon F. Rarely gives innings. 3-4, 5.43. ERA+ just 79.
Michael King C. Better as reliever (2.29 ERA) than starter (5.47). He, and some others, can’t get out of the first inning unscathed. 0-4, 4.06, ERA+ 106.
Deivi Garcia F. 2 starts. 0-2, 6.48 in MLB. But 8.80 at AAA. Only 21 but what a regression.
Aroldis Chapman C. Wow. A few weeks ago, this would have been an A. On June 9, Chapman had an ERA of 0.39. Since then, it’s ballooned to 3.77, and it would be higher except that he has been saved by a triple play. Should take a little off his pitches and concentrate on just getting the ball over. Overthrows. Of course, HRs he gave up ended both of the Yankees’ last two seasons.
Jonathan Loaisiga A. His “coming-out” year. Been fabulous as a set-up man. 7 wins second on team (and all in relief!). ERA 2.32. ERA+ 186. Even though a setup man, deserves an All-Star slot.
Lucas Luetge. B+. Would have been an A until the recent meltdown against the Angels. Has come out of nowhere to post an ERA of 3.15, ERA+ 137.
Chad Green. A. 2.48 ERA, 174 ERA+. With Loisiga, pretty solid.
Luis Cessa B. 3.31 ERA, ERA+ 131. Been solid, but mostly used in garbage time. Like King, better in relief than as a starter, but I am a little surprised King went into rotation (King had no MLB experience there, whereas Cessa did. King’s experience as a starter was all in the minors.)
Darren O’Day. A. Has done well, but on IL, hasn’t pitched much.
Justin Wilson F. A 5.65 ERA for a short reliever is horrible. Went on IL.
Zack Britton no grade. Has missed almost the whole season so far with injury. Just five games.
Brooks Kriske F. As with Britton, just five games, but you can’t ignore a horrible 12.60 ERA.
Nestor Cortes, Jr. A. Can give innings. Compare his 1.02 to Wilson’s 5.65.
Wandy Peralta. F. Why Aaron Boone trusted the guy (Peralta is now on the IL) so much baffles me. 5.28 ERA. About same as Wilson, so same grade. Yanks traded Tauchman to SF for him. Tauchman hasn’t done much for SF, so… even.
Albert Abreu A. Too bad on the rollercoaster. Up/down, UP/Down. 2.13 ERA. Done well when brought up.
Nick Nelson F. 9.75 ERA. And the Yanks protected him and Kriske instead of Garret Whitlock, who went to Boston via the Rule 5 draft and who has a 1.42 ERA for Boston. Hoo boy.
Aaron Boone. D. I don’t mind Boone, think he’s an OK manager. But I am tired of him not calling out his underperforming team and making excuses for them. Time to get mad and pissed at them! Of course what happens in private, we don’t know. But Aaron, can you show some anger, equal to as much as we fans are pissed off right now? And stop looking at the big picture, so to speak by giving guys days off so much? You are saving guys for playoffs, that, the way the team is playing, you won’t qualify for!
Brian Cashman F. I’ve defended Cashman often. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame one day. But this year? No. A lineup devoid of lefty hitters. Yankee Stadium is made for lefty hitters, and those few lefties on the team haven’t done anything. The lineup has too many righty bats. Too many guys who can’t run (last in SB), don’t make contact, don’t hit and run, can’t bunt, don’t hit behind the runner, don’t run the bases well—meaning taking the extra base (and too many thrown out on the basepaths), one-dimensional, HR or nada. Some guys are playing out of position. The LeMahieu contract for a number of years, ok. Cole’s? OK. You are stuck with Stanton’s. But 7 years to Hicks? (rolling eyes). Not giving Hoy Jun Park (hitting over .350 at AAA right now) a chance but sticking with Odor? The same with Trey Amburgey vs. Frazier/Andujar? The team is constructed poorly. That falls on Cashman. Boone can only work with what he has been given. Hence an F for Cashman, a D for Boone. Preseason predictions for this team were for possibly 100 wins. They are 41-39. And the schedule the next month is difficult. They easily could be 49-55 or something like that at the end of July. Yes, that means going 8-16 in the next 24 games. Look at the schedule. Mets (do they face DeGrom? Luckily, no), Houston, Boston, Tampa Bay. I think those four teams encompass 17 of the next 24 games. The Yanks have not had a losing season since 1992. They better step it up, or else…. Forget the playoffs. They could finish under .500.
You know the saying. Make contact, don’t strike out, and you might get lucky. You don’t know what may happen.
That sure worked for Boston as the Red Sox got five infield hits in beating the Yankees 4-2 Saturday night.
Usually when you are a lefty pitching at Fenway, and give up 3 runs in 6 innings, you did pretty well. But for Jordan Montgomery, it only made him a hard-luck loser last night as the Yankees had trouble getting to ex-Yankee Nathan Eovaldi. More on that in a bit.
The loss dropped the Yankees to 40-36, 6 back. They are 4 1/2 out of what would be the final playoff spot if the season ended today. They are in third place in the AL East, but only 1/2 game ahead of 4th place Toronto. They really need a win today, and at least have ace Gerrit Cole starting the game today.
A lot of the Yankees’ problems deal with how the roster is constructed. Yankees’ teams have traditionally been built on lefty bats (including switch-hitters) and lefty pitching. Here is a look at just a few Yankees’ title teams of the past. Lefty hitters listed, switch-hitters have an asterisk.
1927: Ruth, Gehrig, Combs, Koenig*
1939: Dickey, Rolfe, Keller, Selkirk, Henrich
1961: Mantle*, Maris, Berra, Kubek, Blanchard
1977: Nettles, Chambliss, Rivers, Jackson, White*
1998: Williams*, O’Neill, Martinez, Raines*, Strawberry, Posada*, Ledee, Davis*
2009: (the last title) Swisher*, Cabrera*, Teixeira*, Posada*, Cano, Damon, Matsui, Gardner … even Pena* and Hinske.
Wow. Look at all the switch-hitters in 2009.
Now look at this year. I’ll also have to point out the production, or lack of. Remember 100 is average OPS+. For example, an 80 means 20% below league average.
Odor .209-8-18, OPS+ 93; Gardner .198-2-8, 71; Hicks* .194-4-14, 76 (only 32 games, out for season); Ford .133-3-5, 58 (traded to Tampa Bay); Bruce .118-1-3, 32 (retired after 10 games), Wade .217-0-2, 54. Tauchman was 3 for 14, traded to SF, and young Estevan Florial was 1 for 3 in one game.
There’s very little lefty bats in the lineup, and they have been unproductive. Against a tough righty pitcher like Eovaldi, the Yanks only had one lefty hitting starter in the lineup last night. That was Gardner, hitting ninth.
You can see the problem. Look at the lefties and switch-hitters (and you know how productive they were) of some of the title teams and compare that to this year’s team.
People can talk about the short porch at Yankee Stadium all they want. The Yanks aren’t taking advantage of it.
One last thing before a quick game recap: The Yankees are hitting into a ton of DPs this year, and are at the top in that category. Remember that a righty hitter has to take two or three more steps to get to first base than a lefty one. Those steps are the difference between a force out and a DP.
As for the game, Boston got two runs off of Montgomery in the second inning. Two infield hits, and a SF that went 152 ft. 1B Luke Voit had to go up the line in foul territory for the catch, and was in no position to make a good throw home. So Montgomery and the Yanks had no luck there.
Boston got another run in the third to make it 3-0, helped by two more infield hits. Once again, no luck. Boston added another run in the seventh to make it 4-0.
D.J. LeMahieu got the Yanks on the board in the top of the eighth with a solo HR (7) with two out. The Yanks then loaded the bases on three straight walks, but Voit grounded out to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth, LeMahieu singled in a run to make it 4-2, but with two men on, Aaron Judge struck out to end the game.
LeMahieu 4 hits, Solo HR, 2 RBI
Judge 2 hits
Montgomery (L, 3-2) 6 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 2 W, 5 K. 1 WP 4.06.
Abreu 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.53
Half of Boston’s 10 hits were infield hits.
Before the game, Zack Britton (hamstring) and Wandy Peralta (back) were placed on the injured list. Albert Abreu and Brooks Kriske were brought up.
AA: Somerset (30-15) won 7-4. Starter Janson Junk, 7 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 3 K. Impressed Luke Voit while Voit was on his rehab stint. (3-1, 1.07). Maybe Junk comes up to AAA and Garcia goes down to AA. We’ll see. SS Diego Castillo 3 hits, RBI on a solo HR. DH Oswald Peraza 2 hits. 2B/3B Oswaldo Cabrera 2 RBI. C Donny Sands 2 hits, 2 RBI, solo HR.
High A: Hudson Valley (29-16) won 11-9. LF Isaiah Pasteur 2-run HR. 2B Ezequiel Duran 3 hits, RBI. C Anthony Seigler 2 hits, 4 RBI. 1B Kyle MacDonald 2 hits, RBI.
Low A: Tampa ppd.