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Category Archives: Minors
AA: Somerset (40-25) lost 8-7. Starter Ken Waldichuk has been really good this year, and was for five innings, but he then gave up a 3-run HR in the sixth. Guess he was due for a so-so outing. 3B Oswaldo Cabrera 3 hits, 2 RBI, a 2-run HR. CF Brandon Lockridge 2 hits. LF Michael Beltre 2 RBI. RF Isiah Gilliam 3 hits.
High A: Hudson Valley (43-23) won 9-4. RF Jake Sanford 2 hits, RBI, solo HR. CF Elijah Dunham 3 hits. LF Pablo Olivares 2 hits, 2 RBI, 1B Chad Bell a 3-run HR. C Saul Torres 3 -run HR.
Low A: Tampa (45-20) won 5-4. DH Everson Pereira 2 for 2, 2 RBI. RF Ryder Green 3 hits.
For the first time all season, the Yankees have 10 or more hits in three consecutive games. They got 15 last night—4 of them homers—in a 9-6 win over the Twins.
The game really wasn’t as close as the final score. An ugly ninth inning by pitcher Brooks Kriske turned 9-2 into 9-6.
It’s just the Twins. But hopefully this offensive outburst means the bats are FINALLY waking up. with the win, the Yanks are 33-29, 3rd in the AL East, 5 1/2 games out.
The Yanks struck quickly. Aaron Judge, the second batter of the game, hit his 15th HR of the season to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
They made it 2-0 in the second inning. With two out, Kyle Higashioka singled and was doubled home by Brett Gardner.
They made it 5-0 in the third when Judge led off the inning with a double, Gleyber Torres walked, and Giancarlo Stanton hit a 3-run HR. It was the first of two Stanton home runs on the evening.
Yankees’ starter Gerrit Cole gave up a HR in the bottom of the third that cut the Yanks’ lead to 5-1. Cole went six innings, and gave up two runs, both on solo HR. After the spider tack grip controversy, where Twins’ 3B Josh Donaldson made some accusatory statements regarding Cole, Cole responded by striking Donaldson out the first two times he faced him.
The Yanks made it 8-1 in the fifth inning. Torres walked and Stanton hit a 2-run HR (11) for his second HR of the game. Two outs later, a red-hot Miguel Andujar hit a solo HR (5). It was Andujar’s fifth HR in his last eight games.
Cole gave up a HR in the bottom of the fifth and it was 8-2.
With one out in the seventh, Gio Urshela singled and Rougned Odor doubled him to third. Andujar got Urshela in with a sac fly. 9-2.
As mentioned above, Brooks Kriske had an ugly ninth inning, giving up 4 runs, including a HR, that made the final score 9-6 and the score seem like the game was closer than it actually was.
Judge 2 hits, solo HR (15)
Stanton 3 hits, a double and 2 HR (11) 5 RBI
Urshela 2 hits
Andujar 2 hits, 2 RBI, solo HR (5)
Higashioka 2 hits
Gardner 3 hits, RBI
Now that is the offensive recap we’ve been waiting for.
Cole (W, 7-3) 6 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 0 W, 9 K. Gave up 2 HR. 2.31
Cessa 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.84
Kriske 1 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 WP. Gave up 1 HR. 11.25
SS Oswald Peraza was promoted from High A Hudson Valley to AA Somerset this week.
As we await Thanksgiving and the Hot Stove League heats up along with the turkey, some Yankees news.
Aroldis Chapman’s suspension was reduced from three games to two and will be served at the beginning of the 2021 season. … whenever it starts. With all going on, who knows?
Yankees’ minor league coach Miguel Cairo has left the organization to become Tony LaRussa’s bench coach with the White Sox. Yes, surprising that 76 year old LaRussa, already in the Hall of Fame, is returning to managing. Look out Connie Mack!
The Yanks put four minor leaguers on the 40 man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. SS Oswald Peraza and three minor league pitchers: Roansy Contreras, Alexander Vizcaino and Yoendrys Gomez. Vizcaino is 23, the others 20 or 21.
The Yanks don’t seem to like Buffalo too much. Buffalo is the COVID-19 induced “home” of the Toronto Blue Jays this year, and in the games played there this year, the Yanks haven’t fared too well.
Last night the Yankees (31-23) lost 11-5, dropping them 1 1/2 games behind the Twins for that #4 playoff seed. There are only six games left. The Twins at 33-22 have five games left. If things stay like this, the Yanks will not have a home playoff game. All three games in the first round would be in Minnesota and if the Yanks advance, they then head to the “bubble” in California for the ALDS and ALCS. The WS will be at another neutral bubble in Texas. The Yanks are 21-7 at Yankee Stadium this year, 10-16 on the road.
The lack of a minor league season has really hurt Michael King. Hopefully he can learn from his MLB experience this year but it is becoming apparent he needed more minor league time to develop–minor league time not available during this COVID dominated year. Sending someone to the alternate site isn’t the same as sending them down for AAA games.
King, 25, had 15 games at AA (6-3, 3.14) and 10 games at AAA (7-1, 2.30) so 25 games equals basically a full season of AA or higher experience. Nice records but the majors are different. He’s 1-2, 7.76 in the majors this season. More minor league experience would have helped, but it just isn’t there this year.
The Yanks scored first, getting a run in the top of the second. With one out, Gleyber Torres walked. Aaron Hicks walked, and Gio Urshela singled in Torres.
King gave up five runs in the bottom of the third, the last two coming in when Jonathan Loaisiga gave up a double allowing two inherited runners to score.
Loaisiga, good this year until last night, then gave up four runs in the bottom of the fourth. 9-1.
Nick Nelson, a pitcher in the same boat as King, gave up a HR in the bottom of the sixth. 10-1 Toronto.
The Yanks got a run in the top of the seventh. Torres led off with a walk, moved to third on a double by Hicks and scored on a groundout by Urshela. 10-2.
Chad Green gave up a HR in the bottom of the seventh. 11-2.
The Yanks got three in the top of the ninth. With one out, Urshela singled. With two out, both Brett Gardner and Tyler Wade walked. With the bases loaded, Mike Tauchman doubled all three runners home.
I haven’t cared too much for C Gary Sanchez’ pitch selection at times this year (in addition to Sanchez’ low batting average), and in reading a recent article, it seems manager Aaron Boone was questioning Sanchez the other day about it too. It will be interesting to see if Kyle Higashioka catches Gerrit Cole again tonight. Has Higgy become Cole’s personal catcher? Will we see that in the postseason? Tonight will be Cole’s last start before the postseason, Game 1 of the first round vs. (it appears to be) the Twins.
LeMahieu 2 hits (.365)
Tauchman 3 RBI
Urshela 2 hits, 2 RBI
King (L, 1-2, 7.76) 2 2/3 IP, 5 R, 5 H, 1 W, 6 K.
Loaisiga 1 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 W, 0 K. 3.86
Nelson 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. 5.09 Gave up 1 HR.
Green 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.80 Gave up 1 HR.
Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 6.06
From Bryan Hoch at MLB.com:
The Yankees are preparing to make history with the addition of Rachel Balkovec, who will become one of the first female full-time hitting coaches hired by a big league organization, The New York Times reported on Friday evening.
The 32-year-old Balkovec signed her contract on Nov. 8, according to the Times, and is slated to report to the Yankees’ Spring Training complex in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 1. Balkovec is expected to be based in Tampa and will serve as a roving instructor throughout the organization.
Yankees hitting coordinator Dillon Lawson told the Times that the club hired Balkovec based on her qualifications, which include two master’s degrees in the science of human movement and experience at several Minor League clubs.
“It’s an easy answer to why we chose Rachel for this role,” Lawson told the newspaper. “She’s a good hitting coach, and a good coach, period.”
A product of Omaha, Neb., Balkovec earned recognition as a part-time strength and conditioning coach in the Cardinals’ organization in 2012, prompting her appointment as the Minor League strength and conditioning coordinator for the Cardinals from 2014-15. As such, she became the first woman to hold a full-time strength and conditioning position in affiliated baseball.
Since August, Balkovec has been researching eye tracking for hitters and hip movement for pitchers at Driveline Baseball, a data-driven performance training center in Washington state. The Yankees tabbed Driveline’s Sam Briend this past summer to head their organizational pitching blueprint, and Balkovec hopes to apply her expertise to the club’s hitters.
No, it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. The Yankees signed Zack Granite to a minor league deal.
At first, when you read it, you thought you saw Zack Greinke, didn’t you? Like many others, you did a double take.
Nope, it is not the top-flight pitcher (who isn’t a free agent anyway), but an OF named Zack Granite, 27, lefty hitter who had 93 MLB at bats with the Twins in 2017. Of his 22 hits (.237), 19 were singles. OPS+ 66. 1 HR, 13 RBI. OF depth. Especially in CF.
Granite is from Staten Island and went to Seton Hall. He hit .290-3-37 at AAA (119 games, Rangers organization) in 2019. 25 SB. So has some speed, no power.
From the NY Post, the Ellsbury departure could get ugly:
On Friday, multiple sources told The Post, right after Ellsbury cleared release waivers, the Yankees sent a letter to the Players Association notifying them of their intention to convert Ellsbury’s contract from guaranteed to non-guaranteed, thereby liberating them from the outfielder’s $21 million salary for 2020 as well as a $5 million buyout of the $21 million team option for 2021. The basis of the effort is the Yankees’ contention Ellsbury, who missed the entire 2018 and 2019 seasons due to multiple injuries, received medical treatment at Progressive Medical Center in Atlanta for multiple years without the Yankees’ authorization. The exact time period is in question, hence the uncertainty about how much, if any, of the $127 million the Yankees already have paid Ellsbury will be in play.
The union, livid with the Yankees’ maneuver, made it clear it would challenge the team on Ellsbury’s behalf and hinted at a willingness to play offense as well as defense.
If Ellsbury, who is represented by agent Scott Boras, files a grievance against the Yankees, an independent arbitrator would resolve the matter unless the two sides can come to a settlement. Baseball’s Basic Agreement mandates a hearing take place within one year of the grievance filing.
The Basic Agreement, most importantly, asserts, on page 59: “Any treatment a Player receives for a Work-Related Injury by a health care provider who is not affiliated with the Club must be authorized by the Club in advance of the treatment in accordance with Regulation 2 of the [Uniform Player Contract].”
That’s the edict the Yankees allege Ellsbury violated. In order to prove that, the Yankees — who didn’t have insurance on Ellsbury’s 2020 contract, after getting reimbursed at a 75-percent rate for the $42 million he earned over the prior two seasons — must display that he received treatment there related to his work, rather than a personal-health issue.
As for the PA’s mention of potential contract violations by the Yankees, the union could investigate whether the team was responsible for a media report implying Ellsbury might have used illegal performance-enhancing drugs at Progressive Medical Center, an insinuation that could be viewed as breaking the rules of the game’s Joint Drug Agreement. Ironically, if baseball did discover Ellsbury used illegal PEDs, his contract would be protected, as per the Basic Agreement, and he’d serve a suspension, during which he wouldn’t get paid.
Lastly, stay tuned. The Houston cheating scandal could wind up with one hell of a punishment.
The Washington Nationals, the biggest WS underdog since the 2007 Colorado Rockies (who got swept by Boston) are heading home after whipping Houston 12-3 in Game 2 last night.
In winning both games at Houston, Washington beat Gerrit Cole AND Justin Verlander. Verlander has now started six WS games in his career, and is 0-5.
Stephen Strasburg gave up a 2-run HR to Alex Bregman in the first inning, but nothing after that as he pitched six innings for the win.
Five different Nationals had two hits, as they banged out 14, including 3 HR.
The Cubs apparently have chosen ESPN broadcaster David Ross as their new manager, replacing Joe Maddon who has moved on to the Angels. Remember the surprise when the Yankees chose Aaron Boone two years ago? And Eduardo Perez (Tony’s son), an ESPN broadcaster, is still in the mix for some open managerial jobs, too.
The Arizona Fall League ends tomorrow, Friday. The Surprise Saguaros, which has some Yankees’ prospects, are 16-11, have clinched their division and will be playing in the Championship game on Saturday. Stats for those prospects.
1B Brandon Wagner .212-2-21 19 games
C Donny Sands .188-1-7 14 games
CF Josh Stowers .121-1-3 19 games.
P Aaron McGarity 1-0, 0.87 9 games, 10 1/3 IP 14 K
P Glenn Otto 2-1, 1.35 5 starts, 20 IP, 20 K
P Daniel Bies 0-1, 4.50 10 IP, 14 K
Because there is so much Yankees news major-league wise, between the game, a trade and a major injury, there will be no minor league report today (no time before I have to leave for work).
Before the game, the Yanks made a trade with Toronto, getting J.A. Happ for Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney.
Happ, 35, made his first All-Star team this year, and is 10-6, 4.18, ERA+ 101 in 20 starts. He hasn’t been that good lately. Through June 13 he was 8-3, 3.48, but he has gone 2-3, 6.03 since. Hopefully he turns it back around for the Yanks. Happ, like the just-acquired Zack Britton, can become a free agent at the end of the season, he and Britton may just be rentals. Happ broke in nicely, and after just a little bit of MLB experience in 2007 and 2008 (he got in 8 games, 4 starts for the 2008 WS Champion Phillies), finished second in ROY in 2009, when he went 12-4, 2.93 in 35 games, 23 starts, for the NL pennant-winning Phils that year. Who knows, if he would have started for the Phils in the WS that year instead of Pedro Martinez (who was at the end of his career and who lost two WS games), maybe the Yanks don’t win that 2009 WS but lose it to the Phillies. Pedro never pitched again after that WS.
Happ then went 38-48, 4.56, ERA+ 86 between 2010-2014, bouncing from the Phils to Houston to Toronto. He upped his game in 2015, going 11-8, 3.61 for Seattle and Pittsburgh. He went back to Toronto in 2016 and was a 20 game winner, finishing sixth in CYA voting. Last year he was 10-11, 3.53. For his career he is 102-82, 3.95, ERA+ 104. 162 g. average 13-11, 3.95.
For Happ, the Yanks gave up Brandon Drury, who was expected to be their starting 3B this year, but migraines put Drury on the DL, and sent him to the minors. Meanwhile, Miguel Andujar took Drury’s job. Drury got into just 18 games with the Yanks, going 9 for 51 (.176) with 1 HR and 7 RBI, OPS+ just 47. In 61 games at SWB, he was .292-6-32. Drury turns 26 in a few weeks.
Also going to Toronto is OF/1B Billy McKinney. McKinney got into just 2 games with the Yanks at the beginning of the season, going 1 for 4. Soon to be 24, McKinney was hitting .228-13-35 for SWB in 63 games this year.
Now for the game. First, Judge’s injury.
Aaron Judge was HBP by a ball in the first inning. He stayed in the game and got an infield single in the third but was removed. An X-Ray, MRI and CT scan were all done and the final showed a a chip fracture of the right wrist (ulnar styloid bone). No surgery is recommended but Judge will miss at least 3 weeks.
Ouch, WAR has Judge as the Yanks’ best player (Severino is second).
The Yanks won the game 7-2 over KC, a bittersweet victory what with the Judge injury, and at 65-36, the Yanks picked up a game on Boston, who lost 2-1 to the Twins. The Yanks are now 4 1/2 back.
In that first inning, with one out, Judge was HBP. Didi doubled Judge to third. Stanton hit a SF which scored Judge and moved Didi to third. After Hicks walked, Torres reached on an error which allowed Didi to score. 2-0 Yanks.
The Yanks got 4 in the fourth. With one out, Walker singled and Romine doubled him in. After an out, Andujar, pinch-hitting for the injured Judge, reached on an error, and Didi Gregorius made KC pay for the error by hitting a 3-run HR (18).
In the fifth, Hicks singled, then Torres singled Hicks to third. Bird drove in the run with a SF. 7-0.
Adam Warren gave up a 2-run HR to Salvador Perez in the sixth, 7-2.
Britton made his Yankees’ debut in the eighth with a 1-2-3 inning.
Judge 1 for 1, HBP, Fractured wrist, Out at least 3 weeks.
Gregorius 2 hits, 3-run HR.
Hicks 2 hits, threw out a runner at the plate to end the game.
Walker 2 hits
Gray (W, 8-7, 5.08) 5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 W, 5 K.
Warren 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.96
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. 2.98
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.24 (combined Balt/NYY; NYY debut)
Shreve 1 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.14
Vaughn Eshelman, who pitched for Boston 1995-1997, going 15-9, 6.07, ERA+ 81, died at the age of 49.