Category Archives: Offseason Moves

Game 109. Division title hopes dim after 4-1 loss pushes Yanks 8 1/2 back.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks have 53 games left,  but it would now take a 1978-type miracle to win the division after a 4-1 loss Saturday pushed the 68-35 Yanks 8 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL East.

Meanwhile, even the top wild-card spot is in peril because the hot Oakland A’s won again.

Chance Adams, making his MLB debut, didn’t do too badly considering the circumstances. He gave up 2 HR but in pitching 5 innings, gave up just 3 runs, keeping the Yanks in the game.

But until the ninth inning, the offense, just like on Friday night, was non-existent, and for the second straight day, the Yanks fell to Boston by a 4-1 score.

Adams gave up a 2-run HR in the first and a solo shot in the fourth. Boston got a run in the seventh off of A.J. Cole when a video review overturned a foul ball into a double.

In the ninth, the Yanks scored their only run when with two out, Stanton and Didi both doubled. They actually got the go-ahead run to the plate, when Hicks and Torres both walked. Bases loaded. Bird flied to center, though, to end the game.

Stanton had 2 of the Yanks’ 5 hits. Going into the ninth, they had just 3 hits, and no runs.

Adams (L, 0-1, 5.40) 5 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 2 HR. MLB DEBUT.
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  2.77
Cole 2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K.  5.09  (Wash/NYY combined)

Tommy Kahnle, up for a day, was sent back so that Adams could come up and make the start.

After the game against Boston Sunday night, the Yanks’ schedule is relatively weak until Labor Day. They need to right the ship, and shave four or five games off of that lead between now and Labor Day.

The four game losing streak is the longest the Yanks have had all season.

As for the offseason, I don’t know if, after getting under the cap, Hal Steinbrenner will now go over it again, but there are a couple of moves I would do. These moves may not be popular among Yankees fans, because they would mean some options of aging Yankees players would not be picked up, in order to target two players via free agency.

 

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S.T. Game 28. Yanks blanked, 5-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks sent Luis Cessa to AAA today and released Wade LeBlanc.

As for the game, Masahiro Tanaka pitched well, made one mistake, but the Yanks were blanked in a 5-0 loss to Boston. They are 15-12-1 for spring training.

Brandon Drury escaped more serious injury when he was hit by a pitch and needed X-rays on his elbow. Negative, but we’ll see how things develop since Opening Day is only a week away.

It was an Opening Day lineup…. sort of. Move Brett Gardner to 9 and move everyone else up, and that’s what you had, which meant Aaron Judge leading off.

Spring training is the time for experimentation.

Tanaka gave up a HR to Ivan De Jesus, Jr. in the third.

The bullpen was a bit shaky.  Chasen Shreve gave up a HR and two runs in the seventh, and Boston scored single runs in the eighth and ninth.

The Yanks only got five hits, two by Gardner.

Tanaka (L) 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 0 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Kahnle 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Shreve 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR
Betances 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Lail 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 4 K.
Schwaab 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.

Miguel Andujar won the James P. Dawson Award for best rookie in camp.

S.T. Game 26. All rise, twice. Judge HRs 2x in Yanks 9-4 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before Wednesday’s game, the Yanks sent a couple of people down, and one of them, Tyler Austin, is the indication that they are going with just three bench people, meaning 12 position players, and 13 pitchers to start the season.

Besides Austin, also going down are Ben Heller, Giovanny Gallegos and Billy McKinney.

It appears that that 25th spot will be going to Jonathan Holder or Domingo German.

I prefer it go to Holder. Here is why. I’m more sold on German as an emergency starter than Luis Cessa (see below for what Cessa did tonight). So as an emergency starter, I want German to stay stretched out to give multiple innings, and not waste away in the Yanks’ loaded bullpen going only an inning or two at a time. Keep him stretched out at AAA. So then go with Holder in the bullpen (and see below for what Holder did tonight).

As for the game tonight, Aaron Judge homered twice, walked twice, scored four runs and drove in four in the Yanks’ 9-4 win over Baltimore. The Yanks’ spring training record is 14-11-1.

The lineup looked like an Opening Day lineup, with the exception of Ronald Torreyes batting 9th and playing 3B instead of Brandon Drury.

The lineup was Gardner/Judge/Bird/Stanton/Sanchez/Didi/Hicks/Walker/Torreyes.

Having written that, the first two innings featured the kind of offensive bludgeoning we hope to see from the Yanks this year.

After Cessa gave up a HR in the top of the first to put the Orioles up 1-0, the Yanks came right back with two in the bottom of the first. With one out, Judge walked, and with two out, Stanton singled, Sanchez walked and Didi doubled home two.

Some don’t like Judge hitting second because of the 52 HR last year. I don’t mind it because he also led the AL with 127 walks. You do want someone on base for Stanton and Sanchez (and others).

In the third, with one out, Torreyes and Gardner singled, and Judge walked again, this time to load the bases. Bird singled in two. After Stanton grounded into a force, Sanchez reached on an error, a run scoring. 5-1 Yanks.

Cessa gave up a couple runs in the fourth to make it 5-3 O’s. By this time, Gary Sanchez had already thrown out TWO Orioles attempting to steal.

In the bottom of the fourth, Judge hit the first of his two homers for the night to make it 6-3 Yanks.

In the fifth, David Robertson ran into trouble then turned into Houdini again. Single, double to make it 6-4, WP. But then foul out, and two strikeouts, to stand that runner at third.

Holder (see above) came in and pitched two scoreless innings. Like I wrote, stretch German out at AAA to have him as emergency starter, keep Holder on the team (until Ellsbury is ready to come off the DL).

In the eighth, Aroldis Chapman got a strikeout, then an error by Hicks and a double put men on second and third for the Orioles, but Chapman got a strikeout and Chaz Hebert then came in and got a strikeout to get out of it.

In the bottom of the eighth, Abiatal Avelino and Brett Gardner each singled, and Judge hit his second HR of the game to make it 9-4.

Gardner 2 hits. Scored 2x
Judge 2 HR, 2 walks, scored 4, drove in 4.
Bird 2 RBI
Gregorius 2 RBI

Cessa (W) 4 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Robertson (H) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K
Holder (H) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Chapman (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Hebert (S) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.

S.T. Game 21. Yanks are shut out, 2-0 by Astros. Yanks trade Cave to Twins.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Sorry for a bit of a late report. Feeling achy and my neck, shoulders and back are killing me. My one shoulder especially. I didn’t do anything but wonder if there is some tendonitis. The last time it felt like this there was a hairline fracture in it. I don’t have the $$$ or time for a massage, but boy could I use one.

The Yankees only got two hits on Friday night in losing to Houston 2-0. Jordan Montgomery gave up a solo HR in the first and another in the fourth. The loss drops the Yanks’ spring training record to 12-8-1.

The Yanks traded OF Jake Cave to the Twins for RHP Luis Gil. Gil, 19, has pitched only in the Dominican Summer League.

Montgomery (L) 4 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Robertson 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Green 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 4 K.
Gallegos 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Lail 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.

On an aside, wow. For the first time ever, a #16 seed has knocked off a #1 seed (Virginia) in the first round of the NCAA tournament. March Madness indeed! and by 20 points!

S.T. Game 19. Lind released, Yanks lose 7-4 as Adams bombed.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Well, in the test who see who would be the Yanks’ emergency starter if they need one this year, Chance Adams isn’t doing so well. Maybe there is a reason he wasn’t called up late last year despite a good year between AA and AAA.

Adams gave up 2-run HRs in the first and also the second innings as the Yanks lost to Baltimore, 7-4, to drop their spring training record to 11-7-1.

Adams got just five outs while giving up five runs.

Personally, from what we’ve seen in spring training, I would choose Domingo German right now as my emergency starter. That could change as the year progresses. But it’s clear so far that Adams needs some more work.

After he gave up the 2-run HR to Adam Jones in the bottom of the first, the Yanks did come back with three in the top of the second.

Drury and McKinney walked, and Romine singled to load the bases. Torreyes got an RBI on a groundout, and with two out, Shane Robinson singled in two.

Adams then gave up three runs in the bottom of the second, two on a HR by Jonathan Schoop.

The Orioles got one in the third to make it 6-3, and Erik Kratz homered in the fourth for the Yanks to cut it to 6-4.

Baltimore got one in the seventh for the final score of 7-4.

Adams (L) 1 2/3 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Carroll 1 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Hale 3 IP, 0 r, 4 H, 3 W, 4 K.
LeBlanc 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Feyereisen 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.

I can’t see LeBlanc sticking. Shreve has outperformed him.

Adam Lind, signed recently by the Yanks to a minor league deal, was released by the Yanks today. That could be good news for Tyler Austin, who appears to be making the team as the backup to Greg Bird at 1B. Austin, who also can play corner outfield, appears as if he’ll play 1B if the Yanks need to give Bird a rest or sit hit against a tough lefty pitcher. Here is where Austin, a righty batter, had the edge over the lefty swinging Lind in backing up the lefty swinging Bird.

Yanks sign 2B Neil Walker to 1 yr. $4MM deal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

This free agent market and the bargains out there are ridiculous.

The Yanks signed veteran 2B Neil Walker to a 1-yr., $4MM deal.

Walker, 32, a switch-hitter, made $17.2 MM last year (took the qualifying offer), and 10.5 MM the year before that. MLB trade rumors had him projected to get a two-year, $20MM deal. The Yanks get him for a year at $4MM? (Plus incentives that could make him more $$).

Bargain.

This Yankees’ lineup is getting downright scary.

Walker has battled some injuries the past two years, but his 162 g. average is .272-20-80 with an OPS+ of 113. In this lineup he could be batting 8th or 9th.

20 HR/80 RBI from a guy hitting 8th or 9th? That reminds me of Scott Brosius in 1998 when he hit .300-19-98, OPS+ 121 batting at the bottom of the lineup, and we all know how good that 1998 team was.

Last year, Walker missed some 45 games but between the Mets and Brewers, hit .265-14-49, OPS+ 111.

Can you imagine a lineup something like Gardner/Judge (batting 2nd because of his AL leading 127 walks and an OBP of .422 last year) Stanton (so Judge and Stanton both bat in the first inning, putting that much pressure on the starting pitcher) Didi (to break up the righty bats) Sanchez, Bird, Hicks, Walker and Drury?

L/R/R/L/R/L/S/S/R

OK, you have an OPS+ of 100 that is average. Here is what the OPS+ was last year, with that lineup, in the order I gave you.

104/171/165/106/126/84 (Bird was hurt most of last year, but was 135 when he came up at the end of 2015 let’s hope it’s that)/ 122/111 and 89. Drury, who hit .267-13-63 is the low guy there at the end.

Let’s repeat that, and give Bird the 135.

104
171
165
106
126
135
122
111
89

100 is league average.

Scary.

Walker has played for the Pirates (2009-2015), Mets (2016-2017) and Brewers (2017). He has that NY experience with the Mets.

Twice he has popped 20 or more HR in a season. He has one Silver Slugger Award.

It’s a one-year deal, so what it means for Gleyber Torres and/or Tyler Wade remains to be seen. For now, it probably sends them both to the minors and buys more time. SWB should have one killer team this year. How it also affects say, a Thairo Estrada or Abiatal Avelino is to be determined also, not to mention Tyler Austin or Adam Lind if Walker is slated to backup at 1B.

I wonder if some prospects could be moved in a blockbuster for a top-notch pitcher.

Primarily a 2B, Walker has a little experience at 3B and 1B also. Hopefully he does better for the Yanks in the postseason than he did for Pittsburgh. In 8 postseason games, he is 2 for 31.

To clear roster space, the Yanks DFA’d OF Jake Cave, released INF Danny Espinosa and sent INF Kyle Holder down to minor league camp.

Yankees’ advisor Reggie Jackson is scheduled for knee surgery after a fall.

 

S.T. Game 8. Austin’s walk-off HR gives Yanks 5-4 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Sorry for the late report. High winds in the northeast have knocked out power off and on.

As for Friday’s game, there is something about getting someone who may take your job that puts a bug up your butt and makes you work harder, and in the case of a couple of Yankees, better.

We’ve seen what Miguel Andujar has done since the Yankees traded for Brandon Drury.

Yesterday the Yanks signed Adam Lind to a minor league contract to have insurance for Greg Bird. Tyler Austin responded by hitting a 2-run walk off HR in the bottom of the ninth to give the Yanks a 5-4 win and better their record to 7-1 in this exhibition season.

This has been a strange free agent off-season. I mean, Lind is forced to accept a minor league deal? It has an opt-out at the end of spring training, so Lind may not be here long. But if anything happens to Bird or Austin between now and then…. Lind, 34, is a lefty hitter who, in a platoon role with Washington last year, hit .303-14- 59, OPS+ 123. He has hit 20 or more HR in six different seasons, and in 2009 had a .305-35-114, OPS+ 141 season for Toronto, for whom he has spent most of his MLB career. His 162 game average is .272-24-87, OPS+ 112. A professional hitter who has exactly 200 HR in his career. You think someone would have picked him up by now.

The only thing about Lind is his splits, and why he platooned last year. A .288 hitter vs. righties, just .217 against lefties in his career. Primarily a 1B or DH, he can play LF, but it isn’t advised.

Speaking of LF, manager Aaron Boone stated that Jacoby Ellsbury would get some playing time there (a nice decision if Gardner is hurt or needs a day, because you are getting the same type of player there), but Ellsbury then strained an oblique so he’s out for a while.

Clint Frazier is still having problems after getting that concussion a week ago.

As for the game, you don’t know what to make of Masahiro Tanaka. He had a bad outing yesterday, but you don’t know how spring training carries over to the regular season. In 2016, Tanaka had a rough spring training, but a 14-4, 3.07 regular season. Last spring, he only gave up one run all spring training long, but then struggled most of the year to a 13-12, 4.74 year before his great postseason. So who knows? Anyway, he couldn’t make it through two innings and gave up four runs.

Down 4-0 early, the Yanks got two in the fourth on a double by the red-hot Andujar, and another in the fifth on an RBI single by Didi Gregorius, who went 3 for 3.

Austin then hit his two-run walkoff HR in the ninth for the 5-4 win. Tyler Wade got the inning going by beating out a bunt. Nice to see.

Giancarlo Stanton had two doubles.

Seattle Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson had a pinch-hit appearance, and struck out. He did take a couple good rips, though.

Jordan Montgomery had a nice outing.

Tanaka 1 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up HR to top Atlanta prospect, maybe the best young prospect in the game today.
Shreve 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Montgomery 3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 5 K.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Feyereisen (W) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.