Category Archives: Spring Training

Pitchers, 2019 S.T. schedule and 2020 AAA All-Star Game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Sorry, was very busy at work with a lot of overtime and have been sick (to the point where I have very little voice left) but catching up…

Nathan Eovaldi won’t be coming back to the Yankees. The free agent re-signed with Boston on a 4-yr., $67MM deal.

Cleveland extended Carlos Carrasco for 4 years, but Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer may be had in a trade. Mike Clevenger is very cost effective for the Indians, so he may not be available.

Hyun-Jin Ryu re-signed with the Dodgers, one yr. $17.9 MM. Pitched well (1.97 ERA for them in 2018) but the lefty missed 1/2 the season.

Arizona may be looking to unload Zack Greinke’s salary in a deal, and the Giants may want to do the same with Madison Bumgarner.

But you wonder what the Yanks would have to give up in a deal. Miguel Andujar?

The Yanks are still looking to trade Sonny Gray and would like another starter to join Severino, Paxton, Tanaka and CC in the rotation. Hopefully a #3 or better.

Some free agents available are Happ, Lynn, Keuchel, Kikuchi,  Charlie Morton, Gio Gonzalez, Wade Miley…. so you can see outside of Happ and possibly Keuchel (who is up and down and slipping) a dropoff.

Apparently the Yanks didn’t even make an offer to Corbin. They apparently told him they were comfortable with $17-$20MM per year for 4-5 years and when Corbin said he was looking for Yu Darvish $$$ (and he eventually got 6 yrs at $23.5MM per from Washington), the Yanks basically said good luck.

The AAA All-Star Game will be hosted by the Yanks’ AAA club in Moosic, PA (Scranton/Wilkes Barre, or as is usually abbreviated, SWB).

Good video recently on the YES network showing how Luis Severino was tipping pitches at the end of last year. Apparently Boston picked up on it (hence Sevy’s poor outing in Game 3 of the ALDS) but the A’s didn’t (or else maybe Oakland wins the Wild Card game). It may also explain his pedestrian second half.

The Yanks announced their 2019 spring training schedule. Pitchers report Feb. 13, first workout the next day. Position players report Feb. 18 with the first full-squad workout the following day. The first spring training game will be Feb. 23 vs. you-guessed-it, Boston.

Sad to read about a failed car robbery that resulted in the deaths of two players (one being Luis Valbeuna) in Venezuela. You fear for the players from Venezuela and their safety, like Gleyber Torres. Maybe (hopefully?) Gleyber can just come and stay here in the U.S. instead of being subject to the B.S. going on in Venezuela.




S.T. Game 32. Yanks’ win final S.T. game, 5-1. Bird out until June.


Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees won their final spring training game, 5-1 over the Braves, to finish the exhibition season 18-13-1. The regular season begins Thursday, when the games count.

The Yanks had a starting lineup tonight that looked like the regular season lineup vs. a righty pitcher. Gardner/Judge/Stanton/Didi/Sanchez/Hicks/Walker/Drury and Wade. Against a lefty starter, it may be different, esp. with Walker sliding over from first to second, and Tyler Austin playing first. Ronald Torreyes is also in the mix there for 2B.

As for the game, it showed everything that we want to see from the Yanks all season long. A couple of homers for an early lead, good starting pitching, good defense, and a killer bullpen.

With two outs in the first, Stanton walked and Didi homered.

Gary Sanchez threw out a runner trying to steal in the bottom of the first.

In the third, with one out, Judge walked and Stanton hit a 2-run HR.

The Braves got their only run in the fourth, but not before Didi Gregorius made a great defensive play.

Nice to see Tyler Wade use his speed by beating out a bunt for a hit in the seventh, and he went to second on an error on the play.

In the eighth, with one out, Trey Amburgey reached on an error, went to second on a WP and scored on a Shane Robinson two-out double. 5-1.

Meanwhile, Sonny Gray only gave up 1 run in 5 IP and the bullpen was lights out.

Didi and Stanton each hit 2-run HRs.

Gray (W) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 7 K.
Betances (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Robertson (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Heller 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Chapman 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

A combined four-hitter with 14 K.

Now for the bad news. Greg Bird needs surgery on that same ankle again, this time for a broken bone spur. He’ll be out 6-8 weeks. With rehab time, we are looking for him to return some time in June. For now, Tyler Austin has been recalled to take his place.

Besides Austin, options are Billy McKinney, and Mike Ford, both slated for AAA. Ryan McBroom is AA bound. As for now, Austin looks to platoon with Walker at 1B, Walker sliding to second against a lefty but playing 1B against a righty with Tyler Wade at 2B. You wonder if the Yanks will reach out to Adam Lind again, but you wonder what Lind would cost and if it would push them over the cap. Also, there is Miguel Andujar, who is AAA bound but who will be spending 80% of his time at 3B and 20% at 1B.

The biggest hurt to this is that most of the Yanks’ power is righty and with that short porch, you want lefty pop and the biggest lefty pop is Didi, what with Bird out. Didi, Gardner and switch hitters Walker and Hicks hit lefty, as is Ellsbury, but none are lefty hitters of 30 or more HR pop (except for one freak year Ellsbury had a few years back). So you do wonder if they go back to Lind…

As for Bird, a tough break but now you wonder if he is Nick Johnson 2.0—all that talent but can’t stay healthy. If that is the case, you also have to wonder how patient the Yanks will be with him. He lost all of 2016, most of 2017 and now will miss the first two months of 2018. If this continues, the Yanks will be forced to move on from him.

Update: Mark Reynolds, who was briefly with the Yanks a few years ago, is also a free agent, but is a righty hitter, unlike Lind.

S.T. Game 31. Yanks’ scrubs get hammered, 11-1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In the next-to-last spring training game, a team mostly made up of Yankees’ scrubs and mid-level prospects got hammered by the Rays, 11-1.

It puts the Yanks’ spring training record at 17-13-1. They will play their last exhibition game in Atlanta tomorrow (Monday) night before starting the season in Toronto on Thursday.

The Yanks got just four hits in this game, and gave up six HR. Trey Amburgey had two of the hits, as well as the RBI.

Keller (L) 2 2/3 IP,  5 R, 8 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Lail 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Rosa 1 1/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 3 HR.
Lane 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Espinal 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.
Schwaab 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K.

Ellsbury starting year on DL. Waiting for word on Bird.

S.T. Games 29 and 30. Yanks take both Split-Squad games, but Bird hurt.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Here we go again…. we hope not. Greg Bird was pulled before his game today, complaining of a sore foot. It is the same foot that had the ankle problem last year. Did one thing lead to another? He had a CT scan and an MRI and will be seeing a specialist. GM Brian Cashman is concerned.

The Yanks announced, as I hoped they would, that Jonathan Holder is the 13th pitcher on the team and that Domingo German will be sent to AAA to stretch out and get ready to be an emergency starter should they need one.

A couple of Rule 5 picks were returned to the Yankees—P Anyelo Gomez and 1B Mike Ford. Ford will go to AAA and he and Billy McKinney could now come into play if Bird’s situation is serious. Miguel Andujar is also working out at 1B. You also have Neil Walker and Tyler Austin in case Bird has to be DL’d. As one person wrote or said, maybe Adam Lind left too soon.

As for today’s games, the Yanks had a split squad and won both games. 13-6 over Toronto at home and 8-3 over the Braves on the road. I’ll try to be brief.

The home game:

The Yanks got three two-run homers in the game, and they were hit by Didi, Stanton, and minor leaguer Zach Zehner. Rashad Crawford and Erik Kratz each had 2 hits, Kratz driving in 3 runs.

Hale 3 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up HR.
Gallegos (W) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Feyereisen (H) 1 2/3 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up HR.
Rogers (S) 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.

In the road game, the Yanks scored six in the top of the ninth to win. Their spring training record is 17-12-1.

Aaron Hicks had 2 hits, inc. a HR. Ryan McBroom had two hits, 2 RBI and homered. Gleyber Torres had two hits and an RBI.

Luis Severino pitched well in his last tuneup before Opening day.

Severino 5 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 2 W, 7 K. Gave up HR.
Green 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Warren 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Heller (W) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Carroll 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.


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 27. Montgomery & German shine in Yanks’ 2-1 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Jordan Montgomery and Domingo German pitched great in the Yanks’ 2-1 win over the Twins Thursday afternoon. The win puts the Yankees’ spring training record at 15-11-1.

Montgomery gave up just one run in six innings, and German pitched three scoreless hitless innings in the win.

Yesterday, I advocated that Jonathan Holder should be the last bullpen guy and that the Yanks should continue to stretch out German at AAA and utilize German as the emergency sixth starter when necessary. German did nothing today to make me change my mind that he should be the first guy they turn to in case one of the rotation members goes down.

Being it was a road game, and a 2 1/2 hour bus trip each way, most of the regulars stayed back in Tampa. For example, Tyler Wade batted third.

The Yanks got on the board first on a second inning HR by Billy McKinney. He only has six hits this spring, but five were HR.

The Twins tied it in the bottom of the fifth, but in the top of the sixth, a Tyler Austin double and Austin Romine single was the combination for the winning run.

Jacoby Ellsbury finally got into a game after his oblique trouble, and went 0 for 2 with a walk. He will probably be put on extended spring training since he has missed most of spring training and most likely won’t be ready for Opening Day.

Abiatal Avelino 1 for 1.
Austin had 2 hits.
Shane Robinson had 2 hits.

Montgomery (W) 6 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 W, 2 K.
German (S) 3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

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.