Category Archives: The Front Office

Awards, and Yanks make a minor deal.

Gold Glove winners were announced in both leagues, and although three Yanks were up for the GG award (Didi, Teix and Gardner), none won.

The top three finishers were announced for the major awards, Mgr. of the Yr., ROY, CYA, MVP and no Yankee is among the top 3 finalists. Lorenzo Cain of KC is up for MVP. Nice to see the recognition of a good player who doesn’t have overwhelming stats, but who was the best player on the WS Champs.

Sad to see ex-Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson died of multiple organ failure. He was just 29. Autopsy and coroner reports to come.

I posted it elsewhere, but Yankees C prospect Gary Sanchez has been lighting up the Arizona Fall League and starred in their All-Star game, homering and throwing out a potential base stealer.

The Yanks may think Sanchez is ready to be a backup to McCann in the majors. They traded C John Ryan Murphy to the Twins today for Aaron Hicks.

Murphy, 24, had 155 AB for the Yanks in 2015, hitting .277-3-14, OPS+ 103. He has 262 AB in his MLB career, .267-4-24, OPS+ 91.

Hicks is 26, and a switch-hitter who can play all three OF positions. He hit .256-11-33, 13 SB for the Twins this year, OPS+ 95. For his MLB career, his 162 g. ave. is .225-13-51, 17 SB, OPS+ 80.

The Yanks also traded Jose Pirela to SD for a 20 yr. old minor league pitcher, Ron Herrera.

Pirela hit .230-1-5 in 74 AB with the Yanks this year, OPS+ 54 (100 is average). In his MLB career, 98 AB, .255-1-8, OPS+ 78.

Herrera, a 20 yr. old RHP, went 8-7, 4.08 between High A and AA this year.

Lastly, sad news for one of the greatest base stealers ever. Lou Brock had part of his left leg amputated due to an infection from a diabetic condition. Brock, most famous as a Cardinal, had over 3000 hits and 900 SB in his career.

Yankees to replace some coaches.

Hitting coach Jeff Pentland will not be returning in 2016, nor will bullpen coach/catching instructor Gary Tuck.

Mike Harkey, who was a bullpen coach for manager Joe Girardi before going to Arizona, is available, and could be returning.

2015 Yankees. Part 3. The Front Office/Manager.

Part 3 of 3.

Manager. I grade Joe Girardi at a B for this year. He took a team most projected at 3rd or 4th place into the wild card game. A lot of pundits had this team at 77-8o wins, meaning first losing year since 1992 and he won 87, about 7-10 more than expected. Girardi is a good manager, and Larry Rothschild a good pitching coach.

That said, I do have issues with Girardi. He isn’t aggressive enough, in my opinion. Maybe it’s the players he has, but he doesn’t play littleball (or Billy Ball, if you will) enough for me. He never bunts, never squeezes home runs, doesn’t hit and run much, and even with Gardner and Ellsbury, didn’t run them much. Too much sit and wait for the big HR instead of making things happen. That I wish would change.

I would also give Cashman a B as well. Some may not like that, thinking that he should have made a big move at the trade deadline. But who do you give up? You have to give to get. I like the fact that he did not give up Bird or Severino, both of whom were needed down the stretch. Maybe he should have dumped Drew for Refsnyder earlier. Ackley, once healthy, proved to be a decent move. Yes, Cervelli did well for Pittsburgh but would he have done as well sitting on the bench most of the time here? Maybe not. Getting Wilson for him turned out OK, and Murphy developed well. The Shreve pickup was a good one for most of the year until Shreve burned out. But he didn’t want to give up the future for the now. Hopefully Cashman, by keeping Refsnyder, Severino, Judge, Sanchez and Mateo will have kept a core that will be the foundation for future Yankees success. We’ll see. But I like that he kept these guys and didn’t do a “Buhner for Phelps” trade like we saw in the late 1980’s / early 1990s

The Front Office. It is far beyond time to recognize that Hal Steinbrenner is not his father. He isn’t just going to throw $$$ at a problem just to throw $$$ at a problem and hope it gets better. He doesn’t spout off to the press like his dad did or make impulsive decisions (like go for a Raul Mondesi). He is more analytical and less impulsive than his dad. Some may not like that he is more stingy. Hal seems to be more inclined to build for the future while his dad was more make things happen now. Time will tell if Hal’s method will pay off with long-term success rather than sacrifice the long-term for a quick fix. I give the front office a B as well.

Don’t expect wholesale changes in the offseason but minor ones. When you are tied into 19 players who have deals in place for next year, there isn’t a lot of flexibility. That will come in 2017 and 2018. That is when we will see if patience regarding Sanchez, Severino, Refsnyder, Judge and Bird will pay off. That is also the time when we see what free agents could replace A-Rod, Teix, Beltran, CC, etc.

Changes could be made on the coaching staff, however. I wasn’t too pleased with the third base coach and feel that Rob Thomson, instead of bench coach, should go back to 3B and Tony Pena should go back to bench coach from 1B coach. Another suggestion? Bring Willie Randolph back to coach, either as 3B coach if you want Thomson as bench coach, as bench coach (since Willie was a former manager himself) or as infield coach. Also, and I know there is a language barrier problem, but consider Matsui as hitting coach. Hideki was a professional hitter. Get him involved more.

Game 145. Rookies lead Yanks, 3-1.


Ok, I wanted Ellsbury benched for a couple games for the rookie Heathcott and Ellsbury did go 2 for 5 tonight (his three outs were all strikeouts) But he did get two hits and hopefully it is the start of a rebound.

The big story tonight is the kids that Cashman refused to trade at the deadline—Severino and Bird.

For the two of them led the Yanks to a 3-1 win tonight over the Rays.

Severino got the win to go to 4-3, 3.12. Bird got an RBI double and solo HR to drive in two of the Yanks’ three runs.

The Yanks struck first. In the second Beltran walked and Bird doubled him in.

The Yanks went up 2-0 in the sixth on an RBI single by Headley after a pair of walks.

The Rays got one in the bottom of the sixth when that joke of a ballpark had a ball hit into or through one of their catwalks and Ellsbury lost track of the ball.

Bird’s seventh HR of the season gave the Yanks an insurance run in the ninth. 3-1 for the final score. The win put the Yanks at 80-65 and kept them 3 back of Toronto in the AL East.

They are 3 1/2 up on Houston (see below) for the first WC spot and five up on the Twins for the second wild card spot.

Their magic # just to get into the play-in game is 13.

Severino (W, 4-3, 3.12) 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 walk and  7 K
Wilson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 3.17
Betances 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 walks and 1 K. 1.43
Miller (34th save) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3 K. 1.80.

Tanaka is going Friday for the Yanks, but you wonder what Girardi may have to do to line him up for the wild card game. As of now, Severino is lined up for the WC game & Tanaka for Game 1 of an ALDS (provided the Yanks win the WC game).

If you didn’t see it, Texas has passed Houston in the AL West, meaning the Yanks could see Houston and Dallas Kuechel in a WC game.

Game 111. Lead down to 1/2 a game as Yanks lose in 16, 5-4.


Due to the length of last night’s Yankees game, there will be no minor league report today.

The Yanks’ lead is basically gone. They lost their fourth straight game, and fifth in their last six games, 5-4 in 16 innings, in Cleveland last night.

Most of those losses have been excruciating. Three of the five losses were by one run, and another was 2-0.

They are now 61-50 and have just a 1/2 game lead in the AL East over the surging Toronto Blue Jays.

Even Baltimore (4 1/2 back) and Tampa Bay (5 out) are lurking.

Ironically, all fifteen home games won yesterday.

Luis Severino, the 21-year-old rookie, started slowly, giving up runs in the first and second innings to put the Yanks behind 2-0, but he went six innings and those were the only runs he gave up. Once again he pitched well and got no run support.

Stephen Drew hit a HR in the sixth (14) to cut the lead to 2-1, then Carlos Beltran homered (10) in the eighth to tie things up. It was Beltran’s 383rd career HR,  tying Larry Walker on the all-time list.

The Yanks scored two in the top of the tenth on a PH bases-loaded, two-out single by Chase Headley to go up 4-2. Game over, especially with Miller coming in, right?

Nope. Miller blew it. Cleveland scored two in the bottom of tenth to tie it up, then scored in the bottom of the sixteenth off of Brandon Pinder (the Yanks’ eighth pitcher of the night) to win it 5-4.

The Yanks struck out 16 times in the game and got just eight hits in those 16 innings—three by Didi Gregorius, who is now at .265.

The top four in the Yanks’ lineup, Ellsbury, Gardner, A-Rod and Teixeira, went 1 for 25 with nine strikeouts.

Ellsbury is in a bad slump, down to .260. McCann is down to .243.


This was excruciating, especially when you thought you had it going into the bottom of the tenth.

Severino 6 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 1 walk, 2 K. 2.45
Shreve 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.01
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 1.23
Wilson 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.38
Miller 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.08
Warren 1 IP, 0 r, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 3.34
Mitchell 3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 walks and 5 K. 3.72
Pinder (L, 0-2, 3.12) 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K.

In discussions with people about the Yanks making a move. After seeing Severino for two games, would you have traded him for a two-month rental? Too many are focused on the now and would deal someone for a two-month rental. Sorry, but it would have taken Severino to get someone really good. Do you want to trade someone who looks like they could be an ace for the next twelve years for a two-month rental? Put it this way. The Yanks came close in 1993. In 1993 would you have traded Jeter, Mo, Bernie, Pettitte or Posada for someone who you would hope put you over the top in 1993? To beat out the World Champ Blue Jays that year? We know what happened over the next 20 years because the Yanks held on to those players. Imagine if they did not. Imagine if Jeter went for a two-month rental and became DEREK JETER for another team. That is what I am against. Be patient. You need it with the young players. I would not give up a Severino, Judge, etc. for a quick fix. Some would. Not me.

Some say George would have done this or that. George also gave away some fine young players, and the team wasn’t good from 1989-1992 as a result. The Boss had his faults, you know, and patience was not one of his virtues. George is dead, and Hal isn’t his dad. I don’t know why people have a hard time coming to grips with that. It is a new regime, Hal does things a little differently. If it means being patient with young players (who are under team control and won’t cost as much) and not giving out bad contracts to fading players, I am all for that. I am all for building another core 4 (or more) and not trading them away, even if it means sacrificing this year to ensure success for the next fifteen.

The minors, and trade deadline risks.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

With the Yankees off yesterday, a look at the minors and a look at risks at the trade deadline.

AAA: SWB won 2-1 on a walkoff inside-the-park HR by CF Ben Gamel. Kyle Davies 7 IP, 1 unearned run. 3 h, 1 walk and 8 K.  Caleb Cotham two scoreless IP of relief. (W, 2–0, 1.07). Gamel also had a double. Besides Gamel, 1B Greg Bird and 3B Jose Pirela each had two hits.

AA: Trenton off.

High A: Tampa won 4-2. LF Ericson Leonora a 2-run HR. Five others with two hits each. Jordan Montgomery 6 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 walks, 7 K.

A: Charleston off.

Funny how people are still complaining that the Yanks didn’t do a major splash at the trade deadline. I have a few thoughts on that.

For those who say that “the Boss” would have done something, face facts. The Boss, George Steinbrenner, has been dead for five years now. Accept that fact and accept that it is a new regime with his son Hal who isn’t his father. He will run things differently. Also, things weren’t always peaches and cream with George. Remember him trading away talents like Jay Buhner, Bob Tewksbury and Doug Drabek?

So for those who wanted a big deal, were you really going to trade away Luis Severino for what may turn out to be a two-month rental? As much as I would like the Yankees to win every year, you don’t want to sacrifice the future for a one-year quick fix. And don’t kid yourself. You can’t get something for nothing. The Yanks would have had to give up top talent like Severino to get something. You weren’t getting a David Price type talent for lower tier talent.

Here are examples of teams that went for it and paid for it.

8-12-87. The Tigers trade John Smoltz to the Braves for Doyle Alexander. Alexander goes 9-0 down the stretch for the Tigers. The Tigers make the playoffs as the AL East champ and lose the ALCS to the Twins. Alexander goes 14-11 in 1988 and 6-18 (leading the majors in losses) in 1989 then retires. The Tigers don’t make it back to the playoffs until 2006. Smoltz goes to the Braves, is in the playoffs every year from 1991-2005 (except for the 1994 strike) and goes to be a Hall of Famer.

8/30/1990: The Red Sox trade Jeff Bagwell to Houston for Larry Andersen. Andersen goes 0-0, 1.23 as a two-month rental. Boston wins the division but loses the ALCS to Oakland. Bagwell goes on to hit 449 HR for the Astros. He played a lot in the cavernous Astrodome. Imagine him with the Green Monster at Fenway.

Is that what these people want?

Also, some people, upset with Stephen Drew, are wondering if the Yanks should pursue Chase Utley. I wonder if these people realize that Utley, although the greatest Phillie 2B ever (and JAWS has him ranked 12th best 2B all-time), has been worse than Drew this year.

Drew: 32, $5MM, free agent after this year. 94 g. .194-13-32, OPS+ 77.

Utley: 36, $15MM, 69 games, .190-4-28. OPS+ 55. Utley has had a far better career than Drew, and is a borderline Hall of Famer.  His vesting option ($15MM each of the next three years) will not kick in because he won’t make 500 plate appearances this year. But a lot of money for someone four years older who is having a WORSE year for even Drew. Utley WAS great. He no longer IS.

Really, do you want that?

Game 105. 9-run seventh keys Yanks 13-3 win.


Brian McCann and Chris Young each had 3-run homers in a 9-run Yankees seventh inning as the Yanks beat Boston 13-3 on Tuesday night.

The win keeps the Yanks 5 1/2 up in the AL East at 60-45. Toronto (coming into the Stadium this weekend) is in second place. Baltimore is in third, 6 1/2 back. Tampa Bay is 7 1/2 out and Boston is in last, 14 out.

Chris Young singled, A-Rod walked, and Mark Teixeira singled in a run in the first to put the Yanks up 1-0, but Masahiro Tanaka gave up two runs in the fifth.

The Yanks regained the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth.  Young singled, A-Rod doubled, and Teix singled in a run to tie the game. McCann (4 RBI in the game) then doubled in a run to put the Yanks up 3-2 and Beltran’s RBI groundout made it 4-2.

After Tanaka gave up a HR to Sandoval in the top of the seventh to make it 4-3, the Yanks put the game away with nine in the bottom of the seventh.

Ellsbury reached on an error, Young walked, and A-Rod singled to make it 5-3. After Teixeira struck out, McCann hit a 3-run HR (18) to make it 8-3.

Beltran and Headley then had back-to-back doubles to make it 9-3. Gregorius flied out for the second out. Ryan walked. Ellsbury’s single made it 10-3.

Young then hit a 3-run HR (13) to cap the scoring at 13-3.

Tanaka (W, 8-4, 3.84) 6 IP,3 R, 5 H, 1 walk and 3 K.
Wilson 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.61
Betances 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 1.31
Pinder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.45
Rumbelow 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 1.69.

Before the game, Dustin Ackley was DL’d with a herniated disk. He apparently did not have it or complain of it before the trade with Seattle last week, so there was no shenanigans there when the Yanks traded Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez for him. He will be out 20-30 days and could be done for the year. He had an epidural. For now, the Yanks replaced the utility man with pitcher Caleb Cotham.

GM Brian Cashman also stated that we should not see Michael Pineda until September.

In the game, Young was 3 for 4, had the 3-run HR, and scored four runs. He is at .268-13-36, OPS+ over 120.

On another blog, one poster was complaining for months about the Yanks not keeping Ichiro and holding on to Young. He kept complaining even after it was pointed out to him that the Yanks needed a righty bat (Young), that Ichiro, being a lefty bat didn’t fit because of Gardner and Ellsbury, and that Ichiro’s lack of power and age (41) were hindrances. It got annoying hearing him b***h about Ichiro all the time.

Now, I like Ichiro. But it was time for him to go. How is Ichiro doing? .244-1-15, OPS+ 63. 9 for 14 in SB. He has a TOTAL of 6 extra base hits. Young’s OPS+ is twice that of Ichiro’s, and Young’s 13 HR means he has twice as many HR as Ichiro has extra base hits.

I hope that guy has finally shut up.

Tonight Luis Severino starts for the Yanks. The top prospect, 21 years old, will be making his MLB debut.