The Yanks improved their S.T. record to 4-2-1 with a 3-2 win over Washington today. (MLB.com, I think, is broadcasting the game at 8 tonight (Sunday)).
A-Rod got his first action in the field, fielding one sharply hit grounder. As he himself stated, don’t expect an Ozzie Smith-type year. Meaning not great fielding or range, just make the routine play. Of course, we don’t expect to see A-Rod at 3B too much this year, mostly at DH. Chase Headley should be the regular 3B, barring injury. A-Rod did get a Texas-league bloop double in the game, and also struck out.
After Washington scored in the top of the first on a first-pitch-of-the-game HR off of Adam Warren, the Yanks tied it in the fourth on a Brett Gardner single.
The Yanks went up 2-1 in the fourth on a single by Jose Pirela. It is starting to look like Brendan Ryan (abdominal injury) may not be ready for Opening Day, so Pirela and Refsnyder could be battling for a spot on the Opening Day Roster. Neither is the backup SS you would want, but Drew could slide over. The problem is that Drew, like Gregorious, is a lefty hitter. While considered more of a utilty man, and especially at 2B/3B/OF, Pirela, a righty bat, has played most of his minor league games at SS (364 games, as opposed to 300 at 2B), although he really isn’t considered a SS prospect. Still, his versatility (Refsnyder isn’t a SS) and SS experience could help him make the team if Ryan isn’t ready. Pirela was 2 for 3 today.
The Nationals tied the game in the top of the seventh, but the Yanks pushed ahead the winning run in the eighth on a single by infielder Cole Figueroa. Figueroa has played 2B/SS/3B in his minor league career. He is a lefty bat, however. He is 10 for 43 in his MLB career, 0 HR, 6 RBI, all with Tampa Bay last year. Nick Noonan is also a possibility as a backup infielder, but he also is a lefty hitter (.219-0-5 in 105 AB with SF last year). He has mostly 2B/SS experience.
I don’t know who the prospects would be, but a report on MLB Trade Rumors says that the Yankees have put together the best package as far as trying to lure Cole Hamels away from the Phillies. No word on what prospects would be given up for Hamels. The Red Sox were seeking a top catching prospect that Boston didn’t want to give up, so you wonder if the Phils would want a Gary Sanchez, Austin Romine or John Ryan Murphy as part of the package. The Phils would love to dump Ryan Howard and his salary (could they be interested in Greg Bird?). Chase Utley isn’t getting younger and if the Phils want to dump him to anyone (of course, we have to consider no-trade clauses here) they could be interested in a Refsnyder. MLBTR reports that in addition to the prospects, the Phils would want the other team to pick up ALL of Hamels’ salary. That, to me, is unrealistic for the 31 year old Hamels, who is due $23.5 MM through 2018 with a big 2019 option. Could or would Hamels fit in with the Yanks? Of course. A very good lefty, and could you imagine a rotation of Tanaka-Hamels-Pineda-CC and Eovaldi (with Nova in reserve)? Pushing Capuano out and replacing him with Hamels? With Luis Severino in reserve? Actually, I don’t think Severino would be in reserve. I think the Phils would insist on Severino as part of the package. But that rotation, if healthy, could be one good rotation. Tanaka-Hamels-Pineda-CC and Eovaldi. With Nova in reserve. R-L-R-L-R.
Hamels, 108-83, 3.27, has been the victim of poor run support in Philadelphia. His ERA+ is 125, but his 162 g. average is 13-10, 3.27. With a 3.27 career ERA, you’d expect better. He was both the NLCS and WS MVP in 2008. To show how little run support he got, last year he was just 9-9 despite an ERA of 2.46. Despite that, he finished 6th in the NL CYA voting.
As for getting Hamels, I have mixed emotions. I need to see how much the Yanks would have to give up and how much salary they would have to take on.
But maybe Texas now goes full bore for Hamels because it appears as if Yu Darvish will be out for the year due to probably needing Tommy John surgery.
Not only that, but apparently Cliff Lee’s elbow is barking again. Not good news for the Phils, who want to dump aging players that are making too much money (sound familiar, Yankees fans?) but are finding it tough to find takers and who are probably asking for too much of a return.
Good news regarding the question marks of Tanaka, Pineda and CC. All are progressing nicely (fingers crossed) and all should see spring training action soon. None of the three is reporting any concerns on recent injuries (Tanaka elbow, Pineda shoulder and CC knee).
The pitching line today.
Adam Warren 3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 walks and 1 K. His first pitch was hit for a HR.
Adam Miller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K.
Dellin Betances 1 IP, 0 R 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K.
Luis Severino 1 1/3 IP, 1 R (UNEARNED) 2 H, 1 walk and 3 K. The Yanks’ top pitching prospect was hitting 96/97 today.
Jeff Pazos 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 k.
Wilkin Rodriguez 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K.
Jared Burton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K.
One reason I don’t put too much credence in games this early—Adam Miller will not be pitching in the 4th inning in the regular season this year, nor will Dellin Betances be pitching in the 5th.