Category Archives: The Front Office

Game 145. Yanks blanked, 2-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I am going to compare two pitchers for you. Each pitcher is over a six year period of his career.

A. Average year over the six year period: 22-8, 2.19. 272 IP, 286 K.

B. Average year over a six year period: 17-7, 2.24, 222 IP, 244 K.

Both are lefties. Both were and are Dodgers.

Pretty damn close, right? The big difference is that A pitched in a 4-main rotation, B in a five-man.

Pitcher A is Koufax, 1961-1966. Pitcher B is Kershaw, 2010-2015.

The Yanks of course, faced Kershaw on Wednesday. No easy feat.

Rain and a recent back injury kept Kershaw to only 5 innings vs. the Yanks, but in those 5 innings, he gave up 0 runs and only 1 hit. The bullpen for the Dodgers was just as good as the Dodgers beat the Yanks, 2-0.

The Yanks got just 3 hits and struck out 14x.

Both Dodger runs came in the top of the ninth, and both runs were unearned due to errors by Castro and Betances.

Before the game, the Yanks called up Mason Williams to replace the injured Aaron Judge. After the game, the Yanks signed recently released Billy Butler (1B/DH) to a contract. Butler was previously with KC and Oakland in his career.

The Yanks fall to 77-68. 17 games left in the season. They have an 11 game road trip that starts with 4 in Boston.

Pineda 4 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 walks, 5 k. 4.94.
Layne 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 k. 3.40 (Bos/NYY)
Severino 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks 1 K. 5.98.
Clippard 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 3.02 (AZ/NYY)
Betances (L, 3-5, 2.33) 1 IP, 2 R, BOTH UNEARNED, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K.

Game 132. Yanks win in 13, make some deals.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks beat KC in 13 Wednesday night, and were busy making deals.

There is a lot of news here, including some passings, so bear with me.

Ben Gamel, just named International League MVP, was dealt to Seattle for two minor league pitchers, 18 year old Juan De Paula and 19 year old Jio Orozco, both righties. Gamel was 1 for 8 for the Yanks this year, and the 24 yr. old OF was .308-6-51 with 19 SB at SWB. De Paula has been down in the rookie leagues, and in 25 games in the minors, is 6-6, 2.58 with 121 K in 118 2/3 IP. Orozco, in 20 minor league games, is 5-3, 3.73 with 87 K in 70 IP. Both are young and a long way away, so we’ll see.

The Yanks sent cash to the Brewers for OF Eric Young. Young, 31, has played for Colorado, the Mets and Braves in his career. He led the NL in SB in 2013 with 46. He can play all 3 OF positions and 2B.  His 162 g. average is .247-2-26 with 42 SB and an OPS+ of 74. It appears he will be used as a pinch-runner in September with the expanded rosters. Young could get more playing time than expected, since Aaron Hicks left last night’s game with a hamstring strain.

The Yanks also announced that Greg Bird, Tyler Wade, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar and Brody Koerner to the Arizona Fall League.Three others are to be announced. For Bird, a good sign that he is coming along and to get him a few at bats this year as he rehabs from that shoulder surgery.

Now for the game. The Yanks came back from a 4-0 deficit to win 5-4 in 13 innings. They are now 69-63, in fourth place in the AL East, 6 1/2 out, but now only 2 1/2 out of the final wild card spot and have to jump three teams.

Luis Cessa struggled early, giving up two runs in the first inning, a run in the second and another in the third. Kendrys Morales hit a 2-run HR off him in the first, and Eric Hosmer a solo shot in the third.

The Yanks got three in the sixth to get back in the game. Ellsbury singled, went to second on a walk to Sanchez and to third on a fly ball by Teixeira. After Gregorius’ SF brought in one run, Castro hit a 2-run HR (19) to cut it to 4-3.

The Yanks tied it in the seventh. With one out, Hicks walked, Gardner singled him to third and Ellsbury tied the game with a SF.

In the 13th, Gregorius singled, was doubled to third by Castro and scored on a SF by McCann.

Ben Heller got his first MLB win.

The Yankees bullpen pitched seven no-hit, shutout innings. Combined with Cessa’s last three innings, the Yanks shut out KC for the last 10 innings of the game.

Cessa 6 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 1 walk, 2 K. 4.17. Gave up 2 HR.
Shreve 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 3 K. 4.85.
Layne 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.38 (Bos/NYY)
Warren 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 5.22 (Cubs/NYY)
Parker 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 wlk, 1 K. 3.60 (Sea/NYY)
Heller (W, 1-0) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 6.00
Betances (S, 7) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 2.12.

Juan Bell, brother of 1987 AL MVP George Bell, and an infielder in the early 1990s for the Orioles and Phillies, along with the Brewers, Expos and Red Sox, passed away at the age of 48. He was a .212 hitter, OPS+ 60, from 1989-1995.

Joe DeMaestri has passed away at the age of 87. The SS was best known as the SS for the Philadelphia and KC A’s from 1953-1959. Before that he played for the White Sox and Browns. He ended his career by playing for the 1960 and 1961 Yankees. A .236 hitter, OPS+ 62, he made the 1957 All-Star team.

Game 105. Yanks nip Mets in extras after trading Beltran, Nova.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before the trade deadline, the Yanks dealt Ivan Nova to the Pirates for two players to be named later.

As a Yankee, Nova (2010-2016) was 53-39, 4.41, ERA+ 95. His 162 g. average was 14-11, 4.41. His inconsistency was baffling. He put up a 16-4, 3.70 season, and also a 9-6, 3.10 but also had seasons of 12-8, 5.02 and 6-11, 5.07.

Earlier in the day, Carlos Beltran and his 414 career HR were traded to Texas. Beltran was the Yanks’ best hitter this season. He, like Nova, is a free agent at the end of the season, and the Yanks wanted to get something back for him, rather than risk losing him for nothing like they did recently with Robbie Cano and David Robertson.

They got back Dillon Tate, RHP. 22. Was Texas’ #1 pick in 2015 draft, #4 pick overall in the entire draft. Tate is struggling this year, and the Yanks hope they can straighten him out. 3-3, 5.12 this year. Low cost, hope high reward. Get him back to where he was before he was drafted. Obviously high potential based on how high he was picked in the draft.
Erik Swanson, 22, RHP, A ball, 6-4, 3.43.
Nick Green, I could not find info on him. RHP.

As for the game, the Yanks nipped the Mets 6-5 in 10 innings to improve to 53-52 on the season.

Gardner hit the second pitch of the game for a triple but was thrown out trying for the inside-the-park HR. CC gave up a HR in the second to Wilmer Flores to put the Mets up 1-0.

The Yanks tied it in the fourth when Ellsbury scored on a WP. In the fifth, the Yanks went up 3-1 when with one out, Refsnyder walked and was bunted over by CC. Gardner doubled in a run and then Ellsbury singled in Gardner.

CC struggled though, giving up an RBI double in the fifth to cut the lead to 3-2, then in the sixth he coughed up a 3-run HR and the Mets had the lead 5-3.

The Yanks tied it in the eighth on a 2-run single by Didi Gregorius.

In the tenth, Ellsbury walked, Teixeira singled and everyone was safe on a sac bunt by Ben Gamel, just called up from SWB. Starlin Castro hit a SF for the game-winning run.

Dellin Betances, now the closer, worked through a shaky tenth for the save. 6-5 Yanks.

Sabathia 5 2/3 IP, 5 R, 8 H, 3 walks, 5 K. 4.15. Gave up 2 HR.
Bleier 0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 3.75. Facerd two batters, gave up a hit and a walk.
Goody 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 4.26. Just recalled.
Clippard 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K. Combined ERA (AZ/NYY) 4.19
Warren (w, 4-2, 5.31 combined Cubs/NYY) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 2 K. 5.31
Betances (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 2.45.

Some recent basdeball passings: Doug Griffin, 2B for the Red Sox in the early 1970s, and Turk Lown, closer for the 1959 AL Pennant winning White Sox.

Yanks trade Miller, get back Clippard.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I’ll admit, I hate to see Andrew Miller go.

But in the space of a week, the Yanks faced facts—that they were a pretender, not a contender for this year and for the next few years—and decided to look at the future.

And Brian Cashman made it clear that he doesn’t look at the future as a one or two year thing, but wants that future, say, 2020-2034, to be as dominant as say, 1993-2012 was.

The trade with the Cubs brought back the Cubs’ #1 and #7 prospects, Adam Warren, and one other prospect.

The trade of Miller to the Indians brought back their #1 prospect (OF Clint Frazier (YAY! A RIGHTY HITTER to go with Aaron Judge!—they had too many lefties with Williams, Cave, Fowler, Gamel and Rutherford) their #5, and two more.

The Yanks now have one of the best farm systems in the majors. Be patient, this may take a few years, but

Torres, Mateo, Frazier, Sheffield (LHP included in the Miller deal, #5 prospect), Sanchez, Judge, Kaprielian are seven of the top 100 prospects in baseball.

This doesn’t include prospects like:

LHP Dietrich Enns, 11-4 at AA/AAA this year.
RHP Chance Adams, 12-0 between Tampa and Trenton this year.
Pitcher Ian Clarkin, also Jacob Lindgren, Lefty relief pitcher who has had elbow trouble the last two years,
Brian Mitchell, who’s missed this year,
C Luis Torrens ; C Kyle Higashioka (having a great year)
1B Greg Bird; 1B/OF Tyler Austin
INF Tyler Wade
3Bs Miguel Andujar and Mandy Alvarez (Alvarez hit in all of his first 25 minor league games)
OF Blake Rutherford, their 1st round draft pick. .384 in first 24 minor league games.

OF Dustin Fowler. SS Kyle Holder.  SS Wilkerson Garcia.

… and a couple guys they got in the deals, like relief pitcher Ben Heller.

They got Tyler Clippard back for Vincente Campos. Campos was in the Montero for Pineda deal, started out well, but hurt his arm and has been trying to get it back since. Clippard started his MLB career with the Yanks (2007), was traded for Jonathan Albaladejo (bad deal) and became a 2x all-star after the Yanks traded him away. He is 31, was 2-3, 4.30 for Arizona this year, and has a career mark of 44-32, 2.97 with 54 saves. 162 g. average, 6-4, 2.97, 7 saves, ERA+ 135.

And hey, Severino, despite his bad year, is young, just 22.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll give up the next two to three years for 15 years of dominance.

Game 104. Yanks fall back to .500 with 5-3 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I am going to address the deals made today in a separate post.

The Yanks fell back to .500, at 52-52, with a 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay today. A lost weekend, getting swept 3 straight by one of the worst teams in the league. It is the Yanks’ fourth straight loss. To me, it made today’s deals more relevant, and more of a good thing. Getting swept by the Rays made clear the “pretender” and not “contender” label for this year . If there is nothing this year or the next two, build for the future. Build for 2019 and beyond.

All the more reason to follow the minor leagues a lot more closely in the next few years.

And Brian Cashman made clear that he isn’t buiiding a team for a year or two of getting relevant again. He is building to get back an “uberteam”, a team that dominates from say, 2020-2034 like the Yanks dominated from 1993-2012.

In 2034, I’ll be 73 years old. That is what I want before I depart this earth. One more 15-20 year run where the Yanks are top notch. (Of course, if there is another run when I am 80-95 years old, great, but I won’t get greedy).

As for today, Michael Pineda proved why he exasperates us, and why I think he could be trade bait. If he, Nova, and Eovaldi don’t improve on what they are right now, why not trade them? After all, Pineda is now 5-10 with an ERA over 5. As Peggy Lee sang, Is that all there is?

Pineda gave up two in the fourth, one in the fifth on a HR, and after Beltran got the Yanks back in the game with a 2-run HR in the sixth, two more in the sixth.

Beltran’s HR, #22 on the season, was #414 of his career, tying him with Darrell Evans on the all-time list.

Brian McCann got an RBI single in the eighth.

The Yanks struck out 13x. For A-Rod, who PH, it was his fifth consecutive at bat with a strikeout.

I remember when Mike Schmidt retired in the middle of the season, saying he didn’t have it anymore. I remember Willie Mays and Steve Carlton hanging on too long.

Right now, I kind of wish A-Rod would call a press conference and hang it up.

I don’t mean that to be mean.I just don’t want A-Rod embarrassing himself. When it is time, it is time. Four homers short of 700 or not.

Pineda (L, 5-10, 5.13) 6 IP, 5 R, 6 H, 4 walks, 8 K. 1 HR given up.
Severino 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walks, 2 K. 6.69.

Game 103. Yanks fall, 6-3.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks lost their third straight, 6-3, to the Rays Saturday night. It’s their second straight loss to Tampa Bay, who is one of the worst teams in baseball.

So I have to ask those in the front office who are in “buy” mode (Randy Levine?), what are you looking at?

I am not a fan of Levine for many reasons, one of which was his arrogant answers to some questions the media asked him earlier this season. Some people may harp on Girardi (who, I think has done ok, given some limitations on this team. They should be under .500 this year, as well as should have finished under .500 in 2013 and 2014, but he has kept them afloat) or Cashman, but when I read and hear about what Levine wants to do, that’s where I get upset.

Rumors are that most of the front office was in “sell” mode, but Levine and possibly Hal Steinbrenner, were a bit stubborn in thinking this team still was contenders and should buy. After the two losses to the Rays this weekend, I wonder if they have changed their minds. I also wonder as the clock ticks down on the trade deadline, if it is too late to get something back that you can build around.

They could have sold on Cano and Robertson, instead of losing them to free agency and getting nothing. They shouldn’t repeat those mistakes.

The Yanks need new, good, young players. A new foundation for future success. That comes with selling some assets now that are not part of your future.

Nathan Eovaldi, just like Ivan Nova the night before, gave up a first inning homer to put the Yanks in a hole, 1-0 after one.

The Yanks’ offense once again didn’t do much. Except for a 2-run HR by Brett Gardner (7) in the third (and Eovaldi gave it right back in the bottom of the third by giving up a 2-run HR) and a solo HR (10) by Chase Headley in the eighth, the Yanks’ offense was non-existent—and this was against someone who came into the game 2-11.

Alex Rodriguez got the golden sombrero. 0 for 4 with 4 strikeouts.

After Eovaldi coughed up the lead in the bottom of the third by giving up another HR, Anthony Swarzak let the game get away in the seventh, giving up 3 runs, two on a  HR.

The Yanks are now 52-51. Were they some four games better, maybe hit the “buy” button. Instead, look to the future. Sell.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see a deal or two get done today, if they could swing it.

Eovaldi really didn’t pitch too badly, but his inconsistency and tendency to give up the gopher ball hurt him again. 3 hits given up, but 2 HR.

Eovaldi (L, 9-7, 4.78) 6 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 2 walks, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Swarzak 1 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 5.66. Gave up 1 HR.
Bleier 0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3. 75. Faced one batter, gave up a hit.
Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 5.59 (combined ERA Cubs/Yanks).

It is what it is. The two losses to the last-place Rays sealed the deal. Sell.

Game 100. Yanks beat Houston, 6-3.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks got to four games over .500 with a 6-3 win over Houston Tuesday night. After 100 games, they are 52-48.

The Yanks’ pitchers gave up three HRs, but thank goodness, they were all solo ones.

Houston got on the board first, in the first inning, on a HR by Marwin Gonzalez to go up 1-0.

The Yanks got two in the second when Brian McCann singled, and was doubled to third by Mark Teixeira. Didi Gregorius hit a SF for one run, and Chase Headley singled in the other.

In the third, the Yanks made it 3-1. Carlos Beltran singled, Mark Teixeira walked, and Starlin Castro singled in a run.

The Yanks broke it open in the fifth. McCann was HBP, and Teixeira singled. After a groundout moved the runners up, Castro was intentionally walked to load the bases for a hopeful DP. Instead, Headley got a SF to make it 4-1, and Aaron Hicks came through with a 2-run triple to make it 6-1.

Evan Gattis hit a HR off of CC in the seventh to cut it to 6-2, and Gonzalez hit his second HR of the game, this one off of Anthony Swarzak, to make it the final score of 6-3.

To make room for Adam Warren, the Yanks sent down Chasen Shreve. When Severino came up, he replaced Chapman, and Green replaced Goody. So a lot of bullpen moves lately.

Sabathia (w, 6-8, 3.95) 6 2/3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 2 walks, 5 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Swarzak 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 3 K. 4.58  Gave up 1 HR
Betances (H, 27) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 2.50
Miller (S, 9) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 1.39.

There are rumors of another deal, this one possibly involving Ivan Nova.