Category Archives: The Front Office

The Minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

As written in my recap of the major league game, apparently the Yanks have four “Untouchables” that they are unwilling to include in any major trade: SS Jorge Mateo of Low A Charleston, and three players at AAA SWB: RHP Luis Severino, OF Aaron Judge and 1b/DH Greg Bird.

AAA: SWB lost 3-1, Esmiel Rogers giving up 3 R, 2 ER, in 5 1/3.

AA: Trenton won 3-2. Jaron Long three scoreless IP of relief. Andrew Bailey the save with a scoreless IP. LF Danny Oh got 2 hits and scored 3 runs. 2 RBI for C Eddy Rodriguez.

High A:   tampa split a DH.

Game 1: 6-4 win. CF Dustin Fowler 3 hits, 5 rbi.

Game 2: lost 7-1. Two more hits for Fowler.

A: Charleston lost 5-3 in 15. 2B Leonard Thompson HR, 3 rbi. 3B Isaias Tejeda 3 hits.

Game 98. Yanks open up 7-game lead with a 6-2 win.

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Didi Gregorius drove in four runs with a 2-run HR and a two-run single as the Yanks beat Texas 6-2 on Monday night.

With the win, the Yanks have opened up a seven-game lead in the AL East with a 56-42 record. Meanwhile, a couple of their division opponents made moves. Boston, 13 out now, traded Shane Victorino to the Angels, and Toronto, 7 out, traded Jose Reyes to Colorado for Troy Tulowitzki.

There was news yesterday that the Yankees were interested in Cole Hamels of the Phillies, but the Yanks have four “untouchables” they refuse to trade: RHP Luis Severino, 1B/DH Greg Bird, OF Aaron Judge (all at AAA) and SS Jorge Mateo (at Low A).

In the game, Ivan Nova struggled, giving up two runs in the second, and being in trouble a lot, going just the minimum five for the win, but he did get the win.

Down 2-0 in the third, Gregorius tied the game with a two-run HR (5). Brendan Ryan then tripled and scored on a Chris Young SF to put the Yanks up 3-2.

In the sixth, Alex Rodriguez, celebrating his 40th birthday, homered (24, #678 career) to put the Yanks up 4-2. A-Rod became the fourth player to HR as a teenager and also at 40 or over (Ty Cobb, Rusty Staub, Gary Sheffield).

Gregorius’ two-run single in the seventh accounted for the final margin of 6-2.He had three hits in the game, as did Chase Headley.

Nova (W, 3-3, 3.38) 5 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 walks, 1 HBP, 3 K.
Shreve 2 IP, 0 R, 0H, 1 walk, 4 k. 1.79.
Wilson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 1 K, 1.50
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 1.35

Chris Capuano will make Tuesday’s start to give everyone in the rotation an extra day off.

The Minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

AAA: Luis Severino gave up just one run, but only went four innings as he struggled through 84 pitches in SWB’s 5-1 win. Brandon Pinder pitched three scoreless innings of relief. CF Ben Gamel 2 hits, 2 RBI. 2B Rob Refsnyder 2 hits, HR. It’s too bad Refsnyder doesn’t play SS. The Yanks could really use a righty bat (better than Pirela and Petit, as well as Ryan) who can platoon with Drew and Gregorius, both lefty hitters, who can play 2B AND SS. Maybe Cashman can find one at the trade deadline. LF Taylor Dugas went 3 for 3.

AA:    Trenton won 8-6. 2 RBI CF Mark Payton. 2 hits, solo HR for C Gary Sanchez. 2 hits, rbi for SS Ali Castillo and LF Jake Cave.

High A:   6-4 Tampa win. SS Tyler Wade 3 hits. Three others with two hits each.

A: Charleston got a run in the bottom of the 9th and won 3-2. 3B Isaias Tejeda 2 rbi, SS Jorge Mateo his 54th SB. CF Austin Aune the GW hit.

Game 63. Yanks fall from first after 2-1 loss.

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If the Yanks do make the WS, they need to look at last night’s game. For perhaps no other AL team may be hurt as much as the Yankees when playing in an NL park where you lose the DH.

With A-Rod limited to a PH appearance (he made the last out of the game), and Jacoby Ellsbury still on the DL, the Yanks’ offense managed just three hits and wasted another typically good Tanaka effort in losing 2-1 to the Marlins.

Without the DH, the Yanks lineup from 6-9 went like this: #6, Drew, now hitting .175. #7  Didi, at .236 (Didi did have two of the Yanks’ three hits. The other was Teixeira’s solo HR (18) in the second inning for the Yanks’ only run.) #8 Mason Williams, playing in just his fourth MLB game and who is now just 1 (HR) for 11, and #9 the pitcher. Getting Ellsbury back would help a little, but that bottom of the lineup is something that would need to be addressed should the Yanks make the WS this year. It is something that may need to be addressed between now and the trade deadline as far as the other games the Yanks will have in NL parks this year. (I am definitely thinking Citi Field vs. the Mets in September—games that look now as if they will be important to EACH team as far as making the playoffs).

With the 2-1 loss, the Yanks dropped out of first. They are now in second, one game behind the Rays. Toronto is in third, two back and Baltimore in fourth, three back. The Yanks are 34-29. With everyone (except Boston) bunched up like that, it truly looks as if every game counts.

Teixeira’s HR was #381 of his career, tying Albert Belle on the all-time list.

Tanaka gave up a run in the second, and a solo HR in the seventh that doomed him.

After Jose Ramirez loaded the bases with no out in the eighth, Sergio Santos got out of the inning giving up no runs. That was a great job to keep the game at 2-1 and give the Yanks a chance.

Tanaka (L, 4-2, 2.49) 7 IP, 2 R,  9 H, 0 walks and 6 K.
Ramirez 0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 0 K, 1 HBP. 36.00. 3 batters, 3 baserunners.
Santos 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 4.96.

Nathan Eovaldi vs. David Phelps tonight. Two guys traded for each other last offseason.

We’ll see how the lack of the DH affects the Yanks tonight. You can’t win with half a lineup. People, especially in the lower half, will need to step up with Alex out.  Let’s hope they do it.

The minors, and moves.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks were off today, but did pick up a half a game over Tampa Bay because of the Rays loss to the Angels. In that game, Albert Pujols passed Mickey Mantle on the all-time HR list, hitting #537. The Yanks now have a 2-game lead in the AL East.

The Yanks brought up Mason “Classical Gas” Williams up from AAA. How I hope they play that song for his walk up. It’d be perfect, right? Williams, 23, between AA/AAA this year, was at .318-0-22 with 13 sb. Good speed, CF, lefty hitter, no power, good defense. He’ll enable Gardner to go back to LF and be there until Ellsbury is ready. Last year, Williams hit just .223 at AA with 21 SB. While he is up, the Yanks hope he plays good D, and gets the occasional hit and SB.

So in the past few days, (and LoHud had a nice chart)…

Ryan replaces Pirela as backup IF. Ryan better D, and the vet. Pirela maybe the better hitter, but Ryan earns the bigger $$$.

Williams replaces Flores in the OF.

By necessity, because of Miller’s DL stint, Chris Martin (fresh off rehab) replaces him.

I think Miller returns after the ASG.

In a few weeks, Ellsbury and Nova should be ready. Ellsbury replaces Williams. As for Nova, that’s a more difficult call. Do you send Lindgren down? Does Nova go into the rotation with Warren to the bullpen (appears that way)? Does Nova go into the bullpen? Does Lindgren stay and say, the Yanks DFA Rogers or Capuano?

In addition the Yanks traded David Carpenter to Washington for a minor league second baseman, Tony Renda, who will probably go to AA.  Renda, a righty hitter, is 24 and was hitting .267-1-23 with 13 SB at AA Harrisburg.

Now for the minors.

AAA: 9-2 win for SWB.  Kyle Davies (5-3, 4.03) 2 R in 6 1/3. 1B Kyle Roller 2 h, 3 rbi. 3B Cole Figueroa 3 h, 2 doubles, rbi.

AA: Trenton won 6-0 on a combined one-hitter. Sergio Santos, just acquired, pitched a scoreless inning with 2 K. C Gary Sanchez (injured bruised hand) left the game in the 2nd and his replacement, Francisco Arcia, homered. Judge, Bird, Jagielo and Arcia all w/2h and an RBI.

High A: Regular game: Tampa lost 3-1. Gregorio Petit, on rehab, 1 for 2 w/a walk.

Makeup of 6/10 rainout: 4-3 loss. SS Tyler Wade, C Kyle Higashioka and LF Ericson Leonora all with 2 hits each.

A: 4-3 win for Charleston.  CF Dustin Fowler 2 h, HR , 2 RBI.

Minors, Rehab and the Draft.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

AAA: The SWB game at Buffalo was suspended because of fog with SWB up 2-1 in the fifth.

AA: Trenton had off.

High A: Tampa lost 3-2. Ivan Nova and Gregorio Petit started their rehabs in this game.

Nova 4 2/3 IP, 2 R 1 ER, 3 H, 0 walks and 3 K.

Petit 1 for 2 with a walk.

3B Dante Bichette, Jr. was sent down here from AA Trenton where he was only hiting .213. CF Mike O’Neill (Paul’s nephew) 2 hits tonight, but only at .215.

As for Nova, if I am the Yankees, I put him in the bullpen when he is ready to rejoin the big club. I do not put him in the rotation and take Warren out to put Warren back in the bullpen. My reasons? Warren is doing well. Nova is coming off TJ surgery. Why make Nova pitch a lot of innings now when Warren is doing well in the rotation? Bring Nova back slowly from the surgery. Put him in the bullpen for the sixth and seventh ahead of Betances and Miller. Nova can rejoin the rotation NEXT year, when he is more removed from the TJ surgery.

A: Charleston off.

The Yanks had two picks in the first round of the MLB draft. With their first opic,, they took RHP James Kaprielian, UCLA. With the second pick, they took SS SS Kyle Holder, University of San Diego.

Game 39. Yanks get shutout by KC 6-0.

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Chris Capuano showed some rust, and the Yankees offense showed nothing in a 6-0 loss to KC on Sunday. The loss is the Yankees’ fifth in their last six games, and the offense has gone to sleep in those games.

The Yanks are off Monday and Thursday. In between, they have two games in Washington, which means no DH. Mark Teixeira left today’s game early with a contusion of his toe (X-Rays negative) after a HBP. What the Yanks could do is to play Garrett Jones at 1B one day, A-Rod the other, and give Teix 4 days off.

Capuano (L, 0-1, 12.00) 3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 2 walks and 4 K.
Rogers 2 2/3 IP, 2 R, both unearned, 3 hits, 2 walks and 1 K. 3.24.
Wilson 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 5.56.
Shreve 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.35.

The Yanks have a dilemma. Jacoby Ellsbury, the leadoff man, is hitting .327. We are almost 1/4 of the way through the season. Ellsbury has 6 RBI. The reason why? It’s the guys at the bottom of the order who are not getting on before Ellsbury comes to bat. Stephen Drew is hitting .177. Didi Gregorious is at .204. There are no rbi opportunities for Ellsbury. No one is on base.

Today, at AAA, Rob Refsnyder had 3 hits, 3 rbi and 2 HR. He is heating up. He is up to .304 (I don’t know about his defense, though). But Refsnyder (or Pirela, currently on the team) isn’t a SS. Pirela has played SS in the minors, but the Yanks don’t consider him a SS. So if the Yanks were to bring up Refsnyder (which, considering their lack of offense, sounds good), who goes? The only legitimate SS backup to Gregorious is Drew. Both hit lefty so it is not like you can platoon the two. What I would love is that whenever Brendan Ryan (a righty hitter) is ready to come back as a backup IF, you get rid of Gregorious or Drew (release Drew, eat the $5MM or trade or demote Didi), bring up Refsnyder, and send Pirela back to AAA or trade him. (I like Pirela, but if you are activating two people, then two people have to g0. If Refsnyder and Ryan are on the team, two people have to be dropped among Pirela, Drew and Didi).

Refsnyder is up to .304. He doesn’t fill needs at SS or 3B. The Yanks have McCann at .237, Beltran at .234, Drew at .177, Didi at .204.  Headley is at .236. Could they use Refsnyder’s bat? Yes. But how to squeeze it in?

The Yanks are 22-17. They still are the leaders in the AL East, by one game over Tampa Bay.

But they cannot continue with a DP combo hitting .177 and .204. But the solution, bringing up Refsnyder, isn’t as easy as it appears, given the situation I described above.

So what to do?