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Sanchez Yanks’ MVP? Drury box? Some thoughts.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

All the talk is of Stanton and Judge being the Yanks’ Mantle & Maris now.

But I will make a case for the Yankees’ MVP right now being Gary Sanchez.

Bear with me a moment here.

I am not talking their BEST player, I am talking their most VALUABLE.

And in regards to that, I am talking depth. Depth at a particular position, and how much it would hurt the Yanks to lose one particular player. 

If Judge sprained a knee and was out two weeks, Stanton could play RF and say, Ellsbury could DH. You could bring up a Billy McKinney or Jake Cave from the minors to be on the bench.

If Didi missed a couple of weeks for the same issue, Torreyes or maybe even Torres could play SS. You see what I am getting at. There is a dropoff, but it would not be too bad.

But if, say, something happened to Sanchez, the dropoff would be bigger. Behind Sanchez, there is Romine (who can’t hit, .220 career average, OPS+ just 54 {average is 100}), Higashioka (0 for 18 in his brief MLB time last year) and 37 year old Erik Kratz. Of the backups, Kratz has the most power potential in replacing Sanchez, who, as we know, has PLENTY of power.

Which is why I was kind of hoping that the Yanks would find another backup C this offseason. That dropoff from Sanchez to the backups is bigger than at other positions, I believe. And why I believe that Sanchez is actually the team’s most VALUABLE player right now.

Maybe something happens. I was kind of hoping that the Yanks could get an Alex Avila. Jonathan Lucroy is still on the market, but I am sure he (a starter elsewhere) wouldn’t sign just to become a backup playing 40 times a year.

No offense to Romine, but say Sanchez misses two months with an injury. Would you be comfortable with Romine and Higashioka as your catchers? I wouldn’t, and that is why, to me, Sanchez is the Yanks’ most VALUABLE player right now.

Luis Cessa has been tabbed to start the Yanks’ ST opener on Friday. The game is at 1 PM but will be shown on the MLB network at 8 PM.

One day after designating Jabari Blash for assignment to make room for Brandon Drury on the 40 man roster, the Yankees have traded Blash to the Angels for $$$$ or a player to be named later.

As for Drury, the Yanks now have Judge and Drury. Since there is the Judge’s Chambers in RF, if Drury, as expected, wins the 3B job, will there then be a “Drury Box” along the third base line?


Baseball winter meetings begin tomorrow.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It’s been a slow offseason so far, but things could heat up as baseball’s winter meetings begin tomorrow.

The price for pitching went up, as the Cubs paid $38MM for 3 years for free agent Tyler Chatwood. had him estimated at 3 years, $20MM. Big difference.

We’ll see about a lot of things soon. Stanton. Ohtani. Free agent signings. Trades.

The Yanks are trying to get under the cap to reset themselves for a big push next offseason, when the free agent class will be better.

Josh Bard has interviewed for a job on Aaron Boone’s coaching staff and we’ll see if he gets one.


Mgr. of year, Doerr, AFL, & another managerial candidate.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Paul Molitor of the Twins and Torey Luvullo of the Diamondbacks were named the AL and NL Managers of the Year, respectively.

Joe Girardi finished fourth.

HOF 2B Bobby Doerr died Monday at the age of 99. He was the oldest living HOF and oldest MLB player. Now the oldest living HOF is Red Schoendiest.

Doerr played his entire career with the Red Sox, 1937-1951, missing 1945 due to WWII service. His #1 was retired by Boston. He had to retire at the age of 33 due to a bad back.

A 9x All Star, Doerr drove in 100 runs 6x. He led the league in triples with 11 in 1950. 8x he received MVP consideration, and he finished in the top 10 twice.

His 162 g. average was .288-19-108, OPS+115. JAWS, on lists him as the 22nd best 2B of all-time.

He hit .409 in his only postseason, the 1946 WS when the Red Sox lost to Schoendiest’s Cardinals in seven games.

Add Chris Woodward, Dodgers’ 3B coach, to the list of people to be interviewed by Brian Cashman for the Yankees’ managerial job. Woodward, 41, was a utility infielder for the Blue Jays, Mets, Braves, Mariners, Red Sox, Blue Jays (again) and Mariners (again) from 1999-2011. His 162 g. average was .239-8-47, OPS+ 71. He made the postseason in 2006 with the Mets, going 1 for 1 with a double, and scoring a run.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale lost 6-5. Yankees’ prospects:

2B Kyle Holder 1 for 5, double, scored a run. .333
SS Thairo Estrada 1 for 4, single, .347
1B Billy McKinney 0 for 4, .281
RF Estevan Florial 3 for 4, 2 doubles, scored a run, RBI. .273

Some Brian Cashman remarks suggest that Gleyber Torres will be given every shot to win the 3B job in spring training over Chase Headley, and it doesn’t appear they will try to sign free agent Todd Frazier. 3B Miguel Andujar is in the mix but the Yanks are worried about his glove (then DH him!). It also looks as if Jacoby Ellsbury will be a $21MM fourth outfielder, with the Yanks going with Gardner, Hicks and Judge in the OF, which would leave Clint Frazier at AAA.

The CYA will be announced today. It’s expected that Luis Severino will finish third.

UPDATE: Jim Rivera, an OF for the 1959 AL Pennant winning Go-Go White Sox, has passed away at the age of 96. Rivera played for the Browns (1952), White Sox (1952-1961) and KC A’s (1961) from 1952-1961. He led the AL in triples with 16 in 1953. He led the majors in SB with 25 in 1955. As a backup OF, he hit .220-4-19, OPS+ 77 in 1959 for the White Sox. He was 0 for 11 in the WS that year. His 162 g. average was .256-11-58, 22 SB, OPS+ 96.





Rothschild to return as pitching coach.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

We have no clue who the Yankees’ new manager will be, but we, and that new manager, now know who the pitching coach will be.

The Yankees are retaining Larry Rothschild as the pitching coach.

Who else is retained from the coaching staff, who knows. Joe Espada has already left for Houston. Rob Thomson, if he doesn’t get the manager’s job, has said he would still like to remain with the Yankees.

Rothschild, 63, had a short MLB career, going 0-0, 5.40 in seven games for the Tigers in 1981 and 1982. He managed Tampa Bay from 1998-2001.


Off day thoughts.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks have made starting decisions for Games 1 and 2. Sonny Gray will start Game 1 and CC Sabathia (good road record) Game 2. I would think this sets up Severino 3, Tanaka (much better home than road) 4 and Gray 5. We’ll see.



Yankees news. Magic # to make the playoff now 2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Even though the Yanks were off on Thursday, they saw their magic # for making the playoffs reduced to two when the Angels lost to Cleveland.

The magic # to make the playoffs is 2 over the Angels and the Rangers.

The magic # to be the top wild card and host the wild card game is 4 over the Twins.

The Yanks remain 3 back of Boston in the AL East with 10 games to go.

Yanks’ minor league prospect Billy McKinney will be going to an instructional league. The OF will learn to play 1B to increase his versatility. The 23 yr. old lefty hitter hit .277-16-64 in 124 games this year, split between AA and AAA.

One-time Yankee Raul Mondesi has been sentenced to 8 years in prison and fined a hefty amount for corruption. After his playing days ended, he became a mayor of a city in the Dominican Republic. A crooked mayor, it seems….



Game 118. Gray seals it, but Chapman almost unseals it in a 5-4 Yanks’ win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Pardons to Elton John for the headline.

The Yanks have a problem on their hands. That problem is Aroldis Chapman and a second problem may be Joe Girardi’s stubbornness right now.

Sonny Gray pitched well, six shutout innings before yielding a 2-run HR in the seventh. Still, the Yanks took a 5-2 lead into the ninth, when Chapman gave up a 2-run HR to make things shaky before the Yanks finished off the Mets 5-4.

Chapman is a problem right now. As I wrote a few days ago, the Yanks have three closers. They can go with the hot hand, something Girardi mentioned sarcastically a few days ago in saying “Chapman is my closer. What am I supposed to do, go with the hot hand?”

Yes, Joe, that is exactly what we want you to do. We also want you to leave relievers performing well in for more than one inning. For you almost blew another game tonight. 

The Yanks scored first, getting a run in the third on a Torreyes double, Gardner sac bunt and Hicks single. Good. Nice to see some littleball with the bunt there.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a 2-run HR (6) in the fourth to make it 3-0.

Gary Sanchez homered in the sixth (21) to make it 4-0. Gray gave up a 2-run HR in the seventh,  but the Yanks made it 5-2 in the eighth on a SF by Sanchez.

Then in came Chapman who almost blew the game. Why not leave Betances throw a second inning. Why not use Warren (Robertson could use the day off). But no, the “he’s my closer” stubbornness mentality almost cost the Yanks a ballgame.

You just knew when Chapman came in tonight that this wasn’t going to go smoothly.

Aaron Judge struck out for the 32nd straight game, tying a MLB record, but he did have a key double and then scored that fifth run.

Gray (W, 7-7, 3.37) 6+ IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Kahnle (H, 11) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.30. Threw just 10 pitches. What, he can’t go two?
Betances (H, 17) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.20. Threw 19 pitches. He couldn’t go two?
Chapman (S, 16) 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.89. That save rule is a joke.

Happy the Yanks won. Unhappy Girardi is so inflexible with his thinking.

UPDATE: Chapman was pretty down after the game. Not as confident as previously. It could be getting to him. On the final play, he appeared to tweak his hammy a bit.

Cessa went on the DL. Smith back up.