Category Archives: Winter Leagues

Betts (AL) Yelich (NL) win MVP honors. Yanks finish 12, 19, 20 and 22. Final AFL stats for Yanks’ prospects.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Mookie Betts of Boston won the AL MVP quite handily, getting 28 of the 30 first place votes. Mike Trout of the Angels finished as the runnerup for the fourth time (Trout has won the award twice). Trout got one first place vote, and Betts’ teammate, J.D. Martinez, who finished fourth, got the other.

As for Yankees, Aaron Judge finished 12th, Giancarlo Stanton 19th, Didi Gregorius finished in a tie for 20th (he was also 20th last year) and Aaron Hicks finished in a tie for 22nd.

Christian Yelich of Milwaukee won the NL MVP, getting 29 of the 30 first place votes (the only other one going to Jacob DeGrom of the Mets, who finished fifth). Javier Baez of the Cubs was the runnerup.

The Glendale Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League season is over with a 12-18 record. Here is how Yankees’ prospects did:

SS Thairo Estrada .238-0-7
1B Steven Sensley .197-0-9
CF Estevan Florial .178-0-8

SP Jordan Foley 0-2, 9.15
RP Hobie Harris 1-0, 4.20
RP Matt Wivinis 0-1, 1.50
RP Kyle Zurak 0-1, 11.57

 

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Yanks retain infield depth. Re-sign minor leaguer Urshela. Twins’ Mauer retires. Catching up with the AFL.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks have apparently re-signed Gio Urshela, 3B, to a minor league contract to provide minor league depth.

Urshela, 27, finished last year at SWB. In 167 MLB games, with Cleveland and Toronto, he has hit .225-8-39, OPS+ 57. He is known more for his defense.

In 2018, he only played in 19 MLB games, all with Toronto, and hit .233-1-3 in 43 at bats.

Twins C/1B Joe Mauer, 35, has announced his retirement. Mauer was a 6x All-Star, won 3 batting titles, the 2009 MVP (he finished in the top 10 three other years), 5x Silver Slugger winner. He also won 3 Gold Gloves. His 162 g. average was. .306-12-80, OPS+ 124. He hit .275-0-1 in 10 postseason games.

On baseball-reference.com, Mauer is listed as the 7th best catcher of all-time, between Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey.

Catching up with the Arizona Fall League,  the Glendale Desert Dogs, who have some Yankees’ prospects on the team, are 10-15. The season ends next Thursday, Nov. 15 and the Desert Dogs have been eliminated from the playoffs. Not too good numbers by these guys:

SS Thairo Estrada .250-0-7
1B Steven Sensley .179-0-7
CF Estevan Florial .169-0-8

SP Jordan Foley 0-2, 10.34
RP Hobie Harris 1-0, 4.50
RP Matt Wivinis 1-0, 1.59
RP Kyle Zurak 0-1, 16.20

 

 

Yanks have 3 finalists, but no GG winners. Florial shines in AFL All-Star Game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks had three finalists for Gold Glove awards, but no winners. LF Brett Gardner lost out to KC’s Alex Gordon again. Aaron Judge lost out in RF to Boston’s Mookie Betts, and P Masahiro Tanaka lost out to Houston’s Dallas Keuchel.

From MLB.com, the list of winners.

National League
C: Yadier Molina, Cardinals
1B: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs; Freddie Freeman, Braves (TIE)
2B: DJ LeMahieu, Rockies
3B: Nolan Arenado, Rockies
SS: Nick Ahmed, D-backs
LF: Corey Dickerson, Pirates
CF: Ender Inciarte, Braves
RF: Nick Markakis, Braves
P: Zack Greinke, D-backs

American League
C: Salvador Perez, Royals
1B: Matt Olson, A’s
2B: Ian Kinsler, Angels/Red Sox
3B: Matt Chapman, A’s
SS: Andrelton Simmons, Angels
LF: Alex Gordon, Royals
CF: Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox
RF: Mookie Betts, Red Sox
P: Dallas Keuchel, Astros

In the Arizona Fall League on Saturday night, Yankees’ OF prospect Estevan Florial, playing for the west, had a triple and a walk and scored a run as the West edged the East, 7-6.

 

 

Boone interviews for Yankees’ managerial position, Woodward next?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Aaron Boone has interviewed for the Yanks’ vacant managerial position, the fourth candidate after Rob Thomson, Eric Wedge, and Hensley Meulens to do so.

Boone is the first to do so who doesn’t have previous coaching or managerial experience.

Chris Woodward of the Dodgers is probably slated to be interviewed next.

MLB.com has stated that Hal Steinbrenner has said that there will be less than ten candidates.

Some candidates, like Raul Ibanez, and Brad Ausmus have taken themselves out of consideration by stating that they weren’t interested at the present time.

From the NY Post:

Yankees pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training on Feb. 13. Position players arrive on Feb. 18 and the first full-squad workout will be Feb. 19.

Their spring training schedule begins on Feb.23 against the Tigers at 1:05 p.m. at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. They will visit the Mets on March 7 in Port St. Lucie and host their crosstown rivals on March 10.

The exhibition season ends for a second straight year in Atlanta, where they play the Braves on March 26 before they open the regular season in Toronto on March 29.

The Arizona Fall league has their championship game today, but Scottsdale isn’t one of the teams, so for the Yankees’ prospects, their Arizona Fall League is over.

Judge runnerup in MVP voting. Yanks interview Meulens. AFL News.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Aaron Judge finished 2nd in the MVP voting to Jose Altuve. I thought the vote would be closer, but it was no contest. Altuve received 27 of the 30 first place votes to win quite easily. Judge got 2 first place votes and 27 votes for second place.

In the NL, it was a razor-thin victory for Giancarlo Stanton, who won by just 2 points over Joey Votto. Both received 10 first place votes out of 30 but Stanton, barely, got more support up top than Votto.

Other Yankees to receive consideration were Didi Gregorius, who finished in a tie for 20th, and Gary Sanchez, who finished in a tie for 22nd.

We have a spelling correction. It’s Ohtani, not Otani, for the Japanese sensation.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale lost 7-4.

Yankees’ prospects:

DH Thairo Estrada 1 for 4, RBI. .342
RF Estevan Florial 2 for 4, scored 2 runs, triple, struck out 2x. .286

The Yanks interviewed Hensley (Bam-Bam) Meulens yesterday for the managerial opening. Meulens was a top and failed prospect for the Yanks in the late 1980s, early 1990s. He has been a hitting coach and bench coach for the Giants and as such, won 3 rings (2010, 2012, 2014) and has managed in the WBC (Netherlands, featuring Didi Gregorius) and in winter ball. Meulens speaks five languages.

Of course, if the Yanks select someone like Meulens, they would break their managerial color barrier. No Yankees manager has been anything but white.

Maybe if Elston Howard would have lived, instead of succumbing to a heart condition at the age of 51, he would have become manager of the Yankees. We’ll never know.

Seve 3rd in CYA voting. AFL news.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Corey Kluber and Max Scherzer were named the winners of the CYA in the AL and NL respectively.

The Yankees’ Luis Severino placed 3rd for the AL Cy Young Award, behind Kluber and Chris Sale.

I’m a little surprised that Scherzer beat Clayton Kershaw by such a wide margin (Scherzer’s teammate, Stephen Strasburg, finished third). Kershaw won more games, had the lower ERA. Scherzer struck out more because he started four more games than Scherzer. For Scherzer, his third CYA, matching Kershaw.

For Kluber, his 2nd CYA.

Tomorrow, we find out the MVPs and if Aaron Judge wins or is runnerup.

In the Arizona Fall League, Sxottsdale lost, 4-1.

Yankees prospects:

1b Billy McKinney 1 for 4, double. 2 strikeouts. .279

Andrew Schwaab RP, 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. 6.35
Cody Carroll, RP, 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 0.00

Remember that recent Yankees’ prospects who have starred in the Arizona Fall League are Greg Bird and Gleyber Torres.

Hal Steinbrenner confirmed that he thought the same way as Cashman, that it was time for Girardi to go, and he’s felt this way for a few years, not a few weeks. Hal said that he agreed with the decision, and it was a confirmation of the decision from Hal, not a persuasion.

 

Judge and Bellinger unanimous ROYs. Boone, Bam-Bam next to be interviewed. Beltran retires. AFL news.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The verdict is in, and it’s unanimous for the Judge and for Cody Bellinger.

The Yankees’ Aaron Judge and the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger were unanimously selected the Rookies of the Year in the American and National Leagues, respectively.

Judge set a new rookie record with 52 HR, and Bellinger set a new NL record for rookies with 39 HR. Cody’s dad Clay was a utility player for the Yankees in the late 1990s and in 2000 and 2001.

Yankees LHP Jordan Montgomery got consideration, finishing sixth in the voting.

The GM meetings are going on, and Brian Cashman won’t interview managerial candidates anymore until it’s over on Thursday, but the next two candidates are Aaron Boone and Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens.

I wrote about Boone recently. Meulens has been a hitting coach and bench coach for the Giants, and he has managed in the World Baseball Classic and in Winter Ball. He speaks five languages and apparently has ties with Didi Gregorius.

Meulens, 50, was a much hyped prospect for the Yankees in the late 1980s and early 1990s who never panned out. He was with the Yankees for 159 games, 457 at bats, from 1989-1993. All that time basically equalled one full season. He hit .221-12-46, OPS+75 with the Yankees. He also had 16 games with the 1997 Montreal Expos and 7 with the 1998 Arizona Diamondbacks.

Carlos Beltran announced his retirement today, just weeks after finally getting a WS title. Beltran retires with 2725 hits, a .279 batting average, and 435 HR. He played 20 years, from 1998-2017 and finally got a ring with Houston in his final season. He played for KC 1998-2004, Houston (I) 2004, Mets 2005-2011, Giants 2011, Cardinals 2012-2013, Yankees 2014-2016, Texas 2016 and Houston (II) 2017. He was a ROY, 9x All-Star, 3x Gold Glove, and 2x Silver Slugger.

Beltran is (according to JAWS on the baseballreference.com site) ranked as the 8th greatest CF of all-time, behind Mays, Cobb, Speaker, Mantle, Griffey Jr., Joe DiMaggio and Duke Snider. Exclusive company.  Beltran should get into the HOF. His 162 g. average was .279-27-99, 20 SB and an OPS+ of 119. 7x he received MVP consideration, and he finished in the top 10 twice.

In 65 postseason games, he hit .307 with 16 HR, 42 RBI and 11 SB.

He would like to manage one day himself. Since he still has a home in the NY area, immediately speculation lent himself to the Yankees’ job. Much respected and bilingual, the problem is his lack of coaching and managing experience, but that isn’t hurting other candidates from being mentioned or interviewed like Boone, Cone or Flaherty.

Cross out two other candidates from the list. Brad Ausmus, recently fired by the Tigers, says he would like to take a year away from managing.

Meanwhile the Yankees asked for permission to talk to A’s manager Bob Melvin, but were refused.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale won 2-0. Yankees’prospects:

CF Estevan Florial 0 for 3, 3 strikeouts. .242. The 19 yr. old is in a bad slump.
1B Billy McKinney 1 for 3, strikeout. .300
SS Thairo Estrada 1 for 3, triple, scored a run. RBI. .352
SP Albert Abreu (W, 1-2, 2.60) 5 IP, 0 R, 6 H, 2 W, 0 K.