Category Archives: Winter Leagues

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.

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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.

Sheffield avoids injury in AFL; Also, links to articles on Boone, Otani.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Yankees’ prospect Justus Sheffield avoided more serious injury when a comebacker struck him in the leg on Saturday.

The lefty pitcher was removed in the second inning of Scottsdale’s 12-7 loss.

Yankees’ prospects in the game:

1B BIlly McKinney 1 for 2, scored two runs, 1 RBI. Single and walk. .298
3B Kyle Holder 2 for 4, double, RBI. .350

Sheffield (L, 2-2; 3.10) 1 1/3 IP, 2 R,  1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Andrew Schwaab 2 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 1 W, 0 K. 6.75
Cody Carroll 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 0.00

Jim Bowden, Reds’ GM from 1992-2003 has interesting things to say about Aaron Boone possibly becoming a manager. You can access the link here (copy and paste into browser):

http://nypost.com/2017/11/11/why-no-experience-is-not-a-problem-for-aaron-boone/

MLB.com has some more information on Shohei Otani here:

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/261421270/shohei-ohtani-says-he-will-do-what-teams-ask/

 

 

 

Wedge, Otani, April start times, AFL

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Add another surprise name to the Yankees’ managerial search. The second person to be interviewed was Eric Wedge.

Wedge will be 50 in January. He managed Cleveland from 2003-2009, and was Cleveland’s manager when the Indians beat the Yankees in the 2007 ALDS, the series known for the midges.

He also managed Seattle from 2011-2013. In his ten years as manager, his teams averaged 77-85. He won 90 or more games twice and the only team he took to the playoffs was that 2007 Indians team (which featured CC Sabathia) that blew a 3 games to 1 lead to Boston in the ALCS.

Nevertheless, Wedge was named Manager of the Year for 2007.

As a player, Wedge, a catcher, only got 86 at bats, hitting .233-5-12, OPS+ 107.

Shohei Otani has been posted by his Japanese team and is someone the Yankees are very interested in. Not only that, the Japanese “Babe Ruth” (because he pitches and hits well) would very much like to come to the Yankees. If you haven’t heard of him, he is just 23, bats left, throws right and not only pitches well (can hit 100 MPH) but also hits well also.

The Yanks are expected to be quiet on the free agent front….except for this guy and possibly bringing back CC and Todd Frazier. (I don’t think Frazier returns, because of Headley, Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar, and if the Yanks do sign Otani, then CC may not be signed).

Otani has played in 403 games in Japan as a hitter, and if you take 403/3 that is 134 or about 3 seasons worth, so doing that, he has averaged .286-16-55 as a hitter.

As a pitcher, in 85 games, 82 starts, (85/3 is 28, so once again about 3 seasons worth), he has averaged 14-5, 2.52.

Brian Cashman flew to Japan in August to check on Otani personally. The Yankees have heavily scouted him.

Other teams obviously are interested also. We’ll see who gets him.

The Yanks are changing the start times of their home games (seven) in April, 2018 to a 6:35 start. This only affects the Mon-Thurs. games.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale lost 3-1, getting only 3 hits. Rough night for Yankees’ prospects:

SS Thairo Estrada 0 for 4, 2 strikeouts. .353
LF Billy McKinney 0 for 4, 2 strikeouts. .291
RF Estevan Florial 0 for 3 with a walk. .254.

The Marlins have held preliminarty talks with four clubs about dealing Giancarlo Stanton. One team should worry the Yankees. It’s Boston. The others are the Giants, Cardinals and Phillies.

According to MLB.com,

The Marlins, under new ownership, are prepared to make “unpopular decisions” — as chief executive officer Derek Jeter put it — in order to rebuild their farm system and increase payroll flexibility. A Stanton trade could help them to do both.

Stanton, the reigning Major League home run champion, has 10 years and $295 million left on his contract, albeit with an opt-out following the 2020 season. He also possesses a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals are considered the favorite to land Stanton. It would take a boatload of prospects (which the Yankees have) and the willingness to take on a lot of money (the Yankees could take on the $$$, but don’t have the willingness to gut their farm system or take on a contract like that, especially since Hal wants to get under that salary cap), so even though it would be intriguing to see Stanton and his 59 HR in 2017 in a lineup with Judge and Sanchez, keep dreaming. I don’t see it happening.

But if Hal can get under that cap this year, there is a huge and better free agent class after the 2018 season (Harper? Machado?) and if you still have the prospects, and now got under the cap, a big splurge could be made. That is one dream that could become reality.

Yankees news: Silver Sluggers. Boone mgr. candidate? AFL. Another A-Rod endorsement.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Congratulations to Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, recipients of the Silver Slugger Awards at their positions.

Another player has endorsed A-Rod for Yankees’ manager: Carlos Beltran.

Here is the problem I have with A-Rod.

Back in the 1930s, Babe Ruth wanted to manage. The line teams gave on Babe Ruth was this: “if he can’t manage himself, how will he manage a team?”

The same applies to A-Rod. Suspended for a full year because of steroids, if he couldn’t manage his own affairs, how could he manage a a team?

Despite recommendations from CC and Carlos Beltran, how do they defend that question?

Besides, I don’t believe that all of A-Rod’s outside interests (including J-Lo) would permit him to manage the Yankees.

Apparently Rob Thomson had a five-hour interview with the Yanks about becoming their next manager.

Besides David Cone and John Flaherty being interested in the job, another interesting name has developed.

Aaron Boone.

Now Boone has a lot of baseball pedigree, and not only as ESPN’s voice on ball games the past few seasons. He fits as a younger manager, just 44.

The bane of Red Sox Nation since his HR to end the 2003 ALCS has a grandpa (Ray Boone) who was a 2x All-Star in the 1950s who led the AL in 1955 in RBI.

His dad, Bob, was a top-notch catcher in the 1970s and 1980s for the Phillies and Angels and who managed for a few years. Bob was a 4x All-Star, and 7x Gold Glove C who could work with Sanchez. Could Bob, even though he will be 70 soon, be a bench coach for his son and work with Sanchez?

Aaron Boone’s brother Bret was a MLB star.

In the AFL, Yankees’ prospects: (Scottsdale lost, 7-6):

SS Kyle Holder, 0 for 4, walked, Scored a run
LF Billy McKinney 1 for 3, walked 3 x.