Tag Archives: Andujar

Andujar to learn new positions; A different looking Sanchez.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

After finishing second in ROY voting in 2018, when he hit .297-27-92, OPS+ 130, Miguel Andujar suffered an injury that cost him most of the 2019 season—a season in which he was only 6 for 47.

How things change.

 

From MLBTR (my bold for emphasis):

In Andujar’s absence last year, the Yankees saw fill-in Gio Urshela enjoy an out-of-nowhere breakout. Urshela’s now set to enter 2020 as the Yankees’ top option at the hot corner, which could force Andujar to another position. Yankees manager Aaron Boone has told Andujar that he’ll have to learn to play first base and left field in spring training, Randy Miller of NJ.com reports.

Andujar’s no sure thing to begin 2020 with the Yankees if he’s unable to adapt to his new spots. Considering he has minor league options left, the Yankees could opt to send him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. But Andujar’s “makeup is off the chart,” general manager Brian Cashman told the YES Network, so the Yankees are still banking on him doing enough to crack their 26-man roster.

If Andujar does start the season in the majors, it’s up in the air how much playing time he’ll receive from the get-go. As mentioned, he’s now the Yankees’ No. 2 guy at third. Meanwhile, the Yankees have fellow right-handed hitter Luke Voit, who has been quite productive since he joined the club in 2018, as well as lefty Mike Ford as first base possibilities. They also boast Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier as left field choices. So, there doesn’t appear to be an easy path to early season playing time in New York for Andujar, despite the .297/.328/.527 line he recorded and the 76 extra-base hits he amassed during his rookie campaign.


One other piece of Yankees’ news. Have you seen pictures of Gary Sanchez recently? He always seemed to look a little “pudgy”. That baby-fat “catcher’s look” if you will. Pictures of him recently show him ripped. It seems like he may have lost 20 pounds. You will be a little surprised at next look.

Who is Josh Hader, why would the Yanks be interested in him and why would Miguel Andujar be on the block?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Could the Yanks have one HUGE blockbuster trade up their sleeve?

Last year, the main Milwaukee Brewer 3B was Mike Moustakas (.254-35-87, OPS+ 114), who has moved on to Cincinnati. Travis Shaw, .157 in 230 ab, doesn’t cut it, and even so, has moved on to the Toronto Blue Jays.

So Milwaukee needs a 3B.

With Gio Urshela establishing himself at 3B last year, could the Yanks shop Miguel Andujar, who has a great bat but who is defensively challenged, for the Yanks’ Josh Hader?

Before you scoff, consider how much Hader would help the Yankees’ bullpen, already potent. Granted it may take more than just Andujar, but…

Hader, a lefty pitcher, would be just 26 next season.

In 2019, he was 3-5, 2.62, 37 saves, ERA+ 170, with 138 K in just 75.2 IP.

For his career, 11-9, 2.42, ERA+ 178. 349 K in 204.2 IP.  2x All star, 7th in CYA in 2018.

He sure would compensate for the loss of Betances.

If you feel LeMahieu would handle 3B filling in for Andujar when not DJ isn’t playing 2B, and that Voit/Ford could then handle 1B. Or if Estrada/Wade could handle 2B when LeMahieu isn’t there, then Andujar (and others) for Hader may work out.

Maybe they then make a play for Joe Panik, as is rumored.

If so, that Yankees’ bullpen, with Kahnle, Ottavino, Hader, Britton and Chapman…behind a rotation of Cole, Severino, Paxton, Tanaka and German/Montgomery could be deadly.

Would I consider it?    Yes.

 

 

If there is a Plan B, that may need to be changed.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Things have been quiet, and I don’t want to get into rumors, but if the Yankees’ off-season strategy is go after Gerrit Cole, but have a Plan B in case Cole rejects the Yankees offer, Plan B probably needs some alteration.

The top two targets for the Yankees, pitching-wise, are Cole and Stephen Strasburg. The Yanks have met with both, but it is expected that Strasburg will go back to Washington. Cole is a different story.

The Yanks have wanted Cole for a long time. They drafted him out of high school but Cole decided to go to UCLA instead. Then, when the Pirates were shopping him, the Yanks wouldn’t meet the Pirates’ demands (Miguel Andujar for one) and Pittsburgh traded Cole to Houston instead.

Apparently the Yanks told Cole that the money is there. It’s up to Cole, a Southern Californian, to decide if he wants New York.

But if the Yanks can’t get Cole (and it appears, for now, that all their eggs are being placed in that basket), or Strasburg, who is or was the Yankees Plan B?

If it was Zack Wheeler, forget it now. Wheeler signed a 5-yr., $118MM deal with the Phillies yesterday.

Cole Hamels reached a 1-yr., $18MM deal with Atlanta.

There are other Plan B’s out there, like Madison Bumgarner, Dallas Keuchel, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Gio Gonzalez, but they aren’t the WOW factor Cole or Strasburg are.

And if these Plan B’s are off the market when Cole decides, and he decides against the Yankees, what then?

Besides the pursuit of Cole, the Yanks also have to see about re-signing or letting go some of their own—Brett Gardner (most likely will be back what with Hicks going to miss most of 2020), Didi Gregorius (most likely gone), Austin Romine and Dellin Betances.

Of course, Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner may look to the trade market. If that is the case, Clint Frazier and/or Andujar could be names (among others) dangled.

Some Yankees’ offseason decisions.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Besides exploring the free agent market (Cole, Strasburg, Bumgarner, Wheeler), the Yanks have decisions to make on their OWN players, some of whom are free agents themselves.

Do they bring back Didi or are they fine with Gleyber at SS and D.J. at 2B?

What about backup C? Romine is a free agent. Meanwhile, Higashioka is out of options. The Yanks say they are fine with Higashioka, but he’ll have to prove he can hit. Higashioka does have some power, but a .164 career batting average. In 146 MLB at bats, Higashioka is .164-6-17, OPS+ just 45. He’s not young. He turns 30 next April.

Romine could start for some teams, and the Yanks could lose him if Romine does want to start. Romine hit .281-8-35 as a backup last year, OPS+ 97 in probably his best season in the majors. He has done much better with the bat the last two seasons. His 162 game average is .239-11-59, OPS+ 73, but the OPS+ the last two seasons have been 93 and 97, so a big improvement from before.

Brian Cashman, as of now, states that the 3B job is Gio Urshela’s to lose after Urshela hit .314-21-74, OPS+ 133 in 2019. But was it a fluke? Urshela’s defense was significantly better than that of Miguel Andujar’s in 2018.

As for Andujar, his defense hurts what is a solid bat. He finished runnerup for ROY in 2018, hitting .297-27-92, OPS+ 130, but 2019 was wasted because of an injury. In 12 games he was 6 for 47. Where will Andujar be in 2020? Did he get “Wally Pipp”ed and lose his job to Urshela? There are rumors that the Yanks may try him at 1B and maybe LF to try to make him versatile and keep his bat in the lineup.

He also may be trade bait. He and Clint Frazier, and both because of their defense. Frazier hit .267-12-38 in 69 games last season, OPS+ 111 and in his career has 16 HR in 393 at bats with a .254 batting average.

Frazier is 25. Andujar will be 25 in March. Both are not sure things to start the season with the Yanks because of their defensive liabilities and also a crowded roster. They could be traded —one, or both— in a deal for a starting pitcher if the Yanks feel the price tags on Cole, Strasburg, Bumgarner and/or Wheeler are too high.

Then there is Dellin Betances, who hurt his value by only pitching 2/3 of an inning this year (shoulder) and getting hurt again (Achilles) at the end of the year. He is a free agent.

Decisions, decisions. …. It’ll be an interesting offseason.

No Q.O. for Didi. John, Munson, Mattingly on Modern Baseball Era ballot for HOF consideration. Boone up for MOY.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees did not extend a qualifying offer of $17.8MM to Didi Gregorius. If he leaves as a free agent, the Yanks receive no compensation.

It could be that the Yanks want him back, but at less than that figure. But Didi now can talk to anyone.

Didi made $11.75MM last season, when he missed a significant amount of time recovering from TJ surgery. He played in 82 games, and despite hitting 16 HR and driving in 61 runs, only hit .238 with an OPS+ of 87. It was his worst OPS+ since his first year with the Yanks in 2015.

One other problem is that Didi didn’t walk much. His OBP was just .276.

As such, the Yanks probably didn’t think a raise from $11.75MM to $17.8MM was warranted or deserved. IF the Yanks want him back, it probably would be for less than $17.8MM.

Didi hopes to return. We will see.


From MLB.com:

Gregorius was one of seven Yankees to hit free agency on Halloween, following right-hander Dellin Betances, outfielder Brett Gardner, right-hander Cory Gearrin (who I don’t expect back), outfielder Cameron Maybin (questionable), catcher Austin Romine (would he come back as a backup or does he want to start elsewhere) and retired left-hander CC Sabathia.

As you know, the Yankees declined a $20 million option on first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, instead paying him a $5 million buyout.

Of that group, the Yankees seem most likely to pursue a reunion with Gardner, who could man center field in the wake of Aaron Hicks’ Tommy John surgery.

The Yankees announced the following roster moves on Monday:

• Reinstated 3B Miguel Andújar, 1B Greg Bird, OF Jacoby Ellsbury and RHP Jonathan Holder from the 60-day injured list.

• Reinstated RHP Jake Barrett from the 60-day IL and outrighted him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

• LHP Tyler Lyons has elected free agency in lieu of accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.


BBWAA awards:

Aaron Boone has been named as one of three finalists for AL Mgr. of the Year.

D.J. LeMahieu may get consideration for MVP, but he won’t be in the top 3. The top 3 are Bregman, Trout and Semien but the order won’t be revealed until Nov. 14.


Also from MLB.com:

The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced 10 candidates under consideration for induction as part of the 2020 Modern Baseball Era ballot: Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker.

Game 96. Yanks slam Rockies, 8-2, behind some ex-Rockies. Lead now 9.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Edwin Encarnacion hit a grand slam, ex-Rockies D.J. LeMahieu, Mike Tauchman, and Adam Ottavino tormented their former team, and Aaron Judge added a 2-run HR as the Yanks (63-33) beat Colorado 8-2 Friday night.

With the win, the Yanks’ AL East lead grew to 9 over Tampa Bay and 11 over Boston.

The Rockies struck first, scoring two in the second off of J.A. Happ. Ryan McMahon led off the inning with a HR, then an out later, Chris Ianetta singled and then scored on a double by Garrett Hampson. Hampson advanced to third on the play on an error by Gleyber Torres. Happ got out of further trouble, when, on a fly ball to LF Mike Tauchman,  Tauchman lined up perfectly to catch the ball and then threw a perfect one-hopper to Gary Sanchez to nail Hampson, who was trying to tag up and score on the flyout, at the plate.

The Yanks took over in the third inning. With one out, LeMahieu, the former Rockie (as is Tauchman and Ottavino) singled. Both Judge and Sanchez walked, and Encarnacion hit a grand slam, his 29th HR of the season, to put the Yanks’ up 4-2.

Tauchman was huge in this game. Besides throwing a guy out at the plate, his hustle came up big. He made a nice sliding catch at one point in the game, and in the fourth, with two out, blooped a hit into shallow left. He hustled it into a double, and that hustle paid off when LeMahieu singled him in to make it 5-2.

Tauchman singled with one out in the sixth, and then showed off his hustle again by stealing second. He advanced to third on a throwing error on the play and scored on a fielders’ choice grounder, beating the play at the plate. More hustle. LeMahieu reached on that play, and then Judge added a 2-run HR (11) to make it 8-2.

The Yanks got excellent relief pitching as Happ, Ottavino and Stephen Tarpley combined for 17 K. 

With Nestor Cortes, Jr. having gone a few innings on Thursday, he was sent down and Tarpley brought up in order for the Yanks to have a “fresh arm.”

LeMahieu 2 hits, 2 RBI .330
Judge 2-run HR (11), threw out a guy at second.
Encarnacion grand slam HR (29), 4 RBI
Hicks 2 hits
Torres 2 hits
Tauchman 3 hits, scored two runs due to hustle, made great defensive plays.

Happ (W, 8-5, 4.86) 5 IP, 2 R, 8 H, 2 W, 8 K. Gave up 1 HR. In and out of trouble all night, helped by Tauchman and Judge.
Ottavino (H, 23) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.  1.66
Tarpley (S, 2) 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 6 K.  7.30.

Manager Aaron Boone was suspended for this game due to his ejection in Game 1 of Thursday’s DH.

I can’t help but think. With the excellent defense (and hitting) LeMahieu and Urshela provide, could good bat/weak glove youngsters Clint Frazier and (the injured) Miguel Andujar be on the trade block in order to land a starting pitcher? There are only so many spots to go around to fill up a team, and someone would have to go.

My reports this weekend may be spotty, if at all. I’ll be up in Cooperstown Sunday for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

 

Games 41 & 42. Gleyber hits 3 HR to help Yanks sweep O’s. Andujar out for rest of season.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Miguel Andujar will have season ending surgery on his shoulder. Probably the reason the Yanks went out and got Kendrys Morales yesterday…..to try and replace Andujar’s bat.

The Yanks (26-16) swept the Orioles in an old-fashioned, single-admission DH today, winning the first game 5-3 and the second 3-1.

Game 1: The Yanks hit 4 HR. J.A. Happ gave up a HR in the top of the first, but Gary Sanchez hit a bomb (HR #12) to tie it up in the bottom of the first. After the Orioles scored in the top of the second, Gleyber Torres and Cameron Maybin homered in the bottom of the second to put the Yanks up 3-2. For Maybin, his first HR as a Yankee (also first of the season).

Happ gave up another gopher ball in the fourth which tied the game. But in the bottom of the fourth, Torres hit his second HR of the game to put the Yanks up 4-3. One out later, Gio Urshela got on on a 3-base error and scored on a single by Mike Tauchman. Tauchman was up only for the day b/c DH’s allow a 26th man.

Sanchez 2 hits, solo HR
Torres 2 hits, both solo HR
Maybin solo HR

Happ (W, 3-3, 4.44) 5 1/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Ottavino (H, 9) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  1.69
Kahnle (H, 6) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  1.08
Britton (H, 8) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.95
Chapman (S, 10) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  2.30

Game 2:  Torres got his 3rd HR of the day and Luke Voit drove in 2 runs as Domingo German improved to 8-1, 2.50 on the season.

With two out in the third, D.J. LeMahieu doubled and Voit, 0 for his last 22, doubled him home.

Torres’ HR (8) in the fourth made it 2-0. The Orioles cut it to 2-1 in the fifth.

German got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Thairo Estrada doubled and scored on a single by Voit.

Voit 3 hits, 2 RBI
Torres solo HR

German (W, 8-1, 2.50) 7 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 W, 8 K.
Britton (H, 9) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  2.79
Chapman (S, 11) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  2.16

With the sweep, the Yanks (26-16) are 1/2 game behind Tampa Bay in the AL East. They play the Rays this weekend in a three-game set. The Yankees are off on Thursday.