Tag Archives: Ausmus

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.

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Tanaka stays, doesn’t Opt-out. Ausmus? Flaherty?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

One big question mark about the Yankees’ offseason was answered yesterday.

Most likely, they will NOT have to shop for a starting pitcher.

Masahiro Tanaka has decided NOT to exercise his opt-out, and will stay with the Yankees for the next 3 years at $67MM.

It is quite possible that he figured he can’t get a better deal elsewhere. He has had the partial UCL tear for a while that he’s been pitching with, and it is a ticking time bomb that could require Tommy John surgery down the road.

Even though he had a great postseason (2-1, only 2 ER in 20 IP), Tanaka’s regular season was the worst of his career, 13-12, 4.74, ERA+ 95.

In his four seasons with the Yanks, he has averaged 13-7, 3.56, ERA+ 118. The elbow and various other injuries have limited him to an average of 26 starts per season, so he’s missed about 5-6 starts per season on the average.

But still, solid. You hope the elbow holds up and that he has a bounce-back year.

The Yanks’ starting rotation is pretty much set for next season: Severino, Gray, Tanaka and Montgomery.

The question now is #5. Do you bring CC Sabathia (a free agent) back, and at what price? CC is 37 and would turn 38 in the middle of next year. Do you only offer a one-year deal when he may be looking for two? Do you cut his salary in half, from $25MM to $12MM?

Or do you continue the youth movement, thank CC for his service, and move on to a youngster like Chance Adams or Justus Sheffield?

The Yanks could also move on from CC by trading someone like Dellin Betances, who had trouble and was unreliable down the stretch and in the postseason, for a starting pitcher. They then could “groom” a youngster like Adams or Sheffield (and there are more coming, like Albert Abreu,  Domingo Acevedo and Domingo German) to be in the bullpen first before becoming a starter.

They could also move someone like Chad Green or Adam Warren to the rotation, but I don’t see that happening. The bullpen, with Green, Warren, Kahnle, Robertson, Chapman and maybe Betances (if he isn’t traded) is such a strength.

We’ll see what happens with CC next. But a good start. Tanaka back, don’t have to shop for a starter like Darvish (who flopped in the WS) or Arrietta.

As for manager, one scout predicts that Brad Ausmus, recently fired by the Tigers, will wind up the Yankees manager. Ausmus was once a Yankees’ prospect who was lost in the expansion draft.

Ausmus, like Girardi, was a catcher who was mostly known for his defense and who was an OK hitter without much power. From 1993-2010, he played for the Padres, Tigers, Astros, Tigers again, Astros again, and Dodgers. His average year was about .251-5-40. OPS+75. A 1x All-Star, 3x Gold Glove. He played in 35 postseason games, all with Houston. .245-3-7.  He was their starting catcher when the Astros lost the 2005 WS. He fits the young manager the Yanks may be looking for, since he is just 48 years old.

He managed the Tigers the last four seasons, going 314-332. In his first year managing Detroit, he won 90 games and the division title, but they were swept by Baltimore in the ALDS. Since then, 74, 86 and 64 wins. The Tigers got old, had a fire sale (got rid of Avila, Verlander, J.D. Martinez) and their farm system stinks. Maybe with the Yanks he has something better to work with. Like Girardi, and Torre before him, a catcher with managerial experience elsewhere who now settles into the Bronx, where he has better talent to work with.

Another possible candidate could be YES broadcaster John Flaherty. It is rumored that he would like to manage. Flaherty, through his YES work, knows the team. Another former catcher, Flaherty is 50. A big leaguer from 1992-2005 (the last three years as Posada’s backup with the Yankees), Flaherty’s average season if he caught 104 or 105 games would be .252-8-40. OPS+ 74. He played for Boston, Detroit, San Diego, Tampa Bay and the Yankees. He made the playoffs with the Padres and Yankees.

But would Cashman choose someone with no managerial experience?

In the Arizona Fall League, Billy McKinney joins Thairo Estrada and Justus Sheffield on the All-Star Team. Scottsdale won Friday night 3-0 on a one-hitter. Yankees’ prospects:

CF Estevan Florial 2 for 5, .300
1B Billy McKinney 1 for 3, RBI, .311
SS Thairo Estrada 2 for 4, .353

 

 

Yankees let Girardi go. Who replaces him?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

So Joe Girardi’s contract has expired, and the Yankees are going in a different direction. They decided not to retain him.

So which direction do they go in?

Girardi in 10 years averaged 91-71. In ten years, he took the Yanks to the postseason six times.

He ranks sixth as far as tenure and games won in Yankees’ history.

He won a WS. Three times he took the team to the ALCS but lost. He lost one series in the ALDS and lost another year in the WC game.

He oversaw the fading out of Pettitte, Jeter, Mo, Posada and A-Rod, not to mention Teixeira.

So I break it down, the manager search, into categories.

A lot may depend on someone who may be a long-term solution with the young guys.

Popular

Willie Randolph and Don Mattingly. Both Yankees’ legends. Willie hasn’t managed since the Mets. No second offers. Donnie is still under contract with Florida. Will they let him go?

Experienced, and available.

Brad Ausmus. Just canned by the Tigers.
Dusty Baker.Just canned by Washington. I am not a fan of his.
Pete Mackanin. Just canned by the Phillies, bumped into their front office.
Terry Collins. just canned by the Mets.
John Farrell, just canned by Boston.

I don’t think they’ll go with that list above.

Other candidates include:

In the organization:
Josh Paul, in the organization.
Tim Naehring, in the organization, former MLB player.
Tony Pena, coach, Managed KC for a few years, but older than they may want. Did win a mgr. of the year w/KC, but too old for a young team?

Guys in the minors now, like

Al Pedrique: current SWB mgr. Guys had to go through him to get to the majors. Since he knew these youngsters at AAA, does he follow them to the majors?

Jay Bell. Former MLB SS managed at Tampa (A+) this year.

An ex-MLB Mgr. associated w/the Yankees:
Trey Hillman, two full years and part of a third w/kc. Currently managing a Korean club.

Guys in the majors, like:

Kevin Long: Mets hitting coach, formerly NYY hitting coach.

Current Yankees coaches like:

Joe Espada, 3B Coach
Robbie Thomson Bench Coach

 

So where do they go from here?

Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner are finalists for Gold Glove awards.

As for the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale tied 4-4.

2B Yankees’ Prospect Kyle Holder was 1 for 4 and scored a run. .417.

WS Game 3 is tonight.

 

 

 

 

ALDS Game 5. Yanks complete comeback! Advance to ALCS, 5-2. Didi HRs twice.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees stunned the baseball world, completing a comeback from an 0-2 deficit in their best-of-five ALDS series vs. Cleveland, by beating the Indians, 5-2 on Wednesday night.

Before losing the last three games of this division series, Cleveland had won 35 of their previous 39 games. Cleveland manager Terry Francona, while with Boston, led them to their historic comeback from down 0-3 to the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, but now has seen the Indians lose a 3-1 WS lead last year, and a 2-0 ALDS lead this year.

The Indians’ last WS title? 1948.

For Joe Girardi, a reprieve from what happened with the non-challenge in Game 2.

The Yankees now head to Houston to take on the Astros for the AL pennant. The ALCS is a best-of-seven.

Didi Gregorius got the Yanks on the board in the first inning with his first HR of the night.

In the third, Didi did it again, hitting a 2-run HR to put the Yanks up 3-0.

CC Sabathia was brilliant for 4 1/3 innings, striking out nine, but faltered in the fifth, giving up four straight hits, and two runs.

David Robertson came in and got a DP to get out of the inning, then went two more innings.

It was nail-biter time until the ninth, when the Yanks got two insurance runs to put the game away. With one out, Hicks singled and went to second on an error. After an out, Todd Frazier walked, and Brett Gardner got his third hit of the night to drive in a run. When the throw to the infield got away for another Cleveland error, Frazier scored.

Aroldis Chapman then closed out the game.

The Yanks won despite striking out 16x. Judge struck out 4x. The Yanks struck out 15 Indians.

Sabathia 4 1/3 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 0 W, 9 K.
Robertson (Winner) 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Chapman (Save) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 4 K.

Gardner 3 hits, RBI.
Didi 3 hits, 2 HR, 3 RBI.

What to do about Aaron Judge? 1 for 20 in the series with 16 strikeouts. Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird had a rough Game 5, each took 0-for’s with 3 K each. Chase Headley had an 0 for the series.

Despite some players having offensive woes that they need to break out of vs. Houston, the Yanks came back from a seemingly impossible situation and advance.

Game 1 of the ALCS is Friday in Houston. I would expect the Yanks’ rotation to go like this for the ALCS:

Gray
Tanaka
Severino
CC
Gray
Tanaka
Severino (lined up for Games 3 and 7)

One problem with that is that Tanaka has pitched far better at home than on the road, and with this scenario, Games 2 and 6 are on the road. The Yanks could (and probably won’t) use Montgomery, but Montgomery hasn’t pitched in a while, and with that short LF fence in Houston, the Yanks probably wouldn’t want to use a lefty there.

As for that trade with Chicago this summer? Getting Robertson back has been huge.

And better things to come? The Arizona Fall League started yesterday, and Yankees’ prospects did well in a 7-4 win.

Yankees’ prospects for the Scottsdale Scorpions:
Justus Sheffield 5 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 6 K. Win
Cody Carroll 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K. Save
SS Thairo Estrada 2 for 4, RBI
OF Billy McKinney 1 for 4, 3 -run HR.
OF Estevan Florial 1 for 4.

Lastly, Boston manager John Farrell got the axe yesterday. Brad Ausmus of the Tigers is history. So the Phils, Mets, Tigers and Red Sox are all currently looking for new managers.

Baseball happenings.

Ex-Yankees’ pitcher Johnny Kucks has died at the age of 80. Kucks pitched for the Yanks 1955-1959 and for the KC A’s 1959-1960. In 1956, Kucks went 18-9, 3.85, ERA+ 101. He tossed a 3-hit shutout in Game 7 of the WS, beating the Dodgers 9-0. For his career, he was 54-56, 4.10, ERA+ 93. He was 1-0, 1.89 in the World Series. That Game 7 start was his only WS start. He relieved in seven other games.

Brad Ausmus will be replacing the retiring Jim Leyland as Tigers’ manager & Matt Williams replaces the retiring Davey Johnson in Washington.

As for free agency, soon we’ll hear who received tenders (like Granderson, Kuroda?) and who didn’t (Hughes and Joba?). Of course, then we find out who accepted those tenders.

Kent retires. Next stop HOF?

Jeff Kent announced his retirement today. Kent’s next stop could be the HOF. He hit 377 HR in his career, 351 as a second baseman, the most ever for a second baseman. He had a .290 career BA with an OPS+ of 123. 2461 hits. An MVP award in 2000. Three other top-10 MVP finishes. A 5x all-star. A 162 ga. average of .290-27-107.

.276-9-23 in 49 postseason games (170 AB)

Toronto 1992, Mets 1992-1996, Cleveland 1996, SF 1997-2002 (the hat I think would be on his HOF plaque), Houston 2003 and 2004 and Dodgers 2005-2008.

Brad Ausmus is going to the Dodgers, according to MLBTR. Ausmus would serve as a backup C. 40 in April, Ausmus is a .251 hitter, OPS+ 75 for his career. He hit .218-3-24 for the Astros in a platoon role last season (OPS+ 60). Do you remember he was once a Yankees farmhand? He was lost to the Rockies in the expansion draft. He has played for the Padres, Tigers, Astros,  Tigers II and Astros II in his career. A fine defensive catcher, he has won 3 Gold Gloves.