Tag Archives: Betances

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 152. Successful Seve return as Yanks shutout Angels, 8-0. Betances tears Achilles, done for season. Torres hits #38; Magic # 1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Good and bad news healthwise. Stanton to be activated today or Thursday. Encarnacion feels like he’ll be back. Now, no news yet on Sanchez, but

tonight, Luis Severino finally came back off of injury and in his season debut pitched four scoreless innings as the Yanks (99-53) beat the Angels, 8-0.

We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and how he comes through this. But very encouraging.

The magic # is 1 to make the playoffs, and also is 1 to win the AL East. Houston won so the Yanks remain tied with Houston for best record in the AL (Houston has the tiebreaker). The Dodgers are one game behind both the Yanks and Houston (Yanks hold tiebreaker over LA). The Yanks have a 10 game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East with 10 games to go.

The bad news is that Dellin Betances is done for the year with a partially torn Achilles tendon.  He is a free agent after the season, and a bad year to miss the whole year. We’ll see what happens in the wintertime.

The Yanks got two runs in the second inning when Gleyber Torres singled and Luke Voit walked. One out later, Gio Urshela singled in one run and then Cameron Maybin doubled in another to put the Yanks up 2-0.

They broke the game open with six runs in the fourth. With one out, Urshela singled. Cameron Maybin singled, then after another out, all six runs scored with one out. D.J. LeMahieu singled in a run to make it 3-0. Aaron Judge walked to load the bases. Didi Gregorius doubled in two runs to make it 5-0. Torres then hit a 3-run HR (38) to cap things off at 8-0.

LeMahieu 2 hits, RBI  .329
Gregorius 2 RBI
Torres 2 hits, 3 RBI; 3-run HR (38)
Urshela 2 hits, RBI.  .328
Maybin 2 hits, RBI

Severino 4 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 W, 4 K.  0.00
Loaisiga (W, 2-1, 4.23) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K
Tarpley 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 4 K.  7.71
Gearrin 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.  4.18
Adams 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.  7.20

In the race for the new team MLB record, the Twins have 289, the Yankees 287. The Twins have played one less game.

UPDATE: Breyvic Valera was DFA’d.

UPDATE 2: From the NY Post.

The Yankees have let go of five minor league staff members.

According to minor league head Kevin Reese, the team didn’t renew the contracts of hitting coordinator Edwar Gonzalez, field coordinator Jody Reed, pitching coordinator Scott Aldred, Trenton hitting coach Ty Hawkins and Charleston hitting coach Greg Colbrunn.

Aldred’s departure follows the departure of fellow pitching coordinator Danny Burrell, who left to take the pitching coach job at Georgia Tech.

Hate seeing Aldred go.

Game 151. Yanks fall, 6-4, in game marked by returns of Montgomery and Betances.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (98-53) lost to Toronto on Sunday, 6-4, in a game that marked the returns of Jordan Montgomery and Dellin Betances off the IL. Mixed results.

Tampa Bay lost, so the Yanks magic # for clinching the division is three. The magic # to just make it into the playoffs is 2.

They only hit 1 HR today, so they trail the Twins 287-286 in the race for the new HR record. The Twins have played two less games, so the Yanks have to get going there.

Houston won, and holds the tiebreaker. Both teams currently have the same record. The Dodgers are a game behind them.

As much as we would like the Yanks to get the best record in baseball (at least the AL) and maintain home field advantage, there are some things that Aaron Boone has to find out before the postseason begins, and finding out those things could cost the Yanks now but benefit them in the postseason.

One of them is outfield and Tyler Wade. With Tauchman and Hicks out, he needs to see how Wade is in the outfield. With Hicks out, Gardner will be in CF, and Judge in RF. Boone needs to find out if Stanton could play LF (when Stanton comes back) or if he has to DH. He needs to know who will play LF—Stanton, Frazier, Maybin or even Wade.

The question of if Stanton can play LF affects the 1B/DH spot. If Stanton has to DH, that affects Voit, Ford and/or Encarnacion, depending on who plays 1B. The best Yankees’ defensive infield has LeMahieu at 1B,  Torres at 2B, Didi at SS and Urshela at 3B. If Stanton has to DH and not play LF, that takes Voit, Ford & Encarnacion out of the mix.

As for the pitchers, he has to find out if Severino, Betances, and maybe even Montgomery have anything to offer for the postseason. He also has to rest his main bullpen guys (Kahnle, Ottavino, Green, Britton and Chapman) to make sure they are good to go, and not overworked, come October.

Boone has to find out those answers NOW, and in finding out those answers, he may have to sacrifice home field advantage to do so.

Aaron Judge homered in the top of the first today (23) to put the Yanks up 1-0.

Jordan Montgomery, in his first game back from TJ surgery, was shaky, giving up two runs in the bottom of the second. Toronto up, 2-1.

The Yanks got two in the top of the third. With one out, Tyler Wade singled and scored on a D.J. LeMahieu double that tied the game. Judge walked, then Didi Gregorius singled to put the Yanks up 3-2.

In the bottom of the third, Montgomery gave up a HR to Yankee-killer Randal Grichuk.

Nestor Cortes gave up a 3-run HR to Grichuk in the fifth. Cortes appears to me to be a tweener pitcher. Better than AAA but not MLB caliber. I don’t expect him on the postseason roster.

The Yanks got a run in the seventh when Austin Romine doubled and later scored on a two-base error.

Dellin Betances, making his first appearance of the season, faced two batters and struck both of them out.

Judge solo HR (23)

Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  4.50
Montgomery 2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR.  13.50  Season Debut after TJ surgery.
Betances 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  0.00    Season debut after shoulder trouble.
Cortes (L, 5-1, 5.54)  1 1/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 2 W, 3 K.  Gave up 1 HR.
Heller 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.    3.00
Lyons 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.   6.52

Note none of the “big four” of Ottavino, Kahnle, Britton or Chapman pitched since they were down in the game.

The Yankees are off Monday and Luis Severino makes his season debut on Tuesday.

Ryan Dull was DFA’d.

Game 150. Yanks hit 5 HR (2 by Gardy) in 13-3 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I remember seeing Brett Gardner over 10 years ago when he played in AAA, before coming up to the majors. Speedy. If you would have told me then that he’d make the majors and lead the league in SB with 49, I certainly would have believed you.

If you would have told me that he’d have a season where he’d hit 25 HR, I wouldn’t have. I didn’t think at that time he’d have a season where he’d hit 10. When I saw Gardner then, I was thinking he was another Brett Butler (who never hit more than 9 HR in a season in his career).

Things have certainly changed. Gardner hit 2 HR yesterday, giving him 25 for the season–at age 36—as the Yankees (98-52) hit five HR in a 13-3 win over Toronto.

With the win, the Yanks stay 9 up on Tampa Bay with 12 games to go. The magic # to win the division outright (no tiebreakers) is 4.

The magic # just to make it into the playoffs is 2.

They remain one game ahead of Houston for the AL’s best record (Houston has the tiebreaker) and two games ahead of the Dodgers (Yanks have tiebreaker).

They have 285 HR this season, two more than the Twins in the race for the new MLB record, but the Twins have played two less games.

The Yanks got a run in the second inning when Luke Voit walked, Gio Urshela singled, and Gardner doubled home Voit.

In the third, D.J. LeMahieu and Aaron Judge both singled, and after a fielder’s choice in which LeMahieu was out in a rundown, Voit doubled in a run to make it 2-0.

In the fourth, Gardner hit the first of his two HR for the game (24) to make it 3-0.

His three-run HR in the fifth (25) made it 6-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, he made a great catch up against the fence. Toronto did get a run that inning to make it 6-1.

In the top of the sixth, Gleyber Torres (37) and Luke Voit (21) went back-to-back with homers to put the Yanks up 9-1. Torres’ HR being a 2=run blow.

The Yanks got four runs in the top of the ninth. Kyle Higashioka led off the inning with a double. Thairo Estrada singled him home to make it 10-1. After an out, Clint Frazier doubled Estrada to third. Tyler Wade had an RBI groundout to move the runners up, scoring Estrada, to make it 11-1. Mike Ford then hit a PH HR (11) to make it 13-1.

Toronto got two runs off of Ryan Dull in the bottom of the ninth for the final score of 13-3.

LeMahieu 4 hits (.329).
Torres 2-run HR (37)
Voit 2 hits, 2 RBI. Solo HR (21)
Ford 2-run PH HR (11)
Urshela 2 hits (.326)
Gardner 3 hits, 2 HR (25) 5 RBI
Estrada 2 hits, RBI

Paxton (W, 14-6, 3.88) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 W, 3 K.
Gearrin 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.  4.24
Loaisiga 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  4.56
Dull 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 W, 3 K.  13.50

Jordan Montgomery and Dellin Betances come off of rehab and join the team on Sunday.

 

Minor League Report: Trenton wins Eastern League Championship, 3 games to 1, with a 5-2 win.

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpg

The Yankees’ AA affiliate, the Trenton Thunder, won the Eastern League Championship over Bowie with a 5-2 win. The win clinches the finals, three games to one for Trenton. Rony Garcia pitched five no-hit innings. Dellin Betances got in rehab work.

1B Chris Gittens 3 hits, RBI. Solo HR.
C Kellin Deglan Solo HR. (Series MVP)
SS Kyle Holder 2 hits.

Rony Garcia (Winner) 5 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 6 K.
Dellin Betances 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Greg Weissert 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Trevor Lane 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Daniel Alvarez 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.