Tag Archives: Bleier

Bleier traded, A-Rod makes retirement official, A-Rod mgr.? and a rule

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Designated for assignment last week when the Yanks picked up Chris Carter, Richard Bleier was traded today to the Orioles for a player to be named later or ca$h considerations.

A-Rod showed up at spring training to be an instructor (and one expensive one at that). When asked about a comeback, he mentioned that since that last game as a Yankee on August 12th of last year that some teams reached out to him but that no, he isn’t coming back. He’s officially retired.

This week there has been some talk of A-Rod as a manager, maybe even replacing Girardi. I’m not in favor of that for a couple different reasons. First, how would he handle a pitching staff? Houk, Berra, Torre and Girardi, to name some recent Yankees managers, were all catchers. A-Rod wasn’t.

Also, take a GOOD look at some of the greatest managers of all time. How many great players do you see? Rose wasn’t especially a good manager before his suspension from baseball. Neither was Ted Williams in his short term as manager,nor Eddie Mathews or Mel Ott. Ryne Sandberg? Bust. Player-managers like Tris Speaker succeeded because they were still PLAYING.

The great managers are usually those who were NOT great when playing (Joe Torre being an exception) but who got to the majors based on their brains and tenacity not their playing skill. Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, Billy Martin, Sparky Anderson, Whitey Herzog and Dick Williams weren’t great players but were great managers. Casey Stengel wasn’t known as an all-time great player, neither Miller Huggins. The same can be said for people who never made the majors like Joe Maddon, Jim Leyland, Earl Weaver or Joe McCarthy.

Being a great player doesn’t make you a great manager. Quite the opposite.

Lastly, MLB is making a change to the intentional walk. I hate it. Now, a manager only need to signal and the batter takes his base. No pitches need to be thrown. It doesn’t happen often, but I’ve seen wild pitches, passed balls, stolen bases off those balls thrown wide of the plate. Heck, last year a pitcher threw a ball not far off the plate, Gary Sanchez swung at it and just missed hitting a HR (it was caught just short of the fence for a sac fly). Terrible decision. I’m going to hate this rule.

Betances loses arbitration case, Bleier DFA’d, and not too nice thoughts on Randy Levine.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In his three full years as a Yankee, Dellin Betances has been an All-Star all three times, and has averaged 5-3, 1.93. That wasn’t good enough for him to win an arbitration case, where he wanted $5MM for 2017. He’ll settle for $3MM instead.

But that is where it should have ended. Now you start the season. But no, team president Randy Levine, whom I have never liked because of various arrogant things he has said and done (remember his quotes from last year’s trade deadline?) came out afterwards and basically rubbed the decision right into Betances’ face, like doing a touchdown dance and spiking the ball right into your face.

Why? Why rub it in and piss off your player, especially when he is one of the best players on the team and one of the best setup men in baseball? For a $2MM difference? Why not just say it’s over with and wish Betances a good year?

Betances was pissed at what Levine had to say and I don’t blame him. I hope it doesn’t affect Betances for the season.

As for Levine, once a jerk, always a jerk.

The Yanks earlier this week DFA’d Richard Bleier to make room for newly acquired Chris Carter on the roster. I was sad to see this. Bleier, 29, LHP, did a good job for the Yanks in 2016. In 23 games, 23 innings pitched, he had an ERA of just 1.96. Maybe he’ll be re-signed and go to AAA, we’ll see. But he did a good job in 2016 and I was sad to see that he got the axe because of the Carter signing.

That Carter signing doesn’t look as bad now that Austin got hurt. You never know.

Game 161. Yanks rally for 7-3 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Today is the final game of the season for the Yankees. They are 84-77 after yesterday’s come-from-behind, 7-3 win over Baltimore.

There are three playoff spots still to be decided, and five teams fighting for those spots, so  the possibility of a 163rd game is very real.

Unfortunately the Yanks have already been eliminated, so today is it for this year.

Eventually, the Yanks have to figure out what to do with Luis Severino. It is in their best interest that he develop into a good starter, but his splits this year make you wonder.

As a starter: 0-8, 8.50
As a reliever: 3-0, 0.39

He started yesterday, and gave up 3 runs in just 3 2/3 IP.

After the Orioles scored two off Severino in the third, and another in the fourth on Manny Machado’s 37th HR, the Yanks went to work, scoring one run in each of the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, and putting the game away with four in the eighth.

In the fifth, Mark Teixeira (whose last game will be today) singled, Chase Headley walked, and Austin Romine grounded into a forceout at third. Tyler Austin singled in a run to make it 3-1.

In the sixth, with two out, Billy Butler and Rob Refsnyder singled, and Headley doubled in a run.

In the seventh, Austin tied the game with his fifth HR of the year. All of his homers have been at home, and all by going the other way to right field.

In the eighth, Jacoby Ellsbury walked with one out. Headley doubled and Romine singled in two runs. After Austin struck out, Ronald Torreyes walked. Brett Gardner doubled in two runs.

Severino 3 2/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 walks, 3 K. 5.83
Holder 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 5.40
Bleier 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 2.05
Yates 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 5.23
Clippard (w, 4-6, 3.57 AZ/NYY) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 3 K. 3.08

I’ve seen reports that at the trade deadline, the Yanks were looking at Joe Panik from the Giants as compensation. It didn’t happen, and you wonder what the Yanks would have done with Castro if it did. Move him to 3B? What then with Headley?

As far as WAR (wins above replacement) this year, the Yanks’ best player in 2016 has been Masahiro Tanaka.

Game 159. Yanks sweep Bosox, but are eliminated.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks got a little bit of payback for getting swept up in Boston last weekend by sweeping Boston in three games at the Stadium this week, but with Baltimore’s win over Toronto, were officially eliminated from postseason activity.

CC Sabathia was great in the Yankees’ 5-1 win. It’s the last time the Yanks will have to face the retiring David “Big Papi” Ortiz.

CC’s win was #223 of his career.

The Yanks are now 83-76.

The Yanks got a run in the first when Jacoby Ellsbury walked, stole second, and scored on a Starlin Castro double.

Boston tied it in the fourth on a HR by Xander Bogaerts.

In the fifth, Aaron Hicks bunted for a hit and was doubled home by Ellsbury.

In the sixth, Castro singled, Headley walked and McCann singled to load the bases with one out. After a fly out by Hicks that failed to bring in a run, Tyler Austin walked to force in a run and another scored on a WP.

McCann walked and scored on a double by Hicks in the eighth.

It was a rough night for Gary Sanchez, who went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts.

Sabathia (w, 9-12, 3.91) 7 1/3 IP, 1 R,  4 H, 2 walks, 8 K.
Clippard (H, 25) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.63 (AZ/NYY)
Bleier 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks 1 K. 2.14.

One-time Yankees prospect Jesus Montero, who hasn’t lived up to his billing after the Yanks traded him for Michael Pineda a few years back, and who had some run-ins with his own team’s personnel, was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a banned stimulant.

Game 157. Sanchez, Austin HR in Yanks’ 6-4 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Gary Sanchez and Tyler Austin homered in the Yanks’ 6-4 win over Boston on Tuesday night.

The win puts the Yanks at 81-76 and guarantees a non-losing season. The last time the Yanks had a losing season was 1992.

Sanchez’ 20th HR tied a record for lowest # of career games to hit your 20th.

The homer came in the first inning and put the Yanks up 2-0. It came after a Jacoby Ellsbury single.

Ellsbury singled in a run in the fifth to put the Yanks up 3-0. This came after singles by Romine and Austin and a sac bunt by Gardner (Now he bunts).

Boston came back with two in the sixth to cut it to 3-2.

Didi Gregorius hit his 20th HR of the year in the bottom of the sixth. 4-2 Yanks.

In the seventh, Boston got a HR by Aaron Hill to make it 4-3, and then Dustin Pedroia’s second RBI single of the game tied the game up.

In the bottom of the seventh, Austin’s 2-run HR (4) won it.

Cessa 6 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 1 walk, 2 K. 4.18
Layne (BS, 2) 2/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.50 (Bos/NYY) Gave up 1 HR.
Parker (w, 1-0, 4.96) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K.
Bleier (H, 2) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 2.25
Clippard (S, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 2 K. 3.67.

The tragic # is 2. A Yanks loss and a Baltimore win eliminates the Yanks from the postseason.

 

Game 156. Yanks rally with 5 in 9th to win “brawl” game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees scored 5 times in the top of the ninth and won 7-5 over Toronto in a game that saw a brushback battle, and Luis Severino, Joe Girardi, Rob Thompson and Larry Rothschild all ejected.

The Yanks go to 80-76 and close the season with six games at home. They are all but officially eliminated, being 5 out of a playoff spot with six games to go. The most wins the Yanks can have is 86. Toronto already has that and Baltimore has 85. Not only that, there are three teams between the Yanks and Baltimore.

In the first, Gardner got on on a bunt single (where was that all year) and went to third on a 2-base throwing error on the play. He scored on an RBI groundout by Sanchez.

In the bottom of the first, with one out, Severino hit Josh Donaldson with a pitch. A single and two walks later, the game was tied at 1. Severino got out of the inning giving up just that one run.

In the top of the second, Headley was HBP and the benches cleared. Girardi was tossed. In the bottom of the second, Toronto’s Josh Smoak was drilled, benches emptied and more ejections were made.

Toronto got two in the third to go up 3-1.

The Yanks got one back in the eighth. Gardner, who doubled,  scored on an RBI single by Ellsbury.

In the ninth, Teixeira homered with one out (14) to tie the game. #408 of his career passed Duke Snider on the all-time list. Gregorius singled, and Hicks homered (8) to put the Yanks up 5-3. Solano doubled, Gardner walked, and Ellsbury singled in a run to make it 6-3. Sanchez got a SF to make it 7-3.

Betances came in and needed help. He once again looked completely out of gas and couldn’t field his position. Layne came in to save it.

Gardner had 3 hits and scored 3 runs. Ellsbury had 2 hits and 2 RBI. 2 RBI for Sanchez. Big 2-run HR for Hicks.

Severino 1+ IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 1 K. 2 HBP. Ejected. 5.75
Holder 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 walks, 0 K. 7.11
Pazos 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K, 7.71
Yates 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 3 K. 5.36
Bleier 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 2.33
Warren (w, 7-4, 4.64 Cubs/NYY) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Betances 0 IP,  2 R, 1 earned, 0 H, 2 walks, 0 K.  Made an error. 3.13. Faced 3 batters, all reached. 2 walks and an error.
Layne (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 3.14.

James Kaprielian, who was dominant in spring training and in three games for High-A Tampa this year before being shut down with a flexor strain, is now OK and will be making up time in the Arizona Fall League this offseason. Good news.

Game 143. Yanks lose, 8-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

When Bryan Mitchell won the last time out, it was his first MLB victory.

Kind of tough for a youngster to face a good team like the Dodgers in the midst of a pennant race. Tougher when you have just 1 MLB victory and only four MLB starts under your belt while doing so.

Tougher yet when this is your second game of the season after missing most of the year with an injury.

Even tougher yet when 2 errors (Judge and Sanchez) allow 4 unearned runs to score.

The Dodgers got one in the first, three unearned runs in the second, and another 2 (1 unearned) in the third on their way to an 8-2 win over the Yanks.

Starlin Castro hit a solo HR (21) in the second for the Yanks. They got another run when Aaron Judge hit a HR (4) in the fifth.

But the game was all LA.

Tyler Austin was 0 for 4 with 4 K.

Mitchell (L, 1-1, 2.45) 2 1/3 IP, 6 R, 2 ER, 8 H, 0 walks, 2 K.
Shreve 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 5.12
Bleier 4 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 3 K. 2.50. Great job in fruitless cause.
Pazos 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 9.00 Gave up 1 HR.
Heller 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 6.75 Gave up 1 HR.

The loss puts the Yanks at 76-67.  It drops them 5 behind Boston for the Division title, and 2 behind Baltimore for the last playoff spot. They need to jump Baltimore and Detroit.

Game 141. Yanks win 7th in a row. Race tightens further.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Masahiro Tanaka was brilliant, and Jacoby Ellsbury and Gary Sanchez hit back-to-back HRs in the Yanks’ 5-1 win over the Rays Saturday afternoon.

The win was the Yanks’ seventh in a row, putting them at 76-65 on the season, and further tightened the playoff race.

AL East

Boston –
Toronto -1
Baltimore -2
YANKEES -3

Final playoff spot
Baltimore –
Detroit and YANKEES -1

Ellsbury and Sanchez broke up a scoreless duel in the sixth with back-to-back HRs. Ellsbury’s 8th HR of the year was a 2-run shot, and Sanchez’ HR was his 13th of the season.

Tanaka gave up a HR in the 8th, but the Yanks came back with two insurance runs.

Gardner singled and Ellsbury doubled. With no out and first base open, Tampa Bay wanted to walk Sanchez, but the pitch wasn’t too far off the plate. Sanchez swung at the meatball pitch and almost hit a three-run HR. It was a SF that also moved up Ellsbury. Didi followed with another SF. 5-1 Yanks.

Tanaka (w, 13-4, 3.04) 7 1/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 0 walks, 10 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Warren (H, 12) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 4.82 (Cubs/NYY)
Bleier 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.21
Clippard 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.11 (Az/NYY)

The Minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

AAA: SWB won 14-2. Jordan Montgomery 5 IP, 2 R. Richard Bleier 3 IP. Donovan Solano 4 hits, 3 doubles. Kyle Higashioka 3 hits, HR, 3 RBI. Cito Culver 3 hits, 3 RBI. 3 hits, rbi for Jake Cave. 2 hits, 4 RBI Mason Williams. SWB’s magic # for clinching the division is two.

AA: Trenton lost 7-2, getting just four hits. Billy McKinney double and triple.The loss drops Trenton 2 1/2 back of Reading for the division lead and barring a miracle, gives the division title to Reading. Trenton still gets in as a wild card.

High A: Tampa had a DH rained out.

Low A: Charleston won 6-5. Mandy Alvarez 2 hits, 2 RBI. Kane Sweeney 2 RBI. Kyle Holder and Vicente Conde with 2 hits each.

 

Game 109. Castro slams Indians, 13-7.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Starlin Castro’s grand slam was the key blow in a 13-7 Yankees’ win over Cleveland that put the Yanks at 55-54 on the season.

Jacoby Ellsbury had four hits.

In the first inning, the Yanks got a run on an RBI groundout by McCann. Earlier that inning, Mark Teixeira got a nice ovation and doubled. Earlier in the day, Teixeira announced that this would be his last year. Thoughts on that at the end of this report.

In the third, McCann doubled in a run, and then, after the Indians issued an intentional walk to Headley to load the bases, Castro hit his grand slam, his 12th HR of the year, to make it 6-0.

Michael Pineda gave up a 3-run HR in the fifth, but Gary Sanchez’ first MLB RBI, on a double, made it 7-3 Yanks after five.

An RBI single by Headley and a bases loaded walk to Sanchez upped the lead to 9-3 in the sixth.

After the Indians got a run in the seventh, Aaron Hicks homered (4) and Ellsbury got an RBI single to make it 11-4 after seven.

Cleveland scored three in the eighth, but Brett Gardner insured the win in the bottom of the eighth with a 2-run single.

Pineda (w, 6-10, 5.17) 6+ IP, 4 R, 6 H, 1 walks, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Bleier 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.38
Clippard 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 4.28 (AZ/NYY ERA)
Barbato 0 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 7.62. Faced 4 batters, gave up 3 hits, 1 walk, 3 runs.
Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 5.05 (Cubs/NYY ERA)
Goody 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 2 K. 4.10

Now on Teixeira’s retirement announcement:

Teixeira’s 8 years with the Yanks was good and bad.I have mixed feelings about it.

The good: WS Champ in 2009, a season where he led the AL in HR, RBI and Total bases and finished 2nd in MVP voting. 201 of his 404 HR (so far) were with the Yanks, putting him in select company as to who hit 200 or more as a Yankee. 4 years of 30+ HR with the Yanks, 3 years of 100+ RBI. 3 Gold Glove Awards. Led AL in runs scored in 2010. 2x All-Star as a Yankee.

The bad: After hitting .292 in 2009, he hit .240 2010-2016 (so far). He hasn’t hit over .260 since that first season with the team. He has not played in 130 games in a season since 2011. Only played in 15 games in 2013.  So his record with the Yanks is one great year of 2009, then spotty thereafter.

Hard to say where he ranks as a Yankees 1B. Gehrig, obviously, is and always will be #1. After that, you have, in no particular order, Mattingly, Tino, Chambliss, Skowron, Giambi, Teix, Pipp, Pepitone… Teix was better defensively than all but Mattingly. Even Hal Chase, who many would say was fixing games, is in there.

.269, 404 HR as of now.8 years in a row of 30/100. 5 Gold Gloves. 2x Top 10 for MVP. MVP consideration in 7 different seasons. Only Mantle, Murray, Chipper Jones and Beltran have more HR as a switch-hitter. 127 OPS+ .   HOF? I think he falls short. His 162 g. average is .269-36-114, damned good. Baseball Reference has him #28 among first basemen all-time (Gehrig is #1).

Not a HOF career in my eyes, but a damned fine one. All the best, Teix.

Now to see Greg Bird and Tyler Austin battle for the job next year.