Tag Archives: Boone

Boone AL All-Star Game Mgr.?and Yanks make a minor deal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

OK, with Hinch, last year’s pennant winning manager gone, and same with Cora, does this mean Aaron Boone, who lost last year’s ALCS, now is the AL All-Star game manager?


The Yanks made a minor deal. When Gardner’s contract was finalized last week, LHP Stephen Tarpley was DFA’d. Today they traded him to Miami for a prospect, James Nelson, 3B. Nelson will most likely be with A+ Tampa.

From MLB.com:

Nelson, 22, spent his 2019 season with Class A Advanced Jupiter, batting .228 (98-for-429) with 36 runs, 13 doubles, two triples, four homers and 36 RBIs in 121 games. Over four Minor League seasons, the right-handed hitter has hit .259 with 14 homers and 147 RBIs in 328 games, playing exclusively at third base.

Tarpley, 26, made 31 Major League appearances (one start) for the Yankees from 2018-19, going 1-0 with two saves and a 5.88 ERA (22 earned runs in 33 2/3 innings).

 

MLB hammers Astros; Cora and Red Sox next.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Worked OT, and am watching the College Football National Championship game, so I’ll do a lot of cut and pasting here.

From MLB.com (edited) Bold is from me :

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were each suspended without pay for the 2020 season by Major League Baseball, which on Monday released the findings from its investigation of Houston’s sign-stealing allegations.

Approximately one hour after the penalties were issued, Astros owner Jim Crane announced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park in Houston that Luhnow and Hinch had both been dismissed by the organization.

As part of the penalties, Houston also forfeits its first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 MLB Drafts. In addition, the Astros were fined $5 million, which is the highest allowable fine under the Major League Constitution.

Former Astros assistant GM Brandon Taubman, who was dismissed by the club in October after he made offensive and insensitive comments directed at a group of female reporters at the conclusion of the American League Championship Series on Oct. 19, 2019, was also suspended for one year for his inappropriate conduct in the clubhouse. Taubman “shall be ineligible to perform services on behalf of any Major League club, either as an employee or independent contractor.”

The suspensions of Luhnow and Hinch are to begin immediately, ending on the day following the completion of the 2020 World Series. Taubman, who is currently not employed by a Major League club, will be eligible to apply for reinstatement at that same end time as well.

Should either Luhnow or Hinch be found to engage in “any future material violations” of Major League rules, the offender will be placed on the permanently ineligible list.

The report says the illegal sign-stealing was mostly player-driven, but it states that former bench coach Alex Cora, who is now the manager of the Red Sox, was involved in setting it up. Cora was not disciplined as part of this investigation, but the report states that he could face penalties at the conclusion of the ongoing investigation into allegations of illegal sign-stealing by the Red Sox during the 2018 season.

There were no penalties given to any Astros players as part of the investigation, though Mets manager Carlos Beltrán — who was a DH/outfielder on the 2017 Astros — was mentioned in the report as one of the players involved in the illegal sign-stealing. In explaining why no players would face any discipline, Commissioner Manfred wrote the following:

“Assessing discipline of players for this type of conduct is both difficult and impractical. It is difficult, because virtually all of the Astros’ players had some involvement or knowledge of the scheme, and I am not in a position based on the investigative record to determine with any degree of certainty every player who should be held accountable, or their relative degree of culpability.

“It is impractical given the large number of players involved, and the fact that many of those players now play for other clubs.”

Now the Astros need to find a new GM and manager. MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that Astros bench coach Joe Espada (a one-time Yankees coach) is the favorite to become interim manager

As for Cora and Boston, be afraid. Be very, very afraid.  They may need a new manager soon as well.

Once again, from MLB.Com, once again, edited :

Red Sox manager Alex Cora was named by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred as a primary participant in the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme of 2017 and may face future discipline for his role upon the completion of an ongoing investigation into a similar scheme allegedly used by the Red Sox during Boston’s World Series championship season of 2018.

The Red Sox organization also could receive penalties when that investigation is concluded.

“Cora was involved in developing both the banging scheme and utilizing the replay review room to decode and transmit signs,” wrote Manfred. “Cora participated in both schemes, and through his active participation, implicitly condoned the players’ conduct. I will withhold determining the appropriate level of discipline for Cora until after the [Department of Investigations] completes its investigation of the allegations that the Red Sox engaged in impermissible electronic sign stealing in 2018 while Cora was the manager.”

The two teams hurt the most are the Yankees, who lost the ALCS to Houston in a series where the home team won every game, and the Dodgers, who lost the WS to Houston in 2017 and to Boston in 2018. 

One last thing: with Hinch out, don’t be surprised if Aaron Boone is now the manager of the 2020 AL All-Star team.

 

Thoughts on Mgr of Year; CYA winners announced, and Houston’s scandal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Another blog makes a good point. It may be that a Yankees manager may NEVER be selected Mgr. of the Year because of several reasons. One being the expectations that the Yanks are supposed to be good because of who they are and their financial resources. So if they do well, it was because they were EXPECTED to do well. The manager only did what he was expected to do.

But that wasn’t really the case this year. Yes, the Yanks were expected to do well, but with the team they EXPECTED to have, not a team ravaged by injuries. Severino and Stanton missed almost the whole year each.  Betances and Montgomery the same. Didi two and a half months, Andujar all but a handful of games,  Hicks over half the year and so on and so on. Still, the Yanks won 103 games and the AL East. Still, Boone didn’t get MOY despite managing a M*A*S*H* unit to that victory total.


It is looking more and more like Didi won’t be back. We’ll see, but in reading the tea leaves and insider commentary…


This Houston cheating scandal with the cameras, video cheating, etc. has added another s to the Astros name on various sites. You can guess where that s is going…


The CYA was announced. In the NL, Jacob DeGrom repeats as the Cy Young Award winner, getting 29 of the 30 first place votes.

It is amazing the lack of support DeGrom gets. Take a look at the win totals in these past two CYA winning seasons.

2018 10-9, 1.70, led majors in ERA.
2019 11-8, 2.43. Led NL in strikeouts.

21 wins COMBINED. The Mets are wasting his starts.

In the AL, teammates Justin Verlander & Gerrit Cole were neck and neck with Verlander winning his second CYA. He previously won the CYA in 2011 (and MVP that year too). In addition to two CYA, Verlander also has been the runnerup three times.

Verlander got 17 first place votes and 171 points to Cole’s 13 first place votes and 159 points.

Verlander 21-6, 2.58. Led majors in wins, starts and IP. Struck out 300.
Cole 20-5, 2.50. Led AL in ERA. Led majors with 326 strikeouts.

You could have flipped a coin between the two.

As for Cole, it’s expected the free agent won’t sign until the new year.

 

Boone runnerup for Mgr. of Yr.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In a close vote, Aaron Boone came up second for the Manager of the Year Award.

Both he and Rocco Baldelli of the Twins got 13 first place votes, but Baldelli got 13 2nd place votes to Boone’s 9 and won the points count, 106-96.

In the NL, Mike Shildt of St. Louis won despite getting 10 first place votes to Craig Counsell of Milwaukee’s 13. Shildt got 95 points overall to Counsell’s 88.


Gabe Kapler has landed on his feet. Fired this offseason after two seasons as Phillies’ manager, he was hired as the new Giants manager. Former Yankee coach, and current Houston coach, Joe Espada, was in the running.


Lastly, from MLB.com:

The Astros released a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying they were beginning an investigation, in cooperation with Major League Baseball, after a story in The Athletic (subscription required) accused the club of stealing signs electronically in 2017, the year they won the World Series.

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.

Beltran to become Mets manager. Will Chapman opt out?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Carlos Beltran, former Yankee player and until now, a front office special adviser with the Yankees, has been named the new Mets manager.

Beltran hit .279 with 435 HR in a career that spanned from 1998 to 2017 with KC (1998-2004), Houston (2004), the Mets (2005-2011), the Giants (2011), the Cardinals (2012-2013), the Yankees (2014-2016), Texas (2016) and Houston again (2017).  He also stole over 300 bases and had an OPS+ of 119. He is a strong candidate for the HOF.  Twice he finished in the top 10 for MVP consideration.

As a player, Beltran was a 9x All-Star, ROY, 3x Gold Glove winner, 2x Silver Slugger winner, and finally a WS Champ in his last season.

He hit .307 with 16 HR in 65 postseason games, but Mets fans remember him being frozen on strike three to end the 2006 NLCS. Sad memory, because 2006 may have been the best season of Beltran’s career.

Beltran was one of those considered and given an interview for the Yankees managerial job that went to Aaron Boone after the 2017 season.

Beltran is 42. Like Boone, he takes over a NY team with no prior managerial experience.

Per MLB.com, Beltrán will become the ninth person to play for and manage the Mets, joining Gil Hodges, Yogi Berra, Joe Torre, Bud Harrelson, Roy McMillan, Mike Cubbage, Dallas Green, Bobby Valentine and Willie Randolph.

Of course, of those, Yogi, Torre and Green also managed the Yankees.

The Yankees and their fans will miss Beltran, but wish him good luck (unless it’s against the Yanks, of course).


From MLBtraderumors.com

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman is pursuing an extension but otherwise plans to utilize the opt-out clause in his five-year contract, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link). A decision on that opt-out provision is due today, leaving his representatives at Magnus Sports with a small window to work out a new deal.

In the event that an extension isn’t reached, the Yankees will surely issue him a $17.8MM qualifying offer, which he’ll reject in order to head into free agency.

 

What happened? How to rectify? Mistakes made?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Ok, for what could be the third year in a row, the Yanks get knocked out by the WS Champs (that is, if Houston beats Washington this year in the World Series). And, it might be said, for the third year in a row, the Yanks could be the second best team in baseball, with the Dodgers of the last two years disagreeing. Maybe the Yanks would have beaten the Dodgers in 2017 and 2018, maybe not. Maybe the Yanks would beat Washington this year, maybe not.

Joel Sherman has a post suggesting moves the Yanks could make. But the one thing he compares the Yanks to could be telling. Are the Yanks in danger of being the Patrick Ewing Knicks to the Michael Jordan Bulls. Good but not good enough to get over that one team (be in 2017/2019 Astros or 2018 Red Sox) standing in their way to a WS Championship?

Let’s take a look at some things that went wrong against the Astros in the ALCS and some things that went wrong prior to that. It’s ok to disagree. I’ve disagreed with some recently about my opinions.

Let’s start with the starting pitching. It would have been nice to have Domingo German, their winning-est pitcher on the Yankees this year (18-4, 4.03), starting a game, maybe especially Game 6 instead of a bullpen game (Chad Green starting), wouldn’t it?

Except that German was forced onto administrative leave by MLB for a domestic abuse incident. That helped hurt the Yanks. Couldn’t have seen that coming. Ouch.

Also hurting was that J.A. Happ didn’t start Game 6 because he had a bad year (12-8, 4.91) and lost the trust of his manager and coaching staff. With CC Sabathia’s condition (we’ll get to CC in a bit) adding onto the loss of German and Happ’s ineffectiveness, that left a rotation of Tanaka, Paxton, Severino—and Severino was just coming off an injury that cost him almost the entire season—and the opener, in this case, Green.

As for Sabathia, I wasn’t in favor of bringing him back. I admire his courage and applaud what he did for the Yanks. But you think with your head, not your heart. Last off-season, did you expect a lot from CC? More than what he gave this year? I didn’t. Bad knee, the stent put in, turned 39 in July. CC’s last win was on June 24. Think about that for a moment. His last winning decision was JUNE 24. His ERA was 4.95. He’s on and off the injured list. You couldn’t rely on him to take the mound. He would if he COULD, but a lot of times he COULD NOT. And in the ALCS, his arm gave out. A more reliable #5 would have helped more. You can’t make decisions on sentiment. It’s a cruel business.

Speaking of injuries, I feel the Yanks made a mistake keeping Stanton on the roster. Yes, if you take him off, he doesn’t play in the WS. But you cannot think about the World Series. You have to think about, and win, the ROUND YOU ARE CURRENTLY IN. He didn’t play in Games 2, 3, and 4 although Manager Aaron Boone said he could pinch-hit, which he didn’t. Nor did he play in Game 6. So for four games, even though Stanton was available, in reality it was like the Yanks were playing a man short.

They could have replaced him with Mike Ford. Replacing him with Ford (.259-12-25 in 143 at bats this year) would have put another lefty bat in the lineup against a team (Houston) that had NO lefty pitchers on its postseason roster. NONE. It also would have enabled Boone to bench Edwin Encarnacion (1 for 18 with 11 strikeouts in the series) for Ford.

Joe Torre said that Don Zimmer told him you can’t be patient in the postseason. True. You can let a guy ride out a slump in the regular season, but there is no time for that in the postseason. You can be a player’s manager in the regular season, but in the postseason who have to be a hard-ass. If a guy goes 1 for 9 in a ALDS sweep, and you win anyway, but that same guy starts the ALCS 0 for 12 and is killing your team, you have to pull the trigger. You have to sit him if you can.

Which leads me to Gary Sanchez. (I will get back to the starting pitching soon). Sanchez was 3 for 23, 12 strikeouts (1 HR, 3 RBI) against the Astros. He didn’t fare well against the Twins in the ALDS either. Later, his defense suffered too. Passed balls in two straight games.

I would have sat him for Austin Romine for at least one game. Romine doesn’t have the power Sanchez has, but maybe Romine would at least make contact instead of striking out half the time? The Yanks have to figure out what they have in Sanchez. He missed about 40 games in 2018 but still hit 18 HR. This year, he missed about 25 games and still hit 34 HR. He’s a 2x All-Star. But despite all those HR, in the past two seasons combined, he’s hit .211 (.186 and .232) and he’s better than that. He should be a .270 hitter with his talent. In that Joel Sherman article, Sherman states that he thinks it is a legitimate question to ask if the Yanks can win a title with Sanchez behind the plate. I think the answer is —-not THIS version of Gary Sanchez. But is there another one? The one he SHOULD be, given his talent? Sanchez has six postseason HR. He also has a .176 postseason batting average and 40 strikeouts in 102 postseason at bats.

Aaron Judge has struck out a lot in the postseason too (41 strikeouts in 101 at bats), but at least Judge is hitting .257 in the postseason with 8 HR. And defensively, Judge in RF is head and shoulders better than Sanchez has been at catcher.

Ok, getting back to the starting pitching, and here is where I’ve had some disagreements with others. I hope you see my point. If not, that’s fine.

But the Yanks, I think, need a stud pitcher. (Think going all out to get Gerrit Cole as a free agent this offseason, or Stephen Strasburg if he opts out). They are top of the line studs. Now others say that we have an ace in Severino. Maybe, maybe not. But here is the problem.

The last time the Yanks had a pitcher with 200 IP in a season was in 2013. (CC and Kuroda. CC 14-13, 4.78 (not a good year) and Kuroda 11-13, 3.31 (deserved a better record)). Meaning more work for the bullpen.

Now let’s take it to the postseason. Since Game 2 of the 2012 ALCS, the Yankees have played in 30 postseason games. In only 7 has their starter gone more than five innings.

Masahiro Tanaka was four of those seven.

In eight postseason starts, Luis Severino has gone over five innings just once. He has pitched just 31 innings in those eight starts. That is less than four innings per start.

I’m sorry. That is not ace-like.That is not a stud.

Remember what middle relievers are. No offense to them, but they are pitchers not good enough for the starting rotation, and not good enough to be your closer.

And, the more you see them in the postseason, the more comfortable the batters are facing them.

Which means you want to try to avoid using them too much. Meaning the starter has to give length, and you see the Yanks’ starters haven’t done that.

It’s not just the Yanks. The game is changing and other teams have this problem too. But for the Yanks to jump the Astros (Verlander, Cole, Greinke) or even last year’s Red Sox (Sale, Price) or maybe even this year’s Nationals (Scherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin—and oh, how I wanted the Yanks to sign Corbin last off-season), they need starters to give more length.

Now, as far as using the relievers too much (and the Yanks have one of the best bullpens in baseball, postseason problems notwithstanding) because the Yanks’ starters didn’t go deep enough, I think Aaron Boone stayed too long with Adam Ottavino. After a while it was apparent the Yanks had a problem. Ottavino couldn’t get anyone out. You got to jettison him. Boone stuck with him.

Remember what I just mentioned about hitters getting too familiar with pitchers if you are using them all the time in a short series? Maybe Boone could have rolled the dice and instead of using Chad Green as the Game 6 starter/opener (a pitcher Houston had seen before in the series), and who gave up a 3-run HR in the first inning of Game 6, maybe Boone could have used Ben Heller as the Game Six starter/opener instead?

Heller missed most of the 2019 season coming back from injury. BUT… Houston didn’t see him all year. No familiarity. You were asking for one inning, that is all. I don’t know how much video or how much of a scouting report Houston had on Heller, but it could not have been much.

It would have been a gamble, but maybe one worth taking. Throw someone Houston hasn’t seen before.

So…summing up.

One point made. Yanks’ starters need to go deeper in postseason games. Which is why I would like that one stud pitcher to complete the rotation.

Point two. If a guy is “day to day” he really isn’t helping. If the guy is going to miss a couple postseason games, replace him. Next round be damned. You got to win THIS round first. Stanton’s “questionable” status hurt. He can or can’t go.

Point three. Pull the plug on slumping players. Give them a day maybe just to clear their head, shake things up. Romine for Sanchez, Ford if placed on roster for Encarnacion.

Maybe even Maybin (1 for 3 vs. Houston, had a HR vs Twins) for Gardner? Granted Gardner hit into some tough luck in Game 6, but in the ALCS he was only 3 for 22 with 10 strikeouts.

Which leads me to Point Four. In one game, against the hottest pitcher on the planet right now, Gerrit Cole, Gardner hit third and came up in the first with both D.J. LeMahieu and Aaron Judge on base in the top of the first. Gardner isn’t your prototypical #3 hitter, like a Ruth, Mantle, Aaron, DiMaggio, etc. He can bunt, and has speed to beat it out. I know they were hoping for the big inning, and that Gardner hit a career high 28 HR this year, but was there any thought to “this is your one chance against Cole and let’s make sure we move the runners?”. Any thought of laying one down?

Littleball is more important in the postseason.

And that leads us to Point Five. Make more contact. Put the ball in play. Too many power or nothing guys like Encarnacion, Stanton, Sanchez. Need more LeMahieu-type guys. It’s one thing to slump and hit into bad luck, another not to hit the ball at all. If making outs, make PRODUCTIVE outs that can move runners over, or, in the case of sacrifice flies, get the run in.

We’ll see who among the free agents stays and who goes. We know CC is retiring. But going or staying are: Betances, Encarnacion (who I think will be bought out and gone), Didi, Romine, Gardner, Gearrin (I think gone), and Maybin.,

Sherman (writer for the NY Post and MLB Network contributor) has a nice article about two players the Yanks should target. I definitely agree with Gerrit Cole. I don’t know if and how they can get Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor. It would take a lot, probably a package including Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier and maybe even a Jonathan Loaisiga or Deivi Garcia and/or Jasson Dominguez, the 16 year old international phenom they signed this summer. It would take a lot.

But definitely get a Cole or Strasburg. A must, in my opinion. I want to see length from starters in postseason games.

And no openers.

As for hitting, more contact. Less strikeouts. Give yourself more of a chance.