Tag Archives: Bumgarner

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.

Trade deadline. No major move done by the Yanks. Thoughts.

header_1.jpg

The Yanks did not make a major move at the trade deadline.

They only made a minor one, trading rookie RHP Joe Harvey (1-0, 4.50 in nine games this year for the Yanks) to Colorado for LHP Alfredo Garcia. Per the NY Post: Garcia, 20, has pitched for Single-A Asheville and Boise this season. With the two teams, he’s combined for a 3-10 record and 6.00 ERA in 22 starts.

They apparently were looking at LHP Robbie Ray of Arizona but Arizona wanted OF Clint Frazier, RHP Clarke Schmidt (the Yanks’ #1 draft pick in 2017, who is now pitching at High A Tampa) and two other prospects. The Yanks thought that price was too steep.

Arizona did trade Zack Greinke to Houston (they made other moves as well). Now Houston is really scary with Justin Verlander, Greinke, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley.

Greinke never would have come to the Yankees. He has a no-trade to the Yanks, and with his problems with depression and anxiety early in his career (2005/2006) NY wouldn’t be right for him at all.

That is the situation at the trade deadline. Some teams are asking too much of you, like the teams that wanted Gleyber Torres for a pitcher that other teams say is an ace but you know they are middle to back end of the rotation caliber. And Torres shouldn’t be going anywhere. He is not even 23 yet, a 2x All-Star, and someone with 20+ HR in both of his seasons in the majors. Torres for Matthew Boyd of Detroit (6-8, 3.94 now, career 28-43, 4.82)? Please. Spare me.

Some players, like Greinke and Madison Bumgarner, have no-trade clauses. Whether Bumgarner would have waived his to go to the Yankees, who knows. But we also don’t know what SF would have wanted for him.

Some teams, like the Mets, won’t deal with the Yankees. I can see that with the Red Sox not dealing with the Yankees, but the Mets are in a different league. But the Mets have the fear of looking bad in a deal with the Yanks, and don’t want the Yanks to “take over the city” or is it “Citi”? LOL. But the Yankeephobia the Mets’ front office has hurts them if they are making trades with other teams and getting less return from them than in what the Yankees would give them for say, Wheeler or Syndegaard—and neither Wheeler or Syndegaard went anywhere.

So the Yankees don’t get a starter that could have helped them. No Minor, Bumgarner, Wheeler, Ray, Stroman, Boyd, Bauer, Roark, Leake, etc. Most, as I stated, don’t fall into the “ace” category.

They didn’t get relief help either. Shane Greene and Mark Melancon (both former Yankees, by the way) both went from their respective teams (Tigers and Giants) to the Braves.

By the way, ex-Yankee (twice) David Robertson, who went to the Phillies last offseason as a free agent, and who has barely pitched this year, is headed for elbow surgery that could include TJ surgery. If TJ (Tommy John) surgery, then he misses ALL of 2020.

So the Yankees have to hope some, or all of the following, get healthy enough to contribute soon: Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, Jonathan Loaisiga and Dellin Betances. Loaisiga had a rehab stint (2 innings for AA Trenton last night). The others haven’t pitched yet in a game for any rehab assignment yet.

Either that or some pitchers need to pick up the slack and pitch better than they have so far this season (Happ/Paxton, even Tanaka).

I don’t know if I would call the Yanks’ efforts at the trade deadline here a failure. If you DO want to point any blame for not improving the rotation, I don’t think it is now, but things that happened BEFORE getting to this point.

For example, the free agent market. I didn’t mind bringing back Happ at the time (and that may be a mistake, given what he’s done this year and that he has a couple years left on the contract). But Happ wasn’t my first option. He was a fallback option. I think that the Yanks felt as I did. Getting Patrick Corbin being the top priority, with Happ as a fallback. But Corbin wanted more than the four years that the Yanks were offering, and got six from Washington where he is 9-5, 3.23. The Yanks sure could use that now.

Then there was Gio Gonzalez. The Yanks signed him at the end of spring training to a minor league deal, one that Gonzalez opted out of a few weeks later when it was obvious, at that time, that there was no place in the rotation for him. He is 2-1, 3.48 for Milwaukee right now.

Lastly, Dallas Keuchel. The Yanks wouldn’t go an extra mile to land him, lost him to the Braves, and Keuchel is 3-4, 3.86 right now.

Any of those three would not have cost players, just money. Now the question is why the Yankees were not more proactive towards those three? And that may not be the fault of Cashman, but of Hal Steinbrenner, who, let’s face it, is more frugal than his dad. Hal may have set a certain price that he wouldn’t allow Cashman to exceed, and if a deal then wasn’t made, the blame falls on Hal then, not Cashman.

If there is something to gripe about, I feel as if it isn’t because of what wasn’t done today at the trade deadline, but what wasn’t done BEFORE—namely, Corbin, Gonzalez and/or Keuchel. For those three have/had better potential and results than almost all of what was out there today.

One more thing. I wasn’t too keen this offseason about bringing back CC. He hasn’t been bad this year, but you are getting what you expected you’d get from a guy who just turned 39. Two trips to the injured list. Not much length in his starts. He has not recorded a “W” in more than a month. Yes, having him retire as a Yankee is nice. It’s his final season. But sentiment doesn’t win titles. You think with your head, not your heart.

Being a clubhouse presence and a great teammate is great. But you also have to do it between the lines, and of course, CC isn’t what he used to be.

So we hope now for help from within. Severino, Montgomery, Loaisiga, Betances. Maybe Deivi Garcia, but I doubt it. I’d be surprised. At 20, he probably needs a full season of AAA, so maybe 2021 for him (or late 2020?)

And after this season is over, don’t mess up on the free agent market. For example, Gerrit Cole of Houston, who the Yanks once drafted (he didn’t sign) and later coveted (traded by Pittsburgh to Houston because the Yanks wouldn’t give the Pirates Miguel Andujar) is a free agent after this season. He is 12-5. 2.94 for Houston now. He was 15-5, 2.88 for them last season. He struck out 276 last year and leads the majors with 212 strikeouts right now. Houston is one of your top competitors right now for AL supremacy. You can improve yourself and hurt Houston after this season in one move. Are you listening, Hal? Cash?

 

 

Game 26. Yanks beat SF, 7-3. Voit continues to roll.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

When I first saw the lineup, I didn’t have too much confidence in the Yanks last night.

It looked like the worst lineup I had seen since the Horace Clarke years of the late 1960s/early 1970s.

For one thing, no DH in a NL park.

Gio Urshela hitting cleanup? Thairo Estrada in LF? Sanchez and Gardner on the bench?

This against Madison Bumgarner? Even though Bumgarner isn’t what he was?

As Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!”

The first four hitters in the Yanks’ (15-11, 2nd in AL East, 1 1/2 back) lineup went 10 for 18, scored 6 runs and had 5 RBI in the Yanks’ 7-3 win over the Giants last night.

The Yanks jumped on Bumgarner right away with two runs in the first. D.J. LeMahieu led off the game with a double, went to third on a flyout by Luke Voit and scored on a double by Gleyber Torres. Urshela singled Torres to third, and Cameron Maybin in his first AB as a Yankee, singled in Torres to make it 2-0.

James Paxton gave a run back in a shaky first inning, but then settled down the rest of the night.

In the third, Luke Voit, who is having a great road trip, singled and was bunted over to second by Torres (when is the last time you saw the #3 batter in the lineup lay down a sac bunt?). Urshela, a .232 career hitter with 9 career HR in 517 at bats, singled Voit in to make it 3-1. Urshela, known for his glove and not his bat, has been swinging the bat well in subbing for the injured Andujar at 3B.

In the fifth, the Yanks made it 4-1 when LeMahieu singled and Voit doubled him home.

Consecutive singles by Austin Romine, Mike Tauchman and Thairo Estrada made it 5-1 in the sixth. For Estrada, his first MLB RBI.

Paxton tired in the sixth, giving up two runs before Tommy Kahnle came in to get the final out of the inning. 5-3 Yanks.

With two out in the seventh, Zack Britton gave Yankees fans a scare by walking three batters in a row to load the bases. Manager Aaron Boone then pulled a double switch, bringing in Adam Ottavino to replace Britton, and getting Brett Gardner in the OF (Tauchman going from CF to RF, replacing Maybin). In the key moment of the game, Ottavino struck out Buster Posey to get out of the inning.

Luke Voit hit a 2-run HR (8) in the ninth to give the Yanks some insurance runs. 7-3.

Voit has been a real steal for the Yanks. Since Brian Cashman went out and got him, Voit has played in 65 games for the Yanks, hitting .309-22-55, OPS+ 170. Keep that up over 162 games and you are talking MVP-type numbers.

LeMahieu 3 hits, scored 3x
Voit 3 hits, 2 runs scored, 3 RBI. 2-run HR.
Torres 2 hits, RBI
Urshela 2 hits, RBI

Paxton (W, 3-2, 3.38) 5 2/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 W, 8 K
Kahnle (H, 2) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1 WP.  1.86  Looking like he did in 2017, not 2018.
Britton (H, 4) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 W, 1 K.  2.45
Ottavino (H, 4) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.  2.51
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.  2.45

The bullpen: 3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 5 W, 6 K.  A bit wild, but no hits or runs. Combined, the Yanks’ pitchers struck out 14, walked 7.

 

 

 

Pitchers, 2019 S.T. schedule and 2020 AAA All-Star Game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Sorry, was very busy at work with a lot of overtime and have been sick (to the point where I have very little voice left) but catching up…

Nathan Eovaldi won’t be coming back to the Yankees. The free agent re-signed with Boston on a 4-yr., $67MM deal.

Cleveland extended Carlos Carrasco for 4 years, but Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer may be had in a trade. Mike Clevenger is very cost effective for the Indians, so he may not be available.

Hyun-Jin Ryu re-signed with the Dodgers, one yr. $17.9 MM. Pitched well (1.97 ERA for them in 2018) but the lefty missed 1/2 the season.

Arizona may be looking to unload Zack Greinke’s salary in a deal, and the Giants may want to do the same with Madison Bumgarner.

But you wonder what the Yanks would have to give up in a deal. Miguel Andujar?

The Yanks are still looking to trade Sonny Gray and would like another starter to join Severino, Paxton, Tanaka and CC in the rotation. Hopefully a #3 or better.

Some free agents available are Happ, Lynn, Keuchel, Kikuchi,  Charlie Morton, Gio Gonzalez, Wade Miley…. so you can see outside of Happ and possibly Keuchel (who is up and down and slipping) a dropoff.

Apparently the Yanks didn’t even make an offer to Corbin. They apparently told him they were comfortable with $17-$20MM per year for 4-5 years and when Corbin said he was looking for Yu Darvish $$$ (and he eventually got 6 yrs at $23.5MM per from Washington), the Yanks basically said good luck.

The AAA All-Star Game will be hosted by the Yanks’ AAA club in Moosic, PA (Scranton/Wilkes Barre, or as is usually abbreviated, SWB).

Good video recently on the YES network showing how Luis Severino was tipping pitches at the end of last year. Apparently Boston picked up on it (hence Sevy’s poor outing in Game 3 of the ALDS) but the A’s didn’t (or else maybe Oakland wins the Wild Card game). It may also explain his pedestrian second half.

The Yanks announced their 2019 spring training schedule. Pitchers report Feb. 13, first workout the next day. Position players report Feb. 18 with the first full-squad workout the following day. The first spring training game will be Feb. 23 vs. you-guessed-it, Boston.

Sad to read about a failed car robbery that resulted in the deaths of two players (one being Luis Valbeuna) in Venezuela. You fear for the players from Venezuela and their safety, like Gleyber Torres. Maybe (hopefully?) Gleyber can just come and stay here in the U.S. instead of being subject to the B.S. going on in Venezuela.

 

 

Giants oust Mets, some Yankee moves.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Madison Bumgarner pitched a complete-game 4-hit shutout as the Giants eliminated the Mets in the NL wild card game, 3-0. They now face the Cubs.

Conor Gillaspie’s 3-run HR in the top of the ninth off of Jeurys Familia was the whole game.

Curtis Granderson did save a run for the Mets with a great catch, but in the end, it all went for naught.

Noah Syndergaard pitched great for the Mets, 7 shutout innings, 2 hits, 10 K, but unlike Bumgarner, was pulled and didn’t pitch the complete game. It proved fatal for the Mets.

Bumgarner is now 8-3, 1.94 in postseason play. A postseason beast.

Meanwhile, Buck Showalter is getting blasted for not using his closer in the extra inning loss that the Orioles had up in Toronto the other night. He did the same mistake that Joe Torre did in Game 4 of the 2003 WS, which is saving your closer for a save on the road. Meanwhile your team never gives you a lead to save and some lesser pitcher loses the game for you while your best is in the bullpen. In extra innings, sometimes you need your best to preserve the tie and prevent a walkoff win.

ALDS series start today. Toronto at Texas, Boston at Cleveland.

A couple of Yankees moves. The Angels claimed Blake Parker and Kirby Yates off of waivers. Parker was 1-0, 4.96 after coming over from Seattle this year.

Yates was 2-1, 5.23.

Anthony Swarzak, who was 1-2, 5.52, refused assignment to SWB and became a free agent.

CC Sabathia will have routine knee surgery to clean it out.

Dynasty? SF wins 3rd title in 5 years.

When you think of baseball dynasties, you think of the Ruth-Gehrig-DiMaggio-Mantle Yankees of 1921-1964. The Big Red Machine. The Bronx Zoo. The Torre Yankees of 1996-2003. When you look at the makeup of the San Francisco Giants, you don’t see dynasty. But after winning their third title in the last five years, maybe that qualifies them as one now. At the very least, with the decade half-over, they can already call themselves the team of the decade (unless someone else runs off three or four titles over the next five years). The Giants became the first road team since the 1979 Pirates to win Game 7 when they beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 last night.

Madison Bumgarner joined a very select group of pitchers to win three WS games in the same Series. Bumgarner got the save. For his efforts, Bumgarner was named WS MVP. 2012 WS MVP Pedro “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval went 3 for 3, Mike Morse drove in two runs, and all the damage was done by the 4-7 hitters. Neither starting pitcher went four innings. Both managers had quick hooks. SF starter Tim Hudson went just 1 2/3, and KC starter Jeremy Guthrie 3 1/3. With neither starter going five innings, the decision on who got the win came down to an official scorer’s decision. Usually, they just hand the win to the pitcher who was on the mound when the eventual game-winning run was scored. That was Jeremy Affeldt, who was credited with the win. But the official scorer did not get it right. He handed the win to Affeldt. He did not have to. This was “official scorer’s discretion” and the guy who should have been given the win was Bumgarner, who came out of the bullpen on two days rest to pitch five innings of scoreless relief and preserve a 3-2 lead. Bumgarner thus wound up winning Games 1, 5 and saving Game 7 of this WS. No guts by the official scorer there. He went “formula.”

The difference in the series turned out to be one run, and one man. And perhaps, one slip. With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the fourth, Sandoval reached on an infield single. KC 2B Omar Infante made a nice play getting to the ball, but his right leg slipped out from under him as he tried to throw out Sandoval at first. Had he not slipped, who knows? That’s baseball. Sandoval eventually scored the eventual WS-winning run later that inning on a single by Morse. SF manager Bruce Bochy showed guts in going to Bumgarner. 3 titles in 5 years should put him into the HOF one day. Funny how he did go to Bumgarner after some “experts” I heard on ESPN radio said that there was no way Bumgarner should pitch, and no more than one inning. What pansies. To me, it was refreshing seeing Game 7 the way it should be. You manage that game differently than other games. The players have all offseason to rest, and although he didn’t start, Bumgarner winning pitching in a third WS game reminded me of Randy Johnson coming out of the bullpen in Game 7 of the 2001 WS (a painful memory for us Yankees fans), or Lew Burdette starting on two days rest in 1957 (another painful memory for Yankees fans),  Sandy Koufax in 1965 pitching a CG shutout on two days rest, Bob Gibson going 1-4-7 in 1967 or Mickey Lolich going 1-5-7 in 1968 (and facing and beating 1-4-7 Gibson in that 1968 Game 7). You go with your best in Game 7. You manage differently.

Bochy managed it brilliantly. If Bumgarner would have been too tired after only two days of rest, Bochy would have heard it from here to eternity. But Bochy played his trump card. He went with, and stayed with, his best. That’s one thing I’ll take out of this WS. One run, and one man (Bumgarner) made the difference. KC has nothing to be ashamed of.

So the offseason begins… with free agency, trades, etc. and oh yeah,….. A-Rod is now officially back. (Crying.).

In other news, it looks like a few moves are coming soon. Joe Maddon, who just left the Rays, is expected to take the manager job with the Cubs, and there are rumors that the Yanks are after Raul Ibanez to be their next hitting coach.

2010 WS Game 4. SF leaves Rangers in a “Huff.” Bumgarner brilliant as Giants are one win from the title.

Aubrey Huff’s 2-run HR was all Madison Bumgarner needed in a brilliant performance. SF wins 4-0 and takes a commanding 3 games to 1 lead in the World Series.

Andres Torres had an RBI double, and Buster Posey had a solo HR to support Bumgarner, who went 8 shutout innings, giving up just three hits. Brian “the Beach Boy” Wilson closed it.

Since 1933, the only WS title for the Giants was in 1954, when the Giants were still in NY, playing at Coogan’s Bluff— at the bathtub-shaped Polo Grounds. They have not won a WS since going to SF.

They are now one win away.