Tag Archives: Cessa

S.T. Game 26. All rise, twice. Judge HRs 2x in Yanks 9-4 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before Wednesday’s game, the Yanks sent a couple of people down, and one of them, Tyler Austin, is the indication that they are going with just three bench people, meaning 12 position players, and 13 pitchers to start the season.

Besides Austin, also going down are Ben Heller, Giovanny Gallegos and Billy McKinney.

It appears that that 25th spot will be going to Jonathan Holder or Domingo German.

I prefer it go to Holder. Here is why. I’m more sold on German as an emergency starter than Luis Cessa (see below for what Cessa did tonight). So as an emergency starter, I want German to stay stretched out to give multiple innings, and not waste away in the Yanks’ loaded bullpen going only an inning or two at a time. Keep him stretched out at AAA. So then go with Holder in the bullpen (and see below for what Holder did tonight).

As for the game tonight, Aaron Judge homered twice, walked twice, scored four runs and drove in four in the Yanks’ 9-4 win over Baltimore. The Yanks’ spring training record is 14-11-1.

The lineup looked like an Opening Day lineup, with the exception of Ronald Torreyes batting 9th and playing 3B instead of Brandon Drury.

The lineup was Gardner/Judge/Bird/Stanton/Sanchez/Didi/Hicks/Walker/Torreyes.

Having written that, the first two innings featured the kind of offensive bludgeoning we hope to see from the Yanks this year.

After Cessa gave up a HR in the top of the first to put the Orioles up 1-0, the Yanks came right back with two in the bottom of the first. With one out, Judge walked, and with two out, Stanton singled, Sanchez walked and Didi doubled home two.

Some don’t like Judge hitting second because of the 52 HR last year. I don’t mind it because he also led the AL with 127 walks. You do want someone on base for Stanton and Sanchez (and others).

In the third, with one out, Torreyes and Gardner singled, and Judge walked again, this time to load the bases. Bird singled in two. After Stanton grounded into a force, Sanchez reached on an error, a run scoring. 5-1 Yanks.

Cessa gave up a couple runs in the fourth to make it 5-3 O’s. By this time, Gary Sanchez had already thrown out TWO Orioles attempting to steal.

In the bottom of the fourth, Judge hit the first of his two homers for the night to make it 6-3 Yanks.

In the fifth, David Robertson ran into trouble then turned into Houdini again. Single, double to make it 6-4, WP. But then foul out, and two strikeouts, to stand that runner at third.

Holder (see above) came in and pitched two scoreless innings. Like I wrote, stretch German out at AAA to have him as emergency starter, keep Holder on the team (until Ellsbury is ready to come off the DL).

In the eighth, Aroldis Chapman got a strikeout, then an error by Hicks and a double put men on second and third for the Orioles, but Chapman got a strikeout and Chaz Hebert then came in and got a strikeout to get out of it.

In the bottom of the eighth, Abiatal Avelino and Brett Gardner each singled, and Judge hit his second HR of the game to make it 9-4.

Gardner 2 hits. Scored 2x
Judge 2 HR, 2 walks, scored 4, drove in 4.
Bird 2 RBI
Gregorius 2 RBI

Cessa (W) 4 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Robertson (H) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K
Holder (H) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Chapman (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Hebert (S) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.


S.T. Game 15. Stanton HR’s in 10-3 Yanks’ win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Giancarlo Stanton homered today in a 10-3 Yanks’ win over the Mets that made their spring training record 11-4.

The Gardner/Judge/ Stanton 1-2-3 today was a thing of beauty. In the first, Gardner and Judge singled and Stanton was HBP. Brandon Drury singled in one run and Tyler Austin’s force out brought in another.

I am not a big fan of Luis Cessa. Driving home from a 1/2 day of work today, both John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on the radio criticized Cessa for nibbling even though he throws 97. Good point. Cessa, it seems, struggles to get hitters out even when he is doing well. It doesn’t come easy. No easy outs. It’s one reason why if the Yanks need an emergency starter, I would rather have Domingo German than Cessa.

Cessa reached his pitch limit before he even pitched two innings. He was pulled with the bases loaded after just 1 1/3 innings pitched.

Then you saw something incredible.

We had not seen David “Houdini” Robertson pitch yet this spring training. Partly because of a touch of food poisoning he got recently. So in his first spring training appearance, “Houdini” comes in with the bases loaded and one out.

He strikes out both batters he faces. Really?

In the third, Gardner singled and Judge doubled. An RBI ground out by Drury made it 3-0 Yanks.

The Mets got a run in the fourth off Betances because Jose Reyes stole second and third off him. When asked in an in-game interview if he would prefer Betances slide-step, manager Aaron Boone said no, he doesn’t want to screw Betances up, but to let Betances concentrate on getting the batter out. But Betances’ slow move to the plate is a concern. He needs to hold runners on better. Boone’s point was to not let them get on base in the first place.

The Yanks got two in the fifth to make it 5-1 on Stanton’s HR.

An RBI single by Reyes in the sixth made it 5-2, and the Yanks got lucky on the play. Tyler Wade dove for the ball and rolled over his wrist. At first, it appeared as if he may have broken or severely sprained it, but he is OK.

The Yankees got two in the bottom of the sixth on a walk to Jace Peterson, a double by Ronald Torreyes, and a 2-run double by Kyle Holder. 7-2 Yanks.

The Mets got a run in the seventh but the Yanks came back with three in the eighth.

Francisco Diaz and Jace Peterson singled. A force out by Abiatal Avelino drove in one run. Holder singled to put runners at first and second. Estevan Florial singled, one runner scored and an error put runners on second and third. Shane Robinson hit a SF to make it 10-3 Yanks.

One friend of mine is still critical of Judge batting second because of his 52 HR last year. He would like to drop him down in the lineup. He is critical of the 208 strikeouts last year, too. But a guy batting first or second is a guy you want to have a good OBP. Judge, despite the strikeouts, did lead the AL with 127 walks, so his OBP was excellent, the best in the league. You want good OBP guys in front of Stanton and Sanchez. So Judge does fit the bill there.

The fact that Gardner/Judge/ Stanton makes a pitcher wary of facing BOTH Judge and Stanton right away in the first inning is a valid point.

Earlier, I advocated a Gardner/Judge/Bird/Stanton/Sanchez/Didi first six.

I change my mind. Instead, I would like Gardner/Judge/Stanton/Didi/Sanchez/Bird front six.

I say this for a couple of reasons. One, get both Judge and Stanton up right away in that first inning.

The other? Instead of Bird splitting up the righty bats, use Didi instead. If one is on first base, and Sanchez doubles, who is more likely to score from first on the double, Didi or Bird? That is why, even though unconventional, I would bat Didi cleanup.

Gardner 2 for 3 with a walk, scored 2 runs.
Florial 1 for 1
Judge 2 for 2 with a walk, scored 2 runs. Finally broke out.
Stanton 2-run HR.
Drury 2 RBI.
Kyle Holder 2 for 2 with 2 RBI.

We saw a lot of the bullpen today.

Cessa (W) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 W, 2 K. Really, not good. 3 walks. Nibbling too much. Way off. Four outs. Five base runners. Three by walk.
Robertson (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. See above. Fabulous.
Chapman (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Betances (H) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Warren (H) 2 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Green 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Reeves 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Foley 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.

Yankees’ pitchers combined for 14 K.





S.T. Game 6. Yanks lose, 9-6, but Sanchez hits tape-measure HR.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks finally lost a S.T. game, 9-6 (not that spring training results matter), to drop to 5-1 on the exhibition season, but Gary Sanchez hit an absolute bomb of a HR in the game.

The lineup looked like what could be the Opening Day lineup: Gardner, Judge, Stanton, Sanchez, Bird, Didi, Hicks, Drury and Torres. I would move Bird, a lefty hitter, up, to split up the three righty bats of Judge, Stanton and Sanchez, but have no complaints if manager Aaron Boone wants those three right in a row.

Sanchez hit a two-run bomb, over the “o” of the scoreboard announcing George M. Steinbrenner field, in the first inning.C

Luis Cessa, who will probably start at AAA, and serve as rotation insurance in case of injury, had a good first inning, struggled in the second (not giving up a run), but came unglued in the third.

Single, single, error by Torres (who made a couple nice plays later) for a run, then gave up a 3-run HR.

The Tigers got a run in the sixth off Betances and another in the eighth off of Will Carter.

6-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth.

With two out, Erik Kratz was HBP and both Ryan McBroom and Tyler Wade walked. Estevan Florial singled in two.

One thing I’ve seen about the 20 yr. old Florial, who probably is slated for High-A Tampa, is that this kid can fly. Two triples so far in spring training. Probably two or three years away from the majors, but can he run. CF of the future (no offense to Hicks or Ellsbury).

His single made it 6-4. He stole 2nd and went to third on a WP that enabled Wade to score. He then scored on another WP to tie the game.

Michael King gave up three runs in the top of the ninth to lose the game for the Yanks, 9-6.

The Yanks only got five hits in the game, 2 by Stanton (inc. a double that hit the fence), 2 by Sanchez (inc. the bomb of a HR) and the one by Florial.

Cessa 2+ IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K, 1 K.
Warren 3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Betances 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Lail 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Carter 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K.
King (L) 0 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Schwaab 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.

Even though I do the minor league reports all year long, I have no clue who Will Carter and Michael King are.

Carter, 25, RHP, went 3-1, 3.26 in 15 games (six starts) for AA Trenton last year.

King, a 22 yr. old RHP, was in Low A for the Marlins last year, going 11-9, 3.14.

Remember that often in spring training, games are decided at the end by players who will be starting the season in maybe AA or lower.

Rudy Regalado, a backup INF for the 1954 pennant winning Cleveland Indians, has passed away at the age of 87.

S.T. Game 1. Wade sparks Yanks to 3-1 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

A few weeks ago, before the Yanks got Brandon Drury, David Cone advised people not to forget about Tyler Wade. Wade made Cone look good today, going 2 for 2. His sixth inning hustle double sparked a three-run rally as the Yanks opened the spring training set of games with a 3-1 win over the Tigers.

After Wade (SS) doubled and was balked to third, Kyle Higashioka (C) drew a one-out walk and Danny Espinosa (3B) was HBP to load the bases. Jake Cave (LF) drove in one run with a groundout, and Jorge Saez (DH) singled in two.

Spring training, lot of players getting action and a lot you may not have heard about, especially the minor leaguers who generally are the ones playing late in these games.

Besides Wade, Saez also had two hits.

Cessa 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Heller 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Hale (W) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Lail (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Coshow (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Gallegos (S) 1 IP,  0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.

Sanchez Yanks’ MVP? Drury box? Some thoughts.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

All the talk is of Stanton and Judge being the Yanks’ Mantle & Maris now.

But I will make a case for the Yankees’ MVP right now being Gary Sanchez.

Bear with me a moment here.

I am not talking their BEST player, I am talking their most VALUABLE.

And in regards to that, I am talking depth. Depth at a particular position, and how much it would hurt the Yanks to lose one particular player. 

If Judge sprained a knee and was out two weeks, Stanton could play RF and say, Ellsbury could DH. You could bring up a Billy McKinney or Jake Cave from the minors to be on the bench.

If Didi missed a couple of weeks for the same issue, Torreyes or maybe even Torres could play SS. You see what I am getting at. There is a dropoff, but it would not be too bad.

But if, say, something happened to Sanchez, the dropoff would be bigger. Behind Sanchez, there is Romine (who can’t hit, .220 career average, OPS+ just 54 {average is 100}), Higashioka (0 for 18 in his brief MLB time last year) and 37 year old Erik Kratz. Of the backups, Kratz has the most power potential in replacing Sanchez, who, as we know, has PLENTY of power.

Which is why I was kind of hoping that the Yanks would find another backup C this offseason. That dropoff from Sanchez to the backups is bigger than at other positions, I believe. And why I believe that Sanchez is actually the team’s most VALUABLE player right now.

Maybe something happens. I was kind of hoping that the Yanks could get an Alex Avila. Jonathan Lucroy is still on the market, but I am sure he (a starter elsewhere) wouldn’t sign just to become a backup playing 40 times a year.

No offense to Romine, but say Sanchez misses two months with an injury. Would you be comfortable with Romine and Higashioka as your catchers? I wouldn’t, and that is why, to me, Sanchez is the Yanks’ most VALUABLE player right now.

Luis Cessa has been tabbed to start the Yanks’ ST opener on Friday. The game is at 1 PM but will be shown on the MLB network at 8 PM.

One day after designating Jabari Blash for assignment to make room for Brandon Drury on the 40 man roster, the Yankees have traded Blash to the Angels for $$$$ or a player to be named later.

As for Drury, the Yanks now have Judge and Drury. Since there is the Judge’s Chambers in RF, if Drury, as expected, wins the 3B job, will there then be a “Drury Box” along the third base line?

$alary dump. Yanks trade Headley and Mitchell to SD.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees created more salary cap space by trading Chase Headley and Bryan Mitchell to SD for OF Jabari Blash.

Blash, 28, a righty bat, has played in 99 MLB games, going .200-8-21, OPS+ 79. Don’t expect him in the bigs as he is behind Judge, Stanton, Hicks, Gardner and Ellsbury, not to mention Clint Frazier and Billy McKinney.

This was a move to free up $$. Headley hit .273-12-61 with the Yanks in 2017, OPS + 100 (league average). In three full and another part of a fourth year with the Yanks, his OPS+ was 96, a tick below league average. In the last four years, he’s averaged .257-12-56, OPS+ 95, a tick below league average.

Now that the Yanks have dealt Castro and Headley, there are holes at 2B and 3B. Do the Yankees now bring back Todd Frazier?

Or do they take the $$ saved in dealing Castro and Headley and use it all on pitching?

They can go strictly “Minimum Wage” and use Gleyber Torres at 2B and Miguel Andujar at 3B. Two rookies, if they don’t want to go after Todd Frazier.

Rumors are they are kicking the tires on Manny Machado. I don’t see it happening. Machado is a free agent after 2018 and could cost a boatload of prospects. It’s also rumored he wants to leave 3B and go back to SS. That isn’t happening with the Yankees, not with Didi at SS.

But something is brewing. Whether it be 3B, 2B or a starting pitcher. More moves are coming.

The Yanks are said to be interested in the Tigers’ Michael Fulmer (2016 ROY), Partick Corbin of Arizona and Danny Duffy of KC, in addition to the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole.

CC, of course could be coming back, too.

As for Bryan Mitchell, I had a gut feeling he would be dealt this offseason and I feel the same way about Luis Cessa. There are just younger players with greater upside who are passing these guys by. In 48 games as a Yankee, Mitchell was 2-6, 4.94.


Ohtani turns down Yanks.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Shohei Ohtani has told the Yanks not to bother sending out a contingent to meet with him face to face.

Apparently he wants a small market, West Coast team.

You can presume that eliminates the Dodgers and Angels as well. I am thinking Seattle, here.

Hey, it is a loss, but if someone doesn’t want to play in NY, then don’t pursue him. No more Randy Johnson’s here, OK?

As the saying goes, if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. If you feel you can’t handle NY, then best the Yankees NOT sign you.

Granted, he is a talent, but….

So the Yankees move on. No Ohtani. So as far as filling out the rotation goes, there are still options.

Re-sign CC to a 1-yr. deal (he is 38 next summer). NO to a 2-yr. deal.

Sign Alex Cobb.

Sign Lance Lynn.

Sign none of the above and trust that Chance Adams is ready.

I hear about Bryan Mitchell as a #5 starter. I just don’t have faith in that, and think Mitchell will be moved. Just a gut feeling. I also don’t have faith in Luis Cessa there.

But a disappointment. But now to move on and fill out the rotation.

I don’t see Darvish or Arrietta. The Yanks want to get under the cap. Darvish and Arrietta won’t help them do that.