Tag Archives: Cole

Yanks sign LeMahieu, means probably out on Machado.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks most likely are out on Manny Machado after they signed D.J. LeMahieu to a 2 yr., $24MM deal today.

With the acquisition, the Yanks now have Voit, Bird, Torres, LeMahieu, Tulowitzki, Andujar and Wade for the infield, and I would guess that Wade (and perhaps Bird) would be starting the year at AAA.

That is seven infielders, meaning no room for Machado unless someone goes.

LeMahieu is 30, and yet another righty bat on a team needing lefty balance. Oh well, he does go to the opposite field a lot. In 2018, he hit .276-15-62, OPS+ 88. He won the batting title in 2016, when he led the majors with a .348 mark and finished 15th in MVP voting. For his career, his 162 g. average is .298-8-59, OPS+ 92.

His numbers, however, are skewed by playing for Colorado. He is a .330 hitter at Colorado but a .264 hitter on the road.

So I wouldn’t expect his bat to equal what he did for Colorado.

The Yanks, however, didn’t get him for his bat. That would be a bonus.

They got him for his glove. LeMahieu, a 2x All-Star, has won 3 Gold Glove awards. Primarily a second baseman, he can also fill in at the other infield spots.

The Yanks can use him as a utility infielder. Also, if the recently acquired Troy Tulowitzki cannot cut it as the starting SS, the Yanks can slide Gleyber Torres over to SS and start LeMahieu at 2B. Remember that Tulo missed all of 2018 and only played in 66 games in 2017. Tulo, a 5x All-Star, has 2 Gold Gloves of his own.

So an infield that has the defensively challenged Voit and Andujar got defensive stalwarts in Tulowitzki and LeMahieu, even if neither Tulo nor LeMahieu match the offensive numbers they put up in Colorado.

And we don’t know at what point in the season we get Didi and his lefty bat back.

With the firepower the Yanks have offensively, these moves for Tulo and LeMahieu were based on defense first, and anything they give offensively (and it could be a lot) is a bonus.

In making the signing of Zach Britton official today, the Yanks DFA’d Hanser Alberto, and he was immediately claimed by the Orioles.

A.J. Cole, DFA’d just the other day by the Yanks, was claimed by Cleveland.

Aaron Hicks agreed to a $6MM deal for 2019, and Austin Romine to a $1.8MM deal.

For Dellin Betances, $7.25MM.

The Yanks signed a couple of guys to minor league deals. Drew Hutchison and Matt Lipka.

Hutchison, 28, is a RHP who went 2-2, 6.75 for the Phils and Rangers in 2018. For his career, he is 32-23, 5.10, ERA+ 79. His 162 g. average is 12-9, 5.10 (38 games, 30 starts). As a starter for Toronto in 2014 and 2015, he went 11-13 and 13-5 but his ERAs were 4.48 and 5.57. He provides some pitching depth.

Lipka is 26, and an OF/SS who hit .240-4-30 with 21 SB at AA in 2018.

 

 

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Yanks sign Tulo and to make room, DFA Cole

Yankee Stadium Frieze

To make room on the roster for Troy Tulowitzki, the Yanks designated A.J. Cole for assignment.

Cole was 3-1, 4.26 in 28 games of relief for the Yanks in 2018. For the entire 2018 season, Washington and Yankees combined, he was 4-2, 6.14 (he was quite awful for Washington in two starts and two relief appearances before the Yanks got him).

Not a good birthday present for Cole, who turns 27 tomorrow.

Cole has started 19 games in his MLB career, and has relieved in 35 more. He is 8-9 with an ERA of 5.05 (ERA+ 87).

 

Game 162. Yanks fall, 10-2, finish 100-62. Wild Card game next.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks lost the season finale, 10-2, to finish the season at 100-62, 2nd in the AL East, 8 behind Boston. They now prepare for the sudden death wild card game at the Stadium on Wednesday night vs. the 97 win A’s.

Not a good day for a tweener, Cessa, or two rookies in Loaisiga and Sheffield.

Luke Voit got two of the Yanks’ four hits, and his 2-run HR (15, 14 as a Yankee) accounted for both of the Yankees’ runs. So the record is 267 HR in a season by one team, the 2018 Yankees.

The Yanks made 3 errors in this game.

Miguel Andujar got his 47th double of the season tying Fred Lynn’s record for most by an AL rookie.

Gary Sanchez finished at .186, the lowest batting average in Yankees’ history for someone with, say, 300 plate appearances.  1970 Jerry Kenney was the previous low.

Cessa (L, 1-4, 5.24) 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Robertson 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  3.23
Loaisiga 2 IP, 3 R, 0 ER,  4 H, 0 W, 2 K. gave up 1 HR.   5.11
Sheffield 1 1P, 3 R, 2 H, 2 W, 0 K.  Gave up 1 HR.  10.13
Tarpley 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 4 K.  3.00
Cole 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.  6.14 (Wash/NYY)
Adams  1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  7.04

 

Game 155. Yanks lose, A’s lose, but do Yanks lose Didi for the year?

 

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Oakland lost to Minnesota, meaning the Yanks’ magic # to secure the wild card game at home is reduced to 5 (Yanks hold the tiebreaker).

Meaning that today COULD have been the Yanks’ last game at Yankee Stadium for 2018 if they lose the wild card advantage to Oakland, travel to Oakland and lose the WC card game out there.

The Yanks, (95-60), blew at game to Baltimore (of all teams), 6-3, to ensure that the magic # was not reduced further.

The Yanks also found out, that in scoring the winning run of yesterday’s game, a run that ensured a playoff berth, that Didi Gregorius, in scoring the run, tore cartillage in his wrist that may end his season.

I have had no problems with Boone’s managing for most of this season. This month of September is different. Reliance on guys like Cole and Kahnle. If you couldn’t rely on them May-August, why the hell rely on them now?

The Yanks got three in the first, and then basically s**t the bed with the offense from there out, doing nothing after the first inning. Three walks (Baltimore starter Alex Cobb, because of injury, was pulled in the middle of facing the first batter), then a SF by Torres. Andujar singled in a run. With two out, Sanchez singled in a run. 3-0 Yanks and they didn’t do a damned thing after that.

J.A. Happ gave up a run in the second on a HR.

But after 5, his pitch count was up so he was replaced.

Excuse me, Boone. You still need to win this game because Oakland is breathing down your throat. You replace Happ with A.J. Cole? Cole isn’t that good. It is only a two run lead. Then you replace him with Kahnle, who also has stunk this year.

Cole gives up a double and back-to-back homers. Lead and game lost. Now Boone brings in Kahnle, who gives up a double, groundout that moved the runner up, and a SF. 4 runs. Ballgame over as Baltimore takes a 5-3 lead (they would get another run off Cessa and win 6-3).

No offense after the first inning. Going to Cole and Kahnle when you need to win and hold off the A’s.

The Yanks got only 4 hits in the game.

I’ve defended Boone and have thought he has done a decent job, but the last three weeks? Ugh.

Thankfully, the Yanks magic # to secure the home field for the wild card game was reduced to 5 because Minnesota beat Oakland today.

On top of all that, the Yanks received really bad news, as mentioned earlier. In scoring the winning run yesterday that secured a playoff berth for the Yankees, Didi Gregorius tore cartillage in his wrist. He had a cortisone shot but could be lost for the year. Oy Vey.

Also, Boone has apparently committed to Sanchez to start the wild card game. We all hope that Sanchez could do what he is capable of doing—-a 2 HR, 5 RBI game. But Sanchez is hitting .182 now. The fear is that in that game, he goes 0 for 4, strikes out twice, hits into a DP, and even worse, commits a PB that ends the Yankees’ season.

Boone’s faith in some guys is going a bit too far. (Cole, Sanchez, Kahnle, Bird, Gardner). You have to realize that at some point, this is a lost year for some guys and cut the cord for the year on them (and in some cases, cut the cord forever).

Andujar 2 hits, RBI.

Happ 5 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 7 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.57 (Tor/NYY) Set up for WC start 10/3.
Cole (BS, 1; L, 4-2, 6.32 Wash/NYY) 0 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Kahnle 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  6.86
Cessa 3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 3 K.   4.79.

On Friday, Cole came in and in 1/3 of an inning, gave up 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K. and a HR.

Now today, he couldn’t get anyone out. 0 R, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K.

So this weekend against the Orioles, 1/3 IP, 6 R, 5 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 3 HR.

Really, Boone?

With expanded rosters, I’d rather have seen Loaisiga, Adams or Sheffield there. Even Tarpley.

But not Cole or Kahnle.

 

 

Game 153. Yanks hold off O’s, stay 1 1/2 up on A’s for top wild card spot.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (94-59) got off to a 6-0 lead, and hung on to beat the Bad News Bears (um, the 44-109 Baltimore Orioles) Friday night, 10-8.

With the win, the Yanks remain 1 1/2 games ahead of Oakland for that top wild card spot and to have the one-game sudden-death wild card game played in the Bronx.

Magic Numbers: 7 over the A’s for the top wild card spot (because the Yanks own the tiebreaker). 2 over Tampa Bay for the bottom wild card spot.

Didi Gregorius hit his 27th HR to put the Yanks up 2-0 in the first inning.

They got four more in the fourth. Neil Walker doubled with one out, and Gleyber Torres singled him in. Torres stole second, went to third on a passed ball, and scored on an Austin Romine groundout. 4-0. Brett Gardner walked and Aaron Hicks homered (25) to make it 6-0. The Yanks now have 249 HR on the season, and are on pace to tie the all-time record of 264, set by the 1997 Seattle Mariners.

Hicks became the fifth Yankee this year to hit the 25 HR mark. Gleyber Torres needs two more to become the sixth.

Then, it seems, manager Aaron Boone got a little too cute in utilizing his bullpen and that could have cost the Yankees the game.

With two out, CC Sabathia gave up two runs in the fifth. 6-2.

In the seventh, Boone brought in Jonathan Loaisiga to replace CC. He immediately gave up a HR, 6-3. Single. Strikeout but a stolen base and an E2 on Romine put the runner on third. Zach Britton came in and gave up a single, 6-4, before getting out of the inning.

The Yanks came back with three in the bottom of the inning. Hicks singled, Judge walked and McCutchen singled in a run. Judge was out on a fielder’s choice, caught in a rundown which put runners on second and third with one out. Luke Voit then singled in two runs. 9-4.

Here is where Boone got a bit too cute and almost blew the game. Instead of leaving Britton in, Boone brought in Stephen Tarpley, who got a strikeout. Fine.

But instead of leaving Tarpley in after he faced one batter and struck him out, Boone now brings in A.J. Cole, who gives up a walk and a HR. 9-6.

Cole gets a pop up for the second out, then a bunt single. In comes David Robertson, who promptly gives up a 2-run HR before getting the last out of the inning. 9-8.

The Yanks got an insurance run in the eighth when with two out, Hicks singled and Aaron Judge doubled him home.

Dellin Betances closed it out in the ninth.

But that eighth inning was too close for comfort. Why remove Britton after just 2/3 and why remove Tarpley after just one batter?

The Yanks have to sweep Baltimore. With the A’s breathing down the Yanks’ throats and the Yanks having seven games at Tampa Bay and Boston to close the season, in order to ensure that the wild card game is played in the Bronx, sweeping the Orioles is almost an imperative.

Hicks 2 hits, scored 4 runs, 2 RBI, walked 2x. HR
Judge 2 hits, RBI
Gregorius 2 RBI, HR
Voit 2 RBI

Sabathia (W, 8-7, 3.77) 6 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 3 W, 5 K.  Career win #245.
Loaisiga 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.  5.82
Britton (H, 9) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.  3.35 (Balt/NYY)
Tarpley 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  5.40
Cole 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.  5.74 (Wash/NYY)
Robertson (H, 20) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.   2.93
Betances (S, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.69

Game 152. Boston clinches AL East, beating Yanks 11-6. Yanks lead over A’s 1.5 games.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It wasn’t a good night for the Yanks, who lost 11-6 to Boston as Boston clinched the AL East with the win.

Also, the A’s routed the Angels yesterday, so the Yanks’ (93-59) lead over the A’s for the top wild card spot is down to 1 1/2 games. The Yanks’ magic # over the A’s (since the Yanks hold the tiebreaker) is 8, and the Yanks magic # to make the playoffs is 3 over Tampa Bay, 2 over Seattle.

Masahiro Tanaka started and struggled, giving up a run in the first and two in the second.

Luke Voit cut Boston’s lead to 3-2 with a 2-run HR in the bottom of the second that set a couple of records. Voit became the 12th Yankee to hit 10 or more HR this season (it was his 11th HR, his 10th as a Yankee), and that set a MLB record for most players on a team with 10 or more. It also was the Yanks’ 246th HR of the season, setting a new team single season record.

But Boston came back with a run in the third. 4-2. Mookie Betts killed the Yanks in this game, getting 4 hits and driving in 5 runs.

In the fourth, Giancarlo Stanton hit a grand slam (his 35th HR) to put the Yanks up 6-4.

But Tanaka gave up a run in the fifth and the Yanks’ bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.

Up 6-5 in the seventh, the Yanks gave up 3 runs in the seventh and another 3 in the eighth to lose 11-6.

Ex-MLB pitching star and current broadcaster for the MLB network, Jim Kaat (who once pitched for the Yanks briefly) was critical, and rightly so, of some pitching decisions made by either the Yankees’ pitchers or by catcher Gary Sanchez.

Chad Green, who smoked batters in the sixth, gave up a game-tying HR to Jackie Bradley in the seventh on a changeup. Kaat pointed out that his fastball was electric, and that Green has thrown maybe 15 changeups all year long, and you should not get beat on what is, for Green, his third best pitch, and one that is a work in progress. Two more runs scored after this. 8-6 Boston.

The Yanks had to get Aroldis Chapman some work, since he just came off the DL, in order to get him ready for the playoffs, and some rust showed. He gave up a 3-run HR to Betts, 11-6. Once again, Kaat was critical because the HR came off a slider, and not Chapman’s vaunted fastball.

McCutchen 2 hits, 2 walks
Stanton grand slam
Gregorius 2 hits
Voit 2-run HR.

Tanaka 4+ IP, 5 R, 8 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.  3.67
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.81
Green (BS, 4; L, 8-3, 2.64) 1+ IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Betances 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.  2.73
Chapman 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.64 Gave up 1 HR.
Holder 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  3.02
Cole 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.  5.21 (Wash/NYY)
Tarpley 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.  5.79

 

Game 138. Yanks flat in 6-3 loss to A’s.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks need a wake-up call. There are a lot of questions about this team right now, and despite an 86-52 record, 2nd best in baseball, they are playing right now like a team that could be one and done in the playoffs.

They lost Monday afternoon to Oakland, their probable opponent in the sudden death wild card game, 6-3. They got just four hits. Remember they got only two in winning 2-1 on Saturday.

The first run came via a gift in the top of the first inning, when Andrew McCutchen singled, stole second and went to third on a throwing error. Aaron Hicks’ SF plated him.

Luke Voit homered in the second to tie the game after CC Sabathia gave up 3 runs, 2 earned (error by Andujar), in the bottom of the first. But that was it for the offense.

Why the Yanks continue to bat Gary Sanchez fourth or fifth in the lineup (as they did yesterday and today) despite his .184 batting average baffles me. When will they drop him? Of course we’ve seen stubbornness like this before in their patience with Neil Walker, despite his .223, and also in their seeming endless patience with .196 hitting Greg Bird (patience with them that may finally be running out thanks to Luke Voit). Not only patience with them, but also in batting them third or fifth despite those poor batting averages, just like they are still doing with Sanchez.

So the continuance of batting Sanchez in the middle, despite the .184 is one question. Another is what becomes of Brett Gardner after this season. Gardner, 35, is hitting .212 since June 9 and .237 on the season. The Yanks can bring him back for 2019 at $12.5 MM or buy out his option at $2 MM. Guess which one looks like the better play right now? The Yanks finally are starting to bat Gardner 9th vs. lefties.

With $21MM still owed Jacoby Ellsbury, the Yanks could just go with a Ellsbury/Clint Frazier platoon in LF next year (McCutchen is a free agent and probably will sign elsewhere).

Aaron Judge started swinging a bat. Progress. When he comes back, I think we may see a lot of a McCutchen/Gardner platoon in LF.

With CC, he is a free agent after the season. He may retire, but if he does want to come back, the Yanks have to decide whether they want to invest $10MM in someone 38—39 next July—who has that knee issue. Or is it time to go to a Justus Sheffield, Jonathan Loaisiga (see below) or Michael King (see the minor league report) instead?

Also, they never bunt runners over. Now with some guys you don’t bunt (like, for example, Judge and Stanton), but with others like Gardner or Torreyes? Only 9 sac bunts all year long, and none are by pitchers in those interleague games. Still, only 9.

Phil Rizzuto would have had 9 at the All-Star break all by himself.

Shows how the game has changed.

For the second straight game, a Yankees’ starter got knocked out in the fourth inning. CC gave up 3 runs in the first, one in the second, one more in the fourth. A.J. Cole gave up a HR in the fifth.

Voit 2-run HR (7th)

Sabathia (L, 7-6, 3.54) 3 1/3 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 7 H, 2 W, 4 K.
Cole 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K.  5.24 (Wash/NYY) Gave up 1 HR
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  2.62
Loaisiga 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K.    2.70

With the loss, the Yanks drop 8 1/2 back of Boston and the lead for the top wild card spot is down to 3 1/2 over the A’s. Beating the A’s Tuesday and Wednesday is paramount.

The Yanks are 3-5 in their last 8 games, but the 3 wins haven’t been easy. The comeback against Chicago (Walker HR), and a 2-1 win where they only got 2 hits are two of those 3 wins. They could be 1-7 in their last eight.

That is concerning. They have to start playing better baseball, or they could face playing the end of the regular season at Boston, and flying out to Oakland for that one-game playoff. Even if they win that, they then fly right back to Boston. Ugh.  Too much travel.

Start playing well, and ensure that the one-game playoff is at home.