Tag Archives: Flaherty

Game 41. 10-run inning dooms Yanks, 12-7.

Lately, it seems like every move Aaron Boone is making is backfiring on him.

Especially when it comes to the bullpen.

Right now, Brian Cashman is with the team, and after last night’s 12-7 loss, I wouldn’t be surprised if heads roll after this season.

Watching part of the YES postgame show, it seemed like ex-Yankee and current YES broadcaster John Flaherty had a couple of criticisms, and was more critical than normal.

In the line of fire would be pitching coach Matt Blake, bullpen coach Mike Harkey and even manager Boone himself.

Blake had no coaching experience before getting the pitching coach job this year and was a bit of a surprise choice to replace the fired Larry Rothschild (now with SD).

You may argue that maybe going with David Cone, who interviewed for the job, may have been a better choice.

I wonder if the Yankees need to take a good, hard look at how their pitching philosophy has or hasn’t worked lately. One reason they have been coming up short has been their rotation. Just getting Cole may be like putting a band-aid on what seems to be a bigger problem.

When you lose 14 of 19, and have free-falled your way into clinging to the 8th and last playoff spot (and that spot is only there because of the virus of 2020), you can expect fans not to be happy on Twitter. And, it appears, there isn’t much happiness on the YES postgame show or in the front office. I would guess Hal isn’t too happy either.

Injuries are one thing, but bad play is another.

If ever there is a time for a good ripping into a team to wake them up, now is the time.

The Yanks (21-20) took a 6-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth, only to see Chad Green and Adam Ottavino give up 10 runs in what turned out to be a 12-7 loss.

Flaherty, on the postgame show, wondered why Boone stayed with Ottavino (who didn’t record an out, all six batters scoring) so long. He also criticized Boone’s body language during the inning. Just an observation, but Flaherty’s words sounded like someone angling for Boone’s job. They were quite critical, and you may add, harsh.

But this was really bad. It’s one thing to lose 14 of 19 in a 162 game season, but in a 60 game season? We’re talking 1/3 of the season here.

The Yanks got back-to-back HR from Luke Voit (14) and Aaron Hicks (4) in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead.

But as has been their wont lately, the Yankees’ pitchers, Jordan Montgomery in this instance, gave runs right back, and Montgomery joined the cast of Yankees’ starters not giving any length, thus putting more pressure on a failing bullpen.

Montgomery gave up a run in the first, another in the second, and the game was tied.

The Yanks got a run in the fourth when Miguel Andujar hit his first HR of the season. 3-2 Yanks.

In the fifth, with one out, D.J. LeMahieu and Luke Voit both singled, and with two out, Clint Frazier’s double scored two runs. 5-2, Yanks.

A bases-loaded walk to Hicks in the top of the sixth made it 6-2.

Then the roof fell in, as Green and Ottavino gave up ten runs in the bottom of the sixth. The final indignity came when Ottavino gave up a grand slam. The bottom of the sixth lasted 43 minutes and took up 67 pitches.

I have wondered about pitch selection a lot lately. In checking out the game on MLB’s gameday, I had to shake my head when, during a 9 or 10 pitch at bat (which resulted in Luke Voit making an error), Green threw nothing but fastballs. Really? Eventually the batter will time the fastball, especially after seeing nine or ten in a row.

There is a difference between pitching and throwing. Yes, there was criticism of that in Twitterworld, and I think, on the YES postgame show as well (I’m not too sure about YES, but YES was a bit critical last evening, and rightfully so).

The Yankees’ defense, suspect lately, made two more errors. Nothing is going right.

The Yanks got a run in the top of the ninth on an RBI groundout by Andujar.

But this game signified “just when you think things can’t get worse…”

Something’s gonna happen. It has to. This can’t continue.

Because the Yanks are close to missing out on the playoffs entirely.

Voit 2 hits, solo HR (14)
Hicks solo HR (4), 2 RBI
Frazier 2 hits, 2 RBI
Andujar solo HR (1), 2 RBI

Montgomery 3 1/3 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 2 W, 1 K. 5.72
Holder 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.25
Green 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. 4.26
Ottavino (L, 2-3; BS, 3; 7.82) 0 IP, 6 R, 4 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up grand slam.

Cessa 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.81
Schmidt 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 2 K. 7.71

Game 116. Yanks’ winning streak ends in 8-2 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before the game, the Yanks made a minor league deal (those are still allowed after the deadline) getting Joe Mantiply from the Reds for cash considerations. Mantiply, 28, LHP, pitched in five games for the Tigers in 2016, going 0-0, 16.88. He actually was in the Yanks’ minor league system in 2017, going 6-5, 2.83 for SWB (6 starts, 29 relief appearances). He was 1-0, 4.15 for the Reds’ AA/AAA teams in 19 relief appearances this year. He’ll be going to AAA.

Good news on Luis Severino. He threw off a mound and felt great. It looks like the Yanks could get him back in September. But would it be for only two or three outings before the postseason? Would that be enough? More on that later after this game report. (Also, in a separate minor league report, good news on Jonathan Loaisiga Friday night).

On Firday, Yanks’ GM Brian Cashman had a scare, being mistaken for a car thief. He was stopped—at gunpoint—by as many as nine officers in CT.

Per ESPN:

Cashman, 52, said in an interview with the New York Post that his white Jeep Wrangler had been stolen and returned to him but that the New York City police had not cleared the vehicle from its stolen-car database.

Luckily, things didn’t escalate or get mistaken into anything tragic.

Now for the game. Good point made by John Flaherty on YES about holding umpires accountable. Players have to face the media after a bad performance and answer questions, not so umpires. Players get suspended and/or fined, umpires should too. Because the umpiring last night was bad.

Brett Gardner got tossed from the game by the home plate umpire who A) didn’t give a warning first, and B) wasn’t even looking in the dugout to see who was getting on him, thus ejecting the wrong person. How do you eject someone without seeing and making sure you are ejecting the right individual? Gardner says he didn’t say anything or do anything to get ejected, and when he came out to vociferously argue, was lied to by that home plate umpire. As a result, Aaron Judge, who was supposed to get the night off, had to play. Of course, after the game there is no media questioning the umpire. HE isn’t held accountable. If Gardner faces a fine or ejection, that would make this even more of a travesty. MLB needs to hold more bad umpires (like Angel Hernandez, even though this time it wasn’t him) accountable by fining or suspending them. They probably won’t though. It’s  a joke how they let some really bad umpiring slide. This wasn’t all. There was a really bad call later in the game.

As far as strike zones, MLB has to tell the umpires off on that. You can’t have “your” strike zone and call it the same way on a 6’7″ player like Aaron Judge the same way you do on a 5’9″ player. How many times do we see strikes called on Judge that are below his knees because he is 6’7″? But the umps don’t adjust to his height as they should. Ridiculous.

Umpires need to face the same criticism and meet the same standards and receive the same penalties as the players. Start cracking down on bad umpiring, MLB.

As for the game, well, those bad decisions didn’t cost the Yanks the game, bad pitching by J.A. Happ did. Unfortunately, Happ, who was so good for the Yanks after the Yanks traded for him last year (until Game 1 of the ALDS), has turned into this season’s “Sonny Gray”. What is worrisome is that he has a contract for next year for another $17MM and a vesting option for 2021 for another $17MM that kicks in with 27 starts or 165 IP in 2020. If Happ, who turns 37 in mid-October, is falling off the cliff per se, then the Yanks have a problem. I don’t know if he has a no-trade clause. But right now, would you trust him on the postseason roster? I wouldn’t. Would you look into dealing him after the season (and probably having to eat a lot of his contract)? I would.

Happ only gave up four hits in 5 IP, but three were HR as he was plagued by the gopher ball again. Those resulted in six runs. We can only hope for improvement, but it looks like a lost season for him. We’ll see if it is the start of the end for his career as well.

He has to improve, that is for sure.

Things got off to a bad start when Happ gave up a 2-run HR in the first and a solo HR in the second. Yanks down 3-0 after two innings, already.

In the top of the fourth, immediately after the fiasco with the umpire that got Gardner ejected, Mike Tauchman homered (12) to cut it to 3-1. Boy, is Tauchman hot.

But Happ gave up a 3-run HR in the bottom of the fourth that made it 6-1 and basically ended the Yanks’ (76-40) chances for a win in this one. Oh well, you can’t win them all and the loss snapped a nine-game winning streak.

Tampa Bay won, so the Yanks’ lead in the AL East was cut to 9 1/2.

Mike Ford homered (3) in the seventh to make it 6-2, but Tommy Kahnle gave up a 2-run HR in the eighth. Final score 8-2 Toronto.

LeMahieu 2 hits,  .340
Maybin 0 for 4, Golden Sombrero 4 strikeouts, should have had a hit. Bad call.
Tauchman 2 hits, solo HR (12)  .301
Ford solo HR (3)

Happ (L, 9-7, 5.48) 5 IP, 6 R, 4 H, 3 W, 4 K.  Gave up 3 HR.
Cortes, Jr.  2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.  4.18
Kahnle 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K.  3.04   Gave up 1 HR.

You wonder how much of an “opener” the Yanks could use in the postseason. Could Severino AND Loiasiga be used in such a fashion because of just coming off the IL in September? Could German be (because of an innings limit) used as the guy AFTER the “opener” ? There will be very interesting decisions made in a month because, even with the great record the Yanks have right now, you can’t be comfortable with what you are getting from the starters right now, especially Tanaka, Happ and even CC.

Especially if they are going up against Greinke, Verlander and Cole.

Over the next few weeks, here’s hoping the rotation can step it up and alleviate my concerns.

 

 

Yankees news: Silver Sluggers. Boone mgr. candidate? AFL. Another A-Rod endorsement.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Congratulations to Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, recipients of the Silver Slugger Awards at their positions.

Another player has endorsed A-Rod for Yankees’ manager: Carlos Beltran.

Here is the problem I have with A-Rod.

Back in the 1930s, Babe Ruth wanted to manage. The line teams gave on Babe Ruth was this: “if he can’t manage himself, how will he manage a team?”

The same applies to A-Rod. Suspended for a full year because of steroids, if he couldn’t manage his own affairs, how could he manage a a team?

Despite recommendations from CC and Carlos Beltran, how do they defend that question?

Besides, I don’t believe that all of A-Rod’s outside interests (including J-Lo) would permit him to manage the Yankees.

Apparently Rob Thomson had a five-hour interview with the Yanks about becoming their next manager.

Besides David Cone and John Flaherty being interested in the job, another interesting name has developed.

Aaron Boone.

Now Boone has a lot of baseball pedigree, and not only as ESPN’s voice on ball games the past few seasons. He fits as a younger manager, just 44.

The bane of Red Sox Nation since his HR to end the 2003 ALCS has a grandpa (Ray Boone) who was a 2x All-Star in the 1950s who led the AL in 1955 in RBI.

His dad, Bob, was a top-notch catcher in the 1970s and 1980s for the Phillies and Angels and who managed for a few years. Bob was a 4x All-Star, and 7x Gold Glove C who could work with Sanchez. Could Bob, even though he will be 70 soon, be a bench coach for his son and work with Sanchez?

Aaron Boone’s brother Bret was a MLB star.

In the AFL, Yankees’ prospects: (Scottsdale lost, 7-6):

SS Kyle Holder, 0 for 4, walked, Scored a run
LF Billy McKinney 1 for 3, walked 3 x.

 

 

Yanks interview Thomson; CC endorses A-Rod, Cone & Flaherty interested.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks’ search for a new manager really began today.  Interviews have begun.

The first person interviewed was bench coach Rob Thomson.

Meanwhile, two YES broadcasters expressed their interest in the job opening, and they are David Cone and John Flaherty.

CC, meanwhile, said that he thinks A-Rod would be a good manager, but A-Rod isn’t interested as of yet, because of too many outside happenings (J-Lo being one, LOL).

No Arizona Fall League action tonight.

A top Red Sox prospect died of complications from cancer surgery. Only 17. Sad.

The Players Choice Awards were announced on MLB network tonight.

Either league

Player of the Year: Jose Altuve (Astros)
Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Anthony Rizzo (Cubs)
Majestic Athletic Always Game Award: Nolan Arenado (Rockies)

American League

Outstanding Player: Jose Altuve (Astros)
Outstanding Pitcher: Corey Kluber (Indians)
Outstanding Rookie: Aaron Judge (Yankees)
Comeback Player: Mike Moustakas (Royals)

National League

Outstanding Player: Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins)
Outstanding Pitcher: Max Scherzer (Nationals)
Outstanding Rookie: Cody Bellinger (Dodgers)
Comeback Player: Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals)

 

 

Tanaka stays, doesn’t Opt-out. Ausmus? Flaherty?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

One big question mark about the Yankees’ offseason was answered yesterday.

Most likely, they will NOT have to shop for a starting pitcher.

Masahiro Tanaka has decided NOT to exercise his opt-out, and will stay with the Yankees for the next 3 years at $67MM.

It is quite possible that he figured he can’t get a better deal elsewhere. He has had the partial UCL tear for a while that he’s been pitching with, and it is a ticking time bomb that could require Tommy John surgery down the road.

Even though he had a great postseason (2-1, only 2 ER in 20 IP), Tanaka’s regular season was the worst of his career, 13-12, 4.74, ERA+ 95.

In his four seasons with the Yanks, he has averaged 13-7, 3.56, ERA+ 118. The elbow and various other injuries have limited him to an average of 26 starts per season, so he’s missed about 5-6 starts per season on the average.

But still, solid. You hope the elbow holds up and that he has a bounce-back year.

The Yanks’ starting rotation is pretty much set for next season: Severino, Gray, Tanaka and Montgomery.

The question now is #5. Do you bring CC Sabathia (a free agent) back, and at what price? CC is 37 and would turn 38 in the middle of next year. Do you only offer a one-year deal when he may be looking for two? Do you cut his salary in half, from $25MM to $12MM?

Or do you continue the youth movement, thank CC for his service, and move on to a youngster like Chance Adams or Justus Sheffield?

The Yanks could also move on from CC by trading someone like Dellin Betances, who had trouble and was unreliable down the stretch and in the postseason, for a starting pitcher. They then could “groom” a youngster like Adams or Sheffield (and there are more coming, like Albert Abreu,  Domingo Acevedo and Domingo German) to be in the bullpen first before becoming a starter.

They could also move someone like Chad Green or Adam Warren to the rotation, but I don’t see that happening. The bullpen, with Green, Warren, Kahnle, Robertson, Chapman and maybe Betances (if he isn’t traded) is such a strength.

We’ll see what happens with CC next. But a good start. Tanaka back, don’t have to shop for a starter like Darvish (who flopped in the WS) or Arrietta.

As for manager, one scout predicts that Brad Ausmus, recently fired by the Tigers, will wind up the Yankees manager. Ausmus was once a Yankees’ prospect who was lost in the expansion draft.

Ausmus, like Girardi, was a catcher who was mostly known for his defense and who was an OK hitter without much power. From 1993-2010, he played for the Padres, Tigers, Astros, Tigers again, Astros again, and Dodgers. His average year was about .251-5-40. OPS+75. A 1x All-Star, 3x Gold Glove. He played in 35 postseason games, all with Houston. .245-3-7.  He was their starting catcher when the Astros lost the 2005 WS. He fits the young manager the Yanks may be looking for, since he is just 48 years old.

He managed the Tigers the last four seasons, going 314-332. In his first year managing Detroit, he won 90 games and the division title, but they were swept by Baltimore in the ALDS. Since then, 74, 86 and 64 wins. The Tigers got old, had a fire sale (got rid of Avila, Verlander, J.D. Martinez) and their farm system stinks. Maybe with the Yanks he has something better to work with. Like Girardi, and Torre before him, a catcher with managerial experience elsewhere who now settles into the Bronx, where he has better talent to work with.

Another possible candidate could be YES broadcaster John Flaherty. It is rumored that he would like to manage. Flaherty, through his YES work, knows the team. Another former catcher, Flaherty is 50. A big leaguer from 1992-2005 (the last three years as Posada’s backup with the Yankees), Flaherty’s average season if he caught 104 or 105 games would be .252-8-40. OPS+ 74. He played for Boston, Detroit, San Diego, Tampa Bay and the Yankees. He made the playoffs with the Padres and Yankees.

But would Cashman choose someone with no managerial experience?

In the Arizona Fall League, Billy McKinney joins Thairo Estrada and Justus Sheffield on the All-Star Team. Scottsdale won Friday night 3-0 on a one-hitter. Yankees’ prospects:

CF Estevan Florial 2 for 5, .300
1B Billy McKinney 1 for 3, RBI, .311
SS Thairo Estrada 2 for 4, .353

 

 

Game 120. Sanchez HRs again, but Yanks lose 7-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Gary Sanchez homered again (5) but the Yanks lost Wednesday afternoon to Toronto, 7-4. They are off Thursday and now head out to the West Coast.

The Yanks fall to 61-59.

CC Sabathia struck out 12, but gave up all 7 runs.

CC gave up 3 runs in the second. Sanchez cut it to 3-1 in the bottom of the second, and a HR by Starlin Castro in the fourth (15) cut it to 3-2.

But CC gave up 4 runs in the fifth, and that doomed the Yanks. Melvin Upton hit a 3-run HR for the Blue Jays.

Chase Headley’s 11th HR of the year made it 7-3 in the sixth, and Aaron Judge’s RBI single in the eighth made it the final margin of 7-4.

Sanchez and Judge were moved up in the lineup after their impressive beginnings. Sanchez hit cleanup with Judge fifth.

It looks like Sanchez has already supplanted Brian McCann as the catcher. McCann does have 2 years and $34MM left on his deal. When asked about it, McCann was quiet for a while, but then stated that Sanchez was a stud who will be an All-Star for years to come, and who was the best young catcher he has seen since coming to the majors. Nice praise. I also heard John Flaherty of YES, a former catcher himself, praise Sanchez.

What this means for McCann going forward, who knows? Talks between the Braves and Yanks regarding a possible trade fell though. Will Sanchez be the regular catcher in 2017? Will McCann be the DH in 2017? Do the Yanks think Sanchez and Romine is a good enough catching tandem to trade McCann, probably for pitching (especially with Eovaldi out all next year)? Time will tell, but this will be an interesting watch.

As for free agency in the off season, don’t expect much. There is not a good list of free agents out there to sign.

Chasen Shreve was sent down for Kirby Yates.

Sabathia (L, 7-10, 4.49) 6 IP, 7 R, 9 H, 1 walk, 12 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Yates 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 5.52
Layne 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 2 K. 3.82 (Bos/NYY)
Swarzak 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walk 1 K. 6.00.

Combined, the Yanks struck out 16 Blue Jays in the loss.