Tag Archives: Gray

Game 118. Gray seals it, but Chapman almost unseals it in a 5-4 Yanks’ win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Pardons to Elton John for the headline.

The Yanks have a problem on their hands. That problem is Aroldis Chapman and a second problem may be Joe Girardi’s stubbornness right now.

Sonny Gray pitched well, six shutout innings before yielding a 2-run HR in the seventh. Still, the Yanks took a 5-2 lead into the ninth, when Chapman gave up a 2-run HR to make things shaky before the Yanks finished off the Mets 5-4.

Chapman is a problem right now. As I wrote a few days ago, the Yanks have three closers. They can go with the hot hand, something Girardi mentioned sarcastically a few days ago in saying “Chapman is my closer. What am I supposed to do, go with the hot hand?”

Yes, Joe, that is exactly what we want you to do. We also want you to leave relievers performing well in for more than one inning. For you almost blew another game tonight. 

The Yanks scored first, getting a run in the third on a Torreyes double, Gardner sac bunt and Hicks single. Good. Nice to see some littleball with the bunt there.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a 2-run HR (6) in the fourth to make it 3-0.

Gary Sanchez homered in the sixth (21) to make it 4-0. Gray gave up a 2-run HR in the seventh,  but the Yanks made it 5-2 in the eighth on a SF by Sanchez.

Then in came Chapman who almost blew the game. Why not leave Betances throw a second inning. Why not use Warren (Robertson could use the day off). But no, the “he’s my closer” stubbornness mentality almost cost the Yanks a ballgame.

You just knew when Chapman came in tonight that this wasn’t going to go smoothly.

Aaron Judge struck out for the 32nd straight game, tying a MLB record, but he did have a key double and then scored that fifth run.

Gray (W, 7-7, 3.37) 6+ IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Kahnle (H, 11) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.30. Threw just 10 pitches. What, he can’t go two?
Betances (H, 17) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.20. Threw 19 pitches. He couldn’t go two?
Chapman (S, 16) 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.89. That save rule is a joke.

Happy the Yanks won. Unhappy Girardi is so inflexible with his thinking.

UPDATE: Chapman was pretty down after the game. Not as confident as previously. It could be getting to him. On the final play, he appeared to tweak his hammy a bit.

Cessa went on the DL. Smith back up.

Game 113. Yanks blanked, 4-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

If the Yanks want to win the division, they better start thinking about sweeping the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium this weekend, because otherwise, the division is slipping away. To do that, the bats have to wake up.

Toronto blanked the Yanks 4-0 Thursday night to drop the Yanks to 60-53, 4 1/2 games behind Boston. The Yanks still have the top wild card spot right now.

Sonny Gray is now 0-2, 3.00 as a Yankee, and in both he games received little to no run support as well as suffered defensive miscues. In this game, the defensive miscue was done by Gray himself.

In the second, a wild throw on a pickoff attempt by Gray, and a fielder’s choice by Gray in which the runner scored and the batter still reached, enabled Toronto to score the only run they’d need. Toronto also nicked Gray for runs in the third and fourth.

Jose Bautista homered in the seventh off of Chasen Shreve to make it 4-0.

Aaron Judge has struck out in 27 consecutive games. I wouldn’t mind so much the swinging strikeouts, but the called ones…. swing the bat, Aaron!

The Yanks were 0 for 9 w/RISP.

Clint Frazier was put on the DL. Aaron Hicks was brought back off the DL.

The Yanks have tried to get help. They inquired about Lucas Duda and Jay Bruce from the Mets but the Mets sent Duda to the Rays, Bruce to the Indians, and both for what it seems are inferior packages to what the Yanks offered. Perhaps the Mets are gun-shy about having one of their players do well for the cross-town team.

It looks like Derek Jeter’s bid to buy the Marlins is picking up some steam.

Gray (L, 6-7, 3.39) 6 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 4 W, 6 K.
Shreve 2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.84

Game 107. No support, offensively or defensively for Gray in Yanks’ 5-1 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Sonny Gray made his Yankees’ debut last night, and when your teammates make as many errors behind you in the first inning as they had hits all game long, that’s not good.

The Yanks made three errors in the first inning, leading to two unearned runs, and that was all Cleveland needed in beating the Yanks 5-1. The loss drops the Yanks to 57-50, two games behind Boston in the AL East. They currently have the top wild card spot. Tonight’s game marks the 2/3 point of the season.

The Yanks only managed three hits off of Corey Kluber, who pitched a complete game, striking out 11 Yanks. The Yanks’ only run came on a HR (17) by Gary Sanchez in the seventh.

The Indians had scored two runs off of Gray in the sixth, so Sanchez’ HR cut the lead to 4-1.

Cleveland got a HR by Francisco Lindor off of Chasen Shreve in the bottom of the seventh for the final score of 5-1.

The slumping Judge, Holliday and Todd Frazier were all given a rest against the tough Kluber, a former CYA winner. In their places were Romine, Ellsbury and Wade.

Gray (L, 6-6, 3.41) 6 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 W, 6 K.
Shreve 2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.83

Game 105. Tigers edge Yanks, 4-3.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

CC Sabathia gave up a 3-run HR in the second inning, a solo HR in the third, and Detroit held on to beat the Yankees 4-3 on Tuesday night.

All the Yankees’ runs came via Didi Gregorius. He hit a 2-run HR (17) in the fourth, and had an RBI single in the eighth inning.

The loss drops the 57-48 Yankees out of first place in the AL East. They are now 1/2 game behind Boston.

Wednesday’s game is an afternoon game.

Aaron Judge’s slump continues. Since the 4th of July, Judge is .192-6-12, with 34 strikeouts in 78 at bats. It has dropped his batting average from .329 to .299. Hopefully he adjusts and gets his second wind soon.

Gary Sanchez and Matt Holliday each had two hits.

Sabathia (L, 9-4, 3.81) 6 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 1 W, 3 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Warren 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1.97
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.68

Brett Gardner threw a runner out at the plate in the ninth.

Cessa was sent down for Holder recently, and Holder and Cooper were then sent down to make room for Gray and Garcia.

Yanks get Gray from A’s for three prospects.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Brian Cashman got the Yanks their ace in Sonny Gray. It went almost down to the wire, but the Yanks got Gray for three prospects.

So let’s reassess what Cashman has done in the past few weeks. He got rid of the struggling Tyler Clippard and a bunch of prospects (but not the top tier ones) for the following: brought back David Robertson. Got Tommy Kahnle. Got Todd Frazier for 3b (if only for two months, rental), enabling Chase Headley to move to 1B to solve the season long 1B problem. Got Jaime Garcia (if only for a 2 month rental) to fill the Pineda spot that was being filled by Mitchell/Cessa and rookie Caleb Smith. Upgrades all around.

Now he got an ace pitcher to top it off. I’d say Cashman definitely earned his money.

Gray is under team control through 2019. He isn’t a two-month rental like Garcia is. He’s 27, in his prime.

Two years ago, Gray was an All-Star who finished third in CYA voting.

He had a rough 2016, missing 1/3 of the year with an injury, but even with that, is 44-36 in his career with an ERA of 3.42, ERA+ 114 (100 is average, so 14% above). His 162 G. average is 13-11, 3.42. With that ERA his record should be better, and with this offense and this bullpen, I expect that to happen.

This year, he has been 6-5, 3.43. Even though he was just 5-11, 5.69 last season, the ERAs for the other seasons were all 3.08 or lower. Great.

He is an ace, and in picking him up, the Yanks gave up three prospects, and two of them are currently on the DL. Who knows how they recover from those injuries?

James Kaprielian. RHP. 23. Considered their #1 pitching prospect, he has been surpassed. He has missed all of the 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery. He missed almost all of 2016. Not counting the Arizona Fall League, he has pitched in only seven minor league games. He basically has hardly pitched in the last two seasons.

Dustin Fowler. OF Lefty hitter. 22. The poor kid who suffered a major injury in his first MLB inning before he got his first MLB at bat. With people like Clint Frazier and Aaron Judge ahead of him, the Yanks deemed him expendable. As I recently wrote, a pecking order. You may have a lot of talent, but if you are blocked by someone better….

2016 AA .281-12-88, 15 triples, 25 SB
2017 AAA .293-13-43, 13 SB, 8 triples, 70 g.

 

Jorge Mateo. 22. Once a top Yankees prospect at SS, he was passed on the pecking order by Gleyber Torres. Not only that, the Yanks have Didi and Castro at SS and 2B right now. The Yanks moved him to CF, and apparently he has been picking it up well, and has been playing well at AA, but the Yanks apparently like 19 year old Estevan Florial (compared to Adam Jones (5x all star, 4x Gold Glove) as far as ability) better. Florial is currently at Low A Charleston. As I mentioned, ….. pecking order. Not only that, who knows what happens with the free agent market in a few years. Could the CF of the future be Bryce Harper or Mike Trout?

Gray fits the now. He is just 27. Under team control for this year and the next two. Team him with the 23 year old Severino and you have a nice young 1-2 punch.

Now let’s say Tanaka regains his old form in 2018. He’d be 29.

CC is 37, and I’m not looking at him right now, nor Garcia who is a two-month rental, but Jordan Montgomery is just 24. And the Yanks still have Chance Adams, Domingo Acevedo and Justus Sheffield in the wings.

A young and hopefully good rotation. And with a bullpen featuring Chapman, Betances, Robertson, Kahnle, Green, Warren…. I am excited.

Severino and Montgomery are young, haven’t gone too many innings in a season and could be hitting a “wall” soon. The additions of Garcia and Gray guard against that.

Montgomery could be bullpen bound.

Cashman also traded prospect Yefri Ramirez to the Orioles for $$$ to be used against international signings.

So the Yanks get an ace. Granted they gave up three prospects. It wasn’t Torres, Frazier, Sheffield, Acevedo or Adams.

Two of those prospects are on the DL with major injuries and won’t be ready until 2018.

Great job, Cashman.

Game 103. Yanks’ six game winning streak ends. Playing chicken w/A’s?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

This is why the Yankees acquired Jamie Garcia this morning.

Even though Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino have done well, neither has pitched, say, 200 innings in a season before. The Yankees therefore, are worried about both “Hitting the Wall” in the months of August and September.

Yesterday, Caleb Smith was knocked out in the fourth inning. Today, Jordan Montgomery was knocked out in the third. You can’t have that, no matter how good your bullpen is. You’ll burn out that bullpen.

As of now, no deal for Sonny Gray. The trade deadline (non/waivers) is 4 PM tomorrow, Monday. It appears as if the Yanks and A’s are playing a game of “chicken.”

As for today, the Yanks had chances to extend their six game winning streak but fell short. Aaron Judge, since the All-Star Game, is slumping. He’s dropped 30 points off the batting average. He is so strong that he can hit HRs the other way. Stop pulling off the ball, concentrate on hitting the ball the other way or up the middle and the HRs will return.

Matt Holliday is down to .234 with his slump.

The only offensive threat the Yanks had today as from the “Mighty Mite”, Ronald Torreyes. He had two of their four hits and all three RBI.

Montgomery gave up a run in the top of the first.

Torreyes hit a 2-run HR (3) to put the Yanks up 2-1 after two.

Montgomery got knocked out in the third when the Rays scored three to go up 4-2.

In the fourth, Todd Frazier walked and Torreyes doubled him home. 4-3.

Tampa Bay got an insurance run in the 8th, 5-3.

Clint Frazier made a nice defensive play at the start of the game.

The Yanks caught a break with Austin Romine. He had a rough day, taking a foul tip off of the throat protector, catching the backswing off an at bat,  and getting a bruised hand off an HBP. He’s banged up.

The Yanks were 1 for 11 w/RISP today.

Boston lost, so the Yanks (56-47) remain in first by 1/2 a game.

Detroit, Justin Verlander (if he isn’t dealt) and his fiancee, Kate Upton, are next.

Don’t expect Verlander to go to the Yanks, unless the Tigers want to assume some of Jacoby Ellsbury’s $alary in return.

Montgomery (L, 7-6, 4.15) 2 2/3 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 2 W, 5 K.
Cessa 3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 4 w, 4 K. 4.83
Shreve 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.70
Green 2 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 6 K. 1.83.

The Yanks lost despite striking out 16 Rays.

Here is a question. Is it me, or does it seem that Luis Cessa works better out of the bullpen as a long man than as a starter? I believe that’s the case. If so, maximize his potential. Forget about him a starter. Concentrate on him as a long man, as you do with Green and Warren.

Moves. Before the game, Shreve up from SWB, Smith sent down.

After the game, Cessa sent down. I believe this is to make room for the recently acquired Jamie Garcia.

 

Yanks deal 2 minor league pitchers to Twins for Jaime Garcia.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

With the loss of Michael Pineda to Tommy John surgery, the Yanks have been plugging the gap with the likes of Bryan Mitchell, Luis Cessa and lately Caleb Smith.

No disrespect intended to those three, but the Yanks upgraded that spot today by dealing two minor league pitchers to the Twins for Jaime Garcia.

Garcia is a lefty (good for Yankee Stadium) and a rental. He is a free agent at the end of the year, and a solid mid-to end of the rotation piece. Not an ace, but definitely an upgrade over the Mitchell/Cessa/Smith trio.

He just turned 31, and was 3rd in ROY voting in 2010. He’s already had a couple of 13 win seasons. He won a WS ring as a member of the 2011 WS Champion Cardinals, so he has postseason experience.

He went 13-7, 3.56 for St. Louis in that WS Championship season.

Between the Braves and Twins this year, he was 5-7, 4.29, ERA+ 101. Average (an average ERA+ is 100). For his career, he is 67-52, 3.65. His 162 g. average is 13-10, 3.65, ERA+ 108. So a little better than an average pitcher.

He missed large portions of 2013 and 2014.

In seven postseason starts, Garcia is 0-3, 3.94 ERA.

He has been averaging 6 1/3 innings per start this season. That is huge with the Yankees’ bullpen of Warren, Green, Kahnle, Betances, Robertson and Chapman. By contrast, the rookie Smith was knocked out in the fourth inning in both of his MLB starts. As I mentioned, an upgrade.

You can’t have people wearing out the bullpen.

Go six, keep the team in the game.

Going to the Twins are:

Zack Littell. AA.  RHP. 21. Between High A Tampa & AA Trenton, 14-1, 1.87 this year. 35-24, 3.24 in his minor league career. Last year, between low and High A, he was 13-6, 2.66.

Dietrich Enns. AAA. LHP. 26. 2-1, 2.18 between AAA SWB and one rehab relief appearance for the Gulf Coast Rookie League this year. Missed a large portion of this season with an injury. Was 14-4, 1.73 between AA and AAA last season. He is 27-14, 1.87 in his minor league career.

Nice records lately for these two. But you have to give to get.

The thing is, where were they in the pecking order. If you have 10 really solid starting pitchers in your system, who is #1 and who is #10? This is where Cashman, the front office and your scouts come in. Not all 10 come up and start for you. You can’t put everyone on the 40 man roster. You’ll lose someone via the Rule 5 draft (which is how they originally lost Tommy Kahnle, who they just recently reacquired).

You have to pick and choose who to keep and who has to go. You have to have a pecking order, and you hope you are right in assessing that pecking order. You hope you make the right decision of who to keep and who to trade.

But as of now, it seems like a good deal, because even if Garcia, a free agent at the end of the year is a rental, he is still an upgrade over Mitchell, Cessa or Smith for this stretch drive.

This doesn’t take the Yanks out of getting Sonny Gray, an ace. They may still do that deal.