Tag Archives: Gregorius

Didi joins Girardi w/Phils

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Joe Girardi in Philadelphia now has a SS he is very familiar with.

After the Yanks wouldn’t offer Didi the QO of $17.8 MM, Didi has gone to Philly to join Girardi at a one year deal of $14MM.

Maybe the Yanks can throw that Didi $$ to Cole.

But the Yanks might have been hoping Didi would come back at less than $17.8 MM. He did not.

Didi only signed a 1 yr deal, so he is hoping that a good 2020 re-establishes his value after a 2019 that did see 16 HR, 61 RBI in only 1/2 a season, but a .238 batting average as well as a significant amount of time missed.

It may be safe to say that Didi, in his short term with the Yankees, may be the 3rd best SS in Yankees history behind Derek Jeter and Phil Rizzuto. Who would you say would be better? Dent? Crosetti? Kubek? Koenig? I would put Didi #3, above all but Derek and the Scooter.

 


Named to the All-MLB team: D.J. LeMahieu 1st team and Aroldis Chapman 2nd team.

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.

Some Yankees’ offseason decisions.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Besides exploring the free agent market (Cole, Strasburg, Bumgarner, Wheeler), the Yanks have decisions to make on their OWN players, some of whom are free agents themselves.

Do they bring back Didi or are they fine with Gleyber at SS and D.J. at 2B?

What about backup C? Romine is a free agent. Meanwhile, Higashioka is out of options. The Yanks say they are fine with Higashioka, but he’ll have to prove he can hit. Higashioka does have some power, but a .164 career batting average. In 146 MLB at bats, Higashioka is .164-6-17, OPS+ just 45. He’s not young. He turns 30 next April.

Romine could start for some teams, and the Yanks could lose him if Romine does want to start. Romine hit .281-8-35 as a backup last year, OPS+ 97 in probably his best season in the majors. He has done much better with the bat the last two seasons. His 162 game average is .239-11-59, OPS+ 73, but the OPS+ the last two seasons have been 93 and 97, so a big improvement from before.

Brian Cashman, as of now, states that the 3B job is Gio Urshela’s to lose after Urshela hit .314-21-74, OPS+ 133 in 2019. But was it a fluke? Urshela’s defense was significantly better than that of Miguel Andujar’s in 2018.

As for Andujar, his defense hurts what is a solid bat. He finished runnerup for ROY in 2018, hitting .297-27-92, OPS+ 130, but 2019 was wasted because of an injury. In 12 games he was 6 for 47. Where will Andujar be in 2020? Did he get “Wally Pipp”ed and lose his job to Urshela? There are rumors that the Yanks may try him at 1B and maybe LF to try to make him versatile and keep his bat in the lineup.

He also may be trade bait. He and Clint Frazier, and both because of their defense. Frazier hit .267-12-38 in 69 games last season, OPS+ 111 and in his career has 16 HR in 393 at bats with a .254 batting average.

Frazier is 25. Andujar will be 25 in March. Both are not sure things to start the season with the Yanks because of their defensive liabilities and also a crowded roster. They could be traded —one, or both— in a deal for a starting pitcher if the Yanks feel the price tags on Cole, Strasburg, Bumgarner and/or Wheeler are too high.

Then there is Dellin Betances, who hurt his value by only pitching 2/3 of an inning this year (shoulder) and getting hurt again (Achilles) at the end of the year. He is a free agent.

Decisions, decisions. …. It’ll be an interesting offseason.

Thoughts on Mgr of Year; CYA winners announced, and Houston’s scandal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Another blog makes a good point. It may be that a Yankees manager may NEVER be selected Mgr. of the Year because of several reasons. One being the expectations that the Yanks are supposed to be good because of who they are and their financial resources. So if they do well, it was because they were EXPECTED to do well. The manager only did what he was expected to do.

But that wasn’t really the case this year. Yes, the Yanks were expected to do well, but with the team they EXPECTED to have, not a team ravaged by injuries. Severino and Stanton missed almost the whole year each.  Betances and Montgomery the same. Didi two and a half months, Andujar all but a handful of games,  Hicks over half the year and so on and so on. Still, the Yanks won 103 games and the AL East. Still, Boone didn’t get MOY despite managing a M*A*S*H* unit to that victory total.


It is looking more and more like Didi won’t be back. We’ll see, but in reading the tea leaves and insider commentary…


This Houston cheating scandal with the cameras, video cheating, etc. has added another s to the Astros name on various sites. You can guess where that s is going…


The CYA was announced. In the NL, Jacob DeGrom repeats as the Cy Young Award winner, getting 29 of the 30 first place votes.

It is amazing the lack of support DeGrom gets. Take a look at the win totals in these past two CYA winning seasons.

2018 10-9, 1.70, led majors in ERA.
2019 11-8, 2.43. Led NL in strikeouts.

21 wins COMBINED. The Mets are wasting his starts.

In the AL, teammates Justin Verlander & Gerrit Cole were neck and neck with Verlander winning his second CYA. He previously won the CYA in 2011 (and MVP that year too). In addition to two CYA, Verlander also has been the runnerup three times.

Verlander got 17 first place votes and 171 points to Cole’s 13 first place votes and 159 points.

Verlander 21-6, 2.58. Led majors in wins, starts and IP. Struck out 300.
Cole 20-5, 2.50. Led AL in ERA. Led majors with 326 strikeouts.

You could have flipped a coin between the two.

As for Cole, it’s expected the free agent won’t sign until the new year.

 

No Q.O. for Didi. John, Munson, Mattingly on Modern Baseball Era ballot for HOF consideration. Boone up for MOY.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees did not extend a qualifying offer of $17.8MM to Didi Gregorius. If he leaves as a free agent, the Yanks receive no compensation.

It could be that the Yanks want him back, but at less than that figure. But Didi now can talk to anyone.

Didi made $11.75MM last season, when he missed a significant amount of time recovering from TJ surgery. He played in 82 games, and despite hitting 16 HR and driving in 61 runs, only hit .238 with an OPS+ of 87. It was his worst OPS+ since his first year with the Yanks in 2015.

One other problem is that Didi didn’t walk much. His OBP was just .276.

As such, the Yanks probably didn’t think a raise from $11.75MM to $17.8MM was warranted or deserved. IF the Yanks want him back, it probably would be for less than $17.8MM.

Didi hopes to return. We will see.


From MLB.com:

Gregorius was one of seven Yankees to hit free agency on Halloween, following right-hander Dellin Betances, outfielder Brett Gardner, right-hander Cory Gearrin (who I don’t expect back), outfielder Cameron Maybin (questionable), catcher Austin Romine (would he come back as a backup or does he want to start elsewhere) and retired left-hander CC Sabathia.

As you know, the Yankees declined a $20 million option on first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, instead paying him a $5 million buyout.

Of that group, the Yankees seem most likely to pursue a reunion with Gardner, who could man center field in the wake of Aaron Hicks’ Tommy John surgery.

The Yankees announced the following roster moves on Monday:

• Reinstated 3B Miguel Andújar, 1B Greg Bird, OF Jacoby Ellsbury and RHP Jonathan Holder from the 60-day injured list.

• Reinstated RHP Jake Barrett from the 60-day IL and outrighted him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

• LHP Tyler Lyons has elected free agency in lieu of accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.


BBWAA awards:

Aaron Boone has been named as one of three finalists for AL Mgr. of the Year.

D.J. LeMahieu may get consideration for MVP, but he won’t be in the top 3. The top 3 are Bregman, Trout and Semien but the order won’t be revealed until Nov. 14.


Also from MLB.com:

The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced 10 candidates under consideration for induction as part of the 2020 Modern Baseball Era ballot: Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker.

ALCS Game 6. Altuve’s walkoff HR in bottom of 9th ends Yanks’ season, WS is Houston/Washington.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I’ll get into some mistakes I think the Yanks made in this ALCS in another post. For now, just a game post.

Jose Altuve (ALCS MVP) hit a walkoff HR in the bottom of the ninth to give Houston a 6-4 win and send the Astros to the WS where they’ll meet the Washington Nationals. It’s the second pennant for the Astros in three years. Houston won the 2017 WS.

For the Yankees, it’s the first decade since the 1910s where they haven’t made a WS appearance. They did lose four ALCS’s in the 2010s.

2010: Lost in 6 to Texas.
2012: Swept by Detroit in the series where Derek Jeter broke his ankle in Game 1.
2017: Lost in 7 to Houston.
2019: Lost in 6 to Houston.

The use of an opener didn’t work well for the Yanks, because Chad Green gave up a 3-run HR in the first inning to Yuri Gurriel with two out. The HR came right after a mound visit. That sure didn’t work well.

The Yanks got one run back in the second when slumping players Didi Gregorius doubled and Gary Sanchez singled him in. Later, with two out and two on, Brett Gardner struck out on a questionable call. It was the first of many breaks that did not go the Yankees’ way last night.

The Yanks loaded the bases in the third, but Didi Gregorius grounded out to end the inning. Why he swung at the first pitch, who knows. Down 3-1, needing to get back in the game, and a new pitcher just in the game, make him throw strikes. Check his nerves out. Instead, it appeared Didi succumbed to the nerves and pressure. He should have taken one. That, I couldn’t understand. Big mistake by Didi there, I thought, and think.

Gio Urshela homered in the fourth to make it 3-2 and the Yanks then didn’t catch another break. Gardner, up next, hit a long drive to right that looked as if it would tie up the game but it went just foul. He wound up singling but the Yanks couldn’t get him in.

With two out and one on in the top of the sixth, Gardner lined one to right but Josh Reddick made a diving catch on it.

Altuve, who had doubled and scored in the first, walked to lead off the bottom of the sixth for Houston. He went to third on a single by Michael Brantley and scored on a forceout. 4-2 Houston.

In the top of the seventh, another bad break for the Yanks. With Aaron Judge on first and one out, Aaron Hicks lined one to left. Brantley made a diving catch and doubled Judge off of first.

With one out and one on in the top of the eighth, Houston turned a nifty DP to get out of the inning. All breaks were going against the Yanks. The Yanks escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the eighth and went into the ninth down 4-2.

In the top of the ninth, it appeared that maybe the baseball gods would finally smile on the Yankees. Gio Urshela singled. Brett Gardner struck out after almost being HBP. D.J. LeMahieu then tied the game with a HR that barely cleared the wall and the leap of George Springer, now playing RF. 4-4.

Aroldis Chapman started the bottom of the ninth ok with a strikeout and pop up, but then walked Springer. Altuve then hit his pennant-winning HR.

LeMahieu 2-run Game tying HR in top of 9th.
Encarnacion 0 for 3, walk, 3 strikeouts. He killed the Yanks this series.
Gregorius 2 hits, but that first pitch groundout with the bases loaded in the third hurt.
Urshela 3 for 3, HR.

Green 1 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up HR
Happ 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  Maybe should have started, given more length?
Cessa 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Kahnle 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K.
Chapman (LOSS) 2/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H,  1 W, 1 K.  Gave up GW HR.

In retrospect, maybe the Yanks should have just started Happ and asked for four or five from him. There are a lot of things they could and/or should have done differently this series. That is for the next post, coming later today.

 

 

ALCS Game 4. Yanks pushed to the brink after 8-3 loss. CC ends career by getting hurt.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It can’t be looking worse. An 8-3 loss to the Astros puts the Yanks down three games to one in the ALCS, and the Yanks are looking at Justin Verlander tonight, and if the series continues, Gerrit Cole later, and the Astros can afford to save Cole for a possible Game 7.

Besides giving up the eight runs, the Yanks’ bats were quiet for the most part again, as they blew a couple of chances. Twice they loaded the bases, only to come away with one run total.

In the bottom of the first, D.J. LeMahieu walked, was forced at second by Aaron Judge, but then Aaron Hicks blooped a single and after Gleyber Torres popped out, and a double steal was executed, both Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Gardner walked, Gardner’s walk forcing in a run. But the struggling Gary Sanchez struck out.

The Yanks really could have dropped the hammer there. They let the Astros off the hook.

Masahiro Tanaka gave up a 3-run HR to George Springer in the third inning, giving the Astros a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

The fifth inning was a killer, as the Yanks loaded the bases with one out. You thought here’s where they get back in the game, but Gleyber Torres and the slumping Edwin Encarnacion both struck out.  Torres has carried the team, but this was one occasion where he couldn’t do it.

Things unraveled in the sixth. Normally sure-handed Gold Glover D.J. LeMahieu made an error, the first of four (2 by LeMahieu, 2 by Torres) by the Yanks on the night. That ended Tanaka’s night and brought in Chad Green. An out later, a single, then a 3-run HR by Carlos Correa made it 6-1 Houston and the game, for all intensive purposes, was over.

Gary Sanchez finally woke up, hitting a 2-run HR in the bottom of the sixth to cut it to 6-3. LeMahieu later doubled with two out, but Aaron Judge struck out to end the inning, so the Yanks could not get closer.

I’ve disagreed with Boone’s decisions to keep going back to the struggling Sanchez and also Adam Ottavino. As Joe Torre said, he was advised by Don Zimmer that you can’t have patience in the offseason. Time is too short. Boone, in this series, basically has chosen to sink or swim with those guys (Encarnacion, too, and I’ll get to that in a bit) and it looks like the answer is sink. Ottavino came in for the eighth, and gave up a double right away. Then things got sloppy. LeMahieu, so good with the glove, made his second error of the game to put runners on first and third with one out. In came CC.

Torres then made an error, making it 7-3. A lineout and HBP loaded the bases. CC got another lineout, runners holding, but then had to leave the game with a sore shoulder. Even if the Yanks can come back in this series, win it, and go to the World Series, CC’s career is over. He’ll be replaced on the roster, perhaps by Stephen Tarpley or Jordan Montgomery. Jonathan Loaisiga got a strikeout to get out of the inning.

More sloppiness in the ninth. Torres made his second error of the night, a 2-base error, then a WP and a single made it 8-3 Astros. There was another WP and a walk, but no further damage.

The “savages” have turned tame. The Yanks only had five hits in the game.

The Yanks (.204) are actually out-hitting Houston (.182) in the series, but Houston is getting key hits and the Yanks are not.

Correa is 3 for 17 with 7 strikeouts, but had the GW HR in Game 2 and a 3-run shot last nght. Springer is just 2 for 17 with seven strikeouts but both are homers, the game-tying HR in Game 2 and a 3-run HR last night.

Meanwhile the Yanks were 0 for 7 w/RISP last night.

The late Bill Gallo of the NY Daily News used to draw cartoons, and in big series like this, had the hero with a halo over his head, and the goat with the goat horns.

Encarnacion, 1 for 15 in this series. It could be his last games as a Yankee, as I expect the Yanks not to p/u the $20MM option but buy him out at $5MM instead.

Brett Gardner is 2 for 15. Didi Gregorius 2 for 16. Gary Sanchez 2 for 17. Gio Urshela 2 for 15.

If Stanton can’t play, and he hasn’t, then I do have to question the Yanks’ decision to keep him on the roster and not replace him. If, as Boone states, he can PH, then why can’t he DH instead of the slumping Encarnacion? If he can’t do that, then why is he on the roster? Replacing Stanton with say, Luke Voit or Mike Ford would enable the Yanks to bench the slumping Encarnacion, and get someone off the roster who can’t play anyway.

Also, the decision to stick with Sanchez and not give Romine a game (he couldn’t be worse than Sanchez’ 2 for 17) may come back to haunt them.

There are some decisions made in this series, like the ones I mentioned above and in the last few days) (Stanton/Encarnacion/Ottavino/Sanchez) that it appears the Yanks will rue all offseason.

One thing also appears evident. The Yanks starters are decent, but not elite. That’s the difference between them and say, Houston or Washington.

As good of a bullpen as the Yanks have, consider this. Your best pitchers generally either start or are your closer. The last pitchers on your team are generally the middle relief guys. John Smoltz made a good point in the telecast. You really would like to have your starter go a long way and just hand the ball to the closer. No middleman. Maybe one. But not a bunch of them. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Of all the teams in the playoffs, Washington is in the WS, and had two guys with 200 IP this year. Houston has three starters who went 200 IP or more.

The Yanks haven’t had a starter give 200 IP in a season since 2013 (CC, who had a bad year that year with a 4.78 ERA, and Kuroda, who pitched well that year but had tough luck and no run support).

The Yanks need their starters to give more length, and especially in the postseason. They could really use an ace. An “A” pitcher to go along with a lot of “B” starters they currently have. That would help put them over the top instead of doing what they have the past few years—win 100 or more but come up short to a team that won 106 or more.

Of course, Domingo German, and what he did, didn’t help the Yanks, but that’s another story.

More clutch hitting would also help. The Yanks had 5 hits, and 7 walks, but …  the Yanks struck out 13x.

LeMahieu 2 hits (of the Yanks’ 5). Of course. But uncharacteristically, 2 errors.
Torres 0 for 5, 2 strikeouts, 2 errors. After carrying them so far, a bad game.

Tanaka (LOSS) 5 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Green 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Ottavino 0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 W, 0 K. Once again, couldn’t get an out. An error hurt.
Sabathia 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP.  Last outing of his career.
Loaisiga 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Lyons 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

The Yanks aren’t done, but they are close, unfortunately. If they can come back from 3-1 down, and in doing so, beat Verlander and Cole, it’ll be one of the great comebacks ever, and maybe it will wash away some of that bad taste still left from 2004.



Passings: One -time Yankee (briefly, 20 games) Bobby Del Greco. 86. OF. Pittsburgh (1952, 1956), Cardinals (1956), Cubs 1957,  Yankees 1957-1958, Phillies 1960-1961, KC A’s 1961-1963 and Phillies again 1965. Hit .229, 42 career HR, OPS+ 85. 162 game average .229-9-37.

Jackie Hernandez, 79. Platooned at SS for the 1971 WS Champion Pirates. Angels 1965-1966. Twins 1967-1968. KC Royals 1969-1970. Pittsburgh Pirates 1971-1973. Hit .206-3-26 for 1971 Pirates (WS Champs), and .188-1-14 for 1972 Pirates (NL East champs). 162 game average .208=3-32, OPS+ 49. 7 for 31, 2 RBI in 11 postseason games.