Tag Archives: Heller

Game 5. Maybe today for home opener? Injury report…

Yankee Stadium Frieze

After being snowed out of their home opener yesterday, the Yankees (2-2) try it again today at 4 PM. Rain is in the forecast, however.

On the injury front … (from the NY Post)….

Aaron Hicks was prepared to hit and throw indoors Monday because the right intercostal problem that landed him on the DL felt better.

“I am going to see the [doctor] for the OK,’’ Hicks said after the Rays-Yankees game was snowed out at Yankee Stadium. “Feeling good.’’

Hicks played Opening Day in Toronto on Thursday and landed on the DL Friday. He is eligible to come off the shelf next Monday, which is an off day for the Yankees. So, the earliest the switch hitter could return is April 10 against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
…..

 

Boone didn’t have an update on Ellsbury on Monday, but Sunday the manager said he was hopeful of getting Ellsbury back Thursday, when he is eligible, but “not expecting it.’’

….


According to (manager Aaron) Boone, Adam Warren said his right ankle “feels pretty good’’ and the hope is the right-handed reliever will be able to pitch Tuesday against the Rays if needed.“When I checked on him this morning he said it felt pretty good, so we will see,’’ Boone said.

Warren was forced out of Saturday’s game when he took a smash off the ankle.


The Yankees voided the minor league option of right-hander Ben Heller and placed him on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to March 27, with a right elbow bone spur.

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S.T. Game 32. Yanks’ win final S.T. game, 5-1. Bird out until June.

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Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees won their final spring training game, 5-1 over the Braves, to finish the exhibition season 18-13-1. The regular season begins Thursday, when the games count.

The Yanks had a starting lineup tonight that looked like the regular season lineup vs. a righty pitcher. Gardner/Judge/Stanton/Didi/Sanchez/Hicks/Walker/Drury and Wade. Against a lefty starter, it may be different, esp. with Walker sliding over from first to second, and Tyler Austin playing first. Ronald Torreyes is also in the mix there for 2B.

As for the game, it showed everything that we want to see from the Yanks all season long. A couple of homers for an early lead, good starting pitching, good defense, and a killer bullpen.

With two outs in the first, Stanton walked and Didi homered.

Gary Sanchez threw out a runner trying to steal in the bottom of the first.

In the third, with one out, Judge walked and Stanton hit a 2-run HR.

The Braves got their only run in the fourth, but not before Didi Gregorius made a great defensive play.

Nice to see Tyler Wade use his speed by beating out a bunt for a hit in the seventh, and he went to second on an error on the play.

In the eighth, with one out, Trey Amburgey reached on an error, went to second on a WP and scored on a Shane Robinson two-out double. 5-1.

Meanwhile, Sonny Gray only gave up 1 run in 5 IP and the bullpen was lights out.

Didi and Stanton each hit 2-run HRs.

Gray (W) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 7 K.
Betances (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Robertson (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Heller 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Chapman 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

A combined four-hitter with 14 K.

Now for the bad news. Greg Bird needs surgery on that same ankle again, this time for a broken bone spur. He’ll be out 6-8 weeks. With rehab time, we are looking for him to return some time in June. For now, Tyler Austin has been recalled to take his place.

Besides Austin, options are Billy McKinney, and Mike Ford, both slated for AAA. Ryan McBroom is AA bound. As for now, Austin looks to platoon with Walker at 1B, Walker sliding to second against a lefty but playing 1B against a righty with Tyler Wade at 2B. You wonder if the Yanks will reach out to Adam Lind again, but you wonder what Lind would cost and if it would push them over the cap. Also, there is Miguel Andujar, who is AAA bound but who will be spending 80% of his time at 3B and 20% at 1B.

The biggest hurt to this is that most of the Yanks’ power is righty and with that short porch, you want lefty pop and the biggest lefty pop is Didi, what with Bird out. Didi, Gardner and switch hitters Walker and Hicks hit lefty, as is Ellsbury, but none are lefty hitters of 30 or more HR pop (except for one freak year Ellsbury had a few years back). So you do wonder if they go back to Lind…

As for Bird, a tough break but now you wonder if he is Nick Johnson 2.0—all that talent but can’t stay healthy. If that is the case, you also have to wonder how patient the Yanks will be with him. He lost all of 2016, most of 2017 and now will miss the first two months of 2018. If this continues, the Yanks will be forced to move on from him.

Update: Mark Reynolds, who was briefly with the Yanks a few years ago, is also a free agent, but is a righty hitter, unlike Lind.

S.T. Games 29 and 30. Yanks take both Split-Squad games, but Bird hurt.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Here we go again…. we hope not. Greg Bird was pulled before his game today, complaining of a sore foot. It is the same foot that had the ankle problem last year. Did one thing lead to another? He had a CT scan and an MRI and will be seeing a specialist. GM Brian Cashman is concerned.

The Yanks announced, as I hoped they would, that Jonathan Holder is the 13th pitcher on the team and that Domingo German will be sent to AAA to stretch out and get ready to be an emergency starter should they need one.

A couple of Rule 5 picks were returned to the Yankees—P Anyelo Gomez and 1B Mike Ford. Ford will go to AAA and he and Billy McKinney could now come into play if Bird’s situation is serious. Miguel Andujar is also working out at 1B. You also have Neil Walker and Tyler Austin in case Bird has to be DL’d. As one person wrote or said, maybe Adam Lind left too soon.

As for today’s games, the Yanks had a split squad and won both games. 13-6 over Toronto at home and 8-3 over the Braves on the road. I’ll try to be brief.

The home game:

The Yanks got three two-run homers in the game, and they were hit by Didi, Stanton, and minor leaguer Zach Zehner. Rashad Crawford and Erik Kratz each had 2 hits, Kratz driving in 3 runs.

Hale 3 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up HR.
Gallegos (W) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Feyereisen (H) 1 2/3 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up HR.
Rogers (S) 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.

In the road game, the Yanks scored six in the top of the ninth to win. Their spring training record is 17-12-1.

Aaron Hicks had 2 hits, inc. a HR. Ryan McBroom had two hits, 2 RBI and homered. Gleyber Torres had two hits and an RBI.

Luis Severino pitched well in his last tuneup before Opening day.

Severino 5 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 2 W, 7 K. Gave up HR.
Green 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Warren 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Heller (W) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Carroll 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.

 

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 25. Wade makes team, gets 2 hits, but Yanks lose 8-3.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Tyler Wade will be going north with the Yankees, and doubled and tripled today, but the Yanks lost their spring training game on Tuesday, 8-3 to the Tigers.

It puts the spring training record (meaningless) at 13-11-1.

Because of the chance for rain, the Yanks kept most of their regulars home to work out, and instead of Sonny Gray starting this game, it was Brady Lail. The relievers were AAA or lower as well.

Recently demoted Gleyber Torres and Estevan Florial were both in the starting lineup.

The Yanks scored in the top of the first when Wade tripled and Neil Walker singled.

Lail gave up two in the bottom of the first.

The Tigers got three in the fourth and one in the fifth. 6-1 Tigers.

Jorge Saez hit a 2-run HR in the eighth for the Yanks but the Tigers came right back with two runs of their own.

Lail (L) 1 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 2 W, 1 K.
Heller 1 2/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Carroll 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up HR.
Gallegos 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Feyereisen 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Frawley 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Reeves 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

So Wade makes the team.

C Romine and Sanchez
1B Bird
2B Walker and Wade
SS Didi and Torreyes
3B Drury (Walker, Wade, Torreyes also can play other positions)
OF/DH Gardner, Hicks, Judge, Stanton

That is 12. The question is whether the Yanks go north with 12 pitchers or 13.

If 12 pitchers, they are Severino, Tanaka, Gray, CC, Montgomery, Green, Warren, Kahnle, Shreve, Robertson, Betances and Chapman.

As to who that last guy will be? Position player Tyler Austin, or P probably Jonathan Holder?

Ellsbury and Clint Frazier DL bound.

Toronto named their Opening Day Starter. So it will be Severino vs. J.A. Happ on March 29 up in Toronto.

S.T. Game 20. The Kraken gets Cracking. 5 RBI as Yanks win 9-5.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

After yesterday’s bad game, Chance Adams was sent down.

If the Yanks get an AL MVP this year, don’t be surprised if it isn’t Judge or Stanton. Sanchez has been great this spring and don’t count him out.

Sanchez had a 3-run HR and 2-run double today and that helped the Yanks to a 9-5 win over Pittsburgh. It put the Yanks’ spring training record at 12-7-1.

Both Sonny Gray and Dellin Betances were off, both giving up 2-run HRs.

In the top of the first, Sonny Gray gave up a two-run HR to Ex-Yank, Francisco Cervelli.

Aaron Judge doubled in a run in the bottom of the first to cut it to 2-1.

The Pirates got a run in the top of the third to make it 3-1, but in the bottom of that inning, Gary Sanchez hit a 3-run HR, to make it 4-3 Yankees.

The Yanks got four in the fourth to stretch it to 8-3. Bird walked and with one out, Wade walked. Gardner reached on a error to load the bases and Judge walked to force in a run. Stanton grounded out to place a run and then Sanchez doubled in two.

Jose Osuna hit a 2-run HR in the sixth for Pittsburgh to make it 8-5, but in the eighth, Tyler Austin hit a solo HR for the final tally of 9-5.

If I were to guess the 25 man roster on Opening Day right now, it would be:

Sanchez, Romine, Stanton, Bird, Walker, Torreyes, Didi, Wade, Drury, Gardner, Hicks, Judge, and Austin. That is 13.

12  pitchers, which are: Severino, Tanaka, Gray, CC, Montgomery, Warren, Green, Kahnle, Shreve, Robertson, Chapman, and Betances.

I believe that Ellsbury, now with only two weeks until Opening Day, won’t be ready and the Yanks will put him on the DL to start the season. Clint Frazier could be headed to the 60 day DL because he is not coming along from his concussion.

So, I believe:

C: Sanchez and Romine
INF: Bird, Wade, Walker , Didi, Drury, Torreyes, and Austin (as backup to Bird)
OF: Stanton, Gardner, Hicks, Judge

Once Ellsbury is ready, the Yanks have to decide between Wade and Austin. Since Wade is more versatile, and Walker is being groomed to not only play 2B but 3b and 1B,  I think then Austin would be the one sent down.

Wade made a couple good defensive plays today. Even if he is the Opening Day starter at 2B, Torres may be ready in a few months. The Yanks envision Wade as a “Ben Zobrist” type. Capable of filling in at any of five positions based on need. Good speed, great range and as long as he can hit .260, steal 20 bases and flash that defensive speed, valuable.

Sonny Gray and Dellin Betances had tough days today.

Gray (W) 3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 H, 3 Walks, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Warren (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Kahnle (H), 1 1/3  IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Betances 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Shreve (H) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H,  1 W, 2 K.
Heller (S) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

Judge 2 for 2, scored 2. Drove in 2. Walked 2x.
Sanchez double, HR, 5 RBI
Austin solo HR.

S.T. Game 12. McKinney slam, Amburgey 3-Run spark late Yanks’ comeback, 11-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Billy McKinney, like Miguel Andujar, may start the year at AAA, but he, like Andujar, is making some kind of impression in Spring Training so far.

The 1B/OF hit an eighth-inning grand slam, and the Yankees got ten runs in the last two innings to defeat the Mets, 11-4, on Wednesday.  The Yanks are 10-2 in spring training so far.

Trey Amburgey hit a 3-run HR in the ninth.

Domingo German started, and should have pitched three scoreless innings, but with the bases loaded and two out in the third, Estevan Florial made an error that allowed two runs to score.

Personally, I like German as the emergency starter over Luis Cessa. Of course, you have Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield, among others, still developing too.

The Yanks got one back in the fourth on singles by Tyler Austin and the red-hot Austin Romine, a passed ball that let Austin go to third, and an RBI groundout by Ronald Torreyes.

Travis d’Arnaud homered for the Mets in the fourth to make it 3-1. A couple of singles, an error by Yankees’ pitcher Dillon Tate and an RBI forceout made it 4-1 Mets in the sixth.

Then came six in the eighth and four in the ninth for the Yankees.

In the eighth, Abiatal Avelino singled with one out. Kyle Higashioka and Kyle Holder each singled to load the bases. Amburgey walked to force in a run, and an error forced in another before McKinney hit his grand slam.

In the ninth, Avelino singled and Higashioka hit a ground-rule double. Holder hit a pop-up single that dropped for a run, then Amburgey hit his 3-run HR.

The Yanks bashed out 17 hits.

One thing you notice late in these games, when it’s mostly AAA/AA kids playing, is how much the Yanks’ AA/AAA players seem to be better than the opponent’s.

Gardner 2 for 2 with a walk.
McKinney 1 for 1, grand slam, 4 RBI, with 2 walks.
Avelino 2 for 2.
Romine 2 for 3. Hitting .667 this spring training.
Higashioka 2 for 2.
Kyle Holder 2 for 2 with an RBI.
Amburgey 1 for 1 with a 3-run HR and bases-loaded walk. 4 RBI

German 2 2/3 IP, 2 R, both unearned, 1 H, 2 W, 5 K.
Heller 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Tate 2 IP, 1 R, unearned (his fielding error) 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Lail (W) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Coshow 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.