Tag Archives: Hicks

Yanks sign Severino to 4 year, $40MM extension.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees avoided arbitration with Luis Severino by signing him to a 4 yr. $40MM extension.

It will be interesting to see who has a bounce-back year this year. The Yanks won 100 games last year despite Gardner hitting .236, Sanchez .186 and Bird .199. Imagine if they would have been their normal selves.

Speaking of Gardner, will he lead off this year or bat 9th? There is a case for Aaron Hicks leading off. The only problem is, on a team so righty-leaning, Hicks’ switch-hitting bat may be needed in the middle of the lineup.

But according to a recent article (I believe NY Post?) here are some interesting numbers from Hicks last year. .248-27-79, 11 SB, drew 90 walks.

In the three places where he had 100 or more plate appearances in 2018,

Batting first .276-11-21
3rd .222-6-19
6th .223-5-20.

Hmmm… interesting. And Hicks is more likely to lead off a game with a HR than Gardy.

We’ll see.

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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.

 

 

Betts (AL) Yelich (NL) win MVP honors. Yanks finish 12, 19, 20 and 22. Final AFL stats for Yanks’ prospects.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Mookie Betts of Boston won the AL MVP quite handily, getting 28 of the 30 first place votes. Mike Trout of the Angels finished as the runnerup for the fourth time (Trout has won the award twice). Trout got one first place vote, and Betts’ teammate, J.D. Martinez, who finished fourth, got the other.

As for Yankees, Aaron Judge finished 12th, Giancarlo Stanton 19th, Didi Gregorius finished in a tie for 20th (he was also 20th last year) and Aaron Hicks finished in a tie for 22nd.

Christian Yelich of Milwaukee won the NL MVP, getting 29 of the 30 first place votes (the only other one going to Jacob DeGrom of the Mets, who finished fifth). Javier Baez of the Cubs was the runnerup.

The Glendale Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League season is over with a 12-18 record. Here is how Yankees’ prospects did:

SS Thairo Estrada .238-0-7
1B Steven Sensley .197-0-9
CF Estevan Florial .178-0-8

SP Jordan Foley 0-2, 9.15
RP Hobie Harris 1-0, 4.20
RP Matt Wivinis 0-1, 1.50
RP Kyle Zurak 0-1, 11.57

 

Game 3 is Severino vs. Eovaldi.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Boston is going with ex-Yankee Nathan Eovaldi for Game 3 vs. the Yanks’ Luis Severino. As far as the Yanks’ lineup is concerned, a lot depends on the health of Aaron Hicks.

Boston says they’ll use David Price in relief if necessary.

Milwaukee is headed to the NLCS after sweeping Colorado with a 6-0 win today.

As for Dodgers/Braves, the Braves stayed alive with a 6-5 win, forcing Game 4 Monday.

 

Game 2 ALDS. Yanks even series behind the Kraken.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Turn the page.

Gary Sanchez had a poor regular season. His .186 batting average was the lowest ever for any Yankee with 300 or more plate appearances.

But he did hit 18 HR. He hit 33 last season. He hit 20 in just 53 games in 2016. You knew the power was there, and that at any time he could put up a two homer, 4 RBI game.

That is the Sanchez we hoped would return, and in time for the playoffs. Make up for a bad regular season with a great postseason.

It is the Sanchez we got last night. Sanchez hit two homers and drove in 4 runs as the Yanks won 6-2 to even the series up. Game 3 is in the Bronx Monday night.

David Price started for Boston, and he has had a couple of problems lately. #1, he has trouble against the Yankees. #2, he has trouble in the postseason (0-9 record in 10 starts). #3 Gary Sanchez owns him. Not a good combination.

So Aaron Judge, the second batter of the game, hit a 445-ft. HR to give the Yanks a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Judge has homered in all three postseason games so far.

Sanchez came up in the bottom of the second and continued his mastery of Price by hitting a HR to make it 2-0 Yanks. With two out, Price proceeded to walk Gleyber Torres and Brett Gardner. Gardner was starting in CF for Aaron Hicks, who has a tight hamstring. Hicks was available for pinch-hitting duty and the hammy won’t keep him out for the rest of the series (if it did, he wouldn’t be available again until the World Series–no ALCS).

Andrew McCutchen then singled off of the green monster to make it 3-0 Yanks and give Price an early shower.

Meanwhile, Masahiro Tanaka was on, and was his postseason bulldog self. (He is now 3-2, 1.50 in five postseason starts). He gave up a HR in the bottom of the fourth, but it was a solo one, and went five innings giving up just that one run.

In the seventh, the Yanks broke the game open. Judge singled and Voit walked. Stanton, who is struggling—so much so that lots of people are comparing him to A-Rod and A-Rod’s postseason struggles—hit a topper that at first it appeared as if Nunez’ throw hoping for a force pulled the fielder off the bag. But Boston reviewed and the call was overturned. Forceout. Hmm. The fielder must have kept his big toenail on the bag because it didn’t look that way. Nunez’ throwing was shaky all night long. He almost made 3 errors instead of the one he did make. But then again, when he was a Yankee, he had the nickname of Nun-E.

Hopefully Stanton comes around. Aim for RF in the Bronx, Giancarlo. You are strong enough to hit it out anywhere, especially there. Stay back.  No need to pull everything.

So it was first and third, one out, and here is where Sanchez hit his second HR of the game, a 479-ft. bomb that left everything and went out on the street. 6-1 Yanks.

Dellin Betances gave up a run in the bottom of the seventh to make it 6-2, but that was it. Yankees’ pitchers limited Boston to 2 runs and 5 hits. Good job.

I am a bit concerned yet about the Yanks’ hitting w/RISP. 2 for 10 last night (the Yanks had 8 hits and drew 7 walks, so they could have scored more runs than 6). Hopefully that picks up.

Judge 2 hits, solo HR.
Voit 0 for 2 but drew 3 walks.
Sanchez 2 HR, 4 RBI
Gardner 0 for 2 but drew 2 walks.

Tanaka (WIN) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Betances (H) 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.

In the other ALDS series, Houston beat Cleveland 12-1 behind Gerrit Cole’s 7 innings and 12 K. Houston is up 2 games to 0.

The NL was off. Milwaukee is up 2-0 on Colorado and the Dodgers are up 2-0 on the Braves.

Game 1 ALDS. Un-Happ-y result as Yanks lose, 5-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

J.A. Happ didn’t have it, giving up a 3-run HR to J.D. Martinez in the first inning and getting knocked out in the third. The Yanks clawed back in it, but couldn’t come all the way back and lost Game 1 of the Division Series to Boston 5-4.

Masahiro Tanaka will start for the Yanks tonight vs. David Price. The Yanks have had success against Price so hopefully the Yanks will exit Boston with a split.

The hope was that Chris Sale, who has a history of owning the Yankees, would be stale Sale since he hasn’t pitched much since the All-Star break, having been on the DL twice and whose velocity has been down recently. Instead, Sale mixed his pitches well, and was hitting 95 instead of the recent 90. Sale struck out the side (with one walk in there) in the first inning.

Meanwhile, in the bottom of the first, Happ gave up that 3-run HR that just cleared the green monster.

In the third, Betts doubled off the monster, Benintendi bunted for a hit, and Happ was replaced by Chad Green. The Yankees nemesis, Steve Pearce, singled in a run. 4-0 Boston. Two flyouts advanced and scored Benintendi. 5-0 Boston.

The Yanks’ bullpen shut down Boston after that as the Yanks tried to make a late charge to steal the win away from the Red Sox.

But the rookies who have helped so much this year, Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres, along with veteran Giancarlo Stanton, who is in his first playoff series, couldn’t come up with the big hits when needed.

In the fourth, Aaron Hicks singled but had to be pulled from the game due to a tight hamstring. We’ll have to see about his availability for the rest of the series. A huge blow. Gardner can provide the D, but not the power that Hicks can provide.

With two on and two out in the fourth, Andujar struck out. The Yanks struck out 13x in the game.

The Yanks finally broke through in the sixth. Judge singled, and after a forceout, Stanton singled, which knocked Sale out of the game. Voit singled in a run to make it 5-1. Didi grounded into a forceout, runner scoring. 5-2. Didi moved up on a WP. Andujar and Sanchez both walked to load the bases, but Torres struck out.

Maybe the young Torres (21) got too anxious. He swung at the first pitch out of the zone, took three balls, but that 3-1 pitch he took for strike two looked like a pitch he should have swung at and crushed. Then he fished on a breaking pitch which would have been ball four and struck out.

The Yanks probably lost the game for good in the seventh, when they loaded the bases with no one out and only got one run out of it. McCutchen and Judge started it off with singles, and after a pitching change, both moved up on a WP. Gardner walked to load the bases.

But Stanton, who went 1 for 5 with 4 strikeouts, struck out. That may have been THE at bat of the ball game.

A-Rod got criticized often for not coming up big in key moments of the postseason (at least until 2009, and even in retirement he still gets criticized, despite 2009, for it today). Yankee fans are hoping Stanton isn’t another “A-Rod” in this regard.

But last night didn’t help.

The fact that Stanton couldn’t get his bat on the ball, even for a SF there, played a major factor in costing the Yanks the game.

Voit grounded into a force out, barely beating out the DP attempt, to make it 5-3. Didi grounded out to end the inning.

But the Yanks needed more there. They couldn’t load the bases with no one out and come away with just one run. That inning was the difference and cost the Yanks the game.

In the ninth, Judge homered to lead off the inning, but Kimbrel bounced back with three straight strikeouts (including Stanton, who NEVER TOOK THE BAT OFF HIS SHOULDER) to end the game. Voit striking out to end it.

Big one for the Yanks tonight. Get out of Boston with the split. Hopefully Tanaka is on.

And hopefully, the Yanks’ situational hitting improves. Don’t worry about the green monster. Use the whole field.

Make contact.

Judge 3 hits, solo HR.
Stanton 1 for 5, struck out 4 times
Voit 2 hits, 2 RBI.

Happ (L) 2+ IP, 5 R, 4 H, 1 W, 2 K.  Gave up 3-run HR
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Lynn 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

 

In other series, Milwaukee shut out Colorado 4-0 and is up 2 games to 0.
The Dodgers blanked the Braves, 3-0, and are up 2 games to 0.
Houston beat Cleveland behind 4 HR, 7-2, and are up 1-0.

By the way, did you see who the Brewers’ catcher is? Erik Kratz, who started the year being the backup to Kyle Higashioka at SWB. Kratz, who is 38, played in four games for the Yanks in 2017,  going 2 for 2 with a double and 2 RBI. He started this year at SWB. On May 25 of this year, the Yanks traded him to Milwaukee for a player to be named later (it turned out to be Wendell Rijo). In 67 games for the Brewers, Kratz hit .236-6-23, OPS+ 69. Six walks, 40 strikeouts.

 

 

 

Yanks advance to ALDS with 7-2 win over A’s.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees advance to the ALDS against Boston after beating the Oakland A’s 7-2 in the one-game, sudden death, wild card game Wednesday night.

They jumped off to an early 2-0 lead when Andrew McCutchen led off the bottom of the first with a walk and Aaron Judge crushed a 2-run HR that was estimated at 427 feet.

Luis Severino pitched four no-hit innings before being removed after giving up back-to-back singles to begin the fifth.

Severino did have some trouble with walks and some shaky fielding (Miguel Andujar throws) and had to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth.

After Severino gave up the hits in the fifth, Dellin Betances came in to work out of the jam, and Betances pitched a 1-2-3 sixth.  Adeiny Hechevarria replaced Andujar at third for defense early—in the sixth.

A bit early for Betances, and maybe for Hechevarria, but in a sudden death game you manage differently, and Aaron Boone did a great job managing last night.

The A’s meanwhile, were doing a bullpen game. They had an opener, who gave up 2 runs (the Judge HR), another guy for 3 innings, another for 1, etc.

The Yanks broke it open in the bottom of the sixth. Judge and Aaron Hicks doubled off of Fernando Rodney (who can stick his arrow in his quiver) to make it 3-0, and Rodney then threw a WP. The A’s then brought in their closer, Blake Treinen, who was 9-2, 0.78, with 38 saves this season, in an effort to keep the game where it was.

Treinen walked Giancarlo Stanton, Stanton maybe getting the benefit of a call, and then Stanton stole second. Luke Voit worked Treinen over, fouling off a few pitches before getting one he liked. Voit drove it the other way for a 2-run triple, just narrowly missing a HR. 5-0 Yanks. Didi Gregorius hit a SF (Didi had made a nice defensive play earlier, saving Voit an error), the burly Voit somehow getting in there despite the throw beating him to the plate. 6-0.

Hechevarria made a fabulous catch at third off a line drive to start the seventh.

In the eighth, Zach Britton was very shaky, giving up a 2-run HR to Khris Davis. Davis had led the majors with 48 this year. 6-2 Yanks.

Brett Gardner had come in for defense for McCutchen in LF in the eighth, and Neil Walker would do so for Luke Voit at 1B in the ninth.

Giancarlo Stanton led off the bottom of the eighth for the Yanks with a HR that was crushed, 443 feet and just fair. It seemed to almost go over the foul pole.

7-2 Yanks, the final score.

On the Boston where the best-of-five ALDS begins Friday night. I expect J.A. Happ to get the call to start Game 1 for the Yanks.

Judge HR, double, 2 RBI
Hicks double, RBI
Stanton solo HR
Voit 2-run Triple

Yankees’ pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts.

Severino 4+ IP, 0 R, 2 H, 4 W, 7 K.
Betances (W) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Britton 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K.  Gave up 1 HR.  He’s been shaky lately.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.