Tag Archives: Ibanez

HOF announcement tonight.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Baseball makes its HOF announcement tonight, as we see who the writers put in the Hall to join Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller, who both were selected by committee earlier.

You need 75% to get in.

As of this writing, 211 votes, 51.2%, are known.

Derek Jeter is still running unanimously at 100%, we will see tonight if that still holds up and if Jeter will join Mariano Rivera as the only unanimous selections.

Larry Walker, in his last year on the ballot, is at 83.7%. Curt Schilling is at 78.7%.

But only a little over half of the votes are known. Usually when the other, non-publicized part comes in, players drop, and someone like Schilling then is really on the bubble.

Barry Bonds and one-time Yankee Roger Clemens are at 71.6 and 70.6% respectively, thus a little short and expected to drop once more votes become known.

So it appears as if Jeter and Walker get in and the question is whether Jeter is unanimous and if Schilling joins them

Other notables: staying on the ballot would be Omar Vizquel, Gary Sheffield (the one -time Yankee at 36%), Scott Rolen, Billy Wagner, Jeff Kent, Todd Helton, Manny Ramirez, one-time Yankee Andruw Jones (23.7%), Sammy Sosa, Andy Pettitte (the Yankees’ great is at 10.4%) and another former Yankee, Bobby Abreu (6.2%).

You need 5% to stay on the ballot. Abreu is on the bubble. Pettitte stays on, but isn’t getting much support.

It appears like these notables will drop off the ballot, among others:

Ex-Yankees Jason Giambi (1 vote), Alfonso Soriano (0). Eric Chavez (one vote). Brian Roberts (0) and Raul Ibanez (0). 

Also dropping off would be Cliff Lee (1), Adam Dunn (0), and Paul Konerko (1).

The bold is players with Yankees’ connections, even if ever so briefly.

Yankees news today.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Still waiting on Tanaka. What he does influences the Yankees’ offseason from day one.

Cross some other people off the list of who may be the Yankees’ next mgr.

Raul Ibanez is flattered but wants to stay in LA in the Dodgers’ front office.

Billy McKinney, OF/1B, has been added to the AFL All-Star team.

I don’t know how they can do this before free agency and which free agents sign with what team, but the Yanks are 11-1 odds to win the 2018 WS. Not bad.

By contrast, other teams in my area: Mets 22/1 and Phillies 75-1.

In the AFL, Scottsdale lost, 4-2. Yankees’ prospects:

RF Estevan Florial. 1 for 4, 2 strikeouts. .289.
2B Kyle Holder. 1 for 4, double. One strikeout. .375

Andrew Schwaab pitched two innings of relief. 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
ERA 5.68.

Earlier today, you could cross Joe Espada off the list of  replacements for Joe Girardi. He signed on as bench coach for Houston.

Now cross off not only Ibanez, but someone else.

Kevin Long, former hitting coach for the Yanks and recently, the Mets, has signed on to be the hitting coach for the Nationals.

 

 

Yanks’ mgr. search, WS Game 3, AFL and Clemente award.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Tim Naehring, front office exec, says he isn’t interested in managing the Yanks, so rule him out.

A couple other names to think about. One is Raul Ibanez, who has been talked about for a few years now as managerial material.

I wonder about Matt Holliday, who is at the end of the line. Would he retire to become manager? He has the respect of the clubhouse and is a leader, but would Cashman and Hal go with someone with no managerial experience?

John Farrell, recently canned by the Red Sox,  has interviewed with Washington.

Houston won WS Game 3, 5-3, knocking out Dodgers’ starter Yu Darvish with four runs in the second inning. Houston now has a two games to one lead in the Series. Rookie Cody Bellinger, Dodger’s 1B who set the NL rookie record for HR in a season with 39, took the Golden Sombrero. So Judge isn’t the only rookie striking out a lot this postseason.

Ex-Yankees’ C Brian McCann of Houston had 3 hits and an RBI. 1B Yuri Gurriel homered for them. Brad Peacock threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief for the save.

Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs was named the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award. Brett Gardner of the Yankees was up for it.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale won 6-5.

Yankees’ prospects:

RF Estevan Florial, 1 for 3, doubled, scored a run, walked. .343.
1B Billy McKinney 0 for 3, rbi, walk. .290
SS Thairo Estrada 1 for 3 , scored a run, RBI, walk. .390

Cody Carroll got the save (3). 1 scoreless inning, 0 hits or walks, 2 K. 0.00.

 

 

 

KC repeats as AL Champ, to face Mets in WS

The Kansas City Royals repeated as AL Champions, defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 Friday night to win the ALCS in six games.

The Royals, of course, lost last year’s WS to the Giants in 7 games.

One HR, by Moustakas of KC, was controversial when it appeared that a fan may have reached over and interfered. It was close. MLB should do something about fences like KC’s and Philly’s were there is a fence and then some funky railing or flowerbed, etc.. It’s a bit confusing. Just have the fence, no funky decoration. Then you aren’t determining did it clear this, not that, etc. You just go by did it clear or not.

I’m kind of glad Toronto lost. I don’t care for hot dogs like Bautista and Encarnacion.

Bautista did hit two homers in the loss.

Alcides Escobar was named ALCS MVP.

From 1976-1980, the Royals and Yankees played each other four times in five years in the ALCS, and the series were classics. Now it’s KC/NY again, but this time against the Mets in the World Series.

Don Mattingly and the Dodgers have parted ways. Donnie Baseball may not have to wait long for another managerial job. Besides the Dodgers, other teams who have let their managers go and who are looking for a new one are the Marlins, Mariners and Nationals. (Updated: I didn’t see that the Mariners hired a new manager yesterday.) Some Yankees fans would like Donnie back with the Yanks as hitting coach. Although it’d be nice, I cannot see it. When the Yankees let Joe Torre go as manager after 2007, Donnie was interviewed for the job along with Tony Pena and Joe Girardi. Girardi won the job. Although Pena is on Girardi’s staff, I don’t believe it is a good idea to have the two guys who competed with you for the manager’s job under you on your staff. Granted they are all professionals, but there could be too much looking over one’s shoulder. The first time the Yanks slump, people may start wondering if Mattingly would replace Girardi. That isn’t good for team chemistry and morale.

I’ve always thought that Hideki Matsui would make a great hitting coach, but the language barrier would be a problem. Some former players whose names are being tossed around include Raul Ibanez and Chili Davis.

In the Arizona Fall League, Gary Sanchez has been raking so far.

We’ll see if this one will be a classic. On paper, it appears the Mets have the starting pitching edge, but KC the bullpen edge.

The WS starts Tuesday night.

The minors today.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Ok, rumors earlier this week that the Yanks were scouting a guy in the Braves’ minor league system to be a 2B, now more rumors that they may be interested in a Cuban 2B named Andy Ibanez as a free agent. Ibanez is 22, said to have speed but not much power.  (NY Post) I don’t know if Pirela or Refsnyder are reading these reports, but it sure seems as if Refsnyder is, and is affected by them.

Refsnyder is off to a rough start with AAA SWB so far, hitting just .229. While there is belief that the bat will come around (he hit .372 in spring training), the concern is on his defense. The former OF converted to a 2B made six errors in spring training and now has five errors in 11 games for AAA so far. Part of me wonders if turning the pivot may be too much for an OF converted to 2B. Maybe 3B may be better. That’s just me.

AAA: SWB won 4-1. Bryan Mitchell 7 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 3 walks and 4 K. Jacob Lindgren 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 3 K. CF Ben Gamel 2 hits, RBI.

AA: Another great outing for top Yanks pitching prospect Luis Severino in Trenton’s 5-1 win. A bit wild, but 5 Ip, 1 R, 3 h, 4 walks and 6 K. 3B Eric Jagielo 2 hits, triple, 3 RBI.

A+: Tampa lost 7-2. 4 players with 2 hits each.

A: Charleston’s game was suspended with Charleston up 8-3 in the top of the sixth. The game will be completed 4/23.

Yankees re-sign OF Chris Young

Well, there goes my hope in the Yanks maybe going after Michael Morse for corner OF/backup 1B/ backup DH.

The Yanks re-signed Chris Young to be their 4th OF. The righty-hitting Young started last year with the Mets and finished it with the Yanks. He gets a one-year deal for $2.5 MM.

Young hit .222-11-38 combined last year, OPS+95. His 162 g. average is .234-23-71 with 19 SB. OPS+ 94. Has power and speed, but low batting average and averages 143 strikeouts a year.

Mostly a CF, he can play all 3 OF positions, and hit 32 HR in 2007 for Arizona. In 2010, he was an All-Star, when he hit 27 HR and had 28 SB for the D-Backs.

While Ichiro Suzuki, who just turned 41, still wants to play in the majors next year, the signing of Young probably means Ichiro is done with the Yankees. The Yanks have Gardner, Ellsbury and Beltran in the outfield, two lefty hitters and a switch-hitter, and now have Young, a righty batter, to back them up. Ichiro, of course, is a lefty hitter.

Meanwhile, Raul Ibanez isn’t only being talked about as perhaps the Yanks next hitting coach, but he also is a finalist for the Rays’ open managerial position now that Joe Maddon has gone to manage the Cubs.

New Twins manager: HOF Paul Molitor.

 

 

 

Dynasty? SF wins 3rd title in 5 years.

When you think of baseball dynasties, you think of the Ruth-Gehrig-DiMaggio-Mantle Yankees of 1921-1964. The Big Red Machine. The Bronx Zoo. The Torre Yankees of 1996-2003. When you look at the makeup of the San Francisco Giants, you don’t see dynasty. But after winning their third title in the last five years, maybe that qualifies them as one now. At the very least, with the decade half-over, they can already call themselves the team of the decade (unless someone else runs off three or four titles over the next five years). The Giants became the first road team since the 1979 Pirates to win Game 7 when they beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 last night.

Madison Bumgarner joined a very select group of pitchers to win three WS games in the same Series. Bumgarner got the save. For his efforts, Bumgarner was named WS MVP. 2012 WS MVP Pedro “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval went 3 for 3, Mike Morse drove in two runs, and all the damage was done by the 4-7 hitters. Neither starting pitcher went four innings. Both managers had quick hooks. SF starter Tim Hudson went just 1 2/3, and KC starter Jeremy Guthrie 3 1/3. With neither starter going five innings, the decision on who got the win came down to an official scorer’s decision. Usually, they just hand the win to the pitcher who was on the mound when the eventual game-winning run was scored. That was Jeremy Affeldt, who was credited with the win. But the official scorer did not get it right. He handed the win to Affeldt. He did not have to. This was “official scorer’s discretion” and the guy who should have been given the win was Bumgarner, who came out of the bullpen on two days rest to pitch five innings of scoreless relief and preserve a 3-2 lead. Bumgarner thus wound up winning Games 1, 5 and saving Game 7 of this WS. No guts by the official scorer there. He went “formula.”

The difference in the series turned out to be one run, and one man. And perhaps, one slip. With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the fourth, Sandoval reached on an infield single. KC 2B Omar Infante made a nice play getting to the ball, but his right leg slipped out from under him as he tried to throw out Sandoval at first. Had he not slipped, who knows? That’s baseball. Sandoval eventually scored the eventual WS-winning run later that inning on a single by Morse. SF manager Bruce Bochy showed guts in going to Bumgarner. 3 titles in 5 years should put him into the HOF one day. Funny how he did go to Bumgarner after some “experts” I heard on ESPN radio said that there was no way Bumgarner should pitch, and no more than one inning. What pansies. To me, it was refreshing seeing Game 7 the way it should be. You manage that game differently than other games. The players have all offseason to rest, and although he didn’t start, Bumgarner winning pitching in a third WS game reminded me of Randy Johnson coming out of the bullpen in Game 7 of the 2001 WS (a painful memory for us Yankees fans), or Lew Burdette starting on two days rest in 1957 (another painful memory for Yankees fans),  Sandy Koufax in 1965 pitching a CG shutout on two days rest, Bob Gibson going 1-4-7 in 1967 or Mickey Lolich going 1-5-7 in 1968 (and facing and beating 1-4-7 Gibson in that 1968 Game 7). You go with your best in Game 7. You manage differently.

Bochy managed it brilliantly. If Bumgarner would have been too tired after only two days of rest, Bochy would have heard it from here to eternity. But Bochy played his trump card. He went with, and stayed with, his best. That’s one thing I’ll take out of this WS. One run, and one man (Bumgarner) made the difference. KC has nothing to be ashamed of.

So the offseason begins… with free agency, trades, etc. and oh yeah,….. A-Rod is now officially back. (Crying.).

In other news, it looks like a few moves are coming soon. Joe Maddon, who just left the Rays, is expected to take the manager job with the Cubs, and there are rumors that the Yanks are after Raul Ibanez to be their next hitting coach.

Tanaka not to be posted?

Reports are coming in that Japanese ace Mashahiro Tanaka will NOT be posted. The star, who was 24-0, 1.27 for Rakuten this season, would be a prize catch for any team that landed him, and yes, the Yanks would be very interested in the 25-year-old.

Without Tanaka, where do the Yanks turn? They still need a #4 starter. Behind CC (who had an awful 2013), Kuroda (39 soon) and Nova, there is a gap at #4. For #5, you can have a battle between Pineda, Phelps, Warren and Nuno… or bring in a retread like Johan Santana on a minor league deal to see what he has left.

But if Tanaka is unavailable, then you have to look. Still available are Garza, Jiminez and Ervin Santana. (A.J. Burnett is also available, but let’s not go there).

Sin-Soo Choo was apparently offered 7 years, $140 MM from the Yanks AFTER they signed Ellsbury but he wanted Ellsbury $$$. The Yanks turned to Beltran on a 3-yr. deal after that happened. Apparently Choo has left an offer by the Rangers on the table for now. Houston is said to be involved. Good luck, there, Choo.

Ex-Yankees Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez have found teams, Chavez going back to AZ, and Ibanez leaving Seattle to go to the Angels.

Waiting for reality.

As always with the Winter Meetings, there are rumors and then there is reality. I love the hot stove league and the chess-like maneuverings. Who goes where, rumors of trades, etc.

But for the purpose of the blog, I don’t have the time to report on every rumor, and there are many of them out there. What I will do is try to focus on the reality and report and comment on what actually happened or went down. But here is a brief rundown, some of which are rumors and hasn’t happened yet (if it will at all).

That said, the Yanks did turn down a Gardner for Brandon Phillips swap. Yes, the Yanks need a 2B after Cano’s departure, and Phillips (.261-18-103 for the Reds in 2013) would have fit the bill. However Phillips is owed $50MM over 4 years, and has a no-trade clause. He also wanted to renegotiate his deal as part of a possible trade. Checking out various info on Twitter, Gardner (who obviously doesn’t have Phillips’ power) had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 4.2 to Phillips’ 1.7. Also, Gardner had an OPS+ of 108, Phillips a 92.

With some recent acquisitions (Cano, Hart, Morrison), one-time Yankee prospect Jesus Montero is available. His stock has dropped (PED suspension, poor defense).

The Astros could be interested in Joba. So are the Tigers. Ex-Yank Raul Ibanez is talking with the Angels.

The Yanks could have interest in Joaquin Benoit. Also Johan Santana, but Santana would have to be on a minor-league, “Let’s see what you have left” deal.

Omar Infante wants 4 years at $8MM+. This could be a deal-breaker when it comes to the Yanks getting him. As with Beltran, KC could be the Yanks’ main competition here.

The Yanks picked up an A-ball pitcher from the Pirates in return for Chris Stewart.

More uncertainty as Ibanez goes back to Seattle

The Yankees need a righty-hitting OF, what with their OF now consisting of three lefty hitters in Granderson, Gardner and Ichiro. Andruw Jones, who hit less than .200 last year, signed a deal with a Japanese team. Forget Cody Ross, for he signed with Arizona. Could Melky Mesa actually get a shot?

They may need a catcher, what with the defection of Russell Martin to Pittsburgh. The only in-house options are Francisco Cervelli (probably the best hitter of the bunch, and that’s not saying much), and the better defensive catchers in Austin Romine, Bobby Wilson and Chris Stewart. Romine, 24, has a shot to win the job, but he’s only played 21 games at the AAA level.

Now there is another hole that needs to be filled. Raul Ibanez signed a one-year deal with Seattle. So now the Yanks need to find a DH. They, of course, could DH Jeter, who will be 39 next June and who is coming off that broken ankle. The problem with that is that Eduardo Nunez isn’t known for his glove. So Jeter might have to be the SS but you wonder how his range (never great to begin with) will be after the injury. So you might DH Nunez. But Nunez is good for his speed (as are Gardner and Ichiro) and not power (likewise Gardner and Ichiro), so the Bronx Bombers might all of a sudden be the Bronx Burners. Ichiro won’t, at age 39, steal as many bases as he did before.

Now the loss of Ibanez, who’ll be 41 next June, might not be too bad. The biggest problem isn’t the loss (he hit .240 with 19 HR last year, but then had a great playoff run), but in the replacement. Who will it be?

In this respect it’s like losing Martin, who despite his 21 HR hit just .211. It’s not so much the loss, as it is who will be the replacement?

The Yanks have holes to fill. For right now it’s like too many holes in the dike. Sooner or later the dike bursts and you drown.

We’ll soon see how the Yanks fill these holes.