Tag Archives: Jones

Game 5. Yanks fall to 1-4 with an 8-4 loss.

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If Billy Martin were running the team right now, there might be a team meeting with the food tray being toppled over. If George Steinbrenner were the owner, someone may already be getting fired (hey, he fired Yogi when Yogi was 6-10 early in the 1985 season).

Yes, we are only five games into the season, but not only are the Yankees 1-4, it’s how they are 1-4 that is disturbing. For it’s one thing to play well and lose and know that you are playing well and things will straighten themselves out soon. It’s another to lose and look really bad in doing so.

That is what a team batting average of .193 (OPS+ 81, 19% below league average) and eight errors in five games (not counting two passed balls by backup C John Ryan Murphy) will do for you. Make you look really bad.

Throw in the fact that three Yankees have been picked off so far and that they are 1 for 4 in SB this year. Throw in also that two balls were hit yesterday that should have been caught (Gardner, Jones) and were ruled doubles. Throw in again some plays were there were no errors made but mental errors (Didi Gregorious) and you have a team that is really out of sync and playing badly right now.

Thank goodness there are 157 games left and plenty of time to turn it around. But it may NOT be too early for a team meeting. This can’t continue.

The Yanks not only lost to Boston 8-4 on Saturday, but looked bad in doing so. The two balls that should have been caught by Gardner and Jones, for one thing. A-Rod played 1B for the first time in his career, made one error and looked, let’s say, uncomfortable over there. Definitely not smooth (which was to be expected) but awkward. Gregorious held the ball on a relay while a Boston runner was rounding third and scoring (mental error). Earlier in the week, Gregorious made a couple boneheaded plays as a baserunner. He has to be a more savvy player than he has shown so far.

Seven innings into the game, the Yanks had just one hit. They had just five for the game. Only a late Chris Young 3-run HR made the score semi-respectable.

Teams that don’t hit (.193) look really bad and boring. Hopefully the Yanks snap out of it soon.

Beltran is 2 for 20. Drew 2 for 17, Gregorious 2 for 15, Teix has 2 HR but is 3 for 16. Headley had the clutch HR but is 3 for 22, and so on and so forth (I won’t list them all). You can make the case that A-Rod (5 for 18, 2944 career hits now) has been their best regular hitter.

With a lineup like that, as was mentioned on the FoxSports1 telecast, there isn’t much room for error. They can’t afford to make errors, and they have made eight (along with two passed balls and two wild pitches) so far. The team is slow in the middle of the lineup, where you have Beltran, Teix, McCann and A-Rod. As mentioned on the telecast, they are a station to station team, don’t bunt, don’t hit-and-run, don’t steal bases (outside of Ellsbury and Gardner, but are as a team 1 of 4 so far this year). The commentators (and I am NOT a Joe Buck fan) were right in implying that this is a team that waits for the HR, and that HR is to come from aging players who the team hopes can find the fountain of youth for one final, good season.

Hopefully things change soon. The team needs an injection of youth badly but the Yanks’ hands are tied. What do you do when you have these players—CC, Teixeira, A-Rod, Beltran—all of whom will be 35 or older before season’s end—making around $90MM between the four of them and you can’t trade them (either no one will pick up the $$, you’d have to eat a lot of it and/or there are no trade clauses) and you don’t want to eat the money by releasing them? Then throw in Tanaka’s ($25MM) possible problem with his elbow (diminishing his effectiveness) and that fact that so far, 31 yr. old Brian McCann, earning what $15MM/yr.? has underperformed?

As mentioned, as a diehard Yankees’ fan, I hope things turn around soon. This is not to be negative, just a reflection of how things have gone this week. When you hold a mirror up to something that looks terrible, it looks…..terrible. All Yankees fans have to be disappointed at how this season has started.

The pitching has an ERA of 3.44 and an ERA+ of 115 (eight of the 29 runs given up so far have been unearned). That is really pretty good. The bullpen has looked like a strength. Warren (pitching line to come in a moment) wasn’t that bad yesterday, although he had a bit of trouble putting people away, but it is hard to pitch with no margin of error because a) you are getting no run support and/or b) your defense is letting you down.

Warren 5 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 walks, 1 K. Not a bad outing. Only his 4th MLB start.

Wilson 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 1 K.

Martin 2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 0 K. Here is where the game got away.

Matt Tracy (MLB Debut) 2 IP, 3 runs (all unearned), 2 H, 2 walks and 1 K.

Four of the eight runs the Yanks gave up were unearned. Combine that with a .193 team batting average and, well, you get the picture.

Tonight’s ESPN game will be interesting to watch. Will the bats finally wake up? How will Tanaka do? Hall of Famer and MLB network commentator Pedro Martinez estimates Tanaka at 65% due to his elbow issue. If the Yanks are really struggling in June and have fallen way out of the race (let’s hope that isn’t the case) does Tanaka bite the bullet and get the Tommy John surgery that would cost him the rest of 2015 and all of 2016? Will Tanaka be pitching at 2/3 effectiveness all year? Will the elbow give at some point?

Will the Yanks start hitting and tightening up their defense? Will they turn to the kids sooner than expected? Will the kids be rushed?

Right now, there are a lot of questions. There is only one solution.

They have to start playing better, starting now. Granted it’s just five games, but so far, it hasn’t been acceptable. It’s one thing to play well and have some tough losses.

It’s another to have a week like this one has been.

Get back to .500 and go from there.

So wake up and Let’s Go, Yankees!

Game 4. Three comebacks not enough as Yanks lose in 19th, 6-5.

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Ok. I just woke up after being up past, what, 2:30 AM? God only knows how the players are going to turn it around.

If you didn’t stay up late, and don’t know what happened because the ending was too late for your morning paper (and you haven’t checked out the highlights online so far, here goes:

A brief recap on a game that was anything but brief. I won’t touch on all the highlights. Had the game continued further, the Yanks would have sacrificed the DH. Garrett Jones would have gone to the mound.

Down to their last out in the 9th, Chase Headley homered to tie the game. Down a run in the 16th, Mark Teixiera, who, since it was past midnight, was now a 35th birthday boy, homered for the second consecutive game (365th career HR) to tie it up again (Yankees nemesis David Ortiz had homered in the top of the 16th. I am STILL waiting for some Yankees pitcher—I have been waiting for YEARS—to show some balls and put one in his butt. Back him off the plate. Get some courage, as the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz would say. When have you ever seen them do that to Ortiz? They have done it to us, haven’t they?) Down in the 18th, a Carlos Belran double tied up the game again.

Nice resiliency.

However a passed ball by backup C John Ryan Murphy in the top of the 19th set Boston up for a GW SF and the Yanks lost to the Red Sox, 6-5, in 19 innings.

The game was delayed for about 15 minutes due to a lighting incident.

There have been no moves made as of this writing, but after having used eight pitchers, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone was sent down to get a fresh arm (or two) up—even if we are just four games into the season.

The loss drops the Yanks to 1-3. It was the first Yankees game on WPIX, Channel 11 in NY in 17 years. It was nice watching the game on Channel 11, where I more or less grew up. WPIX was the Yanks’ “home” for many, many, years.

The pitching line:

Eovaldi 5 1/3 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 1 walk and 1 K. Funny only 1 K since he did hit 101.

Martin 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 1 K.

Wilson 1 2/3, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K.

Betances 1 1/3, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks and 2 K.

Miller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks and 2 K.

Carpenter 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 0 K.

Shreve 3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 4 K.

Rogers (L) 4 2/3, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 walk and 4 K.

Rogers gave 4 2/3, the day after going 2 1/3 vs. Toronto. Like I wrote above, had the game gone into the 20th, 1B/OF/DH Garrett Jones would have taken the mound.

A nice job by the Yankees’ bullpen went for naught. Between Eovaldi and Rogers, there were some scary moments, but those six pitchers had a line of:

9 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 6 walks, 10 K.

Too bad the offense couldn’t take advantage.

Before the game, Yankees’ radio announcer John Sterling got replicas of Emmy Awards he lost when all his possessions went up in a huge condo fire this fall. Nice gesture and I hope he is somehow recovering from that tragic event.

 

 

 

 

S.T. Game 31. Pineda sharp again in Yanks’ 6-2 win.

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The Yanks had a split squad on Thursday, so for the sake of clarity, the home game will be S.T. Game 31 and the road game S.T. Game 32.

In the home game, Michael Pineda continued his great spring with another strong effort in a 6-2 Yankees’ win.

The pitching line:

Pineda 5 1/3 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 0 walks and 6 K.

Andrew Miller 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K.

Dellin Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 1 K.

David Carpenter 1 IP, 1 R (unearned), 1 H, 1 walk and 1 K.

Jose Ramirez 1 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K.

Austin Romine had 2 hits as he tries to make the team as the backup catcher or improve himself for trade bait. He is out of options.

OF prospect Aaron Judge, ticketed for AA Trenton, had 2 RBI.

Garrett Jones had two hits, as did Stephen Drew.

Chris Young had 2 hits and 2 RBI, and Rob Refsnyder continued to hit, getting 2 hits and an RBI.

Refsnyder is heading down to AAA to work on his defense. He’s hit well this spring but has made six errors.

Chase Whitley had a good spring, but, probably in an effort to keep his innings up and Whitley sharp in the event of needing an extra starter, will begin the year at AAA. Should the Yanks need sixth starter for a day to give the rotation an extra day of rest, it appears that Whitley would be the guy.

Making the team for now are relievers Chason Shreve (giving the Yanks a third lefty out of the bullpen along with Miller and Justin Wilson) and Chris Martin.

The only spot not settled is backup catcher.

The 25-man Opening Day Roster looks like this, barring a last minute injury.

C: McCann
Backup C: Murphy or Romine.

Infield: Teixeira, Drew, Gregorious, Headley, Gregorio Petit.

1B/Corner OF backup/DH: Jones.

DH/3b /1B: A-Rod

OF: Gardner, Ellsbury, Beltran, Young

Rotation: Tanaka, Pineda, CC, Eovaldi, Warren.

Bullpen: Rogers, Shreve, Martin, Carpenter, Wilson, Betances, Miller.

S.T. Game 3. Yanks edge Pirates, 2-1.

The Yanks got back-to-back doubles from Chris Young and Garrett Jones in the fifth for one run, and OF prospect Tyler Austin homered in the eighth to break a 1-1 tie as the Yankees defeated the Pirates in spring training action, 2-1 on Thursday. I wish it was on TV. I could have watched it since, because of a snow storm and slick roads, I couldn’t make it into work. I got about three miles from my house, and the fishtailing and lack of brakes (yes, I have brakes, but on the slick roads they were worthless) forced me to turn the vehicle around and have to take the day off. I hate that. A “black mark” against my work record. I’m reliable but what can you do? Safety comes first. Jones was 2 for 2 with that RBI. 2B prospect Rob Refsnyder was 2 for 3. One of Refsnyder’s hits was a double. Esmiel Rogers started, 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. Chase Whitley 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 1 K. Cesar Vargas 2 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 walks and 1 K. Fred Lewis 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. Nick Rumbelow 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 3 K. Taylor Garrison 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. In case you missed it before, 18 year old catching prospect Luis Torrens will miss the entire season after tearing his shoulder.

Update: I see that Alex Johnson, who won a batting championship while with the Angels in 1970, and who briefly was with the Yankees in 1974 and 1975, passed away last Saturday.

Yanks trade Prado and Phelps to Marlins

When the Yanks re-signed Chase Headley, it appeared their infield was set. Teixeira at first, Prado at second, Gregorious/Ryan at SS and Headley at 3B.

Not so fast.

On Friday, the Yanks traded Martin Prado and pitcher David Phelps to the Miami Marlins.

Prado was picked up by the Yanks in mid-season of 2014, and hit .316-7-16 in 37 games. Phelps went 5-5, 4.38 as a spot starter/long reliever in 2014.

In return, the Yanks got the following:

RHP Nathan Eovaldi, 24, who went 6-14, 4.37 (ERA+ 87) in 2014 for the Marlins. For his career, he is 15-35, 4.07, ERA+ 95. His 162 g. average is 6-15, 4.07. Not impressive, but he throws 96, is young and is a project for pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Upside is there, will he reach it? As of now, the Yanks #4 starter (when Nova returns, he’ll probably drop to #5, behind Nova. As of now, Capuano is the #5).

1b/of Garrett Jones, .246-15-53 in 2014 for the Marlins. OPS+ 98. Lefty hitter, and 33 years old. Can fill in at 1B for Teix, RF for Beltran or DH for A-Rod. 162 game average: .253-22-73, OPS+ 108. Has pop for the porch. Spent 2009-2013 with the Pirates. Has hit 20+HR 3x in his career, 15 or more each season 2009-2014.

Prospect Domingo German, 22, RHP. 9-3, 2.48 in A ball in 2014. 20-10, 2.33 in his minor league career.

It was thought that Prado would be the Yanks’ 3B in 2014, then 2B when Headley re-signed. His versatility (he can also play corner OF) will be missed. As for Phelps, it appears the Yanks like Eovaldi’s upside and experience over Phelps as far as a rotation spot is concerned.

Unless a deal is made, it looks like the second base job will be up for grabs between two rookies. They are:

Jose Pirela, 25, righty bat. Hit 8 for 24 (.333, with one double and two triples) in seven games with the Yanks last year after hitting .305-10-60 with 15 SB at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Rob Refsnyder, 23, righty bat who spent 2014 between AA/AAA, hitting a combined .318-14-63.

Refsnyder, a converted OF, is said to have a MLB-ready bat, but it’s his defense that scouts are questioning.

With Digregorious (24) at SS, one of the two listed above (Pirela/Refsnyder) at 2B, and Eovaldi as a #4 starter, it appears that even though none have done much, if anything, in the majors yet, that the Yanks are focusing on youth with potential upside. I do see, on other blogs, some complaining about their stats so far in their careers. It should be stated to these people to look at the ages. If (and yes, if is a big word) they reach potential (and potential means you haven’t done it yet), the Yanks have some players under team control financially whose best years are AHEAD of them, rather than (as they have often done) have players NOT under team control who are costing too much money whose best years are BEHIND them (Beltran, A-Rod, CC, Teixeira….).

In another move, the Yanks DFA’d Preston Claiborne, RHP, 26, who went 3-0, 3.00 for the Yanks last year when they gave cash considerations to the Mets for RHP Gonzalez Germen. Germen went 0-0, 4.75 for the Mets in 2014 and is 27 years old.  He is 1-2, 4.31 (ERA+ 83) in 54 MLB games.

 

 

 

 

 

The minors.

I’m heading away for the weekend so no reports for a couple of days.

AAA: SWB lost 5-1, getting just three hits. HR SS Carmen Angelini.

AA: Trenton won 3-0. Jaron Long, son of Yanks’ hitting coach Kevin Long, pitched 8 shutout innings. He is 6-1, 2.54 at AA this year, 11-4, 2.25 overall between Low A, High A and AA. He is a 22 yr. old righty. DH Rob Segedin 3 h, triple, rbi. 3B Dante Bichette, Jr. 2 hits, rbi, same with SS Ali Castillo. Two others with two hits each.

High A: Tampa won 10-6. 1B Rey Nunez 3 hits, double, 2 HR, 4 rbi. LF Ericson Leonora solo HR. C Trent Garrison 2 rbi. DH Mike Ford and CF Mark Payton each had 2 hits, rbi. Aaron Judge 2 hits.

Low A: Charleston won 12-0. SS Abiatal Avelino and 2B Tyler Wade with solo HR, Wade had 3 hits. 1B Bubba Jones with 2 doubles, 2 rbi. RF Yeicok Calderon 2 hits, rbi.

Yankees sign Diaz to minor league deal

The Yankees signed Matt Diaz to a minor league deal. If he makes the big league squad, it’s worth $1.2 MM + incentives. As of now, it looks like Diaz will be the righty-hitting OF.

Diaz will be 35 next spring. He is a .291 career hitter, OPS+ 104. Last season he hit .222-2-13 in just 108 AB. He is a .324 hitter vs. lefties. He’s mostly a corner OF (mostly LF). His 162 g. average is .291-10-50.

It appears that he’d be strictly a corner OF vs. lefty pitching.

On a sad note, ex-Yankees OF Andruw Jones (434 career HR, ex-Brave and Dodger as well), was arrested for domestic battery yesterday. A few weeks ago, Jones signed on to play in Japan.

D.J. Mitchell, who the Yanks lost in the Ichiro deal, was DFA’d by Seattle.