Tag Archives: Locastro

Free agency begins. Some Yankees moves.

From Major League Baseball Trade Rumors.com

The Yankees announced they’ve selected pitchers Jhony Brito and Matt Krook onto the 40-man roster. New York also outrighted outfielder Tim Locastro off the roster, and the speedster elected minor league free agency upon clearing waivers.

Both Brito and Krook have played seven seasons in the minor leagues. That’d have given the right to elect free agency this evening if the Yankees didn’t place them on the 40-man roster. New York clearly values both enough to keep them from hitting the open market, with each player cracking a 40-man for the first time.

Brito, 25 in February, is a former amateur signee out of the Dominican Republic. He’s a quality strike-thrower, and Baseball America wrote this summer that he could develop into a back-of-the-rotation starter. The righty split this year between Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, working to a 2.96 ERA through 112 2/3 combined innings. He only struck out 20% of opponents but had a tiny 7.7% walk rate.

Krook spent the whole year in Scranton, starting 22 of 29 appearances. The University of Oregon product, a fourth-round draftee back in 2016, pitched to a 4.09 ERA over 138 2/3 frames. He had a solid 25.7% strikeout percentage but walked an elevated 12.1% of batters faced. The left-hander is generally regarded by evaluators as a likely future reliever.

Locastro, a 30-year-old outfielder, has seen sporadic action for the Yankees in each of the last two seasons. He appeared in 38 games this year but worked mostly as a late-game entrant based on his speed and defense. Locastro hit .186/.239/.349 in 46 plate appearances this year and is a career .227/.325/.331 hitter. He spent most of the season in Scranton, putting up a .240/.332/.395 line over 47 games.

The Yankees announced that they have added right-hander Jimmy Cordero to their 40-man roster.

Cordero, 31, logged 83 innings of MLB action across the 2018-2020 time frame, putting up a 4.55 ERA in that time. Unfortunately, he required Tommy John surgery in March of 2021, wiping out that entire season. The White Sox outrighted him at the end of that campaign.

He signed a minor league deal with the Yankees for 2022 and was able to return to the mound by June. He eventually made 32 appearances for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. In 38 2/3 innings, he posted a 2.09 ERA, along with a incredible 31.8% strikeout rate and 51.7% ground ball rate.

Based on that strong showing, he’s earned his way back onto a 40-man roster. He has one option year remaining, which will allow the Yankees to use him as an optionable depth arm in 2023. He has between two and three years of MLB service time, meaning they can keep him around for years to come if he continues to hang onto that roster spot.

Also (and not from MLBTR) the Yanks are reportedly interested in Masataka Yoshida from Japan, who I wrote about a few days ago. Lefty hitting OF. Good bat-to-ball contact. Think Benintendi with more power.

The Yanks offered the qualifying offer to Anthony Rizzo ($19.65MM). We will see if he accepts or wants a little more, like 2 years/$40MM.

To no surprise, Aaron Judge added the Silver Slugger award to his Hank Aaron Award. We wait for all-MLB and MVP awards.

ALDS Game 3. Yanks blow 9th inning lead, lose 6-5.

The Yankees took a 2-run lead into the ninth inning last night. In 167 previous instances in postseason play, the Yankees had never blown that lead. Meanwhile Cleveland was 0 for 41 when trailing by two or more entering the ninth in their postseason history.

Unfortunately for the Yankees last night, there is a first time for everything. The Yankees blew a 5-3 lead, giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth, and lost 6-5. They were ONE STRIKE away from winning the game. They are down two games to one in the series and must win tonight to stay alive. Gerrit Cole will start for the Yankees. The odds aren’t good for the Yanks. The winner of Game 3 in a series that was tied at one each has won the series 72% of the time. The Yanks did beat the odds in 1977.

If Cleveland is to slay the dragon, so to speak, they aren’t doing it by chopping its head off. They are doing it with pinpricks. Little bleeders and dinkers that find a hole. Cue Roberta Flack. They are killing you softly.

The Yanks roster usage and bullpen usage is coming into question. Here is a link


taking you to that. Clay Holmes wasn’t used, much to the surprise of Holmes and teammate Luis Severino. Holmes said he was available. Manager Aaron Boone said he didn’t want to use Holmes back-to-back games because of soreness. Fine good that does you, to have relievers compromised come playoff time. Of course, the Yankees are already shorthanded in the bullpen with King, Green, Marinaccio, Abreu, Britton, Montas (even though he’s a starter), and Effross all down. That lack of bullpen depth is hurting them right now. A 10-inning loss followed by blowing a 2-run ninth inning lead.

With Holmes down, the way Boone handled the bullpen the rest of the game comes into question. See the article. It’s not just Bryan Hoch of mlb asking the questions about Trivino or Loaisiga’s usage. The YES postgame broadcasting team, like Michael Kay and John Flaherty (and, should Boone need to be replaced, Flaherty would be my choice to replace him) asked the same questions.

The article I referenced above also alludes to some communication problems it seems the Yankees have in the clubhouse. If so, there is a major problem with the front office or manager, or BOTH.

In five seasons as Yankees manager, Boone has had two seasons of 100 or more wins and another of 99. Of course, one season was the 60-game Covid shortened season. Success there. But you now have to wonder if he is a “push-button” manager, who can take a team to the playoffs, but can’t go further because he gets outmanaged by a Kevin Cash, Alex Cora or Terry Francona come playoff time. Just my opinion, but I think it is a fair question, and has Brian Cashman run his course?

Put it this way. When your own broadcasting team second guesses you…

The game didn’t start out well. Luis Severino struggled in the first and second innings, giving up a run in both innings and the Yanks were down 2-0 after two innings. They were lucky it wasn’t worse. A couple balls looked like they would leave the yard, but Aaron Judge caught them on the warning track.

In the top of the third, Oswaldo Cabrera doubled, and Aaron Judge later hit a 2-run HR to tie the game. Judge was 0 for 9 with 8 strikeouts before finally coming through.

In the fifth, Harrison Bader singled and one out later, Cabrera homered to put the Yanks up 4-2.

Cleveland got a run in the sixth, all after Severino got the first two outs. Isiah Kiner Falefa’s defense has been shaky this series and I would not be surprised if Oswald Peraza is the Yanks’ starting SS next year. One play to start the rally was ruled a hit, but you wonder if Peraza would have made the play. Heck, you could make a good case that Peraza should be on THIS postseason roster. It could have been worse. A line drive caught by Gleyber Torres was the third out. That would have tied the game. Instead, the Yanks still led 4-3.

Bader, impressive in his short time with the Yanks so far after the trade, homered in the seventh to make it 5-3 Yanks. The Yanks’ runs were on the HR. They only got five hits all game to Cleveland’s 15. Cleveland strung hits. The Yankees did not.

Then to the ninth. Boone wanted to stretch out Wandy Peralta, who had pitched well, and have him close it out. A one-out blooper to left for a double. Just like in Game 2, Cabrera could not get to it. On the postgame show, Paul O’Neill, the Yankees legend, stated that Cabrera is a good fielder, but the converted infielder is great laterally but still has to learn more coming in or out. My question is, with Tim Locastro being a more experienced outfielder, and with more speed than that of Cabrera, should Boone have replaced Cabrera with Locastro for defensive purposes late in Game 2 and Game 3? Could Locastro have made those plays? And what is Aaron Hicks doing on the roster for if you aren’t going to use him for defensive purposes there? Or Marwin Gonzalez? You have to use the WHOLE roster come playoff time, not just have guys on there to fill out the roster. Hicks and Gonzalez are two guys I don’t expect to be on the team in 2023. If your confidence in them is that low where you can’t use an experienced outfielder for a rookie with 9 games of LF experience under his belt (he had 27 in RF), then why are you carrying them?

Steven Kwan, who had three hits in this game and who is killing the Yanks in this series, served a ball to left to move the runner, Myles Straw, to third, and I do mean served. Looked like a tennis backhand. In came Clarke Schmidt, not Holmes. A single to score the runner and make it 5-4. Then, another blooper. Had the infield not been in a shift, it would have been an easy popup to SS. Instead, bases loaded. Schmidt got a strikeout for the second out, then got two strikes on Oscar Gonzalez. But on a 1-2 pitch, Gonzalez singled up the middle for two runs and the ballgame. 6-5, Cleveland.

Judge 2-run HR
Bader 2 hits, solo HR. I’d consider leading him off. He’s hot, has speed …
Cabrera 2 hits, 2-run HR.

The Yanks in three games, are hitting .172. Of the 11 runs they have scored, 10 are by the HR. Trevino’s SF in Game 1 is the only run not via HR. They have to start stringing hits together.

Severino 5 2/3 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 0 W, 6 K. Settled in after rocky start.
Trivino (H) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Could have been stretched out more?
Loaisiga (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. See Trivino.
Peralta (H) 1 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. Two bleeping bleeding bloopers.
Schmidt (LOSS, BLOWN SAVE) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K.

Concerning: Severino: 10 postseason games, ERA 5.17. He needs to be dominating. He hasn’t done so.

If the Yanks advance, they will face their nemesis, Houston, in the ALCS. Houston swept Seattle by winning Game 3, 1-0, in 18 innings.

A shocker in the NL. #5 and #6 will meet each other (Padres vs Phillies) for the NL pennant. Gone are 111-win LA, 101-win Atlanta, 101-win Mets. Even the 92-win Cardinals. Instead, it is an 89-win vs an 87-win matchup.

UPDATE: One more thing. Aroldis Chapman gave up HR that sent the Yanks home in 2019 and 2020. This year, his own selfishness may doom the Yanks. It is becoming apparent that losing his closer spot affected him, and that the possibility of being left off the playoff roster made him mope so that he missed a mandatory workout. So that selfishness may wind up costing the Yanks again. He is a free agent. Good riddance. May he never wear a Yankees uniform again, not even to an Old-Timer’s game.

Game 156. No #62 yet, and Yanks lose, 2-1.

Aaron Judge will have to wait for HR #62, going 1 for 2 with a pair of walks in the Yankees’ (96-60) 2-1 loss to Baltimore Friday night.

Judge is at .314, about 7/10th of a point behind Minnesota’s Luis Arraez (.315) as Judge also goes for a Triple Crown.

A couple of mistakes, lack of control, no run support and a lot of rust hurt the Yanks in the loss.

In the first inning, Baltimore scored on a walk, a SB, a throwing error on Jose Trevino on the SB that allowed Cedric Mullins of Baltimore to go to third, and an RBI single. I thought Gleyber Torres should have caught or at least knocked down Trevino’s throw, but it is what it is.

The Yanks only got four hits in the game, struck out 13x, and their only run came on a HR by Oswaldo Cabrera (5) in the bottom of the fifth. No way does Cabrera not make the postseason roster. Even if D.J. LeMahieu, Andrew Benintendi or Matt Carpenter do get over their injuries and make it.

As for someone else, I’ll get to that in a bit.

Domingo German was the tough luck loser in this game, having pitched well, but getting no run support save for Cabrera’s HR.

In the top of the sixth, German walked the first two hitters before getting a groundout that moved the runners up. He was then relieved by Zack Britton.

Britton is just coming off of TJ surgery and it is said that control is the last thing to return. Britton walked a batter before throwing a WP that enabled the deciding run in the game to score. He was then removed with a tired arm. Nice try in coming back and hoping to make the postseason roster. It is obvious that Britton isn’t ready yet.

It will be interesting to see if Matt Carpenter, now taking batting practice, can get a couple of games in before the postseason, and if he can make the postseason roster, because if Giancarlo Stanton wasn’t Giancarlo Stanton, and making over $30MM a year, then based on performance alone, Stanton should NOT be on the postseason roster. Stanton is hitting .140 since coming off the IL, and .156 since June 1. If the Yanks had guts (and it would be a highly controversial move), if Carpenter is ok, they put Carpenter on the postseason roster and DH him and leave Stanton off of it. It won’t happen, though. But the Yanks are racing against the clock to get Stanton straightened out. I fear Stanton will kill the Yanks in the playoffs. He’s been THAT awful. Gallo-like awful. If Stanton is on the postseason roster, as expected, then PLEASE Aaron Boone, drop him in the lineup. To Seventh. Maybe even Eighth like Joe Torre did with A-Rod in 2006. You can’t just keep putting him 4 or 5.

But then, Boone had Gallo hitting cleanup in last year’s wildcard game loss at Boston. Sigh. Don’t make the same mistake, Boonie.

LeMahieu came off the IL for the game. Locastro taken off the roster. LeMahieu went 0 for 3 and we will see if D.J. is good enough to be on the postseason roster or not. Soon, we see about Benintendi, too.

Feelings be damned. If someone isn’t ready or deserves to be on the postseason roster, then leave him off. You can’t mess around come playoff time.

Today’s game may be delayed or postponed. The weather forecast calls for rain in NYC.

Cabrera 2 hits, solo HR (5)

German (L, 2-4) 5 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 W, 6 K. 3.31 Tough loss.
Britton 0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 1 WP. 13.50 Rusty. Not ready. Go home and heal up more.
Marinaccio 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 3 K. 2.09
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.11
Effross 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.59 (Cubs/NYY)

Boone also revealed postgame that right-handed reliever Clay Holmes received a cortisone injection for inflammation in his right rotator cuff and likely won’t pitch again until the American League Division Series starts Oct. 11. We will have to see how he is. Meanwhile, Wandy Peralta should be off the IL by then, and Miguel Castro and Albert Abreu have finished rehab. The Yanks will have a LOT of interesting decisions to make regarding the postseason roster.

Game 155. Fit to be tied! Judge gets #61, Cole ties Guidry K mark in Yanks’ 8-3 win.

Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris for the AL and Yankees’ single-season HR record by hitting his 61st HR last night in the Yankees’ (96-59) 8-3 win at Toronto.

The blow broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh inning. Fitting that it was the game-winning hit.

So, 61 years after Maris, who wore #9, hit 61, Judge, also a RF, who wears #99, matches him. And Maris sometimes played CF, especially after Mantle went down late in the 1961 season. We’ve seen Judge play a lot of CF himself this season.

The Yankees are off today and return to NY for a weekend series against Baltimore. If Judge doesn’t hit #62 Friday night, maybe he does it Saturday, October 1. If so, he would break Maris’ mark exactly 61 years after Roger hit his 61st.

Judge wasn’t the only one to tie a single season Yankees’ record last night. Gerrit Cole struck out four batters to give him 248 on the season, tying the mark set by Ron Guidry in 1978.

Judge’s HR was his only at bat in a 1 for 4 night. He still leads, barely, in the batting title race as he possibly could win a Triple Crown. He is hitting .3134 to the Twins’ Luis Arraez .3133. Xander Bogaerts of Boston is at .309. Should Judge win the Triple Crown, he would be only the second player since 1967 to do so. He would be the third Yankee. Lou Gehrig in 1934 and Mickey Mantle in 1956 are the Yankees to have done so. By the way, no NL hitter has won the Triple Crown since Joe “Ducky” Medwick of St. Louis in 1937.

Having won the AL East the night before, manager Aaron Boone made Anthony Rizzo the de facto manager for the evening. Most of the lineup was made up of the bench players, and rookie Oswald Peraza hit cleanup.

The Yanks scored three times in the top of the first inning. Judge walked, and so did Oswaldo Cabrera. Josh Donaldson singled in Judge, and Peraza then got a single for his first MLB RBI to make it 2-0. After a force-out, Marwin Gonzalez hit a SF to make it 3-0.

Cole retired the first 15 batters he faced before giving up a HR to Danny Jansen leading off the bottom of the sixth. As we have seen this year, anything that seems to throw Cole off a bit seems to mess him up big time, as far as limiting the damage. A single and walk immediately followed. After a lineout, a single brought in one run. A balk by Cole moved the runners up to second and third. A SF tied the game before Cole got out of the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Aaron Hicks singled before Judge hit his AL record-tying HR (and we know about the steroid controversy surrounding the NL and MLB mark, a fact alluded to by Roger Maris, Jr. in a postgame interview). But two outs after Judge’s line drive blast (394 ft with an exit velo of 117+ MPH, the hardest HR Judge has hit all season), the Yanks tacked on another run. Peraza singled, went to second on a WP and scored on a single by Harrison Bader, who moved to second on an error. 6-3 Yankees.

The Yanks got a couple of insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Cabrera doubled, and Donaldson was HBP. A groundout by Peraza moved the runners up. Bader then hit a ball back to the mound, but in trying to get the runner out at home, Toronto pitcher Adam Cimber threw the ball back to the backstop and both runners scored. 8-3.

Judge 2-run HR (61). Ties AL record and Yankees’ record for most HR in a season.
Peraza 2 hits, RBI. First MLB RBI
Locastro 2 hits
Hicks 3 for 3 with a walk.

Cole (W, 13-7) 6 1/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K. 1 Balk. Gave up 1 HR. 3.51
Cole’s 248 K ties Guidry single season NYY record.

Britton (H, 2) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 0 K. 13.50 After TJ surgery, control is the last thing to return.
Effross (H, 16) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.63 (Cubs/NYY)
Schmidt (H, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.29
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.24

D.J. LeMahieu is expected off the IL on Friday, and we will see about the corresponding move.

Minor League Report. Yanks call up #3 prospect, SS Oswald Peraza.

Now that it is September, rosters can expand slightly, to 28 players. With that, the Yankees have called up #3 prospect SS Oswald Peraza (see stats below). They also reactivated Marwin Gonzalez from the paternity list. Tim Locastro, who was up for Gonzalez, stays.

AAA: SWB (66-59) split a doubleheader.
Game 1: Lost 4-1.
Peraza Solo HR (19). #3 prospect. .259-19-50, 33 SB. Just called up.
Shortly after hitting this HR, Peraza was removed from the game because the Yankees have called him up.

C Josh Breaux 2 hits. #22 prospect. .223-18-44

Spence (L, 1-2) 5 2/3 IP, 4 R, 10 H, 2 W, 5 K. 4.15 (AAA stats only)
M. Gomez 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 5.75

Game 2: Won 3-2 in 10 innings.
RF Ryan LaMarre 2 hits, RBI
1B Chad Bell Solo HR (1) (AAA stats onlyh)

Chi Chi Gonzalez 3 2/3 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 W, 2 K. 4.09
Mujica 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K. 4.01
Zach Greene 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. 3.79
Luke Bard 2 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 4 K. 4.70
Rich Rodriguez (W, 2-1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 5.40

Gonzalez, Bard and Rodriguez are all ex-major leaguers. Journeymen if you will. Recently signed.

AA: Somerset (74-47, 1st half division champ) won 4-3.
DH Everson Pereira 3 hits, RBI. #5 prospect. .273-13-54, 20 SB
3B Andres Chaparro 2 hits.
RF Brandon Lockridge 3 hits, 2 RBI. #28 prospect. .229-11-45, 14 SB
1B Mickey Gasper 2 hits.

Yoendrys Gomez 3 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 3 W, 3 K. 1 HBP. 2.70 (AA ERA)
#12 prospect, 0-0, 1.85 (3 levels, see below).
Semple (W, 1-0) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.00 (AA Stats only)
Jennings (H, 6) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.48
Myatt (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 4.98
McGarrity (H, 2) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.38
Coleman (S, 13) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.26

Gomez has fought injuries. In 12 starts this year, he has pitched only 34 innings, so the Yanks are bringing him along slowly. Hence the record.

High A: Hudson Valley (67-55) won 8-0.
3B Tyler Hardman 2 RBI
1B Spencer Henson 2 hits
RF Aaron Palensky 2 hits, RBI.

Fitts (W, 3-0) 5 2/3 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 1 W, 9 K. 0.68 (High A stats only)
Dees (H, 1) 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 4 K. 0.00 (High A stats only)
Santana 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. (High A stats only)

Low A: Tampa was leading 2-1 in the top of the second when the game was suspended. DH Spencer Jones (#7 prospect, Yankees’ 1st round draft pick this year) had homered.

Game 129. Judge hits #50, but Yanks lose, 4-3.

Aaron Judge became the third Yankee (after Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle; A-Rod* also did it, but two of the three times A-Rod* did it were with Texas, and the asterisk is there on purpose) and tenth player in MLB history with multi-50-HR seasons, but the Yanks (78-51) lost to the Angels Monday night, 4-3.

The Yanks’ lead over Tampa Bay is 7. The magic number for clinching the AL East is 28.

Yankees’ starter Frankie Montas gave up 3 HR, one to Shohei Ohtani, who has 4 career HR off of Montas. Ex-Yankee Mike Ford also tagged Montas.

Luis Rengifo started the scoring by hitting a HR off Montas in the bottom of the second.

The Yanks tied it in the third, but the way they did it raises questions. Also, Aaron Boone’s lineup raises questions.

With one out, Isiah Kiner-Falefa walked and Oswaldo Cabrera singled IKF to third. D.J. LeMahieu squeezed IKF home to tie the game. Now in certain circumstances I love the squeeze. Not here. The play took the bat out of Aaron Judge’s hands. He was then intentionally walked. Andrew Benintendi then grounded out to end the inning.

I can see D.J. not wanting to hit into a DP. Understood. But a sac fly gets the run in and then first base is NOT open, and the Angels probably DON’T walk Judge then. But with first base open, the Angels walk a 49 (now 50) HR guy to get to a guy with 4 HR this season. A no-brainer. Your best hitter had the bat taken out of his hands.

Which leads us to the lineup. Boone needs to stop changing the lineup every day and stick with something. And he needs to protect Judge. Put Giancarlo Stanton behind him. Now I understand when Stanton was on the IL that other than Rizzo, the only choices were Josh Donaldson or Gleyber Torres, both struggling, and that for a while, Rizzo was out with back issues. But you need someone behind Judge that the pitchers fear. Roger Maris in 1961 had Mantle behind him. It’s why Maris DID NOT GET ONE INTENTIONAL WALK ALL YEAR LONG IN 1961. Granted Stanton is still getting his bearings after coming off the IL, but he inspires more fear than Benintendi does. I’d have had a lineup of DJ, Benintendi, Judge, Stanton, Rizzo, Torres (Donaldson didn’t start last night). Donaldson 6 if Torres isn’t starting. Cabrera 7th. The kid is handling himself well. See below. He almost saved the game for the Yankees. Then Trevino or Higgy eighth, with IKF ninth. And LEAVE IT THAT WAY.

The Yanks went up 2-1 in the top of the fourth when Anthony Rizzo homered (29).

But in the bottom of the fourth, Ex-Yankee Mike Ford homered to tie the game.

In the top of the fifth, IKF doubled. Two outs later, Judge was intentionally walked again (see previous paragraph) to face Benintendi, who flied out. Now I don’t know what Stanton would have done, and this isn’t a knock on Benintendi, but you need a 24 HR Stanton or a 29 HR Rizzo protecting Judge, not a 4 HR Benintendi. The bat gets taken out of your best hitter’s hands again. Twice in a game that you lost 4-3 your best hitter didn’t get a chance to swing the bat.

In the bottom of the fifth, Ohtani, who seems to own Montas, hit a 2-run HR to put the Angels up 4-3. It was, as mentioned above, the fourth career HR Ohtani has hit off of Montas. The mistake here, as pointed out on MLB network’s broadcast, was that it was the fourth straight splitter thrown in the same location. To Ohtani’s credit, he adjusted. Montas needed to mix things up a little better there to keep Ohtani off balance.

In the eighth, Judge finally got to swing the bat again, and that is when he hit HR #50 to cut the Angels’ lead to 4-3.

The Yanks had a runner on in the ninth with two out. Rookie Oswaldo Cabrera got a good swing on one, but the ball was caught on the warning track by Mike Trout for the final out. The pinch-runner was Tim Locastro, called up when Marwin Gonzalez was put on paternity leave.

The purpose of this blog is not only to report, but also to provide objective analysis. I would do certain things to the lineup and leave it alone rather than to change it daily to suit the analytics people. But having the bat taken out of Judge’s hands twice helped contribute to a loss. You want your best hitter at least having a chance.

I do get a bit upset with people pushing the Ohtani MVP narrative. Yes, he’s great. But the second word is VALUABLE. Not special, which Ohtani, by being a great pitcher and hitter, is. Not Player of the Year or decade. VALUABLE. With Ohtani, the Angels are still only a fourth-place team at 56-73. Without him they are what, fourth? Last? But take away Judge from the Yankees. Are the Yankees (78-51, 7 game lead) still in first place? I don’t think so. Judge leads all of MLB in R, HR, RBI, Slugging average, OPS, OPS+ (199), and total bases. That is seven categories. And he leads the AL in walks. Without him the Yanks are not in first place. With Ohtani, the Angels are still in fourth. Enough said.

Clay Holmes came off the IL. Luke Bard sent down.

Judge solo HR (50)
Rizzo Solo HR (29)

Montas (L, 4-11) 6 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 0 W, 6 K. 1 WP. 1 HBP. Gave up 3 HR. 3.94 (Combined A’s/NYY Stats)
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.34
Luetge 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.53

Minor League Action from 8-20-22. Stanton starts rehab.

AAA: SWB (61-54) swept a DH.

Game 1: Won 5-4.
CF Tim Locastro solo HR (3)
DH Max McDowell 2 hits
2B Chris Owings 2 RBI

Krook 4 2/3 IP, 2 R, 0 H, 7 W, 6 K. 4.14
Zach Greene (W, 8-0) 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 2 HR. 4.03
Weissert (S, 18) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1.77

Game 2: Won 4-0.
CF Locastro 2 hits.
LF Miguel Andujar 2 hits, 2 RBI.
3B Armando Alvarez 2 hits, 2 RBI
2B Chad Bell 2 hits

Spence (W, 1-1) 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 W, 3 K. 3.66
Cordero 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 W, 3 K. 2.08

AA: Somerset (68-44; won 1st half division title already) lost 5-3.
DH Giancarlo Stanton started rehab. 0 for 3, 2 strikeouts.
PR/DH Eric Wagaman 2 for 2 (replaced Stanton)
C Austin Wells 2 hits. #4 prospect. .277-13-37, 10 SB
1B Mickey Gasper 2 hits, solo HR (8)

Randy Vasquez (L, 1-5) 2 2/3 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 3 W, 3 K. 4.05 #16 prospect
Jennings 2 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 5 K. 4.40
Minnick 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1 HBP 2.13
Cowart 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 7.00

High A: Hudson Valley (60-52) won 5-1.
RF Grant Richardson 2 hits, 2 RBI. 2-run HR (7)
C Carlos Narvaez 3-run HR (10)

Fitts (W, 1-0) 6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 1 W, 7 K. 2 HBP 0.71 (High A ERA only)
Diaz (H, 3) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 6.00
Alvarez 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 1 WP 3.07
Correa 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.49

Low A: Tampa ppd.


AAA: SWB Tied for 4th, IL East, 61-54 3 1/2 GB

AA: Somerset won 1st half Eastern League Northeast title, 44-25
Second half: 2nd. 24-19, 1 1/2 GB

High A: Hudson Valley 3rd in SAL North in 1st half. 34-32, 9 GB
2nd half: 26-20 1st by 1/2 a game.

Low A: Tampa 6th and last in FSL West in first half. 27-39, 15 GB
2nd half: 26-18, 3rd, 2 GB

Game 118. Donaldson’s walk-off Grand Slam gives Yanks much needed 8-7 win. Betances retires.

The difference between an 8-game lead and a 10-game lead is two games.

Psychologically, it can be much bigger than that. Especially when you had a 15-game lead that could be cut in half. Especially when you have lost 11 for your last 13 games. Especially when you look as terrible as the Yankees (73-45) have looked lately.

If the Yankees get back on track and start playing better baseball, last night’s 8-7 win may be looked at as the defining moment of their season, for there was nothing indicating that a miracle win was going to happen.

But Josh Donaldson’s walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th gave the Yankees a much-needed victory.

Before the game, the Yankees sent Miguel Andujar and Tim Locastro down to AAA and brought up Estevan Florial (who made a nice shoestring catch in this game) and Oswaldo Cabrera. They also put Clay Holmes on the injured list and brought back Ron Marinaccio.

The Yanks fell behind 4-0, and with the team only scoring 9 runs in their last 7 games, it felt like 400-0.

A walk and a one-out double gave Tampa Bay a run in the third inning. With one out in the fifth, Yankees’ starter Domingo German gave up a double, single and 2-run double to make it 3-0.

Lucas Luetge gave up a HR in the top of the sixth, and it was 4-0 Rays. The way the Yanks have played lately, it didn’t look good.

Gleyber Torres hit a 2-run HR (17) in the bottom of the sixth to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 4-2. But in the seventh, he made a mistake that I thought would be fatal.

In the seventh, shortly after a one-hour rain delay, Jose Trevino led off with a single. D.J. LeMahieu PH for Florial and singled. After Isiah Kiner-Falefa lined out, Andrew Benintendi walked to load the bases. The Rays then made a pitching change and Aaron Judge walked on four pitches to force in a run. 4-3. Then Torres did something that makes you mad. Right after seeing a guy walk on four pitches, did Torres take a strike? Make the pitcher throw strikes? No. He swung at the first pitch and GIDP. Inexcusable. The previous guy walked on four pitches. You have to make that pitcher PROVE he can throw strikes. At that point, I thought Torres may have blown the game for the Yankees.

But Anthony Rizzo tied the game in the bottom of the eighth with his 28th HR of the year and the game eventually went into extra innings.

In the top of the tenth, Tampa Bay started with that ghost runner I hate. After Scott Effross got an out, he was replaced by Aroldis Chapman, and the Chapman that came in was bad, wild Chapman. Two walks loaded the bases as Chapman was all over the place. He recovered with a strikeout, then got an 0-2 count on the next hitter. One strike away from getting out of the inning, Chapman gave up a bases-clearing double and the Rays were up 7-4. The way the Yanks were playing lately, losing 11 of 13, you figured game over.

But no. Aaron Judge was the ghost runner for the Yankees in the bottom of the tenth. Torres singled Judge to third. Rizzo walked to load the bases. Donaldson then hit a grand slam (12) to win the game, 8-7. Going into the game, Donaldson was hitting something like .167 at Yankee Stadium and .266 on the road. Who’d have thought?

It’s the biggest win the Yanks have had all year so far. They needed that win BADLY.

Torres 2 hits, 2-run HR (17)
Rizzo solo HR (28)
Donaldson GW, Walk-off Grand Slam (12)
Trevino 3 hits

German 4 2/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 1 W, 6 K. 1 HBP 4.45
Luetge 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.88
Trivino 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 5.73 (combined A’s/NYY ERA)
Marinaccio 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K 1.91
Effros 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.81 (Combined Cubs/NYY ERA)
Chapman (W, 2-3) 2/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K. 4.45

Ex-Yankee Dellin Betances announced his retirement yesterday. Betances pitched for the Yankees (2011-2019) and Mets (2020-2021). A 4x All-Star, he finished 3rd in ROY voting in 2014 and 14th in CYA voting in 2015. He was injured in 2019 and only pitched in one game that season. In that game he struck out both batters he faced but tore his Achilles and was never the same after that. He retires with a 21-23 record, 36 saves, and an excellent ERA of 2.53 (ERA+ 165). From 2014-2018 Betances went 21-22 for the Yankees with an ERA of 2.22, ERA+ 188, as one of, if not the best, setup guys in MLB. Best wishes to him.

Game 100. Game Dismissed! Judge’s walk-off HR wins game for Yanks, 1-0.

Going into the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees (67-33) only had managed one hit, a fourth-inning single by Gleyber Torres, and had struck out 12x. The game was scoreless thanks to the pitching of Jameson Taillon, Ron Marinaccio and Clay Holmes. Kansas City only had four hits themselves.

Aaron Judge got the Yankees’ second—and last—hit of the game, hitting his 39th HR of the season to win the game 1-0. It was his third walk-off HR of the season, tying the Yankees’ record set by Mickey Mantle in 1959. It was a 431-ft. blast.

Torres made a couple of fine defensive plays in the top of the ninth to preserve the shutout and game.

Judge Solo GW HR (39)

Taillon 6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 W, 8 K. 3.72
Marinaccio 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 1.96 19 straight scoreless IP.
Holmes (W, 5-1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K. 1.20

AL EAST Standings

NYY 67-33 —- Magic # to win division is 52
Tor 55-44 – 11 1/2
TB 53-46 -13 1/2
Balt 50-49 – 16 1/2
Bos 50-50 -17

The Yanks lead Houston by 2 games for best record in the AL but are percentage points behind the Dodgers (.673 to .670) for the best record in baseball.

Update: to make room for Benintendi, the Yanks sent Tim Locastro back to AAA.

Game 98. Stanton to IL. Yanks lose to Mets, 6-3.

Before the game, Giancarlo Stanton (strained Achilles) to the 10-day IL, retroactive to July 24, and Tim Locastro brought back.

The Yanks lost to the Mets Tuesday night 6-3. Tonight’s matchup doesn’t look good, Domingo German vs. future HOF Max Scherzer, but you never know.

Last night started well for the Yanks. With one out in the top of the first inning, Aaron Judge (38) and Anthony Rizzo (23) hit back-to-back HR for the Yanks. Yanks up 2-0.

But Yankees’ starter Jordan Montgomery had nothing, giving up two HR and two doubles in the bottom of the first inning to put the Yanks behind 4-2. Montgomery is 0-3, 8.40 in four career starts vs. the Mets. Some teams just have your number.

Meanwhile the Yanks only scored one more run the rest of the game, going 0 for 8 w/RISP with 10 men left on base.

The Mets got another run in the third, with help from a throwing error by Josh Donaldson to go up 5-2.

With one out in the fourth, Aaron Hicks and Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled. Jose Trevino reached on a fielders’ choice to load the bases. A groundout by D.J. LeMahieu made it 5-3, then Judge walked to reload the bases. Rizzo got the green light on a 3-0 pitch, but just missed hitting a grand slam, flying out to the warning track.

The Mets got a run off of Albert Abreu in the eighth.

At least the struggling Loaisiga and Chapman pitched scoreless innings.

Judge 2 hits, RBI. Solo HR (38)
Rizzo 2 hits, RBI. Solo HR (23)
Hicks 2 hits
Kiner-Falefa 2 hits

Montgomery (L, 3-3) 2 1/3 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 H, 1 W, 3 K. Gave up 2 HR 3.50
Marinaccio 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.14
Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 7.17
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 5.48
Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.21
Abreu 1 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1 WP 2.30 (3-team ERA)

NYY 66-32 — Magic #54
Tor 54-43 – 11 1/2
Tampa Bay 52-45 -13 1/2
Baltimore 49-48 -16 1/2
Boston 49-49 -17

The Yanks lead Houston (64-34) by two games for best record in the AL. They lead the Dodgers (64-32) by 1 game for the best record in baseball.