Tag Archives: Mantle

Minor League Report. Andujar homers on Rehab stint. Also, a special moment remembered.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

 

Before I get into the minor league report, I would like to comment on the picture you see above. Gene Stephens, a backup/platoon OF who played in the majors for Boston (1952-1953, 1955-1960), Baltimore (1960-1961) the KC A’s (1961-1962) and Chicago White Sox (1963-1964) was a .240 hitter, 37 MLB HR, OPS+ 83. His 162 game average was .240-6-35. 12 years in the majors, nothing really significant about his career, except…

THIS photo.

This photo was taken on August 12, 1964. Mel Stottlemyre made his MLB debut against the White Sox, winning the game, and Stephens is the centerfielder for the White Sox that day looking up at a HR hit by Mickey Mantle that went over the 461 ft. sign and ALSO the fence and screen which combined were about 23 ft. high. It was said to be a 502 ft. shot.

Stephens just passed away a few days ago on April 27, age 86. I thought you’d like to know the story and see the photo.

AAA: SWB (12-12) won 7-3. SS/2B Gosuke Katoh (.366) 3 hits. 2 doubles, HR. C Ryan Lavarnway 2 RBI. 3B Mandy Alvarez 3 hits, 2 RBI. David Hale the W. 3-0, 2.38.

AA: Trenton (15-9) lost 7-4, getting just 3 hits. SS Kyle Holder 2-run HR. Solo HR 1b Chris Gittens. Solo HR LF Ben Ruta.

High A: Tampa (12-15) won 6-5. 3B Miguel Andujar, on rehab, 2 for 2 with a 2-run HR. 1B Dermis Garcia solo HR.

Low A: Charleston (14-13) won 4-0 on a two-hitter, 12 K. CF Josh Stowers 2 hits. C Josh Breaux 2 hits, RBI. DH Cannan Smith 2 hits, RBI. 3B Neil Gomez 2 hits, RBI.

Daniel Bies 7 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 9 K. (W, 2-1, 4.07)
Dalton Higgins 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K.    1.93

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Yankees’ Spring Training games start today.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees open their spring training schedule with a game on the road against the defending WS Champion Red Sox.

The game will be on the MLB network at 1 PM.

Nestor Cortes starts for the Yankees. Cortes, a 24 y.o. LHP, was in the Yanks’ farm system for years before being claimed by Baltimore in the Rule 5 draft before the 2018 season. He was returned to the Yanks after going 0-0, 7.71 in four games of relief for the Orioles.

As a spot starter/reliever, he went 7-4, 2.06 in three levels (A+/AA/AAA) in 2017 in the Yanks’ farm system. (13 starts, 17 relief outings).

After being returned to the Yanks in 2018, Cortes went 6-6, 3.68 at AAA SWB last year (18 starts, 6 relief appearances). You can probably expect Cortes to start the season at AAA.

Clint Frazier is expected to start today in LF.

Former 1960s pitcher Joe Gibbon (LHP) passed away at the age of 83. Gibbon pitched for the Pirates (1960-1965), Giants (1966-1969), Pirates again (1969-1970), Reds (1971-1972) and Astros (1972). He won a WS ring as a rookie with the 1960 Pirates and besides pitching in the 1960 WS, pitched in the 1970 NLCS for the Pirates.

A spot starter/reliever, Gibbon was 61-65, 3.52 in his career, ERA+ 102. His average 162 g. season would be 16 starts, 36 relief appearances, 8-8, 3.52.

He went 0-0, 8.10 in the postseason. Mickey Mantle’s HR off of him in Game 2 was a shot, clearing the 15 ft. high wall at the 436 ft. marker just to the right of dead center field, and was estimated to travel 478 feet (per the book Explosion by Mark Gallagher). It was the first ball hit by a righty hitter to clear the fence at that spot.

No logo for Mussina; Umpire McKean dies.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

As what could be expected for someone who spent his HOF career almost even split between two franchises (10 years with Baltimore, 8 with the Yankees), Mike Mussina has decided to not have a logo on his cap on his HOF plaque.

The late Roy Halladay won’t either. In a somewhat surprising decision, his family decided no logo either. It was expected that Halladay may have a Blue Jay logo on his cap since he spent 12 years in Toronto, and 4 with the Phillies.

Mariano Rivera and Edgar Martinez only played for the Yankees and Mariners, respectively.

It was mentioned that Rivera will be the eighth HOF whose playing career was solely with the Yankees (Derek Jeter will be #9 next year). The others are Whitey Ford, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Phil Rizzuto, Earle Combs, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.

Veterans’ Committee choices Harold Baines and Lee Smith, both of whom played for various teams, will both be representing Chicago: Baines the White Sox, Smith the Cubs.

Former MLB umpire Jim McKean passed away at the age of 73. He umpired in 3 WS, 1979, 1985 and 1995.

Game 80. Ugly loss. Boston 11, Yanks 0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks ran up against their nemesis, Chris Sale, last night and lost to Boston 11-0. Sale has the lowest ERA against the Yanks of any pitcher in the past 100 years.

The loss drops the 53-27 Yanks one game behind 56-28 Boston. Tonight is game 81, meaning the last game of the first half of the season.

Since the Yanks only got two hits in the game, one against Sale and one against a reliever, it probably would not have mattered if the Yanks threw Ford, Gomez, Ruffing, Guidry, or Pettitte on the mound against Sale. It probably wouldn’t have mattered because Sale was that dominant.

But it wasn’t any of those Yankees legends on the mound. It was Sonny Gray. And Gray’s struggles against Boston (and not just as a Yankee) continued.

I give Gray a lot of credit for standing up to the interviewers after the game and in answering all their questions honestly instead of cowering in the trainer’s room. But in watching that interview on the post game YES show, I also had the feeling I was listening to a lost soul who had that deer in the headlights look.

Gray is 1-6, 6.98 in his career vs. Boston. When you feel more confident in maybe starting Jonathan Loaisiga, in what would have been his fourth MLB start, against Boston than Gray, well ….  at least Boston hasn’t seen Loaisiga and maybe you catch lightning in a bottle. And remember, “Johnny Lasagna” had only as 45 IP above Low A before pitching in the majors.

But in watching body language, doesn’t it seem like Loaisiga is more calm and collected and that Gray is scared to throw a pitch?

Gray got the first two hitters out, then gave up a single, walk, single, and with two strikes, a grand slam. The Yanks didn’t even come up to bat yet, and were down 4-0 to Sale. Game effectively over at that point. Then Gray gave up two more runs in the second and was knocked out in the third.

Gray is 5-6, 5.44. Here is a damning stat. Of all pitchers with a dozen or more starts as a Yankee at Yankee Stadium, Gray has the worst ERA, 7.10. That’s worse than Pavano, Jeff Johnson, Tim Leary, Scott Sanderson…. worse than anyone, even Ed Whitson. In 14 starts at Yankee Stadium, including as a member of the Oakland A’s facing the Yankees, Gray is 4-6, 6.78.

He’s getting booed, and as long as he is pitching like this, the boos will get more merciless.

We have a problem.

One reporter from Newsday suggested Cashman “work his magic” and trade Gray. Of course, the Yanks have to get a starter first, then trade Gray, and right now, you are trading low on Gray.

I hope he can get straightened out. But it could be that Gray is better suited for a small market team like Oakland and that he can’t handle NY. We’ve seen it before. One scout a few weeks ago suggested that that wasn’t going to be the case, and said the Yanks have and will continue to have a problem with Gray.

One thing we do know. This isn’t good with Gray. It has to improve or Gray and the Yankees would be better suited if he pitches elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Austin Romine, with a tight hamstring, was removed early from last night’s game for precautionary reasons. Hopefully it’s just a day-to-day thing and Romine doesn’t have to go on the DL. But Gary Sanchez already is on the DL and won’t be back for a month. Losing Romine would be a crippling blow. The lack of Yankees’ catching depth was proven in this year’s MLB draft when they took catchers in BOTH the first and second rounds.

The Yanks sent Giovanny Gallegos down to AAA and haven’t made a move yet, pending Romine’s leg. Kyle Higashioka is Romine’s backup right now, and Higashioka is 0 for 21 now in his MLB career. If Romine has to go down, Wilkin Castillo would be coming up from SWB. Castillo, 34, last played in the majors in 2009, and has just 22 games of MLB experience. A switch-hitter, he was an OF/IF back then before being converted to a catcher. He started this year in independent league baseball. He only hit .218 last year for SWB, .244 now.

One guy the Yanks did have was 38 year old Erik Kratz, but they traded him to Milwaukee a few weeks ago when they re-signed Castillo. In 14 games for the Brewers, Kratz has hit 3 HR. Go figure. In his brief Yankees’ career, Kratz was 2 for 2 last year.

Not much to say about last night’s game. As mentioned, Gray put the Yanks into an early 6-0 hole, they couldn’t do anything against Sale, and Boston dominated.

With the ace, Severino, on the mound tonight, let’s hope Seve is as dominant tonight against Boston as Sale was against the Yanks last night.

The offense has been sluggish lately as well, with a couple of shutouts. Let’s hope they awaken.

Gleyber Torres hit cleanup last night, the youngest Yankee to do so since Mickey Mantle in 1953.

Brandon Drury was called up and played 1b last night.

Gray (5-6, 5.44) 2 1/3 IP, 6 R, 7 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up Grand Slam.
Warren 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 4 K.  1.35
Gallegos 2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 3 K.  3.86    Gave up 1 HR. Sent down to AAA
Holder 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K.  2.01
Shreve 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K.  4.97

 

Game 64. Gleyber helps German to 1st MLB win, 4-3.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

First off, thank you to all for understanding that I couldn’t post as often as I wanted to, especially on the minor league stuff, because one of my uncles passed away and that I had a viewing and funeral to attend.

Thank you all for your patience, understanding and consideration.

Unfortunately, given the age and health of my mom, aunts and uncles, this seems to be more of a pressing issue now than before. I hope and pray for your understanding and consideration. Thank you.

As for tonight’s game, Game #64, Domingo German finally gets his first MLB win, thanks to Gleyber Torres.

I like German’s stuff, but as a rookie, it seemed that he was 1) pitching in bad luck, not getting enough run support 2) would pitch great except for one bad inning that would cost him the game and 3) would pitch five good innings but have that one, as an inexperienced rookie, that he could not get out of,  and would cost him the game.

So it is good to see him get his first MLB win.

In the top of the first, on the very first pitch of the game, German gave up a HR. I don’t know if it was a “get me over” fastball, but HR. Down 1-0 already. He struck out the side for the rest of the inning, but already down to a pitcher who was 8-3, 2.30.

A two- out double by Andujar and walks to Austin and Torreyes loaded the bases in the bottom of the second for Walker, who struck out.

With one out in the third, a single and walk for TB. A lineout to Judge in RF. Then a single to Stanton that brings in one run, but the other is thrown out at the plate for out #3. If Gardner was out in LF, I don’t think ANY run would have scored. But down 2-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, with one out,  the Yanks scored all their runs for the game. The Yanks had two on, two out in the fourth and did nothing, but in the fifth, Hicks led off with his seventh HR of the year.

This week, Hicks has been taking a lot of called strike threes. So I was wondering if he needed to re-establish his strike zone. Nice HR there.

After Hicks made it 2-1,  Judge singled. He moved up on a WP, but Stanton struck out for the second out of the inning. The struggling Sanchez drew a walk. Torres then hit a 3-run HR (13) to put the Yanks up, 4-2.

Nice list on the game by FS1. Youngest players 21 or under (before 22nd b/day) to 13 or more HR: Gleyber, 13 now. Mantle, age 19 in 1951, 13; Mantle, age 20 in 1952, 23. Mantle, age 21 in 1953, 21. DiMaggio, age 21 in 1936, 29. How about THAT company?

The Yanks, through sloppy D, gave the Rays a run in the top of the sixth. Walk, K. Dropped foul pop by Sanchez. K, WP. Man on second, two out. Single, SB. K to get out of the inning. 4-3, which would be the final score.

Bad move by Carlos Gomez of the Rays in the top of the seventh. A double with one out, then a CS trying to steal third.

The win puts the Yanks at 44-20, with Boston out in Seattle with a late game tonight.

Not to be a downer on a 44-20 team, but with all the HR, you do wonder about the strikeouts and batting average for the Yankees. How it will play in the postseason. Average for a lot of guys not too hot. A lot of K, a lot of striking out, but oh, those HR.

German (W, (first MLB Win)  (W, 1-4, 5.23) 6 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 W, 10 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Green (H, 10) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.89
Betances (H, 8)  1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.30
Chapman (S, 19) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1.21

Hicks solo HR
Judge 2 hits.
Torres 3-run HR

Yanks’ pitchers combine for 15 K.

 

Games 55 & 56. Yanks split DH with Tigers.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks split a DH with Detroit, winning the first game behind 3 HRs and Luis Severino 7-4, but losing the second game 4-2.

Clint Frazier was the 26th man for the DH today. Between games, Adam Warren was brought up and Tommy Kahnle was sent down.

It was an awful day for Aaron Judge, who went 0 for 9 for the day with 8 strikeouts.

Game 1:  Detroit got a run in the first on an RBI double by future HOF Miguel Cabrera. In the third, Gleyber Torres 10th HR of the season tied the game. Torres is the youngest Yankee to 10 career HR since Mickey Mantle.

The Yanks got six runs in the fourth inning. Greg Bird made it 2-1 with his second HR of the season. After that, Stanton and Didi singled, and Andujar singled to drive in a run. Frazier singled to make it 4-1. Romine hit a 3-run HR (4), 7-1. Frazier was sent back down after the DH (no room on the roster).

Detroit got an unearned run in the fifth off Severino, and two unearned runs in the ninth.

Bird solo HR
Torres solo HR
Romine 3-run HR.

Severino (W, 9-1, 2.20) 8 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 W, 10 K.
Holder 2/3 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.75
Chapman (S, 14) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.46

Game 2: Lost 4-2. The Yanks struck out 14x. Judge with the platinum sombrero, 0 for 5, 5 strikeouts. It seems as if Domingo German pitches just well enough to lose. He’s still looking for his first MLB win. He didn’t pitch that badly, but it seems he really needs a game where the Yanks give him a lot of run support to get him off the zero-win schneid. Tanaka can give up 4 runs in 7 IP, and win 10-4, but it seems German can do it and is unlucky, and will lose 4-2 as he did tonight.

Detroit got one in the second. German reached for a ball and it went off his hand into LF for a double. Lucky he wasn’t hurt. A passed ball, walk, SF and Detroit was up 1-0.

The Yanks tied it in the third on a single by Frazier and triple by Gardner. They had the bases loaded with two out but Torres bounced back to the pitcher. In this inning, Stanton was HBP, and some hard feelings ensued. Stanton was hit in the face by the same pitcher a few years ago.

The Tigers got two in the fourth to go up 3-1. Stanton got his revenge in the sixth with HR #13 to make it 3-2.

But in the seventh, the Tigers got a run for the final of 4-2. Adam Warren relieved German with two out and a runner on second, but gave up a double and a couple of walks before getting out of the inning.

The Yanks were 0 for 10 w/RISP in this game.

German (L, 0-4, 5.44) 6 2/3 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 2 W, 3 K. The kid needs a break where he gets lots of run support.

Warren 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 W, 1 K. 2.79

So the 38-18 Yanks stay 1 game back of idle Boston.

In the first round of the MLB draft, the Yanks selected a switch-hitting and switch-throwing (!) catcher, high-schooler Anthony Siegler.

 

Game 44. Gleyber Day. He hits 2 HR, and Yanks add 3 more in 10-5 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Only one Yankee in their team history has had a multi-HR game at a younger age than Gleyber Torres.

That would be Mickey Mantle. Nice company.

The Yanks improved to 31-13 (22-4 in their last 26 games) by beating Texas, 10-5, on Monday night.

They hit 5 more HR tonight.

In the second, Sanchez got a bloop single, and with one out moved up to second on a groundout. Walker doubled in one run and Gleyber Torres hit his first of two HR on the game to make it 3-0.

Masahiro Tanaka gave up a HR in the bottom of the second, 3-1 Yanks.

In the fourth, Walker hit his first HR of the year to make it 4-1 Yanks, but Tanaka gave up a 3-run HR in the bottom of the fourth that tied the game.

Aaron Judge hit HR #12 in the fifth to put the Yanks up for good, 5-4.

To the sixth, and with one out, Torres hits his second HR of the game (6) to make it 6-4 Yanks. In so doing, he becomes the second youngest Yankee ever to hit 2 HR in a game, and the only one younger is Mickey Mantle.

Gardner then walked and Judge doubled him to third. Stanton hit a SF to make it 7-4. Didi doubled in a run to make it 8-4 Yanks.

Chad Green gave up a HR in the bottom of the seventh, 8-5.

Aaron Hicks hit a 2-run HR (5) in the ninth for the final score of 10-5.

Judge 2 hits, solo HR.
Stanton 1 RBI.
Didi 1 RBI
Sanchez 2 hits.
Hicks HR, 2 RBI
Walker 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI
Torres 2 HR, 3 RBI

Tanaka (W, 5-2, 4.95) 5 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 4 W, 3 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Green 2 IP,  1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.52.
Robertson (h, 6) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.22
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.77