Tag Archives: Ortega

Game #7. Reading the tea leaves after Yanks lose 7-6.

Estevan Florial cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA SWB.

There are a lot of things to question regarding the Yankees (4-3) loss to Baltimore, 7-6, on Friday afternoon.

First off, is Clarke Schmidt a starter? For now, yes, but that is because Frankie Montas, Carlos Rodon and Luis Severino are all on the injured list. But there is more to it than that. Schmidt was ineffective today against Baltimore. He is 5-3, 3.32 in relief in his career, but in seven MLB starts, he is 0-3 with an ERA over 6. Eventually, just like with Michael King, the numbers don’t lie and you realize someone is better in relief than as a starter.

Jhony Brito was called back in order to start tomorrow. But whose spot on the roster is he taking? Is Schmidt going down?

It does look like Josh Donaldson is headed to the injured list, and Oswald Peraza is not in tonight’s lineup for SWB, so there is another source of conjecture.

And with Anthony Volpe starting the season 3 for 20, maybe a day off will do him good and let him clear his mind a bit.

Now for the game and another huge question.

The Yanks fell behind 4-0 after three innings. Granted an error by Gleyber Torres didn’t help matters, but Schmidt got rocked pretty good.

Franchy Cordero hit a 3-run HR in the top of the fourth—his first HR as a Yankee—to get the Yanks back into the game.

In the top of the sixth, Oswaldo Cabrera doubled in two runs to give the Yanks a 5-4 lead. A couple of batters later, manager Aaron Boone made a decision you have to think about. With a pitching change, Boone had Isiah Kiner-Falefa PH for Cordero. He didn’t want the lefty vs, lefty matchup and also wanted better defense what with the 5-4 lead.

But here is the thing. Kiner-Falefa is now (after today’s game) 0 for 12 for the season. He also has little power and is a converted infielder with not much OF playing time. Granted Aaron Hicks hasn’t had a hit this season so far either, but Hicks has more power than IKF and is an established outfielder. Yet here Boone went with IKF. Later in the game, down a run with a runner on base, IKF still hit, and Hicks didn’t PH for IKF. What does THAT tell you?

When a player appears to be on the team not because he is the best player for the role, but because it appears that management doesn’t want to eat a lousy contract, that makes fans mad.

The Yanks have a problem. Hicks already has questioned (rightfully) his role on the team. His attitude could poison a clubhouse. But what is his role? If Boone is starting IKF over Hicks, and when going to the bench, chooses low-power, converted infielder IKF over Hicks, then really, why is Hicks here? (You also could say, if IKF is considered better than Florial, then …)

Ok. There may be no takers for Hicks. He has years and a lot of money left on his deal. But if IKF is your outfield option over Hicks, then really… it would be better to have kept Ortega, or have Jake Bauers (raking at AAA) or Willie Calhoun on the team instead.

When Bader is ready to come off the injured list, the easiest way to make room for him is just to release Hicks.

Wise up Hal. Eat the contract.

Anyway, back to the game. More questions. With the Yanks having the lead, and with yesterday being an off day, Boone didn’t go to King, Peralta or Holmes. Instead his choice of relievers raised eyebrows. They couldn’t keep the lead. The next thing you knew, the Yanks were down 7-5.

Cabrera singled in a run in the eighth to cut it to 7-6, but after trying to bunt two runners over on the first pitch, Boone took off the bunt sign and let Jose Trevino swing away. Bad move as Trevino GIDP. Then, as mentioned earlier, he didn’t go for possible power with Hicks PH for IKF, but let IKF (who as I mentioned, is 0 for 12 this year and who usually makes weak contact) hit. As mentioned, what exactly IS Hicks’ role?

IKF made out.

The Yanks did get the tying run to third in the top of the ninth with two out, but Anthony Rizzo flied out to end the game.

A lot of questions for Game 7 of the season.

Stanton 2 hits.
Cabrera 3 hits, 3 RBI, SB
Cordero 3-run HR (1)
Volpe 0 for 4, 3 strikeouts. Now 3 for 20 after great spring training.

Schmidt 3 1/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 3 W, 3 K. 9.45
Hamilton 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 4 K. 2.45
Marinaccio (BS, 1; L, 0-1) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.08
Cordero 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 2 WP 3.38
Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 0.00

S.T. Game 33. Yanks lose to Washington, 3-0.

The last spring training game took place against the Nationals at Nationals’ Park in Washington, D.C. The regular season starts at Yankee Stadium Thursday afternoon against the Giants.

Good four innings for Nasty Nestor Cortes in his final tune-up before the regular season starts. 4 IP, 1 R (a solo HR). But that one mistake was enough. The Yanks (13-18-2 in spring training) finished spring training with a 3-0 loss.

Anthony Volpe was 1 for 2 with a couple of nice defensive plays. The Yanks only had 3 hits in the game.

Greg Weissert and Ian Hamilton were sent down to AAA. Estevan Florial and Rafael Ortega are headed to NY but it’s not sure yet who if any between the two of them would make the team.

Cortes (L) 4 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 0 K gave up 1 HR.
Mauricio 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Cordero 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Abreu 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Danish 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. Awful spring for him (ERA 28.50)
Hamilton 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Deivi Garcia 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1 HBP

UPDATE: Florial (was out of options) made team as 4th OF. Calhoun sent down. Ortega asked for and was given his release.

S.T. Game 32. Yanks beat Rays 8-4.

Clarke Schmidt pitched 4 good innings before giving up a pair of runs in the fifth, good work from some bullpen guys and a HR from someone hoping to make the roster as the Yanks (13-17-2) beat Tampa Bay 8-4 today.

The Yanks now head to Washington, D.C. for an exhibition game tomorrow (Tuesday) against the Nationals. Wednesday is an off day but a workout day at Yankee Stadium before the season begins Thursday afternoon against the Giants.

Today’s highlights, a lot by minor leaguers.

Max Burt 1 for 2, RBI
Eric Wagaman 2 for 2, 3 RBI. 2-run HR.
Willie Calhoun 1 for 2, scored 2 runs. In running for last OF spot.
Donaldson 2 for 2
Rafael Ortega 1 for 2, solo HR. Walk. Competing with Calhoun and Florial for last OF spot.
Cabrera 1 for 2, RBI. Has had great spring.
Higashioka 1 for 3, RBI.
Hicks 1 for 1, RBI. Walk.
Florial 0 for 2. Out of options. If he doesn’t beat out Ortega and Calhoun for last OF spot could be DFA’d, waived, or traded.

Schmidt 4 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 W, 7 K. 1 WP.
Peralta 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 Balk.
Loiasiga 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Holmes (Winner) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Marinaccio (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K.
Ramirez (H) 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Diaz 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K.

24 of the 26 roster spots have been settled.

Trevino, Higashioka
Rizzo, Stanton, LeMahieu, Volpe, IKF, Torres, Donaldson
Cabrera, Hicks, Judge

One more OF position. Ortega? Calhoun? Florial? Is there a trade or pickup coming?

Cole, Cortes, Schmidt, German, Brito
Holmes, Loaisiga, Marinaccio, Peralta, Cordero, King, Abreu

Greg Weissert could be the last BP piece. Ramirez has already been sent down, as was Krook. Once again, is there a trade or pickup coming?

So 2 spots undecided yet.

Oswald Peraza has been sent to AAA to start the season.

S.T. Game 29. Up 6-0, squad of mostly B players loses 7-6.

The Yanks split their squad yesterday, and in the away game played at night, a squad of mostly bench and B level (minor league) players (especially the pitchers) coughed up a 6-0 lead and the Yanks (10-17-2 in spring training) wound up losing to Baltimore 7-6.

The Yanks got a 3-run HR in the first from Oswaldo Cabrera and a 3-run HR in the second from Kyle Higashioka.

Thank goodness it’s only spring training. If the Yanks started the regular season 10-17, well …

To me, Cabrera should start in LF ahead of Hicks. He has had a great spring. But I think the Yanks want to move him all over to give guys days off.

LeMahieu 2 for 4
Peraza 2 for 4 as he tries to win SS job. Be interesting to see if him (#3 prospect) or Volpe (#1 prospect).
Cabrera 2 for 4, 3 RBI. 3-run HR.
Higashioka 2 for 3, 3 RBI 3-run HR.
Kiner-Falefa 1 for 3
Ortega 0 for 4. Looks like he lost out on a spot. .143 this spring. I could be wrong, but…

Yoendrys Gomez 3 2/3 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 0 W, 3 K. #11 prospect
Neely (H) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Hamilton 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Snelton 1 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 2 W, 1 K.
Loseke (BS) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Wilson (L) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K.

S.T. Game 26. Yanks lose to Washington, 5-2.

Clarke Schmidt was so-so and the Yanks bats were a bit quiet as the Yanks (10-15-1 in spring training) lost to Washington Wednesday, 5-2.


Peraza 0 for 4. #3 prospect. .188 in spring training, as for me, Volpe should be starting SS.
Stanton 1 for 3, scored a run.
Cabrera 2 for 3. SB
Elijah Dunham 1 for 1, RBI. #18 prospect.
Rafael Ortega 0 for 2, RBI. .161 in spring training. Does he make team? I’d go with Calhoun.
Willie Calhoun 0 for 1. Not as versatile in OF as Ortega, but .306 this spring training
Estevan Florial 0 for 3, 2 strikeouts. .167 in spring training, and out of options. Could be DFA’d soon.

Schmidt (L) 3 2/3 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 2 W, 1 K.
King 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Krook 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. Has good chance of making team as 2nd lefty in bullpen.
Danish 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR. No chance of making team with a 33.23 spring training ERA.

S.T. Game 25. Donaldson homers twice in Yanks’ 6-3 win.

Josh Donaldson homered twice and drove in four runs in the Yanks (10-14-1 in spring training) 6-3 win over Detroit on Tuesday.

Now is the time to start seeing results, with Opening Day 9 days away. You want to hit the ground running.

Luis Severino has not had a good spring before today, even though everyone says he is healthy. The day didn’t start out well, as he gave up a HR to the leadoff hitter and 2 runs in the first inning, but he settled in after that. His performance this spring has been concerning so far.

Torres 1 for 3, RBI.
Donaldson 2 for 3, 2 HR 4 RBI
Volpe 1 for 2. Double, walk, SB. #1 prospect. I think he should be starting SS.
Kiner-Falefa 1 for 3, was in LF
Alexander Vargas 1 for 1 double
Mickey Gasper 1 for 1
Ortega 1 for 3, SB

Severino 4 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 W, 9 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K
Loaisiga (Winner) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Norwood 2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 W, 3 K. 1 WP

S.T. Game 24. Yanks fall to O’s, 5-3.

Gerrit Cole had one bad inning (he’s had a good spring training) and as a result, the Yanks (9-14-1 in spring training) lost 5-3 to Baltimore on Sunday.

Now is around the time I really pay attention to results. Because now most of the minor leaguers have been sent down and others cut.

I read from Jon Heyman that he thinks the best Yankees infield would be Rizzo at 1B, Volpe at 2B, Peraza at SS and D.J. at 3B. Fine, but what then happens with Donaldson and Gleyber? It’s basically a given right now that IKF will serve as a utility man.

My thoughts. I think Rizzo, Gleyber, Volpe and D.J. would be best. Peraza could still go to the minors until the infield glut is resolved. Maybe there will be a trade soon. But Donaldson is hitting just .179 this spring, and despite manager Aaron Boone’s confidence that Donaldson still has something in the tank, concerns abound after Donaldson’s off year in 2022 and with Donaldson’s age (37). Maybe at the trade deadline Gleyber would be dealt, opening a spot for Volpe or Peraza, whoever doesn’t make the Opening Day cut. But in order to get Peraza and Volpe on the team, someone has to go.

As far as LF is concerned, Hicks will probably be there, but I’d prefer Cabrera. Hicks is hitting .290 this spring but mostly with no one on. When there are RISP, then nothing. Actually, the best hitter among the LF candidates has been Willie Calhoun. (.344). Rafael Ortega can play all OF positions, but after a hot start to spring training, has cooled off. Jasson Dominguez (#2 prospect) isn’t a consideration. He’s only played five games at AA, and that is where he’ll probably start the season. He isn’t far away, though.

So, my choices? Gleyber at 2B, Volpe at SS, Cabrera in LF. Until Bader is over his oblique injury, the OF alignment won’t be what I’d like (who plays CF? Hicks? Judge? Cabrera? Heck, IKF was out there the other day. Ortega?)

Boone says that Volpe is a leadoff or middle of the order hitter. As of now, he is committed to LeMahieu leading off. I beg to differ. I’d have Volpe lead off for a few reasons.1) He’d be helped by Judge behind him. No pitcher wants runners on base with Judge coming up. He wouldn’t want to walk Volpe. Volpe would see better pitches to hit. 2) Volpe would disturb pitchers more than DJ. He is a better SB threat. If the pitcher is concentrating on Volpe, there is less concentration on Judge. 3) Volpe is more likely to get the extra base, like scoring from first on a Judge double, or going first to third on a Judge single, than DJ. I’d have DJ batting fifth.

So my lineup would be:

Volpe SS #1 prospect
Judge RF
Rizzo 1B
Stanton DH
LeMahieu 3B
Torres 2B
Cabrera LF
Bader CF
Trevino C

Today’s highlights:

LeMahieu 2 for 3
Judge 1 for 4, double.
Rizzo 0 for 2, RBI, walk.
Stanton 1 for 3
Donaldson 0 for 3
Cabrera 2 for 3, RBI.
Hicks 1 for 2
Peraza 0 for 3 #3 prospect.
Calhoun 0 for 2
Trey Sweeney 1 for 2 #7 prospect

Cole (L) 5 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 1 W, 7 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1 HBP. All runs in fifth.
Abreu 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Cordero 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Marinaccio 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K.
Ramirez 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.

S.T. Game 23. Yanks fall to Toronto, 5-2. Cortes’ first outing.

Because of a hamstring strain, Nestor Cortes is a little behind the other pitchers. He made his first spring training start today and the rust showed as he gave up five runs as the Yanks (9-13-1 in spring training) lost to Toronto 5-2.

I usually don’t pay too much attention to spring training results until the last 10 days or so. That time is coming up.

Today’s highlights:

Volpe 1 for 3, walk, run scored. #1 prospect. As far as I’m concerned, he should be starting SS.
Judge 1 for 4, double.
Stanton 2 for 3, RBI
Donaldson 0 for 3
Willie Calhoun 1 for 3. Doesn’t play all OF positions like Hicks or Ortega, but as far as LF goes, he has hit better this spring than Hicks, Cabrera, Florial or Ortega.
Kiner-Falefa 0 for 1, walk
Cabrera 0 for 2.
Ortega 0 for 3.
Chaparro 0 for 1
Sweeney 0 for 1 #7 prospect

Cortes (L) 3 1/3 IP, 5 R, 3 H, 3 W, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR.
King 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1 HBP
Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Hamilton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 1 HBP

S.T. Game 20. Yanks lose to Phils, 9-8.

The Yanks (9-10-1 in spring training) gave up 7 runs before they came to bat, came back to take an 8-7 lead, but then fell to the Phillies 9-8 Wednesday afternoon.

Luis Severino started and had a bad first inning before settling in. He says he feels fine but so far this spring the results aren’t there. It is only spring training but from here on in, you want to see better results so that when the regular season starts, he hits the ground running.

Meanwhile, it was announced that Gerrit Cole—to no surprise—will be the Yanks’ Opening Day starting pitcher.

Jose Trevino is dealing with a strained right wrist but should be ok.

Michael Hermosillo was sent down to minor league camp.

From what I’ve seen, Anthony Volpe should be the Yanks’ starting shortstop. The kid continues to impress.


Volpe 1 for 2, RBI, 2 walks, SB.
Judge 1 for 2, walk and double.
Cabrera 1 for 2, RBI double.
Rafael Ortega 0 for 3, 2 strikeouts, misplayed a ball in CF.
IKF 0 for 3, 2 strikeouts.
Hicks 0 for 2, walk, 2 strikeouts
Florial 0 for 2
Mickey Gasper 2 for 2, RBI

Severino 2 1/3 IP, 4 R, 2 H, 3 W, 4 K. 1 balk
C. Gomez 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 3 W, 1 K. 1 WP
Cowart 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Marinaccio 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1 HBP
Nick Ramirez 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Luis Santos 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K.
Jack Neely (L) 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 W, 1 K. gave up 1 HR.

S.T. Game 18. Yanks fall to Twins, 1-0.

The Yanks (8-9-1 in spring training) lost 1-0 to the Twins on Monday, getting just three hits, one of them a double by #1 prospect Anthony Volpe.

Of all the contenders for the LF job, Willie Calhoun (1 for 2 with a walk today but also picked off first) has done the best. It still looks like Aaron Hicks will be in LF (because of his contract. Hicks was 0 for 3, 2 strikeouts) unless he is traded. But Calhoun has done the best so far in spring training.


Oswald Peraza 0 for 2 with a walk. .176. By contrast, Volpe is hitting .321 this spring in SS competition. #3 prospect.

Oswaldo Cabrera 1 for 3. Made error.

Volpe 1 for 3, double.

Rafael Ortega 0 for 3. Competing with Hicks, Cabrera and Calhoun for LF spot.

Estevan Florial 0 for 2, walk, strikeout. SB .125 in spring training and out of options.

Tully 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. 1 WP
Deivi Garcia (L) 3 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 W, 2 K. Gave up HR.
Norwood 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K
Bowman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.