The Yankees jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With one out, Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres singled and Giancarlo Stanton hit a 3-run HR (12). Gio Urshela then tripled, was left stranded when Gary Sanchez struck out, but Urshela was then nabbed at the plate trying to score on an errant pitch.
The Twins got one run back in the bottom of the first off of Yankees’ starter Michael King.
Urshela homered (7) leading off the top of the fourth to put the Yankees up 4-1. The Twins got a run in the bottom of the fourth to make it 4-2 and knock King from the game.
The Yanks got a run in the top of the sixth to make it 5-2. Sanchez and Miguel Andujar each singled, then Sanchez was forced out at third. After Clint Frazier lined out, D.J. LeMahieu singled in Andujar.
The Twins made it 5-3 by scoring a run in the bottom of the seventh.
The Yanks (20-17) took two out of three from the Rays this week despite scoring only five runs in the three games. They did it because of pitching. The pitching wasn’t there in the game last night as the Yanks lost, 9-1.
In the games the Yanks won, they won 3-1 and 1-0.
Jameson Taillon struck out 9 in 4 2/3 IP, but took the loss to drop to 1-3, 5.40, ERA+ just 72 on the season. If there is a “weak link” in the Yanks’ rotation so far, Taillon has been it. He is just coming back from his second TJ surgery. The Yanks can look to replace him with Deivi Garcia, or Mike King, or (and what I think will happen) ride him out, hope he improves, but then look to replace him with Luis Severino, once Severino is healthy in two months.
Remember that Severino was the ace before the Yanks got Gerrit Cole. So far all indications are that Severino, himself coming off TJ surgery, looks great.
The Yanks bats were silent, and you keep wondering how long this will go on. Heck, even D.J. LeMahieu is only hitting .264. You still have too many people under .200 (Sanchez, who got two of the Yankees’ five hits last night is at .197; Andujar 0 for 13; Frazier .141; Gardner .182; Mike Ford isn’t even at .100! He’s at .095; Hicks .194; Odor .164; Bruce was at .118 when he retired). They are just hitting .220 as a team. Imagine if they were in the NL with no DH.
Taillon gave up 2 runs in the first, then a 2-run HR in the third. Down 4-0 after three, the way the Yanks haven’t been hitting, you basically knew game over.
When Mike King gave up a 3-run HR in the sixth, those feelings were confrimed. It wasn’t the Yanks’ night. Justin Wilson gave up two runs in the eighth.
The Yanks’ avoided the shutout by scoring in the ninth. Gio Urshela singled to lead off the inning, Sanchez doubled. Ford walked. The slumping Frazier GIDP, the at that time meaningless run scoring, the Rays, already up 9-0, gladly swapping the run for two outs. Andujar then flied out to end the game.
You keep waiting for one of those 12-run explosion games. Maybe this weekend in Baltimore?
Sanchez 2 hits.
Taillon (L, 1-3) 4 2/3 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 2 W, 9 K. 5.40 1 WP, Gave up 1 HR. King 2 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 2 W, 6 K. 1.84 Gave up 1 HR. Wilson 1 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 6.52
Funny stat. Pitchers gave up 9 runs. Struck out 16. Strange.
Before the game, Andujar had to be brought back up because Gleyber Torres had to go on the COVID IL . 8 Yankees, inc. players, coaches (1B, 3B, and P), and staff have been affected.
Giancarlo Stanton had 2 hits and 2 RBI as the Yankees (10-4-1 in spring training) beat the Phillies 4-2 Monday afternoon.
Domingo German was solid again, and it’s going to be interesting who gets that #5 rotation slot. My hunch is that it goes to German, so that 21 year old Deivi Garcia can get a little more experience and so that more control is put over the youngster’s innings.
So far, the pitching has been impressive from the revamped rotation. And remember, Luis Severino comes back in mid-season and all reports on him have been favorable.
Miguel Andujar, however, has been shut down because of hand and wrist issues. The 2018 runnerup for ROY has had nothing but problems since that year when he had 47 doubles, 27 HR and 92 RBI.
German 4 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 W, 6 K. King (W; BS) 3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up HR. L. Garcia (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. Cortes (S) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K.
The Yankees’ top relievers (except for the injured Zack Britton, back in June?) pitched yesterday and all—except for Justin Wilson—did well in the Yanks’ (5-4-1) 6-5 win over Pittsburgh last night.
Domingo German had another great outing as he and Deivi Garcia are having a good competition in order to land the #5 starter spot. Garcia is only 21, so the Yanks may want to get him a bit more minor league experience first.
The front four of the rotation appear to be Cole, Taillon, Kluber and Montgomery. Besides the battle for #5 between German and Garcia, more good news for the Yanks. Luis Severino is due to throw off a mound soon. His timetable for return in sometime mid-season.
The Yanks got a run in the first on singles by D.J. LeMahieu and Aaron Judge and a SF by Brett Gardner. Judge had two hits in the game, and Gardner was 2 for 2 with that SF.
In the third inning, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres hit back-to-back HRs, Stanton’s being a 3-run shot (420 ft., exit velocity 115 MPH) to put the Yanks up 5-0.
But Wilson gave it back in the sixth. He gave up a solo HR, loaded up the bases, then gave up a grand slam.
The Yanks scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth on a bases-loaded walk.
In case you didn’t know, to protect pitchers’ arms, sometimes innings end before three outs are made, especially if that pitcher reached a certain pitch count that inning. It is only spring training after all, and this is to protect the pitchers.
German 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. O’Day 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. Wilson 1/3 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up a solo HR and a grand slam. Lane 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K. Green 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. King 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Not much to write about this one. If Joe Girardi wanted a little revenge against the Yanks for firing him after 2017, he got it as the Phillies trounced the Yankees (3-2 in Spring Training) 15-0 today. It was an 8 inning affair.
The Yanks only got 3 hits.
So far, the candidates for the #5 spot in the Yanks’ rotation haven’t done too well, save for Nick Nelson. King, Chacin, and today Deivi Garcia was spotty. Garcia struck out 3 in his 2 IP, but gave up 2 solo HR.
As for the others, the only other one that was expected to have a shot of making the team was Albert Abreu, and he didn’t help himself. Neither did anyone else, including ex-Yankee Nestor Cortes, trying to make it back onto the team.
We will see how controversial Domingo German does tomorrow as he tries to prove that he deserves that #5 rotation slot. At least until Luis Severino comes off the DL.
Here is the pitching line. It’s ugly.
D. Garcia (L) 2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 2 HR. Wojciechowski 1 1/3 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K. Abreu 2/3 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. A WP. Luetge 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. A WP. McClain 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up a HR. Cortes 1 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 2 HR. Y. Gomez 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
The Yankees had a very productive day on Friday, coming to terms with all arbitration eligible players, re-signing free agent D.J. LeMahieu, and signing Corey Kluber. But all this will mean some people appear to not be coming back.
Hal Steinbrenner wants to get under the $210MM luxury cap, especially after the Yankees (and all of MLB) took such a financial hit in 2020 due to the 60 game season forced upon it by the pandemic. After yesterday’s dealings, word is they are only $10MM or so away from hitting that cap. Meaning only minor signings, if any, unless they make a trade to free up money and create room.
What this means is that all of the following may be gone: Happ (expected), Paxton (expected), Gardner (not as much so) and Tanaka (not so much so). Happ, 38, was 21-10, 4.13 ERA+ 106 while with the Yankees 2018-2020. He was excellent when coming over from Toronto in 2018, bad in 2019 and good in 2020. But he was ineffective in the playoffs, going 0-3. He also was very critical (as we fans and others were and are) of Aaron Boone’s decision to use Deivi Garcia as an opener in Game 3 of the ALDS then have Happ come in. A move that failed, miserably.
Paxton, 32, has had trouble staying healthy. He was very good in 2019, going 15-6, 3.82 (ERA+ 117) but then needed back surgery. His 2020 was horrible. Five starts, another injury, 1-1, 6.64. In three starts for the Yanks in the 2019 postseason, Paxton was 1-0, 3.46. He made $12.5MM in 2020 and probably doesn’t fit the Yankees budget unless he took a big cut in pay. As we’ve seen, he is also an injury risk, having never qualified for the ERA title (162 IP in a normal season, 60 IP last year).
Gardner, 37, seems like the most likely to possibly return, but it would have to be at a big cut in pay. He had power last year, but his batting average was way down. .223-5-15 in 49 games, OPS+ 108. Gardner, if he comes back, would probably have to be reduced to a bench player, what with the emergence of Clint Frazier. Gardner has spent his whole career (2008-2020) with the Yankees, and his 162 game average is .259-14-56 with 28 SB (OPS+ 101; 100 is average). He doesn’t run like he used to, but still is a good defensive player who could spell Frazier in the late innings. But the Yankees already have a younger, and more inexpensive alternative to Gardner in Mike Tauchman. Gardner made $10MM last year, and the Yankees bought out his option at $2.5MM. If he comes back, it probably would have to be for $5MM or less, and that doesn’t then give the Yanks a lot of wiggle room elsewhere. Gardner’s numbers seem average, but he is listed on baseball reference as the 41st best LF of all-time.
Tanaka, 32, now appears gone what with the signing of Corey Kluber, which I will get to soon. Tanaka has been with the Yanks 2014-2020, and while never being a dominant ace, proved himself dependable and reliable. He has gone 78-46, 3.74 (ERA+ 116) as a Yankee after signing a huge contract (and the Yanks posting a huge posting fee for him). His 162 gm. average is 15-9, 3.74. Solid. Not great, but solid. In 10 postseason starts, he went 5-4, 3.33 for the Yankees. He may go home to Japan, but there are also rumors that San Diego may be interested in this 2x All-Star. Tanaka made $23MM last year, would be taking a cut, but he wouldn’t take so much of a cut to get the Yanks under the cap. With the Kluber deal, Tanaka is gone, it appears.
Now to Kluber, who signed a 1 year, $11MM deal with the Yankees yesterday after wowing scouts at a tryout the day before. It helped the Yankees that Kluber had a working relationship already with the Yanks’ pitching coach and strength and conditioning coach. This is a gamble that could pay off big. Kluber will be 35 in April and if he gets back to what he was, sets in nicely at #2 behind Gerrit Cole. Heck he could even be #1 above Cole, believe it or not. From 2013-2018 for Cleveland, Kluber won two Cy Young awards, finished third twice, was a 3x All-Star, and got MVP consideration 3x, finishing 7th for MVP (great for a pitcher) in 2017. From 2013-2018, his average season was 16-8, 2.96, ERA+ 143. But he got injured in 2019, one of the injuries a broken forearm after being hit by a line drive. In seven starts for the Indians in 2019, he was only 2-3, 5.80. He only pitched one inning for Texas in 2020 before getting hurt again. So since 2018, just 2-3, 5.65 in eight starts, 36 2/3 IP. For his career, Kluber’s 162 g. ave. is 16-10, 3.16, ERA+ 135. Obviously the Yankees are hoping he can get back to where he was or close to it. If so, the $11MM for one year is a deal.
So as of now, the rotation looks like Cole, Kluber and Jordan Montgomery as the top 3 starters. Domingo German, who went 18-4, 4.03 in 2019 before being suspended and missing all of the 2019 postseason and all of the 2020 season, could slot in at #4. The #5 could be a battle between youngsters Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, Mike King and veteran Jhoulys Chacin. Don’t forget about the 33 year old Chacin, who was signed to a minor league deal and who has a 78-87 record with a 4.04 career ERA (ERA+ 108). Chacin was horrible in 2019-2020 (4-12, 6.06) but was a 15 game winner in 2018.
If Kluber and Chacin can get back to where they were…. but as you know, if is the biggest two letter word in the dictionary.
And don’t forget, Luis Severino, still just 26 next year, should return from his TJ surgery in June or July. A front three then of Cole, Kluber and Severino, with Montgomery and whoever wins the #5 (Garcia, German, Schmidt, King, Chacin) could be decent…. if of course, healthy. (Fingers crossed).
The Yankees also are coming to terms with D.J. LeMahieu on a long-term deal. LeMahieu, a free agent, has been the Yankees best player the past two seasons, and finished in the top four for MVP voting both years. As a Yankee, 2019 and 2020, D.J. has hit .336, leading the majors last year in batting average (.364), and he also led the AL last year in OBP, OPS and OPS+. A 3x All-Star, 3x Gold Glove, and 2x Silver Slugger, LeMahieu, 32, is a .305 career hitter. He’ll slot back in at 2B, but could also play 1B and 3B. Word is he wanted 5 years at around $100MM, the Yanks came back with something like 4 years at $75. In the end a compromise. The Yanks got the lower $$ figure they wanted but LeMahieu got the years he wanted. Six years, $90 MM. The years could hurt later on.
Lastly, the Yankees settled arbitration cases. Here are what players will get in 2021.
Judge $10.175MM Sanchez $6.35MM (I know, .147 and benched in postseason gets you THAT?!) Voit $4.7MM Urshela $4.65MM Torres $4MM Green $2.15MM Montgomery $2.13MM Frazier $2.1MM
Earlier, Luis Cessa got $1MM.
Remember, these are raises. Leaving little wiggle room, what with the D.J. and Kluber signings for much else. Which is why I wrote about the likelihood of many departures.
The Yankees (1-2-1) won their first spring training game on Tuesday, but suffered a much greater loss.
Luis Severino, who missed almost all of 2019 with shoulder issues (save for three games at the end of the season and two postseason starts), will need Tommy John surgery. This will force him to miss all of 2020 and a good portion of 2021.
For 2017 and 2018, Seve averaged 16-7, 3.18. Now just about nothing last year and now nothing at all this year.
We’ll get to how that affects the rotation in a bit.
As for the game today, the Yanks won 4-1 over Toronto.
The bats still haven’t come alive, as the Yanks struck out 17x. The pitchers did strike out 13. The hitters are behind the pitchers right now.
DH Chris Iannetta had two hits, one a double, and scored a run. OF Rosell Herrera had 2 RBI.
Aaron Judge is expected to be ready to go in the middle of next week (Shoulder).
Tropeano 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.00
Cessa (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 0.00
Avilan (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 5.40
Lyons (H, 1 ) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 0.00
Kriske (W, 1-0; BS, 1) 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.50 Gave up solo HR.
Acevedo (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K 0.00
Keller (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K 0.00
Alvarez (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.00
Tropeano (12-14, 4.51 MLB career) has an outside shot at the #5 spot in the rotation, along with others I will list.
As of now, the rotation is
Take your pick: Tropeano, Cessa, Clarke Schmidt, Mike King, Loaisiga, Deivi Garcia.
The early part of the Yanks’ schedule isn’t too bad. Good.
Hopefully when Paxton and German come back in May and June things straighten out a bit. Hopefully Paxton is OK physically and German both physically but also mentally and emotionally from that domestic abuse incident.
When they come back, barring more injuries (please, no) then
Montgomery OR German
Now that isn’t too bad, even WITH the loss of Severino. Not as good, obviously, but until then,
someone from that group of Tropeano, Cessa, Clarke Schmidt, Mike King, Loaisiga, Deivi Garcia has to just hold the fort for two months.