Tag Archives: Severino

Game 69. Ex-Yanks’ prospect beats Yanks, 5-3.

A few years back, James Kaprielian was a top Yankees’ prospect. Then injuries slowed his development, and he was traded to the A’s with others for Sonny Gray. We know how poorly Gray turned out.

Last night, Yankees fans got a taste of what might have been. Kaprielian and the A’s shut down the Yankees (36-33, 3rd in AL East, 6 back) 5-3.

James Taillon started for the Yanks, and gave up a HR on a two-out, 0-2 pitch to put the A’s up 1-0 in the first inning. I feel as if the Yanks need to make a deal for a starter (two, preferably) ASAP. Taillon, in 13 starts this season, has only thrown 58 innings, an average of only 4 1/2 innings per start. Only twice in those 13 starts has he gone more than 5 IP. He has ONE win. The ERA is 5.59. He is coming off two TJ surgeries in his career, as well as overcoming cancer. But he isn’t cutting it. Also, Michael King is better as a reliever and not a starter. He also isn’t providing length (since replacing the injured Corey Kluber in the rotation, King is averaging less than 4 innings/start in his 4 starts). King’s ERA in 13 relief appearances in his career is 3.93 but it is 7.28 in eight career starts.

But the Yanks don’t have replacements handy. Luis Severino’s return has been delayed because of the groin injury. Deivi Garcia has been horrible at AAA. Clarke Schmidt has not thrown a pitch yet. Promising youngsters are at AA, or below, not at AAA.

I don’t believe the Yanks can make up ground with Taillon and/or King in the rotation. GM Brian Cashman needs to make a trade ASAP.

Taillon gave up a run in the top of the third to make it 2-0, Oakland.

The Yanks tied it up in the bottom of the third when with two out, Brett Gardner walked and D.J. LeMahieu followed with a 2-run HR (5). The Yanks only got 4 hits in the game.

The Yanks took a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Rougned Odor homered (7).

But Wandy Peralta gave up a 3-run HR in the top of the sixth that put Oakland up 5-3, and that stayed as the final score.

Looking at Peralta’s ERA (5.28 as a Yankee), I think manager Aaron Boone trusts him too much. The Yanks will get help here. Both Darren O’ Day (who was doing well before getting hurt) and Justin Wilson (who wasn’t) should be back soon.

LeMahieu 2-run HR (5)
Odor solo HR (7)


Taillon 4 2/3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1 HBP. 5.59
Peralta (L, 3-2; combined SF/NYY record) 1 1/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR 5.32 (combined SF/NYY ERA)
Luetge 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1 HBP; 1 WP 2.91
Cessa 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.10

Minor League Notes (VOIT ON REHAB):

AAA: SWB (27-11) won 7-5. Nick Nelson 4 1/3 IP, 1 R; Albert Abreu 2 IP, scoreless, 5 K (in his brief time with Yanks, 4 games, Abreu has done well this year). CF Greg Allen 2 hits, 2 RBI, 2 -run HR. Two hits, RBI. LF Trey Amburgey 2 hits, RBI. Amburgey is hitting .372 at SWB. Former Yankees C Erik Kratz likes him. Neither Clint Frazier or Miguel Andujar is lighting it up. Why not give Amburgey a chance? 1B Rob Brantly 2 hits, 3 RBI, solo HR. 3B Derek Dietrich solo HR.

AA: Somerset (26-13) won 8-1. Janson Junk (2-1, 1.03) 6 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1B Luke Voit on rehab: 3 for 4, scored 3, drove in 3, double, solo HR. DH Oswald Peraza 2 hits, RBI. 2B Oswaldo Cabrera 3 hits, 3 RBI. CF Tom Milone 2 hits, solo HR.

High A: Hudson Valley (23-16) split a DH.

Game 1: lost 6-2. SS Josh Smith solo HR.
Game 2: won 2-0. Smith DH, 2 hits, scored both runs. 2B Ezequiel Duran 2 hits, 2 RBI.

Low A: Tampa (27-13) lost both games of a DH.

Game 1: lost 3-1. All 3 runs unearned. RF Juan De Leon solo HR.
Game 2: lost 8-2. Infielder (2B/SS) Jesus Bastidas 2 hits, RBI.

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Game 64. Bad day in many ways as Yanks lose to Phils in 10, 8-7.

Saturday was a bad day for the Yankees in many ways. I will get to that in a moment.

Before the game, some moves. Zack Britton was activated off of rehab and Brooks Kriske was sent back to the minors. Also, Mike Ford, who only hit .133-3-5 (8 for 60) for the Yanks this year, and who was only 2 for 24 (.083) at SWB, was designated for assignment.

Jameson Taillon has been the worst Yankees’ starter this season. He is coming off of two TJ surgeries, and has fought off cancer. But coming into the game, Taillon was 1-4 with an ERA of 5.09.

Taillon could not get out of the first inning, and saw his ERA climb to 5.74. His ERA+ is 71, 29% below league average. Taillon only got one out, and put the Yanks (33-31, Tied for 3rd, 7 1/2 out) into a quick 4-0 hole in a game they would lose in 10 innings, 8-7.

So you think, ok, ride Taillon out until former Yankees’ ace Luis Severino gets back from rehab.

Not so fast.

Severino, in his second rehab game, gave up one run in 1 2/3 IP, but then had to be helped from the field after injuring his groin. Based on the reports I read, he will be out quite some time.

Not only that, with Corey Kluber on the injured list, Michael King has had to join the rotation. One problem with that. In his career, King is 0-4, 7.46 as a starter (7 games) and 1-1, 3.93 as a reliever.

That is not all. Deivi Garcia has started two games for the Yankees this year, and is 0-2, 6.48 ERA. At SWB, Garcia has an ERA of 6.26.

It looks like GM Brian Cashman is going to have to hit the phones and make a deal. You may say, several deals.

The Yanks are barely above .500 at 33-31. They are now 7 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East, and even though they have 98 games left, this does not look like a playoff team at all right now.

Taillon gave up singles to the first four batters of the game, leading to two runs for the Phillies. Then a walk to reload the bases before the only out he recorded—-a sac fly that brought in another run. After a single that made it 4-0, Taillon was relieved by Nestor Cortes, Jr. Cortes gave up a hit that loaded the bases up yet again, but then got two strikeouts to prevent further damage.

Cortes did a good job in trying to keep the Yankees in the game.

The Yanks got two runs in the top of the second inning. With one out, Gary Sanchez homered (8). One out later, Miguel Andujar singled, and Brett Gardner tripled him home. 4-2. But Gardner was left stranded at third because the Yanks were playing in a National League park, no DH, and the pitcher had to hit (I hate seeing pitchers hit, prefer the DH, but that yields to Mcproblems which I will get to in a bit). Cortes grounded out to end the inning, and in case you are wondering, the last Yankees’ pitcher to hit a HR was Lindy McDaniel at the end of the 1972 season (he hit it off of Mickey Lolich at the old Tigers’ Stadium).

Cortes gave up a run in the fourth, and it was 5-2, Phillies.

The Phils got two runs in the fifth off of Luis Cessa, and ex-Yankee Ronald Torreyes drove in one of those runs. It looked like a blowout with the Phillies now up 7-2.

But the Yanks came back. In the sixth, with two out, Rougned Odor homered to make it 7-3.

In the eighth, the Yanks cut it to 7-4. Aaron Judge singled, and one out later, went to second on a groundout. Sanchez then got a two-out hit to score Judge.

The Yanks tied it up in the top of the ninth. with one out, Gardner and Tyler Wade each walked. D.J. LeMahieu then hit a 3-run HR (4) to tie it up.

Gleyber Torres made a great defensive play to save the game in the bottom of the ninth.

I hate the ghost runner extra inning rule where they start extra innings with a man on second base. I also hate seeing pitchers hit and prefer the dh. But both rules do show a flaw with the Yankees, and that is in executing the fundamentals.

The DH has turned some AL teams like the Yankees into glorified beer-league softball teams instead of BASEBALL teams. What I mean by that is that they sit around waiting for the 3-run HR and don’t make things happen. They don’t bunt (4 sac bunts this season, 2 by Gardner). They don’t hit and run. They don’t steal (14 SB, last in AL. Heck, Rickey Henderson would have 14 by himself in a month’s time). They don’t hit behind the runner to advance the runner. They play station to station and don’t run the bases well.

That leads me to extra innings. You are starting the inning with a man on second. The Yanks left him there. And we have seen that too much this year. They don’t bunt him over so he then may be able to score on a sac fly. They don’t even hit the ball to the right side to advance the runner. Part of that fault is the predominance of righty hitters and in not having a lefty hitter to pull the ball. Yesterday, with that man on second, Gio Urshela grounded out, not advancing the runner, then two strikeouts (Sanchez and PH Kyle HIgashioka).

The Phils, an NL team, DID execute the bunt. Not only that, Aroldis Chapman made an error on the play, so the Phils had first and third with no one out. After a pop-up, an infield hit won the game for the Phils, 8-7.

In extra innings, it comes down to the fundamentals. Just because you have the DH, does not mean you forget to steal bases, run the bases poorly, don’t bunt, don’t move the runners over…..but the Yanks don’t do any of that. They need to become a BASEBALL team again, not a station-to-station beer league softball team that does nothing but wait for the HR.

Billy Martin would hate this team. It goes against many of the scappy things he did as manager.

The Yanks need to make some changes.

LeMahieu 2 hits, 3 RBI. 3-run HR (4)
Sanchez 2 hits, 2 RBI. Solo HR (8)
Odor 2 hits, solo HR (6).
Gardner 2 hits, RBI


Taillon 1/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 1 W, 0 K. 5.74
Cortes 3 2/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 W, 6 K. 1 WP. 1.93 Nice job trying to keep it close.
Cessa 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 W, 0 K. 3.42
Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 4.57 (Combined ERA SF/NYY).
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.00 (Season debut)
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.73
Chapman (L, 4-2) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1.93


Game 63. Nobody’s perfect. Yanks stunningly lose 7-5.

Nobody’s perfect.

Aroldis Chapman entered the bottom of the ninth with a 0.39 ERA and was trying to preserve a 5-3 Yankees’ lead.

Four batters later, he took the loss and the ERA went to 1.96. Single, game-tying HR, single and game-winning HR.

The Yankees (33-30, 3rd in AL East, 6 back) lost 7-5 to the Twins.

The game started out great, and it seemed like the Yankees would sweep the Twins, all until the bottom of the ninth.

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.

Then came that bottom of the ninth.

The Yanks have a rare Friday off-day today.

LeMahieu 2 hits, RBI
Torres 3 hits
Stanton 3-run HR (12)
Urshela 2 hits, solo HR (7)
Andujar 2 hits


King 3 2/3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 3 W, 3 K. 3.77
Luetge 2/3 IP, 0 R< 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1 HBP 2.97
Loaisiga (H, 8) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1.89
Peralta (H, 4) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 WP 5.23 (Combined SF/NYY ERA)
Green (H, 10) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.90
Chapman (BS, 2: L, 4-1) 0 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 2 HR. 1.96

I don’t know how long until Luis Severino rejoins the rotation (a month?), but to me, it appears KIng is best as long reliever and not as a starter.

Britton rehab: 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K yesterday for AAA SWB.

Not a good outing for Deivi Garcia for SWB yesterday. He took the loss, 2 IP, 5 R, 5 H, 3 W, 2 K. He gave up 2 HR. He is 1-2, 6.26 at SWB. Not good.




Game 60. Yanks get swept by Boston. Need to reassess.

It was a lost weekend. Boston beat the Yanks, 6-5 in ten innings, to sweep the weekend series. In the important seven-game homestand against Tampa Bay and Boston, the Yanks went 2-5.

As a result, the Yanks (31-29) are barely above .500, are in fourth place in the AL East, and have dropped 6 1/2 games out. They are 8-17 against the three teams above them in the division.

Today is an off day, and one in which the Yanks need to do a serious reassessment of their team.

I like one thing Alex Rodriguez mentioned during ESPN’s broadcast last night. No surprise as to why the Yankees lead the majors in GIDP. The preponderance of righty bats. It takes righty batters a couple of more steps to get to first base than lefty hitters. It’s why when you look at who has hit into the most DPs all-time, you see names like Albert Pujols, Henry Aaron and Jim Rice.

Now when you look at a Yankees lineup that has very few lefty bats, you get those DPs. The Yankees have traditionally been built on lefty bats (inc. switch hitters like Mantle, Williams, White, Tresh) and lefty pitching. But before we get into the game recap, let’s look at how the roster is out of whack, and how lefty bats have been hurting the Yanks this year.

You may want to avert your eyes. Here are batting averages, and OPS+ of the lefty hitters/switch hitters:

Odor .180, OPS+ 71 (100 is league average)
Gardner .190, 60
Wade .270, 80
Hicks .194, 78, out for season,
Bruce .118, 33, retired
Ford .133, 60, sent back down
Tauchman .214, 57 was traded to SF.
Florial .333, 174 just one game, 1-3, not hitting at AAA.

Ok. SERIOUS problem. A lot under .200, with OPS+ way below the league average of 100.

There needs to be a serious roster reconstruction made here.

UPDATE: Counting last year’s 60 games, and this year’s 60, in their last 120 games, the Yanks are 64-56. Not that much above .500. That’s an 86-76 pace, which most of the time doesn’t get you into the playoffs.

Boston got a HR by the second batter of the game. Up 1-0. Domingo German settle down after that and pitched well.

The Yanks got two back in the bottom of the first, but their inability to tack on more cost them the game. With one out, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and Gio Urshela all singled to load the bases. Gary Sanchez doubled in two runs, putting runners on second and third. But then Chris Gittens (second MLB game) and Clint Frazier both struck out.

With one out in the fourth, Miguel Andujar single, and Brett Gardner and D.J. LeMahieu both walked to load the bases. Judge grounded into an RBI forceout, and the Yanks were up, 3-1.

Lucas Luetge gave up a 2-run HR in the seventh that tied the game. Boston went up 4-3 in the eighth, getting a run off Wandy Peralta.

The Yanks tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Judge walked and Torres doubled him home. After another out, then a walk to set up a force at any base, Rougned Odor struck out on an atrocious call by the home plate umpire. Two Yankees coaches (Nevin and Mendoza) were ejected for arguing the call. Hope the ump saw the replay. It was a horrendous call.

So the tenth begins with that silly ghost runner, and Luis Cessa walks the first batter. A sac bunt puts runners at second and third, one out. A groundout forces the runners to hold. Can Cessa get out of it? No. A 2-run single puts Boston up 6-4.

The Yanks did get a run in the bottom of the tenth. They had the ghost runner, and the leadoff hitter, Clint Frazier, was HBP. But then, you guessed it, a GIDP by Andujar. Tyler Wade singled in a run, and went to second on an error, but D.J. LeMahieu grounded out to end the game.


Judge 2 hits, RBI
Torres 2 hits, RBI
Urshela 2 hits
Sanchez 2 hits, 2 RBI


German 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.12
Luetge (BS, 1) 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. gave up 1 HR. 1 WP. 3.03
Peralta 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.74 (Combined SF/NYY ERA)
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.39
Cessa (L, 1-1) 1 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 3.09

Because of some expensive (and some of those are really bad) contracts, some changes can’t be made. But changes MUST be made.

Quick minor league update: Luis Severino started rehab games. He pitched for Low A Tampa yesterday, velocity up, and gave up 1 run in 2 2/3 IP in his first rehab start. Ken Waldichuk at High-A Hudson Valley still has an ERA of 0.00 after over 24 IP this year. The lefty starter has put up impressive minor league numbers so far.






Game 37. Yanks fall, 9-1.

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.

S.T. Game 15. German solid again in Yanks’ 4-2 win.

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.

S.T. Game 10. Yanks win 6-5. German good again, Stanton and Gleyber go back-to-back.





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 (W) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

S.T. Game 5. Phils trounce Yanks, 15-0.

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.

Yankees have very productive day. D.J., Kluber, arbitration news.

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.

We’ll see if there are any other moves.

S.T. Game 4. Yanks win game 4-1, but find out Seve done for year, needs TJ surgery.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

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).

Pitching line:

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

Cole
Tanaka
Happ
Montgomery
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

Cole
Paxton
Tanaka
Happ
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.

We will see who does.