Tag Archives: Showalter

Tribe, Toronto, go 1-up. Another Yankee moves on.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Unlike Buck Showalter the other night leaving his best in the bullpen, Terry Francona of Cleveland went to Andrew Miller early…in the fifth inning, and Miller provided two key innings of scoreless middle relief in Cleveland’s 5-4 win over Boston in Game 1 of their division series. Cleveland hit 3 hr in one inning. There were six HRs hit in the game, three by each side.

Toronto hammered Texas 10-1 in the first game of their division series, knocking out Cole Hamels in the fourth inning. Marco Estrada went 8 1/3, giving up just four hits and one run. Josh Donaldson was 4 for 4, scored 2, drove in 2. Troy Tulowitzki had a base-loaded triple among his 3 hits, and Jose Bautista homered and drove in 4 runs.

Eric Young, Jr. decided not to accept the Yanks optioning him to SWB and became a free agent. Young got in six games with the Yanks in September, went 0 for 1, scored 2 runs and stole 1 base.

 

Giants oust Mets, some Yankee moves.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Madison Bumgarner pitched a complete-game 4-hit shutout as the Giants eliminated the Mets in the NL wild card game, 3-0. They now face the Cubs.

Conor Gillaspie’s 3-run HR in the top of the ninth off of Jeurys Familia was the whole game.

Curtis Granderson did save a run for the Mets with a great catch, but in the end, it all went for naught.

Noah Syndergaard pitched great for the Mets, 7 shutout innings, 2 hits, 10 K, but unlike Bumgarner, was pulled and didn’t pitch the complete game. It proved fatal for the Mets.

Bumgarner is now 8-3, 1.94 in postseason play. A postseason beast.

Meanwhile, Buck Showalter is getting blasted for not using his closer in the extra inning loss that the Orioles had up in Toronto the other night. He did the same mistake that Joe Torre did in Game 4 of the 2003 WS, which is saving your closer for a save on the road. Meanwhile your team never gives you a lead to save and some lesser pitcher loses the game for you while your best is in the bullpen. In extra innings, sometimes you need your best to preserve the tie and prevent a walkoff win.

ALDS series start today. Toronto at Texas, Boston at Cleveland.

A couple of Yankees moves. The Angels claimed Blake Parker and Kirby Yates off of waivers. Parker was 1-0, 4.96 after coming over from Seattle this year.

Yates was 2-1, 5.23.

Anthony Swarzak, who was 1-2, 5.52, refused assignment to SWB and became a free agent.

CC Sabathia will have routine knee surgery to clean it out.

Toronto wins wild card game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I was hoping Baltimore would win for Buck, (and I can’t stand Bautista and Encarnacion, both of whom homered tonight). Encarnacion hit a walk-off HR in the bottom of the 11th and Toronto beat Baltimore 5-2.

Toronto goes to Texas.

It was despicable that some Toronto fan threw a beer can or something at Baltimore’s LF as he was trying to catch a flyout (he did).

Managers of the Year: Buck, Matt Williams

Buck Showalter and Matt Williams were named the AL and NL Managers of the year today, respectively.

For Buck, it is the third time he has won the award, following the 1994 Yankees (who had the best record in the AL at the time of the strike) and the 2004 Texas Rangers.

You were saying?

In 2012, a certain NY beat writer arrogantly dismissed me when I mentioned that the Yanks should call up Steve Pearce, who that year in AAA hit .318-11-30 in 53 games for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. At the time I advocated for his call up, the Yanks had some injuries/slumping players, I forget which. It was probably a combination of the two.

Now this reporter usually dismisses minor leaguers. I don’t know why he doesn’t like to give them chances. After all, he was a rookie in his job at one time. Someone had to give HIM a chance at one time. Often, he has no clue who is doing well in the minors or at what level. He’d rather bring in a washed up veteran than give a kid a chance.

I remember Suzyn Waldman once urging the Yanks to bring a 45-year-old David Wells out of retirement rather than bring up and see what a promising minor league prospect had. Really? You couldn’t give a youngster a chance to establish himself but want to bring a faded, retired veteran out of retirement? But then, we remember her going way over the top when the Yanks brought Roger Clemens out of retirement in 2007.

For all the praise heaped on the Core Five (and yes, I include Bernie Williams along with the “Core Four” of Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte and Posada), someone had to give them that first chance. Now, a quintet that that coming along at about the same time (Bernie came up four years before the others) doesn’t happen but once in a generation, and the Yanks’ minor league talent isn’t as deep as it was 20-25 years ago with those players, but people, especially youngsters, need chances.

But I digress. In 2012, Pearce played for three different major league teams at the age of 29. He wasn’t a prospect, but someone who bounced back and forth from the majors to the minors for Pittsburgh from 2007-2011. In that timeframe he hit .232-9-52 in 185 games. His OPS+ was 79. Nothing to write home about.

In 2012, for three teams (Balt/Hou/NYY) Pearce hit .239-4-26 in 61 games. OPS+ 92. He was 4 for 25, 1 HR, 4 RBI for the Yankees in 12 games. Nothing to write home about, and probably a good cause for the one reporter’s arrogant dismissal.

But sometimes all it takes is a player to get a chance and to be used right and managed correctly, which is what I hoped the Yanks could do with Pearce in 2012.

In 2013, Pearce only played in 44 games with Baltimore, but put up an OPS+ of 114. Solid. .261-4-13.

This year, the 1B/OF has an OPS+ of an excellent 146. .284-16-39 as a platoon player. Now, Pearce is a righty batter and LF at Camden Yards is as much of a short porch—-with a short wall—as RF is at Yankee Stadium. After all, it’s just 364 to LCF there (most places have it 370-390, and Yankee Stadium has a 399). That short LCF may have helped Pearce.

But look at those numbers. Pearce could have fit right into this Yankees team as a legitimate 1B backup to Teixeira (rather than using the players the Yanks HAVE used this year there). He also could have been a legitimate righty-hitting backup to Gardner and platoon partner for the power-challenged Ichiro in RF.

In 2013-2014 combined, Pearce has hit .278-20-52 in 136 games, 425 at bats. The OPS+ is a superb 136.

Take a look at those numbers. You think they wouldn’t fit in well with these offensively challenged Yankees?

Sometimes, all it takes is an opportunity, and a manager who gives you that opportunity. Someone who knows your strengths and weaknesses, and who maximizes those strengths and minimizes those weaknesses by platooning you —playing you and sitting you at the appropriate times. It appears Buck has done that with Pearce down in Baltimore.

We have no idea whether Pearce’s recent success will continue. After all, he is 31 now. But his 2013 and 2014 seasons have me doing a few things.

One is to shake my head and wonder what might have been. Could Girardi have utilized Pearce as Buck has? His numbers match anything any current Yankee has done this year. As I wrote above, he would have been a fine fit on this team as a backup 1B/sometimes DH/RF platoon/backup OF.

Besides shaking my head, there is also the satisfaction of having the last laugh.

Sometimes, all one needs is a chance.

More awards, a signing, and a huge trade.

Manager of the Year Awards went out last night. Davey Johnson of Washington won for the N.L., and the A.L. award went to Bob Melvin of Oakland.

I thought Buck Showalter of Baltimore would win in the A.L., but he lost 16 first-place votes to 12. I’m not saying Melvin wasn’t deserving, but I thought Buck would get it.

Today, the CYA winners were announced. David Price of Tampa Bay edged out Detroit’s Justin Verlander for the A.L. award by just four points. The N.L.  award went to R. A. Dickey of the Mets, who became the first knuckleballer to ever win the award.

Tomorrow, the MVPs.

Torii Hunter signed a 2-yr. deal with Detroit. You would think that Hunter, winner of 9 Gold Glove awards, will help the Tiger defense, what with being next to Austin Jackson in that big outfield in Detroit. Hunter wanted 2 years, and the Yanks wouldn’t go for that, even if Swisher goes. Hunter got those 2 years, along with $26MM, from the Tigers. Hunter, who will be 38 next June (and it may be a good thing the Yanks DID NOT get him, what with their present age concerns), hit .313-16-92, OPS+ 132 for the Angels this past year. Yes, an excellent year, but you have to ask how many players 35+ you want on the Yankees.

As for the Yankees, they better watch out. Toronto made a huge trade. If the old players on the Yankees show their age, then the Yanks could very well slip to 3rd or 4th place in the A.L. East. The Blue Jays picked up a #1 AND a #2 starter from the Marlins in Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, as well as an All-Star SS in Jose Reyes. They also got C John Buck and speedy utility man Emilio Bonifacio in the deal. (Reyes and Bonifacio combined for 70 SB, and Bonifacio only played in 64 games).

There is rumors that Miami isn’t done. I see on the BBD blog that the Yanks are thinking about bringing back Ibanez (I’m against it, he’ll be 41 next June) and thinking about Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins. I also see a rumor that Miami may shop Logan Morrison.

Nolasco, 29, was 12-13, 4.48, ERA+ 88 last year. I don’t want that. For his career, he is 76-64, 4.49. His 162 g. average is 14-12, 4.49. Figure in the DH league he goes something like 13-13, 4.80. That’s not good enough in my book.

I’d rather let Ibanez go and go after Morrison if the Marlins have him on the block. I appreciate what Ibanez did last year (esp. in the postseason), but he will be 41 next June. How many old players do you want on the Yankees (think Pettitte, Jeter, Rivera, A-Rod, maybe Kuroda, maybe Ichiro… Jones is most likely gone, if Chavez comes back, he is 35, Ichiro…). Morrison is 25, LF/1B. With Gardner maybe moving to CF and Granderson to LF, Morrison can DH, play RF and fill in at 1B once in a while (he seems better suited for DH, his defense isn’t good). He hit just .230-11-36 (OPS+ 91) last year, but is young, a lefty hitter, 6’3″ 240 and hopefully can use that to take advantage of the porch. He hasn’t done badly vs. lefties (.247 vs. righties and .259 vs. lefties). He hit 23 HR in 2011. His 162 g. average is .250-21-73. OPS+ 110. Younger than Ibanez, more potential, can probably put up better numbers in 2013 than Raul.

But getting back to Toronto. This is a big deal for them. Let’s face it. The Yanks have an OLD team. If the Yanks don’t watch it, they can fall to fourth place in a hurry, maybe even last. God forbid. But look at the division. Good young players in Baltimore, Tampa Bay, and now Toronto made a big move. Goodness knows how Boston will rebuild.

Yes, I know the Yanks had the best record in the league last year. But they were exposed in the playoffs.

There is a fine line between experienced, and old.

Will the Yanks inject some youth in 2013?

ROY to Trout, Harper

Mike Trout won the A.L. Rookie of the Year Award in a unanimous vote. The Angels’ OF hit .326-30-83, led the majors with 49 SB, led the majors in runs scored, and led the A.L. in adjusted OPS (OPS+) with a 171.

In the N.L., Washington OF Bryce Harper won a close vote over Arizona pitcher Wade Miley, 112-105. Harper received 16 first place votes to Miley’s 12. Harper hit .270-22-59 with 18 SB. OPS+ 119. Miley was 16-11, 3.33, ERA+ of 125.

The Managers of the Year will be announced today (Tuesday). I’d expect Buck Showalter of Baltimore to be the A.L. mgr. of the year.