Tag Archives: Smith

Game 118. Gray seals it, but Chapman almost unseals it in a 5-4 Yanks’ win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Pardons to Elton John for the headline.

The Yanks have a problem on their hands. That problem is Aroldis Chapman and a second problem may be Joe Girardi’s stubbornness right now.

Sonny Gray pitched well, six shutout innings before yielding a 2-run HR in the seventh. Still, the Yanks took a 5-2 lead into the ninth, when Chapman gave up a 2-run HR to make things shaky before the Yanks finished off the Mets 5-4.

Chapman is a problem right now. As I wrote a few days ago, the Yanks have three closers. They can go with the hot hand, something Girardi mentioned sarcastically a few days ago in saying “Chapman is my closer. What am I supposed to do, go with the hot hand?”

Yes, Joe, that is exactly what we want you to do. We also want you to leave relievers performing well in for more than one inning. For you almost blew another game tonight. 

The Yanks scored first, getting a run in the third on a Torreyes double, Gardner sac bunt and Hicks single. Good. Nice to see some littleball with the bunt there.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a 2-run HR (6) in the fourth to make it 3-0.

Gary Sanchez homered in the sixth (21) to make it 4-0. Gray gave up a 2-run HR in the seventh,  but the Yanks made it 5-2 in the eighth on a SF by Sanchez.

Then in came Chapman who almost blew the game. Why not leave Betances throw a second inning. Why not use Warren (Robertson could use the day off). But no, the “he’s my closer” stubbornness mentality almost cost the Yanks a ballgame.

You just knew when Chapman came in tonight that this wasn’t going to go smoothly.

Aaron Judge struck out for the 32nd straight game, tying a MLB record, but he did have a key double and then scored that fifth run.

Gray (W, 7-7, 3.37) 6+ IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Kahnle (H, 11) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.30. Threw just 10 pitches. What, he can’t go two?
Betances (H, 17) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.20. Threw 19 pitches. He couldn’t go two?
Chapman (S, 16) 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.89. That save rule is a joke.

Happy the Yanks won. Unhappy Girardi is so inflexible with his thinking.

UPDATE: Chapman was pretty down after the game. Not as confident as previously. It could be getting to him. On the final play, he appeared to tweak his hammy a bit.

Cessa went on the DL. Smith back up.

Minor League Report.

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Quick note before the minor league report. Former Syracuse football coach Dick MacPherson passed away at the age of 86.

AAA: SWB (74-41) won 7-2. 1B Ji-Man Choi 2-run HR. C Eddy Rodriguez 2-run HR. 2B Donovan Solano 2 hits, RBI. 2 hits for CF Mason Williams. DH Tyler Austin 1 for 4, rbi on rehab.

Smith (W, 9-1, 2.39) 6 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 1 W, 9 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Jones 2 Ip, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.67
Rumbelow 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.00

AA: Trenton (76-37) won 7-4. 1B Mike Ford grand slam. 2 hits, solo HR for SS Thairo Estrada. DH Aaron Hicks on rehab 1 for 4, double, walk. LF Jeff Hendrix 2 hits.

Camarena 4 1/3 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 1 W, 5 K.
Gomez (W, 3-1, 1.88) 2 2/3, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 5 K. Nice job.
Brewer (S, 9) 2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 3 K. 1.32

High A: Tampa (68-46) won 1-0. DH Tim Lynch 2 for 2.

Widener (W, 6-7, 3.80) 5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 3 W, 7 K.
Frawley (H, 2) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.18
Foley (S, 5) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.45

Low A: Charleston (62-52) won 5-2. LF Steven Sensley 2 hits, solo HR. SS Diego Castillo & C Eduardo Navas 2 hits each.

Perez (W, 8-3, 2.98) 5 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Hodson (H, 1) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 0.00
Sosebee (S, 10) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. 1.96

Minor League Report. Hicks continues rehab. Austin starts his.

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Very nice news to see. Before the trade deadline, the Yanks were ranked #2 in MLB for the minor league system.

Even after the moves at the trade deadline, the Yanks are still ranked #4. Very nice, Cashman.

AAA: SWB (69-41) lost 4-2. Aaron Hicks DH’d in his second rehab game. He went 1 for 3, double, walk, scored a run. LF Jake Cave 2-run HR. Cave is having a fabulous year (.372-13-31) at AAA and deserves a Sept. callup.  You wonder who will come up when the rosters expand. 1B Tyler Austin came off the DL to begin rehab, going 0 for 2. RF Billy McKinney had 2 hits.

Caleb Smith (L 8-1, 2.35) 5 IP, 4 R, 6 H,  3 W, 2 K.
Lail 1 IP, 0 r, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 5.47
Rumbelow 2 IP, 0 r, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 0.00.
Gallegos 1 Ip, 0 R, 0 H,  0 W, 1 K. 1.87.

AA: Trenton (73-36) split a DH.

Reg. sched. game: Lost 2-0. They got just 2 hits. CF Jeff Hendrix recently promoted from Tampa to Trenton. Nice average, decent speed, no power (70 games, .275-2-12, 13 SB).

Camarena (L, 1-1, 3.40) 6 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 3 W, 1 K. (5-3, 3.35 AA/AAA)

Makeup of 8/2 rainout: Won 4-1. 2 hits, double, solo HR for Nick Solak, just promoted from Tampa. Hendrix 2 hits. LF Zack Zehner 2 rbi.

Jose Mesa is the son of the former reliever, Jose Mesa, who pitched in the majors for 19 seasons with eight different teams and who saved over 300 games.

Between A+/AA, he is 2-1, 2.56 this year with 4 saves.

Mesa (W, 1-0, 1.80) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 7 K.
Carroll (S, 1) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.10  (has split year A+/AA)

High A (A+) Tampa: (64-45) lost 6-2. Just promoted CF Estevan Florial 2 hits, RBI.

Widener (L, 5-7, 3.99) 3 IP, 3 r, 4 H, 2 W, 2 K.
Frare 3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. 5.74
Reeves 2 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.70.

Low A (A): Charleston (59-50) lost 6-3. LF Isiah Gilliam 3 doubles, rbi. DH Carlos Vidal 2 hits.

Nelson (L, 2-8, 4.81) 5 1/3 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 7 H, 1 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Morris 3 2/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 5 K. 2.97

Quick note: former ND football coach Ara Parseghian died a few days ago at the age of 94. The legendary coach was just 50 when he retired after the 1974 season. He coached the “Fighting Irish” for eleven seasons, 1964-1974, winning two national championships (1966, 1973).

 

Game 103. Yanks’ six game winning streak ends. Playing chicken w/A’s?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

This is why the Yankees acquired Jamie Garcia this morning.

Even though Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino have done well, neither has pitched, say, 200 innings in a season before. The Yankees therefore, are worried about both “Hitting the Wall” in the months of August and September.

Yesterday, Caleb Smith was knocked out in the fourth inning. Today, Jordan Montgomery was knocked out in the third. You can’t have that, no matter how good your bullpen is. You’ll burn out that bullpen.

As of now, no deal for Sonny Gray. The trade deadline (non/waivers) is 4 PM tomorrow, Monday. It appears as if the Yanks and A’s are playing a game of “chicken.”

As for today, the Yanks had chances to extend their six game winning streak but fell short. Aaron Judge, since the All-Star Game, is slumping. He’s dropped 30 points off the batting average. He is so strong that he can hit HRs the other way. Stop pulling off the ball, concentrate on hitting the ball the other way or up the middle and the HRs will return.

Matt Holliday is down to .234 with his slump.

The only offensive threat the Yanks had today as from the “Mighty Mite”, Ronald Torreyes. He had two of their four hits and all three RBI.

Montgomery gave up a run in the top of the first.

Torreyes hit a 2-run HR (3) to put the Yanks up 2-1 after two.

Montgomery got knocked out in the third when the Rays scored three to go up 4-2.

In the fourth, Todd Frazier walked and Torreyes doubled him home. 4-3.

Tampa Bay got an insurance run in the 8th, 5-3.

Clint Frazier made a nice defensive play at the start of the game.

The Yanks caught a break with Austin Romine. He had a rough day, taking a foul tip off of the throat protector, catching the backswing off an at bat,  and getting a bruised hand off an HBP. He’s banged up.

The Yanks were 1 for 11 w/RISP today.

Boston lost, so the Yanks (56-47) remain in first by 1/2 a game.

Detroit, Justin Verlander (if he isn’t dealt) and his fiancee, Kate Upton, are next.

Don’t expect Verlander to go to the Yanks, unless the Tigers want to assume some of Jacoby Ellsbury’s $alary in return.

Montgomery (L, 7-6, 4.15) 2 2/3 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 2 W, 5 K.
Cessa 3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 4 w, 4 K. 4.83
Shreve 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.70
Green 2 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 6 K. 1.83.

The Yanks lost despite striking out 16 Rays.

Here is a question. Is it me, or does it seem that Luis Cessa works better out of the bullpen as a long man than as a starter? I believe that’s the case. If so, maximize his potential. Forget about him a starter. Concentrate on him as a long man, as you do with Green and Warren.

Moves. Before the game, Shreve up from SWB, Smith sent down.

After the game, Cessa sent down. I believe this is to make room for the recently acquired Jamie Garcia.

 

Yanks deal 2 minor league pitchers to Twins for Jaime Garcia.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

With the loss of Michael Pineda to Tommy John surgery, the Yanks have been plugging the gap with the likes of Bryan Mitchell, Luis Cessa and lately Caleb Smith.

No disrespect intended to those three, but the Yanks upgraded that spot today by dealing two minor league pitchers to the Twins for Jaime Garcia.

Garcia is a lefty (good for Yankee Stadium) and a rental. He is a free agent at the end of the year, and a solid mid-to end of the rotation piece. Not an ace, but definitely an upgrade over the Mitchell/Cessa/Smith trio.

He just turned 31, and was 3rd in ROY voting in 2010. He’s already had a couple of 13 win seasons. He won a WS ring as a member of the 2011 WS Champion Cardinals, so he has postseason experience.

He went 13-7, 3.56 for St. Louis in that WS Championship season.

Between the Braves and Twins this year, he was 5-7, 4.29, ERA+ 101. Average (an average ERA+ is 100). For his career, he is 67-52, 3.65. His 162 g. average is 13-10, 3.65, ERA+ 108. So a little better than an average pitcher.

He missed large portions of 2013 and 2014.

In seven postseason starts, Garcia is 0-3, 3.94 ERA.

He has been averaging 6 1/3 innings per start this season. That is huge with the Yankees’ bullpen of Warren, Green, Kahnle, Betances, Robertson and Chapman. By contrast, the rookie Smith was knocked out in the fourth inning in both of his MLB starts. As I mentioned, an upgrade.

You can’t have people wearing out the bullpen.

Go six, keep the team in the game.

Going to the Twins are:

Zack Littell. AA.  RHP. 21. Between High A Tampa & AA Trenton, 14-1, 1.87 this year. 35-24, 3.24 in his minor league career. Last year, between low and High A, he was 13-6, 2.66.

Dietrich Enns. AAA. LHP. 26. 2-1, 2.18 between AAA SWB and one rehab relief appearance for the Gulf Coast Rookie League this year. Missed a large portion of this season with an injury. Was 14-4, 1.73 between AA and AAA last season. He is 27-14, 1.87 in his minor league career.

Nice records lately for these two. But you have to give to get.

The thing is, where were they in the pecking order. If you have 10 really solid starting pitchers in your system, who is #1 and who is #10? This is where Cashman, the front office and your scouts come in. Not all 10 come up and start for you. You can’t put everyone on the 40 man roster. You’ll lose someone via the Rule 5 draft (which is how they originally lost Tommy Kahnle, who they just recently reacquired).

You have to pick and choose who to keep and who has to go. You have to have a pecking order, and you hope you are right in assessing that pecking order. You hope you make the right decision of who to keep and who to trade.

But as of now, it seems like a good deal, because even if Garcia, a free agent at the end of the year is a rental, he is still an upgrade over Mitchell, Cessa or Smith for this stretch drive.

This doesn’t take the Yanks out of getting Sonny Gray, an ace. They may still do that deal.

Game 102. Another Walkoff win for Yanks, 5-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Friends from Pinstripe Mania were there today to see the Yanks beat the Rays in walk off fashion 5-4.

Rumors still surround Sonny Gray. One thing is for sure. Down the stretch, Caleb Smith or Luis Cessa are not the answer. No disrespect intended.

Caleb Smith gave up a HR to the first batter he faced. 1-0. Rays.

The Yanks tied it in the second on a double by Sanchez, groundout and SF by Didi.

Run in the third for the Rays, 2-1.

Gary Sanchez tied it in the bottom of the fourth, 2-2. HR #16 for Gary.

The Yanks need to get another starter w/Pineda out. Smith (3rd MLB game, 2nd MLB start) was pulled in the fourth. You can’t have that. You can’t burn your bullpen every five days. The Yanks won this game, but…. The non-waiver trade deadline is Monday at 4 PM. See below for some news on some potential moves.

Adam Warren gave up a HR in the fifth. 3-2 Rays.

The Yanks took the lead 4-3 in the sixth on a PH, 2-run HR by Chase Headley. It was Headley’s fifth HR of the season and first in six weeks.

David Robertson gave up a HR in the eighth to Lucas Duda, his second in two games since joining the Rays from the Mets, and the game was tied.

In the bottom of the ninth, Headley walked, and Ellsbury PR for him and stole second. Todd Frazier was HBP and Ronald Torreyes beat out his bunt for a single to load the bases. Gardner then singled to win the game.

Smith 3 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. 7.20
Warren 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.06
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.68
Kahnle (H, 9)  1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.18
Robertson (BS, 2) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.75
Chapman (W, 4-1, 3.03) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.

The Yanks improve to  56-46 and remain 1/2 game ahead of Boston, in first place in the AL East.

Zack Littell has been scratched from his Sunday start at AA. MLB Trade rumors reports that the Yanks may be close to getting Jaime Garcia from the Twins. The Twins just got him from the Braves, but instead of staying in the race, the Twins are falling out so they may now trade Garcia.

What is most interesting is that MLBTR states that getting Garcia would NOT keep the Yanks from pursuing Sonny Gray.

Gray & Garcia? Stay tuned.

Game 97. Didi goes deep twice in Yanks’ 6-4 win. Clint Frazier with the big hit.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Brett Gardner matched his career high in HR and Didi Gregorius homered twice in the Yanks’ 6-4 win over Seattle on Sunday. It was the first time the Yanks took a series in about six weeks.

Despite their heroics, the big blow came off the bat of Clint Frazier, whose 2-run double provided the winning runs.

There are two things I hate about modern baseball. One, you have read about recently on this blog. That is managers who pull pitchers for no good reason (and Girardi did it again today) because the next inning is “not their inning”, never mind that they threw few pitches the inning before and blew people away.

The second thing I hate pertains to Frazier. When Aaron Hicks comes off the DL, the Yanks will have too many outfielders. You would have Judge (who obviously isn’t going anywhere since he’s a legit MVP candidate), Gardner, Hicks, Ellsbury and Frazier. Only a few have options. And $$$$$$$$ speaks. So even though Ellsbury is the worst of the five, and has been benched for Frazier lately, he makes $21MM a year and has that $$$$$ through 2020 with a buyout of $5MM for 2021. Ellsbury also has a no-trade clause in his contract. So guess who would have to be sent down? Frazier. Even though he has been a spark plug for this team and has been great.

How great? Only one other Yankees rookie has had as many extra base hits in his first 15 games than Frazier. It’s some guy that was once married to Marilyn Monroe. Some guy that had his #5 retired. Some Hall of Famer.

So the money talks, at the expense of the team. 

With outfielders like Frazier, and Dustin Fowler (hopefully he recovers from that gruesome injury), Billy McKinney, Jake Cave, and even Estevan Florial at Low A, and even after trading Blake Rutherford, there are a lot of OF options between now and 2020. But between now and 2020, the Yanks owe Ellsbury over $65MM.

This is a big problem. How do make room for the improving Hicks & for Clint Frazier? The Red Sox just ate $90MM of Pablo Sandoval’s salary just to get rid of him (he signed a minor league deal to go back to the Giants). What do the Yanks do with a bad contract in Ellsbury’s, when they have better kids like Frazier about to take over? How much $$ can they eat? Can they even trade Ellsbury or do they have to release him and eat $$ as they are doing with A-Rod?

A big problem. Now to the game. The win puts the Yanks at 51-46, 2 1/2 back of Boston and all alone in 2nd place in the AL East with the #1 wild card spot.

Brett Gardner led off the game with a HR. #17 ties his career high for most HR in a season. They made it 2-0 in the second on HR #13 by Didi Gregorius.

It became 3-0 in the fourth when Didi hit his second HR of the game. #14.

Luis Cessa was scratched for Caleb Smith. Smith was pitching in his second MLB game and it was his first MLB start. He pitched three scoreless innings but the wheels came off in the fourth when he gave up four runs and was knocked out.

Sonny Gray? Yu Darvish? We’ll see if the Yanks can make a deal. It won’t come cheap but the Yanks do need to add another starting pitcher. We’ll see if they do so and at what cost.

The Yanks got 3 in the sixth to win the game 6-4. With one out, Headley and Todd Frazier walked. Ronald Torreyes singled to load the bases and Gardner singled to tie the game at four.

Clint Frazier then doubled in two runs to put the Yanks up 6-4, the final score.

Once again, Joe Girardi drove me nuts by doing his by the book game. He pulled Betances after one good inning and did the same for Robertson. Meanwhile, Aroldis Chapman ran into trouble in the ninth.

Here is a novel concept, Girardi, (and I hope you can read this). If someone is doing well,

LEAVE HIM IN THERE FOR THE NEXT INNING! DON’T PULL HIM UNTIL HE SHOWS SIGNS OF TIRING/TROUBLE! PULLING SOMEONE JUST FOR THE SAKE OF PULLING HIM IS DRIVING ME AND OTHER YANKEES FANS CRAZY! AND I AM HEARING THIS FROM LOTS OF OTHER YANKEES’ FANS!

Take that book/binder and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

Sanchez is struggling, down to .265. Same w/Holliday, down to .238.

Gardner 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI. Frazier 2 RBI.
Didi 2 HR, 2 RBI.

Smith 3 2/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 1 W, 2 K. 8.10
Green (W, 1-0, 1.56) 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Betances (H, 12) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.62
Robertson (H,1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.72
Chapman (S, 11) 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.51.

As I mentioned, I didn’t like pulling Betances or Robertson for no good reason other than they pitched “their inning”. Leave them in if they are doing well. Meanwhile, Chapman struggled in the ninth.

BTW, isn’t it time to give a big shout out to Chad Green for a tremendous job he’s done this year? If the Yanks CANNOT get Sonny Gray or Yu Darvish, how about stretching Green out and starting him?