Tag Archives: Tanaka

Tanaka stays, doesn’t Opt-out. Ausmus? Flaherty?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

One big question mark about the Yankees’ offseason was answered yesterday.

Most likely, they will NOT have to shop for a starting pitcher.

Masahiro Tanaka has decided NOT to exercise his opt-out, and will stay with the Yankees for the next 3 years at $67MM.

It is quite possible that he figured he can’t get a better deal elsewhere. He has had the partial UCL tear for a while that he’s been pitching with, and it is a ticking time bomb that could require Tommy John surgery down the road.

Even though he had a great postseason (2-1, only 2 ER in 20 IP), Tanaka’s regular season was the worst of his career, 13-12, 4.74, ERA+ 95.

In his four seasons with the Yanks, he has averaged 13-7, 3.56, ERA+ 118. The elbow and various other injuries have limited him to an average of 26 starts per season, so he’s missed about 5-6 starts per season on the average.

But still, solid. You hope the elbow holds up and that he has a bounce-back year.

The Yanks’ starting rotation is pretty much set for next season: Severino, Gray, Tanaka and Montgomery.

The question now is #5. Do you bring CC Sabathia (a free agent) back, and at what price? CC is 37 and would turn 38 in the middle of next year. Do you only offer a one-year deal when he may be looking for two? Do you cut his salary in half, from $25MM to $12MM?

Or do you continue the youth movement, thank CC for his service, and move on to a youngster like Chance Adams or Justus Sheffield?

The Yanks could also move on from CC by trading someone like Dellin Betances, who had trouble and was unreliable down the stretch and in the postseason, for a starting pitcher. They then could “groom” a youngster like Adams or Sheffield (and there are more coming, like Albert Abreu,  Domingo Acevedo and Domingo German) to be in the bullpen first before becoming a starter.

They could also move someone like Chad Green or Adam Warren to the rotation, but I don’t see that happening. The bullpen, with Green, Warren, Kahnle, Robertson, Chapman and maybe Betances (if he isn’t traded) is such a strength.

We’ll see what happens with CC next. But a good start. Tanaka back, don’t have to shop for a starter like Darvish (who flopped in the WS) or Arrietta.

As for manager, one scout predicts that Brad Ausmus, recently fired by the Tigers, will wind up the Yankees manager. Ausmus was once a Yankees’ prospect who was lost in the expansion draft.

Ausmus, like Girardi, was a catcher who was mostly known for his defense and who was an OK hitter without much power. From 1993-2010, he played for the Padres, Tigers, Astros, Tigers again, Astros again, and Dodgers. His average year was about .251-5-40. OPS+75. A 1x All-Star, 3x Gold Glove. He played in 35 postseason games, all with Houston. .245-3-7.  He was their starting catcher when the Astros lost the 2005 WS. He fits the young manager the Yanks may be looking for, since he is just 48 years old.

He managed the Tigers the last four seasons, going 314-332. In his first year managing Detroit, he won 90 games and the division title, but they were swept by Baltimore in the ALDS. Since then, 74, 86 and 64 wins. The Tigers got old, had a fire sale (got rid of Avila, Verlander, J.D. Martinez) and their farm system stinks. Maybe with the Yanks he has something better to work with. Like Girardi, and Torre before him, a catcher with managerial experience elsewhere who now settles into the Bronx, where he has better talent to work with.

Another possible candidate could be YES broadcaster John Flaherty. It is rumored that he would like to manage. Flaherty, through his YES work, knows the team. Another former catcher, Flaherty is 50. A big leaguer from 1992-2005 (the last three years as Posada’s backup with the Yankees), Flaherty’s average season if he caught 104 or 105 games would be .252-8-40. OPS+ 74. He played for Boston, Detroit, San Diego, Tampa Bay and the Yankees. He made the playoffs with the Padres and Yankees.

But would Cashman choose someone with no managerial experience?

In the Arizona Fall League, Billy McKinney joins Thairo Estrada and Justus Sheffield on the All-Star Team. Scottsdale won Friday night 3-0 on a one-hitter. Yankees’ prospects:

CF Estevan Florial 2 for 5, .300
1B Billy McKinney 1 for 3, RBI, .311
SS Thairo Estrada 2 for 4, .353

 

 

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Yankees news today.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Still waiting on Tanaka. What he does influences the Yankees’ offseason from day one.

Cross some other people off the list of who may be the Yankees’ next mgr.

Raul Ibanez is flattered but wants to stay in LA in the Dodgers’ front office.

Billy McKinney, OF/1B, has been added to the AFL All-Star team.

I don’t know how they can do this before free agency and which free agents sign with what team, but the Yanks are 11-1 odds to win the 2018 WS. Not bad.

By contrast, other teams in my area: Mets 22/1 and Phillies 75-1.

In the AFL, Scottsdale lost, 4-2. Yankees’ prospects:

RF Estevan Florial. 1 for 4, 2 strikeouts. .289.
2B Kyle Holder. 1 for 4, double. One strikeout. .375

Andrew Schwaab pitched two innings of relief. 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
ERA 5.68.

Earlier today, you could cross Joe Espada off the list of  replacements for Joe Girardi. He signed on as bench coach for Houston.

Now cross off not only Ibanez, but someone else.

Kevin Long, former hitting coach for the Yanks and recently, the Mets, has signed on to be the hitting coach for the Nationals.

 

 

WS Game 7, Houston wins 1st WS Title. , AFL, Tanaka, Minor Leagues…

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The WS is over. Masahiro Tanaka has 3 days now to decide if he wants to opt out of his Yankees’ contract or not. We’ll know by Saturday.

The Houston Astros are WS champs for the first time in their history with a 5-1 win, because just as in Game 3, Yu Darvish stunk. In both games, Darvish was knocked out in the second inning, Games 3 and 7.

In the first inning, a double by George Springer, a 2-base error by Cody Bellinger (who set a WS record for striking out) and a groundout led to 2 runs.

In the second, after one run had already scored, Springer hit a 2-run HR to make it 5-0.

But why, down 2-0 in the bottom of the first, and needing to get back in the game, after a leadoff double, don’t the Dodgers bunt the guy over?

Springer’s HR was his fifth of the WS, tying a WS record set by Reggie Jackson (1977) and by Chase Utley (2009).

Deservedly so, Springer is the Willie Mays’ WS MVP.

For Houston, some joy after the hurricane damage.

The only thing with Utley is that his team (Phillies) lost to the Yankees, four games to two, in that WS.

Clayton Kershaw did come into Game 7 and pitch 4 scoreless innings of relief for LA, but where was that when he blew a 4-0 lead in Game 5?

In the Arizona Fall League, Yankees’ prospects:

SS Thairo Estrada, 1 for 5, 2 RBI. .340
LF Billy McKinney 2 for 3, walk, .310

Reliever Cody Carroll, 2 IP, 0 r, 0 H, 0 w,  K. 0.00. 4th save.

Scottsdale won 7-5.

Good news for the future for the Yankees:

MILB.com listed the Yankees as having the best farm system. Add these guys to youngsters they have now, and the future looks bright.

Kevin Reese was promoted in Yankees’ front office to take over for Gary Denbo, who left to join Jeter in FL.

Keep an eye on the Marlins this offseason. Fire sale coming which could involve big names.

Could the Yanks be interested in some of those names? At what price?

 

ALCS Game 5. Yanks solve Keuchel, are one win away from 41st AL pennant.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Dallas Keuchel owned the Yankees.

Until Wednesday, that is.

The Yanks solved him, and won Game 5 of the ALCS, 5-0. With the win, the Yanks have won every postseason game at home so far, and as a result, have gone up 3 games to 2 in the ALCS.

If they can win either Game 6 or 7 in Houston, they will be headed to the World Series for the 41st time.

Game 6 will be Friday night in Houston, Severino vs. Verlander, and right now, Houston is not hitting….     9 runs in 5 games vs. the Yankees, with 2 unearned.

If Masahiro Tanaka is wanting to opt out of his contract, he is making a statement with his postseason performances. After a very up-and-down regular season, he has been incredible this postseason. A 1-0 win, 2-1 loss, and a 5-0 win.

In the second inning, Houston got a leadoff double, moved the runner to third with one out, but with the Yankees’ infield in (because they wouldn’t know how they could or would get to Keuchel, their nemesis), ex-Yankee Carlos Beltran grounded out and Tanaka got out of it, yielding no runs.

In the bottom of the second, with two out, Castro doubled and Bird singled. 1-0 Yankees.

The big thing and difference in the Yankees this postseason as opposed to the regular season is that we are seeing what Greg Bird can do when he is healthy, and it is coming at the right time. A big difference between him now, and him at the beginning of the year when he wasn’t himself, and Chris Carter.

In the third, Headley singled, Gardner forced him, and Judge doubled Gardner home. 2-0.

To the fifth, and Houston had men on 1st and 2nd, one out, and Tanaka got out of it.

In the bottom of the fifth, with one out, Headley (who had 3 hits) singled, and after Gardner grounded out, Judge walked. Sanchez singled to make it 3-0, and Didi singled to make it 4-0.

In the bottom of the seventh, Sanchez homered to make it 5-0, the final score.

The Yankees’ bullpen is all set up. Tanaka for 7, Kahnle for 2 today. Off day tomorrow. A rested bullpen for Games 6 and possibly 7 in Houston.

Sanchez 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI.
Gregorius 2 hits, RBI.
Headley 3 hits.

Tanaka (WIN) 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 W, 8 K.
Kahnle 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.

In the NLCS, the Cubs avoided a sweep by the Dodgers by winning Game 4, 3-2.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale won 9-5. Yankees’ prospect 2B Kyle Holder went 2 for 4. Prospect Cody Carroll pitched a scoreless inning of relief, giving up a hit and a walk but striking out the side.

 

ALCS Game 1: Keuchel Curse Continues as Yanks lose, 2-1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Deja Vu all over again.

In the 2015 WC game, Masahiro Tanaka pitched well, only to lose to Dallas Keuchel and the Astros, 3-0.

In Game 1 of the ALCS last night, Tanaka again pitched well, and once again the Yankees couldn’t figure out Keuchel, and this time they lost 2-1. Keuchel and his relievers struck out 14 Yankees.

Keuchel has owned the Yankees the past few years. In order to advance to the World Series the Yanks have to either find a way to beat him, or just beat all of the other Astros’ pitchers.

The Astros scored two runs in the second when MVP candidate Jose Altuve (he’ll win the award if Judge doesn’t, and he had 3 hits on the night, half of Houston’s total) singled with one out and stole second. Carlos Correa singled in Altuve, moved up on a groundout, and scored on a single by Yuri Gurriel. Half of the Astros six hits came in this inning.

In the fifth, Greg Bird, who had two of the Yanks’ five hits, singled. Matt Holliday reached on an error, moving Bird up, but two outs later, the runners hadn’t advanced. Aaron Judge singled but Bird was thrown out at the plate. That proved to be the difference in the ball game.

Much has been made since, and will continue to be made, of Bird’s lead, not-so-good turn at third, and lack of foot speed. You may also wonder if that ankle injury that required surgery had anything to do with anything. Maybe that slowed him down even more or forced a turn that wasn’t too good. The short LF in Houston also helped the OF, who made a perfect throw. Anyway, Bird was nipped at the plate, and it was confirmed upon review.

Bird homered with two out in the ninth for the Yankees’ only run.

Tanaka (Loss) 6 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 W, 3 K.
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H,  0 W, 2 K.

Severino vs. Verlander in Game 2 today.

In the Arizona Fall League, Yankees’ OF prospect Estevan Florial was 1 for 4 with an RBI in Scottsdale’s 6-4 loss.

 

ALDS Game 3. Yanks survive 1-0 behind Tanaka gem, Bird HR and Judge catch.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

By the skin of their teeth, the Yankees survive to play another game. They won Game 3 of the ALDS 1-0 Sunday night to avoid being eliminated by Cleveland. Cleveland still leads the best-of-five series two games to one.

Masahiro Tanaka was brilliant, pitching seven shutout innings. He got two strikeouts after a one-out Kipnis triple in the fourth to get out of trouble.

In the sixth, Aaron Judge robbed Francisco Lindor of a 2-run HR. It appeared that had Judge not stretched out his 6’7″  frame to make the catch that the ball would have cleared the fence or hit the top and bounced over for a 2-run HR.

The Yanks blew a chance in the sixth. Hicks singled but Gardner GIDP (why wasn’t Gardner bunting there?) Judge walked, Sanchez singled and Didi walked, but Castro popped up.

In the bottom of the seventh, Greg Bird accounted for the only run of the game with a HR.

David Robertson got the first out in the eighth, but Aroldis Chapman had to come on for a five-out save, stranding two in the ninth.

Game Four is scheduled for 6:30 today with Luis Severino starting for the Yanks. There is a chance of rain.

Tanaka (Winner) 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 W, 7 K.
Robertson (Hold) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Chapman (Save) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 4 K.

Chapman had to apologize to Girardi before the game because of a social media faux pas he had made after Game 2, criticizing the manager. Girardi was booed when introduced pre-game because of what happened in Game 2 with his not challenging a call that turned that game around.

In the other ALDS, Boston also stayed alive and forced a Game 4 vs. Houston.

Game 160. Tanaka dominant in Yanks’ 4-0 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

You are thinking the same thing I am.

Where was THIS Tanaka all year?

In his final regular season start of what has been a disappointing, inconsistent year, Masahiro Tanaka was dominant. Seven shutout innings, just 3 hits, no walks, and 15 strikeouts.

He retired the first 14 batters he faced.

Meanwhile, the resurgent Greg Bird had 2 hits and 2 RBI.

The 90-70 Yanks beat Tampa Bay 4-0 and for the time being (Boston is playing as I write this) still are not eliminated from winning the AL East (although Boston’s magic # to win is 1).

UPDATE: Boston lost, so the Yanks are still mathematically alive for the AL East title, going into Game 161. They are two back with two to go. If a tie, a playoff game will be on Monday (Game 163) at Yankee Stadium. To win the division, the Yanks must win out and Boston must lose out.

In the first inning, the Yanks scored twice. With one out, Ellsbury singled and Judge walked. Didi singled to load the bases. Castro singled in a run and Bird hit a SF for another.

In the fifth, Romine singled and after Hicks forced him at second, Hicks stole second. After Ellsbury lined out, Judge singled in Hicks but was nabbed trying for two.

In the sixth, Didi singled, stole second and scored on a single by Bird.

Tanaka (W, 13-12, 4.74) 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 15 K.
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1.87
Betances 0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 2.87    Concerning.
Chapman (S, 21) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 3.28

Didi 2 hits
Bird 2 hits, 2 RBI.

The Phillies announced that their manager, Pete Mackanin, will be bumped up to the front office. They’re looking for a new manager.

They will also be playing the Mets in Williamsport, PA next August as baseball continues the “Little League Classic” they had this year.

Finally, the WS MVP Award has been named in honor of Willie Mays.