Tag Archives: Victorino

Game 98. Yanks open up 7-game lead with a 6-2 win.


Didi Gregorius drove in four runs with a 2-run HR and a two-run single as the Yanks beat Texas 6-2 on Monday night.

With the win, the Yanks have opened up a seven-game lead in the AL East with a 56-42 record. Meanwhile, a couple of their division opponents made moves. Boston, 13 out now, traded Shane Victorino to the Angels, and Toronto, 7 out, traded Jose Reyes to Colorado for Troy Tulowitzki.

There was news yesterday that the Yankees were interested in Cole Hamels of the Phillies, but the Yanks have four “untouchables” they refuse to trade: RHP Luis Severino, 1B/DH Greg Bird, OF Aaron Judge (all at AAA) and SS Jorge Mateo (at Low A).

In the game, Ivan Nova struggled, giving up two runs in the second, and being in trouble a lot, going just the minimum five for the win, but he did get the win.

Down 2-0 in the third, Gregorius tied the game with a two-run HR (5). Brendan Ryan then tripled and scored on a Chris Young SF to put the Yanks up 3-2.

In the sixth, Alex Rodriguez, celebrating his 40th birthday, homered (24, #678 career) to put the Yanks up 4-2. A-Rod became the fourth player to HR as a teenager and also at 40 or over (Ty Cobb, Rusty Staub, Gary Sheffield).

Gregorius’ two-run single in the seventh accounted for the final margin of 6-2.He had three hits in the game, as did Chase Headley.

Nova (W, 3-3, 3.38) 5 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 walks, 1 HBP, 3 K.
Shreve 2 IP, 0 R, 0H, 1 walk, 4 k. 1.79.
Wilson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 1 K, 1.50
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 1.35

Chris Capuano will make Tuesday’s start to give everyone in the rotation an extra day off.

Who’s left?

Well, two people I would have been interested in are off the market. Victorino signed with Boston and Soria with Texas.

I was thinking Victorino for the OF (younger than Ichiro, and losing Swisher… 3 GG, speed) and Soria, coming off TJ surgery as a replacement for Soriano.

Now they are not there. Meanwhile the Yanks have needs at RF (Swisher leaving), C (Martin left), 3B (Alex out 1/2 a year, Chavez a F.A.),  DH (Ibanez a F.A.) and possibly SS (will Jeter be ready for the opener after that broken ankle?).

One person out there is Cody Ross. Ross, 32 soon, hit .267-22-81, OPS+113, for Boston this year and his 162 g. ave. for his career is .262-22-83, OPS+ 107. Swisher-like, but not a switch-hitter (he hits righty). He has postseason experience, having been on the 2010 WS Champs, the Giants (and he hit .294-5-10 in that postseason, winning the NLCS MVP). You wonder if he and the Yanks could reach a deal. What’s his a$king price?

But he’d fill just one hole (RF). There are many more holes to fill.

How many holes in the dike must Cashman plug?

More off the board.

So Shane Victorino, who I would have liked for RF (to replace Swisher, and in place of the aging Ichiro) is off the board, having gone to Boston as a free agent.

It does mean that Cody Ross, who hit .267-22-81, OPS+ 113 for Boston last year is available. The righty hitter could be a match for the Yanks for RF now. For his career, the 32 (soon) year old has a 162 g. ave. of .262-22-83, OPS+ 107… numbers similar to Swisher. In the postseason, he’s .294-5-10 in 51 AB. Do the Yanks pursue Ross, now?

I also wanted Joakim Soria, in part to replace Soriano, but Soria is off to Texas.

There isn’t too much more I wanted. Of those out there I was interested in, only Jeff Keppinger makes sense. He would be a better utility man than Nix, and could platoon with Chavez at 3B until A-Rod comes back.

With Jeter’s injury (will he be ready for Opening Day?), Keppinger would be insurance there.

You wonder about Nunez. If they won’t use him in a utility role, is he trade bait?

Yankees interested in Victorino, Miller dies, Keppinger injury

The Yanks are supposedly interested in Shane Victorino. I’d applaud this move (see my post of a few days ago). He’s seven years younger than Ichiro, has three Gold Gloves of his own, and provides speed like Ichiro (39). I love Ichiro, but how old of a team do you want?

Marvin Miller died today at the age of 95. It is a shame he isn’t in the HOF yet, but that could be because of the owners. Maybe also some writers with a grudge. One thing is for certain. Any player who doesn’t attend his funeral, send flowers, send condolences or give money to Miller’s charity is an ungrateful POS. Miller was the great emancipator for the players. He fought for their rights, gave them free agency and made them millionaires. Every player owes PLENTY to Marvin Miller.

Jeff Keppinger, who the Yanks have been interested in as a utility man for quite some time (and probably still are), and who hit .325 last year, and who has a .288 career B.A., fractured a fibula in an accident recently. He should still be good for spring training, but you wonder if it will scare off some teams.

Who should the Yanks target?

Now that the Yanks brought back Kuroda, and know that Mo is coming back, who should they target?

We don’t know about Andy Pettitte yet, and rumors are that they are interested in bringing back Ibanez.

There’s one problem with all that, and I’ve mentioned it a lot. Kuroda is 38 next year, Mo 43, Pettitte and Ibanez turn 41 next June.

I won’t go into Chavez (35), Andruw Jones (35), Russell Martin, Rafael Soriano or Nick Swisher here. Chavez may be back, I don’t want Jones. Martin could be back, and I hope so. Despite the poor .211 batting average, he did have 21 HR, handled the staff well, was good defensively, and let’s face it, Romine isn’t ready. Cervelli isn’t a starting catcher. Sanchez is a few years away. Stewart is a nice backup who can’t hit. Martin is still the best option for catcher for the Yanks next year.

I expect Soriano and Swisher to be gone.

We know that Jeter (39 in June) and A-Rod (38 in July) are coming back. There is an age issue.

We also know that the Yanks are watching their pennies much more than when the Boss was alive.

So who among the top free agents out there would fit the Yanks’ needs?

Here’s who I would target. You can offer your own opinions, and I’d be glad to hear them.

1) Shane Victorino.  Victorino will be 32, seven years younger than Ichiro (39). I like Ichiro, but see the age issue I mentioned above. I don’t want to see the Yanks with 1/3 of the 25 man roster 35 years old or older. Ichiro has 10 Gold Gloves in his career, Victorino three. You could move Granderson and his bad routes to the short RF at the Stadium, move Gardner to CF and play Victorino in LF. The switch-hitting Victorino could bat second and along with Gardner’s comeback, give the Yanks the speed they lacked last year. He had an off-year in 2012 (.255-11-55, 39 SB, OPS+ 91) but has a 162 g. average of .275-14-62, 30 sb, OPS+ 102. He also has postseason experience, a plus in NY.  You’d have a speedy OF. Of course, you’d have to get Granderson stealing bases again and not just hitting HR (you’d also have to get Curtis to get the batting average up and cut down on the strikeouts).

2) Joakim Soria. He missed all of 2012 with Tommy John surgery. The Yanks are taking a flyer with David Aardsma, who’ll be 31 next year, why not Soria? Aardsma missed all of 2011, and only pitched in one game for the Yanks in 2012 (1 IP, walk, K, solo HR). Soria will be just 29 next spring and has expressed the desire to set up for Mo. He could come cheaply, loaded with incentives. His 162 g. average is 3-3, 2.40, 37 saves, ERA+ 181. If he can come back to a semblance of his old self, the Yanks won’t miss Soriano. Not only that, if he is back to his old self and Mo falters, he is a fallback. Him, Robertson, Mo and Joba could be formidable.

3) Jeff Keppinger. The Yanks have been interested in him in the past. If there are concerns over Jeter being ready on opening day or Nunez playing SS (with his shaky defense) while Jeter gets ready, Keppinger could be a fill-in. He can play 2B, SS, and 3B, and (no offense to Nix), would be an upgrade over Jayson Nix. Keppinger hit .325 last year, (.325-9-40, 127 OPS+) and is a .288 career hitter, (162 g. average .288-9-59, OPS+ 97).

4) Stephen Drew. A lefty hitting SS who had a rough year. .223-7-28, OPS+ 79 this year. Once again an option if Jeter isn’t ready. But despite a lefty bat that the Stadium may help, he doesn’t offer the versatility of Keppinger. 30 next year, his 162 g. average is .265-15-70, OPS+ 96. I rate Keppinger higher because of his versatility, esp. with the age issues of Jeter and A-Rod.

I don’t see the Yanks making a big splash. So forget B.J. Upton, Josh Hamilton, Dan Haren, etc.

I was looking for guys still in their prime. I also wasn’t looking at guys like Chavez, Ibanez, Pettitte and Martin who could be returning who were with the team last year.

One person I’ve heard that the Yanks should trade for is Shin-Soo Choo of Cleveland. I’m on board with that. He’s 30 (another in their prime player), who could replace the (probably) departing Swisher. Choo, a lefty hitter, hit .283-16-67, 21 SB, OPS+ 131 this past season. He provides some much needed speed. His 162 g. average is .289-19-86, 20 SB and an OPS+ of 132.

If they could sign Victorino and trade for Choo, it means Jones and Ibanez are gone, and they get younger and faster. I am all for that.

As mentioned, I’m looking for guys affordable (which guys like Soria, coming off injury and probably amenable to an incentive-laden contract are), who would fit needs, and who are IN THEIR PRIME.

The team needs to get younger.         

Game 65. The Mr. Hyde in AJ shows up as Yanks fall to the Ancient “ex” Mariner Moyer, 6-3.

47 year old Jamie Moyer gave up two HR tonight, making that 504 for his career, just one behind the all-time leader, the recently departed Robin Roberts.

But the HRs to Cano and Posada (Posada’s 252nd ties Bobby Murcer, Bret Boone, Mark Teixeira and Joe Torre on the all-time list) were all the damage the Yanks could do to Moyer. 

Meanwhile, A.J. Burnett continues to be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Or like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.

Tonight? Bad A.J. RBI single by Dobbs (who after that hit was 5 for 7 off AJ in his career). Bases loaded triple by Victorino in the 2nd. Back-to-back HRs by Howard and Werth in the third.    

Win #265 for Moyer.

Jeter slumping a little. Down to .286.

AJ went 3 1/3, 6 R, 6 H, 4 walks, 3 K. 6-5 (same record as Vazquez, btw) and 4.33 ERA.

Boone Logan went 2 2/3 scoreless and Chad Gaudin went 3 scoreless. Logan and Gaudin combined for 5 2/3 no-hit innings and six Ks, but by then—too late.  

41-24. Tampa losing so Yanks would stay tied for first, but I hear footsteps. Boston is winning. 39-28 if they win would put them three back.

I see Phils and Pedro could be talking…again.

A-Rod got an RBI double in the 9th.

At the game tonight? Simon and Garfunkel.

Tom Izzo turns down the Cavs to stay as basketball coach at Mich. St.

Kendrick Perkins of the Celtics tore two knee ligaments. His season is over. No Game 7 for the Celtic center.  

P.S. Should add one thing. Back to spring training basics for Yankees’ pitchers after CC and AJ in consecutive nights fail to hustle to cover first.

Phil vs. Phils. … but the story is Moyer.

Youth vs. Age in a spring training clash as Newly-Named #5 man, Phil Hughes, still just 23, took on 47 year old Jamie Moyer.

Nice tidbit from Suzyn Waldman at WCBS—with the retirement of Randy Johnson, Moyer is the last player left born during the Kennedy administration. 

No score after 3. Hughes has given up 2 hits and 3 walks–not to mention 2 WP, but has K’d 5. He walks Ibanez to open the 4th so he has hit his pitch count. He’s going on 3 days rest in order to stay on a schedule.

Zack Segovia gives up a hit, gets an out but Cervelli makes a throwing error to let a run in. Cervelli does throw out Rollins attempting to steal to end the inning.

Hughes 3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 wild pitches, 4 walks and 5 K.

Still 1-0 Phils after 5. The Ancient (ex-) Mariner, Moyer, has given up just one hit. Swisher threw a runner out at the plate and Cano turned a line drive into a DP. But Moyer has been superb. 

Segovia pitched two scoreless innings.

Mo in for the 6th to face Major League hitters and get his work in. He makes it look SO easy. 1-2-3. With a K.

Marte had a 1-2-3 seventh.

Moyer went 6 2/3. 0 R, 1 H 0 walks and 6 K.

Royce Ring gave up a couple of runs in the 8th. 3-0 Phils. Both runs were unearned, error by Jon Weber. Victorino 2-run double.

The Yanks have just three hits. Sanit pitched a scoreless 9th.

Weber gets a hit but the Yanks lose 3-0.