Tag Archives: Williams

Austin, Williams injured.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

When you are a young player trying to make a team, the last thing you want is to be injured in spring training where you can’t even make any impression at all.

That is just what happened to Mason Williams and Tyler Austin.

Williams, fighting to make the team as a backup OF (a spot that most likely will go to Aaron Hicks if the starting OF is the projected Gardner/Ellsbury/Judge) will miss two weeks because of inflammation of his left patellar tendon. I like what I’ve seen of Williams so far, but the injury bug has really bit him the past few years. Shoulder, now this. You wonder if time is running out on him to make a mark, what with Judge, Clint Frazier, Dustin Fowler…

And now Tyler Austin. Austin was expected to battle Greg Bird for the 1B job until the Yanks signed Chris Carter. After that signing, it was trying to make the team as a backup 1b/OF. Austin will now not make the team after breaking his foot during BP. He’ll be out six weeks, and with him being behind schedule, it is safe to assume he won’t be coming north with the big league club.

If you can’t wait to see Gary Sanchez put one over the wall, even in BP early in spring training, check out this link to see a monster shot off the scoreboard today in BP.

http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2017/02/16/216263404/new-year-same-gary-sanchez-watch-the-yankees-phenom-blast-a-home-run-off-a-scoreboard

Eovaldi officially gone. What does ST mean for Refsnyder, Williams, Austin?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Nathan Eovaldi wouldn’t have pitched for the Yankees this year anyway, being as he had Tommy John surgery (for the second time) last August and won’t be ready until 2018. Which is why he was released by the Yankees. Any chance of re-signing Eovaldi went out the window when Tampa Bay signed him yesterday.

As spring training begins with pitchers and catchers reporting tomorrow, I can’t help but wonder what this spring training means for a couple of Yankees on the cusp, so to speak. It may be their last spring training to make an impression or stick with the club because of some prospects breathing down their necks.

Rob Refsnyder. With Ronald Torreyes expected to be the utility man in the majors, Tyler Wade being groomed as a utility man, and other infielders in the system like veterans Pete Kozma and Ruben Tejada, and prospects Gleyber Torres, Jorge Mateo, and Kyle Holder, not to mention Miguel Andujar at 3B, I wonder what the future holds for Refsnyder and others listed below. Trade bait? If sent to AAA, there are those other infielders (and outfielders, see below) he would be battling just to get minor league playing time.

Tyler Austin and Mason Williams. With Aaron Judge expected to win the right field job and Aaron Hicks as his backup, and Chris Carter signed as an insurance policy for Greg Bird at 1B, not to mention Matt Holliday as 1b/DH/OF, what happens with Austin and Williams, especially since if they are sent back to AAA, where Clint Frazier and Dustin Fowler will also be there for OF playing time?

For these players, I wonder if the window of oppotunity could be closing fast, what with prospects on the come.

In any case, there is going to be some serious competition for playing time soon. Not only in the majors, but in AAA and AA too.

It could mean freeing up some room by making a deal.

Game 155. Yanks lose again, a MLB tragedy, and a golfing legend passes.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before I get to the Yankees’ game, I need to mention a few other things.

First, a tragedy. Marlins’ ace Jose Fernandez was one of a few people killed in a boating accident early Sunday morning. He was just 24. There were rumors that 4 teams, including the Yankees, were looking to trade for him in the off season. Fernandez was 16-8, 2.86 this season with 253 K. He was 38-17 in his short career with an ERA of 2.58. He already was one of the best starting pitchers in the game. He was the 2013 NL ROY, and already a 2x All Star. Who knows what more he could have done over the next 13 years or so.

Secondly, golfing legend Arnold Palmer passed away at the age of 87. My mom knew his wife. I think she went to school with Palmer’s future wife when both were about 14, 15 or so. It’s sad when a true humble gentleman like Palmer goes. Too many athletes today are narcissistic, self-centered brats. RIP to both Fernandez and Arnie.

As for the Yanks, they battled back to tie and take the lead in the top of the ninth, only to blow it in the bottom of the ninth, 4-3. The loss drops them to 79-76 with 7 games left.

No need to post an elimination number from the playoffs. It’s just a matter of time. They are 3-11 in their last 14 games.

Jose Bautista homered in the 4th to put Toronto up 1-0. Didi Gregorius tied it in the 7th with a HR (19).

In the bottom of the eighth, Toronto scored off Betances to go up 2-1.

That inning showed once again, one of two faults that Betances, as good as he is, has. One, he doesn’t hold runners on well. A big (6’8″) man with a deliberate motion and long stride to the plate, it’s easy to steal off of him. He also does not field his position well, especially with throws to the bases. This includes pickoffs.

The Yanks battled back and took the lead in the top of the ninth. Teix singled and was PR for. PH Butler singled and was PR for.  Headley grounded out, moving both runners up. Mason Williams singled in a run. Ronald Torreyes hit a SF.

Betances (who I wrote recently as being out of gas) walked the lead off hitter to lead off the bottom of the 9th. Clippard came in, and it’s been a bad week for him.   He gave up a single. 1st and 3rd, none out. A bunt single, and an error, tied the game and put runners on 2nd and 3rd. Clippard got a strikeout, then loaded the bases with an intentional walk to set up a DP. No DP. Edwin Encaracion singled to win the game.

Pineda 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 3 walks, 7 K. 4.78 Gave UP 1 HR.
Warren 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 4.79 (Cubs/NYY)
Betances 1 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 2 K. 3.00
Clippard (BS, 3; L, 3-6, 3.73) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 walk, 1K.

 

As for my football team today (not to mention my alma mater yesterday), ouch. Between the Yanks, those two football teams, and some personal things, what a lousy week.

 

Game 151. Baby Bombers lead Yanks to 11-5 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Gary Sanchez hit 2 more HRs, becoming the fastest to 19 (it took him just 45 MLB games to hit his first 19 HR) and drove in five runs as the Yankees beat Tampa Bay on Wednesday night, 11-5.

He had help. Donovan Solano had 3 hits, drove in 2 runs and hit a HR.

Mason Williams had 2 hits and an RBI.

Brian McCann had 4 hits.

The Yanks won despite giving up five HRs to Tampa Bay, all solo shots. Unbelievably, four of the HRs came in one inning, and three were in a row. All HRs given up by Masahiro Tanaka. Outside of that inning, Tanaka was masterful, but ouch, what an ugly inning that was.

The Yanks got three right away in the first inning. Gardner singled, Ellsbury (back in the lineup after a few days off due to a bruised knee) walked, and Sanchez singled in a run. McCann singled to make it 2-0, and after a couple of outs, Ronald Torreyes singled to make it 3-0.

The Yanks got four in the second to go up 7-0. Solano and Gardner singled and both moved up on a groundout by Ellsbury. Sanchez then hit his first HR of the game (18) to make it 6-0. McCann singled, Teixeira doubled him to third, and McCann scored on a SF by Didi Gregorius.

Laugher, right? Wrong. In the bottom of the third, Tanaka gave up FOUR solo homers. Three of them were in a row with two out. Unbelievable.

I was once at a game where a Yankees pitcher gave up 4 homers in an inning. It was in Chicago vs. the White Sox in 2005. The Yanks’ pitcher? Randy Johnson.

Anyway, all of a sudden, it was 7-4. Take away that one inning, and Tanaka pitched five innings of shutout, 3-hit ball. But that one inning, hoo-boy.

Despite that meltdown inning, Tanaka still leads the AL in ERA at 3.07.

Sanchez’ second HR of the game (19) made it 8-4 in the sixth.

Adam Warren gave up a HR in the 8th to make it 8-5.

The Yanks got 3 insurance runs in the 9th. Gregorius singled, and moved up on a groundout. Williams (I like this kid, and think maybe Gardner could be trade bait for a starting pitcher in the offseason. With Eovaldi to be out until 2018, they will need one, unless a minor leaguer like Enns or Adams is ready) singled in a run, then Solano hit a 2-run HR to make it 11-5.

The win puts the Yanks at 79-72. 11 games to go. They are 2 1/2 out of the last wild card slot but need to jump over 4 teams to get it.

A sad note: former Yankees player Yangeris Solarte, now with the Padres, lost his wife recently to cancer. She was just 31.

Tanaka (w, 14-4, 3.07) 6 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 2 walks, 5 K. Gave up 4 HR.
Warren 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 4.90 (Cubs/NYY)
Layne (H, 12) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.21 (Bos/NYY) One batter …. again.
Clippard (H, 24) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.20 (Az/NYY)
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 5.40.

Game 149. Losing streak continues. Yanks swept in Boston.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks are off today. If ever a team needed a day off, it is them right now.

Deja vu all over again.

Once again, the Yanks had a lead in Fenway. Once again, they blew it. Once again, a reliever doing well gets pulled because the manager goes by the book, and the new reliever loses the game. Once again Hanley Ramirez killed the Yanks.

The Yanks’ 5-4 loss to Boston Sunday night was their fourth in a row to Boston, as Boston swept the weekend series. It was the Yanks’ fifth loss in a row overall and dropped them to 77-72.

What really hurts is that these losses were winnable games where the Yanks had leads and blew them, made bad pitching decisions, or as in the loss to the Dodgers that started the losing streak, made errors that gave the game away.

With 13 games to go, the fourth place Yanks are 8 games out of the division lead, and 4 games out of a wild card. They need to jump 4 teams to make the wild card, and although they aren’t mathematically eliminated, you can stick a fork in them.

The Yanks brought up Donovan Solano to replace Starlin Castro, who may be done for the season with a hamstring injury. Jacoby Ellsbury will miss a few games with a bruised knee. Solano got his first MLB hit in the game.

SWB plays El Paso in a one-game playoff Tuesday night. International League champ vs. Pacific Coast League champ. I don’t know who SWB has anymore. Most of their guys are now up with the Yanks. SWB still has Parmalee, Cave, Frazier, Higashioka, Payton…. some guys are up from AA just to fill out the roster.

As for the game, the Yanks got a run in the first on an RBI single by Didi.This came after a double by Gardner, two strikeouts and a walk to Butler.

Gary Sanchez hit his 16th HR of the year to make it 2-0 in the third. What a beast.

The Yanks went up 4-0 in the fourth. Solano singled, Mason Williams doubled. Refsnyder walked to load the bases. Gardner drove in one run with a force out. Torreyes drove in another run with a forceout.

Then the roof caved in. Again. Once again the Yanks built a lead, and didn’t score the rest of the game. Once again they blew the lead and the game.

CC gave up a 3-run HR to Hanley Ramirez in the fifth. 4-3.

Three straight singles in the sixth tied the game for Boston and CC was gone. Once again, a Yankees starter couldn’t go deep in the game.

Blake Parker came in, finished the sixth, gave up no more runs, and struck out two.

And once again, Girardi pulls a reliever who just pitched well, goes to his binder, brings in another reliever (Clippard in this case) and that reliever blows the game. Clippard gave up a HR to Ramirez (his 2nd of the game). 5-4 Boston, and it would stay that way.

As I said, I like Girardi as a manager, think he is a good one, but I have two quibbles with him. 1) He never bunts or is aggressive. You don’t see Billyball. The Yanks don’t bunt, squeeze, steal often enough, or hit and run. 2) He goes by the book (or binder) too much. Go with your eyes and gut, Joe. You see a pitcher doing well, leave him in there for more than one batter or one inning.

You hate writing about these kinds of losses or harping on something, but if this is how it is every game, what can you do? Things need to change.

These last few games have been like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Same s***, different day.

Frustrating.

Boy do they (and we fans) need this day off.

If the old man, the Boss,  were still alive, hoo boy.  Would the s*** hit the fan after a four-game sweep in Fenway in late September to kill off your postseason hopes. Especially with some questionable moves.

Sabathia 5+ IP, 4 R, 8 H, 3 walks, 5 K. 4.19  Gave up 1 HR
Parker 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 2.93 (Sea/NYY)
Clippard (L, 3-4, 3.12; Az/NYY) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Layne 1 IP,0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.27 (Bos/NYY)

What do you know. Layne can actually pitch to more than one batter.

I’d like to see what Mason Williams can do from here on out. He had two hits last night.

Gut feeling: Gardner and/or McCann get shopped this offseason for a starting pitcher.

Game 146. Killer. Yanks blow game and probably postseason chances by giving up 5 in 9th. Lose 7-5 to Boston.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It seems like Dellin Betances is running out of gas.

On Wednesday, Betances gave up 2 runs in the 9th to the Dodgers, albeit both runs were unearned (one error was his own) as the Yanks lost 2-0.

Thursday night he gave up a walk-off three-run HR to Hanley Ramirez as Boston scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Yanks 7-5.

This loss is a killer. It drops the Yanks to 77-69, five back of Boston for the division with just 16 games to play. The difference between 3 back of Boston and 5 back.

As for the wild card, they are 3 back and need to jump 3 teams. Had they hung on (they were one out away from a win), they would have been 78-68, tied with both Detroit and Seattle, 2 games out of that final wild card spot.

How can I say it. This loss was devastating.

First, let’s look at Betances, who leads the AL in games pitched with 69.

In his last five appearances, he has given up runs in four of them. His ERA has gone from 2.05 to 2.83, and remember, the two runs he gave up in the loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday were unearned.

In those five games since September 5, he has given up 9 runs, 7 earned, in four innings. 10 hits, 4 walks, 6 K.

It’s not just the one game. Since it is five games going back over 10 days, it seems like his tank is empty.

Masahiro Tanaka was once again brilliant. The Yanks’ best player of 2016 should get CYA and possibly MVP consideration. He gave up just 1 run in 7 innings.

In the first, with one out, Ellsbury singled, Sanchez doubled, and Castro singled in a run. New Yankee Billy Butler hit a SF to make it 2-0.

The Yanks went up 4-0 in the third. With one out, Castro doubled and Butler singled him home. Gregorius doubled Butler to third, and Headley singled Butler in.

Boston got a run in the third off Tanaka to cut it to 4-1.

A walk to Gardner, SB, PB and RBI single by Castro made it 5-1 Yanks in the fourth. So it stayed until the eighth.

The Yanks missed a chance in the fifth when Gregorius doubled and stole third. Here is one fault I have with Girardi. He NEVER, EVER attempts to squeeze a run home. With a man on third and no one out, Headley, Refsnyder and Austin all struck out.

Like I say often, you’d kill for that SF.

I’d kill for a successful squeeze play.

Later in the game, Mason Williams hit one on the screws with the bases loaded, but right back at the pitcher, who snared it.

Tanaka was pulled after 7 innings and 93 pitches. Personally, I would have run him out there for the 8th and even the 9th as long as he didn’t get into trouble. I like Girardi, but he left himself open for a lot of second-guessing in this game.

In the eighth, David Ortiz homered off of Adam Warren to make it 5-2. The homer was Ortiz’ 537th career HR, and passed Mickey Mantle on the all-time list.

A bad night for the Mick turned into a bad night for the Yanks.

In the ninth, Tommy Layne came in and struck out his only batter.

Why Girardi uses Layne as a LOOGY (Lefty One Out Guy), I don’t know and I don’t like it. If a guy is doing well, leave him the hell in there.

So not only would I have left Tanaka in, I also would have left Layne in.

Instead, Girardi played mix and match, and too many cooks spoil the soup. It burned him as Boston then got five runs to win the game.

In came Blake Parker, who faced one batter, Chris Young, and hit him with a pitch.

In came Betances, who, as I wrote above, seems like he may be running out of gas.

Young went to second on defensive indifference. Pedroia walked.

Both runners moved up on defensive indifference. I hate defensive indifference. Play the game.

Bogaerts reached on a fielder’s choice. The runner at third getting caught in a rundown.

First and second, two out. One out away.

Ortiz (who else?) singled to make it 5-3.

Betts singled to make it 5-4.

A passed ball moved up the runners, putting the winning run on second. Not needed, because Hanley Ramirez hit a 3-run HR to win the game.

Devastating.

Castro was 4 for 5 with 2 RBI.

Tanaka 7 IP, 1 R,  4 H, 3 walks, 0 K. 2.97
Warren 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 4.84 (Cubs/NYY) Gave up 1 HR.
Layne (H, 10) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.38 (Bos/NYY)
Parker 0 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.14 (Sea/NYY). Faced one batter, HBP.
Betances (BS, 5; L, 3-6, 2.83) 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 1 walk, 0 K. Gave up walk-off 3-run HR.

Game 145. Yanks blanked, 2-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I am going to compare two pitchers for you. Each pitcher is over a six year period of his career.

A. Average year over the six year period: 22-8, 2.19. 272 IP, 286 K.

B. Average year over a six year period: 17-7, 2.24, 222 IP, 244 K.

Both are lefties. Both were and are Dodgers.

Pretty damn close, right? The big difference is that A pitched in a 4-main rotation, B in a five-man.

Pitcher A is Koufax, 1961-1966. Pitcher B is Kershaw, 2010-2015.

The Yanks of course, faced Kershaw on Wednesday. No easy feat.

Rain and a recent back injury kept Kershaw to only 5 innings vs. the Yanks, but in those 5 innings, he gave up 0 runs and only 1 hit. The bullpen for the Dodgers was just as good as the Dodgers beat the Yanks, 2-0.

The Yanks got just 3 hits and struck out 14x.

Both Dodger runs came in the top of the ninth, and both runs were unearned due to errors by Castro and Betances.

Before the game, the Yanks called up Mason Williams to replace the injured Aaron Judge. After the game, the Yanks signed recently released Billy Butler (1B/DH) to a contract. Butler was previously with KC and Oakland in his career.

The Yanks fall to 77-68. 17 games left in the season. They have an 11 game road trip that starts with 4 in Boston.

Pineda 4 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 walks, 5 k. 4.94.
Layne 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 k. 3.40 (Bos/NYY)
Severino 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks 1 K. 5.98.
Clippard 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 3.02 (AZ/NYY)
Betances (L, 3-5, 2.33) 1 IP, 2 R, BOTH UNEARNED, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K.