Friday, February 23, 2018
It’s the first spring training game of the year and it’s on MLB.tv if you’ve got it.
Here are your lineups:
Ryan Carpenter vs. Luis Cessa
1. Martin, Leonys CF
2. Castellanos, Nicholas RF
3. Cabrera, Miguel DH
4. Huffman, Chad LF
5. Candelario, Jeimer 3B
6. Hicks, John CF
7. Espinal, Edwin 1B
8. Amarista, Alexi 2B
9. Kozma, Pete SS
1. Ellsbury, Jacoby DH
2. Stanton, Giancarlo RF
3. Bird, Greg 1B
4. Hicks, Aaron CF
5. Gregorius, Didi SS
6. Torres, Gleyber 2B
7. Romine, Austin C
8. Andujar, Miguel 3B
9. Frazier, Clint LF
Thursday, February 22, 2018
TAMPA — Brandon Drury’s numbers don’t jump off the page in a way that would tell you he’s The Next Big Thing, yet the Yankees have been trying to pry him away from the Diamondbacks for years, convinced he has star potential.
And given Brian Cashman’s track record in trades over the last few years, who would dare argue?
For that matter, who knows, maybe Drury is another Didi Gregorius-like steal in the making.
“Ah geez, I knew that was coming,” Tim Naehring said with a laugh on Wednesday.
Well, why not? Naehring, now Brian Cashman’s top lieutenant, was one of the scouts who pushed hardest for the Gregorius trade with the D-backs four years ago, and now he, as well as many of those same scouts, are projecting similar possibilities with Drury.
“There’s so much upside,” Naehring said. “We thought it was the perfect fit in a lot of ways.”
Drury, who turns 26 in August, has had a couple of solid seasons in Arizona, hitting .267 with 37 doubles and 13 home runs last year. But he doesn’t walk much, which led to a .317 on-base percentage, and his home numbers in the desert are dramatically better than his road numbers.
The article goes into some of the reasons the Yankees think Drury can improve. Among them are that his swing is well-suited to DNYS and that they think they can work with him to improve his plate discipline.
CAIRO projects a baseline slash line of .256/.309/.417 for Drury, which would be worth about 1.5 WAR on offense at either 2B or 3B. If he doesn’t improve he’s essentially Chase Headley overall, even if the shape of his production is different, but much cheaper which is the most important thing for HalCap™ And if he improves, then the Yankees suddenly have another good young player that doesn’t appear to have cost them that much.
I was pulling for Miguel Andujar at 3B, but this seems like it ends any chance of Andjuar at doing much with the Yankees, especially if they are going to go after Manny Machado next offseason. I guess he’ll be traded for that all-important 9th starting pitcher.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
The Yankees, Rays and D-backs swung a three-way deal on Tuesday, with Arizona infielder Brandon Drury heading to New York and Tampa Bay outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and right-hander Taylor Widener, New York’s No. 14-ranked prospect, going to Arizona.
The Rays acquired Yankees No. 8 prospect Nick Solak and D-backs No. 4 prospect Anthony Banda. Tampa Bay will also receive two players to be named later from Arizona.
Well, as we know by now, once Brian Cashman sets his eyes on a player, he really doesn’t like to give up on them. Drury has been rumored to be someone that Cashman has been interested in for a number of years now.
Drury hasn’t been that good, but he’s still young (so he has a chance to improve) and he gives the Yankees a bit more certainty in their lineup next year. It would be nicer if he batted left, but at least he can play either second or third. He would be an excellent utility infielder if neither Andujar nor Torres flops. I suspect that he’ll start the season as the starting second baseman and then move to the bench or third base when Torres comes up (dependent on how well Andujar plays).
Solak was always likely to be used as a trade piece, but the inclusion of Widener was a bit annoying.
The other annoying thing is that this takes the Yankees out of the running for a legit bat at second or third (like Neil Walker) without reducing most of the uncertainty that they were going to have going into next season (it DOES reduce the uncertainty slightly though, so there ARE certainly benefits to this deal).
TAMPA — There won’t be a pitch clock this season, but MLB took steps on Monday to speed up pace of play and one of them could impact the Yankees more than many other teams.
The Commissioner’s Office announced that teams will be limited to six mound visits per nine-inning game, with one visit added for every extra inning.
Since those visits include those made by infielders and the catcher, it means Gary Sanchez won’t be able to stroll to the mound an unlimited amount of times — as he did last year.
The new rules count a mound visit as any time a coach or player leaves “his position to confer with the pitcher, including a pitcher leaving the mound to confer with another player.”
Exceptions include “discussions between pitchers and position players that … occur between batters in the normal course of play and do not require either the position player or the pitcher to relocate.”
If a team has used up its visits and the home-plate umpire determines that a pitcher and catcher have been crossed up on a pitch, a visit will be permitted.
Shouldn’t they just call the mound visit rule the “Gary Sanchez Rule?”
Saturday, February 17, 2018
USA Today As Manny Machado begins final camp with Orioles, lucrative future - with Yankees? - awaits
Manny Machado walked into the Baltimore Orioles clubhouse at 8:48 Saturday morning, circling the room and shaking hands of all his teammates, wondering all winter whether he’d even see them again.
Here he was saying hello.
Before he says goodbye.
Machado, who was shopped during the winter but stayed when the Orioles never received the trade package they desired, will ultimately end up with the New York Yankees.
For now, he’ll be with the Orioles at least until opening day.
Maybe even past the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
If the Orioles somehow are still in the AL East race, perhaps throughout the season.
Machado, 25, has no control of whether he’s traded this season, but when the season ends, he’ll have the ultimate power, with that pen in his hand sitting in front of offers that start with $300 million.
And it would be the upset of all free-agent upsets if he’s not playing for the Yankees.
“We’ll see, we’ll see,’’ Machado said, laughing.
What the hell, Bob Nightengale? It almost seems like a reverse jinx.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
TAMPA — “World Series title or bust” isn’t a new Yankees mantra. Yet for the first time in several years, it has a louder heartbeat.
Having deleted 14 pounds off a 6-foot-8 frame, Dellin Betances placed some heavy weight on the Yankees’ head Tuesday morning. Less than two hours later, Aaron Boone did the same.
“If we don’t win [the World Series], it’s not a good year for us,’’ Betances said in the home clubhouse of GMS Field on the day Yankees pitchers and catchers reported to spring training.
Sitting at a table a day before the Yankees’ first workout, Boone didn’t shy away from Betances’ expectations.
“He is right about the World Series, it would be a great year,’’ Boone, a first-year manager, said. “We understand the expectations, and one of the things that is exciting for me is to hear some of those comments, to be around these guys. Last year was great, and a lot of these guys came of age and viewed it as a very successful season, but what stands out right now is that each guy I have spoken to, the hunger is there and there is no satisfaction.”
And with this, spring training begins.
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi and Houston Astros righty Collin McHugh suddenly have much in common. Both are awaiting salary-arbitration hearings. Both are under club control for two more seasons. And both are drawing trade interest, according to major league sources.
The intentions of the New York Yankees, who have checked in on Odorizzi at various points, are less clear. The Yankees’ rotation seemingly is set with Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, Sonny Gray, CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery. But the team has been trying to trade center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to clear money for other pursuits, including a possible run at Darvish.
Odorizzi is a strange case, because he’s coming off a NEGATIVE WAR season and will be 28 in 2018, and yet everyone seems pretty confident in his abilities (he had back-to-back 3.6 and 3.0 WAR seasons in 2015 and 2016) enough so that the Rays will still be looking for a decent return.
I don’t think he makes sense for the Yankees, as is he even an upgrade over Montgomery? If they want to add someone to their rotation, it simply has to be someone who is a logical upgrade over Montgomery. Otherwise, why bother? Just get an infielder, for crying out loud!
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