Bronx Pinstripes | BronxPinstripes.com http://bronxpinstripes.com Bronx Pinstripes - A New York Yankees Community for the Fans, by the Fans Fri, 19 Oct 2018 22:48:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Yankees end of season grades: Outfield http://bronxpinstripes.com/report-card/yankees-end-of-season-grades-outfield/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/report-card/yankees-end-of-season-grades-outfield/#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 22:43:18 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64258 Despite injuries and necessary late-season additions, the Yankees outfield was one of their most productive units this season. Yankees stalwart Brett Gardner may have played his final season in pinstripes, Aaron Judge backed-up his historic rookie season until injuries interrupted it, and the reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton did his fair share of damage. To […]

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Despite injuries and necessary late-season additions, the Yankees outfield was one of their most productive units this season. Yankees stalwart Brett Gardner may have played his final season in pinstripes, Aaron Judge backed-up his historic rookie season until injuries interrupted it, and the reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton did his fair share of damage. To the grades!

Brett Gardner – GRADE: C+

Brett Gardner, while he had a decent overall season, started to show his age a bit this year. Overall he hit .236/.322/.368 and was worth 2.5 WAR. At the waiver trade deadline, however, the Yankees ran out and acquired Andrew McCutchen to mash lefties, and he ended up taking over the starting position due to Gardner’s lack of punch in the lineup. The Yankees have a team option on Gardner next season worth 12.5M, or they can buy him out for 2M. It’s a net cost of 10.5M to keep him next year for the Yankees and they may do just that, even if they reduce his playing time a bit. Can they spend that money better elsewhere? Probably, but can they get someone this good on a one year deal? Probably not.

Aaron Judge – GRADE: B

Aaron Judge was pretty much the exact same the player he was last year, albeit with fewer homers, but missing 6 weeks of the season will do that to you. Judge has cemented himself as one of the best right fielders in baseball, and if it weren’t for that pesky Mookie Betts in Boston, he would be the best defensive right fielder in baseball, in this writer’s opinion. Remember this game?

In addition to his arm, he also covers a ton of ground. All told Judge was worth 14 runs above average in the field this season according to DRS. His overall power took a step back this season (.528 slugging vs .627 slugging last season) but I think that could be attributed to the injury more than anything else. He showed the same patience, bat to ball skills, and leadership qualities that he showed in his rookie season. What a player.

Aaron Hicks – GRADE: A-

Perhaps an even bigger development for the Yankee outfield was the other Aaron, that of the Hicks variety. Aaron Hicks, really showed why he was a first round draft pick the first half of last season. He hit for power, played a superb center field, and was always on base. Then, unfortunately, he suffered an oblique injury and wasn’t quite the same the rest of the season. Coming into this season the question was, can he sustain his first half performance throughout a whole season? You betcha. All told, Hicks hit .248/.366/.467 and set a career high with 27 home runs this year. That will do just fine from the centerfield position.

Giancarlo Stanton – GRADE: B-

It’s still kind of hard to believe Giancarlo Stanton is a Yankee isn’t it? He didn’t look quite right the first few weeks at the plate, but after that he settled in and raked most of the season. Stanton hit 38 home runs this season and I don’t even recall a time where he was “really hot” like he was for most of the summer in 2017. I do feel like the fan base was waiting for that tear that never seemed to come. Don’t get me wrong, when Judge went down, Stanton carried this team, but I don’t think we’ve seen the best baseball from Giancarlo in a Yankee uniform. I expect him to be even better next season, and if Judge is himself and Gary somehow can return to form…woah,

Andrew McCutchen – GRADE: A

McCutchen came over in the August waiver trade deadline. It was one of the more significant waiver trade deadline deals I can remember the Yankees making in a long time. The most obvious non-move they made last year was not going after Justin Verlander. Damn you luxury tax, but I digress. McCutchen played so well for the Yanks (.253/.421/.471) that a lot of fans are clamoring for the Yankees to resign him. I would be open to that idea; however, I don’t want to be stuck with an aging veteran’s contract yet again. They need an outfielder for sure, but they may choose to use Gardner’s option and roll with the combination of him, Giancarlo, and Clint Frazier in left field next season. It would certainly be the cheaper option. I think McCutchen is going to get a nice 3 year deal somewhere, and I’m not sure the Yankees are going to pony up for that when they can have Gardner back so cheap for one season. Thanks for the good time and awesome Instragam videos, Cutch.

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2018 Yankees: Keep ’em or Trash ’em? http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/2018-yankees-keep-em-or-trash-em/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/2018-yankees-keep-em-or-trash-em/#respond Wed, 17 Oct 2018 21:27:33 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64237   The 2018-19 offseason has arrived for the Yankees.  So, which players should stick around, and which players should hit the road? In an effort to let readers participate in the evaluation of Yankees players and management, Bronx Pinstripes created a Google Form.  So far, we’ve received 415 responses.  For those who’d like to vote […]

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The 2018-19 offseason has arrived for the Yankees.  So, which players should stick around, and which players should hit the road?

In an effort to let readers participate in the evaluation of Yankees players and management, Bronx Pinstripes created a Google Form.  So far, we’ve received 415 responses.  For those who’d like to vote but haven’t yet, here’s the link.

Here we go.

 

THE LINEUP:

1.  OF Aaron Hicks

137 games: .248 BA, 27 HR, 79 RBI,  18 2B, 11 SB, 90 BB, 111 SO, .366 OBP

The Results: 96.1% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Hicks’ overall production in the outfield and from both sides of the plate has made him an everyday center fielder at the big league level.  And the 28-year-old’s value continues to rise, as his 27 home runs, 79 RBI, 18 doubles, and 90 walks were all career-highs.  Hicks gets on base at a high clip, and his 4.7 WAR ranks second only to Aaron Judge (5.5), who played in 25 less games.  With his arm, fielding range, and newly established power, there’s no doubt that Hicks is a keeper. 

2.  OF Aaron Judge

112 games: .278 BA, 27 HR, 67 RBI, 22 2B, 6 SB, 76 BB, 152 SO, .392 OBP

The Results: 100% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny:  Judge wasn’t able to showcase his abilities throughout the entire season, as a chip fracture in his right wrist forced him to miss nearly a month and a half of action this summer.  But when he was on the field, he was undoubtedly the Yankees’ most talented player.  Judge also stepped up in the postseason once again, hitting .421 with three home runs and four RBI in 19 October at-bats.  At 27, he’s an old youngster, but in theory, Judge’s prime years are still ahead of him.

3.  OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton

158 games: .266 BA, 38 HR, 100 RBI, 34 2B, 5 SB, 70 BB, 211 SO, .343 OBP

The Results: 89.1% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Stanton is a star player who experiences extremely hot and cold streaks, so his growing pains and mood swings from April to October shouldn’t have come as a shock to the Yankees.  Take some solace in the fact that this was a down-year to Stanton’s MVP standards, as he “only” led the Yankees with 38 homers and 100 RBI.  Also, don’t forget that he carried the offense while Judge was on the disabled list.  With a full year of New York baseball under his belt, Stanton should be ready to take his game to the next level in 2019.  He’s now familiar with the pressure and atmosphere.  Still, overall, his season numbers were strong.

4.  SS Didi Gregorius

134 games: .268 BA, 27 HR, 86 RBI, 23 2B, 10 SB, 48 BB, 69 SO, .335 OBP

The Results: 95.6% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Over the last four years, the Yankees have watched Gregorius blossom into a Top-10 major league shortstop.  Much like Hicks, Gregorius has gradually developed power at the plate, and his left-handed swing — plus his above-average defense at shortstop — equals a fun player to watch.  However, Gregorius’ future with the Yankees is sort of in question right now.  Last week, the team announced that Gregorius will miss at least half of next season due to Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm.  That’s s a huge loss and a major blow for the Yankees.  Plus, Gregorius will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2019 season.  The Yankees believe he’s the franchise shortstop, but will he stick around?  Will the Yankees find someone else who can fill the void and take over permanently?  The only certainty is that Gregorius’ market value has dropped. 

5.  3B Miguel Andujar

149 games: .297 BA, 27 HR, 92 RBI, 47 2B, 2 SB, 25 BB, 97 SO, .328 OBP

The Results: 96.4% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Andujar had a special rookie season at the plate.  He was arguably the Yankees’ most consistent hitter all season, and with that in mind, he will most likely win the AL Rookie of the Year award.  But Andujar isn’t a complete player yet.  His defense at third base was poor overall, and based on his work-in-progress range and footwork at the position, it seems like Andujar could offer more to the Yankees at a different position.  Perhaps the outfield?  Plenty of upside, though.  His at-bats were must-see TV at times.

 

 

6.  C Gary Sanchez

89 games: .186 BA, 18 HR, 53 RBI, 17 2B, 1 SB, 46 BB, 94 SO, .291 OBP

The Results: 83.3% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: 2018 was a lost season for Sanchez.  Not only was he hampered by injuries, but he also hit a measly .186 and allowed a major league-high 18 passed balls in less than 100 games.  All-around, a year to forget.  But it’s still too early to give up on Sanchez.  At 25, he’s arguably the best hitting catcher in the game, and his 2016 and 2017 numbers say he’s not a Mendoza Line talent.  Perhaps his hitting slump affected his defense.  The good news is that his play behind the plate wasn’t an issue in five playoff games this year.  In fact, Sanchez has yet to allow a passed ball in 18 career October games.  Sanchez will have a chance to hush the critics next season. 

7.  2B/SS Gleyber Torres

123 games: .271 BA, 24 HR, 77 RBI, 16 2B, 6 SB, 42 BB, 122 SO, .340 OBP

The Results: 98.6% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Offensively, Torres lived up to his preseason billing.  He can hit for contact and power, and the Yankees can utilize him anywhere in the batting order.  Defensively, there’s room for improvement.  As a natural shortstop, Torres struggled some at second base.  He has all the tools to succeed and he’s slick with the glove, but with Gregorius now injured, it’ll be interesting to see how Torres handles a significant middle infield role. He’ll most likely see time at both positions next year. Nevertheless, an impressive rookie campaign for him.

8.  OF Brett Gardner

140 games: .236 BA, 12 HR, 45 RBI, 20 2B, 16 SB, 65 BB, 107 SO, .322 OBP

The Results: 68.5% voted Trash ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: There’s a very good chance that Gardner, who’s played in the Yankees organization for over a decade, won’t wear pinstripes in 2019.  The club can exercise a $12.5 million option for next year, or let him walk with a $2.5 million buyout.  If Gardner really wants to remain in New York — and it sounds like he does — it would make some sense for the Yankees to pass on the team option, and re-negotiate terms at a discounted rate. Gardner still offers value as a veteran leader and voice off the bench.  At 35, he’s a fourth outfielder.

9.  1B Luke Voit

39 games: .333 BA, 14 HR, 33 RBI, 5 2B, 15 BB, 39 SO, .405 OBP

The Results: 90.3% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Remember what Shane Spencer meant to the 1998 Yankees?  Well, Voit played a similar role in 2018, although the Yankees missed out on a championship this time around.  Voit was a late-summer spark plug — one the team needed quite badly.  Before Voit arrived, the Yankees had received very little production from first basemen, so we’ll see if he can win the starting job next spring.  According to general manager Brian Cashman, he has a “leg up” on the competition.  And that competition includes Greg Bird.  Voit’s sample size is small, but there’s plenty of upside to his game.  Safe to say the St. Louis Cardinals didn’t see this coming when they dealt Voit to New York a few months ago.  But, one man’s trash…

THE BENCH:

10.  OF Andrew McCutchen

25 games: .253 BA, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 2 2B, 1 SB, 22 BB, 22 SO, .421 OBP

The Results: 61.3% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Trash ’em

The Skinny: For an August 31 trade deadline acquisition, the Yankees squeezed a lot of juice out of McCutchen.  In just 25 games, he walked 22 times, and that helped boost his on-base percentage to .421 in September.  McCutchen was also valuable in the outfield while Judge was in the midst of rehabbing his broken wrist.  Having said all that, McCutchen is now a veteran free agent, and he’ll likely want to receive $10-15 million per year in his next contract (he made $15 million in 2018).  Is he worth that much money to the Yankees?  Nope.  The rest of McCutchen’s juice isn’t worth the squeeze.  Besides, the Yankees have better outfield options on the roster. 

11.  C Austin Romine

77 games: .244 BA, 10 HR, 42 RBI, 12 2B, 1 SB, 17 BB, 67 SO, .295 OBP

The Results: 90.6% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Romine saw a lot of playing time in 2018 due to Sanchez’ DL stints, and to his credit, he made the most of his opportunities.  Romine’s 10 homers and 42 RBI were career-highs, by a lot.  He also calls a good game behind the dish, so the Yankees can’t complain about their backup catcher.  He exceeded expectations. 

12.  IF/OF Neil Walker

113 games: .219 BA, 11 HR, 46 RBI, 12 2B, 42 BB, 87 SO, .309 OBP

The Results: 51.9% voted Trash ’em

The Verdict: Trash ’em

The Skinny: 2018 was a tale of two halves for Walker.  It took him a long time to adjust to his part-time/utility role.  Although his versatility and experience is a plus, he’s no longer under contract.  Rather than signing Walker in free agency, the Yankees should offer the 2019 Swiss Army knife role to someone else.  Walker would come cheap, but is he worth the money?  Probably not.

13.  1B Greg Bird

82 games: .199 BA, 11 HR, 38 RBI, 16 2B, 30 BB, 78 SO, .286 OBP

The Results: 83.1% voted Trash ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Surprised?  While Bird’s injuries and slumps have resulted in a tremendous disappointment, he should get one last shot with the Yankees next spring.  If he can’t beat out Voit for the first base job, then the team should consider parting ways with him.  The ice is very thin for Bird.  But for now, it’s best the Yankees hold onto him.  He’s still young and cheap.  The home run swing is there.  Can he put it all together?  Can he stay healthy?  Time for him to face the music… or else.

14.  OF Jacoby Ellsbury

Did not play in 2018 due to injuries

The Results: 97.3% voted Trash ’em

The Verdict: Trash ’em

The Skinny: Remember Ellsbury?  No?  He dealt with a laundry list of injuries this season.  Expect him to be on the DL again next year, too, in order for the Yankees to collect some insurance money on the whopping $42 million Ellsbury’s owed until 2021.  Could they simply cut him?  Sure.  But why eat money when they can possibly get some back?  Look, is there a trade partner out there?  Maybe, maybe not.  It’s best the Yankees send him to the storage unit.  He won’t have a role with the team next year.  In short, they don’t need him, nor do they want him.

15.  SS/3B Adeiny Hechavarria

18 games: .194 BA, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 1 2B, 5 BB, 12 SO, .216 OBP

The Results: 50.4% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Trash ’em

The Skinny: What you see is what you get with Hechavarria.  He’s an exceptional defender with little to no offensive ability.  He made a few huge plays at shortstop and third base for the Yankees this fall, but it makes little sense to bring Hechavarria back on a free agent contract.  He fit the Yankees’ need at the time.  That’s it. 

16.  OF Clint Frazier

15 games: .265 BA, 1 RBI, 3 2B, 5 BB, 13 SO, .390 OBP

The Results: 79.1% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Frazier was limited to just 15 games this season due to lingering symptoms from a concussion he suffered during spring training.  Head injuries are a major concern, and with that in mind, it’s difficult to predict what Frazier’s role will be in 2019.  There’s a wide range of possibilities here.  Could he earn a starting outfield job?  Could the concussion symptoms return?  Could he spend the majority of the season blocked in the minors again?  If Frazier had been healthy and productive for all of February and March last year, his future with the Yankees wouldn’t be this ambiguous.  All the Yankees can do is hope Frazier returns to the fold.  He’s a valuable youngster. 

THE ROTATION:

 

17.  RHP Luis Severino

32 games started: 19-8, 3.39 ERA, 220 SO, 46 BB, 1.14 WHIP, 191.1 IP

The Results: 98.3% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Despite his inconsistencies this season, there’s no doubt that Severino is the Yankees’ ace.  Yes, it’s now clear that he was tipping his pitches during several second-half starts, but it’s lazy to pinpoint that as the root of his recurring issues.  Consider his workload (over 400 innings across the last two seasons), his slight dip in velocity, his lack of command and sharpness on sliders.  So, he’s still learning and adapting at 24-years-old.  Severino should be able to take a big leap forward in 2019.

18.  LHP J.A. Happ

11 games: 7-0, 2.69 ERA, 63 SO, 16 BB, 1.05 WHIP, 63,2 IP

The Results: 90.8% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Although Happ will receive a few offers this winter, the Yankees should try their best to bring him back on a free agent contract.  He was an impact arm in August and September, winning seven of his 11 starts with the club.  Unfortunately, his career success against the Red Sox didn’t come in handy this October.  But Happ is a smart and reliable veteran lefty, and that’s a valuable asset for any playoff contending team.  

19.  RHP Masahiro Tanaka

27 games started: 12-6, 3.75 ERA, 159 SO, 35 BB, 1.13 WHIP, 156 IP

The Results: 98.5% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: The Yankees are fortunate that Tanaka decided to opt-in to his remaining contract last winter.  He and Happ were the strongest second-half starters, and during the ALDS, Tanaka was really the only pitcher who stepped up.  Is he a No. 1 ace?  Not really.  But as long as he stays healthy and pitches like a No. 2-3, the Yankees can’t regret signing Tanaka for $155 million back in 2014.

20.  LHP C.C. Sabathia

29 games started: 9-7, 3.65 ERA, 140 SO, 51 BB, 1.31 WHIP, 153 IP

The Results: 55.6% voted Trash ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: It’s clear that Sabathia wants to pitch again next season, and it’s also clear that he doesn’t mind leaving New York to do so.  But, if the Yankees are comfortable offering him another cheap and incentive-laden deal, he could be a useful No. 5 starter in the rotation.  Think of him as a placeholder while youngsters like Domingo German, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Justus Sheffield continue to grow and develop.  It’s also worth mentioning that Sabathia had the second-best team ERA and the second-most starts.  He was durable. 

21.  RHP Sonny Gray

23 games started: 11-9, 4.90 ERA, 123 SO, 57 BB, 1.50 WHIP, 130.1 IP

The Results: 96.4% voted Trash ’em

The Verdict: Trash ’em

The Skinny: Last week during the Yankees’ postmortem press conferences, Brian Cashman bluntly said that Gray isn’t suited to pitch in New York, and that he’ll look to move the 28-year-old right-hander this winter.  Their 2017 deadline trade with the Oakland A’s didn’t work out.  So, Gray will be wearing a different uniform next year.  Count on that.

22.  RHP  Lance Lynn

9 games started: 3-2, 4.14 ERA, 61 SO, 14 BB, 1.33 WHIP, 54.1 IP

The Results: 83.9% voted Trash ’em

The Verdict: Trash ’em

The Skinny: The Yankees’ mid-summer trade for Lynn was solely for depth, and depth is what he provided.  But he wasn’t too sharp in most of his appearances, and with that said, the Yankees should pass on signing Lynn this winter.  He’s a veteran with little upside at this point.  

23.  RHP Domingo German

14 games started: 2-6, 5.57 ERA, 102 SO, 33 BB, 1.33 WHIP, 85.2 IP

The Results: 53.8% voted Trash ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: German was useful as a spot starter early in the season, but command issues cost him the role later on.  Fortunately for the Yankees, German is still young, so they should view him as a No. 6-type long man in 2019.  Plenty of room to grow.

24.  LHP Jordan Montgomery

6 games started: 2-0, 3.62 ERA, 23 SO, 12 BB, 1.35 WHIP, 27.1 IP

The Results: 88.5% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Montgomery underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in June, so his timetable for 2019 remains unknown.  Recovery time is typically 12-18 months.  If his recovery is on the shorter side, perhaps Montgomery sees game action next year.  Regardless, the Yankees are hoping Montgomery will ultimately mold into a dependable left-hander starter.  He started the 2018 season with a 2-0 record and 3.62 ERA in six starts.  During his rookie season in 2017, he owned a 3.88 ERA across 29 outings.

25.  RHP Jonathan Loaisiga

4 games started: 2-0, 5.11 ERA, 33 SO, 12 BB, 1.54 WHIP, 24.2 IP

The Results: 70% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Like German, the Yankees could use Loaisiga as a spot-starter/long man in 2019.  For someone who skipped the Triple-A level last year (he was called up from Double-A last summer), Loaisiga is a worthwhile option.  In a small sample of appearances, he showed pretty good command.  Loaisiga is only 23, so if he struggles during spring training, the Yankees shouldn’t worry.  He’s already shown encouraging signs. 

THE BULLPEN:

26.  LHP Aroldis Chapman

55 games: 3-0, 2.45 ERA, 32 SV, 1 HLD, 93 SO, 30 BB, 1.05 WHIP, 55.1 IP

The Results: 97.3% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: It was clear during the summer that Chapman’s knee tendinitis was a problem.  His mobility was limited, his velocity was down, his command was all over the place.  But to Chapman’s credit, he battled through some rough patches and a DL stint, and wound up recording over 30 saves.  When he was on, he was on — his fastball was crisp and his slider was sharp.  The Yankees have to hope that Chapman’s knee issue is solved this offseason.  He’s a special back-end reliever when healthy. 

27.  RHP Dellin Betances

66 games: 4-6, 2.70 ERA, 20 HLD, 4 SV, 115 SO, 26 BB, 1.05 WHIP, 66.2 IP

The Results: 96.6% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: What a difference a year makes.  In 2017, the Yankees couldn’t count on Betances in any high-leverage situations, as he lacked command and confidence.  But this year, Betances returned to his old, dominant self, and once again, he proved just how valuable he is as a set-up man.  And to think a chunk of fans wanted him shipped out of town last winter…

 

28.  RHP David Robertson 

69 games: 8-3, 3.23 ERA, 21 HLD, 5 SV, 91 SO, 26 BB, 1.03 WHIP, 69.2 IP

The Results: 89.8% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Robertson was another back-end reliever who stepped up in big spots.  He was terrific in the ALDS against the Red Sox, and a veteran stopper like him has plenty of value.  Robertson will once again test free agency, so we’ll see if the Yankees want to bring him back for a third stint.  He’s definitely worth the cash. 

29.  LHP Zach Britton 

25 games: 1-0, 2.88 ERA, 8 HLD, 3 SV, 21 SO, 11 BB, 1.16 WHIP, 25 IP

The Results: 69% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Although the Yankees don’t regret trading for Britton in late July, it’s safe to say that they didn’t get the whole Britton experience while he was in pinstripes.  In fairness to Britton, he missed the start of the season due to recovery from Achilles tendon surgery, so it must’ve been difficult for him to shake off the rust in the midst of a pennant race.  Reality is, Britton is a dominant and dangerous lefty, and he’s going to make a lot of money this offseason.  Will he return to the Yankees?  Maybe.  Should the Yankees make him an offer?  Of course.  Britton has said he’d love to stay in New York and he doesn’t mind pitching in different roles.  So, he checks off all the boxes.

30.  RHP Jonathan Holder

60 games: 1-3, 3.14 ERA, 7 HLD, 60 SO, 19 BB, 1.09 WHIP, 66 IP

The Results: 72.6% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Holder was a pleasant surprise for the Yankees.  Throughout the entire season, he made the necessary adjustments when issues surfaced, and that work ethic and attention to detail earned him a number of opportunities to pitch in key situations.  He’ll be one of the Yankees’ middlemen in 2019.  Could be a Swiss Army knife.

31.  RHP Tommy Kahnle

24 games: 6.56 ERA, 2 HLD, 1 SV, 30 SO, 15 BB, 1.63 WHIP, 23.1 IP

The Results: 62.5% voted Trash ’em

The Verdict: Trash ’em

The Skinny: The Yankees didn’t see much of Kahnle in 2018.  He dealt with shoulder tendinitis, which caused his fastball velocity to drop down to 95.5 mph (it was 98.1 mph in 2017).  He only appeared in 24 games because he spent the bulk of the season working things out in Triple-A.  He’s under contract until 2021, but the Yankees should try to move him.  They already have enough high-velocity right-handers. 

32.  RHP Chad Green

63 game: 8-3, 2.50 ERA, 94 SO, 15 BB, 1.04 WHIP, 75.2 IP

The Results: 95.9% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

The Skinny: Green is a strikeout machine, as he finished with 94 in 75.2 innings this year.  Compared to his stellar 2017 campaign, Green wasn’t as sharp or dominant, but he’s comfortable with a variety of roles, and that’s a plus.  He’s useful as an innings eater or as a high-leverage option.  The only concern is that he hasn’t really crafted an arsenal.  His secondary pitch is still a work-in-progress, and that’s why his mislocated fastballs hurt him.  He was often predictable.  But this shouldn’t discourage the Yankees.  Green just has to fine-tune his transition from throwing to pitching.  Easier said than done, though. 

33.  RHP Luis Cessa

16 games: 1-4, 5.24 ERA, 2 SV, 39 SO, 13 BB, 1.43 WHIP, 44.2 IP

The Results: 85.7% voted Trash ’em

The Verdict: Trash ’em

The Skinny: Cessa is that cat with nine lives.  He hasn’t made the most of his spot start opportunities, and he resembles a Quadruple-A pitcher.  His stuff isn’t consistent, and that’s a problem.  Cessa has no minor league options next year.  Can’t imagine he takes up a spot in the big league bullpen, so it’s probably time for the Yankees to move on from him.  

MORE NAMES:

34.  RHP A.J. Cole

28 games: 3-1, 4.26 ERA, 49 SO, 16 BB, 1.45 WHIP, 38 IP

The Results: 84.2% voted Trash ’em

The Verdict: Trash ’em

35.  RHP Chance Adams

The Results: 63.1% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

36.  LHP  Justus Sheffield

The Results: 90.5% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em

MANAGEMENT:

37.  Manager Aaron Boone, General Manager Brian Cashman

100-62 record, 2nd AL East, Wild Card game win, ALDS loss

The Results: 72.9% voted Keep ’em, 95.2% voted Keep ’em

The Verdict: Keep ’em, Keep ’em

The Skinny: Although Boone was more reactive than proactive during the ALDS (pitching, bullpen decisions in Games 3 and 4 cost him), don’t forget that the Yankees won 100 regular season games.  For a first year skipper with absolutely no managerial experience, Boone did a pretty good job.  He learned on the fly, and the Yankees appreciate his willingness to own up to mistakes.  He’s definitely deserving of another year.  After all, letting Boone go after one season would make the franchise look bad.  As for Cashman, he also helped the Yankees win 100 games for the first time since 2009.  His homegrown youngsters rose to the occasion, and his trade deadline acquisitions helped make the team a legitimate championship contender.  The Yankees accomplished their goal of getting under the luxury tax threshold, so it’ll be interesting to see how Cashman and his staff approach this winter’s free agent bonanza.  Future is bright.

 

 

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at thanslin@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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Yankees end of season grades: catcher http://bronxpinstripes.com/report-card/yankees-end-of-season-grades-catcher/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/report-card/yankees-end-of-season-grades-catcher/#respond Tue, 16 Oct 2018 16:34:47 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64230 The Yankees have had one of the best (if not the best) hitting catchers in the entire game in Gary Sanchez the past couple of years. Unfortunately, that was not the case in 2018. The 25-year-old dealt with a down year at the plate, and it was compounded by defensive miscues and injuries. This allowed backup […]

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The Yankees have had one of the best (if not the best) hitting catchers in the entire game in Gary Sanchez the past couple of years. Unfortunately, that was not the case in 2018. The 25-year-old dealt with a down year at the plate, and it was compounded by defensive miscues and injuries. This allowed backup Austin Romine to see some extended playing time and even gave Kyle Higashioka a couple of stays in the big leagues. Here are the grades for these three catchers in 2018.

Gary Sanchez: F

I was teetering between a D- and an F before ultimately deciding on the latter based on expectations. Unlike Greg Bird, Sanchez followed his strong cameo in 2016 with terrific production over the course of a full season. Following that, there was no reason to believe that the catcher couldn’t continue to produce at that level.

However, a .186 average to go along with 18 home runs and 53 RBI certainly did not make that so. His OPS dropped from .876 in 2017 to .697 in 2018. His BABIP was a putrid .197, well below league-average. He hit into a career-high 10 double plays albeit he only played in 89 games.

There were some reasons to think that he ran into bad luck here and there. He barreled up 13.9 percent of his batted balls, which was better than his 11.8 percent last year (which was top 20 in the league). His exit velocity at 90.2 MPH was also fairly in line with what is what last season. Lastly, his hard hit percentage was at 41.6 percent, not too far below his 2017 mark of 43.1.

Despite his mashing of David Price in Game 2 of the ALDS, Sanchez was not as advertised this year; yet it did not stop there.

His 18 passed balls were well ahead of everyone else in the league (next most was Sandy Leon and Martin Maldonado with 13) and he only played in 76 games behind the dish. There were also 45 wild pitches while he was catching. Those may not necessarily be his fault, but that metric ranked fifth-highest in the MLB. His throwing arm remained elite (averaged 86.8 MPH) and his pop time was also fairly decent.

If you want to look at the silver lining, he had six defensive runs saved, which would have placed him third in the league had he played enough innings.

All in all, the offensive and defensive struggles that Sanchez endured along with the injuries and occasionally hustle question makes his season more or less a failure.

Austin Romine: B+

Again, I am doling out the grades based on the player’s expectations. Romine is a backup catcher, and he was a solid one. Romine actually had a better bWar than Sanchez (1.4 to 1.2), filling in as the starter for stretches of the season when Sanchez was on the DL.

He set career-highs in HR (10), RBI (42), and OPS (.713). He was solid defensively, as he would have ranked third in the league with 7 defensive runs saved had he qualified. Pitchers seemed to love pitching to him, as he calls a good game and doesn’t get too many shake-offs. All in all, it was a decent year for Romine given his stature and place in the pecking order.

Kyle Higashioka: C+

It seems as if Higashioka has no path to the Yankees barring injury. Unless Sanchez flops again or is traded, both of which the Yankees are saying are unlikely, Higashioka will remain the third catcher and be the AAA starter. He did get some face time in the majors this year, playing in 29 games while Sanchez was on the shelf. His most magical run was hitting three home runs in four games, most notably his first career hit off of David Price and the Red Sox. That was about it, however. He went on to hit .167 in 72 at-bats and isn’t likely to see much playing time with the big club.

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Didi Needs Surgery & Sonny Needs to be Traded – The Bronx Pinstripes Show http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/didi-needs-surgery-sonny-needs-to-be-traded-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/didi-needs-surgery-sonny-needs-to-be-traded-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/#respond Mon, 15 Oct 2018 14:49:08 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64227 The Bronx Pinstripes Show #280 The dust has settled after the ALDS and it’s been 5 days without Yankees baseball (#prayforus). We give our final thoughts on the Yankees’ early exit, discuss Boone/Cashman’s press conference, Didi Gregorius needing Tommy John surgery, Cashman’s comments about Sonny Gray being traded, free agents, and much more. Mailbag questions […]

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The Bronx Pinstripes Show #280

The dust has settled after the ALDS and it’s been 5 days without Yankees baseball (#prayforus). We give our final thoughts on the Yankees’ early exit, discuss Boone/Cashman’s press conference, Didi Gregorius needing Tommy John surgery, Cashman’s comments about Sonny Gray being traded, free agents, and much more. Mailbag questions about Miguel Andujar’s defense, if CC Sabathia will retire, the first base situation, off-season plans, and the coaching staff.

Thank you to our sponsor, ZipRecruiter! To try it for free, go to ZipRecruiter.com/BRONX.

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Postmortem Press Conferences: Boone and Cashman http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/postmortem-press-conferences-boone-and-cashman/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/postmortem-press-conferences-boone-and-cashman/#comments Sun, 14 Oct 2018 14:23:24 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64216 As they do at the end of every season, the Yankee manager and general manager addressed the media to give their reactions to the 2018 season and take questions from the press. Aaron Boone spoke first, and he was followed by Brian Cashman. We live-tweeted the press conferences here: 🚨Yankees End of Season Press Conference […]

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As they do at the end of every season, the Yankee manager and general manager addressed the media to give their reactions to the 2018 season and take questions from the press. Aaron Boone spoke first, and he was followed by Brian Cashman. We live-tweeted the press conferences here:

Here is a recap of what they talked about:

Didi needs Tommy John

At the end of Boone’s session, someone mentioned that Didi needs Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. The Yankees believe the injury happened at Fenway during the ALDS on this play:

When the Yankees acquired Didi from the Diamondbacks, he had a partially torn UCL, but it did not present any issues at the time. According to Cashman, “It seems, based off [Gregorius’] dialogue and the feeling he felt on the tweak there — on that throw is where he pinpointed it — that was the finishing off of something that was a sleeping giant.”

The timeline for Didi’s return is not entirely clear. Gleyber Torres, as you may remember, had Tommy John on his non-throwing elbow, and was ready to return in about six months. Unfortunately, that timeline may not apply for Didi because the injury is to his throwing arm.

Jay Jaffe of Fangraphs wrote about previous position players who underwent Tommy John surgery. In recent years, the recovery time is anywhere from 6-10 months.

Aaron Boone is “optimistic that he’ll be back at some point during the season…we think there’s a realistic chance he plays the bulk of the season with us,” and Cashman noted “I’d rather not put a timeframe on it.” Hopefully Sir Didi returns soon and as good as ever. The real question is if he’ll continue with his post-win tweets while he is rehabbing.

You can watch the full video of Boone and Cashman discussing Didi here:

CC underwent knee surgery

Like he has each of the past two off-seasons, CC Sabathia had a cleanup procedure on his right knee. This surgery helps keep his knee in condition to pitch moving forward.

You can hear what Cashman said about CC here:

According to Cashman, “The expectation is he’ll be full-bore, ready to go, and the same type of pitcher that he’s been — which is successful. He’s had an amazing career and has a chance to continue.”

CC is once again a free agent, and by all accounts he wants to pitch at least one more year. Let’s all hope that it’s with pinstripes on.

Cloudy for Sonny Gray

When asked about Sonny Gray, holy crap was Cash honest.

“It hasn’t worked out thus far I think he’s extremely talented. I think that we’ll enter the winter, unfortunately, open-minded to a relocation. Probably, if he can maximize his abilities, it will more likely be best somewhere else. But then it comes down to the final decision of the price, in terms of trade acquisition and matching up with somebody. If we match up, then I think, yeah, it’s probably best to try this somewhere else.”

This quote is reminiscent of past times when Cashman was brutally honest about signings he did not agree with, but is interesting in its own way. Speaking so bluntly and directly this way makes it sound like Cashman has already begun talks with other teams. Otherwise, mentioning this idea so clearly takes away what little leverage the Yankees had in trade negotiations. You can listen to Cashman’s full remarks here:

For those who think something else may be up, you can count Scott among you:

Was Severino tipping pitches?

When asked about Severiono, Boone admitted that he has tipped his pitches in the past, but he did not address whether or not this was the case in game 3.

Ben Harris of The Athletic (subs req’d) found evidence of how Severino was tipping pitches in the playoffs. Essentially, when there was a runner on second, Severino would alter how he looked from the runner to the plate before delivering the pitch. The article has several videos showing this difference, and was able to predict 89% of Severino’s pitches based on this pre-pitch movement.

Odds and Ends

  1. Boone was very comfortable answering questions. There were few, if any, pauses between questions and his answers. He was also very positive about all of his players. When discussing Gary Sanchez, he said “I think Gary is going to absolutely realize his potential. As tough as this year was at times for him, there’s no doubt in my mind he will benefit from all that he went through this year. I believe we’re seeing the strides. This offseason, the work continues for him. He knows that. I think the end result is we’re going to be talking about a very polished, elite-level player.” This statement and demeanor is in stark contrast to Joe Girardi, and shows why the Yankees hired Boone. They like his media presence and his ability to speak positively about his players in public.
  2. Of course the news about Didi immediately led into questions about pursuing Many Machado. Cashman declined to directly talk about Machado, but don’t read into that. He is not allowed to speak about players currently under contract with another team. We know the Yankees have money to spend, and we’ll see where they spend it.
  3. The news about Didi was not coordinated well. The Yankees mentioned it at the end of Boone’s presser, and he did not have clear answers about the situation. Ditto for Cashman. Of course they do not know the exact timeline, but the way this was handled seemed out of character for the way the Yankees do business.
  4. David Adler of Yankees.com has a ton of other quotes and news from the press conferences. You can read his articles here, here, and here.

Other than the Didi and Gray bombshells, this press conference was pretty ordinary all things considered. Both Boone and Cashman spoke about how the season was a disappointment and that they are looking forward to improving for next year. Cashman mentioned “mission accomplished” in regards to resetting the luxury tax, now let’s hope they are all-in on preparing for the next mission, Mission World Series #28.

You can contact Rohan on Twitter @rohanarcot20

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Didi Gregorius to undergo Tommy John Surgery http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/didi-gregorius-to-undergo-tommy-john-surgery/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/didi-gregorius-to-undergo-tommy-john-surgery/#respond Fri, 12 Oct 2018 17:07:33 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64207 Although the 2019 season is roughly six months away, the Yankees will already be without Didi Gregorius. On Friday at Yankee Stadium during the organization’s postmortem press conference, it was revealed that Gregorius tweaked his right elbow early in the Division Series against Boston. An MRI showed a small tear, and surgery was recommended. An […]

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Although the 2019 season is roughly six months away, the Yankees will already be without Didi Gregorius.

On Friday at Yankee Stadium during the organization’s postmortem press conference, it was revealed that Gregorius tweaked his right elbow early in the Division Series against Boston. An MRI showed a small tear, and surgery was recommended.

An interesting side note: Brian Cashman said when the Yankees acquired Gregorius from Arizona, his medicals showed he had a small tear in the elbow, but it was asymptomatic. He clearly played with no issues for several years before tweaking it at Fenway.

Aaron Boone said he’s optimistic that Didi can play “the bulk of the season”, and Cashman followed that up by saying Didi would be expected back in the summer of 2019.

Didi provides solid defense and a strong lefty bat in a right-handed heavy lineup, so this is obviously a blow on both sides of the ball. Gleyber Torres is a candidate to move over to shortstop, but this also increases the speculation of Manny Machado coming to the Bronx.

 

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Yankees’ postseason postmortem http://bronxpinstripes.com/opinion/yankees-postseason-postmortem/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/opinion/yankees-postseason-postmortem/#respond Thu, 11 Oct 2018 23:42:53 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64176 It’s time for the Yankees’ postseason postmortem. My ruminations began on a Wednesday, not yet caffeinated morning state-of-mind, less than 12 hours since the Yankees’ hopes of a 28th World Championship ended with a resounding thud in a 4-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox and elimination in the Division Series. During Tuesday’s night’s Game […]

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It’s time for the Yankees’ postseason postmortem. My ruminations began on a Wednesday, not yet caffeinated morning state-of-mind, less than 12 hours since the Yankees’ hopes of a 28th World Championship ended with a resounding thud in a 4-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox and elimination in the Division Series.

During Tuesday’s night’s Game 4, some Yankees fans quickly turned rabid in calling for manager Aaron Boone’s firing, to never have to watch CC Sabathia pitch again, and mercilessly booing first-year Yankee/longtime MLBer Giancarlo Stanton.

In some respects, you can’t blame those fans. Stanton had a roller-coaster season and failed in some big spots in Game 4. It didn’t help that the Yankees played so poorly in Game 3, either. But, for the most part, what I’m hearing is a lot more irrational anger rather than disappointment. There’s no reason to burn the house down.

And, Stanton is certainly not being traded. It takes a lot of adjustments for a veteran player who is a first-year Yankee. Stanton will be better next year.

– “Fire Boone”: While Boone did a less than stellar job in the Division Series, (leaving Sevy in too long in Game 3, Game 4’s lineup choices, etc.) he still led the team to 100 wins during the regular season and a one-game elimination Wild Card victory.

Back in George’s day, there’s a 90 percent chance Boone would have been fired. But, management is much more rational these days. Boone has two more years guaranteed with an option for 2021. He’s not going anywhere. Nor should he.

That being said, Boone should be forced to hire a former manager or an experienced bench coach to help him out –  his own Don Zimmer, if you will. Sorry, Josh Bard.

– “We should be bullpenning”: Besides the fact that I hate the word “bullpenning” and its immediate overuse by broadcasters, especially those doing national game commentating, bullpenning won’t win championships. It’s MLB’s version of the NFL’s run-and-shoot offense. It looks like fun, but  isn’t very effective in the long haul.

The best teams in baseball got to where they are by having good to great starting pitching and good to great relievers. Tampa Bay popularized the trend because, outside of Blake Snell, they don’t have any reliable starters. And, they got red hot in the second half of the season, finishing with 90 wins.

But, you can bet Rays’ manager Kevin Cash would rather have a rotation that resembled the Rays’ combo a half-dozen years ago of James Shields, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, and Alex Cobb.

– “Judge made a mistake…”:  A former Yankee, no longer affiliated with the team, said Aaron Judge made a mistake by playing “New York, New York” on his boombox as he departed Fenway Park after Game 2. This is one of the silliest purported reasons for the Red Sox winning.

The Red Sox didn’t require any additional motivation to win the Division Series. They amassed 108 wins in the regular season with the AL MVP (Mookie Betts), the guy that will finish second to Betts (J.D. Martinez), one of the brightest young stars in the game (Andrew Benintendi), arguably the best center fielder in baseball (Jackie Bradley Jr.), one of the best shortstops (Xander Bogaerts), solid starting pitching, and one of the best closers in the game (Craig Kimbrel).

And, having Alex Cora at the helm is certainly a plus.

Yankees postseason postmortem: The Team

The Positives

Before looking into what needs to be done for next season, here are the positives that occurred during the 2018 season:

Aaron Judge continued his emergence as one of the game’s top stars. He improved in a number of ways and has become one of the team’s leaders. He followed up his rookie 1.049 OPS with an excellent .919 OPS. That included a .528 slugging pct.

It’s unfortunate that he missed more than a month with a broken wrist. It would have been interesting to see how his numbers would have looked in a full sophomore season.

Didi Gregorius built off of last season to become one of the game’s best all-around shortstops. He topped 20 home runs for the third straight season and hit 25 or more in back-to-back seasons. That’s something no other Yankees shortstop has ever accomplished. He also played in the postseason with damaged cartilage in his right wrist.

Luis Severino put together a dominant first half and was one of the top five starters in baseball. Now, he needs to build off of that for an entire year.

Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres debuted and quickly became two of the best all-around prospects the Yankees have ever had. Torres appeared to be a lock for rookie of the year, but he scuffled a bit after an injury and Andujar went on an incredible tear. The first-year third baseman broke Joe DiMaggio’s rookie record for doubles in a season.

“Andu” should win the Rookie of the Year Award over Shohei Ohtani (will the BBWA decide that players from Japan aren’t really rookies as they did with Hideki Matsui or treat him as other first-year players?), the latter one having a barrage of media attention all year.

Aaron Hicks became the player his original organization (Twins) and the Yankees hoped he would be. Hicks developed into a smooth defensive presence in center field, topped 20 home runs, and posted an .833 OPS.

– The surprise of the year was Shane Spencer 2.0, also known as Luke Voit. The “who is this guy?” acquisition from St. Louis paid off big time. After an initial bout of “can’t hit for bleep”, Voit became a September hero.

Voit became an instant New York legend after he hit 14 home runs and drove in 33 runs in just 132 at-bats, and posted an impressive .333/.405/.689 slash line.

– The bullpen started slowly but dominated for most of the season.

It’s so hard to say goodbye…

And, now to get down to business.

Parting with loyal, hard-working, give-it-their-all players is extremely difficult to do from an emotional standpoint.  That being said, it’s time to part company with Sabathia and Brett Gardner.

We all love Sabathia. He’s been a warrior in his career and with the Yankees, and he wants to keep pitching in the Bronx. Without Sabathia, the Yankees don’t win the 2009 World Series. Throughout his career, he’s the guy who always wanted the baseball. He stressed his prized left arm past its limit.

But, his knees are shot, he can’t cover first base, and he doesn’t succeed if his pitches aren’t perfect.

“Gardy” has given every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears for his team. But, as the group Blood, Sweat and Tears once sang, “What goes up must come down”, and Gardy’s career is in a downward spiral.

He still plays every game like it’s his last but his OPS has gone down every year, except in 2017. He neared rock bottom with a .690 OPS this season and sat for much of late September in favor of Andrew McCutchen. If not for a hamstring injury to Hicks, he might not have made a postseason appearance.

Barring some unusual occurrence, the Yankees will exercise the $2.5M buyout in Gardner’s contract.

Who’s not so hard to say goodbye to? Lance Lynn and Neil Walker.

Pitchers wanted, inquire within

The Yankees’ starting pitching is the main reason the team struggled in the second half and were dispatched quickly in the playoffs. Here’s a look at the 2019 rotation:

Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, um…

The Yankees need to fill three spots. It’s a given that one of them won’t be taken by Sonny Gray. Speaking of “New York, New York”, he’s not gonna make it there. Gray was decent in his 11 starts in 2017, with his numbers skewed by two blowups in September.

The recently concluded season was another matter. Outside of some starts against the Orioles, Gray thoroughly embarrassed himself and has to go. And no, Gray won’t be hard to say goodbye to either.

Jordan Montgomery underwent Tommy John surgery this past June and will miss most, if not all, of the 2019 season.

Lynn impressed in a few starts but then want back to the mess that he was in Minnesota. No reason to resign him.

J.A. Happ gave the Yankees exactly what they needed in the regular season. Unfortunately, he imploded in Game 1 of the ALDS, after having his way with Boston in prior starts. Cashman has already indicated he would like to resign the veteran left-hander if the terms are all right. This would be a positive move.

The Yankees are going to have to turn to trades and/or free agents to fully strengthen their rotation. Top prospect Justus Sheffield is still a big question mark. There are some that feel he may not be anything more than a back-end of the rotation starter. Or, perhaps not a starter at all, but a lefty weapon out of the pen.

The Free Agent Market

The Yankees have kept their eyes on Arizona Diamondback starter (and longtime Yankees fan) Patrick Corbin all year long.

The left-hander, who turns 30 next July, is a free agent after six seasons in the desert. His timing is perfect as he’s coming off his best season.

Corbin averaged a career-high 11 K/9 IP over the 200 innings he tossed in 2018.  He allowed a mere 7.3 hits/9 IP and walked 2.2 batters/9 IP. The two factors combined for a career-best 1.052 WHIP.

Corbin also kept the ball in the yard, having only allowed 15 home runs on the season.

Concern: My personal built-in bias against pitchers who made their bones in the National League. Carl Pavano, Javier Vazquez, et al did that to me.

The Astros duo of lefty Dallas Keuchel and righty Charlie Morton are also free agents.

Keuchel’s effectiveness and consistency have diminished since he won the AL Cy Young Award in 2015. He gave up better than a hit per inning this season, the second of his career in which he reached 200 innings pitched.

Morton was a mediocre pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the Astros transformed the soon-to-be 35-year old after he signed a two-year, $14 million free agent deal prior to the 2017 season. He threw back-to-back seasons with 10+ K/9 IP and a WHIP of under 1.200.

With the Astros’ top prospect Forrest Whitley poised to join the rotation, it’s unlikely that Houston would sign more than one of their free agent hurlers.

You can’t look at either pitcher’s success without giving a lot of credit to the Astros’ defense. Second baseman Jose Altuve and Keuchel each won a Gold Glove Award.

And though they haven’t won the hardware, infielders Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman, outfielder George Springer, and the catching tandem of Brian McCann and Max Stassi are an outstanding group, some of whom are going to get even better.

The Yankees defense’ has been shaky and that has to be taken into consideration when trying to sign or acquire any pitcher.

I would stay away from Matt Harvey. He’s like Oliver Douglas – New York is not where he’d rather stay. A cheap alternative, especially if Happ leaves, could be the Dodgers’ lefty, Hyun-Jin Ryu.

It’s too early to really get into the trade market but here are a couple of thoughts: The Giants’ Madison Bumgarner will probably be available at the non-waiver deadline next summer, but not before it. Up to this point, that is not how the Giants have operated.

There have been some early Zack Greinke rumors, but he has three years and about $105M coming to him from the Diamondbacks. Forget it.

Field of Screams

The Yankees offense from 3/4 of their infield was above and beyond what was expected. Except for a month in which I suspect he was injured, Gregorius was one of the top hitting shortstops in the league.

The infield defense was another matter. Torres started out looking good in his transition from shortstop to second base but ended up with 12 errors. He added another five while filling in for Gregorius at shortstop. Fangraphs ranked him as the 16th-best defensive second baseman in the Major Leagues.

Andujar fared worse at the hot corner. He committed 15 (primarily throwing) errors and earned a rank of #19 by Fangraphs.

First base was supposed to be a Bird of different color. This was the year Greg Bird would finally have the breakout season that the Bronx Bombers have been waiting for. He did his part with his glove, but injuries continued to plague him and his bat didn’t produce positive results.

While Voit crushed the baseball, he had too small of a sample to give his defense a proper rating. However, it wasn’t anything that stood out.

Cashman will have a lot of thinking to do over the winter about the position. Is Voit the real deal? Has he had enough of Bird? Right now, it’s anyone’s guess.

Catching On

Speaking of poor defense, the Gary Sanchez “reign of error” continued. Sanchez whiffed on 18 pitches for passed balls. It’s an inexcusable problem but one that can and must be fixed. There are plenty of fans that want to give up on Sanchez but that would be a huge mistake.

“The Kraken” showed signs of his old self both offensively and defensively in the postseason. The Yankees need him back next year, hitting dingers like he did the previous two years and also showing the defensive skills he had shown in the past. It’s either that or you teach him first base and he DH’s as well.

Austin Romine gets an A+ for his work and will be the backup catcher (and maybe late inning defensive replacement) once again.

Cashman, don’t fall in love.

This has nothing to do with Brian Cashman’s love life. It totally has to do with Cash’s tendency to fall in love with a player who puts together one good month for the team.

He then signs said player to a one or two-year deal and they tend to flop. Ichiro Suzuki and Chase Headley (who got way more on his deal) quickly come to mind.

The Yankees should not, under any circumstances, bring back McCutchen. He’s another great guy and a great clubhouse guy whose best days are behind him.

“Cutch’s” offensive numbers improved greatly after his acquisition from the Giants, but it was mostly based on the 22 walks he drew in 25 games. The 32-year old doesn’t have the bat speed anymore to put up favorable numbers in a ballpark that’s not favorable to right-handed hitters.

The Bullpen

Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances will be back out there next year. Chad Green and Jonathan Holder too. Then things get interesting…

David Robertson is a free agent who the Yankees will probably let walk for the second time. He’s not the consistent and reliable pitcher he once was, even in comparison to 2017. Another tough goodbye, but a necessary one.

Zach Britton loves being a Yankee, but he’s going to want a multi-year deal and likely wants to close again. He’s certainly not going to be signed by the Yankees to the (my best guestimate) minimum three-year, $18M deal that he will want.

The Yankees want Stephen Tarpley to come to spring training and win a lefty spot in the pen, something which he has an excellent shot of doing. And, there is still the matter of whether Tommy Kahnle can regain his effectiveness.

MLB Free Agent Market

I had a twitter discussion with WFAN’s Ernie Acosta Wednesday morning.

He’s big on bringing in Daniel Murphy to split time at first base with Greg Bird. Right off the bat, it didn’t make sense to me to have two left-handed hitters splitting the position (he doesn’t have a lot of faith in Voit’s ability to consistently produce on a high level).

Murphy could replace Walker since he can play second and third base in addition to the not-so-hot corner. However, Murphy will look for a two (with an option?) or three-year deal and for decent bucks. That should price him out of the Yankees’ plans.

Of course, the big Hot Stove talk this Winter will be centered on the future destinations of  Clayton KershawManny Machado, and Bryce Harper.

Right off the bat, I see Kershaw returning to the Dodgers. I can’t picture how that doesn’t happen.

Where Machado ends up, and what position he will be willing to play, still remains a mystery. I’m not buying into the “he wants to play for the Yankees” gossip.

For years there have been rumors that Harper wants $400M, which is a clown-request, bro. I truly believe there’s at least a 50/50 chance he goes back to the Nationals.

Now that the Yankees have lowered their luxury tax threshold, it wouldn’t make sense for Hal Steinbrenner to blow the doors off the team vault.

Some other intriguing names to think about in the coming months include the versatile Marwin Gonzalez, outfielder Adam Jones, infielder Eduardo Escobar, reliever Brad Brach, and old friend Andrew Miller.

Not wishing time to go too quickly, but Spring Training can’t come soon enough! #Waittilnextyear

Click here to read about Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman postseason press conference.

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Yankees Season Ends In Heartbreaking Fashion – The Bronx Pinstripes Show http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/yankees-season-ends-in-heartbreaking-fashion-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/yankees-season-ends-in-heartbreaking-fashion-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/#respond Wed, 10 Oct 2018 15:50:03 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64182 The Bronx Pinstripes Show #279 ALDS Game 4 Recap: This is our nightmare, the Yankees lost the ALDS at home to the Red Sox. We discuss the offense not showing up until the 9th inning, Cora out-managing Boone, Stanton having a terrible series, and much more. We play your voicemails to end the show. OFF-SEASON […]

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The Bronx Pinstripes Show #279

ALDS Game 4 Recap: This is our nightmare, the Yankees lost the ALDS at home to the Red Sox. We discuss the offense not showing up until the 9th inning, Cora out-managing Boone, Stanton having a terrible series, and much more. We play your voicemails to end the show.

OFF-SEASON PODCAST SCHEDULE: New episodes will be posted every Monday.

Thank you to our sponsors, SeatGeek and Sleep Number! For $20 off your first SeatGeek purchase, download their app and enter promo code BRONX. To find the nearest Sleep Number location to you, go to SleepNumber.com/BRONX.

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Yankees’ season ends in ALDS http://bronxpinstripes.com/game-day/yankees-season-ends-in-alds/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/game-day/yankees-season-ends-in-alds/#respond Wed, 10 Oct 2018 08:06:17 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64170 NEW YORK — A year after making an improbable journey that ended in Game 7 of the ALCS, the Yankees entered 2018 full of expectations. Adding Giancarlo Stanton to an already stacked line-up that already featured guys like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Didi Gregorius, New York’s success this season was going to be defined […]

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NEW YORK — A year after making an improbable journey that ended in Game 7 of the ALCS, the Yankees entered 2018 full of expectations. Adding Giancarlo Stanton to an already stacked line-up that already featured guys like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Didi Gregorius, New York’s success this season was going to be defined by one thing: a championship.

Regrettably for the Yankees, their chase for the franchise’s 28th championship ended Tuesday night, as the team fell just short in Game 4 of the ALDS, losing 4-3 to the Boston Red Sox.

While the team’s offense scuffled all night, the Bombers had one last rally in them in the bottom of the ninth inning. Facing one of baseball’s premier closers in Craig Kimbrel, the boys in Pinstripes did not want to go out without a fight.

With Judge leading off the frame with a walk, Gregorius soon followed with a single. This got the New York faithful on their feet and perfectly set the stage for Stanton, who has struggled all series, to redeem himself.

Unfortunately for the first-year Yankee, and to the dismay of the crowd, he struck out on a pitch that was way out of the zone, and recorded the first out of the inning.

Luckily for New York, Luke Voit subsequently reignited the Stadium with a hard fought walk to load the bases for Neil Walker.

Walker, who started in place of Miguel Andujar, then got hit by a Kimbrel pitch to force in a run and cut the Boston lead to 4-2. The fired-up Walker then gave way to Sanchez, who was looking to tie the game with a base hit.

While the catcher eventually drove in another run with a sacrifice fly, he was definitely looking for more as he just missed a Grand Slam, that would’ve etched his name into Yankee history forever. Getting just a bit under the pitch, Benintendi was able to make the catch just in front of the wall in left field.

Still, the Yankees were still alive. With men on first and second, Gleyber Torres was at the plate, with a chance to tie the game.

With Kimbrel still on the mound, Torres would hit a chopper to Eduardo Nunez, who fielded and threw to first for the out. Though Aaron Boone challenged the play, replay showed the ball getting Steve Pearce’s glove just a tad bit ahead of Torres getting to the bag to end New York’s season and allow Boston to celebrate its series victory.

In the end, the Yankees just could not get the big hit. Struggling with runners in scoring position all series, New York’s inability to bring in runners eventually came back to bite them in the ALDS.

Though CC Sabathia got charged with three runs after a three-run third, it was a fourth inning solo homer that proved to be the difference.

With Zach Britton just coming in to relieve the big lefty in the fourth, Christian Vasquez, the Boston catcher that did not even play in the first two games, took Britton deep for a home run that just made the seats in right field. That made it 4-0, Boston, and eventually was the winning run of this ballgame.

Aside from Vasquez, other less notable Boston hitters were the ones that did damage against New York pitching. While J.D. Martinez did drive in the game’s first run with a sac fly, it was Ian Kinsler and Nunez that drove in the next two runs.

Alex Cora also went all-in on winning this game in Yankee Stadium, after bringing in Chris Sale to pitch the eighth. The lefty needed just 13 pitches to mow through that area of the Yankee order.

For New York, it is the end of a 100-win season that many feel should’ve ended in a championship. Still, with most of the core still below 30 years old, the Yankees should still be able to field a competitive team for years to come.

With many key players free agents this winter, Brian Cashman will have a lot of questions to answer entering the Winter. Will long-time Yankees Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia remain in Pinstripes? Does the team need all three of Zach Britton, Dellin Betances, and David Robertson to come back next year? Have rentals J.A. Happ and Andrew McCutchen done enough to warrant a return to the Bronx?

With still months before Spring Training, the team and its fans will have lots of time to answer these questions, ponder what went wrong this year, and look forward to 2019.

The Chase for 28 continues.

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ALDS Recap: Yankees, Boone, left shell socked http://bronxpinstripes.com/series-recap/alds-recap-yankees-boone-left-shell-socked/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/series-recap/alds-recap-yankees-boone-left-shell-socked/#respond Wed, 10 Oct 2018 04:43:54 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64114 It was a step back and another step in the learning process for the New York Yankees. Falling to the Boston Red Sox, a 108-win team in the regular season with the highest payroll in baseball, the Yankees are certainly going to need to retool their club in the off-season. Manager Aaron Boone will be […]

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It was a step back and another step in the learning process for the New York Yankees. Falling to the Boston Red Sox, a 108-win team in the regular season with the highest payroll in baseball, the Yankees are certainly going to need to retool their club in the off-season. Manager Aaron Boone will be hoping he won’t join the likes of Yogi Berra and Dick Howser, as rookie Yankee managers who made the playoffs but weren’t asked back the next season. This series may also have spelled the end of a couple of great Yankee careers for CC Sabathia and Brett Gardner. Nearly a decade since their last title, the Yankees have some work to do in the chase for World Series championship No. 28.

GAME 1

An inauspicious start proved to be too big of a hole for the Yankees to recover in what felt like an eminently winnable game. There’s no clock in baseball but the Yankees simply ran out of time in their 5-4 loss to the Red Sox.

WHAT IS HAPPENING?!

J.A. Happ had essentially owned the Red Sox in the regular season but the postseason is a different animal. It was an outing worthy of a Yankee starting pitcher in a year which won’t be repeated in this space.

In the first frame, a one-out single to left by Andrew Benintendi and a four-pitch free pass to Steve Pearce set the table for J.D. Martinez. Martinez drilled a laser into the first row of the Green Monster seats, staking Boston to a 3-0 advantage.

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After a scoreless second, Happ was wrapped by the top of the Boston order again in the third. Mookie Betts doubled to center. Benintendi reached on a bunt single to first, as Luke Voit failed to look at Gleyber Torres covering at first base but one could argue it would’ve taken a bang-bang play to record the out. That ended Happ’s evening but not his responsibilities.

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Chad Green entered and allowed an RBI-single to left by Pearce. Benintendi advanced to third on a flyout by Martinez and would score on a sacrifice fly to right by Xander Bogaerts.

Otherwise, the bullpen carried the freight the rest of the way between Green, Lance Lynn’s two innings and a frame apiece from Zach Britton and David Robertson.

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PATIENCE PAYS OFF

The Yankees lineup did its job from the standpoint working the count against Chris Sale and getting into the underbelly of the Red Sox soft bullpen. While Sale did display dominance with eight K’s in 5.1 frames, I’m sure the Red Sox would’ve preferred a smooth handoff from Sale to Craig Kimbrel.

In the sixth New York finally forced the issue. Aaron Judge singled to center to set the table but would be erased on a Brett Gardner (who entered the game earlier for an injured Aaron Hicks) force out. Giancarlo Stanton followed with a single to left, chasing Sale from the game. Facing Ryan Brasier, Voit singled to right plating Gardner and moving Stanton to third. Another force out by Didi Gregorius enabled Stanton to score.

After a wild pitch allowed Gregorius to advance to second, Brasier walked Miguel Andujar and his night was done. Brandon Workman entered and issued a free pass to Gary Sanchez to load the bases. However, Workman would rebound and get Gleyber Torres to strikeout swinging to end the threat.

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MISSED OPPORTUNITY

If you followed the Yankees in the regular season, you could almost see this coming from a mile away. Bases loaded and zero outs and another opportunity squandered. Andrew McCutchen and Judge started the seventh inning off with consecutive singles to oust Workman. Both would advance on a wild pitch from Matt Barnes, who subsequently walked Gardner to load the bases.

Yet, Stanton would strikeout swinging, a Voit force out would plate McCutchen and a Gregorius groundout would end a frame which left the Yankees wanting more.

COMPARISONS CREEP IN

Fair or not Game 1 could’ve been the start of hot takes comparing Judge to Derek Jeter and Stanton to Alex Rodriguez. Forcing Kimbrel to enter in the eighth inning was helpful for a New York minute.

Judge, who went 3-for-5, opened the ninth inning with a solo bomb to right.

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However, Gardner and Voit went down swinging on weak hacks around Stanton, who struck out looking at three pitches on a 1-for-4 evening with four K’s. Certainly, Stanton wasn’t alone in his struggles and the leg injury to Hicks didn’t help matters but it wasn’t a good look in this one at least.

GAME 2

The Yankees played about as clean of a game as one could ask for in their 6-2 victory. The power was there, defensive was solid and the pitching formula worked according to plan.

THE PRICE IS WRONG

It doesn’t matter which players are wearing the laundry or what year it is if David Price is starting against the Yankees and in the postseason it’s usually over before it gets started.

Judge put the squad on his back in the first frame and smoked a solo shot to straightaway center on a 1-2 cutter, staking the Bronx Bombers to a 1-0 edge. The Yankees right-fielder joined Hank Bauer (1958) and Johnny Mize (1952) as Yankees who hit home runs in each of the first three games to start the postseason. Judge also joined Bernie Williams as the only other Yankee with seven home runs in their first 16 postseason contests.

During the second stanza, Sanchez unloaded on a 1-1 cutter to left-center, doubling the Bronx Bombers advantage to 2-0. After Torres and Gardner coaxed consecutive two-out walks, McCutchen drilled an RBI-single off the Monster and following three runs, Price was done.

MAESTRO MASA

Masahiro Tanaka kept the Red Sox order in check. Aside from an obligatory solo home run to straightaway center by Bogaerts in the fourth, Tanaka limited the Boston lineup. When you can make Betts a non-factor, it’s tough for the Red Sox to rev up anything on offense.

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Tanaka hurled five frames, fanned four, yielded one run on three hits and one walk. A 1-2-3 frame against the 9-1-2 of the Boston order enabled the bullpen to be perfectly aligned from the sixth inning on.

EL GARY IS SCARY

Don’t make Sanchez angry, you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. In the fifth, the Red Sox reliever Brasier was screaming at Sanchez to get in the box and struck him out. He may have won the battle but the Red Sox lost the war.

Facing Eduardo Rodriguez in the seventh, Judge reached on an infield single to set the table. Voit followed with a walk. A controversial moment ensued as Stanton grounded to third and the high throw by Eduardo Nunez appeared to pull Ian Kinsler off the bag at second and it appeared as though the bases would be loaded but a replay review negated what looked like a correct safe call on the field.

Other than losing out on a potential grand slam, it wouldn’t hurt the Yankees.

Sanchez came up and clocked a 479-foot bomb to left-center on a 2-1 fastball. Sanchez joined Jason Giambi and Hideki Matsui as the third Yankee with two home runs against the Red Sox in a postseason series and Sanchez became the first Yankees backstop with two home runs in a single postseason contest since Yogi Berra in Game 7 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

BULLPEN LOCKS IT DOWN

Dellin Betances led the bullpen bucket brigade with a 1-2-3 nine-pitch sixth inning. His only blip was an RBI-double to Kinsler in the seventh. If you credit Boone for nothing this season, his effective usage of Betances for the entire haul, something Joe Girardi couldn’t figure out for four seasons, should be lauded.

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Britton and Aroldis Chapman each worked a scoreless eighth and ninth respectively to seal the deal.

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GAME 3

Flashback to Game 3 of the 2017 ALDS, then-manager Joe Girardi was nearly booed out of Yankee Stadium during introductions. Flash forward to Game 3 of the 2018 ALDS and current skipper Aaron Boone found himself on the receiving end of voracious booing from the Bronx crowd before the game was over. The Yankees were embarrassed and looked unprepared. The only one with a worse evening was first base umpire Angel Hernandez. The capper was backup catcher Austin Romine surrendering a home run to Brock Holt to complete the cycle in a 16-1 loss.

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SEVY’S START TIME

Regardless of whether or not anyone dropped the ball on the 7:40 p.m. start time, Luis Severino wasn’t sharp and he didn’t look ready. Betts took Severino to the wall in center for the first out in the first inning and the Red Sox continued to square him up. Although the Red Sox essentially singled Severino to death, Severino didn’t have a put-away pitch working and it showed, on an evening where he allowed six runs on seven hits. With the Yankees down 3-0 after three innings, one could argue Severino didn’t have it and shouldn’t have been marched out there for the fourth, especially with a fresh bullpen with the Sunday off day.

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Yet, Boone sent Severino out and he loaded the bases. Rather than start Lynn with a clean inning or Green for that matter or Green with the bases loaded, Boone brought in Lynn, who is a starter by trade and can be erratic. Lynn walked in a run and gave up three in total and only recorded one out. By the time Green toed the rubber it was too late and a fools’ errand.

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Jonathan Holder, Stephen Tarpley and the aforementioned Romine were left to clean up the rest of this mess.

The only positive to come out of this is they were left with a more, rested back end of the bullpen for Game 4.

OFFENSE FAILS TO EVOLVE

Judge can’t hit a homer every game. Gregorius bunting during the second inning didn’t exactly scream analytical genius either. A groundball force out by Gregorius plated the lone run in the fourth frame. Stanton recorded a pair of hits but there wasn’t much else happening in the rest of the order.

Nathan Eovaldi continued his mastery of his former team with seven frames, five K’s, five hits, zero walks and one run.

GAME 4

It was a grind but Boone didn’t learn from Game 3 and was burned again in Game 4. CC Sabathia was left in for too long, Robertson and Betances were called upon too late. The offense somehow managed to cobble together three runs without the virtue of a hit on any of them. Perhaps because Andujar was glued to the bench for no apparent reason. The 4-3 loss effectively ended the season and kick-started a long off-season.

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN

At a minimum, Boone should’ve been looking to go get Sabathia at 2-0 in the third inning. In that third, Sabathia hit Benintendi to start the frame. A Pearce single made it runners at the corners. A sacrifice fly by Martinez made it 1-0. Following a Bogaerts groundout and a wild pitch, Kinsler turned around Gardner with an RBI-double to left. Nunez followed with an RBI-single to left.

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THE BUCK STOPS HERE

Maybe Buck Showalter knew something about Britton. Summoned in the fourth frame instead of Robertson or Betances, Britton inexplicably surrendered a leadoff solo home run to the nine-hitter Vazquez.

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The rest of the way, Robertson, Betances and Chapman would combine for four scoreless frames, eight K’s, one hit and two walks.

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TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE

A Gardner sacrifice fly got the Yankees on the board in the fifth frame.

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In the ninth inning, the Yankees put some pressure on Kimbrel. Judge walked and Gregorius singled to right. After Stanton struck out, Voit walked and Walker was hit by a pitch to plate a run. Sanchez just missed a big fly and his sacrifice fly to left pulled the Yankees within a run at 4-3. However, a Torres groundout meant the end of the 2018 campaign.

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ON DECK

Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Patrick Corbin, etc.

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Yankees on brink of elimination after Game 3 loss to Boston http://bronxpinstripes.com/game-day/yankees-on-brink-of-elimination-after-game-3-loss-to-boston/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/game-day/yankees-on-brink-of-elimination-after-game-3-loss-to-boston/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 14:29:16 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64163 NEW YORK —Entering tonight’s game, the Yankees were riding high off the momentum of a critical Game 2 win and were ready to play at Yankee Stadium, where the team has been dominant in the last two postseasons. Tonight, however, was a different story. Facing a Red Sox team that was yearning for redemption, the […]

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NEW YORK —Entering tonight’s game, the Yankees were riding high off the momentum of a critical Game 2 win and were ready to play at Yankee Stadium, where the team has been dominant in the last two postseasons.

Tonight, however, was a different story. Facing a Red Sox team that was yearning for redemption, the team fell flat, losing a blowout affair to their rivals, 16-1. It was an overall disappointing showing from the team and manager Aaron Boone, who made multiple questionable decisions in the game that turned the tides in favor of Boston.

Luis Severino, who was coming off a decent start against Oakland in the Wild Card game, just did not have his best stuff tonight. He was unable to locate his pitches all night, going just 3+ innings, while giving up six runs on seven hits.

Questionably, though, with Severino obviously struggling to make it out of the third, Boone decided to leave him in there for the fourth inning. Even facing the bottom of the order, the righty then proceeded to load the bases before finally being taken out by his manager.

This time, with the bases loaded, instead of going to one of many strikeout weapons he has in the bullpen, Boone decided to bring in regular season starter Lance Lynn, with the team still trailing by a slim margin of three runs.

The righty then struggled out of the gate, walking Mookie Betts then allowing a bases-clearing double to Andrew Benintendi. After two more RBI-hits from Steve Pearce and Brock Holt, the Red Sox had a 10-0 lead after four innings. 

Didi Gregorius drove in the only run of the game for New York in the bottom half of the frame but that was all the team would get all night.

Nate Eovaldi dominated the Yankees tonight, giving up just a run on five hits, in seven dominant innings. He also struck out five in the contest.

To add insult to injury, Brock Holt also homered against Austin Romine in the ninth inning, which completed the first ever postseason cycle.

CC Sabathia is on the mound tomorrow facing Rick Porcello, with the Yankees needing a win to extend their season.

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Yankees Embarrassed At Home In Game 3 ALDS – The Bronx Pinstripes Show http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/yankees-embarrassed-at-home-in-game-3-alds-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/yankees-embarrassed-at-home-in-game-3-alds-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 13:32:29 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64160 The Bronx Pinstripes Show #278 ALDS Game 3 Recap: The Yankees were embarrassed at home, getting blown out by Boston. We discus Luis Severino’s terrible start, the rumor that he did not know when the game was starting, Aaron Boone’s 4th inning bullpen management, Nathan Eovaldi continuing to dominate the Yankees, and a look ahead […]

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The Bronx Pinstripes Show #278

ALDS Game 3 Recap: The Yankees were embarrassed at home, getting blown out by Boston. We discus Luis Severino’s terrible start, the rumor that he did not know when the game was starting, Aaron Boone’s 4th inning bullpen management, Nathan Eovaldi continuing to dominate the Yankees, and a look ahead to Game 4. Voicemails end the show.

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Luis Severino eager to build off strong wild card outing, Yankees’ momentum http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/luis-severino-eager-to-build-off-strong-wild-card-outing-yankees-momentum/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/luis-severino-eager-to-build-off-strong-wild-card-outing-yankees-momentum/#respond Mon, 08 Oct 2018 00:15:25 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64148   The proactive management that is essential in a do-or-die playoff game allowed Luis Severino to make a few educated guesses on Wednesday.  He had a hunch that his wild card start against the Oakland Athletics would last about four to five innings — and he was dead-on.  Can Severino expect the same pitching plan […]

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The proactive management that is essential in a do-or-die playoff game allowed Luis Severino to make a few educated guesses on Wednesday.  He had a hunch that his wild card start against the Oakland Athletics would last about four to five innings — and he was dead-on. 

Can Severino expect the same pitching plan on Monday night?  Maybe yes, maybe no. 

All that Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone knows is that the lack of certainty is due to their fluid situation.  He would love to see Severino pitch deep into Game 3 of the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, but if a quick hook is warranted, so be it. 

“I don’t know how he knew it was going to be four or five innings [in the wild card game],” Boone told reporters on Sunday.  “But I think that’s the thing we want our guys to go, as hard and as great as they can be, however long that is.  So a little bit different than the regular season in that it could be three, could be four, could be — but I’m still open to it being eight innings.  I want him to go out and be himself and go out there and look to really set the tone for us and throw his game, and if he does that, hopefully, we’ll be in a good spot at any time when we take him out tomorrow.”

Although Severino flirted with some trouble against Oakland on Wednesday, his overall performance was reminiscent of his old, dominant self.  In four-plus shutout innings of work, the 24-year-old right-hander allowed two hits, four walks, and struck out seven in 83 pitches.  His fastball command was sharp and his slider had plenty of bite.  It was a vast improvement from Severino’s 2017 wild card start, when he recorded just one out in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins.  

Severino admitted he was over-amped that night, so he made an effort to keep his emotions and energy in check while facing the Athletics before a raucous and boisterous Yankee Stadium crowd. 

“I think it’s going to be like a regular game, the same atmosphere.  The fans going to be loud,” Severino said.  “I’m looking forward to that night.  Tomorrow I hope that all the people that came that day come tomorrow to support us and see us beat the Red Sox.”

Boone took it a step further.  He believes the home crowd is akin to that unique guitar amplifier in “This Is Spinal Tap.” 

“I think the connection that our fan base and our fans now have with our players is a special one, and now you put it in the postseason, and you bring the Red Sox, who, obviously, that rivalry that’s there and as great of a team as they were this season, I think the atmosphere tomorrow night is going to be special, electric, whatever you want to put on it,” Boone said.  “I think it’s going to be there, and hopefully we can go out there and give them reason to keep building as the game unfolds.  I thought the atmosphere against the A’s was special.  I think there’s a potential that it could be even more so tomorrow night.”

The Yankees have seen a boom-or-bust Severino in 2018.  In his first 18 starts, he went 14-2 with a 1.98 ERA, which made him a midseason All-Star and front runner for AL Cy Young honors.  But in his 12 starts after the All-Star break, he posted a 5-6 record, 5.57 ERA, and .291 batting average-against.  Overall, Severino finished the regular season with a 19-8 record and 3.39 ERA in 32 starts (191.1 innings).

Interestingly enough, Severino pitched to a 2.74 ERA in 15 home starts this year, so the team has a reason to believe he’ll deliver once again. 

“We always play good here at home and on the road too.  We came here to win,” Severino said.  “I think that the two games we played in Boston, they were good games.  The first game, we almost won it.  It was close.  And the second game, we know what happened… We have a great team.  We have a great lineup.  We have a great starting lineup and starting pitching.  So I think coming here is going to be good for us.”

Since last October, the Yankees are 7-0 in postseason games played in the Bronx.  Boone hopes the hometown energy and momentum from Game 2 helps Severino and the team thrive.

“I want him to go out and be himself and go out there and look to really set the tone for us and throw his game, and if he does that, hopefully, we’ll be in a good spot at any time when we take him out tomorrow,” Boone said.  “We’ve got to play well.  We know we’re up against a great team.  We’re really excited to come back and play in our ballpark where we feel like we have a home field advantage, where we know our fans are going to have an impact. We hand the ball to Sevy.

“So we’re excited about a lot of things going into tomorrow, but it really comes down to we’ve got to go out and perform and play well, and if we can do that, hopefully grab a lead in the series.”

Severino will oppose Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi in Game 3, with first pitch scheduled for 7:40 p.m.

 

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at thanslin@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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This is the Gary Sanchez who the Yankees banked on all along http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/this-is-the-gary-sanchez-who-the-yankees-banked-on-all-along/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/this-is-the-gary-sanchez-who-the-yankees-banked-on-all-along/#respond Sun, 07 Oct 2018 20:21:48 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64136   Gary Sanchez can’t press a rewind button and return to square one during spring training.  The proof of his fruitless and injury-plagued regular season appears in the box scores.  It’s unerasable. But the 25-year-old catcher has been given the opportunity to make up for lost time in October, and on Saturday night, the Yankees […]

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Gary Sanchez can’t press a rewind button and return to square one during spring training.  The proof of his fruitless and injury-plagued regular season appears in the box scores.  It’s unerasable.

But the 25-year-old catcher has been given the opportunity to make up for lost time in October, and on Saturday night, the Yankees were handsomely rewarded for their unwavering faith in his abilities. 

With two monstrous home runs worth four runs, Sanchez spearheaded the Yankees’ offense en route to a 6-2 win over the Boston Red Sox in Game 2 of the ALDS at Fenway Park.  The best-of-five series is now knotted at one game apiece, with Game 3 scheduled for Monday night at Yankee Stadium. 

“I always stayed positive throughout the whole season,” said Sanchez, who hit a measly .186 and led the majors with 18 passed balls in 89 games this season.  “I know it was a rough season for me.  It was a tough one.  But you know that’s the regular season, and that’s done.  We’re done with that.  Now we’re playing the really exciting baseball.  So to have an opportunity now to keep on playing and produce at this time it’s actually more important.  And, you know, just keep on working and once the offseason comes, try to improve in all aspects.”

While Sanchez’s second inning solo shot off Red Sox starter David Price helped set the tone early, his seventh inning three-run blast, which traveled a staggering 479 feet and struck the Green Monster’s light tower in left-center field, squashed Boston’s hopes of a comeback.  These two swings also made Sanchez the second catcher in franchise history to have a multi-home run game in the postseason.  The other one?  Some player named Yogi Berra, who accomplished the feat back in 1956 during Game 7 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. 

“I definitely did not know that,” Sanchez said through his translator, Marlon Abreu.  “But I can tell you it’s an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence as him, a legend of baseball.  It’s an honor to me.”

The Yankees’ first run of the night came off the bat of Aaron Judge, who also launched one deep into the Monster seats during the first inning.  But even his 445-foot homer paled in comparison to Sanchez’s towering drive.  

“I mean, everybody knows that Judge has way more power than me.  You know, I don’t have to tell that to anybody. But a homer is a homer.  And if we have the opportunity to score runs like that, you know, even if it’s 300 feet, I’ll take it.  Anytime we score and we’re helping the team, I’m going to take those.”

Back on September 22, Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman reaffirmed the team’s confidence in Sanchez, explaining how important it was for them to “double and triple down” on his potential with the postseason nearby.  Despite Sanchez’s lingering issues on defense, Cashman never harbored any doubts about his playmaking ability, or his aptitude for the big hit with pressure mounting. 

So, Sanchez’s performance on Saturday night was for the critics, who had been steadfast in their support for backup catcher Austin Romine.  It’s abundantly clear who should be starting behind the plate in these games.  It’s abundantly clear which option possesses the highest ceiling. 

“We know Sanchez capable of that,” Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone said of Sanchez.  “And you know, first three games into the playoffs, too, you know, almost more importantly he’s caught really well.  I think he’s been really good back there from the receiving, blocking, game-planning, all those kind of things.  And then tonight just a monster night.

“You know he’s capable of that.  We all know he’s capable of that.  That’s kind of what we’ve been waiting for to some degree where he can take over a game on offense.  He was huge, obviously, tonight.”

The Yankees just caught a glimpse of what Sanchez once was.  And if he keeps this groove, it’ll be due in large part to a relationship that has stuck together through the thick and thin. 

‘They definitely have had a lot of confidence in me.  And I have confidence in myself,” Sanchez said.  “Although it has been a tough season for me, I knew that I was able to produce the same way I produced last year. Like I said before, they have a lot of confidence in me, and I have it too.”

Luis Severino will oppose Nathan Eovaldi in Game 3 on Monday, with first pitch scheduled for 7:40 p.m.

 

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at thanslin@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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Aaron Judge plays “New York, New York” while exiting Fenway http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/aaron-judge-plays-new-york-new-york-while-exiting-fenway/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/aaron-judge-plays-new-york-new-york-while-exiting-fenway/#respond Sun, 07 Oct 2018 19:37:21 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64137 With the help of home runs from Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, the Yankees took a crucial game two of the ALDS against the Red Sox on Saturday, 6-2. After the momentum-shifting win, the series is even, 1-1, with the Yankees heading back to the Bronx for the next two games. Upon exiting Fenway Park, […]

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With the help of home runs from Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, the Yankees took a crucial game two of the ALDS against the Red Sox on Saturday, 6-2. After the momentum-shifting win, the series is even, 1-1, with the Yankees heading back to the Bronx for the next two games.

Upon exiting Fenway Park, Judge blasted a familiar song right next to the Red Sox clubhouse: “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra. The song is played at Yankee Stadium after every victory, so Judge had to bring a part of home with him on the road after Saturday’s win. It is also a subtle reminder of what lies ahead for Boston, which is a playoff atmosphere unlike any other in the Bronx starting Monday.

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Yankees Own Price, Series is Tied Going Back to the Bronx – The Bronx Pinstripes Show http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/yankees-own-price-series-is-tied-going-back-to-the-bronx-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/yankees-own-price-series-is-tied-going-back-to-the-bronx-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/#respond Sun, 07 Oct 2018 13:57:37 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64133 The Bronx Pinstripes Show #277 ALDS Game 2 Recap: David Price is who we thought he was! The Yankees did what they had to, and tied the series 1-1. We discuss Aaron Judge setting the tone, Gary Sanchez’ monster night, Masahiro Tanaka’s clutch start, Aaron Boone’s in-game decisions continue to pay off, and a look […]

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The Bronx Pinstripes Show #277

ALDS Game 2 Recap: David Price is who we thought he was! The Yankees did what they had to, and tied the series 1-1. We discuss Aaron Judge setting the tone, Gary Sanchez’ monster night, Masahiro Tanaka’s clutch start, Aaron Boone’s in-game decisions continue to pay off, and a look ahead to Game 3. Listener voicemails end the show!

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Sanchez’s two homers lead Yankees to big Game 2 win in Boston http://bronxpinstripes.com/game-day/sanchezs-two-homers-lead-yankees-to-big-game-2-win-in-boston/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/game-day/sanchezs-two-homers-lead-yankees-to-big-game-2-win-in-boston/#respond Sun, 07 Oct 2018 07:49:29 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64129 BOSTON — It all restarts in October. For many of the Yankees who struggled this season, the postseason served as a new beginning; an empty slate. Especially for Gary Sanchez, this couldn’t have been any more accurate. Tonight, it was the much-maligned Yankee catcher that provided the thump for his team today, going deep twice […]

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BOSTON — It all restarts in October. For many of the Yankees who struggled this season, the postseason served as a new beginning; an empty slate. Especially for Gary Sanchez, this couldn’t have been any more accurate.

Tonight, it was the much-maligned Yankee catcher that provided the thump for his team today, going deep twice and driving in four runs. And to add to that, he wasn’t alone.

In essentially a must-win game for New York, Aaron Boone’s entire squad showed up tonight as the Yankees evened up their ALDS series with the Red Sox at one game apiece, after a convincing 6-2 win at Fenway Park.

While Sanchez led the way on the offensive side, his battery-mate, Masahiro Tanaka, was equally as good from the mound.

Credited with the win, the Japanese right-hander pitched five stellar innings, giving up just a run on three hits, while striking out four Boston batters. The lone damage done against him was a fourth-inning solo shot from Xander Bogaerts, that was crushed to deep in center field.

Contrasted to his opposing starter, however, Tanaka was definitely the man tonight. David Price, who’s known to struggled in the postseason and against the Yankees, was unable to get out of the second inning of this Game 2 Boston loss.

Like he has in the other two New York playoff games, Aaron Judge homered, as he greeted Price with a shot that went deep over the Green Monster in left center field.

This visibly rattled Price and gave the Yankees the confidence they needed to bring home this victory.

Then, in the second inning, Sanchez hit the first of his two homers as his success against Price continued. While people were questioning Boone’s decision to move him up the line-up to the fifth spot before the game, there was definitely no one sharing that sentiment after this performance.

After a few more walks to the bottom of the order and an RBI-single by Andrew McCutchen, Price was chased from this ballgame after just recording five outs.

With the game still remaining close entering the late innings, New York continued to look for insurance. In the seventh inning, they finally found some.

Facing Eduardo Rodriguez, Judge led-off the frame with an infield hit, after the pitcher did not hustle to cover first base. Luke Voit then reached on a walk, before controversy on a replay challenge followed on a force play on a grounder hit by Giancarlo Stanton.

After Voit was called safe at second, the Red Sox challenged the safe call. While there seemed to be no solid evidence available to overturn the call, Voit was called out, but the Yankees still had men on first and third, and still just one out.

Now, with Sanchez at the plate, he surely felt the desire to deliver the final blow after an incident earlier in the game.

Against Ryan Brasier, he was told to “get back in the box,” after the catcher stepped out a few times. Though he did not deliver in that plate appearance, he made damage this time.

Sending a ball 479-feet, Sanchez doubled up the Yankees’ run tally with a monster three-run home run that left no doubt as soon as it left the bat.

Still, though, the Red Sox still had nine outs to rally back.

The Yankee bullpen had different ideas, however.

While Dellin Betances gave up a run in two innings, Zach Britton and Aroldis Chapman put up 0’s in their one-inning appearances to close out Boston.

This improved New York’s bullpen performance in this series to 10 great innings of one-run ball.

Though the Yankees had a knack for coming back in last year’s postseason, they all knew they did not want to go home down 2-0, especially against a team like Boston. Now, they have a chance to close it out at home with Games 3 and 4 set to be played at Yankee Stadium.

Notably, Brett Gardner batted ninth and played center field in place of the injured Aaron Hicks. Boone said before the ballgame that Hicks was available if needed, but the Yankee offense allowed their manager to give their centerfielder the day-off in Game 2.

The teams have an off-day tomorrow, and will reconvene at Yankee Stadium on Monday night, with Luis Severino’s opponent yet to be determined.

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Why the Red Sox see a Masahiro Tanaka who’ll make the Yankees sweat http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/why-the-red-sox-see-a-masahiro-tanaka-wholl-make-the-yankees-sweat/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/why-the-red-sox-see-a-masahiro-tanaka-wholl-make-the-yankees-sweat/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 18:46:14 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64112   Masahiro Tanaka has proven his ability to rise to the occasion as October pressures mount.  But the Red Sox most likely realize the right-hander’s past accomplishments hold little weight on this new stage, against their lineup.  While Tanaka owns a commendable 1.44 ERA in four career postseason starts, he posted a bloated 7.58 ERA in […]

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Masahiro Tanaka has proven his ability to rise to the occasion as October pressures mount.  But the Red Sox most likely realize the right-hander’s past accomplishments hold little weight on this new stage, against their lineup. 

While Tanaka owns a commendable 1.44 ERA in four career postseason starts, he posted a bloated 7.58 ERA in four outings against Boston this season, allowing Red Sox batters to feast at a .345 clip in 19 total innings.  Plus, of the 14 position players on Boston’s ALDS roster, they’ve collectively hit 14 home runs and driven in 40 runs (303 at-bats) with Tanaka on the mound. 

Suffice to say the Yankees, who are currently facing an 0-1 deficit to their archrival in a best-of-five division series, need Tanaka to deliver in Game 2 on Saturday night at Fenway Park. 

“You know, I think I have an idea that it’s going to be intense,” Tanaka told reporters Friday via his translator.  “But me, personally, I haven’t experienced the Yankees versus Red Sox playoff atmosphere yet.  So you know at this point it’s a guess, but I’m sure it’s going to be intense.

“It’s absolutely an honor [to pitch in this series].  Definitely an honor to be part of something like this.  I think it would be even better if I can go out there and perform and lead the team to a victory.”

Entering September 20, Tanaka had been the Yankees’ most reliable starter since the All-Star break.  His second-half ERA sat at 2.09, and he had allowed just one run in his previous 21 innings of work.  So when the team was in the process of determining which starter was best-suited for the wild card game, Tanaka resembled a safe choice.

But in his final two regular season appearances, Tanaka couldn’t pitch past the fourth inning, as he surrendered eight runs and 14 hits across eight total frames.  Although manager Aaron Boone insisted Tanaka’s poor finish didn’t influence his decision to hand Luis Severino the ball in the one-game playoff, there are reasons to believe otherwise. 

Fortunately for the Yankees, Tanaka said his split-finger fastball has regained its sharpness.  And when that pitch is effective, opposing hitters often flail.  

“I think it’s at a good place right now,” said Tanaka, who went 12-6 with a 3.75 ERA in 27 starts this year.  “You know, since I had my last outing, it’s been a while.  So I had that time to make the necessary adjustments… I like where my splitter is at at this time.  And hopefully I can have that pitch with me tomorrow when I go into the game.”

Last October, Tanaka was virtually unhittable.  But he knows this upcoming challenge pales in comparison to the others he’s confronted.

“I think that experience does help, and maybe you rely on it a little bit,” he said.  “But my mentality right now is just go into this postseason freshly, as a new experience.”

Tanaka will oppose David Price (0-8, 5.74 ERA in nine playoff starts) in Game 2 with first pitch scheduled for 8:15 p.m. 

 

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at thanslin@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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Wasted Opportunities, Yankees Lose Game One to Boston – The Bronx Pinstripes Show http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/wasted-opportunities-yankees-lose-game-one-to-boston-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/wasted-opportunities-yankees-lose-game-one-to-boston-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 13:28:59 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64108 The Bronx Pinstripes Show #276 ALDS Game 1 Recap: A very frustrating loss as the Yankees almost came back from 5 runs down against the Red Sox bullpen, but left 22 men on base and fell 1 run short. We break down the key missed opportunities in the 6th and 7th innings, JA Happ’s rough […]

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The Bronx Pinstripes Show #276

ALDS Game 1 Recap: A very frustrating loss as the Yankees almost came back from 5 runs down against the Red Sox bullpen, but left 22 men on base and fell 1 run short. We break down the key missed opportunities in the 6th and 7th innings, JA Happ’s rough outing, Giancarlo Stanton’s golden sombrero, some positive takeaways, and keys to winning Game 2.

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Yankees fail to pick-up Happ, drop Game 1 http://bronxpinstripes.com/game-day/yankees-fail-to-pick-up-happ-drop-game-1/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/game-day/yankees-fail-to-pick-up-happ-drop-game-1/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 05:15:27 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=64105 BOSTON — In a game defined by missed opportunities for the boys in grey, the Yankees’ late-game rally came up just short, as the Red Sox took Game 1 of the ALDS, 5-4. Though New York had some momentum heading into this game, Boston stopped them in their tracks almost immediately.  While J.A. Happ struck […]

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BOSTON — In a game defined by missed opportunities for the boys in grey, the Yankees’ late-game rally came up just short, as the Red Sox took Game 1 of the ALDS, 5-4.

Though New York had some momentum heading into this game, Boston stopped them in their tracks almost immediately. 

While J.A. Happ struck out the first of two Boston MVP candidates, in Mookie Betts, to start of the game, the Red Sox had one more waiting in the wing just three batters later.

With men on first and second, J.D. Martinez crushed a fastball and sent it over the Green Monster for an early 3-0 lead for Boston. 

That woke up the Red Sox crowd and right away put New York in a hole. 

Happ, who pitched good against Boston all year, just did not have it today as he was chased from the game in the third. After allowing consecutive hits to Betts and Andrew Benintendi to open the frame, Aaron Boone had no choice but to pull his starter from the game.

With Chad Green then allowing both runners to cross the plate, Happ’s night ended with a final line of five runs on four hits in just two-plus innings pitched. 

Down 5-0, the New York pitching staff did its job, giving Boone seven scoreless innings the rest of the way, but the offense just could not get the big hit. 

In the sixth, though the Yankees scored two runs, Gleyber Torres had a huge opportunity with the bases loaded against Brandon Workman.

The rookie, however, showed his age, striking out on an off-speed pitch that was out of the zone, as Boston remained on top, 5-2.

The next inning, New York once against loaded the bases, and this time with no outs.

Facing Matt Barnes, Giancarlo Stanton struck out, which he did four times tonight, to pass the baton to Luke Voit.

Voit drove in a run on a Fielder’s Choice, before Didi Gregorius grounded out to end the inning.

It was a huge wasted opportunity for New York, facing a relatively weak Boston pen.

Again in the eighth, this time faced by supposed Game 3 starter Rick Porcello, Torres singled and forced Alex Cora to have to bring in Craig Kimbrel.

Andrew McCutchen did his best to get the Aaron Judge a chance with runners on, but he flew out to Betts to end the inning.

This out loomed large when Judge led-off the next frame with a monster solo shot, to keep New York’s hopes alive.

Unfortunately for the Bombers, Kimbrel turned it up a notch and got the next three guys out to close out the Game 1 victory for Boston.

All in all, it was a frustrating game for New York because of all they left on the table. The team was 1-7 with runners in scoring position, and left a whopping ten guys on base.

Aaron Hicks was also taken out of the game after straining his right hamstring. Brett Gardner replace him in center field. His status for Game 2 remains up in the air.

Masahiro Tanaka pitches against David Price in tomorrow’s all-important affair.

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