Bronx Pinstripes | BronxPinstripes.com http://bronxpinstripes.com Bronx Pinstripes - A New York Yankees Community for the Fans, by the Fans Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:52:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What to watch for in the Grapefruit League Opener http://bronxpinstripes.com/spring-training/watch-grapefruit-league-opener/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/spring-training/watch-grapefruit-league-opener/#respond Fri, 23 Feb 2018 14:00:43 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=58113 Saddle up, Yankees fans. Baseball is BACK and live on Friday at 1:05PM on YES. In the first game spring the Yankees will take on the Detroit Tigers for the first time since the brawl last summer. Luis Cessa will toe the rubber for the Yanks against left-hander Ryan Carpenter, who recently signed a minor […]

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Saddle up, Yankees fans. Baseball is BACK and live on Friday at 1:05PM on YES. In the first game spring the Yankees will take on the Detroit Tigers for the first time since the brawl last summer. Luis Cessa will toe the rubber for the Yanks against left-hander Ryan Carpenter, who recently signed a minor league deal with the Tigers.

Without further adieu, here’s what you should watch for this afternoon.

Who’s out?

Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, and Gary Sanchez will not get in on the action tomorrow. Judge is still rehabbing from arthroscopic shoulder surgery but has taken several monster batting practice sessions the past few days. Yesterday, he worked on his timing and tracked pitches without swinging. Expect to see him sometime next week. As for Sanchez, Boone debunked any rumors that he’s sitting out this one because of the fight last summer, and rather that he has a plan to distribute his workload behind the dish.

I also wouldn’t expect to see CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray, or Luis Severino because all three tossed simulated innings yesterday.

Stanton

Giancarlo Stanton is expected to be in the lineup tomorrow, so I wouldn’t park my car anywhere beyond the outfield wall. After closing his stance halfway through June last year, Stanton went on an absolute tear and felt like he possessed even more power.

“I’d seen on video that when I would strike in a closed position I hit the ball hard,” Stanton told John Harper of the New York Daily News. “Homers, hits, balls to the opposite field, really everywhere; so I thought I’d start in that position.”

Stanton has no qualms about his new stance, and rightfully so. His final 100 games last year? .278/.382/.671 with 43 HR, 17 2Bs, and 90 RBI.

Andujar vs Drury

Newly acquired utility man Brandon Drury was, according to Cashman, “a guy we’ve been trying to get for years.” After crazy trade hypotheticals about landing Manny Machado and a deal for Todd Frazier not shaking out, Cashman finally got his man. Nobody is sure what he meant by that comment, as he’s been a league average player. Drury hit .267/.317/.447 with 13 HR, and 63 RBI in his 2017 campaign with the Diamondbacks. But hey, with Cashman, you never know.

Drury is expected to play third, which threw a monkey wrench into Miguel Andujar’s plans to be the starting third basemen come Opening Day. Perhaps Andujar is more projectable with the bat, but Drury might have him beat on defense, something many scouts have cited as an achilles heel for Andujar. In 114 games at second base last year for the DBacks, Drury showed gold glove potential. He committed just 7 fielding errors and posted a .977 fielding percentage. Be excited to see this competition unfold during the spring, but with weapons at virtually every spot in this Yankee lineup, whoever shows out on defense is landing the gig.

Aaron Boone

Not that he’ll face nearly as much scrutiny during Spring Training as he may when the season commences, but it’s been interesting to see Boone handle the new role. He talked about the energy level for the Grapefruit league opener.

“There will be a little excitement with the crowd and the pinstripes and actually playing a game, and playing another team,” Boone told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com “I think you get some juices flowing for that.”

It seems abundantly evident that he’s a much more laid back and relatable figure than Girardi was. Boone even used the word “dude” during a press conference this past week.

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Yankees staying loose, host annual team-building activities http://bronxpinstripes.com/spring-training/yankees-host-annual-team-building-activities/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/spring-training/yankees-host-annual-team-building-activities/#respond Fri, 23 Feb 2018 03:59:25 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=58122 On Thursday, the New York Yankees hosted their final team workout prior to the start of their spring training games. However, the Bronx Bombers day wasn’t complete once their workouts were finished. According to a press release sent out by the Yankees, the organization held their annual team-building activities at the Steinbrenner Field Pavilion. Steve […]

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CREDIT: NEW YORK YANKEES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

On Thursday, the New York Yankees hosted their final team workout prior to the start of their spring training games. However, the Bronx Bombers day wasn’t complete once their workouts were finished.

According to a press release sent out by the Yankees, the organization held their annual team-building activities at the Steinbrenner Field Pavilion. Steve Shenbaum, an actor/comedian and founder of “game on Nation,” served as the leader of the festivities.

Yankees players, coaches, field staff and front office baseball operations personnel all participated in the event. Exercises (such as improvisation games) were used to help improve leadership and communication.

From the look of it, it appears that the team had a great time and are staying nice and loose. Below are some additional photos from the event (courtesy of the New York Yankees).

CREDIT: NEW YORK YANKEES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

CREDIT: NEW YORK YANKEES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

CREDIT: NEW YORK YANKEES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Yankees will begin their spring training action on Friday, as they take on the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. YES Network will broadcast the game live, which is scheduled to begin at 1:05 PM EST.

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Cashman: Brandon Drury likely to play third base http://bronxpinstripes.com/spring-training/drury-likely-to-play-third-base/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/spring-training/drury-likely-to-play-third-base/#respond Thu, 22 Feb 2018 15:45:22 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=58101 After being acquired as part of a three-team trade on Tuesday night, Brandon Drury is set to join his new team on Thursday. The 25-year-old is scheduled to participate in his first team workout at the Yankees spring training complex in Tampa, Florida. Before Drury even takes the field as a Yankee, it appears that […]

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After being acquired as part of a three-team trade on Tuesday night, Brandon Drury is set to join his new team on Thursday. The 25-year-old is scheduled to participate in his first team workout at the Yankees spring training complex in Tampa, Florida.

Before Drury even takes the field as a Yankee, it appears that the organization has an idea of what role the young infielder will play moving forward.

General manager Brian Cashman spoke to the media, and discussed the acquisition of Drury. J. Scott Butherus of MLB.com wrote about what Cashman had to say about his newly-acquired infielder.

Throughout his three seasons in the big leagues, Drury has used his versatility to play multiple positions. The majority of his playing time has come at second base, but he has also played some first base, third base and both corner outfield positions.

According to Cashman, the Yankees initial plan is to have Drury play third base, the position he played throughout the minor leagues. Due to his offensive potential and versatility, Cashman added that the Yankees will look to get him in their lineup as often as possible.

Drury will be a valuable asset defensively. Although the Yankees plan on him playing third base, his versatility gives manager Aaron Boone some different options on a daily basis. If the Yankees have some injuries (hopefully not), Drury has the ability to fill the void at multiple positions if needed.

His defense and athleticism stands out, but Brandon Drury‘s offense could be just as valuable to the Yankees lineup this season. The 25-year-old has posted a career slash line of .271/.319/.448, and has shown the ability to hit for power against big league pitching.

The move also allows the Yankees the opportunity to be patient with some of their top young prospects. As Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres battle for big league roster spots, the organization could now take their time in developing the two players.

Overall, Drury will be a valuable asset for this Yankees team, and it will be interesting to see how he is utilized. Depending on different circumstances, Drury could be a one-position player, or he might end up being a “jack-of-all-trades” for the Bronx Bombers.

 

 

 

 

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Yankees trade OF Jabari Blash to Angels for PTBNL or cash http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/angels-acquire-jabari-blash-for-ptbnl-cash/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/angels-acquire-jabari-blash-for-ptbnl-cash/#respond Thu, 22 Feb 2018 04:22:06 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=58093   Jabari Blash, who was designated for assignment following the acquisition of Brandon Drury yesterday, has been traded to the Angels. The Yankees will receive a player to be named later or cash considerations for the outfielder. The 28-year-old came over from San Diego in the Chase Headley trade back in December. With a backlog of […]

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Jabari Blash, who was designated for assignment following the acquisition of Brandon Drury yesterday, has been traded to the Angels. The Yankees will receive a player to be named later or cash considerations for the outfielder.

The 28-year-old came over from San Diego in the Chase Headley trade back in December. With a backlog of outfielders in the Bronx, it was unlikely Blash would have seen any time with the Big League club, so Brian Cashman flipped him.

In a career-high 195 Major League plate appearances last season, Blash hit .213/.333/.341 with five homers and 16 RBI but whiffed 66 times (33.8%). His Minor League numbers are a bit better, slashing .258/.381/.571 with 65 homers in 235 Triple-A games.

 

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Yankees’ Gary Sanchez envious of the Stanton-Judge spectacle http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/yankees-gary-sanchez-envious-of-the-stanton-judge-spectacle/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/yankees-gary-sanchez-envious-of-the-stanton-judge-spectacle/#respond Thu, 22 Feb 2018 00:17:03 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=58079   With Yankees batting practice now viewed as must-see entertainment for fans (and a handful of players), Gary Sanchez sort of feels like a third wheel.  Since full-squad workouts began on Monday in Tampa, the majority of cameras and phones have been following New York’s behemoth sluggers, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. With admirable ease, the […]

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With Yankees batting practice now viewed as must-see entertainment for fans (and a handful of players), Gary Sanchez sort of feels like a third wheel. 

Since full-squad workouts began on Monday in Tampa, the majority of cameras and phones have been following New York’s behemoth sluggers, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. With admirable ease, the duo managed to put some dents into Steinbrenner Field’s left-center field scoreboard and right field bleachers during Monday’s first batting practice session, which reportedly drew over a thousand spectators.

Although Sanchez, who’s arguably the Yankees’ most well-rounded hitter, finished last season with 33 home runs in just 122 games (he also defeated Stanton in the first round of last July’s Home Run Derby), he can’t help but express slight jealousy when paired with the coined “Towers of Power.”

“What can you say? Those guys hit moon shots and mine barely go over the fence,’’ Sanchez told George King of the New York Post. “It’s fun to see our fans come out and support us. Whenever you have Giancarlo and Judge hitting long shots, I am watching myself. I am a fan at that time. I know why they want to come out and watch everything.’’

Perhaps Sanchez will occasionally live in the shadows of Judge and Stanton this season, but Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone knows his 25-year-old catcher is accomplished.

“Gary rakes, that’s what I think,’’ Boone told King. “He is special. He gets into that box and I do think he gets overlooked. I can’t wait to see what he is going to do again this year. We are going to work really hard in aiding him and hopefully allow him to continue to get better on both sides of the ball.”

DRURY BOUND FOR THE HOT CORNER?

The Yankees added further depth to their infield on Tuesday night when a three-way trade between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays sent 25-year-old infielder Brandon Drury from the desert to the Bronx.

In his first three major league seasons, Drury has slashed .271/.319/.448 with 31 home runs, 71 doubles, 124 RBI, and a .767 OPS in 289 games.

“Oh man, I am pumped and can’t wait to get there,’’ Drury told The Post on Tuesday. “I am thinking about the opportunity I have. Playing for the New York Yankees is a dream and I have to take advantage of it. I was a Yankee fan [as a kid].

“I am a guy hungry to be great. I am going to work hard and focus.’’

 

With the addition of Drury this spring, the Yankees won’t necessarily have to rush touted youngsters Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres to the big league level. General manager Brian Cashman believes Andujar’s bat is ready for the highest level, but there are still several questions surrounding the 23-year-old’s defense. As for Torres, it seems likely he’ll begin the season in Triple-A, in order to delay his service clock.

Although the Yankees have signed infielders Danny Espinosa and Jace Peterson as spring training invitees, Cashman and his front office have high hopes for Drury, who they believe has a leg-up on others for the third base job.

“He’s someone we’ve been attempting to get for a number of years now,” Cashman told ESPN Radio’s The Michael Kay Show on Wednesday. “He’s someone that’s been on our radar for quite some time. He obviously possesses a great deal of ability. We think his best position is third base… We think he can play some quality defense for us and swing a well enough bat. We think he’s at least an everyday player at the big league level and we think there’s untapped potential there at the same time.

“I think last year proved we’re not afraid to deploy a number of rookies all over the everyday diamond. We just were looking for a circumstance that would better protect us.”

YANKS STILL AN UNDERDOG? CASHMAN THINKS SO

When the Yankees acquired Stanton in a blockbuster deal with the Miami Marlins in December, the Evil Empire was revived, and it seemed as if New York once again had the upperhand on its division rival, the Red Sox.

Despite a rather dormant winter, Boston countered with its own mega deal this week, as free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez agreed to a five-year contract worth $110 million. 

Although both teams feature plenty of firepower, Cashman told Mike Mazzeo of the New York Daily News on Wednesday that the Yankees are still the underdog until an AL East pennant returns to the Bronx.

“They’re the AL East champs, so we’re not on equal footing,” Cashman said. “We were the Wild Card. They had the title within the division last year. I don’t know if they’re putting a flag up for it or not, but they are the AL East champs, we are not. So we are not on equal footing until we take that away from them, while at the same time preventing anybody that finished behind us from surpassing us and joining the fray.

“Toronto’s done a lot of work on its roster. Baltimore is starting to make some signs. So, no, we’re not on the same ground because they are the AL East champions, and until someone takes that away from them, you’ve got to pay homage.”

With the Martinez signing, Boston’s payroll is projected at $237 million this season. Meanwhile, the Yankees are striving to get under the $197 million luxury tax threshold in time for next winter’s loaded free agent class.

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

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Questions heading into the 2018 season http://bronxpinstripes.com/opinion/questions-heading-2018-season/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/opinion/questions-heading-2018-season/#respond Wed, 21 Feb 2018 10:09:15 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=58052 With Spring Training games set to commence on Friday, the Yankees are one step closer to beginning their 2018 season. But with the excitement and optimism, there is also skepticism and realism. There are roles that have yet to be established, and there are question marks about certain players. What’s Going On In The Outfield? While […]

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With Spring Training games set to commence on Friday, the Yankees are one step closer to beginning their 2018 season. But with the excitement and optimism, there is also skepticism and realism. There are roles that have yet to be established, and there are question marks about certain players.

What’s Going On In The Outfield?

While there is a saying that there’s no such thing as too much depth, the Yankees actually have too much depth in the outfield. For a while, the Yankees toyed with the idea of possibly trading some of their outfielders, but ultimately decided against it as the offseason went on. Coming into Spring Training there are six outfielders competing for three spots; Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Clint Frazier.

Some like Judge, Gardner, Hicks, and Stanton already have a job lined up to begin the season. However, Ellsbury and Frazier are currently on the outside looking in, and are slated to start the year either on the bench (Ellsbury) or in Triple-A (Frazier). Anything can happen with the outfield situation, and sometimes things tend to work themselves out. But for now, there are too many outfielders and not enough jobs.

Is The Starting Rotation Good Enough?

The only addition the Yankees made to the starting rotation was a one-year contract for lefty CC Sabathia. However, many don’t count it as an official move since Sabathia was in the rotation last season. Barring injury, the Yankees are entering the 2018 season with the same rotation as last year; Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sabathia, Sonny Gray, and Jordan Montgomery.

In the postseason, the rotation propelled the Yankees to the ALCS. Unfortunately, the success the rotation had isn’t guaranteed to be replicated this season.

  1. Sabathia has a knee issue which will be a problem when the Yankees play on turf.
  2. Tanaka still has the UCL tear in his elbow, and is coming off a poor regular season.
  3. Gray was inconsistent in giving the Yankees length, and was a victim of no run support.
  4. Severino struggled during the postseason, especially during the Wild Card game.
  5. Montgomery mentioned he was lucky to have the success he did without his changeup.

The Yankees rotation is certainly talented enough to compete with the rest of the American League East, but it still remains to be seen if they’ll be dominant or healthy all season long.

Can Greg Bird Stay Healthy?

Greg Bird is slated to be the starting first baseman for the Yankees this year. However, the team is expecting Bird to stay healthy for the entire season. It’s crucial Bird stays healthy this year because there’s not a lot of first base depth should he go down with an injury.

There would have been a bit of veteran depth if the Yankees didn’t trade Chase Headley to the San Diego Padres. But the only names behind Bird at this point are Tyler Austin, Brandon Drury, and Austin Romine.

What About The Middle Infield?

With the Yankees trading away Starlin Castro and Headley, they currently have a hole at second and third base. Prior to camp, most assumed the Yankees would give Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres a chance at playing second and third. However, the Yankees hinted Andujar and Torres weren’t quite ready yet by signing Danny Espinosa to a Minor League contract, and engaging in a three-way trade with the Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks for Drury.

The Yankees possibly view Drury as the best option at third, and he does provide the Yankees with Major League experience; he played 135 games last season, and 134 games the year prior. Plus if Andujar and Torres need to start the year at Triple-A, Drury could be the perfect short-term option.

Can Dellin Betances Find Consistency?

When Dellin Betances is dominant, he’s easily one of the best relievers in baseball. But when Betances struggles, it’s an issue for the rest of the Yankees bullpen because it increases everyone else’s workload. Last season, Betances had months where he dazzled (April, May, and August), and months where he wouldn’t have been the first option out of the Yankees bullpen in a do-or-die situation (June, July, September, and October).

The season is long and draining, and it’s understandable Betances will have blips every now and again. However, the Yankees need him to be reliable 95% of the time. It would be unfortunate if it’s September and David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Chad Green, and Aroldis Chapman are all taxed out because Betances can’t find consistency with his curveball.

Is This Brett Gardner’s Swan Song In Pinstripes?

Since 2008, Brett Gardner has been a fixture in the Yankees clubhouse. The team even gave him a rare contract extension four seasons ago. However, Gardner is in the final year of that deal, which leaves many wondering if this is his final season in Yankees pinstripes.

There’s a possibility it isn’t his last year; Gardner has a team option for 2019, but it isn’t a given that the Yankees will exercise it. The Yankees have outfielders who currently have Major League potential such as Clint Frazier, and with Jacoby Ellsbury still on the books for a few more years, there is the possibility the Yankees will let Gardner test the free agent market.

How Will The Team Adjust To A New Manager?

During Joe Girardi‘s ten-year tenure, he led the Yankees to a World Series championship and a few postseason berths. But following the Yankees ALCS exit in 2017, the organization felt it was best to part ways with the former skipper. However, it didn’t take long for Girardi to find a new job; he currently has a new gig as an analyst for the MLB Network.

Finding Girardi’s replacement was a tedious task, but the Yankees eventually settled on Aaron Boone, who was still involved in baseball following his retirement in 2009. This is the first managerial job of any kind for Boone, but the Yankees instilled faith in him because of his baseball background; his father Bob Boone was a catcher and manager, and his brother Bret Boone was a second baseman. While Boone has the baseball smarts, there is curiosity on how he will bond with his current team. So far, he’s been seen golfing with Aaron Hicks, and he’s also bonded a bit with catcher Gary Sanchez.

The Yankees wanted a manager who not only bonded with the veterans, but also with the up-and-coming kids. And so far he seems to be doing just that.

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Yankees acquire INF Brandon Drury in three-team trade http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/yankees-acquire-inf-brandon-drury-three-team-trade/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/yankees-acquire-inf-brandon-drury-three-team-trade/#respond Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:21:57 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=58034 The Yankees have added some veteran depth for their second and third base openings in a three-way deal with Arizona and Tampa Bay. Infielder Brandon Drury heads to New York from the Diamondbacks while Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and Yankees RHP prospect Taylor Widener go to Arizona. The Rays get Yankees 2B prospect Nick […]

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The Yankees have added some veteran depth for their second and third base openings in a three-way deal with Arizona and Tampa Bay.

Infielder Brandon Drury heads to New York from the Diamondbacks while Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and Yankees RHP prospect Taylor Widener go to Arizona.

The Rays get Yankees 2B prospect Nick Solak, along with LHP prospect Anthony Banda and two players to be named later from the D-Backs. The clubs have confirmed.

Drury, 25, appeared in 135 games for the D-Backs last season. He slashed .267/.317/.447 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 480 plate appearances. It was the infielder’s second full season in the Majors, having appeared in 20 games in 2015.

His addition will add some much needed veteran presence at second and third base, with rookies Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres competing to make the Big League roster. He also provides great depth with the ability to play the outfield as well.

The Yankees No. 8 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, 23-year-old Solak hit .297/.384/.452 between Tampa and Trenton last season.

Widener, also 23, was the Yankees No. 14 overall prospect and pitched solely with Tampa in 2017. Across 27 games, the righty went 7-8 with a 3.39 ERA.

Solak and Widener were attending 2018 Major League spring training with the Yankees as non-roster invitees.

To make room on the 40-man roster, OF Jabari Blash was designated for assignment.

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How a future Hall of Famer helped alter Tyler Wade’s swing http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/how-a-future-hall-of-famer-helped-alter-tyler-wades-swing/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/how-a-future-hall-of-famer-helped-alter-tyler-wades-swing/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 23:28:45 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=58024   The degree of success that infielder Tyler Wade attained at the plate in the Minors last season fell rather short of translating at the Major League level. Before he debuted with the Yankees on June 27, Wade — a fourth round pick in the 2013 June Amateur Draft — was a .310 hitter (85 […]

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The degree of success that infielder Tyler Wade attained at the plate in the Minors last season fell rather short of translating at the Major League level.

Before he debuted with the Yankees on June 27, Wade — a fourth round pick in the 2013 June Amateur Draft — was a .310 hitter (85 games) with Triple-A Scanton/Wilkes-Barre, capable of stretching singles into doubles with his plus-speed and baserunning ability.

However, those attributes suddenly disappeared while he was with the Big League club. He hardly saw playing time, but Wade’s small share of swings were uninspiring, as he finished with a .155 average and .446 OPS in 63 big league plate appearances.

With voids at second and third base, the Yankees will offer Wade several opportunities to stave off top prospects like Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar this spring. Compared to last year, Wade’s mentality hasn’t changed, but the 23-year-old rookie hopes his new plate approach will trigger positive results.

Speaking with YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits on Tuesday, Wade explained the offseason adjustments he made to his swing, which involved his hands and stance in the left-handed batter’s box.

“I just moved my hands a little bit, a little higher and opened up my front side,” Wade said. “I just freed up myself, so I feel good right now and I’m excited to put it in the games. This offseason was a long one for me, being able to tweak all that stuff. But it probably took a couple weeks just to get back to feeling normal and all that to get into sync. 

“I feel like a completely different hitter. I feel like it’s only going to help myself and the team.”

So, who helped Wade make these alterations?

Some veteran ball player named Albert Pujols, who’s entering 2018 with the Los Angeles Angels just 17 home runs shy of surpassing Hall-of-Famer Ken Griffey Jr. for the fifth-most in Major League history (630).

“We train with the same trainer [in California] and he came up to me one day and we talked and he was like, ‘Hey, you should come hit with me’ and he’s the one that recommended some of the changes in my setup and my swing,” Wade said of Pujols. “So I was very thankful for that opportunity that he gave me and able for me to pick his brain a little bit. 

“That’s a Hall of Famer right there who’s texting me that. So it was pretty special and something I’ll always remember.”

Last Sunday, on Feb. 11, YES Network broadcaster David Cone took to Twitter to express his opinion of Wade, writing, “Don’t sleep on Tyler Wade. Just saying.”

“This is a special group we’ve got right now, and having the opportunity to be a part of it and help the team is very exciting,” Wade said.

The Yankees will host the Detroit Tigers in their first spring training game this Friday (1 p.m.) at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

 

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

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Brett Gardner unsure of amount of playing time he’ll receive http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/brett-gardner-unsure-amount-playing-time-hell-receive/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/brett-gardner-unsure-amount-playing-time-hell-receive/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 11:00:48 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=58019 Brett Gardner has been a main fixture in the Yankees clubhouse since his arrival in 2008, and despite Giancarlo Stanton‘s entrance to an already crowded outfield, Gardner is still expected to get a huge amount of playing time. But with new Yankees manager Aaron Boone mentioning a potential rotation of the outfield, one wonders how […]

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Brett Gardner has been a main fixture in the Yankees clubhouse since his arrival in 2008, and despite Giancarlo Stanton‘s entrance to an already crowded outfield, Gardner is still expected to get a huge amount of playing time.

But with new Yankees manager Aaron Boone mentioning a potential rotation of the outfield, one wonders how much playing time Gardner will actually get. The Yankees have already hinted at getting Stanton and Aaron Judge reps in left field on days Gardner would either DH or have the day off.

So when asked about the amount of playing time he could receive, Gardner said the following to Erik Boland of Newsday:

Gardner is high on the Yankees outfield depth chart, and with good reason; Gardner had a 4.9 WAR while hitting a career high in home runs, and logging a .350 OPB. But with Judge, Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Clint Frazier in the picture, Gardner having as many starts as last season isn’t exactly a given.

As we’ve seen in the past Gardner is reliable to the Yankees on the field, especially since he’s a Gold Glove caliber center fielder playing a spacious left field at Yankee Stadium. As long as he puts up productive numbers at the plate, he’s their starting left fielder.

But anything can happen in this long season, and with the current outfield depth, Gardner has to play as if he has something to lose. He has a starting job to begin the season, but if he doesn’t produce he could be in the same boat as Ellsbury–on the bench searching for playing time.

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Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton impressed with Aaron Boone’s address to team http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/yankees-giancarlo-stanton-impressed-with-aaron-boones-address-to-team/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/yankees-giancarlo-stanton-impressed-with-aaron-boones-address-to-team/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 04:46:24 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=58014   The Yankees hired first-year manager Aaron Boone with a distinct motive.  Of course, the organization is longing to take that next step forward — to return to championship contention — and they believe that Boone, who’s considered to be an exceptional communicator and baseball mind, is best suited for the task. But the Yankees’ […]

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The Yankees hired first-year manager Aaron Boone with a distinct motive. 

Of course, the organization is longing to take that next step forward — to return to championship contention — and they believe that Boone, who’s considered to be an exceptional communicator and baseball mind, is best suited for the task.

But the Yankees’ new skipper doesn’t just want his players to embrace this season’s lofty expectations. He also wants them to grasp the values and benefits of an efficient month of preparation. 

That was Boone’s message to the club on Monday morning, prior to their first full-squad workout at Steinbrenner Field.

“I just wanted to stress the importance of spring training. I believe we have a very good team, a team with a lot of potential but understanding that’s what it is right now,’’ Boone told George King of the New York Post. “Spring training is a time when we are trying to get individuals ready, but also a time where we will grind away on the little things to add to the margins.

“We want to go from a good team to a championship-caliber team, and I think you do that by doing the little things.”

Yankees’ slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who happened to call himself “a deer in headlights” while speaking to the press following Monday’s workout, was also pleased with Boone’s message and candor.

“It was awesome. He got straight to it, to the point of what we exactly need to do,’’ Stanton said. “The focus for spring and the focus leading up to the year, and it’s going to be a good one.’’

According to King, Boone wasn’t afraid to admit that he soaked in the moment. 

“It meant a lot to me,” Boone said. “I would say it was special to me to stand up in front of guys who I already have a lot of respect for and I feel like it was really important. Even though I addressed the pitchers and catchers, not as in depth as I did today, but it felt important to get this first step and that kind of connection and kind of launch spring training. It was something I won’t forget. It was one of the [most fun] things I got to do in the job so far.’’

The Yankees will host the Detroit Tigers in their first spring training game this Friday (1 p.m.) at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

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’ Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge paired in first spring BP session http://bronxpinstripes.com/spring-training/yankees-giancarlo-stanton-aaron-judge-paired-in-first-bp-session/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/spring-training/yankees-giancarlo-stanton-aaron-judge-paired-in-first-bp-session/#respond Mon, 19 Feb 2018 22:29:15 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=58003 The first batting practice session that sports Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez for the #Yankees: pic.twitter.com/stAzp956kq — Max Wildstein (@MaxWildstein) February 19, 2018 The widely anticipated batting practice extravaganza featuring the slugging outfield tandem of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge debuted on Monday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Over a […]

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The widely anticipated batting practice extravaganza featuring the slugging outfield tandem of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge debuted on Monday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Over a thousand Yankees fans — in awe — were reportedly in attendance to track the mammoth home runs.

Some fly balls struck the top of the left-center field scoreboard. Some fly balls connected with the outfield bleachers in right. Perhaps others caromed off those three popular billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. 

In four total rounds of batting practice, Stanton hit four home runs, while Judge hit two. The batting practice group also included catcher Gary Sanchez and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who connected on a few pitches as well. 

Of Stanton’s blasts, the most memorable was a towering shot to left-center field that came close to leaving the ballpark. According to YES Network’s Chris Shearn, the ball smacked off the letter ‘F’ on the George M. Steinbrenner Field sign, which is located above the outfield scoreboard.

Following Stanton’s first batting practice session as a Yankee, the reigning National League MVP spoke to reporters, sharing his experience with a new group of teammates and coaches.

“It was great. It was a great first day,” Stanton said. “We got a lot done out there and it’s been cool getting to know some of these guys and getting to work with them. The fans… the moment we touched the dirt, they were buzzing and ready for us to get in the cage and hit. So that was really cool, nothing like that experience in the spring.

“It’s exciting to see. We’re all working on what’s going to help us perform, but at the same time, we’re all excited to watch, too. So we’re our own fans and we understand everyone in the stands, too. You get the happy medium.

“I know they’re here for the entertainment, but we’ve got to get our work in, too. This six weeks is set up for the 162-plus [game] entertainment. It’s not hard. That’s my usual approach in BP, and that’s what got me to this point and it’s not going to change.”

Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone was also among the group of spectators mesmerized by Stanton and Judge’s first of many hitting spectacles. 

“We’ve been excited for this day for a long time,” Boone told NJ.com’s Randy Miller. “To see those guys… You get the juices flowing a little bit when they want out and share a group together.”

Although Judge was allowed to participate in the team’s first full-squad practice, the 25-year-old won’t be hitting alongside Stanton when exhibition games start Friday. Judge, who is still recovering from offseason surgery on his left shoulder, will likely sit out the first couple of spring games.

“I understand it. It’s all part of it,” Judge told to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch on Sunday. “This process right here doesn’t matter. What’s important is being ready for Opening Day, so if I take a couple days here slow and miss a couple games or miss some activities, I don’t mind that. I’d rather not miss any games when it starts to count.”

 

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

 

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MLB announces new pace of play rules for 2018 http://bronxpinstripes.com/across-mlb/mlb-announces-new-pace-play-rules-2018/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/across-mlb/mlb-announces-new-pace-play-rules-2018/#respond Mon, 19 Feb 2018 19:48:22 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=57996 Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Monday the new pace of play rules that will be implemented for the 2018 season. The League, MLB Players Association and all 30 teams agree to these newest additions to the whole speed up the game initiative. “I am pleased that we were able to reach an understanding with the Players […]

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Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Monday the new pace of play rules that will be implemented for the 2018 season. The League, MLB Players Association and all 30 teams agree to these newest additions to the whole speed up the game initiative.

“I am pleased that we were able to reach an understanding with the Players Association to take concrete steps to address pace of play with the cooperation of players,” Manfred said in a statement. “My strong preference is to continue to have ongoing dialogue with players on this topic to find mutually acceptable solutions.”

One possible rule change that was being thrown around was a pitch clock. This would have given the pitchers a certain amount of time to deliver the ball, lest they incur and penalty of the batter being awarded a ball. This, along with a time limit between batters, will not be put into effect for this season. The League wants the players to get comfortable with the new rules and to see if they make an impact on pace of play before implementing any new clocks.

“Players were involved in the pace of game discussion from Day 1, and are committed to playing a crisp and exciting brand of baseball for the fans, but they remain concerned about rule changes that could alter the outcome of games and the fabric of the game itself — now or in the future,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said.

Here are the new rules that will be put into effect:

Mound visits

Mound visits will be limited to six per team per nine innings. Teams will receive an additional visit for every extra inning played. Any manager, coach or player visit to the mound will count as a mound visit. Visits to the mound to clean cleats in rainy weather, to check on an injury or potential injury or after the announcement of an offensive substitution are excepted. Also, normal communication between player and pitcher that do not require either to vacate their position on the field do not count as a visit. If a team is out of visits, the umpire will have discretion to grant a visit at the catcher’s request if he believes there has been a cross-up between the pitcher and catcher.

Between-inning breaks

As has been the case since 2016, a timer will count down between innings from 2:05 for breaks in locally televised games, from 2:25 in nationally televised games and from 2:55 for tiebreaker and postseason games. The difference now is that at the 25-second mark, the umpire will signal for the final warmup pitch and the pitcher must throw it before the clock hits 20. The batter will be announced at the 20-second mark and the pitcher must begin his windup to throw the first pitch of the inning as the clock hits zero. Another important change is that a pitcher is no longer guaranteed eight warmup pitches between innings. However, he can take as many as he wants within the countdown parameters noted above. The timer will start on the last out of the inning, unless the pitcher is on base, on deck or at bat, in which case the timer shall begin when the pitcher leaves the dugout for the mound. If the final out of the inning is subject to replay, the timer begins when the umpire signals the out.

Timing of pitcher changes

The timing clock — as listed above — also applies to pitching changes, and it will begin as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track.

Instant replay

All club video review rooms will now receive direct slow-motion camera angles in order to speed up challenges and the resulting review. New phone lines will connect the rooms to the dugout and will be monitored to prevent their use for sign stealing.

For a more detailed breakdown of the new rules, visit MLB.com.

 

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Aaron Judge & Giancarlo Stanton defensive comparison http://bronxpinstripes.com/stats-breakdown/aaron-judge-giancarlo-stanton-defensive-comparison/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/stats-breakdown/aaron-judge-giancarlo-stanton-defensive-comparison/#respond Mon, 19 Feb 2018 14:45:52 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=57896 Embed from Getty Images Aaron Boone has his work cut out for him this spring. While there are a number of questions to work through, none may be bigger than figuring out who’s the starting right fielder. Both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, probably Boone’s two best players, have played mostly right field in their […]

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Aaron Boone has his work cut out for him this spring. While there are a number of questions to work through, none may be bigger than figuring out who’s the starting right fielder. Both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, probably Boone’s two best players, have played mostly right field in their careers. Both have impressive offensive capabilities, but the deciding factor may come down to defensive abilities. Is one significantly better than the other defensively?

The SABR Defensive Index, which has been used to help select Gold Glove awards over the past several years, has both players ranked pretty similarly.

Judge actually ranked as the second best defensive right fielder in the American League behind Mookie Betts with an SDI of 8.5. In the National League, Stanton ranked close to his towering teammate with an SDI of 8.2. That was good for 3rd among right fields in the NL.

Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), which measures how many runs a player saves through their fielding, measures both players similarly as well.

Looking at UZR/150 innings to get an apples to apples number, Judge had a UZR of 7.7 in 2017 with Stanton recording a 7.1 UZR. Looking deeper into Stanton’s career, though, shows a wide range of UZR scores from -9.9 in 2013 to 16.4 in 2015.

What about Fielding Bible’s Defensive Runs Saved (DRS)? There Stanton just beats Judge out with 10 DRS to Judge’s 9.

More traditional numbers might give Stanton the slightest edge. Stanton’s fielding percentage last season was .988. Judge’s was .982, which is actually higher than Stanton’s career fielding percentage of .980. But Stanton had nine outfield assists last season to Judge’s five.

Overall, it looks like both right fielders rank pretty similarly defensively. The takeaway here? Don’t envy Aaron Boone’s job this spring. Boone may look to determine positions based on comfort and willingness to change positions. Or perhaps he’ll rotate them through DH, splitting right field duties.

Whatever he decides, both players should provide above average defense coupled with monstrous offensive power.

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Clint Frazier breaks down change in his swing http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/clint-frazier-breaks-change-swing/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/clint-frazier-breaks-change-swing/#respond Mon, 19 Feb 2018 13:31:10 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=57981 When Clint Frazier arrived at camp Sunday morning, he knew he was the odd-man out, given the current outfield rotation of Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton. However, Frazier decided he wasn’t going to make it easy for the Yankees to send him back to Triple-A to begin the 2018 season. Over […]

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When Clint Frazier arrived at camp Sunday morning, he knew he was the odd-man out, given the current outfield rotation of Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton. However, Frazier decided he wasn’t going to make it easy for the Yankees to send him back to Triple-A to begin the 2018 season.

Over the winter, Frazier worked on his swing mechanics, and when asked he broke down the many changes he made.

“There aren’t as many moving parts,” Frazier said to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com on Sunday. “I feel like I’ve got my swagger back.”

“The leg kick is not high. I’ve tried to create some natural separation (from my hands and my body) so it starts with keeping my hands on my shoulder.

“Then I simply lift up my hands, and I pull back with my right hand only because in the end, I had that hitch in my swing — cocking with my hands. Now there’s less of that.”

Frazier told Kuty he worked on trimming down his upper body by making his biceps and chest leaner. Frazier hopes the work he put in over the offseason could give him an edge, especially since he’s currently sixth on the Yankees outfield depth chart behind $153 Million man Jacoby Ellsbury.

This isn’t the first time Frazier tinkered with his swing; Yankees minor league hitting coaches tried to adjust his swing when he first joined the organization via trade. The Yankees initially wanted to adjust Frazier’s lower body by keeping his back leg planted on the ground. While the initial advice helped to an extent, Frazier believed jerking his hands before swinging forward slowed down, as what Yankees general manager Brian Cashman called it, his “legendary bat speed”.

Frazier will reveal his new swing during Monday’s full squad workout, and he looks forward to showing it off.

“It’ll be the reveal party of everything I’ve been doing.”

During Frazier’s cup of coffee with the Yankees last season, he hit .231/.268/.448 with four homers and 17 RBI. And while the previous changes to his swing helped cement Frazier’s status as an outfielder with big league potential, it will be interesting to see if the new changes will help open Yankees brass’s eyes and potentially give Frazier a chance to make the Opening Day roster.

If anything, Frazier adjusting his swing could certainly keep him in the conversation.

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Aaron Judge to sit out early Grapefruit League games http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/aaron-judge-sit-early-grapefruit-league-games/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/aaron-judge-sit-early-grapefruit-league-games/#respond Mon, 19 Feb 2018 13:05:16 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=57978 The Yankees first full squad workout is slated to take place later this morning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. As expected, Aaron Judge is slated to participate in on-field drills and batting practice. But when Grapefruit League action begins on Friday, Judge will be a glaring omission from the starting lineup. Judge had arthroscopic surgery on his […]

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The Yankees first full squad workout is slated to take place later this morning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. As expected, Aaron Judge is slated to participate in on-field drills and batting practice.

But when Grapefruit League action begins on Friday, Judge will be a glaring omission from the starting lineup. Judge had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder shortly after the 2017 season concluded, and he was only recently cleared by doctors to continue doing shoulder presses and overhead movements.

While Judge is going at a slower pace than the rest of his teammates, he doesn’t seem to mind as long as he’s healthy to begin the season.

“I understand it. It’s all part of it,” Judge said to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com yesterday morning as position players reported to camp. “This process right here doesn’t matter. What’s important is being ready for Opening Day, so if I take a couple days here slow and miss a couple games or miss some activities, I don’t mind that. I’d rather not miss any games when it starts to count.”

Many are speculating Judge and Giancarlo Stanton will be in the same batting practice group this morning, and if that’s the case, the it would be quite the way for the Yankees to kick off camp.

“That’s the plan,” Judge said. “We’ll see once we get in if that’s still the plan, but I’m supposed to be full-go on the field with all of the guys. I’m looking forward to that.”

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Jacoby Ellsbury, with role undefined, focused on future with Yankees http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/jacoby-ellsbury-with-role-undefined-focused-on-future-with-yankees/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/jacoby-ellsbury-with-role-undefined-focused-on-future-with-yankees/#respond Sun, 18 Feb 2018 19:19:24 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=57966   Jacoby Ellsbury believes he has a ton of baseball left in him, and he wants his remaining playing days to be spent in New York. The 34-year-old outfielder, who, in all likelihood will be appointed as a $68 million bench player this upcoming season, arrived to the Yankees’ spring training facility in Tampa on […]

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Jacoby Ellsbury believes he has a ton of baseball left in him, and he wants his remaining playing days to be spent in New York.

The 34-year-old outfielder, who, in all likelihood will be appointed as a $68 million bench player this upcoming season, arrived to the Yankees’ spring training facility in Tampa on Sunday morning. He told reporters that his role with the club has yet to be determined. 

“Every year you come in and compete,” Ellsbury said. “Never one year has the lineup been made already in my tenure in the big leagues. Everybody comes in and works hard. There’s not a lineup made up yet. That’s how I look at it.

“It’s the same thing I’m going to do. I’m going to get ready for the season. I’m going to prepare and get ready for the year. Nothing changes. As a competitor, yeah, you prepare in the offseason. You do all the stuff that you need to do, then you come in and get ready for the season. So nothing changes. I didn’t change my approach. Nothing changes. I’ll be ready to play.”

Although Ellsbury’s recent injury history and lack of production has lessened his value, his albatross contract (three-years, $68 million plus a club option for 2021) has rendered him unmovable. During the offseason, several reports stated that the Yankees were willinng to eat half of the money owed to Ellsbury in a potential trade, but on Sunday, Ellsbury said the club never approached him about waiving his full no-trade clause. 

“I love playing here. I’ll leave it at that,” Ellsbury said.

Before the Yankees made a blockbuster deal with the Miami Marlins for superstar slugger Giancarlo Stanton in December, Ellsbury’s status in a crowded outfield group was still ambiguous. With Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner as everyday fixtures — as well as Aaron Hicks, who took over the center field job in May when Ellsbury was sidelined with a concussion — Ellsbury is simply a piece of the puzzle that doesn’t fit. Even if injuries impact the outfield in some manner, the Yankees wouldn’t have to turn to Ellsbury, either. Another option could be touted 23-year-old Clint Frazier, who will most likely begin the season in Triple-A. 

When asked if he would rather serve as a role player in New York or as a starting outfielder somewhere else, Ellsbury refrained from comment.

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Will Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar play 2B and 3B on Opening Day? | BP Mailbag http://bronxpinstripes.com/opinion/will-torres-and-andujar-play-2b-and-3b-on-opening-day-bp-mailbag/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/opinion/will-torres-and-andujar-play-2b-and-3b-on-opening-day-bp-mailbag/#respond Sat, 17 Feb 2018 21:14:59 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=57951   At long last, spring training has arrived. My last mailbag was published nearly two months ago (Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Boone were in the news), so there is some catching up to do here. Spring workouts have already begun and the Yankees’ first official exhibition game is scheduled for Friday in Tampa, so let’s […]

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At long last, spring training has arrived. My last mailbag was published nearly two months ago (Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Boone were in the news), so there is some catching up to do here. Spring workouts have already begun and the Yankees’ first official exhibition game is scheduled for Friday in Tampa, so let’s get to some questions from Twitter.

Answer: It makes a ton of sense. If the Yankees elect to keep Gleyber Torres at the Triple-A level for the first few weeks of the season, two benefits come with it. First, in that time frame, Torres would play every day and receive more minor league experience. Even if he excels in the field and at the plate in spring training, he still missed half of 2017 due to left elbow surgery, so there’s no harm in letting him find a groove or shake off some rust with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre until mid-April or early May. Second, from a business standpoint (perhaps a logical one, too), keeping Torres in the minors for a few weeks would give the Yankees an additional year of control over him. This would be very similar to the Cubs’ decision with Kris Bryant a few years ago. If keeping Torres in the minors for a few weeks means he can be a Yankee for seven years instead of six, why wouldn’t the club do that? I understand that some fans and pundits believe that Torres should be on the Opening Day roster, but since the Yankees’ lineup has so much firepower, I think they could get away with minimal production at the position until Torres’ time comes. When Didi Gregorius missed nearly all of April last season, the Yankees survived with Ronald Torreyes as a platoon man. I think they can get away with it again. The smartest decision is to have Torres start the regular season in Triple-A, regardless of how he performs this spring. 

Answer: Hmm… Well, I don’t think it’ll be Torreyes again. I’m awful at predicting this stuff, but I’ll try to give an educated guess. Since the Yankees open the regular season at Rogers Centre against the Blue Jays, I would assume Marcus Stroman is on the bump. Look, if I choose Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, or Giancarlo Stanton, my odds would be pretty decent. But that’s too easy, and I’m not doing that. On March 29, Brett Gardner will hit the Yankees’ first home run. Of all the hitters Stroman has faced since 2014, he’s faced Gardner the most (37 plate appearances). I’ll work that stat in as support for my answer. Although he’s hitting .265 against Stroman, he does have two home runs. Maybe Gardner will make it three. The odds on Judge are probably the best, though. He has three homers in just 13 plate appearances against Stroman. But I’m sticking with Gardner, because why not?

Answer: This could be debated for hours. Should Aaron Boone stack Judge, Sanchez, and Stanton as 2-3-4, or spread them out? Personally, I think it would be best to have those three guys next to each other. No pitcher (heck, no pitching staff) wants to face that trio consecutively. A lot of damage could be done, and pitch counts could run high early on. Here’s how I would arrange the lineup against Stroman on Opening Day:

  1. Brett Gardner (LF)
  2. Aaron Judge (RF)
  3. Gary Sanchez (C)
  4. Giancarlo Stanton (DH)
  5. Greg Bird (1B)
  6. Didi Gregorius (SS)
  7. Aaron Hicks (CF)
  8. Miguel Andujar (3B)
  9. Ronald Torreyes/Tyler Wade (2B)

For the reasons explained earlier, I don’t believe Torres will be with the club until late April or early May. But there still could be two rookies in the lineup. If Miguel Andujar plays well in Tampa, I’d give him the third base gig. His minor league numbers were impressive last year. Maybe he’ll be the guy. Maybe the Yankees won’t even need Manny Machado (I know, I know, just saying). As far as second base, it’s between Torreyes and Wade. Torreyes is a reliable platoon man and can fill the void. Wade is a rookie with plenty to prove, but some analysts and scouts believe he’s capable of winning the job. Could you go lefty-righty-lefty early on and place Bird in the three-spot? Sure. But the image of Judge-Sanchez-Stanton hitting in the first inning is trouble for any team. 

I also think Luis Severino should get the ball on Opening Day. He was the Yankees’ bona fide ace last season, and the team should continue to place him in these big-game situations (it’s not the playoffs, but you know what I mean). Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia have had their fair share of Opening Day starts. Severino deserves one now. He wants to be the ace, he can be the ace, and the Yankees need him to be the ace. That all starts by letting him oppose Stroman. 

Answer: I suppose it wouldn’t hurt the Yankees to search for one additional starter at a reasonably low price, but I don’t think they need to make any more moves. I would stand pat, and enter the spring and regular season with this roster. Let Miguel Andujar play — maybe even Tyler Wade — and wait on Torres for a little bit. The Yankees are bringing back the same pitching staff from last year, and if they can stay healthy, they’ll be fine. It’ll be interesting to see how Jordan Montgomery picks up where he left off. It may feel like the Yankees have some holes, but the roster is pretty strong. Who knows, maybe they’ll look to add a pitcher at the trade deadline, but for now, leave it be. If they want to remain under the $197 million luxury tax threshold, they can’t spend too much money. Dance with the one that brought you. 

Answer: It depends on how the Yankees want to handle Jordan Montgomery’s innings. Gut reaction, I would make Montgomery the long man instead of Sabathia. Yankees are paying CC to be a starter for one more year. If he struggles early on in the season, maybe that changes. But if they do add another starter, I’d probably move Montgomery to the bullpen in some capacity. Good question.

Answer: I think Clint Frazier is trapped right now. He’s never short on confidence, but with Judge, Stanton, Gardner, Hicks (and don’t forget Jacoby Ellsbury) as big league fixtures, there’s just no place to put Frazier. Even if a few of those names have dissapointing springs and Frazier flourishes, I still don’t see a place for him in the Bronx just yet. Unless there’s some major injury to Gardner or Hicks, I see Frazier in Triple-A. The Yankees need to hold on to him. Having him as a bench player doesn’t make much sense. He could use the playing time in Triple-A. He’s young. He’ll get his opportunity eventually. Just can’t picture it now.

Answer: I’m going to assume you’re asking which rookie has the best chance to be a starter on Opening Day. In that case, I’d say Andujar. Maybe his defense still needs some improvement, but he’s got a rocket for an arm, and it looks like he can hit above his weight. Between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A last season, he slashed .315/.352/.498 with 16 homers, 36 doubles, and 82 RBI. Those numbers stand out to me. Right now, it doesn’t seem like the Yankees are pursuing a corner infielder, so figure Andujar’s leash is long. Of course, I’ll throw Torres into the mix as well. I just don’t think he’ll be in pinstripes right away. Both guys have a legitimate chance to be regular starters for the Yankees. No doubt in my mind.

Answer: Maybe Robin Ventura? Cody Ransom? Just kidding. Andujar, Andujar, or Andujar. 

Answer: I don’t think the Yankees have room for Austin (unless Bird suffers another injury). When Bird needs a day off, perhaps Austin Romine plays first, or maybe Gary Sanchez. Yankees will need to get a little creative here. I’m sure they’re really hoping this question doesn’t come up a lot this season. They need Bird in the lineup every day.

 

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 Boone has no plans to play Aaron Judge in CF http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/aaron-boone-no-plans-play-aaron-judge-cf/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/aaron-boone-no-plans-play-aaron-judge-cf/#respond Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:33:51 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=57950 It’s no secret Aaron Judge is an important asset to the Yankees outfield; not only can Judge play right field, but he’s versatile enough to play left and center field. Even though Judge has the versatility to play center, don’t expect manager Aaron Boone to give him a start there this season. Aaron Boone on […]

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It’s no secret Aaron Judge is an important asset to the Yankees outfield; not only can Judge play right field, but he’s versatile enough to play left and center field.

Even though Judge has the versatility to play center, don’t expect manager Aaron Boone to give him a start there this season.

Judge previously mentioned he played center field before professionally playing baseball, which fueled the speculation. However, Judge said since playing professional baseball he’s predominantly been a right fielder.

Going into the season the Yankees plan on rotating Giancarlo Stanton, Judge, Brett Gardner, and Aaron Hicks in the three outfield spots, with the odd man being the designated hitter. The Yankees also have Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier as options, but it’s more likely Ellsbury will see most of his time on the bench, and Frazier will start the season in Triple-A barring an injury.

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Giancarlo Stanton arrives to Yankees camp early http://bronxpinstripes.com/spring-training/giancarlo-stanton-arrives-early/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/spring-training/giancarlo-stanton-arrives-early/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:41:12 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=57945 Giancarlo Stanton is ready to begin his first season with the New York Yankees. The slugger arrived to Yankees camp on Friday morning, two days prior to when position players are scheduled to report. The reigning National League Most Valuable player spent some time checking out the Steinbrenner Field clubhouse while speaking to some of […]

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Giancarlo Stanton is ready to begin his first season with the New York Yankees.

The slugger arrived to Yankees camp on Friday morning, two days prior to when position players are scheduled to report. The reigning National League Most Valuable player spent some time checking out the Steinbrenner Field clubhouse while speaking to some of his new teammates.

Of course, it didn’t take long for Stanton to field some questions from the media.

The 28-year-old answered a group of questions, ranging from his adjustment to his new team to the organization’s winning culture. Here are some of the main topics that Stanton covered:

  • Stanton stated that he flew from the west coast to Tampa on Thursday in anticipation of reporting to Spring Training early. The veteran outfielder said he wanted to get a jump start on adjusting to his new location and teammates.
  • When asked about being in the same lineup with Aaron Judge, Stanton said he is excited to learn from his new teammate. He noted that teams will likely pitch the sluggers similarly, and they will be able to use that to feed off each other and adjust together.
  • Stanton admitted that there is a curiosity of how many homers him and Judge can hit together. However, he emphasized that the main goal is to win, and that they will look to contribute to best help the team succeed.
  • Putting on a Yankees uniform didn’t feel odd to Stanton, but he said he is excited to join his new team. He spoke about the organization’s expectation of winning, and stated that he’s worked his entire life to experience this opportunity.

As Spring Training kicks off, expect to hear a lot more about Giancarlo Stanton over the next few weeks. With excitement roaring around Yankees camp, Stanton’s arrival to the Bronx will definitely be one of the major headlines this season.

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Yankees prospect Thairo Estrada recovering from gunshot wound http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/thairo-estrada-recovering-from-gunshot-wound/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/thairo-estrada-recovering-from-gunshot-wound/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 19:39:53 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=57939 The Yankees announced Friday that infield prospect Thairo Estrada suffered a gunshot wound in his native Venezuela last month and is still recovering. The incident apparently took place during a robbery attempt and the bullet is still lodged in the 21-year-old’s hip. Thairo Estrada suffered gunshot wound in hip in Venezuela at the end of […]

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The Yankees announced Friday that infield prospect Thairo Estrada suffered a gunshot wound in his native Venezuela last month and is still recovering.

The incident apparently took place during a robbery attempt and the bullet is still lodged in the 21-year-old’s hip.

He had surgery following the attack and was in the hospital for three days. There are no further surgeries scheduled and Estrada said, “I don’t think it will affect me at all.”

Aaron Boone mirrored the prospect’s positivity, saying: “We’re optimistic. I don’t think this is going to be a long-term situation, but we’ll just have to see how he progresses.” He may not be ready for opening day, but the Yankees fully expect him to play the majority of the season.

Estrada’s wife, who was with him at the time, was unharmed. The infielder was entering a restaurant when two suspects demanded his wallet and phone. He said he did not know who the assailants were, nor did he know if they knew who he was.

The team’s 16th-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, has spent the last five seasons in the organization. He hit .301/.353/.392 with six home runs and 48 RBI through 122 games with Double-A Trenton last season. In the Arizona Fall League, he slashed .342/.381/.320 with one homer and 10 RBI in 20 games.

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