Gary Sanchez won his 2nd consecutive AL Player of the Week award after hitting 5 homers and driving in 9 runs

Yankees rookie catcher Gary Sanchez was named Player of the Week today for the games from August 22-28. He is the first rookie in MLB history to win American League Player of the Week two weeks in a row. He is also the first AL player to win Player of the Week twice in a row since Albert Belle did so for the Chicago White Sox in July of 1998.

“I think it is hard not to look at Gary Sanchez and be in awe of what he has done,” Joe Girardi said.

In the six games through August 28, Sanchez had an outstanding .522 average (12-23) with three doubles, five homers, seven runs scored and nine RBI. He also had a remarkable 1.911 OPS. In addition to being in the record books for his consecutive Player of the Week awards, he was also the fastest player in Major League history to reach 11 homers. He reached that milestone in 23 career games.

Sanchez, who is 23 years old, hit at least one home run in four of the six games in the last week and also had two games with two hits and two games with three hits.

“I don’t have an explanation for it,” Sanchez said through an interpreter. “I’m doing the same routine that I was doing in the Minor Leagues, I’m doing it here. I’m getting really good results right now. That’s it.”

The catcher has done a good job making adjustments within games and within at-bats. “When I have two strikes I try to shorten the swing,” Sanchez said when interviewed by MLB Network. “I am just trying to put a good swing on the ball. It is just instinct right now.”

John Sterling says “Gary is scary” in his home run call for Sanchez and scary is exactly what he has been for opposing pitchers. He has been a major factor in the Yankees getting back in the wild card race. It appears that he will continue to be a productive bat for the rest of the season even though he obviously will not be able to continue at the pace he has the last week.

Besides his offense, Sanchez has been able to take charge behind the plate while impressively throwing out six of the nine runners that have attempted to steal on him. He has always been known for his offense but his defense has greatly improved.

Gary Sanchez hit his 11th homer in August in the Yankees 13-5 win over the Orioles

i (30)

Gary Sanchez – ESPN

The Yankees, who beat the Baltimore Orioles 13-5 on Saturday afternoon, are now a season-high six games above .500. They have now won four games in a row, including the first two games of the series against the Orioles, and are now only 2.5 games behind Baltimore for the second wild card spot.

In their previous two games the Yankees were an impressive 9-14 with runners in scoring position, and in Saturday’s win the team was 7-17 with runners in scoring position.

The Yankees had a 5-2 lead in the fourth inning and then they would score seven runs in the next two innings to put the game away. Gary Sanchez made history yet again as he hit a homer that bounced off of the right-center field wall in the bottom of the fourth for his 11th homer to give the Bronx Bombers a 5-2 lead. Sanchez went 1-3 with two walks, and he now has an outstanding slash line .400/.467/.900 with 11 homers and 21 RBI in 21 games this season.

“It’s fun to watch,” Starlin Castro said. “Every time he goes to the plate, we feel like something is going to happen in a good way.”

Sanchez has played better than anyone could have expected so far and has been able to adjust well to pitches during games. He appeared in two games last season, which gives him 11 homers in 23 career games. Sanchez, who is 23 years old, has reached 11 homers faster than anyone else in major league history. His 11 homers in August are also the most in one month by a rookie since Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun hit 11 in 2007, and are the most by an American League rookie since Oakland’s Mark McGwire hit 15 in May of 1987.

Sanchez is a big factor in the Yankees being very much in contention for a playoff spot. Baseball prospectus gives the Yankees a 9.6 percent chance of making the playoffs, but the number is increasing with every win. That percentage is also relatively high because the Orioles, who currently have the second wild card spot, are given a 28.6 percent chance of getting to the playoffs.

In Sanchez’s last seven days (six games), he has 10 hits in 22 at-bats (.455) with two doubles, five homers, seven runs scored and nine RBI. He could be on his way to winning his second American League Player of the Week award. Sanchez has also helped the Yankees behind the plate since being called up on August 3 since the pitchers have praised how he calls a game and his rocket of an arm has helped him throw out six of nine potential base stealers.

Chris Davis’s homer to center was Baltimore’s league leading 200th home run of the season but that would quickly be canceled out by Starlin Castro’s RBI single that scored Mark Teixeira to tie the game. Then, to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead in the third, there was a rarely seen double steal of home. After about a two-minute review, Didi Gregorius was ruled safe after a great slide where he got his back hand on home plate before the tag. That was his sixth steal, which is a career-high.

Brian McCann’s double to left in the third that scored Castro was his 50th RBI of his season. He is in third place on the team after Gregorius (58) and Castro (60).

Mark Trumbo and Davis both hit solo homers in the fifth off of Yankees starter Chad Green. Baltimore’s 202nd homer forced manager Joe Girardi to bring in relief pitcher Tommy Layne with two outs in the fifth. Layne would end up earning his first win with the Yankees.

In the bottom of the fifth, Castro and Aaron Hicks both smashed two-run homers to make the score 9-4. Hicks has really improved at the plate since he has been playing everyday in the outfield since the beginning of the month as he has a .310 average in August (22-71) with four homers, eight runs scored and nine RBI.

He has really been locked in during the last five games as he has a .467 average (7-15) with a homer, two runs scored and three RBI. This month is proving that Hicks could be a part of the team’s future. After struggling in the first four months with inconsistent playing time, consistency and work with Marcus Thames has helped him increase his average from the .185 it was at the beginning of the month to .218.

The Yankees scored three more runs in the sixth inning. McCann had his second RBI, Hicks had his third RBI on a single that scored Castro and then McCann would score the team’s 12th run on an infield single by Brett Gardner. Friday and Saturday’s games stood out in the memorable history of the Yankees.

On Friday, the Yankees scored 14 runs, had 18 hits and hit three homers and on Saturday, the Yankees scored 13 runs, had 18 hits and hit three homers. This was the first time in the last 100 years that the Yankees have had back-to-back games with 13+ runs, 18 hits and three homers. Friday and Saturday were also the first back-to-back games where every starter got a hit since July 26-27, 2009. That year was also the last time that the Yankees won the World Series.

The Yankees bullpen pitched well as Layne, Adam Warren, Tyler Clippard and Kirby Yates combined to pitch 4.1 innings, allow five hits, record four strikeouts and only allow Yates’s run in the ninth. Girardi’s team will somewhat miraculously be able to trim the wild card deficit to only 1.5 games if the Yankees can sweep the Orioles on Sunday afternoon.

Some counted the Yankees out after they trade Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova before the trade deadline but Clippard, Warren, Sanchez, Luis Cessa, Aaron Judge and other young players have stepped up to get the team closer to a playoff spot than they were before.

CC Sabathia will get the start for Sunday’s 1:05 EST game. He will look to pitch like he did in his previous game on the 23rd in Seattle when the 36-year-old lefty only allowed one run in seven innings while striking out seven.

 

 

Gary Sanchez hit his 9th homer in his 21st career game in Wednesday’s win over the Mariners

i (30)

Gary Sanchez – ESPN

Joe Girardi picked up his 800th career win as the Yankees manager in their 5-0 win over the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon. The Yankees won two out of three against the Mariners, who had 12 of 16 games coming into the series. The Yankees have also won five of their past six series.

Yankees starters have allowed one earned run or less in eight of the last 10 games. In their last nine games the Yankees starters collectively have an ERA of a very low 2.25. In this start, Tanaka throw seven scoreless innings and this came after throwing six scoreless innings in his previous start.

Tanaka, who now has a very good 3.11 ERA after his outstanding previous two starts, threw 69 of his 106 pitches for strikes and recorded six hits, one walk and five strikeouts.

He was able to pitch well when he had runners in scoring position as he got two ground outs in row with runners on second and third in the second inning and in the third inning, with runners on first and second, Tanaka got former Yankee great Robinson Cano to hit into a double play. Tanaka has been the best Yankees starting pitcher this season and he showed that again on Wednesday.

“His stuff really got good in the 4th inning, and then it just seemed like he found everything,” Joe Girardi said. “He went to work and gave us seven strong innings.”

Tyler Clippard recored two outs in the eighth in addition to allowing two hits, and he has now not allowed an earned run in 10 of the 11 games that he has appeared in since rejoining the Yankees before the trade deadline.

Dellin Betances picked up the final four outs of the game and recorded his sixth save since taking over for Andrew Miller. Betances added three more strikeouts to increase his season total to an impressive 108 and hasn’t allowed a run in nine of his last 10 appearances.

Gary Sanchez is the 5th player all time with nine homers through 21 career games. He is also the first Yankee ever to hit nine homers in his first 21 games with the team. “It has been phenomenal,” Dellin Betances said. “I don’t think I have ever seen a start like that to a young guy’s career.”

“You feel like he is going to hit the ball hard,” Girardi said about Sanchez. “It is fun to watch.”

Sanchez, who is a rookie, has an outstanding .389 average in 19 games this season to go with six doubles, nine homers, 16 RBI, eight walks, an .847 slugging percentage and even one steal.

Sanchez hit a home run in the first inning to kick off the scoring for the Yankees. He has always been known for his hitting in the minors but the rate that he is hitting homers to begin his career has rarely been seen in the history of baseball. Also, Sanchez has greatly improved behind the plate and he has been calling games with confidence and has even thrown out five of the eight runners that have attempted to steal on him.

Four other Yankees drove in runs during Wednesday’s game. In the second inning, Tyler Austin, who had been struggling the last few games, drove in fellow rookie Aaron Judge. Brett Gardner hit a sacrifice fly to score Aaron Hicks, Mark Teixeira singled to left center to score Gardner in the 7th and then Starlin Castro hit a sacrifice fly to score Gardner in the ninth. Teixeira, who is only hitting .197, drove in his first run since August 7.

Teams that are playing well drive in runners on third with less than two outs and that was how the Yankees were able to score two of their five runs.

Gary Sanchez was intentionally walked in the ninth to load the bases after also being intentionally walked earlier in the game. Sanchez was deservedly walked after Didi Gregorius hit a ground rule double that landed in the stands in shallow left.

“You don’t see it,” Girardi said in reference to a rookie like Sanchez being intentionally walked. “It says a lot about his abilities. He has developed, he is comfortable and he knows what he needs to do. I don’t think you would expect this out of anyone. I’ve never seen a young player come up and do what he has done.”

After Sanchez walked, Teixeira struck out looking for the first out and then Castro hit a sacrifice fly to left field that easily scored Gardner to make the score 5-0. Judge then struck out looking on a 1-2 pitch for his third strikeout of the game.

According to Katie Sharp, Sanchez is the first Yankees to be intentionally walked twice in his first 21 career games (he played in two games last year) since Joe Gordon in 1938.

The Yankees, after having won 11 of their last 18 games, will start a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. The Orioles currently have the second wild card spot and the Yankees are five games back, which makes the series important for gaining ground. Six of the next nine games that the Yankees play will be against the Orioles and the other three will be against the Kansas City Royals, who are also five games back and have won nine of their last 10 games.

 

The trades combined with the Baby Bombers performance have given the Yankees more hope for the future

Yankees Spring Baseball

Aaron Judge during a spring training workout Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

The moves and roster decisions that the Yankees made before the trade deadline and shortly after have been a benefit to the team for the rest of the season in addition to helping the team for years to come.

Their farm system, which was middle of the pack before the end of July is now regarded second best in baseball by MLBPipeline.Com. Brian Cashman was able to get the approval from Hal Steinbrenner to trade away Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran and the Yankees are still about as far back in the wild card race as they were before. In return for those impact players, the Yankees received a total of 11 players (and Adam Warren) including a few elite prospects.

Gleyber Torres and Billy McKinney were the most highly rated prospects received in the Chapman trade. Torres is a shortstop who was recently ranked the 27th best prospect by Baseball America. Torres, who is only 19, is younger than most High-A players. He was hitting an impressive .275 with nine homers in 356 at-bats with the Cubs affiliate before the trade.

McKinney is an outfielder who was drafted in the first round by the Athletics in 2013 before being included in the trade to the Cubs for Jeff Samardzija in July of 2014. He was the Cubs #7 ranked prospect after the 2015 season and at Double-A he was hitting .252 with 31 RBIs before the trade. McKinney might be able to contribute next season or be included in a trade.

An impact player that the Yankees got back in the Andrew Miller trade is Clint Frazier. He is also the player who will likely be called up to the Yankees faster than any of the others they received. The outfielder was the 5th overall pick by the Indians in 2014 and was the 44th ranked prospect in all of baseball after 2015.

Ben Heller is a lower ranked prospect that the Yankees received before the deadline who was called up earlier this month for two games because they needed more pitchers on the roster. He did not make an appearance and could get called up again in September but is not nearly at the level of Frazier.

Frazier has top of the line bat speed and has improved his pitch recognition. He is only 21 and is hitting .250 in his 15 games at Triple-A Scranton. He will likely be called up when the rosters expand in September and is another player who will give the team options going forward because if they trade him he could help get a top starting pitcher.

Another highly rated prospect that the Yankees got back in the Miller trade is Justus Sheffield. He has an above average fastball, but his best pitch is his curveball, and he also had a solid change. He is a 20-year-old pitcher who was drafted with the 31st pick of the first round in 2014 and was the Indians #4 prospect after 2015. He had a 3.59 ERA in 19 starts before the trade and for the Yankees High-A Tampa affiliate he has an excellent 1.04 ERA with 17 strikeouts and four walks in three starts.

Dillon Tate was the major piece that came back to the Yankees in the Beltran trade. The Yankees also got back Nick Green, who is now with Single-A Charleston, and Erik Swanson. Tate was the 4th overall pick in the 2015 draft, who was the best pitching prospect in college baseball last year.

Before he was drafted he had a plus fastball and a reliable slider. He didn’t have much success with Low-A Hickory, the Rangers affiliate, as he had a 5.12 ERA in 17 games (16 starts). It appears that the Yankees will be using him as a reliever, which is what he primarily was in college at UC Santa Barbara. In his two games for Charleston so far he has pitched six innings and allowed one earned run (1.50 ERA) to go with four strikeouts and three walks. He hasn’t showed the success he had in college, but he could turn into a lockdown 8th or 9th inning type of reliever.

In addition to all of the prospects that the Yankees got back, trading away Beltran, releasing Alex Rodriguez and deciding to essentially make Brian McCann the back-up catcher has opened up space for three of the best producing minor leaguers in the Yankees system.

Gary Sanchez was called up on August 3 and was the fist of the Baby Bombers to get called up for good. He signed with the Yankees as an international free agent when he was 16 and had always been more known for his hitting. He is now 23 and has really improved his defense behind the plate.

He was ranked the #2 Yankees prospect after the 2015 season. He deserved to be called up because he had a .339 average, .468 on-base percentage with 10 homers and 50 RBIs for Triple-A Scranton. He has not had a difficult adjustment at all to major league pitching since he has a .360 average in 13 games (50 at-bats) with five homers and 11 RBIs since being called up. He has also impressively thrown out three of the five runners who have attempted to steal on him.

The two Yankees prospects who were drafted by the team that have been called up recently were Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin. Judge and Austin, who are both 24, made their debuts on August 13 and they made history during the second inning. Austin hit a homer just over the wall in right on a 2-2 pitch and then Judge blasted a homer that went off the railing above the sports bar in center and landed on the netting above Monument Park.

On Judge’s first major league at-bat, he became only the third player to homer over the batter’s eye at new Yankee Stadium. (Judge is a mammoth of a human and can be compared to Giancarlo Stanton since Judge is 6-7 and 275 pounds.) The two 24 year olds did something that had not been done in the 120+ year history of major league baseball since teammates had never before homered in their first major league at-bats in the same game.

In Judge’s five games, 18 at-bats, he has seven hits (.389 average), one double, two homers and four RBIs. He has done very well at the plate so far after displaying his power with Triple-A Scranton as he had 19 homers and 65 RBIs and a .489 slugging percentage in 93 games (352 at-bats). Judge, who went to Fresno State, has also made a few impressive defensive plays since being called up. It seems like he is poised to be a middle of the order outfielder for years to come for the Yankees.

Austin is a great story of overcoming adversity because he was a top prospect a few years ago and then had to battle through injuries and underperformance to get back on the map this year.  Austin even went unclaimed after being designated for assignment after the 2015 season. The Yankees then claimed him and sent him back down to Double-A Trenton.

The Georgia native was chosen to represent the Yankees in the All-Star Futures Game in 2012 but had to miss it due to an ankle injury. However, he was referred to by Brian Cashman as a mega-prospect in August of 2012, and in three levels, the top being Double-A Trenton, he hit .322 and had a .400 on-base percentage with 17 homers and 80 RBI.

In the 2013 season, Austin had to miss 60 games due to a wrist injury in July. He didn’t really regain his top prospect status until this season as he hit a combined .240 with six homers and 35 RBIs across two levels in 2015. However, everything clicked for him this season at Triple-A, as slowing the game down helped him have a .323 average with 13 homers and 49 RBI and regain his top prospect status.

The first baseman and outfielder has not been impressive as he other two but has still held his own so far. He has a .250 average in his 12 at-bats so far with his one homer. Greg Bird, who had to miss this season due to a shoulder injury, hit so well in the final two months of last season that he will likely be the starting first baseman next season. In 46 games (157 at-bats) he had a .261 average with an impressive .529 slugging percentage after hitting 11 homers and driving in 31 runs. Austin could be a solid back-up first baseman and outfielder.

Bird was a big part in the Yankees making it to the wild card game last season and at 23 next season he will be another key young piece of the lineup. Austin and especially Judge and Sanchez have showed promising signs and look very comfortable in the big leagues. The Yankees made the right decisions in trading the players they did and calling up the Triple-A prospects and many of these players could be part of the next Yankees team that goes deep into the playoffs.

Luis Severino was surprisingly sent back to Triple-A on Wednesday

Luis Severino, who allowed five runs in 4.1 innings in his return to the rotation on Tuesday in Boston against the Red Sox, was sent back to Triple-A Scranton to work on his change-up and other pitches on Wednesday. He is only 22, but likely deserved to stay in the rotation because the Red Sox have one of the best offenses in baseball.

Severino had previously made three appearances out of the bullpen before coming back to the rotation after Ivan Nova was traded. In his three games out of the bullpen, Severino threw 8.1 innings, only allowed one hit, not allowing an earned run to go along with 10 strikeouts and three walks. Based on those stats out of the bullpen he deserved to show what he could do as a starter again, but the Yankees were not impressed with his pitch selection.

This is what Joe Girardi had to say about Severino’s performance after the game:

“When we watched last night’s start, his fastball command was not great, his slider was somewhat inconsistent – and granted, he’s facing a really difficult lineup – and he didn’t throw many changeups,” Joe Girardi said. “We really want to finish him off. I think to get through lineups a third time, which you want all your pitchers to be able to do, a kid with stuff like that, you need to have a third pitch.”

In Severino’s 10 starts with the RailRiders between May 13 and July 27, he had a very good 3.25 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, seven wins, a .223 batting average against, 57 strikeouts, and 15 walks in 63.2 innings. He allowed only two runs in three of his last five starts before being called back up to the Yankees, which included a six-inning start where he allowed two runs, five hits and struck out an impressive 11 batters in his start July 20.

When he goes back to the RailRiders he will need to work on his fastball command and make his slider much more consistent. He will also need to get more confident in throwing his changeup as he only threw two or three. If he can improve his change and have more confidence in it that will allow him to have a third pitch he can rely on.

Severino did say after the game that he used to have more confidence in his change.

“I’m not throwing it a lot because I don’t have the same confidence I had two years ago,” Severino said. “I have to figure it out and come back. It’s difficult to be a starter with two pitches, so I have to work.”

He will likely be brought back up to the Yankees once rosters expand on September 1, and will look to be able to have the dominance as a starter that he had in the last two months of last season. He proved that he can have a lot of success against major league hitters in his 11 starts last season, but he will now need to prove he can again as the rest of the league now has more of a scouting report on him.

From the beginning of August until the beginning of October (11 starts), Severino had an excellent 2.89 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 22 walks and 56 strikeouts in 62.1 innings. He allowed two runs or less in eight of his 11 starts. He also struck out five batters or more in seven of his 11 starts.

His main weakness was that he walked six batters or more in six of his starts. He was able to prevent those walks from doing too much damage as he allowed less than three runs in three of those starts, but walks usually have a way of hurting a pitcher. Severino had much better control when he pitched for the RailRiders earlier this season as he allowed one or zero walks in five of his last six starts.

It seems like it would have made more sense to have Severino work through his pitch selection and improve his secondary pitches with the Yankees he is one of the young players that the Yankees want to evaluate. Sending Severino back down to Triple-A would have made more sense if the Yankees were facing the Tampa Bay Rays, who have scored the second fewest runs in the AL (454), but the Red Sox lead the league in runs scored with 603.

Another reason that this move doesn’t make sense is that Chad Green or whoever replaces Severino is not the pitcher that Severino is. However, if he is able to feel more comfortable relying on his change, improve his fastball command and make his slider more consistent in the next 2.5 weeks, then it would have been a very productive time spent in Triple-A.

Based on how Severino performs the rest of the season the Yankees will know what they have in him and if he makes more sense in the future as a relief pitcher or starter. Even though he has allowed more than three runs in five of his eight starts this season, he still has his 11 starts from last season, and can prove in September that he can be a productive starting pitcher going forward if he can make some adjustments.

 

 

 

Mark Teixeira announced that he will retire at the end of this season when his contract ends

i (29)

Mark Teixeira – ESPN

Mark Teixeira announced today that he will retire at the end of the season. The 36-year-old first baseman is in the last year of his 8-year, $180 million contract that he signed with the Yankees before the 2009 season.

He was a big part of the Yankees winning their 27th World Series, in 2009, and he was second in the MVP voting that season. Teixeira was the best offensive player on the Yankees that season. In six of his eight years with the Yankees he had an OPS over .800. He won the Silver Slugger award in 2004, 2005 and 2009 in addition to being the AL home run leader (39) and RBI leader (122) in 2009.

He made the All-Star team for the final time last season, which was his third All-Star selection of his career. He was also an All-Star in 2005 and 2009 as well. Teixeira’s best season statistically came in 2005 with the Rangers, which was his third season in the league, when he had a .301 average with 41 doubles, 43 homers, 144 RBI and a .575 slugging percentage.

In his career up through August 4, he has a .269 average with 400 doubles, 1,836 hits, 404 homers, 1,281 RBIs and a .511 slugging percentage. He would have had many more homers and RBIs, but he played in only 15 games in 2013 due to a strained wrist tendon.

Also, in 2014 he played in 123 games but his production was limited to only a .216 average and 62 RBIs because he injured his hamstring while trying to catch a foul ball in April. He also aggravated his wrist, that was surgically repaired in 2013, on May 31. He was an All-Star in 2015 as he had 31 homers and 79 RBIs in only 111 games due to a deep bone bruise in his leg after fouling a ball off of his leg on August 17.

He realized that after this season is the right time for him to retire but wants to do all he can to help the Yankees make the playoffs in his final season. They are 5.5 games out of a wild card spot with three teams ahead of them.

“Every kid playing little league, you dream of being a major league baseball player,” Teixeira said in his press conference on Friday. “After this season I will retire and do something else. I got to live out my dream and have more success than I could ever imagine. I want to finish this season on a high note and the team wants to finish the season on a high note.”

“I want to thank all of the Yankee fans, the greatest fans in the world,” Teixeira said. “I gave you everything I had. It wasn’t always enough, but I tried my best. I am proud to have a World Series ring with the Yankees.”

Teixeira is one of five switch hitters in MLB history with at least 400 homers, and he also has five Gold Gloves. He won an American League Gold Glove in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2012. Even though his offense has declined the last four seasons due to injury, he has continued to be an elite defensive first baseman. He saved Yankees shortstops and third basemen from having many errors in the last few years due to his ability to catch the short-hop and other wild throws.

Teixeira played for the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels and Yankees in his career. Even though he became one of only five switch hitters to slug 400 homers this season, has hit 25 or more homers nine times and his eight seasons with 100 or more RBIs, he will likely be a little short of a Hall of Fame career. He might have been able to make it if he didn’t have his significant injuries and if he had been able to be productive for a season or two more.

Also, from his second season until his sixth season his average was never below .281, but from 2010 through 2015 his average was never above .256 (he has a .198 average this season and his average was .216 in 2014).

However, Teixeira has been one of the best first basemen of his generation and truly was an elite two-way player for most of his career. He impressively became one of the most reliable defensive first baseman in the league, starting in 2005 when he won his first Gold Glove, after not playing the position until spring training of his rookie season in 2003. That was when the Rangers had him moved from third base to first.

He finished fifth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2003 with his 26 homers and 84 RBI. Other highlights from his career include finishing seventh in the MVP voting in 2005 and hitting a walk-off homer to beat the Twins in Game 2 of the ALDS in 2009.

The Yankees have a .500 record before their game against the Indians tonight, which gives them a .500 record for a major league high 15th time.

The Yankees won after trading away Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova

i (27)

Carlos Beltran – ESPN

After trading away Carlos Beltran, who was the team’s best offensive player in the first four months of the season, and Ivan Nova, who had been a pitcher with the Yankees since 2010 and was signed when he was 16, on Monday, the Yankees beat the Mets 6-5 in 10 innings.

The Yankees made the right decision in trading away their most valuable assets before the trade deadline because they had to improve the minor league system. They now have likely the best collection of prospects in baseball and those prospects will either be part of the next championship team or can be traded for players who can help the team win.

The Yankees had a middle of the pack farm system before trading Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Beltran but their minor league system has now vaulted to the top. Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner hit the reset at the right time because the team did not have a realistic chance at making the playoffs and in making these trades they are closer to winning their next World Series. If they didn’t make these trades the team would have been in contention for the second wild card spot for the next few seasons, which is not the goal that the Yankees have.

In return for Beltran, who should make it to the Hall of Fame when he retires, and two of the top five relievers in baseball in Miller and Chapman, the Yankees received a total of 10 prospects and Adam Warren. For Beltran, they received two lower profile prospects and Dillon Tate, from the Rangers, who is a pitcher that was the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft. For Miller, they got back highly rated outfield prospect Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller and J.P. Ferereisen.

Frazier’s “bat speed and raw power are among the best in the Minor Leagues and suggest the ceiling of an All-Star” according to his MLB Pipeline scouting report. Frazier will be in Triple-A Railriders lineup on Tuesday, and Heller, a relief pitcher, has also been assigned to Triple-A.

Chapman is the only pitcher in baseball who can throw 105 mph. When the Yankees traded him the Cubs, who needed a closer, last week, the Yankees got back Warren, the Cubs top shortstop prospect in Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford.

In addition to those trades, Cashman also traded Nova just before the 4 p.m. trade deadline for two players to be named later. This made sense because Nova had struggled this season (4.90 ERA) and they likely would not have signed him in the offseason anyway. They also reacquired Tyler Clippard from the Arizona Diamonbacks for Vicante Campos. Clippard and Warren are not as talented as Miller and Chapman, but those two pitchers will be able to be valuable in the 7th and 8th innings and were important to get back since they lost so much production in the bullpen.

Cashman was able to get back a lot of top prospects for Miller and two players who might be rentals for the Cubs and Rangers. The Yankees had help from players who will be part of their present and future when they beat the Mets on Monday.

Didi Gregorius hit a two-run single in the 8th inning to tie the score at five. He has an impressive .291 average and is only 12 RBI away from setting a career-high. Starlin Castro was 0-3 but his sacrifice fly to right in the 10th that scored Jacoby Ellsbury ended up winning the game for the Yankees.

Dellin Betances, who is now the closer, recorded his first save of the season after James Loney, who owns the Yankees, doubled to leadoff the 10th. Betances was able to execute his pitches after that as he struck out Curtis Granderson to end the game after throwing two batters out at first.

The Yankees attempted to run more on the bases than before all of these trades. Austin Romine had his first steal of the season, Castro had his third steal of the season and Brett Gardner was thrown out at home attempting an inside the park home run.

Jacoby Ellsbury scored the first run of the game for the Yankees on a wild pitch and then the Yankees scored their second and third runs in the 5th. Brett Gardner had an RBI double and Ellsbury’s single drove in Gardner.

Warren and Clippard were big contributors out of the bullpen as they combined to pitch three innings, only allow one hit, not allow a run and strikeout four. This was Warren third appearance out of the bullpen since the trade and after struggling with the Cubs he has pitched like he did the previous few seasons with the Yankees, as he has only allowed one hit and no runs in four innings pitched.

The Yankees are now a game over .500 and can now play like they have nothing to lose since there is not much pressure after all of the trades thad were made. The Yankees recalled Ben Gamel and Nick Goody on Monday and will could bringing up catching prospect Gary Sanchez on Wednesday. Outfielder Aaron Judge, who is about to be reinstated from the disabled list and has performed well this season, and Tyler Austin, will both likely be called up in the next few weeks to continue the youth movement.

Since Sanchez will be coming up to the Yankees will have to decide what they will do with Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod has not hit at all recently (one hit in his last 16 at-bats) so they could cut him, but they might decide to have him DH until he hits his 700th homer (he is at 696). However, the Yankees don’t really want him taking at-bats away from a younger player.

 

Nathan Eovaldi’s dominant 6.2 innings helped the Yankees win the series against the Giants

 

The Yankees beat the San Francisco Giants on Sunday afternoon , 5-2, and were able to win the series against the  NL West leaders two games to one. After losing the first two games of their series to the Red Sox, the Yankees were impressively able to end the home stand with six wins in their last eight games against the Baltimore Orioles and Giants.

Pitching has been a key factor in the Yankees playing well against Orioles and Giants, as they have posted an outstanding 1.56 team ERA in the last eight games.     Nathan Eovaldi pitched well once again as he only allowed two runs in 6.2 innings while allowing seven hits and striking out six.

He threw 79 of his season-high 118 pitches for strikes and since being demoted to the bullpen for three appearances he has allowed only three runs in his last 12 innings (two starts). After dominating in his last two starts with an improved cutter, Eovaldi has lowered his ERA from 5.11 to 4.80.

Eovaldi really pitched well in the clutch as he held the Giants to 0-5 with runners in scoring position in the first six innings. Eovaldi left the game to a standing ovation after Angel Pagan’s double put runners on second and third with two outs.

Buster Posey hit a single to right off of Chad Green, who came into pitch after Chasen Shreve allowed a walk, that scored former Yankee Ramiro Pena and Angel Pagan. Those two runs were charged to Eovaldi because they were on base when Green came into the game.

Green really stepped up for the Yankees with Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman not available due to the amount that they had pitched recently. Green, who is normally a starting pitcher, picked up his first career save. He allowed three hits and one strikeout in 2.1 innings pitched and threw 28 of his 40 pitches for strikes.

Green is performing well in his new bullpen role since he hasn’t allowed a run in his last two appearances as a relief pitcher (4.2 innings). He could serve an important role in the new look bullpen because the flame-throwing Chapman is close to getting traded to the Chicago Cubs.

On offense, the crowd came alive for the two early solo homers that the Yankees hit. Carlos Beltran hit his 413th homer of his career in the first inning. The likely future Hall of Famer is now one homer away from tying Darrell Evans for 51st place on the all-time list. In the second inning, Mark Teixeira, who has a low .188 average but has hit four of his nine homers in July, hit a deep 425 foot homer to right center. Beltran is only 10 homers ahead of Teixeira as the first baseman hit his 403rd homer of his career.

The Yankees will tack on three more runs in the sixth inning to seal the win. Aaron Hicks scored on a double play and then the Yankees went on a two out rally. Starlin Castro’s single scored Beltran and then Didi Gregorius, who has really improved on offense this season, smashed a ground rule double that bounced off the warning track in center to score Brian McCann.

After Sunday afternoon’s win, the Yankees are now 7.5 games behind the Orioles for first place in the AL East and a little more manageable 4.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays fore the second wild card spot. It appears that the Yankees will see how they perform in the next week or so before deciding if they will trade other players besides Chapman.

 

 

 

 

 

The Yankees won the first game in the series against the Giants as Chapman had a strikeout on a 103 mph fastball to end the game

The Yankees edged the San Francisco Giants, 2-1, on Friday night. They have now won seven of their last 10 games and are 4.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the second wild card spot.

Chapman threw a few 104 mph fastballs in the ninth and then threw a 93 mph slider Brandon Belt and then struck out Belt on a a 103 mph fastball to end the game. He recorded his 20th save of the season. Gregor Blanco doubled to left to leadoff the inning but Chapman was able to come through in the clutch by getting three outs in a row.

Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller struggled more than normal but the Yankees still escaped with a win over the Giants, who are in first place in the NL West. The impressive 31-inning scoreless streak by the bullpen ended when Betances allowed a run in the seventh on a wild pitch. Andrew Miller, who picked up his sixth win, allowed three hits and one run in the 8th to tie the score at two.

The Yankees scored the winning run in the bottom of the 8th as Austin Romine grounded into a fielder’s choice and Chase Headley scored on a throwing error by Brandon Crawford. That was the normally very reliable shortstop’s third error of the game.

Carlos Beltran drove in the team’s second run of the game as his double in the second scored Ronald Torreyes. That was his team-leading 61st RBI of the season and he could definitely be traded before the trade deadline because the 39-year-old will be able to get back quality prospect and the Yankees likely would not resign him after the season.

Masahiro Tanaka pitched very well on regular rest after struggling in some of his starts that were not on extra rest earlier in the season. He gave up one run in his previous start so he was able to continue his momentum and he has been by far the team’s best starting pitcher since 3.00 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. Against the Giants, he didn’t allow a run, recorded four strikeouts and only gave up four hits.

Beltran made a perfect throw in the third to get Blanco out at home to prevent a run from scoring and complete a double play. Blanco missed home and Romine was able to tag him out. In the sixth inning, Beltran, who has lost much of his speed, was also able to make a running catch near the warning track to prevent a double from happening.

“It helped me a lot,” Tanaka said in reference to Beltran’s throw home. “That double play made it really easy for me.”

Didi Gregorius, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann were all not in the lineup to start the game because Madison Bumgarner was pitching but the offense was still able to do enough off of them. The Yankees will have a good chance at winning the next two games because Saturday and Sunday’s starters for the Giants are not nearly as good as Bumgarner, who is one of the best starting pitchers in baseball.

Pineda pitched six dominant innings against the Orioles and the Yankees extended their winning streak

The Yankees shutout the Orioles, 5-0, on Wednesday night behind six dominant innings from Michael Pineda. This was their fourth win in a row (three against the Orioles) and they are doing what is needed right now to not be sellers before the trade deadline.

In their last 10 games, the Yankees have done 7-3 and those games have all been against the Indians, Red Sox and Orioles, who would all be in the playoffs if the season ended today. They have been able to get three games closer in the division and are now six games behind the Red Sox after knocking the Orioles out of first place. They are five games out of the second wild card spot, but only two teams are now between them and the Blue Jays.

First time since 2003 that the Yankees have held the opposition to one run or less for four games in a row. The Yankees are 48-46 and are two games above .500 for the first time since they were 4-2 in the beginning of the season.

Pineda only allowed five hits in his six innings pitched and was able to rebound well after giving up five runs in each of his previous two starts. He had an impressive eight strikeouts and only two walks and 70 of his 113 pitches were strikes.

He showed great poise and heart in the sixth inning as he was able to prevent Mark Trumbo from scoring after he doubled to leadoff the inning. Pedro Alvarez hit a sacrifice fly to advance Trumbo to third and then Pineda struck out the next two batters. That run likely would have scored in some of Pineda’s other starts this season.

When you can get outs with runners in scoring position those are the most crucial outs of the game,” Joe Girardi said in reference to Pineda’s sixth inning. The Yankees still only had a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning.

Pineda’s slider and fastball were on point so he didn’t need to go to his change very much. Pineda stayed focused and didn’t hang any of his sliders. Pineda is third in the American League in most games with 8 or more strikeouts with 8.

After Pineda came out of the game in the sixth inning, the Yankees bullpen held the Orioles scoreless in the last three innings while not allowing a hit. Dellin Betances had one strikeout and Chasen Shreve recorded two strikeouts. A catalyst for the Yankees recently has been that they have 28.2 consecutive scoreless innings from their bullpen.

Carlos Beltran had two RBIs including a 399 foot homer to right in the 8th inning. In the sixth inning, Beltran did something that’s rarely seen from a power hitter. He had a push bunt on a shift off of Gallardo for a single to help give the Yankees an extra run since Mark Teixeira walked with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. The game was still close as Jacoby Ellsbury’s run on Teixeria’s walk made the score 3-0.

Brett Gardner hit the team’s second RBI sacrifice fly of the game in the seventh inning. His sac fly scored Ronald Torreyes, who had hit a triple to the wall.

Mark Teixeria, who was playing in his first game since July 16 after being hit by a ball, hit a homer in the fourth inning on a slider to go with his two walks. He really adds a lot to the offense if he can produce in the middle of the order as opposed to the lack of production that he gave the team earlier in the season.

Teixeira, who still has a low .189 average, now has five homers in his last 16 games after having only  three in his first 48 games. Homers in the middle of the lineup is what the team is counting on from Teixeira.

Beltran, who is 39, leads the team in average (.304, homers (20), RBI (60) and hits (97). He is on track to have much better numbers than last season and in turn if the Yankees decide to sell they will be able to get talent back that will be able to really help the team next year and down the line.

Girardi said it was good to only use of one his big three in his game. “Tomorrow (Thursday) is an important game for us,” Girardi said. “You have to keep pushing. It starts with starting pitching. Michael did a good job and it starts with CC tomorrow.”

If the Yankees can get the win on Thursday they will have swept the Orioles and it will be their third four-game sweep of the season but first against a team as good as the Orioles.

 

 

 

 

NBA.com | Hang Time Blog

The official news blog of NBA.com with commentary and analysis from NBA.com's staff of writers.

Alysha Tsuji

ATsuji@gmail.com

On Cloud Conine

From Charlie Hough to The Clevelander… a blog for the #DiehardFish fans living the #LinsLife!

Another Day In The Office

I run around and pick up baseball bats for the Oakland Athletics

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 49 other followers

%d bloggers like this: