Tagged: Esmil Rogers

The Yankees were routed by the Baltimore Orioles, 11-3, in the first game of their series at Camden Yards

Mason Williams while playing for the Staten Island Yankees.

Mason Williams while playing for the Staten Island Yankees.

The Yankees lost to the Baltimore Orioles, 11-3, at Camden Yards in a game that they didn’t pitch well, hit well or field well. The only highlight of the game for the Yankees was that Mason Williams, who was playing in his first major-league game, hit his first home run with his mom, dad, brother and lifelong friend in the stands.

Michael Pineda (7-3, 3.74 ERA) got the start for the Yankees and it was a bad omen for him to start as he walked Manny Machado to leadoff the game. Machado would score on Chris Davis’s RBI single to right and Pineda’s struggles continued as he allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits and one homer in 4.1 innings pitched. This was the first time that Pineda pitched less than 5.1 innings this season.

Pineda only had two strikeouts, in addition to two walks, in his 4.1 innings against the Orioles. In his previous start against Baltimore, Pineda recorded a career-high 16 strikeouts and zero walks. He has struggled since that game, as this was his second time allowing four runs or more since that start on May 10, and he has also not been as effective when given extra rest.

His previous start, which was scheduled for Sunday, June 7, was skipped because he was on track to throw about 220 innings this season. Even though his pitches didn’t have their usual movement and crispness, it was smart for Joe Girardi to manage his workload last time through the rotation because he only threw 76.1 innings last year.

“I just didn’t think his slider was sharp,” Joe Girardi said. “We gave him extra outs. This was not something that we wanted to do, but we don’t want to blow him out by July.”

Williams is the ninth Yankee to homer in his major-league debut. In his second at-bat in the majors he hit a homer to deep right to drive in Didi Gregorius for his first hit. He was the team’s No. 1 prospect after the 2012 season, according to Baseball America.

“Honestly that is my first homer of the year,” Williams said. “I just knew I put a good swing on a good pitch, I was just fortunate. I worked hard for this and trust my game all around.” Williams had not hit a homer in 201 at-bats in the minors this season and then hit a round-tripper in his second at bat in the big leagues.

“Obviously, it is a huge hit for your first hit. He will be back out there tomorrow,” Girardi said regarding Williams.

The Yankees were an inept 2-12 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base. Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann were both 0-3 with runners in scoring position as they went a combined 1-8.

However, Alex Rodriguez had two of the team’s nine hits and he is now only six hits away from being the 29th baseball player with 3,000 hits. Rodriguez, who hit a single in the second to drive in Brett Gardner, now needs only one more RBI to reach 2,000 for his career. He will be the fourth baseball player with 2,000 runs batted in.

In addition to not pitching well or hitting well with runners on base, the Yankees played sloppy defense yet again. Chase Headley, whose 14 errors are the most among third baseman this season, made an error on Many Machado’s grounder as it bounced up and hit his groin. He would have to leave the game in the fifth. The 45 errors that the Yankees have this season are the fifth most in the American League.

“Headley just didn’t look right,” Girardi said. “He was nauseous, so we took him out.”

Caleb Joseph, who is hitting .583 (14-24) against the Yankees this season, hit a homer in the sixth against Jacob Lindgren in what was the first of four runs in the sixth inning for the Orioles. Baltimore scored their second run of the inning as a result of Mark Teixeira’s first error in 109 games.

Teixeira fielded Jimmy Paredes’s grounder and tried to get Machado out at second but completely overthrew second base. Paredes would go onto score on a wild pitch by Esmil Rogers.

Rogers, who allowed four runs (one earned) on five hits in two innings was outrighted by the Yankees off of the roster after the game. This means he can decide between going to Triple-A Scranton or seeing if another team will sign him. Rogers has struggled mightily this season since he has a 6.27 ERA and has allowed 14 earned runs in his last seven innings (five games).

The Yankees (33-27), who now have a one-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the tightly bunched AL East, will look to CC Sabathia to get them back in the win column on Saturday.

A-Rod moved into sole possession of second place on the RBIs list as the Yankees held off the Angels

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez

The Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night, 8-7, for their fourth consecutive win. The game ended up being a lot closer than it should have been since the Yankees were winning 8-1 going into the ninth inning.

Alex Rodriguez passed Stan Musial to move into eighth place on the all-time runs list and his single to right in the fifth that drove in Brett Gardner moved him into sole possession of second place on the all-time RBIs list with 1,997. He passed Barry Bonds and now only trails Hank Aaron (2,297). Rodriguez also had his first four-hit game since he did so in 2011 against the Mets.

It seemed like they would coast to a win after the offense scored eight runs and three pitchers had success in the first eight innings, but Esmil Rogers proved to be unreliable again.

Rogers, who has a 6.39 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP, came into the game to start the ninth and allowed all five batters that he faced to reach base. He allowed a single, a double, a single between first and second that should have been caught, a walk and then a single to Kole Calhoun that drove in Taylor Featherston for the second run of the inning.

Rogers said that he had trouble recovering from when Grant Green’s single that should have been caught landed between Jose Pirela and Chase Headley. Headley moved to first in the ninth because the Yankees had an 8-1 lead, and Mark Teixeria likely would have made the catch, but Rogers should have been able to put that play behind him.

Dellin Betances came in with the bases loaded and allowed his first earned run of the year. He said that he started to think too much and appeared to get frustrated when he allowed a single to the first batter he faced. Betances, after having impeccable control since the second week of the season, walked the next two batters he faced.

After Johnny Giavotella grounded into a fielder’s choice to score David Freese, Betances struck out Carlos Perez to end the game. After allowing his first earned run, Betances now has an ERA of 0.30.

Nathan Eovaldi pitched very well in the first five innings as he held the Angels scoreless up until that point, but he lost his command in the sixth and couldn’t pitch as long as Joe Girardi would have liked. He walked the bases loaded while recording one out in the sixth, and Chasen Shreve bailed him out by only allowing one run to score.

Eovaldi ended with a line of line of 5.1 innings, four hits and four strikeouts. He threw 53 of his 93 pitches for strikes, which caused him to not be able to pitch six innings. However, he got all of his strikeouts on the splitter, and it is a positive sign that he is relying more on that pitch. Eovaldi is now second on the team with his five wins.

“I would have liked to have gone deeper into the game,” Eovaldi said. “Going into the sixth I felt fine. The walks killed me. Overall, I felt really good about the outing. I attacked the hitter well until the sixth.” He also added that the splitter adds a swing and miss pitch.

Mark Teixeira and Stephen Drew were the two Yankees who drove in more than one run. Teixeira, who is second in the AL with 17 homers, hit a homer in the third to drive in Brett Gardner. Drew, who is 5-14 (.357) in his last four games after previously going 0-17, hit a two-run homer in the second and a solo homer in the sixth. Drew, whose homer in the sixth was his seventh of the season, is now tied for the third most homers among second baseman in the AL.

In the sixth inning, Didi Gregorius hit a sacrifice fly to score Brian McCann, and in the seventh inning, Chris Young hit a single to shallow right to score Rodriguez for what ended up being the winning run. Gregorius, who was 0-2 and drove in his first run in his last 10 games, has three multi-hit games in his last five games.

Gregorius made an error in the second with a runner passing in front of him but redeemed himself in the ninth by making a game saving play by making a catch in the hole to get the runner out at second.

The Yankees will look to extend their winning streak to five games with a win on Saturday night. Adam Warren will get the start and has allowed two runs or less in his previous three starts.

Light-hitting Rene Rivera drove in four runs for the Tampa Bay Rays in their win over the Yankees

Chase Whitley

Chase Whitley

The Yankees lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 on Thursday night at Tropicana Field, and after winning the first game of the series, they lost the next three. A major reason that they lost the last three games of the series is that they combined to score only five runs in those three losses. The Yankees didn’t do anything well offensively or defensively in the loss on Thursday.

Chase Whitley was only able to pitch 1.2 innings before being taken out of the game due to elbow issues. He was likely more wild than normal because of the issue with his elbow. He threw a changeup that was nowhere near Brian McCann and went all the way to the backstop. He allowed two hits, two walks and three earned runs because the two runners that were on base when he left the game were charged to him.

It seems likely that Whitley will need Tommy John surgery based on the situation. He would have been been replaced when Masahiro Tanaka returned to the rotation anyway, but this injury to Whitley will hurt the team’s depth at starter, especially since he had showed signs of improvement from last season. “It’s in that area that you don’t want to talk about,” Joe Girardi said.

Esmil Rogers, who came into the game after Whitley was taken out after being looked at by the trainer, allowed a three-run homer to Rene Rivera on the first pitch that Rivera saw. Rivera came into the game with a .126 average and only five RBIs, but he was able to go 2-4 with four RBIs against the Yankees in this game.

Rivera, who was hitting ninth in the lineup and is known more for his defense, was not someone the Yankees expected to hurt them coming into the game. He had gone 0-6 in the two other games he played in this series, but that slump didn’t prevent him from hitting his second homer of his season. “The kid may have been looking for the pitch,” Girardi said. “He swung hard and hit it.”

Rivera’s second hit of the night was a single up the middle to center that scored David DeJesus to make the score 5-0. Evan Longoria, who has owned the Yankees the last few years, hit a single to left to drive in Steven Souza Jr. in the seventh inning off of Chasen Shreve. Shreve has pitched well overall in his first season with the Yankees as his ERA is now only 2.70, but he was one of many Yankees who did not perform well on Thursday.

The only run that the Yankees scored came off of a homer to right by Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning. They were 0-4 with runners in scoring position and didn’t hit any extra-base hits besides that home run.

The hits only came from the top of the lineup, which makes it difficult to score runs. Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez combined to go 5-11, but the rest of the lineup did not have a single hit in 19 at-bats.

As a result of their three-game losing streak to the Rays, the Yankees now only have a one-game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East. The Yankees will look to hit better and get back in the win column in Kansas City on Friday with Michael Pineda pitching.

Pineda, who has a 2.72 ERA and 1.01 WHIP, is the ace of the rotation right now and recorded 16 strikeouts in his previous start, which is the second most in a single game by a righty in Yankees history. His 54 strikeouts are third in the American League and his five wins are also tied for second in the league.

Andrew Miller’s 10th save finished off the first sweep by the Yankees over the Red Sox since 2006

Andrew Miller during spring training.

Andrew Miller during spring training.

The Yankees beat the Red Sox 8-5 on Sunday Night Baseball and with the win they swept a series against the Red Sox that was three games or longer for the first time since the 2006 season. The Yankees finished in first place in the AL East with a 97-65 record during the 2006 season. The Yankees have completely turned around their season from when they struggled during the first nine games as they have now won 13 of their last 16 games to give them a 16-9 record.

The Yankees had not swept the Red Sox at Fenway since CC Sabathia has been on the team and he thought it was awesome that they did so.

I’ve never seen it,” CC Sabathia said. “It’s awesome to be able to come in here and do this. Tampa, the same thing; we hadn’t swept them (on the road) since I’ve been here, too. Hopefully it’s turning around and a sign of good things for us.

Jacoby Ellsbury and to a lesser extent Brett Gardner were the offensive stars of the game for the Yankees. Ellsbury, who has 19 hits in his last 40 at-bats, was four for four with two runs scored. He raised his batting average to a .351, which is the eighth highest in the American League. Gardner, who has had two hits in each of his past two games to raise his average to .320, was two for six with a homer, two runs scored and three RBIs.

The top two hitters in the lineup were six for 10 with four runs scored and three RBIs. That is a lot of offensive production from the top of the lineup. Gardner’s three-run homer came in the sixth inning and gave the Yankees an 8-0 lead. The homer with Didi Gregorius and Gardner on base gave him three RBIs for the second consecutive game.

The other homer in the game by the Yankees was hit by Mark Teixiera. He hit a homer in the first inning while Gardner was on base to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Teixiera only has a .202 average but his nine homers are third in the American League and his 20 RBIs are tied for sixth in the league. The most important part of Teixiera’s offensive game is his power production and he is giving the team all they can ask for in that department.

Three runs were scored between Teixeira and Gardner’s homer and they would need them since the Red Sox scored five run in the sixth inning. Brian McCann had a two-run double in the third for his 15th run batted in of the season and later in the inning Carlos Beltran doubled to right to score McCann.

After his extremely slow start to the season, Beltran appears to be slowly turning his season around since he now has a .300 average in his last seven days and is 4-8 with two doubles and two RBIs in his last two games. He has raised his average from .161 to .197 in the last eight days.

Those doubles by Beltran and McCann proved to be valuable since the Yankees had an 8-0 lead going into the bottom of the sixth but Warren allowed four runs in the sixth and Esmil Rogers allowed one runner to score. Warren pitched very well in the first five innings as he got the first nine batters he faced out and was able to get Daniel Nava to hit into a double play and then there was a foul out to McCann to end the fifth.

However, in the sixth, he allowed a single, double, a hit by pitch and another single all with two outs. Rogers came in with runners on first and second, after two runs had already scored in the inning, and allowed a three-run homer over the Green Monster to the dangerous Mike Napoli. Rogers was able to get the new Red Sox catcher, Blake Swihart, to strikeout swinging with runners on first and second to end the sixth.

David Carpenter and Andrew Miller did not allow a hit in the final 1.2 innings as the bullpen continued their dominance. Carpenter threw only one pitch in the eighth and was able to get a double play to end the inning and Miller had two more strikeouts en route to picking up his 10th save in as many chances. Miller was able to get his former teammate, David Ortiz, to hit a hard line drive to Ellsbury to end the game.

The Yankees are firing on all cylinders right now and will start a three-game series at Rogers Centre against the Blue Jays on Monday at 7:07 p.m.

The Yankees beat the Rays after getting news about Tanaka going on the 15-day DL

Masahiro Tanaka pitching in a game last season.

Masahiro Tanaka pitching in a game last season.

The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-2, on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium to improve their record to 13-8 and give them a two-game lead for first place over the Rays and Boston Red Sox in the mediocre AL East. It was their second win in a row during this series and their fifth win in a row this season against Tampa Bay.

Chase Whitely helped the Yankees get their 10th win in their last 12 games. With the win, the Yankees have now won their last four series that they have played. Whitley, who was called up to make a spot start to give the rotation an extra day of rest, allowed only one run and had five strikeouts in his five innings pitched.

The reason that Whitley was taken out of the game after five innings is because had had thrown 93 pitches. He was able to get out of trouble in the second inning as he got Tim Beckham to fly out to left and and Rene Rivera to ground into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded to prevent any runs from scoring.

Brian McCann, who caught Whitley last year and during Tuesday’s game, was impressed with his performance. “Whitley is a big league pitcher,” McCann said. “He did exactly what we expected him to do.” Whitely was also satisfied with how he performed. “My changeup was better,” Whitely said. “I had to battle but overall I felt good.

After Whitley was taken out, the bullpen came into the game and dominated once again. Chasen Shreve allowed an RBI triple to Logan Forsythe in the sixth for the Rays second and last run of the game. Shreve was taken out of the game after getting one out and then Esmil Rogers struck out the first three batters he faced.

After Shreve came out of the game, Rogers and Chris Martin combined to get 12 outs while only allowing two singles. To end the eighth inning, Rogers struck out Beckham on a nasty slider on the inside corner.

With Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller having the night off, Martin recorded his first save in his first opportunity. He admitted to being nervous after the game, but was able to end the game on an Asdrubal Cabrera strikeout after a single by Steven Souza Jr.

McCann was the hero on offense since his three RBIs would have won the game. In the first inning his double to right scored Mark Teixiera and his double to center scored Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner.

There was some news that the Yankees didn’t want as Masahiro Tanaka, who was on track to get the start on Wednesday, was placed on the 15-day DL with tendinitis in his right wrist and a mild right forearm strain. He will not be back for at least one month and Brian Cashman said that he will not throw for 7-10 days.

He had pitched very well this season as he had a 3.22 ERA in four starts with 24 strikeouts and seven walks. This was very surprising because Tuesday was the first time that he had pain in his wrist.

Whitley will take his spot in the rotation for now. In his first seven starts last season, Whitley had 2.56 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP, which is encouraging as he could be making four or five starts.

Esmil Rogers was not effective for the first time during spring training

Esmil Rogers pitching last season for the Yankees.

Esmil Rogers pitching last season for the Yankees.

On Thursday, the Yankees lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, 7-3, at George M. Steinbrenner Field, as fifth starter candidate Esmil Rogers made his third start and fifth overall appearance of spring training. He now how has a 2.89 ERA in 9.1 innings with 10 hits and nine strikeouts. He had a 0.00 ERA before last night’s game.

Rogers did not exactly help his cause as he allowed three runs on five hits, which included a homer Cody Asche, in 3.1 innings. He threw 44 out of his 64 pitches for strikes and had three strikeouts and one walk. Adam Warren and Rogers are likely about even right now since Warren has a 3.38 ERA in his three starts (8.0 innings), but Rogers’s next two starts will really determine if he is the fifth starter or not.

All of my career I’m a starter, so I feel comfortable for a start,” Rogers said. “I just want to be here to be part of the team.”

As previously stated, Warren proved last season that he has a lot of value in the bullpen as a result of his 2.97 ERA in his 69 games as a relief pitcher during last year’s campaign. He threw 78.2 innings and had 76 strikeouts and only 24 walks.

However, Girardi has praised Warren for being a four pitch pitcher. Warren has a fastball, change up, curveball and slider in his arsenal and has been a somewhat rare reliever as he uses all of his pitches out of the bullpen instead of primarily throwing two like many relief pitchers.

Even though he throws four pitches and has the ability to start, he is still likely more valuable in the bullpen since the No. 3, 4 and 5 starters might not be able to go very deep into games and he will give the bullpen more depth and effectiveness. Girardi has said that nobody has been eliminated form the competition, which means that Bryan Mitchell, Scott Baker and Chase Whitley still have a chance, which means that these next two weeks will be important in deciding roles. Spring training stats usually don’t matter very much, but they do for the candidates competing to be the No. 5 starter.

Nick Goody, who pitched 15 games in the bullpen last year at Double-A Trenton, allowed a solo homer to Darin Ruf in the eighth. Chasen Shreve, who will either start the season at Triple-A or in the Bronx, allowed three runs (two earned) in the ninth on three hits. This was by far his worst appearance of spring training as the talented lefty had only allowed one run in his previous five games.

It was an offensive struggle for the Yankees as they only had four hits against five Phillies pitchers. Chase Headley continued his productive exhibition season with his second homer and Didi Gregorius hit a single and his average is now a solid .280. If Gregorius can hit .270-.280 with 10-15 homers and 10-15 steals it will be a productive season for him based on all the runs he will save defensively.

Alex Rodriguez went 0-3 and now only has one hit in has last 12 at-bats, which has lowered his average from .455 (5-11) to .261 (6-23). It’s too early to really evaluate him, and it was not realistic for A-Rod to hit at a .455 clip for the rest of spring training, but he needs to show some power and consistency. If he continues his slump it will make sense for him to platoon with Garrett Jones at DH.

On Friday at Joker Marchant Stadium, Warren will make his fourth start of spring training, and Alfredo Simon will get the start for the Detroit Tigers. These final 16 games of spring training will help determine who will be the No. 5 starter, who will be the backup catcher, what Rodriguez’s role will be and who will be the final two members of the bullpen.

Esmil Rogers should be the No. 5 starter instead of Adam Warren

Esmil Rogers.

Esmil Rogers.

As a result of Chris Capuano straining his right quadriceps a few days ago covering first base there is now an open competition for the No. 5 starter in the rotation. The candidates for the final spot in the rotation include Adam Warren, Esmil Rogers, Chase Whitley and Bryan Mitchell.

Mitchell and Whitley will likely come in third and fourth because they have less experience than the other two. Mitchell allowed four runs on six hits in one inning in his start on March 11. He has a 9.00 in four innings so far in spring training.

He is thought of highly in the organization, but he needs more time to develop at Triple A. The 23-year-old made eight starts and nine appearances last season at Triple-A and had 3.67 ERA with 34 strikeouts and 16 walks. The hard-thrower needs to improve his strikeout to walk ratio, as his walks are far too high. That is a solid ERA and an improvement from the 4.84 ERA he had in 61.1 innings at Double-A last season, but he has not proved himself long enough with the RailRiders yet.

Whitley is a 25-year-old who was drafted by the Yankees in the 15th round in 2010 who made 12 starts and 24 total appearances for the Yankees last season. He pitched well in his first few starts, but he had trouble pitching deep into games and being effective the more appearances he made. He had a 5.23 ERA in 75.2 innings with a very high 1.480 WHIP. He makes more sense in Triple-A or in the bullpen.

Whitley has pitched seven innings (one start and three relief appearances) so far in spring training and has not allowed a run. However, that does not prove very much for him as a starter because he was only primarily facing major leaguers in one of those appearances. What that does prove is that he might be better suited for a role as a relief pitcher since he was also successful in the bullpen in the minors as he had a 3.06 ERA in 67.2 innings at Triple-A in 2013 while making 24 of his 29 appearances in the bullpen.

Either Rogers or Warren could be effective in the two months until Ivan Nova returns but Rogers could get the edge because Warren proved last year that he has the ability to pitch very well in the bullpen. In 2014, Warren had a very good 2.97 ERA in 69 games (78.2 innings) coming in from the bullpen. His 76 strikeouts and 24 walks were both higher and lower than in 2013 and he has said that he has embraced his new role as a reliever (even though he wants to be a starter).

According to Brooks Baseball, in 2014, Warren primarily threw a four-seam fastball (95mph) and slider (87mph), while also mixing in a circle change (86mph) and a knuckle curve (82mph). He fits better as a reliever since he has two primary pitches with the ability to mix in others. He would give the bullpen five potentially very reliable options with him and Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, David Carpenter and Justin Wilson.

Rogers, who is entering his seventh MLB season, has made 43 MLB starts, which is many more than any other possible No. 5 starter. He has a 5.54 career ERA, but that is inflated due to his 3.5 seasons pitching for the Colorado Rockies where he had an ERA above 6.13 in two of those seasons. He knows how to get outs and according to Bryan Hoch, “he has been particularly impressive to manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild this spring, as they believe his stuff seems crisper and seems to be more consistent.

The 29-year-old Rogers has six strikeouts in six innings pitched and hasn’t allowed a run during spring training. He has pitched in four games and two of those have been starts. Rothschld has taught Rogers to be more steady with his glove, and Rogers thinks that his adjustment has helped him. He now holds his glove in front like Masahiro Tanaka. The Yankees should go with the pitcher with the most experience especially since Rogers seems to be improving.

The Yankees signed Andrew Miller and acquired Didi Gregorius in a three-team trade.

Didi Gregorius making a play for the Diamondbacks in 2013.

Didi Gregorius making a play for the Diamondbacks in 2013.

On Friday morning, the Yankees acquired Didi Gregorius, a 24-year-old shortstop from the Netherlands, in a three-way trade with the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks. The relief pitcher prospect Robbie Ray went from the Tigers to the Diamondbacks, and the Yankees sent starter Shane Greene to the Tigers.

The Yankees only had to give up Greene, who is already 26 and started 14 games last season only because the Yankees had many injuries in their rotation, to get their shortstop who will take over for Derek Jeter. The Yankees have depth in their rotation, which means that this is a deal that they had to make.

Gregorius is coming off of a season where played in 80 games with the Dbacks and hit only .226 with six homers and 27 RBIs. However, he played more games in 2013 (103) and his offensive production was better as he had 16 doubles versus nine in 2014, a .252 average, seven homers and 28 RBIs. He had a .310 average in 57 games in 2014 while playing for the Diamondbacks AAA affiliate in Reno, which proves that he has the ability to hit for a higher average.

(Stats in the Pacific Coast League are usually inflated based on the ballparks since it is known as a hitter friendly league, but it was only his average that was higher and not his power numbers.)

Gregorius, who is known for his defense, might not have the ability to hit 15 homers in a season like Derek Jeter did nine times in his career, but he is a plus defender with the ability to go to his left and right. Jeter wasn’t able to have much range during his last few seasons, which means Gregorius will be an upgrade in that regard. In 67 games at shortstop in 2014, Gregorius had five errors, had a .983 fielding percentage, turned 39 double plays and had 189 assists.

In the minors, he had six errors in 19 games during the 2014 season at shortstop. He is athletic and has shown promise while playing for Arizona, which means that he has the ability to improve. Gregorious came out of left field because the Yankees would usually have acquired a higher profiled shortstop, but since they only had to give up Greene to get this young shortstop with promise the deal makes sense.

Former Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers had very complementary words to say about Gregorius in 2012. “When I first saw him he reminded me of a young Derek Jeter,” Towers said. The test will come in April when he will have to show if he can handle the media scrutiny in New York City after previously playing in Cincinnati and Phoenix.

The Yankees offense needs a bounce back this season, but in order for it to do so Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira will have to perform better than they did las season. It will be a successful first season offensively if Gregorius can hit .255 with eight homers and about 55 RBIs.


On Friday afternoon, the Yankees continued their busy day with the signing of relief pitcher Andrew Miller. On Wednesday, Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees were a finalist to land him along with the Astros, and he ended up being correct. The Yankees signed the dominating lefty reliever to a four-year, $36 million contract.

The 29-year-old is coming off of a season where he pitched in 50 games for the Boston Red Sox and 23 for the Baltimore Orioles while recording an ERA of 2.02, 62.1 innings, 103 strikeouts, five wins and only 17 walks. David Robertson might not return because he also wants a four-year contract, but the Yankees should have a hard-throwing shutdown bullpen with Miller, Dellin Betances, Justin Wilson, Adam Warren, Shawn Kelley, Jacob Lindgren and Esmil Rogers.

Lindgren was a second-round pick in June out of Mississippi State who is projected to make an impact. He had a 2.16 ERA across four levels of the minors this season.

Miller and Betances both have the ability to close, and they could be the closer by committee this season so they can both pitch in high leverage situations. Miller faced 64 batters in save situations last season and held them to a .070 average with 36 strikeouts. Miller (42.6%) and Betances (39.6%) ranked second and fourth among all relievers last season in strikeout rate. That’s a dominating and imposing lefty-righty combo at the back of the bullpen.

Miller has a career ERA of 4.91, but that is inflated because he struggled early in his career. From 2006 until 2011 his season ERA was never under 4.84, but he never pitched in more than 29 games in any of those seasons. He has proved to be much more successful the past three seasons with an increased work load in the prime of his career. He had a 3.35 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 2012, and in 2013, Miller had a 2.64 ERA with 48 strikeouts.

If Miller has a season similar to the one he had last season, and if Lindgren, Wilson or Warren can emerge as a reliable seventh-inning option, the Yankees bullpen could turn out to be similar to the one that helped the Kansas City Royals advance to the World Series in 2014. However, this bullpen dominance and comparison to that of the Royals last season would be even more comparable and if David Robertson returns.

The Yankees bullpen pitched 8.2 dominating innings in their win over the Tampa Bay Rays

Chris Young

Chris Young

The Yankees snapped their two-game losing streak with a come from behind 8-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night. This win was their 35th win of the come from behind variety this season. 

Chris Capuano allowed four runs in the first inning and was taken out of the game by Joe Girardi after only getting one out. Six out of the seven hitters he faced had either a hit or a walk, which included Logan Forsythe’s single that scored Wil Myers. Ryan Hanigan’s sacrifice fly that scored James Loney came with Chase Whitely pitching, but that run was charged to Capuano. He did not have his stuff on Wednesday, but the bullpen did because five pitchers combined to allow allow one run in 8.2 innings. 

Dellin Betances pitched the last out of the seventh and the eighth inning and allowed one hit and struck out his 126th batter of the season. “We take a lot of pride,” Betances said. “We try to feed off of each other. It helps us out that we have a lot of guys out there.”

The offense did their part in this game as well. The Yankees were an improved 3-9 with runners in scoring position and two of their nine hits were home runs. Wednesday’s game was the second time that they had scored more than three runs in their last five games.

Brian McCann hit his 18th homer of the season in the bottom of the first to put the Yankees on the scoreboard. McCann drove in the team’s second and third runs in the third inning with his single that scored Chris Young and Jacoby Ellsbury. The Yankees tied the game at four in the fourth with Young’s first homer with the Yankees. Young had only one three-hit game in 88 games with the Mets this season. He had his first 3-hit game in his fifth game tonight with the Yankees. 

In the past two games, Young is 4-7 (.571), with four RBIs, a homer and two runs scored. He was signed to a minor league contract on August 27, and after struggling with the Mets this season, his bat has come alive with the Yankees. “I’m just trying to hold my own,” Young said. “I am just trying to do my part.” 

Mark Teixeira‘s unlikely triple in the fifth inning scored McCann to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead. Chase Headley, who was 2-3, hit a single off of relief pitcher Jeff Beliveau to drive in Teixeira. That run was the sixth charged to Rays started Jake Odorizzi. 

The Yankees tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth inning with a run scoring double by Ichiro Suzuki and then a double to left by Young that scored Ichiro.

Evan Longoria smashed a homer off of Esmil Rogers in the ninth to make the score 8-5. Rogers would rebound to get Myers to pop out to Stephen Drew at second to end the game. The last time that the Yankees scored eight runs in a game was on August 27 when they beat the Detroit Tigers 8-4. 

The Yankees have 19 games left in the regular season and are currently 4.5 games out of the second wild card spot, as a result of losses by both the Mariners and Tigers. The Yankees will likely have to win 15 or more games the rest of the season to have a chance.  

The Yankees will play the Royals on Friday after Chase Headley hit a walk-off homer to beat the Red Sox

Headley's Gatorade shower after his first game with the Yankees.

Headley’s Gatorade shower after his first game with the Yankees.

Chase Headley’s home run to right field gave the Yankees a much-needed walk-off win against the Red Sox on Thursday night. It was their second win of the three-game series against Boston. Since the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners also won, the Yankees are still four games behind the Tigers and 3.5 games behind the Mariners. 

“He is tough,” Headley said. He (Koji Uehara) has got a great split finger so you just try and get the ball deep and if he beats you with the fastball you live with it. I got a split and I was able to put a good swing on it. It was just another win, one more twoards where we want to go.” Headley’s first walk-off hit with the Yankees came in his very first game with the team on July 22 against the Texas Rangers.

The Yankees were losing 4-3 in the ninth inning, but Mark Teixeira hit a game-tying homer to the second deck in right field. He is supposed to be a power hitter in the middle of the lineup, but his previous homer came all the way back on August 17 and his last one before that was on August 2. Teixeira had only driven in two runs since August 17. If he can continue to hit for power the rest of the season it will greatly help the offense. 

The first three runs that the Yankees scored were in the third-inning. Derek Jeter hit a double to deep center with one out in the third that scored Ichiro Suzuki and Jacoby Ellsbury. Jeter has been hitting the ball with much more power the past two games. With two outs in the inning, Carlos Beltran’s single to center scored Jeter. 

Chris Capuano started the game and had by far his shortest appearance in his eight games with the Yankees. He allowed three homers, six hits and four runs in only 4.1 innings. He allowed a two homers to David Ortiz and another to Brock Holt. Holt also made an outstanding diving catch going into center field from second base in the fifth inning. Since Capuano struggled, Girardi decided to take him out of the game after 76 pitches and mix and match his expanded bullpen to try to keep the Red Sox scoreless.

Rich Hill, Esmil Rogers, Josh Outman, Shawn Kelley and Adam Warren combined to only allow one hit in 4.2 innings. Warren was able to get out of trouble in the ninth, with the Yankees losing by one, since he hit Allen Craig with a pitch and then made an error trying to get Xander Bogoerts out at first causing runners to be on first and second with no outs. However, he was able to get Daniel Nava to fly out to left and then get two ground outs to end the inning.

With Craig I just led the fastball get away and hit him,” Warren said. “I expected the bunt and then kind of panicked after that instead of staying under control. I just tried to get ahead of guys once that happened and just tried to get outs, especially on the ground. It was a great win for us and we need to build on that tomorrow.”

After the winning the series against the Red Sox, the Yankees will continue their home stand with a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals. The Royals currently have a one-game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central, so if the Yankees sweep them they could directly make up ground on them. Kansas City has won three in a row but has only gone 5-5 in their last 10 games. Kansas City has been much better in the second-half of the season, and their .263 batting average is the third best in all of baseball.

Here are the pitching matchups for the series against the Royals: 

Friday 7:05 p.m. on YES

RHP Michael Pineda (3-3, 2.09 ERA)


RHP James Shields (12-7, 3.38 ERA)

Saturday 4:05 p.m. on Fox Sports 1

RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-4, 2.80 ERA with the Yankees)


LHP Danny Duffy (8-11, 2.42 ERA)

Sunday 1:05 p.m. on YES and TBS

RHP Shane Greene (4-2, 3.88 ERA)


Yordano Ventura (11-9, 3.38 ERA)