Gary Sanchez, whose August and September this past season will go down in history for the power numbers that he produced, finished second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting on Monday to Michael Fulmer of the Detroit Tigers. When he was called up in the beginning of August he became the primary catcher and Brian McCann primarily switched to designated hitter.
Sanchez was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on August 3 (he played in one game on May 13) and even though he only played in the last two months he still had a very impressive .299 average with 20 homers, 42 RBI, .376 on-base percentage, .657 slugging percentage, 1.033 OPS and a 3.0 Wins Above Replacement. His 3.0 WAR was 1st in the American League among catchers, his 20 homers were second most in the AL at his position, his 12 doubles were tied for 12 most in the league and his slugging percentage was best in the league among catchers.
The 23-year-old was nearly the back-up catcher to begin the season but the Yankees decided to go with Austin Romine instead so that Sanchez could continue to improve behind the plate. The native of the Dominican who signed with the Yankees as an international free agent when he was 16 will go down in the baseball record books for being the fastest player to reach 19 homers in the modern era of baseball.
On September 21, he hit his 18th and 19th homers in his 45th game of his career. He slugged his 20th homer on September 27, against the Boston Red Sox, to help the Yankees win the first game of the series 6-4. Sanchez also became the first player in Major League Baseball history to have at least 11 homers and 31 hits in his first 23 career games.
Sanchez hit .389 with 11 homers and 21 RBI in his 24 games during the month of August. He was twice named American League Player of the Week during August and was also named and was also voted the leagues rookie and player of the month for August.
“Shoot, if Babe Ruth was hitting behind (Sanchez), you’d intentionally walk him,” Mark Teixeira said. “He’s as hot as any player I’ve ever played with in my entire career. You just don’t see guys doing what he’s doing.”
“The Kraken” is the first Yankees catcher in the 113-year history of the franchise to win rookie of the month or player of the month. The last AL player to win rookie of the month and player of the month in the same month was Jose Abreu of the White Sox in July of 2014. The last AL catcher to be named player of the month before Sanchez was Joe Mauer of the Twins in May of 2009.
He recorded his first hit in his first game on August 3 off of Hansel Robles of the Mets. On August 10, he went a very impressive 4-5 and hit his first MLB home run. Six days later, against the Blue Jays, he had his first two home run game. During August and September he drove in two or more runs 12 times, and on September 21 he drove in five runs and scored a career-high three runs against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Sanchez is only the third Yankee to hit 20 homers after August 1. The other two are Hall of Famers Babe Ruth (he did in in 1927) and Roger Maris (he did the feat in 1961). Ruth and Maris both hit single season homer records when they hit 20 after the beginning of August. Another amazing accomplishment that Sanchez had was hitting eight homers in 11 games during September.
August 3 was the third time that he had been called up, but he only had two at-bats in October of 2015 and four at-bats on May 13 of 2016. The Yankees’ #2 prospect after the 2015 season who has always been known for his offense was really able to improve his defense in the first four months of the year at Triple-A. He threw out 41 percent of base stealers in 2016 with the Yankees because of his strong and accurate arm and had a fielding percentage of .991. McCann, who finished his 12 MLB season, threw out only 23 percent of base stealers.
The voting for Rookie of the Year was not close as Fulmer, the major player the Mets sent to the Tigers in the Yoenis Cespedes trade in 2015, got 26 of the 30 first-place votes and four seconds on the 30 ballots. Sanchez finished in second place after getting four first- place votes, 23 second-place votes and two third-place votes. Sanchez definitely would have deserved to finish first after putting up numbers that had never been seen in baseball’s history, but Fulmer won based on how he produced for the whole season.
Fulmer, who made 26 starts for the Tigers, had an impressive 3.06 ERA with one shutout, 132 strikeouts, a 1.119 WHIP and only 42 walks in 159 innings pitched. His performance declined at the end of the season as he allowed three runs or more in five of his last seven starts and six runs in two of those starts, but the voters still thought he should be the Rookie of the Year instead of Sanchez.
It is still remarkable what Sanchez did because he produced his stats after playing in only two of the six months of the season. He was gracious in defeat since he tweeted congrats to Fulmer and said he deserves all the praise that he is getting. The positive is that the Yankees have their catcher for at least the next few years after Sanchez showed what he can do in August and September.
The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night, 5-3, to keep their hopes of getting the second wild card spot alive. They have a very small chance as they are 3.5 games out with 12 games left in the season. They have two more games left in the series against the last place Rays and then end the season playing the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Orioles.
Michael Pineda proved his potential once again and showed that he has the ability to have an ERA a good bit lower than the 4.89 ERA that he has. He threw 5.1 innings, allowed only two earned runs on five hits and a walk, and added 11 more strikeouts to his season total. This means that 11 of the 16 outs that he recorded were via the strikeout.
“The last couple of games I have used my change up more,” Pineda said. “I have a good feel for it so I have used it.” He also used his slider very well against the Rays.
Pineda came into the game 7th in the American League in strikeouts with 184, but the 195 that he currently has puts him in 6th place in the league. His ERA should be lower based on the quality of pitches that he throws and that all of the pitchers with more strikeouts than he has have ERAs of 4.05 or lower. The only runs that the Rays scored off of him came off of a two-run triple by Brad Miller.
Pineda already had 98 pitches after 5.1 innings, so it was time for Joe Girardi to take him out of the game. He has been one of the worst pitchers in the first inning this season but has been a little better pitching in the beginning of the game recently. He was not able to get the win because the Yankees were losing 2-1 when he left the game.
Mark Teixeira hit a 407-foot homer to left in the fourth inning to give the Yankees their first run of the game. That was his 13th homer of the season and only his 38th RBI of his final campaign.
The more important homer of the game came in the 7th inning after Brett Gardner’s RBI single scored Ronald Torreyes. Gary Sanchez hit a hanging slider to left center for a 3-run homer off of Brad Boxberger to make the score 5-2. That homer gave the Yankees the runs they needed to win the game and end their five-game losing streak.
Teixeira, who has seen a lot as he has been in the majors since 2003, was very impressed with Sanchez after the game.
“Amazing, incredible, impressive,” Teixeira said. “He’s carried us. We’re not even close to talking about a playoff berth if Gary doesn’t come up and do what he does.”
Sanchez’s homer was significant in a few other ways.
That was Sanchez’s 17th homer of the season and his 17 homers tie the Boston Braves’ Wally Berger in 1930 for most homers hit in the first 44 games of a career. Sanchez has also homered in three consecutive games, which is the second time he has done that since being called up in the beginning of August. His next homer will match Alfonso Soriano’s 18 homers (2001) for most as a Yankees rookie. Soriano hit his 18 homers in 574 at-bats and Sanchez has hit his 17 homers in only 162 at-bats.
“He’s meant a lot,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Offensively and defensively. It’s kind of fitting that he got the big hit.” Sanchez has thrown out nine runners attempting to steal and has allowed 16 stolen bases, which equals a solid 36 percent caught stealing percentage.
Sanchez is currently on a five-game hitting streak and has at least one hit in six of his last seven games. He deserves to be the AL Rookie of the Year based on the impact that he has had on the Yankees since the beginning of August. The other player who might deserve to win Rookie of the Year is the Tigers’ Michael Fulmer, but he has struggled in his last few starts.
Sanchez is leading all rookies in an advanced metric stat called fWAR that evaluates the overall statistics. Sanchez is 2.9, Chris Devenski is 2.7, Fulmer is 2.5 and Tyler Naquin is 2.1.
Tyler Clippard allowed his second earned run in his last two games in the eighth inning to make the score 5-3, but he was able to pick up his 10th hold since rejoining the Yankees on August 1. He has a 1.29 ERA in 21 innings, which is better than anyone could have expected.
The Yankees will look to sweep the remaining two games against the Rays to not lose any ground. The remaining games will be valuable for the young players on the team since they will continue to play in meaningful games with a playoff like atmosphere.
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 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 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.
The Yankees (24-27) lost Tuesday night’s game in Toronto to the Blue Jays, 4-1, as CC Sabathia pitched well once again but the offense wasn’t able to score enough runs to get him his fourth win. Sabathia has been a huge success for the Yankees, as he has allowed two, zero, one and zero runs in each of his last four starts, but the struggling offense has prevented the team from going above .500.
The Yankees were 22-22 after their win on March 24, which was the last win of their six-game winning streak, but after that game the team has gone 2-5 in their last seven games. They scored four runs or less in six of those seven games. Proving their recent offensive ineptitude is that in their last three games combined they have only scored five runs.
In Tuesday’s loss, the Yankees were only 1-8 with runners in scoring position. The Yankees were much better in that category when they went 13-5 earlier in May. The middle of the order – Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and Starlin Castro – combined to only have one hit in 11 at-bats.
It is much harder to win games when the three, four and five batters in the lineup do not contribute offensively. The rest of the lineup had five hits but they did not do enough with runners in scoring position (RISP). The only hit with RISP came when Austin Romine, who has been much better on offense this season, had a infield single in the second to advance Chase Headley to third after he doubled.
An opportunity was wasted in the second inning since the Yankees had runners on second and third with no outs and only scored one run. Didi Gregorius would fly out to center, Aaron Hicks’s fielders choice scored Headley and then Jacoby Ellsbury’s fly ball was caught in foul territory to end the inning.
Castro, who is tied for second on the team with 21 RBIs, has really struggled at the plate recently. He had a solid .276 average on May 22 but now his average is all the way down to .245. Castro only has three hits in his last 33 at-bats. The only upside of only having three hits in 33 at-bats is that two of those have been homers.
The Yankees need him to improve at the plate and hit like he did earlier in the season. From the end of April to the beginning of May he had six multi-hit games in 10 games, which proves that he is capable of really heating up.
Mark Teixeira is not hitting at the plate right now just like Castro, but unlike Castro he hasn’t really helped the team on offense this season. Teixeira only has three hits in his last 34 at-bats going back to May 17 and has 13 strikeouts in that span. The highest that his average was in May was .225.
He has a very low .190 average this season and only has eight extra-base hits the whole season (three homers). Joe Girardi has said that he will leave Teixeira in the lineup. Teixeira will have to give the team more production because the No. 3 hitter in the lineup is relied on to hit homers and drive in runs. He only has 12 RBIs in 158 at-bats this season after having 79 RBIs and 31 homers in 392 at-bats last season (111 games).
Headley did nothing in April and really turned it around in May as he had a .150 average in April but his .298 average in May has pushed his average up to a more respectable .236. Teixeira, who is 36 years old and has a -0.4 Wins Above Replacement, will be looking to have a turnaround similar to the one that Headley had. Teixeira traditionally starts the season slowly, but usually picks it up in May after struggling in April.
If Castro can start to hit like he did earlier in the season and Teixeira can hit like he did during his productive 2015 season then the offense will get better. The Yankees have five more games of their 10-game road trip as they have one more in Toronto, a makeup game in Detroit and then three games in Baltimore. The Blue Jays (28-26), who have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games, are currently in third place and 1.5 games ahead of the Yankees.
On Wednesday, in the middle game of their three-game series at Camden Yards, the Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-0 to end their six-game losing streak. Before Wednesday night’s game, the Yankees had only scored more than four runs once in their previous 10 games.
The Yankees are currently last in the American League with 89 runs scored after finishing last season with the second most runs scored in the AL, which means that the team is due to continue to score runs more runs than they had been the previous 10 games. They will need to based on the teams that they play coming up.
CC Sabathia did not allow a run in seven innings pitched to go along with only allowing six hits and recording six strikeouts. It was a throwback performance for Sabathia, who was the ace of the staff when the Yankees won the World Series in 2009, as this was the first time that he allowed zero runs in seven innings pitched since April of 2013. He was able to lower his ERA from 5.06 to 3.81 and picked the perfect time to have his best start of the season.
Sabathia, who won his 99th game as a Yankee, entered the season as the team’s No. 5 starter but his ERA is second best of the five starters, he has allowed the second fewest hits and his one homer allowed this season is lower than any other starter.
He does not pitch with the same velocity that he used to, but he has figured out how to change his pitching style to be more reliant on his change-up and still be effective. The Yankees will need Sabathia, who is in his 17th season, to continue pitching more like a No. 3 starter than a No. 5 because Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and Luis Severino have been struggling.
The offense for the Yankees had a much needed seven-run outburst. They were able to do this after Alex Rodriguez was put on the 15-day disabled list earlier on Wednesday due to a strained right hamstring that he suffered while running to first on Tuesday. A-Rod was only hitting .194 on the season but his five homers are most on the team and his 12 RBIs are tied for most on the team with Starlin Castro.
A positive sign from Wednesday’s game offensively was that Jacoby Ellsbury was 3-3 with two walks, two steals and one run scored. He was active on the basepaths, which the Yankees need him to do more of. Ellsbury has five hits in his last three games (including Wednesday night’s game) after previously only having one hit in four games. The Yankees need Ellsbury to continue to get hits and steal bases at the top of the lineup.
It was a scoreless game going into the sixth inning but then Ellsbury scored on a Carlos Beltran sacrifice fly, Brett Gardner scored from second after Brian McCann’s single and then Mark Teixeira scored after an error by Orioles pitcher Tyler Wilson with Castro batting.
The Yankees would add four more insurance runs in the eighth inning. McCann’s double to deep right scored Beltran and Teixeira, Didi Gregorius’s single scored McCann and Gardner’s hit by pitch scored Gregorius. This was a much needed performance from McCann since he had not had a homer or RBI in his previous eight games. The Yankees were 4-12 (.333) with runners in scoring position, which is an improvement on how the team has hit in the clutch in many games this season.
Aaron Hicks, who will be playing a lot more now since Beltran will mainly be the DH with A-Rod on the DL, went 0-4. He will make the outfield defense better because he covers more ground and has a much better arm than Beltran, but he needs to start to produce offensively. Hicks only has two hits in his 30 at-bats this season, which gives him a very low .067 average.
Hicks’s performance was basically the only negative. Dellin Betances, who had allowed a homer in each of his previous three appearances, was able to retire both batters that he faced and strikeout one of them. The Yankees bullpen will get even better and deeper when Aroldis Chapman returns from his suspension on Monday.
The Yankees, who are now 9-16 after the win over Baltimore, will go from May 5 until May 22 without an off day. They will need solid performances from the starting pitchers so that the dominant bullpen will not be overworked. This 18-game stretch could go a long way towards determining if the Yankees will be able to turn their season around.
During these next 18 games, they have one more in the series against Baltimore (15-11), then three against the Red Sox (16-11), four against the Royals (14-13), three against the White Sox (19-9), three against the Diamondbacks (12-17) and then four against the Athletics (13-16). The Yankees need to pitch and hit like they did on Wednesday during the next 11 games because those teams have a combined 64-44 record.