Game # 75: Yanks (41-33) vs White Sox (32-43)

Sevy vs Quitana. Holliday still out -- VERY concerning. Gardy sits. Romine at 1B??? Refsnyder in LF. Austin at DH.

No word yet on Castro and Wade.

UPDATE: Castro to DL. Wade to majors. With Carter's release the Yanks were at 39 so now additional moves on the 40-man roster were needed. Still no word on Holliday.

Yanks

Ellsbury, CF
Headley, 3B
Judge, RF
Sanchez, C
Gregorius, SS
Austin, DH
Torreyes, 2B
Romine, 1B
Refsnyder, LF
Severino, P

I have not taken any illegal substances. That is the lineup from the official Yankess twitter account. I have no knowledge of what Girardi has been taking.

White Sox

  1. 2B: Carlos Sanchez
  2. LF: Melky Cabrera
  3. 1B: Jose Abreu
  4. RF: Avisail Garcia
  5. 3B: Todd Frazier
  6. DH: Matt Davidson
  7. SS: Tim Anderson
  8. C: Kevan Smith
  9. CF: Adam Engel
  10. SP: Jose Quintana

Game on YES.

Starlin Castro strains hamstring, opening door for Tyler Wade

Yankees are dropping like flies, and tonight, Starlin Castro took the fall. While running out a grounder, Castro pulled up just before reaching the bag, noticeably limping. Later in the game, the Yankees announced that Castro suffered a right hamstring strain. Further testing will reveal the severity of the injury and an estimated return date. For now, it's evident that Castro will be placed on the disabled list and Tyler Wade will replace him on the roster.

No player's ideal debut comes on the heels of a starter's injury, but in this instance, it's not like Wade hadn't merited a promotion to the big leagues. Wade, a left-handed hitter, has always posted respectable minor league offensive numbers buoyed by high stolen base totals. This year, he's taken a step forward in Triple-A, hitting .313/.390/.445 with 24 steals in 28 attempts. He's also walked at 10.5% clip and made plenty of contact, striking out only 17.2% of the time.  Wade will never be mistaken for a power hitter, but he has exhibited more pop in 2017, already matching a career high 5 home runs while posting a lifetime best .132 ISO (.089 was his previous high last year in Double-A).

Though Wade's offensive numbers are impressive, he's probably something like Ronald Torreyes with more value on the basepaths. Right now, Steamer projects an unexciting .248/.310/.340 (74 wRC+), which is similar to Torreyes' current 79 wRC+. Further like Torreyes, Wade can play all over the field, spending time at shortstop, second and third base, and the outfield this season. Wade's versatility has drawn some comparisons to Ben Zobrist, which is unfair to the 22 year-old prospect. I guess that's what happens to any interesting prospect who can play a handful of positions.

It's hard to imagine the Yankees promoting Wade only to have him play sporadically, so expect him to start at second base while Castro is down. The aforementioned Torreyes had an extended stretch as a starter in place of Didi Gregorius earlier this year, and would probably do fine filling in at second, but the Yankees know what Torreyes is. Though I mentioned that Wade's hitting profile is likely similar to Torreyes, the Yankees can't know that for sure without giving Wade an opportunity. If there are any Rob Refsnyder die-hards still out there pining for him to get a chance, I'm sorry, but it's not happening here. Finally, whither Gleyber Torres? This might have been his chance had he not gone down last week.

Postgame update: Looks like there's a chance Castro avoids a trip to the disabled list. Regardless, that shouldn't jeopardize Wade joining the roster tomorrow. The Yankees are currently carrying 13 pitchers and could easily option Domingo German or Ronald Herrera.

Game # 74: Yanks (40-33) vs White Sox (32-42)

Can the Yanks become the Lazarus Yankees? The Yanks should be able to feast on the CWS. However, clubs around and below .500 have recently made the Yanks the feasties. Can Headley continue his post-epidural surge? Should more Yanks get epidural shots? Can Monty become the stopper? Will Clippard ever pitch a clean inning again? Will Wile E Coyote ever catch the Road Runner?

Roster Moves:
     Hicks to 10 DL
     Refs replaces Hicks
     Williams back to SWB
     Ellsbury activated off 7 Day DL
     Herrera recalled for Webb
     Webb returned to SWB
I gather the Yanks are buying bulk airline tickets. 

Castro returns. Ellsbury returns. DD sits. Holliday still out -- getting concerned. Romine squats. Sanchez DHes. Austin bats 5th???????????????? Yanks at full Austin strength, but will be at half Aaron strength for awhile.

Yanks

  1. LF: Brett Gardner
  2. 2B: Starlin Castro
  3. RF: Aaron Judge
  4. DH: Gary Sanchez
  5. 1B: Tyler Austin
  6. CF: Jacoby Ellsbury
  7. 3B: Chase Headley
  8. C: Austin Romine
  9. SS: Ronald Torreyes
  10. SP: Jordan Montgomery

White Sox

  1. SS: Tim Anderson
  2. LF: Melky Cabrera
  3. DH: Jose Abreu
  4. RF: Avisail Garcia
  5. 3B: Todd Frazier
  6. 1B: Matt Davidson
  7. 2B: Carlos Sanchez
  8. C: Kevan Smith
  9. CF: Adam Engel
  10. SP: David Holmberg

Game on WPIX

 


 

 

 

The Good News of the Past Two Weeks: Aaron Judge and Gary Sanches Have Adjusted Back to the League

The Yankees have had a tough few weeks. They left for the West Coast road trip high on a five game winning streak over division rivals and a solid lead in the AL East. Since then, they've lost 10 of 12 against subpar competition, most of the team's bats have gone cold, middle relief has imploded, and the Yankees and Red Sox are now tied for first place. Gleyber Torres also tore his UCL on a freak play, so we won't be seeing him any time soon.

Rather than dwell on the negative, I want to focus on the good news: amidst all the bad play, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are playing great. Both players have gotten off to some of the best rookie seasons in MLB history. Like any rookies, we've all been waiting to see what happens when the league adjusts to them, then they adjust back. If Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge are going to be the next superstar cornerstone of a Yankee dynasty, this is a critical period.

That's why this period is so important: both Judge and Sanchez are approaching the 100-game mark. The league has had plenty of time (including an offseason) to adjust.

Here's a graph showing a 20-day rolling average of Aaron Judge's wRC+ over his career from Fangraphs:

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 9.18.35 AM.png

Note that a 100 wRC+ is exactly average. Judge was on fire by the end of April, hitting close to a 300 wRC+ over a twenty game stretch. Then, there was an adjustment. Judge was still elite in May, but pitchers started to limit the damage. Then, in June, Judge adjusted back to MVP-level production. 

What about Gary Sanchez? Sanchez's breakout came in 2016, so you have to consider his progress over two seasons:

Sanchez had the best debut in major league history, in August of 2016, so try not to get distracted by the massive peak at the beginning of this series. Pitchers started to adjust to him in September, and seemed to have Sanchez figured out (the injury didn't help). Then, Sanchez turned it on in late June, and returned to superstar levels.

While the rest of the Yankees have slumped, Sanchez and Judge are hitting a 200 wRC+. Sanchez is doing it as a plus defensive catcher. This is great news. Since they've entered the league, Sanchez and Judge are the 2nd and 3rd best hitters in the American League, while also contributing on defense. In fact, if you count their 100 games so far as a full season, they are having the 5th and 6th-best seasons by wRC+ of any Yankee since 1995. Only Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi had better seasons - and Giambi lost a ton of value on defense.

The rest of the Yankee roster is, let's be honest, pretty questionable, other than maybe Severino. I don't buy the current seasons coming from Starlin Castro, Matt Holliday, Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, or even Didi Gregorius as remotely sustainable. Those guys are at best above-average players. But Sanchez and Judge? Superstars. 

 

 

Game # 73: Texas (37-37) vs NYY (40-32)

Headley is back! The offense really needs him. Holliday sits. Castro sits. Judge half sits.

Yanks needs this win to have a .500 home stand against .500 teams.

Texas

  1. LF: Delino DeShields
  2. RF: Shin-Soo Choo
  3. SS: Elvis Andrus
  4. 3B: Adrian Beltre
  5. DH: Rougned Odor
  6. CF: Carlos Gomez
  7. C: Jonathan Lucroy
  8. 1B: Mike Napoli
  9. 2B: Drew Robinson
  10. SP: Nick Martinez

NYY

  1. LF: Brett Gardner
  2. CF: Aaron Hicks
  3. DH: Aaron Judge
  4. C: Gary Sanchez
  5. SS: Didi Gregorius
  6. 3B: Chase Headley
  7. 1B: Tyler Austin
  8. RF: Mason Williams
  9. 2B: Ronald Torreyes
  10. SP: Michael Pineda

It's the prophylactic games of the series.

Game on YES.

Game # 72 -- Rangers (36-37) vs Yanks (40-31)

After winning a game Girardi makes wholesale changes to the line-up. Sanchez sits. Gardy sits. And Carter gone. Cessa starts. Williams starts. Romine squats. Last night's hero returns....Toe, not Masa. Austin at 1B. Yanks are now at full Aaron and full Austin strength.

Rangers

  1. LF: Delino DeShields
  2. RF: Shin-Soo Choo
  3. DH: Elvis Andrus
  4. 3B: Adrian Beltre
  5. 2B: Rougned Odor
  6. CF: Carlos Gomez
  7. 1B: Mike Napoli
  8. C: Robinson Chirinos
  9. SS: Pete Kozma
  10. SP: Austin Bibens-Dirkx

Yankees

  1. CF: Mason Williams
  2. LF: Aaron Hicks
  3. RF: Aaron Judge
  4. DH: Matt Holliday
  5. 2B: Starlin Castro
  6. SS: Didi Gregorius
  7. 1B: Tyler Austin
  8. 3B: Ronald Torreyes
  9. C: Austin Romine
  10. SP: Luis Cessa

1983 -- The Pine Tar game prior to Pineda.

Game on YES.

Yankees Finally Bite the Bullet, Replace Chris Carter with Tyler Austin

The long nightmare is now over. Tyler Austin will join the team on Saturday. Chris Carter has been designated for assignment. Austin is starting at first base Saturday:

https://twitter.com/YankeesPR/status/878618901424332800

The move was probably a week late, but at least the Yankees did the right thing in the end. Good Austin has been on display all season in the minor leagues since he returned from injury. He's hit .316/.388/.560 between Double-A and Triple-A. The strikeout rate is high (29% at Triple-A), but not totally out of line with his career line. 

The smart money, I think, is on Austin and Bird platooning at first for most of the season. That should be a productive platoon. 

Game # 71 -- Rangers (36-36) vs Yanks (39-31)

Yanks face another AL West division team -- whom they can't seem to beat despite being at .500 or below. Torreyes in for the ailing Headley. Other than that it's the regular cast of characters.

Headley is suffering from back spasms. He had an epidural and will not be able to play until Sunday at the earliest.

Rangers

  1. RF: Shin-Soo Choo
  2. SS: Elvis Andrus
  3. LF: Nomar Mazara
  4. 3B: Adrian Beltre
  5. 2B: Rougned Odor
  6. CF: Carlos Gomez
  7. C: Jonathan Lucroy
  8. DH: Mike Napoli
  9. 1B: Joey Gallo
  10. SP: Yu Darvish

Yankees

  1. LF: Brett Gardner
  2. CF: Aaron Hicks
  3. RF: Aaron Judge
  4. DH: Matt Holliday
  5. 2B: Starlin Castro
  6. C: Gary Sanchez
  7. SS: Didi Gregorius
  8. 1B: Chris Carter
  9. 3B: Ronald Torreyes
  10. SP: Masahiro Tanaka

1988 -- Sweet Lou replaces Billy as manager.

Game on YES

Game # 70 -- Anggels* (37-38) vs Yanks (39-30)

* The Yanks won yesterday so I'm not correcting it.

Can Sevy maintain the momentum? Carter back at 1B. Sanchez squats. Torreyes replaces Headley at 3B

Angels

  1. CF: Cameron Maybin
  2. RF: Kole Calhoun
  3. DH: Albert Pujols
  4. 3B: Yunel Escobar
  5. 1B: Luis Valbuena
  6. SS: Andrelton Simmons
  7. LF: Eric Young
  8. C: Martin Maldonado
  9. 2B: Cliff Pennington
  10. SP: Jesse Chavez

Yanks

  1. LF: Brett Gardner
  2. CF: Aaron Hicks
  3. RF: Aaron Judge
  4. DH: Matt Holliday
  5. 2B: Starlin Castro
  6. C: Gary Sanchez
  7. SS: Didi Gregorius
  8. 1B: Chris Carter
  9. 3B: Ronald Torreyes
  10. SP: Luis Severino

Refs sent back to SWB. Yanks call up LHP Tyler Wade.

Game on YES.