A Final Word On The Solarte Era

Solarte vs PIT

Courtesy of Getty Images

When the Yankees announced that they had signed Yangervis Solarte to a MiL deal and extended him an invitation to spring camp, I’m sure a lot of us had the same reaction.  “Who??”  We quickly found out who when Solarte impressed in ST and earned himself a spot on the Opening Day roster, then watched in various levels of amazement as he proceeded to be the team’s best hitter through the first 2 months.  At one point in mid-May he was leading the AL in batting average and he finished the month with a .299/.369/.466 slash line.

Whether it was opposing pitchers figuring him out and adjusting to him, him changing his approach in a way that negatively impacted his effectiveness, a natural regression back to his true talent level, or a combination of all 3, Solarte’s production fell off big time in June.  He was slowly being phased out of the everyday lineup before being included as part of the trade package for Chase Headley yesterday.  …

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Mid-Morning Linkaround: 7/23/14

This was a weekly feature at AB4AR and I think I’m going to split it up and make it 2 mini-features during the week here.  A quick trip around the Yankosphere to see what’s hot and what other people are talking about.  Here we go.

- On Monday, Andrew Mearns of Pinstripe Alley broke down Jacoby Ellsbury’s terrific at-bat against Aroldis Chapman from Sunday.

- Yesterday, SJK of NoMaas made a depressing comparison to last season to illustrate how serious the offensive futility has been in 2014.  Power and patience, baby!

- Earlier today, Greg Corcoran of Bronx Baseball Daily released his midseason top 50 prospects list.  He always has a different take on some guys I’m usually lower on, so definitely check this out.

- And in case anybody missed them yesterday, here are 2 posts from our own Katie Sharp and Matt Bove, Katie’s on D-Rob’s nastiness and Matt’s on trading for Marlon Byrd.  With the Headley story breaking, they got shuffled down the page pretty quickly.…

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Wednesday Morning Food For Thought: Is It Worth Calling Up Kyle Roller?

As far as grabbing headlines goes, last night’s extra-inning affair provided plenty of drama and a perfect opportunity for Chase Headley‘s “welcome to New York” moment.  As far as baseball goes, it once again showcased how pitiful this lineup is without Mark Teixeira in the middle of it.  The Yankees managed a mere 2 runs in 14 innings of play last night.  They’ve managed 4 over 23 innings in the last 2 games, and only 2 of those 4 were scored in 12.2 combined innings against no-name starters Miles Mikolas and Nick Martinez.

Another baseball-centric storyline that got swallowed up by the Headley walk-off was Kelly Johnson leaving the game in the 11th inning with a groin injury.  Regardless of how you feel about his play, Johnson has been useful to the Yanks as a guy who can play multiple infield spots, bring some pop to the bottom third of the lineup, and act as Teix’s unofficially official backup at first base.  …

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Game 99: Martinez v. Whitley, or Game 1: After Solarte

The team that the Rangers are currently fielding makes me feel quite ashamed for lamenting the injury issues of the Yankees. Tonight’s Rangers lineup includes a 29-year-old rookie batting third, a 28-year-old rookie DH’ing, and J.P. Arencibia (and his 14 wRC+) playing first base. Their actual first baseman (Prince Fielder), should-have-been second baseman (Jurickson Profar), second starter (Martin Perez), third starter (Matt Harrison), and fourth starter (Derek Holland) are all done for the season, and their top set-up men (Tanner Scheppers and Alexi Ogando) may be out for the rest of the year, as well.

So knock on wood and cross your fingers, and then thank whatever God(s) you believe in that the Yankees have a very real shot at the playoffs.

Texas Rangers New York Yankees
Shin-Soo Choo, RF Brett Gardner, LF
Elvis Andrus, SS Derek Jeter, SS
Jim Adduci, LF Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Adrian Beltre, 3B Carlos Beltran, DH
Leonys Martin, CF Brian McCann, 1B

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Headley acquisition (probably) not a game changer for Yanks


Well, that escalated quickly. Before my return post examining the Yankees’ trade deadline choices could be published, Brian Cashman finalized a deal to send Yangervis Solarte and Rafael DePaula to San Diego for third baseman Chase Headley and cash considerations (seriously). In case you feel like skipping over that post now, here’s the conclusion I came to:

I’m not gonna lie, I really don’t know what the best answer is here. Probably a combination of buying and standing pat, holding out as long as they can to see where they’re going to be in a week, then making a move if they still have a shot. I definitely think they should go for it if possible this year though, if only because the near future doesn’t look much brighter than this season. None of their veterans are getting any younger, and Tanaka may spend 2015 rehabbing from surgery. If they stay within striking distance, their best bet may be to put the chips in this year’s pot and hope the baseball gods want to send The Captain into the sunset in grand fashion.

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Yankees in tough spot at deadline

Save us Cliff Lee...if you can

Save us Cliff Lee…if you can

I have to imagine that this is about the toughest spot a general manager can find himself in. With nine days left until the non-waiver trade deadline passes, his team is kind of a mess. Four of the starting pitchers he opened the season with are on the disabled list, two are already confirmed to be out for the season, and there’s still a pretty good chance Masahiro Tanaka is going to need Tommy John surgery. His offense is 12th in the American League (and last in the A.L. East) in wRC+, and the big free agents he brought in to turn things around after Plan 189 crashed and burned have been disappointments to this point.

And yet, they’re just four games out of first place.

The end result is a murky situation that makes the decision of whether to add pieces for the playoff run or concede that the roster may not be good enough to get that far anyway a very difficult one to make with any certainty, especially given a trade market that doesn’t have many potential impact upgrades available.…

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BREAKING: Yankees Trade For Chase Headley (UPDATED)

Well how do you like that?  Sounds like Chase Headley might be wearing pinstripes soon.  More on this as it develops…

** UPDATE 1:14 PM- Via Jon Heyman, the Yanks are sending Yangervis Solarte and High-A pitching prospect Rafael De Paula to San Diego for Headley, and the Padres are picking up $1 million of Headley’s remaining salary. **

** 1:28 PM- Headley himself is tweeting out thank yous and goodbyes to the San Diego fans.  Sounds like this is all but a done deal. **

** 1:38 PM- The team has tweeted out the deal, so that’s about as official as it gets.  There are some whispers about Headley possibly being in the lineup tonight.  He was in Chicago and is now on his way to New York.  We’ll see.  Hard not to like this trade from the Yankees’ side.  

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Why Not Target Marlon Byrd?

The Philadelphia Phillies might be the selling team with the most attractive movable pieces at the deadline, and conventional wisdom has been that the Yankees should target Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels.  The Yankees have lost four out of their five starting pitchers from the beginning of the season, so General Manager Brian Cashman has talked about targeting pitching. They have been in love with Lee for years and Hamels would give them an ace still in his prime.

However, the player that the Yankees should really go after hard from the Phillies is right fielder Marlon Byrd. Byrd is hitting .268/.319/.483/.802 with 19 home runs and 51 RBI for Philadelphia this season. His 122 wRC+ and .347 wOBA are also solid.

Yes, the Yankees still need pitching.  But if you haven’t noticed, their starting pitching has been stellar lately. Led by Hiroki Kuroda, Shane Greene, Brandon McCarthy and David Phelps, the Yankees had a 1.99 ERA from their starting pitchers over the last eight games prior to last night.  …

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Quick Hit: Mark Teixeira Is Mr. Glass

Via Chad Jennings, here was Teix yesterday on his season-long battle with the injury bug:

“I thought the year off last year would kind of give me a fountain of youth.  And it’s just made me rusty. I’ve used that word a few times this year; that’s the way it feels. It’s been something. Every game, it’s something. I was dealing with the hamstring early, the knee, back — it’s really frustrating — not to mention the wrist, which is obviously something I’ve been dealing with. That’s life. You have to grind through things. I’ve been grinding pretty well all season. I’m still happy with the way I’ve played when I’m healthy. I just need to get healthy again.”

Yeesh.  Be more depressing, Mark.  While I think we’d all agree with Teix’s statement about needing to get healthy, the chances of that happening this calendar year aren’t looking good.  Not with the way the Yankees have treated all the bumps and bruises he’s accumulated in the first 98 games.  …

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