About Brad Vietrogoski

Born in Dover, Delaware and raised in Danbury, Connecticut, Brad now resides in Wisconsin, where he regularly goes out of his way to remind Brewers fans that their team will never be as good as the Yankees. When he’s not writing for IIATMS, he likes to spend his time incorporating “Seinfeld” quotes into everyday conversation, critiquing WWE storylines, and drinking enough beer to be good at darts.

Roster News And Notes: 11/3/15

The offseason still has that fresh new offseason smell to it, but it’s already been an active one for the Yankees as far as the roster is concerned.  Here’s a quick catchup on yesterday’s happenings and a look ahead to what’s in store for the rest of the week.

– Free agency kicked in at 9 AM yesterday, so Chris Young, Stephen Drew, and Chris Capuano are all no longer Yankees.  I think there’s a decent chance the Yanks bring Young back if he’s willing to do another 1-year deal, a miniscule chance they bring Drew back if somebody gets hurt in the offseason or early ST, and negative infinity percent chance they bring back Cap.

– In addition to those 3 opened roster spots, the Yanks cleared 2 more by activating right-handers Sergio Santos and Diego Moreno off the 60-day DL and outrighting them to Triple-A SWB.  Santos refused the assignment and elected free agency.  I believe Moreno will become a MiL free agent this offseason.  … Click here to read the rest

Yankees Announce Alan Cockrell As New Hitting Coach, Marcus Thames As New Assistant

After waiting for a while to replace the departed Kevin Long last offseason, the Yankees wasted no such time this year in replacing Jeff Pentland.  As first reported by George King and since confirmed by the team, the Yankees have promoted assistant hitting coach Alan Cockrell to the “head” hitting coach position and promoted former player and Triple-A SWB hitting coach Marcus Thames to Cockrell’s former assistant position.

This was the most logical move in following the dual hitting coach format that the team took on this season, and one I predicted 100% correctly on October 18th (look it up).  Cockrell was reportedly productive in working with the team’s older veteran hitters in 2015 and Thames has earned a sparkling reputation in the organization for the way he works with young hitters, so this tandem is a good fit for what the Yankees are going to look like in 2016.  They’re going to need production from their veteran bats to win games and they’re likely going to try to work in the kids even more.  … Click here to read the rest

154 Days…

The 2015 Major League Baseball season officially ended last night, which means the 2015 offseason has officially started.  The clock is already ticking on teams to make their decisions on whether to make qualifying offers to their eligible free agents, and we’ll find out those decisions by the end of this working week.

The offseason being underway also means the countdown to the start of next season is officially underway, and including today that countdown stands at 154 days.  154 days until the 2016 Opening Day edition of the Yankees takes the field at home against the Houston Astros, and presumably gets shut out by Dallas Keuchel for 8 innings in a 3-0 loss.

I’m only half-kidding about that last part.  If the Yankees show up with the same crew that finished this year, that’d be a pretty likely outcome.  We’ve spent the past few weeks since their season ended dissecting that crew, its strengths and weaknesses, what it needs to do better, and what changes have to occur to help it be better next year.  … Click here to read the rest

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 10/30/15

My boss was in town this week, so I had to make my internet presence scarce and pretend to be a good, caring cube monkey.  He’s on a flight back to the east coast this morning and I think the best way to shake off the blog rust is with a new linkaround.  Let’s get to it.

– On Monday, Nick Shlain of BP Bronx reviewed the relatively strong roster foundation in place for next year and how that makes shoring up second base an even greater need this offseason.

– On Tuesday, Ben Farber of Pinstripe Alley looked back at the history of presidential first pitches in Yankee games.  The Bush one in the ’01 World Series is still a classic.

– On Wednesday, Mike Axisa of RAB recapped the up-and-down season of fan favorite second baseman Stephen Drew.

– On Thursday, Chris Carelli of Yankees Unscripted recapped Andrew Miller’s terrific debut Yankee season on the heels of him winning the American League Mo Award this week.… Click here to read the rest

Early Steamer Projections For The 2016 Yankees

FanGraphs has the early Steamer600 projections up for next year.  While it’s admittedly way too early to start thinking about 2016 projections, what with rosters set to be shaken up significantly over the course of the upcoming offseason, it is something to talk about if your team has been long eliminated from postseason contention like the Yankees have.

You can comb through the entire batch here.  FG has the whole list tabbed out by team for easy navigation, but here’s the link to the Yankees section.  Some highlights:

– Greg Bird is projected to be the best hitter on the Yankees next year by a wide margin.  .266/.341/.486 with 29 HR, a .356 wOBA, and 125 wRC+.  That would be amazing.

Mark Teixeira‘s projected line: .231/.324/.443 with 29 HR.  Big drop off from the .255/.357/.548 of 2015.

– The player projected to be the 3rd best hitter on the team isn’t even in the organization anymore.  That’d be Ramon Flores at .268/.335/.416, although I’m not sure how he’s going to come close to that coming back from his bad ankle injury in August.… Click here to read the rest

Sunday Morning News And Notes: 10/25/15

Been a slow few days around here.  Let’s catch up a bit.

– I’m sure everyone knows by now, but the Dodgers and Don Mattingly parted ways on Thursday.  His time there was limited once Andrew Friedman and his new front office regime came in, and the Dodgers’ inability to even make the World Series despite their massive payroll made it easy to push Mattingly out.  There’s been a little chatter about the possibility of Donnie coming back to the Yankees, but I have to think he’ll get another managerial job offering from somebody this offseason before considering going back down to the pitching coach level.

– Earlier in the week, Dan Barbarisi spoke to a doctor about Masahiro Tanaka’s bone spur surgery.  The doctor explained how the bone spur could have been related to the UCL injury and predicted additional future elbow surgeries for Tanaka.

– Via Nick Cafardo and Joel Sherman, the Yankees will promote Tim Naehring to Billy Eppler’s vacated Assistant GM position.  … Click here to read the rest

Quick Hit: The 2016 Yankee Roster Right Now

Nothing too overly thought out or strategic here.  Just a quick construction of next year’s Opening Day roster as I would build it from the players that I know could still be under team control next year.  This means no impending free agents – so long Drew, Young, and Cap – and it assumes that the Yankees will tender offers to all their key arbitration-eligible players.  Here’s how it looks:

Starting Lineup:

C- Brian McCann
1B- Mark Teixeira
2B- Rob Refsnyder/Dustin Ackley
SS- Didi Gregorius
3B- Chase Headley
LF- Brett Gardner
CF- Jacoby Ellsbury
RF- Carlos Beltran
DH- Alex Rodriguez

Rotation:

1) Masahiro Tanaka
2) Michael Pineda
3) Luis Severino
4) Nathan Eovaldi
5) CC Sabathia/Ivan Nova

Bench: John Ryan Murphy, Ackley/Refs, Brendan Ryan, Slade Heathcott

Bullpen: Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, Justin Wilson, Adam Warren, Chasen Shreve, Bryan Mitchell, Sabathia/Nova

Not much different from the roster that opened and closed last season.  … Click here to read the rest

Report: Yankees Will Not Pursue Yoenis Cespedes This Offseason

Yesterday EJ educated you on the brilliance of Yoenis Cespedes‘ walk-up music.  The day before that, Jon Heyman had another piece of Cespedes information that concerned the Yankees.  According to Heyman, “the early belief is that the Yankees will not be players for Cespedes” when free agency opens this offseason.  Cespedes, who just turned 30 last Sunday, had a monster season, hitting .291/.328/.542 with 35 home runs, 100+ runs scored and driven in, and very good defense all over the outfield.  Through some slick initial contract clause negotiations, he’ll be eligible to hit free agency this season without having any qualifying offer draft pick compensation attached to him.

Because of that and the financial boost that will come with it on the open market, because of his age, and because they already have a crowded outfield next season, it makes sense that the Yankees would not be interested in Cespedes.  Heyman mentions his connection to Roc Nation as a potential point of concern for the Yankees, but that seems silly.  … Click here to read the rest

Ian Clarkin Throws 4 Innings In His 2015 Debut

Guess these fall league updates will be more frequent than I thought.  That’s with good reason this morning, as Ian Clarkin finally made his 2015 in-game debut yesterday in the AZFL.  He missed the entire MiL season due to a still undisclosed elbow injury, but started throwing bullpens and BP again in August and September and took the hill in his first real game of the year yesterday for the Surprise Saguaros.

By all accounts, I’d say it was a pretty solid debut.  Clarkin went 4 innings, gave up an earned run on 4 hits and 3 walks, and struck out 2.  He threw 64 pitches, 37 strikes, 1 wild pitch, and got 6 outs on the ground.  The command wasn’t there, as one would expect from a 20-year-old pitcher who didn’t pitch all season, but it sounds like the stuff was.  Keith Law was at the game and tweeted this about Clarkin:

Throwing with good velocity, throwing plus offspeed pitches, and coming through the outing with no physical problems.  … Click here to read the rest