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.

Author Archives: Brad Vietrogoski

Report: New Names Added To The Hitting Coach Pool

We know the Yankees interviewed Dave Magadan for their open hitting coach job on Wednesday and we know they were supposed to meet with Chili David sometime this week.  Thanks to this report by Jon Heyman, we now know 3 more names that are on the Yankees’ radar.  According to Heyman, the Yanks have “some interest” in Dante Bichette, Marcus Thames, and James Rowson.  None have been officially linked to them yet and none have any kind of meeting or interview scheduled.

Bichette’s name has been on the rumor mill since the minute Kevin Long was let go.  He is a very good friend of Joe Girardi, his son plays in the Yankee farm system, and he was the Colorado Rockies hitting coach in 2013.  Thames is an interesting name because he’s already coaching in the Yankee system.  He was the hitting coach at High-A Tampa in 2013 and got moved up to Double-A Trenton this past season.  …

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To Qualify Or Not To Qualify: Hiroki Kuroda

Hirok vs TOR

How could anybody not want this guy back next year??? Courtesy of Getty Images

On Tuesday we weighed the cases for and against making David Robertson a qualifying offer this offseason.  Today we do the same for the other potential qualifying offer candidate, reliable right-handed starter Hiroki Kuroda.

Case For:

  • Consistent Very Good Performance- In his 3 seasons as a Yankee, Kuroda ranks 12th in MLB in IP (620.0), T-12th in BB rate (5.1%), T-20th in WHIP (1.15), and 18th in fWAR (11.0), with a 3.44/3.68/.360 slash line.
  • Consistency Within The Consistency- Made 33, 32, and 32 starts in his 3 Yankee seasons; pitched between 199-220 regular season innings in each season; had ERAs between 3.31-3.71, FIPs between 3.56-3.86, and xFIPS between 3.54-3.67 in each season; K rate between 17.8%-18.7% in each season; 11+ wins in each season; 3-year fWAR values of 3.7, 3.8, and 3.5
  • Rotation Health Questions- Tanaka, Pineda, Sabathia, and Nova all enter 2015 with health-related concerns.  
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Yanks Reportedly Start The Interview Process For A New Hitting Coach

Didn’t take long for the new hitting coach hiring process to start.  Per a George King report yesterday afternoon, the Yankees were set to interview Texas Rangers hitting coach Dave Magadan for their vacant hitting coach job.  The interview was scheduled for yesterday afternoon.

“Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Magadan were slated to meet Wednesday in New York to discuss the job that opened when former hitting coach Kevin Long was fired Friday with a year to go on his contract.

On Tuesday, Magadan said he had been contacted by the Yankees and that ‘it was in the preliminary stages.’’’

The report also named the Mets as another team to have contacted Magadan.  He is currently under contract with the Rangers, but due to ex-manager Ron Washington‘s recent departure, the team is allowing all its coaches to interview elsewhere.  In addition to Magadan, King’s report named Oakland hitting coach Chili Davis as the other scheduled interview for the Yankees this week.  …

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Refsnyder Ranks 13th In Baseball America’s Top 20 International League Prospects List

Refsnyder SWB

Courtesy of Andrew Krech/NY Daily News

Fresh off the heels of his 13th place ranking in yesterday’s Double-A Eastern League list, Rob Refsnyder became a 2-time member of Baseball America’s league-by-league top 20 rankings today when he was named to the list for the Triple-A International League.  Coincidentally, he came in at number 13 on this list as well, joining Aaron Judge as the only Yankee prospects to appear on multiple lists.

Refsnyder hit .300/.389/.456 with 28 XBH and 47 R scored in 77 games for the SWB RailRiders (333 PA).  That, paired with his results from Double-A, gave Refsnyder a .318/.387/.497 slash line for the full season.  That’s very impressive when you remember that he didn’t hit for that kind of average or nearly that kind of power in 117 games at the High-A level last year.  He may be a work in progress defensively at second base, but Refsnyder has proven beyond a doubt that he can handle the stick at any level of the Minors and that’s why he’ll be knocking on the Major League door come next spring.…

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Sanchez And Refsnyder Named To Baseball America’s Top 20 Eastern League Prospects List

Baseball America’s year-end run through the top 20 prospects in every minor league is almost over.  Today it was the Double-A Eastern League’s top 20 and the Yankees had 2 of their big names show up on the list.  Catcher Gary Sanchez came in at number 11 and second baseman Rob Refsnyder was lucky 13.

Sanchez hit .270/.338/.406 in 477 plate appearances over a full season at the Double-A level.  He continued to show great promise with the bat and improvements in his defensive game, but not at a level as high was what his original ceiling made him out to be.  Refsnyder was arguably the best position player in the Yankee system this year, and in his short stint in Trenton he hit .342/.385/.548.  Sanchez is no longer the top Yankee prospect on my board, but he and Refsnyder are both top 5 easily.  Refsnyder should be in competition for the starting second base job next spring and Sanchez could be in serious consideration for a roster spot in 2016.…

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To Qualify Or Not To Qualify: David Robertson

D-Rob vs DET

The look of a man who knows he’s getting paid this offseason. Courtesy of Getty Images

The League Championship Series are in the early stages, so we’re weeks away from the realistic deadline.  But with each passing game, that deadline for submitting qualifying offers draws closer.  I briefly touched on the increase of the QO price to $15.3 million last week and my plan was always to discuss the 2 top Yankee QO candidates in greater detail.  We’ll start that plan today with a look at the qualifying offer case for David Robertson.

Case For:

  • Consistent Elite Performance- One of the best relievers in MLB since 2011.  19th in IP (258.0), 5th in Strikeouts (354), 8th in K rate (34.0%), 3rd in Holds (97), 9th in FIP (2.40), 4th in fWAR (7.6).
  • Strong 2014 Season- One of the best closers in MLB this past season.  Finished T-8th in Saves (39), 10th in K rate (37.1%), T-13th in reliever fWAR (1.7).
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Rumor: Yanks Considering Omar Minaya For Front Office Position

This came out late-ish last night, and it may not be welcome news to some who are seeing it for the first time this morning.  Former Mets GM Omar Minaya’s name started floating around yesterday as one the Yankees were considering for a possible front office position.  Erik Boland reported that it was “strong consideration for a high-ranking position,” but Andy Martino later tempered that by tweeting that the role would be something in scouting or an advisory position and not a major one.  With Mark Newman leaving as Senior VP of Baseball Ops and Minaya currently holding that spot in San Diego, there is a potential lateral opening.

Just the name “Omar Minaya” is enough to make some Mets fans’ skin crawl, and his tenure as GM there was not a good one.  But he does have a very good track record of building strong farm systems wherever he’s been.  With the Yankees putting improving their farm system as a primary goal going forward, Minaya could be useful as someone to help guide the efforts.  …

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Forget About A-Rod Playing Shortstop

After a season in which he was almost never mentioned, Alex Rodriguez is starting to creep back into the Yankee headlines.  He’s been working out in preparation for his return from this year’s suspension, the team has been speaking openly and positively about him rejoining the lineup in 2015, and all signs point towards A-Rod being the starter at some position on Opening Day.

What position, exactly, is up for debate and appears as though it could be something that’s not set in stone.  One suggestion that’s been talked about on our daily email chains and multiple times in the comment section of this blog is the idea of moving A-Rod back to shortstop.  That is an idea that any and all believers should stop believing right now.  Forget about it.  Because it’s not going to happen.

At 39 years old and turning 40 next July, and with 2 bad hips, A-Rod’s days of playing every day are long gone.  Cash used that point as the main reason why the team reportedly asked A-Rod to learn first base this offseason.

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Season Review Recap: The Best And Worst Of The 2014 New York Yankees

This past week was 2014 season review week at IIATMS.  We reviewed the 162-game results roster group by roster group to highlight the best and worst things that each group did.  Not only were the worsts more plentiful, they were also the more impactful happenings of the season for the Yankees.  That’s how you spend half a billion dollars in the offseason and finish with a worse record than you did the year before.  If you missed any of those review posts this week, here’s your chance to catch up.

- The Infield

- The Outfield

- The Rotation

- The Bullpen

- The Bench

Tomorrow we start shifting the focus forward, to the upcoming offseason.  Dom’s going to continue to evaluate the team’s biggest positions of need, I’m going to break down the qualifying offer candidates in greater detail, and Stacey will be making her long-awaited return to the rotation.  We’re also introducing a new writer tomorrow, so make sure to be around for that.…

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