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

Quick Hit: When, If Ever, Will The Eppler Effect Take Place This Offseason?

We’re a few days away from free agency really opening, so it’s not surprising that the biggest offseason news in Yankeeland is still coaching and front office staff-related.  The Yankees just announced their new pair of hitting coaches for 2016 earlier this week, and prior to that they officially replaced the departed Billy Eppler by announcing that Tim Naehring is the new VP of Baseball Ops.

The impact from those moves won’t be felt until next season, but one move that could have an effect earlier is the departure of Eppler.  He’s settling in as the new GM of the Angels, with a new batch of concerns about building and rebuilding a roster to help get that club back to the playoffs.  Coming from the position he was in with the Yankees, having heavy involvement in both the Minor and Major League parts of the organization, I can’t help but wonder if that may influence some of the moves he tries to make this offseason.…

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Yankees Decline Their 2016 Options, Brendan Ryan Exercises His

As expected, the Yankees declined their pair of $2 million options for next year on Andrew Bailey and Brendan Ryan.  Also as expected, Ryan exercised his $1 million player option for next year, keeping him on the 40-man roster and for the time being in the plans for 2016 as the backup shortstop.

Despite declining the option on Bailey, the Yankees do retain control over him as an arbitration-eligible player.  Nifty little job of contract/team control work there by Cash.  The Yankees very clearly like Bailey and wanted to give him as much time as possible to come back from his shoulder problems and prove he can still be an effective Major League pitcher.  He did the former this past season, throwing 30+ MiL innings and 8.2 innings in 10 MLB appearances.  The latter, not so much.  Bailey posted an 8.31 ERA in his small comeback sample with 10 hits, 5 walks, and only 6 strikeouts in his 8.2 IP.…

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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.  …

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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.  …

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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.  …

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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.…

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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.…

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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.  …

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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


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.  …

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