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: Schoenfield Puts Yankees 21st In MLB Team Rankings

For those who’ve been lamenting the increase in Insider-only ESPN links, you should be all over David Schoenfield’s team-by-team ranking exercise of all 30 MLB clubs that he’s doing at ESPN SweetSpot.  He kicked off the annual countdown yesterday with the 30-25 teams and today’s block of 24-19 included the New York Yankees at 21.  If that ranking seems low to you, it did to me too.  My eyebrows went up when I saw it and then I did a double-take when I saw the final record prediction: 78-84.  Wow, 6 games under .500?  Really?  That would be pretty bad.  Schoenfield explains:

“The Yankees have been outscored each of the past two years, although they managed to finish over .500 both seasons. While a lot of people are pointing to a healthier rotation and better seasons from some of the veterans as reasons the Yankees will contend this year, I turn that around and say: Who’s a good bet to improve?

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Reviewing Nathan Eovaldi’s Changeup

Eovaldi vs LAA

Pitch shown- Probably not a changeup. Courtesy of Getty Images

The word that’s been attached to Nathan Eovaldi the most since he was acquired by the Yankees, at least as far as I’ve seen, is “potential”.  It’s not hard to understand why when you look at the basic package: solid frame (6’2″/215), very good fastball velocity, 25 years old with multiple years of MLB experience already.  With that makeup, there’s no reason Eovaldi can’t be a top-of-the-rotation starter in either league.  He has all the potential in the world, potential that he’s slowly started to show in the form of his improving FIP and K/BB numbers over each of his 4 MLB seasons.  He also has the potential to make the leap to upper-echelon starter this year if he can work out some of the kinks in his game and smooth over some of the rough edges.

The roughest of his edges might be Eovaldi’s glaring lack of a reliable third pitch.  …

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Judge, Severino Make Baseball Prospectus’ 2015 Top 101 Prospects List

The offseason of accolades and resume building continues for Aaron Judge and Luis Severino.  Yesterday they were once again the only 2 Yankee representatives on a national top prospects list, this one the 2015 edition of the Baseball Prospectus Top 101.  Judge came in 49th on the list with Severino right behind him at 51.

If this series of prospect rankings has taught us anything, it’s that these 2 are the clear top 2 in the Yankee farm system.  No disrespect to the Birds and Sanchezes and Clarkins of the world, but Judge and Severino are clearly on another level as prospects and 2015 is going to be a big year for both of them in terms of setting up a realistic target date for their MLB debuts.  Ideally, I’d like to see them both perform well and stay healthy in split seasons between Double-A and Triple-A.  That would line Severino up to compete for a spot in the 2016 rotation and Judge for a call up sometime in the early part of next season.…

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Quick Hit: John Sickels Releases His Top 20 Yankee Prospects List

Prospect ranking season isn’t quite over yet.  John Sickels released the 2015 edition of his top 20 Yankees prospect rankings earlier today over at Minor League Ball, and I have to say I think it’s quite good.

It’s got all the usual suspects at or near the spots they’ve held on most of the other notable lists.  Luis Severino gets the #1 spot over Aaron Judge here, Jacob Lindgren is up at 6, Miguel Andujar at 9, and the older contingent of guys like Tyler Austin, Jose Ramirez, and Bryan Mitchell are still regarded as valuable as 11-15 players.

The biggest surprise on Sickels’ list might be Angel Aguilar coming in 17th.  That’s the highest I can remember seeing him on any list other than EJ’s, so maybe Aguilar is somebody I need to start paying closer attention to this year.

The whole list is free and comes with little write-ups on each player, so it’s definitely worth checking out.…

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Issues With The Incumbents: The Aged, Regressed, Switch-Hitting Middle-Of-The-Order Bats

Teix-Beltran 2014

Courtesy of the AP

As we continue to refocus our attention on the returning part of this remade Yankee roster, let’s shift said attention from the position players who are still in their physical primes to a couple who are not.  In a perfect world, a team getting 2 legitimate switch-hitting power threats who usually produce well from both sides of the plate back in its lineup would be a major boost.  In the Yankees’ world, the return of Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira to the lineup may not end up helping at all.

And make no mistake, these guys are switch-hitting studs when it comes to the back of the baseball cards.  Teix has a .914 career OPS hitting righty against southpaws and .865 from the left side of the plate.  Beltran is .862 hitting from the right side and .860 from the left.  In their primes, these were 2 of the best offensive players at their respective positions and 2 of the best all-around hitters in the game.…

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Report: Yankees Sign RHP Kyle Davies To A Minor League Deal

James Shields?  Who needs him when you’ve got Kyle Davies around, right?  Via Sweeny Murti, the Yanks have signed Davies to a MiL contract, one that presumably comes with an invitation to Spring Training.

You might remember Davies from his days in Kansas City.  If you don’t, that’s probably because he hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2011.  He posted an ugly 6.75 ERA and less ugly 4.39 FIP in 13 starts for the Royals then, and he’s been toiling around in the Minors ever since.  In 2014 he pitched to a not terrible 4.11/3.98 split in 124.2 IP for the Cleveland Triple-A affiliate.

Davies was never much as a pitcher when he was in his prime.  He owns a measly 15.7% career K rate and poor 10.6% BB rate.  He also had troubles with the long ball and has a career GB rate under 40%, so even at his best he would be a terrible fit in Yankee Stadium.  …

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Monday Morning News And Notes: 2/9/15

It’s Monday morning, we’re almost into single digit territory on the pitchers and catchers report date countdown, here’s what’s going on:

– The big news of the morning is James Shields signing with the San Diego Padres.  Via Chris Cotillo, it’s a 4-year deal for somewhere between $72-78 million.  The Pads were the favorites to land him for most of last week, so good on them for following through.  I absolutely love what AJ Preller has done with that team this offseason.

I was a fan of the Yankees getting in on Shields when his asking price reportedly started coming down last week, and for the first day or 2 it seemed like they were doing that.  That quickly fell apart as teams like the Padres and Cubs came forward, so in the end it was probably nothing more than the Yanks checking up, seeing what kind of deal Shields was looking for, and cutting bait when it was still 4 years.  …

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Quick Hit: Cash Sets The Stage For Refsnyder

Brian Cashman was a guest on Mike Francesa’s show yesterday afternoon.  He talked about a variety of topics, including where the team stands on Yoan Moncada and James Shields, what the expectations are for CC Sabathia, and the health of Masahiro Tanaka.  But the most telling comments might have been the ones about the situation at second base.

Via Brendan Kuty, Cash explained that the Stephen Drew signing was a low-risk one and one the team is willing to cut bait on if he doesn’t rebound from his putrid 2014.  He also didn’t come and declare that Drew was going to be the starter at second base, saying of Rob Refsnyder:

“The bottom line is, he’ll go into camp, and he’ll compete, and he’ll have a chance to potentially earn a spot on the roster.”

That quote should be music to the ears of the Yankee fans who were against the Drew signing.  One of their biggest problems with the decision was the perceived blocking of Refsnyder at second.  …

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So What’s The Deal With Garrett Jones?

Jones vs COL 2014

Courtesy of Getty Images

I mean honestly, what’s the deal with this guy?  He’s a right fielder who can’t play right field, he’s a first baseman who can’t play first base.  What’s up with that?  He’s got no first names and 2 last names.  He doesn’t know who he is or what he’s doing.  I don’t get it.

That’s funnier if you read it in Jerry Seinfeld’s voice in your head, but in all seriousness, I am somewhat intrigued by Garrett Jones‘ presence on the roster and what his eventual role on this team might become.  A commenter in the ZiPS post pointed out that ZiPS was actually pretty high on him, something I completely glossed over when I first read through the projection numbers, and there’s some truth to that.  ZiPS doesn’t see much in the way of average or OBP for Jones, but it does project a healthy .449 SLG and 21 home runs.

That kind of production would be very welcome from the DH spot, the most likely lineup destination for Jones and one of the areas of biggest offensive weakness for the Yankees over the last 2 seasons.  …

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