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: 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.  …

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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.  …

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Report: Yankees Fire Hitting Coach Jeff Pentland and Bullpen Coach Gary Tuck

Well there’s something I didn’t expect to find out yesterday.  Via George King, the Yankees have fired head hitting coach Jeff Pentland and bullpen coach Gary Tuck.  Pentland confirmed this directly to King, saying “When I signed, I was told it was probably a one-year deal. That was always in the back of my mind, but we didn’t look too good the last month. It’s the Yankees, that’s the best way to describe it. I have no regrets.’’  Both Pentland and Tuck were told by Cash last week that they would not be brought back.

This hardly comes as a surprise.  The Yankees stumbled to the finish line this year after leading the division by 7 games in July, and they went out incredibly weakly in the Wild Card game.  Cash and Girardi aren’t going anywhere, it’s not that easy to get rid of the players, so somebody had to take the fall.  The Yankees scored the second most runs in MLB this season with 764, but the offense dropped off in the second half and really fell apart in September and October.  …

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 10/16/15

Cubs over Mets in 7, Blue Jays over Royals in 6.  Let’s get to the links.

– On Tuesday, William Juliano of The Captain’s Blog looked at the staggering increase in home runs and runs scored as the result of home runs this postseason.  Guess you can hit home runs and succeed.  Who knew?

– Ben Lindbergh of Grantland analyzed managerial bullpen moves and came up with a few ways to measure who the best and worst decision makers are.  It’s a really cool read, but all you need to know for this blog’s purposes is that Joe Girardi is the best in the business according to these metrics.

– On Wednesday, Mike Axisa of RAB made a very compelling case for why the Yankees should go after Jason Heyward this offseason.

– Jason Cohen of Pinstripe Alley reviewed the season for the gaggle of Triple-A relievers that were shuttled up and down.  It was mostly disappointing.

– El duque of It Is High… lamented the lost opportunity to sign Jorge Soler and worried that we’d be saying the same thing about Yoan Moncada in a few years.…

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Friday Morning News And Notes: 10/16/15

Had to get into the office suuuuuper early this morning to talk to some colleagues across the pond, might as well write something.

– So it’s going to be Royals-Blue Jays and Mets-Cubs in the LCS series.  That should be fun to watch.  Or maybe not, since I only seem to be able to stay up to midnight or 8 PM these days.  If I had to pick a rooting interest here, I think I’d pick the Cubs.  I’ve watched them a lot the past few months and they’re just really fun to watch.  So good, so young.  And you know Theo’s adding a pitcher this offseason.  They’re already way ahead of schedule with how far they’ve made it this year.

– Via Martin and King at The Post, Chris Young sounds like he’s going to leave his options open this offseason after a strong year in pinstripes on a 1-year deal.  ““We’ll see what happens, but I’ve enjoyed being here” Young said.  …

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Arizona Fall League Starts Off With A Bang For Yankee Prospects


The Cubs advancing to the NLCS and the Dodgers forcing a Game 5 last night was cute, but the real highlight was the 2015 Arizona Fall League getting started with its first games.  The Yankees are well represented on the Surprise Saguaros roster, with 8 players on the team, and they had more than a few stars in last night’s 6-5 loss.

The biggest and brightest was Gary Sanchez, who popped a 3-run home run in the top of the 1st to get the Saguaros on the board early.  He finished the night 2-4 hitting from the cleanup spot, and he was matched in that feat by fellow Yankee farmhands Tyler Austin and Tyler Wade.  Both guys doubled as one of their hits and Wade drove in 2 runs batting from the 9-spot and playing second base.  Austin hit 7th and played first.

There were no Yankee pitchers involved in last night’s game, but that’s where there figures to be the biggest focus once the season gets going.  …

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On Joe’s Need To Mend Fences With Jacoby Ellsbury

Ellsbury WC Game

Courtesy of the AP

It doesn’t exist.

Sorry for the lack of intro, but I wanted to make sure I wrote this while it was still fresh in my head.  I saw that Joe addressed it at his end-of-year presser last Friday, and I’ve seen it mentioned a few other times around the blogosphere and Twitter, and I really don’t get it.  Joe doesn’t owe Jacoby Ellsbury anything.  Not an apology, not an explanation, not a phone call, nothing.

Joe did what he thought gave his team the best chance to win by sitting Ellsbury in the Wild Card game.  And he had every reason to do so given the way Ellsbury had hit in the second half and given Ellsbury’s physical condition leading up to that game.  Those two things were linked in some capacity this year, as Ellsbury was clearly not the same player post-knee injury.  He and the team swore he was fine, but his contact rates, low slash line, and lack of steal attempts in the second half say otherwise.  …

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Report: Yanks “Leaning Toward” An Ackley/Refsnyder Second Base Platoon Next Season

Second base was a problem position for the Yankees this past season.  They struggled to find production early from Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan, seemingly waited too long to jettison Drew in favor of better options, and didn’t get much consistent positive value from the position until very late in the year when Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder got hot and took over as the new platoon.  According to Jon Heyman’s latest report, that late season SSS boost may have influenced the Yankees’ plans for next season.

In Heyman’s most recent “Inside Baseball” piece for CBS, he reported that the Yankees are “leaning toward going with Refsnyder and Ackley next year”, which was something that drew a lot of conversation late in the regular season when they were both hitting.  On the surface, this looks like an easy decision to make for a team not looking to add payroll.  Ackley hit .288/.333/.654 in his 57 Yankee plate appearances and he’s a former top prospect with lefty power potential.  …

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Qualifying Offers Shouldn’t Factor Into Yankees’ Offseason Plans

With the divisional round in full swing, there was an important piece of offseason news that came out over the weekend.  Via Eric Fisher, the value for qualifying free agent offers will be bumped up to $15.8 million this year.  Last year the QO value was $15.3 million.

The QO process is one that the Yankees have been heavily involved in and influenced by since its inception.  They have made qualifying offers to multiple internal free agents and recouped extra draft picks when those players have signed elsewhere.  Aaron Judge and Ian Clarkin were both supplemental 1st round picks granted to the Yankees by the QO rules.  They have also surely altered plans to pursue free agents that would have been good roster fits due to the draft pick forfeiture that comes with signing guys who have QO status.

For the first time in maybe forever, this coming offseason is shaping up to be one in which the Yankees are not influenced at all by the QO process.  …

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