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.

Quick Hit: Baseball America’s Top 10 Yankee Prospects List

Prospect ranking season is upon us, people.  Baseball America has been releasing their updated organizational top 10 lists for a while now and today was the Yankees’ turn.  Courtesy of Josh Norris, here is the top 10 Yankee list:

1) Jorge Mateo
2) Gary Sanchez
3) Aaron Judge
4) James Kaprielian
5) Domingo Acevedo
6) Rookie Davis
7) Tyler Wade
8) Rob Refsnyder
9) Wilkerman Garcia
10) Dustin Fowler

That’s… a lot different than my top 10.  There’s a lot going on here.  The top 4 are inarguable in any order, although I definitely wouldn’t put Mateo above 2 top 50-100 guys who are in Triple-A.  Acevedo at 5 is a huge shock considering his age and lack of full-season experience, and I don’t buy Wade as a top 10 talent, but I can’t argue with Davis or Refsnyder and I like the inclusion of Garcia and Fowler.  Garcia may be the best shortstop prospect in the organization that never gets talked about and Fowler really put it together this year across all aspects of the game.… Click here to read the rest

Monday Morning Food For Thought: Hope For CC?

The news of CC Sabathia‘s early offseason progress came out last week and reaction among Yankee fans was understandably “meh”.  That’s what happens when you’ve had the kind of poor last few seasons that Sabathia has had, and it all seemed to come to a head in 2015.  The performance was still bad, the health was still not good, and Sabathia finally had to confront an alcohol problem that he’s been dealing with for the last few years.  There was already little reason to expect much from Sabathia in 2016, and it wouldn’t be completely unfair to say his latest problems make it even less likely that he’ll be a positive contributor.

And yet he will remain in the rotation.  Joe and Cash have each already said as much in previous interviews and meetings with the media, and the current state of the rest of the Yankee rotation pretty much necessitates it.  The depth isn’t there, the collective health and injury risk factor is sky high, and the Yankees are severely limited in what they can add to help those issues thanks to their trusty 2-way, self-enforced limitation on spending money and trading away top prospects.  … Click here to read the rest

Saturday Morning Links: 12/19/15

A batch of links to start your weekend.

– On Thursday, Chad Jennings of LoHud had some thoughts on Dellin Betances’ workload and some quotes from Betances on how he works out to be able to handle the larger workload.

– Ben Diamond of BP Bronx looked back at Brett Gardner’s history of second half slumps and how they may be tied to the injuries he’s accumulated over the course of a season.

– El duque of It Is High… lamented the Yankees’ inability to develop any quality third basemen internally.  That lack of positional depth could hurt them this year if Chase Headley starts to decline.

– On Friday, Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs posted the 2016 ZiPS projections for the Yankees.  These projections are put together by friend of the blog Dan Szymborski.  This is definitely worth a deeper look when you have time, but the short version is these projections are pretty pessimistic.  No biggie, I think that was the case last year too.… Click here to read the rest

Friday Morning News And Notes: 12/18/15

Brendan Ryan Mustache

That stache is going to be a big loss in the clubhouse. Courtesy of the AP

I’d say today is the last day of real work before Christmas.  Everybody knows the last few days before are throw-away days, so here’s hoping everybody has an easy one in front of them today.

– The Yankees officially completed the Starlin Castro trade yesterday by announcing Brendan Ryan as the PTBNL in the deal.  This was reported by multiple guys when the trade news first broke, so not really a surprise here.  The deal to re-sign Ryan for multiple years was a strange one and I’m sure nobody will be sad to see him go.  That said, the Yankees are a little short on backup third base options at the moment, although I imagine they’ll look to use one of their 2 open 40-man spots to address that.

– Via Chad Jennings, CC Sabathia said he is “light years ahead” of where he’s been the last few years with respect to his offseason workouts.  … Click here to read the rest

The Problem With The Justin Wilson Trade

A week has passed since the Yankees shipped Justin Wilson to the Tigers for 2 Triple-A pitchers.  It’s done, it’s over, it’s old news by now, and yet I still can’t fully accept the deal and move on.  I completely understand why the Yankees made the move.  It was another textbook example of the “trade from positions of organizational depth to address areas of weakness” strategy that Cash has employed to try to rebuild this roster on the fly, and that strategy seems to be working pretty well.  I also completely understand why a lot of people didn’t like the idea of trading away an important piece of the 2016 Major League puzzle to fill holes in the Triple-A rotation.  That doesn’t exactly send the right message, especially when that message is being delivered behind the standard “we’re committed to building a championship-caliber team each and every year” company line.

The more I’ve thought about this trade and whether I did or did not like it, the more I’ve gone back and forth on it.  … Click here to read the rest

Wednesday Morning Links: 12/16/15

In my quest to better accommodate my severely decreased writing (and reading) time, I’ve made the executive decision to split the weekly Linkapalooza into smaller chunks.  Figure one on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning, the other on Friday afternoon.  Sound good?  Good.  Here’s what’s cooking this week.

– On Monday, William Juliano of The Captain’s Blog ran the tab on the current 2016 payroll and looked ahead to the potential luxury tax hit for this year.

– Jayson Stark of ESPN shared his thoughts on the Pete Rose situation and Rose’s legacy.  I don’t care much for Rose or his HOF eligibility, but if you do then definitely read this.

– On Tuesday, Mike Axisa of RAB discussed the void of reliable middle inning relief work left by the Adam Warren and Justin Wilson trades and how the Yankees might go about filling it.

– Tanya Bondurant of Pinstripe Alley wondered if the Chase Headley contract will go down as a bad one.Click here to read the rest

Quick Hit: Updated 2016 Opening Day Roster

It’s been almost 2 months since I did this exercise and there’s been a couple major changes since then, so let’s see where the projected 2016 Opening Day roster stands as of this morning, shall we?

Starting Lineup:

1) Jacoby Ellsbury– CF
2) Brett Gardner– LF
3) Carlos Beltran– RF
4) Mark Teixeira– 1B
5) Alex Rodriguez– DH
6) Brian McCann– C
7) Chase Headley– 3B
8) Starlin Castro– 2B
9) Didi Gregorius– SS

Starting Rotation:

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

Bench: Gary Sanchez, Dustin Ackley, Aaron Hicks, Greg Bird

Bullpen: Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, Chasen Shreve, Bryan Mitchell, Ivan Nova, Nick Goody, Jacob Lindgren

I took the liberty of putting the lineup in what I expect would be the Opening Day batting order and I also gave CC Sabathia the 5th spot in the rotation.  … Click here to read the rest

Sunday News And Notes: 12/13/15

Been a quiet weekend around here.  Obviously everybody needed to recover from the madness of the Winter Meetings. Here’s a few notes and links if you aren’t watching football today.

– On Friday the Yankees re-signed right-handers Domingo German and Diego Moreno to MiL deals for next season.  German was the latest prospect to get the release/re-sign treatment to avoid waivers, so good on the Yankees for continuing to exploit that advantage.  German is likely to start his TJS rehab season in High-A Tampa, while Moreno figures to be bullpen depth as needed at Double-A or Triple-A.

– Via Zach Braziller of The Post, Carlos Beltran is expected to be one of the veterans who will help guide Starlin Castro as he joins the Yankee clubhouse, and he hinted that the 2016 season could be his last.  The quote from Beltran:

“I don’t think there is any big decision I have to make — other than to play one more year or go home.  

Click here to read the rest

Quick Hit: Yankees Lose 2, Select None In The Rule 5 Draft

The Rule 5 Draft just wrapped up a little while ago, and as expected the Yankees lost Double-A outfielder Jake Cave.  He was taken with the 2nd pick of the draft by the Reds.  What was extremely unexpected was the Braves taking right-hander Evan Rutckyj with the next pick, although maybe that should be expected given the number of former Yankee prospects and MiLers that the Braves have stockpiled over the last few years.

The Yankees did not select anybody in the 3 rounds of the Major League draft, but did add 3 players in the Triple-A portion.  They also lost 4 more players in that portion of the draft, so it certainly seems as though the Yankee farm system has improved as far as their competitors are concerned.

Cave was expendable thanks to the team’s upper-level OF depth and I don’t expect Rutckyj to stick on the Atlanta roster all year, so no big loss for the Yanks.  The full draft results can be found here.Click here to read the rest