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

2015 Draft Recap: Days 2 And 3

Draft Logo 2015

After making 3 picks in the first 57 on opening night, the Yankees continued their 2015 MLB draft plan execution over the last 2 days.  They made 8 picks on Tuesday and another 30 yesterday to complete the 40 rounds of action, and it’d be wrong to not at least mention a few of the highlights from these last 2 days.

Day 2- The Yankees went college-heavy on day 1 and they kept that theme going on day 2 as they worked to get the most out of their draft bonus pool.  They took 6 college players and 2 high schoolers with their 8 picks, giving them 9 college players in all out of their first 11 selections.

– While the preppies were limited, they were well-represented by the 3rd round pick, right-handed pitcher Drew Finley.  He’s out of California, features a solid fastball-curveball-changeup mix, good command, and is the son of a baseball scout, so there’s that “grew up around the game” thing going for him.  …

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Game 59 Recap: Nationals 5 Yankees 4 (11 Innings)

Lindgren vs WAS

Shucks. Courtesy of Getty Images

Objectively this game sucked.  It should have been a win, it wasn’t, and to lose in extras when you come back late and then give one away always hurts.  GIven that the Yankee had won 7 straight prior to this 1 loss, and given the more important long-term developments with Andrew Miller, this has to be chalked up as a bump in the road and something from which you just move on.

It was a slow go early for the Bombers.  They managed a paltry 2 hits off Washington starter Gio Gonzalez through 6 innings.  Lotta GB outs and no real scoring opportunities.  It was a shame too, because despite a few rough patches it was actually a pretty good outing for Nathan Eovaldi.  He gave up a run in the 3rd on back-to-back doubles and another in the 5th on a hanging curve to Danny Espinosa that ended up as a solo home run.  …

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Game 58 Recap: Yankees 6 Nationals 1

Tanaka vs WAS

Courtesy of Getty Images

The big draw in last night’s 2-game series opener against the Nationals was the starting pitching matchup.  Max Scherzer vs. Masahiro Tanaka is one of the best possible pitching matchups in baseball today and those 2 didn’t disappoint.  The defense and relief work of Washington did in the late innings, however, and the Yankees capitalized to run their winning streak to 7.

So that Scherzer-Tanaka matchup.  It definitely lived up to its billing through the first 6 innings.  Tanaka retired the Nats in order over the first 3 innings, recording 7 of the 9 outs by way of strikeout or groundout.  He was running his fastball into the mid-90s, his sinker had good movement down in the zone, and the slider and splitter were on point as swing-and-miss pitches.  Scherzer wasn’t quite as dominant.  His only clean inning was the bottom of the 1st.  But he did get 7 swinging strikeouts over 6 and made some big pitches to get key groundouts with men on to kill potential 2-out rallies.…

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Quick Hit: Some More Slow And Steady Progress From Didi

A little over a month ago, I wrote a short post discussing the upward trend in Didi Gregorius’ play after his miserable first few weeks.  He had just started to hit a little better and field a little better, and while I wouldn’t say there was a huge wave of support for him in the comment section, there was a general sense of “let’s give him some more time and see how he does”.  That was the smart and reasonable way to look at the situation at the time, so kudos to all of us who were smart and reasonable enough to do so.

Here we are a month later and I’m happy to report that the slow and steady upward trend in Didi’s performance has continued.  From .222/.288/.250 in early May to .238/.294/.311 today, Didi has swung the bat much better in recent weeks and has been rewarded for it.  I touched on some of the key figures that support this trend on Twitter yesterday, from the improvement in OPS:

To the drastic improvement in hard contact rate:

They all add up to a young player who is continuing to settle into his new environment and new role, and that’s a very encouraging sign.  …

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The Underrated Brett Gardner

Gardner vs LAA

That home run swing is getting real pretty too. Courtesy of Getty Images

All things considered, the Yankees are humming right along this season.  They’ve been healthier and more productive than expected in some areas and less so in others, they’ve successfully dealt with their injury problems, and the overall mediocrity of their division has helped to keep them in first place.  There has been no shortage of important stories to follow as well, be it the surprising turnarounds of A-Rod and Teix, the unfortunate injuries to Tanaka and Ellsbury, the emergence of Big Mike, or the decline of CC.  All of those stories and players have helped get the Yankees to where they are in some way.

And underneath all those big stories and big names and beneath the big, bold headlines being written about them sits Brett Gardner.  Starting left fielder and #2 hitter for most of the year, starting center fielder and leadoff hitter lately, Gardner is once again putting together a very good season.  …

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2015 MLB Draft Night 1 Live Blog/Open Thread

Draft Logo 2015

Welcome to the first night of the 2015 MLB Draft, sports fans!  As mentioned earlier this morning, the Yankees have 3 picks in tonight’s first 2 rounds: the 16th, 30th, and 57th overall.  Neglected to mention it this morning, but that 16th pick is the highest the Yanks have picked in the 1st round since 1993, so it’s fair to say this night is a little bit bigger deal than usual.

If you’re trying to get some last-minute draft prep in, here are the latest mocks from Keith Law, John Sickels, Jim Callis & Jonathan Mayo, and Kiley McDaniel.  I think any of the guys mentioned in any of these mock drafts would be fine picks.

We’re going to let this serve as the update-able live blog to cover the Yankees’ picks and any other news that may come up during the draft as well as the open thread for the night.  If we’re lucky, some of our more draft-knowledgeable IIATMS staff members will join the discussion and offer some insight.  …

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Quick Hit: New Middle Relief Options Emerging

In the wake of the David Carpenter DFA decision, the biggest question facing the Yankees was what they were going to do to replace him as one of their regular middle relievers.  The bullpen is currently very low in right-handed relievers, with only Dellin Betances and Esmil Rogers remaining.  We saw what happens when Rogers gets a shot at filling Carpenter’s shoes and it wasn’t good, so the question still stands.  What are the Yankees going to do to make up for that lack of reliable righty middle relief?

If you go back and look at how the bullpen work has been divvied up over the last 2 weeks or so, the Yanks may have already figured out the answer to that question.  As expected, the answer lies not in replacing the lost righty relief but rather in using the high number of lefty relievers in the ‘pen to soak up the extra innings.  Justin Wilson and Chasen Shreve have both seen themselves move up in the pecking order lately and they’ve responded well.  …

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Monday Morning News And Notes (2015 Draft Edition): 6/8/15

It’s the second week of June.  The Yankees are 32-25 with a +30 run differential, they’re first in the AL East by 1.5 games over the Rays, and they’re in the middle of another all-or-nothing game streak as they come into today’s scheduled off-day.  Break their season down into streaks and it looks like like: 3-6, 18-6, 1-10, 10-3.  Like I said in last night’s game recap, I can’t explain it but I’m definitely enjoying it right now.  Here’s a quick round of catch-up on some of the smaller things we haven’t touched on lately.

– You may have noticed a glaring absence of Michael Pineda in yesterday’s game.  Nothing wrong with him, the Yankees just elected to skip this start as a way to manage his workload.  Pineda has thrown 70.1 innings in 11 starts so far, which puts him on pace for about 220 this season.  Considering he’d thrown less than 250 in his whole Major League career coming into this season and only 76.1 over the last 3 because of the shoulder injuries, I’d say this is a smart piece of preventative maintenance.…

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Game 57 Recap: Yankees 6 Angels 2

Sabathia Ejection vs LAA

Something something, CC should move that quickly to cover first base… Courtesy of Getty Images

I don’t know what’s gotten into the Yankees this week.  I don’t know what it means and I don’t know how long it’s going to last.  What I know is that I’m absolutely loving it and it’s been fun to write about.

The Yankees put the Angels down 6-2 this afternoon to close out their 6th straight win and 2nd straight series sweep after the beatdown in Seattle.  It didn’t look like it was going to be that kind of ending after the top of the 1st, when CC Sabathia gave up back-to-back home runs to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.  CC has been getting abused by right-handed hitting and these were just the 2 latest examples.  There was little reason to expect that CC was going to have a good game based on how that 1st inning went.

And then a funny thing happened.  …

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