Game 40 Recap: Nationals 8 Yankees 6 (10 Innings)

Nathan Eovaldi

Be creepier, bro. Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees reached the quarter pole of the regular season last night, and they did in the same fashion as they did heading into Monday’s off-day by losing on the road.

It was as bad a 1st inning as you could have if you were Nathan Eovaldi.  He gave up solo home runs to Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper to immediately put the Yankees in a hole.  It felt like it was going to be a long night, but Eovaldi managed to get past it and work through the next 3 innings scoreless.  He needed a big double play to help him out in the 4th, but he didn’t unravel and gave the offense a chance to get into the game.

And they did that in a big way in the top of the 4th.  Jacoby Ellsbury (more on him later) started the inning off with a walk, moved to second on a groundout, and scored on a Chris Young single to get the Yankees on the board.  …

Read more

Yankees Using The Simplest Formula In The Book To Drive Their Offensive Success

Teix-A-Rod vs BAL

Bash bros. Courtesy of Getty Images

I made this point on Twitter earlier today, but since not everybody in the world has had the good sense to follow me yet I figured it was worth expounding on here.  The Yankees are the cat’s meow right now.  They’re all that and a bag of chips.  They’re 18-6 in their last 24 games, at 21-12 they now own the best record in the American League, and they’re 4 games clear of Tampa Bay in the division with the chance to put more room in between themselves and the Rays tonight.

With all due respect to Michael Pineda and the ace relief duo of Betances & Miller, this blazing hot run has been driven by the insanely productive top of the batting order.  Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira have been the 4 best position players on the team thus far, and that’s reflected in all 4 of them currently ranking inside the top 25 in the American League in wRC+.  …

Read more

Chris Young Needs to Play

Young vs BAL

Courtesy of Getty Images

The season is young and the sample sizes are small and many reactions to the action thus far on the field are emotional and knee-jerk. So keep those thoughts in mind when certain beat writers bury Jacoby Ellsbury while certain writers (waving hand) of your favorite Yankee site (this one, of course) do the same to Carlos Beltran. My emotional and knee-jerk reaction is that Chris Young needs to be playing every day.

Despite playing only 41 of his 1,055 Major League games as a right-fielder, I think we can all agree that Young is going to be the better defender between him and Beltran. Carlos Beltran, in my mind, has had a Hall of Fame career. He is going to in the top ten of the greatest center fielders to ever play the game. JAWS currently has him eighth. But he isn’t that guy anymore and while his instincts may still be good in right, his body just isn’t.…

Read more

Quick Hit: Joe’s Early Decisions

I don’t want this to come off like I’m criticizing the manager or trying to play Monday morning quarterback with his decisions, because that’s not my intention.  Just like it’s far too early to make too much of the players’ performance, 8 games is hardly a sizable enough sample to start nitpicking the managerial decisions and blaming the manager for losses.  There have been a few moves that I’ve found particularly puzzling in these first 8 games, however, and I feel like I need to at least get them out of my head and onto the blog for the sake of discussion.

It all really started with the 19-inning game on Friday.  Since then, it seems like it’s been a nonstop rotation of rest days for multiple guys at a time and a very strict use of the platoon rule.  I understand Friday night was a whale of a game to play in this early in the season and I fully respect Joe’s desire to make sure his age 30 and up veteran core gets enough time to recover.  …

Read more

Spring Training Game 9 Recap: BAL 3 NYY 1

Aaron Judge

This dive started on the warning track. True story. Courtesy of the AP

In the first of what is hopefully not many starts for the Major League club this year, Chase Whitley took the ball to start this afternoon’s Spring Training square-off with the Baltimore Orioles.  Whitley’s one of the guys who is stretched out to work multiple innings early while guys like Tanaka and CC work at a slower pace, and that’s why he got the nod.  He turned in a perfectly Whitley-esque 3-inning outing and got a lot of strong relief innings from a pretty solid group of scheduled bullpen guys.  But the offense didn’t generate much and the Yanks racked up another meaningless L in the ST W-L column.

Game Notes:

– Whitley’s 3 innings came with 2 hits and 3 walks, but ultimately no runs.  He successfully worked out of the trouble he created for himself and there’s something to be said for that.  Definitely needs to sharpen up the command though.  …

Read more

Musing On Lineup Possibilities

Joe Lineup Card

“So I put Gardy here, and Teix here, and Didi here… “/Courtesy of Reuters

While they’re still hampered by an old, declining, high-injury risk group of power bats in the middle third of the batting order, the Yankees have done pretty well to upgrade their positions of greatest weakness and add some much needed depth to the position player portion of their roster this offseason.  There are enough guys in place and a few more guys who’ll be in play when ST starts to give Joe the potential to mix and match his lineups more strategically than he’s been able to the last few years.  Then it was him mixing and matching just to keep guys healthy and have enough warm bodies to fill out a lineup card.  Now it could be much more geared towards playing matchups and emphasizing the strengths of each player, of course with the goal of keeping the aforementioned old, injury-prone players healthy remaining in place.…

Read more

Covering A Short Rotation With A Deep Bullpen, Or Why I Still Want A 1-Inning Closer

Soriano Untuck

An untuck reunion would be pretty sweet, no? Courtesy of Getty Images

We’re less than 4 weeks from pitchers and catchers reporting to Tampa for the start of Spring Training 2015.  When they do, the question marks and problems in the rotation will become all too real.  Every picture of Masahiro Tanaka or CC Sabathia throwing long toss is going to be a reminder that each of them may be 1 pitch away from major elbow and knee injuries at all times, and a reminder of how little depth the Yankees have behind them to fill in if/when injuries strike.

The Yanks continue to stand pat on diving into the free agent bargain bin to add an arm.  As much as some of us might want them to do that, the smarter way to upgrade the pitching staff might be to go back to the free agent reliever pool and lock up somebody to work as a traditional 1-inning closer.  The bullpen is already shaping up to be one of the deepest and best in baseball.  …

Read more

Considering A-Rod As The Regular DH

A-Rod-HR-Celebration-vs-BOS

Still the best home run celebration ever.

Yesterday was proof that Alex Rodriguez still matters in MLB, even if he is a broken down, disgraced former great who might not even be physically capable of playing anymore.  I actually found it humorous that Cash’s comments about A-Rod’s role next year were such a big deal.  I mean, in Yankee media circles it makes sense.  He still plays for the Yankees.  But to see it mentioned on the ESPN scroll like it was actual news was ridiculous.  Like anybody else was holding out hope that he would be the starter at third even after they signed Chase Headley.

So love him or hate him, people still want to know what’s up with A-Rod and now we know how the Yankees are planning to utilize him next season.  With all the mileage on his body and multiple years remaining on his contract, the best way to get max on-field value out of him is from his bat.  …

Read more

Quick Hit: Andrew Miller Gets It

Andrew Miller talked to the NY media for the first time yesterday, giving insight into why he decided to sign with the Yankees over his other pursuers and what role he saw himself playing in the new ‘pen.  The talk over who was going to do what was already intriguing before D-Rob signed with the ChiSox and it will only get louder now that he’s gone, either until the Yankees name Miller or Betances the closer or sign another reliever to handle that role.

To his credit, Miller said he didn’t really care where and when he pitched and that a promised closer role was never part of the discussion between he and the Yanks.  His take on how he should be used was actually one of the smartest things I’ve heard a professional baseball player say in a while (quote courtesy of Chad Jennings):

“I’m pretty confident in myself.  I think I can get three outs at any point in the game, wherever that may be.

Read more