Quick Hit: Why Joe Yanked Eovaldi

There’s been a lot of debate in the game recap comment section about the decision to pull Nathan Eovaldi in last night’s game, and justifiably so.  It turned out to be a decision that negatively impacted the Yankees’ chances to win the game in a major way.

Obviously we’re all looking at this with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and some form of pre-existing biases against both Eovaldi and Joe Girardi.  But there are numbers to support Joe’s decision, numbers that a few commenters brought up.  Just food for thought, but here is how Eovaldi’s slash line against trends through his pitch count:

- Pitches 1-25: .349/.355/.509
– Pitches 26-50: .218/.282/.277
– Pitches 51-75: .295/.327/.442
– Pitches 76-100: .391/.476/.464

At 86 pitches, Eovaldi was right in the middle of the stretch where he tends to give up the most damage.  Opposing hitters go for the highest average, highest on-base, and second highest power output against him in that pitch range.  …

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On Yesterday’s Sneak Peek At The New Bullpen Hierarchy

Betances vs BAL

Dellin Betances shakes hands with a small child in a John Ryan Murphy jersey at the conclusion of yesterday’s game. Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees salvaged a little something from the weekend series in Baltimore yesterday with a hard fought 5-3 victory.  The big offensive inning in the top of the 5th is what got them the lead, but the real reason they held on to win was the outstanding relief work by the last 3 reliable men standing in the bullpen.

Chasen Shreve, Justin Wilson, and Dellin Betances.  Only 1 of them was expected to be a critical part of the bullpen’s success this year, but yesterday all 3 of them shined in their new roles.  Shreve came on in relief of starter Adam Warren in the bottom of the 5th to hold the lead the offense had just given them, and did so by getting Travis Snider to fly out to end the inning.  He then returned to the mound for the start of the 6th inning and retired the Orioles 1-2-3 on a pair of groundouts and a foul tip strikeout.…

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Joe Girardi faces big test in Miller’s DL stint

Having two good – if not great – bullpen options makes being a manager look easy.

There’s not a great formula needed when you have Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller pitching in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. Pitch them both in either inning, it hasn’t really mattered.

But things got curious over the last couple of days with Joe Girardi’s decisions. First, he said Betances off on Wednesday, and promised he didn’t plan on using him even though the Yankees were off on Thursday. Betances threw 14 pitches the night before.

Sure, there is a long stretch of games coming up, but Betances is not going to be needed in every game in this stretch.

Then, it was announced after yesterday’s game that Andrew Miller was headed to the deal with a forearm muscle strain. There goes the closer, but the Yankees have Betances sliding into his spot in the ninth.

Yet, the worrisome part is that Miller stated to reporters after yesterday’s game that his issue didn’t occur suddenly.…

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Attempting To Talk Fairly About Joe And The Bullpen Situation

Girardi vs BAL

Courtesy of Getty Images

It’s been a rough few days for Joe Girardi and his bullpen.  He used his 2 best relievers in a 5-run game on Tuesday night, didn’t have the one healthy one left available yesterday as a result, went with one of his younger, inexperienced middle relievers for the 8th inning, and watched that reliever cough up the 2-run lead that the offense had provided in the previous half-inning.  This comes on the heels of Friday night’s 9th inning near-meltdown by an even lower-leverage reliever and a few questionable instances of using David Carpenter in close games with men on before he was future endeavored.

There’s been a lot to not like from the ‘pen over the past month or so, from the injuries to the inconsistency to the decision making to the performance at times.  The one part of the roster that was thought to be solid and the least cause for concern has become arguably the most inconsistent, and yesterday it seemed like that came to head for many fans and bloggers around the Yankosphere.  …

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Thursday morning reflections after a sweep in Seattle

I said this other day after the Yankees were able to beat Felix Hernandez: This team is confounding.

They will sweep the best team in the league (in the AL and at the time the series began), lose three out of four to a terrible team in Oakland and then sweep the Mariners in Seattle while facing the aforementioned Hernandez.

And guess what? The Yankees are in first place and four games above .500! They’re 7-3 in their last 10 games, not that you’d know that with the way some people are reacting to how they’re playing.

Are they a great team? No, but in the AL Least – no, I did not spell that wrong – being just good enough will probably be more than adequate to win the division.

Were these three games against Seattle good? Yes and no.

Beating King Felix was fun but barely beating a rookie in Mike Montgomery – well, they actually didn’t beat him, they had to wait until Fernando Rodney entered the game to make some noise – and being nearly shut down by Taijuan Walker wasn’t that great.…

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Quick Hit: Preparing For Tanaka’s Return

After spending over a month on the disabled list with right wrist tendinitis and a forearm strain, Masahiro Tanaka will rejoin the active roster and the rotation later this afternoon in the series finale against the Mariners.  It’s been a while since we’ve seen him in action, so I thought it would be prudent to quickly recap his whole situation and how it relates to the rest of the team’s current situation.

As of right now, we do not know what the corresponding roster move will be to open up a 25-man spot for Tanaka, but there are plenty of simple options.  The Yankees could send one of their multiple young bullpen lefties back to Triple-A, they could DFA one of their under-performing bullpen righties (Carpenter or Rogers), or they could decide to DFA Chris Capuano, who has been far from good since he came off the DL and rejoined the rotation recently.

Whatever the Yankees choose to do, they will be upgrading their pitching staff by giving it its best starter back.  …

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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.  …

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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+.  …

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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.…

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