Trade Deadline Thoughts And Afterthoughts

Severino SWB

Best deadline pickup? Courtesy of Bill Tarutis/Times Leader

The 2015 non-waiver trade deadline came and went yesterday and it was the quietest deadline in years for the Yankees.  Despite being connected to plenty of players in the weeks and days leading up to 4 PM yesterday, including almost every big name pitcher, they ended up making just the one move to pick up Dustin Ackley.  Since there aren’t a lot of trades to talk about, I figured I’d expand the deadline analysis to the whole roster and look at what other things the Yankees did to try and bolster their roster for the stretch run.

– But first the Ackley trade.  I didn’t have a strong feeling about it one way or the other when it was announced on Thursday, and I still really don’t.  At a high level, it makes sense for the Yankees.  They traded from their 2 sources of greatest prospect depth and upgraded a part of their Major League bench.  …

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Has Alex Rodriguez Been What The Yankee Clubhouse Was Missing All Along?

Alex Rodriguez got an early 40th birthday present yesterday from his manager.  After having to take multiple brisk jogs around the bases on Saturday night, he got a day off in the series finale and watched his teammates put together another strong victory against a quality opponent.  Even though he wasn’t a direct participant in any of the on-field happenings, A-Rod did play a small part in the action by picking up Stephen Drew in a dugout pseudo-bear hug after his 2-run homer in the 6th.  It wasn’t all that different from the pseudo-bear hug he gave John Ryan Murphy after his 3-run shot completed the comeback on Saturday night.

In addition to the celebratory dugout hugs, we’ve seen A-Rod factor into a lot of the in-game team camaraderie stuff this season.  He’s always good for a laugh when he’s going first to third or second to home running the bases, and his rolling, tumbling, flop slide into home plate the other day on Chase Headley‘s 3-run double was a thing of comedic beauty.  …

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Trying (And Failing) To Make Sense Of Ryan Over Refsnyder

This was supposed to be a long post analyzing the decision to send Rob Refsnyder down and keep Brendan Ryan up on the active roster.  I was going to try to be fair and rational and logical and come up with an explanation that made sense for the team and the players involved.  But after thinking about it for the last 18 hours or so, I can’t do it.  I can’t.  I really don’t have the energy or the desire to try to rationalize this move, and after 18 hours I still can’t figure out why the Yankees made it.

No matter what way I try to look at the decision, it doesn’t make sense to me.  Keeping Ryan over Refsnyder makes the team weaker and worse than it was before.  Refsnyder might not have the defensive flexibility that Ryan does, but he looked good enough at second base.  Wouldn’t the team be better off with him at second and Stephen Drew on the bench as the utility infielder?  …

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Should Bryan Mitchell Be Sent Back Down To Work As A Starter?

If there’s one place the Yankees could really stand to add some depth before the trade deadline, it’s the rotation.  We’ve been through the talking points a million times already this season, so nobody needs to be reminded of why that is or what the concerns are.  The bottom line is that the Yankees have multiple concerns in their rotation with over 70 games to play and their organizational starting pitching depth is not what it was at the beginning of the season.  That being the case, let me ask this.  Does it make sense to send Bryan Mitchell down to Triple-A to stretch back out and work as a starter?

Based on what we’ve seen in his 9+ Major League relief innings, the quick answer is no.  Mitchell’s already plus stuff has played up as expected out of the bullpen.  He’s been firing mid-high 90s heat and a nasty curveball, and along with Adam Warren and Chasen Shreve he’s helped to stabilize and even solidify the Yankees’ middle relief.…

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Quick Hit: How Long Can A-Rod Keep Raking?

A-Rod 3000th Hit II

3,020 and counting… Courtesy of Getty Images

Take a quick look at Alex Rodriguez‘s first half splits:

April: .876 OPS, 5 HR, 13 R, 13 RBI
May: .941 OPS, 6 HR, 15 R, 14 RBI
June: .860 OPS, 4 HR, 15 R, 18 RBI
July: .909 OPS, 3 HR, 5 R, 6 RBI

Obviously those July numbers are from less than 2 weeks’ worth of games, but extrapolate that out over a full month and A-Rod is right on the pace he’s been all season.  There were concerns about his ability to stay healthy and play every day, and he’s proven those wrong.  There were concerns about his ability to produce after so much time off, and he’s proven those wrong.  There were concerns about how long he could maintain such a high level of production, and through the first half of the season he has proven those wrong.  The batting averages and BB/K rates have fluctuated from month to month, but overall there hasn’t been any kind of dip or drop-off in A-Rod’s production.  …

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On A-Rod and the All-Star Snub

So it obviously wasn’t that big a surprise to find out that Alex Rodriguez didn’t make the 2015 American League All-Star team as a reserve player and that he also didn’t make the list of Final Vote candidates, but what is surprising, and, frankly, quite a bit shocking is just how many people are legitimately angered by his being snubbed.

That’s right, people from all over, writers and fans alike, and not just writers and fans from the New York area, are actually calling it a snub.

Give me a minute here. I’m getting verklempt.

Linda Richman is a little Verklempt

Talks amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a topic: transitional Romanesque architecture was neither transitional or Romanesque. Discuss.

Can I just say how much this whole situation warms the cockles of my heart? I cannot believe it.

I will admit that some people probably want Alex on the All-Star team just to stick it to Bud Selig and Rob Manfred, but others were tweeting statistics and pointing out why he is a worthy All-Star candidate.…

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Tuesday Morning “Back From The Nation’s Capital” Thoughts And Afterthoughts

So how was everybody’s long weekend?  Good?  Good.  I stayed completely away from a computer screen and almost completely away from social media all weekend, but I still managed to see enough of what transpired on the field to know how the Yankees did.  With less than a week to go until the All-Star break and coming off another scheduled off-day to set up the next 6 games, it seems like the perfect time to catch up on what I haven’t been writing about.

– Let’s go back to Friday night, the first of 2 walk-off wins the Yanks pulled out against the Rays.  That has to be the win of the year so far, right?  Down 3 late, tie it up on a big home run, go down 2 in the 12th, come back for 4 in the bottom half and win it on an even bigger home run.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

– It was the high of that victory and the bonus of Saturday afternoon’s Tampa defense-aided walk-off win that didn’t have me all up in arms over Sunday’s stinkfest.  …

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Projecting The 25-Man Roster At The Trade Deadline

By now, almost everybody has had a chance to catch up on the big story to come out of last night, that being the Yankees’ decision to send Adam Warren back to the bullpen.  They announced that Nathan Eovaldi would make the start tomorrow, effectively removing Warren from the rotation and sending him back to where he was originally supposed to be.

The argument for why Warren deserved to go when he’s outperformed former fellow starters CC Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi is both a valid and unnecessary one, as this was always the move the Yankees were going to make.  Further beating that dead horse case into the ground won’t change the decision, so rather than dwell on it let’s move forward from it and use it as a launch pad to look ahead over the next month.

The return of Ivan Nova is what really led to the Warren decision, and depending on how you want to look at it, that return can act as the Yankees’ version of adding a starter at the trade deadline.  …

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Bad Defense Continues To Hamper The Yankees

Gardner-Jones Drop vs HOU

The look of surprise on Jones’ face is actually pretty funny. Courtesy of Getty Images

The Yankees dropped the series finale in Houston yesterday, and while there’s nothing wrong with splitting a 4-game road series against a division leader, yesterday’s game was another one of those frustrating “coulda, shoulda, woulda” losses that the Yanks seem to have a little too often.

They wasted a very good start by Michael Pineda (2 runs in 8 innings), didn’t muster but 2 hits against what has been a very hittable Colin McHugh this season, and they even committed a defensive error that was worse than anything you could see in the Little League World Series.  In the bottom of the 4th, Carlos Correa lofted a lazy fly ball to left-center field.  Brett Gardner had a bead on it, called for it, and then at the last second pulled back as Garrett Jones did the exact same thing coming for the other direction.  The ball dropped between them for what was scored a double, but then Gardner made things worse by kicking the ball to the wall in his attempt to pick it up.  …

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