Quick Hit: Eppler Effect Nabs Two From Yankee Front Office

Slow day yesterday, but I did see something creep over the wire that was newsworthy in Yankeeland.  Via Sweeny Murti (who still has me blocked on Twitter), Billy Eppler has poached a pair of guys from the Yankee front office/scouting staff and brought them to join him in Anaheim.  Steve Martone, who was the Yankees’ manager of pro scouting, will be Eppler’s new assistant GM, and Eric Chavez has been named special assistant to the GM.  No word yet on whether Martone will have a special assistant to the assistant GM or if that position will be filled by a former Yankee, but stay tuned.

These aren’t devastating losses for the Yankees.  They’ll replace from within on the pro scouting job and they can always bring in more ex-players to be scouts and special assistants, but there’s some significance to the loss of Chavez.  He was reportedly instrumental in convincing the team to pursue the Didi Gregorius trade last offseason after playing with Didi in Arizona.…

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Quick hit: Yanks trade Jose Pirela to the Padres

Some hot stove news!

Ronald Herrera is a right handed pitcher who made it to Double A last season so the deal opens up a spot on the 40-man roster. 20-year-old Herrera threw 43 2/3 innings for the San Antonio Missions. He gave up 48 hits, walked 14 and struck out 35.

Jose Pirela, who can play second base and the outfield, played in 37 games last year for the Yankees and batted .230/.247/.311/.558 in 78 plate appearances.

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Yankees Announce Alan Cockrell As New Hitting Coach, Marcus Thames As New Assistant

After waiting for a while to replace the departed Kevin Long last offseason, the Yankees wasted no such time this year in replacing Jeff Pentland.  As first reported by George King and since confirmed by the team, the Yankees have promoted assistant hitting coach Alan Cockrell to the “head” hitting coach position and promoted former player and Triple-A SWB hitting coach Marcus Thames to Cockrell’s former assistant position.

This was the most logical move in following the dual hitting coach format that the team took on this season, and one I predicted 100% correctly on October 18th (look it up).  Cockrell was reportedly productive in working with the team’s older veteran hitters in 2015 and Thames has earned a sparkling reputation in the organization for the way he works with young hitters, so this tandem is a good fit for what the Yankees are going to look like in 2016.  They’re going to need production from their veteran bats to win games and they’re likely going to try to work in the kids even more.  …

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Quick hit: Happy Anniversary, Joe Torre!

20 years ago today, this happened:


Well, the cover was printed the next day, but the Yankees announced the hiring of Joe Torre on November 2, 1995.

It’s amazing to think of what was to come and how his tenure would turn out considering all of the negativity that surrounded the news of him taking the Yankees managerial job.

Here’s how Torre did, in case you forgot:

  • 4 World Series titles
  • 6 World Series appearances
  • 2 Manager of the Year awards
  • Leading the team to the playoffs every year he was manager
  • 1173-767 record

Was his time with the Yankees perfect? Nope. But he did have a hand in providing a lot of us with many special memories and considering the tone of that back cover, Torre definitely got the last laugh.

He’s now in the Hall of Fame and even more importantly (just kidding) his number was retired by the Yankees and he has a place in Monument Park!

Happy Monday.…

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Quick hit: Tim Naehring promoted, will take over Eppler’s duties

171-527FrTo add to Brad’s news and notes post from earlier this morning: The Yankees have made a change in their front office hierarchy following the departure of Assistant General Manager Billy Eppler to the Angels. Per Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, Tim Naehring, will now be General Manager Brian Cashman’s “top guy” but instead of being called the Assistant General Manager, Naehring will have a different title which is to be determined.

Cashman has decided to promote Tim Naehring, whose entire playing career was spent in Boston, to fill Billy Eppler’s old role, a source confirmed. Eppler, who left in October to become the Angels GM, was Cashman’s assistant GM. A source said that the Yankees are reorganizing their whole player personnel department. Naehring will not have the assistant GM title, though, he will take on Eppler’s old responsibilities.

Naehring played for the Red Sox from 1990-1997 and hit .282/.365/.420. After retiring, he was a scout with the Cincinnati Reds before coming over to the Yankees in 2007.…

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Quick Hit: The 2016 Yankee Roster Right Now

Nothing too overly thought out or strategic here.  Just a quick construction of next year’s Opening Day roster as I would build it from the players that I know could still be under team control next year.  This means no impending free agents – so long Drew, Young, and Cap – and it assumes that the Yankees will tender offers to all their key arbitration-eligible players.  Here’s how it looks:

Starting Lineup:

C- Brian McCann
1B- Mark Teixeira
2B- Rob Refsnyder/Dustin Ackley
SS- Didi Gregorius
3B- Chase Headley
LF- Brett Gardner
CF- Jacoby Ellsbury
RF- Carlos Beltran
DH- Alex Rodriguez


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

Bench: John Ryan Murphy, Ackley/Refs, Brendan Ryan, Slade Heathcott

Bullpen: Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, Justin Wilson, Adam Warren, Chasen Shreve, Bryan Mitchell, Sabathia/Nova

Not much different from the roster that opened and closed last season.  …

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Breaking News: CC Sabathia to miss the playoffs, checking into rehab for alcohol abuse

So this is the sort of news no one expected this afternoon.

CC Sabathia released a statement saying that he will be entering alcohol rehab and will be missing the playoffs:


Our best wishes go out to CC and his family during this time.

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Quick Hit: Rodriguez is a Finalist for Comeback Player of the Year

As per Mark Feinsand:

Alex Rodriguez’s comeback season has been a major storyline around the Yankees all season. The rest of baseball took notice, apparently.

A-Rod is one of three finalists for the American League Comeback Player of the Year in this year’s Players Choice Awards, the MLB Players Association announced Thursday.

Prince Fielder of the Rangers and Kendrys Morales of the Royals are the other two finalists.

It is certainly exciting to see Rodriguez up for any award, let alone one that is determined in part by his peers. Heading into tonight’s game, he’s hitting .252/.356/.492 with 33 HR and 86 RBI, good for a 130 wRC+ – and this on the heels of missing all of 2014, and the majority of 2013.

Had Mark Teixeira‘s season not ended prematurely, one has to wonder if he would have been up for the award, as well.

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Quick Hit: The Reigniting Of Rob Refsnyder’s Existence

By all accounts, it sounds like Stephen Drew is done for the season with post-concussion symptoms.  I honestly can’t remember a play in the first half of September that would have given him a concussion, but that’s really here nor there.  His recent absence, combined with Brendan Ryan‘s general terribleness, has opened up some opportunities at second base in this final month as the Yankees try to lock up a playoff spot.

The greater opportunity has been seized by Dustin Ackley, who’s been swinging a hot bat since coming off the DL and has essentially taken over the “starting” second base job with Drew on the shelf.  The smaller opportunity has gone to Rob Refsnyder, the once future greatest second base prospect in the history of baseball and the recently forgotten man in the second base organizational depth chart.  It’s been a long, strange trip up and down the prospect hype curve for Refsnyder this year, but he’s getting a chance to contribute in important late-season games and he’s showing a few things that might bring a little luster back to his name and perceived future potential.…

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