What Will Michael Pineda’s Return Mean?

Two very significant pitching developments happened for the New York Yankees yesterday with Luis Severino looking like an absolute stud and Michael Pineda returning to make a rehab start for Double-A Trenton. Pineda, who threw 42 pitches, allowed two runs over three innings in the start, but as we know the results of...

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Why is Garrett Jones on this Roster? The Yankees Need a Left-Handed Bench Bat

You probably watched the game on Friday night: tied in the 9th inning with one out, Carlos Beltran hits a single off LHP Brett Cecil. Chase Headley is about to come up to bat. Chris Young, probably the best lefty-masher on any MLB bench, is available to pinch hit. I’m at the game, waiting for Joe Girardi to make the no-brainer move. And then… Chris Young pinch runs for Carlos Beltran.

What the hell happened? Why did Girardi, who plays the percentages as well as any manager, not make the switch to his best hitter? I react:

Pinch-running Young, who hardly steals bases these days, felt like a tremendous waste that took me a little bit to process. Even if you want to let Chase Headley bat, Young can hit for Didi or Stephen Drew if Headley hits a single or takes a walk.…

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Yanks Re-Sign Garrett Jones, Activate Him Onto The 25-Man Roster (UPDATED)

Well that didn’t take long.  The Yankees have solved the temporary short bench problem I described earlier by re-signing Garrett Jones.  According to Jack Curry, he was re-signed to his original contract terms, so he’s owed about $1.8 mil for the remainder of the season.

The Yankees will have to make a roster move to clear a spot, and Curry suspects it will be either Branden Pinder or Caleb Cotham.  Pinder has the edge in experience this season, but I might give the spot to Cotham.  Pinder’s contact rates and low strikeout totals are a little scary.

** UPDATE 2:06 PM ** – Cotham was sent down to Triple-A and Danny Burawa was DFA’d to clear a 40-man spot.

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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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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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Report: Refsnyder To Stay With The Big League Club After The All-Star Break

Take this with whatever quantity of salt you desire, but according to John Harper of the Daily News, the Yankees are not planning on sending Rob Refsnyder back down to Triple-A after the All-Star break.  Instead they will keep him up with the Major League club, presumably as their new starting second baseman and bare minimum as part of a second base platoon with Stephen Drew.

This report comes on the heels of the Yankee decision makers speaking in vague, non-committal tones about Refsnyder’s future over the weekend.  Cash said there were no plans for him beyond last weekend when he was called up, and Joe told reporters after Sunday’s game that the team would use the break to discuss options and make a final decision.  If this report is indeed true, then it would appear as though the team liked what they saw from Refs on Saturday and Sunday and are finally coming to the realization that they can’t continue to trot Drew out at second base every day.…

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Yankees Announce Post-ASB Rotation Order

The Yankees finished up a 4-2 homestand and a pretty solid final first half turn through the rotation yesterday.  Their diminished former ace pitched well enough to win on Wednesday, their new ace and backup ace looked like aces on Thursday and Friday, their recovering TJS guy continued to show some positive signs in his battle to regain his pre-surgery form on Saturday, and their young development project turned in his 9th start of 3 ER or fewer in his last 10 yesterday.

The Yankee rotation has had no shortage of concerns and conversations surrounding it this season.  From injury concerns to workload concerns to performance concerns to concerns over who should and should not be in it.  After a first half of spot juggling, injury replacing, extra rest days, and harsh realities, the team already has its plan mapped out for the start of the second half.  Per Dan Barbarisi yesterday morning:

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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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