Reviewing The Rule 5 Draft Roster Situation

Tomorrow is the deadline for teams to set the 40-man Major League, Triple-A, and Double-A rosters in preparation for next month’s Rule 5 draft.  The Yankees always seem to be under a 40-man roster crunch and never seem to have enough spots for protection-worthy players who are Rule 5 eligible, and this season is no different.  Here’s a quick breakdown of where the roster stands, what other moves might be made to clear space, and my thoughts on what players the Yankees will, won’t, should, and should not protect.

The Roster: Currently stands at 38 players.  21 pitchers, 3 catchers, 6 infielders (not including Ackley), 7 outfielders (including Ackley), and 1 Alex Rodriguez.

The Potential Casualties: Caleb Cotham, Domingo German

Cotham is a 28-year-old MiL lifer who just made his MLB debut in 2015.  He pitched to a 6.52/6.55 ERA/FIP split in 9.2 innings and gave up 14 hits and 4 homers.  He’s most likely a Quad-A player at best, and the Yankees have enough to righty relief depth to make up for his loss.…

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Current State of the Yankees Rotation

(NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) in action against the at Yankee Stadium on October 1, 2015 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Red Sox 4-1. The Yankees clinched a wildcard playoff position and won their 10,000th regular season game.


The awfulness of the New York Yankees offense down the stretch got most of the attention and blame for the downfall of the second half, but the starting pitching played a role as well and the Yankees are in an interesting spot this offseason when it comes to their rotation.

The Yankees finished 18th in starters ERA at 4.25, but eighth with a 3.75 xFIP. The biggest issue was a lack of innings, as the Yankees finished 21st in MLB in starters innings and it felt worse than that. CC Sabathia of all pitchers led the team with 167.1 innings. This really manifested itself down the stretch when the bullpen performance fell off due to too many innings.

The thing with the Yankees starting rotation is that it’s tantalizing with potential, almost like a tease. We’ve seen Masahiro Tanaka perform like an ace at times. We’ve seen flashes from Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi that suggest they can be good second and third starters.…

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A guest post: Do the Yankees always collapse in September?

[Editor’s note: This is a guest post from longtime IIATMS reader, Professor Longnose. If you’d like to write a guest post, feel free to email me at sgotsulias at gmail dot com. -SG]

Aren’t You Glad Girardi Rested the Yankee Players All Season So They Could Collapse in September the Way They Always Do??

I don’t know how many times I said that after a loss recently, but I said it often enough that I wondered if I was being unfair. The Yankees certainly had a September to forget this year, and I’m pretty sure I remember them doing it last year, too, but my memory is as short as most fans. Does Girardi always manage them to a limp finish? Fortunately, we have the data to take a look.

Here is a fairly complicated chart doing a fairly simple thing: comparing the Yankees winning percentage from the beginning of the season through August 31 with their winning percentage from September 1 through the end of the regular season for every year of Girardi’s managerial reign.…

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Putting Together The Wild Card Game Roster

The Yankees are back in the playoffs.  That’s good news.  They only need 1 more win or 1 more Astros loss to secure home field advantage in the AL Wild Card game, which is also good news.  In addition to the decided advantage that will come with facing the Astros and Dallas Keuchel at Yankee Stadium, it also gives Joe a chance to rest a few guys over these final few regular season games in preparation for building his Wild Card game roster.  I’ve hesitated to write this post until I knew they were actually going to be in the game, but now that we know I can proceed.

The roster for the WC game goes back down to a standard 25-man, which the Yankees can load up however and with whoever they want because they will have the option of changing the roster again for the ALDS should they win.  In a 1-game, winner-take-all scenario, typical roster balance can be thrown out the window and I anticipate the Yankees will use 15 position players and 10 pitchers for this game.  …

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The Yankee Offense Drives Me Insane

I know. You are tired of me writing about the Yankees’ offense. I have railed all year about it and I don’t blame you for being sick of it. It’s just that misery loves company. If I have to watch this team hit every night and drive myself to distraction, then I might as well take someone with me. Frankly, I hate this offense.

As thrilling a win as Monday night was with Slade Heathcott‘s three-run dinger to win it, the Yankees had just four hits. Last night they had five. Just a random couple of games? Hardly. The Yankees have had five or less hits in a game 29 times. That is tied for sixth most in the Majors. That is also 20% of their games or a fifth of them. Is that a lot? Well…the 2009 Yankees did that only fourteen times all season. Which is also how many times the Blue Jays have done it this season.…

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Deja Vu in Atlanta?

Baseball is such a funny game with all its twists and turns, which is what makes the 162 game grind so exhausting on one hand, but so rewarding on the other hand if it ends up going your way.

The Yankees looked like an old, fragile and broken down baseball team heading into the deep south. It certainly seemed like things were just not headed in the right direction after losing five of seven games against Cleveland and Houston at home, which is a place they had been previously dominant all season long.

The Yankees were dominated by some great pitchers like Dallas Keuchel and Carlos Carrasco, but also could not hit against mediocre to poor ones like Josh Tomlin, Trevor Bauer and Scott Feldman. So even though the Braves are a bad baseball team, it wasn’t exactly reassuring. Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira had injuries and Alex Rodriguez was being replaced in the lineup by a pitcher (the wisdom of NL baseball at its finest).…

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On September Call-Ups And Realistic Expectations

Aaron Judge

Don’t expect to see this guy next month. Courtesy of Cheryl Pursell/Pinstriped Prospects

The Yankees will be back in action tonight after an off-day that was much needed for many players.  The Bombers have been slumping badly with the bats for the last 3 weeks, and there are a few guys who are banged up and/or slumping enough to probably get more time off tonight.  The decision to play with a really short bench the last few games has been a puzzling one, but there is some respite on the horizon in the form of September roster expansions.  They kick in next Tuesday and the Yankees are sure to take advantage of that added roster space and call up a healthy dose of players.

While that added depth could do wonders for the pitching staff, there isn’t really much help on the way for the struggling, dinged up offense.  I’ve noticed an uptick in comments calling for the Yankees to “shake things up” and looking forward to the team “injecting some youth” when rosters expand, and while I agree with the basic idea that adding more bodies can be a benefit, I think it’s important to be realistic in expectations as it relates to the players getting called up.  …

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The Yankees’ One-Dimensional Offense

The game last night between the now-second place New York Yankees and the Houston Astros was a glaring look at the flaws of this 2015 team. I am not really talking about the pitching because every team’s pitching staff will get blown out like that occasionally (although the Yankees’ love affair with Chris Capuano is stunning). The real weakness of the 2015 Yankees is the one-dimentional offense. If they do not homer, they do not score.

The Yankees have now played 34 games in which the team did not hit a home run. The team is 10-24 in those games. In those games, the Yankees have averaged 2.184 runs scored a game. In one of those games, they managed to score ten runs. If you throw that game out, the average goes down to 1.94 runs per game. Just imagine the standings if the Yankees could have managed to be five or six wins better in those games.

To be fair, the Blue Jays, who never seem to lose these days, are even worse with a record of 6-25 when that team does not hit a homer.…

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Reasons To Be Optimistic Heading Into Cleveland

I don’t know what my deal was yesterday, but I was in a funk all day.  Syanpses weren’t firing upstairs, body felt tired.  Apparently I needed an off-day just as much as some of you more pessimistic readers did and just as much as the Yankees did after their stinkbomb of a weekend against the Blue Jays.  This morning I feel better, and that’s despite waking up at 2 AM and not really falling back asleep.  I’m taking that as a good sign and running with it, just as the Yankees hopefully take their off-day as a chance to hit the rest button and move on from last weekend.  With that now firmly in the rearview, here are some reasons to feel good about the Yankees as they head out to Cleveland to start 16 games in 16 days.

They Can’t Hit Much Worse Than They Have

Everybody knows the numbers by now and how far back some of them went in terms of describing the team’s historical offensive ineptitude over the past 4-5 games.  …

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