Quick Hit: Ellsbury Slumping Again

There were plenty of guys up and down the lineup who had trouble with Steven Wright‘s knuckleball last night.  And give credit where credit is due, he threw a lot of good ones.  But nobody had a worse night at the plate than Jacoby Ellsbury.  He took a silver sombrero with 3 strikeouts in his first 3 plate appearances against Wright and had the bad luck GIDP in his last.  He swung and missed at a lot of pitches and didn’t seem like he was picking up the ball at all.

Those struggles were the continuation of a stretch of pretty poor hitting from Ellsbury.  As I mentioned in the recap, he’s 6-38 with 13 strikeouts in his last 10 games and he really hasn’t produced much since coming off the DL 4 weeks ago.  Ellsbury hit just .215/.247/.354 in July and is at .133/.222/.333 in limited August PA.  His post-DL slump has been overshadowed by the incredibly strong performance from the rest of the lineup, but on nights like last night it really sticks out.  … Click here to read the rest

About Last Night: Luis Severino

While I realize last night’s end result is not what we wanted or what the Yankees needed, there was one very positive thing to come out of the 2-1 loss to Red Sox: Luis Severino. What a performance by the kid.

Watching him come out that poised and perform the way he did was pretty amazing. Unfortunately, he ended up on the losing end of the game because his offense was once again baffled by a knuckleballer and could only muster one run for the rookie.

So how did Severino’s game breakdown? Get ready for a lot of pictures and colors!

Here’s the spray chart (two hits and a costly error by Chase Headley):

export (62)

Here’s a heat map of his strike percentage:

trumedia_baseball_heatmap(severino)

Here’s his pitch chart (where they landed and what type they were) according to Baseball Savant:
Luis  Severino

Here’s how the velocity looked in graph form courtesy of Brooks Baseball (Nice mix of speeds):
severinospeedpitch85

Here’s how his 94 pitches broke down according to Baseball Savant:

chart (7)

FOUR SEAMER:
chart (4)

TWO SEAMER:
chart (5)

CHANGE:
chart (3)

SLIDER:
chart (2)

CUTTER:
chart (6)

Severino made one big mistake and it unfortunately came off the bat of David Ortiz in the form of a solo shot:

trumedia_baseball_heatmap(OrtizHR)

Someone like Ortiz will turn on a ball like this even if it is 96 mph, but the kid showed poise on the mound, kept Boston at two runs and didn’t let things get out of hand.… Click here to read the rest

Game 106 Recap: Red Sox 2 Yankees 1

Severino vs BOS

Luis Severino makes a plea to the baseball gods for just 1 run of support after completing the 5th inning last night. Courtesy of Getty Images

The hype machine was turned up to 11 for Luis Severino‘s Major League debut last night, and with good reason.  Severino has done everything to earn the quick promotion up the ladder, dominating at every level he’s pitched, and he was getting inserted into the middle of a playoff race to bolster the team’s biggest area of weakness.  The buzz was justified and Severino lived up to it last night, but the bats couldn’t get anything going against a pesky knuckleballer and the Yanks dropped the middle game of the set.

Severino came out firing in the first couple innings.  He featured a mid-high 90s 4-seamer, a low 90s cutter, and a low 90s slider, and just from the pop of the glove you could tell that everything had some extra oomph on it.  … Click here to read the rest

Game 106: Welcome to the Show, Severino!

Here’s your game thread for this evening. Tonight’s lineups are:

Boston Red Sox New York Yankees
Brock Holt, 2B Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Xander Bogaerts, SS Brett Gardner, LF
David Ortiz, DH Alex Rodriguez, DH
Hanley Ramirez, LF Mark Teixeira, 1B
Pablo Sandoval, 3B Carlos Beltran, RF
Mike Napoli, 1B Chase Headley, 3B
Alejandro De Aza, RF Didi Gregorius, SS
Blake Swihart, C Stephen Drew, 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF John Ryan Murphy, C
Steven Wright, SP Luis Severino, SP

Enjoy the game!… Click here to read the rest

About Last Night: The (offensive) Seventh Inning

I wasn’t really paying attention to last night’s game (I know, I know), but I decided to turn it on just as the top of the seventh was ending because I was seeing tweets from people about what Joe Girardi had done with the bullpen and wanted to see what the heck was going on.

Just as I changed the channel to YES, the inning ended. So I figured, I might as well keep it on to see what the offense does in the bottom of the inning. And I’m glad I did!

Here’s the spray chart. It’s not crazy like the Texas game last week but it’s still fun to see that many extra bases hits in one inning.
export (61)

And I love looking at the play by play because it’s just amazing.

Click here to read the rest

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.

Click here to read the rest

Quick Hit: Dustin Ackley’s Back Injury And The Short-Term Problem It Causes

Didn’t get to this yesterday, but the Yankees’ lone trade deadline acquisition turned into an early loss when Dustin Ackley was put on the 15-day DL with a right lumbar strain in his back.  An MRI revealed a herniated disc and Brian Cashman told reporters he expected Ackley to be out for 20-30 days.

Ackley hadn’t had much of a chance to make an impact since being acquired.  He was 0-3 in his still short Yankee tenure, but him hitting the DL does put the Yankees in a tough spot with their bench.  They’re only rolling 3-deep for the time being after jettisoning Garrett Jones to clear roster space for Ackley.  They’ve recently activated Slade Heathcott off the DL and assigned him to Triple-A, but he isn’t eligible to be recalled to the Majors until next Monday.  If the Yankees aren’t comfortable sticking with a 3-man bench until then – and chances are they aren’t after Brian McCann tweaked his knee last night – they may have to call up someone like Jose Pirela or Tyler Austin to fill in temporarily.… Click here to read the rest

Hopes, Expectations and Luis Severino

Severino SWB

Yankee fans have been clamoring for Luis Severino for quite some time. He is not quite 21 and a half years old and the hopes are through the roof. His start tonight against the Boston Red Sox is one of the most highly anticipated events for a Yankee team built on veterans but thin in the rotation. Can Severino do what few others have done for this team over its history–be a powerful force as a call up in a pennant race?

It is a tall order and Severino is not very tall. Listed at six feet in height, he will look like a point guard next to Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda. But, we are not talking height here. We are talking about long odds and lack of precedents.

Think back, long-time Yankee fans. When was the last time a prospect was called up in a pennant race and met/exceeded expectations? Joba Chamberlain in 2007 comes to mind. Shane Spencer wasn’t a touted prospect but crushed the ball at the Triple-A level.… Click here to read the rest

Game 105 Recap: Yankees 13 Red Sox 3

McCann HR vs BOS II

Big innings are fun for everyone. Courtesy of the AP

The storyline continues to be the same for the Yankees over the last week or so.  But unlike this season of “True Detective” or the last few seasons of “Sons Of Anarchy”, that storyline is neither boring nor un-entertaining.  I think I speak for a lot of Yankee fans when I say I don’t mind them beating up on teams and bullying them around the way they have been.  They crushed the Red Sox last night in the series opener.  Man, what a great sentence to write.

The only thing that added a little intrigue to the game was how long it took for the crushing to start.  The Yanks got another 1st-inning run against Boston starter Henry Owens on a Mark Teixeira RBI single, but then the bats went silent for the next 4 innings.  They were making Owens throw a lot of pitches, and he was missing badly with some, but they could never string any hits together to really make him pay.… Click here to read the rest