Monday, March 18, 2019

REPORT: YANKEES MADE AN OFFER TO GIO GONZALEZ


Sure, Brian Cashman said he liked his internal options to fill temporary vacant spots for CC Sabathia and Luis Severino, but he's still looking at options. He may like what he has, but he may like what he doesn't have also....like some more pitching depth.

I really like our rotation. It's definitely better than what we had at the same time last year. But now we have ask ourselves if we need more because Cashman is. The Yankees had interest in Gio Gonzalez long before Severino went down with shoulder inflammation. CC Sabathia's angioplasty this winter definitely adds more concern especially he will be out until the end of April if all goes well. Hell, an aging pitcher with bad knees is a good enough reason to look for depth.


The Yankees are in a position where they can no longer gamble on an ace with shoulder concerns, a pitcher with heart and knee concerns and also Masahiro Tanaka has his own history with elbow issues which can't be ignored. So here we are now, making offers to Gio Gonzalez and not just relying on our internal options.


I don't think the Yankees are particularly enamored with Gonzalez but if they were sold on Luis Cessa, Domingo German or Jonathan Loaisiga they wouldn't have made an offer. Heyman says the Yankees don't have a lot of optimism to sign him, but that could change. The Giants and the A's are also reportedly interested in Gonzalez but if circumstances with Severino change for the worst the Yankees motivation to sign Gonzalez could change quickly.


In a perfect world there would be a good right handed pitcher still out there but there's not. Some people may be concerned about the Yankees running with four left handed starters. It's not ideal, but it can and has worked for other teams. In 2017 and to start last season, the Red Sox went with four lefties in the rotation. Their strategy certainly worked well because it gave the Yankees all kinds of problems. Yankee Stadium is built for lefties so too many lefty starters is not a problem. You could apply that same question to the lineup though, it needs some lefty bats to balance out that lopsided right handed lineup, so that really is the bigger problem.

So could Gio be a Yankee? Maybe especially if the Yankees continue to deal with injuries. One more pitching loss and we are looking at a completely different scenario. It's good that Cashman is looking. I'd be worried if he wasn't. I guess we just sit back and wait for more details and see what happens.



--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj




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Sunday, March 17, 2019

YANKEES STILL GOT IT DESPITE INJURY WOES

Source: John Bazemore / AP

The disabled list is growing longer each day, but the Yankees are persisting despite injury woes.  The latest entry to the list is Yankee phenom Estevan Florial, who "suffered a non-displaced fractured in his right wrist after hitting it against the outfield wall," reported The Daily News yesterday afternoon.  Florial has had his share of injuries as a minor leaguer including two last season and now this.  He has impressed his manager and special coaching staff which includes Reggie Jackson and had a good shot of making it to the Bronx in 2019.

"The lefty-hitting Florial, 21, is batting .355 this spring with two doubles, a home run and four RBI. He missed significant time last season after having surgery to remove a broken hamate bone from the same wrist," reported the News. This injury is a terrible set back for the Yankee prospect.

Source: NY Post

Florial joins the DL with Aaron Hicks, Luis Severino and CC Sabathia who threw a simulation game on Saturday as he preps for the long season.  “A good step for him, consistent with how he's come along from the beginning. Every step has been a checkmark,” Boone said. “It was nice to see him. He got over 30 pitches, so onward and upward. Another positive day for him,” reported The Daily News.

Source: Lynne Sladky / AP

Hicks is likely not a starter for Opening Day, which is about two-weeks away and Severino is shut down until at least May 1st according to reports earlier in the week.  Yet despite all of this negativity, the Yankees are continuing to dominate this spring.  Aaron Judge continues to pummel the ball with his new two-strike approach and league leading six home runs, Luke Voit is demonstrating why he should be the starting first baseman and Domingo German is sizzling on the hill, striking out six batters in the Yankees 14-1 win over the Red Sox on Friday.  All positives for the Yankees, proving that they are resilient.

Source: USA Today

And in case you are wondering, the long lost ghost of Christmas Past, Jacoby Ellsbury will make his return to the team today.  "It is too late for Ellsbury to appear in any Grapefruit League games. The Yankees plan on just introducing him back to baseball activities slowly. “I think we’ll start getting him going with baseball activities and kind of see where he’s at and try to develop a plan as best as we can,” Boone said as reported by the News. Plagued by a number of injuries including his latest bout with plantar fascitis, the 35-year-old is trying to make his way back into the dugout and then the lineup.  We shall see.

Source: NJ.com

Two weeks to go and the Yankees appear to have things under control, hoping to fill the holes with the team around them instead of bringing in others to fill the void.  Let's hope that the current Yankees' depth and talent can help them kick start the season and demonstrate that they in fact still "got it" despite their injury woes.



--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @Suzieprof





Saturday, March 16, 2019

THESE NEW YORK YANKEES ARE VERY SPECIAL


The Yankees are a popular team, they are a great team and everyone is looking forward to 2019. But they are also very corporate, and with corporate... sometimes comes this "cold" feeling toward the fans.  It's not so much the player but the way the Yankees are handled. Yankee personal gets in the way, making it difficult to interact. It's just the nature of the team and storied franchise.

But listen, because it's a Saturday and everyone is just getting up and drinking coffee and relaxing alittle… I had to share these 2 videos.


One is Greg Bird.  Now look, I love Bird and I know the dude's fighting for his life right now with Luke Voit breathing down his neck, but this is refreshing. Greg talking to some fans about his cat.  While the story is ridiculous, I couldn't help but smile at the fact that he's just a regular dude telling his story to bunch of "stranger" fans. We as fans love that stuff.

And then there's this... Aaron Judge.  His interaction with the fans is unique and extra special.


I love that this little boy is star struck but then as the conversation goes on, he opens up a bit. BUT... that's all because Judge gets to the kids level and makes him feel comfortable. I love it.

These are special New York Yankees folks.  Nothing better than this.

Enjoy your Saturday.

Mike O'Hara's New Website

Friday, March 15, 2019

PROJECTED LINEUPS ARE READY AND SO ARE WE!

Source: USA Today

With the baseball offseason long gone, we are really getting into some more meaningful baseball games. This allowed MLB to put together projected lineups for all 30 teams. In particular, the Yankees have some returning players within the diverse mix along with newbies, who were not even part of the team at the start of 2018.  Take a look:

Yankees:
Lineup:
1) Aaron Hicks, CF
2) Aaron Judge, RF
3) Giancarlo Stanton, DH
4) Gary Sanchez, C
5) Miguel Andujar, 3B
6) Luke Voit, 1B
7) Troy Tulowitzki, SS
8) Gleyber Torres, 2B
9) Brett Gardner, LF

Rotation and closer:
1) Masahiro Tanaka, RHP
2) James Paxton, LHP
3) J.A. Happ, LHP
4) Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP
5) Domingo German, RHP
Closer: Aroldis Chapman, LHP

Source: USA today

My thoughts include words such as wow, incredible and yes, Luke Voit is making the team!
A lot of this roster was able to produce 100 wins last season, even with all of their injuries. Slugger Aaron Judge seems to be excited about the way the team is looking for 2019 and with the addition of Voit, Troy Tulowitzki and rookie of year candidates Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres, the lineup is poised to provide a powerful punch to opponents all season long.


“We added quite a few new arms, we added a couple of new position players that are really going to beef up this lineup. We already look pretty good," said Judge reported by MLB.com

Do we think that Judge will be the first player in 18 years to hit 60+ home runs? In 2017, he was able to smack 52 homers and now that at he’s at his age-27 season he should be at his prime to be able to reach this goal.

Source: USA Today

Opening day honors will be going to Masahiro Tanaka since Luis Severino and CC Sabathia have been scratched from the lineup due to injury.

"We like our club," Brian Cashman said per MLB.com. "We've got a special group of people. We're one of the teams that I think has a legitimate shot to do something like being the last team standing and celebrating. There's a long way to go from that comment to it actually happening, but on this date, we have a legitimate shot to do that because of who we have and the players we've assembled."

Across the river, the Mets are holding their own with a projected lineup that looks like this:

1) Brandon Nimmo, CF
2) Jed Lowrie, 3B
3) Robinson Cano, 2B
4) Wilson Ramos, C
5) Michael Conforto, RF
6) Pete Alonso, 1B
7) Jeff McNeil, LF
8) Amed Rosario, SS
Rotation and closer:
1) Jacob deGrom, RHP
2) Noah Syndergaard, RHP
3) Zack Wheeler, RHP
4) Steven Matz, LHP
5) Jason Vargas, LHP
Closer: Edwin Diaz, RHP

Source: Newsday

The big X-Factor this season will be a healthy Noah Syndergaard. If the powerhouse duo of Thor and Cy Young Winner Jacob DeGrom can stay healthy this season, and the rest of the staff can pitch to their highest potential, it will give other pitching rotations a run for their money. 

"We have a pitching staff that -- in many respects -- is the envy of everyone in baseball," said Brodie Van Wagenen via SNY.com.

Source: NY Times

Two people I’m looking forward to seeing together this season is Robinson Cano, who’s been smacking homers dead center at spring training, and Amed Rosario

Source: NJ.com

“Rosario is going to be a superstar,’’ said Cano, “He can run, he can field, he’s strong and he is going to add muscle as he gets older, that’s going to be something else. He listens, too, I love the kid,’’reported the NY Post.

The lineup isn’t even at full strength, lacking Todd Frazier and Yoenis Cespedes, who can hopefully return during the second half of the season. 

The projected lineups are in New York are certainly turning heads across baseball and although Philadelphia and San Diego picked up the biggest free agents this season, New York will give both teams a tough time both on the road and at home.  Here's to a great season and quick close to the spring!




--Missy O'Rourke
BYB Contributor
Twitter: @missy_orourke





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Thursday, March 14, 2019

BASEBALL'S VILLAIN SPEAKS AGAIN


Now that Manny Machado won't be a Yankee for the foreseeable future (and hopefully never is) I don't have to hold back anymore. Fact is he's a Padre and he's also in my neighborhood for the next couple of weeks until spring training is over. Until that happens, the media here is just going to keep pumping out the Machado headlines because he will continue to make himself be the center of attention.

He calls himself a villain, he's given himself that role after making mistakes that have led to regrets. He did make a lot of mistakes.


Even if baseball fans want to look past the "I'm not Johnny Hustle" comments there is still no changing the mindset of other players in the game like Christian Yelich. It's hard to just forget the play where Machado spiked Jesus Aguilar, and Yelich made it clear he won't. He went as far as to say "He's a player that has a history of those types of incidents. One time is an accident. Repeated over and over and over again, you're just a dirty player. It's a dirty play by a dirty player. That's what it is. I have a lot of respect for him as a player, but you can't respect someone who plays the game like that." That is probably one of the worst consequences for anyone. When you lose credibility with people it is a hefty price to pay.


So yes, Machado has earned his villain status and he wants all of us to believe it doesn't bother him. I'm not buying it though, the New York Post ran THIS story here days ago and it is still all over media coverage down here in cactus league territory almost a week later.

"I always will be the villain, no matter what. I don’t know why. That is just stuff I have to deal with and I have been okay dealing with that situation. That doesn’t bother me."


I just don't buy it. He does know why. Machado has obviously lost the respect of some of his peers and even if he did get the last laugh this winter it hurt his free agency. He didn't sign until spring training was already underway. For a short amount of time he had the most lucrative signing in baseball until Bryce Harper stole his thunder. He got his payday....but even he admitted it wasn't the deal the deal he was thinking of because the Padres "weren’t the first choice, obviously. They weren’t in the picture at the beginning." 

Yankee fans can and probably will speculate that we were the first choice. Countless media sites called us the "favorites" to get him so with that kind of hype must come with some level of disappointment for him. Machado still says the assumption that he wanted to be a Yankee is "very incorrect" and he should say that now. In the end, he should be looking forward because the Padres were the ones to offer the insane contract and they definitely "showed me the love" as he put it. It's time for him to appreciate what he has and stop thinking about the Yankees. Most people would agree though that the Yankees were the dream. It was closer to home, and was the perfect fit that never happened.


So maybe now disappointed Yankee fans and Machado can finally turn the page. What's done is done. Maybe Machado is finally starting to realize that. "I have done some pretty dumb things. I am not going to lie. I see the things I have done. And I have done some dumb things. At the same time, I have done things that get blown out of the water and suddenly I am that guy. At the end of the day, I play baseball and I don’t let anything else get in my head."

But let this get into your head, Machado...at the end of the day you are a baseball player that didn't get your first choice. You got a huge contract but you could've had your first choice if you made better choices. You could've been in control of your own destiny. Now you will have to work hard to change the perception that you are a villain instead of building a legacy. You labeled yourself. The world will watch and see if you can overcome that.

Let that one sink in.



--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj




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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

AARON JUDGE: "THE NUMBER ONE GOAL IS TO WIN THE DIVISION."

Source: Butch Dill, USA TODAY Sports

At the game last night, Aaron Judge very candidly, very coolly said to YES reporter Meredith Marakovits, "Our number one goal is to win the Division."  And the way he is hitting this spring, you can certainly see his fervor for meeting this goal.  It's great to see Judge hyped up for the season, but he said, he will take the two weeks they have left to continue to work on things to be game and season-ready in 2019.

Source: Charles Wenzelberg NY Post

"No leg kick from the front leg. No toe tap. No stride. Just a powerful coiled right-handed snap swing. That is especially the case with two strikes, his new two-strike approach. Judge is doing this to increase contact but also to get to the basics of his swing," reported the NY Post about Judge's improvement plan this spring.

Source: Presswire

The Grapefruit League is different for Judge this March because he is already at 100% versus last year where he was focused on rehabbing the shoulder injury he suffered in 2017.  He is honing his skills and going for that two strike approach, which he believes will help him contribute to the team's powerful offensive in 2019.  He also says he wants to stay away from high fast balls and fences as much as he can, hoping to stay injury-free this season.

Source: USA Today

"Judge rocks and coils before he swings, anchoring his weight on his back leg, then snaps the swing. He creates massive amounts of power with his 6-foot-7, 282-pound frame. “It’s just basically the roots of it,’’ Judge told The Post over the weekend at George M. Steinbrenner Field. “That’s where it starts for me. I have to start with the no stride and then from there that’s where I can add a leg kick or some type of toe tap," said Judge as reported by The Post.

Source: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Judge is certainly putting up incredible numbers this spring with his experimental swing.  He is batting .316 with 19 at bats over eight games so far this spring.  He is hitting dingers as well as extra base hits and he is not only building confidence, he is building incredible momentum as we grow closer to the start of the season.

Source: NJ.com

The Yankees number one goal is to win the Division and Judge has his eyes focused,  gazing at that goal and looking to conquer it.  Sure, he will need the team to strive for the same goal but from the look of things, the team is squad ready and all in!




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof





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