Thursday, July 18, 2019

YANKEES LIKE ROBBIE RAY, BUT THEY SHOULDN'T


Some baseball insiders seem to think that Robbie Ray is the answer to the Yankees pitching search. I could be in the minority here but, I'm not sold. I've seen enough of him the past couple of years here in Arizona to know that he has some issues. Some of these issues just won't translate well in Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees are going to continue to be linked to every starting pitcher that may or may not be available....along with numerous other teams. In fact, the Astros, Phillies and now the Brewers are also looking at Ray according to Jon Heyman. I get it, nothing wrong with looking and depth is good. I just don't think the Yankees will get the return they expect out of him.

Maybe I am wrong. I mean, Peter Gammons is sold on him. Maybe I have watched him too much and just know how to spot what I don't like about him.


I think Ray would be a good addition to a contending team as long as they understand what they are getting from him. If he's traded his new team gets one more year of team control from arbitration which is always a good thing. Ray can be exciting to watch. He is a strike-out pitcher with almost 12 strikeouts per nine rate and as attractive as that is, it also comes with concessions. This is where I say I am not sold on Ray.....

I like the strikeouts, who wouldn't? I don't like the walks at 4.5 per nine rate and I especially don't like that if he's pitching at Yankee stadium. If you walk too many guys at Yankee stadium things can get away from you fast. Yankee stadium is too hitter friendly, Chase field is pretty hitter friendly also but they don't have the short right porch to worry about. It really doesn't matter WHERE Ray would pitch, unless he can get the walks under control it is going to be a problem. Right now he has 56 walks for the season, on pace to break his record for walks in a season and is a league leader in walks. Not a good combination.


The home runs would also concern me. So far he has 16 for the season, his career high is 24. He also has control issues so a home run prone pitcher in Yankee stadium is also worth considering. I have a hard time imagining how a NL pitcher with a 3.81 ERA is going to be effective at Yankee stadium. It won't especially with too many walks and home runs added into the equation.

I just don't see how this would make the Yankees pitching staff better, but maybe I am wrong. I think Ray is an option, but I also think there are other options out there that the Yankees should give equal consideration to. Gammons may like Ray, but I'm not sold. I don't think he is the upgrade the Yankee are looking for.






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

MARIANO RIVERA, amNEW YORK & BYB


Quick shout out to amNew York and Ivan Pereira and their great piece about Mariano Rivera out today.

As you all know Mariano is headed to Cooperstown. He may be the greatest closer ever and it's great to see a guy this classy get the nod unanimously. He deserves it. We thank him for his service in pinstripes. He was really something special to watch over the years.

amNew York has their piece out today.  It's called Mariano Rivera's impact on New York as the Sandman enters the Hall of Fame and it's wonderfully done. I'm a fan of Pereira. Anyway... here are some of my quotes from the piece, although I encourage you to click HERE and read the article.

"Baseball fans, even ones who grew up rooting against the Yanks, acknowledged Rivera's role in changing the game because he was a diamond in the rough, according to Robert Casey, the managing editor for the Yankee fan blog Bleeding Yankee Blue. The righthander began his major league career with the Yankees in 1995 as a starting pitcher and initially struggled to find his footing on the team.


'You had this guy who was extremely athletic, and [team owner] George [Steinbrenner] wanted to trade him, but he had this management team who said 'No, no. Keep him,' ' Casey said. 

Rivera quickly was shifted to a relief pitching role and wowed with his low ERA, huge strikeouts and clutch performances, which ultimately led to his role as the closer beginning in 1997. 

Casey said Rivera's performances on the mound during his 19 years in pinstripes came at a time when bullpens prepared their relief pitchers to specifically focus on those final outs.


'Mariano capitalized on that, became extremely dominant with that cutter and kept getting those hitters,' he said. 'He helped reinvent the closer role in baseball.'"

The timeline is alittle off as I was referring to his time before he hit the major leagues and finding his footing, but I'm just happy that Ivan always thinks to come to BYB. I appreciate it bro!

Anyway, check it out and thanks to amNew York.


20% Off at SteinerSports.com with code YANKEEBLUE2017

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

YANKEES WOW US TO THE MOON AND BACK

Source: The National Geographic

50 years ago this week, three Americans took to space and landed on the moon.  At 9:32 a.m. EDT Apollo 11 lifted off from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Believe it or not, it was an incredible milestone in American history and success for its space program.  Apparently, I was one of the millions of spectators who tuned in from their living rooms to listen and watch this moment.  I was 8-months old.

Source: SNY

The Yankees seemingly wanted to commemorate this milestone as a crew of four players, Edwin Encarnacion, DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius, launched moon shots to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-3 on moon day.  The incredible Yankees continue to wow crowds across the nation, and even if you don't like the Bronx Bombers, you can't help but be impressed with what this team has accomplished this season.

Source: NY Post

Much like the fascination with space and love affair of what it represents with regards to inquiry and discovery, the Yankees truly are writing their own fair tale story this season as they look to also meet a milestone: taking part in the World Series in every decade since their humble beginnings.

Source: BRAD PENNER/REUTERS

"They last competed for a title 10 years ago—a blip for most teams, but an eternity for the most successful franchise in North American professional sports. If they fall short again, it would mark the first calendar decade the Yankees failed to appear in a World Series since the 1910s—before Babe Ruth, numbered uniforms and their ballpark in the Bronx," reported the Wall Street Journal.

Source: JOHN RAOUX/ASSOCIATED PRESS

In a land where Failure is Not An Option, the Yankees have to live up to the expectations set by not only their fans but their administration who are in the game to win. "Steinbrenner expects the Yankees to vie for a championship every season. Anything less constitutes failure. That means for almost a decade, the Yankees have failed," according to WSJ.

Let's hope that last night's win is a foreshadowing of things yet to come for this battling team, in this last decade to keep the streak alive.



--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof





Mike O'Hara's New Website

Monday, July 15, 2019

THE AROLDIS OPT-OUT DEBATE BEGINS


Now we can all start getting anxious and excited about the trade deadline. The Yankees have sixteen days left to make some moves for the remainder of the season. We all know Brian Cashman wants another starting pitcher, but what about another closer?

Another good starting pitcher would put the Yankees in a much better position for a postseason run. But adding another closer could set the Yankees up beyond 2019, especially if the Yankees are worried about keeping Aroldis Chapman long-term.

In case you missed it, Ken Davidoff had an interesting piece this weekend about Chapman. He has an opt-out option coming at the end of the season. Question is....what are the odds that he takes it? If he does, is it bad news for the Yankees?


At this point I think the odds of Chapman opting out are 60/40 that he does. Even with the last two off seasons being incredibly slow, it's possible. Who isn't motivated by the idea of more money? A lot of players (not all) are looking for the most money at the end of the contract. Sure shorter term deals with more money per year are nice but the grand total can be more enticing especially for guys that are older.

The real question is does Chapman want to test free agency after watching the last two off seasons move so slowly? Some say he may never get the type of contract that the Yankees initially gave him. It could be another Dallas Keuchel or Craig Kimbrel saga from this past winter. You also have to
consider that Chapman would be one of the most attractive arms available. Right now he has 2 years and $34 million to last until he is 34. He could keep that or opt out and try to get a three year deal for more money at age 31. Considering he is still coming off of a very good season, it's possible he gets it if he doesn't collapse down the stretch or suffer an injury. It's hard to say he wouldn't opt out in this scenario. A big second half for Chapman could make the opt-out possibility more likely. If Kimbrel got 3 years for $43 million after missing 1/3 of the season there's a good chance that Chapman could beat that offer on the open market.


It's also possible that the Yankees don't wait for him to have a chance to opt-out. I could see Chapman's situation being something similar to CC Sabathia. CC had an option to opt out years ago but the Yankees gave him an extension to his existing contract to convince him to stay. Granted, CC has a tenure with the Yankees and unmatched leadership that the Yankees have loved and respected throughout the years but, a good closer also cannot be overlooked or easily dismissed.

Chapman said he hasn't thought about his opt-out option. No surprise there, all players say that. Maybe he stays after all. We all thought Masahiro Tanaka was going to opt-out of his contract back in the 2017 off season and that didn't happen either. So who knows what will happen, but no matter what happens I am sure the Yankees will be prepared for any scenario.





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

Sunday, July 14, 2019

VOIT'S BACK, BUT NO WIN FOR THE YANKEES

Source: Elite Sports

As the Yankees slowly make their way back following the All Star Break, they are one and one against the Blue Jays with the rubber game this afternoon.  Luke Voit made his way back into the lineup but his comeback was a disappointment for the Yankee stud first baseman.

“I had good at-bats. Obviously the last two, they made good pitches, like big-league pitchers. I felt good overall,” Voit said after the 2-1 loss. “It’s frustrating because I had a chance to help the team win the game today and it didn’t come through, but that’s baseball and it’s going to happen sometimes,” according to the NY Post.

Source: Newsday

Luke Voit is tough on himself and rightfully so.  You don't get anywhere in life without giving yourself a good kick in the butt everyday.  Voit's commitment has gotten him where he is today; a starting role on a legacy team who is in pursuit of their 28th championship.  As Missy wrote yesterday, in her piece, WILL THE SECOND HALF LEAD TO RING 28,  pitching is the Achilles heal of this team, with an overused bull pen and not enough consistent starting pitching.

Source: NY Post

Voit just had a slow start after coming off the injured list and that's okay.  The Yankees are going to lose a game or two on the road to victory.  It is important to win series and for guys like Voit who give everything to this team, that has to be the focus.




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof





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Saturday, July 13, 2019

WILL THE SECOND HALF LEAD TO RING 28?


Going into the second half, the Yankees are first in the AL East (57-31), 6.5 games ahead of the Rays, and 9 games ahead of the Red Sox. Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, and Dellin Betances will most likely be back by August. Luckily, after the All-Star game, no one got hurt. So, what is stopping our team from winning it all in the second half of the season?


Even without their biggest players, the Yankees have had incredible luck with guys such as Gio Urshela and DJ LeMahieu, who have shown they can hold their own on our team. Both also looking like two MVPs.

The issue left to solve for the second half is pitching.

“I can’t tell you how many times starting pitching — I’m still concerned about it. I was concerned about it in the off-season," said Hal Steinbrenner, having the same concerns as Brian Cashman.


Our ace, Severino still has not thrown a pitch this season. Masahiro Tanaka has undoubtedly been our saving grace and has a 3.86 ERA, being named to the All-Star team. However, the rotation has been not great with a 4.22 ERA (12th in the majors). 

The bullpen has been carrying too much of a load, using them multiple days in a row despite Yankee's rules. 


“Clearly, we feel we need to fortify the pitching,” Cashman said. “Some of that will come from within when guys get healthy. But I’d certainly like to add to it if possible. But saying it and being able to do it to the level that you’d like are two different things. We’ll stay engaged with the marketplace, see what might be available and see if we match up better with other people that are trying to do the same.”

Will the Yankees fill in the missing pieces before the trade deadline? Will our injured players come back and make a difference?

“In the end, our fans don’t remember what we do in the regular season,” Brian Cashman said. So let's win the playoffs!



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