Wednesday, March 20, 2019

SHOULD THE YANKEES CONSIDER GOING WITH AN OPENER?

Source: Lynne Sladky/AP

We saw the trend of the "opener" catch on for teams last season.  Tampa Bay and Oakland took the trend further than other teams.  So, the question is, will the Yankees consider this option in 2019?

“If we did do it (Green and Holder) would be prime candidates to start the game,” Boone said. “To have them kind of go through the routine -- just because it is a little bit different for a relief pitcher to start games -- to have them go through the routine of getting ready for the start of the game, I think there is some value in that,” reported the New York Daily News on Tuesday.

Source: KDOW 1220 AM

Chad Green "opened" for Luis Cessa on Tuesday in the Yankees 6-2 win over the Rays and today Jonathan Holder "opens" for Domingo German.  The quad of pitchers have all be effective in spring trainer and that combo could be lethal during the season if the Yankees push the strategy forward.


"Doing (this) in spring training, just to know how long it takes to warm up, not based on game situation,” Green said. “Trial and error maybe. I think the only difference in the mound is (it’s) brand new when you are going today. Overall, it’s pretty much the same,” said Green, reported the News.

Source: SNY

Dellin Betances is yet another addition to the DL with shoulder inflammation.  Luis Severino is expected to be out until May and who knows what CC Sabathia will have to give this season.  Considering the opener strategy is not a bad idea given the potential of pitching combinations the Yankees may need to employ to win ball games.  I would love to see Green and even Jonathan Loaisiga in the role as opener.  It's a very interesting idea.  Aaron Boone may just be on to something...yes, I am giving him a high five. Let's see how the whole idea plays out.



--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof










Tuesday, March 19, 2019

AND JUST LIKE THAT, GIO IS A YANKEE!


And sure, this is a minor league deal between Gio Gonzalez and the Yankees, but there is no question this guy's gonna be up this year. I'm kind of excited about it.

ESPN writes:

"The New York Yankees have agreed to a deal with free-agent left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez, the team confirmed Monday night. 


It's a minor league deal, and if Gonzalez is added to the major league roster the contract will be worth $3 million for the season, plus incentives, a source told ESPN's Buster Olney."

And so think about that... no big deal.  $3 mil, 1 year. For the Yanks it's nothing. It's better than 4 years, $40 million for a Dallas Keuchel...because you have no idea what you're getting with that guy.  At least if Gio sucks it's a $3 million experiment. You know what I mean?

I'm happy about this deal.  How about you?

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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-Ochoa
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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