Friday, March 22, 2019

THE INFIELD IS CROWDED SO IT'S SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

Source: New York Post

It’s safe to say that the Yankees outfield has it on lock. Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, and Giancarlo Stanton will definitively guard the outfield with ease. But what about the guys who are closer to the action or at least home plate?


The Yankees had a pretty busy offseason and added quite a few new infield players. Who’s actually going to be the lucky few to play? Since we don’t have Didi Gregorius as short stop to play until June, the Yanks brought in Troy Tulowitzki. If he stays healthy and plays well, will Gregorious have to fight for his position back? A battle may also ensue over who’s on first? Greg Bird wasn’t quite working out with the team last season, but new edition Luke Voit just might.

"Luke Voit has earned the right to be that guy," Aaron Boone said. "It's impossible denying the impact he had, just how consistent he was for us really the final couple of months and when we had some key guys out," reports ESPN.

Source: Yahoo Sports

Another addition to look out for is DJ LeMahieu, three-time Gold Glove second baseman. Although, I believe Gleyber Torres will start, LeMahieu can definitely take over if needed or platoon at third based with Miguel Andujar.


Like the Yankees, the Mets have definitely stocked up on infielders as well. Robinson Cano will definitely be playing second base on Opening Day. But then there’s Peter Alonso, Jed Lowrie, Jeff McNeil...ummm we’re starting to run out of positions here. It does seem like the Mets will be utilizing McNeil’s talents in the outfield.

“A majority of McNeil’s playing time is going to come in the outfield,” said Mets manager Mickey Callaway “We are going to want to get him as comfortable as possible out there so he can concentrate on those at-bats when he’s up at the plate and we want to see him out there,” reports Forbes.


Lowrie could be on third, giving Todd Frazier a backup role. Frazier could get some play time at first, but will have to fight for it with Alonso, Dominic Smith, and J.D. Davis.

The first month or two of the season, I think we will definitely see these players shifted around a lot to see who will fit best where. 

Figuring out which players will make up the Yankees and Mets infields is going to be crucial for the 2019 season. A solid group of guys that can stay healthy and make the least amount of errors, is really going to allow the teams to win as much as possible. It will be up to these guys to show they are ready to work hard and get as much playing time as they can.



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






Thursday, March 21, 2019

WHAT TROUT'S DEAL MEANS FOR AARON JUDGE



It must be nice to be Mike Trout right now. Seriously, at the end of 12 years he gets $430 million, but me on the other hand I spend four hours doing laundry and I find thirty-five cents at the bottom of the dryer. That quickly brought me back down to earth.

Too bad I am not a male who is a talented baseball player, huh? Seriously just three weeks ago we were all talking about Bryce Harper and his thirteen year, $330 million contract, which was the largest contract given at the time. It took no time for the Angels to say "hold my beer" and spend ridiculous money to keep the best player in baseball in their uniform forever. Trout wasn't going to be a free agent until AFTER next season, so clearly the Angels weren't messing around.


It's pretty much impossible to compare Trout to any other baseball player so I won't even try but....it's no wonder why people are already wondering what his deal means for Aaron Judge. It's strange to think that Judge won't be a free agent for three more years. He won't even be eligible for arbitration until after next season, so what's the hurry?

This winter will be remembered for two reasons: the slow moving (and frustrating) free agent market and the gigantic contracts that eventually came from them. Manny Machado was the first free agent to get a record breaking payday and then of course, Harper and Trout's contracts came after and were both bigger. All of these guys are top tier players, but so is Judge, so what about him?


He's bound to get paid. He's one of the most marketable players in the game and he's likable too! That's a huge plus in today's game. In his rookie year he hit 52 home runs and won the home run derby. The Yankees didn't pursue Machado or Harper for a reason....it's the only thing that makes sense. Judge is eventually going to get paid.

But I think how much and when remains to be seen. As talented as Judge is the one thing he has working against him is his age. Sure Trout and Judge less than a year apart in age, but Trout broke into the big leagues at nineteen years old and Trout's mega deal takes him up to 39 years old.


The odds that the Yankees offer a ten year deal to Judge when he's 30 years old isn't likely. Judge has a lot of talent, he just doesn't have the same accolades that Trout does and he will be older than Trout was as a free agent. So maybe the Yankees consider less years with a little extra money then they normally would offer. It would still be a big contract because let's face it....the Yankees pay the guys they want to keep around.


The Yankees ability to control Judge into his age thirty season gives them some leverage. But if we are looking at how undesirable free agency is and how important he is to the Yankees future maybe it is time for the Yankees to think about that extension. Maybe it doesn't happen this season, maybe it happens next year.

The timing isn't known, but what we do know is that the Yankees like Judge. They want to build around him....and I will double down on that thirty-five cents I found at the bottom of the dryer that they do build around him. We will just have to be patient which definitely isn't easy.



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




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