Thursday, May 31, 2018

FEELING BLUE ABOUT SONNY GRAY

Photo: Getty Images
So I have been a little busy getting married recently and honeymooning which has left almost ZERO time for baseball. Almost....not quite. I have at least been reading and keeping up with news and gossip but watching games has been hard. I have seen some bits and pieces of our boys awesome streak of awesomeness but I have also seen some not so awesome moments too.

Oddly enough those not so awesome moments that I have seen have all revolved around Sonny Gray. Seriously, all of them. It's like I only had free time when Gray was pitching and I was only supposed to watch when he was pitching.

Photo: Getty Images
Gray is a better pitcher than we have seen and I really believe that. It felt good to watch him go eight innings against the Kansas City Royals and only give up one run on four hits. I wish those good feeling would've continued against the Los Angeles Angels last week because watching him give up a three run lead really sucked. That is the last thing I wanted to see considering my husband is a die hard Angels fan and Gray gives up a home run to Mike Trout. Of course, it had to be Trout of all guys.

I want to feel good about Gray but he still hasn't figured out how to pitch in hitter friendly Yankee stadium or pitch deep into games. Any starters not named Luis Severino are killing the bullpen which eventually lead to Brian Cashman needing a 13th pitcher so Ronald Torreyes was sent down.....which sucks just as much as all the games I have watched Gray pitch in.



So what is Gray's issue? Certainly seems to be much deeper than just using Austin Romine as his permanent personal catcher in order to be effective. I dunno.

Is it just a lack of confidence?
Is it mechanics?
Or.....is he injured?


I hope the answer to that last question is a NO. Cashman certainly has his hands full and it will be interesting to see what moves are made before the trade deadline. Or should I say which pitcher(s) he picks up? Let's face it, as good as the Yankees are they need to better pitching to be World Series contenders.

That means you especially, Mr. Gray.



--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj




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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

STILL NOT OVER TOE

Source: NY Post

I can't shake this Ronald Torreyes thing.  Yeah, it's a thing and Aaron Boone and company made it a thing and it didn't have to be.  It was a clear decision; we have 13 pitchers, why not shed one?  Or if you really aren't interested in shedding a pitcher, then the yearlong loaner could spend some time in the minors.  Neil Walker got up with runners in scoring position in Sunday's game and did absolutely nothing.  He was the designated hitter.  Why did they sit Tyler Austin?  Do the Yankees not like him? They don't seem to like Clint Frazier either.  But Toe?  Why make that decision?  Why make that a thing?


"The news, you could feel it in our clubhouse (Friday) night, it was rough," Boone said.
"It was a difficult night, which was simply a tribute to what Ronald Torreyes is and what he means to our team and our clubhouse and frankly the way he's performed in his years here. But I haven't had that conversation with that group as a whole but it was -- you could feel it in our room late (Friday) night," reported NJ.com.  Toe didn't die, he was demoted and it was a choice that didn't have to be made.



"We'd like to get Toe back in the future at some point, but I can say the same thing about Clint Frazier, Brandon Drury, amongst others. It was not an easy decision but we're paid to make tough ones," Cashman said.  At some point?  Toe is a champion for the Yankees and his support of young guys like Gleyber Torres is invaluable.  Just admit it, Cashman, you sent the wrong guy down.

Source: NJ.com

"In sporadic work, Torreyes has hit .339 with six RBI and a .785 OPS in 63 plate appearances, covering second base, third base and shortstop. In three seasons, he's hit .288," according NJ.com.  This is the guy you sent to the minors?  The front office must be out of their mind.

Source: CBS Sports

Anyone will tell you that when Toe was called upon to play practically anywhere in the infield, he did it with poise, passion and grit.  He talked with his bat and his glove.  He belongs in our dugout, every night.  The void is getting worse with every game that passes.  And it didn't have to be this way.  I'm still not over Toe and his void is breaking the Yankees' spirit.  #BringBackToe



--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof





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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

BYB IS 6 MILLION STRONG. UNITED WE STAND.


The journey has been pretty incredible and it's all because of our audience.  Today we reached 6 million visits on Bleeding Yankee Blue.  It's not only amazing to me, but it's flattering. It means that the product we put out every day is to your standards.  It means you look to us for our opinions and our views.  It means you know we are legit, have a passion for writing for you and are not only true to our audience... but we appreciate you there every single day.

We are not perfect.  Bleeding Yankee Blue has never tried to be right 100% of the time, and we never hate different opinions. We like the banter. We will disagree when needed but never go after someone that disagrees with us.  You cannot say that about every fan site out there. You can say that about us.  I will defend my writers.  The reason is simple. They work hard as hell. They are always here to get it done correctly, and yes, sometimes we make mistakes, but we never deny or walk away from them. We are responsible. We are good, solid journalists and guess what... we're also human.

Here's the best part.  We have built a family here.  You and us together, talking about the greatest team in the world who plays the greatest game in the world.  We love baseball, we love the pinstripes and we appreciate the passion we all feel when our team does well.

BYB will also go crazy when things don't go right. If our team stinks, you will read about it on our pages.  If we don't like what a player said post game, or hated a move Aaron Boone made the game before... we will tell you why.  We will never hate the person... we will disagree with the action instead.  That's how it's always been here... that's what we will always do here.

I love our family. BYB started in September 2010 out of frustration.  Today, in May of 2018, we can honestly sit here and smile from ear to ear.  You are the best group of people I have ever written for.  I know Suzie Pinstripe thanks you.  I know Michael Carnesi does... O'Hara, Jeana, Ike, Erica, Barry... even Dan Lucia who I honestly need to call and catch up with... same with Steve Skinner.  We have had such a ride it's ridiculous.  When this thing started my oldest son was 8.  He is now 15 years old and told me the other day, "I can't believe BYB is still going!" Trust me, from him? That's a compliment.  The point is good material stays around. I'm proud of that.

Thank you.  Thanks for making this product last as long as it has. Thanks for never giving up on us, supporting us, sharing us and talking with us about what we have here at BYB.  It's exciting. You make me all very happy. I think I speak for the entire staff when I say it's been amazing.

No, we don't write as much as we used to. Life takes some crazy turns once and a while. My real family is growing up. I'm increasingly busy.  Writers don't stick around.  They say they want to, but they don't because it's a brutal gig.  But remember something. BYB is not a job... it's a passion.  It's also a reference.  If you come write for us here, you do it for free now. But if you have a passion, you build a resume and when you are looking for that paid writing gig down the road, you have a body of work, and I am your reference.  Not too shabby if you ask me.

BYB is an appointment, and I am so happy you continue to join us. Even though our posts have been less lately, our readership is up.  That means progress. That means you like us.  I am hoping to start to ramp up more posts soon and am always looking or writers.  So don't be bashful... reach out.


6 million visits right now.  Amazing.  I thank you all for your support. I love you all.  I really do.

Lastly this, if you want to read about our journey to 6 million... check these out. I posted for you from 3 to 5 million visits, just to show our climb. Pretty fun stuff. Enjoy it, I certainly do:


BYB HITS 3 MILLION VISITORS! HOW YOU DOING?

BYB, 4 MILLION & COUNTING 

I WOKE UP SMILING TO 5,000,315! 


Thanks for everything.  We appreciate you all.



--Robert Casey
BYB Founder & Chief
Twitter: @BleednYankeeBlu





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AARON BOONE NAILS AN AROD AT BAT!

Photo: Charles Wenzelberg
Now this is old, but it's classic.  And look, Aaron Boone is now the Manager of the New York Yankees and ARod was a Yankee and we just came off a Yankee loss. And so, let's bring some levity to the whole thing.  It's the day after Memorial Day for crying out loud.  You wanna watch Boone being a dead ringer for ARod in the batter's box? Watch this...



Freaking hilarious and dead on.  I can watch this over and over again.


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WELL... BIRD CLEARLY FEELS GOOD

Photo: Getty Images
Justin Verlander is just an animal.  Such a good pitcher and once he got to Houston, he became a better one. It's amazing what a change of a team can do for a player.  Love that.  Obviously I don't love that the Yankees lost to V and the Astros yesterday, but there was 1 good thing to come out of it.  Greg Bird is back, and clearly feels great. MLB.com has this:

"Verlander held the Bombers to Greg Bird's seventh-inning homer, scattering five hits while striking out five in a 113-pitch effort. 'He uses all his pitches where he wants to, when he wants to,' Bird said. 'That makes for a long day. You've just got to grind him out, really, and capitalize when he makes mistakes. You kind of tip your cap to him. He throws the ball well, and he's consistent. That's why he's been at the top of our game for a long time.'"

Look, whatever the case, the Yankees couldn't figure it out, Bird could.  Nothing to really say about yesterday other than we just need to deal with the loss, congratulate Bird and move on.  Man oh man.


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Monday, May 28, 2018

OHTANI AIN'T NOTHING!

Photo: Getty Images
Masahiro Tanaka had his way with Shohei Ohtani yesterday.  Small nugget here, but I had to share it.

MLB.com writes: "In the highly anticipated showdown between fellow countrymen Masahiro Tanaka and Shohei Ohtani, the Yankees' right-hander came out on top...In their first meeting since playing against each other in Japan in 2013, Ohtani worked a 3-2 count before striking out...

Photo: Getty Images
After waiting more than an hour between plate appearances, Ohtani walked on five pitches in the fourth before Tanaka won the final matchup in the sixth, recording another strikeout on an 88.7-mph splitter."

Photo: Getty Images
So why is this significant?  Well, simply because I'm tired about hearing how great Ohtani is. I mean sure, he's a good player, but I'm thrilled that Tanaka could give him a piece of humble pie.

Yanks beat the Angels. They play the Astros today.


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Sunday, May 27, 2018

TOE IS THE ODD MAN OUT

Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America

On Saturday afternoon, we learned that Ronald Torreyes was sent down to Triple A Scranton-Wilkes Barre as the Yankees activated Greg Bird from the disabled list in time for the game Saturday evening against the Los Angeles Angels.  I am pretty sure it was a somber ride to northeastern PA for a guy that gave the Yankees so much depth as an important, versatile backup.

Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America

According to the New York Post, "Torreyes spent each of the last two seasons in the majors, as the Yankees value his ability to play second, third and short, as well as hit consistently in a part-time role."  In addition, Torreyes could potentially catch and add value with is bat, something that is very difficult to give up in place of Greg Bird who spent most of the last two seasons injured.  Yet, I understand the next guy in mentality.  I just worry that given the Yankees' need for agility and flexibility that sending down Torreyes is a bad move and potentially sends the wrong message.

Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

"Yankees manager Aaron Boone acknowledged Friday that the organization faced a difficult roster decision because of Bird's impending return, saying there will likely be "difficult conversations that are the reality and the nature sometimes of this business," reports ESPN.

Source: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images North America

Let's not underestimate Torreyes, who is batting .325 over 22 games this season, but I get it; we had to make room for Bird and the Yankees want to give Tyler Austin a fair shake, which clearly I agree with that decision. After last night's game, if I had my druthers, I would send down Sonny Gray, pitcher or not.

Source: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images North America

"Neil Walker can play first, second and third, but the Torreyes' move leaves them without a clear backup shortstop for Didi Gregorious — unless they want to shift Gleyber Torres there," reports the Post.  Torres could most certainly move to short, as he is a natural short stop.  But I guess the point is that Toe has been so valuable, I hate to see him as the odd man out.




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof




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Saturday, May 26, 2018

JUDGE'S LASER SHOW


If you didn't see it... watch it now:

Last night Judge was on fire defensively, actually 2 solid plays last night.  Mandy Bell of MLB.com has the story:

"Aaron Judge proved once again why runners may want to think twice about challenging his arm. Judge had not just one, but two assists from right field that played a crucial role in the Yankees' 2-1 victory over the Angels on Friday night.  With runners on first and second in the third inning with a 1-0 lead, it appeared that Justin Upton was going to tie the game with a single to right. But in one fluid motion, Judge scooped the ball off the ground on his glove side and fired a perfect strike to the plate to throw out Kole Calhoun who was attempting to score from second.... 

Photo: Getty Images
Not only did Judge save a run, but his laser from right field clocked in at 100.5 mph, according to Statcast™, which made the out even sweeter for the outfielder.... 


But Judge was only getting started. In the seventh inning of what was a 1-1 game, Martin Maldonado sent a long, looping fly ball down the right-field line that dropped right on the chalk. As Maldonado tried to extend his single into a double, Judge threw out his second runner of the night with a nonchalant flick of the wrist from the right-field corner to Didi Gregorius."

This is the stuff folks.  This is the stuff we need to appreciate with this team.  So happy we have Aaron Judge in pinstripes.


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Friday, May 25, 2018

BIRDMAN BACK SATURDAY. WHAT ABOUT WONDERBOY?

Photo: Getty Images
Greg Bird is expected back to the Yankees tomorrow.  The Daily News writes:

"Greg Bird is likely to rejoin the Yankees on Saturday against the Angels, Aaron Boone said Thursday. 'The plan right right now is for Bird likely to be activated on Saturday,' Boone told Mike Francesa.


'That's obviously something we're still working through, but right now I would expect assuming everything goes according to plan the next couple days that he'll be ready to go for us on Saturday.'"

So what does that mean for Tyler Austin who has been friggin' terrific? Well... Kuty and Miller think he'll be sent down. Read this from NJ.com:

"Tyler Austin was scheduled to start at first base. He could get sent down when Greg Bird returns from the disabled list on Saturday."

Photo: Getty Images
I like that the Yanks are letting play first tonight. I hope he goes 5-5 with 3 home runs and makes the whole process more interesting.

Anyway, as I've said, I'm excited to see what Bird has, but I'd hate to see Austin go down. Maybe they platoon at first for a bit.  That would be a great move!  What do you think?


Frederick's of Hollywood

RED SOX DFA HANLEY RAMIREZ

Photo: Getty Images
He's a good player.  He still has it, he's just slowed down... and the Red Sox know it. And so, they designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment.  The Boston Globe tweeted this:

Now the reason is to make room for Dustin Pedroia, but it's gotta be slightly a shock for Hanley, a veteran. Who knows... maybe he saw it coming.  The Globe writes:

Photo: Getty Images
"The Red Sox are responsible for more than $15 million remaining on Ramirez’s salary through the duration of this season. They will have seven days to trade or release him. "

Some team will sign this guy and I will bet he just gets hot again.  Sometimes the same routine kills a player.  Maybe that's what happened to Ramirez in Boston.


Photo: Getty Images
At any rate... I'm a Dustin fan, so this is just fine by me.

I wonder what fellow #BYBHub blog Section 36 thinks about this? They're a Red Sox fan site, and a great one at that.


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PASSIONATE YANKEE FANS & GIANCARLO STANTON

Photo: AP
Sometimes reading the posts by Yankee fans on Twitter or just hearing certain fans talk makes me want to cringe. Most of the time I'll just sit here laughing about it all, and wonder "What is this guy thinking?"

Look, I don't say too much because as you and I know, there is no arguing passionate Yankee fans. We love who we love, we are critical who we're critical of and that's it!  Passionate fans believe what they want to believe, and at that moment, there is no way to change their minds. Funny thing is the minute something goes great and things start to fall into place, those same passionate fans are very forgiving and sometimes forgetful of the things they've spewed before. Interesting, right?

Just a few short weeks ago, Giancarlo Stanton was getting booed off the field. We all remember... some of you were in the front row. Lately though, Giancarlo has found a groove and has ran with it. This piece from the New York Post talks about how he's finally settling into Yankee pinstripes. I like this line alot...

Photo: Getty Images
"Routines are firmly in place. The swing is coming together and, most of all, Giancarlo Stanton is figuring out what it means to be a Yankee nearly 50 games into his pinstripe life."

Now... the question. Did the Yankees need him? I don't believe they did. He's more of a luxury kind of guy that buys a Ferrari when he already has a Lamborghini. 

Do the Yankees have other pressing needs? I believe they do, but with the way Gleyber Torres is playing, they didn't need Starlin Castro either. See what I'm saying? It's happened many times in the past. A "superstar" from another team goes to the Yankees and struggles for a bit, sometimes their entire tenure in the Bronx. Then one day... something clicks and they take off, leaving behind the city that was more easy going and had less media attention.


Look, I get it, I really do, the Yankees didn't need him. That's kind of silly to discuss after the fact. My take quite simply is there's no need to debate and argue about it. The Yankees have him and he's there to stay. Just be happy that things are finally coming together, folks... and the big man is settling into his pinstripes.

In a sport that is all about numbers, Giancarlo Stanton starting to show it. Let's hope it sticks, and the way I see it, like the move or hate it, he's in pinstripes... root for him.


--Michael Carnesi
BYB Junior Writer
Twitter: @sevn4evr



Mike O'Hara's New Website

Thursday, May 24, 2018

HOMER HAPPY, BUT FALLING SHORT

Photo: Getty Images
It was a good game full of suspense, and in the end it was clear, our bullpen isn't the best in the league.  Whatever... it was a good fight and kind of exciting.  We can't win all 162...but damn... we're trying and I like that.

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com writes:

Photo: Getty Images
"Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge highlighted a four-homer barrage that presented another assault on the record books, but Jurickson Profar's bases-clearing double held up as the difference as the Rangers edged the Yankees in a wild 12-10 slugfest on Wednesday evening at Globe Life Park. Profar's big hit came off of David Robertson in the sixth inning, restoring Texas' lead after Torres and Judge homered in a six-run fifth that seemed to put the game away.

Instead, New York completed its three-city road trip by dropping two of three contests to the cellar-dwelling Rangers, coughing up leads of four and five runs."

Photo: Getty Images
DRob felt terrible about it.  I feel terrible about him feeling terrible. He didn't have his stuff.  Some nights lately, he's been really struggling.  Not sure if it's in his head or he's doing something wonky with his mechanics.  I do know this, our bullpen needs to snap out of it.  And quick.  You have an offense that is constantly battling. Having a solid pen would be a nice compliment.

Look, the Yanks have been playing great baseball.  I'm mad, but not angry about this one, it happens.  We just need to come back hard in our next series.  I have a hunch we will.


Victoria's Secret

ANOTHER PEDs USER PINCHED

Photo: Chicago Tribune
Robinson Cano... now Welington Castilo.  Come on man.  What are we doing?

The Athletic has it, and USA Today reported this nugget:


"Chicago White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will reportedly be suspended 80 games for performance-enhancing drug use. The news was first reported by a Dominican Republic journalist on Twitter and later confirmed by The Athletic. The announcement is expected to be made Thursday."

But why? Are these players knowingly doing it and then act like they didn't know what they were putting into their body? It's pretty bad.

Castillo? He'll go back to playing eventually and fade away into the sunset.  With a guy like Cano, clearly on his way to the Hall of Fame or at least very close to it... this changes everything.  Too bad.


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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

SURPRISE! YANKS CALL UP DOUBLE-A PITCHER!

(Photo by Martin Griff)
Nice nugget here and something I appreciate. For 1, it fits the Yankees needs for this game, but it also gives a young kid a shot.

The New York Daily News writes:

"The Yankees brought up lefty Ryan Bollinger from Double-A Trenton on Wednesday. Bollinger, 27, was 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA in three starts for the Thunder."

Trenton is not the Bigs, but that being said, I like the numbers and hope he gets in.

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THE YANKEES HAVE WAY TOO MANY GOOD PLAYERS

Source: Newsday

As the headline suggests, the Yankees have incredible depth this season.  They have grit.  They have confidence.  And they have way too many good players.  This means that they can't keep them all and not everyone can play consistently.  So if you are looking to find an Achilles heel in this year's team, it's that they are too good.

Source: USA Today

According to SNY.com, "On Sunday, the team optioned outfielder Clint Frazier to Triple-A Scranton. Frazier's status as a top prospect is debatable, but he is ready to at least serve as a fourth outfielder or more on many big league teams. And later this week, if first baseman Greg Bird makes his expected return from the disabled list, the Yanks will have to option Tyler Austin."  

Source: NJ.com

It has been my stance that Austin has earned his keep and that it is Greg Bird who has to earn his way back on the team.  Some of our fellow bloggers think that Bird should be traded before he gets hurt again.  "Bird was injured for the entire 2016 season and most of 2017, so why are the Yankees so in love with him," reports Ben Green of Yanks Go Yard.  He may be on to something.  With the Yankees in a current state of "roster crunch" as Green calls it, could we at least consider keeping Austin and giving Bird some alternate days?  Platoon the guys and let the best man win.

Source: USA Today

As SNY suggests, "Where this could all get interesting is if everyday players don't perform. With roster spots at a nearly unprecedented premium, what happens if Bird slumps upon his return? What if Didi Gregorius continues to struggle? Or if  (Miguel) Andujar can't push his on-base percentage to .300? Or if Frazier dominates the International League and Aaron Hicks or Brett Gardner struggles?" 

Source: USA Today

Or as the the Yankees continue to improve, which is likely as the team matures together, could they shop some players for some much needed starting pitching?  We have had our woes with starters and as much as I am rooting for guys like Domingo German, he may not be the answer.

 Source: Rodger Mallison | Fort Worth Star-Telegram | TNS

So we have too many good players but not enough of the right players, namely pitchers.  Something has to give as the Yankees finish up their final full week of May and enter into the weekend and then the beginnings of the third month of the season in June.  Let's hope we use our Achilles heel to our advantage and figure out how to move the right players out and bring in some starting pitching that helps us get to our ultimate goal: The World Series.  Happy Hump Day.




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof






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THE FLORIAL FACTOR

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Bad news out of Tampa and something we meant to mention a few days ago. It's being reported top Yankee prospect Estevan Florial will be out for a while after exiting the game last Thursday night with a sore right wrist.   For more on that, we check in with Casey's pal, Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record, who always spreads his little nuggets...

"Highly-touted Yankees outfield prospect Estevan Florial requires hamate surgery on his right hand. It’s an injury that will cost him at least a month and could possibly keep the fleet center fielder sidelined longer. Florial, 20, came out of Thursday’s game at Class A Tampa with soreness in his right wrist... Over his first 36 games at Class A Tampa, Florial has yet to take off. He is slashing .246/.353/.343, with one home run, six doubles, two triples and 10 RBI in 134 at-bats, with five stolen bases. "

Photo: AP
Though Florial has yet to get going this year, I hope this is just a temporary setback. Reports are at least 3 months, and that sounds horrible because the kid's great. After watching him in the Arizona Fall League this past year, I believe this kid has what it takes to be in the Bigs one day very soon. Florial is a true five-tool prospect. He just needs to work on cutting down on strikeouts. 

Photo: Getty Images
Florial should move to the Yankees top-prospect as soon as Gleyber Torres loses his prospect status, and if you've seen anything with him recently in the Bronx, it's going to happen quickly.

Hoping for a speedy recovery for Estevan.  Nice piece Pete Caldera!



--Michael Carnesi
BYB Junior Writer
Twitter: @sevn4evr





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