New York Yankees: The Ellsbury Effect

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

With the start of the Major League regular season a week away, the New York Yankees have a decision that needs to be made:

Who is making the roster to replace the oft injured Jacoby Ellsbury? Jacoby was at one time and six hours North of the Bronx a very productive Major League ballplayer. However, throughout his time in the pinstripes, Ellsbury has been less than a shell of his former self.

Ellsbury has played for the Yankees across four seasons, in that time he has only managed to have one season above “replacement level” production (2014), according to Baseball Reference’s OPS+. 2014 was Jacoby’s first season in the Bronx and his last truly productive season.

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Now, with Ellsbury set to begin the season on the shelf, this opens up a spot on the 25-man roster to “Break Camp” with the team heading North. Manager Aaron Boone told members of the media that Tyler Wade has made the ball club. Many believe that he will be the starting second baseman on Opening Day in Toronto on March 29th.

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The Yankees current roster consists of:

Catchers: Gary Sanchez & Austin Romine
First Baseman: Greg Bird
Second Basemen: Tyler Wade & Neil Walker
Third Baseman: Brandon Drury
Shortstop: Didi Gregorius & Ronald Torreyes
Left Fielder: Brett Gardner
Center Fielder: Aaron Hicks
Right Fielders: Aaron Judge & Giancarlo Stanton
Starting Pitcher: Luis Severino, Mashiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray & Jordan Montgomery
Relief Pitchers: David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Tommy Kahnle, Chad Green, Adam Warren & Chasen Shreve
Closer: Aroldis Chapman

Who Gets A Shot ?

That gives you 24 out of 25 players to start out the 2018 season for the New York Yankees. The injury to Ellsbury leaves an opening. Some who have thought that it could have been someone like Tyler Austin who was having a tremendous Spring, but he was reassigned back to Minor League camp on March 21st before the Yankees game against the Orioles. This however does leave the opening for the starter in the same game…. Luis Cessa.

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Cessa has been up and down for the Yankees since his acquisition by the Yankees in December of 2015. Cessa has pitched 106 innings for the Yankees to the tune of a 4.49 era. Luis will have an opportunity to show what he has earlier in the season as the Yankees will have five straight games to open up the start of the regular season.

The injury to Ellsbury could have been the golden ticket to the Bronx for a premium talent like Clint Frazier, however, they both went down at similar times and have stayed out recovering. Clint won’t be getting that opportunity.

This season will be a defining point for Clint Frazier, as with the number of outfielders already on the Major League roster and an impending free agent who hasn’t been shy about stating his fandom for the Pinstripes looming. Frazier once healed up from his concussion must set the world by storm, if he has any hopes of staying in Pinstripes.

Lasting Impression:

Jacoby, much like Clint Frazier, has seen the writing on the wall. And while his contract is rather cumbersome, it’s not impossible to think GM Brian Cashman can sell his talents to another team and move his monetary obligations elsewhere.

Ellsbury’s injury will be a foreshadowing of the potential future the Yankees will have. If the first few weeks of the season pass and Ellsbury has not returned vying that 25th spot on the roster, he may be replaced by a rising prospect.

Jacoby Ellsbury will have a major effect on the Yankees success this season; when healthy he could be a productive fourth outfielder, if unhealthy his spot will provide the launching pad for the top prospects in the top sixth farm system in all of baseball.

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New York Mets 40-Man Roster Overview: Hansel Robles

New York Mets 40-Man Roster Overview: Hansel Robles

Hansel Robles, the 27-year old reliever, is one of the more interesting pitchers the New York Mets have on their roster. His struggles with consistency and the long ball has not put his Mets future in question as he continues to struggle.

Robles Road to the Big Leagues

Robles was originally signed as an international free agent in August 2008 out of the Dominican Republic. He spent 2009 and 2010 with the Dominican League Mets where he had a 2.91 and 3.09 ERA as a starter. He spent the next year with the Kingsport reliever and pitched 37 innings as a reliever and had a 2.68 ERA.

Robles returned to being a starter in 2012 with the Brooklyn Cyclones. He has his best year in the minors going 6-1 with a 1.11 ERA and only walked 10 batters in 72.2 innings. His strong year earned him a New York-Penn League All-Star selection. Next year was not as strong as the year before, but was still good.  He had a 3.78 ERA in a year he spent mostly with the St. Lucie Mets.

Robles Finally Makes it to the Show

Robles arrived to the Binghamton Mets in 2014 and split time as a starter and reliever. His ERA rose to 4.31 but pitched a career high 110.2 innings. After pitching 7.2 innings out of the bullpen with the Las Vegas 51s he earned the call-up to the New York Mets. His rookie season was a successful one going 4-3 with a 3.67 ERA and 61 strikeouts.

2016 was his first full season in the big leagues and he was very solid out of the Mets bullpen. In 77.2 innings pitched he struck out 85 batters with a 3.48 ERA. The team had high hopes for him in 2017 but he struggled to a point where the Mets optioned him back to Las Vegas. After two months in the minors he made his return in mid-July. He came back better than ever but completely imploded in the September. Overall he finished the season with a 4.92 ERA in 46 games.

His struggles have carried over into Spring Training by allowing 13 runs in 11.2 innings. He has also given up an alarming five home runs. He has been scored upon in four out of his eight outings this spring. Robles will have a tight leash on him this season if he does end up making the team this season and there is no guarantee of that happening.