New York Yankees And Mets AAA Teams To Face In One Game Playoff

New York Yankees, New York Mets

The Syracuse Mets and the Scranton Wilkes/Barre Railriders, AAA affiliates of the New York Mets and the New York Yankees, will be facing off in a one game playoff on Tuesday with a spot in the international league playoffs on the line.

Syracuse took down Rochester while Scranton fell to Buffalo to tie at 75-65 atop IL North standings. The winner of Tuesday’s game will be in the playoffs.

Syracuse will look to make the playoffs in their first year as a Mets farmhand, while Scranton will look to win the IL for the first time since 2016.

It’s impressive that both teams have made it to where they have, especially the Railriders. They have played with a roster of mainly AA players as most AAA guys spent time in the bigs filling spots for injured players.

Important Game For The Yankees

With players beginning to return for the Yankees, it’s important that the Railrider win this game against Syracuse on Tuesday. Right now, Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery are on the active roster and need to make more rehab starts. With the regular season over in the minors, it would be tough to find places where they can pitch.

Plus, Dellin Betances will need a place to throw in rehab, and position players like Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela would need places to get quality at-bats before a return. If Scranton loses, the players would be forced to do their rehab with the actual team.

It’s important that the Railriders get the win to help the Yankees and take down rival Mets. For Mets fans, they’re hoping their AAA affiliate gets into the playoffs in their first season.

 

New York Yankees acquire Mike Tauchman, send Tyler Wade to AAA

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

In what was a surprising move on Saturday, the New York Yankees traded left hand pitcher Phillip Diehl to the Colorado Rockies for outfielder Mike Tauchman. With that move, the Yankees placed Jordan Montgomery on the 60 day IL and sent Tyler Wade to AAA. This is a surprising move for a number of reasons, and unfair to Wade who had a fantastic spring.

Tauchman hasn’t had much success

Mike Tauchman is a 28 year old lefty outfielder who was drafted in the 10th round by the Rockies. He attended Bradley University in his home state of Illinois. Tauchman has struggled in his limited time in the MLB, batting just .253 in 59 career at-bats. His WAR is at -0.8 and his slugging percentage is only at .203. It isn’t like he had a great spring either, he only hit .196 in 46 at-bats.

The player they gave up in the trade, Phillip Diehl, had a pretty solid spring. He had a 4.50 ERA, which may seem kinda high, but this is the highest level he has pitched at in his career, only seeing limited time in AA last season. He started to come up on the Yankees radar for a possible option in two or so years out of the bullpen, but obviously that isn’t the case anymore.

You have to feel bad for Tyler Wade

Though he has also struggled in the MLB, Tyler Wade had a fantastic spring and deserves to be on the opening day roster. Instead, he will be watching from the clubhouse in Scranton. He hit .312 this spring with a .532 slugging percentage, and is very versatile. The team had also used him in pinch-running situations and he can steal bases.

The poor kid was looking for another shot and deserved it, but now has to get off to a good start in AAA. With injuries already a theme in 2019, there is likely a good chance he will be up again in a matter of time.

New York Yankees: Highlighting the biggest position battles entering Spring Training

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

With Spring Training beginning and position players reporting just days from now, a lot of questions remain for the New York Yankees on how the 25 man roster may play out, and on who may start where. Today we dive into the four biggest position battles the Yankees face this spring.

Left field and the extra outfielder:

It remains very obvious that Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks will start in right field and center field, assuming Brian Cashman doesn’t sign Bryce Harper. After Brett Gardner had a rather poor season and Clint Frazier is healthy again, we have ourselves a rookie vs. veteran for a starting outfield position.

Clint Frazier reported on twitter a few weeks ago that he is “cleared to participate in spring training”. Red Thunder has overall had success in his time called-up from AAA, and had a walk-off home run in 2017. Frazier often served as the Yankees “26th man” on doubleheader days last year, without using a minor league option. Frazier bat .265 last season in the majors in 34 at-bats.

Brett Gardner bat just .236 last season, well below his .261 career average. By the end of last season, it seemed that he couldn’t really hit a thing, and with the acquisition of Andrew McCutchen, he saw his playing time go way down in September. In Game 1 of the ALDS, Aaron Hicks went down with a pulled hamstring, forcing Gardner to start games two and three. He ended up going 0-for-8.

You also have Jacoby Ellsbury. He would be more of an option to be the “extra outfielder”, but with him playing poorly over the years and him already having injury issues this season, he is already behind and prone to get hurt again and struggle.

First Base:

The Yankees have a two-man race for the first base position, and from what we saw last season, Yankees fans assume that it will be Luke Voit starting at first base over Greg Bird.

In all of 2018 (Cardinals and Yankees), Luke Voit bat .322 with 15 home runs in 143 at-bats. His incredible strength and power helped fill the slack of the injured Aaron Judge when he joined, but the success didn’t stop once Judge returned. Having Voit in the lineup gives the Yankees three players who can hit the ball all the way into downtown Manhattan.

Greg Bird has been, well……. playing rather poor in his MLB career. He is batting a career .214 in 576 at-bats, and bat just .199 last season. Voit had double the stats of Bird last season in about half as many at-bats. If Bird has a poor spring, could this finally be the end for Bird with the Yankees? Sending him down may be a bad option, the Yankees actually have two great first basemen at the AAA level in Mike Ford and Ryan McBroom, Ford being invited to the major league camp. It’s always possible that the super-underdog could steal the show.

DJ Lemahieu does remain a viable option, but he will focus more on the middle infield. Aaron Boone did say in his first press conference something along the lines of Andujar learning first base a bit, but it isn’t a focus for him or the team. Any way in which the Yankees choose to go; there will be depth.

The middle-infield cluster

The Yankees have four middle infielders for just two starting spots. Those players are Troy Tulowitzki, DJ Lemahieu, Gleybar Torres, and Tyler Wade.

The Yankees kinda shocked the baseball world and signed Troy Tulowitzki for a one year deal, to help fill-in for the injured Didi Gregorius, who appears to be making great progress in his recovery. But Tulo himself has had injury problems, and his stats have been on a decline over the last four years. His fielding, however, remains one of the best in the league. Could he maybe start at shortstop this season? Anything is possible.

Then there is last years starting second base sensation, Gleybar Torres. Remember, he came up as a shortstop and moved to second base due to Didi Gregorius. So with that, he may be the Yankees opening day shortstop with Lemahieu or possibly Wade at second.

Lemahieu remains the most likely option for the opening day second base spot, as that’s where he played with the Rockies for the most part. The only concern in the play of Lemahieu is his struggles away from Coors Field, where he hit so well it. But many Yankees players who can deal with the New York pressure hit well at Yankees Stadium with the short porches making the stadium extremely hitter-friendly.

Tyler Wade will likely not be a starter for the Yankees but should find his way onto the team and the field. He has a pretty solid glove, is a great base-runner, and his versatility can take him out of the infield and into the outfield when need be. His hitting has struggled big time in the majors, but he should be a solid non-offensive option.

A middle relief spot or two is still available

The Yankees have a lot of power guys that are known to help in the final innings but still lack a few middle relief options. Your power relievers are Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Zack Britton, and Adam Ottavino. Chad Green and Jonathan holder are high leverage, middle relief guys. You have one or two spots available for low leverage situations, let’s see what they have:

In 2017, the Yankees acquired Tommy Kahnle in a trade with the White Sox. He was great in 2017, but an early-season injury in 2018 derailed his season. Once he returned, he never got his high 90s velocity back and spent most of the season in AAA. This season would be a perfect time for a comeback season.

Danny Farquhar missed most of the 2018 season with the White Sox with a brain aneurysm. The Yankees signed him to a minor league deal this Winter with an invite to camp. His career ERA is 3.93, and is pitching with a chip on his shoulder this season. He could be a valuable asset for the Yankees bullpen, too.

Chance Adams pitched just one game last season: an emergency start against the Red Sox, and struggled as presumed. He had ups and downs last season at AAA, but I don’t think he is MLB ready yet. He would be used however as a long reliever if he made the club.

Stephen Tarpley started last season in AA, but made it up all the way come September. Once he got adjusted, he was actually really good, especially against lefties. He would be a great lefty specialist option. If he pitched like he did last season, he should have a good shot at the MLB club.

My 25 man roster prediction:

SP: Severino, Tanaka, Paxton, Happ, CC

RP: Chapman, Betances, Britton, Ottavino, Green, Holder, Tarpley

C: Sanchez, Romine

INF: Voit, Torres, DJ, Wade, Tulo, Andujar

OF/DH: Judge, Stanton, Hicks, Gardner, Frazier

26th man: Ellsbury? Kahnle?

New York Yankees: Was Luke Voit A One Hit Wonder Or Is He A Gem?

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

On July 28th, 2018, the New York Yankees acquired first baseman Luke Voit in a deal that sent LHP Chasen Shreve and RHP Giovanny Gallegos to the St. Louis Cardinals.

This trade made Yankees fans extremely happy, but not because of Voit. Chasen Shreve had been with the Yankees since 2015, and overall pitched poorly and Brian Cashman could not move him to the minors due to him being out of minor league options.

There was hope for fans that Shreve would be DFA’d or traded, and that finally happened. Shreve had an ERA of 4.26 in 2018, and in 2016 had an ERA of over five. He wasn’t working out and traded him just to get rid of him because he really had no spot and the same as Voit with St.Louis.

Finally getting a chance with the New York Yankees:

In 2017, Luke Voit appeared in 62 games for the Cardinals 28 hits, 18 RBI, and 4 HR. That would translate of a major league average of .246 that year.

In 2018, he started the season with the Memphis Redbirds, the AAA affiliate of Cardinals. He bounced up-and-down from the MLB to AAA a lot that season, not really able to get comfortable and batting for the Cardinals, but .299 for the Redbirds.

Once he was traded to NYY, he was assigned to the Scranton/Wikes-Barre Railriders and continued to rake, batting .310. With Greg Bird continuing to struggle and injuries still an issue, Voit was called up and made an immediate impact for the Yankees.

Once Voit was called up, he went right to work and took Greg Bird’s spot away. Bird was playing extremely poor, making errors and batting a terrible .199 over 82 games.

The more Voit played, the better he played. He hit a whopping .333, had an OBP of .405, and his slugging was through the roof at .689. In 39 games, he amassed 14 HR and 33 RBI. Also must note, the home-runs he was getting weren’t really with much help of the short porches down the lines of Yankee Stadium, he was hitting Aaron Judge like home-runs that were no-doubters.

He would only really sit when there was a match-up with an RHP that Aaron Boone didn’t like, so Bird or new Miami Marlin Neil Walker would start.

Other options still exist:

Though Voit had that instant success with the Yankees in 2018, many still wonder if he is the man in 2019 at first base. A lot of players have historically struggled in their sophomore season, and could he be the next?

Neil Walker signing with Miami obviously takes away any thought of him returning in 2019 to play first. DJ Lemahieu has signed for the next two seasons to be a utility player, and though he hasn’t played a lot of first base recently, he could still be an option.

Obviously, the Yankees still have Greg Bird, but it seems that he has played worse as more time goes on. Miguel Andujar could possibly play first, but that likely won’t happen unless the Yankees sign Machado. Entering the offseason, the Yankees were shopping a first baseman, expressing serious in then Arizona Diamondback Paul Goldschmit, now being traded to Voit’s previous home, St. Louis.

Several men have the opportunity to win the first base job in Spring, but will it be Voit? If it is Voit, will he have the same success? Only time can find out.