New York Yankees’ Clint Frazier has earned his spot

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

Back at the trade deadline in 2016, New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman decided to sell. He traded Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs and received Gleyber Torres. Cashman also traded Andrew Miller for Justus Sheffield and Clint Frazier.

While Sheffield was traded later for James Paxton, the Yankees have held onto Frazier. The former fifth overall pick in the MLB draft showed so much promise, and has always been known for his legendary bat speed. However, Frazier struggled to get a chance.

Anytime the Yankees were at full strength, Frazier would be behind the eight ball in the outfield. Despite many fans wanting the Yankees to give him the left field job over veteran Brett Gardner, Boone would keep Frazier on the bench or they’d keep him in AAA.

In 2019, Frazier really impressed many with his performance on the field. For the Yankees in 69 games, Frazier hit .267 with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs. However, his defense left a lot to be desired. Well, Frazier is finally blooming into the player many thought he could be in 2020.

The Yankees New Left Fielder

I can’t imagine the feelings that Clint Frazier was having when the Yankees told him this week that he’d continue to start. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were both coming back this week which in the past meant Frazier would be heading to the bench.

However, not this time. Instead, veteran Brett Gardner is the one that’s heading to the bench. The Yankees‘ Red Thunder is finally getting to start when the team is at full strength. This is something that couldn’t stop Frazier from smiling during his post-game interview yesterday.

“There was definitely a moment tonight when I was smiling under my mask in left field. To go out there with the team at full strength meant a lot to me,” Frazier said to the media. There is no doubt about it that Frazier has earned this spot.

Again, the Yankees have been talking about his offensive potential for the last couple of years, but his defense is what has really impressed me thus far. Although, his offensive numbers are tremendous this year. Clint Frazier is the starting left fielder for the New York Yankees, and that shouldn’t be changing anytime soon.

New York Yankees Analysis: Has Manager Aaron Boone worn out his usefulness with the Yankees?

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

Aaron Boone, the New York Yankees manager, has taken the Yankees to the postseason during both of his years as manager.  In 2018 he won 100 games, and in 2019, he won 103 games, but in both years, has failed to get the team into the World Series. Also, in 2018, he had injuries, in 2019, he had record injuries of players, something that has carried over to this year as well.  At the end of this season, Boone’s contract with the Yankees will be over.  The question is, is it time for the Yankees to move on from Boone and possibly look elsewhere for fresh blood to lead the team?

At the end of the 2017 season, when Joe Girardi brought the New York Yankees one game short of the World Series, Giradi’s contract was not renewed. It was later found out the the Houston Astros cheated in that ALCS, and may have cost the Yankees a World Series.  Girardi was let go primarily becuase he hadn’t won a World Series since 2009, and his agressive management style wasn’t appreciated by many of the “baby bombers.”

Joe Girardi’s and Aaron Boone‘s management style are very different.  Garardi was more of a boss and disiplinarian, whereas Boone, while being a leader wanted to be a friend to his players. Boone is not as demanding of his players, Girardi was very demanding, making them do constant running and stretching, when not in the batting cage or performing on field play drills.  Girardi’s 2017 season saw a healthy Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez, and all had an excellent season.  During Boone’s management the team has not been able to stay healthy.  The last two years have been the worst injury years in decades. How much of that is Aaron Boone’s fault is anyone’s guess.

The Yankee brass claimed that one of the main factors in his removal, beside his overbearingness was that he didn’t communicate well with the young players.  This was the same manager that brought a young Miami Marlins team, that nothing was expected of, to fourth place in the National League, and was named Manager of the Year in 2006. The first time a Manager of the Year was ever awarded to a manager of a fourth place team.

One would wonder how Joe Girardi, still being manager, would do with the likes of former MVP Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Andrew McCutchen, Luke Voit, Zack Britton, Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino and DJ LeMahieu added to his team. Under Boone’s leadership, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have spent as much time on the IL as on the field, and he has been unable to keep catcher Gary Sanchez from crashing and burning, despite his home run ability.

In his third year as Yankee manager, Boone is not as well liked as he once was.  He has publicly pissed off three of his pitchers by pulling them from games they thought they could win, including new Yankee ace Gerrit Cole, who was visibly angered by Boone’s action.  Slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t happy when Boone would not allow him to go on day to day, when he said he was 100%.  In an unsual move for the mild and proper Judge, in  zoom interview, let it be known that he was not happy with Boone’s decision. J.A. Happ has publically called out Boone’s the the way he has or hasn’t handled his pitching starts.

Moving on to the 2020 season, the New York Yankee team hasn’t seemed to be energized, and lost it’s purpose at different points in the season.  It got to point, that if pitchers pitched well, hitters didn’t hit, and when they did hit the pitching failed.  Now coming off six straight wins and an enlivened lineup, the Yankees have a chance to, again go to the posteason.  Many fans wonder if the Yankees do get to the playoffs, how far they will go and if they will fail again, short of making a World Series appearance.

For Aaron Boone fans, this writer feels they have nothing to worry about. Boone’s contract will be renewed for another period, and the Yankees will not hold him responsible for the injuries or the team’s play.  They gave Girardi nine years, they will give Boone more than three. A big factor will be how Boone manages the team, if the team reaches the postseason, which now seems inevitable.

Should the Yankees decide not to renew Boone’s contract, there are several options out there.  Buck Showalter, David Cone, Jorge Posada all of which would manager with similar style to Joe Girardi. Two interesting possibilities would be catcher Erik Kratz, who who works very well with young players, and Rob Thompson who is with Joe Girardi, as his bench coach.  Thompson had served with the Yankees for nearly twenty years, and knows the organization inside and out.

 

If the playoffs started today, who would start game 3 for the New York Yankees?

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

After an extremely rough and depressing stretch, the New York Yankees finally look like themselves again. The bombers have won four straight games to pull within a half game of the second place Toronto Blue Jays.

A week ago, people were starting to wonder if the Yankees would even make the playoffs. Now, everything is starting to click for the Yankees from their hitting to their starting pitching and bullpen. Now, I’m starting to think about the playoffs and this Yankees rotation.

For the Yankees, the first two games are relatively easy choices. Gerrit Cole would obviously get the ball in game one, and likely Tanaka would get the ball in game two. However, game three isn’t very clear. Who would the Yankees start in a game 3 in the playoffs this year?

The Yankees Options?

Fortunately, the Yankees do have a few options for a third playoff game. If they were in a be in a do or die game three in the wild card round, Aaron Boone has three guys that he could look to for a solid start. None would probably give the Yankees fan base an extreme amount of confidence.

J.A. Happ

The first option would be the veteran lefty J.A. Happ. Happ has started six games this year for the Yankees and he’s pitched to a 1-2 record with a 4.31 ERA. Now, he has been much better over his last four starts. Happ has pitched to a 2.59 ERA since his August 16th start.

While Yankees fans aren’t extremely comfortable with Happ, he honestly might be the safest choice. He’s pitched in the playoffs, and when he’s on, you know what he’s going to give you. Given the experience, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Happ get the ball.

Jordan Montgomery

The next option would be the big lefty, Jordan Montgomery. There were high expectations for Montgomery entering the season given what he did as a rookie, but he’s seen a mixed bag of results so far in his 2020 campaign for the Yankees.

Montgomery has pitched to a 2-2 record with a 4.76 ERA in eight starts this year. Montgomery looked really good yesterday against the Orioles, but this comes just two starts after he couldn’t get out of the first against the Rays. Montgomery is a solid pitcher, but I’m not sure I’d trust him with the ball in a game 3.

Deivi Garcia

The final option for the Yankees would be the rookie, Deivi Garcia. I can honestly say that Garcia has far surpassed my expectations in his first three starts, Garcia has pitched to a 1-1 record with a 3.06 ERA.

His last start blew me away. With the Yankees sputtering, Garcia went out and pitched seven strong innings against the Blue Jays leading the Yankees to a win that snapped their losing streak. Garcia has proven that he belongs in the rotation. Would Boone give him the ball in a game 3 is the question.

The Yankees Decision?

I think that ultimately we are going to need to watch how these three pitch the rest of the season. If things ended today, I think that the Yankees would probably lean towards a rotation of Cole-Tanaka-Happ in the playoffs. While many would love to see Garcia get that start, I think Boone values the experience of Happ.

Yankees’ Jordan Montgomery shows clear frustration being pulled from game, Boone shoves finger in his chest

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

New York Yankees’ pitcher Jordan Montgomery had just finished a solid outing before manager Aaron Boone seemed to be distressed when pulling him from the game. In 5.2 innings pitched, Montogomery allowed just one run (unearned) on three hits. He fanned nine batters and issued just one walk.

Montgomery was only at 72 pitches when Boone came out to pull him from the game. It looked like Montgomery said something to Boone as he was walking up to the mound and then Boone put his pointer finger on Monty’s chest.

This could have either been a disagreement between Montgomery and Boone on why he’s being pulled from the game, or Boone could have been telling him to keep his head up despite the low pitch count.

Prior to this game, Montgomery was holding a 2-2 record and a 5.72 ERA through seven games started. In his last start, he only lasted 3.2 innings against the Blue Jays and the start prior, he lasted just .2 innings where he allowed four runs on five hits to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Fortunately, the Yankees pulled out the win in the end. Hot-hitting Luke Voit hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield which knocked in DJ LeMahieu for the winning run. The Yankees extended their winning streak to four games in a row and improved their record to 24-21. The Yanks are currently sitting in third place for the AL East, chasing the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays. The Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox are sitting at the bottom of the standings.

Yankees’ Gio Urshela back on field today, Boone expects Urshela to be activated Tuesday

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

New York Yankees’ third basemen Gio Urshela has been on the 10-day injured list since September 4 with a bone spur in his right elbow. Manager Aaron Boone suggested on Thursday that he expected Urshela to be activated on Tuesday which means we could possibly see him back in the lineup by late next week.

After finding out that Urshela had no other issues beyond the bone spur, the club believes that this will just be a short IL stint and Urshela will be back to playing games once the ten days are up.

The 28-year-old is a big part of the Yankees’ lineup and especially the defense. He’s currently batting .272 on the year with six home runs and 23 runs batted in.

Miguel Andujar has been taking Urshela’s role in the lineup and DJ LeMahieu has been covering third base in the meantime.

Other key players that are struggling to stay off the injured list are Aaron Judge (calf), Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring), James Paxton (forearm), and Jonathan Loaisiga (undisclosed). Right-handed pitcher Luis Severino and reliever Tommy Kahnle are both out for the remainder of the year dealing with their own injuries. Gary Sanchez

The Yanks are no stranger to injuries, having set an MLB record the season prior for most players ever put on the injured list. It was especially important this season to avoid this same issue, however, the Yankees have found themselves in the same boat.

The Yankees will begin a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday where it’ll also be a doubleheader. Gerrit Cole is expected to pitch the first game.

Yankees’ Gary Sanchez doesn’t think he should be benched

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

I’m not sure that there’s anyone more unpopular right now with the New York Yankees than Gary Sanchez. Well, maybe Aaron Boone takes the cake there, but they are in a heated battle for the most disliked among the fans.

Sanchez has all the talent in the world, yet he’s arguably been the worst catcher in baseball this year by a long shot. Sanchez has been pitiful defensively, and shockingly, he’s been better defensively than he’s been offensively.

The Yankees catcher is batting .125 on the season with 7 home runs and 15 RBIs. In 118 plate appearances this year, Sanchez has struck out an astonishing 49 times. He’s been so bad that Yankees manager Aaron Boone decided to bench him. A decision Sanchez didn’t agree with.

Yankees Internal Drama?

In a Zoom call, the Yankees catcher stated, “I wanted to keep playing, I’m always ready to play and I wanted to keep playing to find a way out of it. But he (Boone) came and told me (I was being benched).”

It was clear based on the tone that Sanchez was not happy about having his chance taken away. However, what were the Yankees supposed to do. I’m going to be honest in saying Gary Sanchez has sucked this year. There is no way around it.

The Yankees catcher did state that it’s been difficult on him personally. Sanchez told reporters, “It’s been tough for me not to be able to get the rhythm… A lot of our teammates have been down for a while with injuries, and not to be able to contribute and help the team. It’s been hard.”

While the Yankees have been spiraling out of control, they have desperately needed Sanchez to step up, but he has completely failed. In his first game back following the benching, Sanchez went 0-4 with a strikeout showing no improvement whatsoever.

I’m honestly at a loss with Gary Sanchez. There are some people who are saying the Yankees shouldn’t move on until he plays a full season in 2021. I would remind those folks that he’s hit under .200 since 2018 so these struggles are not something new.

While the Yankees catcher believes he should be given the time to figure things out, I think the bombers need to look elsewhere after this season is over. I wish they could move on now to be honest with you.

 

The New York Yankees: When It Rains, It Pours

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

2020 was supposed to be the year that the New York Yankees took back their spot at the top of the mountain. They finally had the missing piece (Gerrit Cole) to winning a championship. They had the lineup, the pitching staff, and the bullpen.

The Yankees seemingly had everything you needed to win a championship. All they needed to do was stay healthy and play to their talent level. Well, with just a few weeks left in the season, neither one of those things has happened.

The Yankees have been dealt devastating injuries, and the players who have played haven’t played well outside of a couple exceptions. A team that seemed to be a World Series favorite, is now just 1.5 games ahead for the last playoff spot in the AL.

Keep in mind that the only reason the Yankees would make the playoffs is the COVID playoff expansion. If it wasn’t for that, the Yankees would pick up their ball and go home in a few weeks.

The Yankees crushing defeat

Last night, the Yankees hit a new low. Recently, the Yankees were surpassed by the Toronto Blue Jays for second place in the division. The majority of their remaining games come against Toronto.

The Yankees have struggled mightily over the last few weeks entering last night 5-13 in their previous 18 games. The Yankees came out of the gates hot with a couple of home runs. They took a 6-2 lead into the sixth inning.

The Yankees had it setup perfectly for their best bullpen arms to close it out. You had a feeling that this could be the game that turns it around. However, the Blue Jays scored an astonishing ten runs in one inning to deal a knockout blow to the bombers.

I couldn’t hardly believe what I was watching. The Blue Jays scored ten runs off Chad Green and Adam Ottavino before the Yankees recorded two outs. There is horrific performances, then there’s what we witnessed last night.

Granted, the blame cannot go completely to the Yankees relievers. With the bases loaded, Luke Voit got a ground ball right to him which would have recorded the second out of the inning. He booted the ball, and the onslaught continued. The Yankees lost the game 12-7.

Where to go from here

Just when you think it can’t get worse for the Yankees, it does. When they get great outings from their pitchers, the offense can’t generate more than a run or two. Whenever their offense gives them a lead, the bullpen can’t hold it.

At this point, I’m not even sure I would feel comfortable if the Yankees were winning a game 10-0. That’s how bad it has truly become. This team can turn it around, but I’m not sure anyone believes that they will at this point.

There has to be some heat on Brian Cashman. The Yankees were spiraling out of control last week and Cashman did nothing at the deadline. No reinforcements for the bombers, just praying they get better.

Unfortunately for Cashman, not only have the problems continued, they’ve become worse. If the boss were still alive and running the team, I would not want to be anyone in the Yankees organization. I’m not sure what the answer is, but it’s truly dark times in the Bronx.

New York Yankees News: Yesterday was a very difficult day for Yankee Manager Aaron Boone (video)

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone had a very tough day yesterday.  First, one must understand that everything that went on yesterday, happened under the shadow of the great Jackie Robinson.  Number 42 paved the way for black players to enter the major leagues. Jackie Robinson was an African American professional baseball player who broke Major Leagues Baseball’s infamous “color barrier” when he started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. Until that time, professional ballplayers of color suited up for teams only in the Negro Leagues.

Yesterday MLB celebrated Jackie Robinson day.  The celebration usually takes place on April 15th, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the celebration of his life was pushed forward to when baseball was actually being played. Yesterday on the Diamond Vision screen at Yankee Stadium images of Jackie Robinson’s career was shown. The bases were all marked with the number 42. All the Yankees and Mets players wore the number 42 on their backs. Famous New York Yankee and Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera was one of several active players who wore No. 42 when he began his career. Those active players already wearing the number were permitted to wear it until they retired. Rivera retired in 2013, and when his number 42 was finally retired in Monument Park, Jackie Robinson’s widow and daughter were at his side.

In a horribly ironic occurrence, the black star that played Jackie Robinson in the movie “42”, Chadwick Boseman died yesterday on Jackie Robinson day.  The talented star was just 43 years old. He died of colon cancer, which he had been battling since 2016.  Jackie Robinson died of a heart attack at the age of 53, at his Stamford, Connecticut home.

For Aaron Boone, the day started with the hope of curbing the slide, that the Yankees have suffered over the last several days, losing five games in a row.  That hope was dashed as the Yankees slipped to third place in the East Division, after losing two more, making it seven in a row.  This was particularly hard for Boone as the Yankees had the lead in both games of the doubleheader. In both cases, the Yankee bullpen gave up the lead. In game one Jordan Montgomery pitched five solid innings, only to have the Yankee’s most dependable reliever, Chad Green come into the game, and give up five runs that the Yankees could not recover from.

Game two was more of the same, being the seventh loss in a row, something the Yankees hadn’t done since Joe Girardi’s 2017 team. For the Yankees, it was an “opener game” started by Jonathan Loaisiga, who pitched one-run ball for three innings, striking out three on 39 pitches. Adam Ottavino, Nick Nelson, and Luis Cessa turned over a 3-2 lead to Chapman, who has yet to record a save after opening the season on the COVID-19 injured list. Zack Britton who covered for Chapman saved all of his eight tries. Chapman allowed a two-run walk-off homer to Amed Rosario.

Following the games, in a post-game interview, a clearly dejected Boone was asked a difficult question, that he became very emotional over and could not answer, abruptly leaving the room.

 

He recovered shortly thereafter, and stated about the games: “you have to quickly move on.”  On the matter of his black children, he said, his eyes puffy from just having fought back tears, had been asked if the Black Lives Matter movement may have resonated more with him because two of his four children are adopted, and black. “It’s been a hard and heavy year,” Boone said. “A heartbreaking year in so many ways.”

A very tough day for Boone for sure. Today the Yankees will again try to end the slide when New York Yankee pitcher J.A. Happ takes the mound in a matinee game at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees’ Aaron Judge suffers injury setback, here’s the latest

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Following last night’s loss against the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that Aaron Judge could possibly be headed back to the Injured List after being removed early from the second game of the doubleheader. The club is going to reevaluate him today and make a decision from there.

First reported by Marly Rivera, Judge apparently tightened his calf while rounding second base. Boone said, “Doesn’t seem to be serious, but we’ll see tomorrow.”

A week ago Judge told the media that he was feeling 100% and was ready to get back in the lineup. It’s difficult to say if this injury was rushed or if he just reaggravated it again.

Judge was having a great year before having this injury stint. He’s currently batting .290 with nine home runs and 20 RBIs in just 17 games.

The Yankees are notorious for having injury problems and this year isn’t any different. DJ LeMahieu, James Paxton, Gleyber Torres, Zack Britton, Giancarlo Stanton, and Kyle Higashioka are all out for at least a couple more weeks. Star pitchers Tommy Kahnle and Luis Severino are both out for the whole season with Tommy John.

The Bombers have lost the last five games they’ve played, being swept in the last two series. They fall to a 16-11 record and after being atop comfortably in the AL East for the first few weeks of the season, the Yankees are now second behind the Tampa Bay Rays.

New York Yankees: Boone continues to make the same lineup mistake, DJ LeMahieu injury update

Mike Tauchman, New York Yankees

The New York Yankees are facing off against the Tampa Bay Rays in the second game of a three-game series on Wednesday evening. On Tuesday, they fell 6-3, with Masahiro Tanaka having a poor outing. The offense simply wasn’t able to get going either, and with three of their best players absent, things won’t get better for at least another week.

Nonetheless, the Yankees have plenty of reserve options to utilize in the meantime.

Manager Aaron Boone deployed an interesting lineup on Wednesday, one day after he gave Luke Voit the leadoff spot. Voit drove in three RBIs and hit a home run. On Wednesday, he moved Aaron Hicks to the top of the order, placing Mike Ford at clean up as the DH, and Brett Gardner in left field. Interestingly, Thairo Estrada received the start at second base over Tyler Wade.

Where is Boone making a mistake?

The mistake revolves around Gardner, who continues to gain reps over Mike Tauchman despite the obvious difference in production. So far this season, Gardner is hitting .167 with three homers and six RBIs over 48 at-bats. Tauchman is hitting .333 with seven RBIs and five walks over 45 at-bats.

Tauchman is also a fantastic defensive player, and while he isn’t the slugger that Brett somehow has managed to become, his ability to get on base and high contact rate makes him more valuable at this point in time. Tauchman has been a supplemental piece the past few games, receiving minimal starts. I don’t know what it will take for Boone to finally realize that Tauchman is the better player and deserves more playing time over Gardner.

Injury update on New York Yankees in filter DJ LeMahieu:

LeMahieu overextended his thumb several days ago against the Boston Red Sox.

Ultimately, the second baseman has been “sore” and is still in the 2-3 week return timeline. He suffered a similar injury back in 2018 with the Colorado Rockies and is once again dealing with a thumb issue. Giving him as much time as needed is essential, but luckily the Yankees are close to gaining slugger Aaron Judge back. Judge featured in batting practice yesterday but was placed on the 10-day IL as a precaution.