New York Yankees Analysis: My 2021 predictions and where they stand at the halfway point

Every year before the season starts, I make my predictions on what the New York Yankees season might look like, who will star, and who will bomb. Last year I bombed out several times but still had a 50% winning percentage. This year’s predictions were made on March 30, 2021, when things looked risky but pretty rosy for the upcoming season. But, of course, things have changed a lot since then, so let’s take a look at where we/I stand.

1. Gerrit Cole will not perform as expected!

This year after his average spring training performance, I predict he will go 15-6 with at least 24 home runs given up. He will also leave several games early. I hit this one -pretty much on the nose; Cole hasn’t come close to his 2019 performance with the Astros. He presently stands at 9-4. Although he will exceed my home run predictions, he has 15 already. On July 4th against the Mets, he lasted only 3.1 innings giving up 4 earned runs and walking three Met batters. Projection grade A.

2. DJ LeMahieu will be good, but not as good!

Last year I made this prediction and surely bombed out. I said he would not be as good; it turned out that he was even better in the short season than in 2019. He was the New York Yankees MVP and was all of baseball’s batting champ, hitting .364. I again make the same prediction this year. He will start the season slowly and will shine after the All-Star break. My prediction is too early to call. He has definitely not performed like he did last year, with a batting average of about .100 less. I also said he would shine after the All-Star break, which has yet to be seen. Projection grade B+.

3. Clint Frazier will shine in his first full season!

I made that prediction last season and was only partially correct. Where I was wrong was that he didn’t play a whole season in the majors. I was correct because his defense would significantly improve, and boy did it ever; he was even nominated for a Gold Glove Award. His quick bat prevailed, hitting .267. This season I predict the same, except that he will have a better batting average. Oh boy, I made an absolute mess of this one. Frazier has not been as good in the outfield and has absolutely bombed at the plate. His batting average is .186, with only five home runs. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is not with the Yankees after the trade deadline. Projection grade F.

4. Aaron Judge will have an injury-free season

Last year I predicted that Judge would have an injury-shortened season, and I was correct; he played in only 28 games while nursing injuries. This year in what will probably prove to be my most foolish prediction, I am saying he will play in at least 135 games and stay healthy for most of the season, hitting over 35 home runs. I did considerably better on this one. He has stayed mostly healthy and is on track to play at least 135 games. As far as home runs, he is on track to hit as many as 40, which is 5 above my prediction. Projection grade B.

5. Gleyber Torres will lead the Yankees in home runs

I made this same prediction last season and bombed out on that as much as Gleber Torres bombed out on his whole season. In 2019 Torres had 38 home runs, which I based my prediction on, as it turned out he only hit 3 homers. This year he is in much better shape and has been an outstanding player in spring training. He had 5 home runs in the spring. He will lead the Yankees with 45 home runs. However, he will not lead the Yankees in home runs; he has an abysmal 3 at the halfway point. His regular-season performance has dropped off dramatically from spring training. Projection grade D.

6. Domingo German will be the winningest pitcher

This prediction does not involve results from last year as German didn’t pitch at all in 2020 while serving his suspension for breaking the MLB’s domestic violence policy. But this year, after what I have seen in spring training, I predict he will be the Yankees’ winningest pitcher. He will have a 20 game winning season as he returns to his 2019 form. I completely flopped in this one. German hasn’t come close to good. He goes out and has a can’t touch performance, followed by miserable outings. He will be lucky to reach half of my prediction. Projection grade F.

7. Jonathan Loaisiga will be the Yankees’ best reliever

Loaisiga has been growing in Yankee importance for the last few years. This spring training, he has been just short of perfect. He didn’t allow a run in his first 6 games. He has a tiny 1.26. He will outshine all the other relievers and give up less than 30 earned runs in the 2021 season. I will add a caveat that that could be affected by the number of innings he throws. Hit this one on the nose. Loaisiga has been the Yankees’ most dependable reliever. He is 7-3 with an ERA of 2.11 in 36 games. He has 2 saves. Projection grade A.

8. Gary Sanchez will prove the Yankees wrong

Last year I predicted that Gary Sanchez would have the second-most home runs of any Yankee player. I was correct; he shared that stat with DJ LeMahieu. This year I am saying that the New York Yankees made a mistake in tendering him an offer to stay with the team. As much as I would like to see him prevail if his spring training performance is any indication, he will not. Gary gets into long slides that make him ineffective as a hitter. Although he got 10 homers last year, he batted a miserable .147. I predict he will have another poor season that may seal his fate with the Yankees. I don’t yet know what to make of this one; I was on track for the first 40 games. But in the last several weeks, Sanchez has turned it around. He is hitting .217 with 15 home runs. But, with Sanchez, you never can be sure of anything; he could still go into an after All-Star slide that could still end him up like last season. Projection grade C.

9. Yankees will win 108 games

Last season, a 60 games season, I said that the Yankees would win 48 games; they only won 33. I fell substantially short of my prediction. In 2018 and 2019, they won 100 and 103 games. This year with improved pitching, they will exceed that and win 108 games. I blew this one big time. If they continue to play as they have in the first half, they will end up with about 20 less than my prediction. Projection grade F.

10. The Yankees will win their 28th World Championship

Last year I made this same prediction and was very wrong; they didn’t even win the East Division. However, this year I will stick with the same prediction for several reasons. One is that at least at the beginning of the season, most all the Yankees are healthy. With their new pitching staff and the return of both Domingo German and Luis Severino, the New York Yankees will prevail over the greatly reduced Tampa Bay team, with the Toronto Blue Jays coming in second in the East. The Yankees will go on to beat the San Diego Padres in the World Series in seven games. I guess I am the perennial optimist; if they have a chance of winning it all, they have to have a highly dramatic turnaround. The next 7 games will be telling, 4 with the Red Sox and 3 with the Tampa Bay Rays that the Yankees have not been able to tumble. Projection grade D.

Notes: In my years of making annual predictions, so far, this has been my worst. However, in my defense, most industry analysts would have agreed with me. This has been a very disappointing season for the New York Yankees and its fans. No one has been able to come up with a reason that one of the most powerful lineups in baseball hasn’t been able to hit the ball consistently. They have made far too many basic ball-playing mistakes and pitching failures. Jameson Taillon and Domingo German have underperformed. The loss of Corey Kluber could not have been foreseen. The only part of the team that has shined is the bullpen.

One must remember this is still the New York Yankees; they have the ability to shock everyone and turn it around. First, however, they must win the majority of their series, play better against the AL East, and dominate everyone else. But with each series lost, that likelihood seems more remote. We will look at these predictions again at the end of the season. My halfway point grade. C+

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow him on Twitter @parleewilliam.

 

New York Yankees to play day-night today, takeaways from loss to the Mets

new york yankees, justin wilson

Today will be a huge day for both the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. Yesterday the Yankees lost game one against their cross-town rivals 8-3. The Yankees were almost embarrassed by the Mets, as they couldn’t get a single hit off Taijuan Walker until the sixth inning. In the end, they could only muster up three hits, all in that sixth inning.

Today they will play a dual day-night doubleheader starting at 2:05 pm; the two games will be seven-inning contests. The day game will be started by Yankee ace Gerrit Cole that has struggled recently. The night game will be started by Nestor Cortes Jr., who has been lights out for the Yankees in relief; his ERA is 1.02. For Cortes, it will be his first nationally televised game in the Major Leagues. The 7:05 pm game will be televised on ESPN. To save face, the Yankees will need to win both of these games and take the series from the Mets.

New York Yankees couldn’t perform in game

The New York Yankees struggled mightily in game one yesterday. The pitching wasn’t there, and the hitting was almost absent. Jordan Montgomery only lasted 4.1 innings giving up three earned runs. Montgomery, although the Yankee’s second-best pitcher, couldn’t find control over his secondary pitches. Taijuan Walker mowed down every Yankee hitter he saw through five innings as the Yankees couldn’t garner up a hit against him to add insult to injury.

Montgomery was bailed out in the fifth as Lucas Luetge replaced him and stopped the bleeding. Then bad turned worse when Justin Wilson came in sixth, not recording an out and giving up five more runs. The only bright spot in the game was when Michael King replaced him and pitched four scoreless innings shutting down the Mets rest of the way.

Also, Aaron Judge hit his 19th home run of the season on the plus side as he continues his hot streak. The Yankees only left one man on base, but there is not much to be said about that; if you don’t get hits, you can’t leave men on base.

Torres/Frazier continue to disappoint

After an abysmal season last year for Gleyber Torres, he started this season out pretty good, showing up in better shape and with improved defense. But near the end of April, he crashed and was hitting just .186. By the end of May, he had improved, hitting his second home run of the season and batting .274. However, during the whole month of June, it has been all downhill for the young shortstop.  He has only hit one more home run, and his batting average has dropped to .240. Yesterday he went hitless in the Mets game and earned his 12th error of the season. His signature has become airmailing throws to first base.

What makes this so disappointing is that the Yankees still have faith in Torres. He had a stellar season in 2019 when he led the team in home runs with 38 and batted .278. So far this season, he is on track to hit 6 or 7 long balls.

Possibly the biggest disappointment hitting-wise is that halfway through the season, Clint Frazier has still not found his stroke, hitting just .186. In the last month, he hasn’t hit a home run, and for the month of June, he has only ten hits. The is the longest slide of his up and down career.

Now he is on the IL with vertigo. He has gone under several tests, but no cause has been revealed. It could result from his 2018 head-first smash into the wall that caused him to have a concussion and miss some of 2018 and 19. The only talk about Frazier is that he may end up on the trading block.

Gerrit Cole will start today. Hal has faith in him

Gerrit Cole will start game one today of a day-night doubleheader. Cole’s performance has fallen off dramatically since Josh Donaldson of the Indians named him in a conversation on using illegal substances to improve grip. Once MLB announced that they would be regularly checking and suspending for the use of any kind of sticky stuff, Cole’s spin rate affecting ball movement has been off. In June, the New York Yankees have lost three of his five starts. During April, his ERA was 1.43 near the top for pitchers. Now at the end of June, it’s 2.66.

Cole’s last start against the Boston Red Sox was one of the worst of his career. He gave up five runs in five innings, three of them home runs. The Yankees have now lost eight of his sixteen starts, making many wonder if Hal Steinbrenner spent $324 million on an average pitcher that can’t be good unless using illegal substances. However, this week when addressing the team’s woes, managing partner Hal Steinbrenner has reaffirmed his faith in Cole, saying that he is not worried about Cole in a post sticky baseball world.

Cole has a game score of 33. However, 50 is average in the metrics system created by Bill James to measure the pitcher’s effectiveness in a single game.

 

 

Yankees place OF Clint Frazier on injured list, hurting depth even more

nyy, yankees, clint frazier

With the trade deadline approaching, the New York Yankees might want to start considering a more prominent move rather than bringing in below-average players to supplement significant losses. On Friday, the Yankees announced that outfielder Clint Frazier would head to the injured list with vertigo, as he will undergo a battery of tests after experiencing dizziness.

Frazier has appeared in 66 games this year, hitting .186 with nearly a 30% strikeout rate. The reality is, the Yankees offered Clint an opportunity to be the starter moving forward, and he has underwhelmed considerably after posting back-to-back seasons of a .267 average. While his defense has improved to a degree, his offense has taken a significant step backward.

The Yankees recently acquired Tim Locastro from the Arizona Diamondbacks after being heavily time connected to Ketel Marte. Hopefully, general manager Brian Cashman has a few tricks left up his sleeve, as the Yankees desperately need more offensive support to help compensate for lackluster starting pitching as of late.

New York Yankees: 3 Major takeaways from Yankees 6-5 win over Toronto

The New York Yankees entered last night’s first game of a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo, New York, after losing 11 of their last 15 games. The Toronto Blue Jays are one of their East rivals that the Yankees have not been able to beat. Before last night they had lost six of the nine meetings between the two teams this season. Last night the Yankees improved their record against the Jays by winning a hard-fought game 6-5.

Montgomery stumbled, giving up 5 runs

The New York Yankees seem to be locked into a situation that when the pitching is good the hitting isn’t there, and when they do hit the pitching fails them. Last night it looked that way again. Montgomery who has been the second-best Yankee pitcher gave up 5 runs, 4 of them earned in just 5.1 innings of work. He didn’t have his normal command and struck out only 4 Jays on the night. This is his second game in a row that he couldn’t complete six innings. In the two games, he gave up 8 runs and rose his ERA to 4.20, the highest of the season.

When you give up five runs in a game you will normally lose that game. Montgomery however is the one Yankee pitcher that has had luck on his side, the Yankees have won 7 of his last eight starts. In last night’s game, his lack of command allowed four walks, three hard-hit balls, one a home run to Bo Bichette.

Yankee hitters and relievers save the game

The New York Yankee bats that have been so quiet in most games this season were mostly alive last night as they tallied 9 hits, 3 of them home runs. Gary Sanchez, Chris Gittens, and veteran Brett Gardner. Sanchez, DJ LeMahieu, and Clint Frazier also had extra-base hits in the game. To achieve the comeback win the Yankees needed more than hitting. After Montgomery’s exit from the game the Yankees bullpen (Cessa, Loaisiga, Britton, and Chapman) shut down the Jays hitters for 3 2/3 innings of hitless ball..

The Yankees did have missed opportunities in the game. In the fifth inning the Yankees with two on and one out, ever only able to bring in one run. The Yankees also hit into their 35th double play of the season. The big news, however, is that the Yankees offense was able to overcome a five-run deficient and claw their way back to a come-from-behind win.

Chris Gittens gets first hit in a big way

On June 5th failing first baseman Mike Ford was designated for assignment. In a corresponding move, the Yankees brought first baseman Chris Gittens up from Scranton to hold down the position. In his minor league season, he had 4 home runs in his first 15 games and hit a batting average of 2.81. Since his promotion, Gittens has struggled to get his first hit in the majors.

That all changed last night in a minor league park in Buffalo, NY. Gittens got his first hit and it wasn’t a quiet one, he hit a 439′ home run over the left-field fence. A fan visiting from the Queens grabbed the ball off the grass. After negotiations, the Yankees were able to retrieve the ball for Gittens. It is unclear what the fan got in return for giving up the ball, but you can bet he has a few Yankee Stadium tickets in his pocket.

Notes:

We learned during the game that rehabbing starting pitcher Luis Severino has been diagnosed with a grade two groin strain after exiting a game in Brooklyn with the Hudson Valley Renegades. This is horrible news for the Yankees as he was approaching a return to Yankee Stadium. He will not have to rehab that strain for the next four to six weeks before he can restart his pitching rehab games. This will move back his return to late August or early September if all goes well.

When the New York Yankee return to Yankee Stadium this Friday to face the Oakland Athletics they will celebrate the reopening of Yankee Stadium with a 100% allowed capacity. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the iconic Stadium will be at full capacity for the first time since the 2019 season.

 

 

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees claw their way back to beat the Toronto Blue Jays

The New York Yankees tonight faced the Toronto Blue Jays at Sahlen Field in Buffalo in game one of a three-game set. The Blue Jays are one of the teams the Yankees trail in the AL East. So far this season, the Yankees have had trouble winning against the Canadian team. The Yankees broke their 3 game losing streak with a 6-5 comeback win over Toronto.

DJ LeMahieu led off the first inning with a single against Hyun Jin Ryu. Aaron Judge flew out to center field. Gleyber Torres ground to third with the Jays getting the force at second. Torres made second on a wild pitch. Giancarlo Stanton walked. Gio Urshela, with two on and two outs, ground out to second, leaving two men on base.

At the bottom, Marcus Semien walked off of Montgomery. Semien stole second base. Bo Bichette also walked for the second walk in the inning. Vlad Guerrero also walked, bringing on Matt Blake, the pitching coach. Teoscar Hernandez sac flew to center, driving in a run. Randal Grichuk flew out for the second out. Lourdes Gurriel, with runners on the corners and two outs, chopped back to Montgomery for the final out. Blue Jays 1 New York Yankees 0.

At the top of the second inning, Gary Sanchez homered into the left-field parking lot. Miguel Andujar worked a walk. Chris Gittens, still looking for his first major league hit, flew out to center.  Brett Gardner went down on strikes. LeMahieu walked. Judge with two on, and two outs struck out to end the half, but the game was tied. At the bottom, Joe Panik led off by flying out to Andujar in left. Riley Adams struck out. Santiago Espinal singled to left. Semien flew out to Judge. New York Yankees 1 Blue Jays 1.

The top of the third had Torres at the plate; he ground out to third. Stanton walked for the second time. Urshela hit into the Yankees 35th double play of the season to end the inning. Bichette led off the bottom and hit his fifth home run off the Yankees this season. Gerrero Jr. struck out looking. Hernandez ground out to Torres. Grichuk struck out to end the inning. Jays 2. Yankees 1.

Gary Sanchez led off the fourth by striking out. Andujar ground out. Gittens got his first big league hit with a homer (439′) to center field, tying up the game. Gardner ground out, but the Yankees tied the game. Gurriel Jr. led off the bottom and grounded out to first. Panik walked. Adams flew out to Gardner for the second out of the inning. Espinal singled up the center. Semien singled when Torres missed a bare-handed play Bichette at the plate; a ball got past Sanchez, and Espinal scored. Bichette singled as two Jays scored. Guerrero struck out on a ball in the dirt, but the damage was done. Blue Jays 5 Yankees 2.

At the top of the fifth, it was the top of the lineup for the Yankees. LeMahieu ground out. Judge grounded out to short. Torres also ground out to short for a 1-2-3 inning for Ryu. At the bottom, Hernandez flew out to right. Grichuk popped out to short. Gurriel went down, grounding out for a very fast inning for both pitchers. Jays 5 Yankees 2.

Giancarlo Stanton flew out to left in the top of the sixth. Urshela singled to right. Sanchez doubled for a man on second and third and only one out. Andujar ground out but drove in Urshela. After hitting a homer in the fourth, Gittens ground out to short, but the Yankees picked up a run. At the bottom, Panik flew out to the left side of short, and that was Montgomery’s night as Luis Cessa took over the pitching. Adams ground out to LeMahieu. Espinal going 3 for 3 on the night, hit a double to center. Semien struck out to end the inning. Jays 5 Yankees 3.

At the top of the seventh, Brett Gardner faced the new Jay’s pitcher Castro and homered to right-center to bring the Yankees within one. LeMahieu doubled to the left-field wall with no outs. Judge at the plate a wild pitch allowed LeMahieu to go to third base, but Judge ground out. Torres at the plate another wild pitch allowed LeMahieu to score and tied the game at 5. Torres walked. Stanton faced the new Jay’s pitcher Carl Edwards and almost homered to the right-field wall. Urshela faced the next new pitcher Tim Mayza. Urshela walked, making it two on and two outs. Sanchez ground out to third, but the Yankees tied the game at 5.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Bo Bichette ground out to the new New York Yankees’ new pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga. Then, Guerrero singled, as did Hernandez. Finally, Grichuk ground into a double play stranding two Jays. Yankees 5 Jays 5.

At the top of the eighth inning, Miguel Andujar got a lead-off single to left field. Gittens struck out swinging. Tyler Wade came in to pinch run for Andujar; Clint Frazier came in to pinch hit for Gardner leading to another Jay’s pitching change. Jordon Romano faced Frazier, who, while at the plate, saw Wade steal second. Frazier had a huge RBI double to give the Yankees the one-run lead. LeMahieu with Frazier at second and one out ground out to short, but Frazier made it to third base. Judge struck out, but the New York Yankees had come all the way back to take the lead in the game.

At the bottom of the eight with the new Yankee pitcher Zack Britton on the mound, Gurriel led off by grounding out to Torres at short. Joe Panik walked. Adams grounded through Torres for a single and two on with one out. Biggio pinch ran from second. Espinal flew out to a running Tyler Wade. Semien, with two on and two outs, walked to load the bases for Bo Bichette. Bichette flew out to Judge in right to get Britton out of a bases-loaded jam. New York Yankees 6 Jays 5.

At the top of the ninth inning in Buffalo, Gleyber Torres led off flying out to center. Stanton flew out to right field. Urshela singled against the new Jays pitcher Tyler Chatwood. Sanchez struck out swinging, leaving the Yankees with a one runs cushion. At the bottom, the Jays faced the Yankee closer, Aroldis Chapman. Guerrero Jr. ground out to short. Hernandez struck out swinging. Grichuk ground out for the Yankee come-back win. The final score was the New York Yankees 6 and the Blue Jays 5. The winning pitcher was Jonathan Loaisiga, the loser was Tim Mayza, and the save went to Aroldis Chapman for his 13th save of the season.

 

Yankees’ Clint Frazier played the hero twice: ‘We needed that’

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees won a back-and-forth affair with the Tampa Bay Rays, largely thanks to outfielder Clint Frazier. The redheaded slugger player the hero in two different occasions yesterday, and without him, the Bombers probably would have lost their fifth straight game.

Most fans will remember his walk-off, two-run home run to send everybody home with the Yankees coming out on top 5-3. His 11th-inning blast made sure the Bombers take at least one game from the pesky Rays.

“It’s a feeling that I’m sure that I won’t forget, just because of what we’ve been going through as a team and what I’ve been going through individually,” Frazier told MLB.com. “We needed that win. We’ve got to build off of it, show up tomorrow and try to get another ‘W’ that’s a little bit easier than that one.”

The Yankees badly needed a win

Frustrations were starting to appear in the Yankees dugout in the past few days, but Frazier, at least for a day, was there to save his team.

“We needed that,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Some better things across the board — not close to where we need to be, but it was an important day today to pull that one out, and a great AB there by Fraz to finish it off.”

In the eighth inning, Frazier had been the hero, as well, but with the glove. With Chad Green on the mound and runners on base, Joey Wendle hit a weak fly ball that threatened to fall between Frazier and second baseman Rougned Odor, but the former raced and made a diving, run-saving catch.

“I’ve really worked hard at my defense and tried to make it something that people can’t talk about for the wrong reasons anymore,” Frazier said. “That was a big play for me. Rougie and I were in a unique situation going at it, but I’m the one coming in on the ball. I’m just glad that the ball was able to stick in my glove.”

New York Yankees: 3 Major takeaways from the Yankees walk-off win

The New York Yankees entered last night’s baseball game with the Tampa Bay Rays with a season record of 1-8 against their nemesis. They also entered the game with little hope of winning a game against their ace Tyler Glasnow. But the Yankees did that and did it in a walk-off fashion in the eleventh inning. The final score was 5-3. The win went to Luis Cessa, and the loss to Andrew Kittredge.

Domingo German keeps them in the game

The New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German had a daunting task last night, beating the Tampa Bay Rays ace Tyler Glasnow, a Yankee killer. On top of that, he had to defeat a team that has won 15 of their last 16 games. Although he didn’t have his best stuff, he managed to hold down the Rays by making the right pitches at the right time. With 86 pitches through five innings, German allowed 3 hits for 3 earned runs, 2 of them home runs while striking out 5 Rays.

Enter the Yankees bullpen. The Yankees bullpen has been stellar during most games this season, and last night was no different. The Yankees ran out six relievers over six innings, and they didn’t disappoint; they didn’t allow a single hit paving the way for Clint Frazier’s walk-off in the 11th inning.

Walk-off yes, hitting, no

The New York Yankees, last night, got a walk-off win last night when Clint Frazier hit a two-run homer into the left-field stands. Frazier had also made a spectacular catch in the 10th. However, there is a problem with all of this. Previous to the walk-off, Frazier had gone 0 for 3 and was hitting just .182. This low batting average is not just Frazier; it’s nearly teamwide with only a few exceptions. The Yankees could muster up just six hits in the game. They, in the end, scored 5 runs; that’s one run short of how many they scored in their last four games.

The Yankees have a hitting problem; they don’t hit against any above-average pitcher. From 2017 to 2020, the Yankees averaged 5.25 runs per game. So far this season, they are scoring only 3.76 runs per game. The fact remains that they score 3 or fewer runs in most of their games. The difference between 5.25 and 3.76 is a winning season and a losing season.

Change may be in the air

The Yankee organization believes it is the best in baseball, and every decision they make is the right decision. Plain and simple, the New York Yankees are stubborn. But the fact is their philosophy may have some holes in it. The team is built around a power-hitting right-handed lineup. With a somewhat deadened ball this season, those home runs are far and few between. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have more home runs than the other regular lineup combined. Lacking left-hand hitters, those that they have, have a combined batting average of just .190.

It’s no longer the beginning of the season, one-third of the season is behind us, and the Yankees aren’t in an enviable position in the AL East. If the Yankees win half of their upcoming series, they will not overtake the better hitting Tampa Bay Rays or the Boston Red Sox unless those opponents collapse, which doesn’t seem likely.

But change may be in the air. As the Yankees have been stubborn with their decision to make Gary Sanchez their starting catcher and Gleyber Torres their shortstop of the future, the front office may realize those moves, like keeping the underproducing Mike Ford at first when they have a much better option may need to change. They have already demoted Sanchez to a part-time catcher and have been subbing Torres at short with the better defender Gio Urshela. After last night’s game, they finally sent Mike Ford down to Scranton. So far, they have not made a corresponding move. But a move to make room for Chris Gittens may be in the offing. The Yankees have to adjust to the new baseball environment.

It’s also time for Yankee manager Aaron Boone to stop saying we have a great team and everything will be fine. Instead, he needs to get aggressive and innovative and create a spark that leads the team to win more games. Yes, there is a lot of season left, but with a third of the games behind us and with the Rays and Red Sox playing so well, time is running out to dig themselves out of the hole they have created for themselves. Adding a left-hand power-hitting first baseman and a power-hitting lefty out in centerfield will go a long way to solve some of the Yankees’ deficiencies.

 

New York Yankees Recap: Walk-off homer in the 11th wins it for the Yankees

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees faced the Tampa Bay Rays in game 2 of the 4 game set tonight at Yankee Stadium. The Rays took the first game last night against the Yankees and improved their 2021 record to 7-3 against the home team. It was a beautiful night for baseball in the Bronx, a sunny start, and a game-time temperature of 72 degrees. Tonight the Ray’s ace Tyler Glasnow faced the Yankees Domingo German. The final score for tonight’s game was a walk-off win in the eleventh inning for the Yankees 5-3 win.

Domingo German faced the Rays’ Brandon Lowe in the first inning, who got a base hit off of Geman’s glove. Randy Arozarena ground out to Urshela on a great defensive play by Urshela; Lowe advanced to second.  Ji-Man Choi struck out for the second out. Austin Meadows homered into the second deck of right field for a two-run lead for the Rays. Yandy Diaz Yandy Díaz ground out to end the half. At the bottom, DJ LeMahieu ground out for center. Rougie Odor ground out. Judge hit a long out to left-center to end the inning. Rays 2 Yankees 0.

The top of the second saw Joey Wendle at the plate; he went down on strikes. Kevin Kiermaier flied out to left. Mike Zunino struck out. At the bottom, Gio Urshela flew out to the wall in center. Mike Ford went down on strikes. Gary Sanchez went down on strikes for the very quick scoreless second inning.

At the third, Brett Phillips ground out. Lowe skied out to Andujar to left. Arozarena reached on a single not caught by DJ LeMahieu for an E5. Choi flew out to Frazier in right. At the bottom, Miguel Andujar went down looking. Brett Gardner ground out to first. Clint Frazier ground out. LeMahieu singled to short for two one and two outs. Odor singled to right, loading the bases for Aaron Judge. Judge walked, forcing in a run. LeMahieu went home on a wild pitch scoring another Yankee run. Gio Urshela flew out to right, but the Yankees tied the score. Yankees 2 Rays 2.

Austin Meadows led off the fourth inning by striking out against German. Diaz flew out to Ford in foul territory. Wendle hit sharply to Odor for the quick needed inning for German. Ford led off the bottom by striking out. Sanchez struck out. Andujar hit a homer to right-center. Brett Gardner popped out to shallow center to end the half.

At the top of the fifth, Kiwemier homered to tie the game at 3. Zunino struck out. Phillips lined out to right, and Lowe lined out to left. Score tied at 3 apiece. At the bottom, Frazier struck out looking. Lemahieu tapped to third for the second out of the inning. Odor popped out to the infield. New York Yankees 3 Rays 3.

In the sixth, Arozarena led off by facing Wandy Peralta, and he ground out. Choi walked. Meadows also walked. Diaz would face a new Yankee pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga, but Meadows was caught out at first for the second out. Diaz walked. Wendle struck out, leaving two on base. Aaron Judge led off the bottom by striking out. Urshela flew out to right. Ford went down for the third time on the night. The score tied at 3.

Kevin Kiermaier led off the top of the seventh inning, and he gound off the glove of Loaisiga for the first out. Zunino ground out to Urshela at third. Phillips walked. Lowe ground out to second. At the bottom, Gary Sanchez led off by doubling to left. Sanchez is called out on the bases again. Andujar reached on the fielder’s choice. Gardner flew out to right. Frazier ground out to end the inning tied at 3.

With the new pitcher on the mound for the eighth, Chad Green, Arozarena went down swinging. Choi went around and struck out. Meadows walked on four pitches. Meadows moved to second on a poor throw from Sanchez. Meadow then went to third on a wild pitch. Diaz walked. Wendle, with two outs and men on the corners, flew to Frazier in right with an amazon play. At the bottom, it was the top of the lineup. LeMahieu flew out to right. Odor reaching for the stars struck out. Judge walked—Urshela with one on and two outs singled, moving Judge to second. .Giancarlo Stanton pinch hit for Mike Ford, and he ground out to short to bring it to the ninth inning tied at 3.

At the top of the ninth with New York Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman on the mound, Kiermairer struck out. Zunino struck out on a 101mph fastball. Phillips ground out to end the half. At the bottom with a possible walk-off win, Gary Sanchez with Fairbanks on the mound flew out to center. Miguel Andujar popped back to Fairbanks for the second out. Brett Gardner walked with one on and one out. Clint Frazier walked, bringing up DJ LeMahieu with a chance to have a walk-off win. He line drove out to second, bringing on extra innings. The game tied at 3.

At the top of the tenth, with Phillips as the ghost running at second, Brandon Lowe faced Lucas Luetage, and he gound out, but moving Phillips to third base. Randy Arozarena popped out to second. Pinch-hitting for Choi was Margot, who flew out to center. At the bottom, with DJ LeMehieu at second, and Kittridge pitching, Rougie Odor led off by grounding out to first, but Odor moved LeMahieu third. Aaron Judge was intentionally walked. Gio Urshela struck out. Gleyber Torres pinch hit for Tyler Wade. Torres walked to load the bases. Gary Sanchez stuck out with the bases loaded and goes to the 11th inning tied at 3.

At the top of the eleventh, Austin Meadows took to the plate with Margot on second base and Luis Cessa on the mound; Meadows popped out to Urshela. Yandy Diaz struck out. Joey Wendle struck out leading to the bottom of the 11th with ghost runner Gary Sanchez on the second. Miguel Andujar leading off the bottom ground out to short. Brett Gardner ground out, but Sanchez moved to third base. Clint Frazier had a two-run homer to walk off the win.

The final score was New York Yankees 5, the Tampa Bay Rays 3. the winning pitcher was Luis Cessa, and the loser was Andrew Kittredge.

 

 

 

Yankees make big changes to batting order ahead of Tampa Bay series

nyy, yankees, clint frazier

The New York Yankees have lost four of their last five games, recently being swept by the Detroit Tigers over the weekend. The offense has been quite disappointing for some time, but the starting pitching has now begun to struggle, which was the only factor holding the Yankees above water the past few weeks.

Over the last three games, the Yankees have scored a measly five runs, allowing 15, showcasing their weaknesses in the batting order and desperate need for more offense of production.

However, ahead of the Tampa series on Monday, skipper Aaron Boone decided to make a few interesting changes. Devising a remedy to fix the most prevalent issue is not easy, but Boone has decided to bench Gary Sanchez and Clint Frazier, despite both being healthy and available.

The Yankees’ lineup for Monday’s game:

1. DJ LeMahieu, 1B

2. Giancarlo Stanton, DH

3. Aaron Judge, RF

4. Gio Urshela, 3B

5. Gleyber Torres SS

6. Rougned Odor, 2B

7. Miguel Andujar, LF

8. Kyle Higashioka, C

9. Brett Gardner, CF

The batting order is a bit different without the two, as Kyle Higashioka will get the start at catcher, and Miguel Andujar will play in left field. Over 132 at-bats, Frazier is hitting .182 with a .311 slugging percentage. He currently hosts a -0.8 WAR, recording just 24 hits and 13 runs.

Alternatively, Andujar has 62 at-bats, totaling a .226 average with a .242 slugging percentage. He has a -0.6 WAR with 14 hits and zero homers. He’s struck out 15 times compared to Frazier’s 42, representing a better percentage, indicating he lands more contact on the ball and has a better chance of getting on base.

Ultimately, the Yankees had to make a change at some point, and considering Sanchez struggles at the plate and behind it, Higgy once again will have an opportunity to showcase his abilities.

Boone is simply running out of options as the team suffers significant injuries and must work around them once again. This seems to be an every year event, and while Boone has worked some magic in the past to supplement losses, this time, things seem to be out a bit more serious without outfield depth. Trading Mike Tauchman seems to be a mistake in hindsight.

New York Yankees: Could Clint Frazier finally be on the right track?

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

Nearly two months into the season, one of the biggest disappointments for the New York Yankees in 2021 has been Clint Frazier. In 39 games, he’s batting just .183 with a .629 OPS and a 79 OPS+.

However, the tide could potentially be changing for the 26-year-old from Georgia. Frazier’s hit the ball much better over the past seven games, and his statistics have significantly improved because of it. Since May 14, Frazier is batting .348 with a .897 OPS. He also has a double and a home run in that span. Additionally, Frazier is five for his last eight with three hits on Sunday against the White Sox and two on Tuesday against the Blue Jays.

With his recent hot streak, Frazier’s batting average has increased over 40 points while his OPS has increased nearly 70 points. His WAR, however, is still well below zero at -0.7.

If Frazier could remain hot, that’d be perfect for the Yankee lineup. As of late, the Yankees have really battled the injury bug with Luke Voit out for extended time and Aaron Hicks out for potentially the entire season. New York could use another home run hitter to step up and assume a bigger role in the offense.

Additionally, the Yankees have struggled with outfield production all season. Hicks performed poorly when healthy, while Brett Gardner has also performed rather poorly this season. If Frazier can stay hot, he’ll have a place in the lineup just about every day.

The Yankees have an important stretch of games coming up, and they could use Frazier’s production in them. They have a big doubleheader with the division rival Blue Jays on Thursday before three must-win games in Detroit this weekend. Afterwards, the Yankees return home for a seven-game homestand with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox, the two teams ahead of New York in the AL East.