New York Yankees: 7 that should go and who should replace them

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

After an early exit from the postseason yet again, the New York Yankees face a multitude of questions and decisions to be made before the start of the 2022 season. The biggest one is if the Yankees have it in them to create a shakeup that can turn this team into a World Series contender for real. If they can do that, some faces of the Yankees will have to go. So here is my assessment of the situation facing the Yankee organization in no particular order.

Brian Cashman:

Unless Hal Steinbrenner wants to shake up the whole organization, it is doubtful that he will part with Brian Cashman, but in over twenty years of leadership, he has brought the Yankees to only one World Series. For his supporters who want to bring up the early Championships of Joe Torre, those teams were not built by Brian Cashman. Stick Michaels and Joe Torre built those teams.

During his tenure, the San Francisco Giants have won the World Series three times, the Red Sox twice, and even the lowly Kansas City Royals and Washington Nationals have won.  If the Yankees part with Cashman, the name Theo Epstein comes to mind, but I think he wants to own a team, not be general manager of one. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess.

Aaron Boone:

Although the front office has shown support of Aaron Boone, I believe he has only a 50/50 chance of remaining the Yankee manager. After four seasons, he doesn’t seem to be the man that can bring this team to a World Series win. He doesn’t seem to be able to motivate players and has made many on-the-spot questionable moves. Should the Yankees decide not to renew his contract at the end of this season, there are a host of replacement possibilities.

With the Yankees’ failed experiment with a manager with no experience, they will not likely do that again in favor of a manager with experience. The first one that comes to mind is the consistently successful win-it-now manager Dusty Baker. It is not likely that Baker will be rehired by the Astros, even though he brought the team to 95 wins.

Others to consider are ex-Red Sox manager John Farrel and Mike Scioscia of the Angels. Many believe that Alex Rodriguez would make an excellent yet controversial manager of the Yankees. The only problem with that is he can make megabucks elsewhere rather than accept a low-paying manager job. Other possibilities are Bruce Bochy and Buck Showalter. The knock against them is that they are not the type of big analytics guys that Cashman will want.

My guess is that the Yankees will not do the right thing and replace this lack of a motivator manager who fails to reward players for excellent play nor hold them responsible for poor play.  He is just not the man for the job.

Gary Sanchez:

Just the fact that the Yankees’ most controversial player comes up at the end of every season as someone the Yankees should replace should be a signal that the guy has got to go. He hasn’t grown as a player or a catcher, and I don’t think you would want him teaching any upcoming Yankee catcher. His lack of defensive abilities and batting average says it’s time for him to go finally.

With the New York Yankees likely to have to put out money for a shortstop and center fielder, they likely will not spend big in favor of keeping Kyle Higashioka as a bridge to prospect, Austin Wells. Higashioka, although not the home runner Sanchez is, is a far superior catcher with better framing and a better contact hitter percentage.

Gleyber Torres:

Gleyber Torres is a failed experiment that has not grown as a Yankee; he has regressed as a failed shortstop and error-ridden second baseman. Probably the fault of the Yankee organization; I don’t see a long-term improvement in Torres, who is no longer the 22 year old with a bright future.

The New York Yankees have a bivy of possibilities to get themselves a new shortstop. Trevor Story has oft been mentioned, but I don’t see him as a good fit for the Yankees. Exciting possibilities for the Yankees that won’t break the bank include Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, and Jose Iglesias, a cheapy.

Aaron Hicks:

I said in an article yesterday I have no clue why the Yankees gave him a big-time contract extension. He is in the mold of Jacoby Ellsbury and Greg Bird. I think Yankee fans will agree that Jacoby Ellsbury was Brian Cashman’s worst acquisition, but my friends, here’s one for you, Ellsbury played in 27 more games with the Yankees in his four years than Hicks has in his six years. So for anyone that believes that Hicks will stay healthy and be dependable in the center, it’s a pipe dream; the Yankees should buy him out and rid themselves of him.

There are many options for the Yankees for the offseason, including players with options such as the more significant money Jackie Bradley Junior or Kevin Pillar. Both are excellent defenders and can offer more at the plate than Hicks.

Luke Voit:

If the New York Yankees choose to resign Anthony Rizzo as their first baseman, the sad fact is the Yankees have no use for Luke Voit. Voit like Hicks can’t stay healthy. He played in only 68 games this season, primarily due to a multitude of injuries. He has lost his power and runs the bases like the tractor pull at your local county fair. The Yankees have a glut as DH, so he has no use there either.

Likely, Voit will not be in pinstripes again next year, and there is no reason to replace him, assuming they re-sign Rizzo.

Brett Gardner:

I hate to even breach this subject because I love Brett Gardner and all he has done for the Yankees in his 14 years tenure with the Yankees, but he will turn 39 next year, and his time with the Yankees should be over. The fact is that he is no longer the player he once was. He is still an excellent defender, but his arm is not what it once was; he can’t steal bases and is a liability at the plate. This year he was supposed to be a bench player but ended up playing more than anyone expected. He did rise to the occasion during the last quarter of the season, but not well enough to warrant another year. Then, he can retire as a proud Yankee.

Not included in this article is hitting coach Marcus Thames who’s time with the Yankees should also be over. Please read my article on Thames here.

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

New York Yankee Analysis: Big questions the Yankees must answer by March 31, 2022

The New York Yankee season is over, falling short of another World Series win. The “Boss” George Steinbrenner, if alive, would say it’s another failed season. If you consider not winning the World Series failing, then he is correct. But there is a lot to be said about getting to a wild card berth, win or not. Many other AL teams can’t say that. But the one with the biggest payroll; more is expected of them. The Yankees have not had a losing season since 1992. But the last World Series they won was in 2009.

Manager Joe Girardi won the 2009 World Series. But after not repeating for the next eight years and amongst complaints about being too strict, the Yankees moved on from Girardi and hired Aaron Boone.  Boone has been mostly successful in bringing the team to 100 wins, 103 wins, 33 wins in a short season, and 92 wins this year. But, regardless of that success, he has never gotten the team beyond late-season failures.

With each passing year, New York Yankee fans, even the most ardent fans, have become less patient waiting for the Yankees to win. Some fans have given up and moved on to other teams and even other sports. This isn’t good for business and baseball, although a game is a business. Principle owner Hal Steinbrenner and company have to figure out how to turn this team around. Yankee stadium never had a sell-out crowd this season. That is lost dollars, lots of them.

After a very inconsistent season that certainly cost them a trip to the World Series, the New York Yankees have many questions that must be answered before they try this all over again. And this year, there are more questions to be addressed than usual. So let’s have at it.

Renew Aaron Boone’s contract?

In 2018 Aaron Boone was hired as the new Yankee manager on a four-year contract that was over last night. So the Yankee organization has to decide whether to renew his contract or move on from the one-time manager.

When Boone was hired, many Yankee fans said, “Aaron who?”. Boone was never a great baseball player and had never managed even a minor league team. Others have learned to dislike him; still, others think he has done a good job. Most managers in baseball were catchers who seemed to have a better understanding of all baseball operations—Boone, who spent most of his career with the Cincinnati Reds primarily as a third baseman.

Boone will receive most of the blame for this poor season, although much of that blame can be placed on the hitters themselves, as Boone can’t hit for the hitters or pitch for the pitchers. Many fans question his decisions and his lack of holding bad players responsible for their play. Boone, with his style, constantly praises the team when they lose. An excellent example of that is his praise of Gerrit Cole after last night’s wild-card loss saying he threw some good pitches.

However, one must be cautious in blaming Boone. Many believe that Boone was hired to be a mouthpiece for Brian Cashman, the Yankee front office, making the significant decisions and Boone following them, only to be allowed to make minor decisions on the field during games. However, even those skeptical of that theory admit that the Yankee office and analytics department have too much influence over how the games are played.

Examine the organizational philosophy?

With so many questions unanswered about why this team can’t win big year after year, is it time to examine how the whole organization is run? Under the present philosophy, whether Boone is brought back or not, they would only hire another yes man that would be subject to the highly analytics-based front office.

All baseball teams receive the same analytics; it differs in how they are communicated and how they are executed. A manager who uses those stats exclusively and ignores what he sees on the field or who is hot and who is not will lose a lot of games. Analytics are a guide, not a user manual.

Should the Yankees hire a Bruce Bochi, Buck Showalter, or the like, it would require an entire shakeup of how the organization runs. Neither of these guys are yes men and would be challenging to work with under the present makeup. But it’s fair to mention that Bochi’s management style has brought the San Francisco Giants to win 107 games this season for the most in baseball and with less talent than the Yankees.

Brian Cashman will have much to do with if the Yankees are willing to examine themselves. Cashman is the driving force for how the Yankees perform. But many times in the past, Cashman has been slow to act. Lingering questions with Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez are examples of that. Last season he failed to act to improve the team. This year got two lefties to balance the lineup that fans have been screaming about for years.

Exceed the luxury tax threshold?

Do the Yankees need to exceed the luxury tax threshold to win finally. No!. Spending a lot of money has not helped them much. Better run and better-managed teams have gone further season after season. The Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays have done it on about 30% of the Yankees payroll.

Extend Aaron Judge’s contract?

This may be the most challenging question to address in this off-season. If the Yankees offer Judge a contract, it will be huge. The question is do the Yankees want to spend that much, and if they do, how badly will it tie their hands on solving the other team’s needs.

Judge turns 30 next year, and based on his injury record, signing a long-term contract with him is risky at best. This season is the first season he has been healthy since 2017. Between 2018 and 2020, he played in only 243 games.  So the question remains how much and for how long. It is doubtful that the Yankees will go more than six years, even though Judge has said he wants to retire a Yankee, according to Bryan Hock.

Aaron Judge’s value is at its highest and could draw the most if the Yankees were willing to trade him. The Yankees could get a quality pitcher, a shortstop, and a few choice prospects for him. However, whether an extension could be agreed upon would most likely be a Derek Jeter-like situation, taking less than he is worth.

How to fix the Yankee outfield?

During this season, the Yankees have had either a drought or glut in the outfield. Aaron Judge is a solid right fielder, and Joey Gallo will be with the team in left field through 2022. However, the Yankees don’t have a true centerfielder with any kind of future. Brett Gardner has been adequate in the position, but it becomes more doubtful that the 38-year-old will return each year. In addition, Aaron Hicks (yes, remember him?) has yet to prove he can stay healthy.

If they fix that, they still have Tyler Wade and Giancarlo Stanton options to add to the mix and give days off.

Obtain a real shortstop?

There is still the ongoing question about Gleybe Torre’s worth to the team. Late this season, the Yankees finally realized they made a mistake trying to make Gleyber Torres a shortstop. Torres is no longer a 22-year-old with a bright future; he has become tarnished goods. He will turn 25 in December and is coming off of two back-to-back poor seasons on defense and offense. The Yankees, to a degree, have overlooked his poor defense because he led the team in 2019 with 38 home runs, but since then, he has only 12 long balls.  What the Yankees should be most concerned about is his lack of growth.

The Yankees have moved Torres to second, where he has played better but not by much. That pushed a Gold Glove second baseman DJ LeMahieu, into being a utility player. Unfortunately, LeMahieu’s performance has not been as good since the move.  While the Yankees have one of baseball’s top prospects, Anthony Volpe, he probably won’t be big team ready for another year or two. With Torre’s continued poor play, the Yankees should at least inquire about options in free agency this offseason.

What to do with the catcher situation?

Oh boy, this question yet again. Gary Sanchez has been one of the most controversial Yankee players since he became the Yankees lead catcher in 2017. That was a year that was pretty good for the young man. But since then, he has not duplicated that performance and has often been criticized for his performance behind at backstop. He continues to be a less-than-average defender and has had a poor batting average.

Last year, he had a disastrous season, hitting only .147 and losing his starting status in favor of backup catcher Kyle Higashioka, a better defender. Sanchez is still around because when he is hot, he can hit the long ball and has a rocket of an arm preventing many stolen bases. He has hit more this year with an average of .204 but still strikes out too much. With the other questions facing the Yankees, it is doubtful they will move Sanchez.

What to do with the loose ends?

The Yankees have two obvious loose ends. One is whether to renew a contract with first baseman Anthony Rizzo and, if they do, what they will do with Luke Voit. I wouldn’t be surprised if Luke Voit is not with the Yankees next season. He could be used in a trade. With the glut at DH, his use to the club is limited. He also has not been able to stay healthy while with the Yankees.  If the Yankees choose to replace Gleyber Torres at short, he too will become a trading piece.

How to reinforce the pitching staff?

The New York Yankees certainly need to beef up the pitching staff. Jameson Taillon is under contract through 2022 and is arbitration-eligible as of today. Also, as of today, Corey Kluber is a free agent.  That leaves Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery as the Yankees starting rotation. The organization will have to examine what place Luis Severino and Domingo German have going forward and if they need to replace Kluber if he doesn’t sign with the Yankees.

At the beginning of the season, the Yankees had one of the strongest bullpens in baseball. Unfortunately, as the season progressed, they lost much of their strength. Set up man Zack Britton underwent Tommy John surgery to keep him out until at least the end of the 2022 season. Justin Wilson and the Yankee’s best long reliever Luis Cessa went to the Reds in a salary dump. Darren O’Day, the sidearmer, had a shoulder injury followed by a hamstring strain that kept him away from the team for the rest of the season.

In a major disappointment this season for the bullpen, on July 31st Tommy Kahnle revealed that had a partially torn UCL and required Tommy John surgery. The Yankees outrighted him and he choose free agency. Just days afterward he signed a new contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Yankees picked up a few arms at the trade deadline, Andrew Heaney proved useless. These losses and moves left the bullpen short of components and overworked.

Not knowing if Deivi Garcia, Luis Gil, or Clarke Schmidt will be ready for the big time in 2022, the Yankees may have to go shopping to bolster the starting rotation and the bullpen. Unfortunately, any moves they make may have to wait until the end of spring training, when they can further evaluate their options.

 

The New York Yankees nine games will decide their season, if they fail who should go? Poll results

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees have a day off today to reflect on their whole season and what lies ahead of them. The Yankees rose to the occasion this week and, with great urgency, swept the Texas Rangers, keeping them in the running for a wildcard berth. But what lies ahead is far more daunting and will decide the whole season. After the sweep, the Yankees now hold the second wild-card berth.

In the final nine games of the regular season, the Yankees will face the most challenging situation they have faced all season long. They will only face teams that are statistically better playing teams. Starting tomorrow, they hit the road to face the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. It doesn’t get easier after that when they play the Blue Jays at Rogers Center in Toronto.

Finally, the last three games of the season will be played back at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The problem with this schedule is that the Yankees have not prevailed over these teams all season long and now must be able to do that if they have any hope of a 28th World Championship.

This season the Yankees have won 6 of 16 games against the Toronto Blue Jays. They have won only 7 of 16 against the Red Sox. They have won 7 of 16 against the Tampa Bay Rays. All three of these teams do not have the challenging last nine games that the Yankees have, making it even more difficult to succeed.

There are many things the Yankees can’t control. For instance, all three opposing teams could go on a nine-game losing streak, which is unlikely. However, the one thing the Yankees can control is how they play over the next nine games. If the Yankees win more games, then they lose the whole season could come down to the last three games at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will be playing the Rays; the Red Sox will be playing the Blue Jays. The Yankees will also have to scoreboard watch the Oakland Athletics that are just 2.5 games back in the wild card standings.

With any team being able to beat any team on any given day and the unpredictable nature of baseball, one thing is for sure. Scoreboard watching will become a new art form in the coming days. Each and every game is so important to every team in contention. It sure will be exciting and hopefully rewarding for the New York Yankees.

If the Yankees fail to reach the postseason, there will be many questions to be answered. In the words of George Steinbrenner, if the Yankees don’t win a World Series, it is a failed season. However, I am not sure Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman, and Aaron Boone share that same feeling. As exhibited by manager Boone’s constant praise of the team even when not winning. Boone says he is not worried about his future with the Yankees, but with the season on the line, you can’t but wonder, tucked back in his head if he may wonder if his job is on the line.

Recently I conducted a poll of several Facebook Yankee groups, asking who should be fired if the season does not end well for the Yankees. Getting the pulse of a large group of Yankee fans was eye-opening. The choices I gave were Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman, Gary Sanchez, and Gleyber Torres. I must say the results were not unexpected.

First, a little about the poll, it is certainly unscientific and doesn’t represent the view of all Yankees fans, only of those responding to the poll. There were 1,526 responses, with some only commenting and not voting. All of the responses from the different groups were similar. However, one group really targeted Boone compared to the others, and one group really didn’t believe Sanchez should remain the Yankee catcher. One thing that was universally true was that Yankee fans are not ready to give up on Gleyber Torres.

Aaron Boone: 38% of respondents want Boone gone at the end of the season. Some mentioned his lack of ability to motivate, while others criticized him for not being his own man. Some mentioned his inability to manage the bullpen. A few offered that he can’t win in the postseason. Some said to bring back Girardi or Showalter. Two said to give Phil Nevin a chance. (third base coach)

Brian Cashman: 23% think his time should be over. Several mentioned that Hal Steinbrenner tied his hands; others complimented him on giving the team what they needed this season.

Gary Sanchez: 24% think Gary Sanchez will not carry the team into the future and should be replaced. Some sighted his passed balls and inconsistent hitting, while others praised his arm. A few said he was clueless.

Gleyber Torres: 14% think Torres has had his chance but failed. But most that commented stated that he is still young and will improve.

Marcus Thames: 1% although not on the ballot, 12 respondents added him for his lack of getting a powerful team hitting.

Other comments said all of the above. A few said none of the above. Some had a defeatist attitude and said whatever they do, it won’t make a difference.

After reviewing all of the votes and comments, it leads me to believe that the Yankees win or not need a shakeup or even a complete overhaul top to bottom. However, some suggest the Yankees need a new owner.

New York Yankees: 3 Major takeaways from the sweep of the Rangers

corey kluber, new york yankees

Last night the New York Yankees completed a job they urgently needed to do; they swept the Texas Rangers with a game three win of 7-3. The sweeping need was caused by the Yankees slipping out of a wild card berth and only playing teams statistically better than them in the remaining games of the dwindling regular season.

Kluber is still a work in progress

Last night stater Corey Kluber proved he is still a work in progress to return to the form he had before a 3 month IL stint when he pitched the Yankees only no-hitter since David Cone’s perfect game in 1999. Kluber didn’t pitch badly and did keep the Yankees in the game, but with only one more likely start, it appears he is not postseason ready.

He pitched into the fifth inning using 84 pitches. He gave up three earned runs while walking no one and striking out 4 Rangers. But the problem that beset him as he allowed an average of two hits an inning, which could have put the game out of reach for the Yankees. But, somehow, he located some pitches well, keeping out of huge trouble.

In the fifth inning, Hernandez led off by doubling to center. Kiner-Falefa singled, with Hernandez scoring from second. Ibanez lined out to a diving Urshela. Lowe coming up knocked Kluber out of the game. Wandy Peralta came into the game and prevented further damage. In the 7th, 8th, and 9th, Clay Holmes, Chad Green, and Aroldis Chapman kept the Rangers scoreless.

Gleyber Torres rises to the occasion

Gleyber Torres has been oft-criticized for his poor defense and lack of power that allowed him to lead the team in home runs in 2019. In 2020  he hit only three and only seven this season. But last night, he came up big for the Yankees; it wasn’t a homer but a timely double when the game was tied at three. Torres’s double led to a four-run inning that put the Yankees over the top in the eighth inning.

At the bottom of the eighth, Judge popped out. Stanton struck out swinging. Gallo doubled. Torres doubled to score Gallo and the Yankee lead in the game. Urshela singled with Torres safe at home for the Yankee two-run lead. Sanchez homered, driving in two more runs. Gardner walked. LeMahieu grounded out to third. New York Yankees 7 Rangers 3.

Aroldis Chapman looked really good

Aroldis Chapman, who was so good in the first half when the New York Yankees were playing poorly, became shakey at best during the second half when the Yankees finally started to win more games than lose. It was so bad at one point that manager Boone was afraid to insert him into close games.

But more recently, Chapman seems to be making a turn to being more predictable. In his last two outings, he actually seems to have both his confidence and swagger returning. In Monday night’s game with only a one-run lead, Boone sent Chapman to the mound, he struck out two and got his 28th save. He almost gave his signature stare in upon the save. Last night that same swagger was on display in a non save situation. He again struck out two, allowing no runs, no hits, and no walks.

New York Yankees: Coming alive in the eighth the Yankees sweep the Rangers

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Tonight after taking the series from the Texas Rangers, the New York Yankees looked for the sweep of the Texas team as they continually looked for a place in the wild card series. With the win last night and Toronto’s loss, they are tied for that second spot. So, the Yankees sent Corey Kluber to the mound with great urgency to face the Ranger’s Taylor Hearn looking for their third must-win in a row. The Yankees won the game 7-3.

Yonny Hernandez opened the game facing Kluber and struck out looking. Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled to no man’s land in left-center. Falefa stole second. Andy Ibanez struck out looking. Nat Lowe struck out, tapping into catcher Higashioka’s glove. At the bottom, DJ LeMahieu led off for the Yankees and flew out to left. Luke Voit ground out to third. Aaron Judge struck out in order. No score.

The second inning was led off by Adolis Garcia, who reached on a hit to short. Willie Calhoun singled with Garcia scoring on the play. DJ Peters reached on a fielder’s choice. Brock Holt reached on another fielder’s choice. Jose Trevino singled. Hernandez ground out to first, leaving two on base. At the bottom Giancarlo Stanton singled off the right-field wall; he hit it so hard he had to stay at first. Joey Gallo walked. Gleyber Torres, with two on and no outs, ground out to third with the runners advancing. Gio Urshela had a broken-bat out to left-center. Kyle Higashioka flew out to the right-field wall. New York Rangers 1 Yankees 0.

.Isiah Kiner-Falefa led off the third inning by flying out. Ibanez flew out. Lowe flew out to Gardner, going 1-2-3 for Kluber. Brett Gardner led off the bottom by singling to left. LeMahieu flew out to right. Voit ground into a double play to end the inning. Rangers 1 Yankees 0.

Adolis Garcia led off the fourth ground out. Calhoun ground out to first. Peters doubled. Holt singled to left on a ball that LeMahieu couldn’t corral it, scoring another Rangers run. Trevino ground out to end the inning. At the bottom, Judge struck out swinging. Stanton ground out to short. Gallo popped out to third to end the inning. Rangers 1 Yankees 0.

In the fifth inning, Hernandez led off by doubling to center. Kiner-Falefa singled, with Hernandez scoring from second. Ibanez lined out to a diving Urshela. Lowe coming up knocked Kluber out of the game. Lowe faced new Yankee pitcher Wandy Peralta and reached on a fielder’s choice, Falefa reached third on a bad throw. Garcia popped out, and Calhoun ground out to first to end the half. At the bottom, Torres walked. Urshela singled. Higashioka doubled to left field, scoring Torres and Urshela. Gardner ground out. LeMahieu hit into a double play. Higashioka was called out as he tried to reach home. Texas Rangers 3 New York Yankees 2.

Peters led off the sixth inning flew out to center. Holt tapped back to Peralta for the second out. Trevino ground out. Luke Voit led off the bottom by striking out. Judge walked. Stanton walked and knocked Hearn out of the game. Gallo faced the new pitcher Dennis Santana and walked to load the bases with only one out. Torres went down on strikes. A ball got away from the catcher, and Judge scored to tie the game. Urshela went down looking but stranding two; the Yankees tied the game. New York Yankees 3 Rangers 3.

Hernandez led off the seventh inning against new pitcher Clay Holmes and struck out looking. Kiner-Falefa struck out looking. Ibanez ground out. At the bottom, Higashioka singled to center. Speedy Tyler Wade replaced him as a pinch-runner. Gardner at the plate, Wade stole second. Gardner struck out. Wade stole third. LeMahieu struck out. Anthony Rizzo flew out to center, stranding Wade at third. Yankees 3 Rangers 3.

The eighth inning was lead off by Lowe facing new pitcher Chad Green and flew out to short. Garcia singled on an E6. Garcia tried to steal but was called out at second. Calhoun lined out directly to LeMahieu. At the bottom, Judge popped out. Stanton struck out swinging. Gallo doubled. Torres doubled to score Gallo and the Yankee lead in the game. Urshela singled with Torres safe at home for the Yankee two-run lead. Sanchez homered, driving in two more runs. Gardner walked. LeMahieu grounded out to third. New York Yankees 7 Rangers 3.

With last licks on the line for the Rangers, DJ Peters came to the plate in the top of the ninth against closer Aroldis Chapman and popped out to third. Culberson pinch-hitting struck out.  Trevino stuck out swinging.  The final score was the New York Yankees 7 and the Texas Rangers 3. The winning pitcher was Chad Green, and the loser was Spencer Patton.

 

 

 

New York Yankees: 3 Major takeaways from Yankees win over the Rangers

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

After losing two games to the Cleveland Indians, the New York Yankees took to the field with a new urgency to get back a wild-card berth. The Yankees didn’t disappoint; they won the game 4-3. They have two more games with the Rangers; then the remaining schedule gets tough when they play three teams that are ahead of them.

Nestor Cortez kept the Yankees in the game

On September 15, Nestor Cortes Jr. had one of his best games of the season, striking out 11 Orioles in a Yankee win. Last night he wasn’t quite that good, but he kept the Yankees in the game. He lasted 4.1 innings with 7 strikeouts and giving up three runs. The fifth was led off by Culberson, who homered to left. Taveras hit a ground-rule double. Kiner-Falafa doubled, scoring Culberson. Manager Boone pulled him, replacing him with Chad Green, who got the final out, holding the Rangers to three runs to prevent any further damage.

Bullpen leads the way in win

Last night unlike some games recently, the Yankee bullpen was stellar. After Cortes Jr. was taken out of the game, Chad Green pitched 1.2 innings of hitless ball. He was followed by Clay Holmes, who allowed just one hit in another 1.2 innings of work. Joely Rodriguez came in to get the last out of the eighth. Then it was nail-biter time. With only a one-run advantage in the game, Aroldis Chapman came in to close out the game.

Chapman facing Heim was stuck out put out. Culberson grounded out to third. Taveras, as the last hope for the Rangers, struck out for the Yankee win. for the first time in a long time, Chapman left the game with a defiant look on his face. The final score was the New York Yankees 4 and the Texas Rangers 3. The winning pitcher was Chad Green, and the loser was A.J. Alexy. Aroldis Chapman got his 28th save of the season.

Gary Sanchez mixed bag, Boone says no!

Gary Sanchez has had a horrid week defensively, costing the Yankees big time. Yet manager Boone continues to sing his praises and says that Yankee fans scrutinize him too critically. On the offensive side, Sanchez has had 8 hits during 13 games in September, four of them for home runs.

The New York Yankees especially Boone have supported Sanchez regardless of this lack of focus at key times, boneheaded running mistakes, and passed balls. He has been a lightning rod for controversy during his entire career, yet the support continues. What do you think?

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees squeak past the Rangers for the 4-3 win

aroldis chapman, yankees

Tonight with new urgency, the New York Yankees entered a three-game series with the Texas Rangers after losing two of three against the Cleveland Indians and slipping out of a wild card berth. The Yankees need to sweep a series off this Texas team playing just .369 baseball this season. The Yankees started Nestor Cortes Jr. facing the Rangers. The Yankees made their first step to get back into the wild card with a 4-3 win.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa led off for the Rangers and singled against Cortes. Andy Ibanez followed up with another single up the middle. The runners advanced on a wild pitch. Adolis Garcia stuck out on a Cortes slider. DJ Peters struck out looking. Nat Lowe struck out, and “Nasty Nestor” got out of the inning, leaving two on base. At the bottom, DJ LeMahieu popped out to first. Anthony Rizzo ground out. Aaron Judge walked. Giancarlo Stanton flew out to the deep center to end the inning. No score.

Nick Solak led off the second inning for the Rangers and ground out to second. Jonah Heim went down looking. Charlie Culberson flew out to a diving Gallo in left. At the bottom, the same Joey Gallo led off by trying for a bunt but was out. Gleyber Torres popped out to right. Gary Sanchez homered into the left-field stands getting the Yankees on the board first. Brett Gardner ground out to end the inning. New York Yankees 1, the Rangers 0.

The third inning was led off by Leody Taveras, who hit back to Cortes, who fielded an excellent out. Kiner-Falefa popped out to second. Ibanez struck out with Cortes putting down nine Rangers in a row. At the bottom leading off was Gio Urshela, who flew out to short right. LeMahieu walked. Rizzo hit one far out into the stands, but just right of the foul pole in right. Then duplicated it. He ended up singling to left-center. With two on and one out, Judge doubled to right, scoring LeMahieu for a tack-on run for the Yankees. Stanton, still with two on and one out, flew out to center with Rizzo scoring. Joey Gallo with two outs and Judge on second walked. Torres, with two on and two outs, singled, driving Judge from second. Gary Sanchez, who already homered in the second, walked to load the bases for Gardner, who struck out swinging to end the inning. New York Yankees 4 the Rangers 0.

The fourth inning was led off by Adolis Garcia, who popped back to catcher Sanchez. Peters struck out on a foul tip. Lowe walked. Solak also walked. Heim stuck out. At the bottom, Urshela ground out to the pitcher. LeMahieu walked. Rizzo also walked. Aaron Judge faced the new Ranger pitcher Jharal Cotton and flew out to deep center. Stanton struck out. New York Yankees 4 Rangers 0.

The fifth was led off by Culberson, who homered to left. Taveras hit a ground-rule double. Falafa doubled, scoring Culberson. Ibanez ground out to Gardner in center, and that was the night for Cortes Jr. Chad Green replaced him. A wild ball let Taveras advance to third. Facing Garcia, he flew out to Gardner, scoring Culberson. Peters flew out. At the bottom, Gallo had a towering pop out to right. Torres walked. Sanchez went down looking. Gardner chopped out to first to end the inning. Yankees 4 Rangers 3.

Leading off the sixth was Lowe, who ground out. Solak chopped in front of Sanchez, who made the play to first for the out. Heim struck out looking. Urshela led off the bottom by singling, going the other way. LeMahieu ground into an around-the-horn double play. Rizzo ground out to third to end the inning. Yankees 4 Rangers 3.

Culberson led off the seventh inning with Clay Holmes pitching by striking out. Taveras tapped back to Holmes. Kiner-Falefa to first. At the bottom, Judge singled to second. Stanton went down on strikes. Gallo struck out swinging. Gleyber Torres faced the new Ranger pitcher Spencer Patton and singled to center. Sanchez, with two on and two outs, lined out directly to short. Yankees 4 Rangers 3.

In the eighth, Ibanez, against Holmes in his second inning of work, singled over Urshela’s head. Yonny Hernandez was brought in to pinch run. Garcia struck out swinging. Peters ground out to third for a force-out. Lowe faced new Yankee pitcher Joely Rodriguez and reached on an infield single. Solak struck out. Gardner led off the bottom by popping out to the catcher. Urshela tapped back to the pitcher. LeMahieu tipped into the catcher’s glove for the final out. Yankees 4 Rangers 3.

At the top of the ninth inning, the Yankees send in closer Aroldis Chapman facing Heim, who stuck out put out. Culberson grounded out to third. Taveras, as the last hope for the Rangers, struck out for the Yankee win. The final score was the New York Yankees 4 and the Texas Ranger 3. The winning pitcher was Chad Green and the loser was A.J. Alexy. Aroldis Chapman got his 28th save of the season.

 

 

 

 

New York Yankees: 3 Takeaways from Yankees comeback win over the Twins

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

Yesterday afternoon, the New York Yankees had a makeup game with the Minnesota Twins caused by a rainout at Yankee Stadium on August 22. After winning only one game of a three-game set with the New York Mets, the Yankees were hoping to win after they moved out of a wild card berth. The Yankees got their win, besting the Twins 6-5.

Luis Gil gives up four, but the Yankees win

Luis Gil, in this season, has gotten to live his dream. When Cory Kluber went down with shoulder problems, Gil and Nestor Cortes Jr. started games for the Yankees. Gil was called up from Scranton Wilkes/Barre on August 3 to start a game against the Baltimore Orioles. He allowed only 4 hits, 2 hits against the Mariners, 3 hits against the Red Sox, 1 hit against the Blue Jays, none for extra bases. He earned the title of pitching sensation.

Yesterday he proved he is indeed human. He gave up two long balls for 4 RBIs in the very first inning of the Twins game. But the young man remained calm and gave the Yankees 6 innings, throwing 102 pitches while giving up just one more run and striking out 8 Twins batters. With the game tied at 5, closer Aroldis Chapman held the game at 5. The Yankees would have a walk-off win in the 10th inning when Gary Sanchez lined down the left-field line, scoring ghost runner Gleyber Torres.

Aaron Judge has a storybook moment

Aaron Judge, in his career, has drawn comparisons to the Hall of Famer and 20-year veteran Yankee Derek Jeter. Jeter was known for rising to the occasion at the most important times. Aaron Judge had his Jeter moment last night. After being behind by five runs, the Yankees began to claw their way back as the crowd became energized for the first time in the game. In the eighth inning, Anthony Rizzo pinch-hitting Wade walked with the Yankees still behind by 3 runs. Gary Sanchez pinch-hitting for Higashioka flew out to left. LeMahieu flew out to center. Gardner walked.

With Judge coming to the plate, the Twins turned to closer Alex Colome. Judge represented the tying run at the plate. You could feel the electricity in the stands as fans hoped for a big moment. Just like in a storybook, Judge homered to right-center to tie the game at 5. Gary Sanchez would seal the deal for the Yankees when he drove in the ghost-running Gleyber Torres in the 10th inning for the walk-off win. It was the first time the Yankees have come back from a five-run deficit this season.

Yankees new infield look

The New York Yankees have finally changed the look of their infield. Yesterday saw Gleyber Torres move to second base his natural position. Management apparently felt that the stress and errors being made by Torres might have been causing his poor plate performance. However, earlier in the season, it was proven that second baseman DJ LeMahieu played just as well at third base. Additionally, when Torres was on the IL, that third baseman Gio Urshela performed well as a shortstop. So to put Torres at second, those corresponding moves were also made.

Lindsey Adler of The Athletic reported that manager Aaron Boone said that the infield would remain this way for the duration of the season.

Notes: The New York Yankees will start a short three-game road trip today when they play the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Yankee ace Gerrit Cole will be on the mound for the Yankees and Alexander Wells for the Orioles. The game will be at 7:05 pm EDT and televised on the YES Network and MASN in Baltimore.

 

New York Yankees Recap: Judge and the Yankees win with a storybook ending

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Today was supposed to be a day off for the New York Yankees, but a rainout on August 22nd facilitated today’s makeup game with the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees are coming off a loss to the New York Mets and going 3-12 in their last 15 games. The Twins were coming off a lost series with the Kansas City Royals.  Luis Gil was on the mound for the Yankees and John Gant for the Twins. In a game that went 10 innings, the Yankees got the walk-off 6-5 win.

Luis Arraez singled to right. Byron Boxton flew out to left. Jorge Polanco homered to right center, bring in Arraez. Josh Donaldson walked. Max Kepler struck out for the second out of the inning. Miguel Sano followed by getting the second run homer of the inning. Rob Refsnyder struck out. But Gil gave up four runs in the half. DJ LeMahieu led off for the Yankees and ground out to third base. Brett Gardner ground out to short. Aaron Judge walked. After the Judge walk, starter Gant was removed from the game with some type of injury; Luke Farrell replaced him. Giancarlo Stanton ground out to third to end the inning. Later in the game, Gants problem was determined to be a lower back strain.  Minnesota Twins 4 Yankees 0.

Gil faced Ryan Jeffers leading off the second inning; he fouled out to Luke Voit. Andrelton Simmons struck out swinging. Arraez flew out to Gallo as Gil rebounded for a 1-2-3 second. At the bottom, Joey Gallo struck out swinging. Luke Voit walked. Gleyber Torres ground into a double play to end the scoreless half.  Twins 4 Yankees 0.

Buxton led the third inning, who hit the Twin’s third home run, making this the ninth straight game that the Yankees have given up 5 or more runs since 1940. Polanco flew out to left. Kepler flew out to Gardner in center. At the bottom, Tyler Wade flew out to center. Kyle Higashioka struck out swinging. Finally, LeMahieu flew out to the right-field wall. Twins 5 Yankees 0.

Miguel Sano led off the fourth inning by going down on strikes. Refsnyder struck out swinging. Jeffers struck out as Gil struck out the side. At the bottom, Gardner ground out to short. Judge had a towering fly out to center. Stanton copied with the exact same out. Twins 5 New York Yankees 0.

Simmons led the fifth inning, who struck out for Gil’s fourth strikeout in a row. Arraez ground out to Wade at short. Buxton singled past third. Polanco flew out to Gallo in shallow left. Joey Gallo led off the bottom by laying down a beautiful bunt for a single. Voit faced new pitcher Kyle Barraclough and hit into a 5-4-3 double play. Torres flew out to center. Twins 5 Yankees 0.

Josh Donaldson led off the sixth and ground out to Wade at short. Kepler singled in front of Judge in right. Sano singled to left. Refsnyder struck out swinging. Jeffers flew out to center. Tyler Wade led the bottom of the frame, who worked a walk to lead off. Wade stole second. Higashioka flew out to right with Wade tagging and easily going to third base. LeMahieu got a sac fly to the right-field wall, Kepler made a great play, but Wade scored on the play.  Wade’s base running excels again. Gardner doubled up the middle. That ended the day for Barraclough. He was replaced by Tyler Duffy facing Aaron Judge, who rolled one to short to end the inning stranding Gardner. Mets 5 Yankees 1.

Andrelton Simmons led off the seventh inning against new Yankee pitcher Andrew Heaney; he tapped back to Heaney. Simmons ground out to Wade. Buxton went down swinging. At the bottom of the frame, Stanton struck out swinging. Gallo homered will into the bleachers in right-center. Voit ground out to short. Torres ground out to third. Mets 5 New York Yankees 2.

Polanco led off the eight with a soft bunt, Higashioka retired him. Donaldson was called out on strikes. Kepler walked. Sano singled to left. Refsnyder faced the new Yankee pitcher Albert Abreu with two on and two outs and ground out to third. The bottom was led off by Anthony Rizzo pinch-hitting for Wade and walked. Gary Sanchez pinch-hitting for Higashioka flew out to left. LeMahieu flew out to center. Gardner walked. With Judge coming to the plate, the Twins turned to closer Alex Colome. Judge as the tying run at the plate homered to right-center to tie the game at 5. Stanton went down swinging. New York Yankees 5 Minnesota Twins 5.

The New York Yankees trusted Aroldis Chapman to hold the game at 5. Jeffers went down looking. Simmons went down swinging. Arraez hit a two-out double to left. Buxton walked. Polanco flew out to Gardner to end the Twin’s threat. At the bottom with a chance to win it for the Yankees, Joey Gallo who already homered in the game went down swinging. Voit also went down swinging. Torres went down swinging, bringing in free baseball, a nail-biting 10th inning. The game tied at 5.

The tenth inning was led off by Donaldson with ghost runner Polanco on second and Clay Holmes on the mound for the Yankees. Donaldson struck out. Kepler tapped back to Holmes for the second out. Sano flew out to Judge to end the half. At the bottom with Torres as the ghost runner Urshela struck out. Sanchez powered one to left to win it for the Yankees in the 10th.

The final score was the New York Yankees 6, the Minnesota Twins 5. The winning pitcher was Clay Holmes and the loser was Ralph Garza Jr.  Judge’s three-run homer makes this one a storybook, Derek Jeter-like win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Yankees: Who could have predicted this Yankee season? A look at one writer’s predictions

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

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.

Most analysts make their predictions and then forget they ever made them unless they are right on, in the category of “I told you so.” I have always published mine, good or bad. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the roller-coast season the New York Yankees have had. So let’s take a look at how I did with only weeks left to the season.

1. Gerrit Cole will not perform as expected!

After winning 20 games in 2019 and 7 in a shortened 2020 season, most would have suggested he would win 20-21 games this season. But, unfortunately, he won’t come close to that—my prediction score A.

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

At the very beginning of the season, LeMahieu signed a lucrative six-year contract. Although he is a good hitter and defender, no one would have predicted he would drop his average by 100 points in his next year—prediction score B.

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

Boy, was I wrong on this one. Frazier has played in only 66 games due to poor play and injuries. Prediction score F.

4. Aaron Judge will have an injury-free season

I predicted he would play in 135 or more games. I nailed this one; as of today, he has played 127 games, and has been the Yankee’s best performer—prediction score A+.

5. Gleyber Torres will lead the Yankees in home runs

This is another one I bombed on; he may end up with the least home runs of the regular lineup. Prediction score F.

6. Domingo German will be the winningest pitcher

This one could have gone either way; with Injuries, we will never know. After returning to the team, he had a roller-coaster season. Prediction score C.

7. Jonathan Loaisiga will be the Yankees’ best reliever

I was on track with this one. He definitely has been our best reliever before going on the IL with Rotator Cuff problems. Prediction score A.

8. Gary Sanchez will prove the Yankees wrong

I predicted the Yankee’s faith in him was for naught. He has hit better and has been somewhat better behind the plate. But also has had far too many bone-headed mistakes a veteran shouldn’t have. Prediction score C.

9. Yankees will win 108 games

After an abysmal start of the season, the Yankees went on to have a 13 game winning streak and also, for 6 weeks, won more games than any other team. But then, as of today, they own a 7 game losing streak. The Yankees will be lucky to fall only 20 games short of my prediction. Prediction score F.

10. The Yankees will win their 28th World Championship

I still can’t answer this, although it looks improbable with the way they are recently playing. If they get to the wild card and win it, it’s baseball; anything can happen. Prediction score withheld. We will retake a look at these predictions after the season is complete.

At the beginning of the season, I thought that Aroldis Chapman would fail as the Yankee closer because of having made so many nail-biting losses at critical times in recent seasons, but I didn’t make that prediction I should have.