New York Yankees pitching coach impressed with Gerrit Cole: “He’s close to game speed”

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees made the splash of the offseason when they secured the services of ace pitcher Gerrit Cole on a record-breaking nine-year, $324 contract. The right-hander was utterly dominant in 2019 with the Houston Astros and will now lead the Bombers’ rotation for years to come.

He made a great impression on Thursday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, sitting in the mid-to-high 90s and touching 99 miles per hour on the radar gun against live hitters such as Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks and Luke Voit. Needless to say, pitching coach Matt Blake was impressed.

Blake said that Cole was already in midseason form, filling the strike zone with fastballs for three innings. The righty had remained active in the stoppage by throwing occasional bullpen sessions, but Thursday was the first time he faced live hitters since the action was halted in mid-March.

“He looked good,” Blake said. “He’s moving right along in his progression. We kind of set the bar for kind of what we’re going to build on, targeting three weeks out and getting ready for the regular season. He’s in a really good spot, and the nice thing is it doesn’t take fans in the stands to get him amped. We’re good there.”

The Yankees’ ace stole the show

Reliever Adam Ottavino also took the mound and threw a couple of innings. Radley Haddad was the catcher, and manager Aaron Boone and assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere were among those looking at the action.

Yet, the New York Yankees’ frontline starter was the one who stole the show, evidently.

“He’s pretty close to game speed,” Blake said of Cole. “I think we’re game-ready with velocity. Now it’s kind of just fine-tuning it and sustaining over longer pitch counts. I think he feels good about where he is. He’s always a critic of himself, tightening things up [like] a certain pitch to a certain location. I think we’re building a nice baseline for him.”

New York Yankees News: Gerrit Cole is father to a baby boy, “he’s absolutely adorable”

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

New York Yankees ace pitcher Gerrit Cole announced today in a conference call with reporters that he and his wife Amy have given birth to a baby boy. Caden Gerrit Cole was born on Monday at 6 pounds and 13 ounces.  Cole added that he was a mix of him and his wife and was strong and healthy.  The blue-eyed Caden was called “adorable” by his dad.  Amy stayed active during the pregnancy, even playing catch with her husband.

He added, “Amy is doing excellent, and he is doing excellent,” Cole said. “He’s got big blue eyes, and gosh I just can’t stop staring at him.” When he was asked if he was fearful of the birth and playing baseball in a coronavirus pandemic, he pointed out that the Angels superstar Mike Trout’s wife was also pregnant and that he was still not comfortable playing during the coronavirus season. New York Yankees Gerrit Cole wants to play and made the following statement.

“I think everybody is going to see how these first few weeks play out,” Cole said. “So far, the testing has been robust. I certainly have confidence in my teammates, in the staff with the Yankees to keep us safe. My gosh, we worked like five months on this protocol with a lot of outside counsel. Both of us want me to play. If there’s obviously some significant breakouts or something that would really kind of put us in danger, we may adjust. But I have faith that we can get through this and get through it safely. We’re taking certainly all the necessary precautions here when I go to and from the field and who I interact with, as I guess I have been when I go to the grocery store or the drug store while she’s been pregnant. We’ll just be on high alert and stay vigilant. We’re both be excited to get this season going.”

Yankees’ Gerrit Cole faces off against Aaron Judge in live batting practice (must watch)

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

While initial reports indicated that New York Yankees star slugger Aaron Judge was simply hitting off of a tee, video captured on Thursday suggests otherwise. The team joined management in the Bronx on Wednesday morning, but simple rehabilitation and batting practice occurred on Thursday, which included star pitcher Gerrit Cole and a bevy of recovering players.

Cole, who is yet to pitch an active game for the Yankees after signing a nine-year, $324 million deal this off-season, pitched a three-inning simulation with a quality lineup, consisting of Judge, Aaron Hicks, and Luke Voit.

The informal work out gave Cole a chance to take the mound at Yankee Stadium and several players recovering from injuries to take live at-bats against a quality arm.

Matt Blake, pitching coach for the Yankees, was excited to see Cole on the mound for the first time, stating:

“He looked good today. He’s moving right along [with] his progression so we actually went three [innings] today and kind of set the bar for what we’re going to build on,” Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake said of Cole being ready for the regular season in three weeks.

“A good baseline to kind of face some hitters from our own team. So, it’s good to see some of those guys out there as well. But yeah, [he’s] in a really good spot and the nice thing is it doesn’t take fans in the stands to get him amped, so we’re good there.”

The New York Yankees are getting their pitchers some action:

Gerrit wasn’t the only one to enjoy some action, with Masahiro Tanaka and Adam Ottavino both partaking in workouts. Ottavino actually faced off against the same batters as Cole, over two simulated innings.

At 29 years old, Cole is coming off a fantastic campaign in 2019. He finished second in voting for the American League Cy Young award, leading the AL with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts. The Yanks will be depending on him to act as the team’s No. 1 pitcher for 2020 and beyond.

As for Judge, who GM Brian Cashman is optimistic about, regarding his potential return to the active team on Opening Day, is making excellent progress in his progression to game-form.

New York Yankees: Fans can expect Gerrit Cole to be ready with 99 mph fastball

Gerrit Cole near full power at the Stadium

New York Yankees fans have a lot to look forward to in this shortened baseball season.  New pitching ace Gerrit Cole hasn’t been laying by the pool at his new home in Greenwich, CT; he’s been busy preparing for the 2020 baseball season during the layoff caused by the coronavirus pandemic.  Back in April and May, we were seeing videos of his wife Amy and he playing catch.  Cole even played catch with neighbor Aaron Boone.

Recently he has been seen working out at Yankee Stadium even before it opened for summer camp.  Yesterday at the Stadium, Cole had a workout with pitching coach Matt Blake.  Cole’s fastball was clocked at 95-99 mph.  Coach Blake said he was pretty close to game speed.  With three weeks of summer camp yet to be had, it looks like Cole will be at full arm strength by his July 23rd matchup with the Washing National’s Max Scherzer on baseballs opening day.

Amy and Gerrit Cole on baby watch!

Back in January shortly after the New York Yankees signed pitching ace Gerrit Cole, he and his wife Amy announced that they were expecting a baby in June.  That due date was June 30th.  Taking to Instagram on Saturday, Amy polled her nearly 55,000 followers as to what major life-event will take place first: the birth of the couple’s first child or the beginning of spring training.  58% said the baby would come before the start of summer camp.

They were wrong as there is no baby news yet. So the baby watch continues.  Gerrit Cole had a workout yesterday at the Stadium, if he doesn’t show up today or suddenly leaves, we will know why.  The couple is expecting a baby boy and Amy showed on her Instagram account a pair of Yankee baby booties with the number 45 on them.

Will the New York Yankees use openers this year?

Anything is possible in short-season, said New York Yankee manager Aaron Boone on Wednesday.  With the three-week summer camp, some of the Yankee pitchers may not be up to full arm strength.  During a conference call with the media, Boone was asked about a six-man rotation that some teams may use.  Boone said that we are going to be creative and smart, referring to how he will handle the pitching staff early in the season.

In the past, the Yankees have been quite successful using openers when they were short of pitchers in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons.  Yankee reliever Chad Green was the most used to open games.  Green was successful in most instances.  The Green Luis Cessa duo may be used again, at least at the start of the season.

Hal sees the possibility of fans at Yankee Stadium

New York Yankees owner and general partner Hal Steinbrenner revealed in an interview with the YES Network that he believes that fans will be able to attend Yankee games at Yankee Stadium at some point in the season.

He says that the capacity would be somewhere in the 20-30% range, and everyone will be able to safely socially distance. He also added that he is “personally not sure that will be feasible, but we will see.”  Assuming that the coronavirus remains under control, the likelihood of that happening will increase as the season progresses.  It would be fantastic for Yankees fans if they could attend postseason games at the Stadium.

New York Yankees: What should fans expect from Gerrit Cole in shortened 2020?

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees are officially back in business, and they were shown on the field Thursday afternoon. Of course, the standout that everyone was excited to see is the Yankees ace, Gerrit Cole. The Yankees 326 million dollar man threw on Thursday against the likes of Aaron Judge and Luke Voit.

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You can feel the excitement from Yankees fans everywhere about Cole’s debut later this month. Of course the expectations are high for Cole, but what should fans expect in this shortened season from the ace?

The reality is that fans need to be realistic with their expectations for Cole. In a 60 game season, Cole is currently scheduled to get 12 starts assuming he stays healthy. Cole is not going to go 12-0 with a 0.00 ERA. It will only take one bad start to really inflate the numbers to give the appearance that Cole isn’t having an elite season.

New York Yankees & Gerrit Cole realistic expectations

If we are looking at the 12 starts, I think that 8-3 with a 3.37 ERA is a realistic line for Cole in his first season in pinstripes. Yes, the ERA is significantly higher than it was last year, but you have to keep in mind that Cole will be pitching in a new environment with less room for error. He’s still going to show everyone that he is arguably the best pitcher in the game, but there might be a slip-up here or there.

I think the Yankees need to go into this season with a World Series or bust mentality. However, fans should be realistic on the expectations for the individual players. Aaron Judge is not going to hit 300 with 25 home runs, and Gerrit Cole is not going to have an ERA under one. This season is going to be fast and furious, and with less room for error, fans’ patience is going to be running thin in the pressure cooker that is New York. I think Cole is going to show out this year, but it’s important to be realistic about what we should expect as fans.

New York Yankees News: Don’t expect the Yankees to run away in a short season

Today the New York Yankees will open spring training camp 2.0, this time at the fabled Yankee Stadium.  Some players from foreign countries may not have arrived yet, but will shortly. The Yankees crew has been working feverishly to sterilize everything at the stadium.  All the health protocols are in place to protect your Yankee players.

The New York Yankees are favorites to get to the World Series, but in this shortened season, don’t expect them to run away with the division.  This season will be unique in that player travel will be limited with the new three-division MLB setup.  The Yankees will play their traditional East Coast rivals.  The Yankees will see the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and the Tampa Bay Rays at least twice for three or four-game series.  But this year they will also face their cross-town rival Mets, the Phillies, Nationals, Braves, and the Marlins.  They will not see the National league teams as frequently.

Other than the new division challenge, the Yankees have not always started out the season hot.  During the past three years, the Yankees new superstar pitcher Gerrit Cole has shown that if he falters it’s usually in the first third of the season, that mathematically equates to the length of this shortened season. In 2017 he went 3-5 in his first twelve starts. In 2018 he went 6-1. In 2019 he was 5-5. So in the past three years, over twelve starts, he is 14-11.  Based on his performance for the past three years, fans can expect him to go roughly 6-3.  Nevertheless, that is nothing like the 20-5 record of last year.  That means in this short season the Cole effect will have less of a positive impact for the Yankees.

The are other reasons the New York Yankees’ chances of reaching the postseason with ease will be diminished includes Giancarlo Stanton’s notoriously slow season starts. Stanton’s batting average over the first 50 or 60 games of the season has never reached over .232 in the last four seasons.  Even in his MVP 59 homer season of 2017, the exception, he only hit only .242 in his first 26 games.  2016 and 2019 were disasters for Stanton.  in 2016, in sixty games, he hit just .211. Last year he hit .305 but had only eight at-bats in the first two months due to injury.

Other Yankee position players that aren’t at their best at the beginning of the season include DJ LeMahieu, Miguel Andujar, Gary Sanchez has averaged just .244 over the last three years.  Mike Tauchman is just plain horrible early in the season. Over the past two years, he has hit just .178 in his first 60 games. By contrast, he hits .290 after his first sixty.

Pitchers that have early-season problems include Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ. Tanaka, in 2019 was 3-4 in his first twelve starts.  Happ was not as bad, but he went 5-3.  Something that will be missing this year for the entire season is Domingo German, who will be suspended for the entire 60 games regular season.  Last year he was the Yankees best pitcher going 9-1 in his first twelve starts.

On the bright side, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, and Aaron Hicks all play more productively in the first sixty games than after those games.  A significant factor for this short season will be if Aaron Judge can play at the beginning of the season.  In the past three years, Judge has hit .304 with 47 home runs in his first sixty games.  In his last 102 games over the same period, he has hit just .264 with only 63 home runs.  Yesterday in a conference call I was in GM Brian Cashman said that he was optimistic that Judge will be ready to play.

The New York Yankees season will depend on not having COVID-19 related trips to the IL, along with other injuries.  They must get off to a fast start and not have any prolonged periods of poor play.  In a season this short, anything can happen, but previous to the shutdown, the Yankees seem likely to breeze through the season.  Now in a short season, don’t expect that.  The distance between teams in all divisions will be tighter than expected, except for the traditionally bad teams, notably being the Orioles and Marlins.

If the Yankees can attain a 36-24 season, they will be in good shape, going into an exciting expanded postseason.  Based on how the New York Yankees fair the coronavirus, they will be at their best in the postseason. A World Series win for the Yankees will be very possible.

 

 

New York Yankees: Gerrit Cole will be facing traumatic memories on Opening Day

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees will open the 2020 regular season against the Washington Nationals, and new star pitcher and Gerrit Cole will be the first man up in the rotation to get things kicked off. However, Opening Day could flashback some recent memories that don’t do Cole any favors, specifically from the 2019 World Series.

Cole pitched in two games during the final series of the 2019 campaign, going 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA and six runs allowed. He pitched a total of 14 innings, averaging 7.0 per game and helping Houston to a decent but inevitably disappointing result.

Over the course of the entire postseason run, he went 4-1, allowing 5 earned runs, 4 homers, and striking out 47 batters over 36.2 innings. He was stellar across-the-board, and the Yankees will enjoy the fruits of his tremendous abilities. However, Opening Day will be difficult to stomach against a talented Nationals team that is coming off a World Series victory.

The New York Yankees have the talent to dominate:

Nonetheless, the Bombers have an incredibly talented team as well, with a stacked batting order that consists of multiple premier sluggers. Hopefully, Aaron Judge is prepared to return after spring training 2.0, as reports have indicated that he is already hitting off the tee and will begin live batting in the coming weeks. The Yankees are already on schedule to return both Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, and Aaron Hicks. The team would’ve started the 2020 campaign with their entire outfield on injured reserve for the most part, which would have posed a few significant problems.

The shortening of the 2020 season gave them plenty of time to heal and recover, which benefited the team as a whole. This will be Cole’s first game in pinstripes, minus the fourth game starts during spring ball this year.

In limited action, he posted a 7.00 ERA with 10 hits, 7 earned runs, and 13 strikeouts over 9.0 innings. Most of this occurred during a thrashing against the Detroit Tigers, where he allowed 4 homeruns in the span of 2.0 innings. The bright news is, this outing was undoubtedly an anomaly, and we should be excited and optimistic for Cole going into the 2020 season.

New York Yankees: Yankees to open season with Blockbuster prime time game, all the Yankee News

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole, James Paxton

New York Yankees Vs. Washington Nationals

It was announced that the New York Yankees would open their season with a blockbuster prime time game in the nation’s capital. Baseball’s 2020 debut will feature the World Champion Washington Nationals hosting our New York Yankees.  As scheduled, Yankee fans will finally get to see their new pitching ace Gerrit Cole face the Nationals Max Scherzer on Baseball’s opening day.

Due to the continuing COVID-19 virus, the rest of the season is not set.  Without tickets to be sold to fans, there is no rush to set a schedule in light of the virus.  Earlier in the delay of the season, it seemed that several southern parks would have to be used to complete a season.  But, since then, things have changed with the virus surging in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California, now it appears to have stabilized to a degree in the northern states that have been slower to reopen up their economies.

The matchup of Cole and Scherzer is quite exciting.  Scherzer is a three-time Cy Young Award winner and has had four opening day assignments to date.  This will be Gerrit Cole’s first opening day for the New York Yankees after the Yankees went after the most sought after free agent in history and spent $324 million to sign him.  The 35-year-old Scherzer for the Nationals went 11-7 with an ERA of 2.92 while the younger Cole went 20-5 with an ERA of 2.50 in 33 starts last season.

New York Yankees season will be like an obstacle course

This season will likely see continuing adjustments to everything, including the baseball schedule, which very well may be reset several times.  It is most likely that the season schedule will be issued piecemeal as MLB observes the ever-changing coronavirus, which ultimately will control everything in baseball this year.  With no tickets to sell, it gives MLB this luxury if you can call it that.

Just over a week ago, the Philidelphia Phillies had seven positive coronavirus cases, three players, and four other staff.  The New York Yankees reported four cases among stadium staff in Florida. With other infections across baseball, MLB shut down the spring training in southern parks temporarily for deep cleaning.  Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo of New York made it known that the state would work with the Yankees and Mets to make a spring training in New York happen, saying “Play ball.”

Part of that obstacle course will be for both of the July 23rd opening day teams keeping coronavirus cases at a minimum which is job #1. For all MLB teams, this is critical to completing spring training and the season if the season can be completed.  There are so many things that can go wrong between now and then.

Season Landscape has changed for the Yankees, but there are still questions

After having a historic amount of injuries to players last year, the New York Yankees were to start the season with no Luis Severino (Tommy John surgery), no James Paxton (back surgery), or Aaron Hicks (Tommy John surgery).  Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were also a question for opening day, Judge with shoulder problems, and Stanton with a calf strain.

With the three month delay at the start of the season, almost all of that has changed. Severino will be out for the entire season, but Paxton, Hicks, and Stanton have recovered and are now ready to play when the season starts on July 23rd. Unfortunately, things have not gone as well for slugger Aaron Judge.

After a battery of tests and MRIs, Aaron Judge’s shoulder problem turned out to be a fractured first rib that he endured in a diving catch near the end of the last season.  Because of the location of the fracture and the muscles attached to that rib, rehab has been slow.

About a month ago, hitting coach Marus Thames indicated that Judge’s rehab was going as expected but that he still had not swung a bat.  Judge after the diagnosis stayed at the training complex in Tampa when spring training was called off, for treatment and rehab.

With all spring training facilities now being ordered closed, one would have to believe that Judge and others are making their way to Yankee Stadium for spring training 2.0 that is supposed to start on July 3rd.  The big question remaining is why the New York Yankees have remained mum on Judge’s progress for the last month.  You would have to assume that it would take a miracle for him to play on opening day.

A complete season is still dependent on player union cooperation

With the entire baseball season in flux due to the coronavirus, there will be many changes as the season progresses.  Those changes might include changes to the health protocols and the season’s game schedule.  Commissioner Rob Manfred can not make these changes all by himself.  Any major change to the present agreement will have to be approved by the MLBPA (players union), further complicating an already messed up season that will surely carry an asterisk after it.

What about that man on second base?

The New York Yankees and all the MLB teams have a lot of new rules for the 2020 baseball season.  One of the big ones is to start each half-inning after the ninth inning of play with a man on second base, designed to shorten long games, reduce injuries, and reduce time players are exposed to each other. This is a change that is sure to anger baseball purists.

The Yankees may have a foot up on other teams in that situation.  Enter the fastest man on the Yankee’s team, Tyler Wade. Wade is extremely fast on the bases. Last year he saw his best batting average with the Yankees in his three-year tenure at .245.  Last year while playing in only 43 games, Wade stole seven bases. If Wade is to come off the bench for the man on second situation, it should be exciting.

Might you have forgotten?  MLB bits and pieces!

With the last baseball season seemingly a million years ago, many things have changed since then, or even since the postseason.  Here’s a look at what some of those changes look like.

Gerrit Cole is now the $324 million New York Yankee ace.  Severino is gone for the season with Tommy John surgery.  During spring training 1.0 Gerrit Cole and Gary Sanchez have become best friends.  The Boston Red Sox already in shambles have lost pitching ace Chris Sale to Tommy John; they also lost star Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price.  The Tampa Bay Rays lost a host of players, including Tommy Pham, Emilio Pagán, and top-100 prospect Matthew Liberatore; they are all out.

The New York Mets don’t have Noah Syndergaard, gone for the season with Tommy John surgery, but they did pick up  Yankee Dellin Betances.  The Cleveland Indians have lost ace Cory Kluber to the Texas Rangers.  The Houston Astros get a one year reprieve on boos, heckling, and having beer cans thrown at them. Anthony Rendon of the Nationals joins Mike Trout of the Angels.   World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg took a $245 million deal to stay with the Nationals. Madison Bumgarner left the Giants for a five year deal with the Diamondbacks.

On the managerial front, Aaron Boone will start his third year as the New York Yankees manager after a 100 game and 103 game-winning season, this year he will go after the Yankee’s 28th World Championship.  The Houston Astros will try to repair their damaged reputation as they hire beloved Dusty Baker as their new manager.  The Philadelphia Phillies hired ex-Yankee manager Joe Girardi to be at the helm of their team.  The Yankees will face the Phillies at least twice this season.

The New York Yankees will have until August 31 to make any blockbuster trade they have in mind. Let’s end this on a bright note.  Gerrit and Amy Cole are expecting their first child at any moment.  The pair announced during January that they were expecting a new baby near the end of June.

Stay with EmpireSportsMedia.com for all the latest New York Yankee and New York Mets news.

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

 

 

 

 

New York Yankees: Baseball season is official, all the Yankee News in one place

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

For the New York Yankees and all the MLB teams, a baseball season of 60 games became official last night as the players agreed to Commissioner Rob Manfred’s imposed season.  That means 60 Yankee players will make there way to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx by July 1, for a spring training 2.0 that will start training on the 3rd.  Initially, all 60 players will report, which includes the 40 man roster and 20 extra players.

To lessen the load and avoid too many players training in the Bronx in close proximity those extra players (shuttle squad) will at some point be moved to the Yankees minor league triple-A facility at Scranton Wilkes/Barre where the Rail Riders normally play. The minor league season was canceled earlier over the coronavirus.  The Yankee players will be excited to train for a regular-season which will begin on or about July 24th, giving them three weeks to ramp up.

It will be an entirely different season this year!

After the Yankees complete their ramp to the regular season, their travel will be limited as they will only play series against east coast teams.  They will play most of their series against traditional AL rivals, the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and the Tampa Bay Rays. Those games will likely be three or four-game series to even out a season of just sixty games.  But this year they will also play shorter series against National League teams.  The cross-town New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, and Florida Marlins will all see the Yankees.

The Yankees will not see Luis Severino, Domingo German, but will they see slugger Aaron Judge?

Ace pitcher Luis Severino will not play this year for the Yankees as he had Tommy John surgery during the first part of spring training.  He remained at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa for rehab.  Whether he will join his, teammates, in the Bronx is unknown.  Domingo German has got to serve out the remainder of his suspension, which is equal to the total season. However, during this quick three week training period, all eyes will be on Aaron Judge who’s rehab has been slow from a rib fracture late in the 2019 season.  It is very possible he will miss some games early in the season. Some reports indicate he may not play at all as he has yet to swing a bat.

Yankee pitchers will not be pushed as the bullpen is expected to play a big part in the season.

The New York Yankee fans can’t wait to see their new ace pitcher Gerrit Cole pitch at Yankee Stadium.  Pitchers take several games to gain arm strength, so the Yankees at least at the start will depend on their excellent bullpen to pitch a few extra innings.  Yankee Manager Aaron Boone won’t have to worry about the overuse of the bullpen in a shortened season.

Early in games, the fans can expect to see Luis Cessa, Jonathan Loaisiga, and possibly Clarke Schmidt in long relief, with Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino, and Chad Green in late relief.  Zack Britton will be the most likely setup man as Aroldis Chapman will close most games.

Adam Ottavino recently talked about the role of the bullpen in a short season. Ottavino had a 1.90 ERA while relieving in 73 games.  His relief will likely be cut to as many as just 50 games.

“I’ve pitched in both ends of a doubleheader a few times in my career. It’s fine. It’s just like, then you can’t pitch the next day. So, luckily for our team, we have so many good pitchers, and we have some good young ones coming, that we were able to kind of help each other out and lighten each other’s loads and get us where we need to get to be fresh for the playoffs.”

Some Yankee players may not be happy with the short season

The shortened season will mean different things to different players; it has the most effect on those players that will become free agents at the end of the season.  Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, Brett Gardner, Adam Warren, and DJ LeMahieu will all become free agents. JA Happ has a vesting option. He absolutely will not hit (165 innings pitched), so we can add him to the list as well.  How these players perform in this short season will be paramount to if the Yankees offer them contracts.  However, DJ LeMahieu seems like a sure bet. Gardner does have a 2021 option that can be bought out for just $2.5 million.

Yankee players may play with an intensity not seen, only in the postseason

The New York Yankees are still the favorite to go to the World Series this year.  The Yankee players are aware of that and will be playing with an intensity that you usually only see in the postseason.  The intensity is caused by a short season that will see every game as a must-win.  Each game will be two to three times as valuable.  To get to the World Series, the Yankees must win almost every game against weak teams like the Baltimore Orioles and the Florida Marlins and most games against the more challenging teams.

This year they lost the Detroit Tigers but picked up the Marlins so that challenge has not changed much.  But this year the Yankees will also have to face the Mets, Phillies and the World Champion Washington Nationals. They can’t afford to fail against those teams.  In a traditional season, long stretches of playing poorly are not uncommon for any team, but for the Yankees, that can’t happen if they want to contend for their 28th World Championship.

Further details on the season will be forthcoming and what the expanded postseason will look like will be released shortly so stay with EmpireSportsMedia for all the latest New York Yankee news.

 

 

New York Yankees analysis: Who is the best NY pitcher, Gerrit Cole or Jacob deGrom?

The New York Yankees have had a bountiful number of outstanding pitchers in their glorious past stretching back more than a hundred years. Pitchers like Whitey Ford, Red Ruffing, Lefty Gomez, Ron Guidry, Mariano Rivera, and a multitude of others.  This offseason the New York Yankees wanted to add to that list with their next great pitcher, Gerrit Cole.

Cole landed the most lucrative contract for a major league starting pitcher.  The Yankees will shell out $324 million over the next nine years for his pitching prowess.  The Yankees wanted him so badly they sent Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman, Manager Aaron Boone, pitching coach Matt Blake and an ace, in the hole, Cole’s childhood idol, New York Yankee Andy Pettitte to California to snag him.  They showered him with gifts, including a personal touch with bottles of he and his wife Amy’s favorite wine.  But did they get the best starting pitcher in the New York market?

Some might say the best is the Mets Jacob deGrom.  For those that believe that they have a good argument and they might correct.  For those that believe Gerrit Cole is the best starter, including this writer, we have an equally good case, for both of these arms are among the best to pitch in modern baseball.

Probably the main reason there could be a good argument, either way, is because of the hitting lineup that backs him up.  The Yankees most certainly have a more potent lineup than the New York Mets. And for Gerrit Cole, his Astros lineup was near equal to the quality of the Yankees. We will leave the Astros cheating debate out of this debate.  The stronger, the lineup the better the pitcher’s stats will be.  So this is a debatable area of discussion.  But looking solely at the stats Gerrit Cole is far superior to deGrom.

So let’s look at the stats.  Cole was 35-10 and deGrom was 21-17 in the past two seasons.  Cole with a 2.69 ERA and deGrom at 2.065. So with deGrom’s better ERA was Coles wider margin of wins because he had the bats behind him?  That’s questionable.

Where the New York Yankees Gerrit Cole gains the advantage in being proclaimed the best New York starter is in the postseason where he has outperformed deGrom.  deGrom in 2015 pitched in three postseason games for an ERA of 2.88. Gerrit Cole in seven games pitched to an ERA of 2.60.  Cole in his ALDS appearances shines with an ERA of .079.

My main reason for believing Cole is the better pitcher going forward is that Cole has just gotten better and better with each year he pitched. In the past three years, he has gone from a winning percentage of .500, 750, and .800.  deGrom in the past three years has trailed off, indicating his best years may be behind him.  I am not discounting his two Cy Young Awards, but after all, they are against National League hitting.  deGrom’s winning percentage has dropped in the past three years, from .600 to .579.

In a New Post survey conducted back in March, they queried 32 MLB executives asking them if salaries were equal, which would you prefer, Gerrit Cole or Jacob deGrom.  Most all the executives said you’d be just fine with either.  However, when pinned down, they gave the edge to Gerrit Cole 19-13.

Those same executives cited many of the same reasons as to why I go with Cole as well.  His age, his stuff, his American League experience, his stats, and his postseason success.  However, deGrom is not without his admirers.  They cite his experience under the bright lights of New York, of which Cole has had none.  His athleticism, his ability to repeat pitches, and four from this group cited the college shortstop deGrom’s natural skills.

deGrom has had more rest than Cole not playing in the postseason last year, but that could be outweighed by Cole not having to hit and run the bases.  No matter who you pick as the best New York starting pitcher, it is beyond extremely close as to who is best.  If this baseball season starts, the entire baseball world will be watching these pitching greats.

Below is a short video highlighting the best pitchers in spring training, including the New York Yankees Gerrit Cole and the New York Mets Jacob DeGrom.