New York Yankees: Dellin Betances And Jordan Montgomery Make Their Season Debuts

New York Yankees, Dellin Betances

The New York Yankees lost the rubber match against the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 6-4, but more importantly Dellin Betances and Jordan Montgomery made their season debuts.

After Chad Green opened the game with a scoreless inning, Aaron Boone handed the ball off to Jordan Montgomery. Sadly, he struggled, giving up three runs off of four hits. His outing lasted just two innings.

But, it was kinda expected for him. No guy comes back from Tommy John surgery lights out, and it takes time to get back to normal.

To begin the fourth inning, the Yankees turned to Dellin Betances. He looked really good, striking out both batters he faced. His velocity sat in the low to mid 90s, but he expects that it will be in the upper 90s again once he gets a few more appearances.

When the Yankees return home on Tuesday, Luis Severino will get the ball for his season debut. Like Betances, he had a few nagging injuries that sidelined him for most of the year.

These three pitchers are coming back at just the right time for the Yankees. With just 11 games left in the regular season, it gives them enough time to get locked in and ready for the postseason. It could actually benefit the Yankees having a few fresher arms on their postseason roster.

It’s great that everyone is coming back and healthy. Giancarlo Stanton will be after Severino, and who knows, one of the guys that missed all season may end up being the World Series hero.

The New York Yankees Should Keep Jordan Montgomery In AA For The Rest Of 2019

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

New York Yankees young lefty Jordan Montgomery pitched in his fourth rehab game on Tuesday, and it was successful even though the results weren’t what he wanted.

For AA Trenton, Montgomery went three innings and gave up two runs. One run scored on a poor pickoff move to first. He walked one and struck out one.

In his four rehab outings, Montgomery has pitched with three teams. On 8/25, he pitched two hitless innings for the Tampa Tarpons. On 8/30, he pitched 1.2 scoreless innings for Scranton.

The most trouble for him has been at the AA level where he is now. On 9/4, he pitched three innings and gave up two runs, but had five strikeouts and five hits allowed.

Montgomery will have a few more rehab starts left dependent on weather Trenton continues in the AA playoffs. The plan is to slowly lengthen him out, but doing so too quick could be damaging to his arm, especially after Tommy John.

The goal is to get Montgomery comfortable again this year and have him ready for next year. For all we know, he may never pitch in the bigs this year and it may not be a bad idea.

The Yankees could have him just ride the season out with Trenton and continue to pitch there. Then, the team could make him a throwing program to follow over the offseason to get him back on track and ready for 2020. The Yankees also aren’t really in much of a need for starters to return, since CC Sabathia and Luis Severino will be returning from injury any day.

The Yankees should be really cautious with Jordan Montgomery and have him stay in AA for the rest of the year.

New York Yankees: Who will be the most influential bullpen arm during the playoffs?

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

The New York Yankees are heading towards the playoffs and require more pitching support, which is where Dellin Betances and Jordan Montgomery will make their mark.

Montgomery, who has missed the entire season up to this point, will be a massive addition for the playoffs given his ability to feature as a bullpen arm and supplement the injury to CC Sabathia. With the veteran suffering from knee inflammation, Jordan will provide the Yankees value in regards to injuries and fatigue.

You could make the argument that Betances will be even more impactful, despite suffering from a shoulder impingement injury. With a 2.70 ERA last season, the Yankees relief pitcher could be exactly what they need in the bullpen to grind out wins and help the starters finish games.

However, I believe that Montgomery will be the more valuable player given his diversity and the multiple roles he can play. He also adds a lefty arm to the grouping. Recovering from Tommy John surgery will limit his usage, essentially ruling him out as a consistent starter, but he could serve as a potential opener.

How the New York Yankees could use their injured pitchers differently:

Both Mongomery and Luis Severino could be utilized in the opener role, similar to Chad Green in the regular season, minimizing their usage and allowing them to take the team two/three innings before bringing in a starter. While experimenting with that utilization might not be the best idea during the playoffs, it could certainly work, unless the Yankees feel that they’re better of suited for the bullpen.

Stretching out two pitchers who haven’t tossed pitches at all this season at the top level is not a good idea, which leaves the Bombers with only two options — opening or coming in as relief options. Manager Aaron Boone could surely use the help in that facet as Nestor Cortes Jr., Tommy Kahnle, Chad Green, and Luis Cessa have struggled at times. Adding Jordan to the group would make them dangerous, heading into the elimination rounds.

New York Yankees: Why There is No Need to Worry About Their Slow Start

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

The New York Yankees have gotten off to a less than flattering 3-4 start in 2019, highlighted by losing two out of three to two of the league’s worst teams. There is disappointment with the four losses, but there shouldn’t be any worry, yet. There are a lot of contributing factors to their early struggles, so let’s review them.

Injuries

Obviously, injuries are the prominent factor in the Yankees early season struggles.10 main guys are on the IL in Jordan Montgomery, Miguel Andujar, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dellin Betances, CC Sabathia, Luis Severino, Troy Tulowitzki, and Giancarlo Stanton.

We know that Stanton will be back in about three weeks, and that Sabathia could possibly make his next start.

Hicks is just beginning baseball activities, Betances is throwing off a mound and should be ready for rehab soon, while Severino is still throwing on flat ground.

We don’t know a whole lot about the rest of the injuries. We’ll know in about 10 days weather the Yankees can start up Andujar again, or if he’ll need season-ending surgery.

Detroit and Baltimore are off to good starts

The Yankees have played two teams that got off to hot starts.

After taking two out of three against the Yankees, the Orioles went north of the border and took two of three from the Blue Jays before losing to the Yankees in their home opener on Thursday.

The Tigers started the season in Canada, splitting a four game series there. They came to New York to take two of three from the Yankees afterwards, then took their home opener against the Royals.

They aren’t alone

The Yankees are not the only World Series favorite to be losing a lot early. At 3-4, the Yankees are better than some other teams record wise.

The Red Sox are off to a terrible 2-7 start with the worst run differential in the MLB at -26. The Houston Astros have started off 2019 at 3-5. Like the Yankees, they have won the first game of each series and that’s it. Remember, the Yankees and the Astros play on Monday.

Off to the worst start in the MLB are the Chicago Cubs. After winning their opener, they have lost six straight to put themselves at 1-6.

This shows to tell that the best teams don’t always get out to hot starts.

This has happened before

Most years, the Yankees aren’t great out of the gate. They started 5-6 last year en route to a 100 win season.

In 2016, they started out 9-17 on the way to an 84 win season.

In 2009, the Yankees started out 3-4 as they would win it all come October.

The Yankees will get healthy and get back to normal. It may take a while, but they always seem to figure it out.

Morale of the story: the Yankees will be ok, and it’s just a matter of time until they win a lot of games and Baltimore and Detroit start to lose a lot of games. Sadly, it’s also just a matter of time until the team from Boston starts to win too.

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

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

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

Tauchman hasn’t had much success

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

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

You have to feel bad for Tyler Wade

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

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

The New York Yankees Have A Pitching Weapon Up Their Sleeve

new york yankees, jordan montgomery

New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery has faced long odds before and won – take his rookie season when he came to camp with the Yankees as a non-roster invitee only to win a spot in the rotation to open the season.  He would go on to place sixth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting, behind his teammate and, of course, winner, Aaron Judge.

The Yankees pitcher is more than capable:

In 2017 Montgomery posted a 9-7 record with a 3.88 ERA, 4.07 FIP, 8.34 K/9, 2.95 BB9, 73.8% LOB in 155 IP.  He led all rookie pitchers in fWAR with 2.8.  When he went down in early May of the ’18 season, he was poised for another solid campaign to build on his rookie successes.

Unfortunately, the flexor strain turned serious when Montgomery was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery in early June last year.  From breakout star to obscurity – baseball can be cruel.

The lefty, nicknamed “Gumby,” is back in camp in 2019 with one goal in mind and that is to get back for the second half.  As he told ESPN.com on Wednesday:

“I’ve got four more months to get [the left elbow] as strong as I can and try to work on anything I want to: my mechanics, clean those out, get my legs stronger,” Mongtgomery said, “Just to get in better shape and come back a whole new pitcher is the plan.”

If Montgomery comes back “a whole new pitcher” the Yankees are going to get a boost in the second half from the southpaw.  He has multiple minor league options and may be an up and down arm, to begin with, or he may be inserted as a regular member of the rotation.  

What should we expect from the starting rotation?

While no one knows how the starting five will hold up over the course of the first half of the season this year, but in the second half of ’18, the Yankees starters were not as strong as they had been in the first half.  The Yankees starters were 40-20 with a 4.00 ERA before the All-Star game and 18-22 with a 4.47 ERA after it in ’18.

Montgomery’s role in the second half could look something like ESPN envisions it:

Montgomery’s ideal contributions would come in some sort of back-end rotation help upon his return. As the Yankees monitor Sabathia’s workload, Montgomery could be eased in as a fifth starter. Initially, he could also be an option as a sixth starter.”

The Yankees will make the most of a fresh lefty in the second half of the season, just when it’s crucial to make a strong push for the postseason.  

Montgomery began his throwing program just about the time the Yankees were being eliminated from the postseason in ’18. He’ll be ready for action just about the time the Yankees will be battling for position in the fiercely contested AL East.  Fans are eager to see what contributions Montgomery will make towards a championship push in 2019.

The New York Yankees Had To ‘Earn’ The Best Record In Baseball

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It was a long, long time ago. The New York Yankees had just lost 8-5 to the Toronto Blue Jays. It was April 20 and the Bombers were 9-9. Giancarlo Stanton was striking out at an alarming rate and fans were ready to burn down the city.

For those same beloved fans, that seems like forever ago. Here we sit on May 10 and the Yankees have only lost once since that horrifying day in April.

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Can they complete the sweep?

The Yankees are looking for a series sweep against the rival Boston Red Sox. They have won 17 of their last 18 games and currently have the best record in baseball at 26-10. Is anyone surprised?

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Back in December, the Yankees traded a bucket of balls for the reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton. The feeling in the Bronx was that this team was never going to lose again. After a slow start, they figured it out thanks to the play of their young guns.

Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres have been spark plugs in this Yankee lineup to go along with Stanton, Aaron Judge and the AL Player of the Month for April, Didi Gregorius.

The Yankees have dealt with minor injuries throughout the season, most notable to Brandon Drury. Jordan Montgomery will be on the shelf for a few weeks but this team will surely not struggle without their fifth starter. Their pitching has been good enough to get by. The catalyst is Luis Severino but the rotation is surviving thanks to the success of ageless wonder, C.C. Sabathia. He holds a 2-0 record with a 1.39 ERA in 32.1 innings.

The Yankees were an early season favorite to win the Fall Classic. They were expected to win 100 games and break all different home run records in a season. Some might have said that it was impossible or too good to be true but here in the now, the Yanks are showing the world that they are for real and it is not a dream.

New York Yankees Pitcher Jordan Montgomery Out At Least Six Weeks

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

Jordan Montgomery was the New York Yankees starting pitcher when they took on the Astros on Tuesday, but his start only lasted seven pitches. The left handed pitcher had to leave the game due to tightness in his elbow, and after arriving back in New York and being evaluated by Dr. Chris Ahmad, Montgomery was diagnosed with a flexor strain. The injury will put him out of action for six to eight weeks, according to manager Aaron Boone.

Montgomery is also on the disabled list and won’t throw for up to three weeks. He’s started six games this season and has a total of 27.1 innings pitched at this point. His ERA is currently at 3.62, putting him in the middle of the Yankees pitching rotation in terms of performance.

Fortunately, it appears that the injury isn’t a significant one. Montgomery called his level of concern “not very high”, and Boone claimed that the flexon strain isn’t leading up to a larger injury that could require Tommy John surgery.

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The Yankees still need to figure out a replacement, however, and this might give prospects Chance Adams or Justus Sheffield a chance. Sheffield was moved to the Yankees’ AAA affiliate recently, after working his way to a 2.25 ERA in five appearances with the Double-A Trenton Thunder. Adams, on the other hand, is already playing AAA ball with the Scranton RailRiders.

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The older player by a couple of years, it looks like Adams has the better chance at the moment. For now, Domingo German will fill in for Montgomery in the rotation. It remains to be seen whether the Yankees will give the spot to a prospect later, but German currently has similar numbers to Montgomery with a 3.77 ERA. However, German has not started any games this season, and has 14 innings pitched compared to Montgomery’s 27.

New York Yankees Player Preview: Jordan Montgomery

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

Jordan Montgomery was a welcomed surprise to many New York Yankees fans last season. No one expected Montgomery to be a part of the Yankees for a majority of the campaign last year.

Monty put together a fantastic spring training last year and earned the fifth starter job for New York. He had the best rookie season out of any rookie pitcher in baseball last season. 2018 is a year in which he can establish himself as a solid back of the end rotation pitcher.

Montgomery’s numbers last season:

3.88 ERA, 9 W, 7 L, 144 K, 51 BB

Background:

Montgomery is from Sumter, South Carolina. He attended Sumter High School and was a great player. In his senior year he won the South Carolina player of the year award. Monty attended the University of South Carolina where he was a freshman All-American. He was selected in the 4th round of the 2014 draft by the Yankees and was given a 424,000 signing bonus.

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Rookie Campaign:

Monty was a non-roster invite to spring training last year and was in competition for the fifth starter job. Many believed that Chad Green or Luis Cessa would win the job. But, to the surprise of many it was Monty who out-performed both. Monty did not make the Opening Day roster as the Yankees had a lot of off days and carried an extra bullpen arm until April 12 when he made his debut against the Rays.

Monty had a solid debut (I was there!). He showed he had the ability to get batters out with a mix of his fastball, curve, and changeup. He had a fantastic first half as he almost averaged a strikeout an inning. He had 87 K in 93 1/3 innings in the first half.

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Monty struggled a bit in the second half and was sent down on August 6th, but was recalled on August 11th because of an injury to CC. Monty finished out the year well.

Monty did not make the Yankees Wild Card game roster, but he was on the ALDS and ALCS roster. He did not see any game action in either series. Just the experience alone should help Monty become determined to earn a start if the Yankees make the playoffs this season.

Monty has the tools to become a number three starter for the Yankees and is a great guy to round out this rotation. He does have a problem giving up homers, but he should be able to lower his homer totals this season. Having a full season under his belt, Monty should be comfortable and able to take off in the coming year. I am excited to see what Monty can bring to the 2018 Yankees.

New York Yankees: The Ellsbury Effect

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

With the start of the Major League regular season a week away, the New York Yankees have a decision that needs to be made:

Who is making the roster to replace the oft injured Jacoby Ellsbury? Jacoby was at one time and six hours North of the Bronx a very productive Major League ballplayer. However, throughout his time in the pinstripes, Ellsbury has been less than a shell of his former self.

Ellsbury has played for the Yankees across four seasons, in that time he has only managed to have one season above “replacement level” production (2014), according to Baseball Reference’s OPS+. 2014 was Jacoby’s first season in the Bronx and his last truly productive season.

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Now, with Ellsbury set to begin the season on the shelf, this opens up a spot on the 25-man roster to “Break Camp” with the team heading North. Manager Aaron Boone told members of the media that Tyler Wade has made the ball club. Many believe that he will be the starting second baseman on Opening Day in Toronto on March 29th.


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The Yankees current roster consists of:

Catchers: Gary Sanchez & Austin Romine
First Baseman: Greg Bird
Second Basemen: Tyler Wade & Neil Walker
Third Baseman: Brandon Drury
Shortstop: Didi Gregorius & Ronald Torreyes
Left Fielder: Brett Gardner
Center Fielder: Aaron Hicks
Right Fielders: Aaron Judge & Giancarlo Stanton
Starting Pitcher: Luis Severino, Mashiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray & Jordan Montgomery
Relief Pitchers: David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Tommy Kahnle, Chad Green, Adam Warren & Chasen Shreve
Closer: Aroldis Chapman

Who Gets A Shot ?

That gives you 24 out of 25 players to start out the 2018 season for the New York Yankees. The injury to Ellsbury leaves an opening. Some who have thought that it could have been someone like Tyler Austin who was having a tremendous Spring, but he was reassigned back to Minor League camp on March 21st before the Yankees game against the Orioles. This however does leave the opening for the starter in the same game…. Luis Cessa.

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Cessa has been up and down for the Yankees since his acquisition by the Yankees in December of 2015. Cessa has pitched 106 innings for the Yankees to the tune of a 4.49 era. Luis will have an opportunity to show what he has earlier in the season as the Yankees will have five straight games to open up the start of the regular season.

The injury to Ellsbury could have been the golden ticket to the Bronx for a premium talent like Clint Frazier, however, they both went down at similar times and have stayed out recovering. Clint won’t be getting that opportunity.

This season will be a defining point for Clint Frazier, as with the number of outfielders already on the Major League roster and an impending free agent who hasn’t been shy about stating his fandom for the Pinstripes looming. Frazier once healed up from his concussion must set the world by storm, if he has any hopes of staying in Pinstripes.

Lasting Impression:

Jacoby, much like Clint Frazier, has seen the writing on the wall. And while his contract is rather cumbersome, it’s not impossible to think GM Brian Cashman can sell his talents to another team and move his monetary obligations elsewhere.

Ellsbury’s injury will be a foreshadowing of the potential future the Yankees will have. If the first few weeks of the season pass and Ellsbury has not returned vying that 25th spot on the roster, he may be replaced by a rising prospect.

Jacoby Ellsbury will have a major effect on the Yankees success this season; when healthy he could be a productive fourth outfielder, if unhealthy his spot will provide the launching pad for the top prospects in the top sixth farm system in all of baseball.

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