New York Yankees: 3 Major takeaways from second loss to the Tigers

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

This afternoon the New York Yankees met up with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. It was game two of the three-game set. Last night the Yankees lost the opener with a walk-off win by the Tigers in the tenth inning. The Yankee starter today was Deivi Garcia, who was called up from Scranton. He faced one of the most dependable Tiger pitchers Spencer Turnbull. The final score was the Tigers 6 and the Yankees 1.

Deivi Garcia disappointed

With Corey Kluber on the IL and possibly missing two months, the Yankees brought up Deivi Garcia and Albert Abreu from Scranton. Garcia started last night’s game against the Detroit Tigers and took the loss. He greatly lacked control of his pitches. Several of his called balls were nowhere near the zone.

He only lasted 4.1 innings giving up 5 runs. With two bad starts, one early in the season, he has probably lost his chance to stay up and replace Corey Kluber. In his first start, he also only went four innings. He is presently 0-2 with a 6.68 ERA.

Yankees only get 3 hits

The New York Yankees’ lack of hitting is getting serious as it appears to be deeply embedded in the lineup. On Friday night, the Yankees had 11 hits, far more than usual but went 0-10 with men in scoring position. Last night they could only muster up 3 hits in the game, leaving six on base and going 0-4 with men in scoring position. They also hit into their 58th double play in the game. The Yankees are tied for hitting into the most double plays—.096 per game.

The lack of hitting has dogged the Yankees all season except for a very few games. Only Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have been performing as they should. There are a few others that have shown encouraging signs, but the Yankees still have 8 regular players, including the bench that are hitting less than.194. This morning, the Yankees are of the 30 MLB teams 23rd in batting average and slugging. Even worse, they at 27th in RBI’s.

Another discouraging sign for the Yankees is their best hitter for the last two years, DJ LeMahieu, is underperforming. He won last year’s batting title, but his batting average is over 100 points less this year. Presently he is hitting just .263 with only three home runs of the season. Also discouraging is that when the Yankees hit, it tends not to be timely. Last night they blew the game in the second inning when with the bases loaded and no outs, they only could score one run.

Now the New York Yankees are in danger of being swept by the second-worst team in the AL. What even worse, they, after today, will go back to the Stadium to play seven games against the AL-leading Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. I don’t know the answers to the hitting problem, but it seems obvious that they must have an upgrade in centerfield by trading for a power-hitting lefty. Secondly, they must immediately bring Chris Gittens up from Scranton to replace Mike Ford. Ford is hitting .140. Gittens, in only 14 games, has 4 homers and is hitting .268. They cannot continue not to get performance from first, left, and centerfield.

Justin Wilson adds his name to the Yankee IL

The signing of Justin Wilson is turning out to be a nightmare for the New York Yankees. Over the offseason, with the loss of Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton, the Yankees looked for relievers. They got Wilson from the Texas Rangers, and he has only been a headache since. First, he missed the beginning of the season due to a shoulder injury. When he returned, he pitched very poorly, and after Friday night’s game in which he blew the save, he is again on the IL, this time with a hamstring injury.

A rather odd move by manager Aaron Boone, closer Aroldis Chapman pitched only 14 balls in a tie hold in the ninth inning on Friday night. Instead of going with Chapman again in the 10th, he choose Wilson, who gave up a two-run homer that lost the game for the Yankees.

 

 

New York Yankees Recap: Gerrit Cole shutout the Sox, Torres most RBI’s again

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

Last night in one of the most exciting games of the season, the New York Yankees won game one of the Yankee White Sox series, setting them up for another series win. The Yankees have won seven series wins in a row. Yankee ace Gerrit Cole pitched for the Yankees in today’s matinee, and Dylan Cease pitched for the Sox. The weather was like a summer day, hot and humid under mostly sunny skies. The Yankees shut out the White Sox 7-0.

Gerrit Cole took to the mound in the first inning and faced Tim Anderson, who ground out to Torres. Adam Eaton flew to Brett Gardner in center. Yoan Moncada ground out to first for a 1-2-3 inning for Cole. At the bottom, Luke Voit led for an unusual lineup. He went down on strikes. Brett Gardner flew to left, and a diving Vaughn held on to it. Aaron Judge walked. Gio Urshela flew out to right field to end the scoreless inning.

The second inning was started by Jose Abreu, who singled up the middle. Yermin Mercedes hit into a double play, two outs. Yasmani Grandal struck out to end the half. Gleyber Torres led off the bottom by striking out. Rougie Odor also struck out. Miguel Andujar struck out for Cease’s fourth of the game. No score.

Andy Vaughn led off the third by walking against Cole. Leury Garcia hit into a double play. Nick Madrigal got a base hit up the middle. Anderson walked. Adam Eaton struck out to end the half. Mike Ford led off for the New York Yankees and flew out to left. Kyle Higashioka flew out to center. Luke Voit ground out. Cease put down 7 Yankees in a row. No score.

At the top of the fourth, Yoan Moncada walked, equaling the most walks Cole has issued all season. Abreu struck out. Mercedes hit into a double play. It was the second double play that third baseman Gio Urshela had turned in the game. He created the triple play last night. At the bottom, Brett Gardner ground out. Aaron Judge singled to right for the first Yankee hit. Gio Urshela walked for two on and one out. Gleyber Torres lined to left for a ball that rolled to the wall and Judge and Urshela both scored. Rougie Odor doubled driving in Torres. Miguel Andujar ground out. Mike Ford walked and stole second. Higashioka struck out, but the Yankees broke through in the game with 3 runs to support Gerrit Cole. New York Yankees 3 White Sox 0.

Grandal led off the fifth inning by grounding out. Vaughn ground out softly Higashioka to Ford. Garcia struck out on a 99 mph Cole fastball. At the bottom, Luke Voit singled to no man’s land in left. Brett Gardner singled to center, moving Voit to second. A wild pitch allowed the runners to advance. Aaron Judge, with two on and no outs, struck out. Gio Urshela walked to load the bases. Gleyber Torres faced the new pitcher  Matt Foster and got a 2 run single to left. Rougie Odor went down on strikes. Miguel Andujar ground out, but the Yankees picked up another two runs. New York Yankees 5 White Sox 0.

Madrigal ground out. Anderson singled. Eaton hit into a double play for the Yankee’s fourth double play turned in the game. Mike Ford led off for the Yankees at the bottom by hitting a homer far up in the center field bleachers, a place you don’t see many homers reach (447′). Kyle Higasioka got a single stolen from him when Anderson made an amazing bouncing catch to get Higgy out at first. Luke Voit walked. Brett Gardner singled through the second base umpire’s legs moving Voit to second with one on and one out. Gardner knocked Foster out of the game. Aaron Judge faced the new pitcher Jose Ruiz and struck out on a terrible call. Gio Urshela flew out to right. Yankees 6 White Sox 0.

Moncada led off the seventh against Cole, who had 76 pitches on the day and struck out. Abreu singled. Mercedes reached on a failed double play by Urshela that Odor dropped at second. Grandal struck out on a 100 mph fastball. Vaughn struck out, looking. After the seventh-inning stretch at the Stadium, Gleyber Torres was at the plate, and he singled up the middle. Odor flew out to the catcher. Miguel Andujar sent one to the centerfield wall driving in Torres from first. Ford struck out. Higashioka went down swinging, but the Yankees tacked on another run. Yankees 7 White Sox 0.

At the top of the eighth, Leury Garcia led off and struck out against new pitcher Justin Wilson. Madrigal got a standup triple on a ball that should have been caught near the left-field wall. Andujar is inexperienced in left; Brett Gardner would likely have made that play. Anderson singled, but Madrigal was called out at the plate. Danny Medick pinch-hitting struck out. At the bottom, Gerret Crochet took over for the Sox. Voit flew out to the right-center. Clint Frazier pinch hit for Gardner and went down on strikes. Aaron Judge lined to the left-field wall; it was hit so hard Judge had to spot at first. Tyler Wad pinch ran for Judge. Gio Urshela struck out to end the eighth. Yankees 7 Sox 0.

With last licks on the line for the White Sox, they faced Luis Cessa. Moncada went down swinging. Abreu ground out to Torres. Mercedes flew out to Frazier in right to end the game and complete the shutout. The Yankee’s fifth win in a row, and they were assured of their eighth series win in a row. The winning pitcher was Gerrit Cole, and the loser was Dylan Cease. The final score was Yankees 7 and the White Sox 0.

New York Yankees: 3 major takeaways from German’s win over the Orioles

Last night the New York Yankees had their third game of a four-game set with the Baltimore Orioles at Orioles Park at Camden Yards and came away with their second win in a row. Domino German pitched brilliantly in the game, and the Yankees bats were alive with 12 hits, 3 of them long balls as the Yankees improved their record in the AL East. They are now just two games under .500.

German was lights out through seven innings.

There isn’t a lot to say about Domingo German‘s third regular-season start other than he was brilliant. Domingo German pitched awesomely in spring training, but when the regular season came alone, his first start was a disaster on April 4th. He gave up three runs in three innings for the Yankee’s loss. The Yankees sent him down to the alternate site to figure things out. He remained there until April 22, when he returned to the majors for his second start. It wasn’t great, but he kept the team in the game for a win for the New York Yankees.

Last night no one knew what to expect from German, but after putting down the Baltimore side in the first inning, it seemed like he had command of his pitches. As the game progressed get got only better. He had a no-hitter through four innings. He ended up pitching seven complete innings with 92 pitches, 63 of which were strikes. His record for the game included giving up just 3 hits without a walk in a shoutout outing.

The hitting dead are rising up.

For the most part, the New York Yankees hitters have been dead at the plate with only a few exceptions, puzzling everyone as to why the most powerful lineup in baseball couldn’t hit the ball. That is beginning to change. DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Glyber Torres seem to be heating up. Gio Urshela has been relatively constant in the season continues to get even better.

Last night the Yankee hitters again had 12 hits, 3 of them home runs. Mike Ford, Gio Urshela, and Clint Frazier had long balls. Clint Frazier that has been hitting very poorly hit his first home run of the season. I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it when the Yankees hit home runs, they win games; when they don’t, they usually lose.

Kyle Higashioka turning heads

Kyle Higashioka didn’t hit a home run last night, but he does lead the team in home runs per game played. Last night he worked seamlessly with Domingo German for the Yankee’s second win in a row. He also caught Corey Kluber’s first win on the season. He will next catch Gerrit Cole’s start against the Detroit Tigers. “Higgy” is quickly showing that he is the better catcher behind the plate than Gary Sanchez.

Higashioka has always been a good defensive catcher, but he seems to have only gotten better over the last two seasons. He is becoming a framing expert and works better with the pitchers, which translates into wins. The Yankees have always stuck by Sanchez because of his pop at the plate. The big difference now is that short term anyway, Higgy is the one with a better batting average and more consistent power than Sanchez. All manager Aaron Boone has said is that Higgy will get plenty of playing time.

 

New York Yankees Recap: Domingo German lights out in Yankees win over the O’s

New York Yankees, Domingo German

Tonight the New York Yankees met up with the Baltimore Orioles in the third game of the four-game set. Domingo German was on the mound for the Yankees and Dean Kremer for the Baltimore Orioles. At game time, it was 84 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. The O’s won the first game, and the Yankees won the second game 5-1.

DJ Lemahieu lead off the game by singling. Giancarlo Stanton hit into a double play for two outs in the inning. Gleyber Torres doubled to the far-right field. A wild ball allowed Torres to go to third base. Gio Urshela struck out, but two hits didn’t help the Yankees because they remained scoreless. At the bottom, Cedrick Mullins led off against Domingo German, and he flew out to center. Austin Hays ground out to short. Trey Mancini also ground out to Torres to end the inning scoreless.

Mike Ford lead off the second inning by homering into the first row of the left-field stands. Aaron Hicks flew out to the warning track in center field. Clint Frazier struck out swinging. Kyle Higashioka struck out swinging, but the Yankees picked up a run on Ford’s home run. At the bottom, Maikel Franco led off by grounding out to Urshela. DJ Stewart walked on four pitches. Pedro Severino popped out to Higgy in an incredible catch. Ryan Mountcastle flew out to Gardner in left. New York Yankees 1 O’s 0.

Brett Gardner led off the third inning and popped out to short. LeMahieu singled up the middle for his 80th multi-hit game that leads the majors. Giancarlo Stanton got a base hit that ate up the shortstop. Gleyber Torres had a blooper into no man’s land in center for a single driving in LeMahieu. Gio Urshela, with two on and one out, homered to left field for a three-run hit. Mike Ford struck out. Aaron Hicks lined out to short. Rio Ruiz led off the bottom by flying out to Frazier in left field. Valaika flew out. Mullins ground out to second for a 1-2-3 inning for Domingo German. New York Yankees 5 O’s 0.

Clint Frazier led off the fourth inning by singling to left. Higashioka singled, but Frazier was caught going to third by a mile. Gardner singled, but the O’s got the force at second for the second out. LeMahieu ground out to second. At the bottom, Hays ground out to second. Mancini struck out. Franco went down swinging for a no-hitter for German through four innings. Yankees 5 O’s 0.

Giancarlo Stanton led off the first inning with a single. Gleyber Torres that was 2 for 2, flew out to left field. Gio Urshela, who homered, singled beyond the shortstop. Shane Armstrong came in to replace Kremer. Mike Ford, with two on and no outs he walked. Aaron Hicks, with the bases loaded, had a sac fly driving in Stanton as the Yankees tacked on another run. With two out and two on, Clint Frazier popped out for the final out of the half. Stewart led off the bottom by flying out to Gardner. Severino went down looking. Mountcastle got the first base hit for the O’s. Ruiz ground out to second for five straight shutout innings for German. Yankees 6 O’s 0.

Higashioka popped out to third for the first out of the sixth inning. Brett Gardner struck out chasing. LeMahieu ground out to second to end the half. At the bottom, Pat Valaika went down on strikes. Mullins lofted to Hicks in center for out two. Hays ground out for a 1-2-3 inning for German, who only thrown 75 pitches through six innings of work. Yankees 6 O’s 0.

Giancarlo Stanton struck out against the new pitcher Tyler Wells to lead off the seventh inning. Torres flew out to right. Urshela flew out to center. Mancini led off the bottom of the seventh by singling to left. Franco went down looking. Stewart hit into a force for the second out of the inning. Severino singled to left, moving Stewart to second. Mountcastle struck out, looking for a great outing for Domingo German. New York Yankees 6 O’s 0.

Mike Ford led off the eighth by flying out to deep left-center. Aaron Hicks flew out to catcher. Severino had to run a long way to make the catch. Clint Frazier homered well into the left-field stands. Higashioka went down on strikes, but the Yankees got tacked on another run. At the bottom, Ruiz was up against Michael King and struck out. Valaika flew out to Gardner. Mullins ground out for a 1-2-3 inning for Michael King. Yankees 7 O’s 0.

Gardner ground out to start the top of the ninth. LeMahieu flew out to far-right. Stanton singled to go 3 for 5 in the game. Torres ground out to Ruiz to end the Yankee scoring in the game. With Last licks on the line for the Orioles Hays at the plate and King still on the mound, Hays struck out looking. Mancini singled to left. Franco hit into a double play to end the game. The final score was the New York Yankees 7 and the Orioles 0. The winning pitcher was Domingo German, and the loser was Dean Kremer.

 

Yankees’ Mike Ford says he feels like his 2019 self, ‘comfortable and confident’

new york yankees, mike ford

Back in 2019, the New York Yankees needed Mike Ford to perform like he had done it in the minor leagues for so long. And he mostly did, impressing everybody en route to a .259/.350/.559 line with 12 homers and 25 RBIs in 50 games.

Last season, though, wasn’t as good for Ford, who slumped to a .135 average in 74 at-bats. This time, however, he came in well-prepared to impress in the first chance he had with the Yankees.

The husky first baseman told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com that he dropped around 20 pounds in his quest to get to the 2021 season in the best possible shape. A normal winter schedule certainly helped.

“With the layoff last year, we never really knew when we were going to get back to play and I think some guys struggled with it,” Ford said. “It was tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not an excuse at all, but this year I really worked hard in the offseason to set my body up to be ready to go.”

The Yankees need Ford to step up

Ford already hit a home run against Cleveland over the weekend, and said he feels in excellent shape to help the Yankees fill in for Luke Voit.

“I feel really great; I feel like I’m back to 2019 Mike,” Ford said. “I struggled last year mentally a lot. It was kind of an opportunity for me to show what I can do, and I didn’t really do that. To be able to be comfortable and confident in myself again, without just saying it and really feeling it, that is a big thing for me moving forward.”

Voit won’t return to the Yankees for at least two more weeks, perhaps more, so Ford has some time to put on a show and perhaps earn more at-bats in the future.

New York Yankees Recap: Taillon couldn’t get the sweep of the Indians

The New York Yankees met up with the Cleveland Indians in the finale of a 4 game set at Progressive Field on the shores of Lake Erie. The Yankees had won the first three games of the series. In today’s matinee, the Yankees sent Jameson Taillon to the mound to face the Indians’ Triston McKenzie. It was a partly cloudy day with a significant NW breeze, making it feel like 40 degrees on the field. The Yankees lost the game 7-3.

At the top of the first inning, McKenzie faced the Yankees’ Brett Gardner, who ground out. Giancarlo Stanton singled to right-center with a bullet (120.1 mph, fastest in MLB this season). Aaron Judge went down on strikes. Rougie Odor walked for two on and two outs. Gleyber Torres also walked, loading the bases. Gio Urshela struck out, letting McKenzie off the hook and leaving the bases loaded with Yankees. At the bottom, Amed Rosario led off against Taillon. He popped out to Torres at short. Cesar Hernandez had a one-hopper to Odor. Jose Ramirez popped out at the plate, and that did it for the inning. Taillon looked good. No score.

With 29 pitches, McKenzie faced Mike Ford in the second inning, who popped up to the infield. Gary Sanchez walked. Mike Tauchman struck out swinging. Brett Gardner hit back to the pitcher to end the half. Eddie Rosario started the bottom of the second by flying out to Judge in right. Franmil Reyes singled in front of Hicks. Josh Naylor struck out looking. Jordan Luplow at the plate, Reyes stole second. Luplow flew out to Tauchman in left to end the inning scoreless.

Stanton led off the third inning by grounding out to first base. Aaron Judge hit a high fly ball to right. Rougie Odor, with a long at-bat, struck out for a 1-2-3 inning for McKenzie. Gimenez led off the bottom by sticking out. Austin Hedges struck out. Rosario was also called out on strikes. No score.

Gleyber Torres had a long single up the middle to start the fourth inning. Gio Urshela hit a monster home to center, and just like that, it was 2-0 Yankees. Mike Ford followed with a back-to-back homer, this one into the right-field stands. It was the first time this season that the Yankees hit back-to-back homers in a game. Gary Sanchez popped out to left. Mike Tauchman walked. Brett Gardner struck out for the second out of the half. Stanton flew out to the warning track for the final out, but the Yankees picked up three runs.

At the bottom, Hernandez singled to left. Ramerez singled to first, with Hernandez moving to second with no outs. Rosario had an RBI single with Ramerez going to third. Reyes hammered a three-run homer just over Judge’s head, giving the Indians the lead. Naylor at the plate still with no outs. Naylor popped over Taillon’s head for an out at first. Luplow stuck out. Gimenez struck out, but the Indians took the lead. Cleveland Indians 4 New York Yankees 3.

Aaron Judge faced the new pitcher Sam Hentges and singled to left-center at the top of the fifth. Rougie Odor flew out to the right foul territory. Gleyber Torres hit sharply to third for the second out, but Judge moved to second. Judge on a wild pitch went to third base. Urshela struck out, ending the half. At the bottom, Austin Hedges led off against the new Yankee pitcher Nick Nelson. Hedges walked, Rosario, lined out directly to Torres. Hedges advanced on a wild pitch by Nelson. Hernandez singled right before Judge, who made a diving attempt. Hedges went to third. With one out Ramirez had a sac fly to Tauchman and beat out the throw to home for another Indian run. Rosario flew out to Aaron Judge. Indians 5 Yankees 3.

Mike Ford led off the sixth and chopped back to the pitcher. Gary Sanchez ground out to short. Tauchman hit a standup double to right. Clint Frazier pinch hit for Brett Gardner against Cal Quantrill. Tauchman went to third on a wild pitch. Frazier walked. Stanton hit back to the pitcher, nearly knocking his glove off to end the half a strand two. At the bottom, Reyes got a triple with a strange bounce off the left-center wall. Naylor ground out to Ford. Luplow hit to the left-field wall driving in Reyes as Nick Nelson was quickly losing control. Gimenez struck out. Hedges singled driving in Luplow. Rosario struck out, but the Indians plated two more. Indians 7 Yankees 3.

Aaron Judge led off the seventh by flying to right. Odor made a successful drag bunt ending up with a base hit. Torres hit into a double play catching Odor off first. At the bottom of the seventh birthday boy (29), Luis Cessa faced Herandez, who struck out against Cessa. Ramirez flew out to Tauchman. Rosario struck out. For a 1-2-3 inning for Cessa. Indians 7 Yankees 3.

Urshela struck out swinging to start the eighth. Mike Ford struck out on a high pitch. Gary Sanchez was hit by a pitch and advanced to first base. Tauchman struck out for a quick inning for Karinchak. At the bottom, Reyes lined out to short. Naylor ground out. Luplow was out on a full-body dive by Clint Frazier. Indians 7 Yankees 3.

With last licks on the line for the Yankees, Frazier led off by grounding out to second. Stanton flew out to right field. Aaron Judge flew out to right to end the game. The final score was Cleveland Indians 7 and the New York Yankees 3. The winning pitcher was Sam Hentges, and the loser was Jameson Taillon.

 

 

New York Yankees: Mike Ford finally gets a role in the 2021 season

New York Yankees, Mike Ford

New York Yankee player Mike Ford after not making the starting day roster, finally has a role to fill, and it’s an important one. Over the weekend, first baseman Jay Bruce decided to hang up his cleats and retire from baseball, creating a void at first base until the rehabbing Luke Voit rejoins the team in a month. Yesterday I wrote about who would replace Bruce. Today it is apparent that it will be Mike Ford as the Yankees have announced his call up from Scranton.

Ford didn’t make opening day due to a slow start in spring training, but in the past has provided quite a bit of spark for the Yankees, both with home runs and timely hitting. The lineup for today’s Atlanta Braves meeting has not been released as of this writing, so it’s hard to tell if he will replace temporary first baseman DJ LeMahieu at first or if he will sit in the dugout to be used when needed.

Here’s a bit about Ford: Robert and Barbara Ford are parents of 28-year-old Mike Ford. Ford was born and grew up in the Belle Mead area of New Jersey. When he was 12 and 13, he was part of Montgomery’s Babe Ruth League teams that went to the Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth World Series. He attended Montgomery High School as a freshman before transferring to the Hun School of Princeton.  The Hun School is a private boarding school. He played baseball during college at Princeton University, where he played as a first baseman and a pitcher. In 2013 he received the distinction of being named both Player and Pitcher of the year at Princeton. He hit .320 and pitched 6-0 that year.

Ford spent seven years in the minor leagues between the Yankees and Mariners. For the Yankees, he played in the minors for Staten Island Yankees, The Trenton Thunder, The River Dogs, Tampa, and the Scranton Wilkes/Barre Rail Riders. In  2012 Ford went undrafted and signed with the Yankees as an undrafted free agent. He spent that whole year with the Staten Island Yankees. In 2014 while with the River Dogs, Ford hit four home runs in one game. He was later promoted to Tampa, where he was named an All-Star for the Florida State League. In the winter of 2017, he was selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Seattle Mariners, but in March of 2018, he was returned to the New York Yankees.

At the start of 2019,  Ford was invited to spring training as a non-roster player. He was eventually assigned to the Rail Riders but got his big break when he was called up to the majors when Greg Bird was injured. He made his major league debut in April and got his first hit on April 21. He hit his first home run on April 23rd. He had traveled back and forth from Scranton to the Stadium several times during that year, but near the end of the season, he remained at the stadium batting .200 with five home runs in 85 at-bats. In a blowout by the Indians, Ford was sent out to pitch due to his pitching experience at Princeton. He gave up two home runs but pitched three innings, including a 1-2-3 ninth inning; the experience somewhat amused him. With Bird and Voit both out due to injuries, Ford alternated with DJ LeMahieu at first base.

In an interview by the New York Post’s  Steve Serby Ford was asked how he would sum up his journey to the big leagues.  Ford replied:

“It was a long, long journey. A tough one, too. It’s something I would never give back. Definitely hard work, determination, and just kind of the will of not quitting. … There were definitely times where I was very close [to quitting]. I had very good people around me that supported me and kind of kept me in line.”

He was also asked what drives him today?

“Living up to the player that I know I can be. I think [that’s] what a lot of guys strive for. It took me a long time to get here, but keeping the faith and getting here and being a confident hitter and being confident in what I do, I just want to prove that I can be that player that I know I can be.”

By the end of the season, Ford had become a fan favorite and was making a name for himself in the front office.  He ended the season playing in fifty games with 143 plate appearances.  He hit to a batting average of .259 with 12 home runs; that’s one home run in every four games.

On September 1, 2019, against the Oakland Athletics, it was the ninth inning in a game tied at 4.  The Yankees came all the way back to tie the game.  Mike Ford stepped to the plate and, on a 3 and 2 count, hit the first walk-off home run of his career, giving the Yankees the win.

During the shortened 2020 season, Ford appeared in less than half the New York Yankee games with 10 hits, two of them home runs but suffered with a .135 batting average. His 2021 spring training was a bit better; in 11 games, he had one homer and a batting average of .259. Ford tends to get energized at Yankee Stadium, and hopefully, he will provide a spark that gets the Yankees on track.

When not playing at New York Yankee Stadium, Ford lives near the Rail Riders stadium and is not married, nor is there any news of a steady girlfriend.

Yankees recall first baseman Mike Ford from alternate training site

new york yankees, mike ford

In the past two days, New York Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone have been saying that while they trust the slumping offensive performers to eventually regain their stroke, they would be more than willing to experiment with the lineup with the hope of jumpstarting a dormant unit.

While the Yankees could play Rougned Odor or Tyler Wade (or even Derek Dietrich) at second base and slide DJ LeMahieu to play first base until Luke Voit returns from injury in mid-May, the team is taking the most appropriate and natural route.

The Yankees have recalled first baseman Mike Ford from the alternate training site and he will earn playing time at his natural first base position. Whether or not the Bombers let him play regularly or semi-regularly until mid-May remains to be seen, but the opportunity seems to be there for him if he performs.

The Yankees would be smart to give Ford an extended chance

The 28-year-old Ford has been with the Yankees for most of his professional career, and unlike the retiring Jay Bruce, is a natural first baseman. He isn’t a very good one with the glove, but the fact that he remains in his prime and has been successful in previous opportunities in MLB makes us wonder why they didn’t consider him as an option to fill in for Voit in the first place.

Ford is a career .217 hitter in 247 plate appearances in Major League Baseball, but his .308 OBP and .461 slugging percentage actually make him an average hitter judging by wRC+, which is 101.

He was very good with the Yankees in 2019. In 163 plate appearances, he slugged 12 home runs and slashed .259/.350/.559 with a .372 wOBA and a 134 wRC+.

Will the Yankees give Ford the opportunity to play every day? We will find out in the upcoming days.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Who will replace Jay Bruce?

Over the weekend, the New York Yankees‘ first baseman Jay Bruce announced his retirement to take effect after his final game last night. The still relatively young Bruce (34) was obviously emotional in his statement to the fans and the bullpen with his fellow players. Bruce was not in the lineup last night. He first let manager Aaron Boone know about his plans on Friday but announced his retirement Sunday Morning.

“The reason I ultimately chose to do this is because over 13 years of playing pretty much every single day, I set a standard of what I expected out of myself from a performance standpoint,” Bruce said on Sunday afternoon. “I know there are ups and downs and ebbs and flows throughout a season and throughout a career, but ultimately, I just felt like I couldn’t perform at the level that I expected out of myself.”

The New York Yankees issued this official statement:

“Thank you Jay, for your professionalism and leadership in your short time here. We wish you nothing but the best and congrats on an amazing career.” The tweet was followed by a heart.

The bottom line is that although he did have an amazing 14-year career, he did not play well for the Yankees. In a somewhat unfair move, the Yankees put him in the starting lineup as the Yankees’ first baseman after Luke Voit required knee surgery. Bruce was an outfielder by trade, with some experience at first base. As I said, it did not turn out well and led to his decision to retire.

His retirement leaves the Yankees with a question to solve, who do they put at first base until Voit returns in another month or so. They appear ready to leave DJ LeMahieu in the position now that they have Rougned Odor to cover second base. But the Yankees do have other options.

Mike Ford:

Mike Ford did not have an inspiring spring training, but he hit one home run and batted .259 during 11 games. But at the beginning of the regular season, the Yankees ultimately choose Jay Bruce to man first base. That turned out to be a mistake, so when the Yankees signed Odor, they moved DJ LeMahieu to first. Now that Jay has retired, they still have to find a permanent replacement until Luke Voit returns. Ford is an option; he has had his moments with the Yankees, hitting the longest home run in the past two season and a walk-off win. He also has been a Red Sox killer.

Chris Gittens:

My choice to fill the first base void is Chris Gittens. In spring training, he hit 3 no-doubter home runs and batted .316 in 20 games. That alone should have got him the first base job. In 2019 he drove in 77 runs and got 118 hits with 23 homers batting .281 while with the Trenton Thunder. It seems to me this is a no-brainer that manager Aaron Boone should act upon immediately and allow DJ to go back to second base. Rougned Odor is batting .125. I am sure that Gittens can get better run production than that.

The Yankees should strongly consider a change in the first base position

New York Yankees, Mike Ford

The New York Yankees’ offense has struggled to begin the season. Name by name, it is one of the best lineups in Major League Baseball, but slow starts by Gleyber Torres, Aaron Hicks, and Giancarlo Stanton, plus the injury to Luke Voit have really affected the offensive output.

One of the most problematic situations is the one at first base. Luke Voit suffered a partially torn meniscus back in March, and was given a May timetable. As a result, Jay Bruce made the Yankees’ roster out of camp even though he hadn’t been having a great performance during Grapefruit League play.

Voit, the Yankees’ regular first baseman when healthy, was recently cleared to resume throwing and could soon take swings off a tee. He is badly missed, and he can’t return soon enough as Bruce has struggled mightily on both sides of the ball.

The Yankees have gotten very little production out of Bruce

Bruce is, before the weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays, batting .118, a product of four hits in 34 at bats. Known for his power more than anything else, he only has one home run so far and is sporting the lowest ISO of his career.

Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone has already had to play DJ LeMahieu at first. But as the team looks for a more stable solution, they can rely on Mike Ford and Chris Gittens, both talented offensive players who could theoretically contribute more than Bruce at this point.

“The first three or four games, there were a lot of really good at-bats, important at-bats,” Boone said of Bruce. “I think it was just a few games where he wasn’t getting real good swings off, not making great contact. Hopefully a couple days down refresh him a little bit and get him going.”

With the Yankees expecting Voit back by May, there are still lots of games to be played until that point. Should they keep giving a competitive advantage by playing Bruce over Ford or Gittens?