New York Yankees head to Buffalo, enter quarantine

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton

On Monday, the New York Yankees begin a crucial four-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo. The team is looking to run down the Rays in the final week of the season in attempt to win the AL East. The Yankees sit 3.5 games back with seven games left to play, while the Rays have just six.

Although the Yankees didn’t win the series finale against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, they were able to clinch a postseason spot for the fourth straight season with a Mariners loss to the Padres.

With the MLB postseason happening in a “bubble”, the Yankees are being forced to quarantine in hotels starting a week before the postseason. That means that the quarantine officially starts for the team in their Buffalo hotel, and the team will remain in hotels until their postseason elimination. Even when they are in New York for the final series of the regular season this weekend, they must quarantine in a hotel. Team members can only go to the ballpark from the hotel.

If the postseason were to begin today, the Yankees would be the five seed, and would play the Minnesota Twins in the wild-card round. The newly added round will be a three game series, with all games being played at the highest seed. The ALDS will be hosted at Dodger Stadium and Petco Park in California, with the ALCS being hosted at Petco Park. The first three series will be played with no off-days.

The World Series will be played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, the Rangers home field. Unlike the other series, the Fall Classic will have the traditional 2-3-2 format with off-days. The Rangers won’t make the postseason, confirming that all series will be played at a neutral field.

Although the postseason will look different in 2020, the Yankees are getting healthy and ready to chase a 28th ring.

New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez heating up at just the right time

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

One of the New York Yankees biggest storylines of the 2020 season was the struggles of Gary Sanchez. He looked absolutely lost most days and was even benched at times.

But suddenly, Sanchez has finally hit his stride. Just a week and a half away from the postseason, the Yankees are starting to see the Gary Sanchez that they need.

Sanchez has just 21 hits on the season, but seven of which came just this past week. He’s bat .292 with three home runs and nine runs batted in this week. On Friday, he hit a two-out, game-tying home run in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees would go on to win the game in extras, extending their win-streak to nine games.

Another big stat over the past week is a 1.162 OPS for him, meaning he’s getting on base and driving in runs. Over a third of his RBIs have been within the last week as well.

Things are looking up for the New York Yankees. Entering last Saturday, Sanchez entered with a .125 batting average, and has since raised it by over 30 points. Not just that, but the team is healthy again, making Sanchez feel more comfortable in the lineup. In a weeks span, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gio Urshela have all returned from injury.

And as the team has gotten healthier, the team’s gotten hotter. Just two weeks ago, it wasn’t even certain if the Yankees would make the postseason. They were trending downwards and were not healthy. But now, the team’s magic number is down to just two, meaning they can clinch as early as Saturday night.

With a healthy squad and a hot Gary Sanchez, the New York Yankees are looking very dangerous as the postseason nears.

MLB news: Few postseason games at Yankee Stadium as MLB and players agree to “bubble” locations

MLB and the MLBPA (baseball player’s association) have reportedly come to an agreement that will have postseason games at bubble locations. Both Ken Rosenthal of The Atlantic and Jess Passan of ESPN has reported the details, although an official announcement by MLB will not be made until later today.

The Wild card series for seeds 1-4 will be held at home parks for all three-game series. The American League Divisional series will be played in the bubble at Petco Park and Dodger Stadium. The ALCS will be played at Petco Park. The National League Divisional series will play at MinuteMaid Park and Globe Life Field. The NLCS will be held at Globe Life Field. The World Series will play entirely at the brand new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

On March 31, 2020, a new era for the Texas Rangers began with the opening of Globe Life Field in Arlington. The beautiful baseball-only facility serves as the centerpiece of a 270-acre complex that solidifies Arlington, Texas as an entertainment giant in the Southwest.  The beautiful new stadium has wonderful amenities, and is a beautifully designed stadium with a retractable roof. Postseason viewers won’t have to worry about rain causing delays.

Many New York Yankees fans were hoping that many of the games would be played at the Stadium in the Bronx.  Depending on how the rest of the season turns out, the Yankees may see the wild card game between the Yankees and the yet to be determined opponent at Yankee Stadium.

As more information becomes available, you will find it here on EmpireSportsMedia.com. Depend on EmpireSportsMedia.com for all the latest new for New York Market sports.

New York Yankees could pursue all-star catcher in offseason

Gary Sanchez was supposed to be the next great catcher for the New York Yankees, but so far things have not panned out. He was stellar in his first two seasons, batting a combined .283 with 53 home runs and 133 RBIs between 2016 and 2017. However, the last three years have been absolutely dismal. In the Aaron Boone era, Sanchez has bat just .196 and has struggled to stay healthy.

Current Philadelphia Phillie and two-time all-star JT Realmuto is a free agent at years end. He was traded to the Phillies prior to the 2019 season from the Miami Marlins. Should the Yankees pursue him in the off-season?

Realmuto, 30, has always been a very reliable and consistent option. You know what you’re going to get from him, and he stays healthy. He’s played at least 120 games in each of his five full seasons, and has bat in the .270s in each of his last three years. He hits home runs, drives in runs, and always sits above an .800 OPS.

Also, Realmuto is a reliable defender, coming off his first gold glove award in 2019. He has a career 36% caught stealing rate, and a fielding percentage well over 99%.

Stats show that Realmuto is a significantly better player than Gary Sanchez. With Realmuto hitting the open market, this may be the Yankees best chance over the next few years to land a stud catcher. Although Sanchez has struggled the last three years, he may succeed somewhere else if the team were to trade him. The team could get a nice package back if they traded him.

Will the Yankees pursue JT Realmuto this offseason, or will they continue to stick with Gary Sanchez?

New York Yankees: Is Miguel Andujar finally on the right track?

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

After third-baseman Miguel Andujar missed the majority of the 2019 season due to an injury, he got off to a rocky 2020 start. He’s bounced between the alternate training site and the major leagues for the New York Yankees in this odd season, but may have finally found something of late.

Since being recalled, he’s 6-for-12 with a triple and a home run, also drawing a pair of walks. This is just in the last five games. The 12 games prior saw him pick up just four combined hits.

This is just what the Yankees need from Andujar. After his struggles and doubt about his future on the team, he seems to finally be onto something. With Gio Urshela on the IL and Brett Gardner struggling in left, Andujar is seeing his name crack the lineup almost everyday. So for at least the next week, Andujar should continue to see consistent at-bats.

And maybe, consistent playing time was part of the issue to begin with. Urshela proved he could be the third-baseman of the future when Andujar was on the IL last season, and got the most starts this year. So, Andujar wasn’t playing everyday because of that. Could that have been part of the issue?

However, the fielding is still a major problem. In just 68 innings played in the field, he already has -5 defensive runs saved and four errors. Ideally, the team would like to DH him while continuing to develop his defense, but that’s not currently an option with injuries.

Right now, the Yankees should be happy with Miguel Andujar’s recent success. He could be playing for a spot on the team next year, and he’s currently trending the right direction. Maybe, just maybe, Andujar can help the Yankees turn things around and make a late-season push.

Should the New York Yankees finally give up on Tyler Wade?

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

Tyler Wade is in his fourth season as a member of the New York Yankees, and he’s once again struggling. He’s just 7-of-43 with a home run, three RBIs, and a .539 OPS in 2020.

Wade struggling for the Yankees isn’t something out of the ordinary. 2019 was the only season that he’s hit above .200 (.245), and his career average is just a sub-par .192. In this day and age, players can still be productive even with a low average, but that isn’t the case with Wade. He’s a contact hitter and his game relies on getting base hits. Wade just doesn’t have enough power to stay productive. He has just four home runs and 21 RBIs.

Well, why do the Yankees keep bringing him back? Wade is one of the fastest players in the league and can steal bases. He has 10 career stolen bases and has been caught just once. The lefty-hitting infielder is also a slightly above average defender, as he has two defensive runs saved in 2020.

Is it time the Yankees give up on Wade? He’s never panned out the way the team has hoped, and they’ve given him plenty of opportunities. Maybe a change of scenery for Wade would be the best thing for him, a way to possibly jump-start his career. Plus, no player is happy spending so much time in AAA, as that’s where Wade spends more time at than the big-leagues. He has just over a year of service time even though this is his fourth year in the majors.

The Yankees also have Thairo Estrada to take the place of Wade if he gets dealt in the offseason. Estrada has been much better than Wade, sporting a .244 career average.

Should the Yankees finally bite the bullet and give up on Tyler Wade?

 

The New York Yankees are in a weird position with Miguel Andujar

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

After missing most of the 2019 season due to injury, the New York Yankees had high aspirations for Miguel Andujar in 2020. Unfortunately for them, Andujar’s struggled and have placed the team in a weird place with him.

When Andujar went down in 2019 after an impressive 2018 season, Gio Urshela took his spot and couldn’t have been better. Urshela bat .314 with an OPS near .900, driving in 74 batters and hitting 21 bombs. Although he hasn’t been quite as dominant in 2020 as 2019, he’s been solid with a .250 average, an .833 OPS and 22 runs batted in already.

Andujar on the other hand, is just 4-for-31 and has yet to collect an extra-base hit. He’s not on the major league team and is training at the alternate site in Scranton. Urshela has proven to be the third-baseman of the future, and the team has other guys like Tyler Wade, Thairo Estrada, and even DJ LeMahieu who can play third.

So, what do the Yankees do with Andujar? The trade deadline has come and gone, and they will have to wait for the offseason if they want to make a move. Do they trade him? Do they keep him and try to develop his outfield skills more? His defense has continued to struggle at both third and the outfield while Urshela has defended well.

The Yankees could be looking to make a few moves this winter, such as finding a potential replacement for the injured Tommy Kahnle, or for more prospects. Could Andujar possibly be dealt? We’ve seen a reluctance from Brian Cashman to trade young talent in the past, but will he finally pull the plug this winter?

Only time will tell, but the Yankees need Miguel Andujar to perform better if given another opportunity in 2020.

New York Yankees: Gio Urshela injured, here’s the latest

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

It doesn’t seem like it can get any worse for the New York Yankees. In addition to Aaron Judge going on the IL, third baseman Gio Urshela has a bone spur in his right elbow and is currently listed as day-to-day.

Manager Aaron Boone announced in his press conference on Friday that he believes the injury isn’t significant. Urshela reportedly wants to play, but will have the day off. Since Friday is a doubleheader, he will miss two games against the Mets.

After the doubleheader, the Yankees will have three more games with the Mets in two games, making up last weekends series that was postponed due to the Mets having positive coronavirus tests.

The Yankees are entering the second half of the season with just one off-day remaining. That means that starting on Friday, the team will play 32 games in 30 days, and they will be doing so without some of their best players.

Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, and many others are all on the IL as the team is starting to come down the stretch. The Yankees have lost their last five games and have lacked any offense.

Roster Moves:

The Yankees have released Luis Avilan, but it’s possible they resign him. Avilan had a 4.32 ERA in 10 appearances this season. Additionally, Estevan Florial will be making his big-league debut on Friday. He will patrol center-field and bat seventh with number 90 going on the back of his debut pinstripes.

Right now, Gio Urshela is not expected to go on the IL, but that could change. We’ve seen Boone say that injuries are day-to-day before, and then the player winds up out for some time. Hopefully, that won’t be the case for Urshela.

New York Yankees return to action on Tuesday with seven straight interleague games

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

After a weekend off due to the Mets coming down with multiple coronavirus cases, the New York Yankees will be returning to action on Tuesday where seven straight interleague games face them. Returning with the Yankees will be Aaron Judge, who was on the IL with a calf strain. He wound up only missing a week of games.

The Bronx Bombers will go down to Atlanta to play a two game set with the Braves on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Yankees swept the Braves in a two game set at home on August 11th and 12th. They will look to do the same this week.

Although the team has lost their last three games, odds seem to be in the favor of the visitors. The Yankees have Gerrit Cole on the hill on Tuesday, with Masahiro Tanaka taking the ball on Wednesday.

Thursday will actually be another off-day for the Yankees, before heading home to Yankee Stadium where a five game set in three days with the Mets awaits.

Friday and Sunday will feature seven-inning doubleheaders, with the Yankees considered the home team for one game each day. Saturday will be a regularly scheduled nine-inning game with the Yankees as the home team.

The five game set over the weekend will make-up two of the three postponed games against the Mets. The third will be made up on September third, a date where both teams originally had scheduled off-days. After they play the Mets on September third, the Yankees won’t play a NL opponent until the end of the season. They conclude the season with a three-game set against the Marlins in New York.

After a few days rest, the Yankees are ready to hit the road again and resume the chase for 28.

What might the New York Yankees injury-plagued lineup look like?

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Over the past week and a half, the New York Yankees have undergone some serious roster turnover. They’ve lost some of their best players, making their lineup look almost like a AAA team.

One of the teams’ most important players, Aaron Judge, went on the IL with a minor calf strain on 8/14. He’s set to return to the lineup the next time the Yankees play. The team had a weekend series with the Mets canceled due to the Mets having positive coronavirus tests, but there’s still hope of a makeup doubleheader on Monday, according to reports.

However, Judge returning is just one small part of the missing puzzle. With guys like DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, and Giancarlo Stanton still out; there’s still some major roster gaps. With Judge coming back, here’s what the Yankee order could look like with him inserted.

  1. Aaron Hicks (DH)- A speedy switch hitter with a good glove and a reliable option as the back-up leadoff hitter.
  2. Aaron Judge (RF)- Do we really need much explanation? The Judge will return to his normal spot.
  3. Luke Voit (1B)- The powerful righty already has 10 bombs and is on track for a career season.
  4. Gio Urshela (3B)- A reliable option with good defense and a well-rounded bat.
  5. Gary Sanchez (C)- Although off to a rough start, Sanchez has hit a few recent bombs and appears to be on the right track.
  6. Clint Frazier (LF)- Since rejoining the team, Frazier has been on fire, driving in runs.
  7. Mike Tauchman (CF)- A speedy outfielder with a good glove and a solid bat.
  8. Thairo Estrada (2B)- A well rounded middle-infielder that does everything pretty well.
  9. Tyler Wade (SS)- One of the fastest players in the league, Wade can steal bags and has unlimited range.

The Yankees certainly don’t have a bad lineup when injury-infested, but it’s not quite the lineup the team is envisioning. After losing three straight at home, the Yankees are ready to bounce-back with a healthy Aaron Judge back.