New York Yankees: 3 Major takeaways from series win over the Mariners

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees have to feel good after notching their third win in a row and taking the series from the Seattle Mariners with the win last night. After a day off on Monday, the Yankees enjoyed a laugher against the west coast team on Tuesday, winning 12-1. However, last night was a different story; hardly a laugher, the Yankees had to fight tooth and nail to get the one-run win. The final score was 5-4, but it took five Yankees pitchers to get the job done.

Who decided on Nick Nelson?

At the start of last night’s game, fans were left with more questions than answers. First, why couldn’t the game’s scheduled starter Domingo German start the game after having an early morning root canal? Then why Nick Nelson, was it analytics that said he would be the perfect starter for that game? The question about German became even more evident when he was brought in to pitch the fifth inning. When manager Aaron Boone was asked about the decision, he couldn’t come up with any sensible answer.

Regardless of the reason, Nick Nelson started the Yankees game and was a total mess, only going 2/3 of an inning, giving up a run, walking three, and hitting the second Mariner that faced him. All of this happened while trying to protect a three-run lead the Yankees achieved off of the Mariners starter Yusei Kikuchi. Nelson was replaced by Luis Cessa, who pitched 3.1 innings of one-hit scoreless ball. This was when Domingo German was brought into the game. Unfortunately, he proved that he still was not right. He gave up three earned runs in three innings of work even though he stuck out 5 Mariners.

New York Yankees attack first again

For the second night in a row, the Yankees attacked first, lighting up Yusei Kikuchi for three runs in the first inning. The Yankees got three runs in the first inning of Tuesday night’s game. Aaron Judge walked on four pitches. Gary Sanchez walked. Giancarlo Stanton flew out to right field. Luke Voit doubled driving in Judge from second. Gleyber Torres got a three-run single driving in Sanchez and Voit. Gio Urshela got a double when the ball bounced into the stands at left. Brett Gardner struck out for the final out, but the Yankees picked up the early three-run lead.

At the top of the second, Tim Locastro, with his amazing speed, stretched out single into a double past short. LeMahieu flew out to center, moving Locastro to third. Then, Aaron Judge hit a two-run (429′) homer into the left-field stands. The game could have ended there because the Yankees couldn’t hit the ball for the rest of the game in any meaningful way, allowing the Mariners to crawl back to within one run. DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, and Brett Gardner all went 0-4 on the night.

Aroldis Chapman Vs. Chad Green

In a puzzling mystery, the New York Yankees have lost their closer. All of the sudden, Aroldis Chapman has become totally ineffective. In his first 18 games of the season and with a rediscovered splitter, Chapman had an ERA of 0.00, not allowing a single run. Today that ERA stands at 4.55. For his last nine games, it’s at 22.00. So at the bottom of the ninth in Tuesday night’s game, Boone thought he would try out Chapman in a low-intensity situation with an eleven-run lead.

Chapman bombed again. He didn’t give up a run, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying. Ty France singled on his first pitch. Jake Fraley struck out on a 95mph fastball. France went to second on a Chapman wild pitch. Luis Torrens walked. Jake Bauers struck out. With last licks on the line, Dylan Moore, with two on and two outs, walked, loading the bases. Shed Long Jr. followed by striking out to end the game. That was not the soap opera the Yankees wanted to see.

Last night in a high leverage situation in the ninth, the Yankees had to protect a one-run lead. Boone choose to sit closer Chapman in favor of Chad Green. Green did swift work in the inning, striking out two Mariners. No one will know who’s decision that was because the analytics would have said to send Chapman out. Nevertheless, going with Green, who has had an excellent season, was the right decision.

 

 

 

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees take second game from the Mariners

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Tonight was the second matchup between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners of three. Last night the Yankees won a lopsided 12-1 win over the Mariners. Tonight they went for the series win with Nick Nelson subbing for Domingo German on the mound for the Yankees and Yusei Kikuchi on the mound for the Mariners. German had an emergency root canal but was available. The Yankees beat the Mariners 5-4.

In the first inning, with Kikuchi on the mound, he faced DJ LeMahieu, who ground out to center. Aaron Judge walked on four pitches. Gary Sanchez walked. Giancarlo Stanton flew out to right field. Luke Voit doubled driving in Judge from second. Gleyber Torres got a three runs single driving in Sanchez and Voit. Gio Urshela got a double when the ball bounced into the stand at left. Brett Gardner struck out for the final out, but the Yankees picked up the early three-run lead.

At the bottom, JP Crawford struck out. A pitch hit Mitch Haniger. Kyle Seager walked. Ty France with two on and one out to Gardner in center. A wild pitch scored Haniger. Shed Long Jr. walked. Tom Murphey walked the bases loaded. Taylor Tramell faced the new pitcher Luis Cessa and ground out to second to end the inning, with the Mariners gaining a run. New York Yankees 3 the Mariners 1.

At the top of the second, Tim Locastro, with his amazing speed, stretched out single into a double past short. LeMahieu flew out to center, moving Locastro to third. Aaron Judge hit a two-run (429′) homer into the left-field stands. Gary Sanchez went down swinging. Stanton singled to right. Luke Voit got his seventh hit in a row in the series. Torres lined to the center-field wall for the final out of the half. Dylan Morre led off the bottom by flying out to Gardner. Tramell struck out. Crawford struck out. New York Yankees 5 Mariners 1.

The third inning saw Gio Urshela at the plate; he lined out to the center-field wall for the first out. Brett Gardner ground out to third. Locastro got his second double of the game. LeMahieu walked. Judge, who got a two-run homer in his last at-bat, ground out to short. At the bottom, Haniger flew out to left. Seager ground out to Voit at first. France lined out to Torres in short to end the inning. Yankees 5 Mariners 1.

The fourth inning was led off by Gary Sanchez, who struck out. Stanton struck out, and Voit flew out to right for Kikuchi’s first quick inning. At the bottom, Fraley ground out to Torres. Murphey hit to center for a single. Long Jr. ground out to end the inning. Yankees 5 Mariners 1.

The fifth inning was led off by Torres, who ground out. Urshela ground out. Gardner struck out to end the half. At the bottom, the original starter for the game, Domingo German, can in to pitch. He struck out Moore. Trammell struck out. Crawford flew out for a 1-2-3 inning for German. Yankees 5 Mariners 1.

At the top of the sixth inning, the Yankees went down 1-2-3. At the bottom, with German still on the mound, Haniger singled past third. Seager struck out. France singled to left. Fraley struck out. Murphey hit a long home run into the left-field stands for a three-run shot. Long ground out to end the inning. New York Yankees 5 the Seattle Mariners 4.

The seventh inning saw Gary Sanchez at the plate; he with Middleton on the mound lined out to right. Stanton doubled to left field on a failed diving catch. Voit popped out to first base. Torres flew out to the track at center to end the half and leave one on. At the bottom, German still on the mound, faced Moore, who stuck out on a German curve. Trammell ground out to Lemahieu. Crawford flew out to Garder for a 1-2-3 inning for German. New York Yankees 5 Mariners 4.

Gio Urshela started off the eighth inning against Drew Steckenrider by striking out. Gardner skied to center for the second out. Locastro finished off the half by striking out. Haniger led off the bottom with Jonathan Loaisgia on the mound by striking out. Seager and France also could do nothing off of Loaisiga to end the eighth inning. Although the Yankees couldn’t score in the ninth, it will be good for the Yankees if they keep on hitting. Mariners also couldn’t do anything off of Yankee closer Chad Green in the ninth.

The final score was the New York Yankees 5 and the Seattle Mariners 4. The winning pitcher was Luis Cessa, and the loser was Yusei Kikuchi. The save went to Chad Green.

New York Yankees: 3 Major takeaways from another loss to the Rays

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

The New York Yankees‘ pitching fails again

After the Yankees’ loss to the Rays last night, they discovered that they had plummeted not only to the bottom of the East but had fallen to the last place in all of the American League. There are two reasons; one is that they do not have dependable pitching. If you are a starter and your name isn’t Gerrit Cole, you have not performed to your abilities.

On paper, the New York Yankees have a stellar starting pitcher staff. Cole, Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, Domingo German, and Jordan Montgomery, the Yankees’ second-best pitcher to date, and even he in his two starts have been good in one and bad in the other. In his first game, he shut out the Orioles, but he gave up four earned runs in his start against the Rays and only went five innings.

Meanwhile, the Yankees are burning their way through the bullpen. With proper pitching, a bullpen should be ready to relieve for two, three at the most innings in a game. So far this season, the Yankees have had to rely on the bullpen for four, five, six, and yes, seven innings. The consequence of this overuse is that if it continues, the bullpen that has been one of the brightest encouragements this season will eventually fall apart due to overuse. Last night the Yankees used an opener. Nick Nelson, in only one inning he gave up two earned runs and now has an ERA of 10.80 across four games.

Yankee hitting is awol

Last night against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees could only muster up 3 hits in the game; that in itself is no big deal, but the fact that lack of hitting in so many games makes it a huge deal. Last night they were up against a mediocre pitcher and still couldn’t hit. They left no men in scoring position. To do that, you have to have a man on base, something the Yankees couldn’t do. The puzzling fact in all of this is that the Yankees have one of the most powerful lineups in baseball and this season is anything but.

The Yankees hitting problem will not last forever, but with every game lost early this season, they draw closer to doom at the end of the season. Last night Giancarlo Stanton drove in the only 2 runs of the game with a massive line-drive homer. That hit was one of only three in the 8-2 loss to the Rays.

Yankee fans are frustrated

As a sportswriter, it is getting to the point that I can have a stock article about the Yankees losing and change the names. Because I am life long New York Yankee fan, it’s becoming frustrating and depressing to write these articles. I hate to see the Yankees beat up on social media, but that is beginning to happen. The in-person fans are now getting into it. Last night, while the Yankees were batting fans, they began to throw baseballs out onto the field, halting play.

Fans are concerned with why the Yankees can’t play better against the Rays. For the past two seasons, the Yankees and Rays records are near identical in the win/loss columns. How the season goes is pretty much how these teams play against each other in head-to-head matchups. Fans know that the Yankees must win games against their nemesis, or they won’t be successful. In their last 21 matchups, the Yankees have lost 15 of those games. So far this season, the Yankees have only won one game out of four against them.

Tonight the Yankees will again face off against the Rays at Yankee Stadium. Tonight the Yankees’ Jordan Montgomery will have his hands full against the Ray’s ace Tyler Glasnow. Glasnow, in his last start, struck out 14 Rangers. He has a 1.54 ERA pitching at Yankee Stadium, and in his three starts this season, he carries a .046 ERA into tonight’s game.  Montgomery had better be in top form, and the Yankee hitting has to be there, or the Yankees have no chance of a win.

 

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees lose to the Rays in their worst game yet

New York Yankees, Nick Nelson

Tonight the New York Yankees met up with the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium for the second series of the young season. In their first meeting, the Rays took 2 of 3 games from the Yankees. Nick Nelson took the mound with tensions high between these two teams as the Yankee’s opener against The Ray’s reliever Michael Wacha. Never pitcher has fared very well in the season so far. It was a chilly and raw evening at Yankee Stadium at game time. At least the field wasn’t covered in snow as it was for the Red Sox at Coor’s Field in Colorado. The Yankees lost the game 8-2.

Austin Meadows led off for the Rays against Nick Nelson at the top of the first inning. Randy Aronarena singled down the left-field line, and Meadows went to third base. Brendon Lowe doubled, scoring Meadows and Aronarena for the two-run Rays lead. Diaz ground out, but Lowe advanced to third base. Joey Wendle with a man on and one out struck out. Margot walked. Michael Brosseau struck out, but the Rays picked up two runs for the Rays lead. At the bottom, DJ LeMahieu lined out sharply to shot, and Aaron Judge struck out. Gleyber Torres ground out to end the -2-3 inning for Wacha. Rays 2 Yankees 0.

Michael King led off for the Yankees and replaced Nick Nelson that only lasted one inning, giving up two runs. Adames singled. Mike Zunino struck out. Meadows struck out, and Arozarena lined out to short to end the half for a perfect second for King. Giancarlo Stanton led off the bottom for the Yankees, and he popped out to first. Gio Urshela got a one-out single to right.  Aaron Hicks struck out. Gary Sanchez lined out to third to end the inning. Rays 2 Yankees 0.

Against Michael King, Lowe was hit by a pitch in the third. Diaz singles, and Lowe went to third. Joey Wendle, who struck out in the first inning, stuck out. Margot lined out, but the ball hit Diaz on an error by Odor. Brosseau struck out, getting King out of trouble and leaving two Rays on base. At the bottom, Clint Frazier led off striking out as his early-season struggles continued. Rougned Odor struck out. Lemahieu lined out to Arozarena to end the inning.

Willie Adames lined out for the first out of the fourth inning Mike Zunino grounded out to third, and Austin Meadows walked. Arozareno walked. Brendon Lowe walked for three straight walks for King. Diaz hit up the middle to Odor for the final out, leaving the bases loaded with Rays. Aaron Judge led off the bottom, striking out. Torres walked. Stanton and Gio Urshela went down on strikes. The Yankees have only been able to get one hit in the first four innings. Rays 2 New York Yankees 0.

With Luis Cessa replacing Michael King, who had three shut-out innings, Joey Wendle started the fifth inning by beating out a throw by Urshela for a single. Margot struck out. Brosseau hit one down the left-field line for a double, scoring Wendle for the 3 run lead over the Yankees. Adames doubled, and Brosseau beat out a throw to home for another Rays run. Zunino walked on four pitches. Meadows walked, loading the bases for the Yankees’ seventh walk of the game. Arozareno doubled at the Yankees failed to make a double play scoring two Ray’s runs for the six-run Yankees shutout. Lowe struck out the Rays lead the game 6-0.

At the bottom of the fifth Aaron Hicks against Aaron Hicks, Wacha through four had allowed only one Yankee hit. Hicks popped out to the infield. Sanchez struck out. Clint Frazier, who looks lost at the plate lately, struck out for a 1-2-3 inning for Wacha. Rays 6 Yankees 0.

At the top of the sixth, Diaz led off against the New York Yankee’s Lucas Luetge, and Diaz singled. Wendle singled. Margot singled to load the bases with no outs. Brosseau drove to short, and the throw was in time to get Diaz. Adames popple out to Urshela. Zunino flew to left, and Frazier couldn’t get to it, and another two Ray’s runs scoring for the 8 run Rays lead. Meadows flew out to Hick to finally end the half, but it’s the Rays 8 and the Yankees 0. At the bottom, Odor walked. LeMahieu popped out to the infield. Aaron Judge hit into a double play to end the ending as the Yankees again failed to score. Rays 8 Yankees 0.

Arozarena led off the seventh inning off Luetge, grounding out to Urshela. Lowe flew out. Diaz flew out for the first inning. The Yankees put down the Rays 1-2-3. At the bottom, Torres picked up a single. Stanton hit a no-doubter to center to get the Yankees 2 runs on the board. Urshela lined out. Hicks lined directly to first for two outs. Sanchez struck out to end the inning, but the Yankees finally got on the board with two runs. Rays 8 Yankees 2.

Luetge out for his third inning allowed Wendle a single. Margot hit into a 1-4-3 double play for two outs. The Rays challenged, but the out was maintained. Brosseau lined out to the pitcher for the final out of the half. Frazier led off the bottom, but frustrated fans started to throw balls out onto the field, halting the game. Frazier, after play resumed, struck out for the third time in the game. Odor flew out to the far center. LeMahieu struck out, going 0 for 4 on the night. That ended the inning. Ray 8 Yankees 2.

At the top of the eighth, Kyle Higashiokia took over for Sanchez behind the plate. Willie Adames led off for the Rays by striking out. Zunino struck out. Meadows allowed Luetge to strike out Ray’s side. At the bottom of the inning, with the last licks on the line for the Yankees, Aaron Judge led off the half by grounding out. Torres struck out, and Stanton followed with another strikeout to end the game. The final score was the Tampa Bay Rays 8 and the New York Yankees 2. The winning pitcher was Michael Wacha, and the loser was Nick Nelson.

 

 

 

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New York Yankees: 3 major takeaways from loss to the Rays

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber

Yesterday afternoon the New York Yankees met up with their nemesis Tampa Bay Rays in the first game of the season against the team that beat them in the 2020 AL Divisional series. After a few years of building dislike for each other, the two teams kept it non-violent other than a few hit batters that did not cause much unrest. For the Yankees, it was a sad day that saw their pitching collapse early in the game, causing a 10-5 loss.

A tough Opening Day

The New York Yankees started their afternoon having to endure a celebration by the Tampa Bay Rays, celebrating their 2020 win of the East and their win in that made them pennant champions. Reportedly the Yankee players were allowed to stay in the visiting clubhouse or view the festivities from the dugout. Most were in the dugout. It had to be painful for many players to see the Rays raise those celebratory flags.

Last season the Yankees lost the East Division to the Rays, falling seven runs behind the Rays at the end of the short season. After the Yankees swept the Indians in the Wild Card Series, they again met up with the Tampa team in the divisional series for the AL that they lost in five games.

Yankee pitching fails early

After a generally good start in his first game of the season, Corey Kluber took to the mound for the first game of the season against the East rival Tampa Bay Rays. In the first inning, Yoshi Tsutsugo struck out. Austin Meadows singled to left field. Randy Arozarena hit into a double play to end the inning, letting Kluber get out of trouble quickly. At the second, Brandon Lowe struck out, but Yandy Diaz singled on a LeMahieu error.  Joey Wendle singled, and Diaz went to third. Willie Adames hit one off the centerfield wall, Diaz scored, and Wendle went to third base for the Rays early lead. Brett Phillips flew out, but Wendle scored for the 2 run lead. Mike Zunino popped out to the infield, but the Rays picked up 2 runs in the inning.

At the bottom of the third inning, after Tsutsugo scored, a single and two walks knocked Kluber out of the game early. Nick Nelson was brought in to save Kluber, but he made it worse. Nelson gave up two more runs in the inning, putting the Yankees behind the eightball. Had Nelson cleaned up for Kluber, Kluber’s start wouldn’t have looked so sad.

In the fourth inning Nelson who had pitched so well in the spring, loaded bases, then a double by Brandon Lowe cleared the bases. Arozarena scored. At the end of the fourth inning, the Rays had scored 9 runs in the game, putting it out of reach. Lucas Luetge gave up a homer for the final scoring for the Rays. Luis Cessa pitched a clean eighth inning. The final score was Rays 10, Yankees 5. Starter Kluber now has a 5.68 ERA early in the season.

Hitting still inconsistent

In yesterday’s Rays game, the New York Yankee hitting remained inconsistent. Although they did get 7 hits in the game, most were in the third inning when they scored 4 of their runs. The only other scoring in the game came in the top of the eighth inning from a LeMahieu solo home run. In the third inning, Aaron Hicks got his first home run of the season. At the end of the inning, the Yankees took the 4-2 lead in the game, giving them hope that the game’s poor early pitching would not prevent them from winning the game. But that was not to be; the Rays scored 8 unanswered runs.

DJ LeMahieu had two hits in the game, and Giancarlo Stanton continued to look good driving in two runs. Jay Bruce and Clint Frazier are off to sluggish starts in the season. Bruce stuck out twice in the game, and Frazier struck out three of four times.

Today’s matchup

Today at 1:10 pm, the New York Yankees will have their second game against the Rays. Domingo German will start for the Yankees and for the Rays, newly acquired Chris Archer, who gave up four runs in his two innings of work in his first game of the season. Archer, in his career, has held the Yankees to a 3.14 ERA. The game will be televised in Florida on Bally Sports Sun and in the New York area on the YES Network. It will also be televised nationally on MLBN. (out of market).

 

 

New York Yankees Analysis: “The Big Three,” Cole, Kluber, and Taillon

By now, all New York Yankee fans know that the Yankees have completely revamped the starting rotation. For those more casual fans who don’t know, the Yankees let the bulk of the pitchers walk into free agency and made no known offers to retain any of them at the end of the season. Masahiro Tanaka is now pitching in Korea, James Paxton is back with the Seattle Mariners, and J.A. Happ is with the Minnesota Twins.

During the 2019/20 offseason, the New York Yankees went to California and lured arguably the best pitcher in baseball, Gerrit Cole, to become a Yankee. This offseason, they contracted two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and traded with the Indians for Jameson Taillon, another top of the heap starter. (Taillon is pronounced TIEown)

Just like the “core 4” was really the core 5 with Bernie Williams, the “Big Three” may also be a misnomer because, in addition to the three, the Yankees also have holdovers Jordan Montgomery, Domingo German, and eventually Luis Severino. Before we get too cheery about this rotation, there is a bugaboo involved, that being Kluber and Taillon’s health. They both have had health issues in the past two years. Kluber was hit by a pitch in 2019 and only pitched one inning last year, suffering a should issue. Taillon is coming back from his second Tommy John surgery.

So far, the health issues seem to be in the past, and both of these guys seem entirely healthy in spring training; hopefully, the fact that they haven’t pitched in the past two years won’t be an issue, and they will return to their previous form. If that is the case, the Yankees could have one of the most feared starting rotations in baseball.

With the season’s Opening Day just a few days away, two of the best performing pitchers are not in the “Big Three.” German leads the entire pack, pitching 9 innings without allowing a run while striking out 13 opponents. Montgomery has the second-lowest ERA, a tiny 0.90. As of today, the Yankee pitching rotation has the 4th lowest ERA in all of baseball.

It’s important to realize that these are spring training numbers and may not translate to the regular season. Pitchers often try out new pitches and make adjustments that can affect their stats in spring training. Many pitchers such as Gerrit Cole have always pitched better during the regular season than the spring stats. Spring training is just a snippet of what might happen in the regular season. Wins and losses mean nothing.

Domingo German:

Domingo German, who did not pitch at all last year due to suspension, has by far been the New York Yankees’ best pitcher in spring training. He looks good, looks confident, and is healthy. In three starts and 9 innings pitched, he has a zero ERA. He has allowed 5 hits while being a strikeout machine, striking out 13. He has had excellent control walking only one across the span. These numbers are also too good to be believed and probably won’t continue, but if his spring performance is any indication, he could very well be the season’s best pitcher. In 2019 he was 18-4 and could have had a 20 game season had it not be cut short.

Jordan Montgomery:

At one point, many in the know thought that Jordan Montgomery could be the next great Yankees pitcher, which has never come to fruition, mostly because of his Tommy John surgery which greatly held him back. Now two years removed from the surgery, “Monty” is this spring’s second-best performing pitcher.  His ERA is 0.90 in three games for a total of 10 innings. He has allowed only 4 hits. He needs to tune up his command; he has allowed walks to 3 batters. This could be Montgomery’s break-out year.

Jameson Taillon:

Taillon holds down the number 3 spot for spring training performance and a solid one at that. Since his second Tommy John surgery, Taillon has made adjustments to his delivery to ease up arm strain. So far during the spring, he has looked great. Very strong and very confident. His ERA is a tiny 1.08. He has pitched 8.1 innings allowing 9 hits, but at the same time striking out more batters than any Yankee pitcher (14) other than Gerrit Cole. Taillon will probably be the number three starter for the Yankees. How he ends up is anyone’s guess. The trio of German, Montgomery, and Taillon has not allowed a home run this spring.

Corey Kluber:

Kluber will be the number two starter by most reports. He also has the second worse ERA of any of the starters, sitting at 1.86. Please make no mistake, we use the word worse very loosely, and an ERA of 1.86 at the end of the season would make what the Yankees paid for him worth at least twice that amount. Over 9.2 innings, he has allowed 9 hits, 2 earned runs while striking out 9. What is most important with Kluber is that he feels great and is healthy. If he stays that way, he could have a Cy Young season.

Gerrit Cole:

Gerrit Cole could be best described as a work in progress. Cole is known for trying out new things and refining others in spring training. He has had his last start of the spring and is easily the New York Yankee’s worst-performing starter. But that being said, if he continued at his present rate, the Yankees would be tickled with a 2.45 ERA over the season.

His biggest problem in the spring has been giving up the long ball (3) only second to Deivi Garcia demoted to the minors. The big difference between the two is that Cole has the most strikeouts of any starter (24). However, it concerns that those home runs dog him. Surely something he will look to fix in the regular season. With Cole’s 3.19 career ERA, the Yankees are certainly not worried about how Cole will perform in the regular season.

Although this article is about the Yankees starters, it would not be fair not to mention the big three Yankee reliever standouts. Jonathan Loaisiga has been a huge bright spot for the Yankees during the spring. He has pitched in six games with the most innings of any reliever and has an ERA of 1.36. He has allowed only 6 hits across 13.1 innings while striking out 10 and walking only 2. If any Yankee starter becomes injured, the Yankees will surely consider Loaisiga as a replacement.

Lucas Luetge was picked up over the offseason. He has been terrific for the Yankees. He has struck out more hitters than any reliever (18). His ERA is 1.74, and if it weren’t for one game, he would not have any ERA, but in one outing, he gave up two home runs. Nick Nelson is another standout this spring. Nelson has an ERA of 1.04, has not given up a home run, and has struck out 9 batters.

The Yankees going into the regular season have never looked so good since they acquired CC Sabathia. That was 2009 the last time the Yankees won a World Series. One huge thing missing from this article is that no starter or reliever mentioned has an ERA over 2.45. This is enormous for the New York Yankees; if they can maintain this and stay healthy, the Yankees have a great chance to be on their way to a 28th World Championship.

 

Sleep, cherry juice, and fastball command, the keys for this promising Yankees’ pitcher

New York Yankees, Nick Nelson

The New York Yankees were able to assemble a pretty strong bullpen even though they lost Adam Ottavino and Tommy Kahnle. There were no trades to reinforce the reliever corps, but they signed Darren O’Day and Justin Wilson to a strong core that included Chad Green, Zack Britton, Aroldis Chapman, Luis Cessa, Jonathan Loaisiga, and several promising youngsters.

Nick Nelson, who had a 4.79 ERA for the Yankees last season, is one of those youngsters, and it appears he is primed for a huge step forward this season. During Grapefruit League play, Nelson has a 1.04 ERA in 8.2 innings, with nine whiffs.

The most important takeaway from Nelson’s spring training stat line is the number of walks: 1. For years, the fireballer struggled with control and command, but he looks much better in 2021 and has a huge opportunity ahead of him, as the Britton and Wilson injuries appeared to open up a spot for him if he hadn’t earned it already.

The Yankees need Nelson to step up

For Nelson, the main focus after the 2020 experience was recovering from a pitching outing. He focused on experimenting on that front during the offseason, and prepared for more games and less innings: a bullpen role.

“I’ve been pretty heavy on the cherry juice; I know that’s good for recovery,” Nelson told MLB.com. “I get extra sleep. Sleep was the main thing — during the season, it’s a little harder to get extra sleep, because you have later games and then you’re still hyped up from the games that you just pitched. Last year, the day after I pitched, I felt like I got hit by a dump truck. This year, everything has been smooth sailing.”

On the on-field stuff, the Yankees’ young right-hander knows that fastball command is what will bring his results. The velocity, a mid-to-high 90s heater, is already part of his repertoire.

“I feel pretty good about the way I’ve thrown this Spring Training,” Nelson said. “I feel like my pitches are working. I worked hard this offseason to try to get that fastball command better than the previous year. I’m pretty satisfied with the way I’ve been throwing it.”

Yankees: Aaron Boone sees Nick Nelson as a multi-inning guy who can make the Opening Day bullpen

New York Yankees, Nick Nelson

A team can never have enough quality relievers, and this has been demonstrated time and time again during both the regular season and the playoffs. The New York Yankees are no exception, and they are in need of all the reliable arms they can get since one of their top guys for the late innings, Zack Britton, will be sidelined for at least a couple of months after elbow surgery.

The fact that Britton will leave a void in the bullpen for so long could mean that a spot will be up for grabs in the Yankees’ bullpen. According to manager’s Aaron Boone recent comments, Nick Nelson could be in the pole position to take it and never look back.

Per Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media, Boone is strongly considering Nelson, a right-hander with power stuff that made his debut in MLB last year, as an important reliever for the 2021 season.

“Aaron Boone says he sees Nick Nelson as potentially having an “immediate” job as a reliever in a Jonathan Loasigia-type role,” Kuty wrote via Twitter. For reference, Loaisiga was frequently used as a multi-inning reliever by the Yankees last season, and achieved success if we consider his 3.52 ERA (although his 4.41 FIP and 4.14 xFIP tell a slightly different story.)

How the Yankees used Loaisiga

Loaisiga reached three innings in an outing three times last season, and he pitched at least two in two separate occasions beside those. He went over a frame of work another time, with 1.2 innings on August 19.

Boone is probably envisioning a similar role for Nelson. The Yankees knew all along that the only thing missing on Nelson’s profile was lowering his walk rate, and so far in spring training, he has managed to do just that.

The sample size is, of course, extremely small, but Nelson has a 0.00 ERA in 6.1 innings of work, with four hits, no walks, and six strikeouts in Grapefruit League play.

New York Yankees: Did Deivi Garcia damage his chances at a place in the Yankees rotation?

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

The New York Yankee’s prospect Deivi Garcia is confident. Still, his performance in yesterday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies did not spell good for him getting that coveted fifth spot in the Yankees rotation. Garcia made his spring training debut yesterday, and it didn’t go well; he gave up two runs in two innings of work.

In the first, García was just one strike away from retiring the side when center fielder Scott Kingery jumped on a pitch that Garcia left up in the zone, and Kingery made him pay for it slamming a big home run. Leading off the bottom of the second, right fielder Odúbel Herrera absolutely crushed a fastball over the that Garcia threw right in the heart of the plate. Herrera’s homer was a 373 feet bomb to straightaway right. He struck out three along the way as well do his start wasn’t a total loss, but his ERA was an inflated 9.00.

“We have so much talent here. We have a lot of young players that have so many different abilities,” he said. “I think the key for me is to stay healthy. I think if I’m able to stay healthy, that’s what’s going to give me the best chance at helping this team,” Garcia said through an interpreter.

The New York Yankees 2021 pitching rotation is pretty well set up, with Gerrit Cole leading off, then Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, and Jordan Montgomery holding down the fourth spot. But the fifth starter job is pretty much up for grabs. Deivi Garcia is just one pitcher that is looking to hold down that spot. Domingo German, Michael King, Nick Nelson, and non-roster invitee Jhoulys Chacín are in the mix. Prospect Clarke Schmidt is out of the equation. The 25-year-old entered the spring hoping to compete for the fifth spot in the Yankees’ rotation and still expects to be a factor in the majors, though now that won’t occur as soon as he would have liked.

The only one of these pitches that has pitched well early in New York Yankees’ spring training is Nick Nelson. Still, Garcia and German are the front runners. But there is no question that Garcia’s poor outing certainly didn’t help his cause. If he has another bad outing, he will likely not picture for that fifth spot. Tomorrow Domingo German will get a chance to show why he deserves that fifth spot in the rotation when he takes on the Detroit Tigers at George Steinbrenner Field in St. Pete.

Yankees: Nick Nelson is trying to pitch his way to a prominent role

New York Yankees, Nick Nelson

At first glance, you wouldn’t think that a pitcher with a 4.79 ERA and a 5.56 FIP should have a spot in the New York Yankees’ roster. However, if you look closely, a lot of Nick Nelson’s struggles in 2020 can be blamed to one game.

On August 5 against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Yankees needed some outs because they were short on arms with a blowout loss in the first game of a doubleheader. They left Nelson on the mound on mop-up duty and let him allow six runs on seven hits and a walk in 1.2 frames.

Take that outing away and he ends 2020 with a 2.37 ERA. Of course, baseball doesn’t work out that way, but there is, without a doubt, a lot of promise in the right-hander’s arm. He has four pitches and could potentially fill a variety of roles.

On Monday’s game against the Detroit Tigers, the Yankees’ farmhand threw two very good innings. He faced seven hitters and retired six of them, with a punchout.

“I learned that I can trust my pitches, that I don’t have to be too fine with them,” Nelson said to MLB.com. “That was a big thing I took away. Going into the offseason, I had an idea of what I needed to do and what I needed to work on from a pitching standpoint and a weightroom standpoint.”

Can he make the Yankees’ roster?

The Yankees, as of now, appear to have six bullpen spots saved for Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Chad Green, Darren O’Day, Justin Wilson, and Luis Cessa. Jonathan Loaisiga should nab a spot, too, leaving one or two openings for Nelson to win.

“He’s got a high-octane fastball, but his calling card is his changeup,” Boone said. “That changeup to go along with a high-90s fastball is something we really like. It feels like he continues to grow in his polish, and he’s definitely someone we are excited about. I’m quite certain he can impact our bullpen in a short situation but also have the ability to give us innings as well.”

Nelson would like to start, although that would be hard to imagine with the Yankees’ options. He is growing fond of relieving.

“The biggest [adjustment] was not throwing that many pitches in the bullpen,” Nelson said. “It’s kind of challenging, but at the same time, I think it’s kind of cool. There’s a lot of anticipation building up as a starter — you get there at a certain time, you go through your routine and whatnot. As a reliever, once your name gets called, you don’t really have much to think about. I think it calmed my nerves being in the bullpen.”