Yankees’ Josh Donaldson accused of racial comment again Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson

josh donaldson, yankees

The New York Yankees might have emerged victorious against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday afternoon, but a stain was left after a benches clearing situation mid-game.

Third baseman Josh Donaldson and the Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson have been going back-and-forth for the past few games, but things came to a head when Chicago catcher Yasmani Grandal began a heated conversation with the Yankees infielder at home plate.

“What sparked it is the comment he made,” Grandal said, via the NY Post. “This game went through a period of time where a lot of those comments were made and I think we’re way past that. It’s just unacceptable. I just thought it was a low blow, and I want to make sure I got my team’s back. There’s no way you’re allowed to say something like that.”

Grandal and Anderson claimed that Josh Donaldson made a racial comment, calling the Chicago shortstop “Jackie.”

“He just made a disrespectful comment. He was trying to call me Jackie Robinson, ‘What’s up Jackie?’ ” Anderson, said. “I don’t play like that. … That happened the first time he got on, and I let it go that time, and it happened again. It’s just uncalled for.

Anderson has called himself “Jackie Robinson” in the past, so it seems as if Donaldson was poking fun. However, this is undoubtedly a touchy subject that can be perceived in different ways. Donaldson doesn’t believe he did anything wrong, claiming he was simply joking about Anderson’s own assessment.

“I called him Jackie. He came out with an interview that says he’s the new Jackie Robinson … We’ve actually joked about that,” Donaldson said. “I’ve said it to him in years past, not in any manner [other] than just joking around.”

The Yankees are preparing to take on Chicago in a doubleheader on Sunday, so this will be a scenario to keep an eye on, especially if Donaldson and Anderson get into a confrontation.

Good news and bad news as Yankees fend off Chicago in Saturday win

nestor cortes, yankees

On Saturday afternoon, the New York Yankees faced off against the Chicago White Sox. With the sun beating down on Yankee Stadium and the ball slippery as sweat dripped down the pitchers’ arms, the Bombers narrowly managed to escape a surging Chicago team that mounted their best attempt at a comeback.

The Yankees tallied seven runs in the win, thanks to a DJ LeMahieu Grand Slam in the 2nd inning, driving in Gleyber Torres, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Aaron Hicks. However, things quickly became murky when Nestor Cortes threw one poorly located pitch. A 3-run homer by Jose Abreu drew the Sox within two runs, providing a bit of hope.

Good news and bad news in Yankees’ win over Chicago:

Offensively, the Yankees performed well, striking out only three times. The White Sox struck out 14 times, but the Yankees’ eight hits powered them to victory. Giancarlo Stanton had a phenomenal performance, recording three hits on four at-bats. He raised his batting average to .309 on the season with a .357 on-base percentage.

Stanton has been absolutely electric in the month of May, hitting .333 with a 41.8% on base rate and 1.155 OPS. Over his last eight games, Stanton has recorded 14 hits and four home runs.

The most exciting moment of the game was when Josh Donaldson and Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson began jawing at one another, escalating a previous altercation. The benches cleared with Anderson trying to get a piece of Donaldson before the two teams simmered down and finished the game without any more hostility.

This is a situation that has been developing for a few weeks, so we should keep an eye on it as the series continues during Sunday’s doubleheader.

As for the Yankees pitching, Nestor Cortes once again posted another successful outing. Over 5.0 innings, he struck out seven batters, allowing three runs and six hits. He tallied 100 total pitches, 69 of them being strikes. Cortes features a 1.80 ERA on the year, and while this is one of his worst performances, it was still plenty good enough to propel the Yankees to victory.

However, bullpen ace Michael King gave up two earned runs and three hits in just one inning of action. The rest of the bullpen performed well, but King recorded an anomaly, having taken a significant step forward with his development this year.

Yankees’ star reliever describes pitching mentality: “When I’m on the mound, I want to be a dog”

New York Yankees, Michael King

After finishing last season with a 3.55 ERA and a 22.5 percent strikeout rate, Yankees’ reliever Michael King has taken a huge step forward as a multi-inning relief weapon. Before Saturday’s game, he boasted a fantastic 1.40 ERA in 25.2 innings, with a much improved 39.4 percent strikeout rate.

In a conversation with the New York Post, the Yankees’ relief ace talked about his mentality on the mound and lots of other things.

“I definitely try to get a totally different personality. I generally think I’m a nice guy, very smiley, I love to laugh. But when I’m on the mound I want to be a dog. I want to make sure that the hitter knows my presence and sees my confidence, ’cause I always say that a hitter can smell blood in the water. And if he sees any doubt in my mind, I think he already has me, so I want to make sure that he doesn’t see that doubt,” he stated.

The Yankees’right-hander, who started to show some signs of improvement in 2021, said that the 2020 campaign taught him a lot.

“My whole 2020 season, that COVID year, it was a very tough year for me. I felt like I got too mental where I was trying to make adjustments every game, and I never once just went out there and had that aggressive mentality, and it’s not fun to pitch in because you’re facing the best hitters in baseball, and I’m up there thinking about my mechanics or thinking about how I have to be sooo perfect on this pitch instead of just attacking with conviction,” he explained. It seems that it took some time for him to trust his mechanics, but his work is now paying off.

The Yankees gave him the resources and he made the most of them

He credits the improvement of his slider as the most important development behind his breakout performance.

“Working with [Corey] Kluber last year and him noticing that we had a very similar arm slot, I felt like I made huge improvements on the horizontal movement of that. And then this year I’m just focusing on the command of it and be able to throw backdoor, down and away for a strike to a righty, throw it back foot to a lefty, expand it away to a righty. Last year I just kind of ripped it and it had good movement, now I’m trying to rip it in locations.”

Thanks to pitching coach Matt Blake, Kluber, and King’s own desire to improve, the Yankees now have an elite relief arm missing bats like never before.

Yankees confirm starting pitcher will undergo Tommy John surgery

luis gil, yankees

This week, the New York Yankees suffered a big starting pitching depth injury when Luis Gil left a game against Worcester in Triple-A holding his elbow.

Gil was considered the first alternate for the Yankees’ starting rotation, and with a long season ahead, they would’ve required his services down the road. However, Gil will miss the remainder of the season, needing Tommy John surgery.

This year, the 23-year-old starter made one appearance for the Yankees, giving up four runs and five hits over 4.0 innings. Luckily, the Yankees scored 15 runs against the Chicago White Sox that day, helping him over the hump.

With Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Gil hosts a 7.89 ERA over 21.2 innings. Unfortunately, he has struggled with his location this season, despite having top-end velocity.

This is a significant blow to Luis’s development and progress, but if there’s anyone that can vouch for a successful rehabilitation coming off Tommy John, it is Luis Severino. Severino is fresh off Tommy John surgery for the second time, and he’s having a solid 2022 season, earning a 3.63 ERA over 34.2 innings pitched.

How can the Yankees replace Gil in the rotation?

The Yankees might consider elevating Michael King from the bullpen to replace Gil at the back end of the rotation. This season, King has been dominant in a relief role, earning a 1.40 ERA with 12.97 strikeouts per nine. His vast array of pitches and great location has propelled him to another level, Yankees might need him to help supplement fatigue moving forward.

There’s always a possibility that general manager Brian Cashman looks to the trade market for a potential substitute. The most efficient method would likely be to elevate King to a starting role when needed and trade for another bullpen arm who can help supplement him splitting time.

With Chad Green suffering an elbow strain this week, the Yankees need to be extremely careful how they handle the situation.

Yankees monster international prospect looking ‘fantastic’, featuring 5-tool potential

roderick arias, yankees

The New York Yankees have really stepped up their effort to land star international prospects the past few seasons. Ranging from Jasson Dominguez to Roderick Arias, the Bombers are in a good spot developing 5-tool players. All of them have tremendous potential if developed properly.

The most recent acquisition, Arias, signed a $4 million deal out of the Dominican Republic in January. He stands out among the biggest names in the farm system, and he’s just getting ready to start his professional career in the minor leagues.

“We identified Arias as a premium follow, and then we kept following him and following him, and his tools got better and better and better,” International scout Donny Rowland told NJ Advance Media in a phone interview. “He evolved to the point where you’re talking about a plus-plus arm, a plus defender, a plus swing from both sides and emerging power with exit velos up to 106.”

Per MLB.com, Roderick Arias is the top-rated international player from the 2021-22 class:

MLB Pipeline’s top-rated prospect in the 2021-22 international class, Arias signed for $4 million out of the Dominican Republic in January. He added to the greatest position of strength in a Yankees system headlined by standout shortstops Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza. He has the potential for at least solid tools across the board and could be significantly better than that if he reaches his ceiling.

The Yankees are a breeding ground for shortstops:

At just 17 years old, Arias is a switch hitter that plays shortstop. The Yankees have been developing a ton of quality shortstops from a young age, including Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe.

Arias is dealing with a minor injury that has kept him from starting the 2022 season, but luckily it is nothing major, and he should be ready to go soon.

“It’s nothing major,” Rowland said. “Everything with Arias is fine except for this little tweak he’s got going on, but things can linger.”

Otherwise, Roderick has looked phenomenal in his growth and development behind the scenes, now, he just needs to put it on the baseball diamond.

“Arias has looked fantastic,” Rowland said. “The last time I talked to our player development people down here in the D.R., the only thing they said to me is ‘special talent, special talent, special talent.”

We’ve seen plenty of big names fail to live up to their potential in the past, but the Yankees have Arias at such a young age with plenty of time to continue his development. At 6’2″ and 178 pounds already, he could climb his way through the minors quickly with enough reps.

Yankees lose relief pitcher to ‘elbow strain’ | Pitching staff takes hard hit this week

New York Yankees, Chad Green

The New York Yankees have endured a tough week with their pitching staff, losing starter Luis Gil to a “significant” injury, per Aaron Boone.

The expectation is that Gil will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the 2022 season, which is a huge blow to the starting rotation’s depth. This season, Gil has only made one appearance, pitching 4.0 innings and allowing four earned runs and five hits. He was making progress toward becoming a more impactful player down the road.

Eventually, the Yankees will need to supplement starting fatigue, and Gil was their first alternative from Triple-A.

However, the Bombers also learned that relief pitcher Chad Green suffered an elbow strain which will keep them out for several weeks.

As per the Yankees:

Placed RHP Chad Green on the 15-day injured list with a right elbow strain.

On the season, Green hosts a 3.00 ERA over 15 innings. His strikeouts per nine have dipped to 9.60, and have been walking three batters per nine innings. In addition, his 25% groundball rate is the lowest in his entire career. His arm is clearly deteriorating as time wears on.

After multiple years of heavy usage, Green has seen a sizable dip in velocity, hitting 94.7 mph with his fastball, down 1 mph from 2021. In addition, his curveball velocity and split-fingered fastball are also down.

It has been no surprise to see the Yankees shy away from using Green as frequent as they once did based on his decreased velocity and poor pitch location. However, he isn’t expected to miss a significant amount of time after being placed on the 15-day IL. Green will have to ramp up upon his return to make sure his elbow is in good shape.

Nonetheless, the Yankees are experiencing their first injury scares of the season, and luckily the majority of them are depth-related.

Yankees starting pitcher suffers ‘significant’ injury, could miss rest of season

luis gil, yankees

The New York Yankees Vs. Chicago White Sox was rained out on Friday, but that wasn’t the only bad news the team experienced. According to manager Aaron Boone, supplemental starting pitcher, Luis Gil, suffered an apparent “significant” injury.

Gil was pulled from his last start against Worcester, lasting 4.2 innings, before feeling something in his elbow.

Based on the look of the injury, there is a belief it could require Tommy John surgery. Gil will miss the remainder of the season and a good portion of 2023 recovering.

How has Luis Gil performed up to this point with the Yankees?

This year, the 23-year-old starter made one appearance for the top team, giving up four earned runs and five hits over 4.0 innings.

The Yankees escaped with a win against Chicago, posting 15 runs to help supplement any deficiencies from their pitching. However, Gil has struggled this season with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, recording a 7.89 ERA over 21.2 innings. He’s given up 21 hits, 19 earned runs, and six homers.

This is a significant loss for the Yankees, given he was their first choice supplemental option in the starting rotation. Now, they will likely have to target the trade market for a potential addition who can help smooth over the loss.

While they do have a few options to consider, notably Deivi Garcia, Michael King, and even Clarke Schmidt, it undoubtedly throws a wrench into the team’s plans.

Rumors: Yankees could trade struggling slugger at deadline

joey gallo, yankees

The New York Yankees are gearing up for an interesting trade deadline in a few weeks, especially with their outfield going through liability issues. Aside from Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, both Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo have been complete disappointments this season.

Hicks has been arguably the worst player on the team offensively. Gallo has followed close behind despite slight improvements this month.

Gallo posted a .180 average with two homers and 11 hits over 61 at-bats to start the season in April. He struck out on nearly 50% of those at-bats but has brought that number down a bit this month. He’s still only hitting .171 since May 4, posting seven hits and three homers. Gallo is making solid contact and picking up a few walks along the way.

Nonetheless, he has still been an offensive liability, making him a potential trade piece for general manager Brian Cashman.

According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Yankees could be in the seller’s market:

The most intriguing name mentioned by an executive this week was Joey Gallo, who has struggled since being acquired by the Yankees last summer. Gallo slashed .167/.298/.383 with 18 home runs and 29 RBIs in his first 90 games with New York, including .182/.289/.343 with five home runs and seven RBIs in 33 games this season.

Gallo is currently on a one-year, $10.275 million deal, so a prospective team would essentially be renting him for the remainder of the season. However, a change of scenery could be good for Gallo, as wearing pinstripes isn’t for everybody.

The question is, what exactly is he worth?

According to Baseballtradevalues.com, Gallo has an 11.7 numerical value, giving him a net positive rating. It is important to note that Gallo does have two Gold Gloves in back to back years, including an All-Star appearance in 2021. For a team that loves home run hitters and good defensive outfielders, Gallo is an attractive player on the market. The Yankees might be looking for bullpen support in exchange.

Gallo ranks in the 98 percentile in barrel percentage, 91st percentile in hard-hit percentage, and 92nd percentile in walk rate. He has struck out an exorbitant amount at 37.8% this year, but he should gradually improve as the season wears on.

It should be interesting to see how Cashman addresses the outfield, especially with offensive problems arising. Luckily, injury issues haven’t been the primary catalyst behind trade rumors.

Yankees Rumors: Aaron Judge could be Mets top target in free agency next off-season

aaron judge, yankees

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman took an incredibly risky approach with Aaron Judge’s contract extension this past off-season. The Bombers offered him seven years and $213.5 million to stick around for the foreseeable future. Judge’s representatives declined, looking to capitalize on a dominant 2022 season.

After 36 games of action, Cashman is likely pounding his fist on the table, watching Judge’s numbers increase daily. He currently hosts a .307 average with 14 homers and 30 RBIs. His 38.1% on-base percentage is one of the best on the team, and he’s striking out at just 26.3%, below his career average.

The Yankees are seeing the best of Aaron Judge:

At 30 years old, Judge hasn’t lost an ounce of power either, recording a 65.3% hard-hit rate and 27.6% barrel rate. His average exit velocity is the highest in his career at 97 mph. Judge ranks in the 97th percentile or better in seven advanced batting metrics, including average exit velocity, barrel rate, batting average, and hard-hit rate. His whiff rate has evened out at average, meaning he’s seeing pitches extremely well.

Against fastballs, Judge is hitting .305 this season, but against breaking balls, he’s hitting .400. Opposing pitchers are desperately trying to figure out how to attack Aaron. He’s experienced a slight increase in fastball usage, which has done absolutely nothing against one of baseball’s best hitters.

However, the open market will have a chance to jump on Judge this upcoming off-season. The Yankees will have their hand in the mix, undoubtedly. I wouldn’t rule out the crosstown rival Mets as a prospective buyer.

According to Kiley McDaniel of ESPN, the Mets have routinely come up among MLB executives discussing where Judge could land in free agency:

Mets owner Steve Cohen. He came up in every conversation I had with execs about Judge — partly because the Mets could stand to upgrade their outfield, but mostly because he becomes the Kool-Aid Man when a cost control is put in front of him.

The Mets could be a real competition in the market:

With Mets owner, Steve Cohen sitting atop a mountain of cash, stealing Judge away from the Yankees would make him the most loved person on Long Island.

There is reason to believe that Judge could find his contract approaching $300 million over eight seasons. Given his deal with expire at nearly 40 years old, there’s a legitimate possibility that Cashman lets him walk.

With the league slowly moving away from behemoth contracts for players over 30, there’s a real possibility Cashman sets a price limit. Over in Queens, Cohen could be licking his chops, preparing to make Juge a very rich man.

Yankees Mock Trade: Solving centerfield at the trade deadline

andrew benintendi, yankees, royals

The New York Yankees have a significant problem brewing in centerfield, and his name is Aaron Hicks. Hicks signed a seven-year, $70 million extension with the Yankees back in 2019, which expires in 2025. Management will have a 2026 club option to decide on, but at this point in time, there’s no question it will be declined.

The Yankees have to inject more talent into centerfield, whether that means elevating Estevan Florial or targeting the trade market to supplement.

Hicks is hitting .196 this season, but in the month of May, he hosts a .083 batting average with just four hits over 48 at-bats. In other words, Hicks has been virtually useless offensively.

Manager Aaron Boone is known for sticking with players until they overcome their deficiencies, but Hicks hasn’t performed well in years after suffering a myriad of injuries. His hard-hit percentage has dropped to 29.2%, and his barrel percentage sits at 1.4%, the worst in his career. Altogether, he seems like a shell of his former self, so the Yankees might have to make a move the deadline to find a replacement.

One potential target could be Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals, who is on a one-year, $8.5 million deal.

NYY and KCR mock trade:

Yankees receive: OF Andrew Benintendi

The Bombers would be getting Benintendi on a rental for the rest of the season, but he’s started off 2022 performing well. He’s hitting .306 with two homers, 16 RBIs, and just a 14% strikeout rate.

The former Boston Red Sox star is getting on base 36.7% of the time, presenting solid value. Benintendi has hit double-digit homers four times in his career, so he has a bit of untapped power the Yankees could look to extract for the rest of the season.

In fact, Benintendi has a hard-hit percentage of 37.4% and a 6.1% barrel rate. His 89.5 exit velocity is better than Hicks’s 87.6 EV. One thing is for sure, Benintendi gets on base, and he has decent base-running skills. He stole eight bases last season but has yet to steal one in 2022.

Even better, he’s a left-handed hitter, meaning he can take advantage of the short right porch in Yankee Stadium. Benintendi often hits the ball to right-center via his spray chart, curating plenty of singles. If you look at his advanced metrics, his numbers don’t match up with what the Yankees normally desire. However, the 27-year-old rarely strikes out and has room for improvement with his power. Given his small strike zone at 5’9”, he could even take a few more pitches to increase his walk rate.

Defensively, Benintendi is a predominant left fielder, so he would take over in that spot, shifting Aaron Judge to center and Joey Gallo to right field.

Royals receive: Minor league RHP Beck Way

Since Benintendi is on a one-year contract and the Royals are one of the worst teams in baseball, it wouldn’t take much for the Yankees to make this deal.

In exchange, the Yankees give up Beck Way, a 6’4″, 200-pound starting pitcher. Way hosts a 6.86 ERA over 21 innings pitched but has plenty of potential, featuring a four-seam and two-seam fastball that generate sink. Currently, he’s sitting around 93–96 mph with his fastball, topping out at 99 last year. With that type of velocity, there’s a lot of potential left to find with Way. He presents an intriguing prospect acquisition for Kansas City.