The Phillies Are the Reunion Yankees Fans Want

New York Yankees, Yankees, Joe Girardi

Joe Girardi didn’t spend too much time outside of baseball after the Yankees let him go. It makes sense that a team would want to trust Joe Girardi after his impressive run with the Yankees. While there was only 1 World Series appearance/championship, Giardi never had a season below .500 as a manager. And the Yankees of the 2010s are all in on reuniting with their old skipper.

The Yankees Keep Coming to Philly

David Robertson, a fixture in the Yankees pen for much of the last decade, was with the Phillies since last season but missed most of his debut season due to Tommy John surgery. You know he’ll want to prove he was worth the contract, and Girardi certainly knows how to utilize him.

Then there are the Yankees recently departed shortstop, Didi Gregorius. Didi found his strength as an offensive player under Girardi. He was always a defensive whiz, but he became a FORCE once he came to NY. And after his injury-shortened 2019, where he struggled offensively and defensively after the All-Star break, you know he wants to prove he can still play.

And now, they have Ronald Torreyes. Yes, it’s a minor league deal, but it comes with an invitation to Spring Training. Toe was a viable backup, playing 180 games for the Yankees during Girardi’s last two years as manager, playing 108 in 2017 alone. I think Girardi trusts Torreyes enough that Toe will have a spot on the Phillies bench during the 2020 season. 

It’s going to be interesting to see just what the Phillies can do next season, especially with so many former Yankees on the team.

New York Yankees: Can Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar avoid the “sophomore slump”?

New York Yankees, Gleyber Toress, Miguel Andujar

In 2018, New York Yankees youth products Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar burst out into the scene in New York with Tyler Wade struggling and newly acquired Brandon Drury injured.

Once they came, they made immediate impacts including multiple walk-off hits and big home-runs. Both players had WAR’s over 2.0. Many baseball fans always worry about the dreaded “sophomore slump” that many players go through after a successful first season in the big leagues.

With Didi Gregorius out with an injury, the Yankees are relying on Torres and Andujar to pick up the slack on both the offensive and defensive end.

So many extra-base hits for the Yankees:

Combined between Torres and Andujar, the two had a total of 95 extra-base hits last season. Miguel Andujar brought more power between the two, but Torres could put one out or get a double when he needed to.  In 2018, Andujar tied the record for most doubles by a rookie in the American League with 47.

As he continued to go through the season, people began to compare him to Manny Machado who early in his career had a lot of doubles, and as he developed he turned them into home runs.

Machado had 51 doubles in his first full season. His first time up was long enough to count him as a rookie, so if he was a rookie in 2013 when he had all of those doubles, Andujar wouldn’t have a share of the rookie record. The Yankees are hoping that Andujar put enough muscle onto his body this winter to do the same thing Machado did with his hitting.

Fielding was a weakness:

Once the end of last season rolled around, Andujar had the worst third base fielding in the MLB, with his fielding percentage less than 95 percent. His glove wasn’t the issue, most of the mistakes he made were just throwing and judgment errors, including his baseball IQ. Andujar has been working hard during the winter to improve his fielding so he can continue to have a starting spot.

Last year at times, Andujar would be removed late from the game and replaced with Neil Walker or Ronald Torreyes. With both players gone, he doesn’t have much of a backup, DJ LeMahieu being the most likely.

Torres’ fielding percentage was just a hair over 96 percent, with his shortstop fielding percentage under 93 percent. That number is slightly concerning, as he likely could be the opening day shortstop with LeMahieu at second. The hype on Torres was his strong defense, and he did make several great plays last season but booted some of the easier ones.

Poor play on defense sometimes leads a player to have poor hitting, and if their poor defense continues in 2019, they may have some trouble at-bat. They need to keep that same mindset at the plate, and more strength may lead to more home runs. Hopefully, Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres can avoid the “sophomore slump” in 2019 and make an impact on both sides of the ball.

New York Yankees: Ronald Torreyes Leads The Way

Ronald Torreyes is leading the New York Yankees in batting average with .429—Aaron Hicks, the next man on the list, isn’t even close with .364.

Torreyes has come off the bench to play in eight games, going 9-21 with nine hits, three doubles and one strike out. This spark in the offense (all 5’8, 150 lbs) may come in a small package, but it packs a powerful punch and often gets the Yankee offense going.

Not to mention that Torreyes is a solid glove man at whatever position he plays, as Austin Romine told John Healy of the New York Daily News:

“You can’€™t count Toe out,” said catcher Austin Romine. “He’s going to make plays that others don’€™t make.”€

No wonder there are headlines that call for Torreyes to play an even more prominent role with the team, perhaps, even replacing Miguel Andujar, who is struggling with the bat, at third base.

In Friday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers, Torreyes had three hits and an RBI in the 8-6 win, a fact which might get lost in the fireworks provided by Hicks and his spectacular multi-homer game.

Torreyes produces at a rate Yankee fans have come to take for granted—he makes the occasional start or comes in off the bench and produces hits and RBI opportunities for the big guns that come after him.

When he’s on the bench, not playing, he is watching, learning, as he told Healy:

“Although I’m not playing in those games, to me I feel like I’€™m playing because I’m in every pitch, every at bat,” he said.

Torreyes is one of those rare breed of players that seem born ready to play. When he gets the call, he always answers with impact plays on both sides of the ball.

Despite his size, what he lacks in stature, he makes up for in impact and right now Torreyes is leading the way for one of the most potent offenses in the league.

New York Yankees: The Ellsbury Effect

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

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

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

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

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

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The Yankees current roster consists of:

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

Who Gets A Shot ?

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

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

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

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

Lasting Impression:

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

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

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

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New York Yankees Player Preview: Ronald Torreyes

New York Yankees’ Ronald Torreyes is one of the most exciting players to watch play the game of baseball. He keeps the clubhouse loose and is a fan favorite. “Toe,” as many know him by, is additionally a good player and is a great utility guy for the Yankees. Torreyes is an excellent contact hitter who gets on base at a fantastic rate and plays good defense as well.

Torreyes’ numbers from spring training, as per

29 AB, 2 R, 8 H, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB, .26 AVG, .303 OBP, .062 OPS

Little Guy, Big Heart:

Torreyes loves being a Yankees, despite being on the smaller size, but that has not stopped him. He will attack a first pitch fastball anytime a pitcher throws it. “Toe” won’t just take a pitch, he will come out guns firing. His defining moment as a Yankee was his walk-off hit against the Rangers in the tenth inning on June 23rd last season.

“Toe’s” defense is also great. He has played second, short and third for the bombers. “Toe” is one of the many sparks on a stacked Yankees roster, and is a great player in the clubhouse.

Toe-Night Show

Toe started the “Toe-night” show last season and should be something that carries over into the upcoming campaign. There will be plenty of Toe-night shows appearances from Judge, Sanchez and Didi this season. When Stanton hits his first homer, that should make for a very exciting episode of the snack-sized infielder.

Going into 2018, the Yankees will utilize Torreyes early and often, and will play a big part in the starting lineup on game-days.