New York Mets: Peterson Pitches Well, Bullpen Not So Much in 7-3 Loss

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets have some questions behind their quartet of top-tier relievers, and Robert Gsellman and Stephen Tarpley continued to heighten the need for reliable middle relievers. After a scoreless seventh inning, the Washington Nationals roughed up Gsellman in the eighth inning.

Josh Bell‘s majestic opposite solo home run tied the game at three and almost cleared the scoreboard. Gerardo Parra put the Nats in the lead with an RBI single giving them a 4-3 lead. They added a two-run homer from Luis Garcia and RBI single from Adrian Sanchez to complete the 7-3 victory.

David Peterson was in line for the win before the blown save from Gsellman. Peterson pitched six solid innings with four hits and two runs allowed. The Nats did a bulk of their damage during the fourth inning, with three hits and two runs in their top half. Singles from Josh Harrison and Hernan Perez were the only damage against the slender lefty. Peterson only struck out two but was very effective in the outing. He did not allow a hit for the first half of his start.

Manager Luis Rojas hopes to have a second lefty in the bullpen, but Tarpley squandered one of his final opportunities to make the roster. Tarpley allowed four hits and three runs, including the Garcia homer, and only retired one batter. Due to their rough outings, Gsellman and Tarpley made their route to the Opening Day roster bumpier. Tylor Megill came in and prevented more runs from being charged to Tarpley’s ledger in the ninth.

The Mets offense recorded 12 hits but only pushed 3 runs across. James McCann‘s RBI single provided the first run during the second inning. The other two runs came in the sixth when Dominic Smith lucked into an RBI triple on a dribbler that Bell misplayed at first base and J.D. Davis lined an RBI single over a drawn-in infield. McCann and Francisco Lindor were the two Mets with multiple hits on the night.

On Saturday, the Mets play another home game when the Houston Astros visit Clover Park. Bryan Abreu (1-0, 3.68 ERA) takes the mound against opener Jacob Barnes (0-1, 5.40 ERA). Barnes opens up for Joey Lucchesi for the 1:10 p.m. ET start on SNY.

 

New York Mets Claim Stephen Tarpley Off Waivers From Miami Marlins

The New York Mets continue to add to their minor league depth by claiming left-handed reliever Stephen Tarpley off waivers. Tarpley spent the abbreviated 2020 season with the Miami Marlins after starting his career with the New York Yankees.

The 27-year old struggled and put up a 9.00 ERA over 12 games with the Marlins. Tarpley sharp breaking ball is his trademark pitch to neutralize left-handed hitters. In 2020, lefties actually hit better against him than righties, but throughout his career, Tarpley has typically won those matchups.

Despite a 6.65 career ERA, the Mets needed Tarpley to fill out their bullpen depth. At the moment, Daniel Zamora is the only left-handed reliever on the 40-man roster and is a similar pitcher to Tarpley. Both are long shots at making the roster out of spring training. Tarpley will compete minor league acquisition Jerry Blevins in the Spring as well.

Tarpley, Blevens, and Zamora are all insurance for the possibility of Brad Hand signing elsewhere.

New York Yankees Trade Lefty Pitcher

The New York Yankees announced on Wednesday that they have traded reliever Stephen Tarpley for third base prospect James Nelson of the Miami Marlins. Tarpley was recently DFA’d by the team.

The lefty from Los Angeles, California had a 5.88 ERA in 31 career games. He was DFA’d with the new three batter minimum rule, since he is considered a lefty specialist. Batters hit just .146 from the left side compared to .378 from the right side. There was just no real reason to keep him on the 40-man roster.

Miami should be a nice fit for Tarpley. He will be able to get consistent major league appearances while figuring things out in a low pressure environment. With Miami picked last in the NL East, they are looking for relievers. Good luck to him there.

The Return:

James Nelson is, well…… a prospect. I would of thought that the Yankees would of done much better, unless they see something we don’t.

In 2016 and 2017, Nelson had success in rookie ball and A-full season, batting .284 and .309 respectively. He was called up to high-A afterwards and has stayed there since. He hit .211 in 2018 and .228 in 2019. The power really isn’t there either, just 14 career home runs and seven of them were in one season.

He had five stolen bases last season, so I guess that’s…… something.

Nelson is an awful fielder to say the least. He made less than 89% of plays at third, 35 errors in 119 games. That’s an error every three to four games.

Maybe Nelson will surprise us, but he needs a lot of work. He obviously won’t be a factor for a few years, if at all.

New York Yankees Lose Their Lefty Specialist

The New York Yankees announced on Saturday that they have officially signed Brett Gardner to his new contract. They also announced that they were DFA’ing reliever Stephen Tarpley. The move was a bit surprising, but not completely unexpected.

Tarpley bounced around a bit between AAA and the MLB due to his ineffectiveness against righties the past two seasons. He was one of the best lefty on lefty pitchers in baseball.

Lefties had just a .164 average against Tarpley, while righties had a .378 average against him. He was giving up hits to almost 2/5 of righties, which can’t happen.

With the new three batter minimum rule, it makes guys like Tarpley have trouble finding a job. The likelihood of three lefties appearing in a row are very slim, and it doesn’t leave him a spot in the bullpen because of the three batter minimum. Without this rule, he would have a job pretty easily.

Since the Yankees are only DFA’ing him, there is still a chance that he could remain with the organization. Other teams may not want to bite on a lefty specialist, giving the Yankees that chance to retain him.

If the Yankees do indeed keep him, they will likely sign him to a minor league deal and give him an invite to Spring Training. He could develop his skills against righties and learn new pitches, and if he shows progress in AAA then the team could reconsider him for the 40-man roster.

The Yankees are still pursuing Josh Hader in a trade, and he’d take Tarpley’s spot if acquired. He’s a lefty as well, but can retire batters on both sides of the plate.

 

Gary Sanchez Returns To The New York Yankees With A Bang

New York Yankees all-star catcher Gary Sanchez was removed from the IL prior to Saturday’s game, and he got his return off to a hot start.

Sanchez was placed on the IL on July 24th with a groin strain after a series of poor games. Kyle Higashioka filled Sanchez’s roster spot and played well in his brief time in the majors, but has now been sent back down to AAA.

After striking out on a 96 mile per hour heater in his first at-bat back, Sanchez made a loud return to the team, lining a slider into the left-center field seats for a solo-shot. August has always been Gary’s month, and he has started the month off quite well.

The home run wouldn’t amount to anything as the Yankees fell late to the Blue Jays 5-4, but it was good to see Gary back and healthy. His average had dipped down to .230, but hopefully that will go up now.

Additional Roster Moves

Yankee right-handed reliever Jonathan Holder has been placed on the 10-day IL with shoulder inflammation, and Stephen Tarpley has been recalled from AAA. It really sucks to see Holder on the IL because he has been pitching much better of late.

The Yankees have to hope that no more relievers go down soon. AAA pitchers Daniel Camarena and Domingo Acevedo have also been placed on the IL, and both are on the 40-man roster.

Because of those injuries, it makes sense now why the Yankees acquired reliever Joe Mantiply from the Reds. He has seen major league time before, but not since 2016. He could be called upon in an emergency.

Hopefully, everyone on the team can stay healthy now for the postseason run.

With Players Beginning to Return, the New York Yankees Face Tough Decisions

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

The New York Yankees faced and are still facing an injury crisis, but soon a lot of their stars will be back. However, it will likely be three outfielders to return next. How will the Yankees work this out? Also, once Didi Gregorius comes back, which infielder will go?

The decisions:

Clint Frazier will be returning from a brief IL stint on Monday, and the Yankees sent Stephen Tarpley down for the corresponding move. But, Tarpley isn’t an outfielder, he’s a pitcher.

Tyler Wade has currently been playing the outfield, but I believe that he will begin to play the infield again. People thought for sure though that Mike Tauchman would go once Frazier returns, but Aaron Boone has confirmed that his time as a Yankee has not expired just yet.

Once Aaron Hicks returns in ~10 days, it will certainly be Tauchman’s time to go. A .176 average ain’t gonna cut it in the MLB, especially with Cameron Maybin hitting .333 while playing good defense. Maybin will 100% stay over Tauchman. Maybin is a proven outfielder with a lot of MLB experience.

But once Giancarlo Stanton returns, sometime shortly after Hicks, it will likely be Maybin’s time to go. They may be able to trade Maybin and get some cash or a prospect, because he deserves a spot on a MLB team, but won’t have one with a healthy Yankee squad.

Didi will begin his rehab assignment in a few weeks, and once he returns it will either be Tyler Wade’s or Gio Urshela’s time to go. Didi should be on the active roster in about a month or so.

I think that it should be Wade that goes because, well, Urshela has outplayed him in almost every aspect. Wade is a great base-runner and is very aggressive, but Urshela is more defensively sound and boasts a .338 batting average.

Wade just hasn’t proven himself enough to maintain a spot on a healthy roster, and needs to hit better to spend more time in the MLB. He is also beginning to run low on minor league options, so that could potentially be a problem in the near future.

And once you remove Wade, Gleyber can shift back to second and DJ can be the utility man the Yankees wanted.

Once more players become healthy, the Yankees will face several tough roster decisions. But, Brian Cashman doesn’t make very many bad decisions and you should trust that he will continue to make the right ones.

New York Yankees: Dellin Betances to Start Season on Injured List

During Tuesday’s spring training game on the YES Network, New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman announced in an interview that hard-throwing relief pitcher Dellin Betances will start the 2019 season on the injured list. Cashman said that in an MRI, he showed to have shoulder inflammation and the team is calling it a “shoulder impingement.” The team expects Betances to be throwing again “in 3 to 5 days.”

Betances had not been himself during spring training. He had an ERA of 5.40 in just four outings, and the team was concerned about his velocity. His fastball was only reaching 88 to 92 mph, much lower than his 96 to 100 mph average. He has had issues with getting off to a fast start, literally. His ERA is always a bit higher in the early part of the season, and way high in spring training with his strikeout rate lower.

More Injuries

This now leads to even more early season injury concerns from the Yankees. Though he is the only bullpen guy out right now, the Yankees are down two starters in CC Sabathia and Luis Severino. Aaron Hicks will not be ready until at least the second series of the season, Didi Gregorius is out until summer because of his Tommy John surgery, and who knows about Jacoby Ellsbury.

Like last year, the Yankees will need to have a “next man up” mentality to fill these roster spots. Young guys will be stepping up and providing a lot to start the season, especially on the pitching staff. Those pitchers may be Jonathan Loaisiga, Domingo German, Stephen Tarpley, and Luis Cessa.