New York Yankees: Troy Tulowitzki Retires

Troy Tulowitzki and the New York Yankees announced today that the 34 year old shortstop will be retiring from the game of baseball. He was a five time all-star, and a two time silver slugger and gold glove winner.

The Yankees signed Tulo in the offseason for just $500,000 and he played in just five games, going 2-for-11. He did have one home run.

Tulowitzki was drafted in the 7th round of the 2005 MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies and made his major league debut just a year later. He was with the Rockies until mid-2015 when he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays released him after missing the entire 2018 season due to injury.

Tulowitzki was a career .290 hitter with 225 home runs and 780 runs batted in. His career WAR was a 44.2.

It’s very disappointing the way Tulo’s career had to end. He was poised for a strong comeback year with a ton of opportunities to play in the early season with Didi Gregorius still recovering from Tommy John surgery at the time. But, he was injured again just five games into the season.

Tulo will now become an assistant coach at the university of Texas, and hopes to stay around the game of baseball for as long as he can.

New York Yankees: What’s going on with Troy Tulowitzki?

Yes, Troy Tulowitzki is still a New York Yankee. He has been on the injured list for majority of the season and quite frankly, most people haven’t even noticed. April 3rd is when he injured his calf, and his rehabbing has been flaky.

Tulowitzki began on the 10-day injured list back in April where after a few days he was beginning baseball activities again. There was speculation that he could return at the end of April. From there he was assigned rehab games in Tampa where he played and then was removed from a game again due to tightness in the same calf. He was shut down for another week and then transferred to the 60-day injured list.

The same bad luck seems to keep repeating for the veteran shortstop. He was primarily signed to take Didi Gregorius’ role while he was recovering from his Tommy John surgery, but instead has only appeared in five games this season.

Tulowitzki’s future with the Yankees

In early June, manager Aaron Boone sent Tulowitzki home for a few days to give him time off his rehab. The latest news after that was Tulo was exploring his options with the club. With Gregorius back in his full-time role, it is unlikely Tulowitzki will have a starting spot or even a bench role when he becomes healthy.

The veteran infielder is 34 years old and has a couple of options. He can request to be released to find a new opportunity, be traded away, or retire. I believe it is extremely unlikely that Tulowitzki’s future is with the Yankees. The club has too much depth in the infield, and I do believe Gregorius will resign after this season.

New York Yankees Injury Updates: Severino, Betances, German, and More

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

As the season progresses, the New York Yankees players are finally coming off the injured list. Key players Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks have already made their return. Bomber’s sluggers Giancarlo Stanton is returning Tuesday against the Rays and Aaron Judge is expected to return later this week.

As the injury bug seems to be disappearing, there are Yankees players that are still suffering:

Luis Severino

Yankees’ ace Luis Severino (lat) will not return until after the All-Star break. However, Severino is expected to start throwing from a mound next week.

Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances (shoulder) has said that he is still dealing with discomfort and is not sure when he will resume throwing. It would not be a surprise if Yankee fans see Betances make his return after the All-Star break as well.

Domingo German

Domingo German (hip) was making a huge impact on the Yankees’ so-far successful season holding a 9-2 record when he suffered his injury. German said his hip has been improving and is becoming more mobile. He began throwing on flat ground, however, there is no timetable for his return yet.

Troy Tulowitzki

Troy Tulowitzki (calf) was making progress when he suffered another setback. Tulowitzki was pulled from his rehab game in high-A Tampa a few weeks ago and there have been no updates since. Manager Aaron Boone met with media today and said that he has nothing to say on Tulowitzki’s progress.

Ben Heller, Greg Bird, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Jacoby Ellsbury

These four Yankees will not see the field for some time. Big Yankee names Bird (foot) and Ellsbury (foot) are expected to not return until early to mid-August.

New York Yankees: Injury Updates (6/8/19)

New York Yankees, Dellin Betances

Didi Gregorius

Didi Gregorius made his season debut on Friday, and it didn’t look like he missed any time. The shortstop out of Curacao went 2-for-4 with two hard hit balls, then went yard on Saturday.

Didi’s defense continued to look gold glove caliber, and his arm seemed fine on throws across the diamond.

Skipper Aaron Boone wants to rest Didi on Sunday, and despite the fact that Didi is pleading with him to play it seems that Boone won’t be budging on it, but who knows.

Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge is in Tampa and getting ready for a possible return in three weeks. He has been taking balls in the field, running, and throwing for a few weeks. Just the other day, he advanced from the tee to cage work and on field batting practice.

The plan would be to start rehab in about two weeks, and then get him ready for the team’s series with the Boston Red Sox in London at the end of June.

Giancarlo Stanton

Giancarlo Stanton is also in Tampa with Judge, and he has been doing the same activities as him. However, he is much further along than him and will begin rehab with the Tampa Tarpons on Monday or Tuesday. He is hoping to advance to the Railriders by next weekend.

With the rehab, it puts Stanton about 10 days out from his Yankee return.

Dellin Betances

Aaron Boone said before Saturday’s 8-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians that Dellin Betances had a setback, and will be returning to New York on Monday to meet with team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad.

Betances had soreness in his shoulder Friday morning before his bullpen, and was evaluated in Tampa before the decision to send him back to New York.

Troy Tulowitzki

Troy Tulowitzki is still reportedly at home, “considering his options”. This could potentially mean that we have already seen the end of Troy Tulowitzki in pinstripes, or even in his career.

New York Yankees: Why There is No Need to Worry About Their Slow Start

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

The New York Yankees have gotten off to a less than flattering 3-4 start in 2019, highlighted by losing two out of three to two of the league’s worst teams. There is disappointment with the four losses, but there shouldn’t be any worry, yet. There are a lot of contributing factors to their early struggles, so let’s review them.

Injuries

Obviously, injuries are the prominent factor in the Yankees early season struggles.10 main guys are on the IL in Jordan Montgomery, Miguel Andujar, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dellin Betances, CC Sabathia, Luis Severino, Troy Tulowitzki, and Giancarlo Stanton.

We know that Stanton will be back in about three weeks, and that Sabathia could possibly make his next start.

Hicks is just beginning baseball activities, Betances is throwing off a mound and should be ready for rehab soon, while Severino is still throwing on flat ground.

We don’t know a whole lot about the rest of the injuries. We’ll know in about 10 days weather the Yankees can start up Andujar again, or if he’ll need season-ending surgery.

Detroit and Baltimore are off to good starts

The Yankees have played two teams that got off to hot starts.

After taking two out of three against the Yankees, the Orioles went north of the border and took two of three from the Blue Jays before losing to the Yankees in their home opener on Thursday.

The Tigers started the season in Canada, splitting a four game series there. They came to New York to take two of three from the Yankees afterwards, then took their home opener against the Royals.

They aren’t alone

The Yankees are not the only World Series favorite to be losing a lot early. At 3-4, the Yankees are better than some other teams record wise.

The Red Sox are off to a terrible 2-7 start with the worst run differential in the MLB at -26. The Houston Astros have started off 2019 at 3-5. Like the Yankees, they have won the first game of each series and that’s it. Remember, the Yankees and the Astros play on Monday.

Off to the worst start in the MLB are the Chicago Cubs. After winning their opener, they have lost six straight to put themselves at 1-6.

This shows to tell that the best teams don’t always get out to hot starts.

This has happened before

Most years, the Yankees aren’t great out of the gate. They started 5-6 last year en route to a 100 win season.

In 2016, they started out 9-17 on the way to an 84 win season.

In 2009, the Yankees started out 3-4 as they would win it all come October.

The Yankees will get healthy and get back to normal. It may take a while, but they always seem to figure it out.

Morale of the story: the Yankees will be ok, and it’s just a matter of time until they win a lot of games and Baltimore and Detroit start to lose a lot of games. Sadly, it’s also just a matter of time until the team from Boston starts to win too.

New York Yankees Strike Out a Franchise-Record 18 Times in Loss to Detroit

The New York Yankees struck out a total of 18 times, a franchise record for a nine inning game, and only amassed five hits as they dropped the rubber match of the three game series against Detroit 2-1. The Yankees were an ugly 2-4 during their six game homestand, and also lost Troy Tulowitzki to an injury on Wednesday.

Not getting runners on

The New York Yankees had a 2-for-5 completion rate with runners in scoring position. Judge had an RBI single and Torres had a single that didn’t score a run. LeMahieu, Bird, and Frazier each had singles, making it a total of just five hits for the Yanks. Luke Voit got hits in the three games against the Orioles, but went hitless against the Tigers in three games.

The team did draw four walks, but they aren’t getting runners in scoring position. Judge did have a stolen base, but Brett Gardner was caught stealing.

They may be able to get on base more and have more success at the plate if they improved their situational hitting. Every single guy goes up to the plate hoping to smack one into Poughkeepsie. That mindset doesn’t work at all. Through six games they have just five home runs, and if they just try to put it in play, good things could happen.

Maybe Aaron Boone needs to try some small ball, like in the bottom of the order. Get a guy on then have someone like Mike Tauchman or Tyler Wade bunt or do a hit and run to try to get runners in a better position, even if it may cause an out for the batter.

Loaisiga and Sanchez

Jonathan Loaisiga started the game on the mound for the Yankees, and despite the fact he only pitched four innings he did well. The Yankees had no intentions to stretch him out, and was removed after just 70 pitches. He struck out four but issued three walks and only gave up one hit. He gave first pitch strikes to nine of his 16 batters while getting three groundouts and five flyouts.

Gary Sanchez already has four errors, and has played just five games. He had another bad throw on a steal attempt, allowing Nick Castellanos to move to third. He really needs to get those throws down and on target.

Another one bites the dust

Troy Tulowitzki was injured in Wednesday’s game against the Tigers with a calf strain and will hit the IL. The team is down another position player, forcing them to call up Thairo Estrada to take Tulo’s place. Estrada has been on the 40 man roster for some time, but hasn’t made his MLB debut.

They need guys like Estrada to step it up during these injuries. It may be early on and generally a low-stress time, but we don’t want these losses to pile up too much.

The Yankees will play the Orioles starting on Thursday at 3:05PM. James Paxton will get the ball for the Yankees against the Orioles’ Alex Cobb.

Yankees can’t recover from Happ’s poor start in another loss to Orioles

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

JA Happ gave up a three run homerun to Orioles third baseman Renato Nunez in the first inning, and the Yankees weren’t able to recover as they dropped the rubber match to the Orioles, 7-5.

Happ’s struggles

In his first start of the season, JA Happ did not come out with his best stuff. After more than a three hour rain delay, Happ opened the game by striking out Jonathan Villar. It spiraled downward after that.

Dwight Smith Jr. hit a double to right-center field, then Trey Mancini hit a dumb little chopper down the third base line that Andujar couldn’t get to in time, putting runners on the corners.

Then, Nunez crushed a 2-2 fastball into the bleachers in left field, giving the Orioles a 3-0 lead.

After a 1-2-3 second inning, Trey Mancini launched another fastball, this time into monument park to give Baltimore a 4-0 lead.

Happ worked a 1-2-3 fourth, but the Yankees decided to pull him and put in long reliever Luis Cessa, who gave up one earned run in 3 1/3 innings.

Happ just couldn’t throw the fastball well on Sunday. Both home runs came from it, as well as the double in the first inning by Smith Jr. Happ struck out three while issuing just one walk in his four innings of work, throwing 75 pitches.

Hitting like it’s still 2018

It may be a new season, but the Yankees offensive tendencies are just the same. Too many chased pitches while having a poor average with runners in scoring position. The Yankees were 2-of-12 with runners in scoring position on Sunday, Judge knocking in two on a single in the fourth, and a LeMahieu RBI single in the ninth.

The Yankees were down 7-4 going to the bottom of the ninth after Tommy Kahnle walked the bases loaded, but managed to work out of it.

Bird walked and then Gleyber Torres just inched out an infield single before LeMahieu had his RBI single. Troy Tulowitzki pinch-hit for Brett Gardner, but struck out on a 1-2 slider that he check-swung at.

14 of the Yankees 27 outs were strikeouts, but four of them came from Judge and three came from Sanchez. However, in addition to Judge’s RBI single, Sanchez went yard for the first time in 2019, lining a 1-2 change-up down the left field line in the seventh.

The Yankees will now take on the Detroit Tigers in a three game series to wrap-up a six game homestand. The Tigers split a four game series with the Toronto Blue Jays to open their season. Tyson Ross is expected to start for the Tigers, while the Yankees are expected to have a “bullpen game”. Domingo German is expected to pitch a few innings for the Yankees, but it is unknown if he will be the starter.

Game time is at 6:35PM on YES Network and Fox Sports Go.

Andujar with missed opportunities as Yankees drop first game of season

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

In his first start as a Yankee, southpaw James Paxton pitched well, giving up two runs (one earned) off of four hits with five strikeouts. However, he was credited with a loss as the Yankees couldn’t get much going on offense, dropping the second game against the Orioles by a score of 5 to 3.

Despite having 10 hits, the Yankees only managed to score three runs while going 3-of-9 with runners in scoring position. Their defense sure didn’t help any, having three errors on the game.

The little offense they had:

In the fourth inning, DJ LeMahieu punched one up the middle, barely strong enough to get through, scoring Gleyber Torres.

In the sixth inning, the Orioles put up two runs off a single by Dwight Smith and a throwing error by Gary Sanchez on a double steal attempt. With runners on first and second, Sanchez threw to second on the steal attempt. The throw was in plenty of time, just off target. This would knock Paxton out of the game.

An inning later, Baltimore got one more, this time off of Chad Green. Rio Ruiz doubled, then later scored off a single by Jesus Sucre. Sucre led the Orioles, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

In the ninth inning, Yankee reliever Jonathan Holder made a mess, starting after an error by DJ LeMahieu. With runners on the corners with one out, Sucre knocked one down the left field line, stopping at second and clearing the bases while making the score 5 to 1.

The Yankees sure tried to come back in the bottom of the ninth. Troy Tulowitzki led off with an opposite field home run, then LeMahieu followed with a double. Gardner hit a hard liner to center that was caught for the first out, however Aaron Judge kept it going with a hard single. After a full count strikeout by Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit hit a high fly ball that barely dropped in with the outfield playing back. That scored a run making it 5 to 3, but Miguel Andujar struck out on a 1-2 slider to end the game.

Andujar ruined their two biggest opportunities

Way back in the first inning, Baltimore starting pitcher Nate Karns was in no mood to deal with the big boys. After Gardner was retired to start the inning, Karns walked Judge, Stanton, and Voit to load the bases. After taking a low fastball for a ball, Andujar hit it back to Karns who threw it to Sucre behind the plate, then Trey Mancini at first for a 1-2-3 double-play.

Now in the ninth inning, the Yankees had Judge on third and Voit on first with Andujar up to bat. After swinging at a 95 MPH fastball for strike one, Oriole reliever Mike Wright threw three straight sliders. Andujar laid off the first one but swung at the next two to end the game.

Andujar finished 1-for-5 with two strikeouts on the afternoon.

The Yankees finish the series with the Orioles on Sunday afternoon at 1:05PM in the Bronx. The game will be televised on YES Network and Fox Sports Go.

 

Three run first inning powers New York Yankees to Opening Day Win

New York Yankees, Yankees, Luke voit

It didn’t take very long for New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit to prove haters wrong.

After back-to-back singles by Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, Voit cranked a low slider on a 3-1 count into Monument Park for the Yankees first three runs of the game and season, and it led them to a 7-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

That home run was Voit’s only official at-bat, he took walks in two other plate appearances and was also hit by a pitch. His hit-by-pitch actually resulted in an RBI, as the bases were loaded. Aaron Judge was the only Yankee with multiple hits, a single to right and an infield single. All Yankee batters besides leadoff hitter Brett Gardner had a hit, but Gardner did have a walk.

Greg Bird went 1-for-4 on the game, with three strikeouts and a home run into the Yankee bullpen. Miguel Andujar had a single to CF in the seventh and an RBI sacrifice fly early on. Andujar, however, did have a throwing error in the fourth inning.

A quality start for Tanaka:

Masahiro Tanaka got his 2019 season off to a good start, giving up six hits, two runs (one earned), and fired five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings of work. Only throwing 83 pitches, the Yankees didn’t want to stretch it with him as the team doesn’t play again until Saturday.

Tanaka was throwing his slider and splitter well and for strikes. All five strikeouts were swinging, including him striking out the side in the second inning using mainly offspeed pitches. Most outs came from his slider or splitter, and he only threw a few curveballs all game.

Tanaka faced 22 batters and threw first-pitch strikes to 12 of them.

Ottavino showed out in his first game:

Adam Ottavino had no New York jitters. He came out to relieve Tanaka in the sixth inning with two outs to strike out Rio Ruiz, then came back for the seventh inning getting two more strikeouts and a lineout to Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop, who got a hit in his first game as a Yankee.

Zach Britton and Aroldis Chapman came in for the eighth and ninth innings, and each pitched scoreless innings despite both giving up a hit.

The two teams don’t play on Friday but will continue the series on Saturday at 1:05PM on YES Network, ESPN+, or FOX Sports Go. The probable starters for the game are Nate Karns and James Paxton.

 

New York Yankees’ Shortstops: Love the one you’re with

The New York Yankees find themselves in the unique position of having an abundance of shortstops who can, and, in the absence of Didi Gregorius, will play the position until his return sometime in June.

Troy Tulowitzki was signed by General Manager Brian Cashman in a move that some have called genius, as Cashman sidestepped the high dollar free agents and opted instead for Tulowitzki for the league minimum with the Blue Jays paying the remainder of his salary in 2019.

Can the New York Yankees trust their veteran infielder?

As fans are well aware by now, Tulowitzki did not play at all in 2018 and had very limited playing time in 2017 due to numerous injuries.

Tulowitzki stepped into the batters’ box on Monday against Marcus Stroman of the Blue Jays and appeared to put all of that behind him with one swing of the bat – he went yard two pitches into his first at-bat in a year and a half and just like that Cashman’s gamble would appear to have paid off.

One swing in spring training does not make a season, and the Yankees have Gleyber Torres to spell Tulowitzki as he is eased back into an everyday role. Torres played shortstop through the Cubs’ minor-league system before he was dealt to the Yankees in 2016.

Torres started 15 games and had a .928 fielding percentage at shortstop in ’18, as opposed to the .970  fielding percentage he had at second base.  The Yankees have not wanted to move Torres around and instead prefer him to continue to solidify his defensive skills at second base.

The 24-year-old Tyler Wade is vying for a bench spot in ’19 and over the weekend, he had the hot bat, with 4 hits in 5 at-bats, three of those hits for doubles.  Wade is a lefty who profiles as a good glove man but who has never had success offensively at the major league level.  He is a career .161/.218/.250 hitter with the Yankees.

Cashman has said that he is committed to Tulowitzki at shortstop in Gregorius’ absence, with the All-Star and Gold Glove winner getting the majority of the playing time.

Yankee fans question whether Tulowitzki will remain healthy enough and have the stamina to play every day or whether there will be a round robin at shortstop with Wade and Torres seeing more playing time, especially to start the season.

Regardless of who holds down the shortstop position for the New York Yankees in 2019, the infield defense is one area where the Yankees need improvement.  The longer Tulowitzki can stay on the field, the better the Yankees will be on defense this season.

Can Tulo be consistent?

What will be interesting to see is whether Tulowitzki can keep up the pace offensively as his batting averages had dipped in the three years prior to 2017 when he went out with injuries.  He hit .239 in 2015, .254 in 2016 and .249 in 2017 in limited games.

I don’t believe the Yankees brought Tulowitzki in for his power, though he’s been known to have some pop in his bat, but instead for his glove.

Whatever the Yankees get out of the shortstop position offensively while Gregorius is out, is gravy.  There will be plenty of heavy hitters on the team to provide the offensive impetus for this team.

As for Yankee shortstops this spring, my advice to you, is love the one you’re with –  Tulowitzki, Wade and Torres will all contribute to the success of the team coming out of the gate.