New York Yankees: 3 major takeaways from Yankees finale loss to the Orioles

The New York Yankees met the Baltimore Orioles yesterday in the series finale of the four-game set. The Orioles came out with the win, with the two teams splitting the series in Baltimore. The Orioles won the first game, the Yankees took the middle two, and the Orioles took the last game in a 10 inning win. Jordan Montgomery got the start for the Yankees with Gary Sanchez catching, and Jorge Lopez started for the O’s. Neither pitcher was involved in the outcome of the game. The Yankees could have won the game if it wasn’t for some bad luck in the ninth when Gleyber Torres hit a ground-rule double that bounced into the stands, tieing the game but not allowing DJ LeMahieu to score.

Darren O’ Day let Montgomery down

Jordan Montgomery didn’t have his best of games, but I wasn’t bad either. He pitched five full innings allowing 2 earn runs. His command wasn’t as good as his last outing, and he only stuck out one batter over the span. But he didn’t let the game get away from the Yankees. Things were still looking good when Chad Green came to the game to replace Montgomery; he pitched two scoreless innings striking out 4 Orioles.

In the eighth inning Darren O’Day, who was stellar, came into the game to replace Chad Green; he gave up an earned run and couldn’t strike out anybody. Aroldis Chapman with the Yankees tied in the ninth and struck out the side. In the bottom of the 10th, the usually perfect Jonathan Loaisiga gave up the winning run. I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it when the Yankees don’t hit home runs; they don’t win games.

Giancarlo Stanton is hot

Without a doubt, Giancarlo Stanton is the hottest of the Yankee hitters. He leads the team in home runs (6) and shares the most RBI’s (15) with Gio Urshela. Last night although not hitting a home run, he went 3 for 5. In the previous game, he also went 3 for 5 with a home run. In just two games, he has brought his batting average from .162 to .250. These performances show that if Stanton can remain healthy, he can be an MVP.

Tyler Wade instead of Mike Tauchman, really?

Before yesterday’s game, the New York Yankees traded Mike Tauchman for Oakland giants pitcher Wandy Peralta and another player to be named later. Yankee fans and this writer are not all that thrilled with the trade. Tauchman was the better hitter, although he may not be that much of an upgrade except for his baserunning and ability to steal bases.

For his part in last night’s game Tyler Wade, couldn’t put down an everyday bunt, possibly causing the New York Yankees from winning the game. Tauchman may have been the better option, but now the Yankees are stuck with Tyler Wade. Tauchman put up some pretty good number in 2019, but a poor season in 2020 and a slow start in this season sealed his fate. For that, we have a pitcher that no Yankee has even seen throw a pitch. I guess a good question is how many left-handed relievers do the Yankees need?

The New York Yankees start a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers tomorrow night at Yankee Stadium. Game one will feature the Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole against the Tigers’ Tarik Skubal.

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

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

The New York Yankees faced the Baltimore Orioles last evening at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. Gerrit Cole, in his fifth start of spring training, faced the Orioles Jo Lopez. The Yankees lost the game 4-1. Here are three major takeaways from the game.

Gerrit Cole dominant in Orioles game

In Gerrit Cole’s last spring training game of the season, he had his best outing of the spring. He went 5.2 innings, the first Yankees pitcher to do so, and was absolutely dominant. He allowed only two hits over the span and reduced his spring training ERA from 3.55 to 2.45. He had an excellent command of his pitches. Gary Sanchez caught him.

In his first games of the spring, he struggled some, particularly giving up home runs. Last night he was like a different pitcher in complete control of the game. Cole often tries out new things in spring training and saves his best stuff for the regular season. Last night was a display of dominance that the New York Yankees hope he can carry over to his Opening Day start at Yankee Stadium on April 1.

In the second inning, two Orioles reach on back-to-back fielding errors by Tyler Wade; nevertheless, he overcame Wade’s errors for another scoreless inning.

Aroldis Chapman bombed big time

Aroldis Chapman was an absolute mess last night; he had no command of his pitches. Fans have often criticized Chapman for giving important games away, particularly in the postseason. Any fan watching last night’s game had to be horrified by his pitching. He only pitched one-third of an inning, giving up three runs, striking out one, and serving up two wild pitches.

Aroldis Chapman came out to pitch the seventh inning. Ruiz singled off of Chapman. A wild pitch allowed Ruiz to go to second. Hays singled, scoring Ruiz for the Orioles 1 run lead. Glavis doubled. Sisco walked and the second wild pitch of the inning by Chapman scored Westburg pinch-running for Hays. Sanchez struck out, but Chapman was pulled from the game by manager Aaron Boone. He was replaced by Nick Goody, who walked Mullins. Mancini ground into a double play to end the Orioles half, but the O’s picked up 3 runs. Orioles 3 Yankees 0.

Yankee hitters again remain silent

In another concerning game, the New York Yankee hitters just couldn’t hit Orioles pitching; they just avoided another shutout. The Yankees this spring have had several games where they only had one or two runs scored. Last night they only were able to muster up 3 hits in the entire game. They walked five times but were never able to push those walks across home plate.

It is said that if a team can score five runs in a game, they will usually win the game. So far in spring training, the Yankees have only been able to score an average of 3.7 runs per game. The Yankees certainly hope that will change in the regular season.

Today the New York Yankees will face the Toronto Blue Jays at Steinbrenner Field in a 1:05 pm game. The Yankees Jhoulys Chacin will face the Jays Anthony Kay. The game will be televised on the YES Network, MLBN, and in Canada on SNET.

New York Yankees: 3 major takeaways from tied Phillies game

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber

Yesterday, the New York Yankees traveled to Lakeland, Florida, to meet up with the Detroit Tigers with just nine days until Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. Both teams relied on the home run to get to a 5-5 tie in the longer than average game. The game lastest almost three and a half hours. Both pitchers, Corey Kluber and Tarik Skubal, had problems allowing the long ball. Here are 3 major takeaways from yesterday’s game.

Kluber shakey but lowered his ERA

Corey Kluber took the mound in the first inning, and Grossman walked on five pitches. Grossman advanced on a wild pitch. Mazara struck out swinging. W.Castro singled driving in Grossman. Castro stole second. Cabrera flew out, but Castro reached third. Schoop walked, and H.Castro struck out. Kluber had a rough inning where he didn’t have good command. He threw 30 pitches in the inning.

Kluber struggled with his command at times through 3.2 innings. This close to the regular season, manager Aaron Boone would have liked to see him go four or five innings, but he did get in a representative number of pitches as he builds up to a 162 game season. Most of his struggles were in the first inning.

Over the 3.2 innings, Kluber gave up just one run lowering his ERA from 3.00 to 1.82, so it wasn’t all bad. Besides the earned run, he gave up three hits and …showed his lack of command in his three walks. We are supercritical here as allowing only three runs in a nine-inning game is not all that bad, and manager Aaron Boone is not the least bit concerned. Boone said that Kluber is healthy and confident. Corey Kluber is slated to be the number two starter. He will get one more game during spring training and make his Yankee Stadium debut on April 3 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Mike Tauchman shined in Tigers game

Mike Tauchman made a major case yesterday about why the New York Yankees should select him for the Yankee bench instead of Jay Bruce. Tauchman provided stellar defense in left-field yesterday in the game against the Tigers; he also got on base all four times with two hits and two walks.

Tauchman had a pretty poor season last year after a bright future he showed in 2019. This beginning to spring training hasn’t been kind to Tauchman. Before yesterday’s game, he had only a .182 batting average. During yesterday’s game, Tauchman showed the front office the kind of player he can be. He pulled ahead of Jay Bruce in hits, walks, and home runs with fewer plate appearances than Bruce. In Yesterday’s game, Greg Allen and Chris Gittens also homered.

The good and the bad for Tyler Wade

Many baseball writers have been writing articles basically saying that it is time for the New York Yankees to move on from utility player Tyler Wade. I am not one of them. I am on the fence about his value to the team. Yesterday Wade supported his view that he belongs on the team. I am not sure about that, but I think the Yankees still need him in the system.

Wade has been kicking around now for four years, playing an average of 40 games in the majors each year while playing most of his games in the minors. Despite his relatively low batting average, he has value to the team. He can play adequately in the outfield, at short, and at second base. Right now, he is most valuable playing at short should Gleyber Torres become injured. He is also the fastest runner on the team, making him a valuable addition to games’ final innings.

Yesterday in the game against the Tigers, he had four plate appearances, getting two hits and walking once. He scored a run and also made an unusual mistake trying to make third and getting caught. Another reason that the Yankees should seriously keep Wade around is that he is one of the few healthy players and is always available. Looking deeper over the last four years, Wade’s power behind the plate has increased. Last season he played in 52 of the 60 games with the most home runs of his career. This writer believes that the Yankees should give him one more season to show his worth. It is also worth noting that in this spring training he has the third most hits.

Today at 1:05 pm the Yankees will be playing the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Deivi Garcia will start for the Yankees and Trent Thornton for the Jays. The game will be televised on the YES Network and SNET in Canada.

 

New York Yankees: It’s time to move on from Tyler Wade

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

Coming into Spring Training, it was expected that Tyler Wade would assume the role of the New York Yankees utility man. His speed and ability to play both infield and outfield made the team high on him despite his poor hitting. However, things could potentially be changing for the 26-year-old. Wade has struggled this spring and hasn’t shown any improvement on the offensive end since his debut in 2017. Could this potentially be the end of the road for Wade?

Fortunately for him, his competitors for the utility role haven’t performed well either. However, manager Aaron Boone said earlier in Spring Training that he wants experience on his roster. Wade doesn’t have a ton of MLB experience, but eight-year veteran Derek Dietrich does.

Dietrich gives the Yankees lefty power, something the team really lacks. A guy like Tyler Wade doesn’t have home run power, but can put balls in the gap for doubles. Three of his seven hits this spring are for extra bases. Dietrich has had stronger power numbers in the last few seasons, even putting up an OPS greater than .800 in 2020 despite a sub-.200 batting average.

As mentioned earlier, the downside of having Dietrich over Wade is speed and defense. Altough Dietrich can play second, third, and left field, he isn’t a strong defender nor very fast. If the team had greater roster space, both players would be assets to the MLB team, but it doesn’t seem plausible to carry both right now. The team would rather carry another pitcher over a back-up infielder.

A third player in the equation is Thairo Estrada. In 23 Spring Training plate appearance, his OPS is below .600, giving him a very low chance to make the team. Similarly to Wade, Estrada is fast and versatile but lacks a lot of offense. He does, however, have more pop in his bat compared to Wade.

So, by the looks of it, Derek Dietrich could be on the MLB roster to open up the 2021 season. The only problem is that the Yankees 40-man roster is full, meaning the team would have to clear space to sign him to a MLB contract. In addition to Dietrich, Jay Bruce is seemingly in a similar position, as he’s had a strong Spring Training and in position to make the team.

The Yankees will have tough decisions if they want to keep both Dietrich and Bruce on the team. One name that comes to mind as to who could be moved is Mike Tauchman. Tauchman bat just .208 with a .698 OPS this spring and could be on his way out. He struggled last season as well, but if the Yankees were to place him on waivers, it shouldn’t take long for him to be picked up by a team.

Another name who could be on the move is Mike Ford. He’s just 3-for-23 this spring, and is coming off a disappointing 2020 campaign that saw him go 7-of-36.

The Yankees could also consider moving on from Tyler Wade completely. He has a minor league option remaining, however, a change of scenery could be what’s best for him. If he were to have an opportunity with a rebuilding franchise, it could be his best chance to make a serious major league career. The way he’s going with the Yankees, he’ll never get the opportunity he truly desires.

Wade is entering the prime of this career, and he certainly doesn’t want to spend it on the Yankees bench or in AAA. DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, meaning Wade will never get an extended starting opportunity in New York. Moving on from Wade will give Derek Dietrich a shot with the Yankees and allow for Wade to have an opportunity with another team.

MLB must read analysis: Minor changes could have a major impact on the game

Like it or not, MLB is evolving in many ways. A hardcore group of baseball fans wants baseball to remain just the way it has for the last 130 years or more. They say that changes and analytics are ruining the game they grew up with. Therein lies the problem that MLB faces. The fan base is getting older and older and dying off, shrinking America’s summer pastime viewership. Over the last twenty-some years, baseball has gone from the most-watched sport to last behind football and basketball.

The simple answer to why this has happened is that the younger population finds baseball boring, slow, with too much dead time. Society has changed to a culture that wants immediate satisfaction, and they want it right now. Baseball is not satisfying those needs. This brings us to why baseball viewership and thus revenues are shrinking. The average TV baseball viewer is now 55 years old. Football and basketball viewers are at least ten years younger on average.

MLB wants to change this. Now that MLB has taken over control of the minor leagues, they have a new playground to experiment with what changes in the game can make it more engaging to younger viewers. In the past few years, they have implemented some rules to shorten game length with is one of the complaints most expressed by viewers. For the most part, those changes have had little effect on shortening games.

New and even more dramatic changes are on the way if MLB and the MLBPA (players union) have anything to say about it, and they do. MLB released some big rule changes for the minors this past Thursday. Some of the most dramatic experiments will be tried at different levels of affiliated clubs. Here is just a few: No more Andy Pettitte; the Pettitte move is now a balk. No more multiple pickoff attempts. No more tiny bases; we are going to make them huge. No more umpire; the strike zone is now computerized, umpires will be reduced to referees. I wonder if robots will throw out a player if he kicks dust in its face? No more infielders in the outfield. These are just a few of the changes that will be implemented in the minors this season.

We have to be reminded that these at just experiments, but if many or any are permanently put in place at the Major League level; it could dramatically change the game. A group of MLB executives, team owners, the players, and even ex-Cubs GM Theo Epstein have put their heads together to come with plans to make the game more viewable. Here is the goal:

• A game with more action, more balls in play, and less dead time.

• A game with better pace and rhythm.

• A game with more base stealing and more chances for world-class athletes to show off their athleticism in the field and on the bases.

• A game with less swinging and missing, fewer pitching changes, and less time between balls in play.

Let’s take a look at each one of these changes and how it could affect the game of baseball as we know it.

The Andy Pettitte move is dead in the water.

Andy Pettitte was one of the most successful pick off pitchers of his or any other time. Many felt that it bordered on a balk. Under the new rules, it will be a balk. It won’t be allowed in the High-A leagues, at least. This rule will require all pitchers to step off the rubber before throwing to first (or any) base. The penalty is (what else?) a balk, and runners get to advance a base.

No, no, no, you have already tried to pick off twice!

Nothing is any more annoying and interrupts the game’s rhythm than a pitcher throwing 8 consecutive pick-off attempts. It usually incites loud boos from fans in the stands.   Well, no more, pitchers will be limited to two pick-off attempts. That is not to say the pitcher can’t try again, but he must get the player out if he does. If he doesn’t, it’s an automatic balk, and the player advances.

We are going to make the bases big, really big!

That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but even the small changes in base size could significantly impact how the game is played. Presently the bases are 15″x15″; the new size to be experimented with is 18″x18″. You may say that’s not that big a deal, but yes, it is. How many base stealers have you seen called out just inches from the plate.  The base’s size will shorten the path by 4 1/2 inches, encouraging more base stealing and a more exciting game. For the New York Yankees Brett Gardner and Tyler Wade, this is a dream come true.

Move over, Ump; the robots are here!

Okay, they won’t look like a Roomba or the tin man from the Wizard of Oz, but they are coming in the form of a computerized strike zone. The biggest challenge will be making that strike zone look like what pitchers, players, and fans can agree it should look like. This change will not be in all minor league parks, but Baseball has experimented with the electronic strike zone in the Atlantic League and the Arizona Fall League. But now, it will move to the minors and maybe later to the majors.

The low A Southeast League will employ the ABS (Automated Ball-Strike System) at most of its parks as baseball continues to explore the future feasibility of sending in the big leagues’ robots. When the Atlantic League used the rulebook strike zone in 2019, the robots called strikes on pitches that no single human in the park thought was a strike. That has to change for this system to work in the big leagues.

There are several problems to get ironed out before you will ever see a robot calling strike and balls at Yankee Stadium or any other MLB park. Robots read strikes differently than those nasty human umpires. It is presently questionable if an ump considers the player’s size as to where the strike zone is. There is a huge difference in the size of Jose Altuve and the Yankees Aaron Judge. How will a robot handle this?

Also, in the test, the previous version of the ABS was sweeping breaking balls called strikes but didn’t look like strikes to anyone but the robots; players were furious with truly unhittable balls. Some would say a robot can not replace the human eye, and they might be correct; only time will tell. As much as umpires are mostly held in low esteem, how do you take your aggression out on a computer program?

None of these experiments may make it to the majors, or maybe all of them over time will become part of the game. MLB is in a race to make the game shorter and more exciting to increase the fan base as basketball and football try to do the same. Huge stars like Mike Trout and the Yankee’s Aaron Judge bring out the fans, but a better game is even more important.

Besides these changes, sources say other changes are on the way as well.

• A 15-second pitch clock, down from 20 seconds at the upper levels of the minors. Pitchers have 15 seconds to begin their windup or come to a set position from the stretch. Otherwise, the umpire can call an automatic ball.

• The batter will be required to be “attentive” to the pitcher with 8 seconds left on the clock. Otherwise, it’s an automatic strike.

• There will now be a 30-second clock between batters in mid-inning, and the time between innings will shrink from 2 minutes, 15 seconds to exactly 2 minutes.

And these may not be the only changes being experimented with. the independent Atlantic League doesn’t start their season until May 27th, so there is still plenty of time to try out additional changes. You won’t see any of these changes in the majors, but if you visit your local minor league park to take in a game, you may see many of these changes first hand. But make no mistake, the successful ones will be showing up at Yankee Stadium and other MLB parks before you know it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Will Wade, Ford, or Tauchman have an impact of the 2021 season?

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

Whether the New York Yankees sign DJ LeMahieu or not, life will go on, and there will be a 2021 baseball season. However, the outcome of those negotiations could have much to do with what other changes the Yankees can make to a team that needs pitching, both starting and in the bullpen. Even before spring training starts on February 21, it seems the Yankee’s starting lineup is pretty set. Leading off if they can sign him will be DJ LeMahieu, followed by Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Clint Frazier, Luke Voit, Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez, and Gio Urshela. Of course, if they can’t resign DJ, it could be substantially different. If the Yankees sign Brett Gardner for another year, he most likely will lead off.

At present, it is unclear how many men will be allowed on theNew York Yankees starting day roster, but it will probably be either 25 or 26. According to how many pitchers the Yankees have on the roster for the opening day, that will allow either two or three, bench players. Those players are likely to be Tyler Wade, Mike Ford, and Mike Tauchman. Let’s look at all three and see what impact they could have with the Yankees in 2021.

Mike Ford is the easiest to predict; he will back up Luke Voit at first base. Ford had a pretty lousy season in 2020, which was not uncommon, especially for players who don’t play daily. Ford hit .135 with 10 hits over 74 plate appearances. He also lacked his 2019 power-hitting with only 2 home runs. Still, he is an adequate first baseman. In his first year with the Yankees, he hit .259 with 12 long balls. If he can return to that in 2021, the Yankees will be happy with that performance.

From Mike Ford, the situation becomes far foggier for both Wade and Tauchman. For Tyler Wade, two scenarios could affect his playing time. If the Yankees sign LeMahieu, that would leave Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada as backups for LeMahieu. If the Yankees don’t sign DJ, they could choose to move Gleyber Torres to second base, his natural position, that would leave Wade to back up whoever is the shortstop, and secondly to back up Torres at second along with Estrada. However, whatever happens, Wade is still the fastest and smartest base runner on the team.

Still foggier is Mike Tauchman’s place with the team.  Now that Giancarlo Stanton is pretty much the every day DH, that leaves Clint Frazier in left field, Aaron Hicks in center, and Aaron Judge in right field. With the Yankees not taking up Brett Gardner’s option, that leaves Mike as the natural outfield backup for all outfield positions. Frazier has a good injury history, but the Aaron’s don’t. For instance, Hicks has only played in over 100 games in a season twice in his eight-year career. Judge has done a little better playing in over 100 games three of his five years. Complicating Tauchman’s playing time is if they re-sign Gardner, a natural center and left fielder. Adding to the mix, the Yankees just traded for outfielder Greg Allen who can play in all the outfield positions. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that general manager Brian Cashman has been getting calls about Tauchman’s availability.

Like with everything else in this offseason, while the DJ LeMahieu negotiations are at a standstill, it’s hard to know anything about anything until the outcome of those negotiations is known. All three of these players had substantial drops in performance during 2020. Tauchman, for some reason or other, lost all his power. Besides a 35 point drop in his batting average, he hit no home runs in 92 at-bats after hitting 13 in 2019. No matter how much playing time these players get, the New York Yankees hope they will return to a season similar to 2019. If the Yankees have injuries like they had in the last two seasons, these three bench players will see playing time.

 

 

New York Yankees Player Profiles: Tyler Wade, will he make the team? (video)

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade
Every year the New York Yankees feel that this will be his breakout year, but Tyler Wade has disappointed.  Last season he started big on opening day. He probably would have started the season at the alternate sight, but replacing DJ LeMahieu started the season at second base against the Washington Nationals. He had a career day.

He led off the third inning by working the count full against Max Scherzer and taking a cutter out of the zone for a walk. From there, Wade was inside Scherzer’s head. He made three pickoff attempts while facing Aaron Hicks, and then he left a fastball in the middle of the zone for Judge to pull down the line. Wade was able to score from first to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead.

Unfortunately for Wade, he struggled through most of the season. In 88 at-bats, he had only 15 hits for a season batting average of .170, just ahead of the struggling Gary Sanchez. If the New York Yankees can re-sign DJ LeMahieu, the Yankees will not have a lot of need for Wade. The team has kept him mostly for his speed and replacement as a utility player off the bench. He is presently on the 40 man roster; whether he remains there with the roster is reduced to starting day levels remains to be seen.

Let’s take a look at Wade’s journey to the Yankees.

The Yankees Tyler Dean Wade was born on November 24, 1994, in San Diego, California. He played baseball as a boy and was a Yankee and Derek Jeter fan from the age of ten. He played ball for Murrieta Valley High School in California, where he developed into a shortstop, who played several times at second base. Yankees scouts took notice of Wade and particularly liked his athleticism. They thought so much of him that they selected him in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB draft when he was just eighteen.

He had committed to play college baseball for San Diego State University but chose to forgo his commitment and sign with the Yankees. He made his pro debut in the rookie Gulf Coast League. At the end of the season, he batted .309 with 12 RBI’s and the Yankees promoted him to the Staten Island Yankees. In the same year, he also played at the Charleston River Dogs and for the Trenton Thunder. He ended playing in 129 games for an average of .273 with 51 RBI’s.

He started 2015 with the Tampa A team but ended the season back with the Thunder. He played in 127 games between the two teams for an average of .262 with 31 RBI’s and three home runs. He was an invitee to 2016 spring training but spent the season with the Thunder. He began the 2017 season with Scranton Wilkes/Bare but was called up to the Stadium on June 27. He ended up taking the shuttle between the Rail Riders and the Yankees multiple times. He was finally called up for the rest of the season on the 4th of September. He was batting .310 for the Rail Riders but .155 for the New York Yankees in just 30 games. During the 2018 season, he was back and forth between the teams again. He played in the Arizona fall league during the winter, where he worked on his outfield skills.

In 2019 he started his season with the Rail Riders but had been up and down again. While at Scranton, Wade has been honing his outfield skills while his natural position is as a shortstop. As it turns out, Wade is a pretty good utility player even playing second base, although he isn’t the greatest hitter. He is still young at 26 and still developing. Wade was again called up when the roster expanded and made some exciting catches in left field.

There are reasons to think that this year may be Tyler Wade‘s break out year. Each year in the bigs, he has performed better than the year before.  Unfortunately for Wade, last season was not one of those years.

Wade is the super-utility player that can take over if Gleyber Torres falters as the shortstop.  He can play at second and in the outfield with better than average fielding percentages.  With his team-leading speed on the bases, he can score from first or second on a hit or sac fly.  Yankee manager Aaron Boone recently sung the praises of Wade.

“Tyler can be that really valuable super-utility guy, rule change or not. He has an ability to defend the middle of the diamond, in the infield, and we have seen just how good an outfielder he can be when we have put him in that situation. For him, it’s about continuing to progress offensively and we think he can be a very valuable player for us, he is always (trying to improve) his offensive game, and looking to take advantage of his speed, laying down a bunt, and working on that line-drive swing. He’s got a pretty good understanding of the strike zone and hopefully, with more reps and opportunities, we can start to see that at this level.” That according to manager Aaron Boone.

The rule change Boone was referring to was the man on second after nine innings in a tied game. The decision to continue that for the 2021 season has not yet been announced.

Wade is not married, and there are no scandals attached to his name. In the offseason, he lives in southern California. He has an older brother Kyle. Tyler attributes his hard-working style to his military father. He became a New York Yankee fan at the age of ten when going on a family trip to Cooperstown; he got to see a Yankee game at the Old Stadium. In that game, he got to see Derek Jeter do his famous jump throw.

When he returned home, he practiced that throw in backyard Whiffle ball games. Wade carries a tattoo behind his left wrist the says, “Confidence is key” For female fans, he is a bit of a heartthrob with his good looks.

The video below shows Tyler Wade’s speed and agility.

 

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.  Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam

New York Yankees: What will Tyler Wade’s role look like in 2021?

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

Since his debut in 2017, Tyler Wade has been a household name for the New York Yankees. Although he’s seen his fair share of struggles, he’s managed to find himself on the Yankees roster for at least parts of last four seasons, even seeing action in 52 of 60 games in 2020. What will his role look like in 2021?

Wade’s 2021 role is highly dependent on whether the Yankees re-sign DJ LeMahieu, and whether they acquire someone like Francisco Lindor. If neither of those happen, there’s a chance he could start games unless the team manages to sign someone else.

However, the chances of Wade becoming a starting middle-infielder are slim to none, but that would be the best case scenario for him. The most realistic scenario for him is if the Yankees keep the same starting infield as they did in 2020. That would make him the back-up middle infielder, getting occasional starts. He’d have a similar role if the team acquires Lindor but fails to retain LeMahieu.

In those scenarios, we’d likely see him the most in late game scenarios. Wade is one of the fastest players in all of baseball, making him a valuable option as a pinch-runner. Additionally, we could see Wade as a defensive replacement for Gleyber Torres. Wade’s 0.2 dWar is better than Torres’s at -0.3, as Torres isn’t a natural shortstop unlike Wade.

Wade is also very versatile, as his abilities allow him to play second-base, third-base, and all three outfield positions in addition to shortstop.

If the Yankees re-sign LeMahieu and manage to land Francisco Lindor, his role would likely shrink. Gio Urshela would play third, Lindor would take shortstop, Torres would slide back to second with LeMahieu moving over to first. Lindor and LeMahieu are workhorses, and rarely miss any games. Urshela and Torres do occasionally get injured, but when they are healthy, they don’t need much rest.

With a more well-rounded infield, Wade’s situational appearances along with starts would shrink.

Regardless of how the Yankees organize their infield, Tyler Wade is likely to see some time on the field in 2021. The moves they make will depend on how much he plays, but he should be a roster lock next season.

 

New York Yankees: Another year, another disappointing Tyler Wade season

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

In the last season he played at the Triple-A level, Tyler Wade had shown enough that the New York Yankees thought perhaps he was something more than a pinch-runner and defensive substitution candidate late in games. After all, in those 79 games and 335 plate appearances in AAA, Wade hit four home runs, has a 6.9 BB%, a 22.7 K% and slashed .296/.352/.425 with a .339 wOBA and a 99 wRC+. He also stole 13 bags.

With the Yankees’ big league team he had already failed in 2017 (.155/.222/.224 in 63 plate appearances) 2018 (.167/.214/.273 in 70 PA) and 2019 (.245/.330/.362, 87 wRC+.) But in 2020, he entered the season with some assured at-bats thanks to DJ LeMahieu being out with a bout of COVID-19.

Sadly for the New York Yankees, Wade couldn’t do much with those plate appearances. Overall, he slashed .170/.288/.307 with a .271 wOBA and a paltry 69 wRC+ in 52 games and 105 PA. Once again, it didn’t happen with Tyler Wade, and it’s time to realize that he may never realize his offensive potential.

He found ways to contribute to the Yankees, but…

Because of his defensive and baserunning prowess, the Yankees saw Wade contribute 0.3 fWAR in 2020. However, the offensive output was, once again, very disappointing. With an average exit velocity of 86.6 (in line with his career norms) he didn’t hit the ball harder. He lifted it a little bit more (career-high 1.05 GB/FB) but it wasn’t enough.

He did improve in a few areas, but these improvements were almost unnoticeable. He did post a career-high in BB% with 11.4 (higher than the 10.2 he finished with in 2019) and, despite a very bad .267 wOBA, he did have the highest xwOBA of his tenure with the Yankees, at .305. But when your best mark is .305, you still have a lot of work to do to reach respectability as a hitter.

Tyler Wade is a very good defender (in several positions) and an even better baserunner. However, unless his offense takes a step forward in 2021, he won’t have many chances to play in the Yankees. The numbers’ game may be starting to catch up with him, and he is running out of chances.

Should the New York Yankees finally give up on Tyler Wade?

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

Tyler Wade is in his fourth season as a member of the New York Yankees, and he’s once again struggling. He’s just 7-of-43 with a home run, three RBIs, and a .539 OPS in 2020.

Wade struggling for the Yankees isn’t something out of the ordinary. 2019 was the only season that he’s hit above .200 (.245), and his career average is just a sub-par .192. In this day and age, players can still be productive even with a low average, but that isn’t the case with Wade. He’s a contact hitter and his game relies on getting base hits. Wade just doesn’t have enough power to stay productive. He has just four home runs and 21 RBIs.

Well, why do the Yankees keep bringing him back? Wade is one of the fastest players in the league and can steal bases. He has 10 career stolen bases and has been caught just once. The lefty-hitting infielder is also a slightly above average defender, as he has two defensive runs saved in 2020.

Is it time the Yankees give up on Wade? He’s never panned out the way the team has hoped, and they’ve given him plenty of opportunities. Maybe a change of scenery for Wade would be the best thing for him, a way to possibly jump-start his career. Plus, no player is happy spending so much time in AAA, as that’s where Wade spends more time at than the big-leagues. He has just over a year of service time even though this is his fourth year in the majors.

The Yankees also have Thairo Estrada to take the place of Wade if he gets dealt in the offseason. Estrada has been much better than Wade, sporting a .244 career average.

Should the Yankees finally bite the bullet and give up on Tyler Wade?