New York Yankees Analysis: Has the Yankee organization ruined Gleyber Torres?

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Before the 2020 season, the New York Yankees didn’t want to pay Didi Gregorius for his services as a shortstop and let him go to Joe Girardi’s Philadelphia Phillies. Instead, they chose to move the second baseman Gleyber Torres to be the team’s new shortstop. Ever since then, the bright young star once heralded as the Yankee’s new superstar has struggled both in his offense and defense. It should have lit up caution signs in the front office, but they didn’t see them or failed to act on them.

This has caused immense pressure on the young man. The question that should be asked is how much blame for his poor play should fall at his feet, and how responsible the New York Yankees have been for his poor play. When he was moved back to second base, his natural position, the Yankees have in their own way admitted that the entire experiment had been a failure. Has that failure ruined him, or will a full season at second bring him back to the player he was in 2018 and 2019 when he had 62 home runs?

Unfortunately, the problem for the Yankees has become much more complicated with the long-term contract they offered Gold Glover DJ LeMahieu. With moving Torres back to second, the Yankees are experimenting with LeMahieu at third and taking excellent third baseman Gio Urshela to fill the shortstop position. Unfortunately, neither LeMahieu nor Urshela is tearing up in the hitting department. So are they repeating the mistake they made with Torres?

To fully understand the Torres problem, you must know what has got him to where he is now. Gleyber Torres was born amongst the political strife, unrest, and violence of Caracas, Venezuela, in a middle-class family headed by Eusebio Torres and his mother, Ibelise. He is 24 years old. Gleyber started playing baseball at the age of four. He started in his early years as an outfielder, but shortstop was more suited to his game. His love of the game was propelled by watching games on TV.

He played both basketball and baseball in high school, but his father got him to concentrate on just baseball. Many thought he had the capabilities of becoming a professional. At age 14, he enrolled in an academy with strong connections to baseball scouts. Shortly after that, he was sought out by the Chicago Cubs, and he signed a contract with them.

In 2013 at the age of just sixteen, he signed a $1.7 million contract with the Cubs as an international free agent. He played in the minors for the Cubs organization; He made his pro debut in 2014 with the Arizona Cubs. In fifty games, he hit an average of .297. In 2015 he played for two minor league teams. In 126 games between the two clubs, he hit .287 with three home runs. In 2016 the Cubs traded Torres with Adam Warren and two other players to the Yankees for a desperately needed Aroldis Chapman. Torres played in the minors but missed most of the 2017 season for an injury that required Tommy John surgery, but still recorded a .287 season with seven home runs.

Torres made his major league debut on April 22, 2018, against the Blue Jays but went hitless. The next day he got his first hit off the Twins. Then, on May 4th, he recorded his first home run. The youngest Yankee to do so since 1969. In 2018 after batting .297 with fifteen home runs, he was selected to the All-Star team. He was named AL player of the week twice. For his sophomore season, on April 4, 2019, Gleyber Torres became the fourth-youngest Yankee with four hits and three extra-base hits in a game since Joe DiMaggio did it in 1936.

On June 29, 2019, he hit the 39th home run of his short career. Then, on August 2nd, he hit his second Grand Slam. To end his 2019 campaign, he batted .278 and led the New York Yankees with 38 home runs with 90 runs batted in. In his three years in the majors, he has been a New York Yankees All-Star twice and has received an MVP nomination. He finished the 2018-19 campaign with 62 home runs for his three-year career and 167 RBIs.

Torres played well in the 2020 spring training and the later summer camp. The New York Yankees had great hope for their young, new shortstop would repeat his excellent performance. The Yankees hoped for the best as he tried to follow in Yankee all-time star Derek Jeter’s footsteps and  Didi Gregorius, who is now a Philadelphia Philly.

Fast forward to the coronavirus shortened baseball season. All the 2019 magic disappeared from that new guy at short? Well, it appears there certainly have been some struggles that he has suffered, from both behind the plate and at his new position. Before Torres went on the IL with both calf and hamstring strains, he led the league in errors at short and was hitting just .231 with only one home run and a measly six RBIs.

On August 21, 2020, Torres went on the 10 day IL. Upon his return, he had three at-bats and managed a double in a game. At the time, they hoped that was a good sign for the remaining weeks of the season, but it was not to be. Torres ended the 2020 season hitting just 3 home runs with an average batting average of .243.

2021 has not been better for the young man constantly under the pressure of not holding down his position as he should. You can only imagine the damage to the psyche when one is constantly being criticized for his play. It makes you work too hard to be good, and the result has not improved under pressure. The Yankees finally decided to move him back to second base. He immediately made two bad errors and a couple of bonehead plays. Now in his old position for a time, he seems to be settling in; he has even shown some power at the plate.

One must keep in mind that the 24-year-old is still very young and has plenty of time to improve. One or two seasons does not make a career. This season has given his detractors even more ammunition that he will never make stardom. The question now is can he return to the player he was? Whether winning in the postseason or not, the New York Yankees will have many questions to answer in the offseason.

This offseason, there will be a slew of shortstops on the market. Some of those include the expensive Marcus Semien, Trevor Story, and Carlos Correa to a cheapy Jose Iglesias. When considering these names, don’t forget the Yankees farm system and Andrew Velazquez and Anthony Volpe. Should the Yankees decide not to bring Anthony Rizzo back, that could put DJ back at first and Gio back at third while keeping Torres at second and looking for a new shortstop. Questions abound.



New York Yankees 9/25: 3 Major takeaways from win over the Red Sox

New York Yankees, Nestor Cortes Jr.

Last night the New York Yankees entered one of their most critical series of the season to hold on to a wild-card berth in the postseason. The New York Yankees opened a three-game series with their traditional age-long rivals Boston Red Sox, at Fenway Park in Boston. The Yankees put ace Gerrit Cole on the mound to face one of the Red Sox’s most successful pitchers Nathan Eovaldi in that effort. The effort came up big as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 8-3.

Gerrit Cole gets the job done

New York Yankee ace Gerrit Cole took the mound at Fenway Park last night against one of the best Red Sox pitchers, Nathan Eovaldi, with the hope of bouncing back from one of his worst losses of the season. He did that, although certainly not with dominance. Instead, he had a lot of run support right off the bat with the help of Eovaldi, who just didn’t have it.

Cole went six innings giving up three earned runs and walking 3 for an ERA in the neighborhood of 4.50, not anything to brag about. What should be somewhat disturbing to the Yankees is that Cole had his best months during April and May. During June and July, he was just okay. Unfortunately, September hasn’t been as good pitching really well in only two of five games started. Going into a possible postseason, the Yankees and fans can only hope he can rise to the occasion and has not tired.

It takes a team to support a pitcher

Last night a phenomenon took place that has been absent in so many games this season. The pitchers and players acted like a complete team, with everyone doing their job. And that became evident very early in the game. The Yankees in so many games have relied on late rallies to win nail-biting games. Last night the Yankees made a quick statement by scoring 3 runs in the first inning.

What was so impressive was the Yankees got those three runs with energetic, aggressive play and not via the home run. It’s called small ball. The Yankees did get their homers in the game. The increasingly hot Giancarlo Stanton got a two-run shot in the third inning, and Gleyber Torres got his in the seventh inning. Those runs counted for 3 of the Yankees 8 runs. These rest were achieved by old fashion good baseball. Each Yankee got at least one hit, with Stanton and Torres leading the attack with three apiece.

The Yankees inch closer to the postseason

With the win last night and the Toronto Blue Jays loss, the Yankees inched closer to a sure berth in the wild-card round. With the win over the Rangers in the last game of that series and the win last night, the Yankees are now in sole possession of the second wild-card berth. Also, with the win, the Red Sox are just one game up on them for home-field advantage. If the Yankees can sweep the Red Sox on their own turf, they will have that number one spot and home-field advantage, going into a three-game series with the Blue Jays that are lagging by 2 games with only 8 games remaining in the regular season.

Notes: Game number two of the Red Sox series will be today at 4:10 pm at Fenway Park. Nestor Cortes Jr. will be on the mound for the Yankees and Nick Pivetta for the Red Sox. The game will be televised on the YES Network, NESN, and MLBN out of market. Join me today in the Facebook Yankees group “Yankee fans R US!!” and chat about the game in our live game thread. So Check-in early and hit join!

New York Yankees Recap: Bronx Bombers return as Yankees take game one from from the Red Sox

yankees, gerrit cole

Tonight the New York Yankees entered one of their most critical series of the season in an effort to hold on to a wild-card berth in the postseason. The New York Yankees opened a three-game series with their traditional age-long rivals Boston Red Sox, at Fenway Park in Boston. The Yankees put ace Gerrit Cole on the mound to face one of the Red Sox’s most successful pitchers Nathan Eovaldi in that effort. The effort came up big as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 8-3.

DJ LeMahieu started out the game against Eovaldi and singled to right field. Anthony Rizzo followed with a back-to-back single to right. Aaron Judge with two on and no outs bounced one off the center-field wall for a double scoring DJ LeMahieu. Giancarlo Stanton followed by getting an RBI ground out scoring Rizzo. Joey Gallo with Judge on third flew out to left with Judge remaining at third. Gleyber Torres singled scoring Judge from third. Gio Urshela line drove to second to end the half. New York Yankees 3 Red Sox.

At the bottom against Gerrit Cole, Kiki Hernandez walked to lead off the Sox half. Kyle Schwarber reached on a force out. Xander Bogaerts hit into a  6-4-3 double play to end the inning scoreless for the Red Sox. Yankees 3 Red Sox 0.

The second inning was led off by Brett Gardner who lined out to far-right. Kyle Higashioka lined out to short. LeMahieu ground out to short for a 1-2-3 bounce back inning for Eovaldi. At the bottom, Rafael Devers ground out to the shift for out number one. JD Martinez walked. Alex Verdugo struck out on a 100 mph fastball. Hunter Renfroe went down on strikes to keep the Red Sox scoreless.

Anthony Rizzo led off the third inning by doubling off the green monster. Aaron Judge walked. Stanton with two on and no outs hit a three-run home run into the Red Sox bullpen to tack on three Yankee runs. Gallo singled to right. Torres flew out to left for the first out. Urshela ground out. Gardner walked knocking Eovaldi out of the game. Higashioka faced the new Sox pitcher Hirokazu Sawamura with two on and two outs and popped out to the infield, three Sox converged but no one caught the ball, Gallo scored. Red Sox fans were stunned. LeMahieu walked loading the bases for Rizzo who struck out swinging but the Yankees tacked on another run. New York Yankees 7 Red Sox 0.

At the bottom of the inning with Cole having a 7 run lead, Christian Vazquez lined out to Torres at second. Jose Iglesias flew out to Judge in right. Hernandez walked. Schwarber went down on strikes for another scoreless inning for the Red Sox. Yankees 7 Sox 0.

The fourth inning was led off by Aaron Judge who flew out to left. Stanton got a long single off the green monster. Gallo flew out, and Torres lined out. The Red Sox were scoreless in the bottom. The fifth inning was scoreless for both teams. Yankees 7 Red Sox 0.

The Yankees were scoreless in the top of the sixth inning. Then, in the bottom with two on base, Rafael Devers hit a three-run homer off of Cole, making it New York 7 and Boston 3.

In the top of the seventh, Gleyber Torres hit a home run off the top of the left-center wall. Urshela singled. Brett Gardner singled. Higahioka flew out to center field. LeMahieu flew out to the center-field wall. Rizzo lined out to second base, but the Yankees tacked on another run. At the bottom, Clay Holmes took over for Gerrit Cole, facing Renfroe, who grounded out to third base. Vazquez lined out to Rizzo at first. Iglesias beat out an infield pop-up. Hernandez singled. Bobby Dalbec pinch-hitting for Schwarber faced new Yankee pitcher Wandy Peralta and stuck out. New York Yankees 8 Boston Red Sox 3.

The eighth inning was led off by Aaron Judge, who went down looking. Stanton flew out to the Pesky pole. Gallo flew out to the left-center wall as the Yankees went down 1-2-3. At the bottom of the eighth, Bogaerts ground out to Torres at second. Devers ground out to Urshela at short. Martinez walked. Verdugo gound out to Torres to end the inning. New York Yankees 8 Boston Red Sox 3.

Gleyber Torres, who homered in the seventh, led off the top of the ninth by singling to left as he went 3 or 5 in the game. Torres was caught out stealing second. Urshela struck out swinging. Gardner went down looking. With the last licks on the line for the Red Sox, Renfroe came to bat against Chad Green and struck out swinging in the bottom of the night. Vazquez walked. Travis Shaw pinch hit for Iglesias and stuck out. Hernandez flew out to Judge to win game one for the Yankees.

The final score was the New York Yankees 8 and the Boston Red Sox 3. The winning pitcher was Gerrit Cole, and the loser was Nathan Eovaldi.



New York Yankee Legends: Jim Abbott, the most amazing no-hitter in baseball (video)

Jim Abbott

The New York Yankees have had some amazing pitchers over the years. However, major League Baseball has only one baseball player like Jim Abbott. Not only did he have a no-hitter, but he did it with only one hand. This month is the 28th anniversary of that September 4, 1993 feat the put him in the history books forever.

In the last 28 years since Abbott’s no-no, there have been only 4 no-hitters, all by pitchers with two hands. Dwight Gooden (1996), David Wells (1998 perfect), David Cone (1999 perfect), and the final one this year by Corey Kluber on May 19, 2021.

Jim Abbott’s Major League career lasted a decade. It began in California and ended in Milwaukee. Along the way, he totaled 87 wins, a 4.25 ERA, 888 strikeouts, and a no-hitter. He began his journey as a rookie for the Angels in 1989, tossed that no-no as a member of the Yankees, continued to beat the odds with the White Sox. Then, for a curtain call, he tallied both his career hits and knocked in all three of his career RBIs as a member of the ’99 Milwaukee Brewers roughly a month before his remarkable career ended.

His signature moment in baseball came during the 1989 season when he had a no-hitter with the Yankees, but that was not what made him remarkable. He is the only pitcher in the history of baseball to have only one hand. Most pitchers only dream of throwing a no-hitter; Jim Abbott did it and with only one hand. Abbott, a southpaw, was born in Flint, Michigan, in 1967. His left arm was longer than his right, which ended in a wrist that resembled a balled-up fist to which no fingers were attached. He became more aware of the limb difference in grade school when he endured teasing on the playground and awkward glances in class. Undaunted, he was thrilled when his dad bought him his first glove—a cheap plastic one from the drug store, but still, a baseball glove. Father and son set about playing catch, with a bit of problem-solving involved.

When Jim began school, he was fitted with a mechanical hand made of fiberglass and metal. But he hated the prosthesis, which he called a “hook,” because it frightened some of his classmates and made him self-conscious. Eventually, his parents stopped making him wear it. At 11, Jim joined a Little League team and threw a no-hitter in the first game he pitched. Despite his early success, most people figured the competition would soon pass him by. In fact, at every step, from Little League on, he kept hearing that his playing days would probably end at that level. But at each new level, Jim proved his doubters wrong. When he entered high school at Flint Central, his new coach doubted Jim would defend his position adequately. But Jim actually fielded well enough to play first base and the outfield when he wasn’t pitching.

As a sophomore pitcher for the University of Michigan in 1987, he was named the best amateur athlete and the top amateur baseball player in the nation. He became the first U.S. pitcher to beat the Cuban national team in Cuba in 25 years. As a junior, he garnered a gold medal as a 1988 U.S. Olympic baseball team member, crowning his amateur career by beating Japan in the final game in Seoul, South Korea. In his first season in professional baseball, he won a spot in the starting rotation of the pennant-contending Angels. He was not only the only major leaguer with a major disability, but Abbott never spent a day in the minor leagues.

In December 1992, Abbott was traded to the New York Yankees for three minor-league prospects when the Angels couldn’t sign him to a long-term agreement. The Yankees, who hadn’t participated in a postseason game in more than a decade, were hungry for a pennant going into the 1993 season. However, Abbott’s time with the Yankees would be frustrating as he was often the butt of George Steinbrenner’s scorn. During his time with the New York Yankees, Abbott was only mediocre as a pitcher, and as Abbott spent a lot of time working with disabled children and his charities, Steinbrenner thought he should be 100% focused on baseball.

On September 4, 1993, the New York Yankee Stadium fans were treated to one of the most awe-inspiring triumphs in sports history. Abbott bested a potent Indians lineup that featured Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga, Albert Belle, and Manny Ramirez and surrendered no hits over nine historic innings. His masterpiece remains an inspiration today as the only no-hitter by a one-hander.

There will never be another Jim Abbott. This unlikely sports hero was an Olympic medalist, a member of the no-hitter club, and a (mostly) effective professional athlete for a decade. But, metaphorically speaking, he accomplished all these amazing things with one hand tied behind his back. And he saved his last great baseball moment for the Milwaukee Brewers.

In 1999 Abbott joined the Brewers of the National League. Abbott would now be required to hit as well as pitch. On June 15th of the year, he would be ninth in the lineup. On the pitcher’s first pitch to him, he would blast a line drive to center to drive in a run—just another amazing accomplishment from an amazing man. In baseball, there are lefties and righties, but only one one-hander.

The great Jim Abbott, for his major-league career, Jim Abbott won 87 games and lost 108 with a 4.25 earned run average. Yet, he had as much impact as any player who played the game, giving renewed hope to thousands with disabilities. He once estimated that he had at least one scheduled meeting with a disabled child during every road series of his career. He today still is a speaker and advocate for the disabled, particularly children.

Yankees: Gio Urshela’s plate discipline has eroded

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

The 2021 New York Yankees have had unexpected stars and bitter disappointments when we compare specific players to their pre-season expectations. One of those established veterans with a mediocre season is third baseman Gio Urshela.

Urshela plays good defense at the hot corner, and that is valuable. However, his .264/.299/.416 line has left a lot to be desired: he has been a below-average hitter as evidenced by his 95 wRC+, and has just 13 home runs in 408 plate appearances.

His offensive performance has been slightly disappointing considering the fact that he hit over .290 and had a wRC+ over 130 in the last two seasons. His contact quality isn’t the best, but there is another issue damaging his profile: plate discipline.

The Yankees’ third baseman has a 4.7 percent walk rate, his lowest since 2018, and a career-high 25.2 percent strikeout rate. His previous high in that last department was 21.7 percent three seasons ago.

The Yankees’ third baseman needs to increase the walks and cut the Ks

Urshela has been chasing a lot of balls outside of the zone, at 39.7 percent, and his 76.8 percent contact rate is his lowest since 2018. He has been swinging and missing a lot, too: his 12.5 percent swinging strike rate (SwStr%) is the highest it has been since that 2018 season in which he was a below-average hitter, before making the changes that made him productive in 2019 and 2020.

There is absolutely no doubt that the Yankees, if they want to secure a place in the 2021 postseason, need the best version of Urshela to lengthen the lineup. He has been better in his past seven games, with a .346/.346/.500 line.

However, over that timeframe, he also has a 0/5 BB/K ratio. If he is going to improve and become a reliable offensive contributor, like he was in 2019 and 2020, he will need to take a few more walks and cut down the strikeouts.

It’s do-or-die time for the Yankees

gary sanchez, yankees

The New York Yankees are, before Friday’s games, in sole possession of the second American League Wild Card spot with an 86-67 record. They are one game ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays and two games behind the Boston Red Sox for the first WC berth.

The Rivalry resumes this weekend with perhaps its most important series since the 2018 ALDS. The Yankees can overtake the Red Sox in the first Wild Card spot with a sweep, and can cut Boston’s lead to just a single game if they take two of the three.

After dropping two of three at home against Cleveland last weekend, the Yankees rebounded and swept the Texas Rangers.

“We’re all very happy to have done what we needed to do (in the Texas) series,” catcher Kyle Higashioka said, per NJ Advance Media. “But we also know that we’ve still got several really important games ahead of us. We’re ready.”

The Yankees need to take the series against Boston

Yes, for the Yankees, it’s do-or-die time. Losing the series against Boston would leave the Bombers in really bad shape considering they still have series against the Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays to finish out the season.

“As far as our focus, I feel like we’re where we need to be,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I felt that way even through some of the struggles we’ve had over the last couple of weeks. I feel like from a mindset, from a focus, from a preparation standpoint, the guys are where they need to be. It’s about us going out and cashing the checks now.”

The Yankees are entering The Rivalry weekend with a revamped bullpen that enjoyed the additions of Luis Severino and Domingo German. Jonathan Loaisiga is likely to follow for the Blue Jays series.

From this point on, there are no more excuses. It’s Showtime.

Yankees News, 9/24: Most important week of the season upon us, Luke Voit could be headed to the bench

yankees, gerrit cole

The New York Yankees are gearing up for arguably the most important week of their entire season. Starting on Friday evening, the Yankees will begin a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox, who currently sit at the top of the Wild Card standings. Currently, Boston has a two-game lead over the Yankees, who have secured the second spot in the WC, with the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners close behind.

With Toronto falling on Thursday evening, the Bombers managed to push forward just a bit, providing them with a slight cushion but in need of more wins, which will be tough to come by against a strong Boston team. Boston has won seven games in a row, including a 12-5 victory over the Mets on Thursday, pummeling Tijuana Walker for six hits and six runs in just 2.0 innings.

On Friday night, the Yankees will feature Gerrit Cole on the mound against a Nathan Eovaldi, both of whom are having solid seasons. In Cole’s last performance, he gave up 10 hits and seven runs in just 5.2 innings against Cleveland, resulting in an 11-1 loss. This was his worst performance of the year by a large margin, so we should expect a bounce-back against Boston in one of the most important games of the season.

On the other side, Eovaldi has put together solid performances in his last five outings. Against Baltimore on September 19, he gave up seven hits and three runs over 5.0 innings, representing an adequate outing, given Boston’s solid offense. Securing the first game of the series is huge for both teams, especially with Toronto clawing their way back into the mix.

The Yankees have to play their best players without hesitation, which could include slugger Luke Voit staying on the bench to start the series. Dealing with injuries this year, Voit has been in and out of the lineup. Voit was noncommittal when asked about his potential future with the Yankees, and with Anthony Rizzo preparing to hit the free-agent market, general manager Brian Cashman has a few big decisions to make.

“We’ll see. There’s a lot that can happen. We’ve got to get a new [collective bargaining agreement] first and see what’s going on with that. But I love playing here,” Voit told The Post.

New York Yankees: Buckle up buttercup, it’s going to be a tough weekend, here’s the preview

yankees, gerrit cole

Tonight, the New York Yankees open a three-game weekend series with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston. This series not only revisits the oldest rivalry in sports, but it is against a team the has won seven straight games and holds the number one berth in the wild-card race. Unfortunately, the Yankees this season have won only 7 of 16 against the Red Sox.

Unless you have been sleeping under a rock for the last few weeks, the Yankees have slipped in and out of holding one of those berths in a winner take all game, that either ends the season or propels them into the divisional series. Presently they hold the number two spot with the Toronto Blue Jays nipping at their heels.

The Yankees have a gargantuan job holding onto that spot as they play the last nine games of the season with teams that are statistically equal or better than they are. The Seattle Mariners are still in the mix as well, just one game behind the Blue Jays. The Yankees have to do well this weekend, at least taking two games from the Red Sox. Tonight toward that goal, they are pitting Yankee ace, Gerrit Cole against Nathan Eovaldi in that park with the famous green monster.

Tonight, September 24, 7:10 pm EDT:

Tonight the Yankees will put their best foot forward with Gerrit Cole on the mound. Cole is the Yankee ace and has won more games than any other Yankee starter. He is 15-8 with an ERA of 3.03 and an incredible 231 strikeouts on the season. Unfortunately, he is coming off his worst start of the season, a loss to the Cleveland Indians when he gave up seven runs in 5.2 innings of work with two home runs allowed. However, Cole will hope to bounce back and prop up the Yankees for a game one win. Cole is going to have to keep Rafael Devers in check. He has two homers off Cole and five RBIs this season.

Cole will face one of the best Red Sox pitchers in Nathan Eovaldi, a righty that is 10-8 with an ERA of 3.58 and 188 strikeouts. The edge in this game goes to Cole but only for a minimal margin. Eovaldi has faced the Yankees twice this season. On June 5th, he earned the 5-2 win over the Yankees. The flame thrower’s changeups mystified the Yankee hitters. On July 24th, he threw 100 pitches and left the game with a 3-0 advantage, but the Sox bullpen blew it when the Yankees came roaring back in the 8th led by Brett Gardner to win it over the Sox 4-3. DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge have had Eovaldis number all season long. Both with batting averages over .368.

Tonight’s game will be televised in the New York area in WPIX and its affiliates, NESN, and nationally on ESPN.

Saturday, September 25, 4:10 pm EDT

Saturday will be another tough matchup when relief pitcher turned starter Nestor Cortes Jr. takes the mound for the Yankees. For the most part, other than a few hiccups along the way, Cortes has been brilliant for the Yankees, much more than his stats would suggest. He is a lefty that is 2-2 with a low 2.79 ERA and 94 strikeouts. He has faced the Red Sox twice this season, both no-decisions. He is coming off three of his best outings in a row also for no-decisions. He achieved a season-high 11 strikeouts in a September 15 game.

Cortez will battle for the win against righty Nick Pivetta who is 9-7 with a 4.63 ERA and 159 strikeouts. His sixth loss of the season was against the New York Yankees on August 18th. Anthony Rizzo has six RBI’s off him, and Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez have been Pivetta killers. Saturday’s game will be on the YES Network, NESN, and MLBN out of the market.

Sunday, September 26, 7:08 pm EDT

The Yankees will send Jordan Montgomery to the mound for the series finale, and the last time the two teams will meet up in the regular season. “Monty” is 6-6 with an ERA of 3.55 and 155 strikeouts. Montgomery is one of two Yankees pitchers that have gotten the least run support in his starts stunting his record. Montgomery is coming off a win against the Rangers and had a season-high 12 strikeouts against the Orioles. Monty will have to be careful with Xander Bogaerts; he has a .438 average off him in 24 at-bats.

Montgomery will face the Boston Red Sox ace Eduardo Rodriguez who is 11-8 with an ERA of 4.97 and 170 strikeouts. E-Rod has not had the best of seasons due to heart problems that kept him off the field in 2020. He is a force to be dealt with, however. He started the season gangbusters, winning his first 5 games in a row, but he has not been as dependable since then, winning only 5 more games in the next three months. Gleyber Torres has hit 3 homers off him, while Joey Gallo generated two long balls in just six at-bats.

The Sunday evening game will be broadcast nationally only on ESPN.

The New York Yankees nine games will decide their season, if they fail who should go? Poll results

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees have a day off today to reflect on their whole season and what lies ahead of them. The Yankees rose to the occasion this week and, with great urgency, swept the Texas Rangers, keeping them in the running for a wildcard berth. But what lies ahead is far more daunting and will decide the whole season. After the sweep, the Yankees now hold the second wild-card berth.

In the final nine games of the regular season, the Yankees will face the most challenging situation they have faced all season long. They will only face teams that are statistically better playing teams. Starting tomorrow, they hit the road to face the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. It doesn’t get easier after that when they play the Blue Jays at Rogers Center in Toronto.

Finally, the last three games of the season will be played back at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The problem with this schedule is that the Yankees have not prevailed over these teams all season long and now must be able to do that if they have any hope of a 28th World Championship.

This season the Yankees have won 6 of 16 games against the Toronto Blue Jays. They have won only 7 of 16 against the Red Sox. They have won 7 of 16 against the Tampa Bay Rays. All three of these teams do not have the challenging last nine games that the Yankees have, making it even more difficult to succeed.

There are many things the Yankees can’t control. For instance, all three opposing teams could go on a nine-game losing streak, which is unlikely. However, the one thing the Yankees can control is how they play over the next nine games. If the Yankees win more games, then they lose the whole season could come down to the last three games at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will be playing the Rays; the Red Sox will be playing the Blue Jays. The Yankees will also have to scoreboard watch the Oakland Athletics that are just 2.5 games back in the wild card standings.

With any team being able to beat any team on any given day and the unpredictable nature of baseball, one thing is for sure. Scoreboard watching will become a new art form in the coming days. Each and every game is so important to every team in contention. It sure will be exciting and hopefully rewarding for the New York Yankees.

If the Yankees fail to reach the postseason, there will be many questions to be answered. In the words of George Steinbrenner, if the Yankees don’t win a World Series, it is a failed season. However, I am not sure Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman, and Aaron Boone share that same feeling. As exhibited by manager Boone’s constant praise of the team even when not winning. Boone says he is not worried about his future with the Yankees, but with the season on the line, you can’t but wonder, tucked back in his head if he may wonder if his job is on the line.

Recently I conducted a poll of several Facebook Yankee groups, asking who should be fired if the season does not end well for the Yankees. Getting the pulse of a large group of Yankee fans was eye-opening. The choices I gave were Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman, Gary Sanchez, and Gleyber Torres. I must say the results were not unexpected.

First, a little about the poll, it is certainly unscientific and doesn’t represent the view of all Yankees fans, only of those responding to the poll. There were 1,526 responses, with some only commenting and not voting. All of the responses from the different groups were similar. However, one group really targeted Boone compared to the others, and one group really didn’t believe Sanchez should remain the Yankee catcher. One thing that was universally true was that Yankee fans are not ready to give up on Gleyber Torres.

Aaron Boone: 38% of respondents want Boone gone at the end of the season. Some mentioned his lack of ability to motivate, while others criticized him for not being his own man. Some mentioned his inability to manage the bullpen. A few offered that he can’t win in the postseason. Some said to bring back Girardi or Showalter. Two said to give Phil Nevin a chance. (third base coach)

Brian Cashman: 23% think his time should be over. Several mentioned that Hal Steinbrenner tied his hands; others complimented him on giving the team what they needed this season.

Gary Sanchez: 24% think Gary Sanchez will not carry the team into the future and should be replaced. Some sighted his passed balls and inconsistent hitting, while others praised his arm. A few said he was clueless.

Gleyber Torres: 14% think Torres has had his chance but failed. But most that commented stated that he is still young and will improve.

Marcus Thames: 1% although not on the ballot, 12 respondents added him for his lack of getting a powerful team hitting.

Other comments said all of the above. A few said none of the above. Some had a defeatist attitude and said whatever they do, it won’t make a difference.

After reviewing all of the votes and comments, it leads me to believe that the Yankees win or not need a shakeup or even a complete overhaul top to bottom. However, some suggest the Yankees need a new owner.

Yankees’ Jameson Taillon made his first rehab start after ankle injury: What’s next for him?

New York Yankees, Jameson Taillon

The New York Yankees are about to enter a crucial nine-game stretch that will virtually decide their fate this season. At the moment, they are two games behind the Boston Red Sox for the first Wild Card spot in the American League, but hold the second one with a 0.5-game advantage over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Fate is an incredible thing: the Yankees will face both teams in their next two series: first, the Red Sox at Fenway Park starting on Friday, and next week, Toronto is next, also on the road.

The Yankees will need all the help they can handle. They have actually welcomed back two pitchers this week in Luis Severino and Domingo German. Next week, two more could follow: Jameson Taillon and Jonathan Loaisiga.

Loaisiga is already throwing and could advance to bullpen sessions this week, depending on how his shoulder responds to throwing at 120 feet.

Taillon, on the other hand, had his first game action in 16 days, per NJ Advance Media. He pitched for Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday, in the postseason, against fellow rehabber Noah Syndergaard, a member of the New York Mets.

What will the Yankees do with Taillon?

Taillon has been away from the Yankees since partially tearing his right ankle tendon on September 9. The starter was decent in his first rehab start, covering three innings and allowing two runs.

The right-hander threw 51 pitches, 36 of them for strikes. He will likely slot right back in the rotation whenever he is ready to return, as evidenced by his workload in last night’s outing.

Taillon finished his outing by retiring six batters in a row after four of the first six batters had hits against him. He ended up getting better as the night went on, and struck out two with a couple of walks.

The next step for the Yankees would be deciding if Taillon needs another start in the minors or if he will return to the active roster. If that’s the case, he would pitch the series opener against Toronto on Tuesday, but if they decide to hold him a bit longer, he would take the ball against Tampa in the last series of the season.