Tag: New York Yankees

Masahiro Tanaka Getty

Masahiro Tanaka doesn’t make it out of the second inning vs. the Red Sox


This won’t exactly give the Yankees peace of mind going into the offseason.

Masahiro Tanaka was solid in his first start in 10 weeks last Sunday against the Blue Jays, but he didn’t make it out of the second inning this afternoon against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. There’s no way to sugarcoat it here, he was flat-out awful.

Tanaka gave up seven hits and two walks over just 1 2/3 innings and ended up being charged with seven runs. He threw just 25 out of 50 pitches for strikes and his stuff didn’t look sharp or have much bite. Simply put, he didn’t have it.

Tanaka was diagnosed with a partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in early July, but doctors recommended him to try rehab over Tommy John surgery. We should know more about how he’s feeling after the game or tomorrow, but whether he’ll actually pitch for the Yankees next season remains a legitimate question.

Derek Jeter declines to have Bob Sheppard’s voice introduce him at Fenway Park


With Derek Jeter wrapping up his career at Fenway Park, the Red Sox thought it would be fitting if they used Bob Sheppard’s familiar introduction for his at-bats this weekend. David Lennon of New York Newsday reports that they even got permission from Sheppard’s family if Jeter was up for it. But it won’t happen:

Like shortstop, Jeter wants to leave Sheppard’s introduction behind at Yankee Stadium. And it’s hard to take issue with that.

Dellin Betances’ season of dominance is over

Dellin Betances Getty

Dellin Betances has emerged as one of the most dominating relievers in the game this season, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi confirmed today that he has seen enough.

Armed with a mid-to-high 90s fastball and an unhittable curveball, Betances has posted a 1.40 ERA in 70 appearances this season to go along with an astounding 135 strikeouts over 90 innings. He struck out 39.6 percent of the batters he faced this season, good enough for fourth among pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched. Oh, and about that nasty curveball, Brooks Baseball notes that opposing batters hit just .075 with a .124 slugging percentage against the pitch this year. Just bonkers.

David Robertson is due to become a free agent this offseason, so Betances could take over the closer role for the Yankees in 2015.

Derek Jeter to serve as DH against Red Sox on Saturday

Derek Jeter AP

Derek Jeter got a break last night following his emotional Yankee Stadium finale on Thursday, but he’ll serve as the designated hitter and bat second for this afternoon’s game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Jeter left shortstop behind after Thursday’s game, so he’ll be limited to DH or pinch-hitter duties for the final series of his 20-year major league career. These games are meaningless from a standings perspective, but it’s still fitting that he’ll wrap things up against his team’s biggest rival.

This season has been a struggle for Jeter, but he’s going out strong. The 40-year-old batted .353 (12-for-34) with one home run, four doubles, and nine RBI over eight games during his final homestand.

Dave Stewart’s first move as Diamondbacks GM was the easy one

Kirk Gibson, Kevin Towers

When the Diamondbacks brought in Tony La Russa as team president, it was a given that manager Kirk Gibson would be shown the door. The only question was timing. Now that they have a new general manager in Dave Stewart, the timing was right: Gibson was ousted Friday with three games left in the season. Technically, it was Stewart’s initial move as general manager, and practically, it gives him what should be a popular head start with the fanbase, even if the call was made before his arrival.

The real work for Stewart will start in a few weeks. Former GM Kevin Towers left him an absolute mess to work with after selling off several of the team’s best prospects for less talented players who fit his mold of what a team should look like. Making the situation even more difficult is that, by and large, the younger players the Diamondbacks have introduced this year have held their own. That’s a good thing, for sure, but it’makes it a lot more difficult to decide where to upgrade.

Here are the 26-and-under players the Diamondbacks have tried this year:

Didi Gregorius (24): .221/.288/.364. Plus defense at short
Chris Owings (22): .261/.300/.406. Adequate at short, potentially plus at 2B.
Nick Ahmed (24): .200/.235/..277 in 65 AB. Top-notch defensive potential at SS.
Jake Lamb (23): .237/.273/.395 in 114 AB. Solid defense at third.

A.J. Pollock (26): .307/.353/.512. Looks like a keeper in center.
Ender Inciarte (23): .275/.318/.355. One of the league’s best defensive outfielders
David Peralta (26): .286/.319/.447. 111 OPS+. Subpar defense in right.

If you put five or six of those guys alongside Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero next year, you’re still probably not going to have a very good lineup. But who are the keepers? Pollock seems like an obvious choice, and Owings has more room to grow. I’m not a big fan of Gregorius or the other two outfielders.

The Diamondbacks also have Aaron Hill under control for two more years and $24 million. Mark Trumbo is due about $6 million in arbitration. Laughably, Cody Ross is due another $9.5 million for next year (including his $1 million buyout for 2016). If the Diamondbacks are willing to give away 2015, they can pay someone to take Hill, probably sell low on Trumbo and continue to play the youngsters. If they’re not, then they’ll need to upgrade at third base and hope that Inciarte or Peralta can excel in right, with Trumbo back in left. Or they could trade Trumbo anyway and sign a free agent outfielder.

In the rotation, the Diamondbacks have Wade Miley, Josh Collmenter, Trevor Cahill, top prospect Archie Bradley, Daniel Hudson and then these guys:

Chase Anderson (26): 4.01 ERA, 105/40 K/BB in 114 IP
Randall Delgado (24): 6.61 ERA in 4 starts, 4.63 ERA, 74/28 K/BB in 58 1/3 IP as reliever
Vidal Nuno (26): 3.76 ERA, 69/20 K/BB in 83 2/3 IP since arriving in Brandon McCarthy deal.
Andrew Chafin (24): 3.86 ERA in three late starts

With Patrick Corbin hoping to return from Tommy John surgery in June and Bronson Arroyo potentially back in July.

The Diamondbacks aren’t at all likely to sign one of the aces available this winter, and it’s worth wondering whether it makes sense to spend big for a third or fourth starter when contending seems like a long shot. If all breaks right, the Diamondbacks could finish next year with a very promising rotation led by Corbin and Bradley, with top prospect Braden Shipley banging down the door and perhaps even Hudson recapturing his former promise. In the meantime, I don’t see how a $10 million-per-year band-aid will do much good.

So, that’s the dilemma Stewart faces. The smart strategy would seem to be to proceed quietly, let the team take its lumps in 2015 in an effort to reemerge as a contender in 2016. But with a new team president, a new GM and a new manager, it’s hard to imagine they won’t try to make some sort of splash, for better or worse.