Game 97: Second-Half Sonny Aims for Rebound

Still not making any Sonny weather jokes until Gray is good.

After leaving 14 men on base last night in a frustrating loss to the last-place Mets, the Yankees call on Sonny Gray in a Saturday matinee from the Bronx.

Gray has disappointed this season, plain and simple. His 5.46 ERA is the second-worst on the Yankees’ staff, but his last start against the Orioles before the All-Star break showed encouraging signs. He threw mostly nothing but sinkers and curveballs, and that simplified approach seemed to be way more effective. Yes, it was six scoreless innings against the worst team in the league but he just looked like a different guy out there.

His opponent will be Steven Matz, who faced the Yankees on June 9 in the first installment of the Subway Series. He gave up three earned runs on five hits in six innings in that game, but received a no-decision as the Yankees eventually won 4-to-3. Overall, he has a solid 3.38 ERA though his FIP is considerably higher at 4.82.

Gary Sánchez has swapped to be the designated hitter today. Brett Gardner sits, while Aaron Hicks heads to the leadoff spot. Brandon Drury is in at second base, and Austin Romine does the catching for Gray.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Domingo Acevedo, who was recalled from Double-A Trenton as a bullpen reinforcement, told the story of how he was given the news of his call-up. A knock on the door came from his manager and pitching coach, and his first thought was that he had done something wrong. However, once given the news, he became emotional and hugged his pitching coach. He called his mother, who also thought something was wrong. Once she was told the news, they both cried on the phone. Now, he’s in a pinstriped No. 70 jersey in the Bronx.
  • Gleyber Torres should begin his rehab assignment quite soon in Tampa. He’s supposed to re-join the team Wednesday in St. Petersburg.
  • Tim Healey of Newsday reported that soon-to-be-ex-Mets closer Jeurys Familia did not have a jersey in his locker so it’s likely that he’s traded before the game ends.

Mets Lineup:

  1. Brandon Nimmo – RF
  2. Asdrúbal Cabrera – DH
  3. Wilmer Flores – 1B
  4. Michael Conforto – LF
  5. José Bautista – 3B
  6. Kevin Plawecki – C
  7. Amed Rosario – SS
  8. Matt den Dekker – CF
  9. José Reyes – 2B

Domingo Acevedo Promoted From Double-A

One Domingo replaces the other Domingo.

The Yankees have recalled No. 7 prospect Domingo Acevedo to be in the bullpen for today’s game with the Mets. Last night, Pinstriped Prospects’ Robert Pimpsner alluded to Acevedo’s promotion and The Athletic’s Robert Murray confirmed it this morning.

Acevedo takes the spot of Domingo Germán, who was optioned Friday night after another disappointing start. The righty is 6’7″, 250-pounds and began the season with Double-A Trenton. He was added to the 40-man roster in the offseason, but did not pitch in MLB Spring Training because he was coming off of a career-high 133.0 innings pitched across High-A, Double-A and Triple-A in 2017.

So far, the results have been solid for Acevedo in the Eastern League. In 11 games (eight starts, 50⅔ innings) he has a 2-2 record and a 2.84 ERA (3.32 FIP) with 40 strikeouts to 18 walks. Batters have hit just .209 against him and he carries a 40.6% ground ball rate so far on the year.

MLB Pipeline’s scouting report is as follows:

Acevedo’s fastball has been clocked as high as 103 mph, though he usually works from 93-97 mph as a starter, which is even tougher to hit because of the funkiness and angle his 6-foot-7 frame and low three-quarters arm slot create. That slot makes it tough for him to stay on top of his mid-80s slider, which may never be more than an average offering. He compensates with a plus changeup that he locates well and is effective against both left-handers and right-handers.

For an extra-large guy with a lot of velocity, Acevedo throws a surprising amount of strikes. His delivery isn’t smooth and features effort, yet he somehow makes it work and finally proved he could hold up over a full season in 2017. Some scouts aren’t convinced he’ll hold up for a starter, though he’d still have plenty of value as a high-leverage option should he become a reliever.

Acevedo got the call over the other two healthy arms on the Yankees 40-man roster, which are Giovanny Gallegos and Tommy Kahnle. He is the second Yankee to get the call directly from Double-A, as fellow righty Jonathan Loáisiga was promoted to make four starts in June.

Mets 7, Yankees 5: RISPfails Mar Start of Second Half

Another loss to a sub-.500 team.

NEW YORK – The Yankees went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and it doomed them to a 7-to-5 loss in the second-half opener Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees collected 14 hits, and left 14 men on base in a loss that proved beyond frustrating. Gary Sánchez collected one hit in his debut off of the disabled list, but left six men on base. Aaron Hicks and Miguel Andújar each left five men on base. It seemed like the right hits just would never come.

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First-inning Domingo Germán buried the Yanks early. Asdrúbal Cabrera doubled in a leadoff walk to Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto later doubled to score Cabrera. José Bautista then doubled to score Conforto. The Mets recorded 10 hits, and did not record their first single until Conforto singled to score run No. 5 in the fifth inning.

The Yankees scored one in the third on a Giancarlo Stanton sacrifice fly, and two in the sixth on an RBI double by Neil Walker. Two more came across in the eighth on a Didi Gregorius double and Stanton groundout. Noah Syndergaard, the Mets starter, bent multiple times but did not break in his five innings of work. The Mets ran with Robert Gsellman in the ninth inning as reports trickled out that the Mets were close to a deal with an unknown team for closer Jeurys Familia. Gsellman worked around a two-out walk to retire the Yankees. Per multiple sources, the Mets are close to dealing Familia to the Oakland Athletics. At the time of publication, a deal was not confirmed.

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After the game, the Yankees announced Domingo Germán had been optioned and that Luis Cessa will take over his spot in the rotation. Cessa is on turn to start July 25 in Tampa Bay. No word on who replaces Germán tomorrow, though the likely option is a 40-man reliever like Giovanny Gallegos or Tommy Kahnle.

What’s Next:

Sonny Gray looks to build on a promising last start in Baltimore against Steven Matz in a Saturday matinée in the Bronx.

Game 96: And, We’re Back!

The second half starts from Yankee Stadium as the Yanks welcome their New York neighbors to the Bronx for a three-game series.

Domingo Germán gets the ball to start the series, and carries just one quality start out of his last three into tonight’s ballgame. His last time out saw him give up six earned runs in four innings Friday against Cleveland. That quality start came July 8 in Toronto, where he allowed one run on just four hits over six innings in an eventual 2-to-1 Yankees win. He last faced the Mets on June 9, where he matched Steven Matz in throwing six innings and allowing three runs.

Countering for the Mets is flamethrower Noah Syndergaard. His finger injury caused him to miss the first edition of the Subway Series in June. Overall, he has a 5-1 record and 2.97 ERA on the season. His last time out, he held the Nationals to just one run on seven hits through five innings of work. He was on a 80-to-85 pitch count in that outing, and exited having thrown just 75 pitches. In one career start against the Yankees, he gave up five earned runs in six innings pitched. That game came on September 19, 2015, when the Mets would eventually go to the World Series.

Gary Sánchez is back off the disabled list, catching and hitting sixth. Rest of the order is straightforward, though Neil Walker starts at second base.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Kyle Higashioka was optioned back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to clear Sánchez’s roster spot.
  • Brandon Drury was recalled by the Yankees pre-game to take the roster spot of Clint Frazier, who was optioned by the team Monday. The latter, unfortunately, has been put into concussion protocol after an attempting a diving catch Thursday in Columbus. Frazier was placed on the 7-day disabled list for the RailRiders today.
  • Gleyber Torres heads to Tampa to begin a rehab assignment with the High-A Tarpons tomorrow, and will join the Yankees on Wednesday for the series finale in Tampa Bay.

  • Mets Lineup:

    1. Brandon Nimmo – RF
      Yoenis Céspedes – DH
      Asdrúbal Cabrera – 2B
      Wilmer Flores – 1B
      Michael Conforto – LF
      José Bautista – 3B
      Devin Mesoraco – C
      Amed Rosario – SS
      Matt den Decker – CF

    Brandon Drury Recalled From SWB

    Back after a 7-game vacation in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

    The Yankees filled out their roster to start the second half with utility man Brandon Drury on Friday, recalling him from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take the place of outfielder Clint Frazier.

    Frazier had been optioned by the Yankees on Monday heading into the All-Star break. Things haven’t been great for Drury since he reported back to SWB on July 13, going 4-for-25 (44 wRC+) and striking out in one-third of his at-bats. The Yankees like his versatility, however, as he has seen time at both third base and second base recently.

    He also played first base for the Yankees this year, and has some corner outfield time on his résumé. Defensive metrics are really only kind to Drury at second base, where he still has an overall negative range factor.

    Drury has an overall .178/.260/.289 (51 wRC+) line in 50 MLB plate appearances, and owns a .294/.403/.447 (144 wRC+) line in 233 International League plate appearances. The latter stat-line was enough to propel him to IL All-Star recognition, though he did not report to Triple-A in time to attend.

    The Yankees acquired Drury in a three-team trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks that also included the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees sent RHP Taylor Widener to Arizona and 2B Nick Solak to Tampa to make it happen.

    Clint Frazier Removed From SWB Game With Concussion Symptoms

    Bad news for one of Brian Cashman’s best trade chips.

    Bad news came from Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday night, where the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate was playing. Outfielder (and prominent trade chip) Clint Frazier was removed prior to his second plate appearance after attempting a diving catch in the outfield in the first inning.

    Conor Foley, a RailRiders writer for The Times-Tribune in Scranton, said Frazier was removed “for precautionary reasons related to possible concussion symptoms” and the outfielder would “see a doctor soon”.

    SWB manager Bobby Mitchell said Frazier was feeling “lightheaded,” and had expressed “he wasn’t ‘feeling too good'” prior to first pitch. “There’s a chance he could go on the DL just because he’s had the concussion syndrome thing and you want to be careful with that,” Mitchell told DJ Eberle, a RailRiders beat reporter for the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre. “Don’t know exactly the move and how he’ll feel tomorrow, but there’s a possibility that, yeah, he could [end up on the DL].”

    Frazier had been optioned by the Yankees on Monday, but took the full 72 hours allotted to him to report to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre since he never would have gotten an All-Star break. He was batting .265/.390/.353 (115 wRC+) in 41 big-league plate appearances, and an impressive .311/.389/.574 (170 wRC+) in 216 International League plate appearances.

    Cleveland prospect infielder Yu Chang hit a line drive that he made a diving attempt for but came up empty. It ended up being an RBI triple fielded by right fielder Billy McKinney.

    The 23-year-old was called out on strikes to begin the game, and was pinch-hit for by Shane Robinson when his spot in the order was due to hit in the second inning. Robinson flew out and proceeded to take over in center field for the rest of the game.

    The Internet went into a fury once reports indicated Frazier had been lifted, especially with Trade Deadline madness and Frazier’s pedigree as a trade chip. Recent reports indicate that Brian Cashman has been shopping him aggressively in an effort to shore up the Yankees’ starting rotation. That plan now hangs in the balance as Cashman and the Yankees anxiously await updates on Frazier’s condition.

    The Yankees recalled Brandon Drury to replace Frazier on the active roster for tonight’s series opener with the Mets.

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