Three Yankees prospects saw the field during Wednesday’s Arizona Fall League action between the Scottsdale Scorpions and Peoria Javelinas.
Thairo Estrada went 1-for-5 while starting at shortstop and batting cleanup for Scottsdale, increasing his slash line to an impressive .340/.386/.434 through 13 AFL games. Estrada is ranked as the Yankees’ No. 17 overall prospect, and as a candidate to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason due to Rule 5 draft eligibility. The 21-year-old slashed .301/.353/.392 in 122 games for Double-A Trenton in 2017.
Billy McKinney, yet another candidate for addition to the 40-man, batted behind Estrada and started in left field. He had a 2-for-3 day for the Scorpions, and continues to lead the league with 18 RBIs. McKinney’s stint in the AFL is rather interesting because he was originally listed as a first baseman. The former first-round pick is looking to gain versatility and showcase his bat after an impressive second half with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The last Yankee to appear in yesterday’s game is relief pitcher Cody Carroll. The right-hander has been lights-out so far in the league known for being hitter friendly. He recorded his fourth save of the season thanks to two perfect innings. Of the six outs he got, three of them came via the strikeout.
Yankees third base coach Joe Espada will reportedly take over as A.J. Hinch‘s right-hand man in Houston next season, according to a report from ESPN’s Marly Rivera.
Rivera tweeted Wednesday night during game seven of the World Series that Espada will replace Alex Cora as the Astros’ bench coach. Espada has been the third base coach for the Yankees since the beginning of the 2015 season. Prior to that, he spent the 2014 season as a special assistant to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
While many Yankees fans will be happy to see Espada heading out due to his tendency to get runners thrown out at home plate, the Astros are excited about what he can bring. Espada was the third base coach for each of the last two Puerto Rican World Baseball Classic teams, where he became familiar with star shortstop Carlos Correa.Embed from Getty Images
Espada’s name was mentioned in various circles as a potential in-house candidate to take over the Yankees managerial spot. It was reported recently that he interviewed with the Astros and Red Sox for various coaching positions once the Yankees made all of their coaches available to the 29 other teams.
Dellin Betances served up a walk-off two-run home run to Manny Machado to cap off a wholly disappointing loss for the Yankees.
Joe Girardi left CC Sabathia in long enough for a 6-to-1 lead to disintegrate into a 6-to-5 nail-biter. Each Yankee reliever did their job up until the ninth inning. Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson and Aroldis Chapman each provided hitless relief. However, a walk to Tim Beckham and an ill-placed curveball to Machado proved to be fatal for Betances and the Yankees.
The Yankees scored all their runs in a six-run third inning. Didi Gregorius singled in two, Greg Bird reached on a sac fly-E8, Todd Frazier grounded out and Jacoby Ellsbury capped the scoring with a two-run single of his own. Unfortunately, the Yankee offense sputtered to a halt after that inning.
|New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles|
|Sep 5, 2017||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|New York (74-64)||0||0||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||9||0|
|W: Zach Britton (2-0) L: Dellin Betances (3-6)|
|New York Yankees|
|Brett Gardner – LF||5||0||1||0||0||1||0||.255|
|Aaron Judge – RF||4||1||1||0||1||1||0||.277|
|Starlin Castro – 2B||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.315|
|Didi Gregorius – SS||4||1||1||2||1||1||0||.288|
|Matt Holliday – DH||3||1||0||0||2||1||0||.229|
|Greg Bird – 1B||4||1||1||1||0||1||0||.149|
|Todd Frazier – 3B||4||0||0||1||0||1||0||.209|
|Jacoby Ellsbury – CF||3||0||2||2||1||0||0||.259|
|Austin Romine – C||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.214|
RBI: Gregorius 2 (66); Bird (13); Frazier, T (62); Ellsbury 2 (36)
GIDP: Frazier, T
|Tim Beckham – SS||4||1||0||0||1||0||0||.289|
|Manny Machado – 3B||5||2||2||3||0||1||2||.273|
|Jonathan Schoop – 2B||3||2||1||1||1||0||1||.306|
|Adam Jones – CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.279|
|Trey Mancini – LF||4||1||2||1||0||0||0||.292|
|Mark Trumbo – DH||4||1||1||2||0||0||1||.246|
|Chris Davis – 1B||4||0||0||0||0||3||0||.222|
|Wellington Castillo – C||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.299|
|Joey Rickard – RF||2||0||1||0||1||1||0||.248|
|Pedro Álvarez – PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
HR: Machado 2 (32); Schoop (31); Trumbo (22)
RBI: Mancini (73); Machado 3 (91); Schoop (102); Trumbo 2 (63)
E: Jones (3, fielding)
|New York Yankees|
|CC Sabathia – LHP||5.1||8||5||5||1||3||3||3.91|
|Tommy Kahnle – RHP||0.2||0||0||0||1||1||0||2.82|
|David Robertson – RHP||1.0||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.24|
|Aroldis Chapman – LHP||1.0||0||0||0||0||1||0||4.02|
|Dellin Betances – RHP||0.2||1||2||2||1||1||1||2.73|
Pitches-Strikes: Sabathia: 94-59, Kahnle: 19-11, Robertson: 11-7, Chapman: 11-7, Betances: 20-10
|Jeremy Hellickson – RHP||2.1||2||5||3||4||1||0||5.26|
|Richard Bleier – LHP||1.0||1||1||0||0||0||0||1.99|
|Jimmy Yacabonis – RHP||1.2||3||0||0||1||0||0||3.97|
|Ubaldo Jiménez – RHP||1.0||1||0||0||0||1||0||6.80|
|Darren O’Day – RHP||1.0||0||0||0||0||2||0||3.76|
|Brad Brach – RHP||1.0||2||0||0||0||1||0||2.73|
|Zach Britton – LHP||1.0||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.78|
Pitches-Strikes: Hellickson: 64-31, Bleier: 19-14, Yacabonis: 31-18, Jiménez: 13-8, O’Day: 15-10, Brach: 15-9, Britton: 16-13
Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner has been named the Yankees’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for the second straight year.
MLB presents the award annually to “recognize the player who best represents the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions, both on and off the field.”
Curtis Granderson, then of the New York Mets, won the award in 2016. The last Yankee to win the award was Derek Jeter in 2009. Gardner is currently batting .256/.345/.425 with 20 home runs and 54 RBIs through 130 games played in 2017.Embed from Getty Images
After appealing his original four-game suspension, Gary Sánchez will serve a three-game ban during the team’s series in Baltimore.
The Yankee catcher expressed remorse for his actions through a post on his Facebook page. The discipline was handed down after video showed Sánchez landing multiple sucker punches on Tigers players August 24.
Sánchez homered twice August 23, and did so again in his first at-bat on the 24th. Michael Fulmer hit him with a pitch in his next at-bat. Later in the game, Yankee reliever Tommy Kahnle threw behind Miguel Cabrera, who has instigated multiple incidents with the Yankees this season. Cabrera is currently serving a six-game suspension.
There is no word on Austin Romine‘s appeal of his two-game suspension. Joe Girardi told reporters that Romine will start all three games in Baltimore. Recently-acquired Erik Kratz will serve as backup catcher.
After departing last night’s game early, outfielder Aaron Hicks was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.
Hicks exited after running down a ball hit by Hanley Ramírez in the sixth inning of Saturday’s game. He was replaced in center field in the following inning by Jacoby Ellsbury. Hicks missed 39 games with a right oblique strain earlier this season.
To fill his roster spot, the Yankees pulled a bit of a head-scratcher. They recalled left-handed pitcher Caleb Smith from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees will play at least Sunday’s game with a fourth outfielder named Ronald Torreyes or Matt Holliday. The Yankees have both Tyler Austin and Tyler Wade, each with some corner outfield experience, on the 40-man roster. They could be summoned to the big leagues without the 10-day rule applying because of injury.
Presumably, Ellsbury will start in center field while Hicks is absent.
With Aaron Hicks going down with yet another oblique injury, the Yankees could find themselves in a tough situation that greatly affects their future.
There are still doubts regarding the effectiveness of Jacoby Ellsbury‘s bat. Clint Frazier begins his rehab assignment with Double-A Trenton on Monday. The next top Yankee outfield prospect, Estevan Florial, has yet to crack Double-A with Trenton.
With 40-man rosters, the Yankees could do nothing. But, they need another outfielder to back up Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge. Sure, they could recall Tyler Austin or Tyler Wade, who have experience in the outfield corners. Sure, they could ask Matt Holliday to don an outfield glove and pray nothing bad happens.
Or, they could look to their Nos. 19 and 24 prospects: Jake Cave and Billy McKinney, respectively. Cave, 24, leads the RailRiders in batting average with his .328 clip for the 2017 season. Plus, he is tied with Ji-Man Choi for the team lead in home runs with 15. He has started 28 games in center field for Scranton, as well as 24 in right field and 12 in left field. He has just one error in the outfield this season. At his age, Cave is eligible for the Rule-5 draft. He knows all about that process, having spent 2017 Spring Training with the Cincinnati Reds. Cave was returned to the Yankees on April 5, 2016. Cave is also eligible for Minor League free agency after the season.
Billy McKinney, though he profiles as a corner outfielder, could still help the Yankees down the stretch. His .312 average puts him behind just Cave and Miguel Andújar for the best mark on the RailRiders. He, too, has shown a power stroke by clobbering 10 home runs in the International League. He has played both outfield corners regularly. At age 23, the former first round pick is Rule-5 eligible.
Both players have impressed at the highest levels of the minor leagues. A rebuilding team could be willing to take a chance on either player through the Rule-5 Draft since both have shown quality outfield defense and a talented left-handed bat. The Hicks injury essentially forces the Yankees to look at both Cave and McKinney as outfield options down the stretch. They may not trust Ellsbury, and certainly do not want to rush their No. 2 prospect, Clint Frazier, back from injury.
Protecting either Jake Cave or Billy McKinney allows them to keep a valuable future asset in the system while filling a current need on the MLB roster.