Needing bullpen reinforcements, the Yankees hooked up with the Washington Nationals on a simple trade after Monday’s 14-to-1 drubbing of the Minnesota Twins. The Bombers acquired right-hander A.J. Cole from the Nats in exchange for cash considerations.
The Yankees plan to activate Cole for Tuesday’s matchup with the Twins. To clear 25- and 40-man roster space, the team designated fellow righty David Hale for assignment. Hale pitched two scoreless innings of mop-up duty Monday.
Cole had been designated for assignment by the Nationals April 20, so the Yankees likely claimed him off waivers and then arranged the trade with Washington. The 26-year-old has made four appearances (two starts) in 2018, with a not-so-great 13.06 ERA (10.51 FIP) and a 1.298 OPS against him. He was ranked as the Nationals’ No. 10 prospect prior to the 2016 season, per MLB Pipeline.
With injuries to Luis Cessa, Giovanny Gallegos, Ben Heller, Tommy Kahnle and Adam Warren, the Yankees found themselves down to just Jonathan Loáisiga (who hasn’t pitched above High-A ball) on the 40-man roster. Cole likely will slide into a role in the front-end of the Yankee bullpen, and could be a spot-starter should the Yankees need one.
Cole is still a pre-arbitration player, so he will make $555,300 for this season when on the MLB roster. He will make less than that if he ever goes to the minor leagues. He is out of minor league options, so the Yankees would have to designate him for assignment and hope to outright him off the 40-man to demote him.
Hale finds himself in DFA-limbo now. The Yankees have 10 days to trade, release or outright him to the minors (if he clears waivers). By my research, he has never been outrighted before and also does not have the service time to decline an outright assignment. Therefore, my prediction is that Hale finds himself back with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre sooner rather than later.
Giancarlo Stanton smacked his first Yankees home run off Matt Harvey, and the other Yankee bats combined to score 10 runs in a rousing win over their crosstown rivals.
The Stanton homer came in the fifth inning, where the Yankees already had a 3-to-1 advantage. Aaron Judge walked prior to Stanton’s at-bat. The home run resulted in the removal of Harvey from the game after 4⅔ innings.
Brandon Drury and Kyle Holder each knocked in two runs as well, with other RBIs coming from Tyler Austin, Abiatal Avelino and Shane Robinson. Estevan Florial almost had one, but the play was ruled a fielding error by right fielder L.J. Mazzilli.
Luis Cessa was on the ropes fairly quickly in this game, getting the hook after 1⅓ innings with the bases loaded. David Robertson made his spring debut in the second, and promptly Houdini’d out of the inning without allowing a run.
There was a funny moment in the fifth inning where no one came out to pitch for the Yankees. Described as “some issues” by Aaron Boone in his YES Network mid-inning interview, Dellin Betances had gone into the clubhouse to shower and get changed because he was only supposed to throw one inning. Adam Warren, the next scheduled pitcher, apparently never got the memo to warm up. So, Betances put his uniform back on and faced one more batter. Luis Guillorme singled, then Warren came in to relieve Betances.
- Tyler Wade dove for a ball hit by José Reyes, and rolled his wrist trying to make a play. It looked really bad at first glance, and Wade was in a lot of pain. He was replaced by Kyle Holder, and I was truly holding my breath because Wade has really impressed me this spring. But, reports from the clubhouse indicated that he needed “ice but no tests,” and that he would return to action Monday. It is unclear if he was already scheduled to sit out Sunday.
- Aaron Judge got his first multi-hit game of the spring today. His timing looks to be back, and that’s a great sign for a player coming off of offseason shoulder surgery. Boone mentioned during his interview that Judge was also getting reps in left field with Stanton on the back fields while the team was away playing road games. We’ve yet to see Judge out there in an exhibition game, but something tells me we won’t have to wait long for that to happen.
- Both Chad Green and Adam Warren threw for more than one inning today, which should surprise absolutely no one. These two are the main multi-inning relievers for the Yanks, and they will probably get stretched out to throw up to three innings before Opening Day gets here.
Masahiro Tanaka looks to rebound from his poor spring debut in a matchup against Jacob Turner and the Miami Marlins. The Yankees will make the long trek to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter for that game. No word on who’s going, however.
The second Subway Series preview comes to Tampa today, as Matt Harvey and Luis Cessa square off on a beautiful Florida afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Cessa makes his third start of the spring, and will try to keep up with Domingo Germán in the competition to be the team’s sixth starter. So far in camp, Cessa has allowed five runs (four earned) through four innings of work. He missed his March 2 start due to a stiff neck, and Germán stepped into that role.
Giancarlo Stanton gets his third start of the spring in left field, with Aaron Judge playing on the other side of Brett Gardner in right and center field, respectively. Tyler Austin starts at first base today, with Greg Bird not listed on the lineup card as an available player. Tyler Wade looks to continue his strong audition for the second base job as he bats ninth and mans the keystone.
We’re likely to see some star-studded relievers today, with LHP Aroldis Chapman, RHP David Robertson, RHP Dellin Betances and RHP Adam Warren listed on today’s game notes.
- Clint Frazier spoke to the media this morning regarding his concussion. Marc Carig of The Athletic reported the outfielder has needed to be driven to camp beacuse of “scary” moments driving. “There’s a lot of positives that have come, but I’m not over the hump … I want all positives. I want no negatives,” Frazier said per ESPN’s Coley Harvey.
- Frazier ran, hit and threw today with Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury has been out with oblique tightness, and has not appeared in a game since March 1.
- Amed Rosario – SS
- Juan Lagares – CF
- Brandon Nimmo – RF
- Phillip Evans – 1B
- Wilmer Flores – 3B
- José Reyes – 2B
- Travis d’Arnaud – C
- Tim Tebow – DH
- Zach Borenstein – LF
Matt Harvey – RHP
It’s a very different looking Yankees lineup today as the team heads to Bradenton, Fla., to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates at LECOM Field.
Domingo Germán gets the start, looking to put himself on the map as a long-relief or sixth starter option for the team. He appeared in seven games last season, pitching to a 3.14 ERA (3.44 FIP) and an 11.3 strikeouts-per-nine rate. Combined between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he had an 8-6 record, 2.88 ERA and 9.8 strikeouts-per-nine rate.
Scheduled relievers for the Yankees are RHP Adam Warren, RHP Dillon Tate, RHP Jonathan Holder and RHP J.P. Feyereisen.
Only one of today’s starting position players started yesterday, and that is left fielder Clint Frazier. He moves from batting ninth to batting in the cleanup spot. Brandon Drury also makes his Yankees’ debut today after being acquired Tuesday from the Arizona Diamondbacks. No. 2 prospect Estevan Florial gets the start in center field after pinch-running yesterday.
They go up against righty Nick Kingham of the Pirates. He split 2017 between High-A Bradenton and Triple-A Indianapolis, pitching to a 3.95 ERA and a 7.1 strikeouts-per-nine rate. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, Kingham has yet to crack the big leagues.
- Josh Harrison – 2B
- Gregory Polanco – RF
- Starling Marte – CF
- David Freese – 3B
- Jordy Mercer – SS
- Sean Rodriguez – LF
- Bryce Brentz – DH
- Eric Wood – 1B
- Ryan Lavarnway – C
The Yankees added lefty pitching depth Tuesday, signing veteran Wade LeBlanc to a minor league deal per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
Like the tweet says, LeBlanc will be able to opt out of his contract if he does not make the MLB team out of Spring Training. He will make $1 million if he ends up on the Opening Day roster.
LeBlanc, 33, debuted for the San Diego Padres late in the 2008 season. He pitched once for the Yankees in 2014, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk. The team designated him for assignment just eight days after acquiring him off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
In 2017, LeBlanc made 50 appearances out of the bullpen for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He finished the season with a 4.50 ERA and a 7.1 strikeouts-per-nine rate. He was used in a versatile manner, making 20 appearances where he recorded more than three outs. His longest outing was 5⅓ innings April 10 against the Cincinnati Reds, when Tyler Glasnow could not escape the first-inning.
LeBlanc will be in camp to compete as a depth starter and long reliever. The Yankees bullpen is mostly set at this point, but things certainly change once the Grapefruit League gets revved up. He looks to profile as an Adam Warren-like pitcher, who can throw multiple innings in relief and also be ready to make an emergency start. It’s unclear if LeBlanc would consider remaining with the organization if he does not crack the big league roster.
The Yankees now have three players with non-roster invitee status this spring: LeBlanc joins Erik Kratz and Jace Peterson as veterans looking for a new club.
Pitchers CC Sabathia and Adam Warren rejoin the team from the disabled list for this Independence Day matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays.
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Sabathia returns to go for his eighth win of the season. He hasn’t pitched since June 13, when he suffered a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring. Prior to that outing, he had won five consecutive starts with a 1.11 ERA in that span. Sabathia has started twice against Toronto this season, and the Yankees have won both times.
Veteran lefty J.A. Happ gets the ball for the Blue Jays. This will be his 10th start of the season as he missed more than a month with left elbow inflammation. In his career, he carries a 6-2 record and 3.78 ERA against the Yankees.
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With the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby looming, Aaron Judge gets another day at designated hitter. Clint Frazier patrols right field in his place. Gary Sánchez remains in the lineup behind the plate, even in the day game after a night game. Ronald Torreyes gets yet another start at second base.
Starlin Castro was seen taking ground balls prior to the game. Joe Girardi also said he was getting cage work. He hopes to be back to attend the All-Star Game in Miami. That’s about the only good injury news the Yankees have gotten.
Greg Bird may need exploratory surgery to figure out what is wrong with his ailing ankle. Similarly, the Yankees still do not know what has been bothering Matt Holliday. What was first explained as food poisoning turned into a viral infection. The team is still waiting on a prognosis for Tyler Austin‘s hamstring strain.
To make room on the roster for Sabathia and Warren’s reinstatements, the Yankees optioned right-handed pitchers Bryan Mitchell and Domingo Germán to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Toronto Blue Jays
- José Bautista – RF
- Russell Martin – C
- Josh Donaldson – 3B
- Justin Smoak – 1B
- Kendrys Morales – DH
- Troy Tulowitzki – SS
- Steve Pearce – LF
- Kevin Pillar – CF
- Darwin Barney – 2B
New York Yankees
- Brett Gardner – LF
- Aaron Judge – DH
- Gary Sánchez – C
- Didi Gregorius – SS
- Chase Headley – 3B
- Jacoby Ellsbury – CF
- Chris Carter – 1B
- Ronald Torreyes – 2B
- Clint Frazier – RF
UPDATE (12:20 p.m. EDT – June 18): The RailRiders have placed Gleyber Torres on the 7-day disabled list as a result of the hyperextended left elbow he suffered on a play at home plate Saturday in Buffalo.
The team said he would see further evaluation Monday when the team returns to Pennsylvania.
UPDATE (9:20 p.m. EDT): The Yankees PR department officially announced that Torres left the game with a hyperextended left elbow.
The team offered no prognosis, but it’s safe to say Torres will be out for a little bit.
The bad news keeps flowing for the Yankees as top prospect infielder Gleyber Torres has been removed from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s doubleheader opener after being thrown out at home plate.
Immediately after being tagged out, Torres grabs his elbow in a ton of pain. Torres was left out of the lineup for Game 2 of the RailRiders’ doubleheader in Buffalo.
Torres was promoted by the Yankees to AAA last month after 32 games for AA Trenton. Through 22 games for the RailRiders, he was producing a .304/.404/.443 slashline. He also hit two home runs, and drove in 16 runners. The Yankees have him on a rotation to play at third base, shortstop and second base.
The Yankees No. 1 prospect, he received an invitation to MLB Spring Training and slashed .448/.469/.931 with two home runs in 19 games. Fans have been clamoring for him to be promoted to try and spark a Yankees team seeing poor production at both first base and third base.
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The Yankees acquired Torres along with Adam Warren, Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford in the July 2016 trade that sent Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs.
This is a developing story. It will be updated as information is confirmed.
UPDATE (6:43 p.m. EDT): Right-handed pitcher Giovanny Gallegos has been optioned to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to open up the second roster spot.
As the Yankees encounter the injury bug, they have called for reinforcements from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The team reportedly will call up outfielder Mason Williams and catcher Kyle Higashioka to be active for tonight’s game.
These moves insinuate that the injuries to Aaron Hicks and Gary Sánchez are serious enough to make them unavailable. Hicks injured his left Achilles tendon on a swing Thursday during the ninth inning. Sánchez felt discomfort in his groin area after stealing a base in the same inning. At this point, the team does not plan to place either player on the disabled list.
Pitcher Adam Warren also fell victim to an injury last night. He was unavailable to pitch in Thursday’s extra inning affair. Apparently, the injury is to his throwing shoulder. He will be placed on the 10-day disabled list.
Mason Williams rocketed through the Yankees minor league system, but has always been stuck behind other players at the MLB level. He made his major league debut in June 2015, but was only on the roster for a week before separating his right shoulder. He eventually had season-ending surgery.
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Something clicked for Kyle Higashioka last season for Scranton. He hit 21 home runs and had 81 RBIs while batting .276. That performance warranted adding him to the 40-man roster at the conclusion of the 2016 season. Higashioka was promoted to replace Sánchez earlier this year when he suffered his bicep injury. He went 0-for-18 though, so he is still in search of his first hit.
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Jordan Montgomery put together his most effective start at the big-league level, and eight extra-base hits powered the Yankees to a 7-0 victory.
The Yankees only recorded doubles and home-runs in yesterday’s contest. Starlin Castro, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge each hit doubles as the Bombers offense clicked against converter reliever Joe Biagini. Their first run scored after Rob Refsnyder reached on an error, stole second and then moved to third on a Brett Gardner fly out. Hicks then continued his hot hitting with an RBI double, then Judge hit a double of his own to make it 2-0.
The Yankees made it 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh when they pushed another run across when Castro led off with a double, and then Didi Gregorius immediately followed with another one.
The Yankees put an exclamation point on the game once Biagini was out, and reliever Jason Grilli entered. Gardner led off the inning with a solo home run, then two batters later, Matt Holliday, Castro and Gregorius went back-to-back-to with solo shots of their own to make it 7-0.
Montgomery was quite effective in six strong innings. He allowed just three hits, walked three and struck out five Blue Jays. Joe Girardi used his setup men and closer to get the final nine outs, as Adam Warren, Tyler Clippard and Dellin Betances combined to throw three no-hit innings.
Aaron Judge powered the Yankees to a 9-5 victory yesterday with his first career grand slam.
The towering right fielder continues to impress this season, as he collected two hits to carry his .321 average so far this season. Michael Pineda held up his end of the bargain by allowing just three runs through six effective innings of work. The Yankees bullpen certainly made it interesting, but eventually locked it down with a four out save from Adam Warren.
Andrew Triggs was a victim of shoddy defense. Of the six runs he gave up, only one was earned. That run scored on a sacrifice fly by Aaron Hicks in the bottom of the second to pull the Yankees to within a 2-1 deficit. Everything changed in the third inning. Singles for Ronald Torreyes and Gary Sánchez set the table, then Matt Holliday reached on a fielding error by Matt Joyce in right field. Aaron Judge worked himself into a hitter’s count before belting an opposite field grand slam.
A Chris Carter sacrifice fly then expanded the lead to 6-2. Later in the game, Khris Davis of the A’s proved dangerous as he reached on an error to score a run and hit a two-run home run. But, the Yankees kept hitting. Gary Sánchez doubled into the left field corner to score a run, and Brett Gardner iced the game with a two-run double off John Axford to make it 9-5.
Joe Girardi was able to rest both Tyler Clippard and Dellin Betances ahead of today’s series opener with division rival Baltimore Orioles. That opportunity came on the backs of Chad Green and Tommy Layne, who soaked up 1⅔ innings before handing the ball over to Adam Warren.