Tag: Austin Romine

Erik Kratz Traded to Brewers; Adam Lind Released

The Yankees made two minor league moves Friday afternoon, trading Triple-A catcher Erik Kratz to the Brewers and releasing 1B/OF Adam Lind. The Yankees signed utility man Wilkin Castillo, primarily a catcher, out of the independent Atlantic League yesterday likely knowing Kratz would be dealt today.

Kratz, 37, came to the Yankees in exchange for cash considerations ahead of the September 1 roster expansion date in 2017. His acquisition came at a time where the Yankees needed catching depth because of looming suspensions to both Austin Romine and Gary Sánchez. Kratz went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs in four appearances for the Yankees. This season in Triple-A, he was hitting .269/.356/.538 with four home runs and six RBIs in the International League. The Brewers selected Kratz to their 25-man active roster today.

Lind was released as the Yankees await the return of Greg Bird to the everyday lineup. This all but confirms that Tyler Austin will be demoted to Triple-A when Bird is officially activated Saturday. Lind was hitting .241/.302/.414 with one home run and seven RBIs in eight games prior to his release. The minor league contract he signed contained an opt-out for June 1, and the Yankees gave him a head-start on his free agency with this release.

Castillo was with the Yankees in 2017, though only in minor league duty. The 33-year-old is a switch-hitter, and has appeared at every position except for center field in his minor league career. Between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year, he slashed .196/.243/.286 with three home runs and 13 RBIs. He’s there to play defense and give the other minor leaguers a breather every once in a while. Castillo was hitting .314/.400/.486 through 20 games with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League.

The Yankees activated RHP Tommy Kahnle from the 10-day disabled list prior to Friday’s series opener against the Los Angeles Angels.

Yankees 10, Royals 1: Sonny Shines, Offense Powers 8th Straight Series Win

Even with a “B” lineup on the field, the Yankees crushed the Kansas City Royals with ease in Sunday’s series finale at Kauffman Stadium.

With Clint Frazier and Gary Sánchez stashed on the bench, the Yankees still showed off plenty of power capability. Tyler Austin led the charge, smacking his 7th and 8th homers of the season off Royals’ starter Eric Skoglund. Austin leads all MLB rookies in home runs, which is quite impressive for a player who was not even supposed to make the Opening Day roster. Austin drove in four runs total on the day.

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The ninth inning also turned into a mini-Home Run Derby, where Miguel Andújar hit an impressive home run to the opposite field. Austin Romine, who somehow is hitting .326 after today’s game, then followed with an absolute bomb to center field. Sánchez’s absence was never felt as power was abundant.

Aaron Hicks tripled in a run in the fifth, and Brett Gardner drove in a run with an infield single in the eighth. Ronald Torreyes scored in the eighth also on a wild pitch.

Sonny Gray was the real star of Sunday’s game. The righty dominated the Royals, throwing eight stellar innings of one-run ball. He scattered four hits, walked one batter and struck out five. Gray did not allow a hit until the fifth inning, The Royals scored their one run in the eighth when Hunter Dozier singled, moved to second on an Alex Gordon groundout and then scored on a Jon Jay single.

“I thought his stuff was great and the slider was a really good pitch for him,” Aaron Boone said. “When he’s ahead [in the count], he has the weapons to put people away. That was clear today. The stuff is elite. That’s why we were so optimistic about him even when he was going through some struggles.”

A.J. Cole came in to pitch the ninth inning, getting a fly out and two strikeouts.

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Rehab Update:

Neither Greg Bird nor Billy McKinney played for any minor league affiliates today. Bird is reportedly headed to Triple-A to join the RailRiders for their series opener in Pawtucket on Monday. No word on McKinney, who could remain in Trenton or move to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with Bird.

What’s Next:

Masahiro Tanaka opens up the Yankees’ next series in Texas, where he will face Bartolo Colón and the Rangers.

Game 43: Sonny Aims to Right Ship, Fight Rain, Win Series

Sonny Gray gets the ball in today’s rubber game matinee from Kansas City, where there is a 45% chance of showers at first pitch.

Gray has struggled this season, especially with command of his pitches. He has walked 5.7 batters per nine innings, which is by far the worst rate in his career. Home runs have been a problem too, which he has allowed at a 1.2 per nine rate. His last start saw him regress from two solid outings, where he allowed five runs on nine hits against his former team. Gray is 1-2 with a 2.77 ERA in four starts against Kansas City, but the ERA jumps to 4.15 in Kauffman Stadium.

Facing Gray will be another lefty: Eric Skoglund. It’s been an up-and-down year for the 25-year-old, who has alternated between brilliant starts and not-so-brilliant ones. His last start was a tough luck loss, where he allowed just two runs in 7⅔ innings to the Tampa Bay Rays. His offense, however, could not bail him out. Skoglund has never faced the Yankees before, but has a career 4.95 ERA at Kauffman Stadium.

Didi Gregorius sits again against a lefty starter, as Aaron Boone wants him to “recharge, both physically and mentally, and hopefully he can hit the ground running when we get to Texas tomorrow”. Ronald Torreyes, who’s hitting .392/.404/.510 when in the starting lineup this year, gets another start at shortstop. Despite collecting a double last night, Clint Frazier sits in favor of Brett Gardner in left field. Gary Sánchez gets the day-game-after-a-night-game off, as Austin Romine continues to catch Gray.

After a few hitless games, I’m slightly surprised Boone didn’t decide to rest Aaron Judge in the finale. Giancarlo Stanton could have shifted to right, and Sánchez could have snuck into the lineup as the designated hitter. Just a hypothetical, though.

Royals’ Lineup:

  1. Jon Jay – CF
  2. Jorge Soler – RF
  3. Mike Moustakas – 3B
  4. Salvador Pérez – DH
  5. Whit Merrifield – 2B
  6. Hunter Dozier – 1B
  7. Alex Gordon – LF
  8. Alcides Escobar – SS
  9. Drew Butera – C


Sherman: Tyler Austin’s Suspension Reduced to 4 Games

The appeal worked!

After more than week of waiting, the Yankees finally know the fate of Tyler Austin‘s suspension. His appeal reduced the penalty from five games to four, and he will begin to serve that suspension during Friday’s series opener in Anaheim. This news was first reported by the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.

The suspension was originally handed out after Austin took exception to getting drilled by a Joe Kelly fastball, presumably as revenge for a slide where Austin’s spikes hit Brock Holt‘s ankle. He charged the mound, and also threw punches before the Yankees and Red Sox were separated.

His suspension was announced the following day, but he had been allowed to play through his appeal. Kelly was suspended six games for the incident, though the league denied his appeal and he will serve the full penalty.

Austin has been a savior for the Yankees with Greg Bird‘s injury and Neil Walker‘s ineffectiveness. Through 17 games, Austin has slashed .290/.362/.629 with five home runs and 16 RBIs for a team desperate for first base production. He has been sure-handed in the field, too, making just one error in 110 total chances.

With Austin out the next four games, the Yankees will get creative at first base. They must play with a 24-man roster because of the suspension rules. Walker will likely see the most time at first, though Aaron Boone did mention Miguel Andújar and Austin Romine as other candidates to get time there.

Higashioka, Torres Optioned to Minor League Camp

The Yankees made two more cuts Tuesday, sending the presumed third-string catcher Kyle Higashioka and No. 1 prospect infielder Gleyber Torres to minor league camp. Each player is on the 40-man roster, so the team used an option year on each player.

Higashioka impressed with the bat this spring. But, it was not enough to take the backup catcher job away from Austin Romine, who has shown a similarly hot bat. Higashioka hit .333/.444/.467 in nine games before his demotion. As the third catcher on the 40-man, he’s only an injury away from coming back to the big leagues. He made a nine-game cameo last season when Gary Sánchez went down with a bicep injury, going hitless in 20 plate appearances. Higashioka, barring any injuries of his own, will be the starting catcher at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Torres struggled at the plate in his return from Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing elbow. Many expected Torres to run away with the second base job, but the rust that comes with missing an entire half a season reared its ugly head. That resulted in a slash-line of .160/.250/.240 in 11 games. Torres also looked like he was trying to do too much both at the plate and in the field, where he had some miscues typical of a player trying too hard.

Plus, the Yankees gain an extra year of control over Torres if he remains in the minor leagues for at least 16 days. I think the Yankees would have demoted Torres for those 16 days regardless of his performance in the spring. One extra year of control over a player MLB Pipeline says “has the tools to be a star” could make a ton of difference in the future. In the minors, Torres will likely continue his rotation of playing at third base, shortstop and second base.

Game 1: Lineups, First Pitch, Baseball!

It’s finally here!

The most wonderful time of the year has arrived as the Yankees kick off their Spring Training schedule with a matchup against the Detroit Tigers.

Luis Cessa gets the ball first for the Yankees as he looks to win a job as the team’s sixth starter. That role would certainly land him in the minor leagues to start the season, but a team’s sixth starter is truly an important role. Cessa pitched to a 4.75 ERA (5.69 FIP) in 36 innings for the big league club last season.

This game features a few regulars, including Giancarlo Stanton‘s debut in pinstripes. Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge and Gary Sánchez were announced to be out of this game earlier in the week. Today’s lineup is quite strong, and features young talents like Gleyber TorresMiguel Andújar and Clint Frazier.

I doubt we’ll see any remnants of the beef between the Tigers and Yankees from last season. It will be interesting, however, to see how Austin Romine and Miguel Cabrera interact given their fisticuffs last season.

Tigers’ Lineup:

  1. Martin – CF
  2. Castellanos – RF
  3. Cabrera – DH
  4. Huffman – LF
  5. Candelario – 3B
  6. Hicks – C
  7. Espinal – 1B
  8. Amarista – 2B
  9. Kozma – SS

Pitcher: Carpenter – LHP

Gary Sánchez to Serve Three-Game Suspension in Baltimore

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.

Yankees Call Up Five Players as Rosters Expand

September 1 has arrived, and the Yankees have made widely expected roster moves to take advantage of expanded rosters.

With suspensions to Gary Sánchez and Austin Romine looming, the Yankees selected the contract of Erik Kratz from Triple-A. The Yankees traded for him from the Cleveland organization Thursday as depth. The 37-year-old veteran was slashing .270/.359/.472 with 13 home runs for Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate. In 225 MLB games, he carries a .200/.248/.362 line. Luis Cessa moves to the 60-day disabled list to open a 40-man roster spot for Kratz.

Matt Holliday returns from the disabled list now that rosters have expanded. The veteran went .229/.349/.257 combined on his rehab assignment at Class-A Advanced Tampa and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. It becomes hard to figure where he will get at-bats, given the return of Greg Bird and resurgence of Chase Headley.

The Yankees reinforce the bullpen by adding Ben Heller and Bryan Mitchell. Heller has been fantastic for Triple-A, with a 2.88 ERA and a 13.1 K/9 rate. Mitchell worked as a starter in Scranton, but has pitched mostly in long relief with the big league club. Jordan Montgomery also rejoins the Yankees.

Notable names to stay in the minors are Miguel Andújar, Tyler Austin and Tyler Wade. Both Austin and Wade were optioned to Scranton less than 10 days ago, and cannot come back unless there is an injury. There is no word on whether they will be promoted once 10 days have passed. Andújar, who has been on an offensive tear (currently on a 15-game hitting streak, .333/.379/.531 at Triple-A) remains in the Minors presumably to get full-time at-bats, continue working on his third base defense and help the RailRiders win a championship.

Game 79: Red Thunder Joins the Bombers

Clint Frazier, adorned in No. 30, will but ninth and man right field in tonight’s nationally televised matchup with the Houston Astros.

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Rookie Jordan Montgomery takes the ball tonight in the middle game of the series. He pitched quite well last time out, allowing just one run on a Todd Frazier home run over seven innings against the White Sox. Montgomery did not lose in June, carrying a 4-0 record and a 2.59 ERA across five starts.

The Astros start fellow rookie Francis Martes. He has been used as a starter and reliever, and has wins in both of his starts. He last pitched two innings of relief June 25 against the Seattle Mariners. He has a 3.38 ERA as a starter.

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Gary Sánchez returns to the lineup as the designated hitter tonight. His groin is still nagging, so Austin Romine gets the start behind the plate again. Ronald Torreyes starts at second base.

To make room for Frazier on the 25-man roster, the Yankees optioned Miguel Andújar back to Triple-A. He took ground balls with the MLB team at third base, and will play tomorrow for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The team created a 40-man roster spot by placing Dustin Fowler on the 60-day disabled list.

Starting Lineups

New York Yankees
  1. Brett Gardner – LF
  2. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF
  3. Gary Sánchez – DH
  4. Didi Gregorius – SS
  5. Chase Headley – 3B
  6. Ronald Torreyes – 2B
  7. Austin Romine – C
  8. Chris Carter – 1B
  9. Clint Frazier – RF
Houston Astros
  1. George Springer – RF
  2. José Altuve – 2B
  3. Carlos Correa – SS
  4. Evan Gattis – C
  5. Carlos Beltrán – DH
  6. Marwin González – LF
  7. Yuli Gurriel – 1B
  8. Alex Bregman – 3B
  9. Jake Marisnick – CF

Game 78: Hanging On For Dear Life

With players dropping like flies and the team dropping into second place in the American League East, the New York Yankees open a three-game series against the Houston Astros.

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Last night’s game was delayed close to three hours, and delivered heartbreak when 22-year-old Dustin Fowler tore his right patellar tendon in pursuit of a foul ball. He had successful surgery, and hopes to be ready for Spring Training in 2018. Per reports, the team gathered to chat with Fowler via FaceTime prior to Friday’s game.

Michael Pineda hopes to avenge his May 11 loss to the Astros tonight. In that game, he allowed three runs through 6⅔ innings. He fared much worse his last time out against the other Texas ballclub. Pineda lasted just four innings, giving up seven runs June 25.

His counterpart is probable All-Star Lance McCullers Jr. The righty is 7-1 on the year, and beat the Yankees behind six shutout innings and seven strikeouts May 12. He hasn’t lost since late April, and the Astros have only lost two games when he starts.

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Aaron Judge is the designated hitter for the second day, and Tyler Wade shifts into right field. Austin Romine catches tonight instead of first base, giving Chris Carter his first start since being called up. Ronald Torreyes gets yet another start, this time at second base.

The Yankees recalled right-hander Bryan Mitchell, and demoted fellow righty Ronald Herrera to AAA. The team will also be without Tyler Clippard for one game because his grandmother passed away. The team has not officially announced it, but it looks as though Miguel Andújar has been recalled to replace Fowler on the active roster.

Starting Lineups

New York Yankees
  1. Brett Gardner – LF
  2. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF
  3. Aaron Judge – DH
  4. Didi Gregorius – SS
  5. Chase Headley – 3B
  6. Austin Romine – C
  7. Ronald Torreyes – 2B
  8. Tyler Wade – RF
  9. Chris Carter – 1B
Houston Astros
  1. George Springer – CF
  2. Josh Reddick – RF
  3. José Altuve – 2B
  4. Carlos Correa – SS
  5. Brian McCann – C
  6. Carlos Beltrán – DH
  7. Marwin González – 1B
  8. Yuli Gurriel – LF
  9. Alex Bregman – 3B