Tag: Brandon Drury

Yankees Acquire J.A. Happ From Toronto for Drury, McKinney

Less than 48 hours after acquiring dominant lefty Zach Britton from the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees and Brian Cashman immediately pivoted to another American League East southpaw. The Yankees have acquired J.A. Happ from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for infielder Brandon Drury and outfielder Billy McKinney.

The trade immediately gives the Yankees some stability in the back end of the rotation. Happ has not started in fewer than 25 games since prior to the 2014 season. So far in 2018, he has a 10-6 record and 4.18 ERA. That ERA has been bloated by a rough month of July, where he has a 7.41 mark in four starts. In his career against Boston, Happ is 7-4 with a 2.98 ERA. He’s 4-2 with a 2.91 ERA in nine Fenway Park games. He has a career 3.94 ERA at Yankee Stadium, although now he’ll be wearing the pinstripes.

Happ is expected to report to the Yankees tomorrow.


Both pieces heading from the Yankees to the Blue Jays did not have an immediate role with the 2018 Yankees. Drury was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the off-season, and began the season as the starting third baseman. After just eight games, Drury revealed that he suffered from migraines and blurred vision, frequently while playing, but never told anyone. He then missed 71 games before doctors determined that it was a tendon in his neck that was causing the problems. He hit .176/.263/.275 in 18 games with the Yankees prior to the trade. He was named an International League All-Star after hitting .294/.403/.447 for the RailRiders.

McKinney came to the Yankees as part of the haul netted by Cashman in the Aroldis Chapman deal in 2016. He played all three outfield positions and some first base in 54 games for the Yankees AAA team. He hit .230/.294/.502 with 13 home runs in the International League. He was a member of the Yankees 40-man roster and was the team’s 20th ranked prospect.


The trade winds began to swirl earlier this afternoon when RailRiders beat writers first reported Domingo Germán would be moved up to start a day earlier than scheduled, replacing Erik Swanson. At the same time, I noticed McKinney was left out of the lineup against a right-handed starter. Drury has long been rumored to be a trade chip for the Yankees.

Swanson ended up being moved to tomorrow’s start, while Germán made it through 1+ inning before being removed after consultation with the trainers. That’s obviously not great.

Game 100: Cessa in the Century Game

It’s Game No. 100 on the season, and Luis Cessa is looking to turn in another fantastic performance for the Yankees.

Across his last three starts (one in MLB, two in IL), Luis Cessa has looked like a different pitcher. He has allowed just one run on nine hits with 18 strikeouts to just four walks. He mentioned to a reporter that he began to throw his slider with less velocity, and that has led to more strikeouts. I believe it, and I hope he can sustain it at the major league level.

Starting for the Rays is old friend Nathan Eovaldi. Oh, never mind. Eovaldi was just traded to the Red Sox for their No. 15 prospect LHP Jalen Beeks. Ryne Stanek, another opener, will get the ball instead. He has made 13 starts on the season, with a 1.37 ERA (obscured by sample size, he’s given up three runs in 19⅔ innings). He has four appearances (two starts) against the Yankees and has yet to allow a run (four hits though) in 4⅔ innings.

Gleyber Torres is back! The Yankees activated him off of the disabled list today, and he’ll bat fifth at second base. Tyler Wade was optioned to Triple-A. Neil Walker (who managed a .886 OPS in Torres’ absence) serves as the designated hitter today. Aaron Hicks gets another day off after he banged up his left shoulder Monday night. He is available off the bench, and so is Brandon Drury who was hit on his hand with a pitch last night. Kyle Higashioka will get the start behind the plate in the day game after a night game.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Zach Britton was not listed as available out of the Yankees bullpen today, and that’s completely understandable. The trade was announced at 11:45 PM and the Yankees were scheduled to play in about 12 hours from that time. Multiple Yankees reporters have indicated he will join the team tomorrow in the Bronx. It wouldn’t make sense for him to travel from Baltimore to St. Petersburg, only to then go back to the Bronx a few hours later.
  • None of the minor-league pitchers the Yankees dealt to Baltimore will immediately join their major-league roster. All three will remain at their respective levels (Carroll & Rogers at AAA, Tate at AA). Tate became the O’s No. 4 prospect, and Carroll their No. 15 prospect. Rogers remains unranked.
  • Gary Sánchez may not return from his latest groin strain until late August. Brian Cashman expressed his confidence in Austin Romine and Higashioka in the meantime, and said they’d explore a trade at the position basically if one falls into their laps.

Rays Lineup

  1. CF – Kevin Kiermaier (L)
  2. 3B – Matt Duffy (R)
  3. 1B – Jake Bauers (L)
  4. DH – C.J. Cron (R)
  5. LF – Joey Wendle (L)
  6. 2B – Daniel Robertson (R)
  7. RF – Carlos Gómez (R)
  8. SS – Willy Adames (R)
  9. C – Adam Moore (R)

Yankees 4, Rays 0: Tanaka’s Gem Shuts Out Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Masahiro Tanaka needed 105 pitches to turn in the best start of his 2018 season, as he pitched a complete game shutout of the Rays on Tuesday.

A single and a double to C.J. Cron, a single for Jesús Sucre and a walk to Ji-Man Choi were the only blemishes on Tanaka’s line. Tanaka did not allow a baserunner until the fifth inning, and pitched 1-2-3 innings in the first, second, third, fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth innings. He struck out nine and recorded 14 groundouts (compared to zero flyouts).

The Yankees got on the board in the first inning when Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge led off the game with singles. They moved to third on Giancarlo Stanton‘s strikeout-wild pitch. Didi Gregorius then scored Gardner on an RBI groundout to shortstop.

In the fifth, Brandon Drury got drilled on the hand by a 2-2 fastball with one out. Neil Walker singled him over to third. Another RBI groundout, this time by Austin Romine, scored Tyler Wade (pinch-running for Drury).

In the seventh, Miguel Andújar singled, Greg Bird doubled and Romine came through again, this time with a sacrifice fly to score the Yankees’ third run. In the ninth, Andújar doubled and scored on a single by Walker.

Aroldis Chapman threw a few warmup pitches in the bottom of the ninth, but ultimately was not needed because of Tanaka’s mastery. More of this would be great from Tanaka, of course.


Trade Alert 🚨

Of course, the Yankees garnered headlines during the game as they closed in on a trade for Orioles lefty Zach Britton. That trade was announced after the game ended in St. Petersburg, as well as in Baltimore. The Orioles acquired minor-league pitchers Cody Carroll, Josh Rogers and Dillon Tate.


What’s Next

Luis Cessa (1-1, 3.00 ERA) comes up from Triple-A to take Domingo Germán‘s rotation spot. He’ll face old friend Nathan Eovaldi (3-4, 4.26 ERA).

Game 99: Let’s Move On

It’s Tanaka Time ⏱ in St. Pete.

With the Gary Sánchez debacle from last night taken care of, the focus for the Yankees now shifts to game two in Tampa Bay.

Masahiro Tanaka was originally scheduled to start Sunday night against the Mets, but the rain had other plans. In his two starts since returning from the disabled list, he’s been classic Tanaka: allowing a home run in each. He has a 4.22 ERA and has allowed 12 hits in 10⅔ innings. He has yet to face the Rays this season, but has a 7-2 record and 4.10 ERA against them in his career.

Yonny Chirinos gets the balls for the Rays. Since debuting this season, the 24-year-old has started five times and carries an 0-1 record and 3.71 ERA. His longest outing came April 17 against Texas where he lasted 5⅔ innings and 89 pitches. He’s part of the Rays’ system of using a wide rotation of pitchers for shorter spurts.

With Sánchez on the disabled list, Austin Romine is catching. Kyle Higashioka is expected to make it to Tampa for gametime. Gleyber Torres is schedule to return tomorrow, but for now, Brandon Drury gets the start at second base. Neil Walker slides to first base as Greg Bird serves as the designated hitter. Aaron Hicks is “banged up” after his rough slide at second base in the ninth inning last night, so Brett Gardner is in center field and Giancarlo Stanton is in left field.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Gleyber Torres is scheduled to play as the designated hitter for High-A Tampa Tarpons tonight, and return to the Yankees tomorrow.
  • Ronald Torreyes returned to action last night as Torres’ double-play partner at shortstop, but is out of the lineup tonight as the Yankees ease him back into game action.
  • The Yankees are in on the Zach Britton sweepstakes, and were labeled as one of the main contenders by MLB Network’s Jim Bowden.

Rays Lineup:

  1. Kevin Kiermaier – CF
  2. Matt Duffy – 3B
  3. Jake Bauers – LF
  4. C.J. Cron – 1B
  5. Ji-Man Choi – DH
  6. Daniel Robertson – 2B
  7. Mallex Smith – RF
  8. Willy Adames – SS
  9. Jesús Sucre – C

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.

Game 90: Tanaka Time Once More

A pivotal piece of the Yankees rotation is back.

Wow, 90 games in already. The All-Star break is next week, and the trade rumors are going crazy. Outside of October, July might be my favorite baseball month.

July gets better for the Yankees today as they welcome Masahiro Tanaka back from the disabled list. The righty will make his first start since straining both hamstrings June 8 scoring on a sacrifice fly against the Mets. Tanaka’s two June starts saw him give up five earned runs across 10⅓ innings pitched. He has definitely benefitted from the Yankees prodigious offense, as evidenced by his 10 wins and 4.58 ERA. Through his 13 starts this season, they score 6.71 runs on average behind him.

Tanaka’s counterpart on the hill will be veteran righty Andrew Cashner. The 31-year-old has a very similar ERA (4.39) but has just two wins on his ledger. That’s because the Orioles average just 2.61 runs behind him on the season. His last outing July 5 was quite respectable, where he allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits through six innings. The O’s only scored two that day, so Cashner was saddled with the loss. He’s 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against the Yankees this season, and 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA against the Bombers overall.

The starting lineup goes back to normal with yesterday’s doubleheader madness out of the way. Neil Walker gets a second consecutive start at second base, and will likely get most of the playing time there now that Brandon Drury has been optioned to Triple-A. Aaron Hicks bats third for the fifth time this season, where he’s hitting .308/.438/.538 coming into tonight’s game.


Pre-game Notes:

  • Miguel Andújar is simply ignoring the swirling Manny Machado trade rumors, which are magnified given that the Yankees are playing in Baltimore currently. “Those are things I have no control of. To me it’s about doing what I can, worrying about what I need to do here,” Andújar said to Erik Boland. “I don’t pay attention to that stuff.”
  • Gary Sánchez ran the bases on the field at Oriole Park under the watchful eyes of first base coach Reggie Willits and strength and conditioning director Matthew Krause. If he doesn’t encounter any setbacks, he could go on a minor-league rehab assignment as soon as this weekend.
  • Aaron Boone told Boland that Tanaka would have a pitch count “in the range of 80 tonight”.
  • Gleyber Torres (right hip strain) was seen throwing on the field while Sánchez did his baserunning drills. MLB announced today that he would be replaced on the American League All-Star roster by Oakland Athletics second baseman Jed Lowrie.
  • Prior to tonight’s game, right-hander David Hale, who was designated for assignment July 7, elected free agency in lieu of an outright assignment to the minors. He did this in May as well, but wound up re-signing with the Yankees on a minor league contract four days later.

Baltimore Orioles Lineup:

  1. Tim Beckham – 3B
  2. Adam Jones – CF
  3. Manny Machado – SS
  4. Mark Trumbo – DH
  5. Jonathan Schoop – 2B
  6. Chris Davis – 1B
  7. Trey Mancini – LF
  8. Joey Rickard – RF
  9. Caleb Joseph – C