Yankees fans will finally get a glimpse of the future, as the team selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Justus Sheffield on Tuesday morning. The team also recalled righty Domingo Germán in the same transaction. The Yankees clearly think both arms could help the team now that the RailRiders have been eliminated from the Triple-A playoffs.
Justus Sheffield, the Yankees No. 1 prospect, took a big step forward in the Yankees system in 2018, going 6-6 with a 2.48 ERA in 21 games (he entered in the second inning June 27 to allow A.J. Cole to have a rehab start) before being moved to the bullpen. The bullpen move was definitely not performance-based, but likely a way to simultaneously limit his innings and prepare him for a role at the big-league level. He owned a 2.45 ERA in 7⅓ innings across four regular season outings as a reliever. In three playoff outings, he posted a 3.60 ERA across five innings.
Domingo Germán appeared in 19 games for the Yanks, with 13 of them starts. He had an overall 5.68 ERA in 82⅓ innings, though his 3.52 ERA in relief clearly eclipses the 6.18 mark as a starter. He was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after a disastrous outing against the Mets on July 20, allowing four runs in just 3⅔ innings. A week later, he was placed on the MiLB disabled list with biceps tendinitis and ulnaritis. He spent a month on the DL before returning to rehab in the Gulf Coast and Florida State leagues – pitching to a 6.14 ERA in 7⅓ innings. In two playoff starts with Triple-A, Germán went 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA.
To clear a 40-man spot for Sheffield, Clint Frazier was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. It’s an unfortunately lost season for Frazier, who came to the Yankees alongside Sheffield from Cleveland in the 2016 Andrew Miller trade. The 24-year-old appeared in just 69 games combined between the majors and minors because of concussion issues. Frazier had started a rehab assignment with Tampa on August 12, and then did not play again until August 30. He went 2-for-5 in those two games, and was set to join Double-A Trenton in the Eastern League playoffs before the concussion symptoms returned. Across all levels, he finished the season batting .298/.387/.531 with 11 home runs and 26 RBIs.
It remains to be seen with the next step is for the outfielder, since he has too much service time to be assigned to the Arizona Fall League. I’d have to imagine he’ll play some winter ball in the Caribbean to make up for lost games. Yankees fans have to be hoping he’ll be back to his old self by next February.
After snapping a five-game losing streak last night against the White Sox, CC Sabathia looks to keep the momentum going in the right direction.
Sabathia gets the ball after needing 77 pitches to get just nine outs August 2 in Boston. He allowed just two runs, but the Yankees wound up getting clobbered. He walked four and gave up three hits. The Yankees went 3-1 in his starts in July, though he managed to put up an unwieldy 5.48 ERA in those 21⅓ innings.
Reynaldo López gets the ball for the South-Siders. Signed in 2012 out of the Dominican Republic, López came to the White Sox with Dane Dunning and Lucas Giolito in the deal that sent Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals. In 22 starts this season, he has a 4-9 record and a 4.47 ERA. His 5.16 FIP indicates he’s been hit hard, and a 4.0 walks-per-9 shows the command isn’t there yet for the 24-year-old.
Brett Gardner gets the night off, having started 12 of the last 13 games. Shane Robinson spells him in left field. Miguel Andújar once again serves as the designated hitter with Neil Walker suiting up at the hot corner. Kyle Higashioka gets another start behind the dish.
- The Yankees caught a break in their trade of Brandon Drury, whom the Blue Jays placed on the 10-day disabled list with a hand fracture today. It turns out the injury was sustained July 24 against the Rays, which ended up being his final game as a Yankee before being dealt with Billy McKinney for J.A. Happ.
- Speaking of Happ: the team hasn’t decided whether Chance Adams will start Thursday or if Happ will return to pitch then. Adams will stick around with the big league club until that decision is made because of the 10-day rule.
- There is nothing wrong with Austin Romine. Just sitting again because he caught five days in a row.
- Aaron Judge has yet to start swinging a bat.
- Clint Frazier and Michael Kay appear to have figured out their weird squabble over Kay’s comments regarding Frazier’s concussion. Boone said the two talked on the phone and it was now “water under the bridge”.
White Sox Lineup:
- Tim Anderson – SS
- Avisail García – RF
- José Abreu – 1B
- Matt Davidson – DH
- Yoan Moncada – 2B
- Ryan LaMarre – LF
- Yolmer Sánchez – 3B
- Adam Engel – CF
- Omar Narváez – C
Well, 2018 is over before it really began for veteran outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. The well-paid 34-year-old underwent surgery on a torn labrum in his left hip in New York City on Monday, ending the season after just a handful of at-bats in Spring Training. “The surgery went as expected,” per the team’s announcement Tuesday.
Ellsbury, who signed a seven-year, $153 million contract prior to the 2014 season, had not appeared in a game at any level since March 24. He went 1-for-14 in the Grapefruit League before being shut down. The Yankees placed him on the 10-day disabled list March 29, retroactive to March 26, with a right oblique strain prior to the opening series in Toronto. He was then moved to the 60-day disabled list May 2 so that the Yankees could select the contract of pitcher David Hale. Ellsbury reportedly was also dealing with a back issue and plantar fasciitis while attempting to rehab his oblique strain.
The signing of Ellsbury has been repeatedly cited as one of general manager Brian Cashman‘s few failures. After six years in Boston highlighted by a 2011 season where he finished as the runner-up for American League MVP, Ellsbury has hit just .264/.330/.386 with issues staying on the field since joining the Yankees. Not exactly the statistics you want from a player making over $21 million annually. The Yankees are stuck paying him until after the 2020 season, since they’ll certainly pay the $5 million buyout of his 2021 team option.
The announcement comes at a curious time since the Yankees ironically are in need of an extra quality outfielder at the moment. Aaron Judge is expected to miss a few more weeks with the micro-fracture in his right wrist, and Giancarlo Stanton is dealing with some tightness in his left hamstring. Clint Frazier is still working his way back through post-concussion migraines, so there is no firm timetable for his availability. So, it seems the Yanks are stuck with Shane Robinson for the time being.
It seems our next Ellsbury sighting will come in Tampa in February 2019.
With Aaron Judge and Gary Sánchez sidelined with wrist and groin injuries, respectively, another Yankees slugger is dealing with an ailment of his own. Lindsey Adler of The Athletic reported Monday morning that Giancarlo Stanton was limited to being the designated hitter in the final two games in Boston because of tightness in his left hamstring.
From Adler’s piece:
“Stanton is dealing with tightness in his left hamstring and has had it wrapped up with ice after games Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Presumably, with Aaron Judge and Gary Sánchez already on the disabled list, Boone has not wanted to take the risk of losing his final power bat as any chance at winning the division to avoid the one-game wild-card berth slips further away.”
An injury to Stanton would explain the seemingly inexplicable use of Shane Robinson in two out of four games in Boston. With Judge injured and Tyler Wade on optional assignment in Triple-A, Robinson is the only available outfielder for the Yankees. Clint Frazier is in Tampa working his way back from post-concussion migraines, and the Yankees traded away options like Tyler Austin and Billy McKinney at the deadline. Another option would be Ronald Torreyes, who has 187 outfield innings (including 90.0 in center in 2014) combined between the minors and majors.
Neil Walker has played three innings of right field basically out of necessity for the Yankees, marking his first time outside of the infield in his professional career. Walker’s bat is clearly superior to Robinson’s, but the Yankees felt it was necessary to have a natural outfielder patrolling right at Fenway. Robinson went 0-for-4 with a walk and a sacrifice bunt in his two starts against the Red Sox.
The truth is that the Yankees don’t have much outfield depth left after the trades they made last week. Top prospect Estevan Florial is not MLB-ready, especially after missing seven weeks with a wrist injury. Ryan McBroom and Mark Payton are the other outfielders worth keeping an eye on at Triple-A, while Wade has started three consecutive games in the corner outfield in SWB as well.
Stanton likely will attempt to play through the soreness, especially with the aforementioned lack of power bats. But, it likely means we’ll see a lot more of Robinson in right field until Stanton is 100 percent.
The Yankees will be without Aaron Judge for three weeks, and that timer starts with tonight’s game with Kansas City.
CC Sabathia will make his 19th start of the season, and his second against the Royals. He lasted just five innings May 18, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks. He continues to be holding down the back end of the Yankees rotation, however, pitching to a 3.28 ERA in his last eight starts (dating back to June 5). The Yankees are 5-3 in those outings.
The Yankees get their second look at right Brad Keller, who pitched in relief in that May 18 game. He threw an 11-pitch eighth inning and recorded a strikeout of Aaron Hicks. In nine starts (since May 30), he is 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA. He delivered a solid outing against Minnesota on July 22, giving up three runs on three hits with eight strikeouts.
Giancarlo Stanton slides into the No. 2 spot in the batting order, where Judge started 97 games this season. The Yankees will keep Neil Walker‘s hot bat in the lineup, starting him once again at the hot corner. The much maligned veteran is slashing .311/.407/.444 (133 wRC+) since July 1.
- J.A. Happ‘s flight to New York had some weather-related issues, so he has not reported to the team yet. He’s scheduled to start Sunday, and I’m guessing he’s activated tomorrow. He’ll wear No. 34 for the Yankees.
- Tyler Wade is back, and will be the team’s primary fourth outfielder in Judge’s absence. That doesn’t seem to bode well for Shane Robinson, who was selected to the active roster last night. He could be designated for assignment tomorrow if, in fact, that is when Happ is to be activated.
- Jacoby Ellsbury has not begun baseball activities. Shocker! He’s not an option to replace Judge. Clint Frazier has been sent to Tampa to continue his rehab from post-concussion migraines. If he can get himself comfortably into playing shape, he could put himself in a position to make an impact.
- There seems to have been some confusion with Judge’s prognosis. Everyone (myself included) believed the three-week timeline mentioned by the Yankees would be entirely downtime. It turns out that Judge could be back in the lineup in three weeks, and not just beginning rehab games at that point. Aaron Boone said Judge could be taking dry swings in about a week and a half. Encouraging stuff.
- Whit Merrifield – CF
- Rosell Herrera – RF
- Mike Moustakas – 3B
- Salvador Pérez – C
- Jorge Bonifacio – LF
- Lucas Duda – DH
- Hunter Dozier – 1B
- Alcides Escobar – SS
- Adalberto Mondesí – 2B
The last time the Yankees came to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, they left with a rather sour taste in their mouth.
The team struck out 23 times in a three-game series, compared to just 19 total hits in 105 at bats. In that span, they left 21 men on base. The result was a demoralizing and frustrating sweep.
Tasked with preventing a similar results this time around is opening starter Luis Severino. The ace of the staff makes his first appearance after pitching a scoreless second inning for the American League in the 2018 All-Star Game in DC. He only lasted five innings in each of his last two starts, July 7 at Toronto and July 12 at Cleveland, so the extra rest from the All-Star break should help him last deeper into the game. He last faced Tampa on June 16, where he threw eight shutout innings and struck out nine.
It will be another Rays opener on the hill tonight. Getting the ball is 2013 29th-round pick Hunter Wood, whose longest outing on the season came July 3 when he pitched three innings against the Miami Marlins. He only has one “start,” which came July 11 in Detroit when he pitched the first inning. Overall, he has no record but a 2.70 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 13⅓ innings.
Aaron Boone sends out an identical lineup to last night’s rained-out series finale with the Mets. Gary Sánchez returns to the stadium where he screened his groin a month ago. With Gleyber Torres‘ return looming, Neil Walker gets another start at second base.
- Gleyber Torres went 1-for-3 with a walk, single and run scored in his first rehab game Saturday with High-A Tampa. He played seven innings at second base, and is still expected to re-join the team Wednesday.
- Ronald Torreyes has been activated from Triple-A SWB’s temporarily inactive list, and transferred to join Torres in Tampa for his first game action since June 25. The utility infielder missed that time attending to his wife, who had an undisclosed medical problem. He’s starting at shortstop alongside Torres at second.
- Clint Frazier, who was removed from a minor-league game July 19 for precautionary reasons related to concussion, was transferred from the 7-day disabled list in the International League to the Yankees’ 10-day disabled list. Frazier was optioned to the minors July 16 but took the full 72 hours allotted to him to report (which was very unlike him, since he normally reports within 24 hours). It turns out Frazier had complained about nausea to the training staff after a collision with Baltimore Orioles third baseman Jace Peterson on July 11. He entered as a substitute for the Yankees on July 13 and July 15 in the final series before the All-Star break in Cleveland. His disabled list move is significant because he will now accrue major league service time and pay.
- Kevin Kiermaier – CF
- Matt Duffy – 3B
- Jake Bauers – 1B
- Ji-Man Choi – DH
- Joey Wendle – LF
- Daniel Robertson – 2B
- Mallex Smith – RF
- Willy Adames – SS
- Jesús Sucre – C
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.