Tag: Clint Frazier

Ellsbury, Frazier, Heller, Montgomery Activated From 60-Day DL

The Yankees quietly activated OF Jacoby Ellsbury, OF Clint Frazier, RHP Ben Heller and LHP Jordan Montgomery from the 60-day disabled list one day ahead of the Nov. 2 deadline Thursday. The Yankees 40-man roster now stands at 36.

Ellsbury went through an extensive list of injuries in Spring Training, and never took the field for the Yankees in the regular season. On August 6, he had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. He’s expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Frazier was limited to 283 plate appearances from High-A, Triple-A and the MLB because of multiple concussions. He hit .265/.390/.353 (113 wRC+) in 15 big league games in 2018. He’s expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Heller underwent Tommy John surgery April 6 and missed the entire 2018 season. In 19 MLB games with the Yankees in 2016 and 2017, the righty was 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA. By all accounts, he should be ready for Spring Training in 2019.

Montgomery made six starts for the Yankees in 2018 before he, too, required Tommy John surgery. He was 2-0 with a 3.62 ERA before disaster struck. He’s expected to return at some point towards the end of the 2019 season.

Boras: Ellsbury Will Be Healthy to Start 2019

Can the 35-year-old STAY healthy for 162 games?

Jacoby Ellsbury collected $21.1 million during the 2018 season despite not suiting up past a March 24 Spring Training matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays. Injuries cost him the entire season, and he lost a chance to provide value when the Yankees’ seemingly formidable outfield depth suddenly disappeared from the organization.

With a nagging oblique issue and August 7 hip surgery behind him, Ellsbury’s agent, Scott Boras, told George A. King III of the New York Post that the 35-year-old has his eyes set on Tampa.

“He got the right doctor and the right surgery, and I fully expect him to be ready [for spring training],” Boras said before Game 3 of the World Series, per King.

Ellsbury signed a seven-year, $153 million deal with the Yankees in the 2013 offseason and has hit .264/.330/.386 with 39 home runs and 198 RBI in 520 games across four seasons. If you include missing all of the 2018 regular season, Ellsbury has missed 290 of a possible 810 games since signing in New York. That would be a .358 batting average, but unfortunately that’s not the metric we’re looking at. Missing 36% of your team’s games is just ridiculous for the amount of money he’s being paid.

Ellsbury suffered a concussion May 24, 2017, that setback his season and allowed Aaron Hicks to take over the starting job in center field. Ellsbury’s spot with the Yankees relies on his health in 2019, and the Yankees’ decision with Brett Gardner. Gardner has a pending $12.5 million club option, or $2 million buyout for the 2019 season.

With everyone assumed healthy coming into 2019, the outfield picture will feature Ellsbury, Clint Frazier, Gardner (I think the Yanks decline his option, and bring him back for cheaper), Hicks, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

I would imagine Hicks, Judge and Stanton maintain their spots in the outfield/designated hitter rotation from last season. That leaves left field and the fourth outfield spot open to competition, and also assumes the Yankees make no significant offseason moves. Bryce Harper is the sexiest pick to fill the left field spot, though there are also rumblings of a position change for Miguel Andújar that would allow Manny Machado to fit into the puzzle as well.

What’s the simplest thing Ellsbury can do? Show up in Tampa in great shape, and stay healthy in order to help the team. He’s owed a little over $47.2 million through 2021 (assuming the Yankees buy him out), and the Yankees would love to squeeze some value out of him.

Yanks Select Sheffield; Recall Germán; Transfer Frazier to 60-Day DL

More bullpen reinforcements, including the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect.

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.

Game 112: Make It Two

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.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • 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:

  1. Tim Anderson – SS
  2. Avisail García – RF
  3. José Abreu – 1B
  4. Matt Davidson – DH
  5. Yoan Moncada – 2B
  6. Ryan LaMarre – LF
  7. Yolmer Sánchez – 3B
  8. Adam Engel – CF
  9. Omar Narváez – C

Jacoby Ellsbury Will Miss Rest of Season After Hip Surgery

Good thing the Yanks have insurance.

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.

Adler: Giancarlo Stanton Playing Through Left Hamstring Tightness

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.

Game 102: Post-Judge Day No. 1

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.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • 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.

Royals Lineup:

  1. Whit Merrifield – CF
  2. Rosell Herrera – RF
  3. Mike Moustakas – 3B
  4. Salvador Pérez – C
  5. Jorge Bonifacio – LF
  6. Lucas Duda – DH
  7. Hunter Dozier – 1B
  8. Alcides Escobar – SS
  9. Adalberto Mondesí – 2B
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