Tag: David Hale

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

Game 86: Turn the Page, Sevy

The Yankees will look to put last night’s demoralizing loss behind them as they send their ace, Luis Severino, to the hill.

Severino has been fantastic this season no matter how you slice it. Since he took the loss June 10 to the Mets, Sevy is 4-0 with a stingy 0.99 ERA in victories over Tampa Bay, Seattle, Philadelphia and Boston. The three runs he gave up all came in his June 21 outing vs. Seattle. He’s 2-0 with a 0.71 ERA in his two starts against the Blue Jays. He has struck out 13 batters compared to allowing four hits and five walks. He has a 2.81 ERA in five career starts at Rogers Centre.

Believe it or not, more eyes might be on the Blue Jays’ starter today: lefty J.A. Happ. Happ is arguably the best rental pitcher available on the trade market this summer, and the Yankees have already been mentioned as a “main player” by FanCred’s Jon Heyman for his services. He got badly roughed up his last time out July 1 in Detroit, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in 5⅔ innings. Scouts and fans alike will see how Happ fares this time around against the Yankees, to whom he took an Opening Day loss March 29. He gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits in 4⅔ innings.

This Yankees lineup is quite violently shaken up from last night. Greg Bird is batting ninth for the first time since he started five games there last season. Brandon Drury gets his first look at second base, where he played 114 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017. Kyle Higashioka catches Severino, so Austin Romine‘s achy hamstring gets a bit more rest. Aaron Hicks, fresh off another home run, bats clean up for the third time this season. He has a .429/.600/1.143 slashline in that spot so let’s hope that continues.

A lot happened before this game so let’s get to some notes:

  • Clint Frazier is back, and David Hale has been designated for assignment. Aaron Boone said Frazier likely starts tomorrow and in one of the doubleheader games in Baltimore on Monday.
  • Jonathan Loáisiga has been placed on the Triple-A disabled list with tightness in his right shoulder so he will not pitch in the doubleheader Monday. Loáisiga will see Dr. Chris Ahmad on Monday in New York. Boone said Luis Cessa will get the call to pitch in the nightcap Monday.
  • Gary Sánchez, who is traveling with the team currently, caught Masahiro Tanaka‘s most recent bullpen session and took two rounds of batting practice in Toronto. Per Boone, the “best case” scenario shows Sánchez starting minor league rehab games July 15 and rejoining the club post-All Star break. Tanaka will return from the disabled
  • Boone confirmed Sonny Gray will start as scheduled Wednesday in Baltimore, despite his string of awful outings. Gray has been working with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, hopefully in an attempt to figure out what the hell has gone wrong. “Hopefully they can unlock some things here in the days before the next start. Hopefully we can see those results,” Boone said.
  • LHP Justus Sheffield (Yankees No. 2 prospect, No. 39 MLB) is “putting himself in a position to potentially at some point be an option” in the second half, Boone told reporters. Sheffield was just selected to represent the Yankees in the 2018 All-Star Futures Game, and owns a 2.61 ERA in 10 games for the RailRiders in the International League.

Blue Jays Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – LF
  2. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – 2B
  3. Yangervis Solarte – 3B
  4. Justin Smoak – 1B
  5. Kendrys Morales – DH
  6. Kevin Pillar – CF
  7. Randal Grichuk – RF
  8. Luke Maile – C
  9. Aledmys Díaz – SS

King: Clint Frazier to Be Recalled; David Hale to Be Designated for Assignment

With the Yankees facing two left-handed starters in the remaining two games of the series with the Toronto Blue Jays, Clint Frazier will be back in the clubhouse as an option to Aaron Boone. The 23-year-old will be promoted for today’s afternoon matchup, per George A. King III of the New York Post.

King reports Frazier will take the place of pitcher David Hale, who threw 5⅔ innings of admirable long relief last night after Sonny Gray only lasted two innings. Hale will be designated for assignment because he is out of minor league options.

Frazier has finally gotten to the point of dominating Triple-A pitching, though “finally” feels harsh given that Frazier isn’t even that old. Since reporting back to the RailRiders after his last demotion (June 27), Red Thunder has put up an impressive .314/.400/.657 line with three home runs in nine games.

Hale is back in a familiar situation, where he must be traded or placed on irrevocable outright waivers within seven days. If he clears waivers, he can accept an outright assignment or be released. With Hale’s service time, he has the ability to decline an outright assignment and become a free agent.

Yankees 2, Blue Jays 6: Sonny Stinks, Offense Disappears

Gray’s season ERA climbs to 5.85 after another clunker.

Sonny Gray allowed at least four runs for the fourth time in five starts Friday in Toronto, as he could barely make it through two innings allowing five runs.

The bulk of the scoring came early for the Blue Jays, as they scored five in the second and one in the eighth. Randal Grichuk led off with a double, then moved to third on an Aledmys Díaz ground out. Devon Travis then singled on a 2-0 pitch to score Díaz, then moved to second on a wild pitch during the following at-bat. With a runner now in scoring position, Curtis Granderson singled to right to score Travis. Gray struck out Teoscar Hernández, but allowed a single to Yangervis Solarte.

That set the stage for the big blow of the evening: Justin Smoak‘s three-run home run. Gray left an 86 mph slider over the middle of the plate and Smoak turned it around for a 106 mph exit velocity shot that landed 404 feet from home plate. Gray got out of the inning but would be replaced by David Hale.

Hale, who was selected again by the team July 1 after being designated for assignment multiple times, delivered much needed length out of the Yankees bullpen. He ended up pitching 5⅔ innings as he scattered five hits and allowed one earned run on a double by Hernández.

The Yankees offense can be summed up in one player: Aaron Hicks. The center fielder hit a career-high homer in the third inning, as No. 16 gave the Yankees a glimmer of hope as it cut a 5-to-0 deficit to 5-to-1. The best chance the Yankees got came when they score their second run in the fifth inning. Austin Romine singled, Brett Gardner singled and Aaron Judge reached on an error by Solarte to load the bases. Hicks then walked with the bases loaded to make it 5-to-2. Reliever Joe Biagini then ran the count to 3-0 on Giancarlo Stanton, who promptly chased two pitches out of the zone to make it 3-2. Stanton then took strike three over the outside corner for the second out. Didi Gregorius lined out to left to end the threat.

All in all, the Yankees offense went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. It was a rather pathetic showing alongside a great night for Hicks.

Aaron Boone said postgame that Gray will make his next scheduled start against Baltimore on Wednesday. I would think the only way he saved himself for another start is the good fortune to have it land against the last-place O’s. When the team’s long-man is able to throw a quality start out of the bullpen, it’s concerning. Boone voiced some confidence in Gray, though he mentioned the Yankees “feel like he’s our best option” and that’s just not true.

What’s Next?

Luis Severino looks to continue a string of four straight wins, during which time he as a 0.99 ERA. He’ll be facing off against J.A. Happ, the Blue Jays pitcher who Jon Heyman of FanCred remarked is a main trade target of the Yankees’.

Jonathan Loáisiga To Be Promoted, Pitch Friday

With the injury to Masahiro Tanaka requiring a 10-day disabled list stint that could be much longer than that, the Yankees have decided to turn to an internal option to take his rotation spot: No. 12 prospect Jonathan Loáisiga. Manager Aaron Boone announced Loáisiga would start Thursday in a news conference prior to Tuesday’s game, but corrected himself postgame to say his debut would be Friday.

With the timetable for Tanaka’s return uncertain, the Yankees opted to go with one of the better arms so far in their minor league system this year in Loáisiga. Though he has not appeared above Double-A, the 23-year-old has demonstrated impressive control through 10 starts in the minors. In 45 innings, he has walked just four batters compared to 58 strikeouts. His 4.32 ERA in the Double-A Eastern League was inflated by his most recent outing, where he allowed four runs in 2+ innings because he reached a 50-pitch limit imposed in anticipation of him starting Friday.

“We feel like Loáisiga coming up in a spot situation where we may only need him for a start — two or three depending on Tanaka — I certainly feel good about the decision to bring Jonathan up,” Boone said. “I think he has a chance to come in, because of his stuff and the way he pounds the strike zone, I don’t think he’ll be overwhelmed by all of it. I think it’s a sound decision.”

Loáisiga was picked up by the Yankees at a tryout camp once he was released from his contract with the San Francisco Giants. He signed in February 2016, but made it through one start at Low-A before requiring Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He recovered in time to make 11 starts in 2017, and impressed enough there and in instructional league to land a spot on the 40-man roster after the season.

His scouting report, per MLB Pipeline:

While Loáisiga is small and skinny, he has surprising power to his three-pitch repertoire. His quick arm repeatedly generates 93-96 mph fastballs that top out at 98 with life down in the strike zone. His low-80s curveball features a high spin rate and his upper-80s change-up has nice fade, albeit with a bit too much velocity.

Loáisiga has a clean delivery that he repeats well, allowing him to work the bottom of the strike zone and issue just three walks in 32⅔ innings last season. His stuff and control give him a ceiling of a mid-rotation starter, though his size and health history are concerns.

The Yankees passed over a veteran with MLB experience, David Hale, and a heralded top prospect, Justus Sheffield, in order to tap Loáisiga for this start. They likely did not want to risk losing Hale to free agency again as he is out of options, and they do not want to start Sheffield’s service clock until they are confident that he won’t be returned to the minors again.

David Hale Re-Signs MiLB Deal

Folks, he’s back. Righty David Hale, who was designated for assignment May 15 and elected free agency in lieu of an outright assignment yesterday, has re-signed with the team on a minor league contract.

I’m truly confused as to how Hale went from declining his outright assignment to SWB to re-signing with the Yankees and reporting to SWB. I guess he was expecting a big league deal somewhere else? Is there a specific reason he wouldn’t accept an outright but would re-sign a new deal? Regardless, Hale is back in the organization.

In two appearances with the Yankees, Hale has allowed two runs in five innings of mop-up relief. Hale has made three starts for the RailRiders before his callups and one-game cameo with the Twins, with an 0-1 record and 5.52 ERA in the International League.

To make room for Hale on the RailRiders roster, the Yankees released LHP Daniel Camarena, according to The Scranton Times-Tribune’s Conor Foley.

David Hale Elects Free Agency

After being designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for outfielder Clint Frazier, RHP David Hale has elected free agency in lieu of accepting an outright assignment with the Yankees.

The Yankees picked Hale up on a minor league contract and invited him to Spring Training this past offseason. In two appearances with the Yankees, Hale gave up two earned runs in five innings of mop-up relief.

Hale previously declined an outright assignment April 30 after being designated for assignment by the Minnesota Twins. The Twins claimed Hale off waivers after the Yankees designated him for assignment after the acquisition of A.J. Cole. Hale appeared once for the Twins, giving up four runs in three innings against the Cincinnatti Reds on April 27.

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