Tag: David Robertson

Hot Stove Notes: Gardner, Harper, Machado, Robertson

Our first round of Hot Stove Hot Takes are here.

With the World Series (painfully) behind us, free agency and Hot Stove are both officially underway. As of 9 a.m. yesterday, all players eligible for free agency are officially on the market. Players can only negotiate with their old team until Friday at 5 p.m. before the real madness starts. Teams must also decide whether they will extend the one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer to those eligible free agents by that same deadline. Those that get offered the qualifying offer will get 10 days (until November 12) to decide whether they will accept or decline. Teams that sign a player who declined the qualifying offer receive compensation in the form of draft picks and/or international bonus pool money from that player’s new team.

It’s been one day, and there’s already some headlines swirling around Yankees Universe:

  • The Yankees have until Wednesday at 5 p.m. to determine the fate of Brett Gardner and his club option for the 2019 season. The team will either pay $12.5 million to pick him up for 2019, or decline the option and pay him a $2 million buyout. “I’d love to come back here, man,” Gardner said after the season-ending loss to Boston in the ALDS. “I’ve been here for a long time. My agent [Joe Bick] and I have a great relationship with Cash and the rest of the front office. I’m sure when the time is right, we’ll sit down and talk about that.” The 35-year-old saw his offensive production drop to a .236/.322/.368 (90 wRC+) line but also proved he can still play elite outfield defense. If I had to guess, I think the Yankees decline the option but look to retain Gardner as the team’s fourth outfielder.
  • The Bryce Harper headlines are here, folks. Andy Martino of SNY reported the Yankees are “not expected to pursue free agent Bryce Harper” because “The early feeling is that Harper simply doesn’t fit”. On the surface, that seems to torpedo the offseason plan of backing up a dump-truck for Harper and Manny Machado (more on him to come). But, remember what I wrote above. The Yankees would be clearly tampering if they expressed interest in Harper during the exclusive negotiation period. Also, it would kill the Yankees’ negotiating leverage to come out for Harper this early. This reminds me of how Cashman handled Johnny Damon‘s free agency in 2005: where he claimed Bubba Crosby would start in center field… until he didn’t.
  • Now, to the Manny Machado news. Also from SNY’s Martino, the Yankees are apparently “lukewarm” on the idea of a Machado pursuit. The optics and results of Machado’s postseason apparently “cost him some enthusiasm in the offices at Yankee Stadium,” per the report. I can see how that would be true, especially since Machado clearly cleated multiple first basemen on purpose and was called a “dirty player” by multiple players and analysts throughout the playoffs. As with Harper, this is some early-offseason posturing for a team that’s not even allowed to negotiate with the player in question. With Didi Gregorius slated to miss most of next season, I think the Yankees are going to have significant interest in Machado. But, this is a business based on negotiation and Cashman has to play his cards properly.
  • David Robertson, who officially became a free agent yesterday, wrote a short guest post for MLB Trade Rumors about his decision to represent himself without an agent during his second foray into free agency. Namely, he decided he knew his desires for a contract best and also indicated the decision did not stem from a disagreement with his agent. The whole statement is definitely worth a read.

Yankees 4, Red Sox 5: Missed Opportunities Haunt Yanks

The Yankees almost came all the way back on the shaky Boston bullpen, but 5⅓ innings from Red Sox ace Chris Sale did the job.

J.A. Happ was not his dominant self against the Red Sox, allowing four hits and five runs over two innings, striking out two and walking one.

The Yankees got two runs in the sixth on a Luke Voit RBI single and Didi Gregorius RBI fielder’s choice. Both hits came off Ryan Brasier, but the runs were charged to the already-departed Sale.

Voit got another RBI in the seventh on a fielder’s choice that scored Andrew McCutchen off Matt Barnes. The Yanks pulled to within one when Aaron Judge smacked an opposite-field solo home run off Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning.

The bullpen was solid, with Chad Green, Lance Lynn, Zach Britton and David Robertson recording six innings of shutout relief after Happ departed.

Yankees ALDS Roster and Starting Rotation

Sabathia and Tarpley in; Higashioka and Wade out.

The Yankees have announced their roster and starting rotation for the best-of-5 American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox.

Starting Rotation

Here is how Aaron Boone and Alex Cora will align their starting rotations:
  • Game 1:
    • J.A. Happ vs. Chris Sale
  • Game 2:
    • Masahiro Tanaka vs. David Price
  • Game 3:
    • Rick Porcello vs. TBA (likely Luis Severino)
  • Game 4*:
    • Nathan Eovaldi vs. TBA (likely CC Sabathia)
  • Game 5*:
    • TBA vs. TBA

Roster

  • Changes from Wild Card roster are reflected with strikethrough and bold.

Pitchers

  • Dellin Betances – 68
  • Zach Britton – 53
  • Aroldis Chapman – 54
  • Chad Green – 57
  • J.A. Happ – 34
  • Jonathan Holder – 56
  • Lance Lynn – 36
  • David Robertson – 30
  • CC Sabathia – 52
  • Luis Severino – 40
  • Masahiro Tanaka – 19
  • Stephen Tarpley – 71

Catchers

  • Kyle Higashioka – 66
  • Austin Romine – 28
  • Gary Sánchez – 24

Infielders

  • Miguel Andújar – 41
  • Didi Gregorius – 18
  • Adeiny Hechavarría – 29
  • Gleyber Torrres – 25
  • Luke Voit – 45
  • Tyler Wade – 12
  • Neil Walker – 14

Outfielders

  • Brett Gardner – 11
  • Aaron Hicks – 31
  • Aaron Judge – 99
  • Andrew McCutchen – 26
  • Giancarlo Stanton – 27

Athletics 2, Yankees 7: Next Stop – Boston

Yankees-Red Sox in October just feels right.

With the season on the line, the New York Yankees showed up in a big way Wednesday night with a Wild Card win over the Oakland Athletics.

An electric atmosphere punctuated the fall air in the Bronx, which continued to grow as Luis Severino carved through the A’s in the top of the first inning. Pandemonium exploded in the following half-inning, as Andrew McCutchen worked a leadoff walk and Aaron Judge followed with a 116.7 mph home run into the left-field seats off opener Liam Hendriks. From that moment, the Yankees never looked back.

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Severino worked his way into trouble in the fifth, allowing two singles to start the frame. Armed with one of the best bullpens in baseball, Aaron Boone went to a late-inning weapon in Dellin Betances. Two fly balls and a strikeout later, the fire was out. The move to call on Betances was the first of many moves that went according to plan for Boone and the Yankees.

The Yanks got locked down for the next four innings, with Lou Trivino and Shawn Kelley allowing a hit a piece and combining to strike out four Yankees. But Bob Melvin decided to go with The Fernando Rodney Experience™️ in the sixth inning. Judge and Aaron Hicks hit consecutive doubles to lead off the frame, and that was it for Rodney.

Blake Treinen, owner of a 0.78 ERA in the regular season and the A’s closer, was next to pitch in the sixth. He walked Giancarlo Stanton, who promptly stole second base sneakily on the first pitch of Luke Voit‘s plate appearance. Voit lifted a fly ball that almost snuck over the right field wall but ended up a two-run triple after a misplay from Stephen Piscotty. One pitch later, Didi Gregorius lifted a sacrifice fly to left that barely scored Voit (the A’s challenged, and the call stood).

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David Robertson pitched a perfect seventh inning, before handing it over to Zach Britton for the eighth. Britton did allow a two-run short porch job to Khris Davis, which made it a 6-2 game. But Stanton returned the favor as he cranked his first-ever postseason homer to send Treinen to the showers. Aroldis Chapman pitched around a leadoff single to record two strikeouts and a ground out to send the Yankees hurdling toward a best-of-5 showdown with the Boston Red Sox.

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Yankees Announce Wild Card Roster

The Yankees have announced their Wild Card roster.

Pitchers

  • Dellin Betances – 68
  • Zach Britton – 53
  • Aroldis Chapman – 54
  • Chad Green – 57
  • J.A. Happ – 34
  • Jonathan Holder – 56
  • Lance Lynn – 36
  • David Robertson – 30
  • Luis Severino – 40
  • Masahiro Tanaka – 19

Catchers

  • Kyle Higashioka – 66
  • Austin Romine – 28
  • Gary Sánchez – 24

Infielders

  • Miguel Andújar – 41
  • Didi Gregorius – 18
  • Adeiny Hechavarría – 29
  • Gleyber Torrres – 25
  • Luke Voit – 45
  • Tyler Wade – 12
  • Neil Walker – 14

Outfielders

  • Brett Gardner – 11
  • Aaron Hicks – 31
  • Aaron Judge – 99
  • Andrew McCutchen – 26
  • Giancarlo Stanton – 27

Red Sox 2, Yankees 3: Walker’s 10th Homer the Difference-Maker

No clinch for Boston.

THE BRONX – Neil Walker crushed his 10th homer of the year off Ryan Brasier to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning Tuesday, en route to the first Yankee win over Boston since July 1.

The bridge to dominant closer Craig Kimbrel has been sketchy all year for Alex Cora‘s Red Sox, though their 103 wins would say otherwise. Nathan Eovaldi was masterful for six innings, allowing two hits in six shutout innings before being pulled with just 83 pitches. Brandon Workman entered to start the seventh and walked both Aaron Hicks and Gary Sánchez (with Miguel Andújar popping up on a likely ball 4 in between).

Cora went to Brasier, and Aaron Boone elected to stick with Walker at the plate and Sánchez on first. This time, Boone won. Walker smoked a 3-2 slider into the second deck at Yankee Stadium, and he knew it. As he left the batter’s box, he pointed to the Yankees dugout. The Yankee offense finally got a jolt.

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David Robertson pitched a scoreless eighth inning, which included some uncharacteristically lackadaisical defense from Aaron Hicks. J.D. Martinez doubled into the gap, and the ball got past Hicks. The center-fielder jogged after the ball, and simply tossed it to the cut-off man while Martinez motored into third. Robertson induced two fly balls to render the issue moot.

But, bad defense was the theme of the ninth inning as Zach Britton was brought in to close. Brandon Phillips was thrown out 2-3 on a strikeout to start the frame, and then things got frustrating. Adeiny Hechavarría, who replaced Andújar for defense, threw a 5-4-3 double-play ball away by throwing it to the arm side of Gleyber Torres (which was unfairly ruled an E4). Sam Travis then hit a tapper back to Britton, and he threw a sinker on a potential 1-4-3 double-play ball into center field. That allowed Brock Holt, who walked, to score. But, two pitches later, they finally got it right. Ian Kinsler hit a ground ball back to Britton, and they finally got the 1-4-3 needed to push a Red Sox clinch celebration back at least another 24 hours.

Britton understood the magnitude of the situation, as he was given an opportunity to atone for the mistake he committed. One play after throwing the ball into center field, he was able to throw a strike to Torres that allowed him to record his sixth save on the season. The difference? A return to the fundamentals of throwing a baseball:

“The balls were wet,” Britton said. “So after the error that I made, I just thought, if I find the other one, I’ve really got to find the four seams and make a good throw to second and make sure we got one out.”

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Not to be lost in Tuesday’s big win was the performance of J.A. Happ. The veteran delivered another quality start, allowing an unearned run (because of a Sánchez passed ball) on four hits and three walks. He recorded six strikeouts, and 65% of his 102 pitches were strikes. In the third inning, Kinsler singled, moved to second on a phantom balk call (seriously, it’s hard to see), and scored on a Martinez sacrifice fly after moving to third on the passed ball.


Aaron Judge got through his first full game since July 26 without a setback. He went 0-for-4, hitting the ball hard three times before getting rung up on a questionable check-swing call in his final at-bat.

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Judge, of course, was not originally supposed to start Tuesday. But, the six-hour delay in start time allowed him to hit in another simulated game, and convince the Yankees decision-makers that he was ready to go.

“I just voiced my opinion. A lot,” Judge said after the game. “I think they got tired of me telling them I wanted to be playing. So they finally said let’s put him in there and see what happens.”

Rangers 3, Yankees 5: Andújar Saves the Day

THE BRONX – Miguel Andújar‘s clutch two-run home run in the seventh inning off Chris Martin proved to be an important differencemaker Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

The 23-year-old cracked his 17th homer on the first pitch he saw from Martin, sending a 94-mph fastball into the right field seats. That proved to be the difference as the Yankees claimed a 5-to-3 victory. Giancarlo Stanton singled ahead of Andújar before the rookie connected.

Stanton got the scoring going for the Yankees in the first inning, driving a 3-0 fastball from Drew Hutchison into the left field seats for his 29th homer of the year. Andújar singled one batter later, and Greg Bird lined a double that scored him from first base.

Lance Lynn allowed his first (and only) run as a Yankee in the third inning. Shin-Soo Choo led off with a double to center field, then moved to third on a Rougned Odor ground out to the over-shifted shortstop Didi Gregorius. Elvis Andrus then lined a single to right field that allowed Choo to score.

That lead held until the seventh, when Zach Britton entered. With two outs, Choo and Odor singled, then Andrus walked. Next batter Adrián Beltré worked a walk with the bases loaded, and another run came into score when new reliever Dellin Betances balked in the tying run.

That set the stage for Andújar’s homer, and the rookie came into the game batting .293/.348/.483 in high-leverage situations (per Baseball-Reference). David Robertson and Betances each did not allow a run, and Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless (yet eventful) top of the ninth.


What’s Next:

The series finishes off with a battle of lefties. CC Sabathia (6-4, 3.49 ERA) will look to reprise his 12-strikeout performance from August 7 against the White Sox. Martin Pérez (2-4, 6.15 ERA) is coming off a no-decision where he allowed three runs in seven innings August 6 against Seattle.

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