Tag: Didi Gregorius

Yankees 7, Twins 2: Kraken Awakes in Series-Opening Win

The Yankee backstop collects three of the Yanks’ 11 hits in a big win.

MINNEAPOLIS, MI – Gary Sánchez‘s bat got going in a big way Monday night in Minnesota, as he collected three hits and scored two runs in a big 7-to-2 Yankee win.

The Oakland Athletics sat idle, so the Yankee lead in the Wild Card grew to three games. The game was a pitching duel through the sixth inning, with J.A. Happ and Kyle Gibson matching zeroes until El Gary stepped to the dish with two outs. Sánchez was robbed in his previous at-bat, thanks to a fantastic play by Twins third baseman Gregorio Petit.

Sánchez fouled off a few tough pitches down in the zone, and then crushed a 2-2 sinker that was out of the zone 460 feet into the third deck at Target Field. It was his second homer since returning from rehab September 1, and his 16th overall on the 2018 season.

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In a nightmare season, Sánchez’s bat showed a sign of life that could be crucial down the stretch. His three hits were the most he’d had in one game since he had four against the Royals on May 19. The Yankee lineup becomes so much stronger if he can maintain something like the .263/.333/.632 (156 wRC+) line of his past five games.

The Yankee offense got a big boost in the top of the seventh, where they scored six runs. That allowed Aaron Boone and Co. to lift Happ after just 91 pitches and six shutout innings. Luis Cessa allowed the two runs in two mop-up innings, and Jonathan Holder pitched a perfect ninth to nail down the win.

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Brett Gardner contributed a multi-hit game from the No. 9 slot, and he’s been a bit hotter of late – .280/.333/.320 (81 wRC+) since September 3. The Yankees worked 10 walks, with three going to Andrew McCutchen and two-a-piece for Aaron Hicks and Greg Bird. Bird was the only starter who did not record a hit. Miguel Andújar, Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, and McCutchen each recorded RBIs as well.

What’s Next:

Sonny Gray, who owns a 1.83 ERA in 19⅔ innings (six games, one start) since his bullpen demotion, returns to the rotation for a spot-start. The Twins will employ the “opener” tactic, sending Tyler Duffey to the mound.

Yankees Acquire Hechavarría From Pirates; Designate Bollinger for Assignment

More infield depth for the Bombers.

The Yanks added infield insurance just before the 11:59 p.m. Eastern deadline for postseason eligibility, acquiring defensive stud Adeiny Hechavarría from the Pittsburgh Pirates (with cash considerations) in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Just about all of Hechavarría’s value comes from his glove, as he owns a meager .254/.287/.342 (69 wRC+) batting line across 76 games with Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh in 2018. The Pirates acquired him August 6 for a minor-league pitcher after Tampa Bay designated him for assignment August 1.

In 625⅓ innings at shortstop in 2018, Hechavarría has totaled +3 defensive runs saved and owns a +1.5 UZR. He has just three fielding errors this season, and five total at shortstop over the past two years. He also has 70⅔ innings of experience at second base, and 156 innings at third base. However, he has played exclusively shortstop since moving from Toronto to Miami in their mega-deal in November 2012.

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In my opinion, this deal is simply a way to improve infield defense now that rosters have expanded to 40 players. Hechavarría is definitely not the kind of move you make to cover up a setback to Didi Gregorius‘ heel bruise, but it’s a move that allows for plenty of quality infield depth. It also seems to indicate that Gio Urshela will remain with the RailRiders through their playoff push. It’s worth noting that Hechavarría has a .299/.319/.418 (99 wRC+) line in his career at Yankee Stadium, though that just seems to be one of those crazy baseball quirks.

The Yankees will now have a surplus of utility infielders, as Hechavarría will join Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade and Neil Walker as options off the bench.


It seems the Yanks are trying to push Ryan Bollinger off the 40-man roster for a second time, having outrighted him May 27 after a one day appearance on the active roster. He was added again July 31, though he was optioned to the minors the next day. I believe he can elect free agency in lieu of another outright assignment, though the Yankees will try to sneak him through waivers after designating him for assignment.

Game 125: Stanton Returns to The 305

Giancarlo Stanton will play his first game in Miami since being traded to the Yankees in December 2017 as the Yanks head south for a two-game series.

Masahiro Tanaka hopes to avenge his April 17 start against the Marlins, an outing where he allowed seven runs on seven hits through just five innings of work. He got a tough-luck loss his last time out August 16, pitching six innings of two-run ball against the Tampa Bay Rays. August hasn’t been particularly kind to him, as he currently owns a 5.17 ERA and .323 batting average against through three starts against the Red Sox, Rangers and Rays.

Pablo López gets the ball for the Marlins, making his ninth start of the 2018 season. He debuted and got the win June 30 behind six innings of two run ball against the Mets. In his last start August 13, he gave up six runs in 5.1 innings in the first game of a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves.

Giancarlo Stanton is back in Miami, but more importantly for the Yankees, he is back in right field. He had been limited to serving as the designated hitter for weeks because of a tight left hamstring. Before the game, the Yankees placed Didi Gregorius on the 10-day disabled list with a left heel bruise. Gleyber Torres will start tonight at shortstop, with Neil Walker at second base. Luke Voit was recalled to take Gregorius’ roster spot.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Gary Sánchez will begin a rehab assignment tomorrow in the Gulf Coast League, and then head to Triple-A for “about a week,” per Aaron Boone. That timeline puts him back with the Yankees around the September 1 roster expansion date.
  • CC Sabathia is set to be activated off the disabled list Friday to start the first game of a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.
  • The Yanks hope Didi Gregorius‘ time on the disabled list is short, obviously, but the team will have a better sense of his prognosis after a few more days of evaluation in New York.
  • No. 1 prospect Justus Sheffield was originally scheduled to start tonight in Triple-A, but has been replaced by Nestor Cortes. SWB’s game notes list Sheffield as a reliever, so it’s not an injury. The Yanks might be grooming the 22-year-old for a David Price-like role as a reliever in 2018 to prepare him as a starter for 2019.

Marlins Lineup:

  1. Rafael Ortega – RF
  2. J.T. Realmuto – C
  3. Brian Anderson – 3B
  4. Derek Dietrich – 1B
  5. Starlin Castro – 2B
  6. Austin Dean – LF
  7. JT Riddle – SS
  8. Magneuris Sierra – CF
  9. Pablo López – RHP

Didi Gregorius Placed on Disabled List; Luke Voit Recalled

Hopefully. just a precaution.

UPDATE (August 21 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern): Prior to Tuesday’s series opener in Miami, the Yankees placed Didi Gregorius on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to August 20, with a left heel bruise. They recalled first baseman Luke Voit from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to fill the active roster spot.

At the earliest, Gregorius can return August 30, missing 10 games against sub-.500 competition. Voit will take a spot on the bench, as Gleyber Torres likely shifts to shortstop and a platoon of Neil Walker and Ronald Torreyes takes over second base.


The worst news of all regarding Gregorius came postgame, as manager Aaron Boone called Gregorius’ bruise “pretty significant” and said he could be headed to the disabled list. Fortunately, the Yankees have an off-day to allow Didi to rest, and can evaluate him Tuesday in Miami.

If Gregorius is unavailable, expect Neil Walker to get the bulk of the playing time at second base and Gleyber Torres to shift to shortstop. Torreyes will likely fill in both at shortstop and second base if Didi must miss extended time.


UPDATE at 3:14 p.m. Eastern: The Yankees have told reporters that the preliminary diagnosis for Didi Gregorius is a bruised left heel. He’s headed to Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital for further testing.


Despite scoring six runs, it was not all positives that came from the Yankees first inning against Toronto on Sunday. Shortstop Didi Gregorius got tangled up with Blue Jays first baseman Kendrys Morales on an infield single.

Morales was stretching in an attempt to catch a throw from second baseman Devon Travis, but that led him into the baseline where Gregorius was running. He stayed in the game, and came around to score on Greg Bird‘s grand slam.

Didi played shortstop in the top of the second inning, but Ronald Torreyes was in the on-deck circle to hit for him in the bottom of the inning. Torreyes ended up replacing Gregorius at second base, with Gleyber Torres moving to shortstop.

The Yankees have not released an official update at this time. This story will be updated as soon as they do.

Blue Jays 2, Yankees 10: Yanks Secure Sweep, Shift Concern to Didi

Bird’s second slam of 2018 powers Yanks to sweep.

THE BRONX – For the second consecutive day, the Yankees put 10 runs on the board as they swept the Toronto Blue Jays with a win Sunday afternoon.

“A lot of people contributing, and really, I felt like our hunger was good coming in,” Aaron Boone said. “Really pleased with how the guys came out today from a focus, energy standpoint, to finish this homestand that was kind of up-and-down on a really good note.”

The Yankees got their runs in two bunches, with a six-run first inning and four-run sixth inning. The Blue Jays actually scored first since J.A. Happ allowed a solo home run with two outs in the top of the first inning to Randal Grichuk on a 3-0 fastball.

But, the offense backed their starter in the bottom of the frame, thanks to some shoddy command from Jays starter Ryan Borucki. Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton each walked to lead off the game, then moved up a base on a double steal. Miguel Andújar followed with a single to left that scored Hicks.

Didi Gregorius came to the plate next, and he hit a ground ball to second base that ate up Devon Travis. Travis’s throw to first was late, and pulled first baseman Kendrys Morales into the baseline. Gregorius and Morales collided, leaving Gregorius worse for the wear. It was scored an RBI single as Stanton scored. Gregorius would stay in the game to run the bases, moving to second on an infield single hit by Gleyber Torres.

Greg Bird came to the plate next, entering fresh off a garbage-time solo shot in the eighth inning the day before but hitting just .140/.222/.246 in August. With the bases loaded, he crushed a 2-1 sinker on the inside corner into the second deck in right field for his second career grand slam.

“It’s a product of keeping your head up,” Bird said. “I felt like I did a better job of using my legs today … I just keep playing. I keep going. The biggest thing is not getting caught up and chasing results, and just doing what you can when you get the opportunity.”

Morales homered off Happ for the Blue Jays in the sixth, but the Yankees more than made up for it in the bottom of the inning. Brett Gardner singled, Hicks worked another walk and Stanton smacked an RBI single through the right side of the infield to score Gardner. Andújar followed by juuuuust beating out a double play ball hit up the middle. The Blue Jays challenged, and lost.

Ronald Torreyes* doubled, and Torres was intentionally walked to face Bird. Bird grounded into a 3-2 force at home plate, but the return throw to first was late, according to first base umpire Jansen Visconti. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was out of challenges (having already lost one), and wanted a crew chief review of the play at first. Visconti wanted no part of that, and handed Gibbons his sixth ejection of the season.

With runners on second and third, Kyle Higashioka ripped a two-run single to score Torreyes and Torres. That capped the scoring for both teams. Happ pitched 5⅓ innings, giving up the solo homers to Grichuk and Morales. Jonathan Holder pitched 1⅔ and Sonny Gray got the final six outs to lockdown the sweep.

“It was strange, I can admit that,” Happ said. “I think I’d probably prefer not knowing the opposition the way I know those guys. But we got through it, had a big first inning and got a good win.”

The only Yankee without a hit was Shane Robinson. Torreyes managed to go 3-for-4 with two singles and a double despite not starting the game.

* I put an asterisk next to Torreyes’s name because he entered as a defensive replacement for Gregorius after the latter played an inning after the collision. The Yankees announced later that Didi had a “bruised left heel” and was headed to a local hospital for further testing. After the game, Aaron Boone said that the injury was “pretty significant” and that he could spend some time on the disabled list.


What’s Next:

The first off-day since July 30. Then, the team heads south to Miami to take on the Marlins in a short two-game series. Masahiro Tanaka starts game one and Lance Lynn starts game two.

Blue Jays 5, Yankees 7: Walker, Stanton Homer in Rain-Shortened Win

The rain finally gives the Yanks a break.

THE BRONX – Last night’s game ended 11 outs earlier than usual, which benefitted the Yankees as they grabbed a 7-to-5 win over Toronto in Friday’s series opener.

Just seconds after Aaron Hicks struck out in the bottom of the seventh, the grounds crew rushed to get the tarp to cover the infield. That was the last bit of baseball we’d see, as the game was called after a delay of one hour and 25 minutes.

“We got a heads-up from the umpires right before it was coming that it was going to get real windy and nasty,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “It finally started to blow in, you could see it coming, obviously. The original thought was the delay would be about an hour and a half, but there was some uncertainty there, so we just didn’t really know.”

The first inning saw six runs scored collectively as neither Lance Lynn nor Marcus Stroman had their best stuff. Lynn walked Curtis Granderson and Justin Smoak in the first, then RBI singles from Kendrys Morales and Kevin Pillar scored them both. After a walk to Randal Grichuk, Aledmys Díaz singled to score both Morales and Pillar.

In the bottom of the frame, Aaron Hicks walked with two outs and then scored on Didi Gregorius‘ fourth triple of the 2018 campaign. Three pitches later, Miguel Andújar ripped a double into the right-center field gap to score Didi. It was Andújar’s 35th double of the season, which leads all MLB rookies and is nine ahead of second place (Brian Anderson, Marlins; Niko Goodrum, Tigers).

The Yanks took a short-lived lead in the fourth inning as Stroman made some costly mistakes. Gleyber Torres, who is working through a tough slump since returning from the disabled list, doubled with one out. Greg Bird battled through a 10-pitch plate appearance to walk. Two pitches later, Neil Walker cranked a three-run homer on a 90-mph cutter that sat over the middle of the plate.

With a 5-to-4 lead, Aaron Boone tried to squeeze another inning from Lynn. He lasted just two more batters, as Granderson doubled to lead off the inning and Devon Travis singled to right to tie the game. Chad Green entered and cleaned things up, allowing a harmless two-out single to Russell Martin.

The Yanks took the lead for good in the bottom of that frame, with Joe Biagini relieving Stroman. Hicks walked, and moved to third on a perfectly executed hit-and-run by Andújar. Two pitches later, Torres beat out a 6-4-almost-3 double play ball for an RBI fielder’s choice. The Yankees tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh, as Giancarlo Stanton deposited a pitch from Luis Santos 431 feet out to right field.

“Not an ideal start, but to fight back and get this win was really huge for us,” said Stanton. “A good test for us. Get punched, and punch right back.”

The rain hasn’t been kind to the Yankees for most of 2018, but it allowed them to save Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman for another day. And, most importantly, they got win No. 76.

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.