Tag: Gary Sánchez

Yankees 10, Rangers 5: Torres Leads Bombers Past Bartolo

21-year-old vs. 44-year-old – Advantage: Gleyber

Gleyber Torres showed off his power stroke Monday in Texas, smacking two home runs for the first time in his career en route to a 10-to-5 Yankees victory over the Rangers.

The 21-year-old second baseman, who was just three months old when Bartolo Colón made his MLB debut, drove in three as he hit homer No. 5 off the righty in the second and No. 6 in the sixth. That second home run chased Colón from the game. In between the two homers, Colón plunked Torres. Whether intentional or not, Torres got the best possible revenge.

The Yankees scored six on Colón in his 6⅓ innings, with the scoring starting in the second inning. Gary Sánchez led off the inning with a single, moved to second on a Tyler Austin ground out and then came around to score on a Neil Walker double. Torres followed with a 418-foot bomb to left that scored Walker.

In the bottom of the second, the master of the three true outcomes, Joey Gallo, got the best of Tanaka as he smacked his 14th home run of the year to right-center field.

Walker got in on the home run party in the fourth inning, smacking a solo shot into the right field seats for his first home run as a member of the Yankees. In 44 plate appearances in May, Walker is slashing .343/.477/.543 while appearing at first and third base. Neither is his natural position, yet he is still contributing on both sides of the ball. Worth the $4 million investment without question.

Tanaka could not avoid the big hit in the fourth inning in a jam he created for himself. He walked Jurickson Profar and Gallo back-to-back, and then allowed a three-run game-tying home run to Rougned Odor. Odor had not homered since September 20 last season.

Aaron Judge snapped himself out of an 0-for-15 funk with a towering solo home run in the fifth inning, which was his 12th of the season and also gave the Yankees a 5-to-4 lead. Torres’ second home run ushered Colón out of the game and recently recalled righty Matt Bush in from the bullpen. Brett Gardner walked, Judge doubled him over to third and Giancarlo Stanton scored Gardner on a sacrifice fly to right. Didi Gregorius, who could not buy a hit, then roped a double to left to score Judge.

After Tanaka got out of the fifth, Aaron Boone turned the game over to the bullpen. Chad Green, David Robertson and Jonathan Holder handled the last four innings, and the only blemish was a Ronald Guzmán homer. Green allowed the dinger in his second inning of work. Otherwise, not much happened offensively for the Rangers after Odor’s fourth inning home run.

In the top of the ninth, Sánchez roped a double to left, and then Aaron Hicks followed with his fifth home run of the year to ice the game for New York. Since May 15, when Clint Frazier was recalled in Washington, Hicks has caught fire: 8-for-19 (.421/.500/.842, 257 wRC+).

Tanaka’s outing left a lot to be desired. He has a 5.91 ERA in his four May starts, and has allowed 20 hits in 21⅓ innings in that same timeframe. Of course, the Yankees have scored an average of just over seven runs behind him in those outings. He had no command of his splitter, which is a key to his success.

Too many left out over the plate, and too many that are too low to even entice hitters. Fixing his splitter will allow him to miss more bats and induce more ground balls.


Rehab Update:

  • Greg Bird: 1-for-4, HR, 1 BB, 2 K – second home run of his rehab assignment.
  • Billy McKinney: 0-for-4 – he seems close, and will likely be activated and optioned to Triple-A sooner than later
  • Tommy Kahnle: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 K – got the loss in his first professional start and first rehab appearance for Low-A Charleston. Likely makes one more appearance before returning Friday in the Bronx.

What’s Next:

Domingo Germán, who has not pitched in 10 days, gets the start against Cole Hamels. Hamels had some interesting things to say to the New York Post’s Kevin Kernan the other day:

“It’s kind of the nature of what happens,’’ [Hamels] said. “You get traded once and you understand the possibilities are there. … The Yankees have a tremendous team. I feel like I have a lot left and I’ve been able to add more pitches and I haven’t had a serious injury.’’

The Yankees are reportedly on Hamels’ no-trade clause list, though it seems likely he would waive that agreement if given the opportunity.

Yankees 10, Royals 1: Sonny Shines, Offense Powers 8th Straight Series Win

Even with a “B” lineup on the field, the Yankees crushed the Kansas City Royals with ease in Sunday’s series finale at Kauffman Stadium.

With Clint Frazier and Gary Sánchez stashed on the bench, the Yankees still showed off plenty of power capability. Tyler Austin led the charge, smacking his 7th and 8th homers of the season off Royals’ starter Eric Skoglund. Austin leads all MLB rookies in home runs, which is quite impressive for a player who was not even supposed to make the Opening Day roster. Austin drove in four runs total on the day.

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The ninth inning also turned into a mini-Home Run Derby, where Miguel Andújar hit an impressive home run to the opposite field. Austin Romine, who somehow is hitting .326 after today’s game, then followed with an absolute bomb to center field. Sánchez’s absence was never felt as power was abundant.

Aaron Hicks tripled in a run in the fifth, and Brett Gardner drove in a run with an infield single in the eighth. Ronald Torreyes scored in the eighth also on a wild pitch.

Sonny Gray was the real star of Sunday’s game. The righty dominated the Royals, throwing eight stellar innings of one-run ball. He scattered four hits, walked one batter and struck out five. Gray did not allow a hit until the fifth inning, The Royals scored their one run in the eighth when Hunter Dozier singled, moved to second on an Alex Gordon groundout and then scored on a Jon Jay single.

“I thought his stuff was great and the slider was a really good pitch for him,” Aaron Boone said. “When he’s ahead [in the count], he has the weapons to put people away. That was clear today. The stuff is elite. That’s why we were so optimistic about him even when he was going through some struggles.”

A.J. Cole came in to pitch the ninth inning, getting a fly out and two strikeouts.

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Rehab Update:

Neither Greg Bird nor Billy McKinney played for any minor league affiliates today. Bird is reportedly headed to Triple-A to join the RailRiders for their series opener in Pawtucket on Monday. No word on McKinney, who could remain in Trenton or move to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with Bird.


What’s Next:

Masahiro Tanaka opens up the Yankees’ next series in Texas, where he will face Bartolo Colón and the Rangers.

Game 43: Sonny Aims to Right Ship, Fight Rain, Win Series

Sonny Gray gets the ball in today’s rubber game matinee from Kansas City, where there is a 45% chance of showers at first pitch.

Gray has struggled this season, especially with command of his pitches. He has walked 5.7 batters per nine innings, which is by far the worst rate in his career. Home runs have been a problem too, which he has allowed at a 1.2 per nine rate. His last start saw him regress from two solid outings, where he allowed five runs on nine hits against his former team. Gray is 1-2 with a 2.77 ERA in four starts against Kansas City, but the ERA jumps to 4.15 in Kauffman Stadium.

Facing Gray will be another lefty: Eric Skoglund. It’s been an up-and-down year for the 25-year-old, who has alternated between brilliant starts and not-so-brilliant ones. His last start was a tough luck loss, where he allowed just two runs in 7⅔ innings to the Tampa Bay Rays. His offense, however, could not bail him out. Skoglund has never faced the Yankees before, but has a career 4.95 ERA at Kauffman Stadium.

Didi Gregorius sits again against a lefty starter, as Aaron Boone wants him to “recharge, both physically and mentally, and hopefully he can hit the ground running when we get to Texas tomorrow”. Ronald Torreyes, who’s hitting .392/.404/.510 when in the starting lineup this year, gets another start at shortstop. Despite collecting a double last night, Clint Frazier sits in favor of Brett Gardner in left field. Gary Sánchez gets the day-game-after-a-night-game off, as Austin Romine continues to catch Gray.

After a few hitless games, I’m slightly surprised Boone didn’t decide to rest Aaron Judge in the finale. Giancarlo Stanton could have shifted to right, and Sánchez could have snuck into the lineup as the designated hitter. Just a hypothetical, though.


Royals’ Lineup:

  1. Jon Jay – CF
  2. Jorge Soler – RF
  3. Mike Moustakas – 3B
  4. Salvador Pérez – DH
  5. Whit Merrifield – 2B
  6. Hunter Dozier – 1B
  7. Alex Gordon – LF
  8. Alcides Escobar – SS
  9. Drew Butera – C

 

Yankees 8, Royals 3: Bombers Clobber Five Homers to Even Series

Four balls over the wall, and one that missed by a few inches.

The Bronx Bombers lived up to that nickname Saturday night in Kansas City, as the rain held off to allow the Yankees to even their series with the Royals behind an 8-to-3 win.

Gary Sánchez finally broke out in a huge way tonight, going 4-for-5 with a double, two home runs and a single. The Kraken drove in three runs and scored two of his own.

In the third inning, Aaron Hicks showed off his speed as he smacked his second inside-the-park home run of the season on a fly ball to right field. He is the first Yankee to have multiple inside-the-park home runs in a season since Mickey Mantle in 1958. Gleyber Torres smacked a go-ahead 3-run homer in the fourth to put the Yankees ahead for good. In the top of the ninth, Giancarlo Stanton smacked one into the left-center field fountains, and then Sánchez snuck his second homer of the night over the left field wall.

The Royals rallied for two runs in the third when Alcides Escobar led of the inning with a single and then scored on a Ryan Goins double. Jon Jay then sacrificed Goins to third, and Jorge Soler followed with an RBI single.

They also scored in the fifth, when Goins walked, Jay singled and then Mike Moustakas hit a broken-bat single to right that scored Goins. The Royals almost plated another run, but a strong relay from Stanton to Ronald Torreyes to Gary Sánchez nailed Moustakas at the plate trying to score from first on a Salvador Pérez double.

Hicks, Torreyes and Tyler Austin each managed multi-hit games tonight. Aaron Judge was the only Yankee without a hit.


Rehab Update:

  • Greg Bird: 1-for-3, BB – Bird is headed to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to continue his rehab stint.
  • Billy McKinney: 1-for-3, BB – McKinney played center field for the Thunder tonight. Played five games there for Trenton in 2017, once in 2016. Unclear if he’s headed to SWB with Bird.

What’s Next:

Sonny Gray looks to rebound from an awful start against his old team, the Oakland Athletics. Gray gave up five runs in five innings May 11, and looks to revert to the pitcher that allowed just two runs over six innings against the Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians.

His counterpart will be southpaw Eric Skoglund. In seven starts, the 25-year-old has pitched to a 1-3 record and 5.58 ERA. His last start saw him get a tough luck loss against the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing just two runs while scattering seven hits in 7⅔ innings.

Game 16: Finish the Fish

Tanaka looks to follow Luis Severino’s dominance from last night.

Masahiro Tanaka gets the ball as the Yankees look to sweep a quick, two-game series from the Miami Marlins. With last night’s 12-to-1 win still fresh in their minds, the Marlins tab Jarlin García to counter Tanaka.

The Yankees pounded out 15 hits last night, and two of them were home runs for Didi Gregorius. Didi leads the team with five homers, while Aaron Judge swatted his fourth home run of the season last night as well. Those two joined Brett Gardner, Gary Sánchez, Tyler Austin and Miguel Andújar to collect multiple hits Monday.

Neil Walker is in the lineup tonight, taking over at second base for Ronald Torreyes. We have not seen Tyler Wade start a game since April 12 in Boston, and he could be sent out if Gleyber Torres is deemed MLB-ready in the near future.


  • Greg Bird could head to Tampa as soon as next week to start getting into game situations. So far, there are no setbacks in his rehabilitation. It seems that he could get into rehab games within the next two weeks.
  • Gleyber Torres will sit tonight during Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s game against Gwinnett after being removed from last night’s contest with back stiffness. That benching was precautionary, and the team still has a 12-hour bus ride to Scranton ahead of them once the game is over. Torres could be called up as soon as Wednesday and the team would still have six full seasons of control, though it appears unlikely a promotion would be that instantaneous.
  • Tommy Kahnle was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to today’s game. RHP Luis Cessa was recalled from Triple-A Scranton to take his roster spot.

Marlins Lineup:

  1. Derek Dietrich – LF
  2. Miguel Rojas – SS
  3. Starlin Castro – 2B
  4. Justin Bour – DH
  5. J.T. Realmuto – C
  6. Brian Anderson – 3B
  7. Tomás Telis – 1B
  8. Cameron Maybin – CF
  9. J.B. Shuck – RF

Higashioka, Torres Optioned to Minor League Camp

The Yankees made two more cuts Tuesday, sending the presumed third-string catcher Kyle Higashioka and No. 1 prospect infielder Gleyber Torres to minor league camp. Each player is on the 40-man roster, so the team used an option year on each player.

Higashioka impressed with the bat this spring. But, it was not enough to take the backup catcher job away from Austin Romine, who has shown a similarly hot bat. Higashioka hit .333/.444/.467 in nine games before his demotion. As the third catcher on the 40-man, he’s only an injury away from coming back to the big leagues. He made a nine-game cameo last season when Gary Sánchez went down with a bicep injury, going hitless in 20 plate appearances. Higashioka, barring any injuries of his own, will be the starting catcher at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Torres struggled at the plate in his return from Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing elbow. Many expected Torres to run away with the second base job, but the rust that comes with missing an entire half a season reared its ugly head. That resulted in a slash-line of .160/.250/.240 in 11 games. Torres also looked like he was trying to do too much both at the plate and in the field, where he had some miscues typical of a player trying too hard.

Plus, the Yankees gain an extra year of control over Torres if he remains in the minor leagues for at least 16 days. I think the Yankees would have demoted Torres for those 16 days regardless of his performance in the spring. One extra year of control over a player MLB Pipeline says “has the tools to be a star” could make a ton of difference in the future. In the minors, Torres will likely continue his rotation of playing at third base, shortstop and second base.

Yankees 1, Braves 3: Gary’s Dinger Not Enough

Gary Sánchez hit a line drive home run off ex-Yankees RHP Arodys Vizcaíno, but it was not enough to push the Yankees to victory over the Atlanta Braves Friday in Kissimmee.

Sánchez’s second dinger of the spring came in the sixth inning, as the Yankee backstop managed to tie the game with one swing. It was his second hit of the game after he led off the fourth inning with a single to center field.

The seventh inning doomed the Yankees to defeat. Preston Tucker singled against David Hale, then Charlie Culberson singled to move Tucker to second base. Next, Carlos Franco doubled to right field, where Billy McKinney had an adventure fielding the ball. McKinney ended up committing a fielding and throwing error on the play, allowing two runs to score.

Those runs ended up making the decisive difference in the game. Only one of those runs was charged to Hale as earned.

Offensive Notes:

  • Greg Bird really struggled tonight. He struck out three times in four at-bats, leaving seven men on-base. His Spring Training average dropped below .100 after this game. Spring stats obviously mean very little, but it would be important for the Yankees to get Bird going. “I think he is a middle-of-the-order hitter on a championship team. When we see him healthy and at his best, he will be a guy who will be a real option to hit in the middle of our order,’’ Aaron Boone said to George A. King III in late February.
  • Other than Aaron Hicks‘ bloop single, Gary Sánchez provided the Yankee offense tonight with his solo home run and single. “Gary, for me, he’s one of the most gifted hitters I’ve played with, and I’ve played with some pretty decent ones, as you know,” said Brett Gardner to Coley Harvey, who now covers the Yankees for ESPN. Sánchez just renewed his contract for $620,400 in 2018 since he is still a pre-arbitration player.

Pitching Notes:

  • Sonny Gray was fantastic on the mound in his 3⅔ innings of work. He struck out three, walked one and only allowed one hit.
  • Chasen Shreve and Jonathan Holder each contributed one scoreless inning of work tonight. Each pitcher struck out two batters. Both are looking to make the Opening Day roster in the front end of the bullpen.
  • The Yankees were bested tonight by a product of their own organization. Anyelo Gómez, who was credited with the win, was selected by the Braves out of the Yankees organization in the Rule 5 draft. Roster Resource projects him to stick with the Braves in the front end of their bullpen. If he does not, the Braves must return him to the Yankees.

Tomorrow’s Game:

The Yankees welcome the Mets into Steinbrenner Field for another Subway Series preview game. The Yankees won the first edition in Port St. Lucie, and send Luis Cessa to the mound Saturday against Matt Harvey. Cessa had been scheduled to start March 7 at the Mets, but had been scratched for Domingo Germán because of a stiff neck.

Game 4: Sonny in Tampa

The Yankees return home for another matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field Monday night with Sonny Gray on the mound. The Bombers took the Phillies down 8-to-3 Sunday at their complex in Clearwater.

Sonny Gray makes his Tampa debut tonight after being acquired by the Yankees at the 2017 Trade Deadline. As a Yankee, he posted a 4-7 record (he got terrible run support) and a 3.72 ERA (4.87 FIP) in 11 starts after the deadline. Gray is set to make $6.5 million this season after avoiding arbitration with the Yankees on a one-year deal.

Gray’s counterpart on the hill will be Phillies’ right-hander Ben Lively. The 25-year-old debuted last year, and made 15 starts to a 4-7 record and 4.26 ERA (4.97 FIP). A fourth round pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 2013, Lively struck out 5.3 per nine innings and walked 2.4.

This lineup looks similar to something that Aaron Boone would use in a regular season game. Brett Gardner and Gary Sánchez make their spring debuts tonight. We get to see some more of Billy McKinney in right field as well. Tyler Wade gets the start at the heavily coveted second base opening.

Tonight’s scheduled relievers are RHP Chance Adams, RHP Giovanny Gallegos, RHP Ben Heller and RHP Cody Carroll.


Phillies’ Lineup:
  1. Rhys Hoskins – LF
  2. Carlos Santana – 1B
  3. César Hernández – SS
  4. Aaron Altherr – CF
  5. Nick Williams – RF
  6. Jorge Alfaro – C
  7. Ryan Flaherty – 3B
  8. Pedro Florimón – 2B
  9. Dylan Cozens – DH

 

Game 1: Lineups, First Pitch, Baseball!

It’s finally here!

The most wonderful time of the year has arrived as the Yankees kick off their Spring Training schedule with a matchup against the Detroit Tigers.

Luis Cessa gets the ball first for the Yankees as he looks to win a job as the team’s sixth starter. That role would certainly land him in the minor leagues to start the season, but a team’s sixth starter is truly an important role. Cessa pitched to a 4.75 ERA (5.69 FIP) in 36 innings for the big league club last season.

This game features a few regulars, including Giancarlo Stanton‘s debut in pinstripes. Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge and Gary Sánchez were announced to be out of this game earlier in the week. Today’s lineup is quite strong, and features young talents like Gleyber TorresMiguel Andújar and Clint Frazier.

I doubt we’ll see any remnants of the beef between the Tigers and Yankees from last season. It will be interesting, however, to see how Austin Romine and Miguel Cabrera interact given their fisticuffs last season.

Tigers’ Lineup:

  1. Martin – CF
  2. Castellanos – RF
  3. Cabrera – DH
  4. Huffman – LF
  5. Candelario – 3B
  6. Hicks – C
  7. Espinal – 1B
  8. Amarista – 2B
  9. Kozma – SS

Pitcher: Carpenter – LHP

Boone Announces Yankees’ Starters for First Four Spring Games

The spring slate starts Friday against the Detroit Tigers.

The Yankees officially open their spring slate Friday against the Detroit Tigers. Manager Aaron Boone has announced who his first four starting pitchers of the Grapefruit League are:

  1. Luis Cessa (Friday)
  2. Domingo Germán (Saturday)
  3. Jordan Montgomery (Sunday)
  4. Sonny Gray (Monday)

It is currently unclear how the rest of the starters will get involved beyond Monday’s matchup with the Phillies. The Yankees have to get starts for the rest of their rotation (Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, CC Sabathia) while also making space for their prospects and relivers to get ready.

Boone also said that Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge and Gary Sánchez will not play in Friday’s opener. Judge is still recovering from offseason surgery on his left shoulder. There is no announced medical reason for Gardner and Sánchez sitting out. Most likely to avoid putting too much stress on their bodies so early in the spring.

Cessa and Germán are likely competing to be the team’s sixth starter out of camp. Cessa posted a 4.75 ERA (5.69 FIP) in 10 games (5 starts) for the Yankees last year. He found himself on the Scranton Shuttle again for most of the season.

Germán made his MLB debut June 11 against the Orioles with 2⅔ innings of shutout ball. He wound up making seven appearances (mostly mop-up innings) with a 3.14 ERA (3.44 FIP) and a solid 11.3 strikeouts-per-nine rate. Germán figures to be in the rotation at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Gray and Montgomery are simply working back into shape as parts of the Yankees rotation for the 2018 regular season. These four pitchers likely won’t go longer than two or three innings since it’s the early spring.