Tag: Jacoby Ellsbury

Steinbrenner: Machado’s Hustle Comments “Troubling”

“Because that ain’t gonna sell where we play baseball. That conversation will happen no matter who it is.”

It seems Manny Machado would have some explaining to do if he were to become a Yankee. The team’s managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post that the infielder’s comments about his style of play were “troubling” and would require an explanation.

“If it’s a $300 million guy or a $10 million guy, clearly those comments are troubling,” Steinbrenner told a small group of reporters. “But that’s really [general manager Brian Cashman’s] job. If we’re interested in any player, sit down with him face to face and ask him, ‘Where did this come from? What was the context around the entire interview? Was there a point you were trying to [make]? How do you justify it?’ Because that ain’t gonna sell where we play baseball. That conversation will happen no matter who it is.”

The comments in question, of course, come from the Oct. 16 interview Machado gave to Ken Rosenthal where the 26-year-old said his style of play did not include hustling 100% on every play.

“Obviously I’m not going to change, I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle,’ and run down the line and slide to first base and … you know, whatever can happen. That’s just not my personality, that’s not my cup of tea, that’s not who I am,” Machado said. “Should I have given it a little more effort? One hundred percent. (It’s) my fault like always, I mean that’s just my mentality when I’m in the game. (There are) things that you learn, things that you gotta change. I’ve tried changing it for eight years and I still can’t figure it out but, one of these days I will.”

Machado’s comments combined with a .670 OPS in the playoffs left the star shortstop at a disadvantage heading into free agency for the first time in his career. Players with his talent and youth don’t hit the market often, and he should still cash in with a big contract. But, there will always be questions about his effort and reputation as a “dirty player,” to use the words of Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich.

The Yankees have an obvious hole at shortstop now with Didi Gregorius slated to miss the first half of 2019 at the very least. They could stand to upgrade defensively at third base with Miguel Andújar‘s -15.5 defensive WAR coming in at seventh-worst in all of baseball for 2018. The Yankees have been doing their due diligence on Machado, but have to be weighing whether the signing is worth the inevitable media circus that will come with it.

The very “Yankees” thing to do would be to fill Gregorius’s spot with the best (and most expensive) option. I see them making a serious run at Machado, being careful to avoid a bidding war and albatross contract like Jacoby Ellsbury‘s. C’mon, guys who average 128 wRC+ over their last three seasons don’t just grow on trees.

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.

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.

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

Game 41: CC Leads Yanks into KC

Game 42: CC Leads Yanks into KC ➡️

Whoa – Yankees baseball is back after far too much time without it. There’s no rain in the forecast tonight in Kansas City as CC Sabathia leads the Bombers into a three-game set with the Royals.

Sabathia was originally scheduled to start Wednesday’s series finale against the Washington Nationals, but that was washed out along with the remainder of Tuesday’s suspended game. He stumbled a bit in his last start against the Red Sox on May 10, where he gave up four earned runs in four innings. That start saw his season ERA jump from a stingy 1.39 to a still-impressive 2.23. The veteran has a career 21-11 record and 3.14 ERA in 39 career starts against the Royals. It’ll be interesting to see how Sabathia responds to the extra rest, since he has a career 4.09 ERA in 71 starts with 6+ days of rest.

The Yankees face off against righty Jakob Junis in the series opener. Through eight starts this season, Junis has been one of the Royals’ most consistent pitchers. He’s got a 4-3 record, and has given up two runs or less in five out of those eight starts. Unsurprisingly, the Royals have won each of those five starts. Junis faced the Yankees once last season, giving up six earned runs on seven hits. Aaron Judge and Greg Bird each homered off him in an eventual 11-to-3 Yankees win.


Clint Frazier remains with the Yankees as a fourth bench option. It seems likely that he will start in left or center for Saturday and/or Sunday’s games against lefties Danny Duffy and Eric Skoglund, respectively. Brett Gardner has hit just .188/.278/.188 in a 37 plate appearance sample against lefties this season, and Aaron Hicks has hit an even worse .115/.172/.154 in 29 plate appearances against southpaws. Definitely doesn’t hurt to get Red Thunder and his .362/.423/.702 line from Triple-A into the lineup.

The Yankees feel comfortable with an expanded bench since their bullpen has had ample rest because of Wednesday’s rainout and Thursday’s regularly scheduled off-day. Domingo Germán will be available out of the bullpen during the Royals series, though he is also scheduled to start May 22 against the Texas Rangers.

There was brief confusion prior to the game regarding who is actually starting at second base, with the first lineup indicating Ronald Torreyes at that spot. It turns out the Royals made an error on the video board, and that’s how Torreyes’ name got into the mix. The plan was to start Gleyber Torres all along, per Aaron Boone.


Here’s the most recent update on the two injured Yankees on their rehab assignments (each has played six games):

  • Greg Bird (right ankle surgery): 2-for-17 (.118/.348/.118), 6 BB, 4 K – Bird may be a bit rusty, but his plate discipline is in full form.
  • Billy McKinney (left shoulder sprain): 3-for-19 (.158/.360/.211), 6 BB, 6 K – McKinney has one extra base hit.

Not rehab related, but The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported today that Brandon Drury (migraines, blurred vision) is taking the full 72 hours allotted to him to report to Triple-A Scranton “not because he is upset with the club, but because he wants to squeeze in two extra visits with a specialist in Greenwich, Ct., who is treating him for an irritated tendon in his neck”. Drury was optioned to Triple-A on May 14 after his 20-day rehab assignment window expired, and reported back to SWB today.

Definitely not rehab related: Jacoby Ellsbury has suffered a minor back injury while trying to come back from approximately five different injuries and has now been shut down from baseball activities.


Royals Lineup

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

Billy McKinney Suffers Left Shoulder Sprain; Miguel Andújar Recalled

Another outfielder is down.

Boy, have the Yankees had bad luck with outfield prospects beginning their careers recently. Billy McKinney, who replaced the injured Aaron Hicks on the active roster, has gone down after he sprained the AC joint in his left shoulder crashing into the outfield wall in left field at Rogers Centre.

McKinney stayed in for one play after the injury, but was quickly lifted once it was clear that his throwing arm was compromised. The 23-year-old went 1-for-4 in his debut game, but did not come to the plate in his second game. He was replaced by Brett Gardner in left field.

The Yankees now have some very limited outfield depth with McKinney joining Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier on the disabled list. They have started to play Giancarlo Stanton more in left field, and can turn to Tyler Wade and Ronald Torreyes in an emergency situation.

After Wade and Torreyes, the situation becomes even more murky. Shane Robinson was in camp as a non-roster invitee, and there were impressive contributions from lower-level prospects like Estevan Florial, Trey Amburgey and Jeff Hendrix.

Before turning to any of their minor league depth, the Yankees certainly have to be rooting for one of Ellsbury, Frazier or Hicks to return from injury. For the time being, Stanton in left, Gardner in center and Aaron Judge in right will have to do.


To replace McKinney on the roster, the Yankees promoted 3B/1B Miguel Andújar from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The RailRiders do not open their season until April 6, so Andújar might be best served on the big league roster anyway. Andújar slashed .267/.306/.622 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 15 Spring Training games this year. He is ranked as the team’s No. 4 prospect per MLB Pipeline.

By adding Andújar as infield insurance, Aaron Boone can have a little more liberty with his utility players.

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