Tag: Jordan Montgomery

Harper: Gerrit Cole Trade to Yankees “Inevitable”

Despite news that the Houston Astros were checking in on Pittsburgh Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole, the New York Daily News’ John Harper cites an unnamed rival executive calling a trade of Cole to the Yankees “inevitable”.

Two important quotes:

“I think it’s inevitable they’ll get together on a deal,” a rival exec told me Monday. “The Yankees have the pieces and Pittsburgh needs to tear it down. They’ll find common ground.”

“They’re one of the few organizations that have the depth, at the big-league and minor-league level, to match what the Yankees can offer,” an AL scout said. “But (GM Jeff) Luhnow has shown he doesn’t want to give up top prospects if he can help it, so I’d still favor the Yankees.”

The report from Harper comes as Astros’ owner Jim Crane told reporters that his team is pursuing “a high-end starter”. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reported the same day that the Astros checked in with Pittsburgh on Cole. The Astros and Pirates reportedly discussed outfielder Derek Fisher as a return, The Pirates are aiming higher at top prospects Kyle Tucker and Forrest Whitley.

Reports linking the Yankees to the Pirates have died down in recent weeks, since Brian Cashman told Neil Huntington that top prospect infielder Gleyber Torres is off-limits. The Yankees have also been connected to the Pirates’ versatile utilityman, Josh Harrison. In his column, Harper suggests Cashman would make the deal if it were to be Clint Frazier and someone like Chance Adams for Cole.

Though the Yankees already have five starters on their roster, it would appear as though they would like to add one more quality arm heading into Spring Training. They have been linked to other controllable young pitchers in the trade market like Arizona’s Patrick Corbin and Detroit’s Michael Fulmer. Plus, they have kicked the tires on free agent Yu Darvish.

Since they can field a rotation with their current personnel, Brian Cashman does not need to overpay for pitching. Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, CC Sabathia and Jordon Montgomery already represent an intimidating pitching staff. That said, expect Cashman to pounce if the deal is right.

King: Yankees, Pirates Discussing Deal for Gerrit Cole

The Yankees may look to the trade market to fill in a gap in their starting rotation, according to the New York Post’s George A. King III. On their radar: the Pittsburgh Pirates’ RHP Gerrit Cole.

King reports the Yankees are in contact with the Bucs about a deal that could include OF Clint Frazier and potentially more. King mentions that the Pirates would also look for “a pitcher ready to work in the majors,” which would imply someone like Chance Adams. There is no indication that a deal was close to done.

Cole had a down year for the Pirates, pitching to a 4.26 ERA, 8.7 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and 1.4 HR/9. The Yankees would likely try to buy low on Cole, who they drafted No. 28 out of high school in 2008. Cole did not sign, instead opting to pitch at UCLA. He became the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.

Frazier has become a bit of an odd-man-out in New York. He was ticketed to take over left field once Brett Gardner‘s contract expired, but the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton made that seem less likely since both Stanton and Aaron Judge may see time in left field. He made his MLB debut July 1, and posted a .231/.268/.448 line with four home runs, 17 RBIs and a 30.3% K-rate to a 4.9% BB-rate.

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Adams is seen as one of the most MLB-ready arms in the Yankees system. Many fans clamored for him to be promoted in 2017 when the Yankees needed starting pitching reinforcements. Split between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2017, Adams pitched to a 2.45 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9. His command could use some work, and many think he could profile better as a reliever because he only averaged five innings per outing.

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This deal would allow the Yankees to grab a high quality arm in Cole with hopes that he rebounds toward his All-Star season in 2015. The 27-year-old would not be a free agent until after the 2020 season, like current Yankee RHP Sonny Gray. He would shore up a Yankees rotation that is relying on a big bounce-back season from Masahiro Tanaka, and young arms like Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery.

Baseball America Lists Yankees Top 10 Prospects for 2018

To get the bad taste of Shohei Ohtani‘s spurning of the Yankees out of our collective mouths, here’s some good news about players the Yankees actually do have. Baseball America’s Josh Norris ranked the top 10 prospects in the Yankees system leading up to 2018.

Without further ado (* indicates player on 40-man roster):

  1. INF Gleyber Torres *
  2. OF Estevan Florial
  3. LHP Justus Sheffield
  4. RHP Chance Adams
  5. 3B Miguel Andújar *
  6. RHP Albert Abreu *
  7. RHP Jorge Guzman
  8. RHP Luis Medina
  9. SS/2B Thairo Estrada *
  10. RHP Domingo Acevedo *

One of the biggest knocks against the Yankees is that they cannot develop pitchers. However, this prospect list clearly indicates that the Yankees have some promising arms that could be MLB-ready soon. Sheffield is the most MLB-ready of the bunch, having hit 98 mph with his fastball and the best slider in the system. Norris listed the pitching depth as the system’s biggest strength.

The system’s biggest weakness? Catching. That won’t be a short-term problem since Gary Sánchez will control the starting catching job for years to come, barring anything unexpected. Their next best catcher is Kyle Higashioka, who went hitless in 20 plate appearances while Sánchez was injured in 2017. Higashioka did hit .338/.390/.797 in the minors in 2017, but in just 21 games because of injuries. Norris lists Jason Lopez and Saul Torres as the “next catching prospects,” but notes they “played at short-season Staten Island and Rookie-level Pulaski, respectively.”

Norris opines that the Yankees’ system is trending downwards, but that is only because of trades and graduations to the big leagues. When talents like Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Chad Green and Jordan Montgomery are no longer “prospects,” it’s easy to see how the system takes a hit.

Be sure to read through the whole post on Baseball America (linked above), as Norris projects the Yankees 2021 lineup and also lists which players have the best tools in the system.

Report: Alex Cobb Deciding Between Cubs & Yankees

Free agent RHP Alex Cobb is reportedly down to two teams in his decision on where to sign for the 2018 season and beyond, according to Peter Gammons of The Athletic and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The 30-year-old will likely pick either the Chicago Cubs or New York Yankees.

Cobb could follow his old manager Joe Maddon to the Windy City, where the Cubs have seen postseason success and a World Series title in 2016. But, he could also fit in a Yankees rotation that is looking for a solid fifth starter.

Cobb has a 3.12 ERA in five starts at Yankee Stadium. He is an extreme ground ball pitcher, with 2017’s 47.8 percent ground ball rate being the lowest in his MLB career. He has averaged just 0.84 home runs per nine innings in his career, which is an important stat if he were to pitch in the Bronx. Since missing all of 2015 and all but five starts in 2016 due to Tommy John surgery, Cobb has a 13-12 record and 4.20 ERA. Not exactly eye-popping numbers.

What may push Cobb to the Cubs could be a simple lack of space with the Yankees. CC Sabathia has been clear that he wants to return to the Yankees, and Brian Cashman said he was “excited” to speak with Sabathia’s agent. It’s also no secret that the Yankees are in the thick of the pursuit for Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani should he be posted by his NPB team. The Yankees also got a surprisingly fantastic season out of left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who may begin the season in Triple-A.

It’s frequently said that you can never have too much pitching. But, I think Cobb would only fit in with the Yankees if they are unable to land both Ohtani and Sabathia. The Cubs are more desperate than the Yankees are for starting pitching, and Cobb could prove to be too expensive for a team looking to get under the luxury tax threshold.

 

Masahiro Tanaka Declines Opt-Out, Will Stay in Bronx Until 2020

In a surprising twist, Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka announced that he will not exercise the opt-out clause in his contract, and will play out the remaining three years from his original contract.

Many thought that Tanaka would ride his stellar second half finish and fantastic postseason run into an opt-out and free agency. However, Tanaka cited that he’s “excited to continue to be a part of this team,” from his statement.

Tanaka got off to an awful start in 2017, posting a 5.47 ERA and allowing 23 home runs in 18 first half starts. The righty, however, figured things out in the second half, where he posted a bounce back ERA of 3.77 and cut his home run total to 12 in 12 starts. Tanaka was a force in the postseason this year, where he went 2-1 with a stingy 0.90 ERA and 18 strikeouts.

The Yankees will pay Tanaka $22 million each year for 2018 and 2019, and he will make $23 million for his age-31 season in 2020. If he can match the 3.12 ERA he posted excluding 2017, then he will certainly be worth the money. Plus, this move also solidifies a rotation that would have question marks without him.

He will join Luis Severino, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery in next year’s rotation. It’s likely that Chance Adams or someone else within the MiLB affiliates will battle for the fifth starter spot with a veteran. If the Yankees are able to land Shohei Ohtani, then their rotation will be one of the best in the league.

Yankees Call Up Five Players as Rosters Expand

September 1 has arrived, and the Yankees have made widely expected roster moves to take advantage of expanded rosters.

With suspensions to Gary Sánchez and Austin Romine looming, the Yankees selected the contract of Erik Kratz from Triple-A. The Yankees traded for him from the Cleveland organization Thursday as depth. The 37-year-old veteran was slashing .270/.359/.472 with 13 home runs for Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate. In 225 MLB games, he carries a .200/.248/.362 line. Luis Cessa moves to the 60-day disabled list to open a 40-man roster spot for Kratz.

Matt Holliday returns from the disabled list now that rosters have expanded. The veteran went .229/.349/.257 combined on his rehab assignment at Class-A Advanced Tampa and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. It becomes hard to figure where he will get at-bats, given the return of Greg Bird and resurgence of Chase Headley.

The Yankees reinforce the bullpen by adding Ben Heller and Bryan Mitchell. Heller has been fantastic for Triple-A, with a 2.88 ERA and a 13.1 K/9 rate. Mitchell worked as a starter in Scranton, but has pitched mostly in long relief with the big league club. Jordan Montgomery also rejoins the Yankees.

Notable names to stay in the minors are Miguel Andújar, Tyler Austin and Tyler Wade. Both Austin and Wade were optioned to Scranton less than 10 days ago, and cannot come back unless there is an injury. There is no word on whether they will be promoted once 10 days have passed. Andújar, who has been on an offensive tear (currently on a 15-game hitting streak, .333/.379/.531 at Triple-A) remains in the Minors presumably to get full-time at-bats, continue working on his third base defense and help the RailRiders win a championship.

Game 79: Red Thunder Joins the Bombers

Clint Frazier, adorned in No. 30, will but ninth and man right field in tonight’s nationally televised matchup with the Houston Astros.

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Rookie Jordan Montgomery takes the ball tonight in the middle game of the series. He pitched quite well last time out, allowing just one run on a Todd Frazier home run over seven innings against the White Sox. Montgomery did not lose in June, carrying a 4-0 record and a 2.59 ERA across five starts.

The Astros start fellow rookie Francis Martes. He has been used as a starter and reliever, and has wins in both of his starts. He last pitched two innings of relief June 25 against the Seattle Mariners. He has a 3.38 ERA as a starter.

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Gary Sánchez returns to the lineup as the designated hitter tonight. His groin is still nagging, so Austin Romine gets the start behind the plate again. Ronald Torreyes starts at second base.


To make room for Frazier on the 25-man roster, the Yankees optioned Miguel Andújar back to Triple-A. He took ground balls with the MLB team at third base, and will play tomorrow for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The team created a 40-man roster spot by placing Dustin Fowler on the 60-day disabled list.


Starting Lineups

New York Yankees
  1. Brett Gardner – LF
  2. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF
  3. Gary Sánchez – DH
  4. Didi Gregorius – SS
  5. Chase Headley – 3B
  6. Ronald Torreyes – 2B
  7. Austin Romine – C
  8. Chris Carter – 1B
  9. Clint Frazier – RF
Houston Astros
  1. George Springer – RF
  2. José Altuve – 2B
  3. Carlos Correa – SS
  4. Evan Gattis – C
  5. Carlos Beltrán – DH
  6. Marwin González – LF
  7. Yuli Gurriel – 1B
  8. Alex Bregman – 3B
  9. Jake Marisnick – CF

Yankees 6, White Sox 5: Yanks Avoid Bullpen Collapse, Take Series Opener

What looked like a sure win for the Yankees turned dicey once Jordan Montgomery handed it over to the Yankee bullpen.

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Montgomery turned in one of his best starts of the year, allowing just one run on a Todd Frazier solo home run. He allowed just four other hits, one walk and struck out eight batters. The bullpen had a tough time keeping it together after that.

The Yankee offense scored at least six runs for the second consecutive day. Tyler Austin recorded two RBIs on a sacrifice fly in the fourth and a solo home run in the sixth. Ronald Torreyes and Austin Romine each hit sacrifice flies too, in the fourth and sixth, respectively. Chase Headley added an RBI single on his 3-for-4 night.

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Jonathan Holder entered in the eighth, and looked to be out of the inning on a double play ball. But, second baseman Rob Refsnyder, who entered when Starlin Castro was injured, pulled Austin off first base with his throw. Joe Girardi then brought Dellin Betances to strike out Frazier and put out the fire.

In the ninth, things unraveled to make the final frame quite uncomfortable. Chasen Shreve allowed consecutive singles, and then Tim Anderson hit a three-run home run to make it a 6 to 4 game. Enter Aroldis Chapman. The closer gave up a single to Melky Cabrera who scored on a double by José Abreu. But, Chapman beared down to get a ground out and fly out to end the threat.


Castro went down in the third inning with what was diagnosed as a strained right hamstring. Reports indicate that he will be headed to the disabled list, and the Yankees will promote utility player Tyler Wade to take his place. Wade, the Yankees No. 11 prospect, has been training at every position except for catcher and first base for the Yankees. The club has not confirmed the move yet.

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The move has caused a ripple effect through the Yankee farm system. No. 4 prospect Jorge Mateo was promoted to AA Trenton to replace Abiatal Avelino, who is headed to AAA Scranton to replace Wade.

Game 74: Scuffling Yankees Head to South Side

Losers of eight out of their last 10, the Yankees take their show on the road to Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago to face the White Sox.

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The South Siders come into the series 7½ games out of first place in the American League Central. They also come in losers of the last three games. The series opener features a matchup of left-handed pictures: Jordan Montgomery for the Yanks and David Holmberg for the White Sox.

Montgomery has been incredible in the month of June. He is 3-0 in four starts with a 2.96 ERA through 24⅓ innings. He battled through 5⅔ innings June 21 against the Angels, allowing two runs on five hits in a game the Yankees won 8 to 4.

Holmberg has bounced around since his debut in 2013. He pitched for Arizona that year, Cincinatti in 2014 and 2015, but was stuck in the White Sox minor league system in 2016. The lefty has pitched well thus far, allowing no more than three earned runs in an outing. As a starter, he is 1-1 with a 3.98 ERA.

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The Yankees welcome Jacoby Ellsbury back to the starting lineup, as he bats sixth and patrols center field. Starlin Castro, batting second, is good to go after getting a cortisone shot in a wrist that had been nagging him for weeks. Gary Sánchez is the designated hitter with Matt Holliday still having allergy problems. Didi Gregorius gets the night off against the lefty; he started seven straight games. Ronald Torreyes starts again, this time at shortstop. Austin Romine, who is evolving into Montgomery’s personal catcher, is behind the plate tonight.

Starting Lineups

New York Yankees
  1. Brett Gardner – LF
  2. Starlin Castro – 2B
  3. Aaron Judge – RF
  4. Gary Sánchez – DH
  5. Tyler Austin – 1B
  6. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF
  7. Chase Headley – 3B
  8. Austin Romine – C
  9. Ronald Torreyes – SS
Chicago White Sox
  1. Tim Anderson – SS
  2. Melky Cabrera – LF
  3. José Abreu – DH
  4. Avisaíl García – RF
  5. Todd Frazier – 3B
  6. Matt Davidson – 1B
  7. Yolmer Sánchez – 2B
  8. Kevan Smith – C
  9. Adam Engel – CF

Angels 4, Yankees 8: Bombers Snap Out Of It

Needing a win, Jordan Montgomery battled through 5⅔ innings and the offense broke out with eight runs to defeat the Angels 8-4.

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Austin Romine powered the Yankee offense, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and scoring a run. The Yankees also got RBIs from Starlin CastroChase Headley, Aaron Hicks, Matt Holliday and two from Didi Gregorius. Gregorius hit his eighth home run of the year (50th of his career) in the second inning. The only Yankee starter without a hit was Brett Gardner, but he walked twice.

“He keeps growing. He keeps trusting all his pitches… he’s doing a really good job spotting [his pitches],” Gregorius said of Montgomery’s poise on the mound.

Romine also contributed on the other side of the ball, as he guided Montgomery to another win. Montgomery pitches to a 2.98 ERA when Romine is behind the plate. The Yankees got clean relief out of Chad Green (1⅓ innings), Dellin Betances (1 inning) and Aroldis Chapman (1 inning).

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In between Betances and Chapman, though, things got a bit sketchy. Joe Girardi wanted to bring struggling righty Tyler Clippard into a game with a big lead to work out some kinks.

“It didn’t work,” Girardi said of his move to Clippard. “He’ll get back on track.”

Clippard came on to start the ninth, and allowed a double to Andrelton Simmons. Then, Martín Maldonado belted his second home run of the game to right field. He lasted just seven pitches. Girardi came out to the mound and had an extended talk with Clippard before he walked off the mound. Yankee Stadium scoreboard operators blasted Chapman’s entrance music to drown out the boos.

The Yankees move back into first place since Salvador Pérez hit an eighth inning home run to power his Kansas City Royals over the Boston Red Sox.