Tag: Luis Cessa

Newsday: Yankees Still in Play for Alex Cobb

Could Brian Cashman make one last big splash?

While the Yankees’ starting rotation may seem settled for the 2018 season, one baseball source told Newsday’s Anthony Rieber that the Yankees are continuing to monitor the market of right-handed pitcher Alex Cobb.

Rieber said that Cobb would fit with the Yankees “if his price drops enough and the Yankees can continue their quest to stay under the luxury-tax threshold”. He then cited the Yankees’ signing of Neil Walker to a $4 million one-year deal as an example of how low Cobb’s market would have to go for him to fit under the $197 million luxury tax number.

Cobb is the best starting pitcher remaining on the market after a remarkably cold offseason for players expecting high-value contracts. Lance Lynn recently agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Twins, while Jake Arrieta inked a three-year, $75 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The issue with Cobb is that he declined the qualifying offer from the Tampa Bay Rays, so the Yankees would have to “lose its second- and fifth-highest selections in the following year’s Draft as well $1 million from its international bonus pool” because the Yankees exceeded the luxury tax threshold in 2017.

The righty fits with the Yankees because he is a ground ball pitcher. In 2017, batters had a 47.8% ground ball rate against Cobb. That number, however, is a significant drop from Cobb’s last full season in the big leagues. Cobb had a 56.2% ground ball rate in 2014. Injuries prevented him from pitching in 2015 and he only made 13 starts (including rehab appearances) in 2016.

Behind incumbent fifth starter Jordan Montgomery, the Yankees do not have much starting pitching depth that is MLB-ready. Domingo Germán has impressed so far in Spring Training, and Aaron Boone mentioned him in the same sentence as Luis Cessa, Chance Adams and David Hale as potential sixth starters. The Yankees do not yet believe that Justus Sheffield or Domingo Acevedo are able to fill in just yet.

Adding Cobb would create an interesting situation in the Yankee rotation. The team could, conceivably, use an option year on Montgomery and have him spot start with the big league club to limit his innings and provide starting depth. But, you’re keeping an effective lefty starter who had a promising rookie year in the minors for part of the season to allow Cobb, who pitched his first full season since 2014 last year, to have a full-time rotation spot.

With the draft pick compensation and the fact that the Yankees have five starters already, I think adding Alex Cobb would create more headaches for the team than is necessary.

Mets 3, Yankees 10: Stanton Smashes Yanks to Blowout Win

Giancarlo Stanton smacked his first Yankees home run off Matt Harvey, and the other Yankee bats combined to score 10 runs in a rousing win over their crosstown rivals.

The Stanton homer came in the fifth inning, where the Yankees already had a 3-to-1 advantage. Aaron Judge walked prior to Stanton’s at-bat. The home run resulted in the removal of Harvey from the game after 4⅔ innings.

Brandon Drury and Kyle Holder each knocked in two runs as well, with other RBIs coming from Tyler Austin, Abiatal Avelino and Shane Robinson. Estevan Florial almost had one, but the play was ruled a fielding error by right fielder L.J. Mazzilli.

Luis Cessa was on the ropes fairly quickly in this game, getting the hook after 1⅓ innings with the bases loaded. David Robertson made his spring debut in the second, and promptly Houdini’d out of the inning without allowing a run.

There was a funny moment in the fifth inning where no one came out to pitch for the Yankees. Described as “some issues” by Aaron Boone in his YES Network mid-inning interview, Dellin Betances had gone into the clubhouse to shower and get changed because he was only supposed to throw one inning. Adam Warren, the next scheduled pitcher, apparently never got the memo to warm up. So, Betances put his uniform back on and faced one more batter. Luis Guillorme singled, then Warren came in to relieve Betances.


  • Tyler Wade dove for a ball hit by José Reyes, and rolled his wrist trying to make a play. It looked really bad at first glance, and Wade was in a lot of pain. He was replaced by Kyle Holder, and I was truly holding my breath because Wade has really impressed me this spring. But, reports from the clubhouse indicated that he needed “ice but no tests,” and that he would return to action Monday. It is unclear if he was already scheduled to sit out Sunday.
  • Aaron Judge got his first multi-hit game of the spring today. His timing looks to be back, and that’s a great sign for a player coming off of offseason shoulder surgery. Boone mentioned during his interview that Judge was also getting reps in left field with Stanton on the back fields while the team was away playing road games. We’ve yet to see Judge out there in an exhibition game, but something tells me we won’t have to wait long for that to happen.
  • Both Chad Green and Adam Warren threw for more than one inning today, which should surprise absolutely no one. These two are the main multi-inning relievers for the Yanks, and they will probably get stretched out to throw up to three innings before Opening Day gets here.

Tomorrow’s Game:

Masahiro Tanaka looks to rebound from his poor spring debut in a matchup against Jacob Turner and the Miami Marlins. The Yankees will make the long trek to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter for that game. No word on who’s going, however.

Game 15: Subway Series Meets Tebow Time

More Stanton in left!

The second Subway Series preview comes to Tampa today, as Matt Harvey and Luis Cessa square off on a beautiful Florida afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Cessa makes his third start of the spring, and will try to keep up with Domingo Germán in the competition to be the team’s sixth starter. So far in camp, Cessa has allowed five runs (four earned) through four innings of work. He missed his March 2 start due to a stiff neck, and Germán stepped into that role.

Giancarlo Stanton gets his third start of the spring in left field, with Aaron Judge playing on the other side of Brett Gardner in right and center field, respectively. Tyler Austin starts at first base today, with Greg Bird not listed on the lineup card as an available player. Tyler Wade looks to continue his strong audition for the second base job as he bats ninth and mans the keystone.

We’re likely to see some star-studded relievers today, with LHP Aroldis Chapman, RHP David Robertson, RHP Dellin Betances and RHP Adam Warren listed on today’s game notes.

Injury Notes:

  • Clint Frazier spoke to the media this morning regarding his concussion. Marc Carig of The Athletic reported the outfielder has needed to be driven to camp beacuse of “scary” moments driving. “There’s a lot of positives that have come, but I’m not over the hump … I want all positives. I want no negatives,” Frazier said per ESPN’s Coley Harvey.
  • Frazier ran, hit and threw today with Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury has been out with oblique tightness, and has not appeared in a game since March 1.


Mets Lineup:

  1. Amed Rosario – SS
  2. Juan Lagares – CF
  3. Brandon Nimmo – RF
  4. Phillip Evans – 1B
  5. Wilmer Flores – 3B
  6. José Reyes – 2B
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. Tim Tebow – DH
  9. Zach Borenstein – LF

    Matt Harvey – RHP

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 6: All Rise for the Return

The Judge is back!

Aaron Judge makes his Grapefruit League debut as the designated hitter today as the Yankees welcome the Detroit Tigers to George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. The Yankees took the Tigers down 3-to-1 in the first game of the Spring Training schedule.

Coincidentally, Luis Cessa also started that first game of the Spring. He gave up one earned run in his two innings of work. Cessa finished last season with a 4.75 ERA in 36.0 innings split between mop-up relief and spot starts.

He faces promising lefty Daniel Norris of the Tigers. Norris was acquired in the trade that sent David Price from the Tigers to the Blue Jays in 2015. Last year, his age-24 season, Norris finished with an inflated 5.31 ERA (4.39 FIP) through 22 games (18 starts). He struggled with his command, walking 3.9 batters per nine innings.

This starting lineup is arguably what manager Aaron Boone could put out on Opening Day in Toronto. Aaron Judge slots perfectly into the No. 2 slot ahead of Giancarlo Stanton. With the exception of third base, second base and who’s on the mound, there’s a very high chance that the Opening Day lineup is on the field.

Tigers’ Lineup:

  1. Leonys Martín – CF
  2. Sergio Alcántara – SS
  3. John Hicks – DH
  4. Jeimer Candelario
  5. Edwin Espinal – 1B
  6. JaCoby Jones – LF
  7. Harold Castro – 2B
  8. Victor Reyes – RF
  9. Grayson Greiner – C

Tigers 1, Yankees 3: Undefeated

The Yankees start off Spring Training on the right foot.

The Yankees are off to a great start this spring, grabbing a 3-to-1 win over the Detroit Tigers in the season opener.

The first inning was the only one where Yankees pitching tripped. Leonys Martín led off with a single for the Tigers, then moved to second on a deep fly ball from Nicholas Castellanos. After a groundout, Martín came into score on a Chad Huffman single. That run off Luis Cessa was all the Tigers got. After Cessa, Ben Heller, David Hale, Brady LailCale Coshow and Giovanny Gallegos combined for seven shutout innings.

The Yankees’ offense struck in the sixth inning. Tyler Wade led off with a hustle double, then moved to third on a balk during Kyle Higashioka‘s at-bat. Higashioka walked, Danny Espinosa then was hit by a pitch. Jake Cave drove Wade in on an RBI groundout, and then Jorge Saez finished the job with a two-run single to score Higashioka and Espinosa.

Both sides played a clean game with the exception of a fielding error by Wade at shortstop.

Tomorrow brings another game (isn’t baseball season great?) for the Yankees. Domingo Germán gets the ball at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla., to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Per NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty, notable names making tomorrow’s trip are: Frazier, Florial, K. Holder, Andújar, Wade, Austin, Espinosa, Drury, German, Warren, Tate, J. Holder, Kratz.

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.

Report: Yankees Interested in Rangers INF Jurickson Profar

As the GM Meetings come to a close in Orlando, Fla., there is an interesting rumbling regarding the Yankees and Texas Rangers. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees are intrigued by Rangers’ utility man Jurickson Profar.

Profar has been a disappointment since being billed as the No. 1 prospect in baseball prior to the 2013 season. He has posted a .229/.309/.329 line through 206 games at the big league level. He has yet to play more than 90 games in a season, and missed the 2014 and 2015 seasons due to a shoulder injury.

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But, he does have some redeeming qualities. He has pedigree, and could come into his upside later on in his career. At age-24, he still could “find it” and be a productive player. He has experience at every infield position, and 30 games in left field. That kind of defensive versatility is valuable. Where he would fit in a Yankee organization that has Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade remains to be seen.

Trading for someone like Profar would only make sense if the Yankees can unload a few of their excess 40-man roster pitchers. Guys like Luis Cessa, Giovanny Gallegos, Bryan Mitchell, Caleb Smith and more may be shipped off in a package to open up more 40-man spots for names like Domingo Acevedo, Thairo Estrada and Gleyber Torres.

If the Yankees can open up two or three 40-man roster spots while only taking on Profar (projected to make $1.1 million in arbitration per MLBTradeRumors), that would be a fantastic opportunity to buy low on a player with plenty of pedigree. They did it with Didi Gregorius, and also look to do so with Billy McKinney (Aroldis Chapman trade) and Dillon Tate (Carlos Beltrán trade).

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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.