Tag: Luis Severino

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.

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.

Yankees Re-Sign CC Sabathia

UPDATE (Dec. 26 at 3 p.m. ET): The Yankees officially announced the signing on the day after Christmas via Twitter.

The Yankees locked up a pivotal part of their 2018 starting rotation Saturday, agreeing to a one-year, $10 million contract with veteran lefty CC Sabathia.

“CC feels there’s unfinished business to attend to,” agent Kyle Thousand of Roc Nation Sports told MLB.com. “There were competitive offers that CC was weighing, but in the end, CC wanted to come back and win a championship with the Yankees. He loves his teammates, the clubhouse and the moves the Yankees are making. He wants to bring home another championship to the Yankee fans.”

CC made it clear after the Yankees were eliminated in Game 7 of the ALCS that he wanted to return to the Bronx to finish out his career. He has not commented on his future in baseball beyond the 2018 season.

“I feel like this is a young team, and we will turn this into something great,” Sabathia said after Game 7. “This is my home, and I want to see this thing through.”

Sabathia will simply need to pass a physical for the deal to be official. The 37-year-old was a huge part of the Yankees rotation in 2017, pitching to a 14-5 record and 3.69 ERA in the final year of the deal he signed prior to the 2009 season. He won a World Series with the Yankees that year, and has been crucial to the team ever since.

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The veteran brings expertise and consistency to the back of a Yankees rotation in need of a few more arms. With innings limits looming on young starters Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery, the Yankees will have to rely on the veterans like Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray to pitch well consistently.

The Yankees may continue their pursuit of another starting pitcher even with Sabathia back in the fold. The team has been linked in trade talks recently to Arizona Diamondbacks LHP Patrick Corbin, Detroit Tigers RHP Michael Fulmer and Pittsburgh Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole.

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.

Thoughts Following Cashman’s Media Session at the GM Meetings

Brian Cashman gave a press conference to reporters during the annual General Manager meetings today in Florida. He said a lot of things, and I have a lot of thoughts. Let’s get to it:

Gleyber-Mania Fast Approaching?

We could see Gleyber Torres in the Bronx sooner rather than later. Cashman said he was “not denying anybody a chance to make the club and push their way into the mix.”

That definitely puts extra pressure on Chase Headley, who posted a -7 DRS at third base last year before moving to first base upon the arrival of Todd Frazier. Even with an awful May (.165/.211/.235), Headley managed to slash .273/.352/.406 while moving around defensively. He is due to earn $13 million next season.

What also intrigues me here is that Cashman mentions Torres as a third base candidate over Miguel Andújar. Torres has not seen game action since June 17 when he tore his left UCL in a home plate collision. He also only has 15 professional games at third base under his belt.

Andújar, on the other hand, has 541 MiLB appearances at third base on his résumé, and also got a big-league stint as the designated hitter in June 2017 and as a September call-up. Will Yankees look to trade Andújar, or keep him as a depth option? Many aren’t sold on his defense, but his bat is definitely ready.

Outfield Questions

A few days ago, Cashman remarked that Aaron Hicks is expected to be an everyday outfielder for the 2018 Yankees.

This seems to put Jacoby Ellsbury on the chopping block, especially since Jake Cave is now on the 40-man roster. But, Cashman said he has not taken a very serious step that would be necessary to move the 34-year-old outfielder.

Cashman said he views Clint Frazier as a depth outfielder in this situation, implying that he will begin the season with Triple-A. This would cement a Gardner-Hicks-Judge outfield with Ellsbury on the bench to start the season.

Things can change, like when Bubba Crosby was slated to start the 2005 season in center field before Johnny Damon signed in New York. Ellsbury could be moved. Someone could get hurt. There is a lot of time until Opening Day.

Chad Green: What’s His Role?

Cashman stated that Chad Green will come into Spring Training stretched out as a starter. I think that’s an interesting plan, given how successful Green was out of the bullpen.

Here are Green’s career splits:

  • Starter: 2-4, 6.10 ERA, 1.513 WHIP (38.1 IP)
  • Reliever: 5-0, 1.41 ERA, 0.747 WHIP (76.1 IP)

It’s like night and day. But, Luis Severino turned a successful bullpen stint into a Cy Young finalist season. The Yankees could simply try to catch lightning in a bottle here. In the worst case scenario, they would then put him back in the bullpen. Hopefully, they would avoid the ill effects of the back-and-forth that Joba Chamberlain suffered.

I would leave Green where he was. He was so effective that it doesn’t seem to make sense to move him.

Aaron Judge Named Finalist for AL MVP, ROY; Luis Severino for AL Cy Young

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America clearly are feeling the Yankees’ youth movement going forward. Today, Aaron Judge was announced as a finalist for the American League Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year award. Luis Severino was named a finalist for the AL Cy Young award.

Judge’s season was downright incredible for a guy who batted .179/.263/.345 with a 44.2% strikeout rate during a 27-game audition at the end of the 2016 season. He finished the season on the 15-day disabled list with a right oblique strain. Despite opening 2017 as the Yankees No. 4 prospect, Judge still had to compete with Aaron Hicks for the starting job in right field. He won the job, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Judge demolished a rookie-record 52 home runs, and also drove in 114 RBIs. Despite a slightly inflated 30.7% strikeout rate, the 25-year-old led the American League in runs created (149) and walks (127). Judge is also a finalist for an AL Gold Glove in right field, thanks to his 6.1 UZR and 9 DRS.

His Competition

Judge faces some formidable competition in the Houston Astros 2B José Altuve and the Cleveland Indians 2B/3B José Ramírez:

  • Altuve: .346/.410/.547, 24 HR, 81 RBI, 32 SB, -1.9 UZR, 3 DRS (7.5 fWAR)
  • Ramírez: .318/.374/.583, 29 HR, 107 RBI, 17 SB, 0.3/3.8 UZR (2B/3B), 5/0 DRS (2B/3B) (6.6 fWAR)
  • Judge: .284/.422/.627, 52 HR, 114 RBI, 9 SB, 6.1 UZR, 9 DRS (8.2 fWAR)

I think it will come down to the importance of defense and the importance of a high batting average vs. high power output. Despite a 62-point difference between Altuve and Judge’s averages, Judge maintains a 12-point advantage in on-base percentage. Ramírez almost certainly finishes third behind these two. Fangraphs says Aaron Judge is the most valuable of the three, and I have to agree with them.

Judge is also a finalist for Rookie of the Year. I will simply let the statistics speak for themselves when I say that Judge might just win the award unanimously. His competition is Boston Red Sox LF Andrew Benintendi and Baltimore Orioles 1B/OF Trey Mancini:

  • Benintendi: .271/.352/.424, 20 HR, 90 RBI, 20 SB, 0.9 UZR, 9 DRS (2.2 fWAR)
  • Mancini: .293/.338/.488, 24 HR, 78 RBI, 1 SB, -1.2/-7.9 UZR (1B/OF), -4/-1 DRS (1B/OF) (1.8 fWAR)
  • Judge: .284/.422/.627, 52 HR, 114 RBI, 9 SB, 6.1 UZR, 9 DRS (8.2 fWAR)

Judge is worth six wins more than Benintendi. I don’t think this one will be close.

Luis Severino‘s 2016 was simply awful. He went 0-6 in his first seven starts, and was placed on the disabled list May 13 with right triceps inflammation. Once activated 15 days later, he was optioned to Triple-A until July. He came up July 25, and was used mainly in relief. He pitched to a 0.39 ERA in 23⅓ innings with a 9.64 K/9.

That stint as a reliever was enough for the Yankees to try him again in the starting rotation. And it was so worth it. Severino went 14-6 (which does not include the countless times the bullpen blew leads after his exit) with a stellar 2.98 ERA (3.08 FIP) and 10.7 K/9. One year after only making 11 starts, Severino became the ace of the Yankee rotation and made 31 starts. He was named an All-Star in 2017.

His Competition

Severino faces a stacked field for AL Cy Young: Indians RHP Corey Kluber and Red Sox LHP Chris Sale.

  • Kluber: 18-4, 2.25 ERA (2.50 FIP), 265 K, 36 BB, .192 BAA (7.3 fWAR)
  • Sale: 17-8, 2.90 ERA (2.45 FIP), 308 K, 43 BB, .206 BAA (7.7 fWAR)
  • Severino: 14-6, 2.98 ERA (3.08 FIP), 230 K, 51 BB, 207 BAA (5.7 fWAR)

Severino’s season was an incredible bounce back. But, I think both Kluber and Sale have him beat. Kluber’s ability to miss bats, but not walk people and Sale’s sheer stuff make them tough to overcome. I think it goes to Kluber this year.


Here are the last Yankees to win each award:

  • MVP: Alex Rodriguez (2005)
  • RoY: Derek Jeter (1996)
  • Cy Young: Roger Clemens (2001)

The Yankees are certainly hoping that their players can get some hardware as the offseason gets underway.

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 3, White Sox 4: Shaky Bullpen Leads to Abreu Walkoff

Luis Severino struck out a career-high 12 batters through seven solid innings, but the Yankee bullpen gave up three runs in the last two frames to give the game to the White Sox.

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José Abreu ripped a two-run single off Dellin Betances in the ninth inning to give the White Sox a walk-off win. For the second consecutive night, the Bombers struggled to find a way to finish the game. Severino didn’t walk a single batter, but Domingo Germán, Tyler Clippard and Betances combined to walk six batters.

Clippard pitched admirably, fighting an inconsistent strike zone from Joe West to only let one inherited runner score. Betances, however, could not find the strike zone and allowed the winning runs to score.

The Yankees put together a three-run rally in the top of the eighth. Tyler Wade walked in his first big league plate appearance, Jacoby Ellsbury singled and then Aaron Judge tied the game with an RBI single. Gary Sánchez followed with a two-RBI double to put the Yankees up 3 to 1.

As the trends continue to show, the bullpen has been unable to get it done. Joe Girardi said after the game that versatile reliever Chad Green and closer Aroldis Chapman were both unavailable due to overuse in recent contests. That forced the Yankees’ usage of Germán and Clippard.

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Game 75: Keep the Momentum Going

As the Yankees struggle with more injury news, they look to build on last night’s win behind Luis Severino.

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The young righty looks to rebound from allowing a season-high six runs June 22 against the Angels. This start marks his second time facing the White Sox this season. He got the loss April 18, when he allowed four runs through eight innings. Through seven starts, Severino has yet to receive a loss on the road.

Tough lefty José Quintana counters for the White Sox. The Colombian has been linked to the Yankees through trade rumors for months on end, but has stayed put to become the White Sox ace. An All-Star last season, Quintana is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in June. He did not pitch when the two teams met in April.

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Brett Gardner gets the night off against the tough lefty. He is 2-for-7 (.286) lifetime against Quintana, but just 7-for-42 (.189) in his last 10 games. Rob Refsnyder starts in his place. With Starlin Castro on the DL, the Yankees promoted No. 11 prospect Tyler Wade. However, he will be on the bench in favor of Ronald Torreyes. Matt Holliday is still inexplicably sick, and Tyler Austin‘s hamstring is sore, so the latter is the designated hitter. Austin Romine starts at first base in his place.

Starting Lineups

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

Angels 10, Yankees 5: Halos Blow Out Sloppy Yankees

The Yankees made a season-high three errors, and dropped the series finale to the Los Angeles Angels by a score of 10 to 5.

Starlin Castro misplayed a routine double play ground ball hit his way in the seventh, and that sparked a four-run rally for the Halos. Kole Calhoun‘s sacrifice fly off Chasen Shreve tied the game, then Cameron Maybin, who reached on Castro’s error, stole second base and moved to third on a Gary Sánchez throwing error before scoring on an RBI single by Albert Pujols.

Andrelton Simmons then ripped a two-run double into the left field corner to put the Angels ahead, 8 to 5. The Angels finished their scoring on a terrible pickoff attempt by reliever Domingo Germán. Calhoun then added another sacrifice fly to tally the Angels’ 10th run of the night.

The Yankee offense disappeared again, notching just one hit after Brett Gardner’s single in the fourth inning. The only Yankee to record multiple hits was, fittingly, the offensively-stunted Chris Carter. Aaron Judge mashed his 25th home run of the year in the second inning, tying him with Joe Gordon (1938) for third most by a Yankees rookie in a single season (Bobby Murcer hit 26 in 1969, Joe DiMaggio hit 29 in 1936).

The Bombers try to finish their homestand on a positive note as they welcome the Texas Rangers to the Bronx for a three-game series.