Tag: Neil Walker

Game 45: Domingo on a Tuesday

Domingo Germán shakes the dust off his right arm (he has not pitched since May 12) to start the middle game against the Texas Rangers and LHP Cole Hamels.

After appearing out of the bullpen for his first five games of 2018, Domingo Germán moved into the starting rotation once Jordan Montgomery was placed on the disabled list. He has gotten two no-decisions so far, as he has put up a 4.91 ERA in 11 innings as a starter. However, hitters have hit just .167/.262/.250 in those two starts, which shows Germán may have fallen victim to the BABIP gods once or twice.

Veteran lefty Cole Hamels, who just recently expressed interest in being traded to the Yankees, gets the ball for the Rangers. Through nine starts, he has put up a 3.48 ERA, though he has walked a few more batters than he would like to. Since his debut in 2006, Hamels has only faced the Yankees four times: 1-2, 3.24 ERA and .723 OPS against.

Miguel Andújar returns to the lineup at third base and Neil Walker shifts across the diamond to play first. Tyler Austin serves as the designated hitter against the lefty, and Giancarlo Stanton grabs his glove to play left field in place of Brett Gardner.


Rangers Lineup:

  1. Shin-Soo Choo – DH
  2. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  3. Nomar Mazara – RF
  4. Jurickson Profar – SS
  5. Joey Gallo – LF
  6. Rougned Odor – 2B
  7. Robinson Chirinos – C
  8. Ronald Guzmán – 1B
  9. Ryan Rua – CF

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.

Game 44: Big Sexy in Texas

Somehow, Bartolo Colón is still pitching.

Fresh off a blowout win to secure their eighth straight series win, the New York Yankees tab Masahiro Tanaka as their starter against Bartolo Colón and the Rangers in Arlington.

Masahiro Tanaka has been consistent in his last five starts, and the Yankees have won four of them (one is in limbo as Tanaka started the suspended game in Washington on May 15). In that timeframe, he has a 3.72 ERA and a strong 24-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Most importantly, 84% of at-bats against the righty in this sample have ended in ground balls. That’s the best way to keep your team in the game. Since his debut in 2014, Tanaka has not had success against the Rangers. He’s 0-2 with a 6.38 ERA in four starts against them.

Facing the Yankees is the ageless right-hander Bartolo Colón. At the age of 44 years, 11 months and 27 days, Colón is having a resurgence on the mound in 2018. Through nine games (seven starts), the veteran has just a 2-1 record but a stellar 2.82 ERA. In his last time out against the Seattle Mariners on May 16, he fired 7⅔ shutout innings while allowing just four hits on 96 pitches. In 21 career appearances (20 starts) against the Yankees, Colón has a 6.11 ERA in 113⅓ innings. Gleyber Torres, the Yankees’ second baseman, was just three months old when Colón made his MLB debut.

Miguel Andújar sits against the veteran Colón, while Neil Walker returns to the lineup at third base for the first time this season. Tyler Austin gets another start over at first, while Didi Gregorius returns to the lineup in the cleanup spot.


Greg Bird and Billy McKinney have had their rehab assignments transferred to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and have traveled to Pawtucket to play the Red Sox’s affiliate.

Tommy Kahnle, who has been shelved since April 16 with right shoulder tendonitis, began a rehab assignment tonight with the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs tonight. He could rejoin the team as soon as Friday, per Aaron Boone.


Rangers’ Lineup:

  1. Delino DeShields Jr. – CF
  2. Shin-Soo Choo – DH
  3. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  4. Nomar Mazara – RF
  5. Jurickson Profar – SS
  6. Joey Gallo – LF
  7. Rougned Odor – 2B
  8. Robinson Chirinos – C
  9. Ronald Guzmán – 1B

 

Game 42: Red Thunder Returns

With the Yankees facing two lefties to finish out their three-game series in Kansas City, Clint Frazier makes his 2018 debut for the Yankees tonight.

Frazier bats seventh as the designated hitter against Danny Duffy of the Royals. Countering for the Yankees is ace Luis Severino. Severino has gotten the win in six straight starts, and his only loss came April 10 in a blowout in Boston. Severino has beaten the Royals in his only start against them. With a 2.14 ERA through nine starts this season, Severino has a firm grasp on the title of ace of the Yankees staff.

Danny Duffy‘s season has been a polar opposite compared to Severino’s. His record stands at 1-5, and he carries a 6.51 ERA into tonight’s start. Duffy showed signs of promise in a May 8 start against the Baltimore Orioles, where he allowed just one run through 5⅓ innings of work. That success did not carry over to his May 13 outing against the Cleveland Indians, where he lasted just 3⅓ innings and permitted nine earned runs on eight hits (including two home runs). Righties have a .308/.385/.597 batting line against Duffy, and the Yankees do not have a single left-handed bat in the lineup tonight.

Ronald Torreyes is actually playing tonight, and it’s not another typo like last night. He replaces the struggling Didi Gregorius at shortstop. Giancarlo Stanton shifts to the outfield, and Aaron Hicks takes over the leadoff spot after a strong 3-hit night last night. Tyler Austin, who is slashing .281/.351/.531 against lefties this season, gets the call at first base over Neil Walker.

According to Weather.com, there is a 40% chance of “scattered strong storms” at time of first pitch. Also, the National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm watch for the Kansas City area until midnight Eastern Time. So, we’ll see if we a. start on time and b. play a full nine innings. Let’s hope for the best!


Royals’ Lineup:

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

 

Yankees 2, Royals 5: Yanks Out-Hit KC, But Drop Series Opener

The Yankees racked up eight hits compared to the Royals’ six, but ultimately the Bombers fell 5-to-2 behind shoddy defense in Kansas City.

The Royals jumped out to an early 1-to-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Whit Merrifield doubled, stole third and then came around to score on a fielders choice pop-up to Gleyber Torres.

Torres’ defense cost the Yankees two runs in the third too, as a fielding error allowed Merrifield to score. Starter CC Sabathia then walked Hunter Dozier with the bases loaded to force in another run. Salvador Pérez hit a solo home run off Sabathia in the fifth.

The Yankees got two runs back in the sixth, as Giancarlo Stanton led off the inning with a single, followed by a single from Aaron Hicks. Neil Walker, normally a zero against lefty pitchers, rapped a clutch RBI single to center to score Stanton. Miguel Andújar then lifted a deep sacrifice fly to score Hicks. That was all the scoring the Yankees would get.

In the seventh, David Robertson walked Mike Moustakas before allowing a double to Pérez that put the game on ice for the Royals.

Chasen Shreve and Jonathan Holder each threw one inning of scoreless relief.


Rehab Update:

  • Billy McKinney: 2-for-4, 2B
  • Greg Bird: 1-for-3, HR, BB

Each played nine innings in Double-A Trenton’s 2-to-0 victory over the Bowie Baysox.


What’s Next:

Luis Severino gets the ball for the Yankees in the middle game of the series. Lefty Danny Duffy is his counterpart. Severino has not lost in his past six starts, while Duffy yielded nine runs in 3⅓ innings against the Cleveland Indians in his last start.

Sherman: Tyler Austin’s Suspension Reduced to 4 Games

The appeal worked!

After more than week of waiting, the Yankees finally know the fate of Tyler Austin‘s suspension. His appeal reduced the penalty from five games to four, and he will begin to serve that suspension during Friday’s series opener in Anaheim. This news was first reported by the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.

The suspension was originally handed out after Austin took exception to getting drilled by a Joe Kelly fastball, presumably as revenge for a slide where Austin’s spikes hit Brock Holt‘s ankle. He charged the mound, and also threw punches before the Yankees and Red Sox were separated.

His suspension was announced the following day, but he had been allowed to play through his appeal. Kelly was suspended six games for the incident, though the league denied his appeal and he will serve the full penalty.

Austin has been a savior for the Yankees with Greg Bird‘s injury and Neil Walker‘s ineffectiveness. Through 17 games, Austin has slashed .290/.362/.629 with five home runs and 16 RBIs for a team desperate for first base production. He has been sure-handed in the field, too, making just one error in 110 total chances.


With Austin out the next four games, the Yankees will get creative at first base. They must play with a 24-man roster because of the suspension rules. Walker will likely see the most time at first, though Aaron Boone did mention Miguel Andújar and Austin Romine as other candidates to get time there.

Yankees Re-Sign Adam Lind to MiLB Deal

He’s back!

With already questionable first base depth and a suspension to Tyler Austin looming, the Yankees have brought back a familiar face in Adam Lind. The veteran signed a minor league deal with the Bombers, and he will report to extended spring training in Tampa.

The deal was first reported and confirmed by SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Lind played in five Spring Training games for the Yankees, going 3-for-15 (.200/.250/.200) with no extra-base hits and one RBI. He played exclusively first base in the Grapefruit League, but logged 197⅓ innings in left field for the Washington Nationals in 2017.

Lind’s initial deal with the Yankees included an opt-out clause if he was not on the active roster by a certain date. Once the Yankees signed Neil Walker, Lind was released since it became apparent that he would not make the Opening Day roster. But, with an injury to Greg Bird, Austin’s suspension and the team’s offensive malaise, it made sense to bring Lind back.

The team has already begun to work out Miguel Andújar at first base, which shows how desperate they are for a solid first base option. Lind slashed .303/.362/.513 in mostly bench duty for the Nationals last season, and is a solid option against right-handed pitching.

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

Aaron Hicks Placed on 10-Day Disabled List; Billy McKinney Recalled From SWB

Well, this isn’t great. Billy McKinney is back, though.

Well, this isn’t ideal. The Yankees’ PR Twitter account announced Friday that Opening Day center fielder Aaron Hicks has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right intercostal muscle strain. Outfielder Billy McKinney has been recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take his spot on the active roster.

There’s no clear evidence as to when in last night’s season opener Hicks suffered his injury. Hicks went 2-for-4 with two strikeouts against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday. He spent most of 2017 as the Yankees’ primary center fielder, slashing .266/.372/.475 (127 wRC+) with 15 home runs in 88 games. He did spend extended time on the disabled list in 2017 with a nagging oblique injury.

McKinney impressed with his power in Spring Training after being added to the 40-man roster in the offseason. He slashed .167/.340/.524 with five homers and 13 RBIs while seeing time in the outfield corners and first base. He picked up a first baseman’s glove again for the first time since high school with the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League. McKinney showed his first round promise last year between Double-A and Triple-A, slashing a combined .277/.338/.483 with 16 home runs and 64 RBIs between the two levels.


This injury complicates things slightly for rookie manager Aaron Boone. Luckily, he has a lot of versatility that he can deploy with his bench. I think we might see a bit of Tyler Wade in the outfield now, with Neil Walker sliding to second base and Tyler Austin getting more reps at first base. Brett Gardner likely slides into center field to replace Hicks.

Of course, Giancarlo Stanton can also play left field, though the plan with that was to limit his time out there to games against tough left-handed pitchers. McKinney can play both outfield corners as well.

The news out of Tampa continues to be promising about Jacoby Ellsbury, whom Brian Cashman said needed “40-50 at-bats” before he would return from an oblique injury suffered early in Spring Training. Even with all of his faults, Ellsbury’s ability to play center field would greatly help the Yankees.

Tyler Wade Will Make Big League Roster

After adjusting his swing, the 23-year-old has turned heads in Tampa.

All that offseason work with Albert Pujols has paid off for Yankees’ Swiss army knife Tyler Wade, who will make the team’s Opening Day roster in Toronto. Manager Aaron Boone made the announcement to reporters after Tuesday’s 6-to-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland.

Wade is maintaining a scorching-hot .316/.438/.447 line through 18 games so far this spring, appearing at second base, shortstop and third base. As we saw last season, Wade is also capable of playing all three outfield positions. Boone did say, however, that the team has no plans to put Wade in the outfield in a Spring Training game.

The 23-year-old aims to put a disappointing MLB stint in 2017 behind him, where he hit just .155/.222/.224 (17 wRC+) in 30 games. He got just 63 plate appearances, though, because his poor hitting forced him to the bench in favor of Ronald Torreyes when Starlin Castro went down with hamstring issues.

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The big story with Wade continues to be the offseason work he put in to overhaul his swing. Marc Carig of The Athletic profiled Wade’s decision to move up his offseason workout plan, and how private hitting coach Dan Koosed and Pujols helped him out.

“Try this along with that,” Wade said, recalling the exchanges, per Carig. “I kept my mouth shut and then I just sat there and I absorbed it all. Then, I asked questions. I asked why.”

So far, the results have been quite remarkable. Wade’s left-handed bat and speed provide stark contrast in a lineup packed full of right-handed power hitters. Despite the Yankees’ signing of Neil Walker, Wade will likely begin the season as the team’s starting second baseman, while also providing insurance at shortstop, third base and in the outfield.

“He’s got good talent, man,” Pujols told The Athletic’s Carig. “He has a lot of promise. He’s a good young little player. He works hard and I like that he asks a lot of questions. He wants to learn. He wants to get better. It’s pretty good to see that. You don’t see that in a lot of young players. Really good approach (with) what he has at the plate, what he wants to do. Really nice work ethic.”

That is high praise coming from a future Hall-of-Famer. Don’t expect Wade to put up Pujols-esque power numbers, but the changes from the past offseason are clearly paying dividends in Tampa.