Tag: Ronald Torreyes

Greg Bird Activated; Ronald Torreyes Optioned to SWB

The Toe-Night Show moves to Scranton, at least for now.

We all knew Greg Bird was coming back today. Yankee manager Aaron Boone told Mike Francesa as much during Thursday’s off-day. He also mentioned that the team had not quite figured out who was going to be demoted to Triple-A when the slugging first baseman returned.

“It’s something that we’ve had a lot of conversations about,” Boone said before Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels. “We are still mulling it over; we just met a little bit ago to work through things and what we think the best way to go is. It leads to a difficult decision, not a simple one, not an obvious one. It’s something, frankly, that we’re still kind of working through.”

That decision has been made, and it must not have been easy. The Yankees demoted fan-favorite utility infielder Ronald Torreyes to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and activated Bird as expected. Torreyes was hitting .339/.349/.435 with six doubles in 62 at-bats this season. His value came from his ability to hit for contact even without much playing time, as well as suit up at any non-first base infield position and even in the outfield corners.

It’s worth noting that last season, where Torreyes played in 108 games and Bird in just 48, that Bird had an OPS+ of 84 and Torreyes’ was just 81. Bird actually managed to contribute more offense despite having 166 fewer plate appearances. That’s because of Torreyes’ 153 hits as a member of the Yankees, a whopping 83.7% of them have been singles. Out of Bird’s 69 hits as a Yankee, just 47.8% have been singles.

Bird brings some badly needed lefty power to the Yankees lineup. Lefty hitters have only hit 18 home runs for the Yankees this year, and 11 of those have come from Didi Gregorius. When healthy, the 25-year-old Bird does quite well against lefties. His OPS is actually 69 points higher against southpaws than righties, which is impressive for a young player.

The Yankees choose to keep Tyler Austin and A.J. Cole around, who were my top candidates for a demotion upon Bird’s return. Austin will likely platoon at first until Bird is ready to play everyday, as well as get some at-bats as a designated hitter when the Yankees face a tough lefty. With the Yankees struggling to get consistent innings from Domingo Germán and Sonny Gray, it makes sense to keep an arm like Cole’s around in case of mop-up and/or long relief situations.

I wouldn’t expect Torreyes to be gone long, as the Yankees likely will not want to rely on Gleyber Torres as their sole backup shortstop. While the decision to send Torreyes down must’ve been tough, it makes the most short-term sense for this team. It’s not like they abandoned him on a deserted island. Torreyes had the most flexibility because of his minor league options and I see him continuing to contribute in the Bronx this season.

Yankees 10, Royals 1: Sonny Shines, Offense Powers 8th Straight Series Win

Even with a “B” lineup on the field, the Yankees crushed the Kansas City Royals with ease in Sunday’s series finale at Kauffman Stadium.

With Clint Frazier and Gary Sánchez stashed on the bench, the Yankees still showed off plenty of power capability. Tyler Austin led the charge, smacking his 7th and 8th homers of the season off Royals’ starter Eric Skoglund. Austin leads all MLB rookies in home runs, which is quite impressive for a player who was not even supposed to make the Opening Day roster. Austin drove in four runs total on the day.

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The ninth inning also turned into a mini-Home Run Derby, where Miguel Andújar hit an impressive home run to the opposite field. Austin Romine, who somehow is hitting .326 after today’s game, then followed with an absolute bomb to center field. Sánchez’s absence was never felt as power was abundant.

Aaron Hicks tripled in a run in the fifth, and Brett Gardner drove in a run with an infield single in the eighth. Ronald Torreyes scored in the eighth also on a wild pitch.

Sonny Gray was the real star of Sunday’s game. The righty dominated the Royals, throwing eight stellar innings of one-run ball. He scattered four hits, walked one batter and struck out five. Gray did not allow a hit until the fifth inning, The Royals scored their one run in the eighth when Hunter Dozier singled, moved to second on an Alex Gordon groundout and then scored on a Jon Jay single.

“I thought his stuff was great and the slider was a really good pitch for him,” Aaron Boone said. “When he’s ahead [in the count], he has the weapons to put people away. That was clear today. The stuff is elite. That’s why we were so optimistic about him even when he was going through some struggles.”

A.J. Cole came in to pitch the ninth inning, getting a fly out and two strikeouts.

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Rehab Update:

Neither Greg Bird nor Billy McKinney played for any minor league affiliates today. Bird is reportedly headed to Triple-A to join the RailRiders for their series opener in Pawtucket on Monday. No word on McKinney, who could remain in Trenton or move to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with Bird.


What’s Next:

Masahiro Tanaka opens up the Yankees’ next series in Texas, where he will face Bartolo Colón and the Rangers.

Yankees 8, Royals 3: Bombers Clobber Five Homers to Even Series

Four balls over the wall, and one that missed by a few inches.

The Bronx Bombers lived up to that nickname Saturday night in Kansas City, as the rain held off to allow the Yankees to even their series with the Royals behind an 8-to-3 win.

Gary Sánchez finally broke out in a huge way tonight, going 4-for-5 with a double, two home runs and a single. The Kraken drove in three runs and scored two of his own.

In the third inning, Aaron Hicks showed off his speed as he smacked his second inside-the-park home run of the season on a fly ball to right field. He is the first Yankee to have multiple inside-the-park home runs in a season since Mickey Mantle in 1958. Gleyber Torres smacked a go-ahead 3-run homer in the fourth to put the Yankees ahead for good. In the top of the ninth, Giancarlo Stanton smacked one into the left-center field fountains, and then Sánchez snuck his second homer of the night over the left field wall.

The Royals rallied for two runs in the third when Alcides Escobar led of the inning with a single and then scored on a Ryan Goins double. Jon Jay then sacrificed Goins to third, and Jorge Soler followed with an RBI single.

They also scored in the fifth, when Goins walked, Jay singled and then Mike Moustakas hit a broken-bat single to right that scored Goins. The Royals almost plated another run, but a strong relay from Stanton to Ronald Torreyes to Gary Sánchez nailed Moustakas at the plate trying to score from first on a Salvador Pérez double.

Hicks, Torreyes and Tyler Austin each managed multi-hit games tonight. Aaron Judge was the only Yankee without a hit.


Rehab Update:

  • Greg Bird: 1-for-3, BB – Bird is headed to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to continue his rehab stint.
  • Billy McKinney: 1-for-3, BB – McKinney played center field for the Thunder tonight. Played five games there for Trenton in 2017, once in 2016. Unclear if he’s headed to SWB with Bird.

What’s Next:

Sonny Gray looks to rebound from an awful start against his old team, the Oakland Athletics. Gray gave up five runs in five innings May 11, and looks to revert to the pitcher that allowed just two runs over six innings against the Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians.

His counterpart will be southpaw Eric Skoglund. In seven starts, the 25-year-old has pitched to a 1-3 record and 5.58 ERA. His last start saw him get a tough luck loss against the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing just two runs while scattering seven hits in 7⅔ innings.

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

 

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.

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.

Tyler Wade Leaves Game With Left Wrist Injury

We can exhale: “ice but no tests” for Wade.

UPDATE (March 10 at 3:28 p.m.): The injury to Wade is not as serious as originally thought, per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.

Wade will likely miss a game or two. A great young player catches a lucky break with what would’ve been a devastating injury.

“I’m fine. Scary more than anything else. I’m glad I’m ok,” Wade said to Newsday’s Erik Boland.


Yankees second baseman Tyler Wade left Saturday’s game with an apparent left wrist injury after diving for a ground ball hit by José Reyes of the New York Mets. He came up grasping the left wrist with great pain on his face.

Wade was slashing .318/.385/.364 with two RBIs coming into today’s contest. He was replaced at second base by Kyle Holder.

The 23-year-old looked to be grabbing the lead in the competition to start at second base for the Yankees on opening day. He is competing with Gleyber Torres, Ronald Torreyes, Danny Espinosa and Jace Peterson for the job.

At this point, the Yankees have had no official comment on the injury.

Game 5: Green vs. Blue (Jays)

The Yankees head west to Dunedin.

The Yankees are back on the road, as they take on the Toronto Blue Jays at their spring complex in Dunedin. Chad Green will get the ball as a starter today, making his first spring appearance.

Green was a revelation out of the bullpen last season. He finished the season with a stellar 5-0 record and 1.83 ERA (1.75 FIP). He struck out 13.4 batters per nine, while walking just 2.2. He comes into camp stretched out as a starter, though manager Aaron Boone noted “a lot would have to happen” for him to end up in the rotation.

Marco Estrada gets the ball for the Blue Jays. The 34-year-old had a disappointing season in the final year of the two-year, $26 million contract signed after the 2015 season. In 33 starts, he finished 10-9 with a 4.98 ERA (4.61 FIP) with 8.5 K/9, 9.0 H/9 and 3.4 BB/9. Not what you want from a guy making $14.5 million.

After his walkoff heroics last night, Miguel Andújar gets the start at third base and bats second. A ton of middle/utility infield candidates in the lineup today as well, with Danny Espinosa at second base, Jace Peterson at designated hitter and Ronald Torreyes at shortstop. Lastly, we get to see another start from Billy McKinney (this time in left), and Shane Robinson shifts to right field.

Today’s scheduled relievers for the Yankees are RHP Brady Lail, RHP David Hale, RHP J.P. Feyereisen and RHP Raynel Espinal.


Blue Jays’ Lineup:

  1. Devon Travis – 2B
  2. Yangervis Solarte – 3B
  3. Josh Donaldson – DH
  4. Justin Smoak – 1B
  5. Randal Grichuk – RF
  6. Russell Martin – C
  7. Steve Pearce – LF
  8. Kevin Pillar – CF
  9. Aledmys Díaz – SS

Yankees 8, Phillies 3: The First Blowout!

The Yankee offense had no difficulty finding the big hit Sunday afternoon in Clearwater, as they cruised to an 8-to-3 victory over their hosts, the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Bombers jumped out with a three-run first inning on the back of a Danny Espinosa double that cleared the bases. They added on in the fourth with a Ronald Torreyes sacrifice fly.

That 4-to-0 lead was in jeopardy in the bottom of the fourth. After a dominating first inning of work, Justus Sheffield struggled with his command in the second. A walk and a hit batter put him into trouble, and he paid for it. Odúbel Herrera plated one on a sacrifice fly, then Maikel Franco followed with a towering home run that spelled the end for Sheffield.

The Yankees offense then became the Jeff Hendrix show until the end of the game. He hit a grounder that Phillies first baseman Logan Moore could not handle, which allowed two to score. He then tacked on another RBI single in the eighth inning. The final run for the Yankees scored on a Rashad Crawford sacrifice fly. All in all, it was impressive to see how strong the Yankees lower prospects are.

A combined effort between Jordan Montgomery, Sheffield, Wade LeBlanc, Cale Coshow, Raynel Espinal and Giovanny Gallegos held the Phillies to just four hits, while striking out 12 batters.

The Yankees return to George M. Steinbrenner Field Monday for their first night game of the spring, as the Phillies will head east from Clearwater for another tilt against the Yankees in Tampa. Sonny Gray is scheduled to get his first in-game work of the spring. He faces fellow righty Ben Lively of the Phillies.