Tag: Shane Robinson

Yankees Acquire McCutchen from Giants for Avelino, De Paula

With Aaron Judge‘s wrist injury taking far longer than the original three-week recovery timetable, Brian Cashman has got the Yankees some badly needed outfield help. After clearing waivers August 22, the Bronx Bombers have acquired right fielder Andrew McCutchen from the San Francisco Giants for a package of Abiatal Avelino and Juan De Paula.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported the deal was gaining moment him, and Buster Olney of ESPN reported that the deal was done. McCutchen is a clear offensive upgrade over Shane Robinson in right field, and allows Neil Walker to return to his usual role as an infielder for the Yankees.

In his first (and only) season in San Francisco, the 2013 NL MVP was batting .255/.357/.415 (115 wRC+) with 15 homers and 55 RBI. Those numbers are, undoubtedly, affected by him playing his home games at AT&T Park, which is more pitcher friendly than PNC Park.  He’s been hot of late, batting .277/.404/.468 (140 wRC+) since August 15.

After a few seasons too many in center field for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Giants converted McCutchen to right field full-time in 2018. He’s made just two errors in right this season, and is worth +2 defensive runs saved. Ultimate Zone Rating has him at -0.9, which is just barely below average.

The Yankees are sending two prospects to San Francisco as they will be splitting the remaining financial commitment to McCutchen. It’s unclear when McCutchen will be activated by the Yankees, but I would guess he debuts in pinstripes after the September 1 roster expansion date.


Part of the group headed to San Francisco will be infield prospect Abiatal Avelino, ranked as the No. 23 prospect in the Yankees system. The 23-year-old enjoyed a breakout early in the season with Double-A Trenton, but has slowed down offensively with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

His overall .287/.333/.446 line is quite impressive in 123 total games, but it is buoyed by a .337/.392/.553 line in 49 games for Double-A Trenton. His power and on-base skills have sort of vanished in the International League, where he’s hitting .252/.291/.372. He does have 25 stolen bases, and can play third, shortstop and second base. Avelino will be a minor league free agent after the season if he is not added to the 40-man roster, and is eligible for the Rule 5 draft.

The other piece in the deal is righty Juan De Paula, whom the Yankees acquired from Seattle in the Ben Gamel trade two years ago today. The 20-year-old was in his second straight season with Short-A Staten Island, pitching to a 1.71 ERA in 10 games (nine starts). De Paula was ranked as the team’s No. 26 prospect.

White Sox 6, Yankees 2: Three Hits, Three Errors in Series-Opening Loss

THE BRONX – Monday night, the Yankees could only tally three hits and made three errors all while being unable to score even three runs as they fell in a 6-to-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

A Ronald Torreyes triple, Gleyber Torres two-run home run and Luke Voit single were the only knocks the Yanks could muster of a trio of White Sox pitchers. Meanwhile, on the defensive end, Voit, A.J. Cole and Shane Robinson each committed their first errors of the year, with each coming at a critical juncture.

Torreyes hit his triple in the third, but he ran on contact on a ground ball to shortstop hit by Aaron Hicks and was thrown out at the plate by Tim Anderson. Big Toe was at the center of another field rally in the seventh-inning, after leadoff walks to Torres and Neil Walker were wasted when Kyle Higashioka fouled out on a 3-1 pitch before Toe bounced into a killer 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Masahiro Tanaka took his fifth loss of the season, pitching seven innings on 98 pitches and allowing for earned runs on 10 hits and one walk. He recorded seven strikeouts, though his season ERA inflated to 3.97.

Tommy Kahnle made his seventh August appearance in the eighth inning, which marks his highest number of appearances in a single month this season. He recorded a scoreless inning with one strikeout. Cole, who seems to find himself working in increasingly high-leverage situations, allowed two runs (one earned) on one hit with one strikeout (unfortunately, there was a wild pitch and it allowed to run to score).

The Yankees need to win these games against bad teams like the White Sox, especially since the Red Sox are starting to hit a bit of a slide and the Yankees can gain some ground in the division. Losing happens, but it’s especially frustrating when losing happens on a night where you commit three errors against a team that came into last night’s game 28 games under .500.

What’s Next:

Lance Lynn (1-1, 3.81 ERA with NYY) looks to be a prize his stellar first start with the Yankees, which came August 6 in Chicago where he allowed just two hits and a walk through 7⅓ shutout innings. He’ll be facing well traveled veteran James Shields (5-15, 4.59 ERA), who will be making his 11th start at the new Yankee Stadium. He is 12-16 with a 4.08 ERA in 33 career starts against the Yankees.

Blue Jays 2, Yankees 10: Yanks Secure Sweep, Shift Concern to Didi

Bird’s second slam of 2018 powers Yanks to sweep.

THE BRONX – For the second consecutive day, the Yankees put 10 runs on the board as they swept the Toronto Blue Jays with a win Sunday afternoon.

“A lot of people contributing, and really, I felt like our hunger was good coming in,” Aaron Boone said. “Really pleased with how the guys came out today from a focus, energy standpoint, to finish this homestand that was kind of up-and-down on a really good note.”

The Yankees got their runs in two bunches, with a six-run first inning and four-run sixth inning. The Blue Jays actually scored first since J.A. Happ allowed a solo home run with two outs in the top of the first inning to Randal Grichuk on a 3-0 fastball.

But, the offense backed their starter in the bottom of the frame, thanks to some shoddy command from Jays starter Ryan Borucki. Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton each walked to lead off the game, then moved up a base on a double steal. Miguel Andújar followed with a single to left that scored Hicks.

Didi Gregorius came to the plate next, and he hit a ground ball to second base that ate up Devon Travis. Travis’s throw to first was late, and pulled first baseman Kendrys Morales into the baseline. Gregorius and Morales collided, leaving Gregorius worse for the wear. It was scored an RBI single as Stanton scored. Gregorius would stay in the game to run the bases, moving to second on an infield single hit by Gleyber Torres.

Greg Bird came to the plate next, entering fresh off a garbage-time solo shot in the eighth inning the day before but hitting just .140/.222/.246 in August. With the bases loaded, he crushed a 2-1 sinker on the inside corner into the second deck in right field for his second career grand slam.

“It’s a product of keeping your head up,” Bird said. “I felt like I did a better job of using my legs today … I just keep playing. I keep going. The biggest thing is not getting caught up and chasing results, and just doing what you can when you get the opportunity.”

Morales homered off Happ for the Blue Jays in the sixth, but the Yankees more than made up for it in the bottom of the inning. Brett Gardner singled, Hicks worked another walk and Stanton smacked an RBI single through the right side of the infield to score Gardner. Andújar followed by juuuuust beating out a double play ball hit up the middle. The Blue Jays challenged, and lost.

Ronald Torreyes* doubled, and Torres was intentionally walked to face Bird. Bird grounded into a 3-2 force at home plate, but the return throw to first was late, according to first base umpire Jansen Visconti. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was out of challenges (having already lost one), and wanted a crew chief review of the play at first. Visconti wanted no part of that, and handed Gibbons his sixth ejection of the season.

With runners on second and third, Kyle Higashioka ripped a two-run single to score Torreyes and Torres. That capped the scoring for both teams. Happ pitched 5⅓ innings, giving up the solo homers to Grichuk and Morales. Jonathan Holder pitched 1⅔ and Sonny Gray got the final six outs to lockdown the sweep.

“It was strange, I can admit that,” Happ said. “I think I’d probably prefer not knowing the opposition the way I know those guys. But we got through it, had a big first inning and got a good win.”

The only Yankee without a hit was Shane Robinson. Torreyes managed to go 3-for-4 with two singles and a double despite not starting the game.

* I put an asterisk next to Torreyes’s name because he entered as a defensive replacement for Gregorius after the latter played an inning after the collision. The Yankees announced later that Didi had a “bruised left heel” and was headed to a local hospital for further testing. After the game, Aaron Boone said that the injury was “pretty significant” and that he could spend some time on the disabled list.


What’s Next:

The first off-day since July 30. Then, the team heads south to Miami to take on the Marlins in a short two-game series. Masahiro Tanaka starts game one and Lance Lynn starts game two.

Game 124: Sweep Your Old Friends, Happ

With the first two games of the series already in their back pocket, the Yankees look to sweep the Toronto Blue Jays out of town behind an old friend of their’s.

J.A. Happ gets the ball, making his first start against the Blue Jays since July 25, 2015, as a member of the Seattle Mariners. Happ has been better than advertised since coming to the Yankees for a package of Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney. He has won all three of his starts, and sports a stingy 1.89 ERA in 19 total innings as a Yankee.

His counterpart will be 24-year-old lefty Ryan Borucki, whom the Yankees are familiar with already. He held the Yankees to one run through seven innings July 8, in a game the Yanks eventually won in the 10th inning off old friend Tyler Clippard. In six starts since then, Borucki has a 2-1 record and 3.94 ERA. The Blue Jays are 5-1 in those starts.

Neil Walker, who had some, err, adventures in right field yesterday, gets the afternoon off in favor of Shane Robinson. Kyle Higashioka, who took over as precaution after Austin Romine took a brutal foul-tip to the catcher’s mask yesterday, gets the start behind the plate this afternoon as planned. Aaron Hicks slides into the leadoff spot, where he’s hitting .269/.357/.593 in 127 plate appearances. Miguel Andújar bats third for the third time this season, though he’s yet to register a hit in that position. He’s slashing .361/.378/.667 in 111 plate appearances since the All-Star break. Brett Gardner slides to ninth against the lefty, a spot where he’s slashed .250/.304/.400 in 23 plate appearances.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Romine told reporters that he feels “great” and that he “can play today,” though I’d imagine the Yankees will avoid that scenario at all costs.
  • Aaron Boone told reporters that he is “confident” Giancarlo Stanton, who has been playing through a tight left hamstring that has limited him to designated hitter duty, will be able to play the outfield Tuesday in Miami. He said that would be determined before that game.
  • Gary Sánchez will begin playing rehab games in Tampa on Wednesday or Thursday, though it’s unclear whether he will start in the Gulf Coast League or with A-Adv. Tampa. He was scheduled to head to Tampa today, but instead, took batting practice on the field in the Bronx today. He’ll head south tomorrow.

Blue Jays Lineup:

  1. Russell Martin – 3B (Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is hitting .345/.448/.600 in Triple-A… service time!)
  2. Devon Travis – 2B
  3. Randal Grichuk – RF
  4. Kendrys Morales – 1B
  5. Kevin Pillar – CF
  6. Teoscar Hernández – DH
  7. Danny Jansen – C
  8. Aledmys Díaz – SS
  9. Billy McKinney – LF

Rays 1, Yankees 4: Happ Dominates in Third Pinstriped Win

Happ delivers another gem.

THE BRONX – J.A. Happ pitched like an ace Tuesday night, allowing just one hit (but four walks) over seven stellar innings to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Those four walks came in the first four innings of work for Happ, who did not allow a hit until C.J. Cron singled in the fourth. Happ struckout four Rays hitters, and got that many both of groundouts and flyouts. He has a 1.89 ERA since joining the Yankees.

In the first inning, the Yanks were able to post a run on opener Hunter Wood. Giancarlo Stanton flipped a double into the right-field gap, then moved to third when shortstop Willy Adames could not handle a pickoff throw from Jesús Sucre. Sucre tried to catch Stanton napping but only caught Adames in that state. After the E6, Aaron Hicks blooped a single between Adames, Joey Wendle and Carlos Gómez for an RBI single.

The Yankees were then flummoxed by Jalen Beeks, whom the Rays acquired from the Red Sox for Nathan Eovaldi, until the fifth inning. Neil Walker led off with a walk, then Austin Romine ambushed a first-pitch fastball for a two-run home run that just stayed fair inside the right-field line. It was the eighth homer of the year for Romine, whose 111 wRC+ makes him a top-5 catcher in the American League (minimum 150 plate appearances).

The Rays got their one run on the first pitch by a Yankee reliever, as Happ exited in favor of Dellin Betances to begin the eighth inning. Adames atoned for his error by ambushing a first-pitch fastball for the first homered allowed by Betances since May 10.

That run was won back by the Yanks in their next set of at-bats. Miguel Andújar doubled with two outs, and Greg Bird doubled next to score pinch-runner Shane Robinson. Aroldis Chapman pitched a nine-pitch ninth for his 31st save, working around a two-out single by Wendle for a simple save.

Yankees 7, White Sox 3: Sevy + Stanton = Sweep

On the right side of a Sox sweep this time.

CHICAGO – For the second time in three games, the Yankees scored seven runs en route to a win in Chicago.

Luis Severino definitely took a step in the right direction Wednesday night, settling in after a rocky first inning where he allowed two runs to throw seven innings and strike out eight batters.

José Abreu and Daniel Palka recorded an RBI double and single, respectively, in the first, but Sevy locked things down from there. A solo home run allowed to Tim Anderson leading off the fifth inning was the only mistake he made from that point on. His fastball velocity, a concern of many, was a consistent 97.05 mph and his command appears to have gotten back on track.

The Yankees offense stepped up behind their ace so that he could work through his issues. Finding themselves down by two in the second inning, the Bombers stormed back with a six-run frame. Gleyber Torres led off with a walk, Neil Walker singled then Austin Romine and Shane Robinson hit ground ball RBI singles to tie the score at two.

After Brett Gardner was hit by a pitch, Giancarlo Stanton stepped into the box against Lucas Giolito. He worked the count to 3-0 and fouled two pitches to make the count full. He lofted the sixth pitch down the right-field line, and barely snuck it fair inside the foul pole for a grand slam. His 27th home run of the year capped a very productive frame for the Yanks.

In the fifth inning, Aaron Hicks continued to increase his career-high in home runs by cranking his 19th of the year on a hanging curveball from Giolito.


What’s Next:

J.A. Happ returns from his hand, foot and mouth disease to welcome the Texas Rangers for a three-game series. Reporters indicated after the game that Chance Adams would be optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to clear his roster spot.

Yankees 4, White Sox 3: Miguel Andújar, Sonny Gray Star in Wild Extra-Innings Win

CHICAGO – If someone told me pre-game that Sonny Gray would be a key piece to tonight’s win, I wouldn’t believe you.

The right-hander who watched Lance Lynn throw 7⅓ shutout innings in his rotation spot last night took on his new role in a tough situation. After Zach Britton blew a save by allowing a two-run home run to José Abreu in the bottom of the 10th inning, Gray entered in the 11th and got nine outs while allowing just one hit and one walk.

The Yankees got the lead for good in the 13th inning. Didi Gregorius worked a one-out walk, and moved into scoring position on Luke Voit‘s first Yankees single. Two pitches later, Miguel Andújar golfed a changeup from Luis Avilán into left field to score Didi.

Unfortunately, the Yankees thought they had won the game three innings prior. Brett Gardner worked a walk in the 10th after pinch-hitting for Shane Robinson in the seventh, and Giancarlo Stanton powered a two-run shot off Tyler Danish to give the Yanks a 3-1 advantage.

That did not stand, however, as Britton could not hold the lead. Omar Narváez was drilled as the first batter and then Abreu powered a 1-1 sinker deep to center to tie the game.

The first seven innings of the game proved to be a pitchers’ duel. CC Sabathia struck out 12 White Sox hitters in his 5⅔ innings of work. Reynaldo López did not allow a hit until the sixth inning against the Yankees. Abreu hit a sacrifice fly in the third, and Andújar homered in the seventh for the only runs in regulation.


What’s Next:

Luis Severino faces off against Lucas Giolito looking for a Yankees sweep.