Results tagged ‘ Triple A ’
The momentum the Yankees derived from the recent 7-3 homestand against the Red Sox, Royals and White Sox has wilted in the Phoenix heat. The Diamondbacks, floundering in the National League West, have gotten first-rate starts from Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke to keep the Yankees in last place in the American League East.
Greinke, who left the Dodgers as a free agent for the Arizona desert, has rebounded from a shaky start to improve his record to 4-3 despite a 5.08 ERA. A solo home run by Starlin Castro in the second inning was all the offense the Yanks mustered against Greinke until the seventh when the former Cy Young Award winner gave up singles to Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks to start the inning. Both eventually scored on an infield out and an RBI single by Jacoby Ellsbury that got the Yankees to 5-3 before Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira struck out to defuse the rally.
Michael Pineda had another head-scratching outing. He struck out nine batters in five innings but gave up five earned runs and nine hits as his ERA soared to 6.60. He gave up the 1-0 lead Castro’s homer gave him in the bottom of the second with two outs on a triple by Chris Owings and a single off a wayward slider by Nick Ahmed.
The D-backs stung him for two runs and four hits in the third inning. Two innings later, Jake Lamb crushed a two-run homer that seemingly put the game out of reach considering the work of Greinke, who retired 12 batters in a row after the Castro homer on four strikeouts and eight infield outs.
It was also a sloppy game defensively for the Yankees, who committed two errors and a passed ball. They at least posed a threat in Tuesday night’s game as opposed to Monday night when Arizona pounded them into submission, 12-2. Chad Green, a Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre call-up, was pounded for six runs (four earned) and eight hits, including homers by Lamb and Paul Goldschmidt.
Among the added benefits of having Aroldis Chapman as the closer out of the bullpen is that it allows Yankees manager Joe Girardi to use Dellin Betances or Andrew Miller earlier in the game when the situation calls for a key pitching change.
Take Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the White Sox, for example, the first game in which all three power relievers appeared in the same game. Girardi had Betances warming up in the bullpen in the sixth inning in case starter Ivan Nova ran into trouble.
Nova, who made his second start since joining the rotation following CC Sabathia’s assignment to the 15-day disabled list, was not in any real trouble most of his outing. His sinker produced 13 ground ball outs, including the first two outs of the sixth. But when he walked Todd Frazier, out of the dugout came Girardi, who signaled for Betances.
Frazier had accounted for Chicago’s run in the fourth inning with his 12th home run, so Nova needed to be careful. Betances finished the inning with a strikeout of Melky Cabrera and struck out the side in the seventh as well.
That set up the Yankees’ new bullpen formula, which went into effect for the first time. Miller pitched the eighth and allowed one hit with two strikeouts. Chapman brought his trademark heat in the ninth with two more strikeouts for his second save. This was right out of the blueprint.
The 10-out performance by this powerful trio extended the bullpen’s scoreless streak to 15 2/3 innings. In 12 games since May 3, Yankees relievers have combined for a 1.54 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 35 innings.
Nova is 2-0 with a 1.02 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings in five games (two starts) at the Stadium this season. He has allowed one run in each of his past two starts (1.74 ERA) covering 10 1/3 innings. The quality start from Nova was very welcomed coming on the heels of a rocky start Friday night by Luis Severino, who was placed on the DL due to a strained right triceps.
The Yankees made several other moves Saturday. They signed righthanders Chad Green and Conor Mullee to major league contracts and called them up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, optioned catcher Gary Sanchez to SWB and transferred pitcher Bryan Mitchell, first baseman Greg Bird and outfielder Mason Williams to the 60-day DL. Those moves created space on the 40-man roster for Green, Mullee and J.R. Graham, a right-handed pitcher obtained from the Twins for a player to be named and cash considerations. Graham was optioned to Double A Trenton.
The Yankees guaranteed a winning homestand with Saturday’s victory that made them 6-3 with one game remaining. They are 13-2 against the White Sox at the Stadium dating to June 30, 2012. It was the Yankees’ first victory when scoring two or fewer runs since Sept. 26 last year, also by 2-1 and also against the White Sox. The Yanks had lost 18 consecutive games when scored two or fewer runs.
Both Yankees runs came in the second inning after two were out off Jose Quintana, the lefthander who originally signed with the Yankees and went to the White Sox as a six-year, minor-league free agent. Chase Headley walked and scored on a double to center by Aaron Hicks. A single to right by Didi Gregorius scored Hicks. Austin Romine followed with a double, but the automatic kind that bounced over the fence in right-center, which hurt the Yanks because Gregorius had to go back to third base. Brett Gardner grounded out to end the added threat.
Another positive sign was center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury on the field for the first time in eight games since injuring his right hip as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning. At two hours, 24 minutes, the game was the shortest nine-inning game at the Stadium since a 2:20 game June 6 last year against the Angels
The Yankees could use all the right-handed help they can find against White Sox lefthander Chris Sale (7-0, 1.79 ERA), who was paired against Yankees righthander Luis Severino (0-5, 6.12 ERA) in Friday night’s opener of a three-game series. The Yankees hoped that the weather forecast was accurate that the rain that struck the area late in the afternoon would stop by the scheduled game time of 7:05 p.m.
Toward that end, the Yankees recalled catcher Gary Sanchez from Triple A Scranton-Wilkes Barre and planned to start him as the designated hitter in a different looking lineup put together by manager Joe Girardi.
Brett Gardner, who has been batting leadoff while Jacoby Ellsbury has been out with a hip ailment, was the only left-handed hitter in the batting order and was dropped to seventh. At the top of the order was Aaron Hicks, followed by Starlin Castro and three switch hitters batting righty — Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley. Sanchez was in the 6-hole in front of Gardner with Austin Romine behind the plate batting eighth and Ronald Torreyes at shortstop in the 9-hole.
Sanchez got off to a rough start at SWB but has heated up recently and had a slash line of .288/.336/.541 with 13 runs, 11 doubles, one triple, five home runs and 21 RBI in 27 games and 111 at-bats. Sanchez was in line to be the backup to regular Yankees catcher Brian McCann but was beaten out for the job in spring training by Romine.
Sale entered the game working on an eight-game winning streak (in eight consecutive starts) dating back to Oct. 2 last year. The Yankees were the last team to beat Sale with a 3-2 victory last Sept. 24 at Yankee Stadium on the strength of a three-run home run by Beltran in the third inning.
The Yankees are the only team this season to end a pitcher’s winning streak of at least eight games. They handed Red Sox lefthander David Price a loss May 7 at the Stadium that stopped his nine-game winning streak (over 11 starts from Sept. 5 last year to May 1 this year). Sale will be the seventh pitcher in the majors this season to take the mound with a winning streak of eight games or longer (of the first six, only Price has had his streak ended).
This marks the only Friday the 13th game on the Yankees’ 2016 schedule, their first Friday the 13th game since a 7-0 victory June 13, 2014 at Oakland. Since 2012, the Yankees are 3-1 on Friday the 13th, with two of their three victories shutouts. The other was a 5-0 victory April 13, 2012 over the Angels at Yankee Stadium.
Michael Pineda endured a nightmare of a first inning Sunday that put a damper on a bright, sunshine day in which the Yankees were shooting for their first series sweep since Aug. 28-30 last year at Atlanta. Instead, they fell back into the cellar of the American League East and hobbled their way to Arlington, Texas, to begin an 11-day, nine-game trip that starts Monday night against a Rangers team that is tied for first place in the AL West.
Five pitches into Sunday’s game before a crowd of 40,931 at Yankee Stadium, Pineda had two outs and nobody on base. He then gave up hits to the next six batters, including two doubles and two home runs, as the aggressive Rays attacked him early in the count to put up a five-spot against which the Yankees brought little resistance in falling, 8-1.
The only positive for Pineda Sunday was that he managed to pitch through the fifth inning, which spared manager Joe Girardi of digging too deep into his already overworked bullpen. Masahiro Tanaka’s seven-inning start Saturday helped, but Girardi knew from the outset Sunday that he did not have Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller available. This game turned out not to be the type in which either of the late-inning shutdown guys works.
Birthday boy Steven Souza celebrated turning 27 with two home runs, a two-run shot in the first and a solo blast in the fifth. Pineda also gave up dingers to Corey Dickerson following a two-out double off the top of the center field wall by Evan Longoria in the first inning and to Steve Pearce leading off the third. Logan Forsythe, who had three hits, joined the home run derby with Tampa Bay’s fifth of the game, a solo shot in the eighth off Nick Goody.
It was also Carlos Beltran’s birthday. The Yankees right fielder turned 39 but did not have as explosive a game as Souza. Beltran was 1-for-4. His first-inning single off eventual winning pitcher Drew Smyly was career hit No. 2,472 for Beltran, who tied Ted Simmons for 10th place among switch hitters. In ninth place at 2,605 is Tim Raines.
The day turned grimmer for the Yankees when Alex Rodriguez, who has driven in their only run with a two-out double in the fourth inning, could not bat when his turn came up again in the sixth. Girardi had to use the left-handed hitting Dustin Ackley as a pinch hitter against the lefty-throwing Smyly (although Ackley singled for his first hit of the season, in his eighth at-bat).
An MRI exam on Rodriguez’s sore left oblique was negative, but the situation shows the dilemma the Yankees are in with Aaron Hicks already out several days because of traumatic bursitis in his left shoulder. The Yanks have proved vulnerable to left-handed pitching. They are 2-5 against left-handed starters and are batting .225 with two home runs overall in 213 at-bats off lefties. Against right-handed pitching, the Yankees are batting .246 with 16 home runs in 358 at-bats.
The Yankees said that A-Rod will make the trip to Texas. But if he cannot play right away, and that is very likely considering how lingering oblique injuries tend to be, and with Hicks out as well, the Yankees lose two right-handed bats. Switch-hitter Nick Swisher, who was released by Atlanta and signed a Triple A contract with the Yankees, is playing for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre but is not on the 40-man roster. The Yankees are not believed interested in dropping anyone off the 40-man roster at this time, which limits their options if they make an internal move for outfield and DH help. The best bet for a call-up would be outfielder Ben Gamel, who is hitting .300 with a .368 on-base percentage at SWB but alas bats left-handed.
The Yanks have known along that staying healthy is a challenge to a team with aging players. The upcoming trip that continues to AL East rival stops in Boston and Baltimore could be a major test for them.
I doubt you will be hearing Yankees manager Joe Girardi gripe about the inequities in roster expansion in September, a favorite topic of his. Not after what happened Monday night, not after a player who was just called up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre two days ago delivered the critical blow in what was perhaps the Yanks’ most improbable victory of the season.
This was a tale of two games, really, well, one inning and the other eight, actually. The Yankees were no-hit for seven innings, still scoreless after eight and facing a damaging loss to the Rays with two outs and nobody on in the ninth.
Then, you guessed it, somebody walked, the play that starts so many inconceivable rallies. The somebody was Brett Gardner, who just as quickly put himself in scoring position with a steal of second base.
Rays righthander Brad Boxberger, zeroing in on what would have been his 35th save, instead sustained his sixth blown save as Alex Rodriguez doubled to right-center to tie the score. Suddenly the Yankees had life on what was previously a dead night. After Brian McCann was walked intentionally, Slade Heathcott wasted no time by swinging at the first pitch and driving a three-run home run to left field.
Slade Heathcott! Right, the same young outfielder who had not batted in a big-league game since May and who spent most of this season on the disabled list because of a quad injury and who was still on a Triple A roster before joining the Yankees Saturday as a, that’s right, September callup.
Rosters may expand from the usual 25 to up to 40 come Sept. 1. Managers such as Girardi have railed against this practice in recent years, but it was sure nice for the Yankees to have had Heathcott part of Monday night’s unlikely 4-1 victory.
This was a scoreless game for seven innings, a pitcher’s duel between starters CC Sabathia of the Yankees and Erasmo Ramirez of the Rays. Sabathia had arguably his best game of the season as he did not allow a run for the first time in his 26 starts over 6 2/3 innings.
Unfortunately, the Yankees didn’t get him any runs, either, nor hits until Carlos Beltran foiled Ramirez’s no-hit bid with a scorching single off the shoulder of first baseman Richie Shaffer leading off the eighth.
Pinch runner Rico Noel swiped second, but the Yankees failed to advance him further. Tampa Bay broke the scoreless tie and ended a 21-inning scoreless streak in the bottom of the eighth against Justin Wilson on a two-out, RBI double by Logan Forsythe, who reached third on Brendan Ryan’s second error of the game.
Caleb Cotham got a big third out with a strikeout of Asrubal Cabrera and was rewarded with his first major-league victory when the Yankees rallied in the ninth. Andrew Miller added an exclamation point to the victory by striking out the side in the ninth for his 33rd save.
Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia are determined to return to the Yankees before the regular season is completed. Tex joined CC on the 15-day disabled list Friday, retroactive to Aug. 27, which allowed the Yankees to recall pitcher Nick Rumbelow from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Teixeira, who is back on crutches while dealing with a right shinbone bruise, told reporters before the game against the Rays that he plans to return to the club at some point this month. General manager Brian Cashman said, “We are looking at weeks,” when talking of Teixeira’s time away, but the All-Star first baseman vows it will be only two.
“There’s progression now,” Teixeira said. “There’s going to be a build-up, from walking to jogging and running, making sure I can do everything. That’s why I’m back on the crutches, really letting the whole thing calm down and starting from scratch. Hopefully this weekend, I’ll be off the crutches and getting into walking again. There’s no permanent damage. It’s just a really bad bone bruise, worse than we first expected. It’s unfortunate, but hopefully we have two months of the season left, so there’s plenty of time for me to get healthy and come back.”
Sabathia, disabled since Aug. 24 because of inflammation in his right knee, pitched a four-inning simulated game, which impressed manager Joe Girardi, who said the lefthander is a candidate to return to the rotation Wednesday night against the Orioles.
“I felt good,” Sabathia siad. “No pain. I tested it pretty good as I would as if I was in a game, so I’m excited.”
The Yankees’ 13-8 victory over the Red Sox Wednesday at Fenway Park was the 800th of Girardi’s managerial career (722 with the Yankees since 2008, 78 with the Marlins in 2006 when he was the National League Manager of the Year). Girardi is one of 10 active managers with at least 800 victories. The others alphabetically are the Giants’ Bruce Bochy, the Mets’ Terry Collins, the Indians’ Terry Francona, the Pirates’ Clint Hurdle, the Cubs’ Joe Maddon, the Athletics’ Bob Melvin, the Angels’ Mike Scioscia, the Orioles’ Buck Showalter and the Royals’ Ned Yost.
Birdman won the Academy Award as Best Picture for last year, and the Yankees had their “Birdman” give an Oscar-winning performance Wednesday at Yankee Stadium in a 4-3 victory that completed a three-game sweep of the sinking Twins.
All four runs were driven in by rookie first baseman Greg Bird, who whacked a couple of two-run home runs off Ervin Santana. The initial homer, in the fourth inning following an infield single by Carlos Beltran, was the first of Bird’s major league career as was the curtain call urged on by the Stadium crowd of 38,086.
It provided a 2-0 lead for Nathan Eovaldi, who flirted with a perfect game for 5 1/3 innings before coming unglued somewhat in the sixth and allowed Minnesota to go ahead on two-out singles by Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe. Mauer singled with the bases full for two runs off a 3-2 fastball from Eovaldi, the one pitch of the 120 thrown by the righthander he wished he could have back.
“I tried to go middle-in,” Eovaldi said, “bad pitch selection.”
Plouffe’s hit was a dribbler between Eovaldi and third baseman Chase Headley that put the Twins ahead momentarily. Bird’s second homer, in the sixth following a walk to Beltran, returned the lead to Eovaldi, who protected it with a perfect seventh before Chasen Shreve and Dellin Betances (eighth save) followed with scoreless innings that preserved the victory for Eovaldi, who ran his record to 13-2.
This has been quite a week for Bird, who was called up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a week ago and is hitting .333 with a double, two homers and five RBI. He started the winning rally Monday night, got his first major league RBI Tuesday night and his first homer Wednesday. He got the ball from his second homer because it landed in the Yankees’ bullpen. The first one wound up in the right field second deck.
“I don’t know yet,” he said about whether he can get that ball. “I’m just trying to do my job. It’s so much fun to come in here every day and hear what these guys have to say.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi described Bird as someone “with a slow heartbeat,” meaning that he does not get over-excited and keeps an even keel.
“Some players have to learn to slow the game down,” Girardi said. “That’s not the case with him.”
Bird concurred and said he inherited it from his parents, who were at the game seated in the terrace level behind first base. “I just like to be even-keeled and level-headed,” he said.
Bird got extra playing time during the series because regular first baseman Mark Teixeira has been sidelined with a badly bruised right shin. Bird does not play a position besides first base, but he might earn some more playing time if Girardi decides to sit Alex Rodriguez (0-for-3 Wednesday and hitting .131 in 61 at-bats in August) against some right-handed pitching and use Tex at DH to open up first base for Bird.
That is a consideration for the future. Bird was all about the present Wednesday, and what a present he gave the Yankees.
It has worked so far for Luis Severino. Maybe it will as well for Greg Bird.
It, of course, is being thrown into the major-league fire. Severino, the Yankees’ top pitching prospect, has supplied two strong starts since his call-up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to help a rotation that is without Michael Pineda, who is on the 15-day disabled list and will make an injury-rehabilitation start Sunday at Double A Trenton.
Bird, one of the Yankees’ top hitting prospects, was recalled Thursday and was inserted into the lineup for the series finale at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. Bird will play first base and bat seventh in manager Joe Girardi’s lineup. The move gives a break to Mark Teixeira, who has been struggling this month with a .175 batting average, two home runs and four RBI in 40 at-bats.
With the designation for assignment of Garrett Jones for the second time this season, the Yanks were without a legitimate back-up first baseman other than Brendan Ryan, who also fills in at the other three infield positions. Bird, who is 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, is a pure first baseman who was batting .301 with six home runs and 23 RBI in 34 games at SWB following his July 4 promotion from Trenton where he hit .258 with six homers and 29 RBI in 49 games.
The Yankees certainly can use a jolt in the offense that has gone sour lately with only nine runs scored in the past six games, the last five of which have been losses to drop them out of first place in the American League East by one game to the Blue Jays, who won their 11th straight game Thursday on the eve of a three-game series against the Yankees at Rogers Centre.
The Yankees’ rotation suffered a severe blow Thursday night as Michael Pineda, who had been scheduled to start against the Rangers at Arlington, Texas, was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right forearm flexor muscle. This is an injury similar to the one sustained by closer Andrew Miller, who was sidelined for nearly a month, from June 10 to July 7.
CC Sabathia was to start on regular rest in place of Pineda, who has a 9-7 record with a 3.97 ERA. Manager Joe Girardi pushed back the starters one day in the rotation hoping to give them extra rest. So much for that.
Meanwhile, the availability of starting pitchers in the trade market lessened with the deals that sent Cole Hamels to the Rangers and David Price to the Blue Jays. The Yankees have been reluctant to swap any of their top prospects for pitching help. The non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. Friday.
The Yanks did add a player Thursday, versatile reserve outfielder Dustin Ackley, who was obtained from the Mariners in exchange for two minor-leaguers, pitcher Jose Ramirez and outfielder Ramon Flores.
Ackley, 27, batted .215 with 22 runs, eight doubles, one triple, six home runs and 19 RBI in 85 games and 186 at-bats this season for the Mariners. In 584 career games over five major-league seasons with Seattle, the left-handed batter has hit .243 with 42 homers and 201 RBI in 2,012 at-bats. A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., who was a University of North Carolina teammate of Yankees pitcher Adam Warren, Ackley has played second base (282 games), left field (207), center field (71), first base (18) and right field (2) in the majors.
Ramirez, 25, made three relief appearances for the Yankees this year and was not involved in a decision with a 15.00 ERA in three innings. The righthander was 0-2 with a 7.62 ERA in 11 career games totaling 13 innings with the Yankees.
Flores, 23, made his big-league debut with the Yankees in 2015 and batted .219 with three runs and a double in 12 games and 32 at-bats. The left-handed batter had three stints with the Yankees (May 30-June 10, June 21-23 and July 3-8). At Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Flores hit .286 with 43 runs, 11 doubles, seven homers and 34 RBI in 73 games and 276 at-bats.
The Elias Sports Bureau, Major League Baseball’s official statistician, reports that the Yankees’ bullpen in Tuesday night’s 21-5 victory over the Rangers set a club record with 8 1/3 hitless innings – 5 1/3 by Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre call-up Diego Moreno, who earned his first big-league victory, and 3 by Adam Warren, who was credited with his first save of the season.
The previous mark was seven innings done three times. The prior major-league bullpen with at least 8 1/3 hitless innings was that of the Brooklyn Dodgers Sept. 9, 1953 at Cincinnati. Moreno and Warren combined to retire 25 of the last 26 batters, including the final 19. Coupled with Monday night’s four hitless innings in a 6-2 Yankees victory, their relief corps has pitched at least four hitless innings in consecutive games for the first time in team history.
In his third career game, Moreno worked the longest hitless relief stint in the majors since the Indians’ Jake Westbrook threw seven perfect innings April 10, 2004 at Cleveland against the Tigers. It was the first hitless relief appearance of at least 5 1/3 innings by a Yankees reliever since Bob Shirley went six hitless frames Sept. 21, 1986 at Detroit and just the 10th since 1914.
The Yankees’ 21 runs were the most by a major league team since May 30, 2012, also at Texas, by the Mariners, 21-8. It was the most runs in a game by the Bombers since a 22-9 victory Aug. 25, 2011 at Yankee Stadium against the Athletics and only the 17th game all-time with at least 21 runs in franchise history. The Yanks equaled their most runs all-time against the Rangers of Aug. 23, 1999 in a 21-3 crushing at Texas.
The Yankees had a season-high 19 hits, their most hits since Aug. 13, 2013 at home against the Angels, also 19 hits. It marked the second time this season that seven different Yankees starters had multiple hits. The other time was June 20 at the Stadium against the Tigers, also seven. Six different Yankees starters had at least two RBI, marking the fifth time in the past 60 years that at least that many had multiple RBI and the first time since Aug. 4, 2007 at home against the Royals six.
It was the Yankees’ largest margin of victory since a 21-4 triumph July 22, 2007 against the Rays at the Stadium. The Yanks had 11-for-21 (.524) with runners in scoring position, their most hits in clutch situations since Aug. 3, 2001 against the White Sox at Chicago when they had 11-for-16 (.688).
The 11 runs in the second marked their highest-scoring inning and most hits since scoring a 12-run, 10-hit first July 30, 2011 in the second game of a doubleheader at the Stadium against the Orioles. It was also the highest scoring inning in the majors since Aug. 19, 2013, when the Rangers scored 11 runs in the third inning at home against the Astros. The Yankees began the inning with eight consecutive base runners, including seven hits. Elias reported that it was the first time the Yankees scored as many runs without a home run in an inning since April 11, 1987 at Kansas City (12 runs and 11 hits in the seventh).
The bottom of the lineup had another big night. The Yankees’ 5-through-9 hitters in the starting lineup went 13-for-26 (.500) with 10 runs, four doubles, one triple, one home run, 15 RBI and 3 walks. It was the first time that the Yankees’ last five starters in the batting order each had at least two RBI since Sept. 11, 1949 in the first game of a doubleheader at home against the old Senators. The last major league club to do it was the Giants Aug. 14, 2000 against the Mets at Shea Stadium. The previous time the bottom five spots in the Yankees’ starting lineup had at least 15 RBI in a game was April 18, 2005 against the Rays at the Stadium. In the past three games, the Yankees’ 6-9 hitters are 24-for-54 (.444) with 18 runs, five doubles, two triples, four home runs, 26 RBI and five walks.
Chris Capuano, who started for the Yankees and gave up five runs in two-thirds of an inning, was designated for assignment. The lefthander, 36, had a 0-4 record with a 6.97 ERA in 16 appearances, including four starts.