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2 months ago  ::  Mar 29, 2019 - 10:56AM #17331
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

New York Post | Peter Botte: Yesterday was Opening Day! If you somehow missed it, well Aaron Boone made some interesting choices in creating his lineup. Here, he breaks down with Botte the decisions he made, such as where to slot in Gleyber Torres, and where Luke Voit should hit.


NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: The Yankees made a large series of injury-related moves just before the start of yesterday’s game. Kuty gives us a quick rundown of them, and when the players are targeting a return, from Dellin Betances, to Luis Severino, to Ben Heller. Most notably, the Yankees placed Aaron Hicks on the IL, but the center fielder still has no timetable for return.


New York Post | Dan Martin: Opening Day included plenty of great moments, including the ceremonial first pitch from Mariano Rivera. Rivera fired a strike, because of course he did, prompting a number of predictable (but justified) quips from those opining that Rivera could still pitch in the major leagues right now. Rivera offered something of a prediction as well, stating that “it’s time” for championship number 28.


CBS Sports | Dayn Perry: Now that Opening Day is in the rear-view mirror, we can take a look at official Opening Day payrolls. Per the chart put together by Perry, the Yankees rank third with a $206 million payroll, and a $223 million CBT figure. That of course represents a pretty significant hike over last season, but a minimal increase over where the team’s payroll was a decade ago.


New York Yankees have third-highest payroll behind Red Sox and Cubs

2 months ago  ::  Mar 29, 2019 - 10:59AM #17332
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Yankees: Greg Bird’s future is still uncertain but Luke Voit is here to stay


The Yankees opened up the season with a 7-2 win over the Orioles on Thursday in a game that was highlighted by Luke Voit’s three-run home run in the first inning to start the scoring. Later on, Greg Bird added a solo shot to extend the lead in his fourth and final at-bat after striking out his first three times at the plate.

The battle for the Yankees starting first base job continues, but with Aaron Hicks still out indefinitely both Voit and Bird are going to get plenty of playing time to begin the season. They’ve each earned that opportunity with how they played in Tampa though it will be interesting to see what Aaron Boone and company do once Hicks returns from the IL.

After Voit’s breakout performance down the stretch last season, he’s carried over that success into spring training and so far into the regular season. It’s obviously early, but when you consider Voit is batting cleanup in this star-studded Yankees lineup and he’s already producing I think it’s safe to say that no matter what he isn’t going anywhere and is here to stay.

Anyone who’s watched Voit hit since joining the Yanks knows that this guy is no fluke and the best from him is still yet to come. He might not produce at the same insane rate he did last August and September but over the course of a full, healthy season, he’s going to put up big time numbers and be one of the best first basemen in the league.

That being said, I think there’s a real chance Greg Bird could do the same now that he’s finally 100% healthy and swinging the bat as well as he has since the start of Spring Training. Bird did strikeout three times and got booed by the Yankee Stadium crowd but he impressed in his final at-bat when on an 0-2 pitch he took left-hander Paul Fry deep into the Bombers bullpen.

Bird’s blast didn’t travel as deep as Voit’s 428 ft bomb to dead center but it was another sign that he looks like a different player and one the Yankees can really rely on this season to be their main left-handed power source. He has his legs back under him with his right ankle fully healed and it’s shown over the past month with the way he’s driving the ball to all parts of the field.

If the Yanks can find a way to get both Voit and Bird consistent at-bats this season I truly believe they’re each going to be impact players. However, as much as I’m still high on Bird if there’s going to be an odd man out when Hicks returns it has to be him. It might not be fair, but if that’s their only option then that’s the way it’s going to be.

I hope that doesn’t happen and the Yankees keep him on the roster, but there’s just no scenario that makes sense that ends with Voit being sent down. What he’s accomplished since coming to New York has been incredible and like I said now that’s he finally been given an opportunity to play every day he’s only going to get better.

The Yankees would be crazy to stop his rise to potential stardom by sending him down and they know that. It’s time to end the discussion on the debate about who should be sent down between Voit and Bird because honestly there’s a 0% percent chance it’s going to be Voit.

The Yankees still have some time left before they’ll have to make a decision and whether or not Bird gets sent down will most likely depend on how much he produces while Hicks is out. But in the case of Luke Voit, I can assure Yankee fans he isn’t going anywhere.

2 months ago  ::  Mar 29, 2019 - 11:02AM #17333
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Troy Tulowitzki’s first real game since 2017 is a success

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Troy Tulowitzki Charles Wenzelberg

Twenty grueling months later, Troy Tulowitzki was back in the majors — and back at shortstop — on Opening Day.

The five-time All-Star’s career reclamation following nearly two years of injury woes got off to a positive start Thursday, notching his first hit with the Yankees in a 7-2 win over the Orioles at the Stadium.

“People doubted me that I’d get back to this point, so it definitely had some extra meaning to get back out there and play,” Tulowitzki said. “I liked my chances of what I felt in spring, and I’m just happy to go out there and help us win a game.”

Tulowitzki’s double into the left-field corner in the eighth inning represented his first hit since July 27, 2017, with Toronto. He missed the final two months of that season and all of 2018 due to surgeries on both heels.

After the Blue Jays ate the remaining $38 million on his contract, the Yankees signed Tulowitzki for the league minimum of $555,000 as a fill-in for injured starter Didi Gregorius. He was 8-for-33 (.242) with four homers during spring training, and despite his injury history, he showed manager Aaron Boone enough glimpses of the shortstop who won two Gold Glove Awards with the Rockies.

“He’s looked great. The way I put it is, he’s at home playing shortstop,” Boone said. “Take a musician, an artist that’s a great guitar player, you stick a guitar in their hand, and just like that, it belongs there. Tulo and the unique style, and the way he plays shortstop, he’s at home now out there. You can really tell that.

“To go out there and pick up the ‘W’ and get that first knock out of the way, make a couple of plays, I’m just happy for him. Because you know what this game means to him.”

Tulowitzki grew up idolizing former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, even wearing No. 2 throughout his career in Colorado and Toronto to honor The Captain until donning a No. 12 pinstriped uniform and manning Jeter’s old position in his Bronx debut.

“Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about any of those things. I was just trying to stay in the moment and do whatever I could to help us win,” Tulowitzki said. “When it’s all said and done, maybe one day I’ll look back at that and it’ll be kind of cool, but I really tried to stay in the moment today.

“Honestly, I felt normal out there on a big-league field.”

Though Tulowitzki noted he had “never hit ninth [in the lineup] in my career,” this game actually marked the first time he batted in that spot as a starter since June 29, 2008, with the Rockies.

“To be at the bottom of the order, that was different for me. That just goes to show how good it is,” Tulowitzki said. “It really doesn’t matter, this lineup really can hurt you from anywhere and it’s fun to be a part of it.”

2 months ago  ::  Mar 30, 2019 - 9:10AM #17334
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

SNY | Scott Thompson: Several Yankee legends think that this will be Aaron Judge’s MVP year. Tino Martinez noticed the outfielder crushed the ball and cut down on strikeouts during spring training, Paul O’Neill praised the adjustments Judge has made when the count isn’t in his favor, and Bernie Williams noted that “he’s just too powerful to be contained.” Bernie is absolutely correct.


New York Post | George A. King III: Aroldis Chapman’s velocity is down from where it usually is at this time of year, which is particularly worrisome because Dellin Betances’ down velocity ended up revealing an injury. It is probably too soon to worry, though. Some scouts noted that Chapmanwas working on his breaking ball during spring training. Another said, “It didn’t look like the ball was coming out easy. He might not be stretched out, it’s early, or it could be he is 31.’’ Only time will tell.


NorthJersey.com | AP: The Yankees revealed their minor league rosters yesterday, and Danny Farquhar was notably absent from them. The Bombers decided to keep him in extended spring training for now, a wise decision given how rusty he looked during the past few weeks. Hopefully we’ll see him in the big leagues at some point this year.


The Ringer | Ben Lindbergh: In light of Adam Ottavino’s Babe Ruth saga, Lindbergh dug into the talent level of current baseball players. It’s fine to appreciate the Mantles and Ruths and DiMaggios. They were undoubtedly great players. The competition is so high now and the young players so good, that you shouldn’t let the past obscure you from recognizing what might be the best talent group in baseball history.

2 months ago  ::  Mar 30, 2019 - 9:13AM #17335
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees FREE Live Stream (3/30/19): Watch MLB online

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Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees conclude their opening series of the 2019 season on Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

By Brian Fonseca | For NJ Advance Media

The New York Yankees conclude their opening three-game series of the 2019 MLB season on Saturday, March 30 (3/30/19) when they host the Baltimore Orioles for the third time this week at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Fans can watch the game online via ESPN+, which is offering a free trial.

ESPN+ offers special MLB, NHL and MLS games, international soccer, UFC fight nights, college football, college basketball and more. All MLB games on ESPN+ are subject to the league’s blackout rules.

Here’s what you need to know:

Who: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees

When: Saturday, March 30, 2019

Where: Yankee Stadium

Time: 1:00 p.m. Eastern

TV: YES Network

Channel finder: Verizon Fios, AT&T U-verse, Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum/Charter, Optimum/Altice, DIRECTV, Dish

Live stream: ESPN+ (free trial)

***

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner thinks New York has a championship-caliber team as it heads into Thursday's opener against Baltimore.

"We're excited," Steinbrenner said Tuesday after watching CC Sabathia pitch in a minor league game. "We're as good as anybody. The team is going to do everything they can to win this thing. I believe they're going to play up to their potential."


Steinbrenner thinks the Yankees have enough depth to overcome injuries to Sabathia, Luis Severino, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, and Jordan Montgomery.

"I'd like to be more healthy, but the good news is none of the injuries are significant and the guys are going to be back," Steinbrenner said.

New York went 100-62 last season for its best record since 2009, yet finished eight games back of the AL East champion Boston Red Sox, who won the World Series for the fourth time in 15 seasons.

Last year's Yankees, led by Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton set a major league record with 267 homers, three more than the 1997 Seattle Mariners.

The Yankees focused on pitching during the offseason, adding Adam Ottavino and James Paxton, and re-signing Sabathia, Zack Britton, and J.A. Happ.

Youngsters Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga will fill two spots in the rotation in the opening weeks.

"Our pitching from top to bottom is still very good," Steinbrenner said of Yankees' minor league system. "Charleston may have the best rotation of all. We're strong."

2 months ago  ::  Mar 30, 2019 - 9:15AM #17336
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

New diet has Yankees’ James Paxton ready to take on high expectations

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James Paxton Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Patrick Corbin, the prized starting pitcher in free agency, ended up with the Nationals, while the Yankees chose to spend their offseason spreading their money around at numerous targets primarily in their rotation, bullpen and infield.

The November trade for James Paxton from Seattle was a significant part of that strategy and the 30-year-old lefty gets his first chance on showing what kind of an impact he can make when he makes his debut for the Yankees on Saturday against the Orioles.

“I’m excited, nervous, all of it,’’ Paxton said Thursday at Yankee Stadium, where the Yankees opened their season with a win over Baltimore. “I get that every year. We had expectations in Seattle, but here, it seems there are more of them. We’re all prepared and ready to go. We know what we’re trying to accomplish here and that’s getting a ring.’’

In parts of six seasons with the Mariners, Paxton never made the postseason, and he hardly ever went through a season without some physical issue.

Paxton has spent time on the injured list at least once each season since 2014, but he’s increased his workload each of the last three seasons. And while his 28 starts and 160 1/3 innings were both career highs last season, he dealt with lower back and pectoral issues. He was acquired from Seattle for a package highlighted by left-hander Justus Sheffield. Although Sheffield has opened the season in the minors, he’s expected to crack the Mariners’ rotation at some point this season.

In an attempt to make it through an entire season in one piece, Paxton said he began working with a nutritionist at his gym.

“I met with him and he told me about the importance of vitamins and just watching what I ate,’’ Paxton said. “The focus was really on recovery and bouncing back between starts. He said nutrition can help. I’ve always known it was important, but you really are what you eat.’’

He said the changes have helped him recover from both workouts and games faster.
“I feel I’m stronger than ever and I’m more able to maintain my stuff from start to start,’’ Paxton said.

His results in spring training were encouraging. After pitching poorly during the spring in three of the previous four years, Paxton was solid in five Grapefruit League outings with the Yankees.

That will hardly matter if he’s not able to continue that into the regular season, but his first test will come against a Baltimore team that looked as bad as advertised in Thursday’s opener in the Bronx.

Saturday will mark just Paxton’s second career outing at Yankee Stadium, where he got hit hard in the first inning of a start last season on June 21. Aaron Judge and Miguel Andujar both took him deep in a four-run first before Paxton followed with four scoreless innings in a loss.

“I’m confident I pitched here and it was definitely good that I came in and had a good spring,’’ Paxton said. “I had velocity and my pitches were working well. My breaking stuff and fastball command both got better as the spring went on and I was able to accomplish everything I wanted to. That gives me confidence coming in that I was ready to go.”

And just as important, he said, “my body feels great and I’m healthy. I just want to keep it that way.’’

2 months ago  ::  Mar 30, 2019 - 9:21AM #17337
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Yankees: Adam Ottavino’s impact will be huge in 2019


The Yankees bullpen dominated in Thursday’s 7-2 win pitching 3.1 scoreless innings to close out the game. The most notable performance came from Adam Ottavino who made his debut in the pinstripes and pitched 1.1 scoreless innings without allowing a baserunner, striking out three.


If Ottavino’s debut was any indication he is going to be a huge force out of the Yankees bullpen this season. He was as good as advertised in Thursday’s opener showcasing his nasty stuff to completely overpower the Oriole hitters.


Ottavino was the first man called upon by Aaron Boone to relieve Masahiro Tanaka and clearly is going to be used in high leverage roles throughout the season. With Dellin Betances on the injured list to begin the season, Ottavino will play an even more important role early on as one of the main setup men in front of Aroldis Chapman.


The crazy thing about Ottavino is he was able to maintain all that movement pitching in Colorado where the air is thinner. Because of that pitchers struggle to maximize the break on their pitches, especially sliders and curveballs because they flatten out.


He didn’t have a problem with that in Colorado and definitely shouldn’t have one pitching in New York. In fact, there’s a good chance that moving to the east coast will help him get even more of that frisbee like tilt on his slider and more tail on his two-seam fastball.


Ottavino is coming off a career-year with the Rockies and even at 33 years old it seems like he’s still entering his prime. That bodes well for the Yankees because they have him under contract for another two years after this one.


Since there’s a chance Betances could leave the team this offseason in free agency and Chapman could as well (if he invokes his opt-out clause) the Yankee pen will still be in good shape and one of the best in the game with Ottavino, Britton and Chad Green in the fold.


As for the rest of this season, we can expect big things out of Ottavino. As long as he stays healthy he’ll eclipse 100 strikeouts again and will be used as often as anyone in the Yankee bullpen and probably lead their relievers in innings pitched. He’s going to put up monster numbers and come playoff time he’ll play an even larger role to help the Yankees win #28.

2 months ago  ::  Mar 31, 2019 - 9:34AM #17338
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: Gary Sanchez made a rare throwing error in yesterday’s loss to the Orioles. He misfired to second base in the sixth inning, the ball landed in center field, and Baltimore took the lead. It was an unfortunate play, and the catcher took ownership of it. “That’s my fault,” he said in the post-game interview. Sanchez explained why he made the choice, and it made sense from a baseball perspective. It happens, and it’s unfortunate that this will further the “Gary is a bad catcher” narrative.


NorthJersey.com | Greg Tartaglia: As every knows, the third game of the season makes for a must-win scenario. Common knowledge, folks. While that may be the case for a section of Yankees fans online, Aaron Judge somewhat shares the sentiment. “Last year, we did that, [saw] so many missed opportunities in games we should’ve won, but we just didn’t come up with a big hit or [made] a costly error, stuff like that,” the right-fielder told reporters after yesterday’s game. “We’ve just got to have that mind-set that our backs are against the wall every single game.” I wonder what handle Judge goes by in the comments section.


CBS Sports | Mike Axisa: After spending all winter waiting to see James Paxton pitch, Yankees fans finally got to see the left-hander in action. Big Maple pitched well in his debut, taking a tough-luck loss despite allowing just two runs (one earned) in 5.2 innings. He struck out five in the process. The start proved encouraging, though, and served as a reminder of why the team chose to make him the offseason’s top priority.


Newsday | Brian Heyman: Paxton wasn’t alone in making his Yankees debut yesterday. DJ LeMahieu also made his first appearance in pinstripes. The utilityman got the start at third base, where he flashed the leather on a few nifty plays, but also made an error. At the plate, he picked up an RBI and scored a run. LeMahieu said that he felt comfortable out there, and that’s good. He should get used to playing a lot, but it sounds like he will be in the lineup quite frequently going forward.

2 months ago  ::  Mar 31, 2019 - 9:36AM #17339
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868
2 months ago  ::  Apr 01, 2019 - 10:31AM #17340
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868
  • Injury Updates: Luis Severino (shoulder) is making progress with his throwing program. Dellin Betances (shoulder) has started throwing bullpen sessions. Aaron Hicks (back) has not yet resumed baseball activities. CC Sabathia (knee) will pitch in another minor league game today.
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