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Offseason Outlook: New York Yankees
2 years ago  ::  Oct 21, 2016 - 9:52PM #51
Posts: 30,820

Yikes!!! Yankees interested in the "Parrot Guy"???

Report: Yankees among potential landing spots for Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion

10/19/2016 10:35 AM ET

By A.J. Herrmann

Could Edwin Encarnacion be donning pinstripes in 2017?(MLB)

The New York Yankees have recently moved away from splashing cash for big-ticket free agents, but one report suggests that they might deviate from that strategy for a chance to sign Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion in free agency this offseason.

Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball wrote that although the Red Sox were the "most likely" team to land the big-swinging designated hitter and first baseman, the Rangers and Yankees have also been linked to the Dominican-born star in rumors around the league.

Encarnacion, 33, has donned a Blue Jays uniform for the bulk of his last eight seasons, after landing there in a trade from Cincinnati in 2009. Since then, he's become one of the most respected power hitters in the American League, with three All-Star appearances in the last four years.

Over his last five seasons, Encarnacion has totaled 145 doubles, 193 home runs, 550 RBI with a slash line of .272/.367/.544. Those are absolutely gaudy numbers. That works out to 33 doubles, 44 homers and 123 RBI per 162 games during that span.

In postseason play, Encarnacion has replicated his consistency and power even against the toughest competition. Through his first career 19 playoff games entering play Wednesday, Edwin has slashed .296/.390/.507 with four homers and 14 RBI for the Blue Jays, however barring a remarkable comeback against the Indians this October, he'll fall short of reaching the World Series for the second time in two years.

The addition of a super-potent power bat like Encarnacion would do wonders for the Yankees offense, who uncharacteristically struggled in the power department in 2016. As a team, the Yankees hit 183 home runs last season (19th in MLB) and combined to slug .405 (21st in MLB), however late-season contributions from potential Rookie of the Year candidate Gary Sanchez helped inflate those numbers over the final two months of the year.

Encarnacion has proven to be one of the AL East's most feared power hitters for most of the last decade, and at age 33, he's still in the tail-end of his prime. If the Yankees were going to pick any one player this offseason to splurge on, Encarnacion wouldn't be a bad choice.

With a lack of production from their veteran 3-4 hitters Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira -- both of whom had excellent seasons in 2015 -- the Yankees found difficulty building momentum for the first two-thirds of the season. At the All-Star break, New York found themselves at 44-44, and after the last series before the August 1 trade deadline, they were 52-52.

There's little doubt that inserting Encarnacion into the middle of the lineup would do nothing but good for the Yankees offense in 2017, but the Blue Jays will have an opportunity to choose between either he or longtime fan favorite Jose Bautista to sign to an extension this winter.

Also worth noting, as was mentioned in the lede, the Yankees have decidedly shifted away from acquiring free agents for the time being, especially those with huge price tags. Last offseason, New York was the only club in the Majors to not sign a free agent, instead electing to fortify the roster through trades. Signing Encarnacion would fly in the face of that apparent shift, but anything is possible when opportunities align.

The Blue Jays backs' are against the wall in the ALCS, as they face a 3-1 deficit entering Wednesday's game in Toronto, but Encarnacion has done his part. So far this postseason (including the Wild Card round), he's hitting .323 with three homers, nine RBI and a slugging percentage of .645.

Toronto's 3-4-5 combination of Bautista, Encarnacion and reigning league MVP Josh Donaldson is arguably the best trio in baseball, but the heart of the Blue Jays lineup could look a whole lot different a year from now if they lose either Bautista or Encarnacion, or both.

Always proud to be a Yankee fan.


2 years ago  ::  Oct 21, 2016 - 10:26PM #52
Posts: 2,875

I hope the Yanks do land him, assuming it's not some ridiculously long term contract at ridiculous numbers.  He's been the most impressive player in the playoffs in either league.

2 years ago  ::  Oct 22, 2016 - 12:10AM #53
Posts: 5,377

Okay, in the initial post it says Billy Butler is a FA. According to Baseball-Ref, he's not a FA until 2018. The A's are on the hook for $11,667,000 next season and he's under Yankee control it appears. So, unless I am missing something, Billy is still on the roster and paid for except minimum.

Later in the thread, someone posted an article suggesting the Yankees sign Morneau to a 1 year, performance based deal. Why I would ask? Yes, he plays pretty decent 1b and is a LHB, but he's old and not nearly the hitter he once was long ago. He's also battled injuries for most of his career, a la Nick Johnson disease. He's the kind of guy who will play 3 weeks and then pull a hammy and be out for 6. 

Why would the Yankees sign Morneau, and pay more in salary, when they already have Butler at the minimum next season? Both would be almost exclusively DH'ing at this point. One of RH and one is LH, but one is basically free, about 5 years younger, and hit better last year by a decent amount. The other is old, oft injured, and outside his duration in Colorado, hasn't really hit for chit in recent years. 

2 years ago  ::  Oct 22, 2016 - 11:00AM #54
Posts: 32,475

The Silly Reason Dietrich Enns Might Never Get A Fair Shot

Despite his dominant performance this season, New York Yankees minor league starter Dietrich Enns isn’t taken seriously as a rotation option for 2017.

Dietrich Enns was one of the notable snubs among the New York Yankees September call ups. It seemed like a strange choice given that the 25-year-old lefty will once again be eligible for the Rule 5 draft this winter. Hopefully it wasn’t an indication that the team is willing to risk losing him for nothing to another club.

There are often a multitude of reasons why certain minor leaguers get overlooked. One is age. It’s more likely a team will focus on a player who is entering his age 21 season, as opposed to someone over 25, especially if the older player has taken a long time to find success in the upper levels of the minor leagues.

There are other reasons such as attitude and mental make-up. So much goes into a team’s evaluation of their minor league players before they even get a chance in spring training to win a major league job. And these evaluations often determine if someone is an actual prospect, or just someone holding a spot.

Dietrich Enns, a minor league pitcher with the Yankees Triple-A Scranton Railriders, will be turning 26 next May. However, his age is not the reason the organization will probably keep him in Triple-A for another year. No, it’s something much sillier than that.  Something that makes little sense when it comes to questioning whether or not he can get major league hitters out.

He doesn’t have a blazing, 95 mph plus fastball.  That’s right. The same pitcher who went 7-2 with a 1.93 era in Double-A Trenton, and again, 7-2 with a 1.53 era in Scranton, isn’t a flamethrower. Enns, who has found success as both a starter and reliever at every minor league level, has been getting outs with a fastball in the upper 80’s. On a good day, it sometimes might hit 92.

Enns also has good command of both his slider and his change-up. He uses the change-up as an out pitch. The guy must know what he’s doing.  In 291 minor league innings, Enns has 310 strike outs. But he’s been doing that with less than a glamorous repertoire. He gets outs using what fans refer to as “junk.”

If Enns were to get the call to the show and succeed, he wouldn’t be the first.  Just ask Jaime Moyer. The retired Moyer didn’t throw heat. But he sure knew how to keep hitters off balance.  He knew how to get outs.  Moyer relied on command and was able to translate that into a career that lasted until his late 40’s.

Which is why I believe Enns deserves a fair shot to crack the Yankees starting rotation.  Major league teams and their fans however, love the fastball.  Scouts are often impressed enough to rave about a pitcher who throws 100 mph, regardless of whether he has mastered any other pitch.

It’s as if the entire baseball world has forgotten that a fastball is only good if the batter misses it. And big league hitters not only know how to hit one, they thrive on it.

Look, I know where the fascination with throwing heat comes from.  I grew up in an era where pitchers like Dwight Gooden and Roger Clemens ruled. They put fannies in the seats.  What would you rather see if you paid a ticket: a young Doc Gooden striking out 14 with a blazing fastball, or Charlie Leibrant throwing with the velocity of a falling leaf?

Of course it’s Gooden.  But that’s not the only way a pitcher can win.  You would hope the decision makers in baseball could see that.

Most likely, for the reasons stated above, Enns will most likely be back in Triple-A next year. He will probably only get a shot if there is an injury, or if some other highly touted pitcher gets bombed.

Luis Severino is a prime example of what goes wrong when your fastball is the only pitch you have working.  Severino went from being a sure thing after an impressive rookie stint in 2015, to someone who may only make the roster in relief.  It’s one of the reasons that it is silly to overlook Dietrich Enns.

2 years ago  ::  Oct 22, 2016 - 11:03AM #55
Posts: 32,475

2016 Roster Report Card: Luis Severino

Severino was a solid bullpen presence for the Yanks. As a starter, not so much

Grade: C-

2016 Statistics: 22 G, 11 GS, 71.0 IP, 5.83 ERA, 4.48 FIP, 8.37 K/9, 3.17, BB/9 (MLB)

13 G, 12 GS, 77.1 IP, 3.49 ERA, 2.60 FIP, 9.08 K/9, 2.09 BB/9 (AAA)

2017 Roster Status: Pre-Arbitration Eligible

Luis Severino’s bullpen renaissance is what saves him from a D or an F. Overall, his sophomore season could only be described as a disappointment. After a solid hope-filled first year in pinstripes, where Severino posted a 2.89 ERA, the expectation was for the youngster to build upon his strong 2015 campaign and possibly be the Yankees most reliable starter behind Masahiro Tanaka.

Spring training did not put any damper on those expectations. Severino didn’t blow hitters away by any means, but a 3.38 ERA with 25 strikeouts in just over 21 innings of work was productive enough to lead fans and management to believe that 2016 would be a big year for their prized prospect.

However, once the calendar turned to April, it was another story. Severino was smacked around for ten hits in just five innings of work in his first start of the season. His last start of the month was even worse than the first, as he ended April by surrendering six earned runs in Texas, and watched his ERA balloon to 6.86 in the young season.

May proved to be no better. Severino was consistently hit hard, including a May 13th start where he was torched by the White Sox for seven runs in under two innings before being taken out of the game, and it was later revealed that the struggling starter had a triceps strain which landed him on the DL.

While it was frustrating to see Severino injured, there was a small sense of relief that his ailing triceps may have been the source of his struggles. Severino did not return to the club until July, and when he did, it was out of the bullpen. Three relief appearances without giving up an earned run helped Severino return to the rotation in August. Suddenly, his pitching woes returned, as he was tagged for 12 runs in eight innings over two starts. Girardi and the Yankees had seen enough, and sent Severino down to the minors to rediscover his confidence.

The plan was for him to work on his changeup, which would provide a solid third pitch in his arsenal to compliment his lively fastball and breaking ball. Severino had relied on those two pitches to record outs as a reliever, but in a starting role where hitters saw more pitches and made adjustments, he struggled.

Severino’s changeup experiment was put on hold as the Yankees unexpectedly found themselves in the thick of a playoff chase, and Severino was called up in September to provide bullpen help. Again, Severino flourished out of the pen, looking like a completely different pitcher and commanding the strike zone with efficiency. Severino didn’t allow an earned run through his first five appearances of September, and ended the month with a 1.13 ERA.

Severino found himself back in a starting role on the final day of the regular season, filling in for an injured Tanaka. He struggled again in this start, allowing three earned runs in less than four innings of work. After months of consistent assurances that Severino would return as a starter for 2017, Joe Girardi ended the year seeming less concrete about that plan, acknowledging that Severino may be more effective future out of the bullpen.

It was a tale of two roles for Severino this season. His grade as a starter has to be an F. He took a major step back from the end of last year, made even worse by the fact that they were already hurting from a lack of starting pitching, especially after Nathan Eovaldi’s injury. His bullpen grade would be close to an A, so averaging out the two with a slightly heavier emphasis on his performance as a starter would leave him with a grade a C-.

Severino would certainly be of more help to the Yankees as a starter, especially given the state of the rotation as the curtain closes on 2016. Still, at least there is evidence that he can be a major asset to the team in some form, even if it is ultimately out of the bullpen. You might remember that even Mariano Rivera struggled as a starter before finding his home as a closer, and became fairly good at it. Regardless, it is far too early to tell.

Hopefully a full offseason of work will help Severino master his changeup and command, and turn him into the electric starter that many saw him to be after his 2015 season. The 2016 season would have to be described as a major sophomore slump, but there is still time for the 22-year-old to figure it out.

2 years ago  ::  Oct 22, 2016 - 11:05AM #56
Posts: 32,475

2016 Yankees Report Card: Bryan Mitchell

Yesterday, we graded Tommy Layne, who surprised everyone by being a reliable asset in the Yankees bullpen. Today, we grade Bryan Mitchell, who went from being considered for the Yankees bullpen to actually being in the starting rotation following the injury to Nathan EovaldiHe only pitched in five games, but Mitchell sure made them count, and may have proved that he was ready to join the rotation next season.

Bryan Mitchell only made five starts this season, versus the 20 games he appeared in just a year prior. However, in those five starts he opened eyes, and he might have earned himself a legitimate shot to earn a place on the Major League roster. In 25 innings this season, Mitchell went 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA, a 4.0 K/9 and a 4.3 BB/9. His K/9 and BB/9 aren’t as impressive as you hoped, but maybe you might see the impact Mitchell had on the team once I break down his season numbers.

September: Mitchell made all five of his starts during September, giving up nine earned runs on 13 hits while striking out 11 in that span. He had three outings that were amazing (two outings against the Toronto Blue Jays and one against the Boston Red Sox), and had two starts that were clunkers (one against the Los Angeles Dodgers and one against the Red Sox). Regardless, Mitchell ended his short season strongly and really opened the eyes of the Yankees organization.

The Verdict: Mitchell showed a little bit of inconsistency in his five starts, but he proved to the Yankees he was capable of starting games. He most likely earned the chance to compete for a rotation spot in February, but he’s not guaranteed to win the position with pitchers like Luis Cessa also vying for a spot. Regardless, Mitchell’s five starts has really put him ahead of the curve.

So what grade would I give Bryan Mitchell?


2 years ago  ::  Oct 22, 2016 - 11:06AM #57
Posts: 32,475

We’ve long heard chatter about a possible reunion between Yankees catcher Brian McCann and the Braves, and MLB.com’s Mark Bowman provides some hints about where things stand. New York has asked for righty Mike Foltynewicz or center fielder Ender Inciarte to part with the veteran receiver, which certainly sounds like a non-starter from here. An arrangement could yet make sense, Bowman writes, but Atlanta won’t include either of those two players.

2 years ago  ::  Oct 22, 2016 - 11:14AM #58
Posts: 32,475

Will Yankees' Clint Frazier make Andrew Miller trade to Indians pay off in long run?


Cleveland Indians reliever Andrew Miller looks like a different guy from his Yankees days with that bushy beard and mustache now covering cheeks, chin and lip.

Nothing else has changed.

Miller might have been the best reliever in baseball when Yankees GM Brian Cashman went through with phase 2 of a summer fire sale on July 31 and he's probably No. 1 now after adding to two seasons of total dominance with an American League Championship Series MVP award that was a no-brainer for voters.

Clean shaven or not, Miller looks like a present-day Randy Johnson as a fellow very tall lefty who slings in unhittable sliders and high-90s fastballs.

It's will how things have turned out since the trade with Miller now the biggest weapon in the Indians' bullpen for their quest to win the franchise's first World Series since 1948 and the Chicago Cubs a win away from winning their first pennant since 1945 and five away from their first title since 1908 with Aroldis Chapman, the hardest-throwing closer ever, heading their pen.

Three months earlier Miller was setting up Chapman as two-thirds of the Yankees' No Runs DMC bullpen.

Chapman going to the Cubs on July 25 for a package of prospects headed by 19-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres, phase 1 of the fire sale, was understandable because he'll a free agent after the season. But Miller going to the Tribe six days later was not an easy call for the Yankees because Miller was pawned off with two more seasons on his contract at the bargain rate of $9 million per.

Miller was Cashman's trump card and he played it when the Indians offered one of baseball's best prospects, Triple-A outfielder Clint Frazier, plus very highly touted A-ball left-hander Justus Sheffield and promising minor-league relievers Ben Heller and J.P. Feyereisen.

Did the Yankees get enough for Miller?

"Miller's been so damn dominant in postseason that it's hard to say," an American League scout told NJ Advance Media last week before an Arizona Fall League game in Scottsdale, Ariz. "I think it's going to be one of those trades that you can't judge for a couple of years.

"I don't think the Yankees are going to win a championship in the next two years with Miller, so if they can do it down the road with some of the players they got back, then they got enough."

The scout's take on Frazier, a 22-year-old Loganville, Ga., native who currently is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 15th best prospect in baseball?

"I don't believe Frazier is going to be what some people think he's going to be early in his career," the scout said. "I think he's trying too hard to be too much of a power hitter instead of being an overall accomplished, polished hitter."

Frazier hit .263 with 15 homers and 55 RBIs this past season in 119 Double-A and Triple-A games, including .228 with three homers and seven RBIs in 25 games Triple-A games after being traded. He thinks the scout is off base.

"To say I'm trying to hit home runs is completely wrong," Frazier said by phone. "I think it's been timing issues with my swing. My timing was off for a lot of Triple-A, so I tried to make up for it by speeding things up. And I speed things up by swinging harder. But I never went up there trying to hit a home run."

Regardless, the scout thinks Frazier has the talent to develop into a very good big leaguer, one good enough to have a long career as a productive everyday left fielder ... perhaps even play a few All-Star Games.

"I think he's capable of hitting .270-.280 with 20-25 homers when it's all said and done ... and there's nothing wrong with that," the scout said.

As for Sheffield, the scout thinks the 20-year-old has star potential. The Tullahoma, Tenn., native was 10-6 with a 3.09 ERA in 25 starts this past season with 129 strikeouts in 125 1/3 innings pitching for low-A Lynchburg (19 starts) in the Indians' system and then high-A Tampa (five starts) and Double-A Trenton (one start) after being traded.

"I've seen Sheffield a few times and from what I get talking to people, he very well could be the best player they got in trade," the scout said. "What I worry about Frazier is, with an organization like the Yankees, it's going to be tough for him to work it out at the major league level because there's a lot of pressure there. Now if they're willing to do that and ride it out for a couple of years, maybe."

2 years ago  ::  Oct 22, 2016 - 12:09PM #59
Posts: 30,820

2016 Yankees Roster Report Card: Blake Rutherford

Rutherford, the 2016 Yankees top draft prospect, is one of the most exciting and talented players in the farm system.

Always proud to be a Yankee fan.


2 years ago  ::  Oct 22, 2016 - 12:13PM #60
Posts: 30,820

DotF: Gleyber Torres raking in the Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League is in full swing and the various Caribbean winter leagues are getting underway as well. Before we get to the winter ball action, here are some minor league links and notes:

  • LHP Nestor Cortes has been added to the Scottsdale Scorpions roster, according to the AzFL transactions page. He’s replaced an injured pitcher with another organization. Cortes will pitch in relief and RHP Brody Koerner will move into the Scottsdale rotation.
  • SS Gleyber Torres landed in the top spot of this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. “Torres is a powerful hitter who’s shown the ability to hit for both average and power as well as the ability to stick at shortstop … He is ready for his first taste of the upper levels next season at Double-A Trenton,” said the write-up.
  • It appears OF Aaron Judge (oblique) is healthy. George King (subs. req’d) says Judge is currently working with minor league hitting coordinator James Rowson. “It’s not about making any major overhaul. He just needs to get back to doing what got him here, and the important thing is not to panic. We know that’s not going to happen because he’s been through this before,” said Rowson.
  • A few things on RHP Dillon Tate: Keith Law (subs. req’d) said his stuff has come back, but he might need to try a two-seamer to keep hitters off his “pin-straight” fastball. A scout told Randy Millerthat Tate works hard but is too stubborn to succeed in MLB. How silly. Bill Mitchell spoke to Tate about his stint in the AzFL.
  • Miller has a series of posts with things to know about Torres3B Miguel AndujarRHP J.P. Feyereisen, and SS Tyler Wade. Also, Mark Cannizaro spoke to 1B Greg Bird about his summer rehabbing from shoulder surgery. He hated it. “I mean, when was the last time I took a summer off from baseball?” said Bird.
  • And finally, the Yankees have re-signed C Francisco Diaz, reports Matt Eddy. The 26-year-old depth catcher hit .212/.294/.237 (56 wRC+) in 65 games at three levels in 2016. Diaz figures to again spend next season going from level to level depending where a catcher is needed at any given time.

AzFL Scottsdale

  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 7 G, 9-23, 4 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K (.391/.481/.478) — he cooled down a bit towards the end of the regular season, so it’s good to see him starting strong out here
  • 1B Greg Bird: 6 G, 6-23, 2 R, 4 2B, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K (.261/.346/.435) — so far so good following shoulder surgery
  • SS Gleyber Torres: 6 G, 9-21, 5 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K, 2 SB, 2 CS (.429/.520/.810) —reminder: he’s 19
  • SS/OF Tyler Wade: 4 G, 1-14, 4 R, 4 BB, 5 K, 1 SB (.071/.278/.071) — he’s played one game at second, one in left, and two in center
  • RHP J.P. Feyereisen: 4 H, 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K (7.20 ERA and 2.20 WHIP)
  • RHP James Kaprielian: 2 G, 2 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K (1.50 ERA and 0.83 WHIP) — like Bird, so far so good following the injury
  • RHP Brody Koerner: 2 G, 3.1 IP, 9 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HR (24.30 ERA and 3.90 WHIP) — he missed most of the season with an unknown injury
  • RHP Dillon Tate: 3 G, 4 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HR (9.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP)

The Dominican Winter League season started last weekend. IF Jorge MateoIF Abi AvelinoOF Cesar PuelloUTIL Jose RosarioRHP Anyelo Gomez, and RHP Adonis Rosa are all on rosters but haven’t played yet. And they might not, either. Being on the roster just means that team controls their winter ball rights, not that they will actually play.

Mexican Pacific League

  • OF Tito Polo: 4 G, 3-16, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 5 K, 3 SB (.188/.235/.250) — he was one of the guys the Yankees got in the Ivan Nova trade
  • C Sebastian Valle: 6 G, 3-21, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 8 K (.143/.250/.190) — he’ll be a minor league free agent soon
  • No other Yankees farmhands are on league rosters.

The Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (Puerto Rico) season begins next week. Only partial rosters have been released so far. IF Cito CulverIF Vince Conde, and OF Aaron Judge are listed on rosters. Maybe Judge will actually play after missing time with knee and oblique injuries this summer. He only played 120 games this year.

Venezuelan Winter League

  • SS Angel Aguilar: 1 G, 0-1, 1 K
  • C Francisco Diaz: 9 G, 8-25, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 3B, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 SB (.320/.393/.520) — well look at that, a catcher with two triples and a steal in the span of nine games
  • RHP Luis Cedeno: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
  • RHP David Kubiak: 2 G, 1 GS, 6.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 6 K , 1 HR (6.75 ERA and 1.65 WHIP) — the Yankees signed the 6-foot-7 righty out of an independent league over the summer
  • RHP Mark Montgomery: 4 G, 2.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K (10.13 ERA and 2.25 WHIP)
  • LHP Miguel SulbaranRHP Daniel Alvarez3B Daniel BarriosRHP Alex Mejias3B Andres ChaparroOF Andres Fernandez, and C David Vergel are all on rosters.

Always proud to be a Yankee fan.


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