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1 day ago  ::  Jun 01, 2020 - 3:18PM #1351
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Jon Heyman


Yankees are expected to release minor leaguers today. Number unknown.

13 hours ago  ::  Jun 02, 2020 - 9:39AM #1352
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CBS New York: Count the New York Yankees among the teams that have not provided financial stability for every member of their minor league system. The team yesterday released more than forty minor league players. While few, if any, of these players will be severely missed from a player development standpoint, they nonetheless do not deserve to find themselves without the $400 a week stipend that they have been receiving from the team: there is currently no opportunity for them to latch onto another team (be it an affiliated or independent minor league squad), few jobs are available, and unemployment services are strained to the breaking point.

ESPN | Jeff Passan: Major League Baseball has internally discussed the possibility of a 50-60 game season with full pro-rated salaries, according to reports. The league believes that, according to the terms of the April agreement with the MLBPA, commissioner Rob Manfred has the right to unilaterally schedule the season following “good faith” discussions to start up the season. Believed to be a last-ditch option if negotiations between the league and union fall through, the pro-rated salaries would see players receive only 30% of their intended salaries. According to Passan, the league has pushed for the shorter season both due to their claims of financial deficits during fanless games and an attempt to avoid games during the anticipated second wave of the coronavirus outbreak. | Brendan Kuty: A players’ union representative has told NJ Advance Media that the union has privately stated that they do not want to play anything less than half a season. Considering the new proposed schedule a sign that the owners “aren’t even negotiating,” the insider reports that the union believes that their proposed expanded playoff would generate between $700 million and $1 billion in revenue for the league. Furthermore, ownership has not yet provided the union with documentation proving their alleged financial duress. It’s going to be a long summer, isn’t it? | Mike Rosenstein: In positive baseball news, Luis Severino’s rehab from Tommy John surgery has been going well. The Yankees starter, who has been in Tampa rehabbing since his surgery three months ago, remains on track to begin throwing again this summer. On top of that, he remains aware of what’s going on in the country, writing that not being able to play in 2020 “is frustrating, but this year has been a frustrating year for everybody...right now, there are more things to worry about than playing baseball.”

A few more teams have committed to paying their minor leaguers for at least the next handful of weeks. The Tigers’ farmhands will continue to earn $400 per week, and there’s “no end in sight,” Chris McCosky of the Detroit News tweets. The club’s also not planning to cut any minor leaguers as of now, McCosky adds. The Rockies, meanwhile will pay their minor leaguers through at least June, according to Thomas Harding of The Yankees are taking the same approach as Colorado, James Wagner of the New York Times relays.

There may not be any minor league season in 2020, but that could be made up for to an extent with an extended Arizona Fall League campaign. The AFL season usually runs from September to October, but a 2020 version could begin “within weeks” of a potential Opening Day in the majors, Josh Norris and J.J. Cooper of Baseball America report. The MLB and MLBPA would first have to agree to a season, and Norris and Cooper highlight other roadblocks (including financial issues). But if a longer AFL season does come to fruition, all 30 teams would send a roster of prospects to their spring training sites to play games. It’s possible each of those clubs would also have “a second lower level” prospect team, Norris and Cooper write.

While the league may implement a 50- or 60-game schedule, the union could object to it based on March’s agreement, which says the commissioner’s office must put forth its “best efforts to play as many games as possible,” per Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic (subscription required). Regardless, the two sides aren’t making much progress, nor have they scheduled further negotiations. As Rosenthal and Drellich point out, if MLB and the MLBPA are going to meet in the middle for an 82-game season that starts July 4, time’s running out. For that to happen, the players would have to be back in spring training by the middle of this month.

8 hours ago  ::  Jun 02, 2020 - 2:45PM #1353
Posts: 7,555

Who is the most underrated hitter in the Yankees’ lineup?

It is no secret that the New York Yankees boast some of the best offensive talent in Major League Baseball. They have elite hitters like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu, and ascending players like Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar and more. There is no shortage of star power.

However, have you thought about who is the one batter in the Yankees’ lineup that doesn’t get the recognition he deserves? That ever since he was acquired has done nothing but rake, take walks and hit home runs? We have, and his name is Luke Voit.

He came to the Yankees in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018, and what a September he had. Combining stats from the two teams, Voit slashed .322/.398/.671 with 15 homers in just 47 games in that 2018 season.

He entered 2019 with a chance to prove his worth, and he did, despite having to miss a great portion of the season with a core muscle injury. Last year, he slashed .263/.378/.464 with a .360 wOBA and a very good 126 wRC+ while playing some games hurt. That is a fantastic OBP that, had he been healthier, could have pushed .400.

The Yankees’ walk machine

Yes, the Yankees have had to cope with Voit’s strikeouts (27.8 K% last year) but he had an elite 13.9 BB% that was the cause of that sky-high OBP. Today’s baseball values players that have power and can take a base via walk, and Voit excels at both.

No, he isn’t a particularly good defender, but there is no denying that among the regulars and semi-regulars in the New York Yankees’ lineup (LeMahieu, Judge, Stanton, Torres, Brett Gardner, Mike Tauchman, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar and Aaron Hicks) Voit is the most underrated offensive asset.

If there is a season in 2020, the Yankees will likely give Voit the majority of reps and at-bats from the first base, and maybe Voit can start to get some recognition now that he is fully healthy.

8 hours ago  ::  Jun 02, 2020 - 2:48PM #1354
Posts: 7,555

Deivi Garcia might have to be more than a prospect - New York Daily News

TAMPA — Their year was supposed to be 2021. With Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton and J.A. Happ all likely to become free agents after this season, the Yankees’ most promising young arms were at major league camp this spring as a way to get them ready for next season — when at least one or two would be expected to step in. 

But like all of the best-laid plans this season, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown all that out the window. With the league and players union haggling over the financial foundation to start a shortened 2020 season, Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt and Michael King will likely get a chance to prove themselves ahead of schedule. 

Monday night, the owners were planning to send back to the union a counterproposal that would cut the number of regular-season games down to 50. The players are expected to reject it, but the owners could then press forward with a shortened season under an agreement they made in March with the MLBPA, in which the players agreed to prorated salaries for however games are able to be played. 

While the union and players haggle over the details, which will include having to still hammer out the health and safety protocols, one near-sure thing is that the shortened ramp-up and condensed season will allow teams to carry extra players — likely 30. 

The Yankees, like most teams, will likely stock up on arms to deal with the situation. Pitching coach Matt Blake indicated he would like at least 15 pitchers to get through this kind of intense schedule. 

For the Yankees, Garcia, Schmidt and King are the most intriguing options who could be contributing this season, either in the rotation or the bullpen. So, let’s take a look at the three most likely to be playing in pinstripes this year, beginning with Garcia today.

Schmidt and King evaluations will follow later this week. 

Garcia, 21, was rising through the system so fast last season that there was speculation he could make his major league debut in 2019. He has been considered the Yankees’ top pitching prospect, but is now being challenged by Schmidt, who is older, but with less professional pitching experience. 

Going from high-A Tampa to Triple-A Scranton in just under three months, however, Garcia stalled when they tried to use him out of the bullpen in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. 

Listed at 5-foot-9 but seeming smaller in person, his size and delivery are a little reminiscent of two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum. 

“He misses bats,” one scout who saw him last season said. “He isn’t overpowering, he just mixes it up well and has really good stuff.”

Garcia’s fastball sits 90-95 miles an hour, but he effectively mixes in a devastating curveball, an effective changeup and a slider, which is new to his repertoire. 

“His breaking ball is what makes him special,” the NL scout said this spring. “He has some command issues with his fastball."

Several scouts said that Garcia’s command would be considered “below average,” and two said that would worry them. But he has the ability to throw strikes with his breaking pitches, which makes up for that. 

In fact, Garcia struck 33 batters in 17.2 innings pitched in High-A ball and an eye-popping 37% of the batters he faced in Double-A. In Triple-A, Garcia struck out 45 over 40 innings pitched.

Garcia’s curveball is his best pitch, sitting 76 to 79 miles an hour with a sharp break, and he throws it for strikes. 

“The way he approaches pitching is very mature,” said another talent evaluator. “He knows how to use his best stuff. He uses the curveball effectively.”

The scout added that one other thing that impressed him about the 21-year-old pitching in his first big league camp was his presence. 

“He was composed on the mound, knew what he wanted to do,” the scout said. “He’s smaller, but he has a good mound presence.”

The three scouts agreed that Garcia projects as a back-of-the rotation starter who could be an even more dynamic multi-inning reliever (or opener) like Chad Green. 

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