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1 year ago  ::  Aug 16, 2022 - 10:33AM #4021
Posts: 27,424

Yankees can't buy a run, get shut out in consecutive games for first time in nearly 6 years

NEW YORK -- The slumping New York Yankees were shut out in consecutive games for the first time since 2016, losing to Ryan Yarbrough and the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 on Monday night.

Coming off a 3-0 defeat Sunday night against the Boston Red Sox, New York failed to provide any run support for ace Gerrit Cole, whose only run allowed followed a misplay in center field by Aaron Hicks.

"Obviously we gotta play better, we gotta do better than that," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

The AL East leaders were blanked for the fourth time in nine games and dropped to 8-16 since the All-Star break after a 64-28 start.

Yarbrough (1-7) pitched four innings as a bulk reliever for his first win in nearly a year, striking out six without a walk. He previously won Sept. 24, 2021 and had lost eight straight decisions over 14 appearances, matching the franchise record.

"It was nice," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I think Yarbs has pitched really well here as of late. He probably deserves a little bit better in the win-loss column, but he's contributing in a big way."

The Yankees hadn't been held without a run in back-to-back games since Sept. 22-24, 2016, when they were blanked once by the Rays and twice by the Toronto Blue Jays.

"Right now we gotta do better and it's hard right now," Boone said. "It's hard and we gotta find a way. We gotta keep digging ourselves out of this."

Hicks got turned around on the warning track and couldn't field David Peralta's flyball in the fourth inning, resulting in a triple. Isaac Paredes then singled off Cole (9-5) for a 1-0 lead, enough to get the Rays on their way to a third straight victory.

"First off, I turned the wrong way," Hicks said. "I tried to recover. I ended up thinking it was still right on top of me and it ended up being behind me."

Tampa Bay added three runs in the ninth on Jose Siri's RBI single and Yandy Díaz's two-run single.

Cole allowed one run and five hits in six innings. He struck out six, walked two and allowed one run or less for the 11th time this season.

Hicks batted with the bases loaded in the fourth but hit a soft comebacker to Yarbrough, who started a 1-2-3 double play.

After Yarbrough's 58-pitch outing, Ryan Thompson got the next five outs, getting Aaron Judge on a double play in the eighth. Brooks Raley fanned Anthony Rizzo before the Rays added on, and Jason Adam pitched the ninth.


Rizzo thought he was grazed on the right leg in the third, but plate umpire D.J. Reyburn ruled he leaned into the pitch. Rizzo and manager Aaron Boone vehemently argued to no avail.

"It shouldn't have been called tonight," Rizzo said. "I have been hit by a lot of pitches and it's never been called."

After striking out on the next pitch, Rizzo slammed his helmet in the dugout five times.

"Whenever you feel like you got screwed over on a call anytime it's annoying because we're out here competing at the highest level and I'm up here talking to you guys (media)," Rizzo said. "And I feel like the umpires have zero accountability when they miss something like that. I know they're not trying to miss, but it's just frustrating.

Rizzo has been hit by a pitch 17 times, tied for the AL lead with Seattle's Ty France.


Rays: SS Wander Franco (right hamate bone) will join Triple-A Durham to start a rehab assignment Tuesday or Wednesday.

Yankees: OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton (Achilles tendon) took batting practice in the indoor batting cage and also did fielding drills in the outfield. He said he is not quite ready to start a rehab assignment. ... RHP Luis Severino (strained right lat) threw 25 pitches in his first bullpen session since going on the IL July 14. Severino said he feels "the best I've felt all year." ... An MRI on INF DJ LeMahieu showed inflammation in his right big toe and he is day-to-day.


Tampa Bay LHP Jeffrey Springs (4-3, 2.56 ERA) opposes New York LHP Nestor Cortes (9-3, 2.67) on Tuesday.

1 year ago  ::  Aug 16, 2022 - 10:34AM #4022
Posts: 27,424 | Thomas Harrigan: On Monday, MLB released the schedule for the 2022 playoffs. This year’s docket is especially notable with the expanded field and the two best-of-three Wild Card Series that will be played in each league. Whether it be because of that or a result of the late start to the season, there are also some odd offdays in later rounds (as Andrew detailed yesterday). In both of the ALDS matchups, there will be an offday after Game 1, in addition to the normal travel offday following Game 2. Meanwhile in both the ALCS and NLCS, there is no travel offday between the potential Game 5s and Game 6s.

1 year ago  ::  Aug 17, 2022 - 9:42AM #4023
Posts: 27,424

Yankees calling up Estevan Florial, Oswaldo Cabrera: Reports WFAN

With the scuffling Yankees in desperate need of a spark, the team is reportedly set to call up two minor leaguers, though neither is hyped infielder Oswald Peraza.

According to Bob Klapisch of the Star Ledger, the Yanks are calling up former hyped outfield prospect Estevan Florial, while Daniel Alvarez Montas of El Extra Base reports that Oswaldo Cabrera is also being brought up from Triple-A, which Cabrera then confirmed on his Instagram page.

Florial, still just 24 years old, was a former top prospect before injuries derailed his growth. He has struggled in his multiple short stints in the majors in previous years, but this season, he is slashing .286/.368/.490 with 14 home runs in Triple-A, and the Yankees could be hopeful that he will provide more offense than the struggling Aaron Hicks.

Cabrera, 23, can play three infield positions and is slashing .262/.340/.492 with Scranton this season. He is the team’s 12th-ranked prospect, per Baseball America.

1 year ago  ::  Aug 17, 2022 - 9:44AM #4024
Posts: 27,424

FanGraphs | David Laurila: Jameson Taillon took some time to talk during the Boston series about his development as a pitcher throughout his career, including how his pitch selection has adapted to trends throughout the league and the mechanical changes he’s needed to make due to his injury history. It’s been a long journey for Taillon and he’s gotten access to a lot of great information between joining the Yankees and being teammates with Gerrit Cole both in New York and Pittsburgh, but in some aspects he’s still the guy that came up all those years ago.

1 year ago  ::  Aug 17, 2022 - 9:48AM #4025
Posts: 27,424

Arozarena's early homer sends Rays past skidding Yankees

NEW YORK — Randy Arozarena hit a three-run homer off Nestor Cortes in the first inning and the Tampa Bay staff made it stand up, leading the Rays over the skidding New York Yankees 3-1 Tuesday night.

Starter Jeffrey Springs (5-3) and four relievers combined on a four-hitter, and the crowd of 41,083 at Yankee Stadium booed their AL East leaders at times.

The Yankees have lost 11 of 13 and are 8-17 since reaching the All-Star break at 64-28.

"Yeah, we're all frustrated but you can't let the frustration get in your way of preparing and go every night," New York manager Aaron Boone said. "We got a few guys that are in a rut. We got to prepare and get ready and fight our way of it. It's part of it and it's no fun when you're going through it, but that's where we are right now."

Tampa Bay got only four hits while winning its fourth straight and closing within nine games of the Yankees — New York's smallest margin since also being nine ahead on June 15. The Rays trailed by 15 1/2 games after getting swept at Cincinnati July 8-10.

"Wins in this ballpark against this team, that can elevate you a little bit and make you feel that much better," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

New York lost its fifth straight series and was held to three runs or less for the seventh straight game.

"It's better to have this happen now in August than the first week of playoffs or near the end of the year when you're getting into the playoffs," New York slugger Aaron Judge said.

New York avoided being blanked in three straight games for the first time since 2016 when Andrew Benintendi tripled in the fifth and scored on a fielding error by third baseman Yandy Díaz on a grounder by Miguel Andújar.

Some fans booed when Andújar struck out to end the seventh with Josh Donaldson on third, and there were more when Jose Trevino struck out to end the game.

Díaz and Issac Paredes started the game with singles. One out later, Arozarena gave the Rays a 3-0 lead by lifting a 1-1 fastball into the left field seats for his 16th homer. It was Arozarena's fourth homer in six games after the right fielder went homerless in 16 straight games.

"I was looking for a pitch to connect on," Arozarena said through a translator. "I was hoping to hit a home run, that's kind of what I was looking for but I'm mostly just happy we got the victory."

Cortes (9-4) allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings. He struck out three, walked none and retired 19 of his final 21 hitters.

"I think we're going to turn it around soon," Cortes said. "I don't know when, but this team is capable of doing big things and obviously we showed it the first half."

Springs got 10 outs on the ground and held New York to one run and two hits in five innings.

"It's good to see," Cash said. "Our pitching has been outstanding the last two games here."

Pete Fairbanks pitched a perfect sixth, Brooks Raley got the first two outs of the seventh after Donaldson singled and Shawn Armstrong got the next three outs.

Jason Adam needed four pitches to retire Judge with a runner on to end the eighth.

Adam also fanned two in a perfect ninth for his seventh save.


Rays: SS Wander Franco (right hamate bone) went 0 for 2 as the designated hitter for Triple-A Durham. He was expected to play five innings but was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fourth due to general soreness in the hand and could play again Wednesday

Yankees: INF DJ LeMahieu (right big toe) missed his third straight game. He is day-to-day but a decision on putting him on the injured list could come Wednesday or Thursday. … OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton (Achilles tendon) could begin a rehab assignment in the next few days. … RHP Clay Holmes, who last pitched Friday, said after the game he is dealing with some back tightness. … OF Harrison Bader (right foot plantar fasciitis) said he is hoping to find out soon if his walking boot can come off.


Tampa Bay RHP Corey Kluber (7-7, 4.40 ERA) opposes New York RHP Domingo Germán (1-2, 4.18) on Wednesday night.

1 year ago  ::  Aug 17, 2022 - 10:54AM #4026
Posts: 27,424

Yankees call up red-hot prospect looking for an offensive spark

The Yankees have been searching for a spark, and they’re being extremely aggressive about it. News broke that Estevan Florial is expected to be called up, but he’s not the only rookie on the way. Oswaldo Cabrera has provided the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders a huge spark in the lineup while also being slick with the glove at a multitude of positions. With the Yankees in an offensive slump, they’ve opted to tap into their AAA depth to try to find lightning in a bottle. Whether it works or not remains to be seen, but let’s delve into what should excite Yankee fans about the Venezuelan stud that is Oswaldo Cabrera.

Helping Energize a Depleted Infield

In the month of August, the Yankees have mustered a subpar .654 OPS and have gone 2-11. They’ve specifically struggled at 2B/3B/SS, as they’ve slashed just .236/.315/.340 with a 92 wRC+ in August before last night’s embarrassing, offensive display. Oswaldo Cabrera has posted strong numbers at AAA across 55 games:

  • .298/.380/.591
  • .971 OPS
  • 154 wRC+
  • 13 HRs
  • 14 2Bs
  • 40 RBIs
  • 11 SBs

This level of offensive production is absolutely jaw-dropping, as Cabrera’s put on an impressive power display while also hitting for average, working walks, and stealing quite a few bags. He’s been red-hot since return for injury, with an OPS well over 1.000 in that timespan, and as a switch-hitter, Cabrera can have the platoon advantage against any pitcher, though most of his production comes from the left-side of the plate. Cabrera’s got a small stature, but by generating a lot of pull-side power, he’s able to generate above-average power. He also has a knack for not chasing out of the strike zone much, which helps create a well-rounded hitter. I’m not sure how much of that translates at the MLB level or if he will maybe benefit from getting more pulled flyballs down the LF and RF line to go for HRs, but the production and tools are there for offensive success.

Providing Added Defensive Utility

The Yankees are a strong team defensively, but with the struggles of Isiah Kiner-Falefa to make routine plays (even though he’s made absolute sparklers), maybe Cabrera can shore the Yankees up defensively there. According to Clay Davenport’s defensive grading system, he provides a +1 at the SS position, making him an above-average defender. At 2B, he’s at a +5, which is extremely impressive, leading me to believe it could be an arm not range deficiency that may hold Cabrera back if he were to become a full-time SS.

This is further supported by Baseball Prospectus, which grades Cabrera’s arm at SS as a -0.1 compared to the 1.8 at 2B this season. Cabrera’s true value comes in how many positions he can play, with the ability to hold his own at 2B, SS, 3B, LF, and RF. His athleticism and average arm means he can provide enough value at a multitude of positions to justify starting him there. He won’t be winning any Gold Gloves, but if he can be a 1-2 DRS guy at a variety of positions, he has more defensive value than a 3- 4 DRS player at just one position.

What Should the Yankees Expect from Oswaldo Cabrera?

As a projection-sheep, I must look to the trusty Steamer projections to give you what his slashline and wRC+ look like:

  • .231/.289/.413
  • .305 wOBA
  • 26.0% K%
  • 7.0% BB%
  • 99 wRC+

They project Oswaldo Cabrera to be a roughly league average bat, and if his defense and base running are as good as they’ve been at the MiLB level (which should translate seamlessly), then he is going to immediately be an impactful UTL bat for the Yankees who can put the ball in the seats every now and then and pinch-run and swipe a bag here or there.

Prospects are extremely volatile, and the Yankees don’t have a large sample of season left to give Cabrera a great chance to prove himself, but if he can stay hot (slashing .400/.457/.600 in August), he could be the spark the Yankees need in their infield. There is also a chance he runs a K% over 30%, has an OPS under .600, and isn’t the spark the Yankees were looking for. That does not mean boo the kid or label him a bust, it just means it didn’t work out this season. He just turned 23, this is his first taste of MLB action, and if this doesn’t work out, then you just hope Stanton/Bader/LeMahieu/Carpenter come back a 100%. Cabrera isn’t here to “save the season”, he’s here to give the team some much-needed new looks. He’s here to put pressure on the veterans to start, to run the bases, play strong defense, and maybe, just maybe, find his stride at the dish and have some big hits.

I couldn’t be more excited to watch Oswaldo Cabrera play, and hopefully, this is a start of a strong career for the Venezuelan rookie.

1 year ago  ::  Aug 18, 2022 - 9:57AM #4027
Posts: 27,424

About Last Night: Rays 7, Yankees 8

The Yanks scored in 4 of the last 5 innings after scoring just once in the prior 31 innings. The magic of the rain delay or the new kids?

Quick Stats -

  • Winning Pitcher: Aroldis Chapman (2-3, 4.45 ERA)

  • Losing Pitcher: Jalen Beeks (2-2, 2.81 ERA)

  • Save: None

  • Home Runs (New York): Gleyber Torres (17), Anthony Rizzo (28), Josh Donaldson (12)

  • Home Runs (Seattle): Harold Ramirez (5)

Big Story - Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of support. That, and the help of media, thousands of fans on Twitter continuing to spread the message, and a nudge in the right direction by another team in the league.

On Tuesday, the New York Mets announced that- in large part due to injuries in their outfield- they were going to call up top prospect Brett Baty. He's the Mets #2 prospect and #19 in the entire MLB. While it was unknown what would happen going forward for him, he ended up hitting a home run on the 2nd ever pitch he saw in the MLB. Ultimately, the Mets have been playing fine baseball (7-3 in their last 10), but they have continued to put their best foot forward, regardless of service clocks.

Fast forward to late on Wednesday night/early on Thursday morning and the rumors started circling that the Yankees were going to call up not just 1, but 2, of their young budding prospects in Estevan Florial and Oswaldo Cabrera. The team needed a spark and fans were clamoring for something new to be done in center field (over Aaron Hicks) and to give a new spark to the infield (over, well, everybody). While it was unknown that the two of Florial and Cabrera would combine to go 0-6 with 3 K's in the game from last night, they did provide something I hadn't felt in a while.

I actually, legitimately, wanted to turn on the Yankees game.

And, Cabrera quickly caught my attention.

It is a lot of pressure to put onto two young players to be the two sparks to a team that is in free fall. It takes a lot to recognize who will thrive in those situations. Estevan Florial already had some (albeit very very very limited) MLB experience and was the obvious move to give a center field shot. Oswaldo Cabrera was already being seen as the back-up move to the Yankees not wanting to bring up Oswald Peraza (for which it seems). However, it didn't seem like this phased him much. Like I said, Cabrera caught my eye.

It takes a lot to have swagger. Players who want to have this aura need to know what it is going to mean for them to try and possess such a delicate thing. Gleyber Torres often likes to display his swagger. When he's playing the hot hand, it is great to watch. When he's ice cold, it's an obvious talking point against him (see my post yesterday for example).

For what it is worth, Cabrera came into the game yesterday with a lot of swagger. Heck, it seems like he had practiced for his roll call from the bleacher creatures! (With, what looked to be a grenade toss? Wow. That's pretty dang cool.) Old-school baseball minds will not appreciate how much "not-so-quiet" confidence that Cabrera had on display. Especially before he's done anything at the MLB level. And, thanks to Eli Fishman, we can see this is not outside of the norm for Cabrera. Just check out his bat flip from a home run from last year. He's long been like this.

During the game, Oswaldo Cabrera showed off that had a mini Soto-esque shuffle towards the pitcher after every ball thrown to him, he nearly took his first at-bat out of the confines of the field, he missed completing a double-play in the 1st inning, and he struck out twice. It was not a pretty game, nor a good game for him. But none of it mattered. Cabrera was just going to continue with playing the game his way. Like with having swagger, this is a delicate game to play before it rags on the fans. I'm here for the show, but it has to be said that the show must prove it to continue on.

After the game he was also a pro with the media. Here are two additional clips to watch of his post-game talking to the media for the first time. (Clip 1) and (Clip 2). Amidst the swagger on the field, I get the sense Cabrera is very mature and comes from the proper school of thought when it comes to handling the media. It will be a balancing act that he'll have to learn with having the swagger on the field and not getting too big for himself/the game/the moment, BUT I have confidence in him.

Sometimes all it takes is a little support. That, and, a little spark from a guy who has a lot of confidence to give. Give me more Oswaldo Cabrera going forward. Keep that spark going. I'm quickly becoming a fan. (Just don't make me look silly, Oswaldo! Let's get that first MLB hit tonight!)

The Bringer of Rain (Post-Rain Delay):

  • Josh Donaldson: 1-4, Run, Home Run (Walk-off; Grand Slam), 4 RBI's, HBP

Player(s) of the Game - A walk-off is nice, but it's not everything

  • Jose Trevino: 3-4, Run, K

  • Gleyber Torres: 2-5, 2 Runs, Home Run, 2 RBI's, K

  • Anthony Rizzo: 1-4, 2 Runs, Home Run, 1 RBI, BB, K

Other Notable Performances - Some good all-around performances

  • Aaron Judge: 1-3, 2 Runs, 1 RBI, 2 BB's, K

  • Ron Marinaccio: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's

  • Scott Effross: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R (the ghost runner), 1 BB, 2 K's

  • Estevan Florial: 0-2, K, but made this great play to save some runs

Better to Forget - Definitely not the debut he was hoping for

  • Aroldis Chapman: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, Win

  • Domingo German: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 6 K's

  • Oswaldo Cabrera: 0-4, 2 K's

  • Isiah Kiner-Falefa: 0-3, 1 K

My Take - All these words and I haven't even really touched on the game itself yet. And, truthfully, I don't think I really need to say that much. The game spoke for itself and if you want to watch the highlights, they're right at the bottom of this post.

Domingo German was not great last night. The Rays- as they did on Monday and Tuesday- got out of the gates first and the Yankees were caught floundering against Corey Kluber. That about sums up the first 5.5 innings as the Yankees fell behind 4-0.

Then- and I give him a ton of credit- Gleyber Torres hit a solid 2-run home run in the bottom of the 6th. He showed that same swagger that can get him into trouble as I referenced before, but even in the moment I was okay with it. For whatever feeling I had, I was confident. Then, the inning ended, the game got caught in a rain delay, and we moved onto the 7th.

Bases loaded for Aaron Judge, and what does he do? He doesn't overdo it. Takes 4 straight balls and gets the Yankees within 1 of the Rays. (Ultimately, Gleyber grounded into a double play while swinging at the first pitch, ending the inning immediately afterwards. Ugg! And I just gave you credit again, Gleyber!)

Then comes the 8th, as the Yankees- for the first time since the 5th inning on August 13th- scored their way into a tie as Anthony Rizzo hit a solo shot. Things were looking up, even amidst a nothing-doing 9th on both sides of the ball.

...and then, they almost blew it in the 10th. Scott Effross got a groundout before Boone brought in Aroldis Chapman...who walked the first two batters he saw, got a bases-loaded strikeout, and then allowed a bases-clearing, 3-run double before ending the inning. Ugg. Yankees back down 7-4.

But, the game wasn't over.

Gleyber Torres started the 9th inning with a single to get Aaron Judge to 3rd. Anthony Rizzo then worked a 4-pitch walk.

And Josh Donaldson took the 2nd pitch of his at-bat over the right field wall to end it, just like that.

Next Up - The Yankees will start a 4-game weekend series tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays, starting at 7:05 PM (EDT). The Blue Jays have been in a slump in August (they've gone 5-9), are 3-7 in their last 10 games, and are coming off a 6-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles from yesterday afternoon. They are set to start Jose Berrios (8-5, 5.61 ERA) as the Yankees- also with a shaky August, who are also 3-7 in their last 10 games, and are also coming off an important win from last night- will start Frankie Montas (4-9, 3.59 ERA).

1 year ago  ::  Aug 18, 2022 - 9:58AM #4028
Posts: 27,424

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: Clay Holmes mentioned that he was experiencing back spasms after Tuesday night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, and on Wednesday afternoon he was officially placed on the 15-day IL. For the first half of the year, Holmes legitimately looked like the best reliever in the game, but he has struggled mightily over the last couple weeks. With his recent string of solid appearances, one would imagine that Aroldis Chapman is going to once again assume ninth-inning duties with Holmes on the shelf, but there might just be someone coming up from the minors to help offset what is sure to be an impactful loss for the bullpen...

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: There were some rumors floating around after the game last night, but they were officially confirmed on Wednesday. Minor leaguers Estevan Florial and Ron Marinaccio have returned to the big league club, and prospect Oswaldo Cabrera is making his big league debut. To make way for the youngsters, the aforementioned Holmes was placed on the IL, and Miguel Andújar and Tim Locastro were optioned to Triple-A. This team is in desperate need of a spark on offense and some, er, relief in the ‘pen, so expect this trio to assume a fairly big role almost immediately. Cabrera in particular is one to watch, as he has been on an absolute tear in Triple-A since coming off the IL. Here’s to hoping they can spark something in this team.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Kristie is a writing machine! In her second feature in today’s roundup, she discusses the kind-of-bizarre spin that the Yankees are currently putting on their recent stretch of bad play. After a brutal stretch in which they’ve lost 11 of their last 13 games, it would be easy for any team to cave in on itself, and while that’s still entirely possible behind-the-scenes, the team isn’t letting on. After Tuesday night’s loss, both Jose Trevino and Aaron Judge talked about how they still believe in this club, and the MVP frontrunner went on to say that a rough patch like this has the potential to make them tougher down the stretch. While Yankees fans are firmly in “we’ll believe it when we see it” mode, it’d be great if Judge were right about this one.

FOX Sports | Jake Mintz: There is no debate that the last few weeks have been some of the ugliest baseball we’ve seen in recent memory. Just as the blazing hot start the Yankees got off to this year was amazing to watch, this recent stretch is equal parts hideous. Is it time to panic yet? Jake Mintz has us covered, recapping the key ingredients that have led to this slump — injuries, underperformance at the plate, and a leaky bullpen — and suggesting that perhaps the Yankees are neither as good as they looked at the start of the year, nor as bad as they currently look. It’s probably not the answer you’re looking for, but at least it’s a sobering one for both sides of the “Is this team actually going to do any damage in October?” debate.

MLB Trade Rumors | Darragh McDonald: To end this morning’s news, let’s pour one out for one of the most popular Yankees of the 2010s. Dellin Betances rebuilt his career from a failed starting pitching prospect to a game-changing reliever. From 2014-15, he was particularly filthy with a 1.45 ERA, 2.05 FIP, and 266 strikeouts in just 174 innings (13.8 K/9). Even after that peak, the man continued his excellent multi-inning relief and ultimately made four All-Star Games in a row as he led a generation of “fireman” relievers who proved to be more valuable than the classic one-inning closers. Betances was an absolutely essential piece in Joe Girardi’s most dominant bullpens. At his best, no one could touch him.

Sadly, the injuries came in 2019 and just didn’t stop as Betances’ command only got worse. Betances only made it into 13.1 innings between 2019-21 with both New York teams, and per Jon Heyman, he has retired rather than continuing a comeback bid in the Dodgers’ system. We at PSA only remember Dealin’ Dellin fondly and wish him the best of luck in whatever comes next.

1 year ago  ::  Aug 18, 2022 - 10:45AM #4029
Posts: 27,424

New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays: Series Preview

SB Nation: Pinstripe Alley

Two teams that have struggled of late are set to face off in the Bronx.

For as bad as the Yankees have been playing lately, they haven’t really seen a big chunk of their AL East lead disappear. That’s in large part because, while Tampa Bay has caught up, the Blue Jays had been in second place behind them, and Toronto has been struggling quite a bit as well.

Since the start of August, the Blue Jays have gone just 5-9, failing to take advantage of the Yankees’ struggles and falling back to the pack themselves. As Erin detailed yesterday, the Yankees have really benefitted from the Blue Jays’ woes. Now, the two teams are set to meet in a series that will be crucial for both as they try to get back on track.

Thursday: Frankie Montas vs. José Berríos (7:05 PM ET)

Montas was much better in his second game as a Yankee than he was in his debut, but he still ended up only going five innings as some wildness that led to walks and wild pitches drove up his pitch count. This will be his first start against the Blue Jays this season as he wasn’t lined up for either series against Toronto when he was still with Oakland.

In July, it seemed that Berríos might be on the verge of turning his season around, but thus far in August, he’s really struggled. His most recent start saw him give up eight runs in four innings against the Guardians. The Yankees have gotten two looks at him so far this year, putting up eight runs in 10.1 innings.

Friday: Jameson Taillon vs. Kevin Gausman (7:05 PM ET)

His struggles since June are well-noted, but Taillon is coming off two consecutive starts that were very solid. Taillon’s also been pretty good against the Blue Jays so far this year. He has a 2.05 ERA in 22 innings, striking out 22 batters across four starts so far.

Gausman had been on a great start to August when he threw 14 scoreless innings in his first start of the month. However, he followed that up with a five-run, nine-hit, 4.2-inning outing against Cleveland last Sunday. His season has been a bit of an odd one in general, as his ERA is over a full run higher than his FIP. Those numbers include just one game against the Yankees so far this year, an April start where he was solid, but outpitched by Luis Severino and the Yankee bullpen.

Saturday: Gerrit Cole vs. Mitch White (1:05 PM ET)

You couldn’t have asked for much more from Cole as he attempted to bounce back from the disastrous August 3rd start against the Mariners. In 13 innings across two outings, Cole has allowed just one run, while striking out 14. Unfortunately for him, and the team in general, the Yankees’ offense was shutout in both games, wasting a pair of excellent starts from their ace.

Trade deadline acquisition White is set to get the start for Toronto on Saturday, in what will be his first ever appearance against the Yankees. A former top-100 Dodgers’ prospect, White has been pretty solid this season, including a 3.86 ERA (106 ERA+) since the deal that brought him over to the Blue Jays.

Sunday: Nestor Cortes vs. TBD (1:35 PM ET)

A bad first inning combined with another bad performance from the offense doomed Cortes to a loss in his previous start, but he ended up rebounding to have a pretty strong performance. He’s also been solid in his two starts against Toronto, both of which came very early in the season. Cortes has allowed two runs in a combined 8.1 innings in the games he’s had against the Jays this season.

At time of writing, it seems that Toronto has not confirmed who will be starting on Sunday, but Alek Manoah would be on normal rest, so he seems a fairly obvious choice.

1 year ago  ::  Aug 18, 2022 - 11:57AM #4030
Posts: 27,424

As expected, Trivino has made changes since coming to Bronx

SB Nation: Pinstripe Alley

Matt Blake is leading Trivino down the path to optimization.

Lou Trivino may have been the most obvious reclamation project for the Yankees of all the struggling “good stuff” relievers in Major League Baseball. He had a promising strikeout percentage, chase rate, and groundball rate. On top of the standard underlying metrics, his pitch movement was off the charts both this year, and in prior seasons. He has a funky, unique release, and has already flashed dominance at points in his career.

The question was always what the Yankees would change about Trivino. He had the stuff already, so whatever changes that were going to be made were likely to be in pitch mix, or slight changes to grips and release points. Despite a ludicrous level of horizontal movement, Trivino only threw his super sweeper 17 percent of the time while in Oakland this season. The pitch is borderline unhittable. The batting average against is near .150 and has an xwWOBA of .183. Why not throw your best pitch more often?

Pitching coach Matt Blake and his staff deploy a pretty simple concept. For Trivino, the buy-in was as easy as it usually is because it’s not hard to listen to a coaching staff that is constantly making pitchers better. So far in the Bronx, Trivino is throwing his super sweeper more than any other pitch in his repertoire. Shocker! He has essentially doubled the usage and made it his primary offering.

Even against one of the league’s best at avoiding strikeouts in Nolan Arenado, Trivino got a chase and whiff on a sweeper in the perfect location. This pitch may look familiar because it is very similar to what fans grew accustomed to seeing from Michael King: a pitch from a unique release point with loads of sweep that induces chases and called strikes.

By increasing the usage of Trivino’s cutter and sweeper, the Yankees are maximizing his repertoire. While he is more than capable of throwing four-to-five well-moving pitches, it may make the most sense for him to home in on two to three and become dominant with them. In his rough outing against Tampa Bay, we saw what can happen to Trevino when he loses it. His wonky mechanics make him erratic. Because of this, I find it even more important he focuses on a smaller pitch mix. He had little to no feel for his changeup and it put him in a hole. His sinker was hit the hardest, but at least it yielded a ground ball. I think it may be best for him to focus on the sinker, cutter, sweeper mix and only use the other pitches sparsely.

With the depth that the Yankees’ bullpen has, Trivino will not go more than two innings at any time. He will face hitters once, with the exception of a playoff series. Go at them with your best stuff and let the chips fall where they may. There is good reason to believe this will work out favorably for both him and the staff as a whole.

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