Saturday, March 31, 2018

DEPTH IS KEY TO THE 2018 YANKEES

Don't believe me?

Source: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America
Yesterday Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez were 0-12 combined... and it was guys like Brandon Drury and McKinney and Tyler Wade that put the Yanks on top beating the Blue Jays.

That's right.  Tyler Wade... a kid with a dream and a manager in Aaron Boone who game him an opportunity.  Wade took that opportunity and ran with it.

CBSSports.com writes:

Photo: Getty Images
"Wade went 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI in Friday's 4-2 win over the Blue Jays. Getting the start at second base and hitting ninth, Wade ripped a fastball into the gap in right-center with the bases loaded in the sixth inning to drive in his first runs of the season. "

I was reading some Little League blog recently about 'moments' and how when a player who's been working hard and trying to find his niche' in this game gets a 'moment'... confidence builds and that player can and will become a dominant force... especially with backing from a supportive coach and team.  Wade is that example.  Last night was his moment. I love this story and I can't wait for the next chapter.

Yanks win... and now 2-0.  Even without the superstars, the Yankees find a way.  Depth is solid on this club.  No question about it.


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Friday, March 30, 2018

PRAISE FOR BOONE. APPLAUSE FOR STANTON.

Photo: Getty Images
It was a really nice Opening day game.  The Yankees look relaxed and I liked what I saw from Aaron Boone.

The New York Post has a great piece from Dan Martin and I'm going to take a short part of it:

Photo: Getty Images
"'The process that served us well by producing Joe Girardi, I believe, has served us well by producing Aaron Boone and nothing over the last six weeks in Tampa has changed that feeling in any way, shape or form,' Cashman said before the game. 'He’s an exceptional baseball person and I believe a quality leader. I have no second-guessing … or concerns.'  Whether that remains the case over the course of the season is up to Boone, who had never coached or managed before being tabbed to take over the team when Girardi wasn’t brought back following the Yankees’ Game 7 loss to Houston in the ALCS.

Photo: Getty Images
A lineup stacked with Giancarlo Stanton — who homered twice Thursday — Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez should make Boone’s life easier, as will performances like the one he got from Luis Severino. Boone acknowledged he would certainly have to deal with the unexpected at some point this season.

'That’s part of sports,' Boone said before the game. 'There’s a lot of comfort in knowing you’re prepared. In sports and life, things come up and throw you curveballs. You’ve got to roll with it and be able to handle it.'”

And those words are smart.  Being prepared allows you to tackle anything. Boone's got this...especially with that mindset.

Photo: Getty Images
And a shout out to Stanton this morning, who didn't let the pinstripes and new team intimidate him.  He simply was a professional and went for it.  Maybe it was an American League team trying to figure out how to pitch to him in the Blue Jays, or maybe he's just the real deal.  Who knows. I do know this... I like this lineup. I like this team's leadership and I can't wait for more.


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Thursday, March 29, 2018

THINGS I THINK ABOUT ON OPENING DAY

We are here. 

It's Opening day and I am looking forward to my Yankees.  A few things to watch today and this season. It's a few things I am thinking about...


How will Luis Severino respond as the Yankees Opening Day starter.  We have seen this pitcher shut down if he gets hit, but we have also seen him mature in the latter portion of the 2017 season.  Can he emerge as a young leader for this club?

NJ.com
Will the bash brothers of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton be a force to be reckon with or will it be a flop? How will Judge do in his full second season with the Yanks? Will Stanton become a better player now that he is with a competitive, winning team?

Photo: Sporting News
Will Tyler Wade play? He was a guy that Aaron Boone loved to watch play this spring training and Wade earned his spot. Riding the bench after making a roster is fine, but getting in there and really trying to help the club is valuable for confidence for a kid like that.

Photo: Getty Images
Will Tyler Austin truly jump at the opportunity and push Bird out of the spotlight? We will have to see, but my gut tells me this kid is ready to pop.  Can't wait.

Photo: New York Post
And finally... Will Aaron Boone bring a smile to us fans.  We loved Joe Girardi... and some of us hated him too. But now we have Boone.  He's growing on me and the season is just getting started.  Let's see if he can lead this young team.

Very exciting day, folks.  This is what it's all about.  Happy Opening day!

Go Yanks!

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ANOTHER FORMER YANKEE GETS TOMMY JOHN

Photo: Getty Images
Tommy John surgery is more common than it used to be and recovery is alittle easier.  Don't get me wrong, it's major surgery, but there have been advances and it's very interesting.

It's also interesting that so many players have had Tommy John over the last decade.  We just told you all about David Phelps of the Mariners.  Now there's news about former Yankee prospect Jacob Lindgren. Atlantic Journal Constitution writes:

(Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)
"The Braves had high hopes for Jacob Lindgren after poaching the strikeout-producing left-hander from the Yankees in December 2016, but his future appears uncertain now after requiring a second elbow surgery in a 19-month span. The 25-year-old Mississippi native developed elbow soreness early in spring training and had Tommy John surgery Tuesday performed by Dr. James Andrews at his clinic outside Pensacola, Fla."

Don't forget, Lindgren already had Tommy John in 2016.  It's crazy, but it happens.  I just hope he fully recovers. You never want to see that happen.

Get well soon Jacob.

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FREAK ACCIDENT K.O.'s SALVADOR PEREZ


I've heard of some stupid accidents, but this one will no doubt hurt the Royals this season.

According to MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan, the Royals catcher got hurt, slipping while carrying his luggage and doing some damage. Check this out:

Wow!

What happened next from fans is pretty hilarious:



OK then.

Perez is a major piece of the Royals.  You gotta feel bad here for him and that team...except for when we play them of course.  MLB Trade Rumors writes:


"Perez’s accident may well lead to a career low in games played this season for the 27-year-old, who has been eminently durable throughout his Kansas City tenure. Since 2013, his first full season, Perez has appeared in no fewer than 129 games in any regular-season campaign. He logged that total last year during a season in which he hit .268/.297/.495 (103 wRC+) with a personal-best 27 home runs across 499 plate appearances. On the defensive side, Perez threw out a league-average 27 percent of would-be base stealers – a significant decline from the 48 percent he caught in 2016 – and ranked as one of Baseball Prospectus’ worst pitch framers. Statistics aside, Perez is arguably the heart and soul of the Royals, which brings value that’s impossible to quantify. "

He and Moose are the leaders.  Remember Eric Hosmer is gonzo. Same with Lorenzo Cain.

Oh well.  This is just nuts. I had to share it.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

REMEMBER JOSE MESA JR? HE'S BACK


A while back the Yankees had a young pitcher named Jose Mesa Jr.. He was Jose Mesa's son.  Back in July of 2012, we had a piece on BYB titled JOSE MESA JR SIGNS & TY HENSLEY WORKS OUT. In that piece, we wrote this:


"...Jose Mesa Jr has also officially signed with the Yanks. You've heard the name Jose Mesa before, he played major league baseball for 19 years...Mesa Jr. is obivously his son. Jose Mesa Jr was the 24th overall draft pick. According to Mesa's Tweet on the morning of July 13th...

it was revealed that he signed."

But then he went away. Today, he's back with the Yanks.  NorthJersey.com writes:

Photo: Baltimore Sun
"The Yankees received their third MLB Rule 5 draft pick of the spring, as the Orioles returned pitcher Jose Mesa Jr. on Wednesday afternoon. The team announced the righty was assigned to Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre..."

Nice one and good for the Yanks.  Not gonna lie. I always wanted to see this guy up in the Bigs in pinstripes.  I wonder if it will happen? We will have to wait and see.

Welcome back Jose.



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IT'S THE CALM BEFORE THE SEASON

Source: @TheJudge44

This winter has been simply AWFUL.  So awful that a sheriff's office in the state of Pennsylvania has issued a warrant for the arrest of the nation's most famous groundhog.  "Last week, the office announced that it's "seeking the apprehension of Punxsutawney Phil for deception," reported USA Today.



And since the warrant for Phil, the last few days have been fairly calm sans the fall of Greg Bird for six to eight weeks.  With the season less than 24-hours away, we are so close to what could be an incredible season for the Yankees.  And we have you covered...and now we are even more accessible.



Starting today, Bleeding Yankee Blue will be a Yankee news source on an app entitled New York Baseball-Yankees by Luno Software, Inc. According to the app's info tab "We're committed to delivering fast and accurate news from a variety of sources."  And we are one of their sources!



Our fearless editor in chief, Robert Casey Tweeted at them after a devoted reader and Yankee fan asked me why we were not offered as a news source on the app.


Shortly after this tweet, we were added to the app, which truly features a diversity of Yankee news sources including some of my favorites, NJ.com, ESPN, NY Post and other bloggers offering differentiated spins on the Yankees.  Along with news, the app includes standings, scores around baseball, the Yankee schedule, and roster.  For the baseball and in particular Yankee lover, this is a match made in heaven and a great way to start the season off with all of the information and statistics you need.


With winter and Punxsutawney Phil out of the way, the Yankees are ready to make a break into 2018: a potential standout season for the Bombers and a perfect opportunity for you to read us right from an app that has all the Yankee news you could ever want.  It's the calm before the season, the most wonderful day of the year and we got you covered!




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof




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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

BIRD'S INJURY IS WONDERBOY'S GAIN

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
I have always been a fan of Tyler Austin.  And as much as I like and appreciate Greg Bird, I'd be lying if I said I was patient with all the injury stuff Bird is going through.  I'm not. I hate it.  But let's be honest here... with Bird hurt, a kid like Tyler Austin has a big opportunity here. I wish ill on no one, but this is a human trait about survival and teammates or not... sometimes you just need to pounce when an opportunity is out there.

Photo: New York Times
I read this tweet yesterday.  I liked it.  Read it and more from me after the jump..

Thanks to Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record for that.

Here's my take.  Tyler Austin was just offered a shot.  Being the professional teammate that he is... it is right to say that kind of stuff. No doubt they are teammates, friends and all that is fine and swell.  But Wally Pipp and Lou Gehrig were too. 

Photo: NJ.com
Yup the example is extreme, but my point is simply this;  This is huge for Wonderboy and he needs to grind and get and KEEP that spot.  No hard feelings... that's the way it goes and hopefully for him, he gets it, learning what he can from a veteran like Walker, but keeping his nose to the grindstone and going for it.

NJ.com has this:


"Greg Bird's latest dose of really bad luck - he'll undergo right ankle surgery on Tuesday and be sidelined for 6-to-8 weeks - is a lucky break for Austin, who will be back on the roster as a platoon first baseman with Neil Walker after being optioned to Triple-A last week. 'It's not the way that you want to do it, but I'm definitely excited for the opportunity and to get a chance to play,' Austin said. 'Just being on this team is special, so I'm excited.'"


Sometimes teams win games on a bases loaded hit by pitch.  Sometimes a passed ball allows the lead run to score and a team wins.  And sometimes players get hurt only for others to get a shot and shine in that moment. Sure it's not the way to do it... but you do it and you grind hard and get your spot.

I'm rooting hard for Wonderboy.  It's time.

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
By the way...if you don't know why I call Tyler 'Wonderboy', it's nothing new.  I've always given him that nickname when Bleeding Yankee Blue interviewed him in 2013.  He and his mom Kim were great to sit and chat with us.  You can read that here:

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: TYLER AUSTIN... WONDERBOY

Good Luck Tyler. Get well soon, Greg. Go Yanks!

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Monday, March 26, 2018

COULD AARON JUDGE BAT LEAD-OFF?

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

I know you are as surprised as I was when I read that new skipper, Aaron Boone, batted slugger Aaron Judge in the lead off slot against the Red Sox on Friday.  Yes it happened.  The outcome? The Yankees lost 5-0, with Judge striking out in five pitches at his first at bat.  Boone believes he could do this again, maybe even on opening day in Toronto.  I'm shaking my head.

Source: Lynne Sladky/AP Photo

I understand that you want your best hitter to get the most at bats, which is why you bat guys like Judge first.  But Judge is way too green and much too impatient to bat lead off.  I would not try that experiment again. And by the way, Judge is not the Yankees' best hitter, yet.

 Source: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

"If I wanted to do something like that in the regular season, and if that's a real option, I at least wanted to introduce it," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "Because obviously it's a story today. So I at least wanted to get that part of it out of the way, and then we'll kind of evaluate and see where we stand going into the season with something like that," reported ESPN.  Is it just me or do you have a hard time understanding Boone by way of his soundbites?  The struggle is real for me, my friends.

Source: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Judge was a good sport about the experiment noting that he may have batted first "in a high school game once."  According to ESPN, "As the Yankees made their way back from a road game more than two hours away against the Minnesota Twins, Boone thought about how Friday would be a good time to tinker with his Judge-at-lead off experiment."  I worry about the word, tinker.  I wouldn't tinker with Judge, I would coach him to be the best hitter in baseball and drive in the most runs by placing him third or perhaps keeping him second in the lineup.

Source: Boston Herald

Could Aaron Judge bat lead off? With Boone at the helm, don't be surprised if you see him there, as early as opening day.  Although regular lead off batter, Brett Gardner, is slated to start the game in left, it is not etched in stone that he will bat first.  I don't like the experiment.  What do you think?




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof








Sunday, March 25, 2018

IT WASN'T THAT SMALL A WORLD FOR SEVERINO YESTERDAY


The Yankees played the Braves in the Disney complex, Champion Stadium in Florida yesterday.  That was the plan.  Luis Severino was to start for the Yankees, and if you saw the game or are reading the papers this morning... that happened.

But what you won't read too much about is that Severino almost didn't make it. He almost missed his start.  He got lost in Disney World.

Photo: New York Times
The New York Post got this story and it's kind of funny:

"Perhaps the most important lesson Luis Severino learned Saturday covered not baseball, but Disney World: It’s vast and confusing, and weekend traffic is a doozy.

The Yankees’ Opening Day starter reported to Champion Stadium about 11:45 Saturday morning, considerably later than expected for a 1:07 first pitch...

Photo: USA Today Sports
'It was supposed to be 15 minutes [from where he stayed],' said Severino, who made the trip to Disney because the Yankees wanted to keep him away from the Blue Jays, whom he’ll face Thursday in the season opener, in the split-squad contest. 'It was 30 minutes. I meant to check the traffic before.'"

I love Disney, but only when I'm there.  Getting there... getting out of there is a pain in the rear end. I like to get a place inside the compound... usually on a monorail so it's easy.  The travel otherwise? Insane.  And poor Sevy didn't realize that.


I wish he called me... I would have given him some tips.

Oh... by the way... the Yankees won yesterday.  Sevy looked great.  Thank god it didn't rattle him.


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BIRD DOWN! BIRD DOWN!

Photo: Getty Images
I can't take it with Greg Bird and all these injuries.  This is a guy that should way ahead now.  I keep waiting for him to get into a groove and it never happens. Drives me crazy.  Now he's got an injured foot? Come on man....

The Times-Tribune has the story...

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America
"The last week of spring training might have doomed Greg Bird again. Bird was scratched from a split-squad start Saturday against the Braves in Orlando, Florida, when he felt pain in his surgically repaired right ankle during warmups.

'I’m worried about it to be honest,' Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. 'I’m not sure what we’re dealing with, but Greg, when he can’t tee it up, it’s a problem for us. He’s a vital member of our organization. ... Hopefully, if he’s going to be down, it won’t be long.'

Photo: Getty Images
Results from an MRI and CT scans taken Saturday evening revealed right foot inflammation, according to the Yankees."

Look, Bird's a strong kid.  I see him getting over this, but a foot injury can be the worst.  I just hope he recovers fully.  I'm a bit startled by Cashman's quote to the press that he's worried.  That's not typical 'Yankee-speak', but hey, I guess it's honesty and I can appreciate that.

Get well soon, Birdman.


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Friday, March 23, 2018

CC SABATHIA IS THE BEST PART OF THIS YANKEE BIT


The Yankees and YES do a bunch of promos that run all season, every season and we fans love them all because it takes our Yankees and puts them in a different environment they may not be too comfortable with.  Good stuff.

Now I'm not gonna lie, sometimes they get on my nerves... but for the most part, I get a kick out of them.  The Stepbrothers scene with Didi and Castro was a real fun one and one of my favorites...




Anyway, this next spot is titled "Roll Call" Idol.  I did like it very much, but not because of the cringey acting and not because Greg Bird does every dance in American history...for like an hour (or at least that what it feels like).

I know what you're thinking... you think I think Gardner is the funniest part of this thing.  He gets so angry, he's overly critical. And no... that's not the best part for me.

CC Sabathia is the best part! He's friggin' hilarious.  It has nothing to do with what he says... he looks the part and I'm going to be totally honest here... I didn't even know it was him until the end when I saw him. When I saw the close-up, I was in tears... SO FUNNY!



Oh, and here are the outtakes!




Anyway... it's Friday.  I'm keeping it light.  Share this.


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FORMER YANKEE TO GET TOMMY JOHN

(Feb. 20, 2018 - Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)
This is a big blow to the Seattle Mariners.  David Phelps is a damn good pitcher, probably more mature, seasoned and better than he was in New York.  This just plain sucks if you're a Seattle fan and management is not happy about this either I suppose.  Phelps needs Tommy John. Not his fault, this happens to a lot of pitchers. It just sucks to it happened to David.

ESPN writes:

Photo: Getty Images
"David Phelps has a torn UCL in his pitching elbow and will have season-ending Tommy John surgery, the team said Thursday. The right-hander is expected to be sidelined 12-15 months. Phelps was expected to serve in a setup role this season for Seattle, which acquired him from the Marlins last July."

Photo: Getty Images
Damn.  Bottom Line, we love David Phelps here. Bleeding Yankee Blue even interviewed him a while back.  Check out EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DAVID PHELPS for a trip down memory lane.

Get well soon, David.


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