Yankees Off Season 2017

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Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby Zoo Keeper » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:36 pm

Information. Analysis. By the greatest Yankee fans on planet Earth. Brought to you by BigGuy
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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:20 am

A Quick Thank You to the Season that Was

by Domenic Lanza 779 Comments

(via @davidblattman)

It is difficult to put into words just how fantastic this season was for the New York Yankees. This is a team that was all but guaranteed to float around the 81-win mark this year, with the most hopeful of fans merely expecting strong contributions from the slew of youngsters that were slated for the roster. It was meant to be a transitional season, as Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi spent the last season of their respective contracts stewarding a ship towards 2018, with 2017 in the rear-view before the year even began. And most would have been happy with the team spoiling the playoff hopes of a potential playoff team or two.

Instead, the Yankees spent the better part of the season as one of the best teams in baseball, only bowing out to the soon-to-be World Series champions in the American League Championship Series. It was a hell of a ride, to say the least.

I’m not going to recap this season; those pieces will be written in the weeks to come. And I’m not going to attempt to plot out just how the Yankees made it this far; that story has been written and, exciting as it may be, we all know it well-enough already. Rather, with just under a month to go before Thanksgiving, I’m simply going to write out a few thank yous to the people that made this season special.

Thank you to CC Sabathia, for showing the world that you’ve still got it, even as your knees breakdown. And thank you for reminding us that some folk just love being a Yankee.

Thank you to Gary Dunaier, better known as ‘Thumbs Down Guy,’ for giving the fans and the players a new way to celebrate the team’s Fighting Spirit.

Thank you to Didi Gregorius, for always playing with the brightest and widest of smiles, and reminding us that baseball is a hell of a lot of fun. The post-game tweets are always a treat, too.

Thank you to Cashman and the powers that be, for brilliantly executing the ‘rebuild on the fly’ strategy.

Thank you to Girardi for sticking with the team’s young players, throughout their ups and downs.

Thank you to Luis Severino, for pitching like an ace from wire to wire, dazzling fans and opposing hitters alike with ridiculous sliders.

Thank you to Greg Bird, for finally getting healthy and raking in the playoffs.

Thank you to David Robertson, for coming home and being better than ever.

Thank you to Gary Sanchez, for proving that 2016 was closer to a taste of things to come than a fluke.

Thank you to Chad Green, for somehow becoming one of the best relievers in all of baseball.

Thank you to Brett Gardner, for being the continuing to quietly be a legitimate bargain in left field.

Thank you to Aaron Judge, for hitting baseballs harder and further than any human being should be capable of, while also playing with a childlike wonderment.

Thank you to the River Ave Blues staff, both on the page and behind the scenes, for making one of my dreams come true by bringing me on-board.

And thank you to the readers of River Ave Blues for taking it easy on me despite my penchant for rambling, and continuing to make the comment section a must-read (which is something that almost reads like an oxymoron).

I could go on and on, as this season was incredibly special in so many ways. It reinvigorated my love of the Yankees, and made me hopeful that another stretch of great success is well within reach. I don’t know what 2018 will bring, but for the first time in nearly a decade I’m heading into it with a healthy dose of optimism.
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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:21 am

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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:22 am

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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:26 am

The Yankees’ best moments under Joe Girardi

Let's take a look back at some of the team's high points during Joe Girardi’s tenure as manager.

by Brett Borzelli

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi before Game Three of the 2017 ALCS against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Girardi was hired to manage the Yankees following the 2007 season. His predecessor, Joe Torre, had guided the team to 12 straight playoff appearances, 10 American League East titles, six pennants, and four World Series championships. But the dynasty had stalled with the storied franchise's three straight Division Series losses. Ownership felt that a change was needed to get New York it's 27th championship, and Girardi was their choice to get it done.

During his 10-year run as manager, the Yankees won more games than any other team in baseball. They were 910-710, good for a .562 winning percentage. They averaged an even 91 wins per year.

New York also won a total of 28 playoff games, which was tops in the American League. The Giants, en route to three titles, won 36. The Cardinals won 32, while the Dodgers had 28 wins at the start of this year's World Series. The rest of the AL East won 46 playoff games combined. Boston won 18, Tampa Bay won 12, Toronto won 10, and Baltimore won 6.

Under Girardi, the Yankees were clearly the cream of the division and the league. Now that he and the franchise have gone their separate ways, let's take a look at some of the team's high points during Girardi's decade-long tenure as Yankees' skipper.

1. The 2009 World Series championship
After winning an MLB-best 103 games during the regular season, the Yankees swept the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS. Then they met the pesky Angels, who had eliminated them during the ALDS in 2002 and 2005. They finally got revenge against the AL West champs, dispatching them in a six-game LCS to reach the World Series for the 40th time. There, they foiled a Philadelphia team looking to repeat, beating the Phillies four games to two to clinch the franchise's 27th World Series title.

Lacking a reliable fourth starter, Girardi opted to use a three-man rotation throughout the postseason. Although the move was widely ridiculed by the media, it turned out to be his most brilliant. It was the defining decision of his most successful year as Yankees manager. Andy Pettitte went 4-0, CC Sabathia went 3-1, and A.J. Burnett was 1-1.

Pettitte won the clinching game of all three playoff rounds, becoming the first player to do so. He also set a new career postseason record for wins. He extended that record to 19 in 2010, which still stands today.

Hideki Matsui hit three homers, scored three times, knocked in eight, and had a 2.027 OPS in the World Series to take home MVP honors. He became the first Japanese-born player and first full-time designated hitter to do so. It was Godzilla's final season in pinstripes, and the beloved Yankee was able to go out on top.

New arrivals Mark Teixeira, A.J. Burnett, Nick Swisher, and Sabathia all won their first and only championships. The Core Four won their fifth and final one together. Although they tried mightily to win one more in subsequent years, 2009 was the last hurrah for that legendary dynasty.

2. Winning Game 5 of the 2017 ALCS
They weren't even supposed to be here. It was a rebuilding year. They were lucky to survive the Wild Card Game. There's just no way they could advance further than the Cy Young laden Red Sox. They were to be swept by the record-setting Cleveland team destined for World Series comeuppance against the Cubs. They will surely meet the Houston broom after falling into an 0-2 hole versus the Astros.

You've heard and read all the bilge. Yet, here we are, reflecting on a wonderful season where the Yankees came within one measly win of their 41st World Series.

Sure, there were many great triumphs along the way that could have made this list. What about the comeback against the Twins after Luis Severino gave up three runs and only recorded one out? How about Didi and the rest of the Bombers destroying Minnesota pitching? How about the Yankees bullpen!

What about the clutchest of clutch pitching performances by Masahiro Tanaka with the Yankees facing elimination against the Indians in Game 3? How about Greg Bird scoring the game's only run by homering off of Andrew Miller!

There was Game 5 in Cleveland to complete the improbable series win, keyed by Didi, CC, and the bullpen. There was the comeback in ALCS Game 4 after being down 4-0 in the sixth, keyed by Judge, Sanchez, and the bullpen.

I can go back even further than that. Do you remember that Friday night game against Baltimore, when the Yankees came back to win after being down 9-1 late? What about that five-game stretch in June when they outscored the Red Sox and Orioles 55-9!

Ah, there were so many great moments of the surprising and fun 2017 campaign. But we're here to celebrate Joe Girardi's tenure as manager. ALCS Game 5 was the final win of his career in pinstripes. This seventh victory of the postseason also marked the highest total of his reign, other than the championship year. And boy was it a dandy.

Tanaka threw his second seven-inning shutout of this postseason. Tommy Kahnle locked down the win. Sanchez, Bird, Gregorius, and Judge all came through with huge RBIs. The Yankees finally beat Dallas Keuchel.

3. The rookie campaign of Gary Sanchez
Brian McCann was a high-priced free agent signing. He was a seven-time All-Star, six-time Silver Slugger, and finished 24th in the AL MVP Award voting the previous year. Yet, Joe Girardi benched him and named Gary Sanchez the Yankees' starting catcher.

The 21-year-old had two big league plate appearances prior to being called up in August, 2016. Girardi put his trust in Sanchez, and we were all rewarded. Big time.

Sanchez hit 20 homers in 54 games. He drove in 42 runs, scored 34 times, and slashed .299/.376/.657. It was the greatest abbreviated rookie campaign in baseball history. He even surpassed Hall of Famer Willie McCovey's 1959 Rookie of the Year Award winning production, long considered to be the gold standard for second-half call-ups. Sanchez finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting to Michael Fulmer, who started 26 games for Detroit.

Would Gary Sanchez turn out to be a flash in the pan? Not even close. This season, Sanchez made the All-Star Game in his first year on the ballot. He went on to break the franchise record for home runs by a catcher with 33. Posada and Yogi Berra had been tied with 30. The young phenom has already found himself in lofty company, and he's only getting started.

4. The rookie campaign of Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge was a late-season call-up in 2016. He wowed the crowd at Yankee Stadium by hitting a towering home run in his first major league at-bat. Naturally, the critics soon dismissed him as a near-miss when he began striking out a lot. But not Joe Girardi.

The Yankees manager held a competition between Judge and Aaron Hicks during spring training to determine the starting right fielder. Girardi heard it from both sides, with some saying Judge would never amount to anything, while an equally loud chorus said the same about Hicks. But Girardi somehow got lightning to strike twice in the same place.

Judge won the starting nod in right field, while Hicks soon took over in center to replace the injured Ellsbury. By the time Hicks got injured around mid-season, he was second in the league in OPS behind Judge.

All Rise turned in a rookie campaign for the ages. He broke Mark McGwire's 30-year-old rookie home record by swatting 52. In doing so, Judge became only the fifth Yankee ever to hit 50 or more homers in a season. Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Alex Rodriguez are the only others to accomplish the feat.

Number ninety-nine was the leading All-Star vote-getter in the American League, and second overall behind Bryce Harper. The right fielder became the third Yankees position player to be selected to start the All-Star Game in his rookie season, following legends Joe DiMaggio and Hideki Matsui.

The young superstar broke Ted Williams' rookie walk record. Judge was at or near the top in all three Triple Crown categories for the first half of the season. He is certain to win the Rookie of the Year Award, likely unanimously. He is also a serious candidate to win the MVP Award, although he faces serious competition from Jose Altuve and Mike Trout. Regardless of the final vote outcome, Judge will be a top-three finisher at the very least.

If a vote were held, Judge would probably be the team's postseason MVP. He led the Yankees with four home runs and eleven runs batted in. Through the LCS, only Houston's Jose Altuve hit more bombs (5), and only the Dodger's Justin Turner drove home more runs (12). Judge also scored nine times, which was second only to Altuve's ten.

Judge was clutch, knocking in runs in five of the Yankees' seven postseason wins. His two-run shot in the Wild Card Game gave the Yankees a 7-4 lead. His two-run double off Trevor Bauer in Game 4 of the ALDS gave the Yankees a 4-0 lead. It turned out to be the game winner, as New York went on to a 7-3 victory.

He had key hits in each of New York's three ALCS wins as well. His three-run dinger in Game 3 gave the Yankees a commanding 8-0 lead. His dramatic two-run double to tie the score in Game 4 was one of the most important hits of the year. Finally, Judge's double in Game 5 gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead and provided Tanaka with some breathing room.

As he did all year, Judge impressed with his defense as well. His running, leaping catch to rob Yuli Gurriel of a home run to lead off the second inning of ALCS Game 7 was one of the best plays you'll ever see. Had the Yankees gone on to win that game by a run, it's a play that everyone would be talking about and would likely be regarded as the series saver.

5. The arrival of Greg Bird
When Mark Teixeira suffered a season-ending injury during the 2015 playoff push, Joe Girardi called upon Greg Bird to replace him. Another manager might have tried to shoe-horn a veteran into first, but Girardi put his faith in a 22-year-old with no major league experience. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of Girardi's managerial career.

Bird played in 46 games, hitting 11 homers, scoring 26 times, and driving in 31. He slashed .261/.343/.529 in 178 plate appearances and played exceptional defense. The Yankees would not have won the Wild Card that year if it were not for Bird's contributions at the plate and in the field.

Following injuries that caused him to miss considerable time, Bird returned to the team in September. He hadn't seen much playing time and Chase Headley was entrenched at first. Despite this, Girardi not only added Bird to the postseason roster, but had him start every game. Once again, Bird came through.

He led the team with a .938 OPS in the playoffs. He hit three homers and drove in six runs. He turned in a great overall performance by any measure, but it was the timing of his hits that really makes him stand out. Bird had the game winning RBI in three of the Yankees seven postseason wins.

His solo home run off Andrew Miller in Game 3 of the ALDS was easily one of the biggest hits of the entire season. It was the only run of the game, with the Yankees literally nine outs and one run away from elimination. It was the turning point of the series, which the Bombers came back to win.

Bird came up clutch again in Game Five of the LCS. With the series tied at two games apiece, and Tanaka once again engaged in a potential pitching duel, Bird's RBI single in the second to break through against Dallas Keuchel gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead. It turned out to be the game winner, as Tanaka and the bullpen shut out Houston.

At the moment, the crowning achievement of Joe Girardi's managerial tenure is the 2009 World Series title. But it won't be for long. The young stars that got their starts under his tutelage have very big futures ahead of them. He will be long remembered for his hand in their development.

Joe Girardi literally presided over the ending of one dynasty and the beginning of a new one. It's just too bad that he won't be around to share in the rewards as it takes flight.
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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:29 am

The Yankees’ worst moments under Joe Girardi

After 10 years at the helm, Joe Girardi is out as Yankees manager. Let's take a look at some of the team's low points under his tenure.

by Brett Borzelli

Yankees manager Joe Girardi walks onto the field in the fifth inning during Game Two of the 2017 ALCS against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

After 10 years at the helm, Joe Girardi is out as Yankees manager. He took over prior to the 2008 season, following the team's three straight playoff exits during the Division Series. The once mighty dynasty under Joe Torre had waned, having failed to win a World Series title since 2000.

The Core Four were still at the top of their game, and the organization was eager to capitalize on this before they entered their decline phase. Enter Joe Girardi, a three-time World Series champion with the Yankees and former teammate of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada. Girardi was tasked with the responsibility of returning the Yankees to world championship glory.

He accomplished this goal in 2009, after the Yankees failed to make the playoffs in his freshman campaign as skipper. Overall, the team missed the postseason in four of his years as manager, while being eliminated rapidly in the one-and-done Wild Card Game in another. They also saw three exits in the League Championship Series and one in the ALDS.

Ten years is a long time to have any job. Girardi presided over many ups and downs during his tenure. It was a time of transition for the Yankees, with many personnel changes occurring.

Every member of the Core Four retired on Girardi's watch, and he was forced to navigate the club through the farewell tours for two of them. Meanwhile, the team failed to make the playoffs in each of those two years.

The organization decided to let homegrown All-Star Robinson Cano depart via free agency, instead choosing to sign Jacoby Ellsbury from the rival Red Sox. Ellsbury displaced fan-favorite Brett Gardner in center field, while the Yankees struggled for years to find even a replacement-level player to fill the void left at second base by Cano's departure. Run production suffered mightily due to the loss of his middle-of-the-order Hall of Fame caliber bat, which contributed significantly to the team's disappointing finishes in the two years that followed.

Girardi also endured the entire Alex Rodriguez soap opera, from the accusations and denials to the suspension and lawsuits. A-Rod made his triumphant return and was a major factor in the club's playoff push in 2015. But A-Rod could no longer play a defensive position and Girardi had to bench him the next year once it became clear that the former three-time MVP could no longer contribute to the offense either.

It's impossible to know precisely how much the field manager impacts the personnel decisions, or to what degree the front office influences his moves. Regardless, all of these things happened during Girardi's stint as manager. They are, therefore, part of his legacy.

With a heavy heart, let's take a look at the five worst on-field moments during Joe Girardi's 10-year run as Yankees manager:

1. Missing the playoffs in 2008
The Yankees' American League record 13 consecutive postseason appearances came to an end with the disappointing 2008 campaign. Girardi was brought in to get the Bombers to the LCS and beyond, following their elimination in three straight Division Series under Joe Torre. Instead, New York took a step backwards by missing the playoffs entirely.

The single worst moment of the season occurred on June 15th, when ace starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang was injured while running the bases during an interleague game at Houston. Wang reached on a bunt attempt in the sixth inning with the Yankees ahead 3-0. He pulled up rounding third on a Jeter single, struggled to make it home, and had to be helped off the field after scoring.

New York won the game 13-0, but Wang was lost for the year, and his stellar career was effectively ended. He tore a tendon and sprained his foot. Wang made several comeback attempts in later years, but never regained his form.

"It's a manager's worst nightmare when a pitcher's on a basepath," Girardi said. "It's unfortunate."

"The National League needs to join the 21st century," Hank Steinbrenner said. "I've got my pitchers running the bases, and one of them gets hurt. He's going to be out. I don't like that, and it's about time they address it. That was a rule from the 1800s."

At the time of Wang's injury, New York trailed Boston by six for first place in the AL East and were 3 1/2 behind Tampa Bay for the sole Wild Card berth. They finished six games out in the playoff race, wasting Mike Mussina's first 20-win season in the final year of his great career.

2. Losing to the Rangers in the 2010 ALCS
One of the most controversial moves of Girardi's tenure was his decision to use a three-man rotation for the duration of the 2009 playoffs. It turned out to be his most brilliant, and the defining one of his most successful year as Yankees manager.

He eschewed this novel approach during the Yankees bid for a repeat, which proved to be a major contributing factor of their demise. After sweeping the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS, Girardi decided to use struggling starter A.J. Burnett for Game 4 of the LCS versus the Rangers. Burnett got lit up to the tune of five runs, and the Yankees fell behind 3-1 in the series.

Phil Hughes didn't fare any better, losing both of his starts against Texas. Still, the series may have turned out differently with two starts apiece from Pettitte and Sabathia. The Yankees won both of CC's starts, while losing Pettitte's only one. Perhaps things might have turned out differently if Pettitte had gotten a second turn.

Instead, the Yankees were beaten by a team that won five fewer games during the regular season. It was a disappointing end to a 95-win campaign, as the Bombers fell two victories shy of a chance to play the Giants in the World Series and possibly garner back-to-back titles.

3. Losing to the Tigers in the 2011 ALDS
The AL's top playoff seed went to the 97-win Yankees in 2011. Then they ran into the Detroit pitching juggernaut.

They lost a game to Max Scherzer. They lost one to eventual MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. Then Doug Fister beat Ivan Nova in Game 5 to end New York's season.

The Bomber's had tons of offense. They hit a franchise-record 27 home runs in the first 14 games of the season. They set another club record on July 30th versus Baltimore when they scored 12 runs in the first inning. On August 25th, they became the first team in history to hit three grand slams in one game.

Perhaps their undoing came before the season even started. Coveted free agent starter Cliff Lee rejected the Yankees' six-year, $138 million contract offer to sign for less money with the Phillies. In the end, the Yankees' big acquisition Freddy Garcia just wasn't enough to push them past Detroit and into the ALCS. The outcome was bitterly disappointing considering the fine year they had.

4. Losing to the Tigers in the 2012 ALCS
Once again, winners of the AL's top playoff seed. This time, after a 95-win season. Once again, eliminated by the Tigers. This time, it was a four-game sweep in the ALCS.

In May, Mariano Rivera was lost for the year when he tore a ligament in his knee shagging fly balls during batting practice in Kansas City. It was a horrific injury. Sadly, it wouldn't be the last one experienced by a member of the Core Four during the 2012 campaign.

Derek Jeter broke his ankle diving to stop Jhonny Peralta's groundball in the top of the 12th inning of Game One versus Detroit. Trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees had rallied for four runs, capped by a Raul Ibanez two-run home run with two outs to tie it up. The Tigers took the lead on the play before Jeter got hurt, then added another run for the 6-4 victory.

New York scored a total of two runs on 11 hits in the remaining three games. It was arguably the most one-sided defeat in a postseason series ever suffered by the franchise. The Yankees never led at any point during the four-game sweep.

5. Losing Game 2 of the 2017 ALCS
Losing the ALCS this year doesn't qualify as a "worst moment." The fact that the Yankees even got there was a major achievement, considering they were nearly swept by Cleveland in the Division Series. They weren't even supposed to make the playoffs. This was a rebuilding year, after all.

Still, the ALCS was winnable. But they didn't lose the series based on their play in the final two games. They lost it because of their performance in Game 2.

In many ways, their seven postseason wins served as a highlight film for the 2017 season. The Yankees won with lots of home runs and clutch pitching. Likewise, their playoff losses mirrored their most frustrating failures during the regular season.

None better exemplifies this than Game 2 at Minute Maid Park. They got superb pitching from their starter and middle relief, only to have the closer blow it in the ninth. They hit the ball hard all night against the ace of aces, but just couldn't deliver the knockout blow. They only needed one more run to take the series back to New York with a chance to clinch the pennant without having to return to Houston, but they just didn't get it. Instead, Verlander got the big strikeout, time and time again.

The Bombers could have won that series in five games and moved on to play the Dodgers in the World Series. They might have become the first team ever to knock off three 100-win teams in the same postseason.

Some might argue that the worst moment of the 2017 season was actually Game 2 of the ALDS. It sure seemed like it at the time. But in retrospect, that game was actually a high point for this year's team. After that crushing defeat, the players truly came together. They rallied in support of their manager. That loss was the launching point from which six more ultra-memorable victories were attained.

"We got your back," said Todd Frazier to his manager after that stinging loss. Frazier was speaking for the entire team. The ballclub had finally gelled. It's just too bad that it happened only 10 games before Joe Girardi's outstanding decade-long run as manager came to an end.
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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:45 am

Mark Teixeira talks Yankees managerial search

by Mike Calendrillo @macalendrillo

According to Brendan Kuty, retired slugger Mark Teixeira thinks that Yankees bench coach Rob Thomson would be a perfect choice to manage the club. But why? And who else might fill the void?

Following Thursday’s departure of Joe Girardi, the Yankees are in the market for a new manager for only the third time in the past 22 years.

With news coming forth that the organization is looking for someone that can both bond and motivate a roster chock full of young players, implement an analytical approach — a la AJ Hinch with the Astros, in addition to having past ties to general manager Brian Cashman — retired three-time All-Star, Mark Teixeira, has an idea who could pick up Girardi’s baton.

After eight successful seasons in the Bronx, highlighted by a 2009 World Series Championship, why not at least hear out the five-time Gold Glove winner?

As Tex told NJ.com:

Teixeira said Thomson has great relationships within the organization and with the “coaches, media, front office — he’s one of those guys. I think he would be perfect in New York.”

The current ESPN analyst also spoke to NYPost.com about why he felt Girardi’s time in pinstripes had run its course.

“But with baseball the way it is played today and the need for a manager to be a better communicator and communicate with the front office the reasoning for doing things and to be a little bit more relaxed — especially in a place like New York, where the pressure is everywhere. He just wasn’t the best man for the job anymore.”

“The communication and the highs and lows of the season weren’t Joe’s best assets and he will probably tell you that. He manages every game like it’s Game 7.”

Whether or not Teixeira’s words had any influence on Las Vegas’ line as to who will become the next skipper of the Yanks remains to be seen. But according to the Bovada, here are the odds.

Rob Thomson – 6/1
Joe Espada – 7/1
Al Pedrique – 7/1
Tony Pena – 7/1
Trey Hillman 10/1
Kevin Long – 10/1
Jay Bell – 12/1
Raul Ibanez – 12/1
Pete Mackanin – 12/1
Don Mattingly – 12/1
Willie Randolph – 12/1
Larry Rothschild – 12/1
Tim Naehring – 16/1
Jason Giambi – 33/1
Alex Rodriguez – 100/1

Although Thomson is 54-years-old, which goes against the wishes of the organization to have a manager in place for the “long-haul,” he does check many of the other necessary boxes.

The Canadian born Thomson has been with Yankees’ organization since 1990 — acting as director of player development, VP of minor league development & field development and Class-A third base coach.

Justin Diamond @justinddiamond
IMO, Girardi's greatest moment as a Yankee. In a time when all of baseball was against A-Rod, Joe always stuck with his players #ThankYouJoe

Most recently, Thomson was the Yanks’ bench coach in 2008, third base coach from 2009-2014, and bench coach again the past four seasons. Thomson previously expressed a desire to take over the helm of the Blue Jays back in 2010.
Last edited by BigGuy on Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:55 am

Coveted Nippon-Ham Fighters ace Shohei Otani has been released from the hospital following successful ankle surgery, according to a report from the Japan Times. Otani’s recovery process will be one to watch, as he’s likely to be courted by all 30 MLB teams during the offseason as he attempts a move to the majors. Otani’s ankle injury can actually be traced all the way back to last October and has bothered him ever since, so fans in Japan and the US alike will hope that this surgery puts a firm end to any issues.
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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:21 am

Yankees prospects: Awards for the minor league season

by Jason Cohen@Jason00Cohen Oct 29, 2017, 9:00am EDT

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

We have gone through the 2017 Yankees and talked about which players should win different team awards, but we have yet to cover the prospects within the system. While offseason ball is still ongoing, it’s probably safe to give out these awards. Here are the prospects in the Yankees organization that deserve recognition for their play in the 2017 season.

MVP: Estevan Florial

The Yankees’ uber-prospect in the making has finally taken his first big step toward can’t-miss territory. This is the kid that teams wanted to trade for when he was just 17 years old in the Dominican Summer League. Brian Cashman has smartly held onto him, and now we see what it’s getting him.

Florial, at the age of 19 years old, hit .298/.372/.479 with 13 home runs and 23 stolen bases between Charleston and Tampa. To say he is advanced for his age is an understatement. He’s now the organization’s No. 3 prospect, and he could move up soon.

For those wondering at home, I initially felt Gleyber Torres deserved this honor, but considering his elbow injury took him out in June, it’s only fair to give the award to someone who played through the entire season.

Cy Young: Chance Adams

The season’s best pitcher was hands down Chance Adams, who put together a strong campaign in 2017. Drafted in 2015, he was converted to be a starter in 2016, where he seemed to flourish. It was impossible to know exactly what he would do from there, but this season was his best yet with a 2.45 ERA and 8.1 K/9 through 150.1 innings of work between Trenton and Scranton.

While this was only his third season in the organization, many believed the Yankees would call him up to the big leagues after accelerating him through the system. He likely would have made his debut this year too, if it wasn’t for those pesky inning limits. He’s bound to make an impact in 2018 at this point.

Comeback Player: Billy McKinney

The Yankees got Billy McKinney from the Cubs in the trade for Aroldis Chapman last year. While the headline was Gleyber Torres, McKinney was a promising prospect who just hadn’t broken out, so Chicago was fine giving him up. Considering he was still recovering from a broken knee, it shouldn’t have been surprising that he struggled in 2016.

Fast forward to 2017, and things have completely changed for him. He hit .277/.338/.483 as a 22-year-old between Double-A and Triple-A, and he managed to hit a career high 16 home runs. He’s gone from being a future minor league free agent to possibly getting a spot on the 40-man roster as soon as this offseason.

Silver Slugger: This isn’t an exact science, but I generally tried to figure out who had the best offensive season at each position. Debate if you must, but I tried to focus on legitimate prospects over the cannon fodder of the year.

C - Donny Sands
1B - Chris Gittens
2B - Nick Solak
SS - Tyler Wade
3B - Miguel Andujar
OF - Isiah Gilliam
OF - Jake Cave
OF - Estevan Florial
DH - Mike Ford

It’s too bad we have no way of judging defensive abilities, otherwise we’d have a Gold Glove award too.
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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:05 am

Austin heads to winter ball, Abreu dominates in AzFL

October 29, 2017 by Mike Axisa 87 Comments

Last week SS Thairo Estrada finished third in the annual Arizona Fall League Hitting Challenge behind Twins 3B Chris Paul and Mets C Tomas Nido. During the Hitting Challenge players aim for targets on the field to accumulate points. It’s pretty neat.

Here are some minor league notes:

SS Gleyber Torres has started hitting off a tee as he continues his rehab from Tommy John surgery, according to his Instagram feed. Good news. Seems everything is going well. Torres blew out his non-throwing elbow sliding into home plate in June and is expected to be ready in time for Spring Training.

Both 3B Miguel Andujar and 1B Tyler Austin will play winter ball in the Dominican Republic this winter, according to MLB Pipeline. Austin missed a bunch of time with injuries this past season, and could be a 40-man roster casualty this winter. Andujar needs to work on his defense. The more reps, the better.

LHP Justus Sheffield (No. 1) topped last week’s Prospect Hot Sheet following his dominant Arizona Fall League debut, then both RHP Albert Abreu (No. 2 ) and OF Estevan Florial (No. 7 ) made this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. I can’t remember the last time the Yankees had this strong a group of prospects in the AzFL.

Player development analyst Dan Greenlee has left the Yankees to join Gary Denbo with the Marlins, reports Joel Sherman. Greenlee will be Miami’s director of player personnel, which is quite the promotion. He’d been doing minor league analytical work for the Yankees.

The Yankees have started interviewing internal candidates to replace Denbo, reports George King. Pro scouting director Kevin Reese, director of minor league operations Eric Schmitt, director of performance science John Kremer, and field coordinator Carlos Mendoza have interviewed so far.

So long, 1B Ji-Man Choi. He elected free agency, reports Matt Eddy. We’ll always have those dingers. Also, the Yankees re-signed C Sharif Othman. The organizational depth catcher hit .223/.265/.345 (74 wRC+) in 72 games at three levels in 2017.

Arizona Fall League

SS Thairo Estrada: 10 G, 16-41, 9 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 9 K, 2 HBP, 2 SB (.390/.432/.512)

OF Estevan Florial: 10 G, 12-38, 9 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 6 BB, 18 K, 1 HBP, 1 SB, 1 CS (.316/.422/.447) — Josh Norris said Florial got chewed up by breaking balls in one of the games he saw, which included six swings and misses on breaking stuff

SS Kyle Holder: 6 G, 10-24, 3 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 CS (.417/.444/.625) — he’s on the taxi squad, so he only plays Wednesdays and Saturdays

1B/OF Billy McKinney: 9 G, 11-36, 5 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 4 BB, 6 K, 1 HBP (.306/.372/.528) — so far he’s played five games at first base, three in left field, and one at DH … some AzFL parks are equipped with Statcast, and among the games recorded, McKinney had one of the ten hardest hit balls

RHP Albert Abreu: 3 G, 3 GS, 15 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 15 K, 1 HR (1.20 ERA and 0.80 WHIP)

RHP Cody Carroll: 5 G, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 11 K (0.00 ERA and 0.86 WHIP)

RHP Andrew Schwaab: 5 G, 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HB (8.31 ERA and 1.85 WHIP)

LHP Justus Sheffield: 4 G, 4 GS, 19 IP, 13 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 21 K, 1 WP (2.39 ERA and 0.79 WHIP) — Josh Norris has a write-up of Sheffield’s second AzFL start, and said his stuff was as good as his first start … “The 21-year-old sat between 94-97 mph with his fastball for most of his 4.1 inning out and touched 98 once. Just like he did on Tuesday, he also showed two potential plus offerings in his mid-80s slider and high-80s slider,” said the report.

Dominican Winter League

1B Tyler Austin:
1 G, 1-4, 1 2B, 2 K (.250/.250/.500) — he’s here, but Andujar hasn’t played yet

IF Abi Avelino: 5 G, 7-18, 2 R, 4 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB (.389/.389/.389)

1B Mike Ford: 9 G, 5-31, 5 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 8 K, 1 HB (.161/.278/.194) — if he’s down here hoping to impress prior to the Rule 5 Draft, he’s going to have to pick it up soon

LHP Nestor Cortes: 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K (0.00 ERA and 0.33 WHIP) — I’m not sure he has the stuff to get big leaguers out, but given his upper level success the last few years, I think he’s going to get popped in the Rule 5 Draft in a few weeks

RHP Raynel Espinal: 1 G, 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K (0.00 ERA and 9.00 WHIP)

RHP Anyelo Gomez: 5 G, 3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP (5.40 ERA and 1.20 WHIP) — 24-year-old quietly had a 1.92 ERA (2.19 FIP) with 31.0% strikeouts and 7.5% walks in 70.1 innings at four (!) levels last year

RHP Tyler Jones: 5 G, 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP (4.15 ERA and 0.92 WHIP)

RHP Adonis Rosa: 2 G, 1 GS, 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K (1.80 ERA and 1.40 WHIP)

RHP Jose Pena and RHP Eduardo Rivera are listed on rosters but have not yet played.

Venezuelan Winter League

C Francisco Diaz: 9 G, 6-31, 4 R, 1 2B, 5 RBI, 1 B, 6 K (.194/.212/.226) — organizational depth catcher already re-signed after becoming a minor league free agent

OF Alex Palma: 16 G, 25-69, 14 R, 6 2B, 1 3B, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 SB, 1 CS (.362/.371/.478) — 22-year-old is off to a nice start in winter ball after hitting .280/.322/.435 (120 wRC+) in 54 Single-A games this season

RHP Daniel Alvarez: 5 G, 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (1.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP

RHP Luis Cedeno: 5 G, 3.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HB (0.00 ERA and 1.64 WHIP)

RHP Gabriel Gonzalez is listed on a roster, but has not yet played.

The Yankees do not have any players in the Mexican Pacific League this winter. The Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League announced winter ball will not be played in Puerto Rico this year due to the devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
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