Sunday, February 17, 2019

What it could cost to extend Aaron Hicks

In this investigation, we will attempt to approximate the salary (dependent on the length of the deal) the Yankees will offer impending free agent (in their efforts to extend  him) Aaron Hicks through encompassing age decline and the average cost / 1 WAR on the FA market.
In Neil Weinberg’s Beginner’s Guide To Aging Curves, he explains that…
“a basic rule of thumb is that once a player gets to 30, you sort of expect them to lose about 0.5 WAR per year of value due to aging. Some players will age better or worse, but that’s an average estimate”.
Another one of his articles analyzed the price teams pay per 1 WAR on the FA market. Neil Weinberg asserts that…
$/WAR is basically a measurement of how much teams are paying for players on the free agent market according to how many wins they will add over replacement level players. Right now, we think teams are paying about $8 million per every WAR they add to their roster. For example, a 2 WAR player signed for three years would theoretically provide his team with 6 WAR, so a team might want to pay him anything up to $48 million. If the team pays less than $8 million for each expected WAR, we call this a “good deal” and if they pay more, we say they “overpaid.”
Although Hicks is not yet a FA, he will presumably insist on pay comparable (relatively speaking) to what he could have gotten on the FA market (if he had opted to go that route). 
Photo: Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports
29-year-old CF Aaron Hicks’ contract is up after this season. With no feasible replacement on the horizon (acclaimed prospect Estevan Florial is still ways away from reaching the majors and Clint Frazier hasn’t been able to stay healthy or play at a high level), the Yanks will undoubtedly pursue a contract extension. For the purpose of this investigation, let’s assume Hicks loses 0.5 WAR annually starting in 2020 (his age 30 season) and that the cost per 1 WAR is $8 million…
2020: 3.0 WAR (3.5 [FanGraphs’ Depth Charts projection for 2018] – 0.5 = 3.0); $24 million
2021: 2.5 WAR; $20 million
2022 (age 32 season): 2.0 WAR; $16 million
2023: 1.5 WAR; $12 million
2024 (age 34 season): 1.0 WAR; $8 million
2025: 0.5; $4 million
2026 (age 36 season); $0 million
Hicks contract possibilities:
  • 1 yr, $24 million
  • 2 yr, $44 million
  • 3 yr, $60 million
  • 4 yr, $72 million
  • 5 yr, $80 million
  • 6 yr, $84 million
Prediction: 5 yr, $80 million

Thanks for reading and feel free to follow me @MaxGold81356590

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Jonathan Holder

The New York Yankees have assembled potentially one of the deepest and best bullpens in all of Major League Baseball history. The bullpen has everything. A lockdown closer in Aroldis Chapman, the fireman and set up man in Dellin Betances, the former closer in Zack Britton, the strikeout machine in Adam Ottavino, the guy who can give you length in Chad Green, and the kid who just gets guys out by any means necessary, thus living up to his namesake. Let’s meet the young man that will look to hold the lead for the Yankees presumably every time he enters a game this season, Mr. Jonathan Holder.

Jonathan Holder, 25-years old, is a right-hander relief pitcher and former starter in the Minor Leagues for the New York Yankees. Holder holds down games and leads that the Yankees starters give him with a 93 MPH fastball, an 83 MPH slider, an 86 MPH changeup and a pair of rarely thrown pitches in an 87 MPH cutter and a 77 MPH curveball. Holder throws a lot softer, for lack of a better word, than most of the Yankees relievers, and also, if possible, is considerably shorter than a lot of his fellow bullpen mates standing at 6’2” and weighing in at 235 lbs. Holder would have to play point guard or come off the bench for the New York Yankees basketball team that is hitting the courts near you as soon as 2020, and I’m sure he is okay with that.

Jonathan Blake Holder was born on June 9, 1993 in Gulfport, Mississippi where he attended Gulfport High School before heading off to Mississippi State to play college baseball for the Bulldogs. During his collegiate career, Holder posted an 11-2 record with a 1.59 ERA and 27 saves with 191 strikeouts. Those numbers impressed the Yankees enough to draft Holder in the sixth round of the 2014 MLB First Year Player’s Draft. The Yankees quickly converted Holder from a relief pitcher to a starting pitcher in their farm system with successful results, prompting the team to promote Holder to the MLB level on September 2, 2016. Holder would finish out 2016 in the Yankees bullpen and would appear out of the pen for the Yankees another 37 times in 2017 before becoming a mainstay for Aaron Boone’s pen in 2018. Holder finished the 2018 season with a strong 3.14 ERA in 66 innings pitched and will look to be just as good, if not better, for Boone and the Yankees here in 2019.

Good luck to you, Jonathan, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you aren’t going to need it.

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Dellin Betances

The New York Yankees may only have one more year left with one of the most special relief pitchers to ever grace the game, in my opinion, so let’s take full advantage of that and get the man they call Dealin’ Dellin a ring, shall we? The Yankees are banking on strong starting pitching, a powerful lineup and quite possibly the greatest and deepest bullpen in the history of the game to achieve this, and that begins and ends with Betances. Betances, and Chad Green as well, can come in when a starting pitcher has a short night, he can come in as soon as the fifth or the sixth inning, he can pitch the seventh, the 8th, and even the 9th. Hell, on some nights he could pitch two or three of them, so let’s get reacquainted with possibly the most integral part of the bullpen going forward this season, Mr. Dellin Betances.

Dellin Betances, 30-years old, is a right-handed relief pitcher for the New York Yankees that some would consider to be a “fire man.” Dellin has a 98 MPH four-seam fastball, an 86 MPH curveball, and a rarely thrown 90 MPH changeup that he uses to get himself (in and) out of trouble while on the mound. Dellin, standing 6’8” and weighing 265 lbs., is a big strikeout and groundball pitcher that plays extremely well inside Yankee Stadium, or any stadium for that matter. Dellin, a “failed” starter, is truly a special arm out of the bullpen for the Yankees and has been since arriving on the scene for good in 2014.  

Dellin Betances was born on March 23, 1988 in Washington Heights, Manhattan to parents, Jaime and Maria Betances. Dellin’s parents immigrated to the United Stated before Dellin was born from the Dominican Republic. Betances attended Progress High School within the Grand Street Campus in Brooklyn, New York and attended many Yankees games as a child, including David Wells perfect game in 1998 when Dellin was just 10-years old. If it were not for his family taking him to baseball games as a child Dellin may have chosen basketball over baseball and credits his family for his decision. Dellin was already 6’4” in High School and could throw over 90 MPH by the time he graduated, leading many to believe that Dellin would be chosen in the first round of the 2006 MLB First Year Player’s Draft. Dellin, like many pitchers before him, committed to pitching at Vanderbilt University on a baseball scholarship, just in case, and announced that he had a high signing bonus demand and a will to only pitch for the New York Yankees. This led many teams to pass on Betances, but the Yankees took the chance on the big right-hander in the 8th round of the 2006 Draft and gave him $1 million to forego his commitment to the Commodores.

Betances began his professional career with the Staten Island Yankees before being promoted to the Major Leagues for the first time on September 8, 2011. Betances only made two appearances for the team that season before spending the entire 2012 season back in Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes-barre RailRiders. Betances, then a full-time starter, was shifted to the relief role in 2013 and was back in the Major Leagues on August 11, 2013. Betances, now a relief pitcher, made the Yankees Opening Day roster in 2014 and was elected to his first All-Star Game in that same season. Betances would finish the 2014 season with 135 strikeouts as a rookie, finishing third in the AL Rookie of the Year Award vote behind Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker and White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.

Betances was back in the All-Star Game in 2015 and back to striking out opposing batters at an alarming rate, becoming the first reliever to ever strike out 100 or more batters in consecutive seasons for the Yankees on August 19th. Betances made a third straight All-Star Game in 2016 and for the third straight season the righty would strike out 100 batters, finishing the season with 126 strikeouts after seeing fellow relievers Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman traded for prospects, thus ending No Runs D.M.C. Dellin once again made the All-Star Game for the American League in 2017 and even threw an immaculate inning against the Detroit Tigers on August 2, 2017, striking out the side in the eighth inning on the minimum of nine pitches. Dellin was not selected as an All-Star in 2018, breaking his streak of four straight appearances, and will look to build a new streak here in 2019. Truth be told, though, In think Dellin would trade all four All-Star Game nods for just one World Series ring, so let’s see if he can make that happen and if the Yankees can accommodate that this season.

Dealin’ Dellin. The return in 2019.

Meet the 2019 Yankees: CC Sabathia

Image result for cc sabathia
“That’s for you, bitch.” I may or may not have imagined the Yankees and their GM, Brian Cashman, saying this as they offered CC Sabathia a one-year deal to anchor the Yankees rotation here in 2019. CC is a grizzly veteran and a great clubhouse presence that everyone around the league, players and fans alike, not only know, but respect as well. We don’t really need to re-introduce you to Mr. Sabathia, so we will more just check in with the big Yankees lefty.

CC Sabathia, 38-years old, is a veteran left-handed starting pitcher for the New York Yankees that is expected to anchor the rotation here in 2019 as the team’s fifth starter. CC will go out to the mound every fifth day or so and look to give the Yankees at least five innings of work with his 89 MPH cutter, 81 MPH slider, 91 MPH sinker, 84 MPH changeup and some impeccable command and control. CC is a big man, standing 6’6” and weighing in at 300 lbs. prior to his weight loss this winter, and comes with constant concerns about his right knee and the lack of cartilage surrounding it.

Carsten Charles “CC” Sabathia was born on July 21, 1980 in Vallejo, California where he attended Vallejo High School and played baseball for the school’s team while also playing football and basket as well. Sabathia was a pitcher in high school in baseball and a tight end in football, drawing scholarship opportunities from UCLA and Hawaii. Hawaii gave Sabathia the opportunity to play both football and baseball, so Sabathia signed a letter of intent to play there during his collegiate career. Instead, the Cleveland Indians came calling in the first round, 20th overall, of the 1998 MLB First Year Players Draft, signing for $1.3 million. Sabathia would make his MLB debut with the Indians by the 2001 season and stayed with the Indians until the 2008 season when Cleveland moved the big left-hander to the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade. On July 7, 2008 the Indians traded Sabathia to the playoff-hopeful Brewers for Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley, Zach Jackson and Rob Bryson. Sabathia dominated down the stretch and led the Brewers into the NLDS, but Milwaukee would eventually falter and fall to the eventual World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies. Sabathia would hit the free agent market for the first time in his career at the conclusion of the 2008 season.

On December 18, 2008 the New York Yankees agreed to sign the big left-hander to a seven-year deal worth $161 million, the biggest contract ever given to a pitcher at the time. Sabathia was named the Yankees Opening Day starter in 2009 as the team opened up the newest version of Yankee Stadium. Sabathia, along with new arrivals in AJ Burnett, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira, led the Yankees to a World Series championship in his first season, the team’s 27th World Series championship in their history. Sabathia pitched well again in 2010, finishing third in the AL Cy Young Award vote, but his offseason was disrupted after a scan found a torn meniscus in his right knee. Sabathia was the Yankees Opening Day starter for the third year in a row in 2011, fresh off recovering from his torn meniscus surgery, with a little added pressure on the big lefty. Sabathia had an opt-out clause written into his contract that would have allowed Sabathia to opt-out of his deal after the 2011 season, but Sabathia made it clear that he had no intentions of doing so. Instead, Sabathia signed an extension with the Yankees worth an additional year and $25 million in salary, along with a $25 million vesting option for the 2018 season.

Another year in 2012 and another Opening Day start for Sabathia and for the New York Yankees. Sabathia was also named to his third consecutive All-Star Game with the Yankees in 2012, but a strained abductor muscle kept the lefty out of the game. Sabathia led the Yankees to the ALCS, but New York could not overcome a broken ankle from their captain and shortstop, Derek Jeter, and ultimately fell to the Detroit Tigers. After the season, Sabathia has surgery on his left elbow to remove bone spurs and was ready for the start of the 2013 season, another Opening Day start. Sabathia had to learn how to pitch with diminished velocity in 2013, and it was not always an easy transition. Sabathia struggled throughout the season after dropping 40 lbs. but did see flashes of improvement as he moved towards the 2014 season. His 2014 season was cut short, though, after learning that CC had a degenerative knee condition that cost him all but eight of his starts in 2014. The Yankees initially worried that CC needed microfracture surgery on the knee, a surgery that would have essentially ended his career, and were pleased with the relatively good news.

CC returned to the mound in 2015 fresh off the degenerative knee condition diagnosis still trying to learn to pitch without being able to rear back and blow away opposing hitters with his fastball. Sabathia had his worst statistical season of his career this year, but he improved after coming back towards the end of the season with a new brace on his knee. CC pitched the Yankees into the 2015 postseason, but the team ultimately lost the Wild Card Game against the Houston Astros. CC missed the game after checking himself into a rehabilitation center after a struggle with alcoholism became too much for him to handle on his own. Sabathia continued to improve with his pitching in 2016 after the surgery before seeing his career revitalized in 2017. CC posted his best statistical season since 2012 back in 2017 and ended up finishing the season with a 14-5 record and a 3.69 ERA with 120 strikeouts in 148.2 innings pitched. CC pitched the Yankees to the American League Championship Series before ultimately losing to the Houston Astros in seven games. Sabathia became a free agent after the season and quickly agreed to a one-year deal worth $10 million for the 2018 season.

CC continued to finesse his way through his starts in 2018, well until a pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays, Andrew Kittredge, threw at the head of Austin Romine. In response, CC hit the Rays catcher Jesus Sucre and was seen leaving the field pointing into the Rays dugout yelling “That’s for you, bitch!” CC was suspended for five games and will serve the suspension at the beginning of the 2019 season after agreeing to return to the New York Yankees on a one-year deal worth $8 million. CC is the heart and soul of this pitching staff, both on and off the field, in my opinion and is an asset worth $8 million tenfold. We all love you, CC, and we can’t wait to see what you bring us here in 2019.

TGP Trivia and Fact of the Day for February 17th, 2019

Good morning Yankees family. Drink your coffee, get ready for church, do whatever you have to do, including nothing at all, while answering this trivia question.

What player for the New York Yankees holds the MLB postseason records in the following categories: games, at-bats, runs, hits, singles and doubles - and is tied for the lead in triples?

Highlight the below for the answer:

Derek Jeter

Leave your comments and answers in the comments section below, no cheating please.

And a special good morning to my amazing wife, Kari. I love you my baby!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Anthony Seigler

Obviously, on most teams anyway, you won’t have more than two-or-three catchers on their 40-man roster, which makes things difficult when you are trying to meet all the Yankees here in 2019. We have already met or got reacquainted with Gary Sanchez, Austin Romine, and Kyle Higashioka, but I also want to introduce the Yankees first round draft pick, a catcher, from the 2018 MLB First Year Players Draft, and a man that was one of the first Yankees players to arrive at Yankees Spring Training camp this season, Mr. Anthony Seigler.

Anthony Seigler was born on June 20, 1999 in Cartersville, GA (which is about an hour away from where I currently live in Metro-Atlanta, GA). Seigler is a switching hitting, AND switch throwing, catcher in the New York Yankees organization.

image credit Pinstripes Prospects

As a senior at Carterville High School, Seigler posted a 1.09 ERA in 25 innings pitched while also batting .421 with 14 home runs as a catcher. Seigler committed to signing with the University of Florida, but ultimately the New York Yankees came calling 23rd overall in the first round of the 2018 MLB First Year Players Draft. Seigler quickly signed with the Yankees $2,815,900 and began his professional career with the GCL Yankees. After spending just 12 games in the Gulf Coast League, the Yankees promoted Seigler to the Pulaski Yankees. In 24 games combined between the two organizations, Seigler hit a combined .266 with one home run and nine RBI.

image credit Pinstripes Prospects

Seigler is still a good number of years away from the Major League level, but in my opinion that doesn’t make him any less exciting for the organization. Seigler has one of those addictive personalities, from what I can tell in various interviews and such since being drafted and has an incredible will to do well with the ball club, and that in itself is enough to make me a fan. We look forward to watching you progress and grow here in 2019, and we look forward to what the future may hold for you with the organization as well. Good luck in all of your endeavors.

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Chad Green

I have to admit, when the New York Yankees acquired Luis Cessa and the right-arm we are about to meet, Chad Green, in a trade with the Detroit Tigers for Justin Wilson, I was confused. I had never heard of either of them, and truth be told, neither of them seemed all that special. Three years later, and plenty of egg on my face and crow in my belly, Green is one of the key factors of the Yankees bullpen. Let’s get reacquainted with him. Meet the 2019 Yankees and meet Chad Green.

Chad Green, 27-years old, is a right-handed relief pitcher for the New York Yankees that was once used exclusively as a starter with the Detroit Tigers organization. For that reason, Green possesses a 97 MPH four-seam fastball, an 88 MPH slider, an 88 MPH splitter and a 88 MPH changeup making it hard for opposing batters to know which direction the ball will go once it leaves his hand.

Chad Keith Green was born on May 24, 1991 in Greenville, South Carolina to Howard and Sheena Green, along with a twin brother Chase Green. Green attended Effingham High School in Effingham, Illinois where he was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 37th round of the 2010 MLB First Year Players Draft. Green did not sign, and instead the right-handed attended the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Green pitched well for Louisville, leaving the school with the team’s best ERA in their history at 2.38, catching the eye of the Detroit Tigers along the way who selected Green in the 11th round of the 2013 MLB Draft. Green signed with Detroit and would immediately begin his professional career with the GCL Tigers. By December of 2015 the Tigers sent Green and teammate Luis Cessa to the New York Yankees in exchange for left-handed relief pitcher Justin Wilson. Green was assigned to Triple-A to begin the 2016 season but was quickly called up to start in the Yankees starting rotation. Injuries led to Green being added to the 15-day disabled list after just four starts and saw his 2016 season at the Major League level limited to 42.2 innings pitched.

Green was used primarily as a reliever during the 2017 season and saw his career truly take off within the Yankees bullpen. Green was a dominant force for Joe Girardi and the Yankees in 2017, finishing the season with a 5-0 record and a 1.83 ERA with 103 strikeouts in just 69 innings pitched. Green helped the Yankees get within one game of the 2017 World Series and continued to pitch well for the 2018 Yankees, becoming an integral go-to man for new manager Aaron Boone. Green will be another familiar face anywhere from the 5th inning to the 9th inning for Boone and the Yankees here in 2019, and I look forward to every pitch that he throws.

Dismissing Arbitration, Everybody Wins...

Photo Credit: Lynne Sladky-Associated Press
Severino Signs 4-Year Extension w/One-Year Club Option…

It took until the final day of MLB arbitration hearings and the day Luis Severino was scheduled to debate his worth in front of a mediator but the Yankees did the right thing securing a four-year extension and club option for a fifth year with the very talented right-hander. The money reportedly is $40 million with the potential  for $12.25 million more if the club exercises the option.  

    • 2019: $4 million plus $2 million signing bonus for $6 million total
    • 2020: $10 million
    • 2021: $10.25 million
    • 2022: $11 million
    • 2023: $15 million if option exercised by club or $2.75 million buyout

I feel it is a very good deal for the Yankees and it provides certainty and financial security for Severino and his family even if he could have gotten more by going to arbitration every off-season until his free agent year. While many defend the arbitration process, I view it as the unfortunate opportunity to sit in a room while your employer basically tells you, “You suck!”. Not literally, but the employer is trying to show why the player is not worth the amount of money he is requesting so negatives are embellished to help build their case for the lower club-offered salary.  

Cleveland Indians Trevor Bauer won his arbitration case earlier in the week but he described it as a “character assassination”. It seems to me the negativity stemming from the arbitration hearing will have residual impact on the player. I’ve heard people say they (the players) get over it. Maybe some do but we’re all human and it probably affects everyone differently. It’s hard not to forget criticism (justified or not). Regardless of how Sevy may have dealt with it, I am glad that he didn’t get to that point. He’s young and he is the team’s ace. We need to do everything possible to build him up, not tear him down. The extension buys peace of mind for Sevy and that’s invaluable.  

Photo Credit: Bryan Hoch via Instagram

The urgency now moves to the primary three pending free agents: Aaron Hicks, Dellin Betances, and Didi Gregorius. I don’t really want to lose any of these guys.  I’d prefer to see the Yankees lock them up on extensions before they ever hit the open market. That’s probably wishful thinking on my part but I am hopeful. With Hicks, I’d probably feel better if Estevan Florial was closer to The Show but he’s still a couple of seasons away so the Yankees cannot afford to lose their current starting centerfielder. The Yankees obviously have other elite arms in the bullpen but losing Betances would still hurt. Didi, to me, is part of the heart of this team with the talent to match. He’s my shortstop and I want it to stay that way. Sorry Tulo.  

Photo Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

CC Sabathia will be holding a press conference today to formally announce his retirement at the end of the season. I guess I hadn’t really thought about it until someone mentioned it recently but CC is a Hall of Famer. In my mind, with no offense and regardless of whether or not you agree, he is a better pitcher than recently selected HOF-er Mike Mussina. Entering the year, he is 246-153 in 538 starts covering 3,470 innings. His K/9 is 7.67 and BB/9 is 2.75.  His career ERA is 3.70 with 67.8 WAR per FanGraphs. He currently sits at 2,986 strikeouts so he’ll notch a very significant milestone early in the season. His number 52 should be retired with a plaque in Monument Park when his playing days are finished. I am hopeful the Yankees find a way to keep Sabathia part of the organization when he hangs up his jersey. He’s been a great Yankee. It would be incredible for him to begin AND end his Yankees career with World Series championships. For his sake (and ours too), I hope it happens.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Congratulations to Dellin Betances and his wife, Janisa, on the birth of their son, Dellin Jr, this week (Wednesday). “With their first pick of the 2037 MLB Draft, the New York Yankees select…” The boy is certainly getting tremendous genes to start his life’s journey. Dellin is scheduled to arrive in Camp on Monday for the team’s first full team workout.  

Susan Slusser, a long-time and very respected beat writer for the Oakland A’s, caused a stir on Twitter yesterday when she reported that Chien-Ming Wang had a minor leg strain and would not be throwing today. After an avalanche of ‘what?’ from many people, Slusser acknowledged that she meant Wei-Chung Wang, a non-roster invitee in camp for the A’s. The 38-year-old former Yankee is not attempting a comeback, to the best of my knowledge, but it was funny to see his name in strong circulation yesterday. Wang was featured in a 2018 documentary called Late Life: The Chien-Ming Wang Story. I know I’ve never been a fan of pitchers hitting since Wang suffered the torn Lisfranc ligament in his right foot while running the bases against the Houston Astros during the 2008 season. I’ve always wondered what could have been if Wang had not suffered that freak injury.  

I love the story of Yankees hopeful Danny Farquhar. While I do not currently see a spot in the Yankees bullpen for Farquhar, it’s easy to root for a guy who had a life-threatening brain hemorrhage last summer yet has battled his way back to Major League Camp with Baseball’s greatest team. He is very appreciative of the opportunity with the Yankees and it shows. Barring injuries, it seems most likely that he’ll go to Triple A for depth or open eyes for another MLB team. Regardless of what happens, I wish him the best for much success in his journey back to the Major Leagues.  

Photo Credit: Charles Wenzelberg-The New York Post

The first exhibition game is a week from today. While the sights and sounds of the practice fields around Steinbrenner Field have been great, I am ready to see the guys playing some actual baseball. Of course, the starters will be guys like Matt Lipka but it will be fun to see the Yankees on the field against the hated Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, FL. Hopefully this is the year the Yankees end the Red Sox season prematurely.

Steinbrenner Field will be buzzing tomorrow with the formal arrival of position players in camp. Up to this point, the players in Tampa have had to work out at the minor league facilities so it will be good to see everybody together again. Nothing like an Aaron Judge smile to brighten the World. On a side note, it was so awesome yesterday to see Gleyber Torres greeting pitchers and catchers after the completion of their workouts. I am so excited to see what the new season has in store for Gleyber. Whether he is at second base or shortstop, he’s such a vital cog to the success of this team. He truly embodies the spirit of “there is no ‘I’ in team” and is becoming one of its leaders despite his youth.  

As always, Go Yankees!

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka

You want to know what a good thing is for the Yankees, but potentially a terrifying thing is for the rest of the American League? Give up? It is the fact that a guy like Masahiro Tanaka, with his skillset, could be technically a third starter for this Yankees team here in 2019. While Tanaka’s stuff and talent doesn’t suggest that he is a third starter, it is likely that Luis Severino will start on Opening Day and will be followed by James Paxton. That’s what I like to call an embarrassment of riches, and yet some Yankees “fans” are still screaming that the team needs more pitching. I don’t get it, but while I try to figure that out let’s meet the Yankees import from Japan, Mr. Masahiro Tanaka.

Tanaka, 30-yeard old, is a right-handed starter that the Yankees signed out of Japan back in 2013. What drew the Yankees, and almost every other team in the league, to Tanaka was his ability to throw and command his 84 MPH slider, his 87 MPH splitter, his 92 MPH four-seam fastball, his 90 MPH cutter and a sinker (91 MPH) and a curve (77 MPH) that he throws rarely. Tanaka uses his splitter to strike out opposing batters while his cutter, which has a natural rise to it, has also garnered more swings and misses the more that Tanaka uses it. Tanaka is prone to the home run ball, especially inside Yankee Stadium, and a good amount of those home runs come off of his slider, which lacks two-plane movement.

Masahiro Tanaka was born on November 1, 1988 in Itami, Japan where he began his baseball career way back in the first grade. Tanaka started out as a catcher for the Koyanosato Tigers, essentially a Little League team, and did not start pitching until he attended Itami Municipal Matsuzaki Junior High School. Tanaka would go on to pitch for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan and would quickly become one of the better pitchers in all of the league. Tanaka dominated Japanese League batters through the 2013 season, which included a perfect 24-0 record with a 1.27 ERA, before being posted by the Golden Eagles.

The New York Yankees, not without stiff competition after the new posting system was agreed to by Japan and MLB, eventually signed Tanaka to a seven-year deal worth $155 million, included in the deal was an opt-out clause after the fourth season and a full no-trade clause. Tanaka made his MLB debut against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 4, 2014 and promptly gave up a home run to the first batter he saw, ex-Yankees player Melky Cabrera. Tanaka would get the win in his debut and would pitch well for the Yankees until August of that season. In August, Tanaka was added to the 15-day disabled list with a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament, a diagnosis that would normally be followed up with Tommy John surgery. Instead, on the recommendations of many doctors including Yankees team doctor Dr. Chris Ahmad, Tanaka instead opted for a PRP shot on the ligament. Tanaka, an All-Star in 2014 as a reserve, rested his elbow for six weeks instead of having Tommy John surgery and was able to return on September 21 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Tanaka was given the nod as the Opening Day starter for the Yankees in 2015 after winning 13 games in 2014 as a rookie. Tanaka had a pair of trips to the disabled list in 2015, leading many to wonder if he should have opted for the Tommy John surgery the year prior, but eventually he put it all together and was chosen to start for the Yankees in the 2015 American League Wild Card Game. Tanaka and the Yankees would see their season end in this game at the hands of the Houston Astros in a 3-0 loss. Tanaka was once again named the Yankees Opening Day starter in 2016 and would go a long way in silencing the doubters about the health of his right ulnar collateral ligament. Tanaka was able to avoid the disabled list altogether in 2016 and finished the season with a 14-4 record and 199.2 innings pitched. Tanaka, fresh off a dominant spring, earned his third consecutive Opening Day nod for the Yankees in 2017. Tanaka struggled for much of the 2017 season, once again leading the doubters to believe that an ulnar collateral ligament surgery would have been the best thing for the Japanese-born right-hander, but then came the 2017 postseason. Tanaka pitched well during the 2017 playoffs for the Yankees, even beating Dallas Keuchel in Game 5 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros, thus giving the Yankees a 3-2 series lead. The Yankees would not win another game during that series, falling just one game short of a World Series.

Tanaka had an opt-out clause written into his contract that would have allowed him to opt out of the final three years with the Yankees, but instead he decided to stay with New York for the remaining three years and $67 million that was left on his deal. Tanaka would lose his Opening Day starts streak in 2018 to Luis Severino, but pitched well regardless in 2018, avoiding the disabled list with any arm and elbow related injuries.

Tanaka also pitched for Team Japan in the 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classics, while also pitching for the national team in the 2008 Olympics, held in Beijing, China. Now, Tanaka will look to lead the Yankees back to the Promised Land here in 2019 with his first World Series appearance and title. We’re rooting for you. Tank!

TGP Trivia and Fact of the Day for February 16th, 2019

Good morning Yankees family. It's the weekend, and we made it. As my five year old would say, "It's the weekend, yikes!!" Enjoy it, the weekends go by way too fast. How about some trivia and facts to start your day?

The New York Yankees visited the campus of Virginia Tech University on March 18, 2008 to honor the victims of the mass shooting at the university and to play an exhibition game against their baseball team. Because, Evil Empire.

And a special good morning to my amazing wife, Kari. I'm sorry you had to go to work this morning, but tax season has arrived. Hopefully it goes by quick for you babe, I love you.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Kyle Higashioka

Every team has three catchers, whether they are all on the 40-man roster or whether they stash one down in Triple-A just to be sure, and that is especially true for the New York Yankees. The Bronx Bombers actually have some serious depth at the catcher position and that depth begins and ends with the man that will likely begin the season receiving down in Triple-A Scranton with the RailRiders, Mr. Kyle Higashioka. Let’s meet the Yankees 3rd catcher that has arrived with their spring training pitchers and catchers this week down in Tampa.

Kyle Higashioka, 28-years old, is a right-handed hitting and throwing catcher from the New York Yankees system. Higashioka stands 6’1” tall and weighs in at 205 lbs. Higashioka is a steady hitter that doesn’t have a huge swing and miss ratio, but he doesn’t make enough contact to ever progress from a backup catcher at the Major League level in my opinion.

Kyle Harris Higashioka was born on April 20, 1990 in Huntington Beach, California where he attended Edison High School. Higashioka played for the school’s baseball team and committed to the University of California, Berkley to play college baseball for the California Golden Bears. Before playing for the Cal Golden Bears he caught the attention of the New York Yankees and their scouts, who subsequently selected Higashioka in the seventh round of the 2008 MLB First Year Players Draft. Higashioka signed with the Yankees for $500,000 rather than attend college and immediately began his professional career.

Higashioka’s climb through the Yankees system was a slow one, especially after missing all but 13 games combined in 2013 and 2014 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and suffering a broken thumb. Higashioka became a minor league free agent after the 2015 season, but ultimately decided to re-sign with the organization for the 2016 season. Kyle started the 2016 season in Double-A Trenton and finished the season in Triple-A with the RailRiders, finding himself just one step away from the Major League level. The Yankees added Higashioka to their 40-man roster following the 2016 season and optioned him to AAA to begin the 2017 season.

Following an injury to Gary Sanchez in 2017 the New York Yankees selected the contract of Higashioka and promoted him to the Major League level. Higashioka started his MLB career 0-for-18 before being optioned back down to Triple-A when Sanchez was activated off of the disabled list. Kyle was back in the majors by June 16, again following an injury to Gary Sanchez, and was returned to Scranton once the Yankees starting catcher returned from the DL. Higashioka suffered an injury of his own once returning to the minors in 2017, limiting the Yankees catcher to just eight comes during the months of August and September.

Higashioka got called back up to the Major Leagues on June 27 of 2018, following another injury to Sanchez, and had another sluggish start with the bat. After starting his MLB career 0-for-22, he had his first major league hit, a home run off Boston Red Sox starter David Price. His next two MLB hits, one on July 3rd and another on July 4th, were also home runs, making him the ninth player since 1920 to have three home runs for their first three hits of their career.

Kyle will likely start the 2019 season, barring injuries, back in Scranton, but the New York Yankees know that he is just one phone call (and a Scranton Shuttle) away from being back in the Bronx. We look forward to seeing you this season, Kyle. Good luck!

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Aroldis Chapman

The New York Yankees have their ace, but what good is an ace without a solid bullpen, and especially a lockdown closer? Not very good, ask the Boston Red Sox this season (wishful thinking, maybe). The good news for the New York Yankees is that they have that lockdown closer, a couple of them actually, in Aroldis Chapman. Let’s get reacquainted with him before the start of the 2019 season.

Aroldis Chapman, 30-years old for a few more days, is a left-handed throwing closer for the New York Yankees that possesses absolute gas with his left arm. Chapman throws a four-seam fastball that averages out at about 99 MPH, but has gone as high as 105 MPH, an 87 MPH slider, a 102 MPH sinker, and a rarely thrown 91 MPH changeup. All of Chapman’s pitches results in either swings and misses or hard ground balls that are easily fielded by his defense behind him, making him the best closer the Yankees could have pitching inside their home field of Yankee Stadium. If a 105 MPH fastball and a `102 MPH sinker wasn’t intimidating enough, Chapman does this with a 6’4” and 212 lb. frame and borderline violent mechanics.

Albertin Aroldis Chapman de la Cruz was born on February 28, 1988 in Holguin, Cuba. While Chapman and his family were raised in Cuba, it is only because of his grandparents emigrating from Jamaica in order to get a better education for the future generations. Chapman, at just 15-years old, was a first baseman for a local baseball team when a coach noticed how hard Chapman could throw, pushing him to become a pitcher in 2003. Chapman joined the Holguin Sabuesos of the Cuban National Series League in 2006 and was used mainly as a starting pitcher. Chapman was also part of the Cuban national team at the 2007 Pan American Games and the 2009 World Baseball Classic before defecting from Cuba.

Chapman has attempted to defect once in 2008, but he was caught and given a condition reprieve from Raul Castro. Chapman’s second attempt was successful while in Rotterdam, Netherlands where the Cuban national team was participating in the World Port Tournament on July 1, 2009. Chapman established residency in Andorra and petitioned MLB to be granted free agent status. Chapman was declared a free agent by MLB and was quickly snatched up by the Cincinnati Reds who signed him to a six-year contract worth $30.25 million on January 10, 2010. Chapman made his MLB debut that same season, on August 31, 2010, and the young lefty was also added to the Reds postseason roster. Chapman was a reliever for Cincinnati in 2011 but the Reds introduced Chapman as a starter out of the spring in 2012. Injuries to key members of the Reds bullpen didn’t allow that to happen and by May of 2012, Chapman was named the team’s closer by manager Dusty Baker. Chapman was named an All-Star in 2012 and 2013, but during the 2014 season tragedy would strike Chapman, literally.

Chapman was struck by a line drive off the bat of Salvador Perez on March 19, 2014, a spring training game between the Reds and the Kansas City Royals. Chapman had to undergo a surgery to fix a skull fracture above his left eye and a metal plate was inserted into his head to stabilize the fracture. Chapman began the season on the 15-day disabled list but would return on May 10th of that year. Chapman was once again named an NL All-Star in 2015 before being traded to the New York Yankees on December 28, 2015. The Yankees gave up Caleb Cotham, Rookie Davis, Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda in the deal after the Reds learned that Chapman was involved, and subsequently suspended, for violating the league’s domestic violence policy. Chapman was suspended for the first 30 games of the 2016 season before the Yankees, who were falling out of contention, traded their closer to the Chicago Cubs for Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney, Adam Warren and Rashad Crawford. Chapman would lead the Cubs to the 2016 World Series and eventually their first World Series championship in over 100 seasons.

Chapman hit the free agent market before the 2017 season and was quickly signed by the Yankees on December 15, 2016 for his second stint with the club. Chapman received a five-year deal worth $86 million, at the time the richest deal for a relief pitcher as of 2017. Chapman has been closing games for the Yankees for two seasons now and has led the team to two straight Wild Card berths, but not yet a World Series. Not until the 2019 season, anyway.

Welcome back, Aroldis. I hope the knee inflammation and tendinitis you battled last season is behind you, because we have a lot of work to do here in 2019. No pressure but make us proud. Go Yankees!!

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Luis Severino

You’ve met the newest additions and you’ve met some of the catchers that have been put in place to catch their heat, but no team goes to the playoffs without an ace. No playoff team makes the postseason and goes far into October without a top-of-the-rotation type guy, and for the New York Yankees that guy is Luis Severino. Let’s get reacquainted with the Yankees ace (yes… ace, whether you agree with it or not), Mr. Luis Severino!

Luis Severino, 24-years old, is a right-handed starting pitcher for the New York Yankees that will likely take the ball for the club on Opening Day 2019. Severino, all 6’2” and 215 lbs. of him, possesses a 98 MPH four-seam fastball, an 88 MPH slider, an 89 MPH changeup and a 92 MPH cutter that he rarely uses. Maybe Mariano Rivera, who vows to teach the Yankees arms how to “pitch” after being inducted into the Hall of Fame this season, can help Severino throw that cutter not only more often, but more effectively as well.

Luis Severino was born on February 20, 1994 in Sabana de la Mar, Dominican Republic. It has been reported that Severino grew up as a fan of the New York Yankees, most notably of fellow Dominican-born player Robinson Cano, in the small Hato Mayor province of the DR. It was there that the Yankees found him and signed him as an international free agent on December 26, 2011. Severino signed a $225,000 signing bonus, spurning the Colorado Rockies who also offered him the same deal that the Yankees later matched. Severino worked his way through the Yankees system and up the ladder in the Yankees organization, earning a trip to the 2014 All-Star Futures Game. It was the 2015 season that the Yankees finally had seen enough of Severino in their minor league system and called the flame throwing right-hander up to the Major Leagues after an injury to Michael Pineda made the Yankees short a starter.

Severino’s MLB debut came against the Boston Red Sox on August 5, 2015 at just 21-years of age. Severino started 11 games for the Yankees in 2015, posting a 5-3 record with a 2.89 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 62.1 innings pitched. Severino looked to build on that success the next season, but a trip to the disabled list for right triceps inflammation, along with struggles finding the strike zone, forced Severino into the Yankees bullpen for much of the season. Severino’s stat line was ugly overall for the 2016 season, but his 3-0 record and 0.39 ERA and 0.77 WHIP as a reliever gave the Yankees some hope, and Severino some confidence, going forward towards the 2017 season.

Severino won the Yankees 4th starter job out of spring training in 2017 and led the team to the postseason as the American League Wild Card winner. Severino was given the ball to start against the Minnesota Twins, but the Yankees young right-hander struggled early as nerves got the best of him on the big stage. Severino gave up three earned runs in the first inning against the Twins and left just one-third of an inning. Severino looked better overall in the postseason, helping the Yankees to a Game 7 of the ALCS before ultimately losing to the Houston Astros, but was never able to find that dominance that he saw during the regular season. Severino finished the 2017 season with a 14-6 record, a 2.98 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP and 230 strikeouts, which was good for a third-place finish in the American League Cy Young Award vote.

Severino was named the Yankees Opening Day starter in 2018 and he came out blazing in the first half. Severino was named to his second consecutive All-Star Game in 2018 after finishing the first half with a 14-2 record and a 2.31 ERA in 20 starts with 144 strikeouts, but the second half was not as kind to Luis as the first. Severino struggled for much of the second half and finished the season with a 19-8 record and a 3.39 ERA overall. Severino once again started the Wild Card game for the Yankees, but this time he pitched much better in a Yankees victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Severino will look to not only build on a 19-win season in 2018, but also look to pitch better in the postseason here in 2019. The Yankees will be there, but they won’t go very far without their workhorse at the top of the rotation. No pressure, Luis, but everything rests on your right shoulder and arm. Let’s do this.

TGP Trivia and Fact of the Day for February 15th, 2019

Good morning Yankees family! Trivia on a Friday, let's go!!

Who was the first Yankees pitcher to throw an immaculate inning, striking out the side on nine pitches? Hint: Later on on his career, he gave up a very famous home run while pitching elsewhere.

Highlight below, no cheating :) , to see the answer... but leave your guesses in the comments section below. Thank you!

Al Downing in the second inning on August 11, 1967 against the Cleveland Indians. Downing also allowed Hank Aaron's 715th home run of his career as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

And a special good morning to my amazing wife, Kari. I love you more than words can describe and I always have... and I always, always will.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Yankees 25-man Roster Predictions

Spring training has finally arrived! Catchers and pitchers have reported to camp, and I reassure you: baseball will be back before you know it. Here are my pre-spring-training predictions for how the Yankees 25-man roster will turn out:

C (2)

Starter: Gary Sanchez
There is no doubt that 2018 was a struggle for Yankees injury-ridden backstop Gary Sanchez, whose batting line certainly left a lot to be desired…
  • PA: 374
  • HR: 18 
  • AVG: .186
  • OBP: .291
FanGraphs’ Depth Charts projects Sanchez to rebound big time in 2019 (31 HRs and .245 AVG in 131 games).
Backup: Austin Romine
While Romine’s offensive output (.244 AVG and .295 OBP but did hit for some power — 10 HRs) was unspectacular in 2019, he played very well defensively; Romine was 6 defensive runs saved above average (6 DRS per FanGraphs). 

1B (2)

Starter: Luke Voit 
Luke Voit was one of the biggest surprises in the 2018 season. He was involved in a trade (from the Cardinals) that was initially deemed a minor move, but boy did it pay off for the Yanks. Voit put up video-game numbers…
  • PA: 148
  • AVG: .333
  • OBP: .405
  • HR: 14
  • RBI: 33
Strikeouts remained an issue (26.4% K rate), but it didn’t seem to hinder Voit at all. 
Backup: Greg Bird
Greg Bird has struggled mightily the last two seasons; in both of which he was was heavily plagued with a variety of injuries. In 2018, he hit for a .199 AVG and had an OBP of .286. Bird still offers above average power (11 HRs in 311 PAs) and will provide Aaron Boone with a power bat off the bench.

2B (1)

Starter: Gleyber Torres
Torres’ much anticipated 2018 rookie campaign couldn’t have gone any better. He hit 24 HRs and put up a .271 AVG and a .340 OBP in 484 PAs. His defense at 2B was a tab below average (-1 DRS). 

SS (1)

Starter: Troy Tulowitzki
With Gregorious missing the first few months of the season due to TJ surgery, Tulo is penciled in as the starting SS, assuming he can stay healthy (and that is a big “if”), something he has never been able to do. 

3B (1)

Starter: Miguel Andujar
Andujar had a huge breakout last year, putting up ridiculous numbers as a rookie…
  • PA: 606
  • AVG: .297
  • OBP: .328
  • HR: 27
  • RBI: 92
  • 2B: 47
Unfortunately, his fielding stats were on the opposite end of the spectrum…
  • DRS: -25
  • UZR/150: -24.5
  • E (errors): 15

RF (1)

Starter: Aaron Judge
Photo: Bill Kostroun/AP Images
Although Judge regressed in nearly every category in 2018, he was still an extremely valuable player (5.0 WAR)…
  • Games – 2017: 155; 2018: 112
  • AVG – 2017: .284; 2018: .278
  • OBP – 2017: .422; 2018: .392
  • HR – 2017: 52; 2018: 27
  • RBI: 2017: 114; 2018: 67
Judge is not only the face of this franchise; he is arguably one of the faces of the MLB.

CF (1)

Starter: Aaron Hicks
Aaron Hicks is one of the most under-appreciated players in all of baseball. Despite hitting for an average south of .250, Hicks generated a lot of walks (15.5%) and power (27 HRs), and he even stole 11 bags. Historically, he’s been a very good defender in CF (in 2018, he put up a -3 DRS, atypical of his past performance in CF). Hicks accrued nearly 5 WAR (4.9).

LF (2)

Starter: Brett Gardner
Veteran outfielder Brett Gardner continues to perform at an adequate level. His average was down quite a bit last year (went from .264 to .236), but he still stole 11 bases and added 12 big flies. He remains a tough out (10.7% BB rate and 17.6% K rate) and should get the majority of ABs at LF (vs RHP).
Backup: Clint Frazier
Clint Frazier was sidelined with a concussion, which caused him to miss a large duration of the season. He hit really well when he was healthy…
  • AAA
    • PA: 216
    • AVG: .311
    • OBP: .389
    • HR: 10
  • MLB
    • PA: 41
    • AVG: .265
    • OBP: .390
    • HR: 0
Though his AAA strikeout rate was high (24.1% in AAA), he frequently drew walks (10.6% BB rate in AAA).
As of right now, I see Brett Gardner as the starter; it’s hard to know what to expect from Frazier when he hasn’t played in so long. I suspect Frazier will start against LHPs, and he could play his way to a starting spot if he performs well.

DH (1)

Starter: Giancarlo Stanton
Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Stanton’s first year with the Yanks was solid but did not come anywhere near his spectacular 2017 season (59 HRs and .281 AVG) with the Marlins. Stanton slugged 38 HRs and hit only .266, accumulating 4+ WAR last year.

UTL (1)

DJ LeMahieu 
Free-agent acquisition DJ LeMahieu will likely see a fair share of time all around the diamond. Last year, he hit a career-high 15 HRs and put up a .276 AVG and .321 OBP, also adding 6 SBs. LeMahieu is more renowned for his phenomenal defense; he was 18 defensive runs saved above average (18 DRS per FanGraphs). DJ will surely be an upgrade over what Neil Walker accomplished last season.

SP (5)

No. 1: Luis Severino
Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
Though Severino’s performance deteriorated in the 2nd half, he still put up excellent numbers, and he is the clear ace of this staff…
  • IP: 191.1
  • W: 19
  • K/9: 10.35
  • BB/9: 2.16
  • ERA: 3.39
  • WAR: 5.7
No. 2: James Paxton
The Yankees acquired southpaw James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners early in the offseason. His biggest issue in the past couple years has been his inability to stay healthy. His numbers last year were very good, and he even pitched a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays…
  • IP: 160.1
  • K/9: 11.68
  • BB/9: 2.36
  • ERA: 3.76
  • WAR: 3.8
No. 3: Masahiro Tanaka
Starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka bounced back from a rough 2017 campaign. His ERA dropped from 4.74 to to 3.75. He continued to generate plenty of swings and misses (K/9: 9.17), and he yielded very few free passes (BB/9: 2.02). HRs were still an issue (HR/9: 1.44) and are likely to be a problem going forward.
No. 4: J.A. Happ
After trading for Happ at the trade deadline in 2018, the Yanks have must have liked what they had seen, as they signed him as FA this offseason. He was a very dependable and productive pitcher last year…
  • IP: 177.2
  • K/9: 9.78
  • BB/9: 2.58
  • ERA: 3.65
  • WAR: 3.2
No. 5: CC Sabathia
Sabathia continues to pitch at a high level (which is quite frankly remarkable considering he is 38), as conveyed by his 2018 stat-line…
  • IP: 153
  • K/9: 8.24
  • BB/9: 3.00
  • ERA: 3.65
  • WAR: 2.5

RP (7)

CL: Aroldis Chapman
Chapman struck out over 16 batters per 9 IP, the highest rate in the majors. His walk rate took a step back however, as Aroldis gave up over 5 walks per 9 IP. Overall, he was very effective in 2018, posting a 2.45 ERA and 1.9 WAR.
SU: Dellin Betances
Photo: N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg
Dellin Betandes was arguably the Yankees best reliever in 2018 and one of the best relievers in baseball from June on…
March 29 – May 29
  • IP: 23
  • K/9: 15.65
  • BB/9: 3.52
  • HR/9: 1.57
  • ERA: 4.30
June 1 – September 28
  • IP: 43.2
  • K/9: 15.46
  • BB/9: 3.50
  • HR/9: 0.62
  • ERA: 1.85
RP: Zack Britton
The Yankees brought back Zack Britton in hopes of further bolstering there all-mighty bullpen. He is looking to rebound from a tough 2018 season in which he was recovering from an injury. He walked around 4.6 batters / 9 IP and his strikeout rate was only 7.5 (K/9).
RP: Chad Green
Chad Green’s success from 2017 carried over into 2018. He struck out over 11 batters per 9 IP and he walked under 2 batters per 9 IP. His ERA was 2.5 and he pitched 75.2 innings. One possible area of concern going forward for Green is his susceptibility to the long ball. His HR/9 doubled from 2017 to 2018 (2017 HR/9: 0.52; 2018 HR/9: 1.07). On a positive note, Green has the ability to last multiple innings, something that sets him apart from his peers.
RP: Adam Ottavino
Ottavino is undoubtedly a fantastic addition to the Yanks pen. He improved in every single statistical category in 2018 (after a super rough 2017 season)…
  • IP: 53.1
  • K/9: 10.63
  • BB/9: 6.58
  • HR/9: 1.35
  • ERA: 5.06
  • WAR: -0.1
  • IP: 77.2
  • K/9: 12.98
  • BB/9: 4.17
  • HR/9: 0.58
  • ERA: 2.43
  • WAR: 2.0
RP: Jonathan Holder
Holder broke out in 2018, posting solid numbers across the board. He struck out over 8 batters per 9 IP and walked 2.59 batters per 9 IP. His ERA was a smidge over 3.00, and he accrued 1.3 WAR in 2018. Like Chad Green, Holder is capable of going multiple innings.
RP: Jonathan Loaisiga
Loaisiga performed exceptionally well in 2018, especially in the minors…
  • A+: 20 IP, 11.7 K/9, 0.45 BB/9, 0 HR/9, 52% GBs, and 1.35 ERA
  • AA: 34.1 IP, 10.49 K/9, 1.57 BB/9, 1.57 HR/9, 38.7% GBs, and 3.93 ERA
Although Loaisiga had an ERA over 5.00 in 24.2 IP in the majors, other metrics suggest he may have been misfortunate to some degree…
  • FIP: 3.53
  • xFIP: 2.95
His strikeout rate was very high (12.04 K/9), as was his walk rate (4.38 BB/9). Loaisiga will be best utilized as a multi-inning reliever.
Other candidates to make 25-man roster…
  • Jacoby Ellsbury: due to plantar fasciitis, he will not be reporting to ST until March. Ellsbury missed all of last season due to injury and I suspect that one of two things happen…
    1. Ellsbury will start 2019 on the IL, OR
    2. Ellsbury will demonstrate he is healthy and the Yankees will look to trade him (no room for him with Judge in RF, Hicks in CF, and Gardner + Frazier are superior over him)
  • Tommy Kahnle: he was incredible in 2017 (K/9: 13.79; BB/9: 2.44; ERA: 2.59), but he was atrocious in 2018 (K/9: 11.57; BB/9: 5.79; ERA: 6.56). He is out of minor league options, so if he pitches well in ST, I suspect the Yankees will look to move him
  • Domingo German: his 5.57 ERA sends off a distorted message. He really did well in some areas of the game (K/9: 10.72; BB/9: 3.47; FIP: 4.39; xFIP: 3.94) but struggled in others (BB/9: 3.47 and HR/9: 1.58).
  • Stephen Tarpley: he had a 3.00 ERA in 9 MLB IP. His AAA numbers were very good as well…
    • IP: 34
    • K/9: 10.06
    • BB/9: 2.91
    • GB%: 66.3
    • ERA: 2.65

Projected Lineups 

vs LHP

  1. CF Aaron Hicks
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. DH Giancarlo Stanton
  4. 3B Miguel Andujar
  5. C Gary Sanchez
  6. 1B Luke Voit
  7. 2B Gleyber Torres
  8. LF Clint Frazier
  9. SS Troy Tulowitzki

vs RHP

  1. CF Aaron Hicks
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. DH Giancarlo Stanton
  4. 3B Miguel Andujar
  5. C Gary Sanchez
  6. 2B Gleyber Torres
  7. 1B Luke Voit
  8. SS Troy Tulowtizki
  9. LF Brett Gardner
Thanks for reading. Feel free to copy and paste the lineup and roster slots/spots below and make your own predictions… and be sure to follow me @MaxGold81356590
  • C
  • 1B
  • 2B
  • SS
  • 3B
  • LF
  • CF
  • RF
  • DH
  • SP
  • RP

vs LHP

vs RHP