Archives for posts with tag: Nick Goody

With the trade deadline just over the horizon, the Yankees are quickly circling the wagons and preparing their plan to sell……cautiously. Meanwhile, the team is playing some of its baseball of the year having won five of their last seven games, which included taking three of four from the AL East contending Baltimore Orioles. Just when you think the Yanks are out, they find a way to get back in.

This week has seen more of the same from the top of the lineup with Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury. Gardner in particular has been effective with his team leading .351 OBP and stellar defense, as highlighted in yesterday’s 2-1 loss to the SF Giants. Starlin Castro has emerged this past week hitting .346 along with 7 RBIs. Didi Gregorius is continuing his All-Star worthy season with a .323 July and a rocket of a relay throw to save a run in yesterday’s contest. And Carlos Beltran proves to be the right choice at DH with a .424 week, as he looks more and more attractive to AL contenders in the market.

Masahiro Tanaka looks to be returning to ace-form with back-to-back successful six inning efforts. The same can be said of Ivan Nova, who has only allowed 2 ERs in his last 13 innings of work (both solo HRs). Nathan Eovaldi looked fine in his return to the rotation with only 1ER allowed in 5 1/3 innings against the mighty Orioles. The key being, Eovaldi cannot be seen a third time by any lineup. Michael Pineda continues to be in feast or famine mode with 127 Ks in 106 innings and only a 5.25 ERA to show for it. And C.C. Sabathia may have finally come back to earth, as best symbolized by his tumble on the mound against Baltimore on Thursday. AL hitters may have finally wised up to Sabathia’s adjustments as he has allowed at 4 ERs in each of his last six starts.

The bullpen is still as effective as ever, even with rare missteps from Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller in Friday night’s win. And with the Aroldis Chapman talk heating up by the minute, Joe Girardi better quickly decide who he can rely on after the 6th inning be it Anthony Swarzek, Richard Bleier, or Nick Goody, as another arm will be needed to get to No Runs DM.

The Yanks have shown they can hang with the contenders this week. But the clock is ticking on the trade deadline and the season. If they want in, they can’t afford any more missed opportunities.

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The first seven weeks of the baseball season haven’t been a pretty sight for Yankee fans, and yet the Bronx Bombers seem to be playing their best ball at the Sparky Mark. 40 games in is the designated time that the HOF manager Sparky Anderson said is the best time to evaluate any club. This year’s mark sees the Yankees at 18-22, which may seem disappointing but is rather encouraging considering they started 8-16. Throw in two more wins against the Oakland A’s and the Yanks have finally climbed out the AL East cellar (by a ½ game over the Toronto Blue Jays) and look primed to make their move to get back into the race.

The Yanks are currently riding a four game winning streak and have won nine of thirteen overall. Coincidence or not, this current winning clip started with the season debut of Aroldis Chapman. But the real spark has been provided by the 1-2 punch of Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner. The Yankee speedsters have combined for 17 SBs so far and have their OBPs north of .345. This last week has also seen hot-hitting from Didi Gregorius (.292), Chase Headley (.350), and Carlos Beltran (.385). Beltran in particular has been key, with 11 RBIs in the last 7 games. This aging Puerto Rican slugger is making a strong case to take the majority of the future DH at-bats. Sorry, A-Roid.

Another reason for the Yankees recent turnaround has been the resurgent/healthy starting pitching. Nathan Eovaldi threw six innings of one-run ball in Wednesday’s win over the D-Backs and leads the staff with four wins. Ivan Nova threw six innings of one-run ball of his own against the A’s in Thursday’s win and has lowered his ERA to 3.26. C.C. Sabathia returned from the DL to add to the six inning/one run milieu and racked up his 100th win in pinstripes in the process. And Masahiro Tanaka shook off back-to-back 4+ run starts and held the A’s in check to the tune of one run over seven innings in yesterday’s win.

Joe Girardi caused some heads to shake when he took both Eovaldi and Nova out of low pitch six inning efforts to use his new toy: Betances/Miller/Chapman. I, too, was skeptical but have come around to understand the moves, realizing he was trying to protect one-run leads and more importantly, if you have such a late game advantage, might as well use it. BAM (still looking for a better nickname) may have made both games a little interesting with the propensity for allowing leadoff baserunners but they got the job done. And thankfully overuse may not be an issue, especially with Nick Goody (ERA 1.64) and Kirby Yates (ERA 2.08) able to spell them in the last two games for much needed rest.

The Yankees look to complete their four game sweep of the Oakland A’s today. Sadly, it involves Michael Pineda taking the hill. But with the way the Yankees’ offense and bullpen has been performing, Pineda just needs to hold the Athletics at bay for five innings. Still sounds like a tall order, I know. Otherwise, the Yankees seem to be getting hot at the right time and I’m hoping that once they get over .500 their slow start will become a fading sight in the rearview mirror.

A new baseball season starts today. Well, technically it started yesterday with three contests but the rest of the baseball world begins their quest for a ring today. And with the start at hand, here are a few thoughts about the upcoming season where I see the Yankees winning the AL East. It’s not the best Yankee team I have seen but I do believe they have just enough to win a very evenly matched division. Here’s my breakdown on the Yanks using DefCon ratings because I am a geek for WarGames, and please know that DefCon 5 mean “no worries” and DefCon 1 means “Buy, Buy, Buy at the Trade Deadline:”

 

Offense: Last year the Yankees had the 2nd best offense in the bigs. I may have mentioned it before, and often. The Yankees have the same lineup in place led by the final contracted years of Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran, HR hitting backstop Brian McCann, an older but still productive A-Roid, and a healthy 1-2 punch of Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner. Throw in the addition of 2B sparkplug Starlin Castro and there’s no reason for the Bronx Bombers to not keep churning out runs. Age may be a factor late in the year but expect offense to be a staple in victory. DefCon=4

 

Defense: The Yanks suffered in the field in 2015, at least during the 1st half. The 2nd half saw Didi Gregorius and Chase Headley workout their early season issues. I expect Sir Didi to compete for a Gold Glove at SS this season. Didi will be helped up the middle by the newly acquired Castro. The OF may be aging but the combo of Garnder, Ellsbury, and Beltran, being aided by Aaron Hicks and Dustin Ackley should be more than enough to stay competitive. DefCon=4

 

Bench/Pipeline: Austin Romine is more than adequate to backup Brian McCann but at some point big hitting catching prospect Gary Sanchez will find himself with the big club this season. Aaron Hicks will provide plenty of late-inning OF relief and the occasional day off for the Yankee veterans. Dustin Ackley hit .288 after his late season acquisition from the Seattle last year and is available to play 1B, 2B, and OF. Former Astro prospect Ronald Torreyes will backup Chase Headley at 3B, as well as 2B and SS. And even Starlin Castro will get in the mix as the recently converted SS can backup Sir Didi at SS.

What Yankee fans can be truly excited about is the wealth of prospects that include Ben Gamel, Slade Heathcott, Rob Refsnyder, Nick Goody, James Pazos, and slugger in-the-making- Aaron Judge. Each of these players will be seeing playing time in the Bronx this year and may be the key to the Yanks making a playoff run. DefCon=5

 

Starting Pitching: Last season saw Yankee pitching hover around league average, which was good enough to lock up the 1st Wild Card slot. All the same arms return with the exception being that we can look forward to an entire season of rookie phenom Luis Severino. The rest of the rotation includes Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, and C.C. Sabathia, with Ivan Nova on ready alert 5. Each starter has the potential to dominate for any portion of the season, but may also be hindered by their own respective recent injury history (with the exception of Severino). But Joe Girardi should have just enough leeway to get the 800-900 innings he will need to compete this year. Besides it’s all about the Bullpen….. DefCon=3

 

Bullpen: Just like last year, the best part of this Yankee squad is the lights out bullpen. And the addition of Alroldis Chapman just made the games even shorter. Chapman won’t be available until May 9th but there are still plenty of options for Girardi to choose from, be it the proven Chasen Shreve, spring training standouts Johnny Barbato and Kirby Yates or Ivan Nova, who will be available for long relief until he is needed to aid the rotation. In the end, AL hitters will have to get through the indomitable super duo of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. Very simply, if the Yanks have a lead after 6 innings, they will keep it. DefCon=5

 

Hope I don’t sound like too much of a homer but I see the Yankees winning the division. I don’t necessarily see them making a deep playoff run, or even making it out of the 1st round, but the Yanks can win enough to take the AL East. And with the youth movement at hand things are just looking up for 2017. Go Yanks!