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Thread: 2019 Yankees Season Thread

  1. #1

    2019 Yankees Season Thread

    With pitchers and catchers reporting, it is time to put up the season thread. It will be a long and hopefully fun journey for Yankee fans from pitchers and catchers all the way through the world series. With ST starting, it is time to look at lineups, rotations and rosters.

    The Lineup
    With Didi Gregorius likely to start the year on the 60 day DL, we will be missing a presence in the lineup. So come opening day, these are the projected lineups vs LHP and RHP IMO

    vs LHP
    1. Torres 2B
    2. Judge RF
    3. Stanton LF
    4. Sanchez C
    5. Andujar DH
    6. Hicks CF
    7. Voit 1B
    8. Tulowitzki SS
    9. Lemahieu 3B

    vs RHP
    1. Torres 2B
    2. Judge RF
    3. Hicks CF
    4. Stanton DH
    5. Sanchez C
    6. Andujar 3B
    7. Voit/Bird? 1B
    8. Tulowitzki/Lemahieu SS
    9. Gardner LF

    On the position player side, we are only going to see 13 players. We already have some internal redundancy. These are the candidates for those 13 spots

    1. Sanchez C
    2. Romine vs Higashioka C- Higashioka has the higher offensive upside, Romine the better glove. With Sanchez' surgery and defensive issues, the winner will likely be Romine
    3. Voit 1B
    4. Lemahieu UTIL
    5. Torres 2B/SS
    6. Tulowitzki SS
    7. Andujar 3B/1B
    8. Gardner LF
    9. Hicks CF
    10. Stanton OF/DH
    11. Judge RF

    Those final two spots will be between 3 players. Greg Bird, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Clint Frazier. Frazier has options, so he could theoretically return to the minors. Ellsbury hasn't played in over a year and has lost many steps in the interim. There is a strong chance he is the odd man out if healthy enough to play (no given) and could end up DFA'd. Bird is no stranger to the DL, but with the team heavily RHH dependent and a need for lefty power, I think Bird still carves out a niche. The big questions will come when Didi returns. If Tulo is playing well when Didi is back, which player is then sent packing? We may have other injuries at that time, but the idea is interesting.

    Pitching Staff
    1. Severino
    2. Paxton
    3. Tanaka
    4. Happ
    5. Sabathia
    6. Chapman
    7. Betances
    8. Britton
    9. Ottavino
    10. Green
    11. Holder
    12. ??

    The pitching side is a little less dramatic. If everyone is healthy, IMO, the final slot goes to Tommy Kahnle. But there are other players likely to make a bid. Luis Cessa is out of options and can run it up there to 99mph in short outings. He has the stuff to be a great reliever, but hasn't shown he can avoid bats well enough to stick. Domingo German still has options left, so he is likely headed to the minors to work on being a starter. His stuff is great, but he also has a problem missing bats. Jonathan Loaisiga made his debut last year, but my bet is he is stashed in AAA to be rotation depth. Chance Adams should be fully recovered from the elbow surgery that limited his stuff early last season. He could make a run if the velocity he showed in the minors late in 2018 stays with him. The guy who will be the biggest sleeper is Stephen Tarpley. He's a lefty reliever who throws low 90s, but has been death on lefties and has 4 pitches, so he can at least hold his own vs righties. He might sneak past everyone early on, as a mop up pitcher is a little less needed with the days off built into the early going
    The rebuild is complete.

  2. #2
    Thanks for kicking it off Jacko. I agree with mostly everything but the Yankees typically roll with 8 relievers and only 3 bench spots, so I think both Kahnle and Cessa start off the year on the 25.

  3. #3
    Predicting the Yankees' Opening Day Roster

    By Bryan Hoch @BryanHoch
    Feb. 10th, 2019

    As he prepares for his second season as the Yankees' manager, Aaron Boone believes that he has a complete team at his disposal, excited by the promise that he senses while surveying the potential 25-man roster that could go north for the March 28 season opener against the Orioles.

    "You look at the moves we've made this winter, it's hard to deny that we haven't significantly improved our club," Boone said. "We feel like we have a team capable of hopefully going out and competing for a championship."

    With pitchers and catchers set to report to Spring Training on Wednesday, here is's early prediction for the Yankees' Opening Day roster:

    Catcher (2): Gary Sanchez, Austin Romine
    The Yankees have doubled and tripled down on Sanchez's future, refusing to believe that his underwhelming 2018 was representative of his talent. General manager Brian Cashman believes that Sanchez's performance will improve following left shoulder surgery performed in November. Romine provides a capable defender who contributed big knocks early in the season.

    First base (1): Luke Voit
    The hulking Voit is said to have a leg up over challenger Greg Bird coming into camp, by virtue of a terrific second half in which he hit an American League-high 14 homers from Aug. 24 through the end of the season. Only Christian Yelich, the eventual National League Most Valuable Player Award winner, homered more over that span. Bird needs to shake the injury bug and reclaim the form that thrilled the Bronx at the end of the 2015 season.

    Second base (1): Gleyber Torres
    Torres will continue to carry big expectations as he enters his second big league season, having ranked second among Major League rookies with 77 RBIs and fourth with 24 homers, good for third in the AL Rookie of the Year Award race. His numbers would have been even more impressive had he not missed most of July due to injury. A natural shortstop, the 22-year-old will be available to play on that side of the bag as well.

    Third base (1): Miguel Andujar
    One of the Yanks' most consistent performers from wire to wire, Andujar finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year Award voting, hitting .297 with 47 doubles, 27 homers and 92 RBIs. He led all big league rookies in hits (170), doubles, RBIs, extra-base hits (76) and multi-hit games (53). Although he struggled defensively, registering a Defensive Runs Saved of -25, there is belief that Andujar can develop into a solid defender at the hot corner.

    Shortstop (1): Troy Tulowitzki
    The Yanks promised Tulowitzki an opportunity to serve as their shortstop while they wait for Didi Gregorius to return this summer, so if Tulowitzki can make it through the spring healthy, he is the odds-on favorite to play regularly. That is not a given, as Tulowitzki has not played in a big league game since July 2017 due to ankle and foot injuries, though his athleticism impressed the club at a recent showcase.

    Outfield (5): Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton
    Cashman recently said that if the season was underway, he'd envision Gardner in left field, Hicks in center field and Judge in right field, with Stanton serving as the primary designated hitter. That leaves a reserve spot up for grabs, and it could go to Ellsbury, assuming he makes a full return from left hip surgery performed in August. If Ellsbury is not ready or can be traded, Clint Frazier has said that he intends to steal playing time from Gardner.

    Utility (1): DJ LeMahieu
    Boone has said that he wants to use LeMahieu as a super sub, seeing time at second base, third base and shortstop, with first base also a possibility. LeMahieu offers Gold Glove-caliber defense at second base, so in the event that Tulowitzki is unavailable, the Yanks could present a tight middle infield by sliding Torres to shortstop and using LeMahieu at second base. Tyler Wade's chances of making the roster would then improve.

    Starting pitchers (5): Luis Severino, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ, CC Sabathia.
    Though the order can change, the Yankees' starting five appears to be set, barring injuries. The greatest concern will be Sabathia, who is coming off right knee surgery and an angioplasty as he prepares for his final big league season. Sabathia will also begin the year serving a five-game suspension for his actions in a game against the Rays last September, so the Yanks will likely carry an extra arm in the bullpen until the southpaw is reinstated.

    Relief pitchers (8): Dellin Betances, Zack Britton, Luis Cessa, Aroldis Chapman, Domingo German, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder, Adam Ottavino
    No bullpen ever recorded a higher strikeout-per-nine-innings ratio than the 2018 Yankees, who fanned 11.4 batters per nine innings. In fact, the Yanks have led the Majors in bullpen in that each of the last five seasons. This year promises to be no different after re-signing Britton and importing Ottavino to join Betances, Green and Holder in setting up for Chapman. German could fit as a long reliever, with Cessa (who is out of Minor League options) providing early-season depth due to Sabathia's suspension. Chance Adams, Tommy Kahnle and Jonathan Loaisiga are among those who could make this list with strong springs.

    Aware of the ongoing clamor for the Yankees to add Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has advised fans to "keep an open mind that I'm never done until I'm done, and that's usually not until Opening Day." Barring a splash of that magnitude, the team still believes that it has upgraded over the squad that reached the 100-win mark in 2018.

    Gary Sanchez
    Austin Romine

    Miguel Andujar
    Gleyber Torres
    Troy Tulowitzki
    Luke Voit

    Jacoby Ellsbury
    Brett Gardner
    Aaron Hicks
    Aaron Judge
    Giancarlo Stanton

    DJ LeMahieu

    Luis Severino
    James Paxton
    Masahiro Tanaka
    J.A. Happ
    CC Sabathia

    Aroldis Chapman (closer)
    Dellin Betances
    Zack Britton
    Luis Cessa
    Domingo German
    Chad Green
    Jonathan Holder
    Adam Ottavino

    Didi Gregorius, SS
    Ben Heller, RHP
    Jordan Montgomery, LHP
    Sign above the toilet in my bathroom - "Please flush twice, it's a long way to New Jersey"

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bkzwhitestrican View Post
    Thanks for kicking it off Jacko. I agree with mostly everything but the Yankees typically roll with 8 relievers and only 3 bench spots, so I think both Kahnle and Cessa start off the year on the 25.
    I'm not a big fan of Cessa.
    Sign above the toilet in my bathroom - "Please flush twice, it's a long way to New Jersey"

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyWilliams View Post
    I'm not a big fan of Cessa.
    Me neither, but they need someone in the bullpen who can give them more than two innings at a time. I guess German could be that guy, but I think he still has a long term shot as a starter. I'd prefer for him to pitch every 5 days down in AAA and let Cessa transition to the BP full-time.

  6. #6
    Cessa has never been a FT reliever. His arm is very lively. His breaking ball has some bite. Iíd like to see him be a full timer out there before giving up on him

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jacksonianmarch View Post
    Cessa has never been a FT reliever. His arm is very lively. His breaking ball has some bite. I’d like to see him be a full timer out there before giving up on him
    I realize that it's a small sample size of 150 innings in his career so far but his ERA is terrible, horrible WHIP the past 2 seasons.

    Every time I see him take the mound I feel like we are waving the white flag.
    Sign above the toilet in my bathroom - "Please flush twice, it's a long way to New Jersey"

  8. #8
    Either way, this team is stacked and with all the options, their implementation will be very important in how we do. Boone is going to need to be on his game this year and not be gun-shy about using his pen. If the above is how our team will be put together, we will have 6 closer level performance relievers. We clearly don't want to wear them out, but we also don't want to be coaxing a 5th or 6th inning out of CC when our pen will do the job better. I expect Happ to hand the ball off in the 6th on the average day. I expect CC to hand the ball off after 5 almost every game he throws. The only guys who should regularly be giving 6IP or more are Sevy and Paxton with Tanaka giving us 6IP and out every turn of the rotation. Boone's insistence on sticking with Sevy and CC the final two games of our season may have been useless or could have been the driving force behind our playoff exit. He needs to take a bit more of a Girardi-an approach this season. Our rotation should be consistently good. Our bullpen should be consistently dominant. Use the weapons you have, don't leave them on the shelf.

    In terms of the infield, he will have multiple options as well. We added Tulo and Lemahieu to the infield. Tulo could be good or terrible or hurt. No real way to count on his production. If he produces, great. If not, we need to be quick with his exit. I would mostly be looking for slowness in his game. If the bat speed isn't there, if the first step is slow, if the arm slowed. If he looks old or hurt, shutter him. If he looks quick and healed, then see how he will do. This will be an intergral part in our early season success. Sticking with an aging Tulo if he sucks could cost us games, especially when we have a good replacement behind him. Lemahieu is a consistent, albeit not spectacular offensive contributor. It is clear he changed his approach last year to add in more power. While it worked, his approach changed and his walk rate dropped. In this lineup, I would tell him to go back to the OBP, singles hitter he is. He is a big time opposite field hitter, actually he has the highest percentage of oppo hits in the majors over the past few years. This could add to his "power" with the YS right field porch. Either way, we need a few guys who can hit .290/.360/.400 and K less than 15%. I'd take that over .270/.300/.450. With all the walks and homers and K's our lineup produces, having another good contact, high average hitter will really help. But the question right now is, where does he play? That is going to be Boone's toughest choice and one that will get tougher if Tulo plays well and Didi returns. If Tulo doesn't play well, then Lemahieu goes to 2b and Torres slots in at SS. If Tulo plays well or when Didi returns, I think you'll see a lot of Lemahieu at 3b unless Andujar really shows his defensive shortcomings are in the past (which I think he is more than capable of doing). Then there is the 1b conundrum. Andujar could slot over to 1b, but that removes Voit from the lineup. Voit had one of the highest "hard hit" percentages in baseball. His exit velocity was 11th in baseball. His August-Sept combo was one for the ages. He also showed he is more than capable of using the Stadium's RF porch. He is a heck of a complement to this lineup. I don't expect him to hit .350 again, but there's certainly enough in his game to hit .260 and with his power and eye, he could be a .900OPS addition. Or he could flop disastrously and then we turn to Bird, who is no guarantee either. If Tulo plays well and we get nothing out of 1b, we could slide Andujar over and use Lemahieu at 3b or just use Lemahieu at 1b. The options and redundancy are nearly limitless and should be enough to keep our players fresh, which is a good thing.

    The outfield will be interesting as well. We brought Gardner back for what I think is one last hurrah. Gone are the 40SB days. Gone are the 15+ homer days (not many of those). But one thing that really played into his bad season last year was an abnormally low BABIP. As a speedy guy, he has averaged a BABIP of .310 (higher prior to 2018), but last year dropped 40 points down to .270. His K rate and walk rate were right around his prior seasons. While expecting him to return to his prime is not realistic, getting a .260/.350/.400 season is not unrealistic with 10-12HRs and 15-20SB's if he plays a full season. That is clearly not a guarantee. You have Hicks in CF and Judge in RF. Those guys aren't going to move unless injured. Ellsbury is still kicking around, although likely on the outside looking in. In any other team's lineup, Clint Frazier would be inserted into LF and Gardner would take a back seat. Unfortunately for that kid, our lineup is very RH dominant and Frazier looks to be a platoon bat at the outset with Gardner, assuming he makes the team at all. Complicating matters is the fact that Stanton is an OFer, and a pretty good one. The problem with Stanton has been soft tissue injuries and keeping his bat in the lineup has taken precedent over taking the field. Should Gardner scuffle and Frazier get hurt again there is a good chance we would see Stanton out there. Also, should Sanchez prove to not be able to catch, Stanton could come out to the OF. Also, should Andujar prove not useful in the field, Stanton could get to LF. Lots of options. How Boone plays those options will be vital to overtaking the sox and winning the East.
    The rebuild is complete.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jacksonianmarch View Post
    Cessa has never been a FT reliever. His arm is very lively. His breaking ball has some bite. I’d like to see him be a full timer out there before giving up on him
    Two good pitches aren't enough to be a starter. He has no third pitch whatsoever.

    In 19 career starts he's pitched 89.1 innings and given up 50 earned runs with 68 Ks, good for an average of 4 2/3 innings per start with an ERA of 5.60 and K/9 of 7.6. His 2018 numbers as a starter are even worse (5 GS, 18 IP, 7.22 ERA, 7.2 K/9).

    But last year in relief, he tossed 26.2 innings and gave up 13 earned runs with 26 Ks. While the ERA isn't great at 4.86, it's certainly better than his numbers as a starter. And as his improved K rate shows, his stuff plays up in relief since he only has to go through a lineup once.
    Last edited by bkzwhitestrican; 02-12-2019 at 11:27 AM.

  10. #10
    Thatís what Iím saying. Iíd like to see him as a full time reliever

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jacksonianmarch View Post
    That’s what I’m saying. I’d like to see him as a full time reliever
    I'd like to see him pitch for one of our opponents!
    Sign above the toilet in my bathroom - "Please flush twice, it's a long way to New Jersey"

  12. #12
    He's been yo-yo'd back and forth between starter and relief. I want to see a consistent, relief oriented approach from the beginning. Maybe he is a long reliever and is limited to one turn of the lineup, I don't know. But what I do know is I saw him topping out at 99 out of the pen with a pretty silly slider. He needs to work more on his short stints, go all out and just use those two pitches. We were saying the same thing about Chad Green before we moved him strictly to the pen. The stuff is impressive. It's time to see if the stuff is good enough in short stints consistently
    The rebuild is complete.

  13. #13
    First injury of the year! On Day 0.5 of Spring Training...

    Mike King has been shut down for three weeks with a stress reaction in his elbow. He’ll be reevaluated again after the three weeks.

    I was looking forward to seeing him in preseason too. Sigh, oh well.

  14. #14
    Second injury of spring. Ellsbury has plantar fasciitis. In other news, water is wet

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