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Philadelphia Phillies Series Preview: June 12 to 13

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After an unusual Friday off, the Yankees return to action for a brief two-game set against the Phillies down the I-95 corridor. We get to see some old friends in manager Joe Girardi and shortstop Didi Gregorius over the next two days, which always brings back some fond memories. Let’s catch up with the team from the City of Brotherly Love.


Aaron Judge’s path to striking out less often

*chef’s kiss*

Strikeouts have been a part of Aaron Judge’s game throughout his professional career. The whiffs have always been tolerable thanks to everything else he contributes, though. In spite of a career 31.4 percent strikeout rate entering the 2021 season, Judge also owned a lifetime 151 wRC+ on a .272/.390/.558 triple-slash. Yeah, it’s kind of hard to complain about his propensity to swing-and-miss when he absolutely mashes the ball otherwise.

With more than 1,800 plate appearances under his belt coming into the season, I think most people accepted that Judge would never become a contact hitter. Yet, this season, the star right fielder has done just that, relatively speaking. He’s dropped his strikeout rate to 24.1 percent in 245 plate appearances in 2021, which is exactly the MLB average this year. Remarkably, Judge has done this without sacrificing his power (.255 ISO) or on-base percentage (.396). This is a pretty incredible development.

DoTF: Britton struggles in rehab outing, Peraza debuts at Double-A

Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

The RailRiders erased a 5-0 deficit to win this one, 7-5 (box score).

  • Rehab start: LHP Zack Britton: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR — 13 of 24 pitches were strikes (54%)…Struck out Cavan Biggio, who’s also on a rehab assignment, but otherwise struggled. Didn’t have good command or velo, per a scout who spoke to Erik Boland. Not great.
  • In relief: RHP Adam Warren: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR — 23 of 40 pitches were strikes (58%)
  • In relief: RHP Nick Nelson: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K — 29 of 51 pitches were strikes (57%)
  • In relief: RHP Braden Bristo: 1.0 IP, 1 K, zeroes — 7 of 9 (78%)
  • In relief: LHP Trevor Lane: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, zeroes — 11 of 17 pitches were strikes (65%)
  • In relief: RHP Luis García: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K — 11 of 17 pitches were strikes (65%)
  • Florial watch: CF Estevan Florial: 0-5, 2 K — Really struggling at this level. Batting average down to .154 and has struck out 24 times in 75 plate appearances. Has walked 9 times, at least.
  • Hitting co-star: 3B Derek Dietrich: 2-4, R, 3 RBI, 2 K — Starting to hit a little bit after going hitless from May 12th through May 29th (yikes!). He did miss some time during that stretch, though.
  • Hitter co-star: DH Robinson Chirinos: 1-1, HR, RBI, 3 BB — Third homer at the level. Kinda surprised he didn’t opt out considering how prized catchers typically are. The broken wrist in spring training really hurt him, no pun intended.
  • Leftovers: SS Hoy Park and LF Trey Amburgey both went 1-for-4 with a double…Amburgey has a 14-game hitting streak to start the season, around an injury.

Double-A Somerset Patriots

Erie toppled Somerset, 8-2 (box score), in Oswald Peraza’s first taste of Double-A action. The Patriots are now 20-10 on the season.

  • Starting pitcher: RHP Glenn Otto: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 2 HR — 65 of 92 pitches were strikes (71%)…Had only given up one homer in 27.1 innings entering this game. Still racked up Ks, though. Now has 55 in 34 innings this season.
  • In relief: RHP Carlos Espinal: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR — 20 of 28 pitches were strikes (71%)
  • Promoted: SS Oswald Peraza: 0-4 — Three groundouts and a flyout out of the leadoff spot for Somerset. Go get ’em tomorrow.
  • Hitting star: 1B Dermis García: 1-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K — 11 homers in 123 plate appearances this season…of course, he’s also struck out 49 times as he is wont to do.
  • Leftovers: García’s dinger represented the Patriots only two runs of the night, so not much else to report here…C Donny Sands and LF Zach Zehner each had two hits a piece, one of Zehner’s was a double…3B Oswaldo Cabrera and RF Isiah Gilliam also had singles.

High-A Hudson Valley Renegades

The Renegades game against Brooklyn was postponed due to rain. They’ll play two tomorrow.

Single-A Tampa Tarpons

Clearwater beat Tampa in walk-off fashion, 2-1 (box score). The Tarpons record dips to 22-9 with the loss.

  • Starting pitcher: RHP Yoendrys Gomez: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K — 22 of 42 pitches were strikes (52%)…second start of the season after dealing with arm soreness.
  • In relief: RHP Edgar Barclay: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K — 32 of 52 pitches were strikes (62%)
  • In relief: LHP Nelvin Correa: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, zeroes — 14 of 20 pitches were strikes (70%)
  • In relief: LHP Clay Aguilar: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 4 K, zeroes — 24 of 34 pitches were strikes (71%)
  • In relief: RHP Carson Coleman: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K — 14 of 27 pitches were strikes (52%)
  • First round watch: SS Anthony Volpe: 1-3, BB — Has a six-game hitting streak.
  • First round watch: DH Austin Wells: 0-4, 2 K — Had reached base in 8 of last 9 plate appearances before tonight
  • Hauver heat check: 2B Trevor Hauver: 1-3, BB, 2 K — Has an absurd 23 percent walk rate.
  • Leftovers: C Carlos Narvaez and 3B Chad Bell had one and two hits, respectively. RF Juan De Leon had a RBI groundout.

Game 61: Thank you, Minnesota

The perfect gif for the occasion.

The Yankees’ four-game losing streak is over. New York beat the Twins 8-4 in the first of three at Minnesota. It’s really too bad that the Twins aren’t in the AL East. The Yankees would never lose the division. Anyway, let’s get to tonight’s takeaways.

Minnesota Twins Series Preview: June 8 to June 10

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With a much needed day off behind the Yankees, it’s time for a three game series against the Twins in Minnesota. The Bombers are 17-8 against non-divisional opponents this season (though most recently lost three straight to Detroit), so hopefully getting out of the AL East will be a welcome reprieve.

Their story so far

If you think the Yankees are having a disappointing season, just take a look at the Twins. They’re 24-35 and tied for last in the AL Central with the Tigers. It’s going to be pretty difficult for Minnesota to climb out of the cellar and into a playoff spot at this point. They’re 12 games out of first place and 9 games behind the pace for a Wild Card position. Things are pretty bleak.

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