News and Notes: ASG, Severino, Dominguez, Yates

The Yankees are fresh off a 2-game sweep of the rival Red Sox in London, and they have won 13 of their last 14 games. As you all know (but I’m going to keep typing it because it is great), they have an 8-game lead in the division over 2nd-place Tampa Bay. If you squint and look really carefully, you can see Boston in 3rd-place, 12 games out on the loss column.

The team is off today, with a quick 2-game set against the crosstown Mets in the queue. I thought it made sense to go over some news and notes from Yankeeland to keep you busy tonight.

But first: I know, I know, we didn’t publish DoTF last night. I’m sorry about that. We do our best to give everyone as much content as possible here, but as I’ve said many times, we all have real lives with real responsibilities beyond this site. Last night was one of those nights where something fell through the cracks. We’ll have DoTF again tonight and (nearly) every other night going forward.

Anyway, here are some good reads to hold you over on this off night.

All-Star Game

Aroldis Chapman will join DJ LeMahieu and Gary Sánchez next week in Cleveland for the All-Star Game. The Yankee closer was named an All-Star yesterday, so that’s 3 Yanks representing. Of course, this means that Luke Voit and Gleyber Torres were not named All-Stars, and some Yankee fans are Big Mad about that.

I understand the frustration. I mean, Luke Voit is hitting .280/.393/.509 (140 wRC+) with 17 home runs. Dude has been a stud. He could easily be repping the Yanks. Gleyber Torres, on the other hand, is an even more obvious snub. The 22-year-old is hitting .295/.365/.548 (139 wRC+) and looks like he’ll be around for a very, very long time. It’s hard to imagine how the MLB can have an ASG without Gleyber Torres there.

However, this is what it is. I get that people get mad about the 1-player from each team rule, but that’s easy for us to say. We’re Yankee fans. Having every team represented is good, and baseball, like it or not, is a regional sport. It matters. Sucks, but it is what it is.

That said, I do get mad on the player’s behalf here, because All-Star nominations are used as leverage during arbitration hearings. It sucks to think of a player losing money over this, which is the part that actually makes me mad. Gleyber and Voit deserve all the recognition they can get.

Luis Severino

It’s been obvious for a long time that the Yankees and Severino have something weird going on this year. A scratched start in Spring Training (shoulder discomfort) gave way to rotator cuff inflammation, which gave way to a few weeks off. That then turned, somehow, into a lat strain, which gave way to a few months off. That then turned into Severino recovering and ready throw off a mound…

…until it turned out that he wasn’t ready to do that, and is now shut down (is he shut down? does anyone even know?) again. Here’s Cashman:

“He doesn’t like going in the M.R.I. tube and it’s something he would’ve pushed back on. But clearly, if we turned the clock back, we would’ve done an M.R.I. three weeks ago.”

Brian Cashman re: luis severino

“We would’ve done an MRI three weeks ago” is not a turn of phrase that you ever want to hear your GM make about your best pitcher. I’m not an Injury Expert (and by rule, never trust anyone who claims to be unless they’re a doctor) but this is weird, puzzling, and altogether frustrating. Check out James Wagners’ great piece in the Times on all of this from last night.

Jasson Dominguez

ESPN’s Jeff Passan has a great story out there about Jasson Dominguez, a 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic expected to sign with the Yankees this week. This is going to generate a lot of buzz because an unnamed (go on the record if you believe it!) GM said that Dominguez is “like [Mike] Trout, but Trout wasn’t this good at 16.” Nice comp! But a bit unfair to the kid, who, as it turns out, was named after Jason Giambi.

The story as a whole is very good, and you should read the whole thing. It also should make you think of another Passan story, from earlier this year, about the need for an international draft. As Passan notes in that story:

The best players in the Dominican Republic often drop out of school as young as 10 and 11 to start training for baseball careers. The increasingly early age at which players agree to sign — which is against MLB’s rules that are rarely enforced — has incentivized the use of performance-enhancing drugs on children in hopes that their mature-looking bodies will impress scouts enough to offer significant signing bonuses. 

Jeff Passan

I do not like this system one bit. While it’s exciting that the Yanks are going to add another top talent to their system, it’s irresponsible to ignore the context behind these signings. The league needs to reform itself. Remember, as always, this is a choice. That’s always how it goes.

Kirby Kates

Remember him? He was awful for New York in 2016 (he’s been open about this) and claimed off waivers by the Angels after the season. They also DFA’d him, and he’s been in San Diego ever since. You’d be excused if you didn’t realize that this is his line since the start of 2018: 1.83 ERA (2.11 FIP) with a 37.9% K% and 6.8% BB% with 39 saves in 98.1 IP. That’s nuts! I didn’t realize it until earlier this year.

Anyway, Yates is an All-Star this year, and the great Marc Carig of The Athletic (subs req’d) has a great story out on his journey today. Check it out.


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  1. lightSABR

    So… how exactly is an international draft going to fix the incentive for kids to drop out of school and do PEDs?

    It’s a tragedy that so many kids are investing their whole youth in a slim chance of an MLB signing that will give them a slim chance of an MLB career. But they’re doing that because their alternatives are lousy, not because there’s no draft.

    • RetroRob

      I wasn’t following the reasoning on that either. It’s about opportunity, and these kids view MLB as their best chance to get themselves, and their families, out of a bad situation. That won’t change with an international draft. Bobby seems to be arguing that the Yankees shouldn’t have Dominguez.

      The only thing an international draft will do is take money away from the prospects and put more of it in the pocket of the owners.

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