Tag: Brooks Kriske Page 1 of 2

Game 94: Sure, why not

I have to say, I’m a little delirious after watching that one. It wasn’t pretty, but a win’s a win. The Yankees topped the Phillies 6-5 in 10 innings and have now won 9 of 12 games as they head into a pivotal four game series with the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Once again, the Yankees got heroics from the places you’d least expect. Greg Allen had a big RBI double early in this one, Brooks Kriske pitched a scoreless 10th inning during Manfred-ball, and Ryan LaMarre walked it off in the bottom of the 10th. Hell, even Asher Wojciechowski was fine. There were some big moments from the regulars too, but still, the replacements stole the show. What a weird, wacky game:

To the takeaways:

Advertisements

Looking back at the Yankees’ 2016 Draft

Embed from Getty Images

With this year’s amateur draft behind us, let’s turn back the clock to 2016 and assess how the Yankees fared with its draft class five years ago. This is something we plan to make an annual feature here at Views. It’s hard to pin down an exact timeframe for closing the book on any given year’s draft, but five years out seems like a good starting point. So with that, let’s dig in.

In hindsight, and in only looking at drafted player outcomes, this was a pretty bad crop for the Yankees.

  • Signed: 28/40
  • Made the majors: 5
  • Still in the minors with Yankees: 8
  • WAR for Yankees: -1.5
  • Total WAR: -0.9

*Baseball Reference WAR.

That’s not pretty at first glance. However, it’s worth noting that the Yankees weren’t afraid to use the players in this class in trades. The team dealt their 1st (Blake Rutherford), 2nd (Nick Solak), 5th (Dom Thompson-Williams), 12th (Taylor Widener), and 27th (Phillip Diehl) round picks in later seasons and acquired:

  • David Robertson: +2.5 WAR
  • Tommy Kahnle: +0.8 WAR
  • Todd Frazier: +1.0 WAR
  • Brandon Drury: -0.3 WAR, who turned into JA Happ: +4.6 WAR
  • James Paxton: +2.2 WAR
  • Mike Tauchman: +3.8 WAR

That’s +14.6 WAR acquired from this draft alone. Meanwhile, the guys sent away have been worth +0.6 WAR. That’s a win for the Yankees.

Obviously, things could change over time and look different. Solak and Widener are just starting their big league careers. Maybe Rutherford or Thompson-Williams will break through at some point, though things aren’t looking great for them. Diehl is not on a 40-man roster anymore. Are those five going to surpass the production the Yankees received via trade from 2017 – 2020? If they do, it won’t be for a while. And it won’t be easy.

So yeah, the Yankees may not have found success with the specific players drafted. But they deserve some praise for not prospect hugging, too. The Yankees entered a contention window the year after this draft and started to trade from it in order to help the big league club. It’s important to keep that in mind whenever evaluating a club’s draft: it’s not just for replenishing the farm system. It can also pay dividends at the major league level sooner than you think.

With those initial thoughts out of the way, let’s dive deeper into the Yankees’ 2016 selections. I’ll break down the club’s first round choice, Rutherford, opine on who I think was the best pick, and then break down the rest of the club’s selections. Let’s get to it.

The bullpen: A great stable of arms [2021 Season Preview]

Newbie Darren O’Day sure knew how to endear himself to a fanbase, huh? There clearly was some intent in that comment early this month. As you may recall, Rays’ manager Kevin Cash touted his stable of guys who throw 98 last year in response to the beef the Yankees and Rays had. It sounded a bit threatening after Aroldis Chapman threw some chin music to Mike Brosseau. Granted, the Rays got the last laugh. It’s a new year though, and this bullpen is clearly pretty good, as O’Day said.

The locks

Although Aroldis Chapman‘s high octane fastball is no longer unique among his peers, he’s still one of the league’s best closers. He’ll continue to blow his upper-90s heat by hitters in 2021, but that might not be his only big threat anymore. Sure, his slider has been effective at times in the past, but this year, Chapman plans to incorporate the splitter he teased last season. It’s looked pretty nasty in camp.

As tantalizing as that split looks, there’s one ultimate goal for Chapman this season: to record the clinching out of the World Series rather than end his year like the previous two postseasons. One last note: Chapman will serve a two-game suspension to start the season as a result of this aforementioned incident against the Rays last season.

There’s a competition now, but the Yankees’ last bullpen spot will rotate all year long

Last week, Aaron Boone told the media that he envisions one or two bullpen openings on his ballclub. Yet, unless that means Jonathan Loaisiga’s spot is in jeopardy, or the team will carry four starters until a fifth one is needed (April 7th), there’s really just one spot up for grabs.

At the outset of spring training, Albert Abreu looked like the odds-on favorite. We went all offseason assuming that Abreu was out of minor league options. If the Yankees didn’t want to keep him in the Bronx, he’d have to pass through waivers before getting to Scranton. Given his tantalizing 100 MPH fastball and nasty secondaries, there was no way he’d go unclaimed. Not even his poor control would prevent another team from nabbing him. However, it’s apparent that the assumption that he’s out of options was incorrect, as noted in last night’s notes.

It’s a bit unclear how Abreu (and others) has an option remaining: either he qualified for the mysterious fourth option year or the 2020 option didn’t count. Regardless, his updated roster status significantly levels the competition. It also means that the Yankees could keep trying Abreu as a starter.

Enter Nick Nelson, Brooks Kriske, and a collection of non-roster invitees.

The 40-man roster chopping block

Embed from Getty Images

Before the Yankees can call up Clarke Schmidt or bring in a new player via trade, the front office will have to trim the 40-man roster. That could make for a relatively busy week depending on how active the Yankees are before next Monday’s trade deadline. That’s right, the deadline is just seven days from now.

The Yankees’ full 40-man roster has already been called out by the manager in recent days. In discussing Schmidt potentially joining the team’s rotation, Aaron Boone indicated that the team’s roster status complicates matters. Does that mean Schmidt would already be here if there was a 40-man opening? That’s not totally clear. In any case, the Yankees will have to make space for Schmidt or others in the near-term. Here’s a look at who could go:

Injury List Shuffle Candidates

Luis Severino and Tommy Kahnle are on the 60-day injured list and thus off the 40-man roster, but those two could be joined by others.

Luis Avilán just went on the 10-day injured list with shoulder inflammation, but if there’s something more serious going on there, he could be shifted to the 60-day and open a spot. Imaging revealed nothing more than the inflammation, however.

Kyle Higashioka’s is already eligible to return from the 10-day IL, but Boone noted nothing is imminent even though he’s making good progress. Any setback could land Higgy on the 60-day though. If and when Higashioka returns, Erik Kratz will almost certainly be DFA’d and removed from the 40.

If either Avilán or Higashioka hit the 60-day IL, they won’t be seen for the rest of the season. Boone seemed to have Avilán in his circle of trust, but the lefty wouldn’t be a huge absence if lost. Losing Higashioka would hurt more because catching depth is pivotal, even if Higgy isn’t necessarily anything too special.

Barring significant news, no one else on the 10-day IL is a candidate for shuffling off the roster. The Yankees need the likes of DJ LeMahieu, James Paxton, and Giancarlo Stanton (among others) to return this season.

Fringe relief arms

Jonathan Holder seems like a prime DFA candidate. Even though his changeup is somewhat intriguing, he’s maddeningly inconsistent and really hasn’t been effective since 2018. Holder has one minor league option remaining (and it has yet to be used this year). He is also arbitration eligible this offseason. The Yankees may be able to carry forward that option to next year, but Holder will get a raise in arbitration from his $750k salary (albeit nothing drastic), so it wouldn’t shock me to see him non-tendered this winter anyway. The Yankees could just decide to get that decision out of the way sooner.

After Holder comes Ben Heller, who the team really hasn’t given much of an opportunity yet. He’ll have one more minor league option remaining next season, but he could also be arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason depending on how many days he spends in the majors in 2020. Do the Yankees want to pay him an increased (but still not big) salary for a reliever with hardly any big league experience? He could be non-tendered as well, so the Bombers could just get ahead of things here.

We’ve yet to see much of Brooks Kriske in 2020, who just joined the 40-man roster entering this season. I can’t imagine he’d be a straight DFA, but perhaps he could be traded like Joe Harvey last year. Remember, Harvey was a newbie on the 40-man, but the Yankees dealt him mid-season to clear space.

I mentioned Kriske as a small trade candidate, but Holder or Heller could fall in that boat as well. The Phillies desperately need bullpen help even after a few recent moves, so maybe they’d come calling to help relieve the Yankees’ 40-man jam.

Trade chips

There are a number of players that likely won’t factor as contributors in 2020 but currently take up space on the 40-man. Those include: Albert Abreu, Luis Gil, Luis Medina, Miguel Yajure, and Estevan Florial. Now, we’ve see Abreu get in a game this year and Yajure on the major league roster, but neither are expected to play big roles. Either of those two along with the others could be included in a bigger trade to land help for the Yankees’ rotation or bullpen.

We should also throw in Nick Nelson and Deivi García here. Nelson has pitched a bit for the Yankees this season, but he’s not untouchable via trade. I threw him into a trade proposal last week (MTPS). As for Deivi: I don’t expect the Yankees to actively shop him. Teams will ask for him, though.

Down ballot candidates

Most of the Yankees’ position players are anchored to the 40-man. Only the catching situation and Florial appear to be potential opening opportunities. Otherwise, things look pretty set. Clint Frazier, oft-rumored in trades in the past, appears safe once again because of the team’s injury situation. Further, I don’t see the team selling low on Miguel Andújar. But there is one other rostered position player that’s trending downward: Mike Ford.

I don’t think it’s any secret that we have been Ford fans on this here blog, but I also wouldn’t rule him out in this roster crunch. He’s off to a slow start (.175/.227/.375, 58 wRC+) in 44 plate appearances. There’s no defensive versatility either. There are still a number of guys to cut before him, but he’s starting to play his way into the conversation.

Back to pitchers: what about JA Happ? Cutting him has probably crossed everyone’s mind. It’s almost certainly not going to happen, however. The Yankees seem to have a lot of (blind?) faith in Happ. Perhaps more importantly, pitchers are dropping like flies this year and it would probably behoove the team to keep him around as depth. He’d still get his 2020 salary on or off the team, anyway (aside: his vesting option would be voided upon release, for what it’s worth).

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén