Tag: Joe Mantiply

An assortment of relievers [2019 Season Review]

Tarpley. (Keith Allison – CC BY-SA 2.0)

One of the Yankees’ core tenets is a strong bullpen, as evidenced once again in 2019. But a strong bullpen isn’t just about the relief aces like Zack Britton or Chad Green (among others). Other pitchers play important roles too, even in blowouts and games that aren’t on the line. Today, I take a brief look at an array of pitchers who spent time on the Yankees’ major league roster this season. Most of these pitchers didn’t have much success on the mound, and many won’t be back in 2020, but they still played some role on this year’s club.

Jonathan Holder

After a strong 2018, the Yankees expected Holder to be an important piece of the bullpen. Not in terms of high leverage, but rather, holding the fort down in the middle innings. Unfortunately, he fell far short of his 3.14 ERA and 3.04 FIP in 66 innings a year ago.

Not only did Holder get sent down to Triple-A twice this year, but to add injury to insult, he finished the season on the injured list. The 26 year-old righty wasn’t horrible to start the year, but he certainly wasn’t anything special. By the end of May, he had a 4.55 ERA but a much better 3.07 FIP. Come June, things took a turn for the worst. He allowed six homers and 15 runs (13 earned) in eight innings before he was sent to Scranton.

The final straw came on June 24th, when Holder faced five batters and did not record an out. The big blow was Freddy Galvis’s grand slam. Holder was optioned after the game, returned for one appearance in July, and didn’t resurface in the Bronx again until August. But not long after, he hit the injured list with shoulder inflammation and missed the remainder of the season. There’s no indication that any portion of his 2020 season is in jeopardy.

Assuming he’s healthy, Holder will be in the mix for one of the last bullpen spots in spring training. He has one more minor league option remaining, so he could be an up-and-down relief arm once again if he can’t re-establish himself.

Stephen Tarpley

If you had me guess how many innings Tarpley threw for the Yankees this season, I would have guessed a dozen or so. Maybe it’s because the season has been over for a few months now, but my guess is far off. In fact, the lefty threw 24 2/3 frames for the Bombers this year. He was ineffective and finished the season with a 6.93 ERA and 5.69 FIP.

Tarpley’s big issue was the long ball. He’s been a ground ball pitcher for some time now, even garnering (unfair) comps to Zack Britton, but that was far from the case in 2019. He had just a 36.2 percent ground ball rate and surrendered six homers (2.2 per nine innings). This came on the heels of a 63.8 percent ground ball rate for Scranton this season.

Tarpley still has two more minor league options, so he still has time to work the kinks out. He’s had plenty of success in Triple-A, but it’s just not translated at the big league level. However, he may also be on the 40-man chopping block as we await the official announcements of Gerrit Cole and Brett Gardner.

Cory Gearrin

The Yankees claimed Gearrin off waivers from the Mariners near the end of August. Unexpectedly, he quickly became one of the team’s most oft-used relievers. The sidearmer appeared in 18 of the Yankees final 32 games of the regular season.

His usage was a little perplexing given his uninspiring results, but upon reflection, it makes sense. Not only did Aaron Boone say that the organization believed Gearrin had upside, but Gearrin also offered some relief (pun intended) for guys who had been worked hard like Adam Ottavino.

Gearrin’s a free agent, but there hasn’t been a peep about him in the rumor mill. Not that anyone would expect there to be. Chances are Gearrin receives a minor league deal for 2020, and your guess is as good as mine regarding with what team he’ll sign with.

Tyler Lyons

The Yankees picked up Lyons on a minor league contract in August after the Pirates released him earlier in the month. The former Cardinal was last an effective big league reliever in 2017 while he was still with St. Louis. Once rosters expanded in September, the Yankees gave the lefty a shot.

Lyons was decent in September and had eight scoreless outings in eleven total appearances. Similar to Gearrin, Lyons gave the Yankees another warm body to provide key relievers a breather. Surprisingly, Lyons earned a spot on the playoff roster and appeared in both the ALDS and ALCS. He retired all five batters he faced, including four strike outs, but the games he pitched were already out of hand.

The others

Longtime farmhand Brady Lail, the Yankees’ 18th-rounder in 2012, made a one game cameo in August before the Yankees’ designate him for assignment. He’s currently a minor league free agent…Jake Barrett appeared in two games for the Yankees before elbow inflammation ended his season. He too is a free agent…Same deal for southpaw Joe Mantiply, who was one-and-done for an August game and is now a free agent…the Yankees nabbed Ryan Dull, part of their run on scrapheap relievers, in mid-August off waivers. Dull last only lasted three games with the Bombers before the Blue Jays claimed him off waivers in September…Joe Harvey was a surprise addition to the 40-man entering 2019 and was decent in 10 innings for the Bombers (4.50 ERA). The Yankees traded him to the Rockies for Alfredo Garcia before the deadline.

Game 120: Please, put the Orioles out of their misery

Embed from Getty Images

Another game against the Orioles, another shellacking. The Yankees bashed their way to a 11-8 victory against Baltimore, who mercifully have just two more games against the Bombers this year. Here are tonight’s takeaways:

Brett Gardner is still kicking

I must admit that I didn’t think Brett Gardner would be very good this season. He finished last year in a terrible rut, has a history of tailing off in the second half, and can’t hit lefties. And yet, Gardner is in the midst of a revival at 35 years of age.

Tonight, Gardy gave the Yankees an early lead with this:

Just like that, the Yankees were up 3-zip on Gardner’s triple. He’s now up to a 116 wRC+ this year, far better than anyone could have anticipated. Remember, he was supposed to be a role player. Instead, he’s been forced into playing nearly everyday because of the myriad of outfield injuries the Yankees have suffered.

How does anyone watch the Orioles?

Look, I love watching the Yankees win, but good grief is it difficult to watch the Orioles. They’re an embarrassment. I don’t think you needed tonight’s game to figure that out, but in case you needed a reminder, let’s dig in.

The Yankees plated their fourth run with plenty of help from Baltimore. With Breyvic Valera on second, O’s starter Ty Blach spiked a pitch that bounded away from Chance Cisco. It should have been a wild pitch, nothing more. Instead, Cisco decided to try and throw out Valera at third. Here’s what happened:

Of course that wasn’t the only fielding mishap. Earlier, Gardner’s triple was sort of a misplay by Anthony Santander:

(Baseball Savant)

I guess you could call it a valiant effort, but the odds of him ever catching that were incredibly slim. That should have been played to a double, not a triple, especially with just one out. Fortunately for him, Blach bailed him out and didn’t let Gardner score.

And then, you know, there’s the whole Gleyber Torres thing. He blasted his 13th dinger against the Birds this year. In case you aren’t keeping track, that’s half of his 26 homers this season.

Finally, FINALLY, they intentionally walked Torres in the eighth. Down five with runners on first and second and two outs, Baltimore gave him a free pass. Unconventional, sure. I’m not sure if that’s more or less embarrassing than Gleyber taking them deep one more time. It did work out though, as Gardner grounded out to end the jam.

Lastly, the Yankees basically disrespected the Orioles by throwing Joe Mantiply and Brady Lail out there. Nothing against either of those two, but obviously the Yankees weren’t concerned about outslugging the Orioles tonight.

Is it Orioles pitching, or is Gleyber’s core feeling better?

Whatever the answer may be, it’s good to see Torres raking like this after concern about his mysterious core injury. As mentioned, Gleyber blasted two more homers in the nightcap after hitting one in this afternoon’s affair. Again, half of his homers are against Baltimore this year! Just ridiculous how much he’s tormented them. Some numbers:

One record down, one more to go:

Decent chance the Iron Horse’s record doesn’t stand after this series ends, no? Unless they intentionally walk him every opportunity they get the rest of the way, of course. Tomorrow and Wednesday are the Yankees last two games vs. Baltimore this year.

One last thing on Gleyber: he did make a lackadaisical fielding play in the seventh inning by trying to play a would-be double play grounder off to his side. Mike Axisa touched on this over in his RAB Thoughts Patreon recently, and that play perfectly exemplified it. After that, the O’s struck for three runs on Hanser Alberto’s dinger.

To their credit, the Orioles made this interesting in the ninth

Mantiply and Lail did yeoman’s work in relief of Green. They combined for 5.2 innings and allowed 6 runs. On the surface, that sounds pretty crummy. But, Aaron Boone had to work his bullpen harder than he probably would have liked in game one of the doubleheader, so those two’s contribution didn’t go unnoticed.

The skipper certainly intended to have Nestor Cortes pitch the final two innings with a five run lead, but no dice. With the bases full and one out in the ninth, Boone called on Adam Ottavino for the save. Rio Ruiz greeted him with a two-run single to make it 11-8, but that was all the Orioles could muster. After that, Ottavino struck out Jonathan Villar and induced a fly out from Trey Mancini to end it.

It’s a little frustrating that Ottavino had to come in, to be honest. It was his 56th appearance of the season which puts him on pace for 75 outings this season. That’s too much. Fortunately, with this division lead, the Yankees can afford to utilize him less often down the stretch. Perhaps tonight would have been a good time to try and steal another two outs from Cortes, even at the risk of letting the Orioles creep even closer.

Leftovers:

  • Mike Ford hit his fourth homer of the season. The burly lefty hit it against Blach in the fourth inning to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead at the time.
  • Chad Green excelled in the opener role once again. He faced four batters and retired all of them, including one via strikeout. The Yankees are now 12-0 when using an opener this season.
  • Tonight was Lail’s major league debut. Though his pitching line wasn’t overly impressive, he did exactly what the Yankees needed. Nice story for a guy who was the Yankees’ 18th rounder in 2012.
  • Mantiply hadn’t pitched in the bigs since 2016. Although his results weren’t pretty, he got his first major league win. Good for him.

These two sides are back at it again tomorrow at 7:05 pm. Have a good night everyone.

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