Tag: Mariano Rivera

News & Notes: Happ, Trade Market, Mariano

Embed from Getty Images

The Yankees and Twins will meet again tonight at 8:10 pm for the rubber match of the three-game series between the two first-place teams. It’s a potential playoff matchup, too. Last night’s game was an instant classic and not one many of us are likely to forget anytime soon.

Before then, though, let’s all take a deep breath, grab another cup of coffee (games that end at 2am suck!), and catch up on some news and notes from around Yankeeland.

J.A. Happ

Here’s something I didn’t know: J.A. Happ has been the Yankees’ best pitcher in July. I repeat: J.A. Happ has been the Yankees’ best starter in July. Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you. But check it out:

Huh, would you look at that? Happ has a 2.87 ERA (2.91 FIP) with 10+ K/9 in 15.2 innings pitched in July. That, coupled with a finally-declining HR rate (in both HR/9 and HR/FB%), have combined to make him the Yanks’ most valuable starter in terms of fWAR this month despite throwing the fewest innings in the non-opener category.

That’s actually very encouraging and something I’d missed entirely. It’s obviously an extremely, extremely small sample, but hopefully it’s the start of something. Happ did have a 111 ERA+ in the ALE in his last 5 seasons before 2019, so there’s a recent track record here. It would be nice for him to keep this forward momentum rolling and build on it by giving the Yankees some length this evening. Lord knows they need it after last night.

Robbie Ray

According to ESPN’s Jon Morosi, the Yankees have been in contact with the Arizona Diamondbacks about SP Robbie Ray. Check it out:

The 27-year-old Ray is having a nice season in Arizona (3.95 ERA, 31% K rate, etc.) and is an interesting but uninspiring potential trade candidate. I’ll break him down in more depth in the coming days, so not going to go too much into it here, but he’d likely be a solid innings-eater in New York. That’s not nothing. Anyway, just some food for thought.

FanGraphs’ Trade Values

Each season around this time, FanGraphs publishes a series in which they rank some of the top MLB players and establishes their trade value. You can check out the whole series here. It’s a fun exercise, though I don’t know how Trout isn’t #1 on this list every year. I know his contract, but I don’t care. There is Trout and there is everyone else. That’s just how it is.

Anyway, three Yankees made the list on the top 50 most valuable trade chips in baseball, and you can probably guess them: Gleyber Torres, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sánchez.

Gleyber, unsurprisingly, came in the highest at 12. If I’m being honest, that seems a bit low for the 22-year-old megastar in the making who just keeps getting better and is under team control for 4 more seasons after 2019, but hey–maybe I’m a biased source here. (Ed note: I am a biased source here.) Honestly, as yourselves: for which players would you trade Gleyber? I’m not sure that there are 11.

Judge and Gary came in at 15 and 46, for what it’s worth. Check it out for yourself and get super mad about it. That’s what happened on Twitter, from what I saw, because of course it is.

Baseball America Top 30

Baseball America updated their Top 30 organizational prospects. There aren’t many surprises. That means that Seigler isn’t in the Top 10, which isn’t surprising but remains disappointing. Hopefully he can turn around his season in Staten Island soon enough. It’s behind a paywall, so I won’t give too much away, but here’s the top 10:

  1. Deivi Garcia
  2. Estevan Florial
  3. Everson Pereira
  4. Luis Gil
  5. Oswald Peraza
  6. Antonio Cabello
  7. Albert Abreu
  8. Roansy Contreras
  9. Anthony Volpe
  10. Jonathan Loaisiga

Gil is having himself one hell of a season, and it’s great to see him getting some love in the rankings. Views’ son, Deivi Garcia, also comes in number 1 overall. No surprises here.

Mariano Rivera

We covered the Hall of Fame here at Views, and Steven even was lucky enough to go up to Cooperstown last weekend, but I wanted to pass along a very fun and informative article by ESPN’s Sam Miller about Mariano.

Frankly, you guys should all be reading everything Sam writes, as I think he’s the best baseball writer in the business. I think this Mariano article is a perfect example why: he conducts a fun thought exercise in which he asks if postseason-only Mariano or regular season-only Mariano are Hall of Famers.

In his trademark, thorough way, he proves what we here at Views knew all along: that Mariano is the greatest, and that there will never be another like him. Just don’t ask us about his politics, and we won’t ask you about them either, okay? Deal? Deal.

Stray Observations from the Hall of Fame Induction

Cooperstown loves Mo (Steven Tydings)

The Yankees got a pair of former players inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday in Mike Mussina and Mariano Rivera — Three with Lee Smith’s eight-game stint. Here are my thoughts from the ceremony.

1. Mussina’s speech was fantastic

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed Mussina’s speech. I thought he had the right blend of good stories, heartfelt thank yous and humor sprinkled throughout, all while not going on for half an hour.

Starting out, he had a few zingers with “I want to thank everyone for putting together the best videos that they had of me” and poking fun at Joe Torre’s introduction video quip about his monotone nature.

I also loved the following: “I’m standing up here with the best who ever played the game. Some are my former teammates, some are my former opponents and some I grew up watching on television. So the obvious questions are: What am I doing up here and how in the world did this happen?”

I don’t really know how to judge speech mechanics, but that seemed to set the stage well for the rest of his words. It was a thrill to see him get the honor he deserved and which wasn’t a foregone conclusion he’d receive.

2. Mussina Day would be cool if he wants it

My memory may be failing me, but I can’t remember the Yankees having a day to honor Mussina in recent years. AP Images would lead me to believe his last appearance at Yankee Stadium was 2011 Opening Day to throw out the first pitch. A larger honor for the Hall of Famer seems overdue to me.

Though he never won a title in the Bronx, he was the backbone of the Bombers’ rotation for the better part of a decade and pitched on seven playoff teams. Moose deserved the Cy Young award in 2001 and pitched his heart out in the 2001 and 2003 postseasons to get the Yankees to the cusp of a championship.

Considering Mussina has been fine hanging back home and coaching his children in retirement, it very well may be the pitcher himself who has eschewed the chance of a Yankee ceremony.

Still, even if it’s just a first pitch before a Yankees-O’s game in the Bronx, it’d be nice to have the New York faithful give him another standing ovation (and Moooooooooooose chant).

3. Mo and Edgar’s journeys

Edgar Martinez and Rivera were signed for $4,000 and $2,000, respectively, on the international market. That’s wild. Two Hall of Famers for that little (even at the time) compared to the hundred thousands or millions some prospects can demand now.

Neither player had a smooth path from home to the Majors, and Rivera mentioned crying in the Minor Leagues as he was unable to communicate with teammates. It’s a common experience for Latin American players, one that teams take steps to avoid now with language lessons for MiLB players, but it’s tough to avoid anyway.

I can never wrap my head around going to a new country when I’m between 16 and 20 and playing for below minimum wage while not knowing the language. Just overcoming those barriers is beyond impressive. That these two men became Hall of Famers is next level.

HOF parade from Saturday (Steven Tydings)

4. Mo and Jeter crying at Bennigan’s

Mo told a story in his Hall of Fame speech that I’d never heard (though apparently it’s been told before) about when he was sent down for the first time after debuting in 1995. It turns out that on the same day in June that year, Derek Jeter was optioned alongside him and both players shared their frustrations over a meal.

As Rivera remembers it, they were “almost literally crying in Bennigan’s in New Jersey.”

How can you not love that story in retrospect? Hopefully, they have a plaque at the Bennigan’s.

5. Remembering Roy Halladay

Roy Halladay was the last pitcher you wanted to see on the probable pitchers list in the 2000s. When he was on the Blue Jays, Toronto was dreadful and never in contention, yet he was a one-man wrecking crew. If you had a three- or four-game series and avoided him, you counted yourself lucky. And if you had a two-game set and he was on tap, ugh.

I only got to see him live once — Funny enough, against Moose — and even though he often beat down the Yankees, I still wish I’d gotten to see him compete more.

The Yankees, of course, tried to acquire him around 2009 and 2010, though the Jays rightfully demanded an extra ransom for a Yankees offer. Considering how most prospects from that era panned out, they should have ponied up, but hindsight is 20/20.

Anyway, not having Halladay get to make his speech yesterday is crushing. Your heart goes out to Brandy Halladay for having to make her speech yesterday and fight through the emotions of an honor and loss all at once.

6. Jeter next Yankee in, then who?

We know that, barring something insane, on July 26, 2020 Derek Jeter will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. That might be unanimous, it might not be, but he should be there all the same.

There aren’t many others close to induction, so there’s the chance it’ll be just him and a committee-elected player or two. Curt Schilling is nearing the line for induction, though he might take another couple years.

After Jeter, who is the next Yankee in? Roger Clemens, who’d go in as a Red Sox, probably falls short due to PEDs. Andy Pettitte may as well, plus he only got 9.9 percent on his first ballot. It appears that CC Sabathia is the next Yankee inducted.

7. For whom would you go to Cooperstown on the current team?

When will CC get into the Hall? If he makes it first ballot, it’d be with Ichiro. I think he might take a couple votes despite his credentials, so that’d put him around 2027/2028.

Provided global warming hasn’t turned upstate New York into a burning hellscape, that’d be a nice trip to make. Sabathia has been one of the most enjoyable Yankees in recent memory, both for his standout performances and his personality. His ability to overcome a downturn in abilities and off-the-field issues shows strength in character.

On the current squad, Giancarlo Stanton with a clean-ish bill of health has a clear path to Cooperstown with the 500-homer milestone and the chance to win titles in reach. Not saying he’ll make it, yet he has a good opportunity. Gleyber Torres is so early in his career, but he’s made two All-Star Games at an up-the-middle position before he turns 23, all with the Yankees. He’s got so far to go, but it’s a nice start.

Beyond them, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Aroldis Chapman have the most compelling starts to their respective Hall cases, though each has plenty of work to do. My brother is all-in for Gleyber in 2045 or whenever, while I’m leaning more for a Judge entry if he racks up the accomplishments to make it.

Watch: Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina Inducted to Baseball Hall of Fame Today

Hello, beautiful.

Today at 1:30 pm, Yankee legend Mariano Rivera and Yankee great Mike Mussina will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. They’ll be honored alongside Phillies/Blue Jays great Roy Halladay, Mariners great Edgar Martinez, and Cubs great Lee Smith, and Orioles great Harold Baines. That’s a pretty great collection of talent right there. Should be a fun day in Cooperstown.

Mariano, of course, is the most dominant relief pitcher of all time and the first-ever unanimous Hall of Fame inductee. There are no shortage of mind-boggling figures out there to illustrate Rivera’s incredible career, but I love a good excuse to fawn over Mariano, so here are a few:

  • His career 205 ERA+, which ranks him against his peers by adjusting for league/park factors, is the highest all-time among all pitchers. (Clayton Kershaw and Pedro Martinez rank 2nd and 3rd all-time, at 158 and 154, respectively.)
  • His career 56.59 WPA ranks 1st among relievers and 5th out of all pitchers, placing him behind just Warren Spahn, Greg Maddux, Lefty Grove, and Roger Clemens and just ahead of Tom Seaver, Pedro Martinez, and Randy Johnson.
  • His career 33.63 Situational Wins Saved (Win Probability Added/Leverage Index) ranks 1st among relievers and 21st all-time among all pitchers, just 0.02 behind fellow inductee Roy Halladay despite 1,466 fewer career innings pitched.
  • His 652 career saves ranks 51 higher than 2nd place Trevor Hoffman, 174 more than 3rd place and fellow inductee Lee Smith, and 215 more than 4th place Francisco Rodriguez.
  • In 141 postseason innings pitched, Rivera owned a 0.70 ERA, allowed just 86 hits, 13 earned runs, issued just 21 walks, recorded 42 saves, and allowed only 2 home runs.
  • He won 5 World Series, recording the last out in 4 of those victories. He is also the only man in MLB history to throw the final pitch in 4 consecutive World Series (1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001).

I could go on, and on, and on, and on, of course. There was simply nobody like Mariano Rivera. Jay Jaffe’s Hall of Fame case on FanGraphs is a read to which I find myself returning quite often, so check it out yourself if you haven’t already. A-Rod also spoke with ESPN about playing with Rivera this week, which was fantastic. Check that out, too.

Mike Mussina had a mighty impressive career in his own right, though he was far from the clear-cut case that Mo was. His road to Cooperstown was winding and long, but plenty of sabermetric-minded writers and fans advocated for years for his inclusion. I have been a big proponent of Mike Mussina’s Hall of Fame candidacy for years, and it was a lot of fun to watch his vote percentage climb over the years.

And let’s be clear: Mussina is absolutely deserving of a plaque in Cooperstown. His career, which was often marked by near-misses and close-but-not-close-enough, was made up of nearly two decades of consistent, dominant performance in the steroid-era American League East. Moose was my favorite pitcher on the mid-2000s team (a formative era for me, personally) and I’m psyched to see him get this honor today. Again, Jay Jaffe really went deep into Mussina’s candidacy this year (and led the charge for years), so check that out.

These two great Yankees will receive one of the highest professional honors of their life today alongside some of the esteemed competition. For those of us not in Cooperstown today, we can check out the festivities at www.baseballhall.org, which will show the ceremony via webcast.

Matt Daley, the pitcher who replaced Mariano Rivera

For the overwhelming majority of Mariano Rivera’s career, he was the last man on the mound.

He began his career as a starter, moved to middle relief. However, by his second full season, he was the closer, a role he wouldn’t relinquish.

And yet, in the final game of Rivera’s career, he was not the last man on the mound. Instead, the person who got the final out for the Yankees on Sept. 26, 2013 was Matt Daley, an undrafted free agent hailing from Long Island.

The veteran right-hander was an unlikely candidate to relieve Rivera, not that anyone was qualified for that spot. This is, after all, the future unanimous Hall of Famer, the greatest of all-time.

Daley, meanwhile, had a 0.00 ERA on the season but had faced just 14 batters. He had missed the entire 2012 season with shoulder surgery and was a September call-up after playing in Scranton and Trenton for five months.

It had been a long, winding road to the mound on that September day. A standout at Bucknell, he had Tommy John surgery and went undrafted in 2004, settling for Minor League deal with the Rockies. He sepnt 2006 in the South Atlantic League, then went through High-A and into Double-A in 2006. Still, it took him until 2008 to reach Triple-A and until nearly his 27th birthday to make the Major Leagues.

But Daley became a useful reliever in Colorado. He put up a 4.24 ERA in consecutive years in 2009 and 2010 over 74 1/3 innings while striking out 73 batters.

Then came his shoulder surgery in 2011 and the Rockies let him go. The Yankees scooped him up on an MiLB deal and waited a year for him to return to the mound.

At 31, Daley had developed into a quirky reliever with a motion that took him close to the ground and finished with a sidearm flourish. It’s not pretty, but it works.

Back to Sept. 26, Daley was told to prepare to take over for Rivera and came in, taking the ball from Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte and the crowd poured adoration on Rivera.

Imagine this: The right-hander had to warm up while the crowd cheering at Game 7 of the World Series levels, though not for him. Daley told reporters that he had to keep looking into the dugout, knowing Mo was going to come out for a curtain call.

“I kept looking back over my shoulder to see because I knew he was going to get a curtain call, obviously,” Daley told Newsday. “I wanted to make sure I stopped taking my warmup pitches when he came back out. I would throw a pitch, look back over, throw a pitch, look back over.”

Daley faced Ben Zobrist in an otherwise unremarkable 4-0 Rays win and struck out the switch-hitter. There’s no video of this play on the internet, no easily accessible archive or tribute video. All you can see is fleeting clips of Daley walking to the mound and warming up in the top video as Rivera takes in the crowd. Instead of a standing ovation, Daley simply went back to the dugout where he’d have a brief moment with the man he relieved.

“Once I struck out Zobrist, I came into the dugout,” he told Newsday. “I saw Mo just sitting there, taking it all in. I just went up to him and I said, ‘I know you’ve had a lot of amazing experiences on the baseball field. But I just want you to know, for me, this is the coolest experience I’ve ever had on a baseball field. So thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.’

Rivera told him, ‘Nice job’ while basking in the moment, something Daley will share in as the ultimate trivia answer.

In 2014, Daley returned to the Yankees had had a 5.02 ERA over 14.1 MLB innings while going between New York and Scranton. No more legends to relieve, no more big moments in front of a standing-room-only crowd.

It’d be the end for him as a pro, though he would stay in the Yankees organization. Daley still works for the team as a scout. In 2017, Brian Cashman credited some of the Yankees success in the ALCS against the Astros to the former pitcher, who’d spent a month as the advance scout on Houston.

That one time Mariano Rivera worked a walk off K-Rod

With Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina getting inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend, I wanted to highlight a few moments that stick out from their careers.

For Mussina, it’ll be one of the obvious ones that I couldn’t pass up. However, with Rivera, I wanted to go into a 2009 shining moment where the milestone was overshadowed. Everyone else will have retrospectives covering the big ones.

So let’s remember Mariano Rivera’s only career RBI, which came in the same game as his 500th save.

The Citi Field portion of the 2009 Subway Series couldn’t help but be a let down after the events two weeks prior at the Stadium. Luis Castillo’s failed pop up will live in Yankees’ lore and Mets fans’ collective psyche for years to come, the ultimate game-changing mistake.

Games 1 and 2 of the first Subway Series games at the Mets’ new park went in the Yankees’ favor by a combined 14-1 margin. With Rivera stuck on 499 saves, the easy wins didn’t help that specific cause.

So Game 3 would be the night. Chien-Ming Wang made his penultimate, and final effective, start as a Yankee. He was handed a 3-0 lead in the first inning and held a 3-2 margin when he exited. A couple Yankees’ relievers held the line until the eighth inning, when a pair of Brian Bruney walks brought the Mets within a single of tying the score.

Enter Sandman for the rare regular season four-out save. Mo handled Omir Santos in eight pitches on a strikeout and strode to the dugout as he waited to get three more outs.

However, Rivera was due up sixth in the order and, of course, that means he was inevitably going to come to the plate. Francisco Rodriguez intentionally walked Derek Jeter with two outs to bring his fellow closer up with the bases loaded.

This wasn’t Rivera’s first at-bat of the week, let alone his career. He hit a solid fly out four days earlier against the Braves and had taken a strikeout without moving his bat in Philadelphia in 2006, plus three World Series outs in 1996, 1998 and 2000.

And Mo was always hailed as the best athlete on the team. Outside of his unfortunate 2012 day in Kansas City, Rivera displayed that strolling the outfield and shagging balls by the dozen in batting practice.

In this at-bat, he took the first four pitches as K-Rod evened the count at 2-2. He then unleashed a 2-2 fastball over the plate and Rivera fouled it back. It probably surprised K-Rod that Rivera took his bat off his shoulders, let alone just missed the pitch.

And then he got two straight balls.

The smile on Rivera’s face up above is one of the best parts of that 2009 season. Inconsequential? Sure. But Rivera looked like a kid, doing something he’d never done before and getting away with it.

Meanwhile, here was Rodriguez’s reaction, looking stunned at his brief lapse against a fellow pitcher.

The save itself proved ordinary for Rivera. A single sandwiched between a pair of groundouts and a strikeout looking gave Rivera his 500th save in a year full of milestones and celebration for the Yankees.

Though I can also picture Alex Cora’s game-ending groundout — The highlight’s been played enough and was near identical to Shane Victorino’s final out of the 2009 World Series — the moments that stick out from this game and series are Rivera’s hard foul ball and then the walk itself.

Maybe I’m just weird, but that’s the type of stuff I’ll remember from Mo, the distinctive games. The 1-2-3 saves with a strikeout, pop-up and sawed-off bat were too many to remember just one. The postseason moments were numerous and all come to mind. But when it’s the regular season, this was one of the few that immediately pops up when I think of the 2009 season and Rivera’s Hall of Fame career.

Page 2 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén