Yankees Need To Move Players Now

The Yankees seem to be running out of options as the all-star break approaches. They have been doing all they can to try and generate wins, but they have fallen short.

Their pitching has cost them games because they cannot play from behind. Starting pitchers have given up homeruns and that has been devastating for the Yankees because when their defense gets shaken up it has an effect on the offense as well.

The Yankees have been showing flashes of being able to be a good team, but they have not been showing that consistently and that shows in their record. They have another half of the season to right their wrongs, and depending on their attitude coming out of the all-star break that will determine if they can salvage their season.

There are difficult decisions that the Yankees have to make with only a month till the trade deadline. This season may be slipping away, but the future could look great if the Yankees trade for the right players.

They should be looking to get the most for the players they have to offer. They have plenty of talent on their roster that they could spread around and reel in younger players that are already established in the league.

They could also get younger player that could be groomed into better players in a few years. The rebuilding process can take a few years, but with the right moves that could speed up the process.

The Yankees being at .500 at this point of the season is not bad, but the way they have been playing is an indicator that the rest of the season could take a turn for the worst. The team can be on fire for a series and get swept the next series.

Breaking even in the American League does not guarantee a playoff spot for the Yankees because it is a tough division. It is important for the Yankees to make the right moves before the trade deadline not only for a better future, but also a better second half of the season.

Adjustments from game to game have not helped the Yankees in a big way, but it has kept them where they are. Switching the batting order has not produced runs and that means there has to been a new addition in the batting order.

The Yankees have to bring in a player that can drive in runs on a regular basis. They need someone who can come up with a big hit with runners in scoring position. The Yankees have seen plenty of young players that can do just that and they need a couple of them.

There have been reports from ESPN and Bleacher Report stating that the Chicago Cubs were looking to trade left fielder Kyle Schwarber for Yankees 8th inning setup man Andrew Miller. There are a few reasons this trade could favor both teams.

The Cubs are first place in the National League and having a pitcher like Miller in the bullpen for late innings or even becoming the closer can be great in the playoffs. Although Schwarber is out for the season with a knee injury he can be great next season for the team.

He is a young player with pop in his bat and he can be a great run producer for the Yankees. The Yankees would be potentially calling it quits on this season by making this move, but it would be great for their future.

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No-Run DMC: The Yankees Pitching Phenomenon

Over the vast winning history of the New York Yankees the management has always thought of a way to keep the right players together. That has been the winning formula for the team and they may have struck gold once again in with the talent they have in their bullpen.

After the departure of Mariano Rivera in 2013 fans knew that he was irreplaceable. Rivera the greatest closer of all-time left a hole in the pitching staff that needed to be filled.

There may never be another player like that for years to come or ever, but the Yankees have three pitchers that can get the job done. These players are a nightmare for an opposing team when the game is on the line.

These pitchers build a bridge strong enough to maintain the lead and finish the deal.

Dellin Betances

He is the beginning of the Yankee big three and he has been dominating in his role. Betances can come in and give two solid innings of work for the team and hold on to the lead. The reason he is such an important piece of this three man rotation is because of his poise on the mound.

He gets settled in fast and he does not shy away from the big moments. Although he is a relatively young pitcher, he knows how to get out of a jam like a veteran. As a relief pitcher he has shown he can take the pressure off of starter and help out the rest of the bullpen.

Andrew Miller

The former closer that has now been bumped to a relief position fits in perfectly with the game ending pitching scheme. Miller has been great both as a closer and bridge man this season, and he can always pitch a great 8th inning after Betances works the 7th.

Miller can have more confidence throwing strikes when he has a comfortable lead, but even in one or two run games he can find his rhythm and get the three outs he needs.

Being the middle man in this trio has made Miller’s job an easy one. Both Miller and Betances throw in the mid to upper 90’s, but the finisher is truly a special player.

Aroldis Chapman

The Yankees did a great job reeling this great closer via trade in the offseason. Chapman is one of the best closers in the game today. Since he is not working alone it makes his job easier because there two pitchers with closing ability in front of him.

Throwing at a top speed of 103mph it is hard for a hitter to get a good swing on the ball. Now there are players that would love to turn one of those pitches into an upper deck homerun, but Chapman backs those players off the plate when he pitches them inside.

Chapman is the anchor of this unit, and when he has to close the deal he does. Right now he has 4 saves and those numbers will keep climbing as the season goes on.

“No Run DMC”

The reason these players are so good together is because they all have the 9th inning mentality, and that is to just get three outs. They have all been in that position in the 9th closing out a game and they all had what it takes to close out.

Yankee announcer Michael Kay called them “no-run DMC” because of the initials in their names that match the rap group Run DMC, and because they have been great closing out games by not allowing runs.

All three pitchers feed off of each other and that is what makes them so great. If the Yankee offense can find some consistency they could wind up in the playoffs. This is the type of pitching that can win a championship.

Hard Ball Dominates, But Junk Ballers Rule

(Via Philly.com)

We live in a world, and more importantly, a baseball society, that demands pitchers, especially right handers, to throw heat, smoke, gas, and whatever other cliche term you can think of to describe a guy who throws hard. It’s not uncommon any more to have multiple guys in your bullpen, along with a starter or two, that consistently touches 95 miles per hour and higher. It seem that every year that passes, a new guy comes around that throws just a little bit harder than the new guy from the year before.

These guys, including Matt Harvey, Yordano Ventura and Trevor Bauer, have emerged as top of the rotation starters for the Mets, Royals and Indians respectively, and it comes as no surprise that more high school and college pitchers are throwing harder as a result of stricter lifting regiments and pitching specific workouts.

So where does that leave “the other guy”, the guy that doesn’t have the natural ability to pump it in consistently, or ever for that matter, at 95, 98, 100 miles per hour? Is the MLB destined to become a league where the norm for pitchers is to all throw hard, with a tight slider, that, coincidentally enough, is also thrown hard? Well, don’t feel so bad for the soft tossers just yet. They still have their place in the pros, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

That’s right, despite all the hard throwers emerging recently, the junk baller won’t be going away. In fact, they’re actually more valuable then ever in this new age of hard throwers. These guys now have a very special role within the rotation that is becoming more utilized recently by managers for many reasons.

First, lets take a look at the perhaps the biggest asset of the junk baller, change of speed. After seeing guys that are throwing in the mid to upper 90’s in consecutive days, hitters begin to adjust to the speed by quickening their swing, stepping back in the box and even shortening up on the bat. With that knowledge, the soft tossers are taking advantage by getting hitters to bury themselves. These pitchers are pitching backwards, throwing off speed pitches in fastball counts, pitching out of the zone, forcing hitters to go chasing.

With all this being said, the question is begged, well, do you have any players that have succeeded over the last few years with this type of pitching? And that is where you bring in the veteran, Aaron Harang. Over the last year and four starts, the 36-year-old has had what some would considered a resurgence in his career, as he’s been given second life in the big leagues. Since the beginning of the 2014 season, Harang has pitched for the Braves and the Phillies, and has posted a season 3.57 ERA in 2014 and an outstanding 1.37 ERA through his first four starts in 2015. One other stat I forgot to mention. Harang’s average speed of his fastball in those two seasons? 88.5 miles per hour.

How does he do it? How has a guy with a career 4.18 ERA post his best season of his career and follow it up with four phenomenal starts? It goes back to the old saying pitch smarter, not harder. Harang isn’t going to blow any hitters away with his fastball. What he will do, though, is pitch smart. He’s done a great job of keeping hitters off balance, using his slider, curveball and change up effectively. He’s using these off speed pitches to get ahead in the count. Instead of consistently going to his fastball to begin an at-bat, Harang is effectively changing speeds, making him unpredictable. He’s been hitting his spots, as well, walking just six batters in 26.1 innings pitched. His command has been top notch, and because of that, Harang is getting soft contact instead of balls hit hard. Batters are hitting just .165 to begin the 2015 campaign against him.

The game hasn’t changed, but the players have, as a younger crop of talent has come into the league over the last few years, and the sly, wily, veteran junk ballers are having their way with the new talent. It does take a superior athlete to get around on a triple digit fastball. But a straight fastball is a straight fastball. It takes a superior athlete to hit a fastball, but it takes a superior hitter to hit a junk baller. Movement, deception, change of speed and eye levels. These are are weapons in a pitchers arsenal that doesn’t necessarily throw hard, and the good ones use them wisely. Speed is great, but location wins you game.

Saunders to Toronto…Happ-y or Sad?… “Got Melk?” Nope..

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays hole in left field was filled today with OF Michael Saunders

joining the 40 man roster for the LHP J.A. Happ. This makes official that the

Melk-man era has come to an end in Toronto. However, the deal does give GM Alex

Anthopoulos some extra cash to work some magic on the team’s bullpen.

 

Saunders, the 29-year old BC native from Victoria, is projected to earn approximately

$2.9million and becomes the fourth outfielder on the 40 man roster.

 

“Saunders is going to be our everyday left fielder,” stated Anthopoulos. “We

ultimately had to make a decision to go that route. Melky’s a great player and he’s

earned the right to do very well on the free agent market, no doubt about that. We

would have loved to have had him back, but we have a lot of areas of need on the

club and so many dollars to allocate to certain areas. Making this trade for Saunders

and opening an opportunity for Sanchez or maybe Norris or maybe we do

something else in free agency, maybe we do something else in trade – it’s still early,

it’s still fluid.…

 

“It’s not that we didn’t want Melky back, but for the other things we still want to try

and get done, this made  sense for us, especially from a certainty standpoint.”

 

Saunders managed to slash .273/.341/.791 over 78 games last season for the

Mariners and became the preferred option for the Blue Jays.

 

“It got to the point we didn’t think the free agent market would solve our issues in left

field,” said Anthopoulos. “We felt Saunders was by far the best move for us.”

 

Saunders’ most productive season came in 2012, when he hit 19 homers with 57 RBIs

and 21 stolen bases in 139 games. While he won’t replace Cabrera’s offence, he gives

the Blue Jays a defensive upgrade in left field and protection for centre, where

Mississauga native, Dalton Pompey, is the leading candidate.

 

There were 2 years in Seattle that Saunders blasted 19-20 bombs. Taking his

six-foot-four figure into consideration, Saunders has a massive wingspan, making him

durable enough to play first-base along with outfield.

 

The Blue Jays rotation now starts to fall into place as R.A. Dickey and his knuckler,

Mark Buehrle, Marcus Stroman and Drew Hutchison with Sanchez the front

runner for the fifth spot. Losing Happ’s 158 innings is a concern, but from a depth

perspective, the Blue Jays have Marco Estrada, Norris, Todd Redmond, Liam Hendriks

and Jeff Francis behind that group.

 

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