Tagged in: Yankees

Yankees and Dodgers co-favorites to win World Series

The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are the consensus favorites to win the World Series in a season that guarantees to be like no other in Major League Baseball’s history.

The Yankees and Dodgers are co-favorites at 7-2 to win the World Series at Caesars Sportsbook. The Houston Astros are next at 11-1, followed by the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins, who are each 15-1 at Caesars.

On Tuesday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred revealed a plan for a 60-game regular season that is expected to start July 23 or July 24 and last until late September. Teams will play their four divisional opponents 10 times and five interleague opponents in the same geographical area four games apiece.

The playoff format stays the same as recent seasons, with 10 teams — three division winners and two wild-card teams from each league — reaching the postseason.

The condensed season and insecurity caused by the coronavirus pandemic have oddsmakers wary of long shots that could surprise.

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“It would seem plausible to me that there will be money for some of the midrange to longer-shot teams that might field young lineups — think Toronto — or hot shot, young pitching that the league hasn’t seen much of yet,” Rex Beyers, senior oddsmaker for Caesars Sportsbook, told ESPN.

In addition to the Blue Jays, Beyers pointed to the Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies as examples of teams with longer odds that he presumes to attract betting interest. The Blue Jays are 75-1, the Rockies are 100-1 and the Tigers are 250-1 at Caesars Sportsbook.

Some bettors already have taken early stabs on a few long shots to win the World Series. Bookmaker William Hill U.S. reported having taken a $1,000 bet on the San Francisco Giants at 125-1 and a $100 bet on the Baltimore Orioles at 1,000-1.

For now, though, the Yankees and Dodgers are the clear-cut favorites. Both teams added superstars during the offseason, with starting pitcher Gerrit Cole going to the Yankees and right fielder Mookie Betts joining the Dodgers.

The defending-champion Washington Nationals are 18-1, along with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics and Cincinnati Reds are each 20-1.

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Yankees, Mets to train in New York if MLB resumes

The Yankees and Mets will train in New York if Major League Baseball and its players try to start the coronavirus-delayed season.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Saturday, and the teams confirmed the decisions. Cuomo stated he would like to stop by to see them train.

“I think New York now is especially attractive, compared to the other states, because we have such a low transmission rate, and this is a state that is ready, willing and able to partner with sports teams so that they can play,” Cuomo said.

The Yankees initially had intended to return to their spring training complex in Tampa, instead of Yankee Stadium in New York. The Mets had said they were unclear between Citi Field and their training camp in Port St. Lucie. Florida at first appeared preferable because the complexes have more fields. But positive cases for COVID-19 in the state have increased markedly in recent days, while the percentage of positive tests in New York City has dropped sharply.

New York is set to enter Phase 2 of reopening on Monday, letting stores and outdoor restaurant seating to reopen with social distancing.

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MLB had hoped to start the season during the first week of July, but teams and the players association are engaged in a bitter fight over how to apportion revenue losses caused by the pandemic.

Both sides agree that players need three weeks of training before the increasingly slight season could start.

Even as he celebrated the news, Cuomo, a Democrat, brought up Florida’s current issues. The Sunshine State, where Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is still ordering arriving New Yorkers to quarantine for two weeks, is now in a much more precarious health situation, with infection rates soaring.

On Friday, the Phillies shut down their complex in Clearwater after announcing five players and three staff members had tested positive for the virus. On the same day in Dunedin, the Blue Jays shut down their facility as they awaited results on a player on their 40-man roster who showed symptoms of the virus.

All 30 major-league teams have closed their spring camps in Florida and Arizona this weekend over virus concerns.

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Yankees didn’t expect Aaron Judge back from rib injury until summer

The wait until Aaron Judge is given a clean bill of health remains. 

On a charity video call Thursday morning, Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman revealed that despite growing optimism regarding the slugger’s return, he never expected Judge to be back in game shape until the “summertime.” 

“I always felt it was more likely that we wouldn’t see Judge until the summertime,” the GM explained as reporters like Brendan Kuty of NJ.com listened in.

Cashman’s appearance on the Zoom call benefited Family Centers’ Emergency Family Assistance Fund, as all proceeds will go to providing financial relief to Fairfield County residents affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Judge was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his first right rib in early-March, an injury believed to date back to a diving catch attempt in September of last season. Pain in Judge’s right shoulder and pectoral muscle was first reported to the team just before Spring Training started.

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It was later revealed Judge had since recovered from a collapsed lung – an additional setback believed to have been sustained on that fateful play in the outfield last fall.

Judge confirmed he had fully recouped from the pneumothorax midway through March.

The right fielder was forced to sit out all of New York’s Grapefruit League schedule, barely participating in Spring Training workouts. Since MLB’s coronavirus-induced shutdown started, shortly after his cracked rib was diagnosed, the star has remained in Tampa rehabbing at the Yankees’ facility.

He was quickly ruled out for Opening Day, but with the season pushed back due to COVID-19, skipper Aaron Boone was “hopeful” the former Rookie of the Year Award winner could be ready.  Evidently this rare injury is on a longer timetable than the organization and fans alike had hoped. Then again, with MLB’s latest proposal calling for an Opening Day on July 1, the GM isn’t completely ruling out Judge’s readiness as his rib continues to heal. 

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Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner dies after lengthy illness

Hank Steinbrenner, a Yankees general partner and the oldest of late owner George Steinbrenner’s four children, died in Florida on Tuesday after a long illness, according to multiple reports.

Although the precise cause of death is not known, Hank Steinbrenner’s death was not related to coronavirus, according to the New York Post. He was 63.

Hank Steinbrenner and his brother, Hal, took control of the Yankees when their aging father stepped aside in 2007. Hank took a lesser role in recent years while Hal teamed with team president Randy Levine and general manager Brian Cashman in making executive decisions.

“Hank was a genuine and gentle spirit who treasured the deep relationships he formed with those closest to him,” a statement issued by the Steinbrenner family said. “He was introduced to the Yankees organization at a very young age, and his love for sports and competition continued to burn brightly throughout his life. Hank could be direct and outspoken, but in the very same conversation show great tenderness and light-heartedness. More than anything, he set an example for all of us in how comfortably he lived enjoying his personal passions and pursuits. We are profoundly saddened to have lost him and will carry his memory with us always.”

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Hank Steinbrenner was also the minority partner of Steinbrenner Racing.

Hank Steinbrenner had four children, but was divorced.

While Steinbrenner mostly remained behind the scenes in recent years, he was known for his brashness when talking with reporters. In 2008, he took issue with the phrase “Red Sox Nation.”

“Red Sox Nation? What a bunch of bulls—t that is…That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans…Go anywhere in America and you won’t see Red Sox hats and jackets, you’ll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We’re going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order,” he told ESPN.

He got involved in a feud with the Tampa Bay Rays and was unnerved when Chien-Ming Wang injured himself in an interleague match while running the bases.

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Yankees’ Zack Britton escapes with only wrist bruise after being hit by line drive

Yankees reliever Zack Britton prevented a more serious injury Wednesday morning, after being hit by a liner to his non-pitching wrist.

A key lefty setup man, Britton was diagnosed with a bruised right wrist according to the Yankees. 

Exactly when Britton might be able to return to the mound was unknown as of early Wednesday afternoon. 

Britton received a CT scan and X-rays, which came back negative. He’d been pitching live batting practice at Steinbrenner Field when the injury occurred. 

Tossing his second simulated inning Wednesday, Britton was hit by a line drive off the bat of Erik Kratz, a veteran non-roster catcher.

“It’s a bad feeling,’’ Kratz said. “It’s especially worse when it’s your teammate.’’

And it’s just the latest issue to hit a Yankees camp beset by injuries to key players since early February.

Kratz spoke briefly with Britton before the pitcher exited the stadium. “One of those things,’’ Kratz said. Britton was not instantly available for comment.

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Like many Yankees pitchers in live BP drills, Britton was pitching without the protective netting in front of him.

Pitchers feel the screen impedes the follow through of their deliveries, but it naturally exposes them to risk from batted balls. 

Steinbrenner Field was otherwise empty on Wednesday. 

Manager Aaron Boone took a team of Yankees across the state to play the first of two exhibition matches on Florida’s east coast.

Next week, Aaron Judge will go for new tests on his first right rib.

Discovered to have suffered a stress fracture, Judge was prescribed two weeks of rest before taking another CT scan.

If the bone has properly healed, Judge could resume some baseball activity.

In the worst-case scenario, a surgical option could be discussed.

On Wednesday, catcher Gary Sanchez left Yankees camp and was diagnosed with the flu, possibly delaying his return from a sore back.

Sanchez hasn’t played in an exhibition game since March 6, but had been anticipated to return to the lineup this weekend.

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Yankees´ Aaron Judge “frustrated”, hopes to play Opening Day

As the “car wash” of testing continues to determine the cause of discomfort in Aaron Judge’s right shoulder and pectoral area, the Yankees slugger expressed frustration with his situation on Thursday, but said that he is not ready to rule out being ready for the March 26 campaign opener versus the Orioles.

“The goal is always to be ready for Opening Day,” Judge stated. “You only need about 30 at-bats to get ready for the season. I’ve still got plenty of time for that. If I don’t get them here [in Grapefruit League games], I can go on the back field or go across the street [to Minor League camp] to get those at-bats. We’ve just got to get answers first.”

Judge said that he is continuing to experience issues in both his right shoulder and right pectoral area. After arriving at the Yankees’ Minor League complex in late January, Judge initially shut down his on-field hitting due to the shoulder issue. He resumed throwing at distances of up to 120 feet, but the pectoral injury occurred during indoor hitting versus coaches last week.

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General manager Brian Cashman has repeatedly declined to state the specific tests that Judge has undergone, though he is known to have had at least one MRI.

On Wednesday, Cashman estimated that Judge has been sent for somewhere between seven and 10 tests.

“The first thing is, we’ve got to get what it is,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone stated. “What we’re dealing with, what the prognosis is, what’s the course of action? I know we get wrapped up in Opening Day and is he going to be [ready] — I don’t know. I want to know what we’re dealing with, and hopefully have a timeframe in place that, ‘OK, this is how long it’s going to be before he’s back doing anything.’ And then we’ll be able to better make those evaluations.”

Though Cashman said earlier this week that he considers it unlikely to have Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the Opening Day lineup, Judge said that he later approached Cashman to clarify that conversation, and that Cashman told him he was speaking specifically about Stanton.

Judge played in 155 games during his 2017 American League Rookie of the Year Award campaign, hitting an AL-leading 52 homers and concluding second in AL Most Valuable Player Award voting.

Injuries have limited him to 228 of a possible 338 games in the last two years: 112 regular-season games in ’18 and 102 last season, plus 14 postseason games over that span.

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Yankees hire Matt Blake as pitching coach

The New York Yankees didn’t waste any time finding their new pitching coach, as they have hired Matt Blake to fill the role Larry Rothschild left behind. Blake was formerly the pitching coach of the Cleveland Indians and is known for developing big-league pitchers.

Blake’s ability to refine pitchers and his familiarity with the Yankees system, having worked as an area scout for them in the past, makes him a terrific candidate for the Bombers moving forward. He takes a more analytical approach to the game, while Rothschild depends on his gut and old-school mentality.

This is a step forward for a Yankees team that did have a great bullpen last year but saw their starters struggle at times. Blake should increase the efficiency of both units if he can manage to make the most of the pitching presently on the roster.

Blake comes over from the Cleveland Indians, where he previously served as the team’s pitching coordinator. The Yankees parted ways with longtime pitching coach Larry Rothschild earlier this offseason. New York also interviewed David Cone for the position.

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Of the four known candidates for the job, three (with former Yankees star David Cone as the outlier) were younger names in their 30’s without much any direct coaching experience on an MLB staff. 

University of Michigan pitching coach Chris Fetter and Arkansas pitching coach Matt Hobbs were the two other names linked to the Yankees’ search.

It will be up to Blake to modernize the Yankees’ handling of their arms, and it perhaps isn’t surprising that New York hired someone from a Cleveland organization that has excelled at developing homegrown pitching in recent years. 

Indians manager Terry Francona just praised Blake’s work in preparing young hurlers such as Jefry Rodriguez, Zach Plesac, and Aaron Civale, with the latter two making their Major League debuts in 2019.

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Aaron Hicks returns to Yankees’ lineup

Giancarlo Stanton was on the field for batting practice previous to Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Astros in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, but the Yankees slugger is unclear when his right quadriceps strain will permit him to play the outfield or run the bases. In the meantime, Aaron Hicks got the start in center field, playing there for the first time since Aug. 3.

“It’s pretty similar to 48 hours ago. Just going to see what we can do,” Stanton said. “It’s not the best, but I’m able to hit. We’re at least that far right now. I don’t have much time. Time is not on my side right now. I’m doing what I can.” Stanton sustained the injury legging out a second-inning infield single in ALCS Game 1 at Houston’s Minute Maid Park on Saturday night. He played six more innings before being removed for defense, slugging a sixth-inning home run, but he did not appear in the Yanks’ 3-2, 11-inning loss to the Astros in Game 2 on Sunday night.

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Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that if this were the regular season, Stanton’s injury is significant enough that it would require a stint on the injured list.

New York is reluctant to substitute Stanton on the ALCS roster, because doing so would render him ineligible to play in the World Series.

“We’re trying to strike that balance,” Boone said. “I feel like we’re in a good spot, lineup-wise. Obviously, it gets tougher the further you go, especially when you only have a three-man bench anyway. So those are all things that we have to consider.” If the Yankees were to make an injury substitution, their candidates include infielder/outfielder Tyler Wade — who was on the ALDS roster, but later subbed out in favor of Hicks — or a pair of first basemen in the right-handed-hitting Luke Voit and left-handed-hitting rookie Mike Ford.

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Yankees, Astros plan to make a bullpen game

The Yankees plan to use their bullpen against Houston from the start in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series.

With the best-of-seven series tied 1-1, Luis Severino starts Game 3 on Tuesday versus Gerrit Cole. Masahiro Tanaka started the opener and James Paxton was on the mound for Game 2. Manager Aaron Boone plans to use pitchers who have been in the bullpen in the postseason during the fourth game on Wednesday night.

“J.A. Happ could very much be in the mix, as well as I picture our bullpen being unleashed on that day,” Boone said Monday as the series shifted to New York.

A starter during the regular season, Happ has relieved during the playoffs.

The 36-year-old left-hander entered in the 10th inning of Game 2, escaped a two-outs jam, then permitted Carlos Correa’s home run leading off the 11th that gave the Astros a 3-2 win.

Weather could cause New York to alter its plans. Heavy rain is forecast for Wednesday, and if Game 4 is rescheduled, the Yankees would be able to bring back Tanaka, the Game 1 winner, on normal rest. Boone removed Paxton after 2 1/3 innings and 51 pitches, and the bullpen allowed two runs and three hits in 7 2/3 innings. George Springer hit a tying home run in the fifth on Adam Ottavino’s first pitch.

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“I don’t think he’s as far off maybe as is being talked, but he’s certainly not as sharp as he’s been most of the year,” Boone said. “I feel like he’s close to being that, and I think some small successes hopefully will spur him on because he needs to play a big role for us.”

Boone says a choice won’t be made until Wednesday on outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who strained his right quadriceps in the opener and missed Game 2.

Limited by injuries to 18 games during the regular season, Stanton homered in the opener. If he were dropped from the roster against the Astros, he would be ineligible to return this year.

“It is a sensitive decision, a tough decision,” Boone said. “We’ll just try and evaluate and try and get as honest as feedback as we can from Giancarlo.”

Aaron Hicks could get his first start since Aug. 3, taking over in center field from Brett Gardner, who would substitute Stanton in left. Sidelined by an injured flexor near his right elbow, Hicks pinch-hit for starting left fielder Cameron Maybin and grounded out leading off the 10th inning in Game 2, then moved to center.

“Aaron is very much in play,” Boone said, “Thought he had a good at-bat, looked like Aaron Hicks. So he’ll very much be part of the conversation moving forward.”

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Yankees vs Rockies

Yankees vs Rockies

New York Yankees (31-33) at Colorado Rockies (31-33)
MLB Baseball: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 3:10 pm (Coors Field)
I Nova (5-3) (4.39) vs. C Bettis (4-5) (5.85)

The New York Yankees and Colorado Rockies enter this series in a very similar place. Both teams are under .500 and hoping to beat up on another team beneath .500 to try and maintain a dream of contention. Both teams are rumored to be sellers at the deadline currently, but a hot stretch of games catapulting them back into contention could change things.

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The Yankees have struggled to win on the road of late, losing six of eight away from the Bronx. But they’re 6-1 in their last seven games versus an opponent with a losing record, are 12-3 in their last 15 games versus a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30, and are 8-2 in their last 10 road games versus an opponent with a losing record.

After winning five in a row the Yankees have lost three straight following a 13-10 loss at Coors Field Tuesday. Yanks starter Nathan Eovaldi was charged with six runs on eight hits over four frames before three relievers allowed seven.  The Bronx Bombers amassed 16 hits and three BB with Didi Gregorius going 2-4 with two runs and three RBI’s while Jacoby Ellsbury and Starlin Castro knocked in two apiece. Ivan Nova is charged with controlling the Rockies offense in Wednesday night’s start. Nova comes off a 6-3 win versus the Angels where he allowed all three runs on six hits over 6.2 innings.  

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The Rockies are playing well, winning five of their last six games overall and four of their last five home games. They’re also 5-1 in their last six games versus a right-handed starter, are 4-1 in their last five games versus a team with a losing record, and are 4-1 in their last five home games versus an opponent with a losing road record.

The Colorado Rockies are trying to reach .500 and then see if they can make a run in the National League West. The surging Rockies have now won seven of nine behind some big offense although the pen almost gave it away. Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa tossed five scoreless innings before Gonzalez Germen, Justin Miller and Miguel Castro allowed all ten runs. The Rockies racked up 15 hits and walked five times with Ryan Raburn went solo while Carlos Gonzalez and  Trevor story each went long  and combined for seven RBI’s. Daniel Descalso and DL LeMahieu knocked in two apiece as every starter reached base. Chad Bettis gets Wednesday’s start against the Yankees who he will see for the first time in his career. Bettis did not get a decision in an 11-5 win versus Pittsburgh last time out with four earned runs scored on seven hits in three frames.

PITCHING MATCHUP:

Yankees RH Iván Nova (5-3, 4.39 ERA) vs. Rockies RH Chad Bettis (4-5, 5.85) Nova won his second straight start by holding the Los Angeles Angels to three runs over 6 1/3 innings in his last outing – the first time he has yielded fewer than four runs over his last four turns. Although Nova has been able to curb the number of walks allowed, he has surrendered at least one homer in each of his last seven starts and eight total in that span. Nova has been shaky away from home, logging a 2-2 record and 6.00 ERA in six appearances (three starts).Bettis is mired in an ugly four-start winless drought, although he escaped with a no-decision last time out despite allowing five runs (four earned) over three innings against Pittsburgh. Like Nova, Bettis is having trouble keeping the ball in the park as he’s yielded six homers and allowed 22 runs over 16 1/3 innings in his last four turns. Pitching at hitter-friendly Coors Field is another detriment for Bettis, who is allowing opposing hitters to bat .327 in five home starts.

 

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