Christopher Carelli

Besides providing coverage of the New York Yankees for SNY.tv, Christopher Carelli's baseball commentary has also been published by Yahoo! Sports and The Cauldron. Follow Christopher on Twitter, @Chris_Carelli.

 

New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar hits an RBI double in the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar hits an RBI double in the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

Baseball teams can never have enough depth, especially these days when the mildest of ailments is subject to a lenient 10-day stint on the disabled list. One thing that can disrupt rosters - not necessarily in a bad way - is when a starting player goes down and the replacement, a bonafide full-time option, shines.

We'll call it the Wally Pipp Effect, and the Yankees might end up dealing with two circumstances over the next couple of weeks.

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Apr 23, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) hits a single against the Minnesota Twins during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. The hit was the first of his MLB career. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 23, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) hits a single against the Minnesota Twins during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. The hit was the first of his MLB career. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

When a club brings up its best prospect in April, it is typically done to provide a "shot in the arm" for a sluggish club. It doesn't seem that way with the Yankees' decision to call up Gleyber Torres.

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New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres throws to first for the out during the fifth inning of a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres throws to first for the out during the fifth inning of a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

Our weekly minor league report canvases the Yankees farm system, providing updates about the status of the teams in action and the organization's top prospects.

Notes: Top-30 prospect rankings (via MLBPipeline.com) are club based with overall MLB ranks, if applicable, in parenthesis. Prospects currently in the major leagues will not be covered here. Team records and statistics are through games played April 19, 2018, unless otherwise noted.

Tags: Chance Adams, Domingo Acevedo, Gleyber Torres, Justus Sheffield, Chris Carelli
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

After logging two fine starts to open the season, Masahiro Tanaka has hit a wall with two underwhelming efforts. It's difficult to witness Tanaka's recent ineffectiveness without thinking back to last season when he turned in the worst stretch of production in his professional career during the season's first half.

Tanaka is not an overpowering pitcher, which necessitates pinpointing his top-two used pitches, the split-finger fastball and slider. When he is unable to command those pitches, it forces him to resort to a very hittable four-seam fastball, which is simply not good enough to retire batters in a pinch.

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Carelli
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Mar 13, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (81) prepares to fields a ground ball during the third inning of a Spring Training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Mar 13, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (81) prepares to fields a ground ball during the third inning of a Spring Training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees traded Starlin Castro and Chase Headley this past offseason, which immediately pointed to the chance that two rookies - Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres - would man second and third base, the former Pinstriper's respective positions. But neither rookie made the squad out of spring training,

Instead, the Yankees went with a young, but experienced third baseman in Brandon Drury, and an inexperienced 23-year-old in Tyler Wade at second base.

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird on deck to bat during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird on deck to bat during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

Injuries happen in sports.

It's a simple truth that the Yankees are coping with all too often early this season. Besides the injuries themselves, the Yankees are dealing with two players who withheld information to varying extents, though it is plausible the club could have handled the particular situations differently, potentially preventing or curtailing the current dilemma.

Tags: Brandon Drury, Greg Bird, Chris Carelli
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

Breaking News: Fans of the New York Yankees thrive on freaking out.

Giancarlo Stanton, the club's newest shiny prize, kicked off the season with a two-homer day and there was jubilation among the Yankees faithful. But since Opening Day, Stanton is in one of the worst slumps of his career, prompting more than a few fans to boo him at Yankee Stadium on different occasions and others to lament the trade...

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Chris Carelli
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Apr 6, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) is helped off the field by trainer Steve Donahue after being injured as manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on against the Baltimore Orioles during the 14th inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Apr 6, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) is helped off the field by trainer Steve Donahue after being injured as manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on against the Baltimore Orioles during the 14th inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Yankees couldn't get out of Yankee Stadium quick enough Friday night as the team has turned into a M*A*S*H unit.

CC Sabathia, Brandon Drury, Tyler Wade and Gary Sanchez all left the game in succession Friday due to injury or illness, while Aroldis Chapman was seen by the training staff in-game. As reported earlier this morning, Sabathia and Drury are heading to the disabled list to join a slew of teammates. The Yankees have been without Greg Bird, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clint Frazier and Aaron Hicks since the beginning of the season and they lost outfield replacement Billy McKinney earlier this week...

Tags: CC Sabathia, Gary Sanchez, Chris Carelli
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 (Gerry Angus)
(Gerry Angus)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

It's just five games into the regular season, but Yankees rookie manager Aaron Boone has a dilemma on his hands. His bullpen is underperforming, and he's having trouble managing it.

The Yankees bullpen entered the season believed to be among the best in the game, however, the crew has performed inadequately to say the least. Yankees relievers have allowed 14 runs in 17 1/3 innings (7.27 ERA), which ranks 27th in the league. They lost back-to-back games in their first series of the season at the hands of reliever implosions, and only Didi Gregorius saved them from another in Tuesday's home opener...

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Jonathan Holder, Chris Carelli
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 (Brett Davis)
(Brett Davis)

The mantra goes, "Pitching wins championships," but the Yankees will only win theirs if the offense is as impressive it is expected to be.

Positional Starters

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Sep 15, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 15, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Previewing the Yankees 2018 season, beginning with expectations for the pitching staff…

Rotation

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BNNY: Judge hits leadoff 00:05:44
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge hit leadoff for the first time in his career in Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Boston Red Sox.

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees' offense is expected to be one of the more potent groups in baseball this season. With so much fire power, how will Yanks skipper Aaron Boone deploy his batters?

It is of the utmost importance to teams to provide its most productive hitters the largest number of plate appearances possible. For the Yankees, that would mean placing Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton near the top of the batting order. This is not exactly rocket science, but the rest of the lineup construction will have a lot to do with matchups against the opposing pitcher as well as the ballpark the game is being played.

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New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

Each baseball player looks to make a forward progression in his game from one season to the next. For some, like Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks, the urgency is more pronounced than others.

The remarks on Hicks must to turn from, "He can elevate his game," to "Aaron Hicks has arrived!"

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Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb throws against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton) (Gail Burton/AP)
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb throws against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton) (Gail Burton/AP)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

The Yankees entered spring camp with at least 80 percent of the rotation set in stone with the fifth piece fairly certain. Once Yankees skipper Aaron Boone wasted no time in naming Jordan Montgomery his fifth starter, it became apparent the Yankees knew all along they would begin the season with the same starting five they ended 2017.

The question becomes: Were the Yankees wise to abstain from what became a severely inexpensive pitching market for proven middle of the rotation starters? For example, Lance Lynn signed for just one year at $12 million, while Alex Cobb remains unsigned.

The Yankees have recently been reported to be both not interested and interested in Cobb, so who knows what's going on there? At the beginning of the offseason, I was of the mindset that it was OK to avoid spending big money on either pitcher, but since the market came down to one-year deals, it forces revisiting.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Chance Adams, Jordan Montgomery, Justus Sheffield, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Carelli
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

Fans in love with the Yankees' youth movement may have felt a bit of a gut punch Monday when the team announced a one-year agreement worth $4 million, plus incentives, for 32-year-old infielder Neil Walker.

Walker may well take over the second base role that has been up for grabs this spring, though Brian Cashman stated Monday night that the veteran would need to take hold of the role and won't be simply handed it considering there is just over two weeks left before breaking camp.

Tags: Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Neil Walker, Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade, Chris Carelli
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

Fans in love with the Yankees' youth movement may have felt a bit of a gut punch Monday when the team announced a one-year agreement worth $4 million, plus incentives, for 32-year-old infielder Neil Walker.

Walker may well take over the second base role that has been up for grabs this spring, though Brian Cashman stated Monday night that the veteran would need to take hold of the role and won't be simply handed it considering there is just over two weeks left before breaking camp.

Tags: Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Neil Walker, Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade, Chris Carelli
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

Fans in love with the Yankees' youth movement may have felt a bit of a gut punch Monday when the team announced a one-year agreement worth $4 million, plus incentives, for 32-year-old infielder Neil Walker.

Walker may well take over the second base role that has been up for grabs this spring, though Brian Cashman stated Monday night that the veteran would need to take hold of the role and won't be simply handed it considering there is just over two weeks left before breaking camp.

Tags: Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Neil Walker, Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade, Chris Carelli
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

When the Yankees made the knee-jerk reaction to sign Jacoby Ellsbury following the departure of Robinson Cano, there were plenty in the industry that suggested the contract wouldn't age well. They were right, except even they might not have believed it would happen well before the midpoint of the pact.

Baseball organizations make long-term deals with the understanding that they should be rewarded with upfront production, maximizing value early in the contract, all the while being ready to concede that the final year or two of the deal will result in below-average production. The Yankees never believed Ellsbury would have one solid season in New York before completely falling apart, but should they have?

Tags: Jacoby Ellsbury, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner (11) connects on a single against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning at Fenway Park. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner (11) connects on a single against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning at Fenway Park. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

With two gargantuan outfielders on the roster, it can be easy for Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner to become hidden from view. However, Gardner's stature on the field and in the clubhouse is always front and center.

The Yankees tout one of the more powerful offenses in the game, and it will be sparked, or it could fizzle out, depending on Gardner's contributions at the top of the lineup. Gardner, while subject to losing time in the field to his larger counterparts, remains one of the best defensive left fielders in baseball.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge points as New York Yankees right fielder Giancarlo Stanton looks on during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge points as New York Yankees right fielder Giancarlo Stanton looks on during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

Anyone who has read my work about the Yankees (I'm still here, so there has to be a few of you) knows that I strive to be as objective as possible as I cover the team. I'm a fan. I don't necessarily hide that, however I believe I owe it to anyone taking the time to click on a link to offer more than a drooling fan-lust piece. That is, until today and for this particular piece.

I long for dented scoreboards situated well above the yellow line. I also live for Statcast home run distance measurements, launch angles and exit velocities. Like you, I look forward to tweets letting me know someone barreled up a baseball and it left the ballpark.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chris Carelli
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

The Yankees' offense has firepower up and down the lineup, and third base prospect Miguel Andujar is off to a hot start, which has created an early argument for making the Opening Day roster.

Andujar is 4-for-10 this spring with two home runs, including a walk-off bomb in Monday's win. Andujar, who turns 23 on Friday, hit a combined .315 with a .352 on-base percentage, and a .498 slugging percentage with 36 doubles, 16 home runs and 82 RBIs with Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2017. Andujar accrued just 250 plate appearances with Scranton, generating an impressive .866 OPS.

Tags: Miguel Andujar, Chris Carelli
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

When the Yankees traded for Brandon Drury, short-term and long-term questions immediately arose.

The future of Yankees' prospect Miguel Andujar, who was expected to be the favorite to break camp at third base before the trade, became a concern for those excited about the soon-to-be 23-year-old's offensive potential. The Yankees claim that Andujar is still considered the future at the hot corner, but they believe he would benefit from honing his defensive proficiency while in the minor leagues rather the majors.

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Didi Gregorius, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees shortstop Tyler Wade (82) throws to first base for the out on Philadelphia Phillies' Brock Stassi (78) (not pictured) in the fifth inning of a baseball game during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill)
New York Yankees shortstop Tyler Wade (82) throws to first base for the out on Philadelphia Phillies' Brock Stassi (78) (not pictured) in the fifth inning of a baseball game during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

Top prospects typically garner most of the attention in spring training, especially those like Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres, who are the presumed favorites to land starting roles in the Yankees' infield. However, it's never wise to sleep on a mid-tier prospect that has busted it on the field to reach the big leagues like Tyler Wade managed in 2017.

Wade was provided just 58 at-bats across the three-plus months he spent on the Yankees roster in 2017. As such, Wade is no longer a rookie, but the 23-year-old is vastly inexperienced in terms of reps in the major leagues.

Tags: Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances walks off the field after a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. Baltimore won 7-6. (AP)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances walks off the field after a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. Baltimore won 7-6. (AP)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

The Yankees had a surprisingly magical 2017 season with numerous high quality and breakout performances; however, there were a few players whose production the club hopes is not duplicated in 2018.

Dellin Betances

Betances has never been the model of command on the mound. His inability to control his large frame forced the Yankees to convert him to a reliever in the minors as a last-ditch effort to squeeze value out of a highly touted prospect.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Austin Romine, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates with shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates with shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

After an offseason that started off with a bang for the Yankees, the team entered into the long slog the rest of the league is entwined in as clubs wait for free agent prices to drop. For the Yankees, the slowdown has not impeded the construction of the roster - though they could still make additions - nor has it slowed down expectations that began once they were knocked out of the 2017 postseason in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.

As pitchers and catchers officially report to camp Tuesday, let's take a look at some of the major storylines - in no particular order - set to develop through the next six-plus weeks...

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New York Yankees starting pitcher Chance Adams (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Chance Adams (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

As the Yankees have fully embraced the youth movement, it should be no shock that the club will rely on rookies in its effort to return to the postseason. We'll cover five rookies -- including a couple of sleepers -- that may make significant impacts for the Yankees this season.

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Chance Adams, Chase Headley, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, Miguel Andujar, Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Austin, Chris Carelli
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Aaron Boone, manager of the New York Yankees, talks with members of the media at the MLB baseball winter meetings Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux/AP)
Aaron Boone, manager of the New York Yankees, talks with members of the media at the MLB baseball winter meetings Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux/AP)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

The moment the Yankees were eliminated from the 2017 American League Championship Series, the presumption that the team was ready to once again be perennial and legitimate World Series contenders bloomed. In that sense, expectations for the club's new skipper were established well before Aaron Boone was interviewed - let alone hired - for the Yankees' managerial job.

Typically, when deciphering the methodology of a new manager, we can draw on characteristics and decisions made in the minors, or with another organization. Instead, prognostication of Boone's inaugural season as the Yankees manager is purely based on speculation. We only know what Boone has told us about his qualifications, and how the Yankees have described his ability to lead the club better than his predecessor, Joe Girardi.

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the tenth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the tenth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

In order for the Yankees to build on a surprising and inspiring 2017 season, the club will need to receive the dominant efforts many expect from their late-inning relievers.

As we preview expectations for the coming season, we'll take the relievers in the order I believe Yankees skipper Aaron Boone will open the season if he was to utilize a strict inning-by-inning methodology to complete games (he probably won't).

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Adam Warren, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees RHP Adam Warren (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Yankees RHP Adam Warren (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

The backend of the Yankees bullpen is going to get a majority of the press when bullpens are compared team by team. As dominant as those relievers might be, the Yankees middle relievers are just as critical to the team's ability to reach the postseason in 2018.

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Adam Warren, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Chasen Shreve, Jonathan Holder, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Chris Carelli
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Apr 23, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Apr 23, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

Jordan Montgomery hopes to build on a surprisingly successful 2017 season, but will there be enough innings for him to do so?

The Yankees continue to look to add a starter to their rotation - already five strong - meaning Montgomery would seem to be the odd man out should all parties be healthy. His potential fate may not seem to be completely fair considering his performance in 2017.

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Jordan Montgomery, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia pitches during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros during Game 3 of the 2017 ALCS at Yankee Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia pitches during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros during Game 3 of the 2017 ALCS at Yankee Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

In 2017, when the Yankees needed a win after a loss, there was no one better than CC Sabathia.

Playing in his age-36/37 season, Sabathia became old reliable when the club needed him most, and carried the performance into the club's surprising postseason run. Sabathia's lengthy transformation into a finesse pitcher has been completed, however, will his body hold up, and how much longer can will his impact be a positive one?

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, CC Sabathia, Chris Carelli
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BNNY: Yankees' rotation needs 00:02:26
John Harper and Anthony McCarron discuss which pitchers the Yankees might want to target before the trade deadline to help their rotation.

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

As Sonny Gray stands on the mound, he is far from physically intimidating. However, he has extremely strong stuff, enough so that he should be able to instill some apprehension in opposing batters.

To be successful in 2018, Gray has to buy into himself.

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka throws during the first inning of Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (AP)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka throws during the first inning of Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (AP)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archive

It seems that each time Masahiro Tanaka settles a question about himself, another one replaces it.

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees RHP Luis Severino (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees RHP Luis Severino (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

Baseball front office personnel often come to a crossroads with a player. They will contemplate, "What role is this player best suited?" In simplistic terms, there is a 50/50 shot - a proverbial coin flip - they'll head in the right direction.

That fork in the road came up rather quickly for the Yankees concerning right-hander Luis Severino. At 23 years old, Severino entered the 2017 season with a slew of questions that originated from a disappointing 2016 season, in which he flopped as a starting pitcher in the big leagues, but dominated as a reliever.

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Luis Severino, Chris Carelli
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Dec 11, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) is introduced with general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone. (Kim Klement)
Dec 11, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) is introduced with general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone. (Kim Klement)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

How does a team go about improving an offense that scored the second-most runs in baseball in 2017? Trade for Giancarlo Stanton, of course.

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees' Aaron Judge hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

Amazing! Awe-inspiring! Historic!

Those words - among many - were used to describe Aaron Judge's 2017 Rookie of the Year season. Somewhat surprisingly, we can add "room to grow." Judge understands this and has succeeded in this fashion already.

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Aaron Judge, Chris Carelli
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 (Tim Bradbury)
(Tim Bradbury)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The New York Yankees are firmly and legitimately back in win-now mode.

They claim year after year to be ready to compete for a championship, but the truth is the last couple of seasons there were more questions than answers. However, courtesy of an extended 2017 postseason run and the addition of Giancarlo Stanton earlier in the offseason, the Yankees are a real threat now. If New York manages to land free agent right-hander Yu Darvish, they will be putting an exclamation point on this offseason, demonstrating they view themselves as a bonafide World Series contender.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Jacoby Ellsbury, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees left fielder Aaron Hicks at bat during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. (Peter Aiken/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees left fielder Aaron Hicks at bat during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. (Peter Aiken/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

As Jacoby Ellsbury mulls over his depleted role in New York, Aaron Hicks will be roaming center field for the Yankees.

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner (11) connects on a single against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning at Fenway Park. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner (11) connects on a single against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning at Fenway Park. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | ArchivesFor once, Brett Gardner may be in the midst of a truly relaxing offseason.

There is something different about this winter for the Yankees' left fielder; Gardner's name is not mentioned in virtually every trade the club is rumored to be interested in making. In fact, Gardner trade rumors - an annual offseason tradition - are near non-existent besides intermittent Twitter chatter. The interesting aspect of this change of pace is that Gardner's economically sound contract is tied to a player coming off a solid all-around 2017 season.

At the outset of the 2017 season, Gardner was tasked by former Yankees manager Joe Girardi to be the catalyst for the club, and push aside a rough 2016 season. Girardi told Gardner he had to work to score 100 runs, and if he was able to do so, the Yankees would be a tough team to beat. Gardner narrowly missed the milestone, but Girardi pegged the premise correctly in that Gardner was the spark-plug the Yankees needed at the top of the order.

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Brett Gardner, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees' Didi Gregorius points to the dugout after hitting a two-run home run off Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber in the third inning of Game 5 of baseball's American League Division Series, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Cleveland. Brett Gardner scored on the play. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer/AP)
New York Yankees' Didi Gregorius points to the dugout after hitting a two-run home run off Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber in the third inning of Game 5 of baseball's American League Division Series, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Cleveland. Brett Gardner scored on the play. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer/AP)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives: Didi Gregorius, who will play 2018 in his age-28 season, has improved his performance year after year since coming to New York from Arizona. Not only is Gregorius demonstrating All-Star ability on the field, he has become one of the key members in the clubhouse.

In 2017, Gregorius set career highs with a .287 batting average, .478 slugging percentage, .796 OPS, 106 OPS+, 25 home runs, and 87 RBI. The impressive part to the improving counting stats is that Gregorius reached the measures in 17 fewer games and 27 fewer plate appearances than 2016. Due in part to extenuating circumstances with the rest of the lineup, Gregorius often hit cleanup in 2017.

In the field, Gregorius improved in the area of advanced defensive metrics, posting a +1 in defensive runs saved, which was much improved from his -9 mark in 2016. He has decent enough range, but whether of his own choosing or his coaches, he was often placed out of position, which prevented him from getting to some ground balls hit in his vicinity. Regardless, Gregorius continues to possess one of the stronger arms in the game from the shortstop position...

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Didi Gregorius, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird on deck to bat during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird on deck to bat during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees enter the 2018 season with their first baseman set in stone, but will Greg Bird's body hold up long enough to reach his full potential?

Bird was anointed the starting first baseman last season, courtesy of his pedigree and a blistering spring training. But he fouled a ball off his right ankle just before camp broke. The injury seemed minor at the time, except the pain lingered. By the time doctors finally figured out Bird should have the os trigonum removed from his ankle, he had suffered through four and a half months of pain, three and a half of which was spent on the disabled list.

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Greg Bird, Chris Carelli
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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

At 25 years old, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is a bonafide hitting star, and if he is able to take the next step behind the dish, he could be on his way to be becoming the best all-around catcher in the game.

Sanchez entered the 2017 season riding an amazing two-month stint in 2016 in which he hit 20 homes runs in 53 games. With the tools of ignorance on in 2016, Sanchez turned in highlight-reel throws to the bases to nail baserunners (41 percent caught stealing rate), and as a whole, we could see he had the potential to be an above-average defensive catcher. The question surrounding Sanchez was what we could truly expect as an encore...

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Chris Carelli
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 (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
(David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives: It's that time once again to pledge changes in our lives that are sure to be broken within a week. I took a stab at 2018 New Year's resolutions for key Yankees (including some staff) on an individual basis...

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chasen Shreve, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Jacoby Ellsbury, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Chris Carelli
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives: Aaron Boone's first major test as manager may be figuring out how to juggle five outfielders with four full-time positions available.

With Jacoby Ellsbury seemingly steadfast in staying a Yankee -- courtesy of a no-trade clause he does not want to waive -- Boone will have to determine how the 34-year-old slots into the plans for the 2018 season.

Ellsbury is not as terrible as many make him out to be, but he has failed to live up to his astronomical $153 million price tag. And the annual cost certainly doesn't fit the role of bench player. That's the Yankees' fault and it's now haunting them beyond simple performance on the field. There are no two ways about it -- Ellsbury's presence on the roster is going to cause headaches for Boone...

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Gary Sanchez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Chris Carelli
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

As the Yankees continue discussions to bolster their rotation, they will not lose sight of their second and third base "vacancies."

The Yankees traded Starlin Castro and Chase Headley, while Todd Frazier remains a free agent. This leaves the club with a quartet of internal options - Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade - to fill the two infield positions. It can be argued that the Yankees could surive with rookie/inexperienced players, the club has been linked to players via trade (Brandon Drury) and the free agent market (Frazier and Eduardo Nunez).

Tags: Chase Headley, Ronald Torreyes, Starlin Castro, Tyler Wade, Chris Carelli
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 (Troy Taormina)
(Troy Taormina)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees' clear intention this offseason was to head into the 2018 season with six MLB starting pitchers. They have almost reached the goal.

The Yankees have all five of their starters that finished the 2017 season under contract after inking CC Sabathia to a one-year, $10 million contract on Saturday. Despite internal depth behind the current five arms, the Yankees remain active in the trade market for a front end starter...

Tags: CC Sabathia, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Carelli
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees made two trades in the last week which leave them with openings at second and third base. The team has reportedly checked in on Brandon Drury, Todd Frazier, and Eduardo Nunez to fill the spots, and have even submitted a bid for Orioles' superstar Manny Machado, who was recently put on the trade block.

A Machado deal seems far-fetched simply because the Yankees can obtain him (if they desire) for straight cash next offseason, and the prospects it would require might be better suited to fill a rotation spot for this season. The others would come with control of varying lengths - Drury (four years of team control), Frazier (looking for multiyear deal) and Nunez (could net a two-year deal).

Tags: Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade, Chris Carelli
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Sep 22, 2017; Baltimore, MD, USA; Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports (Evan Habeeb)
Sep 22, 2017; Baltimore, MD, USA; Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports (Evan Habeeb)

The Yankees have solidified an already stacked offense with the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton, so they'll likely turn their attention to bolstering the starting rotation next.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Carelli
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Sep 25, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) on deck in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Sep 25, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) on deck in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees rocked the baseball world by acquiring reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, who will further boost one of the game's prodigious offenses. The additional fire power will be welcomed, but there are several factors improved by Stanton's addition to the roster.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Chase Headley, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Tyler Wade, Chris Carelli
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