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.

 

Scottsdale Scorpions infielder Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees against the Glendale Desert Dogs during an Arizona Fall League game at Scottsdale Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Scottsdale Scorpions infielder Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees against the Glendale Desert Dogs during an Arizona Fall League game at Scottsdale Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/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. This week we will briefly cover the playoff results at each level. We will also examine seasonal results and outlooks for 2018 with the club's Nos. 5 through 1 prospects.

Triple-A - International League North Division - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

Record: 86-55, 1st place, 6.5 GA

After winning the International League North Division regular season title and the division series, the RailRiders lost to the Durham Bulls in the International League finals 3-1 in the best-of-five series. The Bulls went on to beat the Pacific Coast League champion Memphis Redbirds 5-3 in the Triple-A championship game.

Tags: Chance Adams, Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Chris Carelli
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 (Wendell Cruz)
(Wendell Cruz)

 Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives: By sweeping the Twins, the Yankees pushed their lead for the American League's first wild card spot to seven games. If the season were to end today, the clubs would meet up in the AL Wild Card game at Yankee Stadium. What did the series tell us about the potential wild card matchup?

Potential pitching matchup

The Yankees saw the Twins' best pitcher and the Twins saw the Yankees' ace. It is presumed that the clubs would try their best to arrange these pitchers to be their starters in a potential wild card game. The Yankees were able to put pressure on Ervin Santana, but couldn't find the big hit in a game, scoring just two runs off the veteran.

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Sep 15, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) hits a two run home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 15, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) hits a two run home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez hit the Statcast home runs, but Didi Gregorius is the pulse of the New York Yankees.

It is amazing to think how far Gregorius has come since taking over for Yankees icon Derek Jeter at shortstop. He had yet to play a full MLB season when he arrived in New York, and there was a good deal of talk about Gregorius' inability to hit left-handed pitching. After his first month in the Bronx, the concerns that he could be a long-term solution grew.

Gregorius slowly silenced critics after the 2015 season's opening month, and turned them into avid supporters in 2016. This season, despite missing 24 games, Gregorius is snapping or within reach of personal bests in multiple offensive categories. He has produced FanGraphs WAR values of 3.1, 2.6 and 3.9 (and counting) since 2015.

Gregorius, who turns 28 just before next season, has two years left of arbitration before reaching free agency, which begs the question. Should the Yankees try to sign Gregorius to a long-term deal this offseason?

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Chris Carelli
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Domingo Acevedo (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)
Domingo Acevedo (Jasen Vinlove/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. This week we will briefly cover the playoff results at each level. We will also examine seasonal results and outlooks for 2018 with the club's No. 10 through No. 6 prospects.

Triple-A - International League North Division - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

Record: 86-55, 1st place, 6.5 GA

The RailRiders won the International League North Division regular season title. The RailRiders dispatched of Lehigh Valley in the division series. Scranton is down 2-1 to Durham in the best-of-five International League Governors' Cup Championship Series.

Tags: Miguel Andujar, Chris Carelli
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Sep 3, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Chase Headley (12) is congratulated at home by catcher Gary Sanchez (24) after hitting a home run in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Sep 3, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Chase Headley (12) is congratulated at home by catcher Gary Sanchez (24) after hitting a home run in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

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

It's time to take the kid gloves off the Yankees' offense.

As aggressive as Yankees manager Joe Girardi has been with the team's pitching staff -- quick hooks of starters and extended appearances for relievers -- he's been overly passive with constructing his lineup. Days off and handedness platooning has to -- pardon the pun -- be put to rest.

With 17 games left on the schedule and a three-game deficit in the American League East, the Yankees cannot afford to be sitting their best hitters down the stretch. The importance to winning the division, which is well within reach, cannot be understated.

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Foaming at the Mouth: Robertson 00:02:44
Marc Malusis and Jon Hein discuss whether David Robertson is the man to fill Andrew Miller's shoes as fireman for the Yankees' bullpen.

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

Some believe that Yankees manager Joe Girardi's strength lay with his manipulation of the bullpen. Others contend that Girardi doesn't have a clue when it comes to reading the tea leaves, rather relying too strictly to analytics. At this moment, I'm sitting on the fence, but surprisingly leaning in favor of Girardi's current seemingly-manic decisions.

As a playoff berth continues to look like a strong possibility for the Yankees, Girardi is managing his bullpen with what feels like reckless abandon one day and fierce competitiveness the next. This isn't exactly surprising to me, as Girardi's use of the bullpen this season has been erratic, often bordering on defying logic.

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New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar singles during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar singles during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field. (Kim Klement/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 Aug. 24, 2017, unless otherwise noted.

Tags: Chance Adams, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro (14) hits an RBI single in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro (14) hits an RBI single in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports)

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

Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro has one thing on his mind when he steps to the plate - grip it and rip it. Castro isn't looking to draw walks, rather he's there to lace base hits, which he can accumulate in batches.

Castro's return to the Yankees after a second stint on the disabled list has been enough to provide a certain boost to the club's offense, which was scuffling without him in the lineup. Castro is hitting .372 with five doubles, a home run and nine RBIs in 45 plate appearances in 11 games since his return.

Castro's current slash line - .313/.352/.479 - would all be career-high marks. Castro has 18 doubles, 13 home runs, 54 RBIs and 115 OPS+ in 383 plate appearances. Castro entered the 2017 season sitting at No. 9 in base hits among all players since 2010. Even with Castro missing 58 games this season, mostly due to a right hamstring injury, he has managed to slide just one spot to No. 10.

Tags: Starlin Castro, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury hits a three-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury hits a three-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)

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

Jacoby Ellsbury's transition to a part-time player for the Yankees arrived earlier than even his most fervent detractors predicted when he signed a seven-year, $153 million contract before the 2014 season. Ellsbury's season is not going exactly as he or the Yankees expected, but at the moment, things are working out, making his hefty contract feel slightly less burdensome.

Despite starting the season as New York's starting center fielder, a concussion forced him out of the lineup for nearly a month. When he fell into a bad slump upon his return and saw the emergence of Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier, he saw his role reduced.

The soon-to-be-34-year-old outfielder took it in stride and is beginning to click as the playoffs near. From Aug. 26 to Sept. 4 (nine games, seven starts), Ellsbury has been scorching hot, hitting .423 with a 1.175 OPS in 29 plate appearances. Ellsbury has four extra-base hits among his 11 knocks and has driven in seven runs during the span.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Jacoby Ellsbury, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees shortstop Tyler Wade reacts after hitting a double against the Chicago White Sox during the sixth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. (David Banks/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees shortstop Tyler Wade reacts after hitting a double against the Chicago White Sox during the sixth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. (David Banks/USA TODAY Sports)

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

The MLB calendar hits one of its final milestones today as club rosters can be expanded from 25 to 40 players. The Yankees have a slew of players that will eventually come to the Bronx, but expect the shuttle to make multiple trips. We'll review some of the players who might have an impact down the stretch (in alphabetical order).

Note: All prospect rankings are via MLB Pipeline.

Miguel Andujar (Yankees' No. 6 prospect)

Andujar has shredded Triple-A pitching this season (.333 batting average, .379 on-base percentage and .531 slugging percentage with nine home runs and 30 RBIs in 235 plate appearances), but he's been bypassed as a call-up mainly because he is considered a work in progress at third base (.939 fielding percentage). Once the Yankees received Todd Frazier in the White Sox trade, Andujar feel further back on the depth chart. The thing is, Andujar's bat is legit and the Yankees could use some right-handed pop. It will be interesting to see when Andujar is moved up, but don't expect him to be replacing anyone just because he can be carried with the big club.

Tags: Austin Romine, Bryan Mitchell, Chase Headley, Clint Frazier, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Jonathan Holder, Jordan Montgomery, Kyle Higashioka, Tyler Austin, Tyler Wade, Chris Carelli
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 (Jesse Johnson)
(Jesse Johnson)

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

The Yankees were baseball's early surprise this season, jumping out to a four-game lead in the A.L. East after 61 games. Visions of grandeur filled the heads of Yankees fans, the club's front office, and ownership. Unfortunately for the Yankees, the team many expected to see at the outset of the season arrived and has taken a firm grip over its makeup.

The notion that the Yankees could win the division has seemingly gone by the wayside and now they are losing grip on a playoff spot. Since June 13 (when the Yankees entered the day 38-23), they have gone 32-39 and now own a slim one-game lead for the top wild card spot and are just two games ahead in the second wild card position.

Here is a sampling of statistics that demonstrate why the Yankees have spiraled for an extended period...

Tags: Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Didi Gregorius, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Starlin Castro, Chris Carelli
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 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV

Chase Headley will enter the 2018 season in the final year of his four-year, $52 million contract with the Yankees. The offseason before the concluding season of long-term contracts tends to be the time teams decide whether or not to keep or trade the player. The Yankees should consider keeping Headley in the fold in 2018.

Headley jumped out to a strong start, hitting .301 in April, but then turned in an incredibly awful performance in May (.165 average). However, the switch-hitter put it behind him and has been among the better and most consistent Yankees hitters since June 1 - .298 batting average, .384 OBP, and a .431 SLG with 18 doubles, five homers and 30 RBI in 293 plate appearances.

Tags: Chase Headley, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees RHP Domingo Acevedo (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees RHP Domingo Acevedo (Jasen Vinlove-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 Aug. 24, 2017, unless otherwise noted.

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 (Wendell Cruz)
(Wendell Cruz)

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

Some fans have been clamoring for Joe Girardi's ouster as Yankees manager going back to the beginning of his most recent contract. If the Yankees fail to reach the postseason for the fourth time in five seasons, will ownership opt to move on? Or, regardless of Yankees place in the standings and postseason results, will Girardi decide after 10 seasons that he's had his fill of managing the club?

Here are some "internal" options the Yankees might look to as Girardi's replacement should he not re-sign with the club...

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New York Yankees' Miguel Andujar slides safely into home on a hit by Ronald Torreyes in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees' Miguel Andujar slides safely into home on a hit by Ronald Torreyes in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (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 Aug. 17, 2017, unless otherwise noted.

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New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green (57) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning at Safeco Field. (Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green (57) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning at Safeco Field. (Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV: 

The Yankees have an advantage over many teams when it comes to their bullpen, but it's not where you might believe. Yes, the endgame quartet of Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman is not rivaled by many clubs, but assembling a dominant backend of the bullpen is fairly common in today's game.

However, some organizations are also changing their methods of bullpen assembly in the middle innings. Yankees are now dominating in this area, courtesy of right-handers Chad Green and Adam Warren.

Tags: Adam Warren, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) in the dugout after blowing a save in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) in the dugout after blowing a save in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV:

"Remove Aroldis Chapman as the Yankees' closer" is the latest cry from the team's fans and even some in the media after the flame thrower allowed a game-tying homer in the ninth inning and then put the go-ahead run on base in the 10th inning of Sunday night's loss to the Red Sox.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi can be overly stringent in his bullpen usage, consistently turning to the same formula day in and day out. The writing on the wall should tell the skipper that a change could do the Yankees some good, especially when Girardi can turn to an established closer now on the roster. If administered a truth serum, Girardi might very well feel the same way as those clamoring for a change.

Except, it's not that simple. Consider these factors.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees relief pitcher Justus Sheffield tosses to first base in bunt drills during MLB spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Justus Sheffield tosses to first base in bunt drills during MLB spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Reinhold Matay/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 Aug. 3, 2017, unless otherwise noted.

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

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

The Yankees have endured several stretches in 2017 without key players due to injury. They have played without Greg Bird (87 games missed through Tuesday), Starlin Castro (29 games missed; two separate stints on the disabled list) and Aaron Hicks (38 games missed) for significantly long periods.

Each of the players are working on getting back to the club, but which one will have the biggest impact as the Yankees push for a postseason berth?

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Greg Bird, Starlin Castro, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi (28) takes the ball from New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi (28) takes the ball from New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV: 

Assembling a lockdown relief crew is tantamount to a successful baseball team. During the last few postseasons, it has become evident that championships do not come without dominant relievers.

The Yankees entered the season with what they believed to be the basis of such an endgame crew. With Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman leading the backend of the bullpen, the Yankees figured they had enough leading up to them with Tyler Clippard and Adam Warren picking up set-up duties. However, Clippard faltered mightily by June, Chapman and Warren endured stints on the disabled list and Betances lost his mechanics.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Chris Carelli
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Tampa Yankees center fielder Estevan Florial singles in a run in the first inning against the St. Lucie Mets at First Data Field. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Yankees center fielder Estevan Florial singles in a run in the first inning against the St. Lucie Mets at First Data Field. (Jasen Vinlove-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 Aug. 3, 2017, unless otherwise noted.

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New York Yankees DH Matt Holliday (Adam Hunger-USA Today Sports Images)
New York Yankees DH Matt Holliday (Adam Hunger-USA Today Sports Images)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV:

In the offseason, the Yankees made a one-year commitment to Matt Holliday, a career .303 hitter with power and playoff experience. The purpose was to add some strength to the middle of the lineup and provide what was expected to be a young crop of players another veteran presence.

The risk was being rewarded handsomely until Holliday fell ill with Epstein-Barr virus, which sapped his energy and required a 19-day stint on the disabled list. Holliday returned with the rest of his teammates as the All-Star break concluded. Now, we're questioning how long Yankees manager Joe Girardi can keep penciling Holliday into the starting lineup as the designated hitter.

Holliday made the Yankees feel sage about their investment by contributing a .262 batting average, .366 on-base percentage and a .511 slugging percentage with 15 home runs and 47 RBIs through June 24 (276 plate appearances). Holliday's wRC+ was a very impressive 131 (100 being average). A complementary effect for the Yankees was Holliday providing some protection in the lineup for rookie slugger Aaron Judge.

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 (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
(Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

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

Though Sonny Gray was acquired at the trade deadline, the Yankees' presumed ace at the beginning of the season is just as important to their chances to reach the postseason. They need Masahiro Tanaka at his best and he demonstrated Friday how he can come up big down the stretch.

Tanaka took a perfect game into the sixth inning, eventually giving up a single with two outs in the frame, but the right-hander was in cruise control for much of the night. Tanaka finished his eight-inning, one-run performance with 14 strikeouts -- a  career-high -- which prompted praise from his manager.

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees RHP Dillon Tate (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees RHP Dillon Tate (Mark J. Rebilas/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 July 27, 2017, unless otherwise noted.

Tags: James Kaprielian, Jorge Mateo, Chris Carelli
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JRSportBrief: Get Sonny Gray! 00:01:21
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR explains why the Yankees should trade for Oakland pitcher Sonny Gray.

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

The Yankees are in heavy pursuit of starting pitching help - currently the weakest link on the roster - with Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray at the top of their wish list. The issues are the prospect cost and reports that there are as many as six other teams scouting the 27-year-old.

They could land the hurler (or a fallback option), and still have some significant problems to deal with as they try to maintain grip on a playoff spot...

 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Chris Carelli
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 (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
(Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

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

Whether Gary Sanchez can be a successful hitter in the major leagues is no longer disputable. However, the Yankees "full-time" catcher is beginning to demonstrate that scouting reports on his improving catching abilities were potentially off-base.

Understand that this is not a call for Yankees backup catcher Austin Romine to take over the starting catcher role. Romine is strictly a backup who is already getting too much time behind the plate -- and truth be told he's not having a tremendous season behind the dish either. However, if Sanchez does not improve his work behind the plate or it continues to deteriorate from this point, there is a chance the Yankees will debate his future as a catcher for the club.

Sanchez is visibly hurting the Yankees behind the plate this season, making nine errors (two fielding, seven throwing), and he's allowed nine passed balls. While wild pitches are charged to the pitcher's record, Sanchez could have saved a handful of the 25 that have gotten by him by using better mechanics.

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees starting pitcher Chance Adams throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Chance Adams throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field. (Kim Klement/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 July 20, 2017, unless otherwise noted.

Tags: James Kaprielian, Jorge Mateo, Chris Carelli
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Yankees are making moves 00:01:18
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR reacts to the Yankees trade for David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Todd Frazier.

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

Yankees GM Brian Cashman stated the club would be "cautious buyers" during the trade deadline period. If a seven-player deal -- bringing in three major leaguers for one of the game's top prospects -- is cautious, this could be an interesting 13 days ahead.

The Yankees clearly filled two of their biggest holes by adding former organization relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to a tired and inconsistent bullpen, while adding Todd Frazier should stabilize the revolving door at first base for the remainder of the season.

Tags: Adam Warren, Aroldis Chapman, Bryan Mitchell, CC Sabathia, Chasen Shreve, Dellin Betances, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro celebrates his two-run home run with designated hitter Matt Holliday in the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro celebrates his two-run home run with designated hitter Matt Holliday in the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV:

The Yankees return from the All-Star break with seemingly as many questions as they had when the season began. The backbone to current queries leads back to the same theme: Will the Yankees sacrifice their recent roster construction methodology in an effort to make a run at the postseason? Each facet could use reinforcements, but which ones the club will seek to fill are undetermined.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Adam Warren, Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Starlin Castro, Tyler Clippard, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates his two run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays with New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner (11) during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates his two run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays with New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner (11) during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV:

The Yankees' version of a rebuild is unlike other clubs' tear-it-down approach.

The notion was to be competitive in 2017, but the true efforts would center on evaluating the organization's youth in order to push hard in 2018 and beyond. However, it seemed everything went the club's way in the opening month and a four-game division lead on June 12 changed the discourse. Unfortunately, a massively disturbing 7-18 slide since has forced the team and fans to throttle back expectations.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees shortstop Jorge Mateo (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees shortstop Jorge Mateo (Kim Klement/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 June 29, 2017.

Tags: James Kaprielian, Jorge Mateo, Chris Carelli
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Apr 18, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Luis Severino (40) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 18, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Luis Severino (40) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

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

The Yankees are losing their grip on a postseason berth, suggesting any moves this trading period will diverge from a limited, yet costly, starting pitching market. Rentals are not a good idea and the controllable pitchers might require the Yankees to relinquish more from the farm system than they would desire.

The only thing we can say with some certainty is that Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino will have slots available to them in the Yankees' rotation in 2018. Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia are free agents at the end of the season, while Masahiro Tanaka can opt out of his deal as well.

Tags: Bryan Mitchell, CC Sabathia, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Chris Carelli
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 (Shanna Lockwood)
(Shanna Lockwood)

The Yankees have placed 11 players on the disabled list this season. The number of waiver wire moves used to fill the voids - zero.

The Yankees of yesteryear utilized the waiver wire as a means to fill vacancies due to a bumbling farm system. That's a thing of the past as they have committed to building and maintaining a depth in the minor leagues. 

Having an extensive system is one thing, but the Yankees have demonstrated that they have plenty of MLB-ready players at their disposal.

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

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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

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 June 29, 2017.

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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

The Yankees pushed ahead of the American League East with a strong first two months of the season and a fine start to June. However, since June 12, the Yankees are 3-10, which begs the question of whether they should be full-out buyers at the trade deadline.

The contention is not that the Yankees were flukes early on, but they had an awful lot of things fall perfectly into place for them. Of late, the Yankees have not been getting all the bounces, they've played a good deal of sloppy baseball and the injury bug seems to have infiltrated the roster. The truth is, the Yankees are far from one player away from pulling away from the pack and those are the types of teams that flat out buy at the deadline.

The Yankees have several areas which need refinement. The most glaring has to do with middle relief, which continues to be a plague to the Yankees. Yankees relievers have been an atrocity this month and for much of the season the bridge to the closer has been shaky at best.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chris Carelli
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

The Yankees lost their seventh straight game Tuesday and once again the main culprit was Tyler Clippard.

After the Yankees clawed back to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, Clippard immediately coughed up a home run to Cameron Maybin and then allowed a couple more hard hits before being removed by Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who said the right-hander "had another tough night." 

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Tyler Clippard, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi (right) and generial manager Brian Cashman during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement)
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi (right) and generial manager Brian Cashman during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

The luxury of having a deep and talented farm system eventually develops into an "issue" - 40-man roster crunches.

The Yankees will have a multitude of 40-man roster decisions to make this winter ahead of the Rule 5 draft with a plethora of players requiring either movement elsewhere or being assigned to the Yankees roster, before potentially losing them to the draft. The 40-man roster can be a major guessing game; which players will mean the most to the team's future and which might be considered expendable? If the Yankees were wise, they would begin to make some of those decisions now versus waiting for the trade deadline or the winter in an effort to reduce some of the guessing.

The Yankees have made various transactions over the last several days which were directly affected by their desire to not disrupt the 40-man roster. The Yanks called up a Douple-A pitcher, Ronald Herrera, to add depth to the bullpen. The Yankees recalled Luis Cessa to make a spot start Sunday. New York decided to bring up Mason Williams to play center field in Aaron Hicks' absence. Beyond those recent moves, Rob Refsnyder remains a Yankee.

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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

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. This week we'll start with a quick recap of the Yankees selections in the MLB First-year Player Draft.

The Yankees took a risk with their No. 1 pick, selecting Clarke Schmidt, a right-handed pitcher from the University of South Carolina. Schmidt was highly rated at the beginning of the college season and performed well, but he recently underwent Tommy John surgery. Schmidt will be out until about this time next season and maybe through much of next summer.

The Yankees second pick, high school righty Matt Sauer, can be looked at as more of a first rounder, as he could end up netting as much or more than Schmidt in bonus money. The Yankees went on to draft eight right-handed pitchers, a lefty hurler and one position player among their first 10 picks. Of those 10 players, eight were collegians.

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New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman speaks to reporters after the trade deadline prior to a game against the New York Mets at Citi Field. (Brad Penner)
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman speaks to reporters after the trade deadline prior to a game against the New York Mets at Citi Field. (Brad Penner)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

Life without Aroldis Chapman has had its rough moments for the Yankees.

None of the issues have revolved around Dellin Betances, Chapman's replacement while the left-hander has been on the shelf. However, the efforts of others during the stretch, namely Tyler Clippard, who was bumped to Betances' eighth-inning role, exemplifies a glaring need for a team with a legitimate postseason run ahead of them.

Tags: Alroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Tyler Clippard, Chris Carelli
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

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

The Yankees have surprised on the field this season and if they continue to trend in their current direction, this year's pick in the MLB First-year Player Draft might be their last anywhere near the middle of the pack for quite a while.

The Yankees will pick at No. 16 (valued at $3,458,600) Monday night, looking to expand the depth of one of the game's best farm systems. The Yankees' system is not only loaded at the top, but has considerable depth, which allows the club to truly draft based on the best player available.

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Mar 10, 2017; Clearwater, FL, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier (75) smiles while on deck to bat against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 10, 2017; Clearwater, FL, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier (75) smiles while on deck to bat against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

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 June 8, 2017.

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Matt Holliday connects for a two-run homer in the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays. (Chris O'Meara/AP)
Matt Holliday connects for a two-run homer in the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

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

The Yankees took a $13 million flyer on Matt Holliday this winter. That seems like a lot of cash for a "risky" player. However, if you fed the Yankees' brass truth serum, they might admit they weren't completely certain what they would get out of Holliday.

The Yankees couldn't be happier with the results.

Tags: Matt Holliday, Chris Carelli
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 (Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports)
(Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports)

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

Often times when a player reaches the big leagues and has immediate success, it is easy for some to forget his age. That was certainly the case with Yankees right-hander Luis Severino, except when it comes to his team.

In 2015, Severino came up he for the first time as a 21-year-old and dazzled down the stretch, tossing 62 1/3 innings to the tune of a 2.89 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9 and 8.1 K/9.

With lofty expectations lumped on him, Severino was simply not the same pitcher in 2016. From the moment he stepped to the hill last season, Severino didn't have the same look of confidence. And as MLB hitters began to knock him around, it was evident that something was awry. After a brief disabled list stint, Severino continued to falter and the Yankees sent him down to Triple-A.

Tags: Luis Severino, Chris Carelli
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 (Kim Klement (USA Today))
(Kim Klement (USA Today))

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 June 1, 2017.

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New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) and catcher Gary Sanchez (24) celebrate the win against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) and catcher Gary Sanchez (24) celebrate the win against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

The Yankees put together their second straight 15-win month to open the 2017 season. That's an important number because if extrapolated over the season's six months it equates to a 90-win season and a potential playoff birth not many predicted.

What went right in May?

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) runs the bases after hitting a home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning at Great American Ball Park. (Aaron Doster)
New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) runs the bases after hitting a home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning at Great American Ball Park. (Aaron Doster)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is finding it difficult to replicate his performance from August 2016. While this should not be surprising considering the otherworldly statistics he produced as he burst on the scene, we might be surprised that his peripheral stats this season are not far removed from the historic performance last season. 

Sanchez took the league by storm, blasting himself into the Rookie of the Year Award conversation with only two months of play under his belt and 20 homers on the back of his baseball card. As such, expectations were (and are) high for Sanchez this season, to the point his above-average numbers for a catcher are falling well short of what he demonstrated last season in his first 24 games through a similar number of plate appearances in 2017.

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Chris Carelli
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Yankees trying too hard? 00:03:06
The DNL panel feels it's too soon for the Yankees to honor Aaron Judge with a special section, and that it should have been done by the fans

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

The opening arguments have been made by both sides of the newly enshrined "The Judge's Chambers," an 18-seat juror's box assembly for fans who show their allegiance to Yankees rookie outfielder Aaron Judge.

On the plaintiff's side, the complaint is that despite Judge's MLB-leading 15 home runs (plus one misruled a triple), he's just a rookie and doesn't deserve a fully developed section with his name on it. Those against the enclosed area claim that there is nothing wrong with fans coming to the stadium with their robes, wigs and fake gavels, but the section should have grown organically over time.

For those who remember the 1990's early 2000's clubs, think the bullseyes with a large 'O' on them that fans in right field would hold up for the fan favorite Paul O'Neill to aim at. That wasn't a team manufactured promo, but rather grew over time by the fans. The contention is that named sections are meant for longtime club veterans or better retired heroes. Finally, why would the Yankees want to place undue pressure on their 25-year-old right fielder?

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

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 May 25, 2017.

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

The Yankees entered the 2017 campaign believing they would have much better performance from their first basemen after a dormant 2016 season. Instead, Yankees first basemen rank dead last in MLB in each component of the triple slash line (.176/.288/.301) and OPS+ (45, with 100 considered average).

The drain at the position in 2016 was disappointing, but the club was optimistic for 2017 with Tyler Austin set to build on last season's cameo, Greg Bird back and healthy, and 2016 National League home run co-leader Chris Carter signed for added power.

Austin was hurt before a competition at first base could begin, allowing Bird to win the job with a fantastic spring training, while Carter was relegated to the bench...

Tags: Greg Bird, Tyler Austin, Chris Carelli
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The Yankees' Starlin Castro celebrates in the dugout after hitting a three-run home run against the Pirates Saturday. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
The Yankees' Starlin Castro celebrates in the dugout after hitting a three-run home run against the Pirates Saturday. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

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

The Yankees have plenty of young talent on their roster, but because Starlin Castro is in his eighth season in the big leagues, it's easy to forget he's just 27 years old. Castro is in his baseball prime and based on his performance so far this season, he might be poised to tap into the potential some expected years ago.

At age-21 in 2011, Castro led the National League in hits (207) in just his second season and expectations heightened for the then-shortstop. Castro never reached the presumed zenith in Chicago and after a couple of rough seasons, he was traded to New York.

Tags: Starlin Castro, Chris Carelli
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