Thursday, April 28, 2016

Video: Yankees slump reaches epic proportions

The New York Yankees offensive woes continue to mount. When the club gets quality pitching, they score even less, and the results have dropped the Yankees into last place in the American League East.

Over the last 15 games (including Wednesday's 3-2 loss) the club has scored just 37 runs. The Yanks scored 35 runs in their first five games of the season. The worst part about the slump is that there always seems to be one player getting hits, but whoever that is, he is the only one doing so. Then, the following day he passes the torch. The Yanks need a group of hitters to get hot in order to squelch the slump.

Here is some video displaying the metrics within the offensive skid (prior to Wednesday's 3-2 loss) that has been the main culprit to an 8-12 start to the season. The Yankees need to turn it around fast, or else the next five months could be quite miserable.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for SNY.tv. His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.



Monday, April 25, 2016

Yankees hit road after winning series against Rays

The New York Yankees won their final series of the homestand despite a rough Sunday outing from Michael Pineda. Jacoby Ellsbury was the hero Friday and Brett Gardner’s walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth Saturday aided Masahiro Tanaka’s seven-inning, two-run effort.

The Yankees (7-10) open a three-game series versus the Texas Rangers (10-9) Monday night as they begin part a nine-game road trip. The Yankees will miss Cole Hamels on his regularly scheduled day due to a groin strain. The Yankees will still face two left-handed starters at the front and backend of the series. The Yankees will counter with Nathan Eovaldi on Monday, Luis Severino on Tuesday and CC Sabathia in Wednesday's finale.


The Yankees have lost eight of their last 11 games and need to win four of their next five games to finish April at .500. Considering how they have been playing, getting back to the .500 mark would be some kind of feat and would surely require better efforts across the board, but the Yanks especially need a resurgence from their stagnant offense.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for SNY.tv. His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Yankees look for stroke with Athletics in town

The New York Yankees are set to host a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics beginning Tuesday evening. The Yankees (5-6) have endured an uneven start to the season, while the A’s (6-7) are coming off a series victory over the defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals.


The Yankees will send Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and Luis Severino to the hill in that order. The trio will face an Oakland lineup that is hitting a collective .216 with a .612 OPS. On paper the matchup seems to be a good one for each pitcher, but they'll need to show they can get through the third time of the order still on top.

The A’s will counter with Eric Surkamp, Kendall Graveman and Rich Hill, thus missing Oakland’s ace Sonny Gray. The Yankees offense will be tested as both Surkamp and Hill are left-handers, something that has given the club fits since last season.

The Yankees hope Monday’s off-day helps to erase the memory of a terrible slide with runners in scoring position, having gone 1-for-35 in the Seattle series this past weekend.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for SNY.tv. His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Video: New York Yankees player profiles

This post will be updated as new videos are created by the team at Sporting News Media. As of now there are a handful of Yankees player profiles and the club's season preview within the video player. The post will remained pinned to the right of the site as a featured post. Enjoy!

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for SNY.tv. His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Yankees hit road, get warm in...Toronto?

The New York Yankees were not treated nicely by the schedule makers to begin the season. They’ve had to play in some miserable conditions and faced a couple of tough competitors each with legitimate playoff aspirations. The only thing that changes as the Yankees meet the Toronto Blue Jays for three games beginning Tuesday is the weather — or rather the implications of weather — which does not pose a factor under the Rogers Centre roof.

The Yankees begin the series with a 3-2 record which has been highlighted by some struggling starting pitching, offset by impressive offensive production throughout the lineup. Only one Yankees starter has completed at least six innings of work in a start (CC Sabathia) but the club is hitting a collective .292 which ranks second in MLB.

As the Yankees begin the second time through the rotation they hope that each hurler can begin to work deeper into games, something that is extremely important to the inner workings of the bullpen. This is especially true with the relief crew essentially down one pitcher in Aroldis Chapman, forcing the Yankees to utilize Chasen Shreve, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller a bit more often than they might hope. Length from the rotation was an issue in 2015, and is something that has to change for 2016.

The Blue Jays enter the series with a 3-4 record and Sunday’s 3-0 shutout of the Boston Red Sox put an end to a four-game losing streak. The Blue Jays’ powerful offense has scored five or more runs just twice thus far this season, suggesting that a breakout could be on the way. The Yankees will have to navigate the Blue Jays’ lineup with Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi on the hill. The Yankees will face Aaron Sanchez, J.A. Happ and Marcus Stroman respectively.

The Yankees want some revenge for losing the division last season (and a 6-13 record versus Toronto), while the Blue Jays are out to prove they're not a one-year wonder. The first series of the season between the AL East foes should entertain.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for SNY.tv. His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.



Friday, April 8, 2016

Quick Pitch: Yankees set to battle Tigers, weather

The New York Yankees managed to get in their three games at Yankee Stadium despite some rough baseball conditions. The Yanks begin a three-game set against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park Friday, and newsflash, the weather is not supposed to be good. The game time temperature for the 1:10 p.m. start will be around 37 degrees, and for good measure there could be rain and snow for Detroit’s home opener. Saturday's high temperature is expected to reach 32 degrees and the current forecast calls for 2 inches of snow Sunday. Baseball!


Away from the weather, the Yankees starters will have their hands filled with a Detroit lineup currently hitting a collective .309 with a .915 team OPS. The Tigers swept the Minnesota Twins, outscoring their opponents 15-1 in the series.

Luis Severino gets the call for the opening game of the series, followed by CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka. The rotation will need to get better efforts than they have received in their last two outings.

The Yankees offense will test Detroits pitching staff after exploding for 24 runs in the final two games of their home-opening series against the Houston Astros. Starlin Castro is 7-for-12 with two home runs and eight RBIs on the young season, providing a spark for the club at the bottom of the order. The club has seven homers with mark Teixeira also knocking two over the fence.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for SNY.tv. His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.



Thursday, April 7, 2016

Quick Pitch: Why can't I be completely happy with Yankees performance?

It is incredibly difficult to not indulge in the fantastic offensive performance the New York Yankees pumped out in Wednesday night’s thumping of the Houston Astros. I even praised Ivan Nova last night after he turned in a very good relief stint. My pleasure was especially heightened after the Yankees gave away Tuesday’s contest. But, as great as it was the offense knocked Collin McHugh from the game after he recorded just one out and then continued to tack on runs, I cannot shake Michael Pineda’s performance.

Am I being greedy in asking that Pineda pitch just a mediocre game once handed a five-run lead after one inning— let’s say, six innings and three runs (he allowed six in five innings)? It is entirely possible that I am. Shouldn’t I and anyone else who is thinking about the one poor aspect of a 16-6 win be able to look past Pineda’s performance?

I actually don’t think so because it was classic Pineda. His stuff was actually moving quite well Wednesday. The problem is that he was beginning his pitches in the wrong part of the batter's zone and his many of his offerings drifted over the middle of the plate. Three of those pitches were deposited over the fence, and others he got lucky with.

David Cone commented on Pineda’s location issues often during the YES Network telecast — he was missing in the zone, a continued problem for Pineda. Cone said that Pineda has great control, but when he loses it, he is still throwing strikes. Bingo. Sometime, and soon, Pineda needs to master having his pitches rotate at the edge of and then drop outside of the strike zone. Use that great movement and force players to chase, versus allowing them to wait for the mistake that seems to come too often.

Was I happy with the Yankees offensive outburst? Indeed, I was. Am I concerned about Pineda, who I believe is one of the keys to the club’s success. in 2016 I absolutely am.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for SNY.tv. His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.



Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Game Review: MLB Manager 2016

Does the following describe you?

You watch baseball, and often. You yell at your television when you believe the manager of your favorite team makes a suspect decision. You fire barbs on Twitter when your team's general manager trades one of your favorite players, or signs a washed up veteran. If this sounds like you, you should grab your phone or tablet and download MLB Manager 2016.

MLB Manager 2016 by Out of the Park Developments is available for Android devices and Apple iOS devices for $4.99, allowing you to constantly have your team at your fingertips.

If you love baseball sims, there isn’t one better than MLB Manager 2016 which operates as an official licensee of MLB.com, MiLB.com and the Major League Baseball Players Association. I’ve been playing this game for several years now and the latest version does not disappoint.

As was the case in previous editions, the game touches on every facet of running a true MLB franchise. Fair warning, the game is quite addicting. You’ll likely find yourself completely immersed in your season, striving to reach the top of the standings.

There are three variations of play; Major League, Fictional League and Historical League (via in-app purchase). I decided to play a Major League season with the 2016 New York Yankees.


After selecting a team you are provided the owner’s perspective, a budget and the ability to set your rotation and bullpen, create depth charts and lineups to use against right/left-handed pitching. Among other nuances, you can select how aggressive you are on the bases and where you place your fielders in respect to situations (yes, there is shifting if you desire).

In an individual game you have complete control and comes with play-by-play if desired. The game can be played at a slow methodical pace (literally one pitch at a time) or there are plenty of chances to advance the game through various simulations. If you decide to use the simulation advances of which there are plenty, they are good at sticking to strategy and can be changed at any time.


From a season standpoint, I prefer to play games one by one, versus advancing through days and weeks at a time. But, everyone has their preferences and the game does provide alerts in between games (i.e. if trades are proposed or your team suffers an injury) so you can make your own roster decisions.

As the season moves along players get hurt (Jacoby Ellsbury got hurt on Opening Day, which is incredibly predictable) and some players become disgruntled because of playing time (Brett Gardner grew tired of sitting for Aaron Hicks). The same happens for demoted players (Rob Refsnyder was on the original roster, but I altered it to match the Yankees’ Opening Day roster). The morale factor is not just for your 25-man roster, but also applies to the minor leaguers looking for a shot at the show so you need to check on this often.


As a general manager you can propose trades and run the rookie draft mid-season as well as manage a complete minor league system. Once July hits, the trade chatter picks up. Some of the trades proposed to me were a stretch, but this has improved some from past iterations of the game. You can reject or counter trade proposals, and of course you can reach out to other clubs with your own offers. The offseason is much like MLB too. There are arbitration hearings and free agent negotiations. Your owner sets a new budget and expectations for the upcoming season and away you go. Again, your focus is controlled by you, or by the simulator.

MLB Manager 2016 remains difficult to put down. The ability to change the type of variation, allowing seasons to transpire one after the other with the same team personally appeals to me, but having the chance to select from loads of teams makes it a game that can be played over and over without the same results. I strongly recommend MLB Manager 2016 to anyone who enjoys baseball simulation games.

Out of the Park Developments also released Out of the Park Baseball 17 in March and is available for PC/Mac/Linux. This game is even more intricate than the iOS version. For more information, visit their website.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for SNY.tv. His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.



Monday, April 4, 2016

Quick Pitch: Yankees' Opening Day rained out

The New York Yankees 2016 Opening Day has been rained out and rescheduled for Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. Gates will open at 11:00 a.m. and ceremonies are still hoped to be held prior to game time.

Despite the fact that clubs (and governments and fans) invest hundreds of millions and up to billions of dollars to build ballparks, why in the world don't they all have roofs? At the point that such exorbitant funds are being invested, I simply do not understand why roofs are not part of the equation especially in areas like New York where April weather pretty much sucks. I gather the financial implications of losing games to rainouts do not amount to the need for a roof. OK, so then what?

The alternative of having the first week or two of games in warmer weather and/or stadiums with roofs is great in theory, but those clubs don't want to have that leveled on them every season. The reason? They won't get the gates for the second and third games of the series they would otherwise in the summer when kids are able to attend games. This is understandable, and brings me back to ALL new stadiums being built with retractable roofs.

It's too late now for some of the newer ballparks like Yankee Stadium, but maybe going forward having the ability to play EVERY game as scheduled would be a welcomed occurrence for the teams and the fans. It probably won't happen, but it is nice to dream.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for SNY.tv. His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.



Saturday, April 2, 2016

Yankees give CC Sabathia one last chance

The New York Yankees believe that CC Sabathia can figure out how to survive as a starting pitcher. There is one caveat; the clock is ticking.

CC Sabathia
Photo: Keith Allison
The Yankees cannot simply eat the rest of Sabathia’s contract right now, nor should the thought enter their collective minds. However, there has to be a limit to any damage his performances might cause the overall well-being of the club.

To put it mildly, Sabathia is on a short leash, one that Ivan Nova is holding. To put it strongly, the Yankees have given Sabathia an ultimatum; pitch well or lose your slot. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman uttering of two words, “For now,” pertaining to Sabathia being the fifth starter more or less says it all.

Defining “pitch well” is important too. Sabathia’s role as the fifth starter means one thing; keep the team in the game, and if that’s three runs over six innings on average, that might be enough. Truth be told, would the Yankees get more from Nova on a consistent basis? I say probably not; he’s arguable their most inconsistent starting pitcher. Further, how many teams have a fifth starter with an ERA under 4.50? Not many.

The Yankees success or failure in 2016 has much less to do with who is in the fifth starter role, than what happens with the top four arms in the rotation. The 132 starts to be made by the pitchers slotted one through four will tell the story of this season, not the 30 starts the fifth guy might make.

And that’s of grave concern to the Yankees. If one starter of the group consisting of Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi or Luis Severino succumbs to an injury, then both Sabathia and Nova begin to get starts at the same time. That is what the Yankees should truly be concerned about. My guess is if the Yankees start Sabathia and Nova 40-50 times combined this season, the team will be in trouble.

The Yankees do not want to set themselves up for failure when Sabathia, Nova or whoever makes a start at the back end of the rotation, but giving Sabathia the chance now has made the most sense from the very beginning of the so-called “competition.” Based on Sabathia’s finish to the 2015 season (as well as Nova’s), combined with the fact that the big lefty would be more or less useless in the bullpen for extended periods of time, made Sabathia the right person for the job. Sabathia's repertoire is completely unsuitable for the bullpen, especially in today’s game filled with high octane relief innings.

The Yankees decided to give Sabathia a chance to show the brace is helping his knee and last September was not a fluke. The team is providing him one last-ditch effort to prove he has the ability to transform his game, and if he cannot do that in due time, they’ll move him to the bullpen to give Nova a try. My guess is that the Yankees will end up using Sabathia and Nova interchangeably as the season progresses based on the opponent, provided of course the other four arms remain healthy.

Fortunately for the Yankees this situation is fluid right now because the rest of the group is healthy. If an injury occurs to any of the front four of the rotation, the Yankees could find themselves using two pitchers who might not crack other team's starting five. Such an instance could put a damper on any postseason aspirations the Yankees maintain with Opening Day fast approaching.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for SNY.tv. His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.