Friday, September 30, 2016

SNY: Final series still important to Yankees

The New York Yankees turned a ho-hum season into one of excitement as they made a run into postseason contention amid roster turnover. While the run came to an official end Thursday night, the final series of the regular season still carries importance to the Yankees.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SNY: Yankees shouldn't shut down Betances

Photo credit: Keith Allison
Yankees closer Dellin Betances maintains his role simply because the team's first two choices were traded at the non-waiver deadline. Betances might not be trusted with the job without similar circumstances next season, but the Yankees cannot figure that out by shutting down the reliever before the season ends.

Betances has failed to maintain control over the closer's job since enjoying a strong beginning (14 games, 15 1/3 innings, nine saves in 10 chances, 0.57 ERA, 25 strikeouts and five walks) after Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman were traded. Betances has faltered in staggering fashion over his last eight appearances. In six innings pitched during those outings, Betances owns a 15.00 ERA, allowing nine hits, walking eight and striking out 11 batters. He has also made three big errors during the span.

Fans' faith in Betances has understandably waned, due mostly in part because his failures have come with a playoff position on the line. Yankees manager Joe Girardi is trying to look at the full body of Betances' work, versus focusing on the recent struggles.

"He'll bounce back," Girardi told NJ.com. "I'm not concerned about Dellin. This guy's really good."

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Monday, September 26, 2016

SNY: Yankees Minor League Report: Season wrapup

Courtesy: SportsLogos.net
The New York Yankees made a surprising push to a potential playoff appearance in August and early September, only to fall back with an awful two-week stretch of play.

Meanwhile, the Yankees' farm system also provided some unpredictable results, as the organization's top five affiliates qualified for their league's postseason play, and included one league title.

This week we will recap the postseason results for each of the affiliates and provide the regular season statistics for the organization's Top 30 prospects, according to MLBPipeline.com. Our previous report indicated the final regular season records from each affiliate.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

SNY: Gary Sanchez importance to Yankees not defined by Rookie of the Year award

Courtesy: SportsLogos.net
Individual awards are nice, but postseason appearances and sustained success matter more.

When the New York Yankees called up catching prospect Gary Sanchez, rest assured he was not looking to win individual awards. His goals were to prove he belonged and provide some energy to a team that was sleep-walking through the season.

Sanchez, 23, showed he was ready within days and the Yankees agreed by handing him the starting role over $85 million veteran catcher, Brian McCann. Sanchez has since hit 19 home runs faster than any player in MLB history, propelling him into a debate concerning his worthiness in the American League Rookie of the Year race.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SNY: Mark Teixeira sees career come to grinding halt

Photo credit: Keith Allison
When New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira announced he would retire at the end of this season, the immediacy was startling, but the reasoning was sound. Teixeira could no longer "grind it out."

Teixeira spoke at length with Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal recently; the interview sheds light on Teixeira's thought process regarding retirement and a host of other topics. I'll delve into a few of these and posit a couple of questions of my own.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

SNY: Yankees must return to August blueprint going forward

In a matter of just over two weeks the New York Yankees thrust themselves into the heart of the playoff picture with a seven-game winning streak and then quickly plummeted from it, by losing seven out of eight games. With 13 games left on the schedule and a four-game deficit to overcome, what do the Yankees do from here?

In my view, the Yankees must return to the place they were on Aug. 1. At that time the club rightfully decided to focus on the future by dealing their best players and proceeded to call-up some of their best prospects over the subsequent days. The idea was to remain competitive, but provide some valuable experience for players the organization felt were a part of the future. What happened on the field was unexpected - a 17-11 month - and might be directly related to the one day at a time mentality the club possessed.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

SNY: Yankees' offense best chance for redemption against Red Sox

Courtesy: SportsLogos.net
After a devastating loss to Boston on Thursday night, the Yankees have two rookies toeing the rubber, Luis Cessa and Bryan Mitchell, before CC Sabathia takes the mound in the series finale. The pitching, obviously important, is not where the Yankees have their best chance to return the favor to the Red Sox.

The Yankees entered the series needing to win three out of four to make a statement in the postseason race. Masahiro Tanaka's gritty effort should have resulted in one of the victories, but questionable bullpen management and Dellin Betances' performance created a hard to swallow two-game swing in the standings.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

SNY: Yankees, Red Sox rivalry matters once again

Courtesy: SportsLogos.net
The best sports rivalries are fueled by historically significant moments between two teams consistently battling for superiority, striving to win a championship.

Year in and year out, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox set out to win a World Series title, but since 2012, one club or both has been well out of the playoff race in September, diminishing the strength of the rivalry to nothing more than a history lesson.

The competition is getting a boost this season. For the first time since 2011, the Yankees and Red Sox will play a meaningful series with playoff implications in mid-September. The clubs have reached their current positions in the standings from different directions, but both organizations have carved out a future which could lead to a full-fledged rejuvenation of the rivalry.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

SNY: Yankees' Tanaka steps up as rotation mates lay down

Courtesy: SportsLogos.net
Playoff teams are built on starting pitching. Starting pitching wins championships. Someone needs to tell Masahiro Tanaka's New York Yankees rotation mates.

The Yankees improbable run into legitimacy in a crowded American League East and AL Wild Card race has little to do with the starting rotation, beyond the enormous efforts of Tanaka. In order for the Yankees to stick in the race over the final 20 days (19 games) of the regular season, the club needs Tanaka to continue his ace-like efforts, but the team must also receive better efforts from the rest of the starting staff

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Friday, September 9, 2016

SNY: Yankees' minor league report: Sept. 9

Logo: SportsLogos.net
The New York Yankees are in the midst of a surprising push in search of a postseason berth. Meanwhile, the organization's top five affiliates qualified for their league's postseason play.

Who knows if the Yankees will be able to clinch a playoff spot, but the excitement in New York has not been this high in a long time, and the main reason is the handful of prospects brought up after the trade deadline. Maybe more impressively, even with the call-ups, the Yankees have created one of the best farm systems in the game.

The point is, they should be able to continue to grow from within and/or utilize some prospects as trade assets to obtain major league players to fill needs this offseason.

This week we highlight the final regular season statistics for players listed as the Yankees' top prospects (and not on the major league club) by MLBPipeline.com, along with the final regular season records from each affiliate. If a club is in the playoffs, we'll provide the status of their series.

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

SNY: Severino's relief success aids Yankees, rebuilds his confidence

Photo: Arturo Pardavilla III
A second relief stint might not be where New York Yankees RHP Luis Severino expected to be assisting the team, but he is once again an integral piece to the club's pursuit of a spot in the playoffs.

When Severino burst onto the scene as a starter last summer, he impressed with his electric stuff, but it was the poise he showed as a 21-year-old that seemed to separate him from other young pitchers. Severino's performance in 2015 aided the Yankees' run to their first postseason berth in two seasons and he looked to be the ace of the starting staff for years to come. Instead, Severino's path took a major detour.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

SNY: Postseason push makes patience with Yankees' rookies difficult

Photo: Arturo Pardavilla III
When the New York Yankees began trading away their best players before the non-waiver deadline, a postseason berth seemed years away. That sentiment seemed crystal clear when the Yankees handed starting jobs to Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge, two of the teams vaunted prospects.

The moves made (and still make) sense. Carlos Beltran was gone and the Yankees were getting limited production from veteran Brian McCann behind the plate. The Yankees also brought up Tyler Austin to split time with a struggling Mark Teixeira at first base and rookie utility man Ronald Torreyes also began to get more playing time.

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

SNY: Is it time to take the Yankees seriously?

Logo: SportsLogos.net
In a span of several days in late July, the New York Yankees traded their closer, were swept by the last-place Tampa Bay Rays and then traded their replacement closer and best hitter to that point in the season.

It was the correct approach, but one that typically signals that focus has shifted to next season. A month later, the Yankees might be a serious playoff contender.

The Yankees did exactly what a .500 team with little going its way should do at the trade deadline. They filled the organization with top-tier prospects, revamping their farm system and putting to rest the notion that they do not care about growing from within. The difference from other rebuilding processes: the Yankees refused to keep losing and look for a high draft pick.

Ownership, general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi said the team was not waving the white towel and the remaining Yankees in the clubhouse had no intention of packing it in. Even so, thinking one way and performing as such is another.

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