Yankees Wild Card game preview

Yankees Wild Card Preview

This is what we have all been waiting for. Postseason baseball: Yankees and Sox. This is the type of stuff that makes legends. Let’s get into it with a Yankees wild card game preview:

Yankees Wild Card Preview:

The Yankees have their ace on the mound. Today is the type of game you pay Gerrit Cole for. Cole has a 4.35 ERA in his last 7 games, which isn’t what we are used to with Cole. However, in his playoff career Cole has a 2.68 ERA. That is the number the Yankees want tonight.

On the other side, The Yankees take on Nathan Eovaldi — who they have notoriously struggled against — touting a .250 batting avg. against him. However, Anthony Rizzo has owned Eovaldi during his career batting at a .556 avg. Judge has also had success vs Eovaldi batting at a .400 mark with a 1.079 OPS.

Batting-wise, look for a big game from Giancarlo Stanton. Red hot at Fenway, Stanton had 10 RBIs and 3 HR in the last series there. Higgy will likely catch, Gary Sanchez may DH as Cole is pitching. Gleyber Torres will likely be leadoff per Aaron Boone filling in for the injured DJ Lemahieu. Expect Stanton, Joey Gallo, and Aaron Judge in the outfield. 

Narratives to Watch:

Cole isn’t Clutch:

Cole has struggled down the stretch when the Yankees have needed him most. People have begun saying Cole isn’t clutch because of this. I believe he will prove them all wrong tonight. 

Gardy and Gary’s last games as Yankees?

With Brett Gardner aging and Sanchez struggling, their time as Yankees is seemingly coming to an end. Gardy is not going to go out to the Red Sox in his final game. Look for big games from them, if either end up playing.

Judge is Bad in the Postseason:

After a rough postseason, people have forgotten how good a playoff Judge can be. Look for Judge to put the team on his back. Judge has 8 go-ahead hits in the 8th inning or later this year, tying a Yankee record. The most important of which was the walk-off Sunday vs the Rays. Hopefully, he can carry that momentum over to the Wild Card. 

Last Word:

THIS IS IT Y’ALL. The 2021 Yankees have been a roller-coaster. From triple plays to no-hitters, and even locker room turtles. This team has had it all! They have been easy to love but hard to watch. That will be true tonight, too. The season is on the line tonight. Beat Boston.

Jameson Taillon shines down the stretch

When the Yankees traded for Jameson Taillon in the off-season, they knew they had to be patient with him. He had not thrown a pitch since 2019 due to surgery to repair a flexor tendon and fix his UCL. He is under control through 2022 so they invested in his development and health beyond 2021.

Taillon had to shake off some rust early on and it showed. His numbers in the first half were not always pretty, posting a 4.90 ERA. His first half FIP and xFIP were 4.66 and 4.49 respectively. While his numbers looked bad Taillon was primed for positive regression as the season went on. His K/BB ratio of 3.58 and K/9 of 9.36 looked promising as well.

The second half is where Taillon has really started seeing results. In the second half Taillon posted an ERA of 1.53 in 35.1 innings pitched. Over the same span his FIP and xFIP are 3.23 and 4.86. His second half surge has been vital to the Yankees success since July, Taillon has been a rock during a time where multiple pitchers have missed time.

This good second half has turned this into a good season for Taillon. Taillon is 7-4 with a 3.89 ERA in 118 innings pitched this season. His FIP and xFIP now sit at 4.24 and 4.60 respectively and his SIERA is now 4.26. He is getting strikeouts with an 8.85 K/9 and 3.31 K/BB ratio. There is room for improvement, but it is refreshing to see Taillon benefit from his hard work.

Looking Ahead

Taillon takes the mound on Thursday to face the Twins where the Yankees look to continue their recent surge. He has faced the Twins twice in his career going 1-1 with a 3.97 ERA in 11.1 innings with 13 strikeouts. Taillon is a big arm for the Yankees down the stretch.

Luis Gil shines with six scoreless innings in his MLB Debut

On Tuesday night the Yankees called upon their number six prospect to help win a game they desperately needed. The Yankees have ground to make up and losing a series to Baltimore at home is not something they could afford at this point. With the latest news of Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery hitting the COVID IL, the Yankees needed to call on Luis Gil to make his Major League debut.

Luis Gil showed up in a big way and impressed Yankee fan with his stellar performance. In six innings of scoreless work Gil allowed four hits and one walk while striking out six Orioles. Gil, who was just called up to AAA mid-season was asked to start in the MLB on short notice. In his outing Gil had a 1.66 FIP and a 3.73 SIERA which paints a solid picture of how effective he was.

Gil came in to make a start on short notice and gave the Yankees more than they could ask for. The Yankees are in the middle of a stretch of seventeen straight games without an off day. Every day the Yankees can save the bullpen matters down the stretch. Gil came out firing from the first inning on and kept this game a blowout. This eased the pressure off of the rest of the team. Gil was impressive and should be worth another look if the Yankees find themselves needing a starter down the stretch.

The Yankees sent Luis Gil down to the minors following his start last night. He is expected to be called up again to start the next time his spot in the rotation comes up. Gil will continue his efforts help the Yankees hold the fort while they are missing Cole or Montgomery.

Yankees Trade Deadline Grades

The Deadline has come and gone and the Yankees made a plethora of trades. The ATB Yankees team is here to give you their thoughts on Cashman’s week. Luke, Sanket, and Peter will all be grading every trade made by The Yankees this week.

Yankees receive RHP Clay Holmes from Pirates for Hoy Park and Diego Castillo.

Luke’s Grade: B+

Listen, Hoy Park is my guy, but this was a great move. With rumors that the analytics department hates him, it was best for him to get move. I hope Hoy Park succeeds with he struggling Pirates. Holmes is a contact manager, something the Yankees needed, Holmes will thrive in our bullpen. This is a great trade for the Yankees

Peter’s Grade: B-

This is not the most exciting trade the Yankees have made, but it adds an arm with a good potential to the pen. Holmes, who is 28 will not be a free agent until 2025. Holmes has struggled this year but has a SIERA of 3.72 on the year and 3.78 FIP. His high groundball rate of 73.1% is what stood out to the Yankees the most as they try to stock up on arms that keep the ball on the ground. The Yankees sold high on Park, who is 25 and hitting .327 at AAA Scranton prior to the trade. As for Castillo he is a 23-year-old lower-level prospect who has a .682 OPS in his 6-year minor league career. Overall, the Yankees traded two players who likely did not have a future in New York for a controlled reliever who can offer immediate help.

Sanket’s Grade: B

I know many fans were upset to see Hoy Park leave considering the fact that’s he’s been raking in the minors. However, there was no place for him on the major league infield. He has some experience in the OF, but not enough to where he can be trusted. Getting back Clay Holmes, who has the highest ground ball percentage in MLB, was great especially considering the next move that the front office made.

Yankees trade LHP Justin Wilson and RHP Luis Cessa to the Reds for a player to be named later.

Luke’s Grade: B-

This trade its self, stunk. However, if you look at it with the Holmes trade this is a good move. The Yankees wanted to trade Wilson, Cessa is collateral. A PTBNL is a clear sign of a salary dump. This opened up room for the rest of the trades the Yankees made. Cessa’s goodbye message made me tear up a bit not going to lie.

Peter’s Grade: C-

This trade looks to be a pure salary dump of Wilson’s $2.6M AAV and attaching Cessa to make it worthwhile for the Reds. There is not much to say about this other than it allowed the Yankees more flexibility to make moves and stay under the luxury tax number. Hal Steinbrenner has been adamant about resetting the tax penalty this season and this allowed them to do that. The only reason this is a C- and not a D or F is because of the moves that followed.

Sanket’s Grade: B-

Getting rid of the contract of Justin Wilson was a huge plus for Brian Cashman. Wilson had been struggling this year and had a player option for next year. This trade gets a B because the Yankees had to throw in Cessa to get the Reds to accept but it is a price worth paying. The addition of Holmes helps to cancel out the loss of Cessa. 

Yankees acquire OF Joey Gallo and LHP Joely Rodriguez from the Rangers for RHP Glenn Otto, 2B Josh Smith, SS Ezequiel Duran and 2B Trevor Hauver. 

READ MORE: YANKEES GET GALLO

Luke’s Grade: A+

I have been peddling the Gallo wagon for a long time. Finally it happened and we gave up a lot less than I thought. Gallo was in a slump before he got traded so it’s going to take him some time to get going. As for the prospects the Yankees gave up, none were super amazing, it only hurts because of how many there were.

Peter’s Grade: A

The Yankees did not have to part ways with a top 10 prospect and got the Rangers to eat money in the deal. Gallo has a wRC+ of 135 which would rank 2nd of Yankee starters while adding phenomenal outfield defense providing 14 DRS on the year. Gallo will slot into the top of the order nicely with his .374 OBP and provides a lefty bat the Yankees desperately need. The Yankees also acquired Joely Rodriguez who has struggled this year with a 5.93 ERA. Much like Holmes the Yankees are counting on him bouncing back and look to his groundball rate of 63.9% and a 3.41 SIERA. He will also fill the role of a lefty specialist after Justin Wilson’s departure. As for the prospects given up, they all have solid potential, but it is a win for the Yankees.

Sanket’s Grade: A+

Brian Cashman did not hesitate when trying to acquire Joey Gallo. He got the much needed left handed power bat for the Yankees. A huge plus is also that Gallo plays exceptional defense in the OF and has a great arm. The Yankees also get back Joely Rodriguez, a LHP that can be an option for them in the bullpen. They gave up 4 prospects who were buried down in the system, but are thought of very highly by executives and scouts. A balanced trade for both teams.

Yankees trade for 1B Anthony Rizzo from the Cubs for RHP Alexander Vizcaino and CF Kevin Alcantara.

Luke’s Grade: A-

This trade is as fair as fair gets. Yankees get a veteran who has been to the big show, the Cubs get 2 guys to start their rebuild. Rizzo’s defenses is a consistency the Yankees needed, and is first weekend has made him a cult hero in NYC. People are already calling for him to be extended and I agree.

Peter’s Grade: B+

Rizzo is slashing .256/.358/.470 with 16 home runs and a 124 wRC+ on the season and should only improve playing in Yankee Stadium. The addition allows them to give some players more rest down the stretch and DH Luke Voit and move Stanton to LF which is a position the Yankees have lacked production from. To get Rizzo the Yankees parted with RHP Alexander Vizcaino and CF Kevin Alcantara. Vizcaino is a 24-year-old starting pitcher with a career minor league ERA of 4.95. As for Alcantara he seems to be the main piece Chicago wanted. The 19-year-old OF is slashing .357/.455/.500 in the minors and had drawn attention from fans and teams in 2021. Rizzo has made quite the impression this past weekend by playing a big part in all 3 wins, but I will grade this a B+ because as of right now Rizzo is a true rental.

Sanket’s Grade: A

Wow. Almost nobody saw this coming. Throughout the week it seemed as if Rizzo was headed for BOS due to their need of a 1B. Instead, the Yankees swooped in and nabbed the lefty first baseman. Having two powerful left handed hitters is a huge plus for a Yankees lineup that’s been right hand dominant for the past few years. The Yankees likely shifted to Rizzo after talks with the Rockies for Trevor Story weren’t progressing anywhere. Great job by Brian Cashman. 

Yankees acquire LHP Andrew Heaney from the Angels RHP Janson Junk and RHP Elvis Peguero.

Luke’s Grade: C-

I mean. I’ll give the guy a chance… but a guy with a high ERA for two decent prospects feel wrong. I really have nothing to say other than we need Heaney to step up with Cole and Monty out now.

Peter’s Grade: C+

This is another case of the Yankees buying low on an arm they think will bounce back down the stretch. Heaney has a 5.27 ERA in 94 innings in 2021, but his SIERA is 3.72 and his FIP is 4.05 so there is reason to believe he will improve. Heaney will be slotted into the rotation for the time being and will likely stay in a spot starter or long relief role once Luis Severino and Domingo German return from injury. Peguero and Junk are both having solid seasons in 2021, but they still rank below several Yankee pitching prospects and were not highly touted arms. The Yankees added someone who can eat innings at the least and could even develop into an effective arm down the stretch at a low cost. It is not a fancy move, but one that fans might look back on in a few months.

Sanket’s Grade: C+

Many fans thought the Yankees would make a splash move for a high end starting pitcher or another bat. Instead, Brian Cashman gets Andrew Heaney. Heaney does not have a good ERA this season but he does have some potential to be a quality starter in the Yankees rotation until Severino and Kluber come back. I would expect him to become a long reliever for the Yankees later in the season. The Yankees likely had their eyes on Jose Berrios, but weren’t willing to one up the Toronto Blue Jays who gave up their #2 and #4 prospects to get him. 

The trade deadline was a success. Now the Yankees make look to make a playoff push as the season comes to a close.

BREAKING: Yankees Swoop in and Grab Rizzo

In a shocking move, the Yankees steal Anthony Rizzo right out of the hands of Boston. The Cubs 1st baseman is New York bound.

What did the Yankees give up?

The Yankees dealt RHP Alexander Vizcaino (NYY No. 9 prospect) and OF Kevin Alcantara (No. 12) to Cubs for Rizzo, while Chicago will pay the $6.5 million of Rizzo’s 2021 salary.

It’s more than we gave up for Gallo, quality wise. However, it makes sense as we only had to give up 2 prospects.

Why did the Yankees make this move?

Likely to do two thing. Stop the Red Sox from getting Rizzo, as they dragged their feet on making the move. Also to move on from Voit who so 31, injury prone, and looking for a new contract.

What’s next?

Look for Luke Voit to be traded tonight. Likely for a bullpen arm. I have been told there are still 2 trades that could be made. I’ll have more on the on twitter @ATB_Yankees.