Category Archives: Stitched New York Yankees Jerseys

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The New York Yankees are doing nearly nothing. At the same time, they wait to see if they can re-sign DJ LeMahieu; they are not addressing their Major League need for a premium type starting pitcher. They need to replace Tommy Kahnle in the bullpen, but they have been quietly building strength in the minor leagues’ available pitchers. In November, the Yankees selected RHP Roansy Contreras and Alexander Vizcaino from Tampa Tarpons. During December, they assigned pitchers Matt Krook and Reggie McClain to the Yankees.

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In the mid-month of December, they signed pitchers Lucas Luetge, Luis Garcia, Matt Bowman, and Adam Warren, who previously pitched for the Yankees. During January, they have signed pitchers Nestor Cortes Jr., Tyler Lyons, James Reeves, and just yesterday, Jhoulys Chacin. Just this offseason, the Yankees have added 14 pitchers to the already 70 plus pitchers they have in the minor leagues, and that doesn’t include the rookies pitching in the Dominican Republic. It makes you wonder what the New York Yankees are up to.

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Some prospects are known from the second they are signed or drafted by the organization as players who will have a major impact on a team’s future. Others tend to fly under the radar after being drafted late, or fighting injuries early in their minor league career before positioning themselves as players that can contribute to a major league roster. Greg Weissert and Glenn Otto are two players who have worked their way through the organization without much fanfare, but could be on the verge of joining the Yankees as early as this coming season.

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Every year, Baseball America releases a list of the prospects with the “best tools” for each minor league system. You can generally expect to find the top prospects in a given system among the pitching list. This year, Luis Gil (fastball), Clarke Schmidt (curveball) and Alexander Vizcaino (changeup) were top pitching prospects credited with a “best pitch” in the system. With his prospect status in tact, it would not have been surprising to see Deivi García retain his position from the previous year’s list of best slider among Yankees minor leaguers. I honestly did a double-take when reading the list and saw Greg Weissert listed as the pitcher with the best slider in the system.

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Weissert was an 18th round draft pick out of Fordham University in 2016, and has never been highly regarded when it comes to prospect rankings. He has never made a top-30 Yankees’ prospect list for Baseball America, and FanGraphs did not have him listed among their top-54 Yankees prospects in 2020.

After working mostly as a starter in college, the Yankees moved him to the bullpen and he began a steady rise through the system, peaking with Double-A Trenton in 2019. Armed with the plus slider, he has consistently been able to miss bats while recording a 11.5 K/9 in four minor league seasons.

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Only once, a 12-game stretch with Low-A Charleston in 2016, have opponents hit better than .229 against the righty. Limiting hard contact and generating a lot of strikeouts is a recipe for success, but Weissert also has consistently missed the strike zone as well.

Many minor-league pitchers around baseball have used 2020 as an intense development period. Weissert was not at the alternate site and he did not pitch anywhere in 2020, but reports of improvement must have come from somewhere for him to be named to this list. Armed with a plus-slider, Weissert is at the upper levels of the system where even just a moderate improvement in his control could land him in the majors in short order.

As Weissert was pitching in his first full professional season, the Yankees drafted Glenn Otto with their fifth-round selection in 2017. After working as a closer for Rice University, the Yankees saw starter potential in the 6-foot 3-inch, 240-lb right-hander and moved him to a starter’s schedule every fifth day.

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Armed with a 12-6 curveball that generates swings and misses and a strong fastball, Otto produced outstanding strikeout rates. A blood clot in his shoulder cost him most of the 2018 season. He returned for about half of the 2019 season and recorded more good results for High-A Tampa. The Yankees thought enough of his performance to send him to the Arizona Fall League to log more innings in a prospect rich environment.

Otto performed well again in Arizona, striking out 26 batters in 24 innings and producing a 0.958 WHIP. The walks were once again a problem though, as he recorded a 4.9 BB/9.

Since the end of the 2019 season, the Yankees have added a number of their top pitching prospects to the 40-man roster. Pitchers like Clarke Schmidt, Deivi Garcia, Luis Gil, Luis Medina, Alexander Vizcaino and Roansy Contreras are all at a similar level or ahead of Otto in the Yankees system. Armed with a fastball, curveball combination the former college reliever could be a candidate to move fast if the Yankees move him back to the bullpen.

The Yankees have two relatively unheralded prospects that could move quickly through the system if things go well this year. Both Greg Weissert and Glenn Otto have a fastball, breaking ball combo that could play well out of the bullpen. The pitchers need to improve their control, but after a year of unseen development, that could be just what they have in store for hitters in 2021.

It appears at the moment that baseball is counting on a 162 game season that might possibly allow some fans in the stands at some point in the season. However, with the slow distribution of the new coronavirus vaccines, it doesn’t look as though those stands will return to full occupancy until very late in the season if then. The full health protocols and whether rules implemented last year will be continued yet to be seen.

However, after a 2020 canceled minor league season, there will be changes this season as well. It appears that the Triple-A season will start on time, but the lower levels will be delayed until the Triple-A players leave camp. This is obviously being done to increase social distancing and limit player interactions. There is no definite date set as of yet.

With the Yankees pitching needs, the New York Yankees will be watching all of these pitchers to see how they may contribute during the 2021 season. We know that Deivi Garcia will certainly be on the opening day roster. Depending on what the Yankees do to augment the every day pitching staff, fans will surely see Clarke Schmidt, Micheal King, Luis Gil, and Luis Medina at some point in the season. As far as the bullpen is concerned, the Yankees will have many arms to evaluate. Two relievers could come into play this season; Greg Weissert and Glenn Otto have worked their way up through the ranks.

A photo accompanying the article is of Yankee pitcher Luis Media who has have an excellent winter season in Puerto Rico.

Albert Abreu Jersey

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Losers of six of their last eight games, including a brutal walk-off loss on Tuesday in which they at one point led by six runs, Tigres del Licey have slipped out of the title race. They face a difficult climb to re-enter the picture – but a strong team effort on Wednesday at home over Gigantes del Cibao may be a sign of better things to come. Yankees’ top prospect Albert Abreu threw three scoreless, hitless innings to open the proceedings and the bullpen took it the rest of the way for a 4-0 win.

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Abreu’s Strong Showing

Abreu was nobody’s definition of dominant in his third start of the season for Licey. He struck out five in his three innings of work, but also walked four and struggled with deep counts and tenacious Gigantes hitters throughout. It took Abreu 66 pitches to navigate through the three frames, and almost none of his nine outs came easily.

Abreu’s most consistently solid offering was his slider, with which he recorded two of his five punchouts and four of his eleven whiffs. At his best, the tight-spinning breaking ball complemented his powerful heater and kept hitters off balance. At his worst, he spiked the slider a couple of times (including one wild pitch) and couldn’t control the fastball, missing catcher Sandy Leon’s targets. Nonetheless, it was an impressive showing, as Abreu proved that he could battle without his best stuff. I’m waiting for a consistently overpowering Abreu to show up for a whole night. It’ll be a sight to behold.

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The Yankees should see if Nationals reliever Daniel Hudson is available.
Here we are. The MLB Winter Meetings. The possibilities are endless as long as you have good scheduled Zoom chats. This will not be the annual event we are all accustomed to where players, agents and executives are in the same hotel and city looking to put pen to paper and make transactions.

But we should expect some movement because it is a scheduled event and we’re sure diligent parties out there have planned some discussions in regards to free agents and trades. You can bet the New York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman are ready to go.

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Assuming bullpen acquisitions are still at the forefront of the Yankees’ offseason plan and that the Nationals are perhaps keen on shedding some payroll in order to institute a mini re-tool, Cashman should call up Washington GM Mike Rizzo and check in on the availability of Daniel Hudson.

We know, big surprise, since we’ve been advocating for Max Scherzer for the last year.

Hudson signed a two-year contract with the Nats shortly after their World Series win and he’s set to earn $6 million in 2021. He earned that deal after a career year in 2019, which he spent with the Blue Jays and Nationals, but 2020 saw him regress back to his usual self, despite the fact it was a shortened campaign.

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Even with that astonishing ’19, the right-hander still owns a rather unsightly 4.20 ERA and 1.31 WHIP for his career as a reliever (in 339 games). But he does possess potential as a deemphasized piece in a stacked Yankees bullpen despite being 33 years old.

Hudson’s got a solid 3.82 FIP for his career and now sports four pitches: a four-seam fastball, slider, changeup and curveball, which he re-introduced in 2020 after not having thrown it since his days as a starter. With the Yankees losing two right-handers in Tommy Kahnle and Jonathan Holder, adding Hudson to pitch behind Chad Green, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman could see the veteran maximize his potential.

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And what do you know! The Yankees expressed interest in Hudson prior to the 2019 season, so there was something that intrigued Cashman. Why not see if the Nationals are willing to sell a bit low here after his poor 2020 (6.10 ERA in 21 games)? Washington was largely a mess after losing so many key guys to free agency and injuries, so we can’t pin that inefficiency on Hudson alone.

Perhaps trading 25-year-old Albert Abreu could get a deal done? The Nationals work wonders with their pitchers for the most part and the Yankees haven’t really found any usage for Abreu and his fastball. He’d have years of club control, and at worst would be a middle relief option for the Nats.

The Nats could also use some help in right field. Perhaps Estevan Florial could be an option? The asking price for Hudson can’t be too high, given his 2020 performance and his 2021 salary. Plus, he’ll only be a rental.

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But if the Yankees want to go for it all next season, they need more length in the bullpen, and Hudson has the experience and pedigree to be a worthwhile addition.

Quiet Nights for Florial, Sánchez

Elsewhere in DR, Gary Sánchez and Estevan Florial continued their campaigns. Sánchez was bound to cool off from his torrid weekend. His last couple of games have been nondescript; in Toros del Este’s 4-2 loss to Aguilas Cibaeñas on Wednesday, the Yankee catcher struck out twice, walked once, and lifted a fly ball to left. Meanwhile, in San Pedro de Macorís, Florial managed a hit in three plate appearances before being removed for a pinch hitter in the seventh inning of Leones del Escogido’s matchup with Estrellas Orientales.

News and Notes

Longtime Yankee pitching prospect Adonis Rosa, released in September after seven years in the organization, made his 2020 LIDOM debut for Gigantes, surrendering a run in one and third innings of work. Rosa made 16 appearances for Gigantes last year, including two starts, and pitched to a 2.81 ERA. The run charged to Rosa was inherited by his successor, Randy Rosario, who quickly served up a two-run homer to former Red Sox catcher Sandy León…Tigres is quickly bearing down on the halfway mark of this abbreviated season. They’ll play their 15th out of 30 games in a rivalry matchup with Aguilas on Friday. Thursday is a league-wide day off.