Results tagged ‘ Yankees ’

SimSeason: The 2015 Yankees, September

Out of the Park BaseballIt’s time for our fourth installment of our just-for-fun projection of the 2015 season, as run through the newest edition of Out of the Park Baseball, licensed by MLB.com. If you missed the first two posts, here’s our ground rules and what happened in April, and here’s how May and June went. Yesterday was July and August. If you want to get in the driver’s seat for your own GM/managing experience, OOTP 16 is available now for PC and Mac.

Checking In… Sept. 1, 2015

Boston

There’s a crisp in the air here at Fenway Park as the visiting clubhouse is becoming even more tough to navigate. Rosters expanded this morning and the Yankees have summoned several reinforcements from the Minors. Andrew Bailey, Chase Whitley, Jose Ramirez and Bryan Mitchell are up to supplement the pitching staff, while Jacoby Ellsbury and Slade Heathcott have been activated from the DL. Greg Bird was recalled, and the Yanks purchased the contract of Nick Noonan, who had a good year down at Triple-A. Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine are also here.

You probably wouldn’t have thought it this summer, but the Yanks have fought into playoff position at 70-60 (.538). They’re 4 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay (75-56), but well ahead of the third-place Red Sox (63-68), who started the season well but have had a rash of pitching problems. New York leads the Wild Card chase by a game over the White Sox (69-61), with the Mariners (67-65) three games off the pace.

How’d they do it? Great pitching all year, especially from Masahiro Tanaka (12-6, 3.38) and Michael Pineda (12-8, 3.41). CC Sabathia has been healthy (7-12, 4.24) and I really feel like Nathan Eovaldi (8-15, 4.93) has pitched better than his record. The bullpen has been a force, paced by Dellin Betances (31 saves, 1.49). Like Kansas City last year, if the Yanks get a lead to the sixth inning, they’re shaking hands more often than not after nine.

It’s getting those leads that has been the issue. They’re 13th in the AL with 518 runs scored and dead last with a .232 batting average. Their .310 on-base percentage ranks 14th, but the call-ups have added a spark. Brett Gardner leads the team with a .252 average, while Brian McCann paces the way with 20 homers and 62 RBIs. The Yanks should get Andrew Miller back in four days and, if Carlos Beltran returns in two weeks, they might actually have their Opening Day lineup back on the field.


In our sim of the 2015 season, CC Sabathia has taken the ball every fifth day without any health issues, which is exactly what the Yankees needed from him.

In our sim of the 2015 season, CC Sabathia has taken the ball every fifth day without any health issues, which is exactly what the Yankees needed from him.

Well, I spoke too soon. A-Rod sprained his ankle running the bases in a 9-3 win on Sept. 1. He’ll avoid the DL since rosters are expanded, but it looks like he’ll miss three weeks. … Masahiro Tanaka improved to 13-6 with 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a 6-0 win over the Rays Sept. 4. … Michael Pineda bumped his record to 13-8 with seven strong innings to beat the Rays, 8-1, on Sept. 5, and CC Sabathia threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings on Sept. 6 as the Yanks celebrate a sweep of Tampa Bay. Austin Romine homered and they’re just a half game off the AL East lead. …

New York (75-61) takes over first place with a 4-3 win over the Orioles on Sept. 7. Greg Bird’s two-run single in the ninth decides it. … The Yanks make it a 1-1/2 game lead with a 7-0 win over Baltimore on Sept. 8. Gary Sanchez hits his first MLB homer, off T.J. McFarland. … It’s a 2-1/2 game lead on Sept. 9 as the Yanks finish off the sweep of the O’s, posting a 6-2 decision for their sixth straight win. Bird and Jones homer off Ubaldo Jimenez to back Tanaka’s 14th win. …  A five-run eighth lifts the Yanks to a 10-5 win on Sept. 10 vs. Toronto, as Evan Reed issues two bases-loaded walks, then throws a wild pitch.

The Yanks (79-63) split the four-game set with Toronto while the fading Rays (75-67) lose their 11th straight, falling four games back in the East. Yanks’ magic number is 17. … Tanaka dominates in a 6-0 win at The Trop on Sept. 14, hurling 8 2/3 innings of scoreless, two-hit ball with 10 strikeouts. The Yanks improve to 80-63. … Tampa Bay snaps its 12-game losing streak on Sept. 15 as Alex Cobb out-pitches Michael Pineda, 6-0, then get to Dellin Betances in the ninth on Sept. 16 as Evan Longoria singles home the game-winner. It’s Betances’ third blown save. … At Citi Field on Sept. 18, Nathan Eovaldi throws another clunker as the Yanks lose, 5-2. They remain 2-1/2 up in the East. …

Chris Young started our 2015 season sim as a fourth outfielder, but injuries to Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran have forced him into a more prominent role.

Chris Young started our 2015 season sim as a fourth outfielder, but Jacoby Ellsbury’s lingering injury issues have forced him into a more prominent role. He has provided some big hits despite a low batting average.

Chris Young’s RBI double lifts the Yanks to a 3-2 victory over the Mets on Sept. 19. Tanaka improves to 16-6 and Dellin Betances logs save No. 33 as the Yanks stay 2-1/2 up on Tampa Bay, with a magic number of 13. … Matt Harvey out-pitches Ivan Nova on Sept. 20 as the Mets take two of three in this leg of the Subway Series. The Rays also lose, so the lead remains 2 1/2 … Brian McCann’s 13th-inning RBI single off Matt West lifts the Yanks to a wild 7-6 win on Sept. 21 at Rogers Centre. Esmil Rogers picks up his second win with two innings of scoreless relief.

The Yanks (82-67) remain 2 1/2 up on Tampa Bay (80-70). … New York loses the last two games to Toronto by scores of 6-2 and 6-3, trimming the lead to 1 1/2 games. Poor Nathan Eovaldi falls to 8-19. … A five-run ninth inning lifts the Yankees to a 7-6 win over the White Sox on Sept. 25. Garrett Jones walks it off with a three-run homer. Jose Ramirez gets the win as the Yanks’ lead is back to 2 1/2, magic number of eight. … Nova takes the loss in a 6-1 decision to Chicago on Sept. 25 as the Rays close within 1 1/2 … Pineda is spanked for 12 hits by the White Sox in a 4-2 loss on Sept. 26. The lead is now just a half-game as the Yanks (83-71) are 3-7 in their last 10 games. …

Carlos Beltran's two-run, game-tying double off Alexi Ogando on Sept. 29  was one of the the Yanks' biggest hits of the year.

Carlos Beltran’s two-run, game-tying double off Alexi Ogando on Sept. 29 was one of the the Yanks’ biggest hits of the year.

Chicago’s Jordan Danks holds the Yanks to a run over seven innings in a 6-1 loss on Sept. 27. Sabathia gets thumped. Tampa Bay also loses, reducing the Yanks’ magic number to seven. … It’s all tied in the East as the Yanks lose to the Red Sox, 10-3, on Sept. 28. New York and Tampa Bay hold identical 83-73 records. … Carlos Beltran’s two-run double off Alexi Ogando in the eighth inning Sept. 29 is arguably the Yanks’ biggest hit of the year. Mark Teixeira follows with an RBI single off Junichi Tazawa and Dellin Betances slams the door in the ninth as the Yanks beat Boston, 9-6. They remain even with the Rays at 84-73. …

Brett Gardner’s 11th inning double off Koji Uehara sets off a wild celebration in the Bronx on Sept. 30, scoring Stephen Drew to lift the Yankees to a 3-2 win over Boston. The Yanks and Rays remain tied for the AL East lead, at 85-73.

Checking In… Oct. 1, 2015

Greetings from New York CityHello from Yankee Stadium, where we have seen some incredible baseball in front of packed houses over the last few days. While it seems pretty assured that the Yankees will be playing in the postseason, ending their two-year drought, the division is still very much up for grabs. Joe Girardi keeps talking about how it is hugely important to win the division and not put yourself in a situation where you’re the second Wild Card, guaranteed only to extend your season for nine innings. We’ll know if they can hold off Tampa Bay and accomplish that goal soon. 

This is a good time to promise to everyone still reading that, yes, I stuck to the ground rules of the simulation and did not alter the settings to help the Yankees. This is just what happened. “You can’t predict baseball,” as John Sterling would say.

Tomorrow … the playoff tickets have been printed and sold. What happens next?

Spring Game 30: Yankees vs. Rays

Chase Whitley is making his seventh appearance (second start) of the spring on Wednesday.

Chase Whitley is making his seventh appearance (second start) of the spring on Wednesday.

Hello from George M. Steinbrenner Field, where the end of spring is near. The players’ cars have been loaded on the truck, the clubhouse is emptying out and we are officially in the home stretch. They say Spring Training is about a week too long, and you can tell the players are ready to play in some games that count. But first, the Yanks and the Rays will lock up this afternoon in a game that is being televised on YES.

Jacoby Ellsbury is playing in his first spring game since March 15, having logged five at-bats in a Minor League game yesterday with the Double-A Trenton squad. Didi Gregorius isn’t playing yet due to some swelling in his left wrist, but otherwise, this looks like the Opening Day lineup. Chase Whitley gets the start against Jordan Norberto.

A good sign for Gregorius’ wrist: Sir Didi is listed on the travel roster for tomorrow’s game against the Tigers in Lakeland. Upcoming pitching announced by the Yankees to wrap the spring — Michael Pineda faces A.J. Burnett tomorrow here, Bryan Mitchell faces the Tigers in Lakeland. On April 3, CC Sabathia faces Stephen Strasburg at Steinbrenner Field, and on April 4 in Washington, Nathan Eovaldi takes on Doug Fister.

Here are the lineups:

RAYS (12-12-2)
John Jaso DH
Logan Forsythe 2B
Asdrubal Cabrera SS
Desmond Jennings LF
James Loney 1B
Rene Rivera C
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Brandon Guyer RF
Juan Francisco 3B

Jordan Norberto LHP

In relief: Grant Balfour, Kirby Yates

YANKEES (15-13-1)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Stephen Drew 2B
Brendan Ryan SS

Chase Whitley RHP

In relief: Esmil Rogers, Chasen Shreve, Andrew Bailey

SimSeason: The 2015 Yankees, July and August

Out of the Park BaseballToday, we’ll enter the third installment of our just-for-fun projection of the 2015 season, as run through the newest edition of Out of the Park Baseball, licensed by MLB.com. If you missed the first two posts, here’s our ground rules and what happened in April, and here’s how May and June went. If you want to get in the driver’s seat for your own GM/managing experience, OOTP 16 is available now for PC and Mac.

To quickly reset for the morning of July 1, it’s not going very well. The Yankees are 36-42 (.462) and in fourth place, 7 1/2 games back, trailing Boston (44-35), Tampa Bay (42-37) and Toronto (38-41). Their 270 runs scored, .221 average and .297 on-base percentage are dead last in the AL. Mark Teixeira is out another five to six weeks with a wrist injury and Jacoby Ellsbury is out for at least eight more weeks with a hamstring injury. Brett Gardner leads the team with a .271 average and 34 RBIs, while Chase Headley and Brian McCann are tied for the team lead with nine homers.

The pitching has kept them in it. Michael Pineda is 9-5 with a 2.26 ERA, Masahiro Tanaka is 6-4 with a 3.34 ERA, and while CC Sabathia hasn’t been great (5-9, 4.33 ERA), he has been healthy and reliable. CC has 75 strikeouts, one behind Pineda for the team lead. Dellin Betances has been great in the closer’s role, posting a 2.08 ERA and 17 saves in 18 chances. The Yanks’ starters own a 3.99 ERA, 6th in the AL, and their bullpen ERA of 3.52 is fourth in the AL.

Here we go into July…

In our 2015 season sim, Alex Rodriguez stroked his 3,000th hit on July 3 off Tampa Bay's Ronald Belisario, but then sprained his ankle running the bases and was placed on the DL.

In our 2015 season sim, Alex Rodriguez stroked his 3,000th hit on July 3 off Tampa Bay’s Ronald Belisario, but then sprained his ankle running the bases and was placed on the DL.

The Yanks have to keep winning when Tanaka is on the mound. Jose Pirela and Brian McCann hit three-run homers to support the ace in a 10-5 win over the Rays on July 3. … Alex Rodriguez, are you kidding me? A-Rod logged his 3,000th career hit, a single to left field, off the Rays’ Ronald Belisario on July 3 at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won, 10-5. You can’t make this up, though — running the bases after the hit, A-Rod tried to score from second base on a Brendan Ryan single to left. He made it home, but sprained his ankle in the process and will now limp to the disabled list for five weeks. The newest member of the 3,000 hit club is batting .215 (61-for-284) with eight homers and 23 RBIs.

Looking for a power boost, the Yankees called up Greg Bird, who leads the RailRiders with 14 homers and 51 RBIs … Oakland’s Scott Kazmir shuts out the Yankees on three hits June 7 in The Bronx, as Eovaldi falls to 4-12 with a 5.15 ERA … Bird notches his first two MLB hits in a 3-2 win over the A’s on June 9, then goes 3-for-4 in a 5-4 win at Boston the next night … The AL All-Star teams are announced. Congratulations to Michael Pineda (9-6, 2.46) and Dellin Betances (3-0, 20 SV, 1.83 ERA). The Yanks have no position player representatives. … The Yanks reach the All-Star break as Eovaldi spins an eight-inning, one-run gem at Fenway on June 12. Bird has three hits in the 4-1 win.

Checking in… July 15, 2015

Greetings From CincinnatiGreetings from Cincinnati, where my post All-Star Game flight has been delayed by a band of ugly thunderstorms in the Midwest. The Yanks will return from the break holding a 43-45 (.489) record, good for third place in the AL East, 4 1/2 games behind the Red Sox (48-41). They’re also looking up at the Rays (47-44), but they’re in the Wild Card chase — the White Sox (48-40) and Tampa Bay have a 2 1/2 game lead on them in that department.

Greg Bird and Slade Heathcott have been fun to watch, giving a shot of life to an offense that desperately needed it. They’ll need that to continue, with Mark Teixeira, Jacoby Ellsbury and now A-Rod all on the DL. I still can’t believe A-Rod was injured running the bases after his 3,000th hit. One way or another, the spotlight really does always seem to find that guy.

Back to business…

Garrett Jones is providing the Yankees with a midseason power boost as he fills in for the injured Mark Teixeira.

Garrett Jones is providing the Yankees with a midseason power boost as he fills in for the injured Mark Teixeira.

The Yanks opened the second half with their fifth straight win on July 17, beating the Mariners 8-4 behind another good Tanaka outing. … They’re back to .500 on July 18, beating Seattle 8-6. Stephen Drew is Suzyn’s Player of the Game. … Pineda picks up his 10th win July 19 as the Yanks sweep the Mariners and beat Felix Hernandez. Garrett Jones has three hits and drives in four runs in the 7-3 win, their seventh straight. … The win streak ends July 21 vs. Baltimore, but Ivan Nova bounces back with an 8-1/3 inning gem on July 22, a 6-0 win over the Birds on a rainy night in New York. Tanaka then beats Baltimore on July 23 to improve to 10-4 with a 3.15 ERA. 24th save for Dellin Betances (1.67 ERA). …

With the media buzzing about the Wild Card chase, the Yanks flop in Minneapolis, getting swept in a three-game series by scores of 1-0, 8-7 and 8-2 to fall below .500 at 48-49. They’re still just two games behind Chicago and Boston. … They end the skid and get back to .500 July 27 at Texas, as McCann homers twice, driving in five runs and scoring four in a 14-1 laugher. … Tanaka wins again on July 28, improving to 11-4 with a 3.12 ERA in a 4-2 win over Yovani Gallardo and the Rangers. Betances gets save No. 25… Sabathia falls to 5-11 with a 4.45 ERA, knocked out by the Rangers after three innings in an 8-6 loss July 29. …

The MRI results come back on Carlos Beltran July 31, and they’re not good. He’ll miss seven weeks with a torn ankle ligament. Here’s where ‘Brian Cashman’ would probably be burning up the phones at the Trade Deadline, but not in our alternate reality. These Yanks have to deal from within, and so Refsnyder returns – Ramon Flores was playing well at Triple-A, but this team is way too lefty-heavy as it is. They should get some help off the DL soon, though.

Checking in… August 1, 2015

Greetings From ChicagoGreetings from my room at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, where I just opened two fun e-mails from MLB PR. Masahiro Tanaka is the AL Pitcher of the Month for July after going 5-0 with a 2.52 ERA in five starts, striking out 34 in 35 2/3 innings. He’s 11-4 with a 3.12 ERA overall. The other nod is for Slade Heathcott, who was named AL Rookie of the Month for July after hitting .342 with 27 hits, one homer and 14 RBIs in 20 games.

Morale has improved around the club. They haven’t played up to expectations and some guys are missing, but the other teams in the race are flawed too. Joe Girardi seems optimistic. They’re 51-50 (.505) on this sunny Saturday, 1 1/2 games behind the division-leading Rays (54-50) and a half game behind the Red Sox (53-51). In the Wild Card chase, they’re going head-to-head with the White Sox (58-44) tonight and are just a half-game behind Boston.

Pitching is the key to the kingdom, Brian Cashman keeps saying, and the Yankees have that. Michael Pineda is 11-6 with a 2.88 ERA, pacing a rotation that has compiled a 4.04 ERA (fourth in the AL), and the bullpen has a very good 3.67 ERA. Dellin Betances is 26-for-27 in save chances with a 1.59 ERA. The call-ups have helped the offense, but they’re still dead last in runs scored (389), average (.229) and ranked 13th in on-base percentage (.307). Brett Gardner’s .266 average leads the team, while Brian McCann paces the club in homers (12) and RBIs (45).

Here comes August…

Injuries have provided Rob Refsnyder with an opportunity to make a big league impact.

Injuries have provided infield prospect Rob Refsnyder with an opportunity to make a big league impact.

August begins with another Eovaldi loss, as he falls to 5-15. He didn’t pitch poorly (3 ER in 5.1 IP), but the Yanks managed just five hits in a 6-0 loss to Chris Sale on the South Side. Back to .500 again. … In the rubber game, Refsnyder has three hits to support Nova in a 5-4 win on Aug. 2. …  A big three-game showdown vs. Boston begins with a tough one on Aug. 4, as Boston’s Brandon Workman outduels Tanaka. … Betances blows just his second save chance on Aug. 5, allowing a RBI double to Blake Swihart, but Refsnyder slaps the game-winning single in the 9th off Edward Mujica as the Yanks (53-52) grab second place from Boston. … The Yanks then take the rubber game Aug. 6 in dramatic fashion, as Chase Headley singles home Refsnyder with the winning run facing Koji Uehara in the 11th. … They make it three in a row behind Eovaldi on Aug. 7 at Toronto …

A-Rod returns from the DL on Aug. 8, and Twitter nearly melts down as the Yanks option Bird back to Triple-A. Bird was batting .286 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 20 games. A-Rod goes 2-for-4 in a 4-3 loss to the Jays (career hits 3,001 and 3,002, if you’re counting). … Adam Warren, David Carpenter and Chris Capuano melt down for five runs in the eighth on Aug. 9, but Slade Heathcott saves the day with a 10th-inning, walk-off homer facing Marco Estrada. Yanks beat Toronto, 6-5. … Heathcott goes on the DL Aug. 10 with a scratched cornea – really – and Teixeira is activated. Jose Pirela was optioned to Triple-A for Ramon Flores before the Yanks beat the Rangers, 7-6, on Brett Gardner’s 10th inning RBI single. …

Brian McCann hit his team-leading 13th homer on Aug. 13 at Cleveland, giving the Yankees a four-game lead for the second Wild Card spot.

Brian McCann hit his team-leading 13th homer on Aug. 13 at Cleveland, giving the Yankees a four-game lead for the second Wild Card spot.

McCann hits his team-leading 13th homer to support Sabathia (6-11) in a 7-2 win on Aug. 11 at Cleveland as the Yanks (58-53) move four games up of Boston (55-58), holding the second Wild Card spot. … A-Rod and Headley hit their 11th homers as the Yanks beat the Indians, 6-5, on Aug. 12 to improve to 59-53 and move into a virtual tie with Tampa Bay for first place in the AL East. … A 3-2 loss on Aug. 13 to Zach McAllister and the Tribe denies the Yanks a fifth straight win. They fall 1/2 game back. … Tanaka can’t make it out of the fourth inning in a 5-4 loss at Toronto Aug. 14. Flores hits his first MLB homer in the defeat. … Refsnyder drives in four runs in a 12-7 win at Toronto Aug. 15. … The Yanks take the series finale at Rogers Centre Aug. 16 in 14 innings, 5-4. Garrett Jones knocks in the go-ahead run with a single off Marco Estrada. …

Eovaldi beats the Twins Aug. 17 to improve to 7-15 with a 5.09 ERA … Chris Young’s eighth-inning RBI single lifts the Yanks to a 3-2 win over Minnesota Aug. 18, their fourth straight win … A rainout necessitates a Aug. 21 doubleheader. It’s a miserable day as the Yanks lose both ends to the Indians, 11-0 and 6-0, then place Andrew Miller on the DL with biceps tendinitis. He’s expected to miss 1-2 weeks. Chasen Shreve has been pitching well at AAA and is recalled. … Eovaldi wins again on Aug. 22, beating Cleveland 4-3. Jones and Drew homer. … Nova is pounded for six runs in three innings Aug. 23, a 12-2 loss to the Indians. …

The Yanks sweep Houston in a three-game series by scores of 7-5, 7-4 and 7-4, powered by McCann’s three homers in the series to improve to 67-59. They have a 4 1/2 game lead over Seattle for the second Wild Card. … Young’s two-run double in the 12th off Luis Avilan lifts New York to a 4-2 win at Atlanta on Aug. 28. … Tanaka handcuffs the Braves to a run and five hits over eight innings in a 2-1 win Aug. 29. … The Yanks sweep Atlanta behind Ivan Nova’s complete game, 6-1, on Aug. 30. … August concludes with a 5-3 loss to Eduardo Rodriguez and the Red Sox at Fenway.

Checking In… Sept. 1, 2015

BostonThere’s a crisp in the air here at Fenway Park as the visiting clubhouse is becoming even more tough to navigate. Rosters expanded this morning and the Yankees have summoned several reinforcements from the Minors. Andrew Bailey, Chase Whitley, Jose Ramirez and Bryan Mitchell are up to supplement the pitching staff, while Jacoby Ellsbury and Slade Heathcott have been activated from the DL. Greg Bird was recalled, and the Yanks purchased the contract of Nick Noonan, who had a good year down at Triple-A. Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine are also here.

You probably wouldn’t have thought it this summer, but the Yanks have fought into playoff position at 70-60 (.538). They’re 4 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay (75-56), but well ahead of the third-place Red Sox (63-68). New York leads the Wild Card chase by a game over the White Sox (69-61), with the Mariners (67-65) three games off the pace.

How’d they do it? Great pitching all year, especially from Masahiro Tanaka (12-6, 3.38) and Michael Pineda (12-8, 3.41). CC Sabathia has been healthy (7-12, 4.24) and I really feel like Nathan Eovaldi (8-15, 4.93) has pitched better than his record. The bullpen has been a force, paced by Dellin Betances (31 saves, 1.49). Like Kansas City last year, if the Yanks get a lead to the sixth inning, they’re shaking hands more often than not after nine.

It’s getting those leads that has been the issue. They’re 13th in the AL with 518 runs scored and dead last with a .232 batting average. Their .310 on-base percentage ranks 14th, but the call-ups have added a spark. Brett Gardner leads the team with a .252 average, while Brian McCann paces the way with 20 homers and 62 RBIs. The Yanks should get Andrew Miller back in four days and, if Carlos Beltran returns in two weeks, they might actually have their Opening Day lineup back on the field.

Tomorrow, the 2015 Yankees wander into September and … dare we say it … October?

Spring Game 29: Yankees at Twins

Masahiro TanakaHello from Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla., where Masahiro Tanaka is set to make his final tune-up before taking the Opening Day assignment on April 6. Tanaka opted for the 2-1/2 hour ride over pitching at the Minor League complex because he wanted the increased intensity of facing a big league lineup. Tanaka is set to throw 75 pitches, and this game is on FSNO-HD.

Back in Tampa, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran are playing in a Minor League game at the Himes Avenue complex. This marks Ellsbury’s first game action since March 15 due to his oblique injury, but the Yankees have been confident all along that Ellsbury will be ready for Opening Day. Adam Warren is starting in a Minor League game as well, being caught by John Ryan Murphy. There’s a lot you can read into that, even though Joe Girardi says he isn’t ready to name a fifth starter.

Other updates:

Didi Gregorius (left wrist strain) had “a little bit of swelling yesterday,” according to Girardi, who said that “we’ll try to work that out before we put him in.” The original plan was to play Gregorius on Wednesday, but it sounds like they won’t force it. Mark Teixeira (right knee bruise) will play Wednesday, Girardi said.

The decisions on the backup catcher and last two bullpen spots will probably “go down to the wire,” Girardi said. The catcher job is between Murphy and Austin Romine, who’s here today catching Tanaka. In the bullpen, the Yanks need to pick two from the group of Andrew Bailey, Chris Martin, Chasen Shreve and Chase Whitley.

Girardi seemed to tip his hand a bit today, saying that he would not carry Bailey unless he showed that he could pitch in back-to-back games, and that the Yankees aren’t going to rush him to do so. Martin has had a rough spring, so it’s possible those calls could go to Shreve (a third lefty, joining Andrew Miller and Justin Wilson) and Whitley as a second long man.

“I think it comes down to who we think is going to help us the most, is the bottom line,” Girardi said. “I don’t think you necessarily in your mind say I have to have a third lefty. Is it a luxury? Sure it is, but I think it’s who we think is going to help us the most.”

Here are the lineups:

YANKEES (15-12-1)
Brett Gardner LF
Brendan Ryan 3B
Chris Young CF
Garrett Jones 1B
Austin Romine C
Rob Refsnyder 2B
Ramon Flores RF
Nick Noonan SS
Eric Jagielo DH

RHP Masahiro Tanaka

In relief: Chris Martin, Danny Burawa, Chasen Shreve.

TWINS (11-14-2)
Jordan Schafer CF
Eduardo Escobar SS
Chris Herrmann RF
Kennys Vargas 1B
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Adam Brett Walker DH
Shane Robinson LF
Eric Fryer C
Doug Bernier 2B

LHP Tommy Milone

In relief: Glen Perkins, Mike Pelfrey, Casey Fien, D.J. Johnson, Zack Jones.

SimSeason: The 2015 Yankees, May and June

Welcome back to our just-for-fun projection of the 2015 season, as run through the newest edition of Out of the Park Baseball, licensed by MLB.com. If you missed the ground rules of our little exercise and the April 2015 recap, please click here and follow along. If you want to get in the driver’s seat for your own GM/managing experience, OOTP 16 is available now for PC and Mac.

On we go into May…

Nathan Eovaldi got off to an awful start in pinstripes. He fell to 0-5 on May 2, battered by the Red Sox for six runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. Run support has been part of the problem, I suppose, but Eovaldi is also sporting a 9.13 ERA. … Adam Warren was pounded for seven runs by the Blue Jays in a 15-1 rout May 4 … Michael Pineda continues to be excellent. He shuts the Jays out at Rogers Centre on May 5, 4-0, to log his fourth win. … Toronto’s Mark Buehrle beats the Yankees on May 7, 9-3, and celebrates his 200th victory … Jacoby Ellsbury (hamstring) returns to the lineup May 9 as Masahiro Tanaka pitches a three-hitter over Baltimore … Stephen Drew, batting .140, strains an oblique May 10. He’s out for five weeks, so this is a big opportunity for Jose Pirela. Meanwhile, Chris Capuano and Ivan Nova have begun their rehab assignments.

In our season sim, Alex Rodriguez hit his 660th career home run on May  12 at Tropicana Field, off the Rays' Matt Andriese.

In our season sim, Alex Rodriguez hit his 660th career home run on May 12 at Tropicana Field, off the Rays’ Matt Andriese.

Alex Rodriguez ties Willie Mays and logs that $6 million bonus when he hits his 660th career home run on May 12 at Tropicana Field, off Matt Andriese in a 3-0 Yankees win. Eovaldi logs his first Yankee victory that night. … Chase Headley homers twice in a 6-3 win over the Royals May 15, giving him five for the season … The Yankees make some roster moves on the May 18 off-day. Chasen Shreve (7.98 ERA) is optioned to Triple-A, Warren (1-4, 7.83) goes to the bullpen and Capuano is activated to join the rotation after three rehab starts. …

Tough one to swallow May 19 in Washington. Tanaka pitches six strong innings but David Carpenter serves up a three-run homer to Wilson Ramos in the eighth. Yankees lose, 5-4. … Death by bullpen again on May 20. This time, it’s Bryce Harper with a homer off Esmil Rogers in the eighth, spoiling Capuano’s debut. Nats win, 4-2. … The Yanks are happy to escape Washington, and Pineda keeps dealing May 22 vs. Texas. Backed by Headley’s four RBIs, Pineda does it all over nine innings, allowing an unearned run and three hits to improve to 6-2. …

Late magic in the Bronx on May 25. After Betances blows his first save in the ninth, Carlos Beltran hits a two-run, walk-off homer off Greg Holland in the 13th inning, beating the Royals 5-3 and ending an afternoon affair that spoiled our dinner reservations. … Didi Gregorius’ 12th inning RBI double off Evan Scribner leads the Yanks past the A’s, 3-2, on May 28 in Oakland. … More tough luck for Eovaldi on May 29. Another quality start of three earned runs and six innings, lowering his ERA to 5.96, but he falls to 1-9 when the Yanks are handcuffed by the A’s Jesse Hahn and Sean Doolittle. … The Yanks wrap May on a strong note, as Pineda picks up his seventh win with seven innings of one-run ball to beat the A’s. Carpenter and Miller hand the ball to Betances, who locks down a 4-1 win. Garrett Jones homers in the win.

Checking in… June 1, 2015

A hot cup of SeattleHello from Pike Place Market in Seattle, where I’m enjoying a fresh cup of joe and some salmon chowder in a bread bowl on an overcast afternoon. There have been a lot of ups and downs to this season so far. The Yankees are 23-28 (.451) and in fourth place, trailing Boston (27-24), Baltimore (24-24) and Tampa Bay (24-27). Michael Pineda is 7-2 with a 1.75 ERA in 11 starts, leading the team with 54 strikeouts. Masahiro Tanaka is 5-3 with a 3.36 ERA in 11 starts. Dellin Betances has converted 11 of 12 saves and sports a 1.35 ERA.

The Yanks just aren’t scoring runs; they’ve scored 175, last in the AL, and they are dead last in average (.219) and on-base percentage (.297). The starters (4.03 ERA) and relievers (3.38 ERA) have done the job, and they’re playing good defense. Brett Gardner’s .295 average leads the club, A-Rod paces the way with eight homers and Carlos Beltran has 23 RBIs. They definitely need more production from Jacoby Ellsbury (.197, 1 HR, 10 RBIs), Mark Teixeira (.189, 5 HR, 18 RBIs).

Still with us? Let’s open the books on June.

The Yanks open June by promoting Ivan Nova to the Majors. He’s ready after five rehab starts. Chris Capuano pitched well in his two big league starts, but he’s heading back to the bullpen. Chase Whitley (2.30 ERA) is optioned to Triple-A. … Mark Teixeira (.193, 5 HR, 18 RBI) fractures the hamate bone in his wrist when he’s hit by a pitch in an 8-2 loss to the Mariners on June 1. He’s out for two months, giving Garrett Jones an opportunity to play every day. The Yanks will use A-Rod as the backup first baseman, while recalling Rob Refsnyder to help out at other positions. Refsnyder was hitting .327 in 156 at-bats at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. …

Though Masahiro Tanaka still gets most of the headlines, Michael Pineda has been the Yankees' best starter in our simulation of the 2015 season.

Though Masahiro Tanaka may get most of the headlines, Michael Pineda has been the Yankees’ best starter in our simulation of the 2015 season.

On June 4, Tony Pena sends me a message, noting that there seems to be a leadership void in the clubhouse and no one is stepping up to fill a ‘Team Captain’ role. Come back, Derek Jeter! … The bullpen flops behind Tanaka in a 7-3 loss to the Angels on June 5. Mark Krauss lines a RBI single off Carpenter in the eighth and Albert Pujols homers off Betances in the ninth. … The Yankees’ first-round Draft pick is high school centerfielder Demi Orimoloye … Tanaka is getting plenty of love in the All-Star balloting, but Pineda has been the Yanks’ best starter. He beats the Angels, 8-3, on June 6 to improve to 8-2 with a 1.70 ERA. …

The Yanks needed a laugher on June 7. Ellsbury and Beltran each homer and drive in four runs in an 11-1 rout of Andrew Heaney and the Angels. … Eovaldi out-pitches the Nats’ Jordan Zimmermann in a 3-1 win on June 9, supported by homers from Gardner (3) and McCann (7). Eovaldi improves to 3-9 with a 5.21 ERA. Betances gets his 13th save. … Drew returns from the DL on June 10. Sorry, Rob Refsnyder (11-for-38, .289). … Jacoby Ellsbury’s walk-off double off Matt Thornton drives home Gregorius with the winning run June 10 as the Yanks beat the Nats, 3-2, in 10 innings. …

Nathan Eovaldi started off slow in our sim of the 2015 season, but is showing signs of turning it around as the weather warms up.

Nathan Eovaldi started off slow in our sim of the 2015 season, but pitched a nine-hit shutout to beat his former club, the Marlins, on June 15 in Miami.

Drew drives in three runs and John Ryan Murphy homers to back seven innings of Tanaka (6-3, 3.26 ERA) in a 7-1 win at Camden Yards on June 12. Tanaka could’ve gone deeper but was knocked out by a 69-minute rain delay in the eighth (rain in Baltimore? That never happens). It’s the Yanks’ fifth straight win. … Gardner drives in four runs and Beltran homers (8) to back Sabathia (5-6, 4.36) in a 7-4 win at Baltimore June 14 … Trade revenge! Eovaldi (4-9, 4.60) returns to Miami with a flourish on June 15, throwing a nine-hit shutout in a 8-0 win. He walked none and struck out six. Garrett Jones goes 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs …

The Yanks split that weird home-and-home with Miami. Pineda improves to 9-3 with a 1.90 ERA in the finale. … Old friend Phil Hughes no-hits the Cubs on June 19 at Target Field … Bad news from trainer Steve Donohue on June 19. Jacoby Ellsbury sustained a herniated disc trying to flag a sixth-inning fly ball in a 9-3 loss to the Tigers and will miss two to three months. He’s hitting .229 (44-for-192) with three homers and 18 RBIs in 50 games. Slade Heathcott is called up … Garrett Jones is named the AL Player of the Week on June 22. He hit .440 (11-for-25) with two homers, four RBIs and three runs scored. …

The Yanks are looking to the farm for help in our 2015 season sim. Slade Heathcott hit his first big league homer on June 23 off the Phillies' Chad Billingsley.

The Yanks are looking to the farm for help in our 2015 season sim. Slade Heathcott hit his first big league homer on June 23 off the Phillies’ Chad Billingsley.

Didi Gregorius lines a walk-off single facing the Phillies’ Seth Rosin on June 22 as the Yanks win, 3-2, in 10 innings. It’s Sir Didi’s third hit of the game, but he’s only batting .209 … Heathcott hits his first big league homer off Chad Billingsley in a June 23 loss to the Phillies … Garrett Jones has three hits, including his sixth homer, in an 6-5 win on June 25 at Houston. … Headley hits a game-tying homer in the ninth and Gardner goes deep in the 10th as the Yanks win, 4-2, on June 26 at Houston … More extra-inning fun deep in the heart of Texas June 27. This time, it’s Stephen Drew with the go-ahead 12th inning single off Luke Gregerson as the Yanks beat the Astros, 3-2.

Checking in… July 1, 2015

Greetings from AnaheimGreetings from sunny Anaheim. The clubhouse isn’t a whole lot of fun these days. The Yankees are 36-42 (.462) and in fourth place, 7 1/2 games back, trailing Boston (44-35), Tampa Bay (42-37) and Toronto (38-41). We’ve been saying it all year, but the offense is a problem. The Yanks’ 270 runs scored, .221 average and .297 on-base percentage are dead last in the AL. Mark Teixeira is out another 5-6 weeks with the wrist injury and Jacoby Ellsbury is out for at least eight more weeks. Brett Gardner leads the team with a .271 average and 34 RBIs, while Chase Headley and Brian McCann are tied for the team lead with nine homers.

The pitching has kept them in it. Michael Pineda is 9-5 with a 2.26 ERA, Masahiro Tanaka is 6-4 with a 3.34 ERA, and while CC Sabathia hasn’t been great (5-9, 4.33 ERA), he has been healthy and reliable. CC has 75 strikeouts, one behind Pineda for the team lead. Dellin Betances has been great in the closer’s role, posting a 2.08 ERA and 17 saves in 18 chances. The Yanks’ starters own a 3.99 ERA, 6th in the AL, and their bullpen ERA of 3.52 is fourth in the AL.

Think the Yankees can turn it around? Tomorrow, we’ll delve into the dog days of summer as we walk you through July and August.

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