By Randy Miller
By Randy Miller
By NEW YORK DAILY NEWS STAFF
In a wide-ranging interview with WFAN’s Mike Francesa, Brian Cashman announced that Clint Frazier will likely be sent back down to the minors when Aaron Hicks returns from the disabled list.
“When Hicks comes back, assuming everyone stays healthy, (Frazier) will probably be optioned out,” Cashman said, noting Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner would be holding down the two other outfield spots. “There’s no other way to way to fit it all in.”
According to Cashman, Hicks is just two-to-three weeks away from getting back into the lineup.
Since being called up to the Big Leagues, Frazier has shown the promise the Yankees were expecting when they shipped reliever Andrew Miller to the Indians for the prized prospect.
In thirteen game this season, Frazier has hit .298 with three home runs and an impressive .944 OPS.
Cashman did note that September call ups will be right around the corner after Hicks’ returns, allowing Frazier to return to the Bronx.
Cashman also praised his current bullpen after the additions of David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle from the White Sox to go along with Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances, saying they could give the Yankees four innings a night and that guys will be used in different spots depending on use.
“They have all been sat down and talked to,” Cashman said. “And I think they’re all on notice to expect the unexpected because they’re all capable of pitching high-leverage situations.
“They’re all ready to do whatever’s necessary to help us win.”
Tommy Kahnle #48 of the Chicago White Sox throws in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on July 8, 2017 in Denver, Colorado.
By Joe Giglio
If anyone in baseball thought Tommy Kahnle could become an impact reliever for the Yankees, it was the Yankees.
Kahnle, a 2010 fifth-round pick in New York, is headed back to the Yankees after leaving the organization during the 2013 Rule 5 draft. The 27-year-old right hander was shipped back to the Bronx in a blockbuster deal on Tuesday night.
Here are five things to know about the newest Yankees relief pitcher.
Strikeout artist: Kahnle entered play on July 18 with a 15.0 SO/9 mark. That equals out to 60 strikeouts in 36 innings.
Club control: Arbitration is about to arrive for the soon-to-be 28-year-old. That means Kahnle will soon become more expensive for the Yankees, but three years of club control make him an attractive trade acquisition.
Command finally arrived: Kahnle always had the stuff to a shutdown relief pitcher, but poor control ruined his outings. From 2014-2016, Kahnle walked 5.5 batters per nine innings pitched. Top-notch stuff was ruined by bad command, resulting in an ERA over 4.00 and bouncing from Colorado to Chicago. This year, Kahnle’s 8.57 SO/BB mark is outstanding.
Not vulnerable to platoons: Unlike many late-game relievers, Kahnle isn’t susceptible to drastic lefty-righty splits. Right-handed hitters own a .499 OPS vs. Kahnle. Lefties hit him slightly better (.672 OPS), but haven’t taken him out for a home run this season. This guy can get hitters out from both sides of the plate.
Andrew Miller 2.0 in the Bronx: No, Kahnle isn’t as good or consistent as Miller. But the Yankees just found a replacement for therelief star that was shipped away last trade deadline season. Take a look at these numbers:
2016 Miller (w/Yankees): 15.3 SO/9, 1.4 BB/9
2017 Kahnle: 15.0 SO/9, 1.8 BB/9
Jose Quintana throws in the sixth inning against the Rockies at Coors Field on Saturday in Denver, Colorado.
In a shocking blockbuster move that could have sudden impact on the National League Central race and that bolsters the Cubs’ rotation for the next three years, the Cubs landed trading-block prize Jose Quintana from the White Sox on Thursday for a four-player package that includes two of their top prospects.
No. 1 prospect Eloy Jimenez, a power-hitting outfielder, and top-pitching prospect Dylan Cease, a 100-mph right-hander, go to the White Sox along with minor-league infielders Matt Rose and Bryant Flete.
It promises to be the biggest trade in history between the crosstown rivals.
Quintana is under club control through 2020. The Cubs take over the remaining $3.2. million of Quintana’s salary this year, and he’s owed $8.95 million next year before a pair of $10.5 million club options come into play.
The immediate effect for the Cubs is inserting a durable left-handed starter with an All-Star background into a rotation that has been their Achilles heel all season.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn traveled to Miami for All-Star events in recent days and is believed to have evaluated Jimenez — Baseball America’s No. 5-ranked prospect — during Sunday’s Futures Game.
Quintana, 28, was a 2016 All-Star and has a 50-54 record with a 3.51 ERA over the last six seasons with the White Sox. He has pitched at least 200 innings in each of the last four seasons. This season, Quintana is 4-8 with a 4.49 ERA in 18 starts for the White Sox.
Jimenez, 20, is batting .271 with eight home runs and 32 RBI in 42 games with Single-A Myrtle Beach this season. He originally signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 2013, and was the top prospect in the Cubs’ farm system.
Cease, 21, is 1-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 13 starts with Single-A South Bend this season. He was originally selected by the Cubs in the sixth round of the 2014 Draft.
Rose, 22, is batting .227 with 14 home runs and 38 RBI in 65 games with Myrtle Beach this season. He was originally selected by the Cubs in the 11th round of the 2015 Draft.
Flete, 24, is batting .305 with six home runs and 37 RBI in 70 games with Myrtle Beach this season. He was originally signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 2012.
By Randy Miller
The Washington Nationals one-time MVP right fielder lashed out this week by calling them “rude” to the point he’d like to “punch somebody in the mouth.”
Now it’s your turn to be disappointed if you’re dreaming of Yankees superstar rookie Aaron Judge and Harper being in the same outfield come 2019.
Here’s a possible strong hint that Harper won’t consider signing with the Yankees when he becomes a free agent after the ’18 season:
He’s apparently no fan of New York City.
During All-Star Workout Day at Marlins Park on Monday, Harper was asked what he thought about the Yankees’ tradition and New York City before Judge won the 2017 Home Run Derby.
Here’s his response on the city:
“Going to New York City for a couple days … I want to get out of there in about three days. You go there for three days, it’s pretty crazy and hectic and I want to go back home. I want to go back home to DC. There’s nothing like (DC).”
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner wants to get under baseball’s luxury tax threshold by 2018, which would make it more cost effective to go above it again the next season, and it just so happens that the 2018-19 offseason could have a free agent class that includes Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, Baltimore Orioles star third basemanManny Machado and Bryce Harper.
The Yankees and Harper have been linked in rumors for years because the Yankees would be a team that could afford Harper, and Harper, who hits left-handed, seemingly would be a perfect fit for Yankee Stadium with its short porch in right field.
Harper was asked Monday if he’s ever wondered how many homers he could hit in a season if he played half his games at Yankee Stadium, and his answer cast more doubt that he’ll someday be a Yankee.
“I hit the ball to left field a lot and Yankee Stadium is pretty big in left field,” Harper said.
Also, the Yankees now have a superstar right fielder in Judge, so Harper joining forces would force one of them to move to another position or DH.
Harper’s heard the rumors.
Here’s his take:
“I don’t really think about it much. I try to focus on what I can do to help my team on a day-to-day basis. Judge is a great player. (The Yankees) have a lot of young talent out there with (Gary) Sanchez, (Clint) Frazierand Didi (Gregorius). Greg Bird, when he comes back … he’s a great player.
“They’ve got a lot of great talent, but that’s their team and Judge is doing a great job being a leader of that team. He’s paving the way for all of those guys out there. But I just try to focus on doing what I can to help my team win on a daily basis.”
Media guesses have Harper moving on by ’19 due to speculation the Nationals won’t pony up whatever the big dollars are that it’ll take to get his monster contract done.
“I would love for Harper to stay in a Nationals uniform,” Nationals All-Star right-hander Stephen Strasburg said. “He got drafted by them. I grew up a huge Tony Gwynn fan and he stayed on one team for his whole career. I think there’s something to that. You don’t really see that too often.”
Harper thinks there’s something to that, too, and he’s saying he’d like to become to the Nationals what legends such as Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Derek Jeter were to the Yankees.
“They’ve got tradition,” Harper said of the Yankees. “That’s the thing I want to do in DC. That’s why it’s so amazing to be able to start with a team that you can build the most tradition you can with. You look at a guy like Cal Ripken who stayed with the Orioles forever. You look at a guy like Derek Jeter who stayed with the Yankees forever and (helped continue) that tradition of having such great fans and amazing teams and things like that.
“With DC, the guys that we have right now with (younger stars such as third baseman Anthony) Rendon and (shortstop) Trea Turner and (center fielder) Michael Taylor and having the veteran guys that we do in (All-Star starting pitchers Max) Scherzer and Strasburg … (Outfielder prospect Victor) Robles in the minor leagues is one of our best guys. We’ve got a lot of great talent coming up.”
Are those hints that Harper may give the Nationals a big hometown discount to stay?
Maybe, but probably not.
Meantime, baseball fans will continue to speculate where Harper will end up.
“I think that’s human nature,” Harper said. “It’s part of the way the world ticks. I don’t even worry about it much. I try to focus on what I can do that day to help my team win. I don’t want to look into the future. It’s not fair to myself. It’s not fair to my team. I’m a guy who wants to win in the moment. I want to help my team in DC play and win. We’ve got a great club there.”
By George A. King III
Judging by the Padres sending David Post to watch the Yankees’ Triple-A club, there is a sense in the industry the Yankees are interested in left-handed reliever Brad Hand.
Post, a special assistant to Padres general manager A.J. Preller, has been following Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The going-nowhere Padres, who were 21 games out of first place in the NL West going into Saturday’s action, are expected to deal the 27-year-old Hand. And with the bullpen the biggest concern for the Yankees, they certainly would be interested in what it would take to land Hand.
One concern about Hand, who can become a free agent after the 2019 season, is the recent workload. He worked 111 innings in 2014, 93 ¹/₃ in 2015 and 89 ¹/₃ last year, when he led the NL with 82 appearances, and has 47 this season.
His strikeouts-to-innings-pitched have spiked in the past two seasons. He whiffed 111 in 89 ¹/₃ innings last year and has struck out 60 in 47 this year, when he is 2-4 with a 2.30 ERA in 42 games.
Yankees relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (29) leaves the game in the seventh inning after giving up a grand slam to Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar (24) at Yankee Stadium.
BY BRENDAN KUTY
Nope. Actually, the opposite, Clippard said.
“Yeah, I’m on track,” he said after surrendering the grand slam that broke the Yankees’ back in a 9-4 loss to the Brewers at Yankee Stadium on Friday night.
“I don’t necessarily know how they feel. I know how I feel. I feel very good about where I’m at on the mound right now. Tonight, the result was a bad result. I realize that and it can’t happen. But, again, as far as how I feel on the mound, I feel pretty good.”
Jesus Aguilar’s full-count grand slam off Clippard in the seventh inning snapped a 4-all tie. Clippard put the first two runners on via walk and then Girardi ordered an intentional walk to Travis Shaw to load the bases.
Clippard sank into a crouch on the mound when Aguilar’s home run landed over the center-field wall.
Girardi was asked if he thought Clippard’s confidence could have taken a beating.
In his last seven games, Clippard has given up 13 runs with eight extra-base hits and seven walks. He hadn’t surrendered an earned run in his previous three outings. On the season, he’s 1-5 with a 5.24 ERA in 38 games.
“It’s not where you want it because he struggled,” Girardi said of Clippard’s confidence. “I think that’s pretty normal for any player when you struggle, when you’re in a slump, there’s frustration there. Clip has been through this before and I believe he will come out of it and be fine. But when you’re going through hard times, of course you’re going to question things that you do. It’s just only normal.”
Instead, Clippard said he felt “really good.”
“I feel like my stuff’s there,” he said. “It’s just frustrating. I felt like I battled pretty well most of the day. Obviously, the walks hurt. But even the last at-bat, when I gave up the home run, I made some good pitches. Obviously the last one wasn’t what I was trying to do but that’s baseball, man. It’s frustrating.”
By Randy Miller
NEW YORK — Once upon a baseball time, Steve Blass was the ace of the late-60s, early-’70s Pittsburgh Pirates.
This righty who used to get great results from a shaky delivery won 15 games in 1971 plus two more in the World Series, Game 3 and Game 7. The next year, Blass won 19 games, finished sixth in the NL with a 2.49 ERA and was an National League All-Star.
And then in ’73, out of nowhere, Blass couldn’t throw strikes. The late, great Roberto Clemente’s good buddy became so wild that he was throwing balls behind hitters.
Blass walked 84 batters over 249 2/3 innings in ’72, then 84 over 88 2/3 innings in going 3-9 with a 9.85 ERA in ’73. In his only ’74 appearance, he walked seven in five innings.
And so, future pitchers who would develop series control issues would be said to have “Steve Blass Disease,” most notably former left-hander Rick Ankiel, who had it so bad that he went from being a St. Louis Cardinals ace in 2000 to the Cardinals’ center fielder in 2007.
Another decade later, Yankees reliever Dellin Betances can’t throw strikes.
Like Blass in his demise, it was sad watching Betances walking the Toronto Blue Jays to a 7-6 win Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
Betances entered into a 6-6 game in the eighth, walked three in a row to load the bases, struck out Jose Bautista and then walked Russell Martin to force him the lead run.
That was it for Betances, who threw 18 balls in his 27 pitches, 10 in a row at one point.
This shaky outing was a continuation of wildness issues for Betances, who has faced 22 batters over his last five outings and walked 11 of them while hitting another.
He’ll be in Miami next Tuesday for the All-Star Game because he’d been so great before these meltdowns … as he’s been for most of his four full seasons, all of them All-Star seasons for the 6-foot-8 righty.
Betances won’t be the next Steve Blass, but he does need to go back to the drawing board and fix major issues with his mechanics.
“I just know that I feel like my body is leaking a little bit, my arm is not in the right slot and that’s causing me to fly open,” Betances said after his Wednesday debacle. “I’ll keep looking at stuff to help me.”
Yankees fans have loved and appreciated Betances’ brilliance over the years, but they were on him pretty good Wednesday, probably because they’re frustrated that their team is on a 6-16 slide. After being four games up in the AL East, the Yankees are now four games behind Boston.
Figuratively and literally, Betances got some dreaded Bronx cheers Wednesday when his streak of 10 balls in a row ended with a 1-0 called strike to Bautista with the bases full and nobody out.
“Obviously, you hear it when you’re in a tough spot like that,” Betances said. “You try to block them out, but they’re (sarcastically) ecstatic because I threw strikes here and there. Obviously you don’t want to be in that position. I put myself in a tough spot and I put my team in a bad spot.”
When Blass never figured out how to throw strikes consistently again, he found a new career as a Pirates broadcaster, his work for the last 32 years.
Betances is sure that he’ll figure it out soon and again become one of baseball’s dominate relievers.
“I need to look at some stuff so I can be consistent,” Betances said. “Right now I’m in between two different deliveries. It’s not helping when I’m out there.”
By George A. King III
Matt Holliday, out since late June due to an illness that sapped his energy and resulted in body aches, on Wednesday told The Post that doctors have a diagnosis.
“There’s a virus called Epstein-Barr virus that I tested positive for,’’ the Yankees designated hitter said after an optional batting practice on the field before the Yankees played the Blue Jays in the finale of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium. “There are some tests that aren’t back yet.’’
According to Wikipedia, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is best known as the cause of infectious mononucleosis, associated with a high risk of autoimmune disease. Some 200,000 cancer cases per year are attributed to EBV.
Holliday looked a lot better physically than he did when he left Chicago last week to undergo tests in New York. In batting practice, he regularly launched balls into the left-field seats.
“I’ve been feeling much better,’’ said Holliday, who has been hitting in the indoor cage.
Because he hasn’t played in a game since June 24, Holliday was asked if he thought he would need to minor league rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list.
“I don’t think so, it hasn’t been that long,’’ said Holliday who is eligible to come off the DL on Thursday, an off day for the Yankees. “I haven’t discussed that with them.’’
Holliday’s problem started in Oakland on June 17, when he appeared to suffer an allergic reaction to something he ate prior to the game against the A’s. He was given Benadryl, and the doctor suggested he not play in the game.
Holliday, 37, returned and started the following six games, homering in two of the first three. In those six tilts Holliday, batted .182 (4-for-22). Holliday didn’t play from June 25-27, and was placed on the 10-day DL on June 28.
In 68 games, Holliday is batting .262 with 15 homers, 47 RBIs and a .877 OPS.