Friday, March 31, 2017


(Sept. 9, 2016 - Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)
Many of you don't like Brian Cashman. For me, it changes day by day, but ultimately, when you look at what this Spring has offered us fans... we're happy and I love him right about now.  We're happier than we've been in a long, long time. 

The youth movement is here folks, and Brian Cashman did that.  If you go back to our archive here at BYB and read STICK CASHMAN, it ultimately offers a glimpse of the way things used to be done with Stick Michael, but shows that Cashman is offering the same thing these days with our kids.

We collected hot prospects.  We are building on those prospects, much like the days of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte.  Will a new Core Four emerge? Who cares honestly.  Let's play and see what these kids have.

Photo: Getty Images
I will say this; there is an energy surrounding the New York Yankees that I haven't seen in years.  When you see kids like Luis Severino and Aaron Judge edge out spots on the Opening Day roster, you understand that there are possibilities for success here. These kids earned their spots this season, and in the past, those same youngsters would have been sent down, maybe even disappear by mid-season.  Not anymore. 

Photo: Getty Images
We have players that are ready and trust me, even my 14 year old is psyched.  He was way too young to see the Core Four. I mean, he knows the stories, loves watching highlights and appreciates the runs, but those aren't his New York Yankees... guys like Tyler Austin, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez... even Didi and Starlin Castro.

March 10, 2017 - Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America
These are his New York Yankees and when you put in in perspective like that, and me seeing him falling in love with a team like I did in the 1970's and 80's with Ron Guidry and Don Mattingly, you really have to smile.  It's pretty cool.

We asked for this, folks.  We, the fans wanted our youth to succeed and be utilized in a Bigs season, and it's happening.  It's really happening.  If it goes belly up, hey, we deal with it, but my guess is we can have some fun here.  One of my buddies was talking to me about the team. 

I said, "How do you feel about this group of kids?" 

He looked at me, "We could win this thing, I mean, we really could."

"I'm not sure we're ready yet," I snipped back.

"Feel the energy, Casey... the youth movement has arrived. If this season is a winning season and we DON'T get the Championship trophy, Cashman is still my hero, because he listened to us!"

I nodded. I got it. I agree.

For the first time in years the New York Yankees organization have understood that the youth movement is what we longed for and wanted.  Mix them in with some savvy veterans, and roll the dice, just like we did in 1995 and 1996 and hell, that 1998 was amazing.

The youth movement is here folks.  Get excited.  I know I am!

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Thursday, March 30, 2017


When we last left you on BYB, we spoke about the Yankees struggle with whether or not to make Aaron Judge the starting right fielder, or if they were gonna just go with Aaron Hicks.  Read JUDGING JUDGE for that. 

Today however... we have our answer. The New York Post, and others have the story:

Photo: New York Daily News
"The Yankees are going ahead with their youth movement, and that means Aaron Judge will be the right fielder over Aaron Hicks...

'That was a very tough call,' Girardi said. 'We thought Judge won the competition.'”

The other nugget is that Luis Severino will get the 4th Starter slot.

(Tommy Gilligan | USA TODAY Sports)
But the big news is Judge!  It's great that they made the right choice on this one.  Looking forward to seeing the Iron Giant roam in right.



I know you've seen it already.  I have, once... twice... like about 75 times by now.  It's Brett Gardner Bird watching.  And that bird... is Greg Bird.  And while the production is brilliant, the acting is super silly, and strangely addicting. 

Just a quick post. I needed you to see this if you haven't already.

Now to be honest, if we are ranking these Yankee videos.  My favorite of the season is by far the Yoga one.

You guys all know how I love Jack Curry and Bob Lorenz and Nancy Newman.  The rest of the gang makes it equally brilliant!

My Goodness. How excited for the Yankees are you right about now? I cannot freaking wait!


I hate writing stories about this, but baseball is a business, right? We always follow the rumor mill closely but we have been following stories on Rob Refsnyder with an even greater interest. It's no secret that we like Refsnyder here at Bleeding Yankee Blue....we like him a lot. He may not be the greatest player or prospect in the world but he's got a good heart. We've been waiting for two years now for the Yankees to once and for all figure out what they are doing with this guy....and maybe they have.

(Duane Burleson | Getty Images)
Earlier this month Casey wrote THE "SHOPPING REFSNYDER" STORY because we finally got the confirmation that we had been dreading. Refsnyder has been jerked around for too long and the Yankees just don't know how to fit him in. He's just blocked at every angle. The Yankees should give him to a team that could use him and give the kid a chance, it's the right thing to do. The Rays just may be that team, read more HERE.

The Rays are looking for more outfield depth and a right handed hitter. Refsnyder is good for both and they made sure the Rays saw that when they played the Yankees on Sunday and he played one inning in left field and then right field. He also has a career .292 BA in the minors which shows what he is capable of instead of his .262 BA in the majors. Regular playing time for a team that actually has a development plan for Refsnyder could make him even better. It makes sense, it just sucks.

We haven't seen the best that Refsnyder has to offer, at least that is my opinion. I'm sure the pressure and frustration have weighed on him. I know the Yankees have other prospects out there that are flashier than he is but it still doesn't change the fact that I'M HIGH ON ROB REFSNYDER and that is still true almost a year later. ALL baseball players have talent, but not all of them have the character that Refsnyder does. He is the example that baseball DOES have more than just big personalities, celebrity, and powerful bats.

The sad part is that the biggest benefit for the Yankees giving Refsnyder to the Rays would not necessarily be who they are getting in return. At this point, freeing up his spot on the 40 man roster would be enough benefit for the Yankees because they could use that for either Jordan Montgomery if he is the lucky mystery winner of the fourth rotation spot. The Yankees have yet to announce their decision there but they could also use it for Pete Kozma if he makes the team. It could all just be for a roster spot, and that also just sucks.

So whether Refsnyder becomes a Ray or not I still wish nothing but the best for him. He's a good guy and he deserves a shot to make it somewhere. It would be nice if he could do that with a team that isn't a division rival though. So, does it happen or is it just a rumor that goes nowhere? Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


I want to see Jordan Montgomery in the Yankees starting rotation!

JoMo did it again today! SNY has this nugget as we just days away from Opening Day:

"Jordan Montgomery allowed one run in five innings and Austin Romine and Brett Gardner delivered run-scoring single as the Yankees beat the Blue Jays, 3-1, on Wednesday afternoon."

Chris Carelli, a former #BYBHub member continues:

"Montgomery's performance aside, the Yankees will wait to make any determination as to their fourth starter until after the remaining competitors take the hill in the team's final exhibition games. Manager Joe Girardi announced the club would not name a fifth starter until it gets closer to the first time they need one -- April 16.

In my view, Montgomery pitched well enough this spring to grab either of the two spots."

I agree with Chris.  Give this guy the ball. We have been writing about Montgomery for weeks now at Bleeding Yankee Blue, and you know us, we rarely cover exhibition Spring Training games.  This kid is something special though.  Story of the spring!

Just wanted to share it!


Photo: New York Daily News
There's plenty of chatter about maybe starting Aaron Judge in Triple A.  That would leave us with Aaron Hicks in right field.  I'm not sure I like that from a fan perspective.

The New York Daily News has this nugget:

Photo: New York Daily News
"The 24-year-old has hit .327 with three homers this spring, cutting down on his strikeouts in the process (12 in 55 at-bats). But he could open the 2017 campaign at Triple-A Scranton, since he has minor-league options.

'He needs to play, that’s the bottom line,' Joe Girardi said.

Aaron Hicks has also had a solid spring (.275, three homers), and is the better defender of the two. And the Yankees want to see what he could do in an everyday role."

Now look, this makes a ton of sense.  You got an experiment going on. Hicks is going to be tested.  Can he handle right field, the fatigue, the role of playing every day as a New York Yankee? The Yankees want to find out.

Meanwhile, you have a kid in Judge that could potentially be sent down to bat every day on the Triple A level, get some confidence, grow, and if Hicks takes a dump, you know it's time. If he doesn't, there is bound to be another personnel move that will ultimately get Judge up, especially if he's killing it in Triple A.

Bottom line, while I don't like it because I want to see Judge in the pros, I understand it totally.  But fans want Judge!


Source: Kim Klement | USA TODAY Sports

I am drawn toward individuals who exhibit what University of Pennsylvania professor and researcher Dr. Angela Duckworth defines as grit.  "Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it's a marathon, not a sprint." And in baseball, this means that the athlete who has grit is someone that educational leader Corey Radisch says avoids three very specific fears that hinder success. "Fear of failure, fear of criticism, and fear of hard work."

Source: Associated Press

We've talked a lot about the importance of grit many times in our posts.  You've read the blogs and you know what we need to do.  And as we said in our post OUR SUCCESS LIES IN OUR FUTURE back in September 2015 "If Girardi and Cashman could simply see the forest through the trees, they’d realize the chemistry and life these youngsters provide and let them move the team forward from here on.  If we are to be successful, it won’t be on the tired backs of ARod, Beltran, or Teixeira.  It has to be on the shoulders of our Baby Bombers.  Their time is now, and the Yankees’ time could be now too if our manager would set his binder down and simply open his eyes."  It's time for the management to stop dreaming and get gritty too.

According to CBS New York, "The Yankees may not be able to buy championships — not that they ever did, aside from 2009 — but they cut some fat, traded some high-end talent and spread some seed across what’s now the most fertile farm system in the game."  But as the article quickly points out before you can crack an optimistic smile across your winter-scorned face, "Kudos to beleaguered general manager Brian Cashman, who gets no credit when the club wins and all the blame when they lose. The Yankees are not quite ready for prime time, as they smooth the fur of their young colts and address the ultimate baseball axiom: Pitching wins championships."

Source: CBS New York

We may have gritty players on the field, willing to sprint and dive for extra base hits, punch clutch situational hits into the gap and run down smoking line drives, but we are lacking depth, endurance and grit up on the hill.  "We know the Yankees have a decent lineup, if healthy, and a nuclear bullpen that will shut an iron door down after the seventh inning. They just don’t have nearly enough starting arms to get them the ball."

Source: The New Yorker

So how do we build the grit in our young pitching staff without over extending their arms and without worrying about the three iconic failures that hinder success?  Well, I hate to say this but we may need to look at the Mets' track record in the pitching column.  "The Mets’ rotation is the envy of the sport, a conveyer belt of 20-somethings who throw gas. And unlike the Yankees, whose season hangs on the once-torn elbow of Tanaka, the Mets can lose Matt Harvey and still trot out Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom. And if Harvey returns to 2014 form in 2017, then the Mets will win 90-plus games by default. Which leaves the Amazins twice as likely to win the World Series, a 12-to-1 shot, according to Westgate."  We are talking young arms, cheap arms, identified by scouts, signed, groomed and coached for success.  We need a better eye for these kinds of pitchers and we need the gritty pitching coaches to mentor them.  We just don't have the right guys in the right places to do this work.  And we need them, fast.

And all this talk about trading prospects Clint Frazier and Jorge Mateo is utterly ridiculous. According to an article in, "White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana can change everything. Get him and the Yankees can be a playoff team, maybe even win the AL East if favorite Boston doesn't get anything this season from ailing ace David Price." Not at the price of losing our youth.  Not at that price at all. If we can recruit guys like Frazier, Mateo, Blake Rutherford, Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez than why can't we do the same when it comes to identifying the best in young pitching and mentor them to grow and sustain success?


So, not to be a glass half empty kind of person, but it's not about the dream, it's about grit and it's about grit in getting the job done from identifying, recruiting, molding, mentoring and home growing the arms to match the strong and youthful fielders and hitters who are anchoring our team for success. We need more than management is giving us.  And we need it now.  It's time to get gritty about scouting for success instead of just dreaming it.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017


(Feb. 26, 2015 - Source: Brian Blanco/Getty Images North America)    
Jobacide is a word I've used for too many years now to describe the Yankees' systemic sacrifice of young starting pitching at the altar of a cheap and steady supply of  relievers.

It's no secret the Bronx bullpen has long been the place where promising young starters brought up too soon go to die, and you could fill a whole shelf of binders with all the wildly creative story lines the Yankees have tried to peddle to media, fans and -- most sadly of all, to the players themselves -- to explain away the diversion,  marooning and pruning of so many homegrown, high-performing Triple A arms and careers there.

Which is why I nearly spilled my coffee on my keyboard last Thursday as I perused Mark Feinsand's lengthy Q&A with GM Brian Cashman published Thursday on and witnessed, for the first time I can recall, an official acknowledgement of the practice.

" There has been a lot of talk over the years about the Yankees' inability to develop young starting pitchers. Do you think that's a fair criticism?

Photo: New York Daily News
Cashman: Yeah. It's a fact. I think part of the process has been certainly where we draft. Because we've had a lot of success, we've not been allowed to tank and go off the board and therefore get access to some of the high-end stuff that plays out to be impactful. Part of it is we can't get out of our own way because we don't have the patience to let guys finish off their development, because if you possess some unique ability that stands out above everybody else -- whether it was Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, now [Luis] Severino and before that [Bryan] Mitchell and Shane Greene -- we're pulling them up before their development is finished.

Teams like Tampa Bay, for instance, they're going to wait until they have their four pitches down and their innings limits are all exceeded at the Minor League level; they're very disciplined in that approach as they finish off their starters. For us, if I'm looking at my owner and he says, "What's our best team we can take north?" Well, "We could take this guy; he's not necessarily 100 percent finished off, but we can stick him in our 'pen. He can be in the back end of our rotation, because he's better than some of the guys we already have," and then you cut corners, so I think that probably plays a role in it. And sometimes we don't make the right decisions, either, when we're making Draft selections and signings and stuff like that. On top of it all, playing in New York is a lot different than playing anywhere else."

So there it is, confirmation that Jobacide is real --  couched between poor draft position due to past success, an owner's insistence on the best personnel playing in the Bigs ready or not, and the bright lights choke factor of the Big Apple. .

This winter Hal and Brian were publicly confident they had the young arms ready to go in the system to fill the vacant spots in the rotation.

But the ensuing spring competition has revealed nothing could be further from the truth and  re-focused giant Broadway-sized spotlights on the problem the Yankees have  finishing off their young pitchers' development.

Now that they've clearly identified they have a problem, will they allow  all the losers of the rotation competition to return to the farm and finish their development as starters -- or will they all become inmates condemned to life sentences in the Bronx Pen-itentiary?

It all depends on whether  the Yankees decide admitting the problem is the first step toward solving it or not.

So far, they've shown admirable restraint with the young position prospects by resisting the urge to fling one into the deep end ahead of schedule to patch a temporary hole at shortstop.

It would be a huge step forward for the franchise if  they could start doing the same with their scarcest and most precious commodity -- their young pitching prospects -- and outlaw Jobacide from Yankee Universe once and for all.

 --Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore


Photo: New York Daily News
As Spring Training winds down with a lot of cuts already being made, there aren't a lot of questions to be asked about the Opening Day lineup. All in all, Spring Training has been a pleasant surprise for all of us.

I tend to not read too much into the spring season stats but, there are a few that seem promising. Greg Bird, Matt Holliday, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are all guys that have had a very solid spring.

Kids such as Gleyber Torres, Tyler Wade, Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar have all looked very good. Not to mention the surprise of Jordan Montgomery!

There of course, is the usual questions about the starting pitchers that have been there for quite awhile now too. But there is also a question about 1 particular signing that is split down the middle among Yankee fans. What about Chris Carter?

This article from seems to think that he might be the odd man out.

"Not long after Chris Carter -- and everybody else -- learned Greg Bird would be the Yankees starting first baseman on Opening Day, Carter admitted things have been difficult for him this spring."

With the horrendous spring Carter has put together, there just seems to be no need for his services. That's the bottom line. Yeah, he could be the backup first baseman until Tyler Austin returns. He might get some turns at DH or pinch-hitting duty. That of course is why we signed the guy. His home runs he could provide some hope, but to be honest, it would be better if they didn't come in-between 20 strikeouts. Are those services worth the $3.5 million he was signed for or as Jeana Bellezza asked about 3 weeks back, Was signing Chris Carter a waste of moneyLook, if this keeps up, the Yankees are going to have a problem here. They gave Carter a $3.5 million, one-year contract in the offseason -- what seemed like a bargain at the time for a powerful right-handed bat who could platoon.

Photo: Newsday
Now, I'm the last one to ask about contracts and all the fine print. I don't know shit about any of that. Do they pay him all that money to make sure all the guys get their Gatorade as they come off the field? Maybe grab a bat once in awhile in between, making sure there are enough sunflower seeds to go around? Do they just simply cut bait and release him? Do they try and see what they can get for him on the trade market? I know, I'm half joking here, but I'm half serious too. Many questions, all I can say is 'I don't know'. What to you think will or should happen?

We'll find out soon enough. I mean, the season is almost here. This Sunday at 1:10 PM eastern, our boys take the field to kick it off.

I leave you with this little video.


--Michael Carnesi
BYB Writer

Follow me on Twitter: @sevn4evr

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Monday, March 27, 2017


The Yankees have three Spring Training games left and are still undecided on their fourth and fifth rotation spots. They have not said if they are leaning toward certain players, but we know one thing is for sure Luis Cessa won't be one of them now that he is in minor league camp. So what have the remaining contenders done to help the Yankees decide?

(Oct. 1, 2016 - Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America)
Bryan Mitchell looked to be in control of his own destiny and on the way to winning a starting gig until his last start on Sunday. It looked like the pressure got the best of him. In just over three innings he gave up three runs on six hits, walked two and hit one batter.

(Sept. 27, 2016 - Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)
Mitchell hasn't been dominant but he has been good enough to keep the Yankees in games and hasn't had the same inconsistencies as some other contenders. He's also been here before, he was a contender for a starting role last season until the last week of March when he suffered a toe injury that kept him out of play until August.

Photo: Getty Images
Adam Warren also had a tough outing on Saturday giving up four runs, four hits and issuing two walks in three innings. Just like Mitchell, his last start didn't go the way he wanted and he's been determined to win a starting role. He's versatile, and has major upside in a long relief role and he knows this last outing didn't help get him the starting role, read that HERE. But I have to wonder....has he done enough to win a rotation spot? The Yankees have made some interesting moves over the last few games.

Has anyone else noticed that at the beginning of spring both Mitchell and Warren were coming into the games in a relief role? No surprise there, but here we are less than one week away from Opening Day. Would the Yankees be giving them starts this late in camp while the other guys are throwing three innings in relief if they weren’t the leading candidates for the rotation?

(Aug. 8, 2016 - Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America)
So who are "the other guys?" In recent games other starting role candidates Chad Green and Luis Severino came out of the bullpen. Does this mean that the Yankees have moved past the idea of Severino as a starter and think he adds better value as a reliever? He has one more start on Thursday to show the Yankees that he is still the starter they are looking for.

Now if you look at Green's stats on paper he's had a successful spring with a 1-0 record, 1.50 ERA, in 5 games, 2 starts, 12 IP, 9 hits, 2 ER, 6 BB, and 8 K. He has held opponents to one run and five hits over 8 1/3 innings in his last three games but his longest outing has only been 3 1/3 innings. So maybe the short appearances have the Yankees looking at him as a reliever instead?

Photo: Newsday
We can't forget Jordan Montgomery the towering lefty who throws downhill who has had two impressive back to back outings and has left Joe Girardi "curious." He has another start on Wednesday to impress the Yankees and make them give him a starting role but he is not on the 40-man roster, meaning the Yankees would have to make a corresponding move to get him up. Could the challenge of solving the roster situation weigh into their decision making?

Photo: New York Daily News / Jonathan Holder
Speaking of relief roles, there are two names to watch for that could be in the bullpen. Both Ben Heller and Jonathan Holder could both be competing for the same gig. Heller has had a very good spring and pitched 5 1/3 shutout innings over his last five outings, giving up just three hits in this stretch. Holder's had just one bad outing back in February. Since then he's worked 8 1/3 shutout innings, allowing three hits with no walks and three strikeouts. The Yankees are looking for someone who can go multiple innings in their bullpen and it could down to one of them for one remaining spot.

So who gets the remaining two rotation spots and have the Yankees given us a clue as to who they favor? The coming days should be interesting.

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ