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Fan Guide to the 2018 New York Yankees
Feel free to ask any questions you might have, as we have a ton of knowledgeable Yankees fans in this subreddit who will be able to answer them.
Table of Contents 1. Recent Team History and Expectations 2. Opening Day Roster 2018 3. Rest of the 40-Man Roster 4. Coaching Staff 5. Season Preview Articles/Predictions 6. Yankees Websites and Reporters Worth Following 7. Players on Social Media
1. Recent Team History and ExpectationsExpectations were subdued entering the 2017 season, as the Yankees had traded away several veteran players in the prior year and were relying on many young, unproven players to anchor the roster. Most experts predicted the Yankees would miss the playoffs, and several guessed that they would finish under .500.
But they were wrong.
The Yankees finished 20 games above .500, winning the first AL Wild Card and trailing the Red Sox in the AL East by just 2 games. The team was carried by its young core: Aaron Judge hit 52 home runs, walked 127 times, and finished second in AL MVP voting. Luis Severino put up a 2.98 ERA and struck out 230 batters, finishing third in the AL Cy Young voting. Gary Sanchez smacked 33 HR to go along with his .345 OBP. Didi Gregorius hit 25 HR and played sparkling defense. Jordan Montgomery came out of nowhere to put up a 3.88 ERA in more than 150 innings. Chad Green was one of the best relievers in baseball with a 1.83 ERA and 103 K in 69 innings. The regular season was full of unbelievable moments and clutch performances.
The Yankees rode a hot September into the postseason, where they won a thrilling Wild Card Game vs. the Twins. They fell down 0-2 in the ALDS vs. the 102-win Indians, but rallied to win three games in a row to advance to the ALCS. Facing off vs. the 101-win Astros, the Yankees fell down 0-2 again, rallied again to win the next 3 games, but lost Games 6 and 7. The Yanks ended the season one game away from the World Series. So close.
Check out some of the best postseason moments:
- Gregorius’s 3-run HR (Wild Card Game)
- Judge’s 2-run HR (Wild Card Game)
- Bird’s solo HR (ALDS Game 3)
- Judge’s 2-run double (ALDS Game 4)
- Gregorius’s two home runs (ALDS Game 5)
- Gardner’s 12-pitch at-bat (ALDS Game 5)
- Judge’s 3-run HR (ALCS Game 3)
- Judge’s solo HR (ALCS Game 4)
- Judge’s game-tying double (ALCS Game 4)
- Sanchez’ go-ahead double (ALCS Game 4)
What did the Yankees do this offseason?
- Lost 3B Todd Frazier (Mets), SP Jaime Garcia (Blue Jays), DH Matt Holliday (unsigned), and SP Michael Pineda (Twins) to free agency. Also lost various minor leaguers to free agency, including RP Joe Mantiply (Reds), 1B Ji-Man Choi (Brewers), OF Mason Williams (Reds), and IF Donovan Solano (Dodgers).
- Made minor trades that sent RP Nick Rumbelow to the Mariners, 1B Garrett Cooper and SP Caleb Smith to the Marlins, SP Ronald Herrera to the Rangers, and OF Jake Cave to the Twins for minor-league players and international bonus slot money.
- Lost RP Nestor Cortes (minors) in the Rule-5 Draft. (RP Anyelo Gomez and 1B Mike Ford were taken but returned. RP Jose Mesa Jr was taken too but will likely be returned.)
- Traded SS Jose Devers (minors), SP Jorge Guzman (minors), and 2B Starlin Castro to the Marlins for RF Giancarlo Stanton.
- Traded 3B Chase Headley and SP Bryan Mitchell to the Padres for OF Jabari Blash, who was later traded to the Angels for a player to be named later. (This move was essentially a salary dump.)
- Re-signed SP CC Sabathia to a 1-yea$10 million contract.
- Signed minor-league deals with IF Jace Peterson, RP Wade LeBlanc (who they have since released), IF Danny Espinosa (who they have since released), SP David Hale, OF Shane Robinson, and 1B Adam Lind (who they have since released).
- As part of a three-team trade, sent SP Taylor Widener (minors) to the Diamondbacks and 2B Nick Solak (minors) to the Rays, and received 3B Brandon Drury.
- Signed 2B Neil Walker to a 1-y$4 million contract.
2. Opening Day Roster 2018Below are the 25 players heading north from Spring Training on the Yankees active roster.
|Gary Sanchez||C||25||After bursting onto the major-league scene with an insane two months in 2016, Gary Sanchez followed it up with a fantastic 2017 season, in which he was the most valuable catcher in baseball. Sanchez hit 31 HR (the most ever by a Yankees catcher) and threw out a ton of baserunners (38 CS%), though he struggled with blocking (allowing an MLB-high 16 passed balls). Given the Yankees lack of quality catching depth, it’s not hard to argue that Sanchez is the single most irreplaceable player on the team.|
|Austin Romine||C||29||Romine returns as the Yankees backup catcher in 2018, despite a shockingly bad offensive season last year (6th worst in franchise history, min. 250 PA). Defensively, he graded out around average (excellent pitch framing, horrible throwing). In his career overall, Romine has been…. well, bad. But as a backup catcher, he doesn’t have to be a star.|
|Tyler Austin||1B||26||The injury to Greg Bird gives Tyler Austin a shot on the Opening Day roster. Austin has played three seasons in AAA (.274/.352/.476 in 723 PA) and has gotten sporadic MLB exposure (.236/.294/.447 in 136 PA). He’s hit left-handed pitching well at all levels and has shown power to all fields. With Bird due back in 6-8 weeks and other first-base options looming, Austin may only have a short opportunity to show the team what he can do.|
|Tyler Wade||IF||23||Tyler Wade enters the 2018 season coming off a dominant Triple-A campaign, in which he hit .310/.382/.460 (.842 OPS) with 26 stolen bases and above-average defense at shortstop, but also a disappointing MLB debut, in which he hit .155/.222/.224 over 63 plate appearances. Wade worked on his swing this offseason with future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols and did enough in Spring Training to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.|
|Ronald Torreyes||IF||25||The Yankees’ scrappy middle infielder enters his third season with the club – his ability to play multiple positions and his bat-to-ball talent remain his top skills. Torreyes is not good offensively, doesn’t steal bases, and doesn’t play particularly amazing defense. On the other hand, Torreyes is popular in the clubhouse, has a knack for timely hits, and very rarely strikes out. And the pictures of Aaron Judge and Torreyes next to each other are always entertaining.|
|Neil Walker||IF||32||The switch-hitting veteran infielder is the newest member of the Yankees roster, coming to the Bronx after spending parts of 7 seasons with the Pirates and parts of two with the Mets and Brewers. Walker has produced above-average offense (100 OPS+ or better) in 8 consecutive seasons, while averaging 2.6 WAR per season in that span. Various injuries have cost him 100 games over the last two years, but perhaps a part-time role will help him remain healthy over the course of 2018.|
|Didi Gregorius||SS||28||In 2017, Didi Gregorius set career highs in SLG, OPS, OPS+, runs scored, home runs, and RBI, all while playing above-average defense. He continued to not walk (4.4 BB%), but also not really strike out (12.3 K%), and his left-handed bat was a great complement to a right-hand heavy lineup. Didi has established himself as a top-10 MLB shortstop, a fan-favorite, and oh yeah… a postseason hero.|
|Brandon Drury||3B||25||The Yankees newest trade acquisition is a right-handed infielder from the Diamondbacks organization. Drury strikes out fairly often (20.3 K%), rarely walks (5.9 BB%), and doesn’t run the bases particularly well, but he hits for power and can play multiple positions (OF, 2B, 3B). The Yankees believe there’s more power to unlock and worked with Drury in Spring Training to revamp his swing. If Drury repeats his 2017 season, he’ll be a useful piece for New York. But the Yankees are hoping for more.|
|Brett Gardner||LF||34||The Yankees’ unofficial captain continued to be a consistent producer for the team in 2017. Gardner hit a career-high 21 HR, while maintaining a .350 OBP, stealing 23 bases, and making 0 errors in left field. Gardner’s 17 defensive runs saved were by far the most among all MLB left fielders and he was the only qualified position player to make 0 errors. Eventually age will catch up to Gardner like it does to everyone, but for now, he remains a solid performer who also gives a young team some veteran leadership.|
|Aaron Hicks||CF||28||Hicks finally broke out in 2017 putting up 3.9 WA122 OPS+ despite missing more than 70 games with oblique injuries. Hicks hit home runs (15), stole bases (10), got on base (.372 OBP), and played excellent outfield defense (15 defensive runs saved). He finally looked like the 5-tool player the Twins thought they were getting when they drafted him in the first round of the 2008 MLB draft. Hicks’ production dropped off noticeably after the injuries though, so his key focus for 2018 is staying healthy.|
|Aaron Judge||RF||25||All rise. Aaron Judge burst onto the MLB scene with one of the most phenomenal rookie seasons in history, setting MLB rookie records for home runs (52) and walks (127). Judge led the American League in home runs, runs scored, walks, runs created, and fWAR (and strikeouts), while trailing only Mike Trout in OBP, SLG, wOBA, and wRC+. He unanimously won the AL Rookie of the Year award and finished second in AL MVP voting. Expectations for Judge are sky high, though it seems unlikely that he’ll repeat such a rare 50 H120 BB season.|
|Giancarlo Stanton||LF/DH||28||Because you can never have enough hulking 50-HR outfielders on one team, the Yankees went out and got another one this winter. The reigning NL MVP led all of baseball in HR, XBH, RBI, SLG, and ISO in 2017. Stanton also played excellent defense (10 DRS, 6.7 UZR) in the outfield and set a career-best in strikeout rate (23.6%) to round out his MVP campaign. The only real causes for concern for Stanton are his health and the learning curve that comes with moving to a new defensive position (LF). Still, we should expect greatness.|
|Luis Severino||SP||24||Turns out Severino wasn’t a bust. Following a dismal 2016, many fans were clamoring for Severino to be moved to the bullpen, hoping his big fastball would make him an elite reliever. But the Yankees held firm and it paid off in a big way. By FanGraph’s version of WAR, Severino was the 4th best pitcher in baseball in 2017, compiling 193.1 IP, 230 K, and a 2.98 ERA. And he did it all at age 23. The question for 2018 is this: can Severino replicate his performance? Or will he feel the effects of last year’s workload? (Sevy threw 151.1 innings in 2016 and 209.1 innings in 2017.)|
|Masahiro Tanaka||SP||29||Tanaka’s 2017 season was his worst as a Yankee, with career-highs in ERA, FIP, WHIP, HR rate, hit rate, and walk rate, but he mostly straightened himself out in the second half (3.77 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 29.6 K%, 4.6 BB%, 1.41 H9). By the time the playoffs rolled around, Tanaka was ready to rock. In three October starts against two great offensive teams, Tanaka was dominant (20 IP, 2 R, 0 HR, 3 BB, 18 K, 0.90 ERA). Tanaka chose not to opt out of his contract this offseason, citing his commitment to bringing a World Series championship to New York. Will 2018 be the year?|
|CC Sabathia||SP||37||The leader of the pitching staff is back for (at least) one more season. The big man is coming off a solid year (148.2 IP, 3.69 ERA, 120 K) and has averaged 3.0 WA116 ERA+ per season since checking himself into alcohol rehab in November 2015. Now it’s time for Sabathia to add onto his (hopefully) Hall of Fame resume. CC is 183 innings from 3,500 IP, 154 K from 3,000 strikeouts, and 13 W from 250 wins. Add that to his Cy Young award, World Series ring, and 6 All Star Game appearances, and maybe the hefty lefty will end up in Cooperstown.|
|Sonny Gray||SP||28||Sonny Gray was traded to the Yankees last July and made 11 mostly mediocre starts (3.72 ERA, 4.87 FIP, 21.2 K%, 9.7 BB%). Overall Gray had a solid season – a big improvement from 2016 when he dealt with a strained trapezius muscle and a forearm strain. Gray works slowly, throws a lot of pitches, has a big arsenal of weapons, and is generally an effective number three starter. The Yankees hope he can return to his 2015 form (208 IP, 2.73 ERA, 169 K), but even if he’s only a number three starter, he should win plenty of games with the thunderous Yankee offense behind him.|
|Jordan Montgomery||SP||25||No one really thought Jordan Montgomery had a shot to make the team out of Spring Training last year, but he pitched so well that he made the club as the no. 5 starter. The tall lefty had a fantastic rookie season (155.1 IP, 3.88 ERA, 144 K), finishing 6th in AL Rookie of the Year voting. Perhaps most notable is that Montgomery accomplished all this despite rarely throwing his changeup, which is one of his best pitches. If he regains confidence in that pitch and is willing to use it more often, perhaps he could take another step forward.|
|Aroldis Chapman||RP||30||The Cuban Missile is coming off his worst season since 2011, his first full year in the majors, possibly as a result of a heavy workload the previous season. Still, a disappointing Aroldis Chapman season is a very good year for any other reliever (50.1 IP, 3.22 ERA, 2.56 FIP, 32.9 K%). And Chapman was excellent in the postseason for the Yankees (1.13 ERA in 8 innings). With good health and no apparent dip in velocity, Chapman should be his usual dominant self for New York in 2018.|
|David Robertson||RP||32||Houdini returned to the Yankees (he played for them from 2008-2014) in a midseason trade last year and was absolutely phenomenal (35 IP, 1.03 ERA, 51 K). Overall, Robertson was one of very best full-time relievers in baseball in 2017, ranking 11th in ERA, 15th in FIP, 7th in WHIP, 9th in K%, and 7th in bWAR. While D-Rob may have overperformed a bit last year, there’s no reason to think he won’t be an extremely effective reliever again in 2018.|
|Chad Green||RP||26||When the Yankees put Aroldis Chapman on the DL and called up Chad Green in May of last season, they had no idea they were just swapping one elite reliever for another. Green was one of the game’s best full-time relievers in 2017 (69 IP, 1.83 ERA, 103 K), ranking 9th in ERA, 4th in FIP, 2nd in WHIP, 4th in K%, and 12th in bWAR. Green is slated to be an integral part of the Yankees bullpen once again in 2018.|
|Tommy Kahnle||RP||28||Originally drafted by the Yankees 175th overall in the 2010 draft, Kahnle was claimed by the Rockies in the Rule-5 draft in 2014 and then traded to the White Sox. Last July, Kahnle found his way back to New York and was very good (26.2 IP, 2.70 ERA, 36 K). Overall, and stop me if you’ve heard this one before, Kahnle was one of the best relievers in the game, ranking 5th in FIP and 8th in K%. Kahnle’s talented enough to be a closer, but in the ridiculously stacked 2018 bullpen, he’s probably going to be pitching in the 6th and 7th innings.|
|Dellin Betances||RP||29||Dellin Betances, one of the game’s best relievers, struggled mightily in the second half of 2017 with his control, ending the year with a brutal 16.9 BB% to go along with 11 hit-by-pitches and 5 wild pitches. Assuming Betances is healthy (and he appears to be), the problem was likely mechanical. And if/when the Yankees get him fixed and throwing strikes, there’s practically no one more filthy on the mound.|
|Adam Warren||RP||30||Want a picture of how deep the Yankees bullpen is in 2018? Here you go. Adam Warren is likely the 6th man up in the pen. Here are his 2017 numbers: 57.1 IP, 2.35 ERA, 0.872 WHIP, 15 BB, 54 K. Ridiculous. Warren has been in the major leagues for parts of 6 seasons now (all but a few months with the Yankees), and has seemingly always been overlooked. Expect more of the same in 2018. Consistently solid, if somewhat unnoticed, innings of work from Adam Warren.|
|Chasen Shreve||RP||27||Chasen Shreve’s third season with the Yankees was perfectly cromulent (45.1 IP, 3.77 ERA, 58 K), and he held lefties to a miserable .164/.235/.262 batting line in 68 plate appearances. But Shreve was rocky in second half of the season (4.71 ERA) and went unused in the postseason. Shreve is out of options, so it’s make-or-break time for him. If he pitches poorly in 2018, his time with the Yankees might come to an end.|
|Jonathan Holder||RP||24||Holder dominated AAA (16 IP, 1.69 ERA, 8 B, 21 K) and pitched well in MLB (39.1 IP, 3.89 ERA, 8 BB, 40 K) in 2017. With a strong performance in Spring Training, Holder earned a spot on his second consecutive Opening Day roster. Once again, it speaks to the Yankees bullpen depth that Holder is no. 8 on the depth chart.|
3. Rest of the 40-Man RosterBelow are the 15 players who did NOT make the Opening Day roster but are on the 40-man roster. These players are either top prospects the Yankees protected from the Rule-5 draft or they’re players right on the cusp of the major leagues. We’ll end up seeing many of these guys in the Bronx this summer.
|Albert Abreu||SP||22||Currently ranked as the 77th best prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America, the right-handed flamethrower is ticketed to spend the season in Single-A and perhaps Double-A. Abreu throws a fastball, slider, changeup, and curveball and made huge improvements in 2017.|
|Domingo Acevedo||SP||24||The massive (6’7” and 250 lb) right-hander had a solid 2017 at three different levels (133 IP, 3.25 ERA, 34 BB, 142 K). As all Yankee pitching prospects do, Acevedo throws a blazing fastball, complemented by a sinking changeup and a slider. Inconsistency with those secondary pitches has led many to believe Acevedo is headed for the bullpen eventually.|
|Miguel Andujar||3B||23||Andujar had his big breakout season in 2017, hitting .315/.352/.498 (.850 OPS) in 125 games between Double-A and Triple-A. He also made his MLB debut and had 4 hits in 8 plate appearances. Andujar’s bat has never been in doubt, but his defense is still a question mark. Despite a hot start in Spring Training, the Yankees sent Andujar to Triple-A to begin the season. He’s currently the no. 59 prospect in all of baseball, according to Baseball America.|
|Greg Bird||1B||25||A year may come when the health of Greg Bird holds, when we get to see him play an entire season at first base. But it is not this year. Coming off an excellent postseason, Bird was expected to be a centerpiece in the Yankees lineup, but alas he begins the year on the DL with a bone spur. That’s after missing all of 2016 with a right shoulder labrum tear and two-thirds of the 2017 season with a foot injury. Will he ever stay healthy?|
|Luis Cessa||SP||25||Cessa had another fine season in AAA (78.1 IP, 3.45 ERA, 26 BB, 67 K) in 2017, but has so far been unable to translate that success to the major-league level (4.49 ERA in 106.1 IP). If the Yankees tire of waiting for Cessa to find his consistency as a starter, I wouldn’t be surprised if they sent him to the bullpen eventually.|
|Jacoby Ellsbury||CF||34||Ellsbury is currently on the disabled list with an oblique injury. As soon as he is cleared to play and gets some rehab plate appearances (he missed most of Spring Training), he’ll be brought up to the Bronx. The overpaid fourth outfielder isn’t much of a hitter anymore, but can still play solid outfield defense and run the bases well. The Yankees still owe Ellsbury $68,428,571.|
|Thairo Estrada||SS||22||Estrada had a very nice season in Double-A last year, hitting .301/.353/.392 (.745 OPS) over 122 games and playing second, third, and shortstop. Estrada is likely ticketed for Double-A to begin the season, though I doubt it will be long before he’s in Triple-A. Estrada is currently recovering from a gunshot wound he suffered this offseason during a robbery attempt in Venezuela.|
|Clint Frazier||OF||23||Frazier opens the season on the disabled list after suffering a concussion in Spring Training. Frazier had a strong 2017 in AAA, hitting .256/.344/.473 (.816 OPS) in 321 PA, though he struggled in his major-league debut (.231/.268/.448 in 142 PA). Still, Frazier is one of the Yankees most exciting young players and should get an opportunity at some point this year.|
|Giovanny Gallegos||RP||26||Gallegos had his second consecutive excellent season in AAA last year (43.1 IP, 2.08 ERA, 11 BB, 69 K), leading his league in K% and K-BB%. Gallegos’s MLB debut didn’t go quite as well (4.87 ERA in 20.1 IP), and a poor showing in Spring Training has him back in AAA to start the season. At some point, Gallegos is going to have to get major-league hitters out or he might not have a place on the team going forward.|
|Domingo German||SP||25||Domingo German had a fantastic season in 2017, putting up 109.1 IP, 2.88 ERA, 32 BB, 119 K between AA and AAA. He also made his MLB debut and pitched well (14.1 IP, 3.14 ERA, 9 BB, 18 K). He’s ticketed to start the season in AAA this year and is possibly the next man up if a Yankees starting pitcher is injured.|
|Ben Heller||RP||26||I’m not sure what else Ben Heller has to do in the minor leagues to get a shot at the major-league roster. Heller has dominated AAA hitters for two seasons now (88 IP, 2.66 ERA, 7 HR, 30 BB, 114 K) and is ticketed to pitch at that level again in 2018. Heller pitched well in his brief MLB debut last year (11 IP, 0.82 ERA) and pitched well again in Spring Training this month. At some point, he’s got to get an extended look, right?|
|Kyle Higashioka||C||27||The Yankees catching depth is perilously thin after Gary Sanchez, and Higashioka would be the next guy up if Sanchez or Romine gets hurt. Higashioka spent most of 2017 injured himself, playing in just 21 minor-league games (.338/.390/.797 in 82 PA). He did make his MLB debut in April and went hitless in 20 plate appearances. Higashioka is a good defender and hit well in 2016 and 2017, but has not been able to stay healthy.|
|Jonathan Loaisiga||SP||23||Coming off Tommy John surgery in 2016, Loaisiga impressed enough in the Rookie League and Low-A (1.83 ERA in 15 starts) to be added to the Yankees 40-man roster. Loaisiga throws a fastball, curveball, and changeup and consistently throws strikes. He’s likely ticketed to start the season in Single-A.|
|Billy McKinney||OF||23||Yet another young player who is pretty much ready for the majors but has no spot on the Yankees active roster. McKinney, a former top prospect, regained some of his luster in 2017, as he mashed in Triple-A (.306/.336/.541 in 224 PA). The Yankees have had McKinney play some 1B to increase his versatility, and he could make his MLB debut this year if Greg Bird struggles or is unhealthy.|
|Gleyber Torres||SS||21||The Yankees top prospect, and a top 10 prospect in all of baseball, Gleyber Torres opens the season in AAA after having Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing arm to close out his 2017. In Double-A and Triple-A last year, Torres hit .287/.383/.480 (.863 OPS) and played above-average defense at shortstop. If Torres plays well at AAA (or if Neil Walker or Tyler Wade or Ronald Torreyes struggle), the Yankees will likely give Torres a shot. He’s one of the premiere young players in all of the minor leagues.|
4. Coaching StaffAaron Boone (Manager) The Yankees parted ways with Joe Girardi this offseason and turned to the guy who became a baseball legend with one swing of the bat in 2003. The 45-year-old Aaron Boone comes from a family of baseball players – his grandfather Ray Boone played for the Indians and Tigers in the 50s, his father Bob Boone played for the Phillies and Angels in the 70s and 80s, and his brother Bret Boone played for the Mariners and Reds in the 90s and early 2000s. Aaron himself played parts of 12 seasons, mostly with the Reds, though he is best known for that one October night. From 2010 to 2017, Boone worked with ESPN, most recently as a color commentator for Sunday Night Baseball. He has no managerial experience entering 2018.
Marcus Thames (Hitting Coach) Thames, a former major-leaguer who played for the Tigers, Yankees, Dodgers, and Rangers, has finally worked his way up to hitting coach of the Yankees. Thames was hired in 2013 as hitting coach for the Class A-Advanced Tampa Yankees, promoted to the Double-A Thunder as hitting coach in 2014, promoted to the Triple-A RailRiders as hitting coach in 2015, and promoted to assistant hitting coach for the Yankees in 2016. Thames was originally drafted by the Yankees back in 1996 and hit a home run off Randy Johnson on the first pitch he ever saw at the major-league level. Also he once hit a majestic walkoff home run against Jonathan Papelbon and the Red Sox. That was fun.
P.J. Pilittere (Assistant Hitting Coach) P.J. Pilittere was drafted by the Yankees in 2004 as a catcher, spent 8 years in the minor leagues, and retired after the 2011 season, never having made the big leagues. Pilittere immediately became a coach for California State University and then came back to the Yankees as a coach for the GCL Yankees in 2012, Single-A Charleston in 2013, Single-A Tampa in 2014, Double-A Thunder in 2015 and 2016, and the Triple-A RailRiders in 2017. He’s another guy who has worked his way up the system. He’s been with the Yankees for almost 15 years.
Larry Rothschild (Pitching Coach) Despite overhauling the coaching staff this offseason, GM Brian Cashman stuck with his pitching coach. (In 2017, the Yankees pitching staff ranked 5th in ERA, 5th in FIP, 2nd in fWAR, 4th in K%, and 13th in BB%.) Rothschild played 7 games for the Tigers in the early 80s, before becoming a coach for the Reds in the late 80s and early 90s. Rothschild worked for the Braves and Marlins and then became manager of the Devil Rays from 1998 to 2001. Rothschild was hired as pitching coach of the Cubs in 2002, where he remained until joining the Yankees as pitching coach in 2011. Altogether, Rothschild has spent more than 40 years playing or coaching baseball.
Reggie Willits (First Base Coach) Willits was drafted by the Angels in the 7th round of the 2003 draft and played parts of 6 years with the team in the majors. Notably, he was the only MLB position player in that period (2006-2011) to play at least 400 games and hit 0 home runs. Willits joined the Yankees in 2015 as their outfield and baserunning coordinator. This offseason, he was promoted to first-base coach and outfield instructor.
Phil Nevin (Third Base Coach) The former first-overall pick of the 1992 Draft (five spots ahead of Derek Jeter), Phil Nevin carved out a solid, if unspectacular MLB career with the seven teams (but mostly the Padres). His best season came in 2001, when he hit .306/.388/.588 (.976 OPS) with 41 HR, 126 RBI, 72 XBH, 71 BB, and 5.8 WAR for San Diego. After retiring in May 2007, Nevin worked for the Padres radio team and then joined ESPN as an analyst for college baseball. In 2008, he managed an independent team, the Orange County Flyers, and then eventually the Double-A team for the Detroit Tigers. From 2011 to mid-2013, Nevin managed the Triple-A team for the Tigers, and then joined the Diamondbacks organization as manager of their Triple-A team from 2014 to 2016. Nevin worked for the Giants as their third-base coach in 2017 and then joined the Yankees in the same role this offseason.
Josh Bard (Bench Coach) Drafted by the Rockies in 1999, Josh Bard played parts of 10 seasons with 5 different teams (Indians, Padres, Mariners, Red Sox, and Nationals) before retiring in 2012. Fun fact: Aaron Boone, Josh Bard, and CC Sabathia were all teammates on the Indians in 2005. Here’s a boxscore for a game they played together. Bard worked as a special assistant to the Dodgers in 2013 and was their bullpen coach in 2016. Bard was chosen by Boone to be the Yankees bench coach this offseason.
Other coaching staff members for 2018 include: Mike Harkey as bullpen coach for his seventh season, Carlos Mendoza as major-league quality control coach and infield instructor, Radley Haddad as bullpen catcher and coaching assistant, Jason Brown as catching coach, Hideki Matsui as special advisor to the GM, and Brett Weber as instant replay coordinator.
5. Season Preview Articles/Predictions
- River Avenue Blues, 2018 Season Preview articles
- CBS Sports Yankees Season Preview
- Yahoo: 2018 Preview New York Yankees
- Yahoo: The Yankees and Red Sox are on a collision course in the AL East this season
- USA Today 2018 Yankees Preview
- SB Nation: MLB Season Preview
- ESPN: The Yankees are loaded -- and there’s more talent on the way
- The Ringer: The Yankees Are Just a Better Version of the Red Sox
- MLB.com: 5 questions facing Yankees in 2018
- Effectively Wild Episode 1180: Season Preview Series: Yankees
- Sports Illustrated: Inside Giancarlo Stanton’s high-profile move to the Yankees
- YES Network: Yankees projected to win AL East with 96 wins, Baseball Prospectus ‘PECOTA’ numbers suggest
- FanGraphs 2018 Positional Power Rankings
- RLYW CAIRO 2018 Yankees Projections
- FanGraphs ZiPS 2018 Projections - Yankees
- River Avenue Blues: Top 30 Yankees Prospects for 2018
- FanGraphs Top 27 New York Yankees Prospects
6. Yankees Websites and Reporters Worth Following
- River Avenue Blues
- Pinstripe Alley
- Yanks Go Yard
- Bronx Pinstripes
- Pinstriped Prospects
- NJ.com Yankees blog
- Andrew Marchand of the New York Post
- Coley Harvey of ESPN
- Bryan Hoch of MLB.com
- Erik Boland of Newsday Sports
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo
- George A. King III of the New York Post
- Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media
- Mike Axisa of CBS Sports
- Mike Mazzeo of New York Daily News
- Jack Curry of YES
- Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record
- Marc Carig of The Athletic
- Sweeny Murti of WFAN
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post
- Mark Feinsand of MLB.com
- Donnie Collins of Scranton Times-Tribune
- DJ Eberle of Times LeadeAAA beat writer
- Conor Foley of the Scranton Times-Tribune/AAA beat writer
- Matt Kardos of MLB.com/Trenton Thunder beat writer
7. Players on Social MediaInstagram: Domingo Acevedo, Miguel Andujar, Dellin Betances, Greg Bird, Aaron Boone, Luis Cessa, Aroldis Chapman, Brandon Drury, Jacoby Ellsbury, Thairo Estrada, Clint Frazier, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, Ben Heller, Aaron Hicks, Kyle Higashioka, Jonathan Holder, Billy McKinney, Jordan Montgomery, Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Chasen Shreve, Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, Gleyber Torres, Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade, Neil Walker
Twitter: Albert Abreu, Miguel Andujar, Tyler Austin, Dellin Betances, Aaron Boone, Luis Cessa, Aroldis Chapman, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clint Frazier, Domingo German, Sonny Gray, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, Ben Heller, Aaron Hicks, Kyle Higashioka, Jonathan Holder, Aaron Judge, Billy McKinney, Jordan Montgomery, David Robertson, Austin Romine, CC Sabathia, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, Gleyber Torres, Tyler Wade
Looking at Carry/Cost Stats from Atlanta
Carry-A carry is when a single player at the TOP of the leaderboard is at least 5 +/- above the next best player. Keep in mind Plus/Minus is just kills minus deaths. If you're at least 5 points above everyone else on your team, regardless of win or loss, you're given a CARRY.
Cost-Literally the same thing as a carry but it applies to being the loser at the bottom of the scoreboard. The term cost is usually associated with costing your team the win but it's important to know that 55% of costs happen in victories. As it turns out, a lot of good teams do have one player that kicks back and has a 1.0 K/D while the rest of the team is great.
Half Carry/Half Cost- This obviously is worth half as much as carry (so two of these equal one full carry) but its criteria is murky and subjective. When giving away these half points sometimes my own opinion gets involved so it's an imperfect statistic. The most common example of a Half Carry is two players who are together massively outperforming the other two teammates. Basically a situation where one player definitely deserved a Carry, but it just happens to be that they have a teammates performing equally well, so they'll both get a Half Carry.
Now we're going to look at scoreboards from Atlanta just to help clear up certain "extreme" example about people getting carries and costs. For starters we have a Lightning Pandas vs Echo Fox Pool Play Hardpoint match that featured the best performance of the event.
Next up we actually have the Echo Fox scoreboard from that same blowout.
Next up we have three delightful examples of the fattest backpacks. These are the three maps from Atlanta, where the highest performing teammate had the biggest gap between them and the next best guy on the team. First up is eUnited and OpTic Gaming on a Valkrie Hardpoint during Pool Play where Clayster did his best to keep eUnited in the game until they lost 250-195.
For some reason we're still sticking with Red Reserve against EnVyUs on London Docks. Now we travel back in time to a London Docks Hardpoint that happened during Pool Play where once again EnVy got the 250-113 victory. Here's Envy's scoreboard.
Hopefully I did a decent job explaining all the nuances of Carry/Cost, so now let's see all the best and worst from Atlanta.
Here's the list of the "best backpackers" from Atlanta (Sorted by Carry %)
|Player||Carry %||Cost %||Role||Event K/D|
Here's the bottom dwellers sorted by Cost %
|Player||Carry %||Cost %||Role||Event K/D|
Moving on to the WILDCARD section with the highest combined Carry/Cost ratings. THese are essentially players that stray from their teammates often and stand out. A minimum 10% in each category is required to make the list.
|Player||Carry %||Cost %||Role||Event K/D|
Now let's take one last look at the most boring and consistent players from Atlanta who just rarely stood out.
|Player||Carry %||Cost %||Role||Event K/D|
Clearly there's a lot of research to do about Carries and Costs. I wanted to share some of the cool factoids but I don't think we can draw a lot of conclusions yet from this new statistic. I'll see you next time with a new statistic about "Clutch".