As the Yankees wind down their regular season and prepare for the postseason, we pause for a few notes, tidbits, and general musings about the Pinstripes…
**** According to the Yes Network, Gio Urshela is the 29th Yankees player to hit the Injured List this year. There’s been so many we’ll take their word for it. Urshela suffered a groin strain (ouch) and is on the 10-day IL retroactive to August 29.. The injury is not expected to keep Urshela out of the lineup longer than that.
But the time missed is going to put a crimp in Urshela’s quest for the American League Batting Title. His .331 batting average is good enough to place him in contention with teammate DJ LeMahieu, Houston’s Michael Brantley, and the Red Sox Rafael Devers.
But with only 384 at-bats, it’s going to be a stretch to reach the 3.1 at-bats per game over a full season total.
Wouldn’t it be something though if the contest between LeMahieu and Urshela reached the heights of the epic battle between two Yankee teammates in 1984? On the final day of that season, Don Mattingly had four hits in five at-bats to edge out Dave Winfield to capture the title.
**** You don’t hear too much about him, but left-handed starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery is quietly making his way back from Tommy John surgery. Before he was shut down for the 2019 season, Montgomery made 35 starts for the Yankees, compiling an 11-7 record with a 3.84 ERA.
Montgomery is currently on rehab duty with the Yankees Triple-A farm team in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He could be a force on the Yankees postseason roster this year. But the Yankees are wisely looking more towards 2020 when he a natural to replace CC Sabathia in the rotation.
**** Speaking of Sabathia, another knee injury forced him out of his start against the Oakland A’s after only 3.1 innings pitched. Sad to say, this could be and maybe should be the end of Sabathia’s illustrious career with the Yankees.
Sabathia is the fourteenth pitcher to win 250 or more games with 3,000 or more strikeouts. He also joins Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson as the only left-handed pitchers to reach the 3K mark. Here’s the moment…
**** Gary Sanchez has only 84 hits this season. But he’s making them count with 30 home runs and 69 RBI. The batting average is still not up to par at .231, but Sanchez maintains an OPS of .818, well above the league average of .743.
**** Aaron Judge continues to show why he’s the leading force of the Yankees both on the field and in the clubhouse. Mired in a month-long slump, Judge burst out with five home runs in six games.
It’s in the way he approaches and practices the game that separates Judge from nearly everyone. In his own words, Judge explains:
Now if that doesn’t explain the Yankees 2019 season, I don’t know what does.
**** Monday morning quarterbacking proves Yankees GM Brian Cashman hit the nail on the head again. Remember those starting pitchers bandied about at the trade deadline? Matthew Boyd of the Detroit Tigers is 6-10 with a 4.47 ERA. Trevor Bauer is 1-3 since his trade to the Cincinnati Reds and his team has lost four of his five starts. On the flip side though, Sonny Gray (remember him?) is 10-6 with a sparking 2.92 ERA this season for the Reds.