- The Yankees have outrighted outfielder Shane Robinson to Triple-A Scranton, per a team announcement. Given that he has been outrighted in the past, Robinson could have refused the assignment and become a free agent. Instead, it appears he’ll remain with the Yankees, who signed him to a minor league deal in February and then designated him for assignment earlier this week. Robinson appeared in two Yankees games prior to his designation, collecting a hit and a pair of walks in five plate appearances. The 33-year-old’s a lifetime .227/.296/.297 hitter in 800 major league PAs.
- Manager Aaron Boone told Marc Carig of The Athletic and other reporters Sunday that it’s “possible,” albeit “not necessarily” probable, the Yankees will promote top prospect Gleyber Torres during the upcoming week. The Yankees would gain an extra year of control over the infielder by waiting until April 18 to promote him, though general manager Brian Cashman insisted during spring training that the team’s not concerned about that. Torres has made his case for a call-up at the Triple-A level since last year, having hit .333/.407/.496 in 135 plate appearances. If the 21-year-old does join the Yankees soon, he could be a factor at both second and third base.
- The Yankees’ best prospect, infielder Gleyber Torres, could end up in the majors soon if the Miguel Andujar–Tyler Wade tandem doesn’t start producing for the club, George A. King III of the New York Post observes. Andujar, also one of the Yankees’ top prospects, collected a double and a triple in their win over the Tigers on Friday. The third baseman has just five hits in 34 plate appearances, though, while Wade – primarily a second baseman – has even fewer knocks (three) in 35 PAs. Torres could play either third or second, thus bumping either Andujar or Wade. The Yankees wouldn’t need help at the hot corner had Brandon Drury not gone on the DL ith severe migraines on April 7. Drury could return April 17, but that’s not likely, according to King. It just so happens that the Yankees could gain an extra year of team control over Torres, 21, by waiting until April 18 to promote him, King points out. Torres has made his case for a call-up this year, having batted a tremendous .387/.412/.548 over 34 PAs at the Triple-A level.
The Orioles have returned Rule 5 selection Nestor Cortes to the Yankees, per a club announcement. The southpaw was designated for assignment recently.
Cortes took a spot on the Opening Day roster but coughed up four runs on ten hits and four walks in his 4 2/3 innings to begin the season. That led the O’s to part with the second of their three Rule 5 picks this season. Only righty Pedro Araujo remains among this year’s picks.
The Yanks will pay $50K to their division rivals to take back the rights to Cortes, who will not need to be added to the 40-man roster. He will try to pick back up where he left off in an impressive 2017 season, when he spent most of the season in the upper minors and ended with a 2.06 ERA over 104 2/3 total innings.
Major League Baseball has announced a variety of suspensions and fines relating to last night’s dust-up between the Yankees and Red Sox. As Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported on Twitter, New York first baseman Tyler Austin was slapped with a five-game ban while Boston reliever Joe Kelly will sit out six contests.
Both of those players have appealed their suspensions, meaning they won’t go into immediate effect and could still be shortened. Austin was penalized for charging Kelly on the hill and for his role in the melee. Kelly’s ban stemmed from a finding that he intentionally plunked Austin and also participated in the brawl.
Those two are also among those charged with undisclosed fines. Red Sox skipper Alex Cora and Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin were among them. A host of players on the disabled list — CC Sabathia, Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, and Marco Hernandez — were also hit with fines for joining the fracas.
If these suspensions are upheld, they’ll hurt the respective teams somewhat but likely won’t have a major impact on the course of the current season. Still, the ongoing tension certainly makes tonight’s series-ending affair between these rivals appointment viewing and sets the stage for an interesting season-long battle between the two division favorites.
The Yankees announced that they’ve activated outfielder Aaron Hicks from the disabled list and designated fellow outfielder Shane Robinson for assignment in a corresponding move. Hicks will return to the lineup tonight as the designated hitter for the Yanks.
The switch-hitting Hicks will be a welcome addition to the Yankees’ lineup. Hicks went 2-for-4 on Opening Day for the Yankees this season before surprisingly landing on the DL due to a strained intercostal muscle the following day. Last year, the 28-year-old former first-rounder slashed .266/.372/.475 with 15 homers and 10 steals in 361 plate appearances over the life of 88 games, but oblique strains on both his right and left sides hampered his ability to stay on the field. Nonetheless, Hicks demonstrated enough for the Yankees to consider him their primary center fielder heading into 2018, and he’ll likely reclaim that role moving forward.
As for the 33-year-old Robinson, he always looked to be a short-term add for the Yankees, though it likely still stings to be cut loose after reaching three times and swiping a base in his lone game with the Yankees. The speedy veteran’s contract was only selected Tuesday, and he went 1-for-3 with a couple of walks in last night’s emotionally charged game against the Red Sox.
Robinson has been up and down between the Majors and Triple-A for much of his pro career, appearing at the big league level in each of the past seven seasons but never reaching 200 plate appearances in a year. Overall, he’s a lifetime .227/.296/.297 hitter in the Majors and a .281/.341/.388 hitter in more than 1600 Triple-A plate appearances.
- It appears as though Aaron Hicks has completed his rehab assignment. The outfielder tells reporters that he’s excited to rejoin the Yankees tomorrow (Twitter link Conor Foley of the Scranton Times-Tribune). Hicks walked and doubled in his second Triple-A rehab game tonight. He’s been out for two weeks with an intercostal strain that he suffered in the season opener. Meanwhile, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com tweeted yesterday that Jacoby Ellsbury will be shut down for 72 hours after receiving a cortisone shot in his ailing hip, so it seems the Yankees will likely have an update on him later this week once he attempts to resume baseball activities.
Cortes was taken from the Yankees in the 2017 Rule 5 draft. If he clears waivers, he’ll be offered back to the New York organization for a $50K sum, which the Yankees will all but assuredly pay. Regardless, the O’s have opened an additional 40-man spot for the time being.
The 23-year-old Cortes was one of two Rule 5 picks the O’s made back in December and one of three players with Rule 5 restrictions to crack the Opening Day roster. Baltimore also selected Pedro Araujo out of the Cubs organization, and outfielder Anthony Santander still comes with Rule 5 status for the first 44 days of the 2018 season after spending the bulk of the 2017 season on the disabled list.
Cortes appeared in four games for the Orioles and was tagged for four runs on 10 hits and four walks with three strikeouts through 4 2/3 innings of relief. Last year with the Yankees, he logged an impressive 2.06 ERA in 104 total innings between Class-A Advanced, Double-A and Triple-A, while averaging a strikeout per inning and just 2.8 walks per nine frames.
The Yankees have designated utilityman Jace Peterson for assignment, per a club announcement. His roster spot will go to outfielder Shane Robinson, whose contract was selected, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported on Twitter.
Peterson, 27, helped fill out the Yankees roster as injuries interfered with the club’s plans. But the former Braves infielder never seemed likely to hang on all season long. The Yankees seem pleased to utilize Ronald Torreyes as a reserve in the infield and obviously have other ideas for the outfield mix.
By adding Robinson, the Yanks will add another center field-capable player to the roster while awaiting the returns of Aaron Hicks and Jacoby Ellsbury. While Robinson has never hit much and surely won’t start now that he’s 33 years of age, he has plenty of experience coming off the bench and lining up at any of the three outfield positions.
Mazzilli is the son of former MLB player and coach Lee Mazzilli, who currently works in the Yankees organization in a non-uniformed capacity. The younger Mazzilli is a former fourth-round pick who has mostly played in the upper minors over the past three seasons. He’s a .254/.335/.346 hitter over 1,164 Double-A plate appearances, but has gone down on strikes just 176 times in that span while drawing 123 walks. Mazzilli has mostly played second base but has increasingly also spent time in the corner outfield.
As for Coleman, he has not really advanced since drawing a $150K bonus as the Yankees’ 11th-round pick in the 2013 draft. The 22-year-old has mostly struggled at the plate in the low minors and has only briefly moved past the low-A level. All told,he carries a .207/.309/.301 batting line with ten home runs and 245 strikeouts in his 893 trips to the plate as a professional.