MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

With uphill battle ahead, Yanks locked in to contend

With uphill battle ahead, Yanks locked in to contend

Suddenly, the Yankees have hope. Actually, lots of it. That's what a month of solid baseball has gotten them.

Isn't that all any team asks for at this time of the year? Considering where they were just a few weeks ago, the Yankees will happily take it.

More

Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tanaka, Yanks can't close out Houston sweep

Tanaka, Yanks can't close out Houston sweep

HOUSTON -- Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus snapped an 0-for-29 slump at an opportune time.

Rasmus, whose seven-game hitless streak tied his career high, cranked a two-run home run in the third inning Wednesday night off Masahiro Tanaka to back a strong start from Lance McCullers Jr. and send the Astros to a 4-1 win over the Yankees at Minute Maid Park.

More

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Yankees on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

The 5 toughest 'buy or sell' dilemmas

Royals, Yankees, Mariners, White Sox, Rockies have decisions to make before Trade Deadline

The 5 toughest 'buy or sell' dilemmas

No general manager faces a tougher couple of days than Dayton Moore of the Royals. He has a team on the fringe of the postseason race and veteran players who might bring a bounty of young talent.

Buy or sell?

More

Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Disappointed' Tanaka has off night in Houston

'Disappointed' Tanaka has off night in Houston

HOUSTON -- Masahiro Tanaka has been somewhat of a road warrior for the Yankees this season, but his last two starts, including Wednesday night's 4-1 loss to the Astros, haven't shown it.

After posting a Major League-best 1.14 ERA in his first eight road starts this season, the right-hander has since given up 11 runs -- seven earned -- in his last two road starts, a combined 9 2/3 innings pitched. Against the Astros on Wednesday night, Tanaka gave up seven hits and four runs in only five innings.

More

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Yankees on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod celebrates 41st birthday from bench

A-Rod celebrates 41st birthday from bench

HOUSTON -- Alex Rodriguez walked into the visitor's clubhouse at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday afternoon wearing a nice dress shirt and jeans. He strolled over to his locker before changing into a midnight navy shirt and green shorts.

Rodriguez then sat down and began to roll up his high socks when pitcher Michael Pineda, who went seven innings in the Yankees' 2-1 win over the Astros Monday night, greeted Rodriguez, fist bumped the veteran and uttered a single phrase.

More

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Yankees on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nova, Yanks meet Odorizzi, Rays in St. Petersburg

Nova, Yanks meet Odorizzi, Rays in St. Petersburg

Jake Odorizzi is really looking forward to Monday, when he'll no longer have to answer questions about his spot on the trade block ahead of the non-waiver Deadline.

But before that, he's scheduled to start for the Rays on Friday when they host Ivan Nova and the Yankees at Tropicana Field.

More

Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rutherford, Torres among top prospect performers Thursday

Rockies catcher continues torrid month; Yankees' first-round pick hitting .429 to begin career

Rutherford, Torres among top prospect performers Thursday

Tom Murphy is likely hoping July never ends considering the Rockies' No. 11 prospect has raised his batting average over 100 points in 16 games so far this month.

Murphy went 3-for-4 with a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored in Triple-A Albuquerque's 8-3 win over Salt Lake.

More

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Miller fooling hitters into attacking the wrong pitches

Relief ace has third-highest called strike rate in baseball

Miller fooling hitters into attacking the wrong pitches

If there's a reason the Yankees may not trade Andrew Miller, it's probably not because their recent run of eight wins in 10 games has kept their American League Wild Card hopes alive. It's because the high return they received in the Aroldis Chapman trade may have set extremely high expectations. After all, if the Yanks could do as well as they did for an impending free agent with obvious off-field baggage, what would they require for a pitcher who's just as dominant and is signed, reasonably, through 2018?

The price would be so high, in fact, that it hardly seems possible for anyone to meet it, but the Yankees wouldn't be wrong for demanding it. Though Miller may not throw 105 mph like Chapman, over the past calendar year, he's struck out more, walked fewer and basically been better -- and he's doing it in a way that we've rarely seen before.

More

Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees hope hot streak keeps team intact

'Nobody wants to break up,' Sabathia says after 8th win in 10 games

Yankees hope hot streak keeps team intact

HOUSTON -- The Yankees are suddenly playing their best baseball of the year, just in time to send a message to those in position to determine their future. This roster doesn't want to hear the word "sell."

CC Sabathia's 6 2/3 strong innings led the Yankees to a 6-3 victory over the Astros on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park, marking New York's eighth win in their last 10 games. With the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline looming, the Yankees (52-48) have improved to a season-high four games over .500.

More

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ellsbury racking up catcher's interference calls

Yanks outfielder has already set MLB single-season mark this year

Ellsbury racking up catcher's interference calls

Jacoby Ellsbury doesn't know why it's happening so often now, he says, because his swing has always been fundamentally the same. This season, though, he just keeps hitting the catcher's mitt with his bat.

Ellsbury has reached base via catcher's interference nine times this year, a Major League single-season record -- surpassing a mark set by Roberto Kelly, who had eight in 1992 with the Yankees -- and New York has only played 100 games.

More

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks back CC, hold off Astros for series win

Yanks back CC, hold off Astros for series win

HOUSTON -- CC Sabathia won for the first time in more than a month by holding the Astros to two runs -- on solo homers by Marwin Gonzalez and Evan Gattis -- in 6 2/3 innings to lead the Yankees to their eighth win in 10 games, 6-3, on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.

"I've been doing everything I can and trying not to get frustrated," Sabathia said. "We've been playing pretty well. We're fighting right now, so to be able to help us get a win feels good."

More

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sabathia sees positive results as tide turns

Lefty snaps his 4-game losing streak as NY takes series

Sabathia sees positive results as tide turns

HOUSTON -- The way CC Sabathia breaks it down, his stuff didn't feel drastically different than it had been in his last six starts. The end result was, however, as the big left-hander picked up his first victory since June 16 in the Yankees' 6-3 win over the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Sabathia limited the Astros to a pair of solo homers, hit by Marwin Gonzalez and Evan Gattis, as he notched his first quality start since that outing against the Twins at Target Field almost six weeks ago.

More

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Warren excited to be back 'home' with Yanks

Righty returns to NY from Cubs in Chapman trade

Warren excited to be back 'home' with Yanks

HOUSTON -- The shock of being traded by the only organization he had known was dissipating, and Adam Warren wanted to embrace a new beginning. The right-hander decided that a little spring cleaning might help, and so he emptied his drawers of anything with the word "Yankees" on it.

Fortunately, as Warren remarked on Monday, those team-issued shirts and shorts are still in boxes. He will have the opportunity to break them out of storage now that he is back in a Yankees uniform, following his acquisition from the Cubs in Monday's blockbuster Aroldis Chapman trade.

More

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sanchez among top prospect performers Tuesday

Rays' No. 13 prospect knocks in career-high five runs, Reds' No. 18 scores winning run and hits for cycle

Sanchez among top prospect performers Tuesday

Justin Williams tied his career high for homers in a season and set a career high for RBIs in a game. Not bad for a day's work.

Williams, the Rays' No. 13 prospect, went 3-for-4 with five RBIs Tuesday as he led Double-A Montgomery to a 10-5 win over Pensacola.

More

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Extremely valuable' Torres highlights trade haul

'We like the entire package,' Cashman says of players in Chapman trade

'Extremely valuable' Torres highlights trade haul

HOUSTON -- The Yankees made it clear that it wouldn't be cheap to pry Aroldis Chapman and his high-octane fastball from their grip, but when the Cubs agreed late on Sunday to part with top prospect Gleyber Torres, general manager Brian Cashman knew it was time to strike a deal.

In addition to right-hander Adam Warren, who is expected to rejoin the big league roster on Tuesday in Houston, the Chapman deal added three prospects to New York's farm system. In New York's view, the prize is the 19-year-old Torres, who is rated as the No. 24 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline.

More

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chapman goes to Cubs for Warren, 3 prospects

Chicago's No. 1-ranked Torres part of package Yankees get for hard-throwing closer

Chapman goes to Cubs for Warren, 3 prospects

HOUSTON -- The Yankees bought low and sold high on Aroldis Chapman, flipping the flame-throwing closer to the Cubs on Monday afternoon in exchange for a four-player package that includes 19-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres, Chicago's top prospect.

New York also reacquired right-hander Adam Warren, who was traded to Chicago this past offseason, and received Minor League outfielders Billy McKinney (ranked No. 5 in the Cubs system) and Rashad Crawford. Torres is rated as the No. 24 prospect in the game by MLBPipeline.com.

More

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pineda outduels Keuchel as Yanks nip Astros

Pineda outduels Keuchel as Yanks nip Astros

HOUSTON -- The Yankees somehow found a way to get the best of nemesis Dallas Keuchel on a night he had some of his best stuff of the season.

Chase Headley and Austin Romine each had RBI hits to back seven strong innings from starter Michael Pineda to lead the Yankees to a 2-1 win over Keuchel and the Astros in the series opener Monday night at Minute Maid Park.

More

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod optimistic after digging into analytics

Yankees DH on bench for 3rd straight game Monday

A-Rod optimistic after digging into analytics

HOUSTON -- Alex Rodriguez's role with the Yankees may never have seemed more diminished than it does at this moment, but the designated hitter says that he is optimistic that he has identified a flaw in his swing, even huddling with the team's analytics department to go over his recent output.

Rodriguez was benched for the third consecutive game on Monday, this time against left-hander Dallas Keuchel in the Yankees' 2-1 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Rodriguez had already been sitting regularly against right-handed pitching.

More

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cashman: Chapman trade 'isn't a white flag'

Cashman: Chapman trade 'isn't a white flag'

HOUSTON -- The Yankees started the season knowing that they wouldn't have Aroldis Chapman's services for the first two months, and even with the closer now on his way to finish the year with the Cubs, general manager Brian Cashman wants his team to go back to that original mindset.

"This isn't a white flag," Cashman said. "This is a rearrangement, as well as capitalizing on maximizing the acquisition cost on Aroldis Chapman. We'll see where it takes us. I just think it was the right move for our franchise."

More

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Severino returns to Yankees from Triple-A

Severino returns to Yankees from Triple-A

The Yankees recalled right-hander Luis Severino from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before Monday's game against the Astros in Houston, the club announced.

A corresponding roster move was not announced by the Yanks, but bringing up Severino could be the move to fill the roster spot that opened up with the trading of closer Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for a four-player package.

More

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees stun Giants with rare DP combo

Castro, Green, Headley turn 4-1-5 double play in 8th inning

Yankees stun Giants with rare DP combo

NEW YORK -- 4-1-5 may be the most prominent area code in San Francisco, but it was the Yankees who used those numbers to answer the call and disconnect a budding Giants rally in their 5-2 victory on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

With one out and Mac Williamson at first base in the eighth inning, Ramiro Pena hit a hard grounder to the right side that second baseman Starlin Castro smothered with a diving stop, tossing to pitcher Chad Green covering first base.

More

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beltran, Teixeira homer to back Eovaldi in win

Beltran, Teixeira homer to back Eovaldi in win

NEW YORK -- Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira homered as Nathan Eovaldi threw a season-high 118 pitches, leading the Yankees to a 5-2 victory over the Giants on Sunday as they prepared to take their swirling trade speculation on the road.

Amid reports that the Yankees are listening to offers on closer Aroldis Chapman, they were able to complete a 6-4 homestand without calling upon the three big arms of Chapman, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, all of whom were unavailable. Eovaldi gave them the lengthy outing they needed, going 6 2/3 innings and credited his cutter to his performance.

More

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Eovaldi's strong start latest for rolling rotation

Eovaldi's strong start latest for rolling rotation

NEW YORK -- Whether it's luck, good timing or things finally starting click, perhaps the most pivotal stretch of the Yankees' season thus far just coincided with perhaps the team's best string of pitching performances.

The Yankees won six of their last eight contests to end a 10-game homestand, capping the stretch with Sunday's 5-2 victory over the Giants. Over those eight games, the staff has allowed fewer than two runs per game (13 total), 10 of which counted against the starters.

More

Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees see Giants come back for win in 12th

Yankees see Giants come back for win in 12th

NEW YORK -- Presented with a second chance to give the San Francisco Giants an extra-inning lead Saturday, Mac Williamson treated it like a pitch down the middle. He wouldn't let it pass him by.

Williamson drove in both Giants runs, including the go-ahead tally with a 12th-inning single that hastened San Francisco's 2-1 victory over the New York Yankees. The decision ended the Giants' season-high, six game losing streak and kept them four games ahead of second-place Los Angeles in the National League West.

More

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Extra-inning loss comes at inopportune time

Extra-inning loss comes at inopportune time

NEW YORK -- In the long and storied history of the New York Yankees, there have been plenty of teams described as "unstoppable." And they all have one thing in common: At one point or another, they were, in fact, stopped.

No Major League team has ever finished undefeated, nor has any team ever been expected to. But this season's Yankees may feel the pressure to come close to that. After losing, 2-1, to the Giants in 12 innings Saturday, they fell to 4 1/2 games back of the second American League Wild Card spot with the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline now just eight days away.

More

Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Castro's hot bat a direct boost for Yankees

Castro's hot bat a direct boost for Yankees

NEW YORK -- The Yankees have made their formula for success in 2016 clear: Get the starter through six innings with a lead, then give the game over to the bullpen.

But it might be time to make a slight amendment to the formula. That strategy is well and good, but there might be a shortcut. Just get Starlin Castro a hit.

More

Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees stay hot, send Giants to 6th straight loss

Yankees stay hot, send Giants to 6th straight loss

NEW YORK -- The Giants' struggles and the Yankees' surge both continued Friday night as San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford committed an eighth-inning throwing error that helped New York generate the tiebreaking run in a 3-2 victory. It was San Francisco's season-high sixth consecutive loss.

"Unfortunately, the first half we couldn't be consistent as a team," Yankees right fielder Carlos Beltran said after his team won its seventh of their last 10 games and is now 4 1/2 games out of the top spot in the American League Wild Card race. "Now, we feel like we're playing better baseball, so we're happy where we're at. We just need to continue to put up wins and we'll see what happens."

More

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beltran shows off defense in win over Giants

Beltran shows off defense in win over Giants

NEW YORK -- For most of the 2016 season, Carlos Beltran's bat has been the lone saving grace for the Yankees' offense.

It's a bat that has driven in a team-high 61 runs. It's a bat that's smacked a team-high 20 home runs and a team-high 20 doubles. It's a bat that has logged a .305 batting average and an .898 OPS, both of which are also team highs. But in the Yankees' 3-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, it wasn't Beltran's bat that led the Yankees to victory. It was his glove.

More

Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees 'pen hiccups, but Chapman seals it

Yankees 'pen hiccups, but Chapman seals it

NEW YORK -- As Trevor Brown scurried across home plate, the pocket of fans clad in Giants orange at Yankee Stadium erupted Friday night. Yankees manager Joe Girardi looked on from the dugout, his hands resting over the guardrail and his face bearing no expression. His plans had been squandered.

Masahiro Tanaka had thrown just 83 pitches through six scoreless innings, but Girardi pulled him before the seventh in favor of Dellin Betances. The Yankees claimed the 3-2 win in the series opener, but not before a pair of rare slipups from Betances and Andrew Miller, in the seventh and eighth, respectively, left the game's outcome in jeopardy.

More

Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sabathia, Nova diverge on desire to swing bat

Sabathia, Nova diverge on desire to swing bat

NEW YORK -- This season, the average Major League pitcher is hitting .132.

So it almost never comes as a surprise when a National League ballclub elects to use a designated hitter when it visits an American League park, as the Giants will Friday night. But Friday is one of those rare situations that a team is questioned for not factoring its pitcher into the lineup with Giants star Madison Bumgarner and his 13 career home runs on the mound.

More

Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.