New York Yankees News and Notes: 08/07/17

The New York Yankees enjoy an off day after splitting a four game series in Cleveland, which included winning the last two games. While they do that, let’s take a look as some newsworthy items coming out of the Bronx.

(Jordan Montgomery -

-After yesterday’s 8-1 victory in Cleveland, the Yankees announced that Starting Pitcher Jordan Montgomery was sent down to Triple A Scranton. Montgomery is 7-6 with a 4.05 ERA with the Yankees in 2017. Despite being a rookie, Montgomery was one of the Yankees more consistent starting pitchers this season. He had struggled of late, but pitched well giving up 1 run over five innings during Saturday’s win in Cleveland. After an efficient 65 pitch outing, manager Joe Girardi elected to pull Montgomery and go to his very deep bullpen to try and snap their [then] four game losing streak.

Montgomery being sent down is a simple case of “odd man out”, which the Yankees may face again shortly with outfielder Clint Frazier. After the trades for Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia, the Yankees had six starting pitchers for five spots. Montgomery and Luis Severino have minor league options but with Severino pitching like a bona fide ace for the majority of the season (he’s sporting a 9-4 record with a 2.91 ERA), Montgomery became the odd man out. The Yankees won’t say it, but Jordan Montgomery is also likely facing an innings limit, and it would be better to manage that in a less stressful environment like Scranton as opposed to a pennant race in the Bronx. Plus, September is just a few weeks away, and with the roster then expanding to 40, Montgomery could be back before you know it.

(Matt Holliday -

-Before yesterday’s victory, DH Matt Holliday was placed on the 10 day DL. The Yankees are calling it a "lower back injury" that was said to have occurred during Friday’s loss. Holliday has been mired in an awful slump since the All Star Break, going just 11-81. His lone home run during that stretch came back on July 15th being one of the biggest home runs of the year for the Yankees when he tied that game off Boston’s dominant closer, Craig Kimbrel. The Yankees went on to win that game in 16 innings. Holliday just hasn't been the same player since coming off the DL in July after being sick with a virus.

Despite breaking out for 8 runs yesterday, the Yankees have been inconsistent offensively for much of the second half, scoring just 8 runs in their previous 5 games before Sunday’s outburst. The Yankees went 1-4 in that stretch. Rookie Slugger Aaron Judge hasn’t been the same player either since he owned Miami during the All Star Game. However, one of the biggest reasons the Yankees haven’t scored as many runs as they probably could have, is due to the fact that Holliday has become an automatic out. Holliday was a force in the cleanup spot and provided great protection to Judge in the first half of the season. His struggles, combined with two long DL stints for Starlin Castro, leave the Yankees trying to fill two holes left by very productive players.

(Gary Sanchez -

-Starting Catcher Gary Sanchez found himself on the bench Sunday after being relegated to DH duties on Saturday. Sanchez, who was a star in 2016, has regressed mightily in 2017 to the point where Girardi had to call him out publicly after Friday’s defeat where Sanchez added his MLB leading 12th passed ball. Sanchez also leads the American League with 10 errors behind the plate. The manager expressed to Sanchez verbally that he needs to improve his defense, especially when it comes to blocking balls. Girardi said he expects to see Sanchez behind the plate tomorrow for CC Sabathia’s start in Toronto, but Sanchez also expected to start yesterday behind the plate, so we shall see what names the manager pencils into the lineup tomorrow.

Sanchez’s defense isn’t the only issue in 2017. He’s simply not the force with the bat he was in 2016 either. While no one expected him to hit 65 home runs this year, Sanchez’s 'eye' at the plate is alarming. He is routinely chasing off speed pitches out of the zone and sometimes those pitches aren’t even reaching home plate. His poor discipline is evidenced by big strikes out he had in key spots during loses in both the Detroit and Cleveland series.

Next up, the Yankees begin a three game set with the division rival Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday. CC Sabathia is scheduled to take the mound vs. JA Happ. Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @Christian_973

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