Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Game 134: Yankees @ Red Sox

YANKEES (81-52)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Eric Chavez DH
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Francisco Cervelli C

Pitching: RHP Phil Hughes (4-4, 6.46)

RED SOX (82-52)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
David Ortiz DH
Jed Lowrie 3B
Carl Crawford LF
Josh Reddick RF
Jason Varitek C
Marco Scutaro SS

Pitching: RHP Josh Beckett (11-5, 2.43)

First Pitch: 7:10 PM | TV: YES/ESPN | Radio: WCBS

Four Yankees Named to AFL Team

Arizona Fall League rosters were announced yesterday, at least in part, with Yankees prospects suiting up for the Phoenix Desert Dogs. Teams generally send six or seven players, so it seems likely that another two arms will be heading to Arizona this fall. As of now, the following players will be playing in the desert:

David Phelps, RHP
Were it not for a shoulder malady, Phelps may have received some time with the Yankees this year. He's heading to the AFL to make up for lost innings and to ensure that he's good to go in 2012.

Corban Joseph, 2B
I would be shocked if Joseph didn't log some time at other positions, as he's blocked by Cano for the next few seasons (at minimum). I also assume he's being showcased for other teams, as his bat, while good, may not play too well in a corner.

Ronnier Mustelier, 2B
Mustelier looks like a fine bench piece, capable of playing 2B, 3B, and the outfield. He's mashed the ball since coming stateside from Cuba, but at age 27 I'm not sure how much upside is there.

Rob Segedin, OF
Segedin, a third baseman by trade, appears to be on the Brandon Laird plan. He'll be given reps in the outfield corners and at 1B to give him a bit more value.

Jesus Cometh..... Tomorrow

From Joel Sherman:
The Yankees were still working through some issues involving who to call up tomorrow when rosters expand on Sept. 1. But there were three players not in dispute: Jesus Montero is going to be promoted while Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances will not be, The Post has learned.

The Yanks simply feel that Banuelos and Betances, their top two pitching prospects, have met their objectives this year, which were to progress from Double-A to Triple-A and log enough innings to become factors to pitch in the majors next year. Betances started 24 games and worked 121 innings. Banuelos started 26 times and pitched 128 innings. In the way that the Yanks progress starters, both would be in line to pitch about 160 innings next year, which is a high enough total for them to be major-league considerations.

The Yanks had fiddled with the idea of using one or both out of the major league pen in September to see if they could become factors for the postseason roster, especially the left-handed Banuelos. For now, however, the Yanks had enough concerns — particularly with fastball command — that they did not see the wisdom in trying to transition to the bullpen on the fly two pitchers they remain adamant will pitch at the top of a rotation in the future.....

As for Montero, he is going to get opportunities to play and specifically hit, which is by far his best tool. Jorge Posada’s postseason roster spot remains tenuous enough that Montero could have a big September and make himself viable for October at-bats as a DH. Posada will not be the DH against lefty pitching and the Yanks are currently in line to play the Rangers, who will start at least two lefties against the Yanks.
Nice! I can't wait to see Montero finally get his chance.

As for Banuelos and Betances, I'm glad the Yankees aren't messing with them and turning them into relievers, even if it is just for a few weeks. Both pitchers are still very young and clearly need more work in the minors anyway. There's no use screwing with that for a few innings of relief work.

Harper: Cervelli Bringing Intesity Back To The Rivalry

From John Harper:
For years now this Yankees-Red Sox rivalry has needed a new villain, since the likes of Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling left the stage and Alex Rodriguez stopped irritating teammates and opponents alike quite so much.

So who knew it would be Francisco Cervelli?

Actually, it's not terribly surprising, as emotional and animated as Cervelli can be. It's just that he's an afterthought on most nights as Russell Martin's backup. But Tuesday night he injected a little juice into the proceedings, getting under John Lackey's skin by clapping hard in front of Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia as he reached home plate on a home-run trot in the fifth inning.

Sure enough, Lackey drilled him in the back in his next at-bat, in the seventh inning, and Cervelli knew it was intentional, pointing his bat toward the mound and telling the pitcher he didn't care for it.

Afterward, everyone from Joe Girardi to CC Sabathia to Cervelli himself said they thought Lackey's pitch was intentional. Sabathia, who was screaming at the Red Sox as the benches cleared but didn't brawl, may have been the most upset.

"I didn't like it," he said.
If this rivalry needs the intensity boost, baseball needs it more. In a season that seems headed for the quietest September ever, with almost no division-race or wild-card drama to be found anywhere, the promise of a high-octane October featuring the Yankees and Red Sox might help keep people interested.

If only Bud Selig could instantly install the new format that seems sure to be adapted in the next year or two, featuring a second wild-card team and thus a one- or three-game playoff between the two wild-card teams. That way both the Yankees and Red Sox would be desperate to win the division.

Even so, it's starting to feel as if these teams are tired of seeing one another this season. You could sense the intensity from the first inning Tuesday night, when Sabathia hit Jacoby Ellsbury as what appeared to be retaliation for Lackey coming inside and hitting Curtis Granderson - even if the umpire ruled the pitch hit Granderson's bat.
While I'm totally against adding more playoff teams, I do think this rivalry needed a boost. The Yankees also need to win some more games and prove they can actually beat this team. It may not matter in the regular season since both teams are virtual locks for the playoffs, but it will matter if these two teams meet in October.

Cervelli Homers, Pisses Off Boston

Look at Lackey's face after Cervelli crossed the plate and clapped his hands--it's kind of hilarious. This obviously led to the HBP in the 7th, but he would later score on a pretty cheap run in the inning so thanks for the freebie.

More importantly, the Yankees won the game thanks to some timely hitting, a solid 10 strikeout performance by CC, and some solid relief work from the pen. And with the Bronx Bummers (AJ and Hughes) going in the final two games of the series, this was one the Yanks had to have.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Game 133: Yankees @ Red Sox

YANKEES (80-52)
Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Eric Chavez, 3B
Jorge Posada, DH
Francisco Cervelli, C

LHP CC Sabathia (17-7, 2.99 ERA)

RED SOX (82-51)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Marco Scutaro, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Jed Lowrie, 3B
Carl Crawford, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Darnell McDonald, RF

RHP John Lackey (12-9, 5.98)

First Pitch: 7:10 PM | TV; My9/MLBN | Radio: WCBS

Pitching Matchups & Ticket Prices For Yankees @ Red Sox

Another Yankees-Sox series "with first place on the line" or whatever other cliche tag line they want to attach to it. Call me a pessimist, but I'm not too pumped about this series. No A-Rod, an injured Jeter, and another series with Boston where at least two of the three pitching matchups are a disaster waiting to happen for the Yanks as you'll see below.

Game 1: Tonight @ 7:10 PM | TV: My9/MLBN | Radio: WCBS
LHP CC Sabathia (17-7, 2.99) vs. RHP John Lackey (12-9, 5.98)

Game 2: Tomorrow @ 7:10 PM | TV: YES/ESPN | Radio: WCBS
RHP Phil Hughes (4-4, 6.46) vs. RHP Josh Beckett (11-5, 2.43)

Game 3: Thursday @ 7:10 PM | TV: YES/MLBN | Radio: WCBS
RHP A.J. Burnett (9-11, 5.31) vs. LHP Jon Lester (14-6, 3.09)

For tickets to any of these games, click here.

A-Rod Sent For MRI, Jeter Improving

From Wallace Matthews:
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez returned to New York Monday to consult with a hand specialist regarding his injured left thumb, and his availability for this week's AL East showdown with the Boston Red Sox is in doubt, according to manager Joe Girardi.

"I think it's really questionable," Girardi said before Monday night's series finale between the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles. "He's day to day. I don't know if he'll be able to play tomorrow."
The news was better for Jeter, though:
Girardi said Jeter was much improved from Sunday night, when he was in obvious pain and hobbled stiff-legged out of the clubhouse after the second game and could be available Monday night in an emergency. He did not get into the game.

Jeter said he plans on returning to the lineup Tuesday when the Yankees open a three-game series with the AL East-leading Red Sox at Fenway Park. He will likely test the injury during the day before the Yankees make a final determination. He said late Monday night that the injury felt markedly better than it had on Sunday night.

"I made a lot of progress going from last night to today and hopefully (Tuesday) I can make some more," Jeter said.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Game 132: Yankees @ Orioles

Yankees (79-52)
Brett Gardner, LF
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Eric Chavez, 3B
Russell Martin, C
Eduardo Nunez, SS

Freddy Garcia, SP

Orioles (53-78)
J.J. Hardy, SS
Nick Markakis, RF
Adam Jones, CF
Vladimir Guerrero, DH
Matt Wieters, C
Mark Reynolds, 1B
Ryan Adams, 2B
Nolan Reimold, LF
Robert Andino, 3B

Alfredo Simon, SP

Bernie Williams to be Inducted into Latino Hall of Fame

Here's the MLB press release, as per Chad Jennings:
Five-time All-Star Bernie Williams will be among the six inductees who will be announced when the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame unveils its 2012 inductee class at Major League Baseball’s headquarters in New York City on Thursday, September 1st at 11:00 a.m. (ET). Williams is scheduled to be in attendance, along with Latino Baseball Hall of Famers Felipe Alou, Minnie Minoso and Tony Perez, who will be on hand to participate in the announcement of the new class. Omar Minaya, the former general manager of the New York Mets and Montreal Expos, will serve as the emcee of the press conference.

Six players whose careers impacted baseball after 1959 will represent the newest Latino Baseball Hall of Famers, chosen from a pool of 24 finalists. Williams will represent his native Puerto Rico, while his five fellow inductees will hail from Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico and Panama. Additional selections will include veteran players and baseball executives whose contributions to baseball were made prior to 1959.

Williams, a member of four World Championship teams with the New York Yankees, played 16 years for the Bronx Bombers, from 1991-2006. The switch-hitter posted a .287 career batting average with 287 home runs, 1,257 RBI and 1,366 runs scored. Williams was an American League All-Star each season from 1997-2001 and the center fielder was a four-time Gold Glove winner (1997-2000). The Most Valuable Player of the 1996 American League Championship Series collected 22 home runs, 80 RBI and a .371 on-base percentage in 121 career Postseason games overall. Williams was the 1998 American League batting champion with a .339 average.

The accomplished musician is recording his third album this year and has co-authored a book, published by Hal Leonard Books, titled, Rhythms of the Game: The Link Between Music and Athletic Performance. His first album, The Journey Within, was released in 2003 and featured fusions of jazz, rock and the tropical rhythms of Williams’ heritage. His second album, Moving Forward, featured guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen and Jon Secada.

The 2012 class of Latino Hall of Famers will be officially inducted on February 11, 2012 in a ceremony at the Altos de Chavón amphitheater located in the Casa de Campo resort in La Romana, Dominican Republic. Established in 2009, the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame (Salón de la Fama del Béisbol Latino) has hosted two previous induction ceremonies, honoring 38 players and personalities whose achievements have impacted baseball in Latin America. Drawings for the museum of the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame have been completed and construction in La Romana is scheduled to start in the near future.
Congratulations, Bernie - this is a well-deserved honor.

Three Potential LOOGY Targets

According to MLB Trade Rumors, each of the following three pitchers have cleared waivers and are therefore eligible to be dealt. The numbers presented represent their numbers against left-handed batters, as the Yankees have enough talented righties to allow Girardi to leverage Logan and another lefty to the best of their abilities.

Bill Bray, Reds
2011 - .195/.273/.286, 9 BB, 21 K
Career - .231/.309/.344, 35 BB, 72 K

In terms of salary, Bray is the cheapest of the bunch - but I imagine the Reds seeking a bit more than a middling prospect as he has an arbitration year remaining. Put simply, they aren't faced with dealing him or letting him walk for nothing ... and I could see them getting a bit more value at next year's trade deadline.

Mike Gonzalez, Orioles
2011 - .207/.250/.322, 4 BB, 26 K
Career - .212/.279/.339, 39 BB, 150 K

Gonzalez is the most expensive of the trio, and a free agent at year's end. The Orioles have no reason to hold onto him, but I would be shocked if they would hand him to the Yankees - particularly following the spat with the rescheduling of this past weekend's games.

Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals
2011 - .171/.229/.316, 4 BB, 23 K
Career - .236/.301/.368, 44 BB, 134 K

Gorzelanny will be arbitration eligible at the end of this year, with a year of team control remaining in 2013 as well (according to Baseball Reference). For that reason, I don't see the Nationals flipping him for nothing - but I do think that he's a worthwhile option as an affordable option that could also work well as a swingman.

I would be satisfied with any of the three, to be perfectly honest. My personal choice would be ... whomever could be acquired for the least.

Injury Updates: Jeter, Garcia & A-Rod

First, the good news: Freddy Garcia is all healed up, and will be activated and start tonight's game in Baltimore.

Derek Jeter, on the other hand, isn't doing so great after fouling a ball off his knee yesterday. Here's more from Bob Nightengale:
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who feared Sunday that his bruised knee was much more serious, still likely will be out several games, including a key series against the Boston Red Sox.


Jeter suffered the injury when he fouled a ball off his right knee in the third inning of the opening game of the Yankee's doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles. He planned to play in the second game, but after icing his knee, it began to swell. He worried that it was serious, and looked pale when he went in for X-rays, only to be relieved there was no broken bone.

"It was really bizarre, to be quite honest with you," said Jeter, who became the Yankees' all-time leader in games played (2,402) in the first game of the doubleheader, passing Mickey Mantle. "After we iced it is when it swelled up. It just blew up between games. It became a challenge."
Nightengale also reports that A-Rod will also likely miss the next few games because his sore thumb has gotten worse.
The Yankees also are expected to be without cleanup hitter Alex Rodriguez, who's bothered by a sore left thumb. He aggravated the injury from a week ago while diving for a ball at third base in Minnesota, sidelining him the second game of the doubleheader. The injury has worsened the last few days, Girardi said.

"If they can play, they can play," Girardi said. "My sense is, from watching both of them, they're not going to be able to. It is somewhat of a concern."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Game 131: Yankees @ Orioles (Game 2)

YANKEES (78-52)
Brett Gardner LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones DH
Russell Martin C
Eric Chavez 3B
Eduardo Nunez SS

Pitching: RHP Ivan Nova (13-4, 3.97 ERA)

ORIOLES (53-77)


Pitching: LHP Brian Matusz (1-6, 8.92 ERA)

First Pitch: 7:35 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WFAN

Game 130: Yankees @ Orioles (Game 1)

YANKEES (78-51)
Derek Jeter DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones LF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Francisco Cervelli C

Pitching: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-8, 3.71 ERA)

ORIOLES (52-77)
JJ Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Vlad Guerrero DH
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 1B
Ryan Adams 2B
Nolan Reimold LF
Robert Andino 3B

Pitching: LHP Zach Britton (7-9, 4.54 ERA)

First Pitch: 1:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WFAN

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Stay Safe People

Video: Montero Smashes Two Bombs

These were taken during his huge game vs. Rochester on Thursday. (Hat tip to RAB)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Where is Jesus?

I present to you a series of triple-slash lines:


The first two lines illustrate the reasoning that many believe is keeping Jesus Montero and his 7 home runs and .900+ OPS in the month of August toiling away in Scranton-Wilkes/Barre. Jorge Posada's line against RHP comes first, and Andruw Jones's demolition of LHP is second. Essentially, the Yankees DH platoon is more than adequate when utilized properly. This allows the Yankees to prevent the inevitable can of worms that would be opened from an actual permanent benching of Posada without being disingenuous ... he really is getting the job done against righties, and Jones is more than doing his part against southpaws.

That doesn't tell the whole story, however. The third line is Russell Martin since his incredible April, which is significantly bolstered by the last week or so. Last is Brett Gardner over the last five weeks, a similar downturn to last season (which was attributed to his injured wrist). Both Martin and Gardner have played nearly every day when healthy, so it may simply be a matter of their bodies breaking down in the heat and humidity of the summer.

How does this apply to Montero? It's simple, really. By calling up Montero the Yankees could rest Martin against tough righties, allowing the defensive stalwart to rest a couple of times per week. Against lefties, Gardner could take the day off, Jones can shift to left, and Montero could shed the tools of ignorance and focus on swinging the stick. All told, this would likely provide Martin and Gardner with two days off per week, rejuvenating them for the stretch run and postseason. It would also allow the Yankees to see what sort of player they have in Montero, both behind the plate and at the dish (while also relieving him of the rigors of catching everyday in the minors).

To provide for this strategy, the Yankees need only send Cervelli down ... a minor loss, if a loss at all. Is this a perfect solution? That's impossible to know without any action - but it certainly seems reasonable and simplistic.

Tomorrow's Doubleheader Has Been Postponed

Here is the new schedule via Bryan Hoch:
* Sunday, Aug. 28, 1:35 p.m.
* Sunday, Aug. 28, 7:35 p.m. (originally Aug. 27 at 7:05 p.m.)
* Monday, Aug. 29, 7:05 p.m.
* Thursday, Sept. 8, TBA (originally April 22, then rescheduled for Aug. 27 at 1:05 p.m.)
Thanks, Irene.

Pitching Matchups For Yanks @ O's

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Tonight @ 7:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP A.J. Burnett (9-10, 4.96) vs. RHP Tommy Hunter (2-2, 4.95)

Game 2: Saturday (GM 1) @ 1:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP Ivan Nova (13-4, 3.97) vs. RHP Zach Britton (7-9, 4.54) or LHP Brian Matusz (1-6, 8.92)

Game 3: Saturday (GM 2) @ 7:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP Freddy Garcia (10-7, 3.16) vs. RHP Britton or LHP Matusz

Game 4: Sunday @ 1:35 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP Bartolo Colon (8-8, 3.71) vs. RHP Alfredo Simon (4-6, 4.30)

Game 5: Monday @ 7:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
LHP CC Sabathia (17-7, 2.99) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (6-16, 4.42)

Jeter and Minka Split

From People Magazine:
After dating for three years, Minka Kelly and Derek Jeter have broken up, her rep confirms to PEOPLE.

"They care about each other and it was amicable," says a source. "They're still friends."
I honestly don't care, nor it this any of our business anyway. I just hope it doesn't affect his hitting.

Yanks Set Record With 3 Grand Slams in One Game

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jim Thome Traded To Indians

According to many reports via Twitter, the Indians have re-acquired slugger Jim Thome for a player-to-be-named.

Thome was placed on waivers by the Twins a few days ago and the Indians, the team he played for from 1991-2002, had shown strong interest along with his other former team (2006-2009), the Chicago White Sox.

Thome recently hit his 600th home run and is one of the true class acts in baseball. I wish him the best of luck in Cleveland where he'll be welcomed back with open arms, and will be thrust right back into a pennant chase.

Yankees Claim Carlos Pena (UPDATE)

 UPDATE: The Cubs have pulled Carlos Pena back off waivers. So it seems like the .223 hitter will not be coming to the Bronx.

According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees have claimed Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena off waivers. But then according to Bryan Hoch, GM Brian Cashman says a deal is unlikely.

Marte and Feliciano Update

Via Bryan Hoch:
Pedro Feliciano (left rotator cuff strain) and Damaso Marte (left shoulder labrum inflammation) each began a rehab assignment today with the GCL Yankees in Tampa vs. the GCL Tigers. Pitching lines are below:

Feliciano: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 13 pitches

Marte: 0.2IP, 6H, 6ER, 0BB, 0K, 22 pitches
Geeez Damaso...

Anyway, it would be nice to get either of these guys back for the stretch run, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Game 127: Yankees vs. Athletics

YANKEES (77-49)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Francisco Cervelli C

Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (17-7, 2.96 ERA)

Jemile Weeks 2B
Coco Crisp CF
Hideki Matsui LF
Josh Willingham DH
Brandon Allen 1B
Conor Jackson RF
Kurt Suzuki C
Cliff Pennington SS
Scott Sizemore 3B

Pitching: RHP Trevor Cahill (9-12, 4.17 ERA)

First Pitch: 7:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS880

Bullpen Banter on Cito Culver

If you're interested in Cito Culver, Yankees prospects, prospects in general, scouting, or really anything related to analyzing a player, I strongly suggest that you check out this piece, authored by Al Skorupa. Within this piece, Skorupa breaks down Culver's background, physicality, defense (in terms of glovework and arm strength and accuracy), and batting (bat speed, swing mechanics, and so forth), and offers some sentiment as to what his development path may be.

I suggest you read the post in its entirety, but I'll provide a few of the quotes that I found noteworthy.
Defensively, Culver's best asset is his arm. The raw arm strength is at least a 6 but its diminished by a slingy throwing motion from a low arm slot. His throws have good natural carry, which is not surprising since he did pitch in high school.
The general scouting scale is 2 to 8 (or 20 to 80), with a 5 (or 50) being the Major League average. A grade of 6 is considered above-average, though not necessarily All-Star caliber.
Culver does not have the quickest feet and his footwork definitely needs polish. In fact, the biggest issue with his glove is that I don't think he'll end up much more than an average runner.

- snip -

Overall, I'm inclined to think Culver can stick at shortstop and in time be near average in the majors.
An average defender at short has a fair bit of value - particularly with a passable bat...
The best attribute offensively is his plus bat speed. He has a busy swing right now but since he's 18 I'm inclined to view that as having room to improve and tone down his swing with further pro coaching. He has a line drive swing plane and I do think he should hit for some gap power eventually. Culver gets good extension out front and drives the ball naturally but isn't strong enough to make much of the balls he drives. As he gets stronger, gets better squaring balls up and learns to recognize pitches to drive he should be sending doubles out to the gaps.
While that's not a glowing endorsement, it's certainly a positive. At such a young age nothing is really set in stone, but bat speed is something that cannot really be taught.
While I'm still not a fan of drafting him with the 32nd overall pick, Culver is a solid up the middle prospect. Switch hitting shortstops with plus bat speed don't grow on trees. Culver is still a project and lacks a high ceiling, but he's a legitimate prospect most teams would be happy to have in their organization.

Swisher Heading To Afghanistan

From the NY Post:
Yankee outfielder Nick Swisher is finally taking his new wife, Joanna Garcia, on a honeymoon -- to Afghanistan.

Nick and actress Joanna, a star of ABC’s “Better Without You,” plan to visit US troops in November, their first trip since they married last December.

Speaking to us at the Yankees Unite for Tornado Relief event at Southern Hospitality Hell’s Kitchen, Swisher said, “Three military officers came to the Yankee locker room and asked if any of us would like to visit the troops. My hand went straight up, I said, ‘I’m in.’ I knew Joanna would want to go. It will be our first trip since we got married.

“I come from a military family ... and no matter what your views are, these men and women are out there risking everything for us. I realize how fortunate I have been, so I like to give back at every opportunity I can. I don’t want to look back on my life when I am old, with my grandchildren around me, and think, ‘Man, I wish I’d done that. I’ve got one shot at this [life].’ ”
Great move by Swish, who, while a nucklehead, is still a total class act. It's just a shame that those troops are still over there, but that's a whole other issue.

Prior Scratched From GCL Start

From WFAN:
Yankees right-hander Mark Prior was scratched from his scheduled minor league appearance Tuesday because of shoulder discomfort.

The converted reliever was slated to pitch in a Gulf Coast League game.

Prior has struggled with shoulder injuries and his last major league appearance came in August 2006. The 30-year-old went 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA in 30 starts for the NL Central champion Chicago Cubs in 2003.

Prior has made six appearance with the Yankees’ rookie-level club since August 5 as part of a rehab program for a strained groin. He hurt the groin in April while pitching at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

There is no timetable for when Prior will pitch again.
I give him credit for trying, but this is just becoming sad.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Game 126: Yankees vs. Athletics

YANKEES (77-48)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Eric Chavez 3B - Replaced A-Rod who is out with a jammed thumb
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C

Pitching: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-7, 3.54 ERA)

Jemile Weeks 2B
Coco Crisp CF
Hideki Matsui DH
Josh Willingham LF
Brandon Allen 1B
David DeJesus RF
Cliff Pennington SS
Kurt Suzuki C
Eric Sogard 3B

Pitching: RHP Brandon McCarthy (6-6, 3.74 ERA)

Pitching Matchups & Ticket Prices vs. A's

Pitching Matchups

Game Tonight 1: Tonight @ 7:05 PM | TV: MY9 | Radio: WCBS
RHP Bartolo Colon (8-7, 3.54) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (6-6, 3.74)

Game 2: Wednesday @ 7:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
LHP CC Sabathia (17-7, 2.96) vs. RHP Trevor Cahill (9-12. 4.17)

Game 3: Thursday @ 1:05 PM | TV: YES/MLBN | Radio: WCBS
RHP Phil Hughes (4-4, 5.75) vs. RHP Rich Harden (4-2, 3.91)

And here are average and low ticket prices for all three games:
To buy tickets for these, or any other Yankees game, click here.

Damon and Matsui - Yankees Again??

A couple days ago Michael Kay said during the Yanks-Twins game that both former Yankees Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui had cleared waivers for their respective teams. So it got me thinking - could either of them really return to the Yankees in a waiver-deadline deal?

JD and Hideki have had good seasons so far, as Matsui could be considered as the second-half MVP (he's batting .384 since the All-Star Break). The Yankees bench is already choc full of veteran bats, with Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez splitting the DH duties, struggling Jorge Posada trying to get back into the lineup, and Marcus Thames down in Scranton, after recently signing a minor-league deal.

Clearly there is no real fit for either of these guys, but it is interesting to think about them donning the pinstripes again. There names have actually flown under the radar, and I haven't heard of any teams potentially interested in their services.

Where do you think these guys could end up?

Sherman: Yanks Likely To Be In Mix To Land Darvish

Remember Yu Darvish? Well, he'll be heading from Japan to the big leagues next season and Joel Sherman had this on Darvish today::
One player the Yankees have scouted heavily is Yu Darvish. And there is strong belief around the game that the top starter in Japan will, indeed, be posted this offseason and come to the States.

“He is coming, period,” one personnel man said.

The Yankees have had sour experience with high-profile Japanese pitchers Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa, whose five-year contract finally expires this year. And the last can’t-miss Japanese pitcher to come to the majors, Daisuke Matsuzaka, was hardly a bonanza for the Red Sox.

So you wonder if there will be greater financial caution with Darvish this winter or will the hunger for pitching motivate teams to bid. I will say this, I have not sensed that the Igawa experience will take the Yankees, for example, out of the Japanese market place.

Darvish is certainly attractive as a pitcher. He is 6-foot-5, just 25 years old, pitches at 93-94 mph with the ability to touch higher than that and he is known for having an inventive and competitive spirit on the mound. He is currently 15-3 with 1.59 ERA and 182 strikeouts in 158 innings for the Nippon Ham Fighters.
If they believe he's the real deal, they should go after him, regardless of the Igawa or Irabu disasters. Sherman doesn't seem to think they will be scared off by that, but you never know.

Do you think the Yanks should go after Darvish?

Garcia Ready To Return

From Tim Bontemps:
The Yankees may have one too many starting pitchers, but Freddy Garcia doesn't think he should be the odd man out.

"I've been doing my job all year, so I probably deserve to be in the rotation," Garcia said last night.
Yes he does.
When Garcia returns to the major league club, the question will now become which of the Yankees starters -- Garcia, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, Bartolo Colon and A.J. Burnett -- will remain in the rotation with CC Sabathia following the Yankees' series at Baltimore this weekend.

"It's not gonna be a problem this week, but I don't know what they [want to] do after we leave Baltimore," Garcia said. "We'll see what happens."

..."[The finger] was fine," Garcia said. "No problems. I'm ready for Saturday."
This should be interesting. Obviously, the odd man out should be Burnett, but his contract might just be enough to keep him in the rotation. We'll see what happens, but it would be a shame if Nova, Hughes or Garcia lost their rotation spot because of the Yankees blind faith in A.J. Burnett.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cashman would like to stay with the Yankees!/JackCurryYES/statuses/104648901310693376!/JackCurryYES/statuses/104649406866919424

Let the evaluation and, more importantly, speculation begin.

Laffey DFA!/Ledger_Yankees/statuses/105720780704329728

Girardi on Burnett: He's Gotta Pitch Better

From Mark Feinsand:
"There are no locks," Girardi said Sunday of Burnett, who lasted only 1-2/3 innings Saturday against the Twins before storming off the mound while shouting profanities. "You've got to pitch. You've got to perform. It's been a game that's based on performance. You've got to perform."

Asked specifically about Burnett's contract and the perception that he's getting a free pass because of it, Girardi tried to quash that theory.

"The reality is that he needs to pitch better, plain and simple," Girardi said. "We're in a six-man rotation right now because we're forced to be in a six-man rotation, but the reality is that he needs to pitch better."

Burnett will start Friday in Baltimore, as the Yankees will continue with a six-man rotation for another week thanks to Saturday's doubleheader.

"It's a big start for all of our guys," Girardi said. "We need him to bounce back."


"You can look at the numbers and say they're kind of similar to what was going on last year. Is it the same? I don't know," Girardi said. "The bottom line is you've got to right it. Our job as a staff, as a manager, as a player, our job is to get him right. We're going to work at it."
With Hughes suddenly finding his form, Burnett is the obvious odd man out when Gacria comes back. Hopefully, this isn't just talk from Girardi and they do in fact bench Burnett if he doesn't turn things around in his next few starts.

This Week in Yankees History (8/21-8/27)

This Week in Yankees History

August 21st-27th

August 21st

1891 - Former Yankees C John Gosset (1913-1914) was born. John Gosset was a weak hitting catcher, who the Yankees had purchased from the Chicago White Sox.

1914 - The St. Louis Browns commit 8 errors during a 4-3 defeat to the Yankees.

1916 - Former Yankees P Murry Dickson (1958) was born (1916-1986). The New York Yankees obtained veteran MLB P Murry Dickson from the Kansas City A’s for a player to be named later (OF John Bella). He went 1-2 in 6 games for the Yankees before being sent back to the A’s during the 1959 AL season. Murry made two relief appearances for the Yankees in the 1958 World Series against the Milwaukee Braves with no decisions.

1917 - The New York Yankees buy C Muddy Ruel (1917-1920) from the St. Louis Browns for Cash. He will hit .234 in 170 games as a reserve catcher for the Yankees.

1920 - Former Yankees relief P Gerry Stanley (1955-1956) was born. After being obtained from the Cincinnati Reds, Gerry Stanley went 0-0 in 6 games with the Yankees before being waived to the Chicago White Sox in 1956. He would become one of the key bullpen pitchers for the 1959 AL Champion Chicago White Sox bullpen.

1921 - At St. Louis, the largest crowd of the 1921 AL season, cheer as the Browns sweep a pair from the Yankees, winning by scores of 5-4 and 10-0. Bayne strikes out 7 of the 1st nine Yanks batters in game 2 on his way to a 10-strikeout run.

1931 - After belting his MLB career HR #599, a grand slam HR in yesterday's game, Babe Ruth hits his 600th HR, off of Browns hurler George Blaeholder, as the Yankees win the game by a score of 11-7. Lou Gehrig homers immediately, after the Babe's historic MLB HR blow. In their 10 years as teammates, they will hit HRs in the same inning 19 times and in the same game 72 times.

1933 -The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox play an 18-inning game, which ends in a 3-3 tie.

1936 - Boston Red Sox hurler Wes Ferrell, in a tantrum for what he considers shabby support, walks off the mound during a New York Yankees rally. He is suspended and fined $1,000 by Boston Manager Joe Cronin.

1948 - Former Yankees C/1B/DH Johnny Ellis (1969-1972) was born. On August 15,1966, Johnny Ellis was signed by the Yankees as an MLB amateur free agent with promising hitting power. John was a winner of the James P. Dawson Award for the best Yankee rookie in spring training camp. John couldn’t beat out Yankees teammate Thurman Munson for starting catcher’s job, he was given a shot at 1B, 3B and DH before being traded to the Cleveland Indians in the Graig Nettles trade in November of 1972. John would play for the Indians and the Texas Rangers, before a serious leg injury forced him into retirement from MLB.

1953 - MLB player representatives Ralph Kiner (NL) and Yankees Allie Reynolds (AL) hire labor leader John Norman Lewis at $15,000 per annum to give legal advice to MLB players in their negotiations with the MLB team owners.

1958 - The New York Yankees obtained veteran P Murry Dickson from the Kansas City A’s for a player to be named later (OF John “Zeke” Bella). He went 1-2 in 6 games for the Yankees before being sent back to the A’s during the 1959 AL season. Murry made two relief appearances for the Yankees in the 1958 World Series against the Milwaukee Braves with no decisions.

1964 - Former Yankees P Shawn Hillegas (1992) was born. On April 9,1992, Shawn Hillegas was signed as a MLB free agent with the New York Yankees. Shawn posted a 1-8 record in 21 games with 1 save for the 1992 Yankees. On August 22,1992, he was released by the New York Yankees. He would finish the 1992 AL season with the Oakland A’s.

1966 - Former Yankees Closer John Wetteland (1995-1996) was born. John Wetteland was traded on April 5,1995, by the Montreal Expos to the New York Yankees for minor league 1B Fernando Seguignol and cash. John would go 3-8 in 122 games with the Yankees with 74 saves. He would be named to 1996 AL All Star team. John would lead the AL with 43 saves. He would leave the Yankees after the 1996 World Series for the Texas Rangers, where he had back injuries that forced him to retire from MLB.

1968 - The Minnesota Twin's starter Jim Merritt loses his shutout in the 9th inning, when Mickey Mantle hits a pinch-hit HR, but he still wins the game by a score of 3-1. It is Mantle's 534th MLB career HR, tying him with Hall Of Fame AL Slugger Jimmie Foxx for 3rd on the all-time MLB HR leader’s list.

1977 - Yankees All Star 3B Graig Nettles' HR and double account for both New York runs in a 2-1 win over the Texas Rangers. Ron Guidry picks up his 10th win of the 1977 AL season, as the Yankees cut the Boston Red Sox lead to 1/2 game.

1991 - New York Yankees CF Bernie Williams fans 5 consecutive times in a 7-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals to tie the MLB mark for a 9-inning game. After the game, Yankees MLB hitting coach Frank Howard, who was one of the previous 28 MLB batters, who shared this mark, consoles Bernie Williams.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Game 125: Yankees @ Twins - Welcome Back, Alex!

YANKEES (76-48)
Derek Jeter, DH
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Russell Martin, C
Brett Gardner, LF
Eduardo Nunez, SS

Starting pitcher: RHP Ivan Nova (12-4, 4.21 ERA)

TWINS (55-70)
Ben Revere, CF
Trevor Plouffe, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Jason Kubel, RF
Jim Thome, DH
Danny Valencia, 3B
Rene Tosoni, LF
Matt Tolbert, SS
Drew Butera, C

Starting pitcher: RHP Nick Blackburn (7-10, 4.53 ERA)

First Pitch: 2:10 PM | TV: YES/TBS | Radio: WCBS 880

AJ On His Latest Meltdown

A-Rod Will Be Back Today

(UPDATE 11:45 AM)!/pcaldera/status/105307809515704320

From Mark Feinsand:
The Yankees' offense has excelled without Alex Rodriguez for some time. Sunday, that offense will see what it can do with the three-time MVP back in the cleanup spot.


"Hopefully this will be the last day of workouts and we'll be ready to strap it on," Rodriguez said. "My mouth is getting watery here; I'm ready to play. I've watched enough baseball."

Rodriguez did drills at third base, took batting practice and ran the bases at full speed Saturday, finally feeling as though his conditioning was at its peak.

"We've checked every box pretty much," A-Rod said. "The last three days have progressively gotten better. I'm not as winded after going first-to-third or first-to-home. I'm pretty much ready to go."


"I thought he was moving well," Girardi said. "I thought he swung the bat well. I thought he moved in the field well. We had him run the bases some. He answered all the questions. Let's see how he bounces back. It's very possible he'll be a player for us tomorrow."
George King's article also had this quote from Girardi:
"The only way I wouldn't play him is if he says, 'I don't feel good,' "
The offense has done fine without him, but it will be nice to have him back. Obviously.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A.J. Bleepin' Burnett

Coming into tonight I thought of A.J. Burnett as just an inconsistent pitcher who is having an incredibly bad season. But after tonight I see him in a whole new way - a gutless bitch, a la Javier Vazquez.

But this time it's for real. A.J., after LOADING THE BASES and allowing four runs, was pulled from the game - and he didn't understand why, and yelled expletives. He then ran into the clubhouse and probably had a tantrum until Joe Girardi ran after him and pulled him out of the clubhouse to watch the rest of the inning.

Burnett's final line: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO

Nice job by the Yankees "#2 starter". Yeah right. There's no nice way to put it, this guy just sucks right now. It's not even that he only pitched bad tonight, but cursing your way to the dugout as you leave the field and run into the clubhouse like a baby is just sad. Burnett is making $82.5 million to go out every 5 (6 recently) days and pitch as bad as... well.... I can't even think of someone to compare him to. He has been that bad.

This sad excuse for an MLB pitcher does not deserve to be in the rotation and I PRAY the Yankees front office will realize that and give Joe the greenlight to pull him. He's had so many chances to turn it around, yet he shows everyone he simply can not.

A.J., you saved the Yanks' ass in the World Series (Game 2 he pitched a gem), but now you're worth less than 2 dugout seats at Yankee Stadium. And I don't think I'm exaggerating that much.

Yanks Scouting Harden

From Susan Slusser:
The A's had a deal in place to sent Harden to the Red Sox before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but it fell apart after Boston looked at Harden's medical records and withdrew a player to be named from the original proposal, which also included Triple-A first baseman Lars Anderson. But that failed deal didn't scare off contenders - there have been scouts from potential playoff teams at each of Harden's past several starts, and the Yankees, who need starting pitching, have attended the past two.

Were New York to make the A's a significant enough offer to obtain Harden, it potentially would make for a fascinating scenario of Harden throwing against the Red Sox during the stretch run.

Cashman: I Don't Want The Cubs Job

From Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden:
Brian Cashman says he has no intention to move to Chicago next year - or anywhere else, for that matter.

The Yankees' general manager shot down any connection between himself and the Cubs' GM job, one that is now vacant following the firing of Jim Hendry Friday.

"I have a job and I've been proud to be associated with this franchise," Cashman said Friday. "I'm not looking to remove myself from this franchise."

Cashman's name has surfaced in Chicago as a potential replacement for Hendry, although that rumor began swirling around the Windy City earlier this summer as the Cubs' season began spiraling out of control.


"Every year my contract has expired, there have been unnamed experts that throw hand grenades about their suspicions with what I'm gong to do," Cashman said. "At some point, they've always been wrong."


"The bottom line is that I have no idea what the future is going to hold, but my interest is to return to the Yankees," Cashman said. "That's all for another day. I would like to stay. Right now, that's not my decision. I don't sweat it and I don't worry about it."
As I'm sure most of you do, I have mixed feelings regarding Cashman. He's certainly done a good enough job rebuilding the system, while still putting a competitive team on the field every year, but with the Yankees money is that really a difficult thing to do? Either way, I have no problems if he does in fact return.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Game 123: Yankees @ Twins

YANKEES (75-47)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Eric Chavez 3B
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C

Pitching: RHP Phil Hughes (3-4, 6.55 ERA)

TWINS (54-69)
Ben Revere CF
Trevor Plouffe RF
Joe Mauer C
Justin Morneau 1B
Jason Kubel DH
Danny Valencia 3B
Rene Tosoni LF
Luke Hughes 2B
Tsuyoshi Nishioka SS

Pitching: RHP Kevin Slowey (0-0, 4.91 ERA)

First Pitch: 8:10 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS 880

Yankees Claim Aaron Laffey, Garcia Placed On DL

Here is the info via a press release from the Mariners:
The New York Yankees have claimed left-handed pitcher Aaron Laffey off waivers.

Laffey was designated for assignment on Wednesday to clear a roster spot for right-handed pitcher Chance Ruffin.

Laffey, 26, appeared in 36 games for the Mariners going 1-1 with a 4.01 ERA (19 ER, 42.2 IP). In his last appearance Tuesday night vs. Toronto he allowed 4 hits and 3 runs in 1.1 innings. Laffey was acquired from Cleveland in exchange for minor league infielder Matt Lawson on March 2, 2011.
To make room on the roster, Freddy Garcia has been placed on the disabled list. Laffey is expected to join the team tomorrow. To make room on the 40-man, Gustavo Molina was designated for assignment.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Torre Admits Umps Missed The Call Last Night

From Mark Feinsand:
Major League Baseball acknowledged that umpires muffed the home run call in the Yankees’ 5-4 loss to the Royals Wednesday night, but given that Joe Girardi opted not to file a protest, there’s nothing that can be done about it.

“The game is over and that’s what it is,” MLB executive VP of baseball operations Joe Torre told the Daily News on Thursday. “It’s unfortunate. Everyone had to cooperate to make it a one-run game.”


The mistake was the result of DeMuth’s interpretation of the ground rules at Kauffman Stadium, which underwent structural renovations prior to the 2009 season.

“It was a missed call, but there was also a misunderstanding on the rule,” Torre said. “He just missed it, but his interpretation was that the back fence was behind the wall and out of the ballpark. It certainly wasn’t for a lack of doing his job, just a misunderstanding of the rule.”


“This man works very hard at what he does,” Torre said. “His interpretation was that the back screen, which is behind the wall, is behind the wall. To him, that meant it was out of the ballpark. He was wrong and there was a price to pay to learn that lesson.”

Torre stressed that the instant replay system did not fail despite the blown call.

“The replay gave him every look that he needed to make the right call,” Torre said. “He thought he did make the right call. This isn’t an umpire not doing his job. That was his understanding of the rule when he’s umpired there and nothing had happened to change his mind until last night.”
Doesn't really do us much good now, but at least MLB is admitting the mistake. Still, it would have been nice to see how that game had played out without the gift homer.

A-Rod Finishes Rehab Stint, Now Headed To Minnesota

From Danny Wild:
Rodriguez left to a standing ovation in the eighth inning after his line drive single to right field wrapped up his four-game Minor League rehab stint. He'll rejoin the Yankees on Thursday in Minnesota after going 1-for-2 with a pair of walks in his second game at Triple-A, a 3-2 loss to the Bulls.


"I feel good," said Rodriguez, who confirmed he will be in Minnesota on Thursday but will not play. "We're going to make a collective, smart decision and we have a lot of important games coming up."

Rodriguez actually heard some boos in the first inning when he let Russ Canzler's grounder bounce through his legs, allowing Brandon Guyer to race home with the Bulls' second run. He got a bit of a sarcastic cheer when he nabbed Ray Olmedo's inning-ending line drive.

"I really thought I played great defense when the ball wasn't hit to me," Rodriguez said with a smile. "Those are the hardest balls I've seen hit in about five weeks. But it's all part of the process. It was fun and I thought my legs felt good under me. Defensively, I thought I got a little bit better as the night went on."

Rodriguez appeared healthy in the field and made several nice plays to both sides. He robbed former No. 1 overall Draft pick Tim Beckham of a single down the line in the second but was tested again moments later when he failed to stop Canzler's grounder to his right. It was ruled a hit.
A-Rod also talked about how impressed he was with Montero behind the plate:
"The way he's caught the last two nights, he's obviously good enough to catch at the Major League level, no question," he added. "He plays with a lot of intensity. He's got all the tools. We came in today and had a great session, talked about the makeup, the mental side of hitting. Obviously, he's a guy we expect big things from. From what I saw the last two nights, he's not going to disappoint out there."
Kristie Ackert also wrote an article this morning talking about how A-Rod was a mentor to Montero while rehabbing with SWB.
“He has been great with all the guys, but really taken Monty under his wing,” [SWB manager] Wynegar said. “He is trying to show him the work it takes at the major league level. And Monty is just absorbing it all.”
Good stuff by A-Rod.

The Yankees, according to Mark Feinsand, will most likely return to a 12-man pitching staff when A-Rod rejoins the team in Minnesota. I assume Hector Noesi will go back down.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Yanks Claim Raul Valdes!/BryanHoch/status/103643600985915392

Valdes was 0-1, with a 3.38 ERA in 7 games for the Cards this year. In his breif major league career, lefties have handled him, hitting .327/.377/.602 with 4 HR in 98 at-bats.

A-Rod Goes To SWB, Fans Boo Him For Miscues

From The Star-Ledger:
Boos were probably not what Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was expecting to hear tonight at PNC Field as he started his scheduled two-game rehabilitation stay with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

He sometimes moved tentatively in the field at third base, and earned some negative feedback from the crowd after he misplayed two pop-ups in foul ground along the left-field line.

The first miscue came in the fourth inning after he chased the foul ball up the line but allowed it to drop with his back to home plate; he was not charged with an error.

Two innings later, Rodriguez misplayed another foul pop in the same general area after he over ran it and the ball dropped behind him.

Rodriguez moved without his usual fluidity on both plays, and each was followed by a smattering of boos.

The miscues provided a small indication of how Rodriguez’s knee was coming along as he rehabs his way back to join the Yankees since being placed on the disabled list on July 10 with a slightly torn meniscus in his right knee.


“I was a little tentative, a little hesitant,” Rodriguez said. “I think that’s something that comes with a little bit more time, a little bit more repetition. It’s only my third game. I had the same experience with my hip in 2009. Those last few hurdles are more mental than physical.”


“I felt like the knee was the best thing that’s feeling right now,” he said. “It’s just getting the rest of the body. You’ve been out for three weeks and the body gets a little slow and a little tentative.”
And if it was Jeter who did the exact same things he'd get a standing ovation and a couple pairs of panties thrown at him. Oh well, I'm sure A-Rod has thick enough skin by now to deal with a few boos from a minor-league crowd.

The most important thing is that the knee is feeling better and he begins going 100% before rejoining the team.

A-Rod also went 1-for-3 with a single. Another ball he hit looked to be headed for extra bases but was tracked down by the Durham center fielder.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Game 120: Yankees @ Royals

YANKEES (73-46)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones DH
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Brett Gardner LF

Pitching: RHP Ivan Nova (11-4, 3.85 ERA)

ROYALS (50-72)
Alex Gordon LF
Melky Cabrera CF
Billy Butler DH
Eric Hosmer 1B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Johnny Giavotella 2B
Salvador Perez C
Mike Moustakas 3B
Alcides Escobar SS

Pitching: LHP Danny Duffy (3-6, 4.97 ERA)

First Pitch: 8:10 PM | TV: MY9 | Radio: WCBS 880

Jorge Thinks He Can Catch Next Year

Via Wallace Matthews:
"I could catch next year,'' Posada said in the clubhouse before tonight's game with the Kansas City Royals. "I could have (caught) this year. I could have been a backup this year, could have backed somebody up.''


"It’s not easy to do something you’re not used to,'' he said. "But if I'm upset with anyone, I'm upset with myself, just overall. I don’t know what happened this year, I really don’t know. There's some things I could have done differently but I can't pinpoint what they are."
Physically, yes he can probably still catch, but he has been below average defensively for a long time now and I can't imagine a year off will help.

Also, there's no need to wonder what happened this year, he's a 39-year-old, sometimes you just get old.

Expect Jesus In September!/SI_JonHeyman/statuses/103113556458864640

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pitching Matchups for Yankees @ Royals & Tonight's Lineup

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Tonight @ 8:10 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS 880
RHP A.J. Burnett (8-9, 4.60) vs. RHP Felipe Paulino (1-4, 3.45)

Game 2: Tuesday @ 8:10 PM | TV: My9 | Radio: WCBS 880
RHP Ivan Nova (11-4, 3.85) vs. LHP Danny Duffy (3-6. 4.97)

Game 3: Wednesday @ 8:10 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS 880
RHP Bartolo Colon (8-6, 3.31) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (7-5, 4.15)

And here's tonight's Yankees lineup:

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Eric Chavez 3B
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C

Betances To Triple-A!/DBetances50/status/102908051144720385

Posada Plans To Play In 2012

From Mark Hale:
Jorge Posada wearing anything but Yankees pinstripes? That would have seemed impossible a few months ago.

Not anymore.

Posada, a career-long Yankee who is celebrating his 20th year with the organization, said he would consider playing for another team once his contract is up at the end of this season.

"It could [happen]," Posada told The Post yesterday. "I don't know what's going to happen after this year. But we'll see."


"The fans are a big reason why I love playing the game, and especially here," Posada said Saturday. "I play for them."

Nevertheless, Posada would consider playing for another team, though he admitted leaving The Bronx would be difficult.
Seeing Jorge in another uniform would be slightly nauseating, but it appears that's exactly what's going to happen. I can't imagine him being in the Yankees plans going forward, so if he's going to play next year I have to believe it won't be here.

Who Will Become a Pumpkin at Midnight?

With the deadline to sign 2011 draft picks rapidly approaching (midnight tonight), you can check Baseball America's free database for up-to-the-minute signings. The Yankees have inked the following prospects thus far:
1s. Dante Bichette, Jr.
4. Matt Duran
5. Greg Bird
7. Austin Jones
8. Phil Wetherell
9. Zach Arneson
11. Mark Montgomery
12. Cody Grice
13. Justin James
14. Rookie Davis
16. Brandon Pinder
18. Hayden Sharp
19. Ben Paullus
23. Corey Maines
24. Matt Tracy
25. Adam Smith

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gary Sanchez to Miss Remainder of Season!/MinorLeagueBlog/statuses/102471819612794880!/jnorris427/statuses/102525663566757888

So long as the break heals properly (a reasonable expectation), this should not have any long-term ramifications. On the season, Sanchez produced the following line in 343 PA:
.256/.335/.485, 17 HR, 2 SB, 36 BB, 93 K, .364 wOBA, 121 wRC+
At face value, Sanchez's production may not have met the lofty expectations that his 2010 season birthed ... but one must bear in mind that Sanchez was among the five youngest players at his level throughout the season. And, for what it's worth, his wOBA was twenty-one percent above league-average, which is a fine showing for most any prospect.

Today's Game Has Been Postponed!/YankeesPR/status/102756685193547776

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Garcia To Miss Next Start With Cut Finger

As Phil Hughes threw six strong innings in the Yankees’ 9-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays today, allowing just two earned runs and striking out six, he was doing so under the perception that he was pitching for his job.


But Hughes received a stay on the decision, as did A.J. Burnett and Ivan Nova, last night when Girardi announced that Freddy Garcia had suffered a cut on his finger on his pitching hand that meant he would miss his start Sunday. Garcia was cut in a “kitchen accident.”

“I told everyone I was going to tell them I was going to have a decision tomorrow as far as what we were going to do and sometimes decisions have a way of working their way out,” Girardi said.

The manager learned of the injury earlier in the week, “four or five days ago,” he said today. The Yankees had Garcia throw a bullpen session and then again on flat ground today. The cut prevents Garcia from throwing his splitter so he was taken out of the rotation for now.
So, for now Hughes and AJ stay in the rotation. As for Nova, I'm not even sure why he's mentioned in the article. Of the three, he's the one whose name shouldn't be on the list of potential rotation cuts.

So now what do you do?

Jorge Posada rejoined the lineup today and just happened to have his best game of the year. The switch-hitter went 3-for-5 with a homer (grand slam) and 6 RBI.

Phil Hughes also had his second straight strong start, and he did it against a good team. Hughes went 6, allowing 2 runs on just 4 hits, while striking out 6 and walking 1. That's two starts in a row that are better than anything A.J. Burnett has done for over a month.

The first one is pretty easy to manage. You get the guy some more at-bats and see what happens. If he hits, you play him, and if he doesn't, you don't. But the Hughes decision, especially after Brian Cashman's ridiculous comments earlier today, is much harder to figure out. If it were my call, I'd stick with a six-man rotation one more time through the rotation and see what each of these guys do with their next starts, and go from there.

What would you do? Did Posada hit his way back into the lineup? And should Phil Hughes stay in the rotation?

WTF? Yankees Sign Scott Proctor!/BloggingBombers/status/102482856739217408

Before being released by the Braves this week, Proctor had an ERA of 6.44 in 29.1 relief innings.

Game 118: Yankees vs. Rays

YANKEES (71-46)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Eric Chavez 3B
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C

Pitching: RHP Phil Hughes (2-4, 7.11 ERA)

RAYS (64-54)
Desmond Jennings LF
Johnny Damon DH
Evan Longoria 3B
Ben Zobrist RF
Casey Kotchman 1B
B.J. Upton CF
Matt Joyce RF
Sean Rodriguez SS
Robinson Chirinos C

Pitching: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (10-7, 3.05 ERA)

First Pitch: 4:10 PM | TV: FOX | Radio: WCBS880

A-Rod Homers in 1st Rehab Game

Alex Rodriguez began his minor-league rehab assignment with Tampa last night in their 6-4 loss to Dunedin. A-Rod went 2-for-3 with a double a HR and 2 RBI for Tampa. Here's are some quotes from A-Rod via YES:
"For me, the home run meant a little bit more than a home run just because the last several weeks I was playing in New York I wasn't able to drive the ball," Rodriguez said. "I probably didn't hit a home run for like, over 70 at-bats."

"My team expects me to hit the ball and drive the ball out of the park," he added. "That's what I expect out of myself, too. So hopefully I can come back and hit the ground running, and help my team win the division and go from there."

Although Rodriguez's rehab will likely continue at third base on Saturday, he is confident that his knee is in Major League shape.

"Just making sure that we take it one step at a time," Rodriguez said. "We've got about five or six days here to work with, and my idea is to always to ramp it up and hopefully keep increasing the intensity."

Cashman: Waiver Deal Unlikely

From Bryan Heyman:
The waiver-deal deadline is Aug. 31. But Brian Cashman, who stood pat at the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, isn’t counting on outside help coming now for the Yankees, either.

“I think … what you see is what you’re going to get,” Cashman said. “It doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be some changes. I highly doubt it. It’s not likely you’re going to see anything between now and Aug. 31 because of the waivers, guys not clearing.”

Cashman Says Burnett Is Staying In Rotation

Remind you of anyone?
From Roger Rubin:
There's an avalanche of public sentiment that A.J. Burnett is neither living up to his contract nor deserving of a spot in the starting rotation. Yankees GM Brian Cashman Friday called fan reaction to the righthander's performance and the media portrayal of it "well overblown" and called the suggestion he come out of the rotation "a bunch of crap."

Cashman came to the aid of his mentally fragile $82.5 million investment just a few minutes after the righthander showed signs that rancor may be getting to him. Shortly before batting practice, Burnett mocked reporters for standing in the near-empty clubhouse and photographed them on his cell phone camera.

"The stuff on A.J. is well overblown," Cashman said during BP. "A.J. has been solid for us this year so I just think the way it's playing doesn't necessarily reflect how he's pitched. The public outcry recently - it's all emotion rather than actual.
How exactly is 8-9 with a 4.60 ERA from the 7th highest paid pitcher in the game "solid"?
"A.J. Burnett is not pitching close to as bad as people reflect. And they got him pulled out of the rotation - I just think it's a stupid reaction."
I figured there was no way the Yanks would bench their 16.5 million-dollar-headcase. This silly reaction from Cashman just back up that opinion. The bottom line is the Yankees should do what's best for the team and it should be Joe Girardi's decision and not Cashman's.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Game 117: Yankees vs. Rays

YANKEES (71-45)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher DH
Andruw Jones RF
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Brett Gardner LF

Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (16-6, 2.81 ERA)

RAYS (63-54)
Desmond Jennings LF
Johnny Damon DH
Evan Longoria 3B
Ben Zobrist RF
B.J. Upton CF
Sean Rodriguez 2B
Casey Kotchman 1B
Kelly Shoppach C
Elliot Johnson SS

Pitching: David Price LHP (9-10, 3.89 ERA)

First Pitch: 7:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS 880

A-Rod Will Play Two Games In Triple-A Before Returning

From Mike Mazzeo:
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez could be activated as soon as next Thursday, according to ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.

Rodriguez will play minor league games in Florida on Friday and Saturday, and will work out in Florida on Sunday.

On Monday, he'll travel to Triple-A Scranton and play at least two games there, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Olney says the Yankees want Rodriguez to play two full nine-inning games at third base before he's activated. Assuming he gets through his minor league rehab stint without any setbacks, he'd likely be on track to come off the disabled list and rejoin the Yankees on Thursday.

Rodriguez, who has been out since July 8 with a torn meniscus in his right knee that was surgically repaired July 11, is scheduled to serve as the designated hitter at Class A Tampa on Friday night in Florida, and play third base in a game on Saturday.


"Will we have him in Kansas City? I don't know," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Thursday afternoon's victory over the Los Angeles Angels. "I would think by Minnesota we would have him.

"We'll have to build him up," Girardi said. "I think the most important thing is that he feels comfortable and that he feels that he's moving freely."

Pitching Matchups & Ticket Prices vs. Rays

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Tonight @ 7:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS 880
LHP CC Sabathia (16-6, 2.81) vs. LHP David Price (9-10, 3.89)

Game 2: Saturday @ 4:10 PM | TV: FOX | Radio: WCBS 880
RHP Phil Hughes (2-4, 7.11) vs. RHP Jeremy Hellickson (10-7, 3.05)

Game 3: Sunday @ 1:05 PM | TV: YES/TBS | Radio: WCBS 880
RHP Freddy Garcia (10-7, 3.16) vs. RHP James Shields (11-9, 2.80)

Here are the average and low ticket prices for all three games via TiqIQ:

For tickets to these, or any Yankees games, click here.

Yanks To Trim Rotation This Weekend

From Bryan Hoch:
The Yankees expect to have a decision by the end of the weekend on their starting rotation, with A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes on the bubble to be nixed from what is currently a six-man staff.

"We've talked about it," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on Thursday. "We feel we need to get it down to a five-man rotation and go with it."

Girardi said that the Yankees are going to make their final call before they head to Kansas City for a three-game series that opens on Monday.
Pick your poison, Yanks. I'm not really sure which way I'd go on this since they've both been awful this year. Hughes has been better lately, though AJ is really the guy you're hoping turns things around by playoff time, so again, it leaves you a bit torn.

Two things that may lead to Hughes drawing the short straw are the fact that he's already shown that he can pitch in relief, and that $16.5 million that Burnett is being paid. I can't image the Yanks want to give all that money to a mop-up guy.

Who would you drop from the rotation?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Game 116: Yankees vs. Angels

YANKEES (70-45)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Eric Chavez 3B
Eduardo Nunez SS
Francisco Cervelli C

Pitching: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-6, 3.33 ERA)

ANGELS (64-53)
Erick Aybar SS
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Bobby Abreu DH
Torii Hunter RF
Mark Trumbo 1B
Vernon Wells LF
Maicer Izturis 2B
Peter Bourjos CF
Bobby Wilson C

Pitching: RHP Tyler Chatwood (6-8, 4.10 ERA)

First Pitch: 1:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS 880

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A-Rod To Begin Minor-League Rehab Stint On Friday

From Marc Carig:
Alex Rodriguez is slated to DH on Friday and play in the field on Saturday though manager Joe Girardi doesn't know if those rehab games will be with Class-A Tampa or the rookie level Gulf Coast League team. Either way, it's a major step for Rodriguez, who is on track to return next week from arthroscopic knee surgery.

Betanecs Isn't Pleased With Himself Or The Yankees

From John Nalbone:
Although legitimately thrilled for his good friend Banuelos, Betances expressed frustration with himself, his surprisingly lackluster season and, at times, with the Yankees’ developmental plan for him during a surprisingly candid interview last week with select reporters, including Mike Ashmore of the Hunterdon County Democrat.

“It (stinks) not being able to pitch good, to be honest,’’ Betances said. “It’s frustrating because you know that if I’m throwing as hard as I am, I should be able to pitch better. I have the confidence in myself to bounce back and finish strong … at least for this year.”

When asked if the Yankees were allowing him to use all of his pitches, Betances said:

“No, right now I feel like I could do whatever I want. I just haven’t got the chance to do it. ’’

Another touchy subject with the 6-foot-8, Brooklyn-educated Betances has been his limited innings, but it is difficult to blame the notoriously cautious Yankees for his inability to reach 100 innings with less a month remaining in the regular season.

Because of his 4.9 walks per nine innings, Betances has been maddeningly inefficient and is averaging less than five innings per start.

“I think now they’re going to let me go,’’ Betances said. “I mean, I would love to go seven innings. I haven’t gone seven innings since Charleston (in 2008) just because they haven’t given me the chance. I’ve had games this year where I could have gone longer than six, but they have something going now and it’s getting to the last month.’’

In his only start following that interview, Sunday in Altoona, Betances again was capped at five innings.

Even if he averages nine innings over his final five (scheduled) regular season starts, Betances will not reach the organization’s preseason goal of 150.


“They feel like they have a limit of innings for me,’’ Betances said. “Now that it’s getting into August, the goal is 150 and I’m not even at 100 now. So, it’s one of those things where they probably want to let me go and see if I can get to 130-150 by the end of the year.”
Sounds to me that he only has himself to blame. Although I would like the see the Yankees allow him to use and refine his entire arsenal of pitches at some point in the near future.

The article also mentions the similarities between Betances' and Banuelos' double-A numbers:
  • Betances: 4-6 with a 3.57 ERA and 54 walks in 98 1/3 innings.
  • Banuelos: 4-5 with a 3.59 ERA and 52 walks in 95 1/3 innings.
But again, his poor performances as of late obviously didn't help his cause. He's still young and there's no need to rush him so I don't think this is anything to be too concerned about going forward.

The Shrinking List of Left-Handed Bullpen Options

From George A. King III:
To the surprise of no one, the Yankees don't expect Pedro Feliciano or Damaso Marte to contribute at any point.

The lefty relievers, who have been on the DL since the start of the season, are working out in Tampa, but Girardi didn't paint a positive picture.


Feliciano has increased workouts in Tampa, but has a lot of work left before he can be considered able to return.

"Until you necessarily see him throw bullpen [sessions] at nearly 100 percent and possibly throwing batting practice sessions, you just hope you get to that point," Girardi said. "Until he can do that, I am not sure what we'll get."

Marte, who contributed to the 2009 World Series title and then appeared in 30 games last year, is running out of time.

"The days are ticking away," Girardi said. "I don't know if we will see him. I am hopeful that we do, but I can't tell you that we will."

Lefty reliever J.C. Romero asked for his release from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and was granted it. The Yankees have some interest in lefty reliever Arthur Rhodes -- who recently was released by the Rangers -- but only at the minor league level.


If the Yankees are serious about bringing top pitching prospect Manuel Banuelos to the majors as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen, expect to see him do that for Triple-A, where he is currently working as a starter.

"If you were going to make him a second lefty per se, you would have him do it down there [at Triple-A] before you would have him do it here," Girardi said. "He would have to adapt to coming into the middle of an inning and starting an inning. When you are starting, you have your routine -- 20 to 25 minutes. As a bullpen guy you can't necessarily do that."
I still think giving J.C. Romero a shot before he asked for his release would have been a good idea. I don't really like the idea of bringing in Rhodes. I've seen him give up too many big hits to lefties throughout the years to have any real faith in him. But a minor league deal can't hurt I guess.

The idea of bringing up Banuelos is the most intriguing, and as long as it doesn't hurt or hold back his development as a starter I'd be all for it.