Friday, September 30, 2011

Legends Are Born in October - Yankees Edition

Yankees ALDS Roster

Here is the Yankees 25-man roster they will be going with vs. the Tigers:

Pitchers:
Luis Ayala RHP
A.J. Burnett RHP
Freddy Garcia RHP
Phil Hughes RHP
Boone Logan LHP
Ivan Nova RHP
Mariano Rivera RHP
David Robertson RHP
CC Sabathia LHP
Rafael Soriano RHP
Cory Wade RHP

Position Players:
Russell Martin C
Jesus Montero C
Jorge Posada DH
Robinson Cano INF
Eric Chavez INF
Derek Jeter INF
Eduardo Nunez INF
Alex Rodriguez INF
Mark Teixeira INF
Chris Dickerson OF
Brett Gardner OF
Curtis Granderson OF
Andruw Jones OF
Nick Swisher OF/1B

2011 Postseason Predictions

October, it's here (well, tomorrow it will be). There's that chill in the air, and that feeling in your bones that every Yankee fan loves and every Met fan envies. I'm just going to cut to the chase, here are the SIH Staff predictions for this years' postseason.

----------------

ALDS:
Rangers vs Rays
JoeNYy: Rangers in 4
Yankeeboy98: Rangers in 4
Domenic: Rays in 5
Greg: Rays in 5

Yankees vs Tigers
JoeNYy: Yankees in 5
Yankeeboy98: Yankees in 5
Domenic: Tigers in 5
Greg: Tigers in 5

NLDS:
Phillies vs Cardinals
JoeNYy: Phillies in 3
Yankeeboy98: Phillies in 4
Domenic: Phillies in 3
Greg: Phillies in 4

Brewers vs Diamondbacks
JoeNYy: Brewers in 4
Yankeeboy98: Brewers in 4
Domenic: Brewers in 4
Greg: Brewers in 4

ALCS:
JoeNYy: Yankees over Rangers in 6
Yankeeboy98: Yankees over Rangers in 7
Domenic: Rays over Tigers in 7
Greg: Tigers over Rays in 7

NLCS:
JoeNYy: Phillies over Brewers in 5
Yankeeboy98: Phillies over Brewers in 6
Domenic: Phillies over Brewers in 6
Greg: Phillies over Brewers in 5

2011 World Series:
JoeNYy: Yankees over Phillies in 7
Yankeeboy98: Yankees over Phillies in 7
Domenic: Phillies over Rays in 6
Greg: Phillies over Tigers in 6

----------------

Hey, I might be a tad biased here, but I'm a fan, I'm supposed to be. Let's just root for our Yanks, hope for the best, and enjoy the ride.

"It's gunna be a battle, it's gunna be fun, it's gunna be loud, it's gunna be exciting, and I'm ready."- Nick Swisher

Thursday, September 29, 2011

ALDS Roster Notes

Complete rosters have not been released yet, but there were a few updates throughout the day:

- Jorge Posada will be the Yankees DH in the ALDS (at least vs. righties):
Posada said Girardi informed him on Thursday morning that he would be starting as the team's DH in Game 1 on Friday night.

"Our intent is to use Jorgie as our DH," Girardi said. "We will go with that, and you just play it out."
- Girardi said that Jesus Montero will be healthy enough to play. “I saw him today. He’s fine. He got hit on the outside of the last two fingers. He’ll have a bruise, but I saw it. There wasn’t really any swelling. He’s okay."

- Girardi also said that A-Rod is fine, will play tomorrow, and he expects him to play third throughout the playoffs.

- Chris Dickerson is on the ALDS roster.

- Raul Valdez and Aaron Laffey are not, so Boone Logan will be the Yankees only lefty in the pen.

- Umpires for Yankees-Tigers: Gerry Davis (crew chief) Tony Randazzo, Eric Cooper, Dan Iassogna, Ted Barrett and Bill Welke.

Mike & Mike's Red Sox Collapse Song

Yanks To Face Tigers in ALDS

The Rangers beat the Angels tonight, so that means the Yankees will be facing off against Justin Verlander and the Tigers in the ALDS. Tampa will face the Rangers, and the Red Sox will go home for the winter thanks to Papelbon's blown save. Way to blow a 9-game lead, Boston. Nicely done.

In the NL, the Braves completely their choke job, falling to Philly in extra-innings. That means the Cardinals are the 2011 NL Wild Card winners. They face those Phillies in the NLDS with the DBacks taking on the Brewers in the other bracket.

Back to the Yankees: According to Joe Girardi, Freddy Garcia will pitch in game three of the series, and as you know CC and Nova will go in games 1 and 2. CC will pitch games 1 and 4, Nova will pitch games 2 and 5. A.J. Burnett will be on the roster, but will be in the bullpen. Here's the schedule:
  • 9/30: Gm 1 @ NYY - First pitch: 8:37 PM
  • 10/1: Gm 2 @ NYY - First pitch: TBD
  • 10/3: Gm 3 @ DET  - First pitch: TBD
  • 10/4: Gm 4* @ DET - First pitch: TBD
  • 10/6: Gm 5* @ NYY - First pitch: TBD
           All games are on TBS

Sorry to be my usual pessimistic self, but facing a team with Verlander scares me, especially with the way CC has thrown the ball over the last month or so. Doug Fister has also been a beast down the stretch.

Anyway, it's late and I need to relax after that crazy night of baseball, but what are your thoughts on the Yankees-Tigers matchup?

Hey Boston


Enjoy the winter.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Game 162: Yankees @ Rays

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

YANKEES (97-64)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jomes LF
Jesus Montero C
Eduardo Nunez 2B

Pitching: RHP Dellin Betances (0-0, 27.00 ERA)

RAYS (90-71)
Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Matt Joyce RF
Johnny Damon DH
Ben Zobrist 2B
Casey Kotchman 1B
Kelly Shoppach C
Reid Brignac SS

Pitching: LHP David Price (12-13, 3.35 ERA)

Nova Admires Andy's Moxie

From Mark Feinsand:
Ivan Nova knows his adrenaline will be pumping when he takes the mound for his first postseason start, so he's trying to draw from the experience of a former teammate to figure out how to harness those feelings.

Nova has been watching tapes of Andy Pettitte's playoff starts, hoping to emulate the cool his former teammate showed during his 42 postseason starts.

"I want to have success in the postseason; who's had more success than him?" Nova said. "Doesn't it make sense to see what he did? That's the time you have to relax and stay calm. That guy seemed so relaxed on the mound in so many big games. That's what I'm looking to do."

Joe Girardi was happy to hear that Nova had started his mental preparation for the postseason.

"Players that are able to control their emotions in the playoffs usually have the most success; Andy was real good at that," Girardi said. "Ivan is trying to learn as much as he can and take it all in. I love that."
I agree with Girardi. The fact that Nova is mostly likely going to be a key to the Yankees postseason will only put more pressure on the 24-year-old, so it's good that he understands the situation and is trying to prepare. That said, there's a huge difference between saying you're going to try to relax, and actually doing it.

Betances To Start Tonight

http://twitter.com/#!/YESNetwork/status/119109197316096001
Wow, that's pretty surprising after his walk-fest the other day.

Sanchez is the Lone Yankee in BA's SAL Top-20

Sanchez's season ended prematurely, due to a broken finger. His season had its ups and downs, but it is worth noting that he was on a tear in the last couple of weeks before going down with the aforementioned injury. Sanchez finished the batting .256/.335/.485, with 17 HR, 2 SB, 36 BB, 93 K, and a 121 wRC+.

Baseball America ranked Sanchez as the 14th best prospect in the South Atlantic League, praising his power and bat speed, yet noting that he has a great deal of work to do defensively - he led the league in passed balls despite the early end to his season (and a mid-season demotion due to attitude issues, including refusing to catch a bullpen session). While that ranking may seem a bit disappointing, one must consider that Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Jurickson Profar, and Jameson Taillon top the list ... all of which are quite likely to rank in the top-fifteen or so on many Top-100 lists.

You can find the list in its entirety here.

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

Mason Williams Tops BA's NYPL Top-20

Despite being drafted in the fourth round, many believed that Williams was the best pick of the Yankees 2010 draft class. Williams' best tool is his plus-plus speed, and there seems to be a consensus that he will be an excellent defender in center (with an average to slightly above-average arm) and a dynamic baserunner, though he does need refinement in both areas. While he is something of a slap hitter at this juncture, his impressive bat speed should lend itself to average power down the road.

Four other Yankees made the cut, as well:

01. Mason Williams, CF - .349/.395/.468, 3 HR, 28 SB, 149 wRC+
06. Cito Culver, SS - .250/.323/.337, 2 HR, 10 SB, 98 wRC+
08. Tyler Austin, 3B - .323/.402/.542, 3 HR, 7 SB, 177 wRC+
14. Angelo Gumbs, 2B - .263/.332/.404, 3 HR, 11 SB, 109 wRC+
19. Branden Pinder, RHP - 31 IP, 16 H, 5 BB, 38 K, 1.16 ERA, 1.94 FIP

Culver's glovework at short continues to impress, but he has a great deal of work to do with the bat (though, he does quite well against left-handed pitching). A converted catcher, Austin has above-average power and bat speed, and he uses the entire field pretty well - many think he'll end up at 1B, however. Gumbs is incredibly toolsy, not unlike Williams, but he's far less polished. And Pinder has an above-average fastball and strong command, while flashing a solid slider.

You can find the list in its entirety here.

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Game 161: Yankees @ Rays

First Pitch: 7:10 PM | TV: MY9 | Radio: WCBS

YANKEES (97-63)
Eduardo Nunez SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF

Pitching: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-10, 4.02 ERA)

RAYS (89-71)
Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Matt Joyce RF
Johnny Damon DH
Ben Zobrist 2B
Casey Kotchman 1B
Kelly Shoppach C
Sean Rodriguez SS

Pitching: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.90 ERA)

Bloomberg Compares the Red Sox to the Dow Jones

Yanks To Stick Hughes in Pen For Playoffs

From Marc Carig:
Roles in the Yankees’ bullpen have been defined for most of the season, and with the postseason looming, manager Joe Girardi has no reason to change things up now. Still, Hughes will be part of the Yankees’ relief corps in the first round of the playoffs, which begin on Friday.

“We already have a great bullpen, so I don’t expect to go out there and be a late-inning guy or anything like that,” said Hughes, who worked primarily out of the bullpen in 2009, though he has started ever since. “But if the situation calls for it, and they need a guy, then I’ll be ready to go.”
I guess a little extra bullpen depth can't hurt, but I don't really see him having any kind of significant role.

Rookie Hazing: 80's & 90's Music Stars Edition


That's Andrew Brackman and Dellin Betances as Milli Vanilli, George Kontos as George Michael, Hector Noesi as Prince, Austin Romine as Madonna, Jesus Montero as MC Hammer, and Brandon Laird as Guns 'N Roses guitarist, Slash. Overall a pretty good looking group!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Levine Says Yanks Want Cashman Back

From Andrew Marchand:
After a successful regular season, the New York Yankees would like Brian Cashman to remain as the team's general manager beyond this year.

"Clearly, we want him back," Yankees president Randy Levine told ESPNNewYork.com.

...

"We have a great relationship," Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com on Monday. "I work for a great owner, but we really haven't talked about the future. Now is not the time to talk about that, to be quite honest. That's all for another day. They know that I would like to come back and we have a good working relationship, but we'll deal with that stuff on another day."
I see no reason why the Yankees shouldn't bring him back. Do you?

Game 160: Yankees @ Rays

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

YANKEES (97-62)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Jorge Posada 1B
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez RF
Brett Gardner LF

(Why the regulars? WHY?!?!)

Pitching: RHP Hector Noesi (2-1, 4.14)

RAYS (88-71)
Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Ben Zobrist 2B
Johnny Damon DH
Matt Joyce RF
Casey Kotchman 1B
Kelly Shoppach C
Reid Brignac SS

Pitching: RHP James Shields (15-12, 2.84)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lineup Suggestion For Rays Series

Brett Gardner CF
Greg Golson RF
Eric Chavez 3B
Jesus Montero DH
Eduardo Nunez SS
Austin Romine C
Brandon Laird 1B
Chris Dickerson LF
Ramiro Pena 2B

Let's go Rays!

You Suck


With the game tied in the top of the 14th inning, the Yankees decided to go with Scott Proctor. Predictably, he blew the game by allowing a single, a walk, and then two batters later, a three-run homer to Jacoby Ellsbury. To make matters worse, the Yankees still had Luis Ayala (among others) available in the pen. Honestly, I don't get the move at all. There really is never any good reason to use Proctor, especially in a game where you could have crushed the Red Sox spirits and season. Instead, they get their biggest win of the season. A win that will probably be enough to propel the Sox into the postseason.

Yanks Game 2 Lineup

Eduardo Nunez SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Eric Chavez 3B
Jesus Montero DH
Chris Dickerson LF
Austin Romine C

Pitching RHP Ivan Nova

Remember, first pitch is at 6:30 PM.

Tampa beat the Jays today, so if the Yankees win tonight, Boston and Tampa will be tied in the Wild Card race. They would then head to Tampa for three games that I can't image any of the guys on the roster want to win. Should be interesting to see what kind of lineups Girardi puts on the field for those games.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Latest New Era Yanks-Sox Commercial

Game 157: Yankees vs. Red Sox

Yankees (95-61)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones LF
Jesus Montero DH
Russell Martin C

Pitching: RHP Freddy Garcia (11-8, 3.77)

Red Sox (88-68)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Carl Crawford LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Mike Aviles 3B
Marco Scutaro SS
Josh Reddick RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C

Pitching: LHP Jon Lester (15-8, 3.15)

And now some interesting tidbits, courtesy of Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees Blog:
“I didn’t even feel it,” he said.

In this case, Hughes was referring to his lower back, which started causing him problems last weekend and cost him a start this week. Hughes threw 35 to 40 pitches and he remains on schedule — assuming no setbacks — to pitch next week in Tampa. There’s no date scheduled for that appearance.

“I think you really have to wait and see how he feels tomorrow and decide what we’re going to do,” Joe Girardi said.

Given the fact he hasn’t pitched since September 12, there’s a very real possibility that the Yankees will decide to simply move him into the bullpen for the division series.

“I think you have to think about that,” Girardi said. “I think that’s one of the things you have to think about just because he hasn’t thrown in a while and we’re not sure how it’s going to play out in the next couple of days after throwing this bullpen. Just a lot of decisions to be made by Friday.”

• Francisco Cervelli ran for about 10 minutes today. He’s still not ready to begin baseball activities, but he’s making progress. “I still would be a little bit surprise if we got him back,” Girardi said. “But, you know, maybe it stays away and maybe he’s able to help us.”

• Without Cervelli, the Yankees have to consider a postseason roster without a traditional backup catcher. “It changes the way that maybe you think about your roster a little bit,” Girardi said. “You know, when you think about your roster, the expectation is that Russell is going to play every day. You really have to think about how you’re going to do things and the combination of guys. There’s a lot of thought that’s going to go into this. The one thing about making a roster is you try to guard against everything, that’s what you try to do, but you really can’t.”

Friday, September 23, 2011

Info About Tonight's Rainout

Via the Yankees:
Tonight's postponed game will be made up as the second game of a day-night doubleheader to be played on Sunday, September 25 at 6:30 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

***THE ONLY TICKETS VALID FOR SUNDAY’S 6:30 P.M. GAME ARE TICKETS DATED SEPTEMBER 23.***

Fans holding paid tickets for Friday's game may use them for the rescheduled game or exchange their paid tickets for any regular season game at Yankee Stadium during the 2012 season (subject to availability). Tickets for Saturday’s 4:10 p.m. game vs. Boston and Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. game vs. Boston are sold out.

Fans holding Complimentary tickets (COMP) for Friday's game must use them for the rescheduled game on September 25 at 6:30 p.m. Complimentary tickets (COMP) or equivalent tickets bear no cash value and do not have any additional benefits that may be offered to ticket(s) with a dollar value.

For complete information about the Yankees’ rainout policy, please visit www.yankees.com/rainout.

With respect to tickets purchased through StubHub, please visit www.StubHub.com, call 866-STUBHUB (866-788-2482) or e-mail customerservice@stubhub.com for complete information about StubHub's rainout policy.

Yanks-Sox Pitching Matchups & Tonight's Lineup

Game 1: Tonight @ 7:05 PM | TV: YES/MLBN | Radio: WCBS
LHP Jon Lester (15-8, 3.15) vs. RHP Freddy Garcia (11-8, 3.77)

Game 2: Saturday @ 4:10 PM | TV: FOX | Radio: WCBS
RHP Tim Wakefield (7-7, 5.08) vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (10-11, 5.28)

Game 3: Sunday @ 1:05 PM | TV: YES/TBS | Radio: WCBS
RHP John Lackey (12-12, 6.49) vs. RHP Ivan Nova (16-4, 3.62)

Weather permitting, it will be the regular lineup tonight:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones LF
Jesus Montero DH
Russell Martin C

Cash on Crawford: We Were Trying To Drive The Price Up

From ESPN New York:
They really will do whatever it takes to win in this epic rivalry.

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman admitted Thursday that he feigned interest in Carl Crawford last offseason to drive up the price for the Boston Red Sox to sign the free agent.

"I actually had dinner with the agent to pretend that we were actually involved and drive the price up," Cashman said. "The outfield wasn't an area of need, but everybody kept writing Crawford, Crawford, Crawford, Crawford. And I was like, 'I feel like we've got Carl Crawford in Brett Gardner, except he costs more than $100 million less, with less experience.' "

...

Surprisingly, one could argue that Gardner has had a better season than Crawford. Gardner is batting .261 and leads the league with 46 steals. Crawford never got going in Boston and is hitting .259 with only 18 steals, the fewest he's had since his rookie season.

Going into the season, Cashman said Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, who also landed Adrian Gonzalez, "kicked my a-- in the offseason."

How does he feel now after winning the division?

"What I said was accurate: The Red Sox had a great winter, and I had a bad winter," Cashman said. "But as it turned out, I had a better winter than anybody would've expected, including myself."

And it cost the Red Sox.
Considering the deal Crawford got and the horrible season that followed, I'd say that was a job well done by Cash. Wouldn't you?

Girardi: I Expect Jorge To Be On Postseason Roster

From Dan Martin:
Jorge Posada didn't just get the game-winning hit to clinch the Yankees' AL East title on Wednesday, he may also have given manager Joe Girardi more to think about when he puts his postseason roster together.

"It definitely helps," Girardi said of Posada's pinch-hit heroics. "I don't have a 100 percent [decision], but I expect him to be there."

Posada said he was pleased to hear his manager speak with that kind of confidence, because his spot in the postseason is anything but certain.

"I was hoping I was there," Posada said before starting at first base and going 1-for-5 in the Yankees' 15-8 loss to the Rays last night at the Stadium. He also struck out with the bases loaded in the eighth. "It's their decision and I'm glad it sounds like I'm going to be in it."

But Posada wasn't ready to place all the credit on that one single.

"I hope they have more to go on than [Wednesday] night," Posada said. "I hope I've shown them something this year."
I have no problem with him being a member of the postseason roster, whether this year's performance deserves it or not (it does not). DH him vs. lefties and see what you can get out of him. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he ended up having a solid postseason.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Martin: "I hate the Red Sox"

http://twitter.com/#!/NYPost_Lewis/status/116974196306882560

Today's Clinching Covers



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

AL East Champs!

MLB.com


With a thrilling 4-2 victory tonight, the Yankees swept the day-night doubleheader vs. the Rays and clinched the 2011 American League East. Jorge Posada dramatically got the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 8th, a 2-run single with the bases loaded to put the Yanks ahead for good.

Then they broke out the bubbly and had a very energetic celebration in the clubhouse.

Underdogs? Yeah right.

Now its time to get ready for their ultimate goal....



Game 155: Yankees vs. Rays (Game 2)

First Pitch: 7:05 PM | TV: YES/ESPN | Radio: WCBS

YANKEES (94-60)
Brett Gardner LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jesus Montero DH
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Chris Dickerson RF
Eduardo Nunez SS

Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.01 ERA)

RAYS (85-69)
Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Ben Zobrist 2B
Johnny Damon DH
Sean Rodriguez SS
Casey Kotchman 1b
Brandon Guyer RF
Kelly Shoppach C

Pitching: RHP Jeremy Heckilson (13-10, 2.91 ERA)

Yanks Clinch Playoff Spot, Division Could Come Tonight


Thanks to seven innings of great relief, a few clutch hits, and save #603 by Mo, the Yankees will be making their 16th postseason appearance in 17 years. Between the three inning start by Hector Noesi (he was limited to 50-60 pitches) and James Shields rolling along things didn't look good with the Yanks down a run and just six outs left. But Nunez tied things up in the 8th with a leadoff homer off Shields. Then, following a single by Gardner and a walk to Jeter, Cano smacked a 2-run double to deep center. That was more than enough for Mo, who had another easy 1-2-3 save.

The win also trimmed their magic number down to 2, so a combination of a Yankees win and a Red Sox loss tonight would wrap up the division. CC Sabathia will be going for his 20th tonight for the Yanks with Jeremy Hellickson getting the ball for Tampa. Up in Boston, Josh Beckett will face O's right-hander, Tommy Hunter.

The Long Awaited Joba Update

http://twitter.com/#!/Joba_62/status/116534649009872896

While this isn't any sort of groundbreaking update, it's very nice to hear that Chamberlain's rehabilitation is just about on-schedule. Most recovery timetables see a pitcher playing catch between twelve and sixteen weeks after surgery, and we're just about fourteen weeks post-surgery. Any news that doesn't involve some setback is good news, right?

Who would be a safer bet in the postseason - a soft-tossing Chamberlain or A.J. Burnett?

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

Game 154: Yankees vs. Rays (Game 1)

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

YANKEES (93-60)
Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada 1B
Andruw Jones LF
Eduardo Nunez 2B
Austin Romine C

Pitching: RHP Hector Noesi (2-1, 4.01)

RAYS (85-68)
Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Matt Joyce RF
Johnny Damon DH
Casey Kotchman 1B
Jose Lobaton C
Elliot Johnson 2B
Reid Brignac SS

Pitching: RHP James Shields (15-11, 2.78)

Hughes May Not Start Today

From Bryan Hoch:
Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes continues to feel the effects of back spasms and is considered questionable to make a start in Wednesday's doubleheader against the Rays.

After consulting with head athletic trainer Gene Monahan, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he was unsure if Hughes would start the first game of a day-night twin bill as originally announced.

"I'm not sure if he can make his start [Wednesday]," Girardi said. "That's the report. I'm still going to have a little hope that he can. We'll see how he feels in the morning and then we'll go from there."

...

"We're just going to wait," Girardi said. "If [Hughes] can't start the first game, he can't start. We're going to figure it out."
Hoch also said that if Hughes can't go it could mean that we get to see the MLB debut of either Andrew Brackman or Dellin Betances.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Game 153: Yankees vs. Rays

First Pitch: 7:05 PM | TV: MY9/MLBN | Radio: WCBS

YANKEES (92-60)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF

Pitching: RHP Ivan Nova (15-4, 3.81)

RAYS (85-67)
Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Johnny Damon DH
Casey Kotchman 1B
Matt Joyce RF
Sean Rodriguez 2B
Kelly Shoppach C
Reid Brignac SS

Pitching: RHP Wade Davis (10-9, 4.41)

Report: Nova To Start Game 2 of ALDS

Tim Kurkjian reports (ESPN Insider required) that according to a Yankees source, "Nova is going to get Game 2." That same source, also said that they "can't see Burnett getting a start."

Not too surprising. Nova has been the Yankees second best starter, and unlike Colon and Garcia, hasn't struggled down the stretch. Burnett, well, he's a disaster, and at this point there's no reason why the Yankees should trust him in a big game. I know most fans share that same lack of faith.

Series Preview: Yankees vs. Rays

Game 1: Tonight @ 7:05 PM | TV: My9 | Radio: WCBS
RHP Ivan Nova (15-4, 3.81) vs. RHP Wade Davis (10-9, 4.41)

Game 2: Tomorrow @ 1:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP Phil Hughes (5-5, 6.00) or LHP CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.01) vs. RHP James Shields (15-11, 2.78)

Game 3: Tomorrow @ 7:05 PM | TV: YES/ESPN | Radio: WCBS
RHP Phil Hughes (5-5, 6.00) or LHP CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.01) vs. RHP Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.91)

Game 3: Thursday @ 7:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP Bartolo Colon (8-9, 3.81) vs. RHP Jeff Niemann (11-7, 3.95)


Who to Watch:
B.J. Upton, CF - .234/.320/.410, 105 wRC+
The much maligned Upton has been integral to the Rays astonishing September run. In addition to batting .311/.408/.557 thus far, Upton hit .500/.563/.857 in the Rays' three game sweep of the Red Sox that set the stage for an exciting final two weeks. He's also has a career line of .265/.349/.468 against the Yankees, including three home runs in eleven games this season.
Evan Longoria, 3B - .244/.348/.490, 129 wRC+
Longoria has found his groove after struggling with injuries and inconsistency in the first half, batting .249/.373/.520 with 17 HR in the second half. He's also been integral to the Rays September run, batting .310/.461/.603 with 4 HR this month. A burgeoning superstar, it's also worth noting that Longoria has raised his BB% and cut his K% for the third consecutive season.
Desmond Jennings, LF - .295/.387/.507, 153 wRC+
Many hindsight specialists have argued that the Rays may very well have the Wild Card lead had Jennings been with the team the entire year - an interesting thought, but something that we'll never really know. That being said, Jennings has absolutely raked since coming up this summer, and, while he's slumped a bit this month, he remains a threat at the plate and on the basepaths.
James Shields, SP
Despite taking the loss in two of his three starts, Shields has posted a stellar 1.59 ERA against the Yankees this season. Shields leads the Majors in complete games with 11 (Halladay is second with 8), and has a 2.22 ERA since the end of July.
Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

The Week ahead in Ticket Prices via TiqIQ:
For tickets to any of these games, click here.

Bichette Jr, is #1 in BA's List of Top GCL Prospects

Baseball America came out with their list of the top 20 prospects from the Gulf Coast League, here is the top ten:

1. Dante Bichette Jr., 3b, Yankees
2. Ravel Santana, of, Yankees
3. Luis Heredia, rhp, Pirates
4. Brenny Paulino, rhp, Tigers
5. Jose Osuna, 1b/of, Pirates
6. Raul Alcantara, rhp, Red Sox
7. Jose Vinicio, ss, Red Sox
8. Adonys Cardona, rhp, Blue Jays
9. Claudio Custodio, ss, Yankees
10. Danry Vasquez, of, Tigers

The rest of the list can be seen here.

Bichette Jr. hit .342/.446/.505 with 3 HR and 47 RBI in 52 games for the GCL Yanks.

Santana hit .296/.361/.568 with 9 HR and 29 RBI in 41 games.

Custodio hit .325/.433/.414 with a HR, 19 RBI and 26 stolen bases in 39 games.

This Week in Yankees History (9/18-9/24)

This Week in Yankees History 

September 18th-24th

September 18th

1911 - With a triple steal on, the Highlanders Cozy Dolan singles in 3 runs in a 9-4 loss at Detroit. The 3 RBIs are half of Cozy's 1911 American League season total.

1898 - Former Yankees P George “The Bull” Uhle (1933-1934) was born (1898-1985). Veteran hurler George Uhle went 8-5 for the Yankees during the 1933-1934 AL seasons, before finishing his MLB career with the Indians.

1909 - Former Yankees reserve C Robert Collins (1944) was born (1909-1969). In 1944, Bob Collins appeared in 3 games as a reserve catcher batting .333 (1-3).

1920 - National League directors meet in New York City, joined by Jacob Ruppert, Cap Huston, Charles Comiskey, and Harry Frazee of the American League. They name a committee to draw up an agreement along the lines of Albert Lasker's proposal, and give the 5 AL clubs still backing Ban Johnson an ultimatum: come in by November 1st or the Yankees, White Sox, and Red Sox will pull out of the AL and join a 12-team NL (with a team in Detroit to complete the roster). The AL 5 team owners turns it down, and bluff and counterbluff blow through the autumn air.

1922- Yankees OF Whitey Witt, his head bandaged from being hit by a bottle, drives in 2 in the 9th inning for a 3-2 Yankees win The Yankees leave St. Louis with 1 1/2 games in front. They will finish 1 game on top, clinching the 1922 AL pennant on September 30th with a 3-1 win over the Red Sox. The Brown’s George Sisler’s 41-game hitting streak is stopped by Yankees starter Joe Bush, the same pitcher that he had started the hitting streak against on July 27th.

1922 - Former Yankees 1B/OF Jake Stahl (1908) passed away. On October 13,1907, Jake Stahl was traded as part of a 3-team trade by the White Sox to the Highlanders. The New York sent Frank LaPorte to Boston, who would send Freddy Parent to the White Sox. Jake was moved to the outfield by the Yankees, who already had Hal Chase at 1B. Jake appeared in 75 games for the Yankees, hitting .255. On July 10,1908, Jake was purchased by the Red Sox from the Highlanders.

1926 - At Dunn Field in Cleveland, the Indians win their 4th game in a row, defeating the Yankees by a score of 3-1, behind starter George Uhle. The victory cuts the Yankees AL lead to 2 1/2 games over the Tribe.

1927 - Former Yankees Closer Luis “Yo-Yo” Arroyo (1960-1963) was born. The Yankees acquired Luis Arroyo from the Reds during the 1960 AL season, helping out in the bullpen, eventually replacing Ryne Duren as the Yankees bullpen closer. The 1961 AL season was his best MLB and Yankees career season, when he went 15-5 with 29 saves in 65 games. He was selected for the AL All Star team. He won 1 game in the 1961 World Series against the Reds. In the winter of 1961, Louie did not pitch in winter baseball for the 1st time in his MLB career, which resulted in him having pitching arm problems in the 1962 and 1963 AL seasons. He finished his Yankees career with a 22-10 record. Louie would later become a Yankees scout in Latin America. Luis originally came up with the Cardinals in 1955, later he played for the Pirates before joining the Reds in 1959.

1930 - The Yankees edge the Browns by a score of 7-6 in 10 innings as Yankees starter Red Ruffing hits 2 HRs in the winning effort.

1933 -The 2nd-place Yankees split with the White Sox, winning by the score of 6-1 on Johnny Allen's 2-hitter, before falling in the nightcap by the score of 4-3. Les Tietje, in his MLB pitching debut, stops the Bombers in the nightcap. Yankees 1B Lou Gehrig clubs HRs #28 and #29; the A’s slugger Jimmie Foxx leads the AL with 45 HRs.

1938 - Though they drop a doubleheader to the Browns, the Yankees clinch the 1938 AL pennant. The Red Sox are rained out in Chicago, their doubleheader with the White Sox will not be played, because rain outs were not made up at that time.

1948 - Former Yankees P Ken Brett (1976) was born (1948-2003). Ken Brett came to the Yankees from the Pirates in the Willie Randolph trade. He only appeared in 2 games for the Yankees going 0-0 before being traded to the White Sox for OF/DH Carlos May. He was the older brother of Royals All Star 3B George Brett.

1951 - The Indians beat the Red Sox by the score of 6-4, as Mike Garcia wins his 20th game of the 1951 AL season. With the Yankees losing to White Sox starter Billy Pierce by the score of 7-1. The Indians and Yankees now are tied for 1st place. This is the 10th time the 2 teams have been in a tie for 1st place in AL, surpassing the MLB record of 9 set in the NL race of 1889 and the Federal League race of 1914.

1956 - Yankees CF Mickey Mantle hits his 50th HR, only the 8th MLB player to do so, in the 11th inning off of White Sox veteran hurler Billy Pierce, as Yankees win the game by a score of 3-2 to clinch another AL pennant for Manager Casey Stengel. Yankees starter Whitey Ford picks up his 19th victory of the 1956 AL season.

Monday, September 19, 2011

602

Move aside Trevor...

Today in Indefensible Journalism, featuring Kevin Kernan

It's rather difficult to find a Yankees writer that doesn't work with his own reality. By that I mean most of the team's writers, or, at the very least, those who write for mainstream publications, tend to view the Yankees franchise and its history through a very narrow, very subjective mindset. Oftentimes said writers piggyback on the well-worn stories that have become engrained with the Yankees, refusing to even skim through a record book or attempt objectivity when it's far easier too ... well ... not. A recent NY Post article by Kevin Kernan serves as a fine example.
All that’s missing is the monument.

Mariano Rivera is much more than the greatest closer of all time. Put him right up there with the greatest Yankees of all time. This is baseball’s most hallowed ground, and Rivera is part of the Yankees’ Fantastic Five in my all-time record book.

Just call him Monument Mo.

You have to start with Babe Ruth; forever he will be No. 1. The Iron Horse Lou Gehrig, who called himself the “luckiest man on the face of the Earth,” is next. No. 3 is Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio. Then comes Derek Jeter, Mr. 3,000. Rounding out the Fantastic Five is the incomparable Mariano Rivera.
Before accusing me of tailoring my argument on a misconstrued portion of Kernan's article, take the time to at least skim through. The only numbers he mixes in are Rivera's save total, Jeter's hit total, and the actual numbers of some Yankees legends.

To Kernan, I ask this question: where in the world is Mickey Mantle?

His answer, insofar as the article is concerned, is this: "It hurts deeply for a kid who grew up a Mickey Mantle fan to move The Mick out of the top five, but this is the new Yankees reality. Time marches on, and Mantle, for all his greatness, does not make my final-five cut. If he had stayed healthy, it would have been a different story. Go cry to Billy Crystal."

Groundbreaking stuff.

I will now, without the use of idiocy and indefensible 'reasoning,' make an argument for Mickey Mantle as the third greatest Yankee ... I'll make it easy to follow, too.

By WAR
01. Ruth, 149.6
02. Mantle, 120.2
03. Gehrig, 118.4
04. DiMaggio, 83.6
05. Jeter, 70.4

By OPS+
01. Ruth, 209
02. Gehrig, 178
03. Mantle, 172
04. DiMaggio, 155
42. Jeter, 117

By Runs Created
01. Ruth, 2446
02. Gehrig, 2233
03. Mantle, 2038
04. Jeter, 1740
05. DiMaggio, 1569

How, exactly, are DiMaggio and Jeter ahead of Mantle?

Is it World Series rings? Can't be - DiMaggio has 9, Mantle 7, and Jeter 5. Mantle also appeared in more World Series than either.

Is it durability? Shouldn't be. Jeter has averaged 150 games since becoming a full-time player ... he's got an Edge. Mickey "Couldn't Stay Healthy" Mantle averaged 136 games. Joe DiMaggio averaged 134. Yes, these totals are on a per-162 basis, so they reflect the shorter schedules pre-1961.

Is there a service time adjustment to push DiMaggio past Mantle? Could be, I suppose. DiMaggio would have had to average 12.2 WAR per season to match Mantle's total, while averaging 156 RC along the way. His three best WAR seasons were 9.4, 9.0, and 8.9 (Mantle had five seasons better than DiMaggio's 9.4 WAR). He bested 156 RC once.

With respect to Rivera, it's very difficult and somewhat disingenuous to compare pitchers to hitters. I'm willing to call Rivera, at worst, the second or third best pitcher in team history - but I think it's inane to put him ahead of someone like Mantle, who produced 64.2 additional WAR (or a bit more than Yogi Berra produced in his career) while playing everyday ... as one of the greatest players of his time, and one of the greatest hitters ever.

So what is it, then? Kernan likely didn't see DiMaggio play, outside of some scratchy black and white highlights. I would also assume, though that is a dangerous game, that he didn't see much of Mantle before his body started to breakdown in the early 1960s. As for Jeter - I think New York sportswriters are required to praise him out of hand.

My best guess - Kernan went with the narrative. DiMaggio was a hero. Class. Grace. Jeter is the face of the Yankees. And Mantle betrayed his body as much as it betrayed him.

It's really a shame, too, as Mantle's legacy has been subjected to such sentiment from the moment he retired, and he is without a doubt (at worst) the third greatest Yankee.

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

AL Wild Card Update

If you weren't paying attention, the Rays took 3 of 4 from the Red Sox this weekend in Fenway and trimmed the Sox lead to just 2 games. The Red Sox continue their fall (hopefully) today with a doubleheader vs. the Orioles. Here is the (very expected) response to this weekend's action from RSN:

CLICK FOR FULL SIZE
In more hilarious news out of Boston, Carl Crawford has apologized to Red Sox fans for his awful season (.255/.292/.402).

They're also pretty upset that they have to root for the Yankees this week.

Source: TedsArmy
They'll probably hold on, but this is still a lot of fun to watch.

Game 152: Yankees vs. Twins

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

YANKEES (91-60)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones LF
Jesus Montero DH
Russell Martin C

Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (10-11, 5.20)

TWINS (59-82)

TBA

Pitching: LHP Scott Diamond (1-4, 3.94)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hughes Won't Start Monday

From Chad Jennings:
Phil Hughes has been scratched from Monday’s start after experiencing lower back spasms yesterday. A.J. Burnett will start in his place, and Hughes is expected to start Tuesday or Wednesday.

“It was bad yesterday,” Hughes said. “It’s a lot better today.”
Hughes will continue to get treatment and, according to him, “sit in a hot tub and sweat to death.”

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Should We Be Worried About CC?

As the Yankees enter play tonight, they currently have a 4.5 game lead on the 2007 Mets-esque Boston Red Sox in the AL East. It is a pretty fair assessment to make that the Yankees will win the division with just 14 games to play, and that by the time next week rolls around, champagne may have already been split.

However, even if that happens, the Yankees in my mind should be seriously concerned about their 161 million dollar man, Carston Charles Sabathia. 

Do not get me wrong - CC is a beast. He has been everything and more the Yankees could have asked for, and really has had another terrific campaign here in 2011. If Justin Verlander didn't exist, CC could have had a shot at winning the Cy Young this year. 

But with the Yankees doing so well in the 2nd half and currently having a 100% chance of making the playoffs (according to Baseball Prospectus), no one has really chronicled CC's struggles that date back to the beginning of August. 

And you say, "What? Struggles? CC finally beat the Red Sox!?! He just struck out 6 Angels last week!?" Well in 8 starts since the end of July (not counting last night's 5-run outing in Toronto), CC has posted a 5.70 ERA, allowing 25 earned runs. He has lost his amazing control, he's getting into a ton of jams, and even his facial expressions - he just does not look confident out on the mound. 

Although winning the AL East will give the Yankees home-field advantage, they will likely face Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers. CC had a horrible postseason last year, pitching similar to how he did tonight in Toronto. Luckily the Yankees bailed him out in each game. But this time around, the Yankees won't be facing the likes of Francisco Liriano or C.J. Wilson. They'll be facing 23-game winner Verlander and a white-hot Doug Fister. 

I have confidence that CC can and will turn it around, but it's seriously time for the big guy to step it up. Go out and pitch like CC Sabathia, not A.J. Burnett, and make us Yankee fans feel a little better about likely facing Verlander twice in a 5-game series.


- Go Yankees

Friday, September 16, 2011

Game 149: Yankees @ Blue Jays

First Pitch: 7:07 PM | TV: MY9 | Radio: WCBS

YANKEES (90-58)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Eric Chavez 3B
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF

Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (19-8, 2.93)

BLUE JAYS (75-74)
Mike McCoy SS
Eric Thames LF
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Adam Lind 1B
Brett Lawrie 3B
Colby Rasmus CF
J.P. Arencibia C
Kelly Johnson 2B

Pitching: RHP Dustin McGowan (0-0, 9.00)

Pitching Match-Ups at Toronto

Game 1: Tonight @ 7:07 PM | TV: My9 | Radio: WCBS
LHP CC Sabathia (19-8, 2.93) vs. RHP Dustin McGowan (0-0, 9.00)

Game 2: Tomorrow @ 1:07 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP Bartolo Colon (8-9, 3.55) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 3.09)

Game 3: Sunday @ 3:35 PM | TV: YES/ESPN | Radio: WCBS
RHP Freddy Garcia (11-7, 3.71) vs. TBA


Brett Cecil was originally slated to go tonight, but it was recently announced that McGowan would be taking his place. So far as I know, there haven't been any changes for tomorrow, and a starter for Sunday has yet to be announced.

Who to Watch:
Jose Bautista, RF - .304/.444/.628, 186 wRC+
Joey Bats is in the midst of what may very well be the worst month of his outstanding 2011 campaign ... and he's still raking to the tune of a 124 wRC+ in September, swatting 3 HR in only 45 AB. Through twelve games, Bautista is batting .282/.440/.615 with 4 HR against the Yankees.

Brett Lawrie, 3B - .303/.378/.629, 182 wRC+
I can't help but consider Lawrie Ryan Braun 2.0, in terms of his power, approach, and unrestrained personality. The Yankees have limited to a double and a walk in eleven plate appearances ... but he's the Blue Jays' most dangerous hitter this side of Bautista.

Dustin McGowan, SP
July 8, 2008. Prior to suiting up for Toronto's High-A affiliate this spring, that was the last time that McGowan had thrown a professional pitch. In the meantime, he had two separate shoulder surgeries - one to clean-up a frayed labrum and the other to repair a torn rotator cuff, both of which have ended careers - and knee surgery. His tenacity in his journey back to the Majors is admirable, and I can't help but root for the guy.

A-Rod Hopes To Return To Lineup Tonight

From Chad Jennings:
Today will be the day that the Yankees get their third baseman back. That’s Joe Girardi’s hope, anyway. He’s planning to put Alex Rodriguez in the lineup for tonight’s series opener in Toronto. If Rodriguez struggles in batting practice, then he’ll adjust accordingly, but for now Girardi’s planning to play A-Rod.

“I don’t want to mislead you guys,” Rodriguez said on Wednesday. “I haven’t touched a bat in five days. Maybe he has more confidence in me, but hopefully that kind of works out.”

The Yankees haven’t had a full-strength Rodriguez since mid-June when his knee began bothering him, leading to surgery and a stint on the disabled list. In his first game back from the knee injury, Rodriguez sprained the thumb and was once again a diminished player. He said his timing hasn’t been an issue, but it’s been a while since he was able to put any “ authority” into his swing.

“I think I was to the point that I had to stop because I wasn’t able to do my job,” he said. “To say it’s going to feel 100 percent, it’s not going to do that until next spring, but that’s fine… This time of the year, there’s not one guy in this clubhouse that is not playing with bumps and bruises. And that’s what I want to upgrade to.”

...

“There’s no question that we’re in a franchise that, the most important month is October,” Rodriguez said. “Obviously with a good performance and the team attaining it’s goal, then I think everyone would agree that everything would be forgotten.”
Yes, I'd agree with that.

There was another interesting article on A-Rod from The Star-Ledger's Jeff Bradley, who wonders how much the Yankees actually need A-Rod. I think the Yankees have proven this year that besides Mo and CC, no one player will make or break a season. That's one of, if not the biggest luxury about having a $200 million payroll. But at the same time I'd much rather go into October with a healthy A-Rod, and I don't think any Yankees fan would disagree. As we saw in 2009, in a short series a bat like that can put you over the edge.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Today in the Inevitable - Rotator Cuff Surgery for Feliciano

Last night, the Yankees announced that Feliciano underwent surgery on his left rotator cuff - a procedure that will likely keep him out for the entirety of the 2012 season. This seems like something of a formality, as most everyone suspected that Feliciano would never throw a pitch for the Yankees following a slew of setbacks over the past six months.

All things considered, this may represent the worst signing of the offseason - yes, that includes the Soriano contract. While the Yankees may yet recoup some value from the Levine debacle, Feliciano is nothing short of a sunk cost. It isn't as if this is a 'good process, bad results' situation either. Cashman lambasted the Mets for abusing the erstwhile lefty specialist ... back in April. This sentiment could be easily found by anyone with access to Baseball-Reference, as well. There were also comparable lefties on the market, such as Randy Choate, and many signed for less. The entire situation was baffling, to say the least.

Pedro, we hardly knew ye.

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

X-rays on Cano's Foot Come Back Negative

Chad Jennings reported late last night that Robinson Cano went for X-rays after being hit of the foot in the 12 inning last night and the results showed no break. Cano will ice the foot and expects to be in the lineup on Friday in Toronto.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MLBTR's Top Ten Minor League Deals of the Year

MLB Trade Rumors came out with their list of the top ten minor league deals of the season. Between the top ten and honorable mentions, five Yankees signings made the list.
1. Bartolo Colon, Yankees. He didn't pitch at all in the Majors in 2010, but this year Colon has a 3.33 SIERA in 152 innings. He's been a major cog in the Yankees' rotation. Some of his success may be owed to offseason stem cell treatments, which Yankees GM Brian Cashman was not aware of at the time of the signing.

...

4. Freddy Garcia, Yankees. Colon and Garcia have provided the Yankees 280 innings of 3.63 ball. Baseball's biggest spenders got a ton of bang for their buck on minor league deals this year.
Eric Chavez, Cory Wade and Luis Ayala made the honorable mention list. I've written about this before, but it's worth mentioning again that Cashman has always been great at landing some major impact players on small and/or minor league deals. This year, maybe more than any in the past, these small moves are one of the main reasons why the Yankees are 4 games up right now.

2012 Schedule Released

The preliminary regular season schedule for the 2012 season was released by Major League Baseball today. The Yanks open up the season in St. Pete against the Rays on 4/6/12. The home opener is on 4/13 against the Angels. They also end the season with three against the Red Sox at the Stadium. As for interleague, the Yanks play the Braves six times, make a trip to DC, face the Reds for three games at home, and of course, the six Subway Series games vs. the Mets.

For the entire schedule, check out this PDF via River Ave. Blues.

Congrats To The Greatest Closer Ever


Here's what The Captain had to say about Mo's 600th:
“I think people will realize it when he’s no longer here,” Derek Jeter said. “Yankee fans have been spoiled, baseball fans watching him, us as teammates. You don’t see this. We don’t take him for granted, but I think a lot of people may, because he comes in, you assume it’s over, and the only time you talk to him is when he comes through.”

...

“We’ve been close for a very, very long time. I know how important it is to him to come here and do his job. He takes a lot of pride in doing his job. And he’s done his job better than anyone else… I think that if you ask him, we’re trying to win. We’re trying to win the division, I think that’s probably the first thing on his mind. If the game calls for him to come in, pretty sure he’ll do his job again.”
A-Rod:
“Just to think about every game Mariano has ever pitched has been a meaningful game, and he’s either been in first place or second place, so the pressure you have to add to that. It’s just like Jeet. You’re doing it at Harvard with the Yankees. Every one of those saves meant something. Every one of them. Some of them were against our teams, whether it was Seattle or Texas, and I knew what an incredible competitor he was and what a weapon he was, even when he didn’t pitch. Pretty amazing… He’s at a point in his career where everything he does is groundbreaking. Every save from here until the end is going to be a new record — his own.”
And Girardi:
“It’s a gift, a gift that he has. And he has used his gift to the best of his ability, and has given Yankee fans and baseball a lot to cheer about, and to be proud of. And he’s a great guy too on top of that. He’s a humble guy and you’ll never see Mo walk with his chest up.”

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cervelli To The DL

Francisco Cervelli has been placed on the 15-day DL, though Andrew Marchand reports that it's just "book keeping".
[Billy] Eppler, who is on the trip here in Seattle, said the Yankees did just so there is record of the time Cervelli is missing in case it comes up in any type of transaction or contract discussions later.

Game 147: Yankees at Mariners

Yankees (89-57)
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jesus Montero DH
Andruw Jones LF
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Brett Gardner CF

Pitching: A.J. Burnett (9-11, 5.27)

Mariners (61-86)
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Kyle Seager 3B
Dustin Ackely 2B
Mike Carp LF
Justin Smoak 1B
Miguel Olivo C
Adam Kennedy DH
Casper Wells CF
Brendan Ryan SS

Pitching: Charlie Furbush (3-8 4.84)

The Mariners rank 24th in the Majors in BB%. A.J. Burnett ranks 95th out of 98 qualified pitchers in BB% (as in the fourth worst). In Burnett's start against the Mariners this year, he walked 5 in 6 IP. Something has to give. Drama!

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

Dante the Younger Named GCL MVP

As per Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees Blog:
The Gulf Coast League today announced that Dante Bichette Jr., who hit .342 and led the league with 47 RBIs, 67 hits and 17 doubles has been named its Most Valuable Player. Bichette, who also excelled in the field for the Yankees by leading all third baseman with a .945 fielding percentage, headlines the 11-man Gulf Coast League All-Star Team.

Shortstop Jose Rosario and catcher Isaias Tejeda join Bichette from the league champion Yankees on the all-star team. Carlos Mendoza, who skippered them to the GCL title, is the Manager of the Year.
Here's hoping it's the first of many awards to come, and the starting point to a very productive career. Congratulations, Dante - you earned it.

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

Scouting the Sally on Brett Marshall

For those of you unfamiliar with Marshall, here's what I had to say about him this past January:
Marshall thrived in 2010, less than a year removed from Tommy John Surgery. His stuff appeared to be all the way back, to boot - low-to-mid-90s four-seamer, low-90s two-seamer, and a knee-buckling low-80s slider. His change-up remains a work in progress, but he's still very young and relatively inexperienced, having been primarily a shortstop in high school. Marshall's mechanics and injury history are responsible for this low-ish ranking, but with a healthy 2011 I'd expect him to jump ten-plus spots on this list.
Shameless self-promotion aside, Marshall performed incredibly well in 2011, improving as the year wore on. His strikeout, walk, and groundball rates improved throughout the seasons and he appears poised for a breakout 2012. Here's what Jake Hopkins of Scouting the Sally had to say:
In the Florida State league this season, Brett Marshall finished in the top-12 in earned run average, strikeouts and WHIP over 140 1/3 innings pitched. Other peripherals include a seven-plus K/9 rate and 55% GB% which combine to form a strong indicator for future success. His BB/9 is still a touch above three and remains an area for improvement overall.

A closer look at Marshall’s second half numbers paint an even more impressive picture. Over 66 2/3 second half innings, Marshall raised his strikeout totals above eight-per-nine and saw walk totals drop to a touch over two-per-nine. Add to this a GO/AO over two and it creates a lethal mixture for opposing hitters to the tune of a 2.50 second half FIP.

Marshall’s ground ball tendencies also improve with runners on base pointing to a pitcher with a developing understanding of how to work out of jams. However, his strikeout rates subsequently drop (which to be expected), but still speaks to a lack of a true swing-and-miss offering.

If Marshall’s improved walk numbers are due to better fastball command, then he is learning how to harness the excellent fastball movement Mike previously reported from late in the 2010 season. It’s great to be able to cut, run or sink a low-90′s fastball, but commanding it well is what often leads to the unraveling of a pitching prospect. Double-A will be an excellent test of whether Marshall’s raw stuff is truly legit, or if he’s simply more advanced than the advanced-A level competition he matched up against.

Stuff aside, Marshall’s greatest accomplishment was the 140 1/3 innings he was able to tally as part of a completely healthy season. Last year he totaled only 84 innings combined across the Gulf Coast League, Charleston Riverdogs and Tampa Yankees.
I suggest you read the article in its entirety, as I left out a few key bits so as to avoid entirely pilfering the fine work of Mr. Hopkins. Suffice it to say that there's quite a bit to be excited about with Brett Marshall.

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

Monday, September 12, 2011

Robertson a Finalist for Marvin Miller Award

What is the Marvin Miller Award? Why should I care? From MLB.com:
The award is given to players who "inspire others to higher levels of achievement by their on-field performances and contributions to their communities."

Selected from a list of 30 players, the six finalists will have their names placed on the 2011 Players Choice Awards ballot to determine this season's Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award winner. Ballots will be distributed to all Major League players Sept. 13 and Sept. 14, when KPMG conducts the league-wide, players-only voting .

[snip]

The winners of the 2011 Players Choice Awards will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. The Players Trust has contributed more than $3 million to charities around the world.
All snark aside, it is a very prestigious award in support of a very noble cause. It tends to fly under the radar, and I cannot help but feel that it should be touted to a much greater degree - particularly when the good that so many players do tends to be overshadowed by scandals.

Here's the bit on Robertson:
In May, the Yankees pitcher and his wife, Erin, established the David and Erin Robertson Foundation to raise relief funds and lend support to local charities helping those affected by the storms in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Robertson donates $100 for every batter he strikes out this season through his High Socks for Hope campaign.
Robertson thanked his supporters on Twitter, and you can read about High Socks for Hope here.

Good luck, David!

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

Game 146: Yankees at Mariners

Yankees (88-57)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher 1B
Eric Chavez 3B
Brett Gardner LF
Chris Dickerson RF
Austin Romine C

Pitching: Phil Hughes (4-5, 6.41)

Mariners (61-85)
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Kyle Seager 3B
Dustin Ackely 2B
Mike Carp DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Miguel Olivo C
Trayvon Robinson LF
Brendan Ryan SS
Michael Saunders CF

Pitching: Felix Hernandez (14-11, 3.15)

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

Three More Headed to the AFL

http://twitter.com/#!/MLBazFallLeague/statuses/112305914123526144

Apologies for the late post - I missed this over the course of a very busy weekend. Dan Burawa is a power reliever with swing-and-miss type stuff, including the makings of a plus slider. Preston Claiborne is cut from a similar cloth. On the other end of the spectrum is Chase Whitley, who works with a low-90s fastball and a true plus change-up - some scouts believe that he could become a solid closer if his fledgling slider continues to develop, as his command and control are quite advanced for a former two-way player.

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

This Week in Yankees History (9/11-9/17)

This Week in Yankees History

September 11th - September 17th

September 11th

1905 - The New York Highlanders sell workhorse P Jack Powell (8-13) to the St. Louis Browns. Powell won 23 games in 1904 for New York, while pitching 390 1/3 innings.

1912 - In St. Louis, Browns starter Jack Powell leaves after 7 innings, losing 3-0 to his former teammates, the Highlanders. Reliever George Baumgartner gives up 2 more runs in the 8th inning, but the Browns score 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to cut the losing margin to 5-4. The New York Times reports the loss to Baumgartner, who pitched poorly.

1923 - After Yankees leadoff hitter Whitey Witt reaches 1st base on a controversial infield hit that is ruled a single. Boston Red Sox P Howard Ehmke retires the next 27 batters for a 3-0 win, his 20th of the 1923 AL season. The Yankees crowd exhorts the scorer Fred Lieb to reverse his call on the hard grounder that 3B Howard Shanks booted, but the 1 hit stood. Ehmke has now given up just 1 hit in his last 2 games.

1926 - New York Yankees OF Bob Meusel ties a MLB record for sacrifice flies in 1 game, when he hits 3 during a 6-4 win at Cleveland. In the same game, Yankees Shortstop Mark Koenig handles 16 chances without an error, 1 short of the record set by the Browns shortstop Bob Wallace in 1902.

1927 - After losing 21 straight games in a row to the New York Yankees, the St. Louis Browns win their last meeting of the 1927 AL season, winning the game by the score of 6-2 behind Milt Gaston's 5-hitter. No team has ever swept a 22-game season series. One NL team, the 1909 Chicago Cubs, went 21-1 against the Boston Braves.

1928 - In the Yankees 5-3 win at the Stadium, veteran Ty Cobb makes his last appearance as a MLB batter, popping out against New York P Hank Johnson to shortstop Mark Koenig as a pinch hitter in the 9th inning. Babe Ruth's 2 run HR clout, off of Philadelphia A’s starter Lefty Grove in the 8th inning, seals the victory for the Yankees. The Yankees seal the fate of the A's with their 4th straight win over the Quakers, leaving them in 2nd place in the AL, 2 1/2 games back.

Pitching Match-Ups at Seattle

Game 1: Tonight @ 10:10 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP Phil Hughes (4-5, 6.41) vs. RHP Felix Hernandez (14-11, 3.15)

Game 2: Tomorrow @ 10:10 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP A.J. Burnett (9-11, 5.27) vs. LHP Charlie Furbush (3-8 4.84)

Game 3: Sunday @ 3:35 PM | TV: YES/ESPN | Radio: WCBS
RHP Ivan Nova (15-4, 3.94) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (8-13, 4.49)


Who to Watch:
Ichiro Suzuki, RF - .275/.313/.339, 86 wRC+
In addition to posting career-lows across the board, Ichiro's string of consecutive 200+ hit seasons is likely to come to an end - he'll need thirty-two hits in the next two weeks to reach that plateau.

Dustin Ackley, 2B - .290/.367/.453, 132 wRC+
One could make a fine argument for Ackley as the AL Rookie of the Year, despite his playing in a bit more than half of the season. The Yankees will miss another top contender for the award, Michael Pineda, this go-round.

Mike Carp, 1B/LF - .274/.333/.465, 121 wRC+
Carp is the most legitimate power threat on the Mariners, though Casper Wells has knocked out six home runs in only 97 AB since coming over from the Tigers.

Panic in Beantown?

From Peter Abraham:
If the Sox can't feel [the Rays on their heels] by now, they never will. The Rays have won four straight and seven of eight to climb within three games of the wild-card lead in the loss column. The Sox have dropped five straight and were 1-6 on their road trip to nowhere.

“Hell, yeah, you've got to panic,” David Ortiz said.

The Sox are a mess at the moment. They were outscored 22-8 by the Rays in the series and managed only 22 hits over 29 innings. Their starting pitchers — John Lackey, Kyle Weiland and Jon Lester — allowed 12 earned runs over 11 innings.

“We’re kind of in a fight right now and we know that. It’s not real pretty,” manager Terry Francona said.

The Red Sox played with little efficiency or emotion. They were 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position in the three games, overthrew cutoff men from the outfield and threw balls away in the infield. Their pitchers walked 16 and hit three.

Adrian Gonzalez mentioned the poor level of play on Saturday and Ortiz had his own comment today.

“If we keep on playing like that, we’ll be home in the tub,” he said, shaking his head as his teammates walked quietly through the clubhouse.
I don't know about you guys, but I didn't see this coming at all. To be honest, the fact that the Yankees have also built up a 3.5 game lead on Boston is also quite a surprise. A very pleasant surprise.

This Wild Card race will get even more interesting this week, as the two teams face each other again with four games in Boston starting on Thursday.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Game 145: Yankees at Angels (Jesus!)

Yankees (87-57)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano DH
Jesus Montero C
Eric Chavez 3B
Andruw Jones RF
Eduardo Nunez 2B
Brett Gardner LF

Pitching: RHP Freddy Garcia (11-7, 3.50)

Angels (80-65)
TBA

Pitching: RHP Ervin Santana (11-10, 3.18)

Montero Likely to Catch, Romine to Back-Up

LoHud on Montero, Martin, and Cerveill:
X-rays are negative on Russell Martin’s thumb, but Joe Girardi said he’ll be out a day or two. Girardi also doesn’t want Jorge Posada to catch back to back games.

“Montero will probably catch (tomorrow),” Girardi said.

Francisco Cervelli is going back to New York for tests and Girardi indicated that a catcher will likely be called up. He hinted at Austin Romine.
LoHud confirming the Romine rumor:
Francisco Cervelli’s locker was just cleared, and his nameplate was replaced with a hand drawn tag for Austin Romine.

Looks like Romine will be here today, wearing No. 71.

No word on a move to make room on the 40-man.
While it is quite the shame to see Martin and Cervelli hurting, I can't help but be a bit excited to see Montero don the tools of ignorance ... though, I'm not quite sure if it's more morbid curiosity, given the almost universally poor reviews of his catching skills.

Update: Steve Garrison was DFA'd to make room for Romine.

Haren Throws CG Shutout, Yanks Drop 4th Straight

(Getty Images/Yahoo!)

Just this sight alone, though a somewhat happy one, represented that things were not going right for the Yankees tonight. Russell Martin left the game with an injury in the 3rd inning, and in to replace him at catcher went 40-year old Jorge Posada. Though he did a serviceable job, the Yankees bats did not, and the Bombers dropped their 4th straight game 6-0.

CC Sabathia had another very high pitch count, but another nice outing as well, throwing 6 innings of 1 run ball. CC managed to escape a few jams, and normally would have done enough to get a win. But not tonight. In fact he was tagged with the loss.

For the Halos, Dan Haren threw a complete-game 4-hit shutout, as the Yankees simply couldn't get anything started against him. Yes, Weaver has been great, but don't overlook Dan Haren. If the Angels make the playoffs, that 1-2 punch can seriously give them a chance to get to the Fall Classic.

Rough outings by Hector Noesi and George Kontos (his MLB debut) gave the Angels those 5 extra insurance runs.

Luckily, Boston lost to Tampa again, so the Yankees' lead in the AL East remains 2.5 games.

The Yankees will now try to regroup, and honor New York City with a win on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. The game will be on YES.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Martin Leaves With Hand Contusion, Posada Catching

The Yankees stretch of seemingly injury after injury after injury continued tonight in Anaheim, when catcher Russell Martin left the game with a right hand contusion after taking a foul tip off his right thumb. He is currently listed as day-to-day.

And the guy who replaced Martin behind the plate is none other than Jorge Posada, catching for the first time since Game 6 of the ALCS last October. And the first batter who got on, Howie Kendrick - Posada got him out trying to steal.

Hip Hip, Jorge!

Game 144: Yankees at Angels (Cervelli, Swisher, Rodriguez Out)

Yankees (87-56)
Jeter SS
Granderson CF
Teixeira 1B
Cano 2B
Montero DH
Chavez 3B
Martin C
Nunez RF
Gardner LF

Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (19-7, 2.97)

Angels (79-65)
Izturis 3B
Bourjos CF
Kendrick 2B
Hunter DH
Trumbo 1B
Wells LF
Trout RF
Aybar SS
Mathis C

Pitching: RHP Dan Haren (14-8, 3.20)

Cervelli was a late scratch, as he's still suffering from concussion-like symptoms. Rodriguez will likely miss three to four days in an effort to get his thumb back ... in shape, I suppose.

Still Waiting for (Good) News on Swisher

http://twitter.com/#!/BryanHoch/statuses/112312053351456768

http://twitter.com/#!/BryanHoch/statuses/112312142874689536

Swisher went for an MRI yesterday, but the results have not been made public at this juncture. Here's hoping that it's nothing too serious, as Swisher is an important part of this team - both for this season and, hopefully, next. With the team scoring all of one run over the past sixteen innings, some good news would be quite welcome.

Update (from the LoHud Yankees Blog): "Nick Swisher has inflammation but no structural damage in his left elbow. He’s going to get treatment all day today, and he expects to continue sitting out until the pain goes away."

Friday, September 9, 2011

Game 143: Yankees at Angels

Yankees (87-55)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Andruw Jones RF
Jesus Montero DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF

Pitching: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-9, 3.72)

Angels (78-65)
Erick Aybar SS
Howie Kendrick 2B
Bobby Abreu DH
Torii Hunter RF
Mark Trumbo 1B
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Vernon Wells LF
Peter Bourjos CF
Jeff Mathis C

Pitching: RHP Jered Weaver (16-7, 2.49)

Pitching Match-Ups at Angels

Game 1: Tonight @ 10:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP Bartolo Colon (8-9, 3.72) vs. RHP Jered Weaver (16-7, 2.49)

Game 2: Tomorrow @ 9:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
LHP CC Sabathia (19-7, 2.97) vs. RHP Dan Haren (14-8, 3.20)

Game 3: Sunday @ 3:35 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP Freddy Garcia (11-7, 3.50) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (11-10, 3.18)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Betances, Banuelos, Phelps, & Warren Likely to Join Team

http://twitter.com/#!/Joelsherman1/statuses/111872216932683776

http://twitter.com/#!/jnorris427/statuses/111550640957816833

I would be utterly shocked if these four arms didn't pitch in the Majors in 2012 (be it for the Yankees or some unforeseen trade partner), so it makes sense to give them some exposure to life in the show. I also wouldn't be opposed to any of the four picking up some low-leverage innings down the stretch - especially when one considers the hectic September schedule and the likelihood that Sabathia et al will be rested, at least to some degree.