Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Quick Hit on Nova's Struggles

With Nova's grasp on the fifth spot in the rotation appearing tenuous, it seemed prudent to delve into his struggles a bit. While a third of the season isn't quite enough to garner a great sense of a player's abilities - particularly a rookie - it does provide us an idea of a player's strengths and weaknesses ... especially when we have other sentiment to base that upon.

There are two pieces of data that jumped off the page for me - Nova's velocity and hittability (which may or may not be closely intertwined).

In 2010, Nova's fastball averaged 93.1 MPH. Given that he does not hide the ball particularly well, that velocity is fairly important - especially when tied to the fact that about two-thirds of his offerings are fastballs. In 2011, his fastball is sitting around 92.0 MPH, a noteworthy difference for a pitcher so dependent upon the heater. His curveball velocity is roughly the same, but it's not breaking as much as it did in 2010. Those two have combined for nearly 93% of Nova's pitches in 2011.

The second bit of data lay in the fact that hitters are making contact with 90.5% of pitches that they offer at - the highest rate in the Majors, and a near 7% jump from 2010. That is simply horrific, and Nova's high walk rate (about 4 BB/9) and low strikeout rate (4.5 K/9) compound the damage done by the ball being put into play so frequently.

What does this all mean? While it's still early in the season, much of this does relate back to Nova's minor league days. He struggled with control, his strikeout numbers never really matched his stuff, and scouts openly doubted his ability to hide the ball. It's worth noting that Nova hasn't been terrible on the whole (as a fifth starter, comparatively speaking at the very least), and he is still young enough to improve with a bit of work and/or luck.

Hughes Making Progress

As per Marc Carig:
Plenty of hurdles remain for Phil Hughes to clear before he returns to game action for the first time since April 14. But the right-hander has taken a critical first step toward that goal.

Hughes has started throwing off a mound.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Hughes said. “Hopefully I can keep having these days where I don’t have any issues.”

He last threw off a mound April 25 and was scheduled to play catch before last night’s game against the Mariners, one day after he threw 20 fastballs in a bullpen session.

“It’s encouraging,” manager Joe Girardi said.

Hughes has been on the disabled list since April 15 with inflammation in his right shoulder, though the more pressing issue was muscle fatigue that took some of the velocity off his fastball.

After a round of tests ruled out any major injuries to his right shoulder, Hughes began a strengthening program that involved long tossing.

“Everything feels good,” Hughes said. “It’s pain-free. That’s all I can look at.”
This is probably the best news that we have heard with respect to Hughes in 2011. While this does not speak to the quality of his stuff or any sort of timetable, simply acknowledging that Hughes is currently throwing pain-free is encouraging. The next step will be more diversified bullpen sessions (including the utilization of his off-speed stuff), followed by some rehab starts in the minors. I'd expect to see Hughes make several starts, given his struggle pre-injury, but we're still a few weeks away from such considerations.

Colon Blanks A's, Yanks Cruise To 5-0 Win

I was out for most of the game, so when I quite shocked when I walked into the house and saw that Colon complete his seventh shutout inning of the day by retiring Hideki Matsui on a grounder to Cano. Maybe I shouldn't have been, after all, the guy's been one of the Yankees best starter this year. I guess after his last rocky start I expected a little bit of a fall back to earth, but no, there was none of that on Monday.

Colon would go on to complete his gem, tossing a complete game four-hitter. As you might expect, his command was excellent all day--throwing 71 of 103 pitches for strikes--and did not walk a batter while striking out six. Just an absolutely dominating performance from Bartolo.

The Yankees would give Colon all the runs he'd need in their first at-bat scoring three in the top of the first. Mark Teixeira made it 2-0 with his 16th homer of the game. The homer was Tex's 7th in his last 11 games. Derek Jeter had previously singled to leadoff the game on his 2981st hit of his career. Later in the inning Cano would drive in a run with a double to plate A-Rod, who had reached on a walk.

Jeter later drive in the Yankees fourth run with a seventh inning sac fly.

The win improves the Yankees to 29-23 on the year and moves them in a tie for first with the Red Sox.

Game two of the series is tonight @ 10:05 PM, and Freddy Garcia will face A's left-hander Brett Anderson.


 PLAYER OF THE GAME: Bartolo Colon

Monday, May 30, 2011

Big Guy's 5/30 SWB Yankees Report

Indianapolis Indians (Pirates) 8 -  SWB Yankees 5

The SWB Yankees lost to Indianapolis 8-5 after blowing a 5-4 7th inning lead. The loss drops the 2nd place Yankees record to 26-22. 

Pitching: Adam Warren  (3-1, 3.57 ERA) got the start for the Yankees. He got off to a rough start in the 1st giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and a wild pitch to give Indy a 3-1 lead.  In the 3rd, Indy picked up another run on a walk and 2 singles to up their lead to 4-1. The damage could have been worse, but Dan Brewer made a fabulous diving catch to rob an extra base hit.  In the 6th, Indy picked up 2 singles, but Warren got out of the jam to maintain a 5-4 lead.   Warren left with a 5-4 lead but did not figure in the decision. Warren's line:   6 IP,  4 runs,  9 hits,  4 K's--2 walks,  ERA  3.81.

Kanekoa Texiera came on to pitch in the 7th with SWB up 5-4.  He gave up a leadoff double. Brandon Laird booted a ball at 3rd base for an error.  The tying run scored on a rundown when Vasquez dropped the ball at home for an error. Texiera then gave up 2 rbi singles and a double to give Indianapolis an 8-5 lead. Texiera took the loss (0-1). George Kontos pitched a scoreless 8th inning giving up a single and stranding the runner at 3rd.

Offense:   Sean Gallagher (1-7, 7.17 ERA) got the start for Indianapolis. In the 1st inning, Ramiro Pena walked, Jesus Montero singled, Jorge Vasquez hit what should have been an inning ending DP, but a throwing error allowed Pena to score to give SWB a quick 1-0 lead. SWB tied the game in the 5th with 3 runs.   Kevin Russo doubled off the top of the fence.  Dan Brewer followed with a single.  A wild pitch scored a run.  Austin Krum added his 1st AAA rbi. Jesus Montero drove in Krum to tie the game at 4.   In the 6th,  Brandon Laird and Kevin Russo singled. Gustavo Molina added a rbi single to give SWB a 5-4 lead.   Down 8-5 in the 8th,  the Yanks wasted a double by Brandon Laird.

Notes:   Jesus Montero went 2-4 with 2 singles, rbi, and strikeout. He has an odd 10 game hit streak going with this game the only multi-hit game in that span.   Justin Maxwell named IL Hitter of the Week.  Carlos Silva gets the start Tuesday night.  Laird and Vasquez' errors in the 7th snapped an errorless streak of over 41 innings.  SWB has the best defense in all of minor league baseball, but didn't show it in the 7th inning.

Elsewhere in the minors:

Double-A Trenton beat Portland 6-4

High-A Tampa had an off-day.

Low-A Charleston lost to Savannah 3-1

Nova on Thin Ice?

From NorthJersey.com:
Manager Joe Girardi clearly was dissatisfied by Ivan Nova’s lack of aggression in Saturday night’s no-decision, and the right-hander might have a loose grip on his rotation spot. Girardi said Nova would take his next turn Friday at Anaheim, though Nova should fix the wildness he displayed in his 3 2/3-inning start at Safeco Field.

"He has the ability to do it. He’s just not doing it," Girardi said, noting that Nova was a predictable two-pitch pitcher Saturday without any command of his curveball. "At times he looks very, very good for us. And then at times he’s had trouble throwing strikes." In his past four starts, Nova is 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA.

During those 18 2/3 innings, he’s yielded 30 hits and eight walks. Is that a sign of regression? "I guess we’ll have a better idea after his next start," Girardi said. Meanwhile, ex-Cubs veteran right-hander Carlos Silva is starting at Class AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre and soon might be an option.
The kid is 4-3, with a 4.67 ERA. Not great, but certainly not that bad for a 24-year-old in his second big league season. And while he's struggled lately, I don't think this is the time to start talking about taking him out of the rotation. Honestly, at this point who is really a better option? Carlos Silva? I don't think so.

Yanks Finally Show Up in Seattle, Take Finale 7-1

It was an overall solid win for the Yankees in Seattle on Sunday, winning by the score of 7-1. The win improves the Yankees record to 28-23 on the year.

CC Sabathia was sharp over eight innings allowing just one run on five hits and three walks while striking out five. Seattle's only run came on a sixth inning solo homer by Justin Smoak. The start earned CC his 6th win of the season and dropped his ERA under 3.00 to 2.98. 

As for the offense, they got to M's starter Jason Vargas early and often, scoring all seven of their runs before the fifth. Nick Swisher got the Yankees started with a solo homer in the 2nd, just his 3rd long ball of the year. The Yanks then put the game away with a 5-spot in the 3rd. Andruw Jones got the big hit in the inning with a bases clearing 3-run double. Eduardo Nunez, Mark Teixeira, and Robinson Cano also drove in runs on the day. Curtis Granderson did not drive in a run, but it was another big day for his as he picked up three hits, including two doubles and two runs scored, in five at-bats.

Derek Jeter is now one hit closer to 3000 after his 1-for-3 day, he's now just 20 shy of the milestone.

The Yankees now head to Oakland for a three-game set with the A's starting on Monday. First pitch in the opener is at 4:05 PM, and Bartolo Colon will face A's starter Trevor Cahill.



HONORABLE MENTION: Curtis Granderson

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Game 51: Yankees @ Mariners - Trying to Salvage the Finale

YANKEES (27-23)
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: LHP CC Sabathia (5-3, 3.17 ERA)

MARINERS (26-25)
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chone Figgins 3B
Justin Smoak 1B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Mike Wilson DH
Brendan Ryan SS
Jack Wilson 2B
Michael Saunders LF
Chris Gimenez C

Pitching: LHP Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.86 ERA)

Yanks Make it 0-for-2 in Seattle

Another day, another ugly loss to the Mariners, this time losing 5-4 in walk-of fashion. The loss drops the Yankees to 27-23 on the season.

Like Friday night, the Yankees once again blew an early lead. Tonight, they were leading 3-1 after three, thanks to two long balls off M's starter Felix Hernandez; a solo shot by Cano and a two-run homer by Teixeira.

Seattle took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the 4th off Ivan Nova, who did not have a good outing. The big hit in the inning was a two-run game-tying double by Miguel Olivo. Brendan Ryan later singled to give the Mariners a 4-3 lead.

The score would stay like that until the top of the seventh when Curtis Granderson followed up a Derek Jeter walk with an RBI triple. All four Yankees runs came off King Felix, who went seven on the night.

Both bullpens did a great job tonight as the team's traded zeros over the next four+ innings. For the Yankees the work was that much more impressive considering Nova lasted just 3.2 innings. The combination of Hector Noesi, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, Boone Logan, and Luis Ayala threw 7.1 innings of shutout ball, allowing just five hits, walking one, and striking out seven.

That said, it wasn't like the Yankees didn't have their chances, but once again the offense failed to get the big hit, going 1-for-9 with RISP and leaving 9 on base.

That set things up for Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the 12th, and once again, Mo was anything but great in a non-save situation. After retiring Chone Figgins to start the frame, Justin Smoak singled, Jack Cust doubled to men on 2nd and 3rd, and following a walk to Franklin Gutierrez, Adam Kennedy drove in the winning run with a bloop single to center. Mo's Line: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K ---- Yikes!

The series concludes tomorrow afternoon in Seattle. First pitch is at 4:10 PM, with CC Sabathia facing Jason Vargas.  


PLAYER OF THE GAME: Miguel Olivo (3-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI, R) 
HONORABLE MENTION: Adam Kennedy (walk-off single in 12th) 
GOAT OF THE GAME: Mariano Rivera

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Big Guy's 5/28 SWB Yankees Report

SWB  AAA  Yankees  Game   5-28-11
Louisville Bats (Reds)  4   SWB Yankees  3

The SWB Yankees dropped a 4-3 decision to Louisville.  The loss drops the 2nd place Yanks record to 25-21 on the year.

Pitching:  Andrew Brackman got the start for the Yanks.  Brackman got the side in order in the 1st inning.  Quite an improvement considering he had a 15.75 ERA, and 4.50 BAA in the 1st coming into the game.  He got the side down in order again in the 2nd.  Brackman had a weird 3rd inning as he lost his control. A hit batter, wild pitch, and 2 walks loaded the bases with nobody out.  A 2-rbi single put Louisville on top 2-1.  He also struck out the side in the inning.  He  tossed a scoreless 4th giving up a 2 out walk and picking up his 7th K.  In the 5th, he walked 2 men and picked up his season high 8th K and was taken out.  The 6 walks were also a season high.   Aside from the walks it was probably his best start of the year. Brackman's line:  4.1 IP,  2 runs,  1 hit,  8 K-6 BB,  ERA 6.35. HBP, 96 pitches--49 strikes.

Ryan Pope relieved Brackman with 2 on and 1 out in the 5th.  He got out of the jam after a balk moved the runners to 2nd and 3rd.  Pope threw a scoreless 6th.  There was a leadoff single, but Justin Maxwell threw the runner out at 2nd.

Amaury Sanit came on to pitch a scoreless 7th.  He hit a batter but got a DP.  In the 8th, he got the first 2 men then gave up a single and 2-run homer to give Louisville a 4-2 lead.  He then gave up a walk and single. Sanit then left the game with a non-arm injury.  He took the loss (2-1).

Kaneoko Texiera replaced Sanit to get the final out of the 8th.

Offense:   Edinson Volquez got the start for Louisville.  The Yankees wasted no time in getting to Volquez.   Austin Krum led off the game with a triple and was followed by a rbi single by Ramiro Pena to give SWB a 1-0 lead.  Volquez shut the Yankees down until the 6th when Austin Krum walked and Ramiro Pena was hit by a pitch.  Jesus Montero hit into his 2nd doubleplay of the game.  Montero came into the game hitting just .186 with RISP.   Justin Maxwell led off the 7th with a double, but was stranded.  In the 8th,  Ramiro Pena hit a solo homer (3) off Volquez to tie the game at 2.  Justin Maxwell led off the 9th with his 15th homer of the year to cut the lead to 4-3.  Maxwell's 2nd in the league in homers and has 32 rbis.  Brandon Laird and Dan Brewer singled  to put the tying run in scoring position.  Former SWB Yankee Steven Jackson came on to pitch and threw a wild pitch to move the runners up to 2nd and 3rd.  Luis Nunez walked to load the bases with 1 out, but Jackson got a DP on a great play to end the game.

Notes:  Jesus Montero went 1-4 with an infield hit and 2 doubleplays.    Jorge Vasquez went 0-4 with 2 Ks.  Brackman's parents were at the game

- Big Guy

Elsewhere around the system:

- Doulble-A Trenton split a doubleheader with Portland. They won game one 8-7, and lost game two 7-5.

- High-A Tampa beat Charlotte 4-2.

- Low-A Charleston beat Hickory 6-3.

Game 50: Yankees @ Mariners

YANKEES (27-22)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Jorge Posada DH
Nick Swisher RF
Brett Gardner LF

Pitching: RHP Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.29 ERA)

MARINERS (25-25)
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chone Figgins 3B
Justin Smoak 1B
Jack Cust DH
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Adam Kennedy 2B
Miguel Olivo C
Carlos Peguero LF
Brendan Ryan SS

Pitching: RHP Felix Hernandez (5-4, 3.01 ERA)

News & Notes

- The April 6 rainout between the Yankees and Twins in the Bronx has been rescheduled for September 19th at 1:05 p.m.

This Week's Bomber Beat from ESPN NY

Big Guy's 5/27 SWB Yankees Report

SWB  AAA  Yankees  Game  5-27-11
SWB Yanks   6   Louisville Bats (Reds)  4

The SWB Yankees defeated Louisville 6-4 for their 4th straight win. The win puts their record at 25-20.  They're in 2nd place,  3 games behind Lehigh Valley.

Pitching:   DJ Mitchell got the start and win (3-3) for the Yanks. In the 1st, Mitchell got 2 quick outs then gave up 3 singles to give Louisville a 1-0 lead.  Mitchell settled down nicely after the 1st allowing only 2 singles until the 6th inning.  In the 6th,  a 2-out double and single gave Louisville a run to cut the SWB lead to 4-2.  In an oddity, Mitchell's 3 wins have come on the road, and 3 losses at SWB. Mitchell's line:   6 IP,  2 runs,  7 hits,  3 K-1 BB,  ERA  3.19

Buddy Carlyle came on to pitch the 7th.  He gave up 2 hits, but got a DP to get out of the inning.  In the 8th, 2 doubles and a single gave Louisville 2 runs to cut the SWB lead to 6-4.  Kevin Whelan came on to pitch a scoreless 9th.  He gave up a leadoff single and picked up 2 strikeouts.  Whelan picked up his 15th save.

Offense:   Chad Reineke got the start for the Bats.   In the 1st inning, Jesus Montero hit a 2-out double (9), moving to 3rd on a wild pitch.  But Jorge Vasquez K'd to end the threat.  Reineke only pitched 2 innings as a warmup to being recalled to Cincy.  Justin Lear took over in the 3rd.  In the 4th, Justin Maxwell hit his 14th home run.  Kevin Russo beat out an infield hit, and Dan Brewer added a rbi double to give SWB a 2-1 lead.  In the 6th,  Jorge Vasquez doubled off the wall.  Justin Maxwell beat out an infield hit, and stole 2nd (10).  Kevin Russo followed with a 2-rbi single to up the Yankee lead to 4-1.  In the 7th,  Jesus Montero walked and Jorge Vasquez hit a 2-run homer (18) to give SWB a 6-2 lead.

Notes:   Jesus Montero went 1-4 with a double, walk, run, and 2 strikeouts.  He's currently batting .308.   Jorge Vasquez went 2-4 with a 2-run homer, double, 2 rbi (45), and 2 K's.  Vasquez is batting .303.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Yanks Release Brian Anderson

Via Mike Ashmore:
The Trenton Thunder, Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, announce that RHP Brian Anderson has been released from the organization. With the move, Trenton’s roster stands one short of a full 24-man active roster.

Anderson, a former Major League outfielder with the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox, was 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA in seven appearances for the Thunder in 2011.

Minor League Injury Updates

Mark Newman spoke to LoHud's Chad Jennings and had some updates on some injured Yanks:
Greg Golson: About a week away from playing in games.
Mark Prior: “Not throwing (off a mound),” Newman said. “He’s really struggling with this kind of hip, abdominal thing. Hard to nail it down.
Alan Horne:
Throwing in extended spring and building arm strength.
Graham Stoneburner, Steve Garrison, Jeremy Bleich: “Still a ways to go,” Newman said.
David Adams:
Having some leg problems that the Yankees believe to be related to the ankle injury that forced him to miss most of last season. He was back and playing, but then the leg started bothering him. Not sure how close he is to returning.
Also, there was this about Gary Sanchez:
As previously reported, Newman said Sanchez has a “stiff lower back” that he’s trying to work through in extended spring training. Once he’s through that, Sanchez will return to Charleston.
Lots of other good info in the article so check it out.

Pitching Matchups for Yanks-Mariners

Game 1: Tonight @ 10:10 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP A.J. Burnett (5-3, 4.02) vs. RHP Michael Pineda (6-2, 2.16)

Game 2: Saturday @ 10:10 PM | TV: YES/MLBN | Radio: WCBS
RHP Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.29) vs. RHP Felix Hernandez (5-4, 3.01)

Game 3: Sunday @ 4:10 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
LHP CC Sabathia (5-3, 3.17) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.86)

Big Guy's 5/26 SWB Yankees Report

SWB  AAA  Yankees  Game   5-26-11
SWB Yankees  5   Louisville Bats (Reds)  0

(Greg's Note: I'll start doing the regular minor league reports soon, but in the meantime BigGuy started doing his nightly SWB reports so those are now back starting with this--Thanks BG)

The SWB Yankees shutout Louisville by a 5-0 score behind the strong starting pitching of Carlos Silva.  It was their 3rd win in a row.

Pitching:   Carlos Silva started and picked up the win  his 2nd start for SWB tossing 7 shutout innings on 4 hits. He had a perfect 1st inning.  In the 2nd, a bad hop single, stolen base, and walk got him in a jam, but a DP ended the threat.  Silva continued to look impressive with perfect 3rd and 4th innings.  2 bloop singles in the 5th got Silva in a jam.  He got a K and groundout to end the inning.  Silva tossed another perfect inning in the 6th.  He worked out of a  a jam in the 7th after giving up a walk and single. Silva's line:  7 IP,  0 runs,  4 hits,   3 K - 2 BB,   ERA 2.92.   10 G0-5 FO,  91 pitches-56 strikes.

Eric Wordekemper came on to pitch the 8th. He got the first man out then gave up a single and was relieved.

Randy Flores came on to face 2 lefty batters. He retired the 1st man then gave up his 1st hit since being signed.

Kevin Whelan relieved Flores to get the final out of the 8th.  He tossed a scoreless 9th for his 14th save.

Offense:   Scott Carroll got the start for Louisville.  Austin Krum  had a leadoff single in the 1st,  Dan Brewer had a leadoff single in the 3rd, and Jorge Vasquez singled in the 4th, but did not score.   In the 5th, Dan Brewer singled and stole 2nd.  Gustavo Molina followed with a rbi double to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead.  In the 6th, Justin Maxwell walked and Brandon Laird singled.  Kevin Russo added a rbi single to up the SWB lead to 2-0.   Jesus Montero, after striking out 3 times on slow curves by Carroll, had a 2-out single in the 7th, but Jorge Vasquez K'd for his 3rd time to end the inning.  Aroldis Chapman came on to face the Yanks in the 8th.  Justin Maxwell had a leadoff single.  Chapman balked to move Maxwell up to 2nd base. Kevin Russo added a rbi single to up the lead to 3-0.  Russo stole 2nd, and Laird reached on an error.  Chapman struck out Krum on a 102 mph fastball to end the inning.  In the 9th, Ramiro Pena singled, Chapman threw 2 wild pitches, but got Montero and Vasquez to strikeout.  Justin Maxwell and Brandon Laird followed with rbi doubles to up the Yankee lead to 5-0. 

Notes:   Jesus Montero went 1-5 with a single and 4 K's.  Jorge Vasquez did the same as Montero. Lefty reliever Andy Sisco was released.  Sisco was 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA and .167 BAA.   Kevin Whelan leads the league in saves (14).  SWB leads all minor league teams in defense with only 22 errors.

- BigGuy

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sliding Into Home Sits Down With Bernie Williams

During a very nice event held by SoBe Life Water in Madison Sq. Park, Sliding Into Home Media got to finally sink it’s teeth into an interview with the great Bernie Williams. The event featured actresses Hillary Duff and Jessica Szohr along with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit rookie of the Year model, Kate Upton.

Our interview time was short, but I got a chance to really get to know Bernie afterward. Bernie mentioned that he had run into rookie sensation Bryce Harper in Vegas. He commented on how big the kid was at age 18 but also had some interesting opinions on bringing him up to the majors so quickly. Bernie is a strong believer that a minor leaguer foundation not only builds and develops baseball skills but also prepares you for life. On several occasions Bernie referred to the level of character one builds by going through the minor league system as opposed to being brought to the big leagues at a very young age.

Look ma, matching shirts!
Bernie and I made more small talk and he said that roger Clemens was by far the toughest pitcher he ever faced. He and his teammates were thrilled when Clemens became a Yankee simply for the fact that they no longer had to face him.

When I told Bernie that he was Carlos Beltran's idol, he modestly said he appreciated that and considered Beltran a good friend. He also said that Beltran had consulted with him about joining the Yankees in 2005 and when Bernie gave no signs of retiring, Beltran later chose the Mets. The two of them also shared the same agent (Scott Boras).

Bernie was a great guy and we’d like to thank him and the wonderful people at SoBe for inviting us to their successful event.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Soriano Out 6-8 Weeks

From the AP:
Yankees setup man Rafael Soriano has an inflamed ligament in his right elbow that could keep the former All-Star out up to two months.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that Soriano was examined Wednesday by orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. Andrews recommended that Soriano rest the elbow for about two weeks before beginning a light throwing program.

Cashman said he doesn’t think Soriano will be able to face hitters for at least six weeks.
In other news also mentioned in the article, the Yankees The Yankees claimed relief pitcher Kanekoa Texeira off waivers and optioned him to Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre.Phil Hughes was also moved to the 60-Day DL to make room on the 40-man roster for Teixeira.

Game 48: Yankees vs. Blue Jays

YANKEES (26-21)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones LF
Eduardo Nunez 3B

Pitching: RHP Freddy Garcia (2-4, 3.12)

BLUE JAYS (24-24)
Yunel Escobar SS
Corey Patterson LF
Jose Bautista RF
Juan Rivera 1B
Jose Molina C
Aaron Hill 2B
Eric Thames DH
Rajai Davis CF
Jayson Nix 3B

Pitching: LHP Jo-Jo Reyes (0-3, 4.07)

Yanks Comeback To Beat Jays 5-4 in Walk-Off Fashion

Very nice win for the Yanks in the Bronx tonight, as they came back from a 4-1 8th inning deficit to win 5-4. The Yankees haven't had many of these this year, so it was good to see. By the looks of the players reactions after the winning run crossed home it looked like they all needed a game like this. With the win the Yankees are now 26-21, and alone in first thanks to Tampa's loss in Motown.

CC Sabathia went the whole way for the Yanks, allowing the four runs on eight hits and a walk, and struck out three. He struggled a bit in the 3rd and 4th leading to all four Jays runs, but was dominant from their and would eventually retire the last 16 batters he faced.

After Russell Martin gave the Yanks a 1-0 lead with a solo shot in the 2nd, the Jays responded with a run on three singles led to the Jays. Corey Patterson's RBI single to right drove home the run for Toronto.

In the 4th things got a little ugly for the CC. Juan Rivera started the inning with a double. He came around when the next batter, J. P. Arencibia, singled to center. to give the Jays their first lead of the game. A couple batters later, Rajai Davis made it 3-1 with an RBI single, and then Jason McDonald finished off the rally with a squeeze bunt. The inning could have gotten much worse, but with two out and the bases loaded CC got the dangerous Jose Bautista to ground into a force to end the threat. Like I said before, he cruised from there.

Ricky Romero pitched very well for the Jays. He held the Yanks to just the one run on seven scattered hits and three walks over seven. The Jays would then turn things over to their bullpen and the Yankees took over from there.

Curtis Granderson, who had four hits on the night, started the bottom of the 8th with a double off Jays reliever Casey Janssen. After Janssen retired Tex and A-Rod, the Jays brought in Marc Rzepczynski to face Cano. Cano responded by lining a double into right-center to score Granderson and cut the lead to two. Russell Martin followed with an RBI single to shave one more off the deficit.

In the 9th, Jorge Posada came up as a pinch-hitter with nobody on and one out. It's no secret how badly he needed a hit, and luckily for him and the Yankees he came through by lining a ball to right. The ball took a funny hop off Bautista's glove in right which allowed Posada to get to second with a double. As you might expect, that extra base turned out to be huge. Derek Jeter was next and he moved the runner (now Chris Dickerson who pinch ran for Posada) over to third on a ground out to leave things up to Granderson.

Last night, Jays closer Frank Francisco struck out Granderson to end the game, tonight it was time for a little payback. With a 2-1 count, Granderson lined a hanging curveball ball just out of the reach of first baseman Juan Rivera's outstretched glove and the game was tied. With Granderson now at second after stealing the base, Teixeira took a 3-1 offering from Francisco and hit a similar ball to Granderson-a liner towards first--this time a little closer to Rivera, which actually helped the Yankees. Instead of going into right and setting up a play at the plate with Bautista's rocket arm, the ball trickled off Rivera's glove, rolling slowing into right and allowing Granderson to score without a throw.


I keep hoping that one of these wins is the win that lights a spark under this team and gets them going, maybe this will be it. Taking the rubber game in this series would be a nice start. It's an afternoon affair in the Bronx tomorrow with a 1:05 PM start. Freddy Garcia will go for the Yanks, with Jo-Jo Reyes starting for the Jays.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Curtis Granderson


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Soriano shut down indefinitely, seeing Dr. Andrews

As per Chad Jennings:
Rafael Soriano was throwing off flat ground yesterday and had to shut it down because of soreness in his elbow. He went for another MRI today, but results are not immediately available.

Joe Girardi said he’s more concerned at this point, which should be obvious.
And Bryan Hoch:
Rafael Soriano felt soreness again, has been shut down indefinitely. Sent for another MRI.
This just keeps getting better and better.

Update: As per Mark Feinsand (two links):
Soriano going to see Dr. Andrews tomorrow.

Yankees won't release any MRI results until Soriano sees Andrews. Yankees PR on the MRI results: "It showed enough for him to see Andrews."
For those of you unfamiliar with the good doctor, the key point of information is that he's the Tommy John Surgery specialist.

Game 47: Yankees vs. Blue Jays

YANKEES (25-21)
Derek Jeter DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Nick Swisher RF
Brett Gardner LF
Eduardo Nunez SS

Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.06)

BLUE JAYS (24-23)
Yunel Escobar SS
Corey Patterson LF
Jose Bautista RF
Juan Rivera 1B
J.P. Arencibia C
Aaron Hill 2B
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Rajai Davis CF
John McDonald 3B

Pitching: LHP Ricky Romero (4-4, 3.10)

Updates on the Injured Yankees

SteveB over at NJ.com's Pride of the Yankees blog has the rundown. Here's a rundown of the more severe injured Yanks:
Eric Chavez (foot)--  The protective boot is off and he is walking fairly normally.  He will not resume any baseball activities until he is able to run, and there seems to be no timetable for that.

Pedro Feliciano (shoulder)--  Will begin a throwing program June 1 in an effort to rebuild strength in his shoulder in order to avoid surgery.

Phil Hughes (arm)--  Hoping to throw off a mound this week but nothing has been formally arranged.  He is continuing to 'long throw' and will accompany the team on its west coast trip later this week.

Rafael Soriano (elbow)--  He has been playing catch in the outfield before games and is expected to throw off a mound either Tuesday or Wednesday.  The Yankees want him to throw off a mound a few more times before sending him to the minors on a rehab assignment.

(Steve, I hope you don't mind me quoting so much).
Joba Chamberlain is also suffering from pink-eye, but is available to pitch and Nick Swisher, who has a gash on his right arm, remains questionable.

Colon Struggles as Yanks Fall 7-3

It was a rare rough start for Bartolo Colon in the Bronx tonight. In six innings the right-hander allowed six runs on seven hits, walked four, and struck out eight. He was pretty good over the first five, allowing just one run on Jose Bautista's league-leading 19th home run of the year, but then in the sixth, it all fell apart as the Jays were able to plate five.

After loading the bases with one out in the inning, Aaron Hill broke a 1-1 tie with an RBI single. Colon then walked Eric Thames to make it 3-1 and the next batter, J. P. Arencibia, cleared the bases with a double to the wall in right-center.

Carlos Villanueva was sharp over five innings for the Jays, holding the Yanks to just one run on two hits and walk, while fanning five. The lone run scored against him came in the 4th on a sac fly by Robinson Cano. They picked up individual runs in the sixth and eighth off the Jays relievers--both also driven in by Cano--but overall it was a pretty disappointing night for the offense. As a team they left eight men on, and went 2-for-15 with RISP.

Tampa and Boston both lost as well, so nothing changes in the standings (It's way too early for this, I know).

Game two of this three-game set is tomorrow night, with CC Sabathia facing Ricky Romero. First pitch is 7:05 PM.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Yankees-Jays Pitching Match-ups + Tonight's Line-ups

Game 1: Tonight @ 7:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP Bartolo Colon (2-2, 3.16) vs. RHP Carlos Villanueva (1-0, 1.48)

Game 2: Tuesday @ 7:05 PM | TV: My9 | Radio: WCBS
LHP CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.06) vs. Ricky Romero (4-4, 3.10)

Gane 3: Wednesday @ 1:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP Freddy Garcia (2-4, 3.12) vs. LHP Jo Jo Reyes (0-3, 4.07)

And tonight's line-ups:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Jorge Posada DH
Brett Gardner LF
Chris Dickerson RF

Pitching: Bartolo Colon (2-2, 3.16)

Rajai Davis CF
Corey Patterson LF
Jose Bautista RF
Yunel Escobar SS
Juan Rivera 1B
Aaron Hill 2B
Eric Thames DH
J.P. Arencibia C
Edwin Encarnacion 3B

Pitching: Carlos Villanueva (1-0, 1.48)

Weekend Wrap: Yanks Take Round 1 of Subway Series

It was a busy weekend here at the Cohen household so I wasn't able to post as much as I would have liked to (what else is new?) so here's a summary of the weekend's action in the Bronx.

Friday night's opener was an ugly one for the Yanks, as they wasted a nice start from Freddy Gacia, falling 2-1 to their crosstown rival. The Yankees bats were shut down by R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball, and their late-game chance was snuffed out by a great play by the always annoying Jose Reyes. Mark Teixiera drove in the Yankees only run with a homer. Daniel Murphy went yard for the Mets, a solo shot off Garcia in the 6th that proved to be the game-winner. Luckily, things improved from there as they were able to take the next two to win take the series.


Saturday they homered their way to a 7-3 win. Russell Martin, Curtis Granderson, A-Rod and Tex all went deep. A.J. Burnett went 6.1, allowing three runs on six hits for his 5th win of the year. The combination of Boone Logan, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, and Luis Ayala took care of the rest. Robertson's outing included another Houdini act, this time getting out of a 1st and 3rd jam with one out.


Ivan Nova continued where Garcia and Burnett left off, following up their outings with a solid one of his own on Sunday. Although he allowed 11 hits, only three men crossed the plate and as they say, he kept the team in the game.

The Yankees trailed for most of of the game, failing time after time to drive in a run. Until the 7th they were 0-for-11 with runners on base for the game. Their only run up until that point came on another homer by Granderson, his 16th of the season. But in the 7th the Yankees finally got to Mets starter Mike Pelfrey and blew the game open with an eight run inning, and all without the use of a homer, and mostly without the use of a hard hit ball.

After the Yankees loaded the bases, Jeter tied things up with a two-run 18-hopper up the middle. (Jeter is now 25 hits shy of 3000 after picking up 5 this series.) A couple batters later the Yankees once again had them loaded and took the lead on slow roller from A-Rod that turned into an infield single. Cano then singled in one, Gardner doubled in two, and Dickerson capped off the rally with an RBI single. Luis Ayala shut the Mets down from there.

In a sad turn of events, it appears that the 7th inning was just too much to take for this Mets fan:


Overall, I'd say it was a good weekend for the Yanks. Three good outings from the starters, the bullpen didn't allow a run, and maybe, just maybe, the Yankees broke out of their home run spell with their rally in the 7th on Sunday.

At 25-20 the Yankees also finish the weekend in a tie for first with the Rays, who lost two of three to the Marlins. Boston, who dropped two of three to the Cubs, is a half-game out.

Toronto now comes into town for a three-game set. Game one is Monday night, with Bartolo Colon facing Carlos Villanueva.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

This Week in Yankees History (5/22-5/28)

This Week in Yankee History 

 May 22nd - May 28th

May 22nd

1913 - St. Louis Browns rookie P Dwight Stone gives up 6 hits, 7 walks and plunks 3 batters, but still beats the New York Yankees by the score of 7-0. The visiting Yankees strand a modern-MLB record of 15 runners in the shutout by Stone, who will win just 1 more game in 1913. Ed Klepfer is the losing pitcher in his only decision of the year. The record will be matched 3 times and finally topped, in 1994. The Nation League record of 14 runners stranded in a shutout was set less than 2 weeks ago by Pittsburgh Pirates against the Philadelphia Phillies.

1922 - The New York Yankees, who have been sharing the Polo Grounds with the Giants since 1913, begin construction on their own stadium in the Bronx. Yankee Stadium will open in the following April for the 1923 American League season.

1923 - Yankees slugger Babe Ruth breaks a 1-1 tie between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox by clouting a 2-run HR in the 15th inning. The blow breaks up a tense pitching duel between little Mike Cvengros and Herb Pennock, who goes all the way giving up just 4 hits. The Yankees have now won 12 of 13 contests in their western road trip.

1930 - At Shibe Park in Philadelphia, the Yankees and the A’s continue the HR barrage as the Yankees take both games of a 2nd straight doubleheader by the scores of 10-1 and 20-13. Babe Ruth hits a pair of HRs in the opener, as does Ben Chapman and winning pitcher George Pipgras. The Yankees score 9 runs in the 1st two innings of the 2nd game, but the A's come back to tie it at 12 apiece. The Yankees win the assault 20-13 as Tony Lazzeri is 4-for-4, scores 5 runs, and knocks in 4 runs. Babe Ruth hits another HR in the 2nd game, while Lou Gehrig powers 3 HRs to drive in 8 runs. On the Philadelphia A's side, Jimmie Foxx has 2-HRs to drive in 6 runs. For the afternoon, the teams combine to hit 14 HRs, a then record 10 HRs in game 2.

Subway Series Rubber Game Lineups

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Brett Gardner LF
Chris Dickerson RF
Francisco Cervelli C

Pitching: RHP Ivan Nova

Jose Reyes SS
Daniel Murphy 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Jason Bay LF
Fernando Martinez RF
Justin Turner 2B
Willie Harris 3B
Ronny Paulino C
Jason Pridie CF

Pitching: RHP Mike Pelfrey

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday Night's Lineup & Pendleton Recalled

According to Chad Jennings, Lance Pendleton is headed back to the Bronx to rejoin the big club. No word on any corresponding moves.

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

Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett

Tonight's game is on FOX:

Update: Amaury Sanit was sent down to make room for Pendleton.

Update on Feliciano

From Marc Carig:
Pedro Feliciano still intends to make good on his promise to strike out former Mets teammate Ike Davis in a Subway Series game. And to make it happen, the injured lefty reliever has turned to platelet-rich plasma therapy, which he hopes will speed up his recovery from a shoulder injury.

“I think so,” Feliciano said today, when asked if he thought the PRP therapy has helped. “If you do a good rehab, it helps you.”

In PRP, a patient’s own blood is spun with a centrifuge to separate the components, thus increasing the concentration of platelets. The modified blood sample is then reintroduced into the injured area in hopes that it jump-starts the healing process.

Feliciano has used PRP three times since going on the disabled list with a partially torn capsule in his left shoulder. Initially, the reliever thought he was headed for surgery. But orthopedic surgeon James Andrews recommended that Feliciano attempt a rehab program first.

“Everything’s good,” Feliciano said. “It’s just getting strong again.”

Feliciano’s rehab program has included strength-building exercises and the use of weights, dumbbells and workout bands. He intends to begin throwing again the first week of June.

Though he is feeling the soreness from working out, Feliciano said he is feeling no pain and has a full range of motion.
He could really help the pen, so here's hoping this PRP works. Sadly, he can't help the Yankees relearn how to drive in runs without the use of the homer.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Night's Lineups

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

Pitching: RHP Freddy Garcia 

Jose Reyes SS
Daniel Murphy 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Jason Bay LF
Fernando Martinez DH
Justin Turner 3B
Josh Thole C
Jason Pridie CF
Ruben Tejeda 2B

Pitching: RHP R.A. Dickey

Subway Series Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Tonight @ 7:05 PM | TV: MY9/MLBN | Radio: WCBS
RHP Freddy Garcia (2-3, 3.22) vs. RHP R.A. Dickey (1-5, 5.08)

Game 2: Saturday @ 7:10 PM | TV: FOX | Radio: WCBS
RHP A.J. Burnett (4-3, 3.99) vs. LHP Chris Capuano (3-4, 4.78)

Gane 3: Sunday @ 1:05 PM | TV: YES/TBS | Radio: WCBS
RHP Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.33) vs. RHP Mike Pelfrey (3-3, 5.11)

Joe Posnanski on the 2013 Yankees

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Joe Posnanski, there is only one course of action - familiarize yourself with Joe Posnanski. Perhaps my favorite writer (sports or otherwise), Posnanski writes for Sports Illustrated and cross-publishes most of his articles on his blog. My favorite musings of his, however, are mostly exclusive to the blog - and I suggest you bookmark it if you enjoy random observations about sports and life, as well as genuinely strong research and writing. He also wrote two of my favorite books - The Soul of Baseball and The Machine.

Yesterday, Posnanski posted a brief article on the 2013 Yankees. The introduction follows:
We don't know a lot about 2013. We know that Donald Trump will not be President of the U.S. -- Arnold Schwarzenegger won't either. We know that Apple will release a new iPad that will look cool and cost a lot of money but only be available in theory. We know that the loud guy sitting behind me at the airport who is on the phone begging for a first class upgrade will still be talking.

And we know that the New York Yankees have about $150 million in payroll obligations to eight players ... all of those players on the wrong side of 30, and at an average age of 34.
To be clear, this isn't a sky-is-falling type article. Rather, it's an intriguing glance into the nature of long-term deals, the perils of being a GM with money to burn, and the aging curve in general. I highly recommend checking it out, if only to waste a few minutes with a fine writer.

ESPN New York's Bombers Beat (5/20)

CC Dominates As Yanks Destroy O's 13-2

After losing six straight the Yankees have now won three in a row after beating up on the O's in Baltimore on Thursday to the tune of 13-2. All problems are not solved with this team but at least they're showing some signs of life after that ugly losing streak.

CC Sabathia was outstanding, throwing 8 shutout innings, while scattering 7 hits, walking none, and striking out 9. He had everything working, especially his command as he pounded the zone, throwing 84 of 109 pitches for strikes. CC hasn't been himself lately so clearly this is very good to see.

With 13 runs and 14 hits on the board there's a lot of credit to go around on the offensive end. Nick Swishher led the way with two hits, including a double, and four RBI. Mark Teixeira and Eduardo Nunez each homered, both two-run shots. Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner all picked up at least one hit and drove in a run. Just a great offensive night from top to bottom.

The Yankees now head back to the Bronx for Subway Series round 1. Freddy Garcia will start for the Yanks in the opener, with R.A. Dickey starting for the Mets.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Posada Starts At 1st & an Update on Dickerson

Here's tonight's lineup as the Yanks look to make it three in a row:

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

Also, the Yankees announced today The that the results for Chris Dickerson’s CT scan came back “normal” after getting drilled in the helmet last night.

Marchand: Posada Could Be Gone If He Isn't Hitting By The Break

From Andrew Marchand:
The New York Yankees will reconsider Jorge Posada's future with the team if his numbers don't improve by the All-Star break, according a baseball official with knowledge of the Yankees' thinking.

On Wednesday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi left Posada out of the lineup for the third straight time against a left-handed starter.

This sets the stage for what could be an inglorious end to Posada's career with the Yankees. With Posada appearing to be demoted to part-time designated hitter, he must begin to hit consistently to remain on the team.


The official said there has been "zero discussion" about releasing Posada since the resolution of this weekend's dispute, when Posada refused to play against the Red Sox on Saturday after Girardi put him at the No. 9 spot in the order. The subject had been broached on Saturday night.


Posada is making $13 million this season. If the Yankees release him after the All-Star break, they would lose around $6 million.

If the Yankees were to release Posada, then Jesus Montero would be the likely internal alternative as the DH.
I don't suspect things will actually go down this way, and I certainly hope they don't. To do something like that to Posada, mid season, would just be a terrible move and it has nothing to do with his performance on the field. One thing I think the Yankees owe Posada is to allow him to play out his contract, unless he doesn't want to. Embarrassing Posada with a midseason release would not only alienate one of the best catchers in team history, but several players on the team (including and especially Jeter) and most of the fan base as well.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tonight's Lineup: No Posada, Cervelli Behind The Plate

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

Yanks-O's Pitching Matchups

(two games)

Game 1: Tonight @ 7:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
Bartolo Colon (2-2, 3.74) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (1-6, 3.98)

Game 2: Thursday @ 7:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
CC Sabathia (3-3, 3.47) vs. Brad Bergesen (1-4, 4.35)

Back in the Win Column.... Finally

The team desperately needed something to feel good about and tonight's win was certainly that. Ivan Nova pitched pretty well over 5.1, allowing just a run on four hits. The bullpen, and especially David Robertson did a solid job (more on that later) holding the lead, something they haven't done lately. And the Yankees got some nice timely hitting, including two bombs by A-Rod, three hits by Gardner, two hit for Posada (WOW!), and Chris Dickerson even picked up a hit and an RBI in his debut. All in all, a very nice win over the first place Rays.

Things were pretty much decided in the 6th when David Robertson came into a 2-1 game with the bases loaded and one out. He would come up huge, striking out BJ Upton and Casey Kotchman to end the inning. The Yanks would score two more in the top of the 7th to increase their lead to three.

It's just one win, but it came when they needed it the most. Hopefully, it's something they can build upon. Who knows, maybe after getting destroyed in the papers for the last few days they'll play with a chip on their shoulder. They did seem a little extra pumped up on the bench tonight, but obviously winning for the first time in a week will do that to you.

The Yanks start a two-game series with the O's in Baltimore tomorrow before interleague play, and the Subway Series, kick off on Friday.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tonight's Line-up - Posada's Starting, Swish is Sitting

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Russell Martin, C
Jorge Posada, DH
Brett Gardner, LF
Chris Dickerson, RF

Ivan Nova will be toeing the rubber to start the game.

Chris Dickerson Called-Up - Soriano to the DL

As per Chad Jennings:
Outfielder Chris Dickerson just walked into the clubhouse. Looks like he’ll fill out the Yankees bench. No word on an official move.
I'm assuming this means one of the Yankees eight relievers will be heading down to Scranton - thankfully. Logic would dictate that it would be Hector Noesi, who has nothing to gain by sitting out in the bullpen ... here's hoping.

Dickerson, obtained from the Brewers for Sergio Mitre, is a career .267/.356/.403 hitter with a decent power-speed combination, and a slightly above-average glove in the outfield. He was batting .248/.370/.354 for Scranton.

Update: It appears that Dickerson will be taking Soriano's roster spot, as the $36 MM man hits the disabled list. Dickerson will be starting in right this evening.

Yanks Ink Randy Flores to Minor League Deal

From Danny Knobler:
The Yankees, badly in need of left-handed relief help, have signed veteran Randy Flores to a minor-league deal.

Flores will report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre by Wednesday.

Flores, who pitched in the big leagues with the Rockies and Twins last year, opted out of a minor-league contract with the Padres last week. He picked the Yankees among four teams that showed interest in signing him, sources said, because of the opportunity they present. The deal with the Yankees also includes an opt-out.
According to Joel Sherman, the deal includes an opt-out clause that kicks in if the Yanks don't call him up by the All-Star break.

Soriano to See Dr. Ahmad


Alec Baldwin, Like Most Yankees Fans, Wants to Punch a Sox Fan in the Face

Yanks Blow Another Lead, Lose 6th Straight

Like Sunday's game, the Yankees had another early lead, this time a 5-1 lead over David Price through the first 5 and a half innings, but like Sunday it was a lead they couldn't hold.

A.J. Burnett, who has been solid this season, fell apart in the 6th, allowing 5 runs. The big ht of the inning, or one of them, was BJ Upton's two-run homer to cap the rally and give the Rays the lead. Their bullpen took over from there, holding the Yankees hitless over the final three. I'm not saying they gave up after giving up the lead, but it sure looked like they did.

Another awful loss and the Yanks are now just a game over .500, 3 games out of first, and tied with Boston. They'll try to rebound tonight with Ivan Nova on the mound. James Shields will start for Tampa.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Tonight's Lineup Does Not Include Posada

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

Pitching RHP: A.J. Burnett

Ortiz on Jorge: "They are doing that guy wrong"

Apparently, David Ortiz felt the need to offer up his opinion on the Jorge Posada situation. Here's the story from Roger Rubin:
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz offered all kinds of support for Jorge Posada Saturday night, but the one thing he didn't agree with was his decision to ask out of the lineup. No matter how much Posada has struggled with the transition to DH and no matter the blow to his ego at being dropped to No. 9 hole in the order, "you don't do that," Ortiz said.

"As a DH when you just think about hitting and you're not hitting, it just (stinks)... the confusion, the frustration that you're living will sometimes make you make a mistake," Ortiz said. "You're not perfect. You're human like everyone else. He probably thought it was the right thing to do, but now you see it isn't. It's not easy."

Ortiz said he thought almost every aspect of Posada's difficult season - from his struggle adapting to the DH role to Saturday night's confusing situation - could have been avoided if the Yankees had taken better care of the veteran catcher.

"They are doing that guy wrong. They're doing him wrong," Ortiz said after the Red Sox's 6-0 win. "You know why? He's legendary right there... and from what I heard they told him at the beginning he's not even going to catch in the bullpen. That's straight up. That mixes up your head.

"You're going to tell me Posada can't catch a game out there? Come on, man. And I guarantee you if they throw him out there once in a while, mentally it's going to help him out because then he's not just thinking about hitting."
Not that his opinion really matters, but I completely disagree with his first point. The Yankees haven't treated Posada poorly at all, at least not when it comes to DHing him or batting him 9th. However, his second point isn't a bad one. I don't think starting Posada behind the plate once in a while will hurt the team that much and it could help him at the plate, so I wouldn't be against that. Would you?

Quick Updates on Soriano and Hughes

Courtesy of Chad Jennings:
Rafael Soriano said he’s going to throw a bullpen tomorrow, and if that goes well he’ll be available on Wednesday at the earliest. Girardi seemed to indicate that the Yankees might have to make a move if Soriano’s elbow doesn’t improve. “There’s decisions that we have to make,” Girardi said. “Hopefully he’s available to us soon.”
I'm electing to leave my snark at the door here, as bashing Soriano's contract won't do anyone much good - but I'm very concerned about the apparent disconnect between Soriano's optimism and Girardi's, erm, lack thereof. I'm basing this on precisely nothing, but I suspect that there's a deeper issue if Soriano's not back this week.
Phil Hughes threw 45 pitches from 90 feet today, continuing a day-by-day progression of more pitches from more distance. He’ll have Monday off before resuming his program on Tuesday.
I suppose no further injury news is good news in this case - every toss Hughes can make without pain, however short, is a positive.

Olney Now Says The Yankees Are Mad At Jeter

There is an article on ESPN about it along with this vid:

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with this team? This isn't the kind of thing that should be happening in the Yankees clubhouse.

This season is heading south fast and the bad feelings surrounding this team just make matters worse. I'd say it's the perfect time for the captain to step up, say something to the team, and try to put this ugly situation in their rear view mirrors, but since he's part of the problem I assume that ain't gonna happen.

A-Rod? CC? Tex? Mo? Anyone wanna step up and lead this team? Because as of right now, those chosen to fill those roles are doing a terrible job, and that goes for Cashman and Girardi, all the way down to Jeter and Posada.

This Week in Yankees History (5/15-5/21)

This Week in Yankees History

May 15th - May 21st

May 15th

1908 - The New York Yankees purchased P Hippo Vaughn (1908,1910-12) from Macon of the Georgia State League for undisclosed amount of cash. Hippo went 22-30 with the Yankees in 72 games.

1912 - Ty Cobb charges into the stands at Hilltop Park in New York City, attacking a crippled heckler named Claude Lueker. Other Highlander fans and Tigers players mix it up before order is restored, and American League President Ban Johnson suspends Ty Cobb indefinitely for the incident.

1922 - In a 4-1 win at New York, Ty Cobb beats out a grounder to Yankees Shortstop Everett Scott. Veteran baseball writer Fred Lieb scores it a hit in the box score, he files with the Associated Press. But official scorer John Kieran of the New York Tribune gives an error to Scott. At the season's end, the AL official records, based on AP box scores, list Cobb at .401. New York writers complain unsuccessfully, claiming it should be .399, based on the official scorer's stats. Lieb will reverse himself at the end of the year, but American League President Ban Johnson goes with the hit call.

1935 - Lou Gehrig steals home in a 4-0 New York Yankees win over the Detroit Tigers. It is his 15th and last steal of home, all of which were double steals

1941 - Joe DiMaggio gets a single in four at bats against Eddie Smith of the Chicago White Sox to start his 56-game hitting streak. Joe D's hit goes unnoticed as the Yankees lose the game, by the score of 13-1. Taffy Wright homers and drives in 4 White Sox runs, the 8th straight game he's driven in a run.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekend of Shame Completed

The Yankees finished their awful weekend in the Bronx tonight, blowing a 4-1 lead to lose to the Red Sox 7-5 to complete the three-game sweep. More bad pitching, fielding and a lack of timely hitting led to this loss, the team's 9 in their last 12 games. The Yankees are now 20-18 and just a game ahead of the the Red Sox, and 2 behind the 1st place Rays, a team they start a two-game series with tomorrow in Tampa.

What is there to say really besides that this team looks absolutely awful. If things don't change soon, this is going to be a very long year.

Honestly, I have very little to say that won't piss you off so I'll just shut up for now.

Well, almost...

Just a side note: giving Jorge Posada standing ovations at this point is silly and ridiculous. Unless he says he's retiring and sparing us from horrible at-bat after horrible at-bat, please refrain from any standing O's.

If you care to look at the box score, here it is.

Are the Yankees in trouble?

The Jorge Posada problem--which everyone is blowing completely out of proportion--is just the latest in this team's problems.

They're a home run or nothing offense, they're bullpen has been hit or miss, and their starters were what they were coming into the season--a huge question mark.

Kevin Kernan wrote today that he believes that the team is selfish and that this slump may be more than just a bumb in the road:
There has been a sense of selfishness around the Yankees for quite some, and it's not just Jorge Posada's frustration about his .165 average and the fact that manager Joe Girardi dropped him to ninth in the lineup last night.

The bottom line is that the Yankees are nothing special right now and haven't been for quite some time. These Yankees need to get it in gear in so many ways, not just because Posada has had a problem with being "disrespected." And not just because he removed himself from the lineup an hour before the 6-0 loss to the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, saying he "couldn't play" and needed time to "clear my head."

For too long the Yankees have been a privileged team. After the humiliating loss to the Royals on Thursday, I wrote that Yankees pride had left the building, along with Mystique and Aura. The Yankees lost their season-high fourth straight last night with their ace CC Sabathia on the mound.

Girardi, general manager Brian Cashman and the Yankees have not made it all that easy for the prideful Posada either. It has been an ugly situation for quite some time.


This is not a temporary slump. Consider the Yankees were 29-30 from Aug. 1 to the end of the regular season last season and you begin to understand that these 2011 Yankees, with a home-heavy schedule so far, are in trouble.

They have looked old, sloppy and even disinterested. And last night it really got ugly.

The Mets have gotten all the heat in this town, and deservedly so, but the Yankees are underwhelming and have shown no signs of breaking out. They are 16th in the majors in batting average with a .250 mark, and they are 12th overall in pitching with a 3.78 ERA.

They are middle of the pack millionaires in so many ways.
I guess the feelings you have towards this team right now depend a lot on what your expectations were for this team heading into the season. In my case I really wasn't too confident about this bunch, so I'm not really surprised about where they are. I am surprised at how bad the offense has been (besides those long balls), but I think that'll turn around eventually.

Still, the question is 'Are the Yankees in trouble?' and to that I think I'd have to say yes. Coming into the season, I thought Boston was the favorites to win the division, and after the Yankees allowed them to survive their terrible start I still believe that's the case. So, I guess I'd have to say yes they are in trouble. But most of that has to do with the team they've put together and not Jorge Posada being frustrated because he's hitting under the Mendoza line.

So what do you think? Answer the poll below:

The Posada Situation

In case you didn't know, Jorge Posada decided he needed tonight off to clear he head. Here is his explanation via ESPN:

During the game, Brian Cashman told the media that Posada was not injured and didn't mention why Posada was not playing. This, apparently, didn't sit well with Posada:
"I didn’t know he made a statement. I don’t know why he’s going to make a statement during the game, in the middle of the game. I don’t understand that," Posada said. "You know, so that’s the way he works now."

When asked if was mad at Cashman, Posada replied: "Well, We’ll see. I think we should have waited for the game to be over to talk to whoever’s doing the game. It’s kind of like, you’re not supposed to do that."

Posada wasn't sure if there would be any lingering issues between he and Girardi or Cashman.

"I don’t know. I hope not. I hope we can move on and go on and play the season," he said.
Cashman followed by saying that Posada, along with his agent,knew he was going to speak to the media:
"We were explaining to Jorgie and his agent, Seth Levinson, what we were going to say and that it would be short and sweet," Cashman said. "The situation that was created by him, then he would have to explain himself after. It was as simple as that. It is common baseball practice to explain after someone is a late scratch in the lineup, they give a reason why."

"I was down there for an hour," Cashman said. "In one instance I was on the phone with Seth and I actually had to hand the phone to Jorgie. I said, 'Here.' Jorgie knew exactly what was being said. This is not a surprise. I'm disappointed about what he said."
This is just an ugly and completely unnecessary situation. Hopefully, there are no lingering effects.

To go along with it, the Yankees looked awful in another loss to Boston, this time by the score of 6-0.

Not good. Not good at all.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Girardi, Disappointed With Yanks Play, Calls A Team Meeting

From Joel Sherman:
The Yanks' play had been disturbing enough recently -- sloppy on defense, not opportunistic on offense -- that manager Joe Girardi called a meeting last night of the whole team, including coaches, to stress the need to clean up the play.

"We have not played very well for the last week and half to two weeks," Girardi said.

The problems persisted last night. Even after Girardi's powwow. Even with The Rivalry renewed, a factor Girardi had hoped would jolt his club. Even with the new Stadium filled (48,254) and as loud and into a game as it had been perhaps all season.

The Yankees permitted an unearned run in the fourth via a Russell Martin passed ball. The failure to complete a makeable double play in the seventh -- Robinson Cano never threw to first after taking a feed from Jeter -- contributed to three Boston runs that broke a 2-2 tie.

Meanwhile, on offense the Yankees were just 2-for-14 with men on base. The Yankees over the years have made their reputation by doing damage when working into favorable counts. But against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz and reliever Daniel Bard the Yanks generated 13 hitter's counts -- 2-0, 3-0 or 3-1 -- and went 1-for-11 with two walks, three strikeouts and not a single ball driven into the outfield in those situations besides Posada's ground single that preceded Martin's homer in the fifth.

Is it possible that the offense that was supposed to carry the Yankees is what you see: Hit or miss, homer dependent, loaded with dead spots.
It seems that there is at least one point in every season that this team falls into the same sort of rut where they sit around and wait for the 3-run bomb. Hopefully, like they've been able to in most years, they'll get passed it and start hitting like we all know they can. I don't think this is a lineup "loaded with dead spots", and it's going to take more than a couple months to convince this Yankees fan of anything different. That said, this is something that needs to be fixed soon.
The bigger question, though, might be about regret. Suddenly, Carl Crawford and, especially, Adrian Gonzalez (homer and two RBIs last night) are hitting, which augurs well for Boston being what was expected: the AL East favorite.

The Yanks are now two games behind Tampa Bay, watching the Red Sox creep up in the rearview mirror. The schedule will not be as favorable the rest of the way; and can the Yankees really expect A.J. Burnett, Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon (who pitched well last night) to maintain over the final 20 weeks what they have positively offered in the first six?

Have the Yankees already fumbled their best chance to control the AL East?
Did the Yankees blow a chance at putting some room between them and their AL East competitors? Absolutely. That in undeniable. The fact that they're a full two games behind the Rays and just 3 up on Boston is very disappointing.

At the same time, we all know divisions aren't won in April or May. If that were the case, the Red Sox would have won a lot more division titles over the last 10-15 years than they have. So, while it is a blown opportunity and it is disappointing to see, there is no reason for panic on May 14th. Just turn things around now so we don't have to have this same conversation in June, July, August, or September.

Slade Heathcott's Turns His Life Around With AA (Then Starts a Brawl)

It was a crazy Friday for the Yankees 1st round pick. It started with this article from Gene Sapakoff about how the Yankees have sent Heathcott to AA and how he's turn his life around. It's a nice story about the kid, who seems to have his life headed in the right direction after. Then last night, after being hit by a pitch during the Charleston-Greenville game, he started a brawl. This isn't a set back or anything like that and doesn't change any of the good he's done to turn his lfe around, it just happened to happen on the same day the article was published. Anyway, first here's some of the article:
The wildest drinking night of Slade Heathcott's senior year started with a party. He blacked out and ended up five miles through the woods and clear across Texarkana. The police found Heathcott a bloody mess with a dangerously deep slash several inches up his right forearm. They whisked him to the emergency room.

"I didn't know what happened until later," Heathcott said. "I went up to a random house and started pounding on the door. Then I punched my arm through a kitchen window. The woman who owned the house said she just bought it from a drug dealer and was really afraid. She would have shot me but said she forgot she had unloaded the gun."


Heathcott hopes to inspire people, particularly kids, through his journey of salvation that began with a church visit in Tampa on April 4, 2010 -- not long after the New York Yankees sent him to an Alcoholics Anonymous program.

"God changed my heart," Heathcott said.
The entire article is worth the read so check it out if you have a chance. And now for the brawl: