Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why Ya Gotta Be So Dang Negative?

"The Yankees are better off without Derek Jeter"

"Jeter's 3,000 hit will be bittersweet"

"Things are about to get ugly"

What is this all about?

I mean, hey, Yankee fans? I don't know if you guys know this, because you know, the 37-year old shortstop running bases in Tampa has been more intriguing, but your Yanks, the team everyone said would be done for in 2011, is in first place in the AL East and own the BEST RECORD IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE. 

I know this will be incredibly hard to do, but forget about Derek Jeter for one moment. The Yankees are 48-31, and have been kicking everyone's ass in the month of June. While no one team has exploded out of the gate so far this season (even the 2011 World Series Champion Phillies), the Yankees have overcome many injuries and many struggles to still be #1 in the Majors. Yes, sorry Philadelphia, and sorry Red Sox Nation. The Yankees are the better team right now. 

The Yankees horrid pitching staff? Dominating the past few months, thanks to their ace CC Sabathia, and all-star caliber reliever David Robertson (1.15 ERA). Their aging lineup? Scoring the most runs in baseball, thanks to strong first-half campaigns by Curtis Granderson, and Mark Teixeira. 

This team is not just a group of aging veterans going for one last run at a title. This is a continuation of a glorious dynasty that to me has gone on since Charlie Hayes caught the final out of the '96 World Series, and will go on for years to come.

People need to stop worrying about their beloved Captain, and pay attention to the team as a whole. Because right now, it's kicking ass, and with the return of Phil Hughes and Bartolo Colon, the Yankees' Chase for 28 could have an ending quicker than most might have thought at the beginning of the season.

So, I think you guys should join in when I say,

Game 79: Yankees vs. Brewers

YANKEES (47-31)
Brett Gardner CF
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Andruw Jones LF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Francisco Cervelli C
Ramiro Pena 3B

Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (10-4, 3.25 ERA)

BREWERS (44-37)
Rickie Weeks 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder DH
Corey Hart RF
Casey McGehee 3B
Mat Gamel 1B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
George Kottaras C

Pitching: LHP Randy Wolf (6-4, 3.20 ERA)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Savior Returns

As per MLB Trade Rumors:
Sergio Mitre is heading back to the Bronx. The Yankees acquired the right-hander from the Brewers for cash considerations, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (on Twitter). Milwaukee designated Mitre for assignment Monday and he has since drawn interest from other teams.

Mitre, 30, has posted a 3.27 ERA in 33 innings since Milwaukee acquired him from the Yankees for Chris Dickerson in March. The right-hander has a 14K/10BB ratio with a typically high 50.9% ground ball rate in his return to the National League.
There's really no risk here, and the reward ... well ... it's pretty minimal too. Mitre doesn't offer much outside of the realm of low-leverage innings and spot starts, but some additional depth is certainly welcome.

In a corresponding move, the Yankees DFA'd Buddy Carlyle - we hardly knew ye.

Jeter, Hughes and Colon All Closingin on Return

Jeter update from Wallace Matthews:
Just got done speaking with GM Brian Cashman, who said Derek Jeter had "a great day'' of rehab today in Tampa, including running the bases "full-bore,'' and could be activated in time to play in next week's three-game series with the Indians in Cleveland starting on July 4.
Cashman also told Matthews that Jeter might play in a couple rehab games in Trenton this weekend.

Hughes update from Mike Mazzeo:
New York Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes moved closer to getting back on a major league mound.

Hughes had his most encouraging rehab start on Wednesday afternoon, going 6 1/3 innings while allowing one earned run for Double-A Trenton. He left to a standing ovation at Waterfront Park with two men on in the seventh.

With general manager Brian Cashman and vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman among a contingent from the Yankees‘ brass in attendance, the 25-year-old allowed just three hits, walked two and struck out eight.

Hughes’ fastball sat in the 87-94 mph range. He threw 61 of his 88 pitches for strikes, while getting more swinging strikes (20) than any of his previous two rehab outings combined. Forty- eight of Hughes’ 88 pitches -- or 54.6 percent -- registered between 91-94 mph. Over the first six innings, his fastball reached 93 mph 18 times.

Five days from now, Hughes could pitch for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, which hosts Lehigh Valley on July 4.
Colon update from Wallace Matthews:
GM Brian Cashman said the Yankees "were inclined to bring back'' Bartolo Colon to pitch against the Mets this weekend at CitiField, most likely for Saturday afternoon's game. Earlier, Joe Girardi said his Saturday starter was "Mr. TBA,'' and said it would be either Colon or Brian Gordon. But Cashman made it sound as if it would be an upset if anyone but Colon was on the for the mound in the middle game of Subway Series II.

"If he looks the way we’ve been told than I think yeah, we’re inclined to bring him back for this weekend,' Cashman said on the field before tonight's Yankees-Brewers game at Yankee Stadium. "I think that's our mindset. Bottom line is, as long as everything goes right, I think you’ll see him this weekend.''
Good news all around. Nice!

Game 78: Yanks vs. Brewers

YANKEES (46-31)
Brett Gardner LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez SS

Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (7-6, 4.15)

BREWERS (44-36)
Rickie Weeks 2B
Nyjer Morgan CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Corey Hart RF
Mat Gamel DH
Casey McGehee 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Jonathan Lucroy C

Pitching: RHP Shaun Marcum (7-2, 2.95)

Yanks Sign RH Reliever Logan Kensing!/CAA_Baseball/status/86101932455903232
In 134 big league appearances (mostly relief) for the Marlins and Nationals, the 28-year-old is 8-9 with a 5.81 ERA. In 161 innings he's allowed 104 runs on 175 hits, walked 88 and struck out 143. For more info, check out this post over at RAB.

High Comedy: Jeter's DL Diary

Earlier this month, Bill Simmons (ESPN's 'Sports Guy'), Chuck Klosterman, and a group of writers launched the sports and pop culture blog Grantland. The writers have covered a wide array of topics, ranging from Led Zeppelin and The Razzies to the Bruins Stanley Cup victory and the NBA Draft - there's really something for most everyone, and I find myself checking-in at least two or three times per day. I highly recommend that all of our readers bookmark it, and I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed.

Yesterday, staff writer and Yankee fan Mark Lisanti posted a faux Derek Jeter diary, chronicling the captain's thoughts while he works his way back to the team. Cameos include Minka Kelly and Bartolo Colon, and there are laughs aplenty - so check it out. Here's a quick excerpt:
June 21

Everyone's talking about who's batting leadoff when I return. Gardy's getting hot, so are they gonna keep him there, put me back first, or whatever. Grandy's having an MVP season, so batting second is probably off the table. I wouldn't want to mess with that. But has anyone ever asked me if I care where I hit? First? Second? Eighth? Ninth? No, they haven't. I wouldn't say no if they asked me to hit at the bottom of the lineup. I'd never say no, have a Jorge Moment. Sure, I might freeze them out a little, and the total withdrawal of my love would cause them incredible, unbearable pain, and they'd probably feel like God suddenly drained all the goodness from the world. But I wouldn't say no. Go ahead, ask me to hit ninth, I'm not going to bite you. But that's not to say maybe there aren't consequences out of my control, mostly.

Klapisch: Yanks Doing Just Fine Without Jeet

From Bob Klapisch:
Are the Yankees better off without Derek Jeter? No one in the organization will touch that question — at least not now, and certainly not on the record — but the team’s overall surge in the last two weeks has left officials wondering what to do with the aging captain when he finally comes off the disabled list.

In one sense, Jeter will be welcomed like a returning hero, ready to become the first Yankee to collect 3,000 hits — he's just six shy. But beneath the layer of pageantry is the front office's cold, calculated understanding of what's happened since June 14.

The Yankees are 10-3 during Jeter’s absence, not only catching and passing the Red Sox to sit atop the AL East, but now boasting the American League’s best record. Eduardo Nunez, the interim shortstop, is batting .295 during this 13-game span with a .354 on-base percentage and .409 slugging percentage.

Meanwhile, with the flexibility to rearrange his batting order, Joe Girardi has used both Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher in the leadoff spot. The result? The two have combined to hit .298 with three doubles, a homer and a .441 on-base percentage from that spot. Gardner, in particular, is passing the audition to eventually replace Jeter in the No. 1 spot: He’s batting .352 with a .439 on-base percentage and 16 runs in 22 games since June 4.

It’s numbers such as these that make the Yankees squirm, as they’re torn between their respect for Jeter’s legacy and the knowledge that he’s obviously declined.

GM Brian Cashman plays it safe when asked about the Yankees’ Jeter-less run, “I think this shows how talented we are, how we can withstand losing one our of everyday guys for a period of time” — although a more accurate barometer of Jeter’s standing with his employers was the haste with which they placed him on the DL.

The captain lobbied hard to remain on the active roster after straining a calf muscle, even though it would’ve left the Yankees shorthanded as they began interleague play. Jeter noted that Russell Martin had been able to work his way through a minor back injury without landing on the DL. Jeter all but asked: Why me and not him?

The Yankees were polite enough to not actually spell it out to Jeter, but the difference is that Martin was, and is, more vital to the Yankees’ everyday success. This isn’t 1999, when Jeter, at his peak, was a .342 hitter. These days, he’s receded to singles-only type offense. Even more damning, those timely, big hits of the past have disappeared.


With the Yankees in the middle of a hot streak and Nunez hitting so capably, is anyone other than Jeter really watching the calendar?
Don't pretend this wasn't on your mind already, because I know I have been thinking the same things lately.

The main thing that has helped this team so much in Jeter's absence is getting a hitter in the leadoff spot who isn't an automatic out. So, if Jeter comes back and has no problem sliding into that 9th spot, than I think the Yankees won't be much worse than they have been during this stretch. But of course, it won't be that easy.

The idea that Jeter will just accept batting at the bottom of the order is nothing short of laughable. Sure, a captain is supposed to always do what's best for the team, put the team first, etc., but when you have an ego as large as Jeter's, well then sometimes the team doesn't come first.

I know you all love Jeter, and you should. He's been a great Yankee and a hero to many of us. But there comes a time in every player's career when he has to realize that he's not the 25-year-old he once was. I can't image that's ever something that's easy to do, but am I (and Klapisch) the only ones who feel it's time for Jeter to bite the bullet and just accept whatever role the Yankees throw at him?

Prior Throws Off Mound

From USA Today:
Converted reliever Mark Prior, on the disabled list at Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre because of a strained groin, threw off a bullpen mound for the second time in four days. If there are no problems, he might throw batting practice later this week.

AL All-Star Voting Update #5 - Just a day left to vote!

Remember folks, Thursday is the final day to vote.


Russell Martin, Yankees: 2,779,592
Alex Avila, Tigers: 2,345,065
Joe Mauer, Twins: 1,699,604
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox: 1,505,143
Yorvit Torrealba, Rangers: 1,309,802

Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox: 4,014,722
Mark Teixeira, Yankees: 3,077,242
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: 2,184,480
Mitch Moreland, Rangers: 1,209,258
Paul Konerko, White Sox: 932,422

Robinson Cano, Yankees: 4,724,816
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox: 2,979,181
Ian Kinsler, Rangers: 1,896,259
Orlando Cabrera, Indians: 1,127,840
Ben Zobrist, Rays: 963,481

Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: 3,735,406
Adrian Beltre, Rangers: 2,935,373
Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox: 2,724,286
Evan Longoria, Rays: 2,000,379
Brandon Inge, Tigers: 633,519

Derek Jeter, Yankees: 3,392,128
Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians: 2,885,778
Elvis Andrus, Rangers: 1,971,514
Jhonny Peralta, Tigers: 1,178,114
Marco Scutaro, Red Sox: 1,099,744

David Ortiz, Red Sox: 4,237,014
Michael Young, Rangers: 2,235,504
Jorge Posada, Yankees: 1,453,385
Victor Martinez, Tigers: 1,234,879
Johnny Damon, Rays: 1,028,366

Jose Bautista, Blue Jays: 5,263,840
Curtis Granderson, Yankees: 4,582,419
Josh Hamilton, Rangers: 3,173,000
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: 3,051,675
Carl Crawford, Red Sox: 2,294,337
Nelson Cruz, Rangers: 1,912,783
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners: 1,912,062
Nick Swisher, Yankees: 1,648,599
Brett Gardner, Yankees: 1,499,367
J.D. Drew, Red Sox: 1,428,367
Matt Joyce, Rays: 1,226,439
Jeff Francoeur, Royals: 1,061,445
David Murphy, Rangers: 1,057,887
Grady Sizemore, Indians: 1,033,014
Shin-Soo Choo, Indians: 924,326


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Colon Headed Back to the Bronx

From Chad Jennings:
Bartolo Colon is on his way back to New York and will be evaluated by the Yankees tomorrow. After a four-inning simulated game on Monday, the Yankees believe there’s a chance Colon could be ready to pitch this weekend against the Mets.

“That’s what we have to evaluate,” Joe Girardi said. “Do we feel that he is ready? We’ll get a chance to look at him tomorrow and make that decision.”


So why would Phil Hughes need a series of rehab starts, but Colon would need nothing more than a simulated game?

“He’s really only missed two starts,” Girardi said. “It’s not abnormal to skip a pitcher a start and then for him to come back and make the next start. You see that happen all the time, where a guy might pitch on 10 days rest. He did somewhat make a rehab start yesterday: 60 pitches, four innings for Bartolo. He said he felt great, and he could have went more. I believe him, because he was built up. I don’t think missing the two starts was really that much, because he was playing long-toss in that time and keeping his arm in shape. The concern for me is not his arm, it’s making sure his leg is healed. That, we’ll check out.”

Pitching Matchups vs. The Brewers & Tonight's Lineup

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

Yanks-Brewers Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Tonight @ 7:05 PM | TV: YES/MLBN | Radio: WCBS
RHP Freddy Garcia (6-6, 3.30) vs. RHP Zack Greinke (7-2, 4.77)

Game 2: Tomorrow @ 7:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP A.J. Burnett (7-6, 4.15) vs. RHP Shaun Marcum (7-2, 2.95)

Game 3: Thursday @ 1:05 PM | TV: YES/MLBN | Radio: WCBS
LHP CC Sabathia (10-4, 3.25) vs. RHP Randy Wolf (6-4, 3.20)

Jeter Won't Be Ready To Come Off DL Tomorrow

As you know, Jeter was scheduled to come off the DL tomorrow. Well, Cashman put all speculation to bed yesterday, saying Jeter isn't ready. Here's more from Anthony McCarron:
Derek Jeter had what GM Brian Cashman described as "a great day" of rehab Monday at the Yankees' complex in Tampa. But the GM confirmed that Jeter will not come off the disabled list when he is eligible to do so Wednesday, which could mean he won't play in this weekend's Subway Series against the Mets.


Jeter, who initially tried to talk his way out of going on the DL, is not fit enough to be activated when eligible and Cashman wouldn't offer a projection.

"No, he hasn't done anything yet other than (Sunday and Monday)," the GM said.

Asked if the Yankees are being cautious with Jeter, who is six hits shy of the 3,000-hit milestone, Cashman said, "Absolutely. That's the route we've taken so far and it's the right one. It's certainly going to be longer than we hoped.

"It's going to take as long as it takes. We just don't want it to take any longer than it needs to take."

Yanks Interested in 16-Year Old Mexican Pitching Prospect

Robert Espinoza reported yesterday that the Yankees are among several teams interested in Roberto Osuna (son of former Yankee Antonio Osuna). Scouts from the Yankees, Blue Jays, Athletics, and Padres watched Osuna in Mexico last Thursday. The 16-year old is one of the top pitchers available on the international free agent market this season.

I don't know much about the kid, but from what I've seen around the web, he's 6 feet and 198 LBS, he throws three pitches (low-90's fastball, curve and a change), and like all the of the main international free agents, Osuna is likely to command a 7-figure bonus. In 19.2 innings in the Mexican league this season, he's posted a 5.49 ERA. Not too shabby when you remember he's just 16 and that the Mexican league is basically around the same level of competition as Doulbe-A.

Sherman Talks About the Trade Market for Pitchers

From Joel Sherman:
The lefty starting market is weak. Oakland has shown no inclination to move Gio Gonzalez, especially with fellow lefties Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden out with arm injuries. The White Sox might have considered shopping John Danks, but now he is on the DL for the first time in his career with a strained oblique.

When I asked if the Dodgers’ financial plight is such that they would consider dealing Clayton Kershaw before his first arbitration year for a boatload of prospects, an NL personnel man said, “MLB will treat the Dodgers like the Rangers last year and will not sell off parts because they want it to be as attractive to prospective buyers as possible.”

The likely available lefties are Houston’s Wandy Rodriguez and Minnesota’s Francisco Liriano. Rodriguez has a good curve, but his chances of being even above average going from the NL Central to the AL East are not good.


As for righties, there has been some buzz that the Braves, desperate for offense, could use their rotation depth and trade a starter such as Jair Jurrjens. But the Yankees’ policy has become pretty much to run away from Atlanta pitching after having successful Braves hurlers such as Javier Vazquez, Kyle Farnsworth, Jaret Wright, Steve Karsay, Chris Hammond, Denny Neagle and Soriano blow up on them.


Two interesting cases to watch are the Cubs’ Matt Garza and the Marlins’ Anibal Sanchez. Cubs brass was said to be meeting this week to decide whether to be sellers. Garza has some kinship with A.J. Burnett — big stuff that has not translated to a big record, a tendency to wear out his welcome and (like the pre-Yankees Burnett) a strong record against the Red Sox. Garza is 9-4 against Boston, including 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two ALCS games in 2008. Will the Cubs decide to recoup the prospects they gave up for Garza and go into a complete rebuild mode?

Sanchez is a free agent after the 2012 season, and, unlike Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco, Florida has shown no inclination to go long-term with a pitcher who has had arm problems in his past.

When it comes to relievers, the Padres, according to multiple officials, want to get out in the market quickly with Heath Bell and Chad Qualls; word is the Cardinals are trying to land Bell and shortstop Jason Bartlett. The Yankees are more interested in Mike Adams, who is earmarked as San Diego’s closer of the future and would come with that price tag. Washington is willing to move ex-Yankee Tyler Clippard, but specifically is looking for a center fielder and has focused on the Rays’ B.J. Upton.

The lefty relief market is even more unappealing right now. Another ex-Yankee, Randy Choate, probably could be had. Or the Yankees could wait until August because overpaid, under-performing types such as Oakland’s Brian Fuentes and Baltimore’s Mike Gonzalez will get through waivers and — as with Kerry Wood last year — perhaps they will try to find success with a veteran who was struggling elsewhere.
Lots of good info here from Sherman. Any relief help that wouldn't cost the Yankees the farm would be welcomed by this fan.

As far the starters, the Yankees should be OK in that department if Colon can continue to pitch well once he comes back from the DL and if Hughes regains his 2010 form. Two pretty big ifs so I understand the cause for some concern. Names like Matt Garza and Sanachez, as Sherman points out, are interesting. Either would be a nice addition to the rotation. So would a guy like Liriano, but the cost for him is going to be through the roof.

What do you guys think of the names listed by Sherman? Any interest?

NoMaas Interviews Mark Newman

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Mr. Newman, he's the Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Yankees. While I'm sure that his position is incredibly complex, the best description of his responsibilities that I can manage is "Head Honcho of Prospect Development." Newman is consulted with respect to every major decision in the Yankees farm system, and he assists the team in monitoring progression and determining who may be able to help the club.

NoMaas editor John Kreese interviewed Newman last night - the entire transcript can be found here, and I strongly suggest you read through it. Here are a few interesting excerpts.

On Montero:
Kreese: We've heard quite a bit in the past couple weeks about the Jesus Montero saga. You were quoted in saying that he feels like he should be in the big leagues already. Some people are saying he's bored. His numbers this year aren't as good as they were last year. What's the deal with Montero and what's going on with him in your view?

Newman: Defensively, he's improved. Offensively, he's not playing as well as he did last year. If he's bored, he shouldn't be. I'm close to him and I don't think he is. He's got big-time ability, but still has developmental work to do. Sometimes with pitchers, we see them work hard on their breaking ball, and their changeup goes south. They need to find that equilibrium. In Montero's case, catching is so demanding and he's focused so much on being a big-league caliber catcher, that he's been less focused on hitting. He needs to find that equilibrium.

If you're an outfielder, that transition to offense from defense is much less demanding than when you catch. One of my all-time favorite players is Paul O'Neill and if you paid attention, you could sometimes see him practicing his swing in right field. You don't see a catcher do that. Montero is 21 years old, he's basically a college junior. He's playing in Triple-A, and he's playing at a very high level. He's trying to figure out how this game works mentally. Baseball is in large part about mental preparation. A catcher needs to get ready to call and receive every pitch, plus get ready to attack every at-bat. He's learning how to do that. There's a reason the Nationals put Bryce Harper in the outfield.

On Brackman:
Kreese: Speaking of starting and relieving, Brackman is in the bullpen now. What's happened with him this year?

Newman: He's struggling. He's frustrated with what he's doing. We have to fight through it. One of the highlights of last season was how he pitched towards the end of the year, and he was probably the best pitcher in Trenton at the conclusion of the season. He's gone off the tracks now though. Brack's a real competitive guy and we know he'll fight through this. Beyond that, there's not a lot to say.

Kreese: Is there anything you can pinpoint that's changed with him?

Newman: It's command. It's confidence.

On Sanchez:
Kreese: Speaking of catchers, are Gary Sanchez's issues behind him?

Newman: He's 18 years old. He's learning to be a professional. He's a great kid. I love him. We have to discipline him on occasion, just like in any family.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Jeter Take Live BP & Other Rehab Updates

From George A. King III:
After jogging for first time since straining his calf, Derek Jeter expressed some optimism about his return to the Yankees.

“Everything is good. Steps in the right direction,” Jeter said from Tampa.

Jeter took 30 swings of live batting practice on the field — thrown by former hitting coach and current minor league instructor Gary Denbo. The shortstop then took seven ground balls before a thunderstorm hit. Jeter returned after the rain delay, played some catch in the outfield and did some light running in outfield — three lights sprints, he ran backwards and side-to-side.
King also reported that Eric Chavez took BP with Jeter and Bartolo Colon threw 60 pitches in simulated game. He struck out three and allowed two hits. If the Yankees decide that Colon doesn't need rehab start in the minors he could be back for the Mets series.

Sights and Sounds From Old-Timers' Day

Highlights from the entire ceremony:

Bernie's Introduction:

Piniella's Introduction:

Torre's Intoduction:

This Week in Yankees History (6/26-7/2)

This Week in Yankees History 

June 26th - July 2nd

June 26th

1912 - The New York Yankees send future star hurler Hippo Vaughn (2-8), winner of last year's AL season opener to the Washington Senators for the waiver price.

1929 - Former Yankees reserve OF Richard “Tut” Tettelbach (1955) was born. In 1951, Richard “Tut” Tettlebach was signed by the New York Yankees as MLB an amateur free agent. Richard appeared in 2 games with the Yankees in September of 1955, with no BA. On February 8, 1956, he was traded by the Yankees along with a player to be named later, C Lou Berberet, INF Herb Plews and P Bob Wiesler to the Senators for a player to be named later, Pitchers Bobby Kline and Mickey McDermott. The Yankees would send minor league OF Whitey Herzog on April 2,1956 to the Senators to complete the trade.

1939 - At Shibe Park in Philadelphia, the New York Yankees play their 1st night game in their franchise history losing to Connie Mack's A's by a score of 3-2.

1941 - New York Yankees southpaw ace Marius Russo throws no-hit ball for 6 1/3 innings before future Yankee George Mc Quinn spoils the bid with a HR. It was the only St. Louis Browns hit in a 4-1 Yankees win.

1943 - Former Yankees OF Bill Robinson (1967-1969) was born (1943-2007). Bill Robinson was brought to the New York Yankees from the Atlanta Braves in the Clete Boyer trade in the winter of 1966. Bill Robinson struggled in New York, being labeled as the “black “Mickey Mantle. He would later have a successful career in NL with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies. After retiring as an active player, Bill would later become a successful MLB batting Coach. Bill passed away in 2007.

1944 - At the Polo Grounds with over 50,000 fans looking on, the three New York MLB teams played against each other in a 6 inning 3-team game (a team played consecutive innings against the other 2 teams then sat out an inning). The contest, which was played to raise money for war bonds ended with the final score of Dodgers 5, Yankees 1, and the Giants 0.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Game 76: Yankees vs. Rockies - Old-Timers' Day

YANKEES (44-31)
Brett Gardner LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez SS

Pitching RHP Ivan Nova (7-4, 4.13 ERA)

ROCKIES (38-38)
Carlos Gonzalez CF
Jonathan Herrera 2B
Todd Helton 1B
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Jason Giambi DH
Seth Smith RF
Ty Wigginton 3B
Charlie Blackmon LF
Chris Iannetta C

Pitching: RHP Juan Nicasio (2-1, 4.71 ERA)


- Joe Girardi told the media before the game that he doesn't believe Alex Rodriguez's sore knee will be a problem going forward.
”It’s treatable,” Girardi said. “He’s playing today. It’s just something I’m aware of. … If I can get him out of a game early, I’ll do that.”
- Derek Jeter is continuing his rehab down in Tampa today. He will hit off a tee, take some soft toss, and do some jogging.

Next Up For Hughes: Trenton on Wednesday

From Brian Costello:
Phil Hughes said he felt good after Friday's rehab start. His next rehab start will be Wednesday for Double-A Trenton.

2011 Old-Timers' Day Roster

This is the group who will be in the Bronx today:
(*Denotes First-Time Old-Timer)

Luis Arroyo
Jesse Barfield
Clay Bellinger*
Yogi Berra
Ron Blomberg
Brian Boehringer*
Dr. Bobby Brown
Homer Bush
Jose Cardenal*
Rick Cerone
Jerry Coleman
David Cone
Al Downing
Brian Doyle
Cecil Fielder
Whitey Ford
George Frazier*
Oscar Gamble
Joe Girardi
Dwight Gooden
Rich "Goose" Gossage
Ron Guidry
Charlie Hayes
Arlene Howard
Helen Hunter
Reggie Jackson
Pat Kelly
Don Larsen
Graeme Lloyd
Hector Lopez
Kevin Maas
Jill Martin
Lee Mazzilli
Ramiro Mendoza
Gene "Stick" Michael
Diana Munson
Kay Murcer
Jeff Nelson
Graig Nettles
Joe Pepitone
Lou Piniella* (Welcome back!)
Mickey Rivers
Charlie Silvera
Bill "Moose" Skowron
Aaron Small
Mike Stanley
Mel Stottlemyre
Darryl Strawberry
Joe Torre* (Welcome back!)
David Wells
Roy White
Bernie Williams*

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Game 75: Yankees vs. Rockies

YANKEES (43-31)
Brett Gardner LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Eduardo Nunez SS
Francisco Cervelli C

Pitching LHP CC Sabathia (9-4, 3.39)

ROCKIES (38-37)
Carlos Gonzalez CF
Eric Young RF
Todd Helton 1B
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Jason Giambi DH
Ty Wigginton 3B
Ryan Spilborghs LF
Chris Nelson 2B
Matt Pagnozzi C

Pitching: RHP Aaron Cook (0-2, 4.67)

Happy Homecoming For Giambi

It is games like last night's that make one resign to the fact of A. J. Burnett: a pitcher with tremendous raw talent who, like many others, will never quite reach the upper echelons of his trade.

After starting the season with three straight wins, Burnett has gone 4-6 since, including a 4-2 loss to the Colarado Rockies last night. Over 6.1 innings, the right-hander allowed thirteen baserunners, including five walks, but only four who scored. For fans perplexed by the box score -- seven hits and five walks only add up to twelve men -- the discrepancy is due to a four strikeout sixth inning in which Chris Nelson reached after swinging on a strike three wild pitch.

The outing quickly became a memorable one -- for the wrong reasons -- as Burnett served up a tremendous home run to Jason Giambi during his first at-bat in what would be a triumphant return to the bronx. Giambi, who hit 209 home runs in seven seasons with the Yankees, would collect two more hits and a walk to go 3 for 4 on the night.

The slugger has taken well to his role as a veteran bench player and his pedigree may have rubbed off on young star Troy Tulowitzki who also homered off Burnett. Tulowitzki, a shortstop who wears the number two in deference to Derek Jeter, has hit a home run in his last four games in New York dating back to a series earlier in the season with the Mets.

Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez also had a notable Stadium debut. The right-hander worked seven innings and only surrendered a run-scoring double in the first inning and a sacrifice fly in the third, both to Alex Rodriguez.


Follow A. X. Sayed on Twitter. Friend on Facebook.

Hughes Sees Velocity Dip in 2nd Rehab Start

From Ebenezer Samuel:
Friday was Phil Hughes' 25th birthday. But aside from the extra-large birthday cake that the opposing team presented him, he had little cause for celebration.

With Brian Cashman looking on, the Yankee righthander made his third rehab start, taking the mound for the Double-A Trenton Thunder against the New Britain Rock Cats and showcasing a fastball that was consistently in the low 90s.

But just five days after what he described as an "encouraging" rehab start in Brooklyn, Hughes' effort against the Rock Cats gave him no such confidence in the 3-2 Thunder loss. He needed 72 pitches to get through 3-1/3 innings, throwing just 42 strikes, and never looked dominant. In Sunday's rehab start, his fastball had touched 95; Friday, he didn't eclipse 93, and the Rock Cats routinely caught up with his pitches and fouled them off.

"I felt like I was uncharacteristically wild a little bit... my fastball was all over the place," said Hughes, who has been on the DL with a dead arm and shoulder inflammation since April 15. "I'm encouraged by the fact that I feel good and everything like that. But as far as the results and what I was doing out there, I'm not encouraged."

Hughes' final line (three strikeouts, two walks, three hits, one earned run) hardly told the story of his struggles. Hughes said he saw positives - he threw "some good cutters," felt "healthy" and gave up a pair of infield singles. But he never showcased overpowering stuff, inducing just six swing-and-miss strikes.

Hughes hit 93 on the radar gun seven times over the first two frames, needing 28 pitches through two hitless stanzas. But his fastball never eclipsed 91 thereafter, and his control seemed to gradually abandon him.
There was also this quote from Cashman about Hughes' ongoing rehab
"He'll probably need about two more to go, as long as the New York side is OK," Cashman said before the game. "As long as the New York side is OK, we'd like to stretch him up to about 100 pitches, increase him by about 15 every outing."
As long as he feels fine physically I wouldn't be too concerned about the drop in velocity at this point.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tonight's Lineup & Series Pitching Matchups

YANKEES (43-30)
Brett Gardner LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez SS

ROCKIES (37-37)
Carlos Gonzalez CF
Chris Nelson 2B
Todd Helton 1B
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Jason Giambi DH
Seth Smith RF
Ty Wigginton 3B
Charlie Blackmon LF
Chris Iannetta C

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Tonight @ 7:05 PM | TV: YES/MLBN | Radio: WCBS
RHP A.J. Burnett (7-5, 4.05) vs. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (2-7, 4.68)

Game 2: Saturday @ 1:05 PM | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
LHP CC Sabathia (9-4, 3.39) vs. RHP Aaron Cook (0-2, 4.67)

Game 3: Sunday @ 2:20 | TV: YES/TBS | Radio: WCBS
RHP Ivan Nova (7-4, 4.13) vs. TBA

Colon Throws Off Mound For 1st Time Since Injury!/pcaldera/statuses/84283030306435073

Montero Benched For Lack of Energy

From Andrew Marchand:
The future of the New York Yankees received a two-game timeout earlier this month because the organization felt his play lacked "energy," according to one club official.

The future of the Yankees has hit just five home runs all season, which is miniscule when compared to the output of Triple-A Scranton teammates -- and borderline prospects -- Jorge Vazquez (20) and Justin Maxwell (16).

The future of the Yankees has thrown out eight of 45 base stealers (.178), which is ninth best in the 14-team International League.

And there are some days and nights in which Jesus Montero's head seems to be a lot of places, but not fully in the minor league ballpark he is playing in.

Montero, 21, is still a lot of great things. He is still one of the best prospects in baseball.'s Keith Law had him at No. 4 in the entire minor leagues. Montero's bat has life, while defense has improved some.

So Montero is still potentially an All-Star major league catcher.

But right now, there is one thing Montero is certainly not: He is not ready to start, let alone star, in the big leagues.

"It is all in becoming a first-rate professional and he is still in the middle of that process," said Mark Newman, the Yankees' senior vice president of baseball operations, who heads up the team's minor leagues.
Disappointing stuff. This also isn't the first time Montero has been benched for this sort of thing. Last may, he was benched for a couple games because of a lack of hustle. It seems to this observer that the kid is bored of the minors and feels like he's ready to make the leap. That said, it's not an excuse for not hustling or having your head in the game. You'd think last year's benching would have woken the kid up, but obviously it didn't.

K-Rod Open To Setting Up For Mo?

From Kristie Ackert:
While Brian Cashman seems to be looking far and wide for a setup man to help his ailing bullpen, maybe the Yankees general manager should check across town. Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez told the Daily News Thursday that he would not rule out a change in roles to go to a contending team such as the Yankees.

"If I am going to be traded, obviously I want the opportunity to close out games, but if it's going to be good teams like the Yankees or the Rays, and it's going to be for two months, I can go out there and help them out," Rodriguez said after the Mets' 4-1 victory over the A's at Citi Field Thursday.

Rodriguez is one of the Mets who could be on the block as next month's trade deadline looms. With former Rays closer Rafael Soriano currently injured and having been inconsistent in his adapted role as the Yankees setup man, and with Joba Chamberlain out for the season, Cashman admitted he has been on the lookout for a replacement.


The News reported last month that Rodriguez would consider waiving his 2012 option if the acquiring team was willing to offer him a multi-year deal. As a setup man for Mariano Rivera, however, he would not be finishing games, so the vesting option would not come into play.

Rodriguez's deal also has a no-trade clause to 10 teams, but he did not seem to feel that was a big obstacle.

"Honestly I don't even know what (teams) are on the no-trade clause, I haven't even been asked about that yet," Rodriguez said. "I mean I would definitely love to stay here, but I have to be open to every possibility out there right now."
The Yankees need a setup man, and K-Rod would certainly fill that void. I'm not sure what it would take to get him here, but at 9.5 out the Mets' season is going nowhere fast and I assume he will be available. But until we know what kind of deal it would take to get him here it's hard to say whether they should make a move or not, but if the price is reasonable I see no reason why they shouldn't. The combination of K-Rod and Mo would be deadly.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cashman Says Reyes To Yanks Ain't Gonna Happen

From Roger Rubin:
Any conspiracy theorist who has pondered Mets shortstop Jose Reyes being fitted for Yankee pinstripes, either later this season or in the near future, can forget it. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman put an end to speculation Wednesday night.

"That's just not going to happen," he said.


"We have an everyday shortstop in Derek Jeter," said Cashman, who was at the Waldorf-Astoria for the CYO Club of Champions Tribute to receive the Sportsman of the Year award. "And I think we have an everyday shortstop that would be playing for a lot of clubs in Eduardo Nuñez. The Yankees don't have a need now or in the future for a shortstop.

"But we do need a setup man."

And to that end he said that he's made many calls but only been offered players "that you would expect I wouldn't want."


"I'm not afraid to make a trade with them. I'll do anything," Cashman said. "If I feel I am doing better and we're bettering ourselves, I'll do it. But there's a lot of people in the chain of command that you've got to convince and make sure they feel good about it. I am sure that's true on both sides."
I don't see how the addition of Jose Reyes wouldn't help the Yankees better themselves, but whatever, this isn't the first or last time I'll disagreed with Cashman.

Rubin implies that Cashman is not only talking about trading for him, but bring him in as a free agent as well. Which to me is absolutely ridiculous. I can understand not wanting to trade the farm for a SS when you have Jeter and Nunez already here. But that shouldn't stop the Yankees from pursuing Reyes via free agency if the price is right.

Chavez, Colon & Jeter Continue Working Their Way Back

From the AP:
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter threw for the third straight day Thursday as he rehabs a strained right calf muscle that landed him on the disabled list.


The Yankees’ captain has been working out at the team’s spring training complex. He could increase his on-the-field workout in the next couple days.

Also, right-hander Bartolo Colon and infielder Eric Chavez increased their onfield drills as they rehab injuries.

Colon, sidelined by a strained right hamstring, ran sprints in the outfield for the first time in addition to his third consecutive day of long toss. Chavez, out with a broken left foot, said he was fine after running from home to first around a half-dozen times.

Heathcott & Murphy Promoted to Tampa!/jnorris427/status/83929344958930944!/jnorris427/status/83931489800171520

ESPN New York's Bombers Beat - Montero Interview

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Game 73: Yankees @ Reds (Game 2)

YANKEES (43-29)
Brett Gardner LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Nick Swisher RF
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez SS
Ramiro Pena 2B
Brian Gordon RHP

REDS (38-37)
Chris Heisey CF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Joey Votto 1B
Jay Bruce RF
Jonny Gomes LF
Ramon Hernandez C
Miguel Cairo 3B
Paul Janish SS
Johnny Cueto RHP

Yanks Take The Opener 4-2

I'm writing this as the game is still going on. In fact, Mo hasn't even thrown a pitch yet. But it's Mo, so I'm not too concerned about the jinx.

(One out...)

Early RBIs from Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead. Which should have been enough for Freddy Garcia, who was very sharp over seven. But he was hurt by a few errors and ended up allowing two unearned runs on three hits....

(...Two out... Nice play Ramiro!)

That's funny, the two unearned runs Garcia gave up were thanks to two errors by Pena. (He had three on the day.) The two runs also tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the 5th.

But the Yanks didn't wait too long to regain the lead, scoring twice in the 6th on a two-run homer by Jorge Posada.

(....Three out... Ballgame over!)

David Robertson and the aforementioned Mariano Rivera finished off the game with two scoreless innings. The Yanks will now eat and sit around for a while until game two starts tonight @ 7:10 PM.

Joe Girardi - Moron

On Tuesday, Joe Girardi stated that there will be no lead-off controversy upon Jeter's return. Why? From the horse's mouth - “Derek’s been our leadoff guy." No other explanation was offered, and no credence was given to Gardner's fantastic numbers over the last fifty games (.357/.440/.503) ... this on the heels of Girardi saying "life goes on" in response to a question concerning sitting Gardner against lefties.

Here are three triple-slash lines, just for fun:

A - .260/.324/.324
B - .264/.328/.387
C - .293/.371/.444

A represents Jeter's production to-date. B is the average line of all MLB lead-off hitters. And C is Gardner's 2011 season. I understand that Jeter's an icon, and I understand that we shouldn't be up in arms over small sample sizes ... but Gardner was better in 2010 and he's been better in 2011. With the AL East shaping up to be a dogfight, the few extra runs the Yankees could pick up by dropping Jeter and allowing Gardner to lead-off could be the difference between home field and the Wild Card - a difference that bears more consideration than Girardi seems to be willing to give.

I've supported Girardi in the past, and I am not quite willing to give up on him yet. That being said, this demonstration of ignorance and nepotism has greatly diminished my respect for the skipper - and I'm not sure he'll be able to regain that.

Game 72: Yankees @ Reds

YANKEES (42-29)
Brett Gardner LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada 1B
Eduardo Nunez SS
Ramiro Pena 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Freddy Garcia RHP

RHP Freddy Garcia (5-6, 3.63 ERA)

REDS (38-36)
Fred Lewis LF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Joey Votto 1B
Jay Bruce RF
Scott Rolen 3B
Drew Stubbs CF
Edgar Renteria SS
Ryan Hanigan C
Ryan Leake RHP

RHP Mike Leake (6-3, 4.04 ERA)

Jeter Eyes June 29th Return, Girardi Isn't So Sure

From Mark Feinsand:
Derek Jeter started his road back from the disabled list Tuesday, working out on the field for the first time since straining his calf on June 13.

Jeter did some throwing and played long-toss on a field at the Yankees' training complex in Tampa, then worked out inside and received treatment.

"He's going in the right direction," Joe Girardi said.

The Yankees remain hopeful that Jeter will be able to return from the disabled list when he's eligible on June 29, although Girardi indicated that the Captain would likely need to play a minor-league rehab game or two before coming back.

"You may want him to go through a game just to see how he feels and how he bounces back the next day," Girardi said. "The one thing you'd hate is if he was to come back, play a day and then have to take a couple days off."
Since the Yankees are playing pretty well without Jeter, I'd say hold this off as much as they can to allow Jeter to heal completely. If that means playing a few rehab games and coming back to the Yanks on the 3rd than so be it. Giving him the extra few days will also allow him to possibly reach the milestone in front of the home fans in the Bronx in their first home series after his target data, and 4-gamer from July 7-10. Honestly, do you really want to see him reach the milestone in Cleveland?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rained Out

Tonight's game has been rained out. There will be a split-doubleheader tomorrow with game 1 starting at 12:35pm and 2 starting at 7:10pm. Freddy Garcia and Brian Gordon will pitch the two games for the Yanks, but Girardi is still unsure of the order.

AL All-Star Voting Update #4 - Gonzalez Widens Lead on Tex

(as of June 21)

Russell Martin, Yankees: 2,226,797
Alex Avila, Tigers: 1,730,511
Joe Mauer, Twins: 1,341,474
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox: 1,135,617
Yorvit Torrealba, Rangers: 980,697

Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox: 3,017,960
Mark Teixeira, Yankees: 2,407,665
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: 1,771,893
Mitch Moreland, Rangers: 890,468
Paul Konerko, White Sox: 676,194

Robinson Cano, Yankees: 3,664,498
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox: 2,239,172
Ian Kinsler, Rangers: 1,452,880
Orlando Cabrera, Indians: 910,941
Ben Zobrist, Rays: 828,771

Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: 2,876,537
Adrian Beltre, Rangers: 2,307,380
Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox: 2,025,438
Evan Longoria, Rays: 1,639,405
Brandon Inge, Tigers: 490,734

Derek Jeter, Yankees: 2,654,040
Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians: 2,242,157
Elvis Andrus, Rangers: 1,513,929
Jhonny Peralta, Tigers: 875,371
Marco Scutaro, Red Sox: 813,888

David Ortiz, Red Sox: 3,116,578
Michael Young, Rangers: 1,760,195
Jorge Posada, Yankees: 1,120,830
Victor Martinez, Tigers: 932,711
Johnny Damon, Rays: 864,535

Jose Bautista, Blue Jays: 4,156,940
Curtis Granderson, Yankees: 3,473,227
Josh Hamilton, Rangers: 2,400,408
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: 2,249,323
Carl Crawford, Red Sox: 1,789,097
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners: 1,537,101
Nelson Cruz, Rangers: 1,462,426
Nick Swisher, Yankees: 1,271,843
Brett Gardner, Yankees: 1,120,179
J.D. Drew, Red Sox: 1,112,720
Matt Joyce, Rays: 1,038,098
Jeff Francoeur, Royals: 906,983
Grady Sizemore, Indians: 867,281
David Murphy, Rangers: 785,630
Shin-Soo Choo, Indians: 764,817


Game 72: Yankees @ Reds

It's pouring in Cincy so who knows whether they'll get this one started on time or started at all. But for now the first pitch is set for 7:10 PM, and here are the lineups:

YANKEES (42-29)
Brett Gardner LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Russell Martin C
Ramiro Pena SS
Brian Gordon RHP

REDS (38-36)
Drew Stubbs CF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Joey Votto 1B
Jay Bruce RF
Scott Rolen 3B
Jonny Gomes LF
Ramon Hernandez C
Paul Janish SS
Johnny Cueto RHP

Updates on the Wounded Yanks

First from George A King III:
Derek Jeter didn't work out on the field at the Yankees' Tampa minor league complex yesterday. He remained inside getting treatment on his strained right calf.

"He will start baseball stuff the next couple of days," said manager Joe Girardi, who believes Jeter is on track to return June 29, the first day he is eligible to come off the DL.

Girardi said he will talk with general manager Brian Cashman about whether Jeter needs a minor league rehab game or two before being activated.


Girardi said [Phil] Hughes will "probably make at least two more [minor league] starts."


Eric Chavez took batting practice on the field yesterday in Tampa. It was the first time for that. Chavez, who is on the DL with a fractured foot, also took ground balls. Girardi said he is running on a treadmill.


Rafael Soriano reported to Tampa yesterday after spending considerable time with a physical therapist in the New York area.
There was also this from Chad Jennings:
Injured starter Bartolo Colon is still not ready to begin a throwing program and Girardi acknowledged Colon might not be ready to return after just 15 days on the disabled list. ... Girardi once again downplayed Alex Rodriguez's sore left shoulder and had his third baseman back in the lineup on Monday.

Nova, Yankees Sink Reds

The Yankees are doing their best to refute that old idiom of every ship needing its captain. They've gone 6-1 since theirs was thrown overboard by a strained calf.

Monday night, Jeter, who was appointed team captain during the Yankees' last and only trip to the Great American Ballpark in 2003, watched Ivan Nova steer his team to a 5-3 victory against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds, boasting the National League's highest scoring offense, were stifled by the Yankee rookie who registered the longest -- and perhaps best -- outing of his career, pitching eight innings and giving up a lone run on four hits while striking out seven.

Nova surrendered the run in the first, but by that time the Yankees had already provided him the comfort of a four run lead. Nick Swisher, once again batting lead off due to his high on-base-percentage against left-handed pitchers, began the game by stroking a single to left. After a Curtis Granderson strike-out, Mark Texeria, Alex Rodriguez, and Robinson Cano singled, singled, and doubled receptively to give the Yankees the early lead. A Russle Martain RBI ground-out and yet another hit by Andrew Jones later in the inning would total to four runs in the frame.

The early onslaught came against Red's lefty Travis Wood who drew the assignment after ace Johnny Cueto was scratched due to a stiff neck. Wood's performance was true to character. Entering the game, he led his team with the most first inning runs surrendered. Though he settled down afterward, it hardly mattered with his counterpart in peek form.

With Nova's turn at bat due in the top of the ninth, Yankees manager Joe Girardi elected to have him pitch hit for with Jorge Posada. The move would eventually force Mariano Rivera to enter the game for a save in the ninth as relievers Luis Ayala and Boone Logan each allowed their only hitter faced to reach base bringing the tying run on deck. Logan twice checked on the runner at first before promptly hitting Joey Votto with his only pitch.

Rivera allowed the two inherited runners to score but struck out pinch-hitter Edgar Renteria to end the game and earn his eighteenth save.


Follow A. X. Sayed on Twitter. Friend on Facebook.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tonight's Lineups and a Hilarious Red Sox Shirt

YANKEES (41-29)
Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Andruw Jones LF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Ivan Nova RHP

REDS (38-35)
Drew Stubbs CF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Joey Votto 1B
Jay Bruce RF
Scott Rolen 3B
Chris Heisey LF
Ryan Hanigan C
Paul Janish SS
Travis Wood LHP

Check out this new, comical, Red Sox shirt:
I guess you won't see any Sox fans wearing that shirt in the Bronx (or St. Louis and Oakland).

Cueto Scratched From Tonight's Start

Tonight's scheduled Reds' starter Jonny Cueto has been scratched due to a sore neck. Left-hander Travis Wood (5-4, 5.11 ERA) will start in his place on normal rest. Cueto may get the ball tomorrow for Cincy if he's feeling better.

Heyman: Yanks Have No Interest In Zambrano or Dempster

Via Jon Heyman:
Yankees have no interest in zambrano or dempster. Considering the obvs need, that's not a compliment
Considering the responses I saw from fans I'd assume most of you are happy of this news. I know I am. No need to waste assets on mediocre arms.

Votto Was Almost a Yankee

From Ian Begley:
According to ex-Yankee scout and current Brewers executive Dick Groch, the Yankees were this close to landing Votto in the 2002 amateur draft.

"If Cincinnati had not taken him, we would have taken him with our first pick," Groch, who also scouted Derek Jeter for the Yanks in the early 1990s, said earlier this month.

Between Groch and his assistant scout, the Yankees saw "every inning of every game" Votto played in high school in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Groch knew quickly that Votto was a prospect. After a while, either he or his assistant were just showing up to games to see if other teams were interested in Votto.

According to Groch, the Yanks and the Reds -- who found out about Votto after he played in a showcase tournament in Florida -- were the only teams high on Votto heading into the draft.

Groch was so high on Votto that he was in his living room on June 4, 2002 -- the first day of the draft – sitting with Joey and waiting for the Yankees to select him.

Problem was, the Yanks had lost their first-round pick after signing free agent Jason Giambi in the 2001 off-season.

That allowed Cincinnati to swoop in and select Votto with the 44th pick. The Yanks were stuck with pitcher Brandon Weeden with the 71st pick.

“(Votto) was right at the top of our board at the time. In fact, we would have taken him had the Reds not taken him,” said Mark Newman, senior vice president of operations.
Well that's disappointing. Nothing against Mark Teixeira, but it would have been great to be able to draft a guy like Votto and have him come up through the system.

Yankees - Reds Pitching Match-Ups

The Yankees find themselves atop the list of most relevant offensive metrics, and the Reds are in the top-ten in most, as well. Considering the ballpark and the less than stellar numbers of every starter but Cueto, I'm expecting a great deal of offense.

Game 1: Tonight @ 7:10 PM TV: YES/ESPN Radio: WCBS
RHP Ivan Nova (6-4, 4.46) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (4-2, 1.68)

Game 2: Tuesday @ 7:10 PM TV: My9 Radio: WCBS
RHP Brian Gordon (0-0, 3.38) vs. LHP Travis Wood (5-4, 5.11)

Game 3: Wednesday @ 12:35 PM TV: YES Radio: WCBS
RHP Freddy Garcia (5-6, 3.63) vs. RHP Mike Leake (6-3, 4.04)

Hughes' Velocity Returns in SI Start

From Christopher O'Brien:
Phil Hughes went 4-1/3 innings, giving up one run on three hits with seven strikeouts, in Sunday night's rehab appearance for the Staten Island Yankees. But the most important number of the night was 93.

Struggling all year with his velocity, Hughes fired fastballs that consistently clocked in at 93 mph.

That was encouraging to the Yankee righthander, who has been out since April 15 due to a dead arm and inflammation in his pitching shoulder.

"Sometimes it's tough when you haven't thrown in a while. I was worried my command might be off a bit," said Hughes, excited to see his fastball popping. "But I was pleased that I was throwing strikes and getting ahead in the count."


Hughes said he plans to start for Double-A Trenton in five days and is eager to prove to the Yankees, as well as himself, that he's capable of getting back to the Bronx soon.

This Week in Yankees History (6/19-6/25)

This Week in Yankees History 

June 19th- June 25th

June 19th

1903- Future Yankees Hall Of Fame 1B Lou Gehrig (1923-1939) was born in New York City (1903-1941). Lou Gehrig will make his MLB debut with the New York Yankees in 1923. During the 1925 AL season, he will become the Yankees' everyday 1B replacing veteran Wally Pipp. He will set a record for the longest MLB consecutive games played streak while combining with Babe Ruth to form one of the greatest run-producing tandems of all time. He finished his New York Yankees career with a .340 BA with 493 HRs with 1,991 RBIs in 2,164 games for the Yankees. Lou won the American League MVP award 3 times in his MLB career. In 1934, Lou won the AL Triple Crown with a .363 BA, 49 HRs with 165 RBI’s. He was elected to Hall of Fame in 1939. In May of 1939, Lou stopped playing MLB because of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); he would pass away from the disease in 1941.

1904 - The New York Yankees obtained OF Pat Dougherty from the Boston Red Sox for INF Bob Unglaub. He hit .273 for the Yankees in 234 games in 1904-1906.

1912 - Former Yankees MLB Scout (1971-1974), MLB player, Coach and Manager Don Gutteridge was born (1912-2008). Don Gutteridge was a MLB player, who later became a Minor League Manager for the Chicago White Sox. He was a MLB scout in 1968 for the Kansas City Royals, helping the team prepare for the expansion draft. In July of 1968, he rejoined the Chicago White Sox working on Manager Al Lopez’s MLB coaching staff. He took over the White Sox Manager’s job in May of 1969, running the team until September of 1970, posting a 109-172 record. He joined the New York Yankees organization as a MLB Scout in 1971, holding the position until 1974. He finished up his MLB scouting career with the Dodgers working for them from 1975 to 1992.

1913 - The New York Yankees waived P Ed Klepfer to the New York Giants. He went 0-1 in 10 games for the Yankees in 1911 and 1913.

1918 - The New York Yankees purchased OF Ham Hyatt from the Boston Braves for cash. Ham hit .229 and was released by the team.

1941 - Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees hit in his 32nd consecutive game, en route to his record breaking MLB 56 consecutive games hitting-streak, going 3-for-3, including a HR, against the Chicago White Sox.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Game 70: Yankees @ Cubs

YANKEES (40-29)
Brett Gardner LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez SS
CC Sabathia LHP

CUBS (29-41)
Reed Johnson CF
Starlin Castro SS
Jeff Baker 1B
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Geovany Soto C
Lou Montanez RF
DJ LeMahieu 2B
Randy Wells RHP

(UPDATED) Yanks Sign Top Draft Pick

UPDATE: Mark Feinsand is now reporing that he signed for $750K.

ESPN New York is reporting that the Yankees have signed their No. 1 pick, Dante Bichette Jr., and have assigned him to the Gulf Coast League Yankees. The GLC Yanks begin their season on Monday.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Burnett Solid As Yanks Take Middle Game 4-3

Yankees 4 - Cubs 3

Curtis Granderson hit a tie breaking sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, and Brett Gardner made a terrific play in the outfield to highlight the Yankees 4-3 victory over the Cubs on Saturday Chicago.

Yankees starting pitcher, A.J Burnett, went 5.1 innings, allowing 2 runs, 3 walks, and striking out 8. As you can see, he had his better stuff today, and besides one long ball that accounted for the two runs he pitched a pretty good game. One the day, he threw 104 pitches with 59 of them being strikes.

The Yankees relievers, with the exception of Mariano were solid. In fact, besides Mo, the Yankees other three relievers -- Cory Wade, Hector Noesi and David Robertson -- all had perfect outings. As for Mo, we'll get to him later.

(Top 3rd: Yankees 2 - Cubs 0)

Grandy ripped a single into right center to leadoff the inning. Teixeira followed by grounded out to first and moving Granderson over to second base. A-Rod then ripped a single to left to advance Granderson to third. Robby Cano, don’t cha know? came up a shot a ball deep and into the ivy for a double, scoring Granderson and moving Arod to third. The Yanks were in business with a 1-0 lead and men on 2nd and 3rd. Swisher drove the ball to deep center, giving A-Rod plenty of time to scurry home with the Yanks 2nd run.

(Bottom 4th: Yankees 2 - Cubs 2)

Blake DeWitt walked to start the inning, Ramirez followed by striking out swinging, then former Ray, Carlos Pena launched a 386-foot shot to right to tie the game. That was Burnett's only mistake of the day.

(Top 6th: Yankees 3 - Cubs 2)

Nunez singled to center to begin the inning, then, following a Burnett sacrifice, Gardner tapped an infield hit to short stop to put runners on the corners with one out. Granderson then gave the Yankees the lead for good wit ha sac fly to right.

(Bottom 6th: Yankees 3 - Cubs 2)

After loading the bases with one out on a walk and two errors, the Cubs looked like they were about to take control of this game. Following the first of two errors Burnett, who had clearly run out of gas, was replaced by Cory Wade. Luckily Brett Gardner turned Geovany Soto's sinking liner into an inning-ending doubleplay. Russell Martin also came up big on the play, holding his ground and taking a nice hit from Carlos Pena at the plate.

(Top 9th: Yankees 4 - Cubs 2)

The Yankees added what turned out to be a huge insurance run in the top half of the 9th. With one out, Cano doubled and then Swisher walked to put two on with one out. After Russell Martin popped out to foul territory, Nunez came up and ripped a clutch doubled to scored Cano. Swisher, who tried to score all the way from first, was thrown out at home to end the inning.

(Bottom 9th - Yankees 4 Cubs 3)

Mariano Riviera came in for the ninth and you could tell from his first few pitches that he didn't have his best location. One of his first offerings actually crossed up Russell Martin behind the plate, nailing the homeplate umpire in the arm. One of his early misplaced pitches to Reed Johnson ended up in the seats and cut the Yanks lead to 4-3. Alfonso Soriano followed the homer with a single up the middle and the Cubbies had the tying run on base. But like he does, Mo would eventually settle down. The next batter, Geovany Soto, grounded into a 4-4-3 double play, and Jeff Baker struck out to end the game. Ballgame over, Yankees win! Thaaaaaaaaaaaaa Yankees Win!


Follow Kirk on Twitter

Game 69: Yankees @ Cubs

YANKEES (39-29)
Brett Gardner LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nuñez SS
A.J. Burnett RHP

CUBS (29-40)
Kosuke Fukudome RF
Starlin Castro SS
Blake DeWitt 2B
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Carlos Pena 1B
Reed Johnson CF
Alfonso Soriano LF
Geovany Soto C
Ryan Dempster RHP

Friday, June 17, 2011

With Yanks In Chicago, Zambrano Rumors Gain Steam

From Bruce Levine via MLB Trade Rumors:
...Yankees scouts watched [Zambrano] pitch on the Cubs' recent 10-game road trip. These were not advance scouts who prepare teams for the next series, because the Yankees do video work on the next opponent instead of using scouts. These were top advisers to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

Zambrano, who has a full no-trade clause, has said on numerous occasions he wants to stay with the Cubs until his deal expires after 2012. But Zambrano, like any veteran, wants the opportunity to perform in a World Series before his career is over. If the Yankees, who are in need of starting pitching, decide to approach the Cubs about Zambrano's availability, the veteran pitcher could change his mind. Losing is not fun for any player, but for a 10-year veteran like Zambrano, this might be his last shot at playing in a World Series.

Zambrano's experience with Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild would also be considered an advantage for both sides. Rothschild was Zambrano's pitching coach for the first nine years of his career before taking the Yankees job in the offseason. Rothschild has seen the best and worst of Zambrano, whose domination on the mound has been mixed with frequent emotional tantrums.

Some of the Yankees top evaluators have more interest in Ryan Dempster than Zambrano, but the Cubs would not be interested in dealing Dempster. Zambrano may be another story, considering his volatility and inconsistency over the last 2 ½ years. Dempster is considered more consistent by some scouts, but Zambrano has pitched more innings this season. What the Yankees and other teams like about Dempster is he's averaged over 200 innings over the last three years.

The Cubs could get back some good, young talent and also divest themselves of all or some of the $27 million left on Zambrano's contract.
Between the awful contracts, bat attitude (Zambrano) and mediocre performances this year I'm not really interesting in bringing either of these two over. Are you?

Game 68: Yankees @ Cubs

YANKEES (39-28)
Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez SS
Brett Gardner LF
Freddy Garcia RHP

CUBS (28-40)
Kosuke Fukudome RF
Starlin Castro SS
Blake DeWitt 2B
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Carlos Pena 1B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Tony Campana CF
Koyle Hill C
Doug Davis LHP

Links of Interest: Cash on Jesus, JC Romero DFA'd

With the struggles of Francisco Cervelli and the injury woes of Russell Martin, the handling of Jesus Montero has come to the forefront of many Yankees conversations. How can a team with (arguably) the best catching prospect in Major League Baseball suffer through Cervelli's woes on both sides of the plate? Why has Martin been kept on the bench in traction when he could be DL'd and Montero called-up? Cashman addressed the topic yesterday:
The GM said he doesn’t want to rush prospects before their time.

Cashman was brutally honest as usual when it came to the backup catcher situation. Russell Martin is back in the lineup after missing seven of the last eight games. Francisco Cervelli, who has struggled offensively and defensively, had subbed for him. Cashman wants top catching prospect Jesus Montero to play. That’s why he isn’t being brought up to back up Martin and get occasional DH at-bats.

“Is Montero better than Cervelli? Yes he is,” Cashman said.
This has been the company line for quite some time - and it's perfectly reasonable. That being said ... the team could have (and should have, in my opinion) DL'd Martin and given Montero a two week audition behind the plate. If he struggles, send him back down when Martin returns. If he rakes, work out a time share between catcher and DH with Montero, Martin, and Posada - this is especially intriguing as Martin has had injury issues over the past two seasons, and his bat and glove are far too valuable to risk further injury.

The other item on the docket is left-handed specialist JC Romero, who was designated for assignment by the Phillies yesterday. He's performed admirably against LHB this season, holding them to a line of .208/.321/.208, which is right in-line with his career .215/.312/.290 mark. Romero is essentially useless against RHB (batting .297/.435/.432 against him this year) ... but Girardi understands how to leverage the bullpen, so that shouldn't be an issue.

In my mind, the only issue is the reasoning behind the Phillies making this move. The platoon splits are disconcerting should a team be looking for a set-up man or closer, but Romero's never really been utilized in such a fashion - and any team that attempted to use him as such was all but guaranteed a rude awakening. Romero did struggle with a calf injury this year, and he has had some arm issues; an underlying injury is a possibility. He was also suspended for a positive PED test in 2009, so there could be something there, as well.

That being said, the Yankees need to do their homework here. If Romero's healthy, he would bolster the bullpen quite a bit.

Pitching Matchups & Ticket Prices vs. Cubs

The Yanks come off what actually turned into a decent homestand, following up their sweep at the hands of the Red Sox by taking two series off first place teams - 2 of 3 from Cleveland and a sweep of the Rangers. Taking the finale in walk-off fashion was also a great way to finish things off.

They now resume interleague play (whooptie-freaking-do) as they travel to Chicago and Cincinnati, starting with three vs. the Cubbies. Game 1 vs. the Cubs is this afternoon at 2 PM and the matchups are below:

Game 1: Today @ 2:20 PM | TV: YES/MLBN | Radio: WCBS
RHP Freddy Garcia (5-5, 3.60) vs. LHP Doug Davis (0-5, 5.90)

Game 2: Saturday @ 4:10 PM | TV: FOX | Radio: WCBS
RHP A.J. Burnett (6-5, 4.09) vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (5-5, 5.48)

Game 3: Sunday @ 8:05 PM | TV: ESPN | Radio: WCBS
LHP CC Sabathia (8-4, 3.28) vs. RHP Randy Wells (1-1, 5.63)

Below, you will see something new (for this site), it's a TiqIQ series preview highlighting the average and lowest ticket, or Tiq prices for all three games in Chicago. We will also be providing these as well as other ticket graphics throughout the year.

You can also buy tickets through Sliding Into Home Tickets (Powered by TiqIQ) through the widget on the right or the Yankees Tickets link in the Yankees Stuff tab on the dropdown menu. 

TiqIQ tracks prices and availability of tickets to major sporting and entertainment events and delivers that intelligence through a next gen ticket-buying platform. They also produce a lot of helpful, interesting, and even entertaining, data and content on the sports and entertainment ticket market, as well on specific events --- MLB and the Yankees for this blog.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Today's Lineup: Gordon Added, Pendleton Sent Down

Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Andruw Jones LF
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez SS
Ramiro Pena 3B

Pitching: RHP Brian Gordon (first big league start)


- To make room on the roster for Gordon, Lance Pendleton was sent back down to Triple-A Scranton.... RHP Amaury Sanit was also released.

Let The Scott Kazmir Speculation Begin

If you didn't know, Scott Kazmir was released by the Angels yesterday after going 0-5 with a 17.02 ERA in 5 starts for Triple-A Salt Lake. In 15.1 innings, the lefty allowed 29 earned runs on 22 hits, walked 20, and struck out 14. The 27-year-old only made one start in the big leagues this season, allowing 5 runs on 5 hits in an inning and two-thirds to the Royals on 4/3.

Jon Heyman tweeted earlier this morning that "Yankees people will at least discuss Kazmir, if they haven't already. Could use another lhp in pen."

Later, Alden Gonzalez of also twat, "Cashman said he hasn't looked into the possibility of acquiring Scott Kazmir but will eventually. 'I know he's struggled,' he said."

It appears that they're at least a little interested.

While I don't believe he will help in any way, there's really little risk involved, so I guess it can't hurt. Give him a minor league deal and see if he can turn things around. But again, I wouldn't get my hopes up that he will. The guy was horrible last year and now he's completely lost.

What do you think? Should the Yankees take a chance on Kazmir?